Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
For me a special part of Christmas is Christmas Eve when we set aside all the things of the world and the hustle and bustle of getting presents, etc ready to truly remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior. A time of reverent, joyous reflection.
At least, that is my vision of it.
As my family has grown up and expanded, I have lost some control of this whole thing (if I ever really had any) and we have had some Christmas Eve suppers that weren’t quite what I hoped for. We had our traditional fruit, cheese and homemade bread – vaguely reminiscent of what Mary and Joseph might have had (but modern Americanized). We even read the Christmas Story – but I had a feeling that it was in the spirit of “let’s get this over with for Mom”. Then it was on to games, movies, and general fun family rowdiness. Nothing bad, but not reverent, quiet and reflective. And also, we often stayed up too late as my family tends to when we get together which really doesn’t work well for me.
This year, my daughter-in-law Teresa who shares my vision, and I decided to ‘get back’ Christmas Eve. We invited everyone to our house. We figured that if people wanted to play afterwards, they could go to Ruth & Tom’s when they took the children home to bed. We planned a little program – the usual stuff - reading Luke 2 and singing songs. We planned a couple of Nativity oriented crafts for the kids. It was a little bit like herding cats, but not too much and I think it went pretty well.
Christmas Day was full of fun and family (and a bit of last last minute gift finishing and wrapping. We remember that Christmas is to celebrate Christ’s birth, but more on this day, we celebrate being a family and the good things in life that Christ has made possible for us.
Sunday after church, Benjamin and I drove to the Oakland Temple Visitor’s Center to see the Reflections of Christ exhibit which was just finishing its two month run. Beautiful. I could try to describe it, but would not do it justice. You might enjoy the website more. And or this Reflections of Christ slide show
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
dinner, Joy To The World video & white elephant exchange. Pleasant.
The boys & I took a couple of VHS movies that were duplicates (not of
each other, silly! Of others we have) and got a small Christmoose
decoration which we have no idea what to do with. Save it for another
White Elephant exchange? Give it to DI? David & Teresa took some
coconut body lotion & got a box full of books from the 60s - I think
all church books. Pretty good really except they have nowhere to put
them. In addition to the books originally in the box, they ended up
with more white elephant books people had gotten, didn't want, & pit
in DT's box. : D
Good news. I did labs recently and my bad chlorestrol is well under
control! My blood sugars were mildly high, but the doctor is not
changing my meds at this time. A few months ago they were threatening
to put me on insulin (shots). It seems my bike riding is doing some
Teresa & David took some cute little Christmas stockings she crocheted
to a community event on Del Paso Blvd & sold A few. : )
David, Teresa, Benjamin and i were Christmas carolers at Fairytale
Town with Sister Eva Kim, a couple of 10 year olds & 3 14 year olds.
We had fun despite it being a rainy evening The kids were great kids.
You would have enjoyed it. It would have been even better if we could
have sung about Christ, but it eas fun singing fun songs. And we did
sing "Silent Night" once. We got free hot chocolate. : ). It was
amazing to see how much the little kids liked the singing. Now days
children seldom actually see real live people singing.
Because we were doing this small community service, I was unable to go
to the temple with my good friends Carlos & Debbie, but thinking of
them put another song in my heart.
You have heard of Flash Mobs? Suddenly without warning a group of
people show up in some public place & do something. Lately we keep
hearing about Flash Mobs singing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. So cool!
We are going to be in one! I learned this evening that the Sacramento
Choral Society is planning a "random act of musical kindness" singing
the Hallelujah Chorus at the Roseville Galeris food court Monday the
20th. At 7:30 pm. They want 100s of people to come participate. I
hope we can get there on time!
Handel's Messiah is truly inspired music. I was just thinking today
that if I were to be only allowed to listen to one musical work the
rest of my life I would choose Handel's Messiah and if I could only
have one piece it would probably be The Hallelujah Chorus.
