Saturday, May 30, 2009
Took a bunch of household hazardous waste from our garage cleaning last week to the transfer station.
Helped Tom a bit recovering things they had installed in the house they lost that they want to use in the place they live now.
A little bit of household chores. (not enough)
Made pig-in-a-blanket slices for the ward activity.
Great ward activity - "Proud to Be An American" Dance and Game Night. Tom DJ-ed - always a winner. People brought good refreshments. The pasta salad with chicken, cucumbers and currants or raisins was incredible. Lots of other good food, too. Good games. Good visiting. The Dance and Game Night format almost always works (as long as we have the best DJ in town!) And it so easy to do. Holly steps it up by including active group games as well as board games. And it doesn't hurt that Ruth and Tom, and also Rod and Nathalie can really dance! It is a total delight to watch them. A couple of other couples and the little kids are cute to watch, too - more for their joy and enthusiasm than for their ability and fancy steps. I like how husbands make sure they dance "The Last Dance" with their wives. Sweet. I also like how people just pitch in and help with clean-up afterward so that it goes quickly and smoothly.
And now to sleep in my comfy bed in my own home. Good stuff.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
That’s when I open my email and find a letter from my favorite missionary.
If you would like to read his letters, you can find a link in the margin on the right.
Now, I am late getting back to work. Bye!
Monday, May 25, 2009
42nd Annual Memorial Day Service. As always, I found it touching. This is one memorial service that truly honors our service
personnel-living an dead-and also honors God.
After the service, we met Nursing Student Ben who had a Palm TX to sell. : D
Miriam and Debi played for hours on the Wii.
Joseph upgraded my Palm desktop and got all my old data on TX. I spent a good bit of happy time updating and starting to become
familiar with TX.
Ruth, Tom and the kids joined us after a busy day of home projects
for BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs.And strawberries and watermelon – thanks to Miriam!
A very pleasant Memorial Day.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Tomorrow after the Mount Vernon Memorial Park (nice cemetery) Annual Memorial Day Service, I will meet "Ben" at Sunrise Mall and most likely buy his Palm TX. - Ben is a nurse or a nursing student whose girlfriend bought him the TX. However, he doesn't want to become Palm dependent and he needs money. Girlfriend understands. TX is practically new.
I hope this works!
Speaking of working.
My good friend Kent set up Winnie and somehow Winnie picked up a lot of nice applications. Among them Scriptures - complete set of LDS scriptures, manuals, and other resources, plus the US Constitution and I don't remember what else. Recently Apps Store sent an update notification. The update did something serious to the Scriptures which promptly quit working. Apps Store then sent out a warning not to use the update because it had a serious flaw. Thanks.
Now I had to delete Scriptures. And - had I purchased it myself have them re-load it. However since that was a borrowed copy on trial, it was now time to buy it myself. Of course, our old family computer is not capable, so I asked Joseph to do it on his. They happily agreed to charge my credit card. Then said that that computer was not authorized to download. He worked through that somehow.
Then they said that they had to save everything on their iTunes library OR ELSE WIPE MY TOUCH. So, we said ok. I lost a few applications and several games - a lot of them free anyway - that were from Kent. Fortunately, I don't see anything really important missing. I am happy to still have my audiobooks and music. I don't think Joseph let them back those up. Now I have my own set of Scriptures (a good buy for $15) and am looking at what applications and games I want. I think I will go work on that and let someone else (that would be Ben) have some computer time.
It is almost Sunday. Why am I not in bed? Why is nobody in bed? Joseph and Miriam are playing on the Wii. Ben is trying to write to Andrew on the Palm that was once Andrew's and before that Glen's? We thought it was long since dead, but somehow Ben revived it.
I miss MY Palm! Ben keeps offering me the one he rescued, but I don't trust it or myself with it. Besides, HE rescued it. I don't know what I am going to do. Winnie does her own good thing, but she is not Palm. sigh
What's been happening around here? Quite a bit - interesting or not.
