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!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Thursday,   2012.09.13
Dear Benjamin,
2012.09.13Mom1         Things are a little bit crazy at work.   All the cubicles in this big room, I think, at least all the cubicles on our half of it are going to be completely torn down and rearranged next week.   Supposedly we get larger cubicles out of this.   And all the supervisors will have windows.   Mine doesn’t  now because she inherited the cubical far away from the window that they gave my former supervisor. They moved Liz from a window cube to this one   ““supposedly to be closer to her team.     Maybe so, but she was the only supe without a window and it was not much of a secret that she was NOT the manager‘s favorite.     But now my new supe will have a window.   And they say we will have bigger cubes.   Except I don‘t know if my square footage will go up because my cube will have a support column going through it.   OK by me because they stopped me from hanging signs from the ceiling.   Now I will have a four sided pillar to put things on!!  
2012.09.13Mom2         Thursday next we are supposed to pack.   EVERYTHING. We need to pack up and label everything in our cubical.   But we don‘t get the boxes or carts we are supposed to use until sometime next week. The powers that be rather would like us to take home all or most of our private stuff.   I do need to sort and purge somewhat.   I think that I might put some of my stuff in my bike locker and just lock up Sylvia at the bike rack for a few days.   We are also supposed to take Friday next off because our workstations will be dismantled.   I think they should GIVE us the day off,   but that won‘t happen.   We have to take it on Unpaid Furlough (we have one a month now, but I used mine on my birthday) or vacation.  

2012.09.13Mom3 I am not bright. It happened again. I had typed 1 &2 at work, emailed it to myself, entered it in Dear Elder this evening and then added about 3 more long paragraphs, including discussions of the 116 pages incident, God knowing what we will do when we don  ‘t even know. and degrees of glory. Not that they were brilliant or anything. Then suddenly, I was on a different page of Dear Elder, com. I do not know what I did to make that happen. I tried the back arrow to go back to the page I was writing on which actually has worked at least one before I am sure, but not this time. This is so stupid. And I WAS going to go to bed at a semi-decent time. This always seems to happen right as I am about to wrap up & around 11 which is getting late for me. When will I learn? I am not sure I even trust Office Writer (which I am on now) At least Google Docs auto-saves, but what if it auto-saves immediately after I accidentally erase or whatever it is I do?

2012.09.13Mom4 I am not sure I can recapture those   “greay “ lost thoughts. Reading again the 116 page incident I thought about how awesome that God knew & prepared. It messes with my mind that He knows what we will do when often I don‘t know what I will do or choose until it happens. Will I stay up or go to bed? Will I turn down this street or that? Do I want hamburger or chicken? How does He know that? It’s weird. I cannot think about that stuff too much. I can‘t handle it. God knows stuff. He really knows us. Better than we do ourselves. We cannot mess Him up. He can always make it work. We really should listen when we ask and He answers. If we persist, He will say   “fine, do it your way  , & we will be sorry. What if God had not finally said,   “Ok, but do it this way.   to Joseph and Martin (but Martin didn’t)? I don‘t think that Joseph would have given the pages to Martin if God had not said ok. But Martin probably would have kept asking.  Would Joseph finally have told Martin to give it a rest? More than a rest. STOP, already. It was disobedient enough to keep going back to ask again after getting an answer. But this way we got lessons on learning to listen & obey & the consequences of not, losing blessings, repentance, & forgiveness. It probably helped Joseph later when he dealt with people who apostatized & then came back. He had sinned & been forgiven himself. Maybe that was partly why God let it happen. Part of refining Joseph. But would Joseph have been less refined if he had been more obedient. Probably not. I don‘t think that bad things are part of God‘s plan, but He can work with them to our benefit.

2012.09.13Mom5 I have the sneaky suspicion that even though theoretically all of us CAN achieve exaltation, not that many of us WILL. If God knows everything & knows us so thoroughly, He knows who is going to make it & who isn ‘t. So knowing that maybe most of His children are not going to succeed, why did He go forward with this plan? One big thing is that it would not be fair or heavenly to hold back those who would make it because of those who won‘t. So, here we are (not you) in the lower Ts now knowing and remembering that we failed. Forever. Sounds pretty miserable. Will we be happier then and there than we were in Pre-Earth Heaven? Or happier than we would have been in Pre-Earth Heaven later without the opportunity to progress? I seem to recall that Joseph Smith Jr said something about the lowest T being so incredibly beautiful that we would kill ourselves to get there if it would work   “ which seems to indicate that it might not. But we can be surrounded by beauty & wonders & all the chocolate milkshakes we want without getting sick or fat & still be miserable. I guess I need to try harder