Sent from my iPod touch
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thanksgiving morning turkey, Benjamin and I went over to Ruth’s around 8 to start the (second) turkey cooking and help Ruth & Tom (especially Benjamin) with last minute preparations. Others started coming over a bit after noon – bringing tasty bounty with them. All my kids, except Andrew who is on his mission. Five fun grandkids – cousins are so cute together! Sariah’s in-laws. Lots of tasty food. It was a lovely traditional Thanksgiving dinner and very pleasant day.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Soon he will be called before the Eagle Scout Board of Review, a group of citizens of the Golden Empire Council, BSA to determine if he is worthy to be an Eagle Scout. If you personally know Benjamin, I hope you will help the board as they make their decision by writing a letter of recommendation.
I apologize for being so late with this request. We were so caught up in so many things, that this slipped our minds completely. It would be best if we could have the letters as soon as possible - by the end of the month for him to turn in with his application. The absolute deadline for the application is November 30 - before he turns 18 on the first. He is hoping to turn it in Sunday the 28th. Since the letters are actually for the Board of Review which will be scheduled after his application is accepted, late letters would still be appreciated.
Eagle Requirement # 2 is “Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life.” Please give your opinion. Does Benjamin live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law? Can you give some examples?
Scout Oath – “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
Scout Law – A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
I would appreciate if you took the time to write what you think about Benjamin as a potential Eagle. Tell how you know him / what your relationship to him is.
He is not supposed to see the letters before the Board of Review. It is up to you if you want him to see your letter afterward. You can send me the letter and let me know if he can see it later.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Biking to work on garbage day on T street. I tried to go around the curb side of a recycling can instead of going out into the street. There was not quite enough room. I clipped the can, bounced off it into curb and went down. No major injuries. My right elbow and forearm are scraped up and I have aches developing here and there. Could be worse, glad it's not!
I am grateful I didn't go down the other way into the street in traffic. Grateful that although battered, neither my bike nor I are greatly damaged. Grateful for the bit of grass that took part of my fall. Grateful I was wearing light gloves which protected my hands. Grateful for the little old Asian lady who asked if I was OK.
So far, the weather has been pretty favorable for us bicycling commuters. What rain we have gotten thus far has been at night or on weekends. I know the day is coming when I am going to have to face biking in the rain - I have a Costco rainsuit - need to something about my feet, I think- and leaving my poor bike to sit out in it all day. I sure wish I had one of those bicycle lockers!! I might talk to a gal I know who has one. Maybe she would let me use it for the winter? I think she hardly uses it. I think I could bike in rain, especially light rain. Mix in the wind and I think I will light rail. Joseph bikes 2miles - light rails - bikes 2 miles year round. What a guy!
(I also wish I could put my arm rest down. My arm keeps getting blood on it. And repeated contact and wiping my arm with disinfectant is slowing the natural sealing off process. aww, poor me)
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It has been a long time away from my own home, my own bed, & my own shower. But it has been a short time away from all the responsibility. It has been a short time having someone come make up the bed with fresh sheets everyday!
It has been a short time living amongst the pines by the sea with black-tailed deer for neighbors.
It has been a very SHORT time away from the stress of my office.
Tomorrow we check out before class begins. I do not look forward to packing up and returning my key. Class all morning and then it's over. I haven't decided whether to stay for lunch or not. It has been a short time not worrying about shopping, cooking, or dishes. I have planned all along to take my own sweet time before leaving the coast. I probably will as this is so rate an opportunity, but I feel the pull of home.
Tomorrow I will trade in the sound of the ocean through my open window for my ocean cd I at at night. But tomorrow I will trade in my nightly telephone text hugs for real ones.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This week I am in training, taking "Introduction to State Parks" at the Mott Training Center at Asilomar Conference Grounds and State Beach in Pacific Grove near Monterey. It is beautiful. The weather has been perfect. The surf wild, beautiful & dangerous.
It is wonderful to take these classes in this remarkable place - and enjoy a respite from the stress at work. And get paid for it!
The classes are interesting & informative. I have learned many things! Including about the laws which give Parks it's authority & some of the legal questions & challenges Parks faces. We have learned Parks history and philosophy. Department organization. Somethings about various programs within the department.
Parks people really do believe in Parks' mission: "...to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting it's most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. My classmates are from all over the state & many parts of the department They all care about Parks and what it stands for.
