Saturday, February 28, 2009

It doesn't get any easier

You would think I would be an old hand at chicks leaving the nest.

Out of 8 children, 5 have successfully (as far as I can tell!) flown so far. (No unsuccessful flights, 3 still in the coop here, for a few more weeks, anyway, then 2)

I have sent out two missionaries before. I don't remember the stress and anxiety I am feeling now.

Of course, when David and Miriam left, I was still very busy (almost preoccupied?) with younger children. And they went to milder climes where missionaries got dinner appointments.

It's not like Andrew is going to some backwards, uncivilized, undeveloped country. I admit to a vast amount of ignorance, but I have always considered Canada a sister country not very different from the USA. One of the best places in the world.

Except, being north, colder. That's one concern. It is really, really cold there. Right now it is -19C and feels like -28C in Winnipeg which is fairly south in his mission. -19C is less than -2 below here!! -28C is less than-18F!!

I have long maintained that life is not possible once you get down below freezing at 32 degrees F. I don't approve of temperatures below 40F. Most of my children are "freezing" well above that, Andrew included.

(Check out the Winnipeg weather link and the temperature conversion link in the margin of his blog The Armor of God)

There is so much I have not taught him or prepared him for. I hope he does not suffer too much for my failures! What can we do in the little time we have before he goes?

Currently, I am stressing about food. Something I should be able to help him get ready to handle. Again, I appeal to you for meal preparation/shopping suggestions. What are the basics he should have? Please share any recipes.

Only a few weekends before he leaves. And too much already scheduled! Weeknights are short, full, and I am tired and not too functional when I get home. So much to get ready, buy, learn, do!

(I would probably function better if I got more sleep, too.)

I do believe that Andrew was called of God by men who are in authority and who receive divine inspiration. I believe Nephi when he says "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

Philippians 4: 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Mark 9: 24 And straightway the father mother of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Calling RMs

Another sleepless night. Bad habit!

I am spending the time worrying about my soon-to-be missionary.

I am worried about the cold. Andrew tends to be cold. There seems not a great deal I can do about it. This is a trial of my faith. The best advice seems for him to get his cold weather gear once he arrives in Canada. What about the period between arrival and shopping????!! Fortunately, he will get there towards the end of May. When does spring come to the prairie provinces? (DOES spring come to the prairie provinces?!) Parts of his mission are extremely far north! What about his month in the MTC in Provo? How cold is Provo in April? I don't remember.

I need to make sure he has ample funds. What ARE ample funds for this?

I hope there will be someone to advise and assist him finding good cold weather gear.

I am worried about his food. I haven't taught him to shop and cook. I don't know how to shop and cook for one! Especially one who has little time for cooking and won't stay in one apartment long.

If I can figure out what kinds of things he will need, we can do some practice runs at the local stores and hope it helps.

As nearly as I can learn, the mission is sparsely settled and members few. Dinner appointments will be a rare treat.

What are the essentials of a missionary's larder?

What are some good recipes/menus/meal tips for him?

I would deeply appreciate suggestions from 1) returned missionaries especially and 2) anyone with experience with quick, inexpensive, wholesome, filling meals for one.

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Crass to Discuss Money

California passed its budget. Of course, some of the provisions go up before the voters in a special election in May, I believe. So far no official word about much of anything.

We still have two furlough days a month, although the union has negotiated to change it to one furlough day and not everyone on the same day, so the state won't save money on utilities by closing buildings. Supposedly the argument is that that way the state doesn't have to pay overtime to cover some essential services. I am thinking there are not that many; they lose more by staggering the furloughs than by paying overtime. I am even skeptical that they should have to pay overtime. Just stagger furloughs on essential services. But "wiser heads" than I.....

Most everyone I talk to would way rather see furloughs than lay-offs. Sadly, the union doesn't seem to actually represent the rank and file.