Thursday, Benjamin and I met with Adele (Tuffy's "mom") who does guidance counseling for high school students. She had suggestions for what Ben should study next year. After talking to her a bit, we found we are pretty much on the right track. That's reassuring. He is going to try to get into SCC and take an intro Psychology class and Japanese. She encouraged him to take another math course (with HCS) rather than taking a break from math.
I took Friday on furlough. First order of business, get my (car) oil changed. Past due, and I am sure I could "feel" the car was getting gritty. Soon after Seminary, I went to Car Care Plus. Alas, they said they are appointment based now and I could come back at 1:30. As I was backing out of the service line, I scraped another car! At first I couldn't see anything and I was tempted to just drive away. But, how could I go to the temple if I did that?! So, I went in and confessed my sins. Spent an hour or more talking to the Car Care Plus people, the car owner, and AAA insurance people. Everyone was pretty nice, but my premium will be going up most likely. ; (
There went any hope of going to the temple that day. Not enough time left. But at least I was honest.
We fixed dinner for the missionaries - pot roast with carrots, baked potatoes, salad and watermelon. They didn't come. Miriam did. We played on the Wii until the missionaries were an hour late, then we ate dinner. And played on the Wii until past our bedtime. The boys went to bed. I went to bed after 11. Miriam was still playing. (We did have prayer and scriptures).
This morning Tuffy came to stay the weekend while her folks to to a wedding. I held an overexcited Anna whose rough pads and nails wrecked havoc on my bare feet. When we released the dogs to greet each other, Tuffy ran over and peed on Anna's bed! nice touch. Boy that seems like a long time ago.
Debi came over today. She helped me work in cleaning the garage a bit. Of course, she wants me to throw away EVERYTHING. We filled both Hinds old and our garbage and recycle cans, a little can and more of hazardous waste, and the backseat of my car with stuff - mostly luggage - to take to a Goodwill trailer. A quick shower after the Goodwill dump, and we were off to Allison Hamaker's commencement.
Allison has earned a MASTER of Sciences in Business - concentration in Taxation. It takes 4 years or so of full time study to earn a Bachelors, a few more years to earn a Masters. She did this while working to "help" support her family, being a mom, and serving in the church. An AWESOME accomplishment. She is some woman. And still likes her less educated and accomplished friends.
After the commencement ceremonies , Hamakers hosted a picnic at Tahoe Park. yummy - brats, ribs, veggie burgers (I did not have one) green salad, coleslaw, and BERRIES. Good food, good friends, good weather.
Allison had borrowed Foell's truck to transport tables and chairs. At the park, they needed to move the truck. They gave her brother the keys to move the truck. He jammed the wrong key into the ignition where it stuck fast and stripped the ignition. After the picnic, Greg had to go buy parts and replace it. Holly had to take their van home, remove the seats and come back so they could take the chairs and tables back where they belonged. We stayed to help with the loading up.
Other than that, it was a fun picnic. We had brought our fold up toss game, purple beach ball and frisbees. Allison's nieces and nephews had a great time with them. Somewhat unconventionally, often. For a while there were 3 of them wearing the ball toss game on their heads together running around the park. Surprisingly, all our toys came home in tact. The children also went home in one piece.
It is Sunday. Must rest.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
But I was not here to welcome them. After a morning of chores, a bit of time on Facebook, a few games of tennis on the Wii, I was off to babysit grandkids and to watch the Preakness. Babysitting was scheduled to start some time during the Preakness show so I went over early.
Two weeks ago, Mine That Bird, a 50 to 1 long shot, came from the very last of the field to win going away by several lengths. An amazing upset. A beautiful run to watch. Breathtaking!
Meantime, a filly has been blowing away the racing world racing against fillies only. Her owners did not believe in girls playing with boys. After the Derby, Rachel Alexandra was sold. Her new owners entered her in the Preakness. Calvin Borel who rode Mine That Bird in the Derby switched to Rachel, who he says is the best horse he has ever ridden. Rachel was the favorite at 2 to 1. Mine That Bird started at 6 to 1 under Mike Smith.
