Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks for Thanksgiving Week!

What a week!
Monday was a work day. One coworker came in after being off sick a
week, but was little better than the walking dead, another went home
with a sick stomach, a third reported that the hernia she had had
surgery for last year had popped, then disappeared for a doctor
appointment. She will have another surgery and be out at least a week.
That's all just in our little unit. Throughout the office people were
coughing, including me. In fact, as the afternoon approached quitting
time, my boss said, "Barbara, stay home tomorrow." I argued
with her a bit.  If everyone with a cough stayed home the office would be empty.  Who would do the revolving fund checks?  This is the kind of boss I have. ‘Don’t worry about the checks.  Worry about taking care of you.’

As it turned out, by Tuesday morning I agreed with her.  Partly for selfish reasons.  With my all my children getting together, I knew we were in for some late nights and I am not good at that when I am feeling my best.   I needed to rest up!  More importantly, one of my daughters has a compromised immune system, little grandchildren would be there, Thanksgiving Day we would have a guest with leukemia,  so there were special needs not to be spreading bad germs besides not wanting to make anyone sick in general.  I spent almost all of Tuesday in bed, mostly sleeping.  It felt good.  Even after all that sleeping I was still a little tired, but felt much better.

Good thing I slept.  Tuesday was the beginning of family gathering.  Sariah’s family had come down from Vancouver, WA Monday, stayed the night with Ryan’s folks and spent Tuesday with one of Sariah’s best friends before joining us - staying with the Hinds the rest of their visit. Everyone gathered at Ruth’s for dinner - Hawaiian Haystacks - everyone brought something.  I honestly don’t remember what we did all evening, but we stayed at Ruth’s until past midnight.  Sometime after 11, David and Teresa got in from San Luis Obispo.  They are staying with Debi.

Wednesday the sisters all spent the day together including lunch at Leatherby’s ice cream parlor.  The brothers took the kids and went on a easy hike.  I mailed a package to my favorite missionary, puttered around home and tried to rest and recuperate a little more.

But before the siblings could go off on their activities Tom he had something he wanted to do with Ruth.  The sisters were wondering why plan a DATE when he knew the sisters were planning to have lunch together?!

After their date, Ruth called me.

Tom and Ruth had deceived us!  It was not some secret date Tom was taking Ruth on.  They had a doctor appointment.  Actually Ruth did.  The deception was to confirm and ‘officialize’ their conception!  Baby Hinds number 3 is coming in July!!

The sisters were so excited, they told pretty much everyone they met.  They told a grocery store clerk who really got into it. First, apparently, he pretended that it was his, ‘oh, sorry I didn’t call you again.’  When one of the sisters came up who had checked out in another line, he asked her, ‘Did you hear she is pregnant?!’ 

I rejoined everyone for dinner.  We spent the evening playing the question game.  Everyone writes a question, puts it in the basket, draws out a different question, answers it (or writes some other random answer), puts it in the basket and draws out a completed slip.  The first person reads the question they drew, the second person reads their answer then when the laughter, groans, and/or comments subside reads their question, number 3 reads their answer, and so on.  Sounds simple.  Very fun.

Thanksgiving Day!  The day that brings us all together.  Except Ruth’s family were with Tom’s family.  And, of course, Andrew is on his mission. Benjamin and I went over to Debi’s, our hostess house, around 8 to start the turkey.  Rosers did their traditional Run/Walk to Feed the Hungry with Ryan's folks.

It is so nice that everyone contributes and no one has all the work. Teresa decorated the table.  David made rolls (tradition!)  Let’s see.  I was turkey, gravy, and masked potatoes.  Debi and Miriam were pies and stuffed eggs.  Sariah was veggies - green bean casserole and corn.  Oh, Debi did cabbage, but we mis-estimated the time on that and it was not quite done. Ryan’s folks joined us with cornbread and sausage dressing.  I think Rosers provided sparkling cranberry juice.  Is that everything?  Everything was delicious! and we had a great time.

As Debi wants to become a nurse, we asked Susan, a nurse and professor at USCS, about nursing.  She has a passion and it was wonderful to hear her talk about many aspects of nursing and about teaching nursing students. Would that all nurses had such dedication and concern for people.  Susan thinks most do.