Unofficial word on the lay-offs from Parks is that Parks has so many vacancies that we will be able to "absorb" the lay-offs and not have to actually let anyone go. We are hoping! Rumor is that some departments refused to give out surplus letters as directed, but may yet. Hoping not for the sake of my children who recently entered state service.

I got my first furloughed paycheck. Not as bad a hit as I had feared. Partly because I offset it by reducing my already pathetically meager 457K deduction to $25. Why I even left that, I am not sure. It is so painful to get the quarterly report and see that I have substantially less in my account than I put in - between the fee and the market losses. Theoretically, I think this is probably a great time to invest, because the surviving stocks will be valuable some day. Practically, when money is already so tight, it is hard to stick it away and watch it dwindle.

Besides, late this month, my first mission deduction goes out of my checking account. I am only contributing 1/4 the cost. It is a small amount to put to Andrew's mission, but a biggish amount to give up. Thank you so much to the couple of you that I know are committed to making contributions! I know it is a sacrifice. Blessings on you!

I am grateful for my job, but the breaks are too short!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Furlough Friday #2

First, my friend, Cyndi W, had me take my car over to her house after work Thursday for her son-in-law to work on it. Then she insisted on driving me the maybe 4 blocks home. She delivered my car later that evening (she had a someone follow her to take her home) and refused any money. What generous people!

After missing most of the week because he's sick, Benjamin went to Seminary today. (Joseph and I were not as enthusiastic about it as we could have been. No sleeping in on Furlough Friday. sigh)

For days I have had this ache in my neck/right shoulder area. Don't know why. Sometimes it eases for a bit, but it doesn't completely go away. Aggravating.

I did not take my car to the shop today. The clock light does turn off after several minutes.

I did work on my taxes. Turbo Tax wouldn't let me free-file, but they got me a better return than the company I tried that would have. I am only getting a little bit back, but, hey! I don't owe. Next year, my deductions will probably be changed again. I don't think that I will be able to claim Andrew, as I will not be supplying most of his support, so I will have no dependents.

After living in this neighborhood 30+ years and hearing about the famous Squeeze Inn which is only a few blocks away for I don't know how long, the boys and I finally walked over and tried it. It is famous as one of, if not THE best burger place in town, and people come from out of town to go there. It's very good. It would be hard to live up to the hype.

Squeeze Inn is TINY. One counter with maybe a dozen stools. JUST enough room to walk between the stools and the wall. The working area is not any bigger than most kitchens. picnic tables out back.

Eclectic decor. although decor is a strong word. A surfboad, and a timber saw and a bunch of other stuff up in the rafters. A box of "Spotted Owl Helper" with macaroni and fleas sauce on a cluttered shelf. We liked the money origami bow-tie, and shirt and pants. I want to learn to do the shirt and pants. Wouldn't that be a cute gift with a little picture of the recipient's head ? A TV you couldn't hear with ESPN at one end and a radio playing too loudly at the other. We could hardly hear each other.

The guy that served us was great. Refilled cups twice without being asked. The cook and he both checked to see that everything was ok. Joseph and I split a Squeeze Burger and a BLT. Andrew and Benjamin had Squeezes. We shared 2 large fries. The food was good. We were stuffed. If we ever go back, we will probably have regular burgers. Regular is 1/4 pound and plain bun. Squeeze is 1/3 and sesame seed bun. Truly though, it was not better than a good burger at home, especially BBQ.

The governator has signed the budget. Rumors are everywhere about what it all means. Sounds like there will still be lay-offs - the union should not have fought the furloughs so hard! Better furloughs than lay-offs. There won't be nearly as many. I am PROBABLY safe. Neither Joseph nor Miriam have gotten surplus letters yet. Don't know why. I hope they are safe, although they are both new hires, especially Miriam!, so there's a bit of concern.

Now I need to study for my Business Law exam. One of only 3. He keeps saying that if you come to class, you will have no trouble passing and that his tests don't have any tricks. Still, I am not overly confident. My memory for technical details is not outstanding. With only 3 exams not much room to mess up!

