Monday, June 28, 2010

Family, Fun, and Food

Sariah and her girls came down from Vancouver, WA for  a week. Hung out with the sisters, visited friends. The guys and I were able to join them all some evenings.

David and Teresa relocated to Sacramento from San Luis Obispo. As yet, they are mostly trying to get themselves sorted out and settled in at Debi's house and the evening hanging out.

Saturday Debi put on a delightful baby shower for Ruth (and Naomi).  With a little help from her sisters, Debi put on quite a spread.  Debi was definitely the chef. She made strawberry cupcakes, strawberry and spinach salad, strawberry pretzel salad, and little bacon sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, and pepper sandwiches.  And strawberry lemonade with fruit floating in it.  And bowls of fresh strawberries with almond fruit dip and another dip I forgot.  Beautiful and tasty.  Instead of playing some of the games typical of a shower – like you cannot say certain words or names,  what in Cub Scouts is Kim’s game -you look at a tray of certain items for a short amount of time and then try to remember them,  Word scrambles,  Make words from the letters of words, Baby changing races (usually with a handicap).  Et cetera.   Instead of any of them, Debi had lots of white bibs and onsies (in different sizes) and fabric makers.  Everyone decorated a onsie and/or bib.  I thought it would be fun, but I wondered how well they would turn out.  Charming! They are really cute and fun. People enjoyed visiting and decorating the onsies.  Then they enjoyed the food and enjoyed seeing Ruth open her (Naomi’s) presents.  Comfortable, fun, relaxed.  It was great.

Later Joseph brought the Wii and the Boom Blocks game over to Ruth's and people had a good time knocking each other's blocks off.

I got the much awaited call from my Pioneer Trekker.  Benjamin had been on a 3 Day Pioneer Trek somewhere in the Sierra Nevadas with the other youth from our Stake. I had worried about him getting sunburned as he chose a stylin' newsboy cap rather than a broad-brimmed hat.  He only sunburned lightly.  I also pictured him pushing at the back of the handcart on a hard steep hill, the people in front losing their grip, and the cart rolling back and crushing him. That did not happen.  One of our ward girls did get run over by a hand cart on the last day and broke her foot, though. 

When I picked him up, he talked and talked.  Sounds like he had quite a time.  Some of it was hard, of course, but he expected that and even relished it to a point. I was glad to see him alive, in one piece, and only slightly sunburned.  He was disappointed not to have more of a mark, sore, scar, indentation or SOMETHING from pulling the handcart with a rope over his shoulder.  Everyone in the ‘family’ helped – a couple of them pushing on the bar in the front, a couple of them pulling with ropes, some trying to help by pushing at the sides (which sounds awkward), and I think some pushing. He said that the Mormon Battalion marching was a bit hard.  They had to march in formation carrying their buckets and being in formation could not switch which hand was holding the bucket.  He most liked the family talk time.

Sunday we got together for Acadia’s birthday dinner.  Although, the only thing special was that Acadia got to choose what we had.  I have got to get my act together about doing special things.  We had Hawaiian Haystacks – yummy.  Unfortunately, my slow cooker was a wee bit full of chicken mix and slightly less full when we got to Ruth’s.  I really need to deep clean my car, probably more than once, before we go to Yosemite next year.  It’s bear bait!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sharing is Caring

Stake Conference this weekend.  Good stuff!

California Sacramento Mission President James Jardine's father served as a mission president in Canada.  He loves the Canadian national anthem.  Whenever he meets someone from Canada, he sings their anthem.  Not that he has a fine singing voice!  When President Jardine was set apart as mission president by President Monson for the California Sacramento Mission, his parents were there. Knowing that President Monson had also served in Canada, Dad told him that he had as well and started singing.  His family was a bit embarrassed, but President Monson put his arm around him and sang along.

One of President Jardine's best friends is just completing an assignment as mission president in Australia.  When he was a youth, not a member of the church, his friends invited him to Seminary and to play church baseball.  Because he lived outside of his friends' ward boundaries, the team was told that if he played, their team would be disqualified.  The team talked it over privately and decided that they would rather include him and forfeit every game they played than to leave him out.  So that's what they did.  Their love and unselfishness inspired him to learn more about the gospel which led to his conversion and joining the church.

