Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just checking in…..and a suggestion

This is pretty much what went on here this week. Dennis doing all the wrapping and mailing. 
It's his speciality. Not mine at all.

And no, he does not clean as he goes. But that is his only flaw.

I am really feeling the Christmas sprit this year.
For lots of different reasons, but mostly because we are feeling so very grateful for
our family and friends, and our health, and so many blessings. 

And do you know what else is adding to our Christmas spirit this year?
I discovered a TV station that we love. Yes me, who doesn't even like TV.

UP channel has their very own Christmas movies. Some very sweet movies.
Movies that focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

It's on 188 on our Dish TV. Google to find where it is in your area.

Check UP channel out HERE.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Her Dad changed things

She is new in our ward. She and her husband have 5 children. I had never even met her, I still haven't.
But I think I will remember her talk during Sacrament meeting this morning, for a long while.

She talked about her own father. He grew up with an alcoholic Dad and a very depressed Mom, and
lots of abuse. Her Dad grew up never having a birthday gift, never having a Christmas gift. This
surprised me as I have known of many dysfunctional, even abusive families through the years, but all
that I knew of at least celebrated birthdays and Christmas in some way.

When her Dad was 7, his Dad took him to Disneyland. This little 7 year old arrived "bright eyed and
excited." When they got to the gate his Dad asked where he could buy a beer. He was told, "We don't
sell alcohol at Disneyland." So they turned around and left.

If the story wasn't already bad enough, the Disneyland story about did me in.

Yet, her Dad somehow knew there was a better way...Somewhere a long the way he learned about
Jesus Christ. Christ became his model to live by. This one man was able to turn the cycle of abuse in
this family around. It stopped with him. He referred to Christ to teach him how to live.

She said her Dad still struggles every day trying to control his temper, among other struggles. But he
was able to stay focused enough to pattern his life after Christ's and gave his children a much better 
life than he had. His daughter, who gave the talk, has enormous respect for him.

After our ward was over, Den and I were able to attend another service, and hear Amy
speak. She also talked about patterning our lives after Christ's. She so eloquently and sweetly said: "He 
lived to show us the way."

I think one of my favorite parts of her talk was when she turned around and thanked the bishopric for
giving her 2 weeks to prepare. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

Amy referred to this very sweet and short video in her talk. If you have not seen it, I promise it's worth
the 2 1/2 minutes of your time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When did this become okay?

Do you ever find yourself waiting behind a car who is waiting for a parking spot they have picked out?
There isn't room to go around them, and you can't back up because there is a car behind you. 
So you are literally trapped, waiting. 
Sometimes the wait is just a few seconds, but often it is much longer than that. 

Yesterday that was me trapped behind that car. 
I guess she saw someone walk out of the store headed to one of the cars near her. 
So she waited for the other person to get in her car, load her purchases, 
adjust things, turn on her ignition and finally pull out.

It was a good 2-3 minutes.
Long enough for me to write this post in my head, and take a picture.

What makes people think this is okay? 
As I was sitting there I thought, 30 years ago, this wouldn't have happened. 
People would just keep circling the parking lot waiting until they found a vacant spot to park. 
They wouldn't have thought to make others wait behind them. 

This happens often now. Have people really changed that much in 30 years? Apparently they have. 

This doesn't make me angry. It just baffles me. 
It leaves me thinking, Really? They think this is okay?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Babies were her favorite

My mom (on the left) back in the early 1940s with her doll. 
I do remember her telling me she had dolls long after most girls do. 

(Although her friend Evelyn looks even older than Mom, or at least taller) 

She was born to be a mother. In 1959 holding baby Robin, with John, Richard, and me.
She went on to have 4 more babies.

She always had a baby of her own at her family gatherings. She gave birth from 1952-1967.

This was 1957.
Mom is in the middle, 2nd one from the left.
My Mom's parents on center right, and the rest of the adults are my aunts and uncles.
See me with my doll sitting next to Richard?

Then the grandbabies came.
Just a few here of over 30.

Then the great grand babies (Elora) started coming in 2002

My Mom's 85th birthday would have been yesterday. 
She's been gone since 2007 and I miss her every single day.