I would rather nap.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

There's Good News and There's Bad News and on Some We are Still Waiting

When I went out to pick up Joseph from his Consumnes River College
class, I noticed that the clock light was off. It does turn off, it
just takes SEVERAL minutes. ok. Good.

This morning Joseph hurried to the Regional Transit office and he GOT
HIS BIKE back. What a relief!

Unfortunately, on the way to catch the train to work, unable to see
through the driver's window, I rolled it down. It will NOT go up at
all. Not a budge. Even with Joseph and I pulling on it. I had to
leave it in the light rail parking lot with the window open.

A friend has a son-in-law who does car work and she even bought the
parts without telling me. But her truck blew something and the time
he might have worked on my car, he had to work on hers. I am hoping
to get hold of them soon - phone calls and emails have gone out! Her
truck is running again, hopefully, he will have time soon.

The legislature passed the budget and it has gone to the Governor.
Fewer lay-offs. I am less worried. My co-worker of 7 1/2 months who
gave up her own housecleaning business for the "security and benefits"
of state work is still mildly terrified.

Work call - One of our ranger's houses had it's water shut off because
of this budget mess. I must see what I can do!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anything else?

This morning I felt like I was getting sick. Fortunately, I feel better now, Surprisingly, considering the day it has been. So maybe not. ; )

This afternoon I got my surplus letter informing me that I may be laid off. It's a last hired, first fired thing. Possibly going back nearly 4 years of hiring. Nothing to do with the job or how well you do it.

This evening I found out that I left my car lights on. AGAIN. Two days in a row. Can you believe it? I distinctly remember turning them off. I must have gotten it backward. Today's battery guy convinced me that leaving the lights on is not my only problem. The battery was old and decrepit anyway. So, I bought a battery. Then we discovered another little problem. My clock light does not turn off - meaning perpetual battery drain. I need to take the car back to the shop earliest opportunity.

Looks like anther Furlough Friday visit to Car Care Plus. I could almost buy another car with what I have spent on it this month alone. Window, re-key, horn, smog, oil, and now, the clock light. I cannot even switch to biking - as if I were strong enough and willing to brave the weather - because the front tire blew out on my bike on the way home from the car shop last Furlough Friday!

You would think that was enough, wouldn't you?

In the midst of my battery adventures, Joseph called. On his way from work to Consumnes River College, he forgot to get his bike off the bus when he transferred buses! He wanted me to scurry across town to catch the bus and claim his bike. But of course the battery problem took too long for that. He thought the bus would be coming back to 65th St not far from where I was, but no, it went out of service. Fortunately, the bike was still on the bus and they have a place they keep bikes that were left on the bus. Joseph can go there tomorrow and, hopefully, claim his bike.

I am going to go eat a carcinogenic hamburger patty before going to pick Joseph up from his class.

"You have been designated as surplus"

I just came from a meeting at which I was informed that I am surplus.

Step 1 in the statewide lay-off process.

The newest 20% of the stateworkers got this letter. It has nothing to
do with the work we do or how well we do it. Just more recently
hired. People who have been with the state nearly 4 years that I know
of. I have 2 years. My cube mate less than a year. Not looking good
for us.

The letter says that "even when a budget is passed.... layoffs will be

A lot of sad, angry and frightened people. And yes, I am one of them.

This is happening all over the state in almost all departments. Fun times.

Manual Lopez, our Deputy Director, met with us to try to soften the
blow of the bureaucratic letter which came from the Department of
Personnel Administration. He tried to give us hope that the budget
will be worked out before lay-offs will be implemented and that many
jobs will be found through attrition, redefinition and other juggling
acts. He expressed understanding and concern for our welfare, and the
welfare of the organization and parks we serve. He said he has had
sleepless night over this. He was very nice. We are still bummed, to
say the least. and looking at becoming bums.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No steam

: ( Andrew did not get his driver's license. Apparently, it did not quite register immediately when the examiner said, "If I don't say anything, go straight."

