Saturday, June 30, 2012

What goes around, comes around

Last night as I was watching our 3 grandgirls:
Elora, Campbell, and Violet....

I thought back to the 1960s 
when I use to carry around my baby sister Peggy...
This was before my youngest sister Heidi was born.

Those sister bonds are created when we are so young....
and yet, they last forever. 

I know many of you have probably already seen this, 
but for those who have not, please go here
and see what The Sweet Nectar Society did on Cami. 
It makes me tear up every time. 
I love the song, too!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kylie and Jessica back together again

Such good friends they are.
Kylie is Amy's daughter, and Jessica is Dennis' granddaughter.

So they are cousins.
But it can be hard when one lives in Utah and one lives in California
(they are completely oblivious to what's going on behind them...they wouldn't care anyway)
So these were taken Sunday evening, the night before they left for EFY in Santa Barbara.



And here's a few picture updates from last night that Jessica sent us from her phone.



I've heard there's at least 250 kids are there, but this is the group Kylie and Jessica belong too.
Do you see them right in the middle?
Something tells me these girls won't be coming home well rested.

Austin and Chandler are there also, but I have yet to get some pictures of them.
However, I've heard that Austin has been wild on the dance floor. But I want proof.



Well what do you know...I guess it pays to complain!
Amy just sent me a picture of all 4 together:
Jessica, Kylie, Chandler, Austin
And 2 little future EFY students who went along for the drop off on Monday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Look what Grant can do!

And I'm certain it's not what you think.



Of course this was taken last month when we were there. 
I also want to show you who came to see them after we did!

Cousin Carly and Enoch and their 5 children:
 Carly did a post about it on her blog...Go here and check it out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alex part 2

I admit I am not an animal person. 
We originally got Alex 18 years ago from a family in our ward, 
the Alexanders (hence her name).

My sons loved her, even fought over her at times. 
Whenever we were doing something together, like having FHE or watching a movie,
 they would take turns holding her. She was part of our family.

I didn't like having her in the house, and more or less tolerated for the benefit of my sons. 

When I married Dennis, he wanted Alex to become an outdoor cat. 
I was relieved. 
No more cat hair in our home, no more worrying about leaving food on the counter 
and wondering if Alex had touched it.
No more having a cat suddenly be in bed with us in the middle of the night.

As the boys left home one by one, guess who got to take care of her? 
Well okay, it was mostly Dennis, but I was concerned for her, too. 
As she aged we made her a special cardboard bed complete with an electric heating pad 
which she so loved on the cold winter nights. 
She became our little friend. But also, the final remnant of my sons' childhood.

We tried to be matter of fact yesterday morning as we drove to the vet with her in a box in the backseat.
She was calm in that box so Dennis thought it best. 


So I started filling out the new forms with Den reading over my shoulder. 
He quickly points out to me... "She's not a male."
I quickly pointed out to him that "I know Alex is a female." 
I think marking M for male is just reflex for me. 
I've lived with only males for the past 38 years.

Then we are lead into the examining room and meet the vet.

She checks Alex out and tells us several of her organs are failing and she's jaundiced.
 
I asked the Dr if there was anything she could do for Alex.
She assured me that anything they would do would only prolong her suffering.




Then I cried.
Because after all these years, I love Alex.
And I also see in her, my boys' childhood.

They have their own lives, and their own loves now.
But I'm their Mom, and I feel in my heart the devotion they had for Alex. 


Then we are sent into another room, which Dennis called "the mourning room." 


We were told to wait for about 10 minutes 
while they get the IV in Alex 
and then they would let us say our goodbyes before they give her the final shot. 

I didn't understand why they had to give Alex an IV.
The vet said something about it being easier for Alex. 
Made no sense to me, but I'm new at this so I said okay. 

So we wait much longer than 10 minutes. 
I go out of the mourning room and ask the desk what is taking so long...
plus it smelled awful in that room and I wanted out.

The desk tells me to go back in to mourn 
(well not in those words, but she wanted us to stay in there)
So we did, but with the door open this time.
In walks an assistant and says to us, 
"We are having a hard time getting the IV in because Alex is so spunky." 
I immediately said, "Spunky? She's spunky? Well then maybe she isn't ready for this." 