Rachel take the lead right away. Bird trailed last. Finally, Bird made his move and, like in the Derby, started passing the other horses like they were standing still. In the Derby he made it through on the inside rail. This time the horses blocked him and he had to go around on the outside. Man, that horse can move! Not quite fast enough or soon enough, however. Rachel won by 3/4 or maybe a length. Bird took 2nd closing. Hot race!
Rachel is easily a hand or more taller than Bird. Fillies carry 5 lbs less than colts/geldings. But that's horse racing.
A little more distance or an opening on the rail and Bird might have won. On the other hand, Borel says we didn't see Rachel at her best at all, she was having trouble with the track.
Some say had Borel been on Bird, he would have won, but Borel says Smith rode a good race.
Those two are some horses! (Too bad Bird is a gelding!)
I eagerly await the Belmont Stakes - hoping for a match off!
Summer has come to Sacramento. HIGH 90's yesterday. Looking at 100+ today. No Delta Breeze until at least Monday. sigh Suddenly Winnipeg doesn't look bad at all!
Time to go to church where I hope to not only to learn to escape the fires of hell, but also to find AIR CONDITIONING.
Friday, May 15, 2009
12:32pm I am listening to an old Satellite Sister Podcast on Winnie the Peg while I am working. I wish I could rewind a little bit, but the back button goes all the way to the beginning of the podcast. Anyway, one of the sisters has a little spot of news bits from around the world. Things you just don’t hear about here. For instance, while most in most cultures, one can save a beach chair by leaving one’s towel on it Germans do not observe this custom. They will remove your towel and take “your” chair. Even when not in
2 pm - You may remember that in February I received a letter telling me that I have been designated surplus. I am in line to be let go. Last night, the Governator announced that he would be sending lay-off notices to 5000 state workers today. I have been a bit blue and anxious all day, waiting for my letter and worrying about Miriam and Joseph who started working for the state later than I did. Parks just put out notice to its employees that we have enough vacancies in the department, that “State Parks will NOT issue any of those notices because we have enough vacancies to achieve the required reductions without laying anyone off.” Hooray! I have dodged the bullet – this time. I hope Miriam and Joseph are ok, especially Miriam.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I didn't hear my cell phone in the next room. Fortunately, I heard the
last ring as I returned to my room, but of course I missed the call.
Area code 801 - Utah! I hit the call back button. Andrew answered!
Benjamin popped into the shower before I had a chance to tell him
Andrew was on the phone. I woke up Joseph to talk to him somewhat
drowsily and caught Ben as soon as he was decent, so each of us got to
talk with him briefly.
They were at the airport, luggage successfully checked in. He made
weight! That's a relief. The smaller bag checked in fine. The big
one went up to 54 pounds (la gasp!),but settled back down to 50.
Andrew sounds so good!
He assured me that he did get to eat "plenty of ice cream." In their
district there was another companionship with a fast eater and a slow
eater, so they did "splits" (temporary companion trades).
We are trying to figure out the email thing. He emailed home last
week, but I didn't get it. Of course, he has no idea what computer
availabilty he is going to have and it will change with every
transfer, but he gave me his e-address. firstname.lastname@example.org OR? is
it ElderRobarts@my LDS.net ? I am going to send him an email so that
he will have my address. If you want to email him - remember that his
computer time is going to be extremely limited. P-days are always
busy and computers are not always available. The more time he spends
reading e-mails, the less time he will have to WRITE e-mails. Keep
them short and sweet. (single ladies - not "too sweet"!)
I can hardly remember what we talked about in the short time we had.
It was just so good to hear his voice. I could hear in his voice that
he has grown a lot.
He was happy and excited. He said it's better than getting Eagle.