Andrew was in the left turn lane leaving DMV when the examiner said, "go straight." Andrew made a quick lane change. Too quick, examiner thought. And that was that.

We are not altogether certain whether he even needs to get a driver's license. His mission papers ask for him to bring a 2 year driving record. no can do. So, we need to find out whether he will be able to drive on his mission at all anyway. If not, no point paying extra insurance for 2 years, right? Another question for the Mission President.

We did get his passport application in. Should arrive in about 4 weeks. They took his birth certificate! It should come back with the passport.

I got to work just about in time for my walk to class. It was rainy, windy, and cold, but I was not really uncomfortable - with my jacket, baseball cap to keep the rain off my face, and gloves. I do need to learn to carry a lighter bag!

And I am using my fan. I haven't seen any steam. how disappointing!

ok, my quick late after school lunch is over. Now to work for the State while I still can. No word on the lay off notices yet. Although, heard the rumor that the layoffs will not be effective until July and by then we should certainly have a budget, shouldn't we???!!

Into every life a little rain

It is cold, wet, and windy. Today we have to remind ourselves that we desperately need the rain. The great news is that we are piling snow on the mountains!

Speaking of snow, Tom & Ruth took the kids and Debi took her Dane, Chloe, up to the snow yesterday and had a fabulous time.

This morning we are not having a fabulous time. Joseph, "looking forward" to his commute to work, largely by bicycle, commented that if he later catches this cold/flu thing that still plagues his brothers, he is going to resent that he didn't get it today! This is a day made for staying home in bed.

In fact, in the mountains and foothills, kids are getting the day off from school. Probably not the parents, though. And not us.

In an hour, Andrew takes his drive test. My car window still doesn't roll up. He is required to roll the window down at the beginning of the test. oh, the joy.

Hoping and praying for a break in the weather for both my guys! (not looking too good, tho)

Hopefully, Andrew will pass his test. I don't know if he will be able to drive on his mission, however. His papers say he needs to bring his two year driving record. hmmm, that's a tough one. A question we will add to our list to ask the mission president.

Other questions:
-Is an electric blanket a good idea(I think so! light weight for packing and adjustable warmth!) -His papers say no video camera, does that include his little pocket camera that can take short videos? He thinks so, I hope not!

Help us think of questions so that we can get as much information as possible to help properly prepare.

I need to get ready for work. After Andrew's drive test and we apply for his passport, I need to get to work quickly as I can.

Hoping NOT to get a lay-off notice. California is in the midst of a bad budget crises. State workers were put on furlough the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month starting this month for a year and a half. We have had one furlough Friday. Frankly, if it weren't for the money crunch, we would LOVE having the time. Being a working mom is practically impossible, no matter how many women are doing it. Now word is that the union and the Governor have worked out a different furlough deal. Cutting it to one furlough day a month - which is what I suspected would happen. The Governator had first said one furlough day. The union screamed and fought. Then Arnold announced two. I thought it might be a bargaining ploy. We haven't had official word yet. Also I THINK they agreed to letting people work out with their managers when their furlough day would be. Which shoots down the governor's plan to close offices on furlough days and save on utilities. I don't know. Worst thing is that talk of lay-offs is getting serious. The ones who get laid off are going to be the poor guys who do all the daily grunt work. The ones who stay will be the higher ups who get paid heaps more and who do not know how to do the jobs they oversee. (The ones who always get the biggest raises, too. Back in the day when state workers got cost of living raises -even if everyone got the same percentage, they would get more, but always bigwigs got a bigger percentage as well.) With fewer rank and file workers to do the work, and those being furloughed, it will be a mess. Rumors are that anyone with the state 2 years or less are on the block. I am on the edge. Joseph may be in trouble. But then he can concentrate on school until they call him back. He does not have to worry about a mortgage!