2012.09.13Mom6 I saw an ad   “The Most Beautiful Place on Earth   - for a cruise to Antarctica. Now, really! Just not my first thought or in the top 10 or even 50 or....well, you get the idea. I am sure it is beautiful and fantastic, but.... and the cruise is for something like 21 or 24 days or something like that. Oh, look ! Breathtaking snow & ice! Oh, look! MORE breathtaking snow & ice. Although, I admit, it would take me a lot longer to get bored in, say, a forest. Tree! Tree! So I guess, it ‘s in the eye of the beholder partly. I won‘t even ask what you would say is the most beautiful place on earth. You are so righteous, you would say a temple. Ah, but which one? Gets harder now, doesn’t  it? My first thought is mountains, forest, by the ocean. Or ocean by the forest and mountains. North coast beaches. The world is full of incredibly beautiful places! I hope that if we get to the CK we get to see the beautiful places of the earth. Actually, I also hope that lower T people can also see these places. It is rather hard for me to fathom that CK or even maybe tK(!) will be more beautiful than some of the places on earth. WHAT will that be like?? Incredible.

2012.09.13Mom7 Sometimes I misread billboards. Last night I thought it interesting that they were advertising   “patriotic   yogurt, but it was really   “probiotic  . Sometimes I like my version better.

Th-th-th-That  ‘s All, Folks! Love you! Mom

Are We Like Sheep?

I am reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglas. Among the many evils of slavery, what I am reflecting on right now is ignorance & illiteracy. As an overwhelming rule, the slave holders did not want the slaves to be taught to read because then they might get dangerous ideas and begin to refuse to be subjugated. 

Sadly, I see this in some degree in daily modern life.  For instance, management not informing employees of training opportunities & even instructing employees who ask not to discuss it with co-workers – supposedly because we cannot have everyone out at class at the same time.  If we are encouraging employee development, but we don’t want everyone gone at the same time, would it not make sense to get the information out early so plans can be made for employees to take staggered classes instead of waiting until the last minute so that employees are all either in the same class or get no class at all? 

I have heard critics say that there is a similar atmosphere in the Mormon church.  Apparently we have been attending different meetings!  I have attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all my life.  I have been taught to “follow the prophet,” but I have never been told to “follow the prophet blindly.”  We are constantly taught to “study it out” and then seek confirmation from the Lord.  We are taught to recognize a “stupor of thought” or a feeling of darkness as a sign that we have come to the wrong conclusion, and a feeling of light, peace, and happiness as a sign that we got it right. (We receive answers to prayers in a variety of other ways, too)  We are reminded again and again of our God given right and responsibility to choose, to decide.  Of course, having received a personal, spiritual confirmation that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of the Lord, I am inclined to believe what he says. But I can & should still study and ask to know for myself on any given subject or question. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Wednesday, 2012.09.12
Dear Benjamin,

2012.09.12Mom1     Alas  & alack!  I rushed off without my phone or my iPod Touch.  I feel vulnerable & as if a part of me is missing.  But I do have my temple clothes in the car, I am sure I turned my lights off & I have my car key.  I even made a roast beef wrap for supper.  I should be good to go to the temple tonight.  Lucky you!  All you have to do is walk up the hill with your companion.  How often do you get to go?  The Single Adults have get-togethers on Wednesdays.  The poor rep keeps leaving messages on the phone.  But I don’t have time or energy to join the Singles.  I don’t have time for the friends & family I already have.  Also, I like Wednesday temple days.  For one thing, it gives me 2 days biking (most weeks), a day off, & 2 days biking.  Makes for better balance.

2012.09.12Mom2     I am especially unhappy about not having my phone today because Andrew is supposed to go do nature observation for 4 hours.  He is going to be down by the river.  I am not so concerned about the wild animals as I am about the humans he may (or hopefully NOT) encounter.  I will be very glad to get home tonight and see him again.  If I DON”T see him when I get home, there will be panic.  And police action and ward alert!  For one of his classes he needs to spend several visits doing observations and taking notes and pictures.  For at least half an hour, he is supposed to “be a post” – totally still and quiet.  I hope he remembers insect repellant.  I hope he enjoys his nature time, too.  He is supposed to observe and record at least 5 plants and 5 animals, if I remember correctly.

2012.09.12Mom3   10pm  hahahaha The joke is on me.  I DID have my phone.  As I found out when my catch-light-rail-to-go-to-the-temple alarm went off.  I had just put them in the wrong pocket.  Of course then I texted Andrew asking him to let me know he had not been devoured by wild beasts.  But of course, he did NOT because (as I found out later) HE had left his phone at home.  He had a good time doing his nature observation for Natural History and excitedly told me that he found poop with flies and ants.  good times, I tell you.  : S  He also saw a jack rabbit and lots of birds - hard to photograph - those.  A lizard that was easy to photograph and I don’t remember what all.  