Below was my favorite quote from the Christmas Devotional last Sunday. It's quoted by Bonnie
Oscarson, who was quoting President Hinckley, who was quoting the original person:  ET Sullivan:

“When God wants a great work done in the world, or a 
great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual 
way. He doesn't stir up his earthquakes, or send forth 
his thunderbolts. Instead, He has a helpless baby born. 
And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world 
are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The 
greatest forces in the world are babies.”

I know Mom would agree.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Santa didn't even look like Dennis

He arrived like anyone else…..

Then later when he thought when no one was looking,
 he stepped inside one of the classrooms at the church.

 Elora came with us….since it was her ward. 
Her job was to let us know 
when Santa was to make his appearance.

Something I never thought I would do is help Santa get dressed.

 Finally he is ready, 
Elora gives the signal to the waiting audience….
and out the door he goes

 Oh no. There's a stray boy in the hallway. 
Guess he was too excited to wait like the others.

 If I hadn't helped dress Santa, I wouldn't have even recognized Dennis under there. He just did not resemble himself.

 So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when 
Cami and Violet didn't recognize him either. 
Cam was looking for an escape.

And Violet was not her happy self.

 Santa talked to over 50 kids, and some very interesting ones. 
Like this Mom who was showing him her daughter's list 
on her phone.

 And this sweet man in his wheel chair wanted to visit Santa too.

Entire families wanted to pose with him.

And itty babies who went right for the wrapper….

With proud new parents looking on….
anxious to scoop their son right back into their arms.

 Some wanted no part of this.

 And were looking for someone to rescue them.

 I don't know the children below, 
but could you not pick them out in a crowd as being siblings!

Finally it was my turn, after I adjusted his beard.

And even a missionary from Columbia 
wanted his picture taken with Santa.

 Before I end this post, 
I want to show you the great looking spread of brunch food at 
Brock and Erin's ward this morning.

Why wait to sit down and eat?

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

But first, let's go back nearly 60 years!
I wanted someone to rescue me too back in 1955.
And that Santa….does he look bored or what?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cause and effect

He had been saying his back hurts, but I couldn't figure out why.
It hasn't hurt much since he gave up gluten last Spring.

So what was going on?

Then I remembered how he has been going to Lowes A LOT lately, like every 2-3 hours. 
And I remember him saying something about a project he needed to do outside.

But I was involved in my coughing and staying by the the vaporizer. 
And I wasn't listening very well last week. 

Finally I decided the house was way too quiet one day and I went outside looking for Dennis 
to make sure he was okay.

This is what I saw….He was digging trenches. Even removing a section of the fence. 

Something about how we need new drains in the yard.

He did this all himself. 
I think the back pain mystery is pretty much solved. 

Now the rain has started in our record breaking drought.
Gotta get those tunnels covered up.

What is it about men and their projects?
It makes them so happy…in a quiet tuned out sort of way.

Monday, December 1, 2014

If you still have some leftover turkey...

You might want to try this with your leftover turkey. I made it last night and it was so good. 
Just simple comfort food. I served it over brown rice. 

I noticed this recipe in a Taste of Home Magazine about a month ago.
I'm glad I bookmarked it and saved it. 

If you want a more clear recipe go to this link.

Other than adding more peas and celery, I made it just as the recipe said. 
(with the exception of gluten free flour, of course)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fighting the enemy

We've had a very wicked enemy with us the past 12 days and we 
are trying to kill it. It's called Pertussis/Whooping Cough. I've got 
it. Dennis escaped it, thank goodness.

I didn't realize until yesterday that we need a Pertussis booster 
every 10 years….To quote my Dr, "Actually the booster only lasts 
3-7 years, but we offer it every 10 years." And then she turned both 
her palms up as if to say…'I know, doesn't make sense.'

Something about how the shot is not as strong as the one we had 
growing up. …which would explain why Pertussis is back with a 

So I've been homebound for the past 12 days. But since I've been 
on antibiotics, I'm no longer contagious. Strange that before this 
illness is even very bad, the contagion period is over already. But
the symptoms continue to progress. Or like my Dr explained 
yesterday, "You are no longer contagious, but when you are 
around people, wear a mask to make them feel more at ease."
Funny, because she said that while she was wearing a mask, and I 
had a mask on, and so did the nurse!

One good thing I have going for me is I have not had an 
antibiotic in over 10 years. So the two I am taking now might 
be able to kick this Pertussis, or so thinks my Dr.

However, my odds would be a lot greater in my favor if I had 

started on the meds the very day I was exposed, or at least the first 
day I had symptoms. But I didn't know that then. "Best if started 
within 72 hours of symptoms."