I get to walk 8-9 blocks from work to my Business Law class today (and back). I am going to be a drip. After that, for once, I will probably NOT be too hot at work! But I might steam. Wouldn't that be fun? I do have a broken umbrella, but the wind is going to make that useless. Fortunately, I also have a leather jacket my aunt gave me. bad for the jacket, but good for me!

Off to prepare for a wet and busy day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sleepless Night

Wind and rain outside. Worried about my house. In the family room there was once a woodbox opening from the outside to inside the house. Long ago the outer doors got misaligned and finally somebody nailed a board over the opening. For years, the woodbox was ignored and the inside opening (doors gone and another board propped in place) buried behind our many piles of things that need sorting out one day. We have recently discovered it. But what happened to the (inside) board? it's gone now. Looking in after an earlier rain, we see that there is moisture inside the woodbox. This is not good. --- In the family room there is also water damage inside from previous roof leaks. Were they ever really repaired? I don't know. ---- Then there's the side garage door that is only propped in place because the wood around the hinges is rotten and when we opened the door to take the old dryer out and the new dryer in, the door collapsed. Oh, and it looks like a little water comes in under the door. ---- Who knows how many other problems that I don't know about. ---- And the kitchen which should probably be condemned with the sink counter rotted away, the floor worn away, and a hole in the outside wall under the sink "patched" with expando foam. --- I sadly lack knowledge, money, strength. --- Still, I am grateful to have my house.

Coughing and hacking inside. Worried about my boys. Although Andrew felt better this morning than he had been and Ben also seemed better, they are pretty sick. They stayed home from church and rested. They made it to the Family Big Reveal Dinner. But after awhile it was too much for Andrew and he had to go home. Ben just lay on the floor, not at all with it. Now, in their beds, they have been coughing off and on all night. I hope getting SOME sleep.

Andrew is feeling a bit whelmed. Partly because he is sick and not fully copeable. The mission packet of things to do and get seems like a lot. Everyone talking, asking questions and giving opinions also seemed like alot. He needs rest and some quiet time with himself and the Lord.

Then we need to get to work getting him ready. One of the first things, a passport.

It is so stupid not being able to sleep. I have so much that I am responsible for, I need my sleep! Back ago, to try again. If not, John Adams, Business Law, and Jeremiah all await.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

drumroll..... the envelope, please

Elder Andrew James Robarts has been called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, assigned to labor in the Canada Winnipeg Mission.

He reports to the Missionary Traing Center in Provo, Utah on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.

more later

God knows how to sew!

My favorite thing from church today was an experience Jackie S shared.
She was having trouble sewing something. She tried and tried. She
prayed as she worked, but she could not get it right. Finally, she got
down on her knees and prayed. She told Heavenly Father, "You know how
to sew! Please help me remember." Then she got up and was able to
finish her project.

God knows each of us.
He cares about the little things - not just the "big spiritual" things.
He wants us to take the time to really talk to him, not just throw off
We must humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

All day I have been hearing about romance, break-ups, single-ness - it's Valentine's Day the day of love.

What do I think/feel about Valentine's Day?

It is a whole lot nicer being single on Valentine's Day than being in an unhappy marriage!!!

I have a lot of love in my life - the Lord, my children, good friends. even my dog.

I had some fun with Valentine's Day.

After attending Ruth's Valentine class and getting the Love You Much Bundle, I made valentines for just of few of the people I care about -

My children. Even with the late post office run Thursday, my Washington group got theirs on time! I hope the Cal Poly duo did, too. But if not, I love them every day, so Tuesday is fine. Two of my girls won't get theirs until tomorrow, because I ultimately decided I had too much to do to drive to their houses and that they probably were busy. Now I wish I had. One had lots of busy plans, but I think one could have used the little pick me up.

The sisters I "visit teach." Easy visiting teaching! I just left their Valentine's on their doors this morning.

The co-workers in my unit Friday. They were totally charmed.

I had red and silver hershey kisses on the "front counter" all day Friday in a red satiny bag. So, all my co-workers got a Valentine's treat from me.

