Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Meandering (and a bit a moaning) (fair warning)

Joseph is doing better.  He had a another EKG a week after the incident and they decided that he doesn't appear to have a heart problem.  He probably just over did it that day and had some muscle strain.  He has time management problems and leaves late, then has to hurry.  That day he had to change a flat tire.  He spent a week with Teresa taking him and his bike to work and then biking home.  That worked well for him.  He won't want to keep it up because he doesn't like spending money.  He is still working on his stomach trouble, insomnia and depression.  He is not supposed to eat fatty, spicy or acidic foods.  He is supposed to eat at least 3 hours before lying down.  So, for a week he has been stopping at Subway for a sandwich on the way home.  There is no one home to cook dinner any more most days.  Joseph and I don't get home until 6 and the other guys are erratic.  And if I am to get ANYTHING else done at all, I need to do it before working on dinner.  the Subway thing has been good for his tummy, but there goes spending money again.  Fortunately, as he lives at home and bicycles, he has few expenses. Also, fortunately, they have been pretty understanding at work.

My laptop, Sophie, may have died.  It is, at the least, comatose.  Last week while moving it from one room to the other, I stumbled a bit and dropped it.  The power cord was attached and apparently the internal power connector was damaged. I didn't realize it until the next day when I got a low battery warning (all the time thinking I had been using it on plug-in /battery charging power)  and couldn't get it connected to charge up.  I am really sad about this.  So far I cannot find computer repair guys for hardware, just software.  I am having a hard time adjusting to limited compute access while I try to figure out what to do about poor Sophie. (Isn't life tough?)

Andrew and Benjamin are trying out working as door-to-door salesmen for a Pest Control Company starting this week.  oh yuck.  I worry about whether the company is legit.  (They really think so.)  About their safety.  And about whether they can really earn anything.  It is purely commission based.  But I admire them for trying.  I figure they can try it for a week or two and then we will know whether they should keep it up. 

Benjamin is working part time for the Raley Field Clean Up Crew.  I thought is was bad when he had to be at work by 6am. This month he has a couple of times when he has to be there 10pm to 6am.  They call it Graveyard for a reason.  good thing he's young.

Andrew is still going over to help his dad every Monday.  I finally told him that he had to help earn money for his schooling.  He could either talk to Dad about money or tell Dad he cannot come.  So he talked to his Dad, and Glen said "tell me how much it costs and we will see".  Andrew said, I am sure he will pay at least $100.  I was outraged. That's not even one class!  Of course, that was just Andrew.  Andrew said Glen's working 3 jobs.  His full-time,  well paying State Controller job, a part-time job as a security camera watcher and another part-time job I don't know what.  Which tells me that he has not learned to control his bad spending habits, although I am sure he blames the alimony.  I don't think it's the $1500. After he pays his alimony he has more take home from his state job than I have from mine and the alimony together. I admit I don't know how he has the energy to do part-time jobs, I cannot imagine it.  But then he doesn't drain any energy on relationships. Andrew is going to try the pest control thing before for a while before he tells his Dad that he cannot go over there anymore.  In the meantime, he just isn't working sales on Monday. 

I have been feeling very down lately. And having a dismal time trying to fight it.  I just want to cry a lot of the time.  Which is pathetic considering how good my life really is.  Down about my computer, about no retirement money, about not much fun now money, about all the things I should be doing but don't get done.  The usual stuff,  Nothing really serious, big, or new (except Sophie).  I just haven't been very cope-able.  Last night I did one thing that helped, however, Oh, lots of things help a little - showers, prayer, blessing counting, beef. 

 Last night, for the first time in a long time, I did "Reading Club".  It has been almost impossible to get us together.  Not only were we all available for an hour last night, but we are re-reading a book I read to the guys while Andrew was on his mission.  So Benjamin and Joseph are not in the club for this book. I only have to get together with Andrew who is loving this book.  "Murder with Peacocks" by Donna Andrews.  It is rollicking good fun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Acadia speaks on Adversity

My granddaughter, Acadia, spoke in church Sunday.  She lives in Washington State and  I live in California, so I didn't get to hear her.   She did kindly share her talk with me via email.  She said some things about which I sometimes need to be reminded and I suppose other people do, too.  I asked and she gave permission for me to share it.  Here it is:

Good morning! For those who don’t know me, my name is Acadia R____, and today I’ve been asked to talk on Elder Carlos H. Amando’s talk “Overcoming Adversity” from the November 1989 Ensign.