2012.09.12Mom4     I FB message/chatted with Sariah a bit about my concerns about the moral direction of Once Upon a Time.  She maintains that the fairy tale world is reality and nothing is right in Storybrook because it is the curse.   true, that is the premise.  But people are living their lives in Storybrook and that is their reality.  For the last 28 years. They apparently have no knowledge/curiosity about life before.  Prince Charming and Snow White were married in fairytale land.  Prince Charming went from being (apparently) dead in the castle to being in a coma for 28 years in Storybrook - so when did he get married?  But his wife and the mayor say he is married and I think he has memory coming back, and they thought she might be pregnant so they are acting married, so he should not be having anything to do with Mary Margaret.  As Joseph points out, a person with amnesia should avoid romantic entanglements until he figures out a bit about who he is. We will watch more
 shows, but if my discomfort increases, we may have to give it up.  That’s alright.  Joseph has a Rangers Apprentice book to pick up, I think.  

2012.09.12Mom5     On light rail on Wednesdays, I am reading the autobiography of Frederick Douglas, born a slave in Maryland.  He observes how dehumanizing slavery is to both the slave and the slaveholder.  It is unbelievable how people have treated human beings!  He was relatively fortunate.  As a tot, he was cared for by a loving grandmother.  Some slave babies are take care of by a slave assigned to the job who doesn’t care about them.  He didn’t become a field slave.  I think he is a teenager now.  For the past few years he has taken care/been the companion of a boy in Boston and for the most part treated well.  For being a slave, of course.  His mistress started to teach him to read until the master scolded her off & warned her of the dangers of teaching a slave to read.  True. they start to learn things which can be dangerous to keeping them subjected.  She had gotten him off to a good enough start that he could continue on his own, with some help from other boys (white) who I think were not slave holders & not as prejudiced in their innocent youth.  He was an avid reader.  Also spiritual.  When he was around 13 (he actually never knew his age for sure, but could only guess), he would find torn thrown away pages of the Bible in the street & clean them up so he could read & study them.  How blessed we are in so many ways!

2012.09.12Mom6     I don’t know which kitty had the bad experience and scratched me last night, but she seems not to be too traumatized.  Both of them have visited my room and I have petted both of them since coming home from the temple.  And they went easily back to the Den of Happiness when we decided it was bedtime - and time for Velox to be able to be in the house if she wants.  She is just really not getting into having “sisters”.  Felicity and Felicia are totally fine with Anna.  Now, if we could get them to sign a peace treaty regarding Mrs Cotton!

2012.09.12Mom7     Sorry there’s not much tonight.  (Hardly worth numbering!)  You are ever in my prayers and in my heart.  Love you.   Mom (as you could tell by the paragraph numbers if not by the “wonderful” writing style and contetn)


Benjamin requested that we number our paragraphs when we write to him on because if the typed pages get shuffled, it can be difficult to get letters back together in order.   Makes a bit of a funny looking letter.  And now you will know when I take out something.  oh well  Or you may safely assume that I have trouble counting anyway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - at work

Dear Benjamin,

As I left for work this morning, I realized that I weeded more like 12 inches than 6.  Whooee!  I feel so much better now.

2012.09.11Mom2.     I will try to learn/remember to number paragraphs.  : )  I posted your request on your blog so I am sure your sisters will see it. 
2012.09.11Mom3.     Love the pictures!  They came just before I had to start work, so I had hardly more than a minute to look at them.  But I got them up to your blog on break.  I hope I didn’t mess up matching captions and pictures.  I am pretty sure I got them right.  One picture was missing, though – 2nd set – “Our district with the Koreans (The sun was very bright...)”

2012.09.11Mom4.     Did you know that my birthday is the same as Boyd K Packer’s?  Pretty cool, eh?

2012.09.11Mom5.     Today is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Time to be grateful for emergency responders, time to appreciate our free country, and time to remember to value our loved ones better because we just never know…  Have I told you lately, how much you mean to me?  No, because there are not words adequate to express it.  I can only say I love you.  I like you.  I am proud of you.  I enjoy you.  I miss you, but I am very glad you are where you are.

2012.09.11Mom5a     We keep hearing/saying "Never Forget", "Always Remember" about September 11 and well we should remember. I find myself wondering, who remembers December 7th? and what others?  Some of my FB friends do, apparently.  good.

2012.09.11Mom6.     There is not much interesting to write about when I am at work! (Not that I am ever all that interesting)  My job is ok, and not usually too boring to do, but it’s nothing to write (from) home about. One of the gals (Lisa Long Neck) that I heard was out on medical disability is back.  No sign of the Free Will Baptist Minister, although his name is still on his cube and the in and out board.  In fact, Ruth (Young, Office Support) told me that she had taken or was about to take his name off the in and out board, but was told to leave it on.  It’s been a long, long time, but apparently there is a possibility that he will return. 

