Monday, December 17, 2012

Regina and Moroni

 I  used “Once Upon A Time” in Sunday School.  (I now teach older teens) Regina (the evil queen in Fairytale Land and the mayor and powerful, overbearing adopted mother of Henry in Storybrook) has been trying to change because of her love for him.  Even giving up magic and power.  Last week, Emma (his birth mother) and Snow (his grandmother) were on a mission in Fairytale Land and about to return through a magic portal.  Certain that they could not succeed against Regina’s even more evil and even more powerful mother Cora and that Cora would be coming instead, Rumplestiltskin convinced Regina that they had to do something to the portal that would kill whoever tried to come through.  Henry, having great faith in Emma & Snow and that good always wins, pled with Regina.  At great personal sacrifice and risk, Regina took the destructive power from the portal and upon herself.  I thought it might have killed her.  Emma and Snow made it!  Hugs for Emma & Snow!  Eventually a hug for Regina.  Then Emma, Henry, and all their friends decide to go to dinner, leaving Regina alone. Alone and sad.  It hurt my heart and made me disappointed and angry.

 How likely is it that Regina will continue to give up power and magic and choose to do good?  

What has this to do with Sunday School class? We were studying Moroni 1-6.  Regina comes up in 6.

Moroni taught that after people were baptized and had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, “they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken” (Moroni 6:4). 

 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and acleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the bchurch of Christ; and their cnames were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually dwatchful unto prayer, erelying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

from the lesson manual:
Why were their names recorded? (See Moroni 6:4.) Who has the responsibility to see that both long-time and new members are “remembered and nourished by the good word of God”? (Emphasize that each of us has this opportunity and responsibility. Then share the quotations below.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “Any convert whose faith grows cold is a tragedy. Any member who falls into inactivity is a matter for serious concern. The Lord left the ninety and nine to find the lost sheep. His concern for the dropout was so serious that He made it the theme of one of His great lessons. We must constantly keep Church officers and the membership aware of the tremendous obligation to fellowship in a very real and warm and wonderful way those who come into the Church as converts, and to reach out with love to those who for one reason or another step into the shadows of inactivity” (in Church News, 8 Apr. 1989, 6).
President Hinckley also said: “With the ever increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with ‘the good word of God’ (Moroni 6:4)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 66; or Ensign, May 1997, 47).

Do we walk away and leave those who are trying to change to struggle alone and without reward?  Do we shun those who smell or look funny?  Do we let them come and go without a word or a smile?  Do we support people who are trying to make positive change in their lives or do we shun them and leave them to struggle alone? 

Who shares the blame if the struggling individual finds the loneliness and the effort too much to bear?

I thought it went over very well. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Trees, Nativities & Family in Vancouver

    2012.11.28 Wednesday 0340  Almost every day I wake up around this time, go to the bathroom, and then spend an hour trying to go back to sleep, but not doing very well no matter how tired I am.  Stoooopid. Sometimes I do manage to go back to sleep, I think, but it doesn’t feel like it.  Once in a while I really, blissfully do.  If I KNEW I could not go back to sleep or felt I didn’t need to, I would read.  But, I do need more sleep.
    2012.11.29 Friday 0654  hooray!  This morning I woke up at 4:30 instead of 3:30, decided I didn’t really need to go to the bathroom, rolled over, snuggled down, and WENT BACK TO SLEEP!  Until 6am!  I took today off - first thinking that I was going to drive up to Washington today so I could go to Cadi’s concert tomorrow night, but her concert is Saturday afternoon now (yay!) and I need to get ready.  Today I will get Goldie’s oil changed, do laundry, pack, make sure there’s food in the fridge for Joseph.- stuff like that.
    Andrew just wandered by and said, “I have a great idea! A snowman with rocket boots”
    While not sleeping during the wee hours yesterday, I kept picking up my iPod Touch and started learning about the Lesson feature in my appp.  Last Sunday I tried teaching the lesson off the notes I had in my word processor on Sophie, but that was awkward and I kept picking up Winnie the Peg (the Touch) instead. Nice thing about using Winnie is that she is always with me and I can work on my lesson on and off anytime and wherever.  
     ... 2247  Naturally, I did not accomplish all I wished to today.  I did get Goldie’s oil changed and later gassed her up and shopped at  Costco.  Milk for home, Goldfish for Andrew, Doritos for me.  And grapes and too much other stuff. Did my laundry.  I am mostly packed - toiletries tomorrow.  Wrapped the few small gifts I have for Rosers.  I made fried chicken for dinner with leftovers - some to leave for Joseph and some to eat on the way up.  What I did none of was house cleaning. This poor house!  I had rather planned on a shower and early bed maybe, but we had a parade of your siblings come through - bringing gifts for us to deliver to Rosers.  Every country heard from except Debi.  Hinds are sending a small box.  The kids made lots of presents, it seems.   Fun!  We put all the presents in the trunk tonight.  Today’s weather has not been bad.  Supposed to be stormy tomorrow -beginning in the morning.  Warnings of possible street flooding and power outages.  Poor Joseph!