He starts off by stating an experience he had in Mexico. One of his former companions called him and told him that his eldest son had suddenly died in an accident. Elder Amando then went on by saying “Those who have gone through this kind of trial recognize that there are tragedies that are so difficult we cannot understand them. We do not have an answer in this life for every adversity. When trials come, it is time to turn our souls to God, who is the author of life and the only source of comfort.”

 D and C 122:7 says: And if thou should’st be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

 Christ has suffered all the pains and afflictions of the world; he has gone through each and every one of our adversities.  And because of that he is the only one that can fully help and understand what each of us is going through.

A great story of overcoming adversity is the story of the surfer, Bethany Hamilton. She lost her left arm in a shark attack. Everyone thought that she wouldn’t be able to surf again, but continued to hope that she might. And sometimes she doubted herself as well. But she tried again and again till she got it. She’s now a professional surfer, even though she only has one arm.

In Brother Brad Wilcox’s book The Continuous Atonement he recalls a night when he  asked his wife, Debi, a question. He asked “When does life even out? Why does it always feel like a roller coaster with so many highs and lows all in the same day? I wish life would just level out.” Being a nurse, she replied “Brad, when you get hooked up to the heart monitor, you don’t want to see a straight line. That’s bad news.  It’s the up and down lines that let you know you are alive.” He then goes on to say “The highs and lows let us know we are participating and not just observing, learning and not just existing.”

When we are faced with trials and adversity we have the opportunity to learn. Like a saying goes “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”  

Proverbs 24:10 says: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

In his talk Elder Amando recalls another experience he’s had. He says:

“ I remember a lesson I learned many years ago when my father died. He died suddenly, leaving my mother a widow with fifteen children …one morning as we were traveling downtown on a bus, she began to feel her loneliness. I noticed it, but also knew that I couldn’t give her the comfort she needed. She cried in silence, but with dignity. A lady passenger came up and said: “You seem to be very sad.” My mother answered, “I have just lost my husband.” Then the lady asked, “Do you have children?” and my mother answered, “I have fifteen children, and each one of them has some trait that reminds me of their father. So I am constantly reminded of him.”
When she heard this, the woman said: “You are truly blessed, because you only lost your husband. I lost my husband, too, and my two daughters in an automobile accident, and I am living alone. So I do understand your pain and sorrow.” Then she added, “Only God can help us overcome trials like this.”
He then goes on and says: Those who suffer great adversity and sorrow and go on to serve their fellowmen, develop a great capacity to understand others.

I’d like to leave you with my testimony: I know this church is true and I know that even though times get hard we can also pray to Heavenly Father and find comfort in him. I also know that Heavenly Father won’t give us anything we can’t handle.
And I say these things In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

some of today's lessons

George Albert Smith: “I sometimes have said to my friends when they seemed to be at the crossroads, uncertain as to which way they wanted to go, ‘Today is the beginning of eternal happiness or eternal disappointment for you.’”  

and speaking at a funeral "I have no more doubt about eternal life and the immortality of the soul than I have that the sun shines at midday. … It is a sad thing to part with our dear ones, even temporarily. We send them upon missions, or they go to other parts of the world to live and we miss them. When an occasion like this occurs it seems that they are more distant, but as a matter of fact they are not, if we but understood. … Instead of extending the condolence that sometimes might go to those who are bereaved, I feel more like rejoicing this day that I know that this is not the end. … 
“… So today, as I stand in your presence, when perhaps tears should be flowing, my soul is filled with comfort and satisfaction. I pray that that comfort may be in the lives of each of those who are bereaved."

How wonderful it is to know that our spirits are eternal and that because of Jesus Christ, if a man die, he WILL live again.  And that if we repent and try to follow Christ, we will live in happiness and glory with our loved ones.  I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and His great redeeming love and courage. What a mensch! 
And that He was willing to go through unimaginable suffering for ME! I would not believe it except for the spiritual hug I sometimes get when I contemplate the atonement. Amazing. Praise the Lord! And try not to disappoint Him or to waste His sacrifice.

From Sherida's Dietrich's talk today:

Repentance is not a punishment. It is a divine tool for progression. 
She quoted Dieter F. Uchtdorf : “But even though man is nothing, it fills me with wonder and awe to think that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind. In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.