2012.09.11Mom7.     I think my work load lately is about right for a 3 or 4 day work week, probably 4, but 3 might be do-able..  When I have a day or two off here and there, the load seems about right.  How nice it would be to be able to afford a 3 or 3v3n 4 day work week!  But I remind myself that early workers worked 6 or 7 days.  No wonder they did not live as long! (and who would want to under those circumstances?!)

2012.09.11Mom8.     Did I tell you that after we put Felicia & Felicity to bed last night, Felicity let herself out by opening the folding doors?  Andrew (hopefully) blocked them so she cannot open them.  They were both there in the morning. : )

2012.09.11Mom9.      home again, home again jiggity jog - When I got home I opened the Door to the Den of Happiness.  Within minutes Felicity was bird hunting.  OUR bird.  It took Felicia a lot longer to come out, but she’s in on the game.  The kitties may begin to think I don’t like them as I keep clapping and scolding.  I cannot find our spray bottles, although I THOUGHT  we still had some.  Something to put on our shopping list.  

2012.09.11Mom10.    Tuesday Night/Busy Day Special.  aren’t you glad you are there instead of here! But I like it.  And Jospeh had seconds.

2012.09.11Mom11.       Joseph suddenly realized he had books due & the library would close in 7 minutes.  We all decided to go which meant locking up F&F.  Which they did not want.  Felicia became agitated as we chased her down the hall & out of the boys room.  Anna got in on the excitement just as I picked Felicia up. I think it was Felicia, not absolutely sure.  I got scratched & she is not happy with me. By the time we got to the library, it was closed & he used the book drop. I hope doesn't get fined. 

2012.09.11Mom12      We sometimes start an episode of Once Upon A Time when we sit down to dinner.  I am beginning to get concerned about watching it.  David (who was Prince Charming) is married.  Mary Margaret (Snow White.  They married in the fairy tale world) helped at the hospital where he lay in a coma for years.  When he began to revive, he had amnesia.  They developed feelings for each other.  Regina, the mayor found his wife.  He went home with his wife. They had had trouble in their marriage before his accident  & it’s awkward not remembering a lot of his life, although I think he is slowly recovering.  They are trying to make things work. But he & MM love each other.  I don’t like that in the show, we all know that the “right thing” is for Prince Charming and Snow White to be together, so David and Mary Margaret need to get together.  this is not good.

2012.09.11Mom13   10:20  I would like to write you a long, interesting letter so that you will know that I love you and am thinking of you, but I cannot think of anything interesting and I am tired. So this is it for now.  I love you & I think of & pray for you.
2012.09.11Mom14       (This numbering seems a bit ridiculous.  I will be interested to know if it helps) I will try to write tomorrow, but it’s temple day & I know you don’t want me to miss that.  If you don’t get a letter Thursday, blame the temple.  : )      Love, Mom


Monday, September 10, 2012

Dear Benjamin,

I am upset! It is 11pm. I have been writing to you for about an hour on Dear Elder. Somehow I must have touched a wrong button or something because Sophie switched pages on the web site. Actually it happened twice. The first time, I clicked the back arrow & went back to the letter page & everything was find. The second time the letter was GONE. I need to remember not to type on Dear Elder, but to copy and paste after writing it on a word processer. Maybe I should do it in Google docs which does auto save. Except for some reason, I don’t think I can copy and paste from Google docs to Dear Elder. I have to copy to the word processor, then I can copy to Dear Elder. whew Somewhere along the way the spacing sometimes gets messed up too.  You may have noticed, although I usually try to check & fix.  Great! copy and paste doesn’t work either.  I will try to email it to myself and then copy it. Nope.  This is frustrating! I dont'know why, but finally copy & did work. Except, probably
  because I tried more than once, it paste more than once so that it exceeded allowed characters & had problems.  But I think we are good to go know.  I hope!

Well it wasn’t all that interesting.  I told you that every time I went to write today’s date, I nearly wrote 1951.

Thank you for the lovely birthday letter!  I assume that the all Korean one is the same?  It is amazing how well you are learning Korean!  Don’t forget English!  I want to be able to write to you & to be able to read your letters.

I took today off from work so it rather felt like a Saturday and I nearly forgot that it was a Dear Elder night.  On the weekend, it is “optional” because they don’t deliver on weekends, do they?  But I did write, but Sophie is still mad at me for dropping her that time.  Our relationship has never been the same.

This morning we had the door to the Den of Happiness open with just the baby gate in place.  Felicity hopped out with Anna right there.  Anna was good, but when she got a little too nosey, Felicity got a little nervous (not much, really) and we put her back.  Anyway, pet distractions made Joseph late & he missed his train.  