After Farl and Susan left, we played Things.  The reader reads a catagory.  Each person, including the reader, writes a response and gives them to the reader.  The reader reads all the answers.  We take turns guessing who said what.  Cannot guess the reader and the reader cannot guess, of course.  If you guess correctly, you get to guess again.  People who have been guessed are out and cannot guess.  You get points for each correct guess.  Everyone takes turns being the reader.  Last night I cut things short before everyone had had a turn being the reader.  We went home a little after 9. 

David and Teresa leave this morning for the Hemsley Traditional Day After Thanksgiving Chocolate Dipping.

The rest of us, if the weather holds, will spend the day at William Land Park and the Zoo.   Dinner tonight will be Nachos.  We all have our assignments.  (I need to buy some lettuce.)

I am more thankful than I can say for my children (which you do know includes their spouses and children)!

I am thankful for many, many things, but  can't begin to write them now. I need to get ready to see D&T before they leave and for more fun times with the others.

By, the way, you did get that RUTH IS EXPECTING! didn’t you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Conflicting or Compatible?

Lately I have been somewhat interested in scientists of faith. Partly for myself and partly because of people I care about who seem to feel there must be a conflict between science and relgion.  Monday night I read aloud a couple of selections from 'Faith of a Scientist' by Henry Eyring, Pre. Henry B. Eyring's father. Then I read aloud a couple of selections from another writing of the same title by another esteemed scientist, James Tour, a Messianic Jew .

These were some good, inspiring, thought provoking readings. We will read more another night But we found ourselves wondering about Messianic Jews, so I did a little research on-line. Powerful stuff.
Here is a small taste of what I found at all about religion.

One testimony:
"The more I read the Bible and learned about God, the more I wanted to know Him. I began to follow the Old Testament laws so he would be pleased with me: I ate only kosher foods, stopped going to Friday
night football games, and tried my best to keep all the commandments I could. As I continued to read the Bible, I came across verses about a promised Messiah. Now I knew a bit about the Messiah already from my Jewish upbringing. When I read about the Messiah in the Hebrew Scriptures, my curiosity was piqued. The picture was sketchy, but it slowly became frightfully clear. This Messiah that I was reading about in my own Jewish Bible sounded like you-know-who! I didn't know much about Jesus, but I did know that I wasn't supposed to believe in Him. I began trying to find other explanations for prophecies like Micah 5:2, which describes an Eternal One who would be born in Bethlehem; or Daniel 9, that pinpoints the time of Messiah's first coming; also Isaiah 53, which spoke of Messiah's life and his sacrifice for sin. As I tried to explain away these and many other prophecies, I found that I could not. I realized that if the Bible was true, then Jesus had to be the Jewish Messiah! I felt guilty simply having these thoughts! What if Jesus wasn't the Messiah? Then I would be committing idolatry! But what if He was? I would be denying God by not believing! I had to be totally sure, so I kept on studying and searching and trying to prove it wasn't so. After two years of struggling, I found myself drawn closer and closer to Jesus" (Zhava Glaser, Chosen People

The article lists some of the Old Testament prophecies that led some Messianic Jews like Zhava Glaser to recognize Christ as the promised. Messiah:

“The Old Testament verses are the prophecy; the New Testament verses
proclaim the fulfillment. Check them all out for yourself!
Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23)
A descendant of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18; Matthew 1:1; Galatians
Of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23, 33; Hebrews 7:14)
Of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16; Matthew 1:1)
Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7)
Taken to Egypt (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15)
Herod´s killing of the infants (Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:16-18)
Anointed by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Matthew 3:16-17)
Heralded by the messenger of the Lord (John the Baptist) (Isaiah
40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1-3)
Would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35)
Would preach good news (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:14-21)
Would minister in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-16) Would cleanse
the Temple (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 21:12-13)
Would first present Himself as King 173,880 days from the decree to
rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25; Matthew 21:4-11)
Would enter Jerusalem as a king on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew
Would be rejected by Jews (Psalm 118:22; I Peter 2:7)
Die a humiliating death (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53) involving:
rejection (Isaiah 53:3; John 1:10-11; 7:5,48)
betrayal by a friend (Psalm 41:9; Luke 22:3-4; John 13:18)
sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:14-15)
silence before His accusers (Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14)
being mocked (Psalm 22: 7-8; Matthew 27:31)
beaten (Isaiah 52:14; Matthew 27:26)
spit upon (Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 27:30)
piercing His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16; Matthew 27:31)
being crucified with thieves (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38)
praying for His persecutors (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 23:34)
piercing His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34)
given gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34, Luke 23:36)
no broken bones (Psalm 34:20; John 19:32-36)
buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60)
casting lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18; John 19:23-24)
Would rise from the dead!! (Psalm 16:10; Mark 16:6; Acts 2:31)
Ascend into Heaven (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9)
Would sit down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:3)”