Soon he will be landing in Canada!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I am very sad not to have Tom, Ruth, Esther and Jared "almost next door." Even though sometimes weeks would go by without seeing them outside of church, I knew they were right there. It was nice for both households to have borrowing, visiting privileges so conveniently close. Sometimes when I had my back door open, I could listen to the kids playing while I worked around the house. It was delightful and lovely to have them as close neighbors. I am really going to miss them.
On the other hand, their new house is much bigger and roomier for them. It it light and airy. It is in a pleasant neighborhood and they already know that their new ward (congregation) is helpful and friendly. So, I am happy for them that they got such a nice place.
It is going to be a good move for them. (Just not so much for me.)
Some perks for me, though. Tom sold me his old propane BBQ for $25. I need to learn to grill, but now I can be one of then neighbors with the make you jealous smells instead of being the jealous neighbor. I think I am getting a couple of old barrel planters they are not taking, also.
The boys, Debi, and several ward members helped them move all day Saturday. Old ward members helped them load; their new ward members helped them unload. Their new ward Bishop also gave them some eggs and milk left over from their Aaronic-Priesthood Commemoration Father-Son Camp-out. And, Ben tells me, took their picture.
I spend all day doing some of the regular "daily" housework that I am never home to do. No, I didn't catch up. But it was better.
Friday, Ben made waffles for dinner for all of us. Saturday, I took a pot of beans to the new house - not thinking about their dishes being all packed still! but we managed with disposable cups.
Moving is so much work and confusion! They are, however, coming right along with it. All the household goods are moved, now they just have to find their new proper places. Fresh start.
The old house and I are slightly bereft. It sure was nice while it lasted.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
to go for 24 hours without being grumpy, crabby, or rude. Of course,
missionaries are supposed to go 24 MONTHS,eh? And frankly, disciples
are supposed to go for LIFE. According to the Grump Out website I
visited (and I believe them), choosing to be un-grumpy can strengthen
your immune system, diminish tension in your central nervous system,
relax your body, improve circulation, reduce stress hormones, and
possibly help in making new friends. For help surviving those 24
Un-grumpy Hours (Months, years – yikes!) they suggest Number 1, wear
a smile. Secondly, carry a banana around with you. (If going for
Months, Years, etc, I would suggest frequent changing of the banana –
DO NOT carry the same banana around with you your whole mission!!!)
The banana is the Grump – Out's official fruit. It provides good
nutrition. And if you hold it up correctly, it is a smile. In the
event that one experiences discomfort with this Grump – Out business,
one can turn that smiley banana upside down and stare at it for a
moment when no one is looking.
One can get a lot of free games on an iPod. Kent put some on and I
found a couple more. I spent most of the week last week during my
commute catapulting penguins. The back story - shown in a little
cartoon at the beginning – is that the polar bears bowled down some
penguins with a snowball, captured them and have them in a cage. Our
heroic penguins are trying to rescue their friends by being catapulted
at the bears and knocking them out of the picture. It takes several
missions to rescue the penguins. For each mission you have a set
number of penguins, who – wearing their cute little but useless as far
as I can tell hard hats, - lower themselves down to swing from a rope
over the catapult. You tap the screen to launch the catapult. If you
time it right, the penguin flies out the tunnel. If not, it's penguin
on the rocks. After a certain level, you earn an upgrade and try to
launch your penguins through a flaming ring in the tunnel so that you
get flaming penguins who can melt ice. Once all your penguins have
been catapulted, you switch to where some polar bears are - some
standing under rock ledges or ice bridges. You signal your
(surviving) penguins when to dive to hit a bear or break through the
ice or push a button. If you whack out enough bears, you move on to
the next, more difficult level. Like I said, it took me a week of
commuting to save my penguins. (Don't think about the casualty rate!)
While waiting in line at Costco Saturday, I showed it to Joseph. In
line, walking through the parking lot, and in the car, he solved it in
little over an hour. We showed Ben who solved it in less than an
hour. Sunday, Debi breezed through it in minutes. Plus a few other
games. Boy, do I feel old and lame.