2012.12.01  -  We left during a thunder/rainstorm in Sacramento yesterday morning.  Driving through the valley we were in and out of rain.  Actually the whole trip was a mix of rain and sun.  Castle Crags, which Andrew loves to see, was in lovely sunlight despite clouds all around.  We saw at least 4 rainbows, two of them double.  One rainbow ended right by the freeway. For a while we thought we were going to be able to drive to the end of the rainbow!  Of course, when you get there it fades away.  
      Stayed up too late with Sariah last night.  First we watched the Yosemite DVD, then we watched the last Downtown Abbey of season 2. I had not realized that it was the finale, but had thought it was an extra - Christmas at Downtown Abbey.  But! there were important plot developments. I sure like that show.  
     Lazy morning.  Then Acadia’s concert at the Festival of Trees and later the Festival of Nativities.  Andrew and Aurora are quickly playing a series of games.  Disney Trivia, Memory, Red Sox vs Yankees Chess.  Acadia has been baking cookies.  Healthy breakfast.  
   2012.12.01 Saturday 1618  The Festival of Trees in Portland is a fund raiser for the Providence Portland Medical Foundation.  Sponsers decorate. not only a tree but pretty much a a setting and the trees etc are auctioned off. One of the prettiest trees had an African theme.  Big stuffed giraffes next to the tree.  Cool wood carved animals.  There are usually also several gift baskets of toys and goodies which the winning bidder usually donates to children’s hospital or something like that.  I really liked the  green house full of gardening tools and books, chicken coop for 3 chickens and tree decorated with cute garden and farm stuff.  One of the most unusual was the Wizard of Oz.  A house with the witch’s legs sticking out,  several baskets of goodies, each including a stuffed Toto dog,  a cyclone or tornado (I forget the difference) which was an upside down silver Christmas tree decorated with cows and other things that might have been picked up by the tornado.  Before they can have their tree, however, the public can come see the trees - $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens (guess who), $4 for kids.  Performing arts schools - public school and private enterpise - get free admission in exchange for performing for the festival.  A couple of big trees are raffled off.  There were also free activities - Mrs Claus story reading, cookie decorationg, face painting, coloring pages, jingle bell “necklace” (tied on a plastic cord) (I got one.  So did Andrew.  Oh, and Aurora), and a free teddy bear for kids under 12 (somehow Cadi got one as well as Rori).  It was a health clinic.  When they gave the kids the bear, the helper asked it’s name and why it was at the clinic.  Aurora’s bear, Jingle, was bee stung and allergic.  They go through the clinic and get treatment.  I didn’t watch the whole thing, but I think the idea is to help kids feel good about doctors and to teach them a few health and safety tips.
     Acadia’s middle school chorus and orchestra performed a few pieces.  Acadia played cello except for one song where she played piano.  She did extremely well.  Sariah said Cadi was nervous, but it didn’t show.
     After a little down time and bean soup at Rosers, we went to the Festival of the Nativities.  So many beautiful Nativities!  but none from Korea.  At least I didn’t find one.  At the Festival of Trees when I was pretend shopping, I honestly didn’t find a tree that I wanted.  My favorite tree I saw was in the Roser’s family room.  Not so at the Festival of Nativities!  There were very few there that I would NOT want.  I found myself thinking that I would like to set up our front room as a Festival of Nativities, but there are two cute little problems - the Happiness Twins.  They are always knocking things over.  Maybe next year. Unless I can think of cat proof settings.  I do not want to take down all the books so I can put up Nativities, although it is a thought. What a lot of work that would be!  But pretty awesome.  We will see.
2012.12.02  Sunday 
      During Testimony Meeting Nate revealed that the Bishop is on the stand cutting onions out of sight of the congregation so that the speakers appear to be emotional.
      Every month some of the Vancouver area family get together for Home Evening.  Tonight we all went to Scott & Alisha Taylor’s new house (my sister Kris' oldest).  Kris and Adam  live there, too.  HUGE house out in the country in woodsy area.  It was dark when we went there so we couldn't see anything outside. Out in the same general area as the big house on the side of a hill that Kris used to live in.  But not quite as remote and on level ground.  At least 12 foot ceilings throughout.  big rooms.  Not my style, but beautiful.  Rosers,  us, Taylors, Kris, Adam & his girlfriend, Matt & Mary Jane.  Samantha was home stressing and studying for finals.  Alisha did a short lesson on the wise men and we watched last years 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional - the one where President Uchtdorf talks about setting the curtains on fire.  Because they couldn’t get this year’s yet.  They plan to make it the tradition to watch the previous year’s. 
     As almost all weekends, this one was over too soon.  We didn’t get to watch Once Upon a Time with Acadia because we were at the family thing.  They recorded it and we can find it on-line most likely, but it would have been fun to watch it with Cadi.
    2012.12.03  Monday  2240  We had a safe and pleasant drive home which included talking about God, life’s struggles, testimonies & faith, a little singing and a stop at Castle Crags State Park where we went out to the view point and also checked out camping sites - as best we could in the by then dark.  The campsites we pass on the way to the view point are smallish and sloped, but the lower campsites look like they have potential.  Might be a place to have family meet and camp some time.
    We arrived home safely and found Joseph and the pets all still alive which is a good thing.  Joseph had gone to a hack-a-thon Saturday which he found interesting and told us about.  We asked him about news from church and learned that a baby was blessed - it might have been Paines - but he wasn’t sure.  Was Jake holding the baby?  He didn’t know. = D
     As I anticipated, the weekend was not only very pleasant, but also restful. and it was nice to have Andrew help with the driving - as well as his good company.
     But alas, now the weekend is over. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving weekend