I drove him to work - nervously - the tank was nearly empty.  The “check gages” light was on.  However, I did make it & I made it to Costco.   $49.73 for gas!!

On the way home, I stopped at the ATM by church to deposit your treat money from Sister Owings (Sep & Oct) and Joseph’s “rent” check.  The ATM does not use envelopes!  There are no envelopes or envelope dispensers there!  You just put your money or check right in the machine!  I put the $10 in one 5 at time, but you are supposed to put them in together.   When I deposited Joseph’s check, I had the option of a regular reciept or one with a picture of the check!  ah, technology!

I went to Home Depot for some landscape fabric stables - which I did not get around to using.  I also got little lights for the pots cupboard.  You attach the light in the cupboard and a magnet on the door so they almost touch.  When you open the door, the light comes on!  Except I did not properly clean the surface so the magnet on one side of the cupboard and the light on the other keep falling down.  Must find my super glue now because the little sticky things are not sticky anymore.  Fortunately, the lights have an on/off switch.  I forgot to get a flapper thing for the toilet!

I had planned to hitch up the trailer and get SMUD mulch.  Two things happened.  1) I could not undo the hitch.  The key went in &, if I remember right, turned, but the lock mechanism did not move.  I wonder if a bar has moved and pressed agains the lock from when the car scrapes going in & out of low driveways? I cannot remember the exact position of the bar before.  grrr  2) I realized that I was NOT going to shovel a trailer full of mulch by myself (Joseph was at work & Andrew at school then with Dad).  So I put the bags & a couple of shovels (not sure which one I would want) in the car.  I only mostly filled two bags.  As it was they were nearly too heavy for me.  When I got home, I dragged one bag.  mistake.  Naturally the bag tore open, leaving a trail from the car into the yard.  I realized near the mailbox that I was losing load.  Another step or two and I would have been pulling an empty bag, or what was left of one.

I pulled weeds for about an hour & a half.  I pulled weeds under the camellia & for about 6 inches by the mailbox.  THAT IS ALL.  I was dirty, sore & tired.  YOU ARE AMAZING.  Did I tell you that the missionary service pulling weeds for us got postponed due to Andrew’s friend’s visit?  I think they will come this Friday.  blessings on them!

During the time I was in the house, I opened up the Den of Happiness.  The Happiness Twiins were all over the place.  They spent some time in the front window.  From there they watched me set up the crate we used when Velox was sick.  I thought they might come outside while I weeded.  They looked at that crate & ran.  Felicia ran from me. When I managed to catch her, I petted her & put her in her room.  Felicity did not seem thrilled but she didn’t really run away, soI put her in the crate.  She did not like it.  So she went with her sister.  But when I was in the house, they were quite comfortable going all over with no concern at all about Anna.  Velox was outside somewhere as she has been most of the time since they came.  She is NOT PLEASED.  Neither is poor Mrs Cotton.  The cats apparently got the memo that dogs and cats can live peaceably together, but missed the one on cats & birds.  Several times I had to clap my hands & scold.  Not great for the bonding process, but
 not deadly.  I don’t know where the spary bottles are.  May have to get more.  When we put the girls in their room for the night, Felicity let herself out by opening the folding doors!  Smart, curious, pretty strong, I guess.  These cats are TRUH-BLE.  Oh so cute.  

I think that is most of the news of the day.And the day is about over. 11:59

Good night!  I love you!


I am not very good about blogging regularly and even worse about keeping a journal. In fact, the blog is as good as it gets for a journal.  Pretty bad, eh?  But I am pretty good about writing to my missionary son. That is to say I write often, if not well.  If I was clever I would write the one & modifiy it for the other.  Which does happen once in a while. But not lately.  So I will just copy my letter to him.  Mostly. 

Dear Benjamin,

Ginger Owings gave me $10 for you today. $5 for September and $5 for October. I plan to deposit it in your account tomorrow. 

Trouble in kitty land. Not a big surprise. Velox is "afraid" of the new kitties.  They are in the office, of course, but she rushes past the hallway like monsters were after her & she is spending most of her time out of doors. F&F want to come out & see people.  Once when I had the door open with just the baby gate in place, Felicity went in your (Velox's) room.  Joseph was not very happy about that.  F&F are sneezing a bit so understandably Joseph doesn't want them near V now anyway.    

Andrew's friend is gone.  He flew out yesterday morning and had to be at work about an hour after he landed.  Nice guy.  Comfortable to be around (even though I was hardly home)

This weekend was “Time Out For Women”  in Sacramento,  a women’s conference produced by Deseret Books.  I think they come to Sacramento every other year.  My first time was a couple of years ago.  They were here on my birthday, so I figured it was a sign.  “Happy Birthday to me”  It was great.    Inspirational and funny talks and good music.  So great that I went again this year.  Here is a hodge podge of notes. 