I am grateful for my testimony of Jesus Christ and I am grateful for the testiomonies of others which strengthen mine. I am grateful that truth is truth whether we approach it scientifically or through religion.   That as we grow and learn in each area, we find that it works.  Where there appears to be conflict, it is because we just don't know enough yet.

Jesus Christ is Creator, Redeemer, Super Scientist, Artist and Hero. And He loves us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Apple Hill

Wednesday, we (Joseph, Benjamin, Anna, and I) spent a lovely afternoon at Apple Hill.

Actually, there is no place on the map (anywhere around here, anyway) named Apple Hill.  It is an association of growers and ranchers - mostly apple, but also, pumpkin, Christmas tree, and many others - that have become a (mostly) fall destination for many Californians, just east of Placerville, about an hour from Sacramento.  Pick your own pumpkin. apples, etc. If you want.  Plenty available already picked, if you would rather not.  Cut your own Christmas tree.  Watch apples become apple cider and taste delicious, addicting free samples.  Visit crafters. Sometimes watch them work.  Hay bale mazes for kids.  Lots of eateries, most but not all, featuring apple pies and other apple products.  Picnic tables, nature trails, hay rides, fishing ponds.  Each grower cooperating to bring the people to the area, then in friendly competition to get the customer to their farm, stand, shop, etc.

It is beautiful just driving through the area.  We try to visit a variety of places, but a couple are must visits.  We like to look, sometimes successfully, for the perfect Christmas gift. That makes the boys willing to wander with me through numerous craft stands and little shops. (Anna had to wait in the car for some of those.)   We picked delicious Granny Smith apples.  I don't know how many varieties of apples are up there!  Anna liked walking through the orchard!  Bought a frozen Apple Hill pie to bake and enjoy later.  Enjoyed hamburgers, french fries, and corn on the cob while the sun set.  (Again, poor doggie waited in the car, but we gave her a couple of french fries.)

It was a lovely refreshing day.  another reason to be grateful to our Veterans.

What Day Is It Anyway?

Wednesday was Veteran's Day - a holiday.  So it felt like a Saturday.  But the next day was not Sunday; it was Thursday and we went to work.  It felt like Monday.  But it was Thursday and the next day, today, was Furlough Friday which feels like Saturday especially since Benjamin's Friday class was canceled in honor of Veteran's Day which was Wednesday.  But tomorrow is Saturday.   Which makes sense because Benjamin is on an overnighter and we don't do overnighters to Sunday because Sunday is the Lord's day. 

So, what day is today? And more importantly, what day is tomorrow?  Saturday! really.

3 Saturdays in one week!  That's the way life should be!  I can live with that kind of confusion

Uh, oh, a summons to the Principal's office!

As we passed one another after Sacrament Meeting, Bishop said, "I'll see you in a minute."
Obediently, I walked down the hall to his office.  Soon he ushered me in.
Me: You are going to tell me that if I am going to doze off during meetings, I have to sit in the back?
Bishop: (with a chuckle) If we said that, the whole Bishopric would be sitting in the back some weeks.
A little small talk about Andrew.
Then he hits me with something like: Are you ready to stand up and use your talents and abilities to serve the Lord?
Me: Gulp! stutter, stumble  My talents and abilities seem to still be largely hidden, what do you have in mind?
He asked me to serve as the building scheduler for 2010.
I nearly fainted with relief.  Again, he cleverly builds up the fearful anticipation so that his actual request comes as almost as a deliverance and his victim accepts the call gratefully.
Me: I was afraid you were going to call me as the sister Single Adult Representative.  I don't even participate.
Biship: No, I already turned you down for that.
Me: Thank you!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calendar Check

Early last week, I repeat, early LAST week, I asked, “Have I fed the bird this month?”


Matt stopped by the candy jar I keep on the front desk for an M&M.  He got an orange one. I said  I should start picking out the green and yellow ones – Cal Poly’s colors are green and gold.