The house is almost straightened up enough that I should sign up to
feed the missionaries. Must find time and energy. And then there is
this thing about missionaries always wanting to challenge you to do
missionary work. Hate that part. Not that I am theoretically opposed
to doing missionary work, the gospel is true and all , but I am not
such a great person that people are falling all over themselves to
find out why I am special and all that. It is not always easy to find
openings for a missionary moment.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Dear Elder Robarts,
You cannot imagine with what eager hope I open my email several times
a day or how sadly I turn away without word from you.
Tomorrow it will have been 2 weeks since I left you at the MTC. What
happened to 30 minutes a week at the computer to email home?
RMs tell me that some missionaries even sneak in a little letter
writing (snail mail) during meetings.
I am sure that you said that you started a letter at Adairs. Where?
Where? Where? (is the letter?)
I know you had stamps and envelope (and that they are to be had at
the MTC. I am reasonably confident that you know the address of your
nativity and youth.
Why is there no word?
Why the long torturous silence????
Are you going to tell me that the problem is that you have received so
many letters you barely have time to read - leaving no time to write?
Perhaps I will slightly relieve that problem by writing no more until
I hear from you. (But what do I do about Sariah and Kelsey?? Can I
persuade them to stop writing as well? I don't think it would be
easy. What??! Are you writing to them and not to me?!)
Surely I have not been so poor a mother as to deserve such heartache
One of my blogger friends tells me that she got NO mail in the MTC
despite writing several letters herself. Do you envy her?
Poor Ben, seeing my distress (and wishing to hear of you himself) is
pledging that he, at least, will write to me when his turn comes.
Soon I shall contact the MTC to find out if you died and they forgot
to tell me.
A word, please! A word.
Your lonely, loving Mother.
And do you know? It worked! I got home and found A LETTER FROM
ANDREW in the mailbox! I am going to post it on his blog now.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Benjamin must really miss Andrew. He has become something of a
chatter-box. Brother Paine, I think it was, after activity Wednesday,
mentioned Ben talking alot on the phone. He sometimes calls me at work
and talks more than he used to. I put on my Bluetooth and I can still
work pretty well. When I come home, it seems like he just cannot stop
talking for a good bit. And sometimes again at bedtime. It's not a bad
thing. Kind of fun. Just he's much more talkative now that he is alone
all day. I asked him if he wanted to try going to public school, but
that didn't interest him. He might take a couple of classes at City
College next year.
Rain! We are getting some really good rain tonight. Which means they
canceled the Light Rail Clean-up tomorrow. OK by me, I have too much
to do and I am tired.
Speaking of tired, I am the last man standing tonight. Waiting for a
load of hang-ups in the laundry.
It is really pouring out there! Water, of course, leaking in the back
garage door and also into the old "wood box." Not good. I need to
figure out how to seal off the wood box. Need to clean up in the
garage - who knows what is on the floor getting wet. There is a bad
smell growing in the garage. Sigh. So far the roof seems good. ; )
Sign in one of the Larson bathrooms:
"May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take a chance,
And never find frogs in your underpants."
I am going to go brush my teeth and do my scripture reading. I am so
glad to be out of dreary Jeremiah, Lamentations & Ezekiel! Daniel is a
much easier read. Whether or not I am getting the message, I can at
least follow the story. ; )
... OH, NO! I brushed my teeth, then went out to check the dryer.
Done! good. Pulled out my clothes and found....my Bluetooth. This
cannot be good.
Sunday, May 3 10:40 am
The Bluetooth, not surprisingly, died.