The music was Dallyn Vail Bayles Friday evening and Jericho Road on Saturday.  I bought a JR CD.  I really liked the song "Like a Child" so I got the CD that has that. DVB sang wonderfully, too. and is nice to look at. I saw on the TOFW website that some venues got Jenny Oaks Baker!  They have some good presenters at TOFW.

Dean Hughes (wrote Children of the Promise) talked about being a Zion people – which does not mean becoming clones.   “If we all think alike, none of us have to think at all.”

Heidi Swindon speaking on Seek This Christ: We must make time in our lives and room in our hearts.  (I think she was quoting President Monson)  She definitely quoted him with “decisions determine destinies”

Mary Ellen Edmunds showed us her bandelo from her Beehive Days (similar to a Boy Scout merit badge sash) and  raised the question: What if we got merit badges for what we do in life?  She thought the one for laundry would have lots of bubbles.  I thought of several for myself.   I get one with a bicycle for riding my bike to work 4 days a week.  One with the Sacramento Temple for going there almost every Wednesday evening.  Three or four people praying for being pretty regular about family prayer and one with the Book of Mormon for reading together as a family after family prayer in the evening.  I brush my teeth every day ( whether or not I expect to talk to someone *smile*) so I guess I get one with a toothbrush.   A grocery cart on one for doing the family food shopping.   One with a dog and a couple of cats.  And one with a bird or a few birds because of Mrs Cotton & we feed wild birds.  I go to church every week so I get one with a chapel on it.  What does the one for bill paying look like, do you think?  We really should give ourselves a little more credit sometimes.  So if you find yourself with nothing to do one P-day (hahaha), you might want to design yourself some merit badges.

Goodness is a choice.  Goodness is contagious. Look for the good in others.  You were born good.  Goodness can only happen because of and through Jesus Christ.  Goodness leads to Godliness. 

Deann Flynn
1. Remember to listen carefully. Sometimes you only have one chance to listen.
2. Look forward.  Let go of the past.  Look forward with faith and hope.
3. Laugh  often
4. Love deeply.
“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”  Julie B. Beck

S. Michael Wilcox showed us a number of lovely Chinese vases, each representing vessels we should fill in our lives – the vessels of Beauty & Wonder, Love & Sharing, Nobility and Emulation, Gratitude and Adoration.  Collect good things.  Don’t collect your sins and weaknesses – let God heal. 

Merriliee Boyack told of a man by the seashore who found a child in the water and carried him to shore.  A crowd of concerned people gathered around.  They all cared about the child, but it  wasn’t doing the kid any good.  Finally someone ran for the life guard who came and performed CPR resuscitating the child. Caring is not enough.  Caring Plus Response is necessary to do any good. 

We can minister moment by moment.  How long does it take to say a kind word, pay a compliment, appreciate someone? -  a split second.  That is a moment of power.  Pledge to give away 5 split seconds a day. God wants us to serve, not only to help people in need, but because if the good it does us.  

We need to open our eyes to see, open our hearts to feel, and taken action – your way!  Ask what can I do?  When fire struck a town, she went to help organize shelters, her husband contacted Apple for some small electronic gadge thing for the teenagers, a sports loving friend collected bicycles and helmets for the children who had lost everything.  Someone else collected musical instruments.  A little boy several states away saw the fire on the news, decided to do something to help and got his birthday present, wrote a note, and sent it to the fire ravaged town.  It went to a boy who had lost all his own toys.  Something like – I saw about the fire.  I am sorry.  I hope you like this Bionicle it is a rare hard to get one.  The little boy in Chicago brightened the lives all those along the way who witness his compassion and kindness. 

Sometimes the only thing we can do is pray, but do not underestimate the power of prayer. 
Emily Watts – Individually the ingredients for toffee are not all that glamorous, but put them together with a little heat as a catalyst and you get delicious candy.  

What can I do to be a catalyst for good? Things to remember as we seek the good.   Good might not always be in my comfort zone. How can I reach outside my comfort zone?  Sometimes good comes in disguise.  Good takes patience and trust in the Lord. Good is primarily other centered.  If we learn by watching others, what are the others who are watching us learning? 

Of course, you cannot believe EVERYTHING  you hear at TOFW.  One of the presenters while reassuring us that our Goodness  not measured by our immaculate house keeping, assured us that “dust protects furniture”.  Right.

I wish I could convey to you the lovely music and much laughter.  When you are married, encourage your wife to attend Time Out For Women (while you take care of and hopefully have fun with the kids.  You will certainly learn to appreciate her more and she will appreciate your thoughtfulness)

Do you know that Andrew has taken to eating snacks with chop sticks?  It's a good idea for popcorn and such.  But I am not very good at it. Maybe that's good, too! Diet plan!