The assistant assures me the Dr thinks it's time. 
So then I ask again, "I don't know why they have to give Alex an IV??'
She explains they are actually installing a port so the medicine can go right into Alex.


So the assistant leaves and we wait again. 
She comes back and says, "Alex's blood pressure is so low that we can't get an IV in her." 
So I'm thinking, what happens now? Do we come back when she is healthier?

She continues, "So we will have to give Alex a shot instead. 
We will bring her to you as soon as we complete the shot." 
I said, "But we haven't said goodbye to her yet. We want her eyes still open." 
The assistant assures us that her eyes will be open. 


They soon brought her to us.
Dennis stroked her and rubbed her and we both talked to her as she purred...
She purred until her last breath,
and then she was gone in less than a minute.

I wish I would have known enough to tell them to just give the one shot, 
like they ended up doing at the end anyway!
I hate the thought of them poking her trying to get that dumb IV in.

Tonight the neighborhood seems empty. 
Goodbye Alex

PS  Thank you Heidi G for this great picture of her. 
I hope you don't mind that I'm using it here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alex is gone

She was just a cat, right?
But this was such a hard decision. Alex was old. 
She lived a long happy life of 18 years minus one month. We knew she was dying. 
Saturday our sweet neighbor who loves Alex dearly came over to express her concerns. 
It seemed to me that the best option would be to let nature take it's course.

We talked to a few vet offices on Saturday. We heard a variety of opinions....from  
"Bring her in and we will see what is wrong with her" 
to 
"At 18 years old, she is dying. You will know what to do." 

We were also told by one vet that "a pet owner knows when their pet is suffering." 
But Alex seemed okay. She wasn't eating and became increasingly thin. 
We could feel every bone of her spine and she looked so tired and OLD. 
But she wasn't crying or complaining.

Then Dennis read last night on a google search that while a dog does not suffer in silence, cats often do. 
Plus Den pointed out, "She is so weak, she could easily be chewed up by the animals in the neighborhood."
That did it for me.



It's sad. But I'm trying to focus on the happy memories.

Way back on July 23, 1996 we celebrated her 2nd birthday with a swim party 
with the neighborhood kids...everyone who loved Alex. 
Look at Tyler hugging Alex. And McKay not able to keep his hands off her.
They were so young back then...


Alex followed them around like a little puppy dog would do. Where ever they were,
Alex would be near by. When they played croquet with Brett and Heidi from next door.....


...Alex wanted to play too
The kids would laugh and say, "Alex, No, Not like that!"



As each of my 4 sons left on their missions, 

They spent extra time with Alex saying goodbye....
feeling the odds were great she wouldn't last the 2 years.

But Alex lived, and thrived through all their missions

She was still thriving as they all got married, and then all became fathers.

Alexandra Lamona Heasley
July 23, 1994 - June 24, 2012


This morning, we were both up at 6, ready to help Alex along into the next world. 
This post is too long so I will continue tomorrow...
the good, the bad and my regrets.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guess who arrived today!!

Here she is leaving Utah
Flying by herself for the very first time...


Jessica came so she could attend EFY 
with our granddaughter Kylie.


Nice surprise when we learned that Amy and the twins 
would be coming to the airport too.

Grandpa was so excited to see his oldest granddaughter. 


And even though Jessica looks like she is thinking, 
"Oh no, what have I got myself into?"
I do believe she is having a great time so far.
Isn't she darling?


Completely makes me laugh. 
We did have one little problem though.
See that navy sweater on the chair between me and Den?

When Jessica arrived I got so excited I totally forgot about it 
and just got up to give her a hug... 
 
It wasn't until we got home that I realized 
I had left it there on that chair.

What were the chances that I would get it back?
So after dinner and 3 hours later... 
Jessica and I returned and guess what?
The airport police were saving it for me!
He is asking me why I'm taking his picture.