Elder Spencer J. Condie talked about friendshipping a neighbor and sharing the gospel.  At one point, the neighbor told them that he could not start the day without 2 cups of coffee.  You aren't going to keep me out because of 2 cups of coffee are you?  Elder Condie said, "I'm sales, I'm not management." Of course, you know, that after further discussion and prayer, a testimony grew and his friend joined the church.

Elder Condie also related a story that Presidenty Hinckley told of a friend whose co-worker came to him for help quitting smoking.  He gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read it.  The next day she came back a bit irritated and said "I read (I forget how many- 170?) pages of your book and there is nothing in there about quitting smoking."  He told her to read the rest of the book.  Two more days she came back after reading late into the night, more and more irritated that there was nothing about addiction or smoking.  He just told her to keep reading.  The fourth night she finished the book and read the promise in Moroni 10:4-5 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."  As she prayed, she felt a wonderful warmth spreading through her. She had the best night sleep in four nights and awoke free from the desire to smoke. 

Both Saturday night and Sunday morning, Elder Condie told us, "Your Stake presidency are wonderful men.  They are not perfect, but they are good enough for you."

Corn Dogs, Police Dogs, Frisby Dogs and more

Debi and her Great Dane Chloe, Miriam, Benjamin, Esther, Jared and I went to Pet-a-palooza at Rusch Park in Carmichael Saturday. 

We hardly got in the car before the kids informed us that they were hungry.  No lunch.  When we first talked about going, somebody had suggested that we bring a picnic, but we never got ourselves together on that so we didn't. Nobody told Ruth.  Benjamin and I had not had time to eat between setting up chairs at church and meeting up with the others.  We thought we would be fine after just chugging a glass of milk before leaving.  Until we smelled the BBQs going at the event.

The first order of business, then, was to find something we could afford to eat.  We each got a corn dog.  I haven't had a corn dog in ages.  It seems like just the thing for walking around a fair-like atmosphere. 

There were lots of animal related booths/vendors.  Adoptions, pet supplies, groomiers, sitters. you name it.  Representatives from Star Eco Station were there.  One of them knows Sedgewick (the blue fronted Amazon parrot that I inherited and who taught me that I am not a good parrot person - they need way more attention than I could give- and whom I was lucky to have placed in their educational facility) and Gus (the parrot my aunt and uncle donated).  Anyway, this young fellow knows Sedgewick and Gus and says they are doing very well.

There were hydration stations for the dogs with wading pools and drinking bowls.  People had to go to a vendor and buy water or whatever.  I had one bottle of water that we shared and drained to the last.  Never found a drinking fountain.  There was a swimming pool for dogs to dive in - for a fee.

A group that Miriam and Debi really like - Bare Naked Ladies performed.  Including one of our favorites "If I Had a Million Dollars."

We watched a police dog demonstration and six frisby catching Australian shepherds.

For me the most fun was just seeing all the different dogs who had come to the event with their people.  I don't know how many breeds we saw from tiny, tiny Chihuahuas to Irish Wolfhounds, and off course, all-American dogs.  There were two other Harlequin Danes.  There are a lot of great dogs.

I am always looking at little dogs, because my next dog MUST be a small dog (or at least medium small) for my old age  and declining ability to carry my dog when she is old and needs help.  (I do not know WHAT Anna and I are going to do when that dread day comes.)  So far I am really only liking poodles which Debi is absolutely against. (Not that she gets to choose!)  She kept pointing out little dogs, but cute as they might be, they were clearly not my dog.  The Westie has possibilities, maybe.

We had a good time and nobody got sunburned.  ; )

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wii shall see

I am not getting my money's worth out of my 24 Hour Fitness membership. I only manage to go when I force myself. I dislike the walk from office to club. The walk back is not so bad. Once there, I force myself onto a machine and watch the clock eagerly for the time I must return to the office. It helps if they have a news channel on and not just soaps and sports - or if I remember my iPod Touch and can
listen to podcasts of old news. (being at work all day makes me feel so out of touch with the world. Podcasts help even if I am always a bit behind) it also helps if someone nearby pounds out a good rhythm on the treadmill. As it nears time to leave, I do start not being so eager to stop & usually stay just another minute or two longer so I am often a couple of minutes late back to work. I feel good afterwards. Still, I don't see paying so much for not so much.

I canceled my membership, so I have one month left. At the end of this month Costco is discontinuing their $300 2 year membership and starting a $400 3 year membership. I don't think so!