Thanks for being such a good letter writer.  I appreciate how often you write & the things you share.  (so do others)

Oh, must get going.  Moroni & Joseph are going to go Home Teaching in a bit.  Dinner is almost ready.  Better finish it up and let him go. & Hopefully watch Once Upon a Time later. 

I tried a couple of lessons in Korean on the library site.  There may be no hope for me!!  

Love you lots!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

TOFW - Mary Ellen Edmunds

A few notes from a wonderful presentation at Time Out For Women

1.  Goodness is a choice.
Choose to do good.
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."  Albert Einstein 
"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."  Helen Keller
Miep Gies who helped shelter Anne Frank and her family did not want to be called  a hero. "Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty." 
Don't try to be different.  Just try to be good. Goodness is different enough.

2. Goodness is contagious.
Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Light is more powerful than darkness.

3. Look for the good in others.  Don't wait for the funeral.
Say good things to and about people.

4. You were born good.  You are a child of God.
Do not be too hard on yourself.  Can you find the scriptures that say "Be ye therefore perfect by tomorrow afternoon"  "I will go anddo the things the Lord commands all at once."  "Love thy neighbor but not thyself."
Celebrate and enjoy the goodness in each other including yourself.
It is not pride to recognize your goodness.
If you do not know your strengths, pray and ask.

5. Good ness can only happen because of and through Jesus Christ
Goodness leads to godliness.

The idea has merit

At "Time Out For Women", Mary Ellen Edmunds showed us her bandelo from her Beehive Days (similar to a Boy Scout merit badge sash) and  raised the question: What if we got merit badges for what we do in life?
Let's think about this..
 I get one with a bicycle for riding my bike to work 4 days a week.
One with the Sacramento Temple for going there almost every Wedneday evening (the reason I don't ride my bike every day).
Three or four people praying for being pretty regular about family prayer and one with the Book of Mormon for reading together as a family after family prayer in the evening.
I brush my teeth every day so I guess I get one with a toothbrush.   
A grocery cart on one for doing the family food shopping. 
One with a dog and a couple of cats.
And one with a bird or a few birds because I have a cockatiel and feed wild birds. 
I go to church every week so I get one with a chapel on it. 
What does the one for bill paying look like do you think?
Wow!  This is just a beginning.  We really do earn a lot of merit badges in our daily lives.  Maybe we should give ourselves a little more credit.

Tell me about your merit badges. What are they for and what should they look like?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

rejected by the court, accepted by the cat

I was going to bed last night about this time when I looked at my email and was reminded that I needed to call in on jury duty.  Good thing I did as I was to report in the morning!

The courts ordered batch after batch of prospective jurors.  I was called to Department 32 on the 5th floor.  (I did a lot of stairs today - only took the elevator once)  They filled the jury box plus at least 12 more plus the rest of us completely filled the audience portion of the room.  Jury selection took all day.  They finally swore in the alternates and released the rest of us around 4:30pm.  I was surprised they didn't have to let off more prospective jurors for hardship as they expect this case to last all of September.  But my jury duty is done and I cannot be called for another 18 months. 

I don't mind jury duty. I am grateful for our justice system and citizen jurors are a vital part of it.   I think the judicial process is interesting and I have almost always been impressed with the jurors with whom I have served and their desire to discover truth and serve justice.  I think I am a reasonably good, fair-minded juror.  However, I am not entirely heart-broken at not being selected.

I was decidedly anxious today.  As I realized that this jury selection was going to take quite a while, I began to worry about getting to Animal Care Services on time to pick up the Happiness Twins.  I sent a note to the judge asking to be allowed to leave at 4, but she didn't deem it necessary.  She said that we were going to adjourn at 4:25 anyway.  But we didn't.  It was 4:30 ish when they sent us rejects back to the juror's room to sign out and get our attendance verification.  The line was long and the guy in  front of me had parked in the wrong place and was having concerns about getting a ticket.  worry worry worry

I got to the shelter minutes before 5.  In fact when I got home there was a concerned message on the machine worrying about whether I was going to come.  Flower is still waiting for adoption, but they said I was there too late to do adoptions and I realized that we don't know where her place of sanctuary could be.  So, we must wait and think about this a bit.

A gal brought out two cardboard cat carriers showing plenty of signs of life.  The girls were recovering nicely from their surgery.  When they spay the kitties, they put a small green tatoo in the surgery area so that if a vet wonders if they have been spayed there is external proof! 