Wednesday morning Sariah, Ryan & I went to the temple.  Then they picked up their girls from Grundy’s, had lunch with Dad, spent a couple of hours at Hinds, then had dinner with David and Teresa.
     I went to WINCO in Folsom and bought a bunch of stuff, but not turkey.  Their frozen turkeys were the same prices as Raley’s  fresh turkeys.  As I drove towards Costco Folsom I realized that it was not as close to WINCO and/or the temple as I thought and Sunrise Costco was more on the way home.  But since I was on the way, I decided on a little fact finding mission.  Their gas lines were long, not as long as South Sacto Costco, but I remembered that there are practically no lines at Sunrise.  So I checked the price for comparison and headedoff to Sunrise Costco.  Well, maybe their lines are shorter, but the traffic down Sunrise is worse, I thought to myself.  Then I got to Costco Sunrise and sure enough there were no gas lines  BECAUSE THERE WAS NO GAS.  The station was closed.  I since asked Miriam if they have stopped selling there, but not that she knows of.  I proceeded to Raleys where I bought a bunch more stuff including two 15+ pound turkeys.  I cooked one up and made gravy,  and put it in a slow cooker in the fridge.
   Thursday we roasted the other turkey and mashed almost 20 potatoes.  We did the cooking at home because (not necessarily in order of importance - 1) originally Debi was going to go on The Run To Feed The Hungry.  She ended up not because she was slightyly stressed with preparations and because her friends backed out.  But I am pretty sure that she donated the race money anyway.  2)  freed up Debi’s oven 3) I didn’t want to leave the animals alone and locked all that long 4) the guys would not have been ready to soon enough to put the turkey in Debi’s oven and I didn’t want to shuttle especially since I didn’t get gas 5) there’s always stuff to do around the house.
     When we did go to Debi’s we took four slow cookers full of food. 2 had mashed potatos, 1 had turkey and gravy & the the 4th had more (but not as good) gravy.  Plus the whole turkey which was sitting on a foil-covered baking sheet with a bed of spinach and sliced apples, then wrapped in foil for transport.  After dinner, the whole turkeyremained untouched, there was still a good bit of turkey in the slow cooker and we had only eaten part of one slow cooker of mashed potatoes.   Dinner also included Susan Grundy’s stuffing, a green bean dish with onions and bacon, corn, rolls, cranberry butter, & fresh veggie plate.  Then there was apple pie and pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped topping.  There was enough food left over for Forced Family Fun Friday.
      The bad thing is that the day after Thanksgiving I wake up wanting to go sneak turkey and there was not one bit of turkey in the house.  Friday I brought home a little.  I had turkey sandwich for breakfast two or three days in a row and for lunch a ouple of times. I am seriously thinking about getting another turkey EXCEPT my expenses areover budget and I don’t know when I would cook it.
     I made soup Monday after Thanksgiving.