Last night the boys and I played several sets of Wii tennis, a few rounds of Wii golf, and a couple of games of Wii golf. (I am very bad at all of them. Benjamin skunks both us - more practice  time at home while we slave away at work! Plus natural ability and youthful good health.)

The point is (as Benjamin often says) it was much more fun, interactive with my guys (the dog even got some attention) and already paid for.

I must make a point of more Wii time. And at work, more
walking Capital Park - a prettier walk with fewer disreputable people along the way. I must do better, but I am afraid the gym is not my answer.

Sent from my iPod Touch

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working out is not working out

Nice surprise for me!  Debi had to come downtown on an errand for work.  She called and arranged to pick me up for lunch.  We went to Johnny Rocket’s and had hamburgers.  Her treat.  Sweet!

Of course, Tuesday and Thursday are supposed to be my gym days (with other days ‘optional’), but lunch with Debi is a very rare delight.

Not only did I not go to the gym, I had American fries.

I don’t think 24 Hour Fitness and I are going to last.  I do feel good after I go, but I don’t much enjoy going. And I have time management problems.  Last Wednesday, was a non-knit night (say that several times quickly.  Then say ‘Feed friends feasts of flan in Flin Flon’.  How about ‘Sariah says "sit silently, sister!"’  or ‘Debi doesn’t dare deny David donuts.’  ‘Just Joseph and Jared jump joyfully’ ‘Esther eats Easter eggs easily.’   Ok, ok, I’ll stop now.)  Anyway, Wednesday, being a non-knit night (Now, don’t let’s start that again) I was ‘supposed’ to go work out while Benjamin was in YM. Instead, I stayed in work (instead of work out) clothes and hoped to catch the Stake Secretary to get an appointment with a member of the Stake Presidency to re-new my temple recommend (it's a religious thing.  Stake is roughly equivalent to a diocese, I think. Only members 'in good standing' go inside the temple.  To show that you are in good standing you obtain a recommend by being interviewed by a member of the Bishopric - the Bishop is like the priest of our congregation, he and his two counselors constitute the bishopric -and by a member of our Stake Presidency - who is head of a diocese? I forget) .  He wasn’t at the church, so I went shopping instead.  Mostly at the 99 cent store and then at Raleys – looking for red, white, and/or blue things that might be fun and/or useful to send to a certain missionary.   I already missed Memorial Day and couldn’t it  get there in time for Flag Day, but it should make it in plenty of time for the Fourth of July.   I took the risk of mailing it (on furlough Friday) directly to where he is instead of the mission home hundreds of miles away.  I figure at a motel, someone will be there to take the mail.

I wanted to send some party snaps, but didn't think that would pass customs.  They are very serious and not very fun people.

So, I didn’t work out Wednesday.  Nor did I go to the gym Furlough Friday – although the guys and I did ride bikes to Bel Air (about 2 miles round trip).  And I did not go to the gym Saturday.  Too many other things to do and too little time – and desire.

I told myself that I was definitely going to go at least on Tuesday and Thursday lunch and try to work in some other times.  You see how well that is going.  I am going to try to go at least some times during the time I have already paid for .  And I HOPE that it does me some good.  Biking to work regularly should help some.  I will not continue the month-to-month membership.  $$$!  And at the moment I rather doubt that I will invest in the 2 year membership.  Maybe, but. maybe not.

However,  I had better do something!  sigh

Friday, June 4, 2010

What, Me Join?

I never thought I would set foot in a gym, let alone consider joining one.  A fat old lady does not belong among the young, fit, and spandexed.  

I was surprised at myself when I accepted my daughter's invitation to go as a guest to her gym two weeks ago.  Even more surprised when I not only survived, but pretty much enjoyed it.  I didn't hear any loud gasps, insults or hysterical laughter, either, so either everyone was too busy minding their own business to concern themselves with me or at least they were discrete.

Emboldened and encouraged, I got a free two week pass to the 24 Hour Fitness closest to my work and tried to figure out how I could work gym time into my life.  After work?  No, I have too little time at home as it is.  I do not feel safe downtown after work hours.  Once I get home,  I am not going out again to go to another gym.  I considered starting work 15 minutes earlier and leaving 15 minutes later so I could increase my lunch break to an hour.  I quickly realized that although I can sacrifice some of my 'me' time before I start work, I could not face staying later every day.  I would have to settle for a 45 minute lunch.  On gym days that translates to 5 minutes changing time beginning and ending, 10 minute walk each way, and 15 minutes actually at the gym.  In that first two weeks, I went to the gym 6 out of 8 working days.  I almost hate to admit it, but I do feel good afterwards.  Also, I recently read that the benefits of a 10 minute workout lasts for over an hour - whatever they mean by benefits.  Although 'workout' is putting what I do very strongly.  But I figure 20 minutes of fairly good walking (as opposed to strolling) plus 15 minutes on an elliptical or something similar is certainly more beneficial than 45 minutes of sitting.