When I put the Felicia and Felicity in the Den of Happiness, they both looked naturally nervous - especially as Anna had sniffed at their carriers already and was nosing outside their door.  Felicia hid.  Felicity wanted attention. She likes to be petted! She would try to stand up on her hind legs to be petted, then fall down - I don't think the anesthesia had worn off - but it didn't discourage her.   Felicia came out after a bit, but kept her distance even when looking for something to play with.

Later the guys and I took Joseph's computer in the Den of Happiness to watch an episode of Once Upon A Time (leaving Andrew's friends playing Magic in the family room).  Felicia hid the entire time.  Felicity demanded lots of attention.  She loves to have her head rubbed. She moved from lap to lap to lap, briefly tried to get on Andrew's back or shoulder, climbed boxes, roved the floor.  She would get on a lap and into a comfy snuggle position - for maybe a second or two - then be on the move again.   I don't see how we are going to keep her from running and jumping for a week or more while her stitches heal.  She batted at a plastic bag of craft stuff.  Tried to climb on unstable piles.  She is going to be a lively little handful.  Suddenly she discovered her tags (she has a name tag, a license and a rabies tag, I think)  Such contortions as she tried to paw at them and bite them.  No way can she bite them as they are right under her neck, but she tried.  Felicity is a funny, crazy, attention loving little girl.  She is also one who wants to help you with the computer (and will get in the way of or on your books, no doubt)

Felicia is shier, more cautious and is going to take a little longer to get to know.  I hope that Felicity's growing confidence helps her, but somebody was hissing at her sister when we said good-night.  It's been a hard day for these girls.

I had bribed Anna with a ham bone because she was upset at being shut out - jealous and curious and somewhat vocal about it.  The ham bone kept her happy for maybe half the show.  Then she was at the door sniffing, whining and sometimes barking, then running around to the folding doors at the back.  Felicity approached the door and moved away several times.  When we had the door open with just the baby gate in place, she went right up to it and looked out.  Seeing Anna in the front room with the bone, she scooted back but then returned.  Later when we were leaving, she came up to the baby gate with Anna  right there. Anna was actually very good just then.  She crouched down and was quiet. Felicity did a bit of growly thing, but she also put her paws on the baby gate, before she retreated again.  I think in time, these two will really be friends.

Joseph expects Velox to bite him tonight for spending time with other cats.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Twice the Happiness

I never thought of myself as a person who cannot resist a sale, but when a certain 99cent special came on, I felt an irresistable urge. 

Unfortunately, the "shop" closes at 5 which is when I get off work  and the August sale ended Friday. 

Fortunately, they extended the sale today for people like me. 

I wish I could have bought out the store! Every one was enchanting and almost irresistable.  I settled for two, but may go back for one more.

The guys and I went down to the City Shelter for their Feline Frenzy 99 cent special.  All the cats who were not napping, begged to be loved.  I was quickly attracted to a pair of sisters Felicia and Felicity, 7month old tortoise shells.  A worker heard that we already had a cat and a dog, and enthusiastically told us about Flower, a lovely black and white medium long hair who just came in from foster car where she loved a Lab and another dog as well as other cats.  She was delightful!  Except for being a little out of sorts because she just got moved back into the shelter from a home (foster home) and her baby just left her to look for its own home.  We all really liked her.  But I kept thinking about the twins.  So we met them, too.  And, of course, found them charming.  We sent all the kitties back to their kennels and walked back and forth looking at them and trying to decide.  And crying. At least I was.  I wanted to save them all.

It was Joseph who asked what the legal limit is here in Sacramento.  Five.  (Wow! we could even pick another one!)

Finally, I decided on the sisters.  Ever since I heard about the sale I have been thinking that I might adopt a cat - or two.  The or two thought just kept popping up.  The gal that moved Felicia and Felicity from the kitten kennel said that she had a feeling that they would be adopted TOGETHER TODAY. It seems that it was meant to be.

We could not bring them home today.  They have to stay for their spay surgery until Thursday.  I will have to get off early to pick them up. Family sick leave? 

I may will probably check on Flower while I am there and possibly order her surgery (in other words, adopt her)  I wonder if I can push that 99 cent thing or have to pay the regular $65.  Which is still not that bad a deal as it includes surgery, rabies shot, microchipping, and a small bag of food. Oh, and licensing which is something I admit we have "overlooked" with our cats in the past.  Now they will have our number and I will have to license them every year. 

I am sure Anna will be excited.  We hope that Vellox will take it well.  

The new girls will start off in "the office" as their sanctuary room.  Hopefully, it won't take too long before everyone can share the house.  (Especially as I hope the sanctuary room can be available for Flower next week - unless of course someone else gets her first)

I thought about re-naming them Thing One and Thing Two, which may become their nick names (or not), but they are Felcia and Felicity.

I feel sad about all the cat and dogs we left behind.  But I look forward to the double dose of happiness that we are bringing into our home.