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?