     We had a great soccer game Forced Family Fun Friday morning.  Home Tom, Ruth, Andrew, Debi , Jared & I vs Rosers, Joseph, and Esther.  Debi played most of the game with Naomi on her shoulders.  We scored two points, they scored two points and we switched sides of the field.  They scored – oh I lost track of the order.  We had said we were playing until one team had 5 points.  From time to time we joked about stopping at a total of 5 points.  It was close.  We were tied 4 to 4, but finally our team made the winning goal!   I played half decent in defensive back position.  Debi did quite well as defensive back and that with a “baby” on her shoulders!  Jared moved around between positions and did pretty well.  Ruth was a  very good forward. Tom and Andrew switched back and forth between forward and goalie.  They were great, I think especially Andrew.
     Miriam joined us at the end of the soccer game.  A little play time in the park for the kids, a change of clothes for some, then we all, including Chloe and Betty, went out hunting for geocaches. Jospeh, Andrew, Aurora & I had done one Wednesday, so we kept quiet when the group looked for that one.  Aurora probably wouldn’t have, but she had been busy trying to scrape moss of rocks when Joseph found it Wednesday, so she didn’t exactly know where it was.  We found 2 out of 3 caches that we looked for.
     Then Thanksgiving dinner re-run and a game of  Cranium.  Joseph fell asleep during the game and I was not only tired, but feeling badly about Anna being alone so long again and the Twins locked up in the Den of Happiness.  Besides, signs of Forced Family Fun Friday Fighting From Fatique had begun to crop up and for me the fun factor was going down rapidly.  Andrew stayed later and a sibling kindly brought him home
       The kitties had a couple of hours out and then were  locked up again.  I don’t know when I will feel safe about leaving them out with Mrs Cotton, but I sure hate keeping them locked up.
      Saturday  Rosers headed back home  The guys and I spend time with David and Teresa.  DT enjoyed the Proctor Place Special, one of Andrew's mission staples - Ramon noodles in tomato soup, cheese sandwiches and veggies along with crackers and spreads they brought.  I didn’t have any Proctor Place Special.  Not a ramon fan.  Just toasted cheese and veggies.  It was a beautiful day so we decided to go geocaching over in the Folsom area.  Stopped by Costco off Sunrise on the way and yay!  I was able to get gas.  (Same price as Costco Folsom on Wednesday which I didn’t get).  We found 2 out of 3 caches and got to take some beautiful walks.  Anna, came too, which was really nice.  Back home we finished fixing up dinner – spinach, salad,pears to add to the pork roast and rice which had cooked well we were out.   Brighton Ward missionaries came to dinner.  They were fun.  After that we watched “Wait Until Dark” - suspense horror movie – bad guys looking for a doll with heroin hidden in it terrorize a blind woman. The general reaction was that once was quite enough.  (Although this was my second time, I saw it at BYU, but I had forgotten most of it except that I actually screamed at one point.  Nearly did this time, too, more of a gasp, maybe a little scream.) We not horror movie people, for sure not blood and gore, and also not so much suspense.
       Sunday I taught my new Sunday School class.  The kids did not walk out on me, in fact, they participated.   After church, I put out a couple of Christmas flags and a yard card, but with the storms predicited, I took them down Tuesday. We put up the Christmas tree in the front room with just lights.  Might leave it that way.  
       I had 5 days off.  Can you believe it still wasn't enough? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today is Have a Bad Day Day

This morning one of my Facebook friends commented that it is too early to have a bad day.  Well, I am not too sure.

While I was out Friday, my cube was re-configured. (I was told about it Thursday & packed up my stuff.  sort of.  My work station is now facing the back corner with the support column right at my right elbow. instead of facing my entry as it did before. Popular theory is that is so supers can see what's on your computer before you know they are there. Conspiracy theory! No power outlets yet on the work side. My pre-work "me" time taken up looking for my chair, and having a co-worker try to set up my computer- on an extension cord.

 I am 'manning' the front desk at the moment. (Thanks Ruth Young, for the use of your computer.

I won't say that it's a really bad day - I woke up in a comfy bed in my own house in a peaceful neighborhood, all residents accounted for and reasonably well, I have to go to work, but I have a job to pay my bills, pleasant competant co-workers, and many, many other blessings

but it's not starting out extremely well.  now I am late to work

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It started out like a normal weekend