Rachel approached.  Rachel: Super secret meeting?

Matt: I told Barbara, now we have to kill her.

Rachel: Her kids are almost grown. (cute, but evil smile)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crisp brilliant blue skies.  Bright red leaves.  The lawns are green.  Occasional flowers linger.  Birds visit yards and feeders.  Fall is good in Sacramento.

Getting Technical

I have something of a love / hate relationship with technology.  What wonderful tools (and toys) technology provides - WHEN THEY WORK.  Time saving devices.  Also time EATING devices.

My children say I am a natural Beta tester.

You may have heard me complain that I do not get decent television reception at all.  I covet satellite TV, but the budget says no.  I don't have much TV time, but I like to have it on in the kitchen when I am working. Either I cannot get decent reception or nothing decent is on. Or both. This new HD thing? I don't know.  Lame converter boxes? Bad cables? Bad karma? Who knows?!

Friday, I spent literally HOURS on this old dinosaur of a computer trying to put pictures on Andrew's blog -without success.  Tried again yesterday. No deal.  This morning, for some reason, it appears to be working.  Slowly, but working.   Andrew sent 'interesting' pictures.

The day I took Andrew to the MTC, after glowing recommendations from friend and one son, I bought myself an iPod Touch thinking it would replace my stolen Palm. My friend Kent named it Winnie.  I rather wanted Peg.  He said Winnie the Peg. While it didn't really suit my Palm needs, Winnie was great for listening to books on tape Kent put on it while I drove home alone from Utah, I was able to buy a great LDS scriptures application, play games, and download podcasts to listen to at work.  Until suddenly the Music - used to access the podcasts -  button began to result in a white screen that I could not get rid of.  Fortunately, after a minute or two, the screen would go to menu.  But no more listening to my radio shows. Or watching the evening news the next day.

I tried to find answers on-line.   I went to the Apple Store at the mall.  Closed for rennovation.  Went back after it opened, but was told that I needed to get an appointment to see a 'Genius'. Half the time I have had this Touch, I have not had full use of it.

Yesterday, while doing other errands, I (dragging Joseph and Benjamin along) took a chance and dropped by the Apple Store.  Wonder of wonders!  They said I could see a Genius in 20 minutes.  It was a bit longer than that.  Genius Isaac fiddled with my Touch,  frowned and hmmmmm-ed a lot.  Not a good sign.  Finally, he told me that he was going to have to wipe it clean.  Winnie would suffer severe memory loss! The only real loss would be my scriptures, which theoretically, can be restored via Joseph's computer. I told him to do what he had to do.  While that happened we tried to entertain ourselves in the store.  I increased my coveting of a MacbookPro.  I would very much like a 13 inch, I think.  With the add-ons, I 'need,' I think we are talking $2000.  Not today, sigh.  I did manage few minutes on Facebook.  Isaac brought my Touch.  I almost left without realizing that Winnie had not only lost her memory but much of her mental capacity.  I went back to Isaac who apologized and reconnected her to the mother ship.  After at least two hours, we left - Winnie, hopefully of sound mind, but no memories.

I spent much of yesterday evening looking for free applications.  I got my favorite games (now there's an important priority. in my defense, while I mentioned them first here, I went to utilities and productivity to look for applications before I went to games), my weather app - so I can see my and my various children's weather - and a great new application (hmmm maybe I shouldn't tell you as it means I have know excuse for forgetting) Birthdays.  It even downloaded my friends' birthdays from Facebook.  I spent an hour this morning adding non-Facebook family.

No Scriptures yet.

Joseph is having computer issues of his own.  Something he is doing has run for over 30 hours without finishing, so his computer has not been available to give me back my scriptures and this old family computer is not capable.  He is quite frustrated.  He doesn't want to stop it in case it ever does finish.  He doesn't even know if what it is he is doing will even work. And he cannot use his computer.

On of the other errands was to visit the Verizon store.  I thought I was up for new every 2, but not yet.  And I think new every 2 has changed, it is now something like a $50 discount every two.  We chatted about the new Droid which I think would be great! Except for being $300 going out the door and $26 more a month.  technical details.  Internet access.  GPS. (I miss my stolen GPS alot sometimes.  Now I have to get a map and read it - or try  to - can you imagine?!) It would be awesome, if I were a little bit richer.  At least my phone works.