Yesterday, I read "Daddy
Long Legs" on Winnie, took Joseph to his ham radio class because
he overslept and it was raining, did an errand at the Post Office ; )
- busy place! took a long time!, chatted with Miriam (instead of
going to Radio Shack), picked up Joseph, conferred with Tom about
Sunday dinner (his bday choice), to Radio Shack where I got a USB
adapter and car charger for Winnie the Peg (the iPod Touch. I actually
prefer Peg, but Kent helped name her - in honor of getting her the day
Andrew entered the MTC preparatory to serving in the Canada Winnipeg
Mission), took Joseph to lunch at Subway (we split a BLT), gassed the
car, bought a birthday present for Tom at REI (safety multi tool -
compass, whistle, 2x magnifier (oh wow), led light, temperature,
safety mirror), went to Costco (replaced my Bluetooth), got home in
time to watch the Kentucky Derby (missed the pre-race stuff so I
didn't know the horses and their stories - incredible race - a 50 to1
long shot came from the back of the pack to win by 7 lengths going
away! amazing!) and worked on the front room. (The front room is
almost presentable!!! Still need to work on the mantel and the stuff
by the dining room. And of course, the walls and floors need
completely redoing. But basically, not too bad. For us. In fact, I
believe we are having Sunday dinner here. ) After dinner I played
Tennis and Bowling on the Wii with Benjamin.
Right now, Benjamin is watching Esther and Jared - actually getting
them ready to come here because Joseph is not ready to go there.
Benjamin and I have to go out collecting Fast Offerings. Here they are! Bye!
Monday, May 4 8:15am
Many ward members are (naturally) heart-broken at the news that Hinds
Have I blogged about this? Tom and Ruth got caught in one of those
nasty adjustable mortgage schemes. How is it, with housing prices and
interest rates crashing, pre-existing adjustables are soaring to
impossible heights???!!! They have tried for months to work with
their bank or find some other solution, but the upshot is, they lost
their house. Pretty sad for me! There go my favorite neighbors ever!
Actually working out nicely for them - they found a lovely house to
rent out near Elk Grove - in an entirely different Stake (geographic
division of the church, a collection of wards - congregations). They
will rent it until the economic situation straightens itself out and
then start again as first time buyers. I think we all enjoyed the
time they spent in the house they are leaving, so we don't count it as
a loss. Just a change. The new house is light and airy and bigger.
Now they can start thinking about adding to their family, something
they felt too crowded to consider heretofore.
Ruth was released yesterday with Erika Swenson replacing her and Sue
Altop joining the presidency to replace Erika as counselor. Sister
Swenson kept Sister Adair. Secretaries are not automatically released
with Presidencies. I didn't know that. Tom, whom Bishop had
previously said would be easier to replace, was not released. Next
Sunday is their last in our ward. : (
We did have Sunday dinner at our house. Our guests were much
impressed with our progress!
If I do not hear from Andrew by Wednesday, his 2 week anniversary, I
think I shall ask the MTC why.
On the way to work today, I started listening to another audio book
that Kent put on Winnie the Peg, "Pride and Prejudice". Much better
than "Twilight" and a better reader! This one changes her voice when a
different character speaks. The "Twilight" reader made you guess.
Weekends (especiallly Saturdays) and breaks are MUCH too short!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. - Peter Marshall
It was easy to be patient the first week. The first few days, I was visiting my friends. Back home Sunday, I laughed to myself at people asking if I had news from Andrew yet. Of course not! I only left him Wednesday.
I was fine until Wednesday. The 1 week anniversary. 1 Week! Missionaries get P-day (Preparation Day) once a week and they WRITE LETTERS HOME.
I started checking my email every chance I got - that is to say at break, lunch and upon arriving home. Nothing. Nothing in the snail mail box, either.
Chatting after the youth activity Wednesday night, I learned from a RM (returned missionary) that they don't get P-day the first week in the MTC. I hoped he had clean clothes. RM said they got a little time for laundry, but that's all.
I resolved to wait patiently.
It's not that easy!
I keep checking email and snail mail, but ..... the wait goes on. Let us with patience bear our afflictions.
Good article about LDS missions/missionaries with a link from there to the life of a missionary including, at the end, a typical daily schedule.