     As usual I had way more things I needed and wanted to do than I would be able to accomplish, but I resolved to do my best and accept the rest.  Laundry washed, work breakfast made for the next week, some dishes done.  A bit of a delightful distraction with live stream of a "Time Out for Women" event in Salt Lake City.  Errands/wild goose chase.
      I am chocoholic.  Which is particularly not good for overweight diabetics.  Amberlyn Chocolates makes delicious sugar free chocolates.  Less guilty indulgence.  Can be purchased on-line or at Costco during "Road Shows".  I knew the next one was a weekend near the end of October in Folsom.  So foolishly without double checking my calendar and needing to replenish items we normally get at Costco, we drove out to Folsom.  It's just too bad that we were a week early.  And too late for any samples, too. But we loaded our cart.
     As we were finishing up at Costco we got a phone call.  Miriam needed a blessing and to go to Kaiser.  While out with Debi and the kids (Debi was babysitting while Ruth & Tom were out of town), suddenly Miriam's legs gave out.  When she tried to rise from sitting in a desk in the old schoolhouse in Old Sacramento,  her upper legs hurt and refused to take her weight.  After some time, trial and error, and strategizing, Debi & Miriam were able to get her upright.  Once standing, she could walk.  The weakness in her legs continued.  They had a very difficult time getting her out of the car when they got back to Debi's and off the commode when nature's call was answered.  Hence a call to Kaiser and to us.
      We grabbed some food at In-N-Out, made some phone calls, hurried home, dumped the cold stuff in the fridge, met up with our Home Teacher, and went to Debi's.  Bob Epling (our Home Teacher) and Andrew gave Miram a blessing. Bob took Andrew & Joseph home.  Miriam and I went to Kaiser Emergency. 
      Last week we went to Kaiser Morse Avenue from her place.  This week, from Debi's we went to Kaiser South Sacramento.  Staff at both facilities were helpful, friendly and caring (with the sole exception of the gal that helped Miriam out of the car this trip).  That being said, the Morse Avenue Kaiser ER somehow seemed nicer.  Of course last week, with her throat nearly closed up, we were a much more urgent case and seen more quickly.  The delay this week allowed us to enjoy the 9th inning of the 3rd game of the World Series.  We were especially fortunate to have boy who was a friendly, avid Giants fan watching with us and supplying us with useful and interesting Giants baseball information.  He was great. 
      The timing was perfect.  Shortly after the Giants won the game, Miriam as called in.  Tests were run, exams were made, hours went by.  It was determined that nothing was broken, torn or otherwise damaged.  Miriam was suffering from muscle strain from overexertion.  What with her recent surgery and her chronic conditions, it is easy to do too much.  A muscle relaxer was prescribed and we were released.   We returned to Debi's around quarter to 2.  It took a good half hour to get Miriam out of the car.  We eventually had her put her arms around my neck as I semi-squatted in front of her, then I simply stood up and took her with me.   She had not wanted to do it that way as she didn't want to strain my back.  But it worked.  We had to use that technique a few more times during the night and day.  We both collapsed in Debi's guest room.
       Originally we had planned for the boys and I to pick up the Hinds kids (and Miriam if she felt well enough) for church with our ward's 9am meeting.   When we started the trip to Kaiser, we decided to try for Hinds' ward at 11 instead.  Fortunately, Andrew & Joseph had already talked to David and Teresa about going to church with them.  Between exhaustion and concern about leaving Miriam, I (and therefore the kids) did not make it.  
       Instead, while Miriam was resting, I bought a raised seat for the commode (shopping on Sunday! gasp! ox in the mire you know), went home for a shower & change, and returned.  We rested, ate Debi's good food, enjoyed the kids, and made progress on Miriam's ablility to care for herself.  After dinner, everyone packed up and returned to the Hinds abode where Debi watched over children,  patient,  and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" while waiting for Ruth & Tom's return. 
        I went home, ate left over "chinese", and watched Once Upon A Time. Family prayer, Scriptures, and the weekend was over.
       It will almost be restful to go to work.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

hard at work

    At work we put a low file cabinet in my cube for our unit “party supplies” or, as I think of it, our unit kitchen. When we bring snacks, we put them on it. We used to have a cabinet in our little hall, but now the hall is too narrow. It is weird enough because 2 cubes from another unit are close by our snack table, line of sight, smell & hearin & it doesn’t feel right not to share. But we haven't figured out how to handle that yet.  Probably don't need to because things keep changiing.
EVERY day some one or two or three official people (boss to the 3rd, move captain, actual mover supervisor, etc) come by my cube & either eyeball it or whip out the measuring tapes & pronounce that the cabinet has to go because it renders my cube opening non-ADA-compliant. 1 or 2 inches too narrow. Never mind that I do not now nor plan to soon use a wheel chair. That I have never been visited by a person in a wheelchair at work. Or that should I be visited by a person in a wheelchair, I could shove the cabinet up against another file cabinet (rendering the 2nd one unopenable temporarily). The file cabinet must go.
But go it does not do. I certainly am not moving it. When I shoved it a small bit, hoping that it would be enough for ADA, howls of protest rose from officialdom – perhaps lest I damage myself & sue. So then they said they would move it to the cross hall at one end of our hallway, but another unit’s files were put there. So then they said they would put it in the cross hall at the other end by our supervisor’s desk. Along with our files which were down the room a bit & Jalpa wanted them by us thank you. But our files took up all the space.
So now I hear that "our snack table" (not cabinet to store plates, spoons & napkins in like what I have, either) is across from the front desk with the In & Out board (not THAT In’N’Out, unfortunately!) on it. Where EVERYONE not only walks by, but stops. This is NOT going to work. We cannot use that for our snack table. That could be the whole section’s sharing table (although not large -big enough for snacks, not a potluck, but we can use the conference room for that), but not our unit. That’s way worse than us having snacks in line of sight of other units but in my cube. Besides, not only would it be rude of us, but some people would actually eat our stuff. Possibly innocently think that it is the common table as it should be – & there isn’t one otherwise.
We in the unit are trying to figure out alternatives. We can put our paper goods in one of our tall filing cabinet drawers, but we need to figure out where to put our food. Unit unity is important. Team spirit. Morale boosting. & all that. Or just an excuse for food.  One or more of us will find a space for when we need it.