Still not certain whether to commit to the more economic (if you use it) $300 for 2 year Costco plan, I decided to buy one month for $40.  Well, I was wrong on a couple of counts.  It's more like $36 or so, but you have to pay the first and last month up front.   They automatically charge you monthly until you tell them to stop - then they burn out your last month.  oh, well.  I signed up.  I need to tell them to stop so I only get charged for two months.  By the end of July, I should have a good idea whether I will really use it or not.

Will I go at least twice a week at lunch, occasionally on Saturday and sometimes on Wednesday evenings while Benjamin is at YM?  Will I FEEL better? Will my diabetes improve?  Enough to stay off insulin?  Is there any hope of me ever losing weight?  That would be something, wouldn't it?!

We can only wait and see.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


 I  read this on my daughter Sariah's blog.  It is such a powerful message and I am (as always) pressed for time, so I am just copying her entire post.:

My friend shared an incredibly important post today on her blog and I realized that I need to share the same thing.  At the end of my post, I have links to more information, including the ARP handbook on-line.  We all need to know this program is available to us because we never know when we or someone we love may need it.
Few people, even few members of the church are aware of the church's Addiciton Recovery Program (ARP).  It is one of the church's best kept secrets and that is something that I would like to change!  The first few things that people need to know about ARP is:
  • It is for anyone, LDS or not, for any kind of addiction.
  • It is FREE.
  • It is completely confidential.
  • Any one of us could benefit from it, not just addicts.
  • And most of all, it will change your life. 
There are ARP groups for general addictions (substance, alcohol, spending, eating, etc.) and in addition to those meetings are meetings specifically for sexual addictions (including pornography and same-sex attractions).  These specialized groups are seperated by gender and any bishop can give you the schedule for your area.
I have seen this program CHANGE lives.  I have been in a position to personally witness as it saved a marriage and family.  My bishop shared with me a startling statistic.  With everyone he knows or has referred to this program who has actually committed to it and gone through the process (attended the support meetings as well as gone through and completed the workbook), there has been a 100% success rate.  100%  It WILL help every person who wants to change.
The program is more than the "4 R's" of repentance; it is an in depth 12-step program, centered on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It helps you to identify triggers so you can learn to prevent temptations and better prepare yourself for when you are most likely to experience them.  You learn to humble yourself completely and totally rely on the Savior to work a true and complete change in your heart. 
I heard one person who was struggling say that they didn't believe they could ever really overcome their addiction.  The best they could hope for was to "white knuckle" their way through life, fighting and struggling everyday to not give in to their temptation.  Then they went through this program.  It takes time, this is serious in depth stuff!  But after a couple of years, this same individual has a completely different attitude.  Now, they are completely different.  They have more than just overcome it; their whole understanding of the atonement and repentance is different.  They have learned that they CAN give it to the Savior and He will take it from them.   For one who is struggling, that is something incomprehensible, but this program teaches exactly how that can happen and it will help  guide each person who wants to experience that.
In the marriage/family I witnessed, I was impressed by how it changed the whole family.  A spouse learned to forgive and trust their spouse and children learned to respect their parent as they watched their loved one commit to and follow this program.  It brought their family so much closer than it was before.
You may not need this.  You may not know anyone at this time who needs it.  But someday you might.  I recently heard my father say, "If I had known about this program years ago, it could have saved my marriage."  I pray that no one I know will say to me in 5 or 10 years that "if they had only known this program was available it could have saved their marriage."  I would like everyone I know to at least know it is here, in the event you or someone you care about ever needs it.
Information about the church's Addiction Recovery Program.
How to find a support group in your area.  You could also talk to your bishop to get the most current location and schedule for your area, but a bishop's referral is NOT required.
LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program Workbook on-line.
Combating Pornography  A new website from the church specifically for those who struggle with an addiction to pornography, including helpful resources for their loved ones.