Today I was surprised to learn - among other things - how Off-Highway Vehicle Parks help the environment. Yesterday's stunner was the danger of drowning and how hard the Department's Aquatic Safety Program - our Ranger Lifeguards - work to save lives.
We are really sad that Prop 21 failed. Today our director Ruth Coleman has a video conference with all Parks employees. She tells it like it is, but she doesn't quit. She reminded us that the vote was not onthe VALUE of Parks, just on how to fund them. We are in to hard times, but we will strive to be true to our mission. We will go on looking for creative ways to manage. We will also look to all the Prop 21 supporters for help.
I know that time this week at Asilomar is solace to my soul. Living the mission.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The good news/bad news is that with the budget finally passed, we can do our regular work. Of course, we have a nearly 4 month back-log and people wanting the checks they have had to wait so long for NOW. Being busy is good. Being behind and badgered not so good.
New supe lacks people skills, supervisory skills, team skills, and leadership skills. She does occasionally bring in bagels or muffins. And calls us 'dear' and 'friend.' She has told at least 2 of my co-workers that she doesn't like their attitude, which I do not think from my observations was justified. People are disgruntled, anxious, and edgy. I haven't had it too bad except not being given time to give platelets and being told I might be denied my family reunion vacation time this spring!!! Battles to be fought later - after I let things settle and consider my strategies.
Today I am required to attend a meeting that begins 15 minutes before my work time. We, however, are not allowed to adjust our schedule coming in early/late to meet personal needs.
When I went out to my bike - a little later than I wished, as usual - I found the back tire nearly flat. I fumbled with pumping it up - wondering if it would completely flat out mid-commute - gave up and made a dash for the Light Rail. We pay parking now. It took me a few minutes to figure out how. The good news is I had found my mis-placed novel "We'll Always Have Parrots" by Donna Andrews - good author - humor mystery - and I actually got a seat on the train. So, it was a pleasant ride in.
Now, time for that meeting.
I hope your woes are no worse than mine and that you have a good day!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
It started out as Tuesday Night Special. Long ago, the kids and I went around the neighborhood every Tuesday afternoon collecting old newspapers and cans that the neighbors saved for us. We would try to get to the recycling center before it closed that evening. We were earning money for our Marine World /Africa USA memberships. Back when there was a Marine World / Africa USA and they had memberships. Back before the city started recycling.
Before we left, I would brown up some ground beef, add uncooked rice, water, tomatoes and either green beans or corn, some taco seasoning and leave it on low. When we got back, I would add cheese on top and dinner was ready.
The kids and I worked hard, earned our annual memberships and went to Marine World often. Good times!
I miss Marine World / Africa USA. To me it was a hint of paradise on earth. I loved seeing the animals and how the trainers interacted with them. I felt safe and peaceful there. Although I have been accused of being over protective and was somewhat protective there, at Marine World, especially during the off-season, I felt comfortable letting the children sometimes go their own way with regular check in times and places. I think we learned a bit about relationships as we learned how the trainers taught the animals. It was a wonderful place.
It broke my heart a little when Marine World / Africa USA became Six Flags Marine World. While not my thing, amusement parks are alright in their place, but I don't think it is good for amusement rides to be in such close proximity to the animals. I imagine that the animals are under a lot of stress now. It just makes me sad. I am also sad that my younger children didn't get to grow up with Marine World as a regular part of our life.
Nothing has replaced Marine World in our lives. If only we lived closer to Sea World that would help.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
They are having a door decorating contest.
This entrance to my office
Sideways view of the side view
Sideways view of the other side. I emailed these from my cell phone and I don't know how to turn them. I also do not know why they are different sizes.
This is the door of my office going out
I hope you are in good spirits!
|Approaching on the little trail from the front of the Nature Center. (A more accessible trail can be accessed going around the building the other way.) To your left a deer (not people) fence crossing.|
|The (more accessible) trail comes around from the back of the Nature Center continues behind the deck and on to hiking trails.|
|Nice touches - raised railing for easy clean-off and the rocks lining the back of the deck.|
|A little bit of clean up.|
|The deck is flush with the ground at one end.|
|The access trail behind the Nature Center.|
|A lovely end to a lovely and productive day.|
|Feeling good about a job well done.|