I have a really good immune system. I just don't catch things like 
colds and flus and viruses. But Pertussis does not care how 
healthy you are. It is extremely contagious to every unprotected 
person who is in the same room with an infected person.

So let's see, what should I write about from bed….

Btw, if you have any sad Pertussis stories or horrors, I can't 

handle knowing them right now. Save them until I'm well okay? 
But if you know of anything that may help, I'd love to hear. My 
Dr keeps telling me, "There is nothing that helps this. There is no 

Even though I caught this from my sweet little granddaughter, I 

am very thankful she is on the mend. It's still going to be rough for 
her for a while.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Toddler Turkey

If I had a toddler in my house today, 
this is what we'd be doing…

They look so festive and happy. 
A Mom of 3 toddlers came up with this idea
She'll tell you how it came to be on her blog.

My only concern are the toothpicks…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We just never know.

Whenever I bring my laptop into our bedroom, a sign flashes 
across the screen saying that Clovis Unified School denies access.

This has been going on for over 2 years!

I kept putting off calling the elementary school across the street 
who is "denying access" thinking they would just be really nice 
about it, apologize and then refer me to their main office. In other 
words, they wouldn't know what to do about it either. 

But I had lots of extra time today so I called.

The office lady answered and seemed polite enough at first.

I began: "I have a problem I'm hoping you can help me with or at 
least point me in the right direction. We live on the next street 
over, and we're not able to get the internet in one room of our 
home because Clovis Unified is denying access."

I don't know why that struck a cord with her but it did. She came 
flying back with, "You need to quit using our provider and get one 
of your own."

"I'm not using your provider. We have our own provider, but 
Clovis Unified denies access to our own provider. We don't want 
to be on your provider. "

But before I got that last sentence out completely she interrupted 
me and said, "So what is the name of your provider? What is the 
name of your provider?" she asked me twice. Like she was daring 
me to come up with something


"Well when you go to sign up next time DON'T choose Clovis 

"I'm not choosing Clovis Unified! It just comes on and takes over."

Raising her voice a notch she says, "Mam, I can't help you. I can't 
help you. You need to get your own provider and not use ours"


"I can't help you!" she interrupts even more irritated.

"Okay, thanks anyway."

Oh my. No progress there. But looking at the clock, when I called, 
it was 3:45. Not probably the best time at an elementary school. 
Maybe this woman was tired, and hungry. Maybe she had a fever 
and sore throat. Maybe her husband just left her. 

Whatever, this little experience gave me the chance to practice 
patience today.

It was easy to do having just read this on another blog today. 
It's written by a man named Hank Smith:

When our doctor told us our 3rd child was due on December 25th, I looked at my wife and said, “Don’t 
you dare.”
"I didn’t know if it would be good or bad for my child to have his birthday be Christmas, but it seemed 
like a lot of stress for a dad, so I prayed we would avoid it.
My wife is a champ.
She held off and our little Elijah made his entrance on December 27th.
After the birth, as I helped Sara get comfortable in the room where she would spend a couple of night 
recovering, I heard people shouting in the room that shared a wall with our room. A man and a woman 
were shouting at each other. We waited for a few minutes, but it didn’t stop. We couldn’t hear what they 
were saying, but they sounded really angry and really frustrated.
As Sara tried to rest she was frequently startled by more yelling.
I thought to myself, “What kind of people yell at each other in a hospital? Are they yelling at each other 
with their baby in there? Besides, didn’t they just celebrate Christmas?”
Anger built up inside of me.
I told Sara I would take care of it.
I felt like a hero as I walked confidently and stone-faced to the nurses station. I let them know that my 
wife had just had a baby and the people in the room next door were making it absolutely impossible for 
her to sleep. The nurse at the desk was flustered, but promised me she would talk to them.
I went back to our room triumphant.
The shouting stopped and Sara slept.
I was a hero.
The next day, as a doctor and I pushed Elijah in his wheeled-crib to another room for a hearing test, the 
doctor pointed at the door of the room where all the shouting had come from the night before. He shook 
his head and said, “Poor couple. Their baby passed away in delivery a few days ago.”
I felt like I had been slapped across the face.
I don’t know why I have to keep learning this lesson the hard way, but my eyes were opened, once 
again, to the reality that everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about.
Be kind.