One thing that I agree with my "moderately liberal" (which may mean I am an off the cliff conservative - funny how we all think we are "moderate") professor on is Valentine's. When he reminded the class to remember Valentine's Day, someone in the class piped up, "Especially the men!" The professor took exception to that stating that it is important for both men AND women to do something nice for their someone. Romance and love is not a one-way deal. Not if it is going to grow and endure.

A divorcee giving love advice. yeah, right!

Time for family prayer followed by a snug bed on a stormy night.

Still a Camera Shy

I used to have a Sony Mavica which took great pictures. 10x zoom! I took pictures of the construction of the Sacramento Temple about once a week until, alas! my camera died.

There followed a dearth in the land - no camera! Eventually, I bought a used camera from a beloved and trusted relative. For reasons unbeknownst to them or me, for me the camera would not work. Basically, it's battery absolutely would not hold a charge. No battery would. Every time I picked up the camera, it was dead. A year ago Thanksgiving, I returned it to its former owner who wanted to look at it - maybe work some magic? I think it remains hidden in a corner somewhere waiting for ...? At any rate, no magic has been worked and I remained camera-less. Ok, except for my cell phone and my (recently stolen, Alas and Alack!) Palm Zire.

Everyone in our house was camera-less. This is not good.

Even though I am not a good photographer and I don't shoot nearly as much as I should, I want a decent camera! There is always hope that I will learn to actually take pictures.

Finally, I decided to splurge and get the guys cameras for Christmas (and nothing else - I was spending more than I usually spend just on cameras). But, after all, there is no way I am going to send Andrew out on the experience of his life without a camera. Preferably one small enough to keep handy in a suit pocket and easy to use. - Except no camera for Joseph who doesn't want an easy use camera. He theoretically has a good camera that needs repairs - seems like it's needed fixing FOREVER. When he FINALLY tried to get his act together to send it in, it seems that he doesn't have the paperwork etc he needs to have it taken care of under warrant/service contract, so most likely he is going to have to get a new one. He didn't know all that when he helped me camera shop, but I think he stands by his decision not to have me get him one like ours.

Yes, ours. I wasn't big enough to get the two guys cameras without also getting myself one. I wrapped it up and put it under the tree with the others.

Nice little camera! Pocket sized Sony Cyber-shot 5x zoom. We love them!

But my little camera was in my little purse when the car was broken into, so it was stolen along with other things much more valuable to me than they could possibly be to the pathetic individual who stole them. (Not that I am at all bitter. I do pity someone who would do such things.)

Sariah and Ryan, being exceptionally kind and generous, ordered me another camera just like the one that got stolen. I know that meant that Ryan dedicated some overtime to me.

Just like my stolen camera, except for an annoying little quirk. Every time you want to turn it on, you have to take the battery at least part way out and put it back.

So, today, I took the replacement camera back to the store with the credit card I used to buy the 3. They were very good about taking it back -- I was still within the 90 days of original purchase. We agreed on a straight exchange. Except they didn't have any in stock nor expect to get more. So, they put money back on my charge card.

Actually, split it on 2 charge cards. I had applied for a store card when I bought the 3 so I could get the 10% discount. However the 3 cameras plus accessories went over my limit. So, I did the limit on the store card and the rest on my MC. I paid off the store card by check before leaving that day. Anyway, despite the store card charges obviously being more than the cost of 1 camera, they refunded the MC first and the store card the remainder. Anything to make things a little more complicated.

I drove to another store in that chain where they had "my camera" on display. For sale even, which would off-set the 10%. Another customer was looking at it wanting to buy. Oh, no! would she get the last one?! We were both to be disappointed as they were also out of stock. No stores in the area have any.

This one, at least, said they are expecting an order soon and the sale lasts through President's Day. I will be checking back!

I better remind the boys to charge up their batters for the Big Reveal tomorrow. (Elder Andrew Robarts has received the all-important white envelope from Salt Lake City which contains his call to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. - plus instructions on when to report to the Mission Training Center and what he needs, etc. He will reveal the contents to the family gathered at dinner after church Sunday and out-of-town family on telephone conference.)