 **In other "work" news -   Ever since the cube move, I have been hearing that some cube spaces have a lot of staples in the rug. (The rug is OLD) Matt has gotten one of those. Supposedly in space that once was Mary’s. She only accepts responsibility for 6 years worth of staples.

Anyway to protect Matt’s tender feet from staples that flip up & worm their way into his shoe – don’t laugh. I got told long ago not to go stocking foot because of staples (but what happens in my cube stays in my cube) & the ONLY time I have yet to be poked in the foot by a staple was when I was wearing shoes firmly strapped to my feet all day – anyway, because of the clear & present danger of Matt being staple attacked & possibly suing the State, they got him a plastic floor mat today.

Now, Matt is always joking about building a wall or wanting a door to close off his cube. The cardboard the mat came in is about the right size. We joked about what kind of door to make. A sliding door would be good, but we don’t have a good space for it to slide. It cannot be a full swinging open door because it is wider than our hall. But a saloon style door! We had a good laugh. The cardboard got put out in the hall to be picked up. Matt went home. Amar & I looked at each other & said, we need to put up that door. So we went & got the cardboard.   We are not ready to do the door now. Amar thinks we should do it for Halloween. Which works because we can get away with more stuff for Halloween.

Where to put the cardboard? Not behind Matt’s filing cabinet or Amar’s because of stuff on the end where the cardboard would stick past it & can’t have it stick out the other side into the hall. Behind mine is inaccessible because of its position & the clock tower (the support column in my cube which happens to have a clock on it, which I cannot see from my cube because of the side it is on). Jonathon’s cube had something in the way, too. That’s too bad, because he would have made a good co-conspirator even though he is from another unit & had already gone home. (His cube is across from Matt) Aaron! In Jonathon’s unit, across from Amar, & out sick for an extended period it appears. He won’t complain. Probably would be a good conspirator if he were here. So the cardboard is hopefully safely tucked away for now.  I will be SO disappointed if I come back to work Monday (after helping with Miriam for her surgery & talking to Benjamin enroute to Korea) and find the cardboard gone!
But!  the move organizer asked if I want a floor mat, too, and I said yes. he he he

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

you know the drill. Do it.

Somewhat rambling, disorganized thoughts because I am me. But if you can sift through it, there's good stuff that maybe can help you.

A young man I love & admire and I had a little chat about temptation/sin & how hard it is to overcome. Just when you think you are making progress, blind side! And you fall. Again.

Something as simple as - I have a nail biting problem.  Just when I think I am doing well, maybe I've go this thing licked,  I don't. And I have to start again.

We have been taught that when wrong thoughts enter our heads, we need to replace them.  We know that.  We have small arsonal of good replacement thoughts.  But somehow, sometimes we just can't quite get them going when we should. 

We talked about how we need to practice, practice, practice & develop our spiritual reflexes so that our shield is up & in place blocking before we consciously realize that we are under attack. We know that it can be done. That's why soldiers and martial artists train, train, train, practice, practice practice.  The moves become a natural part of them even before thought.  I have experienced it with pain blocking techniques I learned for childbirth. 

We also talked about testimonies, especially weak & faltering testimonies – and what to do about them. When I think of that, I think of Christ asking the disciples if they will leave him as others have. "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) I often think that. Where else is there? There really is no where else. This is it!  So let's get back in this thing, don't let it slip.  We need this.

But, it is not enough to have had a witness, to have had a testimony. We have to feed, nourish & protect it. We have to keep exercising our spiritual muscles & keep practicing our spiritual drills. 

Back to the childbirth thing. Preparing for childbirth, I learned & practiced breathing techniques that truly helped to block & manage pain. For a long time while not pregnant I remembered & used those techniques. Once when I was vacuuming the living room, I pulled up the foot rest of a recliner so I could vacuum under it. Suddenly I was doing labor breathing! I wondered why. So I stopped. MY FINGER HURT, THAT’S WHY! I had smashed my finger in the hinge of the footrest. My defenses were up and protecting me before I even realized the danger. Now it has been many years since childbirth (a bit over 19, nearly 20) and many years since I have thought about & practiced those techniques. If I smashed my finger now I would have to go through a whole process. OUCH!! I smashed my finger! Man, that really hurts! I don’t like this! Wish I could do something about it! Oh, yeah! I used to do that breathing thing, how did that go again? Eventually, I would get some benefit from it, but not as effectively as if I had kept in practice. Same thing with our spiritual reflexes. So, we realize we need to practice more. 