Technology.  Amazing. Frustrating. Wonderful.  Awful and awesome.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The day started out ok.

 I walked the dog and then studied for a few minutes while Benjamin was at Seminary.  (Unfortunately, I cannot remember a key word and my notes on that are missing.  I have emailed my teacher, but have not yet heard back.) I defrosted the freezer and cleaned the bathroom.  I  picked up my daughter who was having her car serviced and took her back when it was done. I washed my clothes and the towels (but not my sheets.) The trouble started when I decided that I deserved a break and would scan the pictures Andrew sent and put them on his blog.  They scanned ok.  But then I spent literally HOURS trying without success to upload them on the blog.  Can’t put them on Facebook either, because I cannot DO anything on Facebook from the home computer anymore.  very frustrating.  There went the rest of the day without anything good to show for it.  I am thoroughly bummed and depressed now.  And I burned some popcorn.  There are worse smells, but it isn’t good.

Do I have the energy to change my sheets and take a shower?  That would feel so good!

I told people I would not become bitter


I am feeling bitter lately about my potential future - retirement related issues.  Nothing he did recently, just the whole life situation.   I will say he has always been good about making his support payments which stop when he retires.  I just resent that I have to work long into my old age - if my health holds! - and even then will probably be quite poor.  My share of his retirement is going to be much less than I hoped/expected and for my part,  I 1) have only just begun (almost 3 years now) earning towards retirement myself and 2) don't make much money so even if I get a good percentage won't get much.  Hopefully, I will have enough to cover my meds if  I can work long enough to have health benefits and my kids can spare a corner and a crumb. Otherwise, Mack trucks or pillows in the night come to mind. But I don't think I will have enough to keep the house as I would like.  We shall see when the time comes, eh?

No leisurely retirement working in my garden, baking cookies, and visiting grandkids.  Certainly no cruises or other fun trips and such.  I cannot even afford decent television reception or computer right now.  Or to fix my wreck of a house.

I do not forget that I am indeed rich despite my money issues. I have enough to live on without distress (now).  I am blessed to have a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel. I have wonderful children, children-in-law, and grandchildren.  I live in peace and freedom.  So far, I live in my own house (mine and the bank's, mostly the bank's).  I sleep in a comfy bed. I have enough to eat in tasty variety.  I enjoy plumbing and electricity.  I have a car, bike and public transit available and decent roads.  I like my job, my boss and my co-workers. My health could be better, but is not bad.  I can see, hear, taste, move, und so weiter. I have wonderful (although neglected) friends.  Through the miracles of modern communication I can share the lives of people I care about, learn, see places I would like to go and places I am glad to only see on television. I have the promise that if I keep my covenants, great blessings and riches will be mine - eventually.

Still, I really would not mind winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.   They say that big money winners often end up worse off a few years later.  I am willing to accept the risk/challenge!


Recently a daughter and a friend who is not my daughter - I like to think that my daughters are also my friends - posted on their blogs lists of things that have kept them too busy to blog.  Would that I could also share so interesting and productive a list!

Alas!  Not happening here.

I drive B and his bike to early morning Seminary.  Go home,  Usually wash the dinner dishes from the night before.  Bike to work.  Work. Bike home.  Then I - pick one: make dinner, drive myself and/or son(s) to meetings, pay bills, collapse.  Family prayer and scriptures.  A tired half-attempt at personal scriptures and bed.  That’s it folks.  Not a bad life, but hardly fascinating.

Since the end of daylight savings time, I bike home in the dark. When I get off at the usual time, I start out with a little light, but it is pretty dark by the time I am halfway home. On the nights I make up time for the class I am taking, I start out in  full darkness.  There is some light from street lights (not much) and from traffic (towards me, that’s blinding; behind me, that’s helpful).  So far I have been biking under a full moon, so it will soon be even darker. I use flashing lights on my bike, and reflectors, so I feel reasonably visible.  The bike lights are better for  helping me to be seen (which I appreciate!) than to see.  Biking semi-blind took a little getting used to.  My big concern is garden refuse with sticks and branches poking out!  Traffic going my way helps show them up and if there is not traffic, I tend to ride out in the street a little more, so that’s not really much of a problem.

I will not jinx myself by mentioning that it has been a few days since my last flat.  But Joseph has had a flat or two after a long period without and also has an issue with rubbing brakes.  sigh