Did you really read all this? Hoping it would get interesting eventually? Don't you have anything better to do? Probably. Sorry.

Friday, February 13, 2009

So close and yet so far

Andrew’s envelope arrived today!

Unfortunately, he has some cold/flu thing that has been hanging on for several days and even getting worse (even though we all had flu shots!), so he is just about too sick to care.

He is going to wait to open it until he feels a bit more alive.  It deserves better than he feels right now.

Hopefully, the family Big Reveal Dinner is on for Sunday evening. 

What if he is still sick?????



...many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.

Troubles are usually brooms and shovels that smooth the road to the good man's fortune; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.

My car failed at DMV when Andrew went to take his drive test.

I took it in to have the oil changed, be SMOG tested, AND to get the HORN FIXED.

$250.oo later I picked up my car and they said to me, "The horn works." I confirmed that the oil was also changed and the DMV was apprised that it had passed SMOG.

We drove the car for a couple of weeks never thinking of testing the horn except when driving through neighborhoods or in traffic, not when somewhere unlikely to disturb people.

FINALLY, driving home from church between railroad tracks and a lumber yard, we remembered. Actually, we forgot until we were amongst houses, but turned around and deliberately went back to test the horn. Which remained silent. Nothing.

Yesterday, having the day off, I took the car back.

Story within a story - Put my bike up on the rack to ride home while leaving the car. The last time my bike was out of the shed, I had it completely overhauled, tuned up, checked out. That was probably September, so naturally the tires needed pumping up. Joseph, nicely did that for me. Anyway, so I started to ride home. One block from the car shop, waiting for the light at Folsom and Power Inn, the front tire blew out. I got to walk my bike home. grrr.
Fortunately, the weather was nice.

Of course, I had to walk back to pick up my car. (I had called my favorite no-charge taxi service, but apparently my daughter has a life, too, and was busy, didn't even get my message, I think.) No complaints, really, it was a good day for a walk, and we all know I need the exercise!

Well, the horn works temporarily. Last we checked. Wires are loose somewhere.

Today, I left my car again and walked to light rail (just a few blocks). They are going to take the steering column apart. That will be another $100, please. sigh.

What is it with me and things even remotely mechanical?! the car, the bike, the dryer, the nice little camera Sariah sent me which you cannot turn on unless you remove and replace the battery each time. That's the latest set. Faithful readers know these are not the first mechanical problems I have had.

OK, enough griping.

Now for a brief tender mercy.

We need rain and I pray for it daily. We are finally getting some. But, not yesterday when I was hoofing it 2.5 miles each way between home and Car Care Plus. ; ) Last night it really rained. When we had family prayer this morning, it was raining well. I was thinking about that walk to Light Rail and about Joseph having to bike to work. Not as thankful as I should be. It rained during Seminary while I "walked the dog" in the church parking lot. Dangnabbit, this building does not have nice sheltering trees like our old one did. Near the end of Seminary, the rain eased. By the time Joseph got on his bike and I dropped off my car, the weather was clear and lovely. : )

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is not a cow

“This is not a cow. This is not a cow. This is a horse.”
Jared at the chalkboard during General Conference last year.

Or was it the other way around?

I don’t know if I am wearing a black blouse or a dark navy blue blouse. I am not sure by looking. When I put it on, I thought it was black. Now I am not so sure. Depends on the light and how tired my eyes are?

Fortunately, I am wearing a plaid skirt that includes blue and black.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Fortunately, not the walls, just a door.

Shortly after I decided that maintaining my service contract on my
washer and dryer was a waste of money, the dryer started acting up.

Squeaking. David said probably the bearing, a bearing?
some bearing something.

Also, occasionally catching an article of
clothing - usually white, sometimes delicate- which would emerge from the dryer (with
some effort) twisted and with grey stuff on it. Not usually torn, at least. So we would treat the grey and re-wash it. Usually, it came out ok. Not an ideal situation, however.