The good news is that if we have let those skills or that testimony go a bit, or even a lot, we can redevelop it.  We can make it strong again.  With real desire and the right Help.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Missing Some of Our Happiness

2012.10.12  2230  Time to go to bed. Past time, really.   We put Felicia in the Den of Happiness, but we cannot find Felicity. Is she missing or hiding? I would say hiding because she doesn't want to go to bed yet, but I didn't think she was capable of being quiet and still this long.  We have been looking for several minutes.
2235   Still no Felicity. We don't THINK she got outside. Hope not! But otherwise, she is somewhere hiding? asleep? We are taking a gamble now that Felicia will find her sister and we can follow her and get them both, so we are letting Felicia out.
2245   Felicia was happy to get out, but did not lead us to her sister. Now she is locked up again. Andrew is going to sleep on the couch in the family room - guarding Mrs Cotton, the cockatiel. We will try not to worry too much about Felicity unless she is still missing in the morning.
2350 Felicity came in my room.  happiness!

Pink Yarn

 I spent the evening pretty focused on posting Benjamin M. Robarts latest letter. (It's a good one, long, meaty, and amusing in places).  When I surfaced, I found tangles of pink yarn on my bed with a trail of yarn down the hall, over the baby gate guarding the Den of Happiness, around the leg of a chair in the middle of the room, back over the baby gate, and back into my room.

Andrew Robarts is now trying to re-wind the yarn.  Felicity is "helping" him.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I prefer flats in shoes, but not in tires

Things do not always go exactly as planned.   For instance, this afternoon I was supposed to attend a class at Kaiser learning about insulin for diabetics.  Oh. The. Joy.   But I am at work.  I had planned to bike home during my lunch break, switch to the car & go to my 2pm class.  First, I was in a mandatory meeting that would not quit.  Distracted by the passing time, I formulated Plan B.  Bike to Kaiser.  Do not pass home.  Do not collect Goldie.  I had not wanted to bike because I am not aware of good bicycling roads betwixt here and there, but I figured I could manage.   With barely more than an hour to go (Google maps said it would take a couple minutes more than an hour and I tend to bike slightly slower than they say), I discovered a flat tire.  Still hopeful, I started to make the change.  Alas!  My replacement tube had a Presta valve, my pump is for Shraders (or however you spell it), and I could not find my converter.  A good Samaritan who apparently bikes a lot came along and patched my old tube.  (I didn’t want to because the last couple of times I tried a patch it wouldn’t stick, despite successful past patching).  My supervisor, a co-worker, and the security guard all gathered around.  I thanked my Samaritan, put the tube, tire, wheel back together & pumped it up as best I could (not the desired 100 lbs), & put the wheel back on.  I realized that there was no way I could get to my class on time, so I went back to work and emailed my doctor.  I HOPE my tire is ok for the ride home tonight.   

Dangnabbit,.  These are my expensiver, slower, flat resistant tires.  Flat resistant, not flat proof . sigh

Tomorrow is Conference Food Prep Day.  Looks like I also need to fit in a trip to the bike shop.   New tubes, a new valve converter, and tighten a couple of loose or missing nuts & bolts.

Monday, October 1, 2012

disgruntled postal patron

Before we left Sacramento in  early August to take Benjamin to the MTC, I mailed a letter to Elder Benjamin Robarts at the MTC so he would have mail when he got there. 

But he didn’t.  At least not from me.

The letter just came back to me from CANADA!

Not even Canada where Andrew served.

It was sent to the Canada Halifax Mission.

How did they confuse “Provo Missionary Training Center, 2005 N 900 E, Provo, UT 84604 with “Canada Halifax Mission,  202 Brownlow Ave Unit F Bldg F, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1T5, Canada”???!

And why did it take nearly 2 months to get back to me?  (A sister from the Canada Halifax Mission, probably the mission mom?? mailed it to me)

And I just today on the way home from work put a package in the mail to him.  It would have been nice to have tucked this in the package.

I wonder what I said?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The kind of exciting stuff I write to my son

2012.09.17 Mom 2      Today is Constitution Day! (and I forgot to wear my jumper with the flag)  I am so grateful for the Constitution of the United States of America.  So grateful to be a citizen of this country.  It has its flaws, but I believe this nation was established by the hand of God and I am so grateful to have been born here.

2012.09.17 Mom 3     No word from the Passport people which I am taking as a good sign.  When you go yours and I didn’t, they gave me a 90 day deadline to meet their requirements.  I think they said that if I did not, they would return my stuff (but not my money)  and no passport. The 90 days was up in early/mid August.  Before we went to Utah, I wrote to them asking for an extension.  Around the 1st of September I sent in the affidavits from Robin and Esque and the copy of the Willits News  (along with some other, no doubt useless, stuff).  I THINK that if I am not going to get a passport, I might have heard back my now.  No news. is good news?