This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God.” 
Our insufficiences in no way disqualify us from His redeeming love.
Without repentance, there is no real progression or improvement.
Repentance points the way to freedom, confidence, and peace.
Repentance is an expression of love.
Repentance is more than abandoning sin. It is commitment to obedience.

From Daneece Adair's talk:
Do you want Satan or do you want angels to be cheerleaders in your life?

Friday, April 13, 2012

13 Reasons I Feel Lucky

1.       The Gospel of Jesus Christ
2.       American citizen
3.       Wonderful children & great children-in law
4.       Smart, adorable Grandchildren
5.       Home
6.       Up-lifting friends
7.       I can pay my bills
8.       I live in Sacramento
9.       my body functions for the most part
10.   clean water
11.   abundance and variety of good food
12.   plumbing
13.   modern medicine

Happy Friday the 13th!

13 Things I Love About Joseph

     Sense of humor
    Good with children
      Good with animals
    Helps with my computer
      Cares about justice
10 Good looking
11.   Thinks about things
12  Patient
13  Creative thinker

Happy Birthday Joseph!  Thanks for being part of our family

Thursday, April 12, 2012


My Joseph (6 of 8), he of the quiet smile and sly wit, gentle, beloved by children and animals (and me), computer geek .  As a baby, labeled “failure to thrive” because of low weight, but ahead or on target for all developmental markers.  Push-up king as a teen.  Sprint master, too.  Almost small enough to be a jockey, but a careful man, not given to hurling headlong into anything. We used to call him “Safety Boy”.   Smart, kind, interested in technical things I cannot comprehend.  

 Joseph has been bothered by some low level health problems for some time.  Several years.  He lacks the energy typical of a young man and experiences aches more to be expected in an old grandpa.  He also suffers from some depression and just a general not well feeling.  We have had health checks and consults, asking for thorough vetting.  Nothing has been discovered.

Recently it has gotten worse.  He has had stomach trouble.  Joseph has been trying to avoid spicy and fatty foods.  One day he was unable to eat oatmeal (OATMEAL?!) for lunch.  Joseph has been monitoring his food intake and activities.   He saw a doctor last week.  They talked about stress among other things.   Dr prescribed medicine and made diet recommendations.  

Today he felt that his heart rate was unusually high when he got to work.  He called Kaiser.  They said, Come In! 
He called me and told me that he had an appointment in less than an hour (no way I could get there!) and that a co-worker or his super was going to take him.  I texted his siblings.   Miriam contacted him.  As she works not far from him, she took him in.  

Miriam texted at 11:53am that he just went in for an EKG.

Friends, please pray for my son and his doctors.  May they find something we can work with!

Tomorrow is his birthday.  May he have a re-birth of health!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Office Hang Ups

In December I hung a Nativity picture from a string over my desk.  I can’t remember what I put up in January.  A heart in February.  A shamrock in March. 

 I thought and thought about what would go up in early April.  I wanted to testify, but I didn’t want to be “in your face”.  I wondered what I “could get away with”.  I looked at lambs and lilies.  I didn’t want to do bunnies and chicks.  Not that I have anything against bunnies and chicks, but I wanted more.  I found pictures of lilies on open Bibles. Good!  First I put up a double sided hanging. Bible and lilies on one side; Bible, lily and crown of thorns on the other.  Good, but still not right.  Finally I put up a picture of the Garden scene( from The Life of Christ event I attended in Vancouver ) opposite the crown, lily and Bible.  There!  

I wondered when I put it up a week ago on Thursday before taking Friday off for Conference preparation whether it would still be there when I returned to work Monday.  Yes!  No one has complained that I know.  Supervisor to the 2nd power came to look more closely. (She wanted to see what was on the stool next to the open tomb.)  Supervisor one mentioned that she has a “Mormon Bible” she received when doing the tourist bit in Temple Square, Salt Lake City.   Today our janitor told me that a gal in another office had something similar, but was told to take it down.   If they had done so,  I would have moved my pictures to within my cube instead of over it.  (directly over my head actually).  I sometimes lean back and look up at them and think about my Lord Jesus and whether I am actually following Him as I should, or think about the wonderful Life of Christ event.  

Or what I will put up next week.  Simply spring pictures,  I think.