Feeble attempts at on-line research did not yield immediate guidance
and we just drifted. There were always more immediate concerns and
soon the Christmas gifting panic to deal with first. Finally, last
Saturday, after the squeaking had progressed to occasional thumping,
someone smelled or spotted smoke and we knew the jig was up.

A little family trip to Home Depot followed. We agreed on a dryer
similar to the now defunct only with a signal we can turn on if we
want! Delivery Wednesday - today!

For years out of memory, the side garage door has been blocked with
miscellanea. Last weekend we cleared that away and cleaned the dryer
area nest to it. 1) We are TRYING to clean and sort everywhere in our house - slowly. agonizingly, slowly 2) we had an ewaste disposal opportunity and dimly remembered a former resident had somewhere in the garage a computer they were going to work on for a former neighbor 3) now we needed dryer removal / installation access. Anyway, we could open the door.

This morning the dryer arrived about the time Ben and I got home from Seminary. I greeted the driver, Andrew opened up the garage door. They took out the old dryer. I looked into the garage before dashing off to catch my train and the door was lying on the floor where the dryer used to be!

The door jam/hinges just gave up and the door fell off. Now we have to replace the door jam. Makes me wonder how much else is rotted away. sigh.

I told Andrew to just prop the door back in place when the dryer guys leave so the lack is not too obvious. And then I went off to work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

2pm Phone Call

Andrew: The mailman came.

me: and…..?

A: And there was a package from Salt Lake.

Me: yeah….?

Andrew: But it was for you.

I had ordered Andrew new scriptures and scripture case because his old ones were pretty worn already and I expect they shall get a lot of wear and tear in the next couple of years.

So, it was for him, after all, but not what we are all so eagerly awaiting.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'll go where.....

The exceptionally observant may have noticed a new blog link in my margin called "The Armor of God".

It is Andrew's mission blog which we (mostly me and somewhat Andrew) started after seeing that my sister and her husband have one for their missionary (also in my margin) and thinking what a good idea. I hadn't announced it because there isn't much there yet.

However, I think we are getting to the point where suggestions might be appreciated

and we do want you to go to the post "Where, oh, Where" and post a comment with your guess where he might be called to serve on his mission.

Where would you send him? or where would you like to go if it were you and you had a choice?

Have fun!

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

Isaac Asimov
US science fiction novelist & scholar (1920 - 1992)

I don’t think this is what he meant!

Horrific struggles on the home de-junking and organization front. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and it seems that I am required to keep all or part of at least 5 ANCIENT computers because the master geek thinks there is something we need to reclaim from them. Someday.

Meanwhile, they take up space and uglify my house. I am so desirous of reclaiming useable space and NOT having an ugly home.

Of course, Master Geek would probably cheerfully (not that he does much cheerfully) toss more than a few things that I feel compelled to keep.

And we are trying to build up our food storage. Money is always a minor issue, but the bigger problem is WHERE?


also related to Isaac’s quote: I cannot tell you how much I miss my PALM!!

For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.

Clifton Fadiman
US author, editor, & radio host (1904 - 1999)

Here, one particular young man is watching the mailbox for a large white envelope which will chart the course of his life for the next two years. Actually, he is TRYING not to think about it lest his head burst.

Last night, the Bishop called Andrew and told him that his call (to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) should arrive any day now. Andrew could hardly hold still all evening for the excitment and a certain amount of nervousness.

When the envelope comes, Andrew may wish to open it privately. Whether he opens it alone or with family, we need to arrange the get-together. Our first thought was dinner Sunday the 15th, but what if the envelope comes Monday (or possibly even today - probably not), but maybe Monday?!

If it comes today or Monday, I think Andrew will start calling people to check their availability for tomorrow or Monday.

Where will he go?
When will he go?

Will I be able to drive him to the Missionary Training Center?

We can only wait and see.