2012.09.19  Mom 2   I made it to the temple again.  What is that?  3 Wednesdays in a row.  I seem to getting my groove back.  No McAllisters tonight.  Bob & Jeanette Turk were there & we visited a bit in the CR.  During session there was at least one lady behind me with a fan.  It was a little bit noisy, but I was jealous.  How often are we somewhere where a hand waved fan is “noisy”?  There was also a brother with a translator in his ear.  It really is quiet in the temple.  

2012.09.19  Mom 3  I was tempted by In-N-Out but I resisted.  I still don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.  But if I go once, I will want to go all the time & that would add up $ & make me late for family prayer.  

201.09.19  Mom 4   Well, all my cubely possessions are on a library cart now.  The gal in charge of the move told us that we would be given 1 box & that was it.  No more boxes.  Even if we provided our own.  Everything else would just have to be stacked.  & we could put stuff in our garbage  & recycle baskets. Fortunately my supe talked to other supes & they said we could have our own boxes as long as they fit on the shelf & don’t stick out.  I have paper boxes I had collected before.  One full of bowls, napkins, cups, plastic ware, salt & pepper – my kitchen box.  I have one full of oatmeal, popcorn, soup, Fiber One Brownies, & stuff like that.  Another box has knick knacks, pictures, stuffed animals, a Stampin Set.  Yesterday, Carrie, the move boss, showed some of us a cubicle the size we will be getting.  Our desks will be deeper and we should have more room.  We will have our own files.  Only thing is, she showed me where she thought my big support column is going to be,
 but that’s not what the plan I was given shows.   My plan shows it much more central in my cube, but not in the middle where the chair is.  She thought it would be on the side near the corner.  We shall see.  I am trying to figure out how to fasten fishing line around the column to make it easier to hang and change out pictures & signs.   My boss expects some good Christmas decorations.  Only thing is she thinks candy canes & such, while I think Christ.  I must consider my approach carefully.  Anyway, I loaded up my cart today & am taking the next couple of days off.  My To Do list looks like I think  have a month.  I know I won’t get it all done.  Some of the jobs any one of them would take weeks.  Or at least several days.  I am slow.  Old & tired.  One of the things I hope to do is actually get some rest & relaxation. 

2012.09.19 Mom 5   The weather is turning really nice.  Not hot, but not quite fall yet.  We are really losing daylight.  Another thing I need to do – fix up my bike lights again.  The wrap arounds don’t work.  I saw them on special on one of those group things again.  NO, thank you!.  Joseph said his aren’t doing too well either.  Great idea, but something goes wrong in implementation.   Since my bike barely fits in my bike locker, I need a light holder that is easy to move down or take off.  Joseph gave me a great extension bar, but some of the hardware fell off when I was riding home months ago & I couldn’t find it.  I need to talk to a helpful hardware man  & see if I can get it fixed up.  Anyway, it’s nice biking now, but soon I will be dealing with dark riding.  I need to make sure the guys check out their lights, too. 

2012.09.19 Mom 10:24pm  Just as I was about to tell you how pleased I am that Anna often goes out & runs with the neighbor yappers without barking, I hear her.  I think it is more bark at anything that moves in case it is an intruder  than barking at each other - the neighbors do it too.  I think they egg each other on.

2012.09.19 Mom 2239  One of the things I enjoy about temple day is reading on my Kindle while I light rail.  Still reading Frederick Douglas.  He is in his teens now.  At one point when a really tough master started to beat him without cause, he rebelled.  He didn’t try to hurt the man, just to keep the man from hurting him – although Frederick drew blood & the master did not.  Surprisingly, the master did not get him back later.  He was a bit afraid to try to do him violence himself & most likely he was ashamed to have anyone find out that he had been bested by a 16 year old slave.  He had a reputation as a “slave breaker”.  People hired out their uppity slaves to him & he broke them down.  He was not rich, but this got him cheap slave labor.  Note, they did not pay him for “breaking” their slaves as one would pay a man to break a horse.  They sent the slaves to him usually for a year & hired them out to him cheap.  I find it a bit amazing that the masters could beat the slaves with whips & whatever – not always tying them up & the slaves took it.  But the whole society had the mind set that the masters could do no wrong & the slave was always wrong. Escape was nearly impossible & what would they do then, anyway?  As horrible as it may be, it could always be made worse for the slaves.  FD got to the point where he didn’t care if they killed him, he was not going to take any more abuse.  Strangely that led to him getting better treatment with this guy the rest of his stay there.  It is mind boggling how people could treat people.  I cannot imagine treating animals as the slaves were treated.  Usually, “good Christian” masters were the worse.  Yet it was decent masters that made slaves dream of freedom.  Slaves with bad masters yearned for better masters.  Slaves with kind masters yearned to be their own master.  Hence the unspeakable brutality of the slave owners.  How blessed are we NOT to have lived either side of that!