Monday, Jess heads out for Santa Barbara with Kylie. 
But until then she's all ours.  
I have to say, this picture of Dennis with Jessica and Emily, 
taken before we were married,
helped to win me over.  
It was very easy to date a man who loves his family so much.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Update on our 2011 Grandbabies

Miss Violet, our little multi-tasker.
She is one busy little girl!
16 months old

Rich
Who, his mother says, loves the broom.
10 months old 
Since you can't see Rich's face, I'm going to show a second one of him.


Grant
Trying to decide on a pre-dinner snack!
 9 months old
 
2011 was a blessed year in our family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Three summer ideas

I feel compelled to pass along 2 promising sounding summer ideas:
And a 3rd link.


1. This mom came up with the idea of posting a schedule 
each day for her kids, so structure won't completely 
disappear during the summer. 
I wish I had thought of this back in the day. 
Sometimes those summer days can just melt one right into another. 
Kids love structure and the feeling of knowing what is coming up next.
Check it out here.


2. Never would have thought of this idea on my own.... 
a very creative non toxic way to keep flies away. 
I have not tried this, but they claim it's effective. 
Flies are the major reason I don't enjoy eating outside. 
So, I will be hanging these at our 4th of July barbeque! 


3. And here's a fun little blog to check on each day. 
She photos her school lunch everyday in her Scottish town. 
Apparently it's not summer break there. 
I love seeing the different foods.

 Her blog was very controversial for a while 
and her school was trying to ban her from taking pictures of their food.   
But all seems to have calmed down now,
and this little girl is back in business

Monday, June 18, 2012

A way easier way to journal

I'm sorry about the video of yesterday. 
Apparently Youtube has new ways of controlling things, 
like the music we choose.

HOWEVER, today, I want to show you something that I really really like.
Something that I think may influence years and even generations to come.
I'm hoping anyway.

When my sister Robin told me about LDSjournal I didn't think I would be that interested.
I keep a journal in a written standard type book. I enjoy hand writing.
But, as I thought more about it, I realized I don't write all that often anymore.
It's frustrating to write something down without spell check,
without being able to change paragraphs around,
without being able to insert added memories of that day that I thought of later.

With LDSjournal, I can just quickly write a sentence or two in 30 seconds.
Or I can write 3 sentences and then come back later that day and write 2 more paragraphs.
SO simple, so UN-time comsuming.

When the grandkids say something that I don't want to forget,
I just take a minute or 2 (literally) and type it in my ongoing journal.
AND, I can put pictures on this journal very easily.
In fact, I put pictures on most of my daily entries.
By the time this year is up, practically no stone will be left unturned (or unrecorded)

LDSjournal is FREE.
However, they offer to put it all in book form for you, complete with your pictures,
for a reasonable fee.

And no, you don't have to be LDS to join.
There is a huge section of "all about me" questions you can answer to have part of your journal, 
 if you want.
There are probably many LDS type questions in that section,
but one could leave those out,
and when you have your book printed the ones you omitted won't be in there.

Oh how I WISH there had been something like this when I was raising my sons.
I would have loved to have captured snippets of their childhood on a daily basis.
Since I can type way faster than I can write, I could have actually pulled it off back then.

Like I said, for some reason when Robin told me about this I wasn't that interested.
Then one day I just got on there to look around and thought I would just write a few sentences.
I did, and then I was hooked. But hooked in a good way.

Sometimes ideas or memories or just insights come to me,
and now I have a place I can just write it down.
So many write tidbits of their day on Facebook,
and even if you save those, really how personal can they be?
Most of that will just be lost forever. So just consider LDSjournal online. Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Amazing off the charts Dad!

My Dad is 82 now, 
so this video is about something he did over 20 years ago....



 Or, try this link if the above does not work.
If it still doesn't work please let me know.

 
PS  He actually ran over 30 marathons, 17 of them in Boston.


Happy Father's Day, Dad!


And Happy Father's Day to you all!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The easiest bread you'll ever make

No kneading. Hardly any stirring.
Just mix, rise, plop on cookie sheet, rise again, and bake.
And like Dennis says, "This tastes like a treat."

McKenna calls this Peasant Bread. We call it McKenna's bread, because we learned it from her.
We couldn't get enough of it when we were visiting, so I decided I better make some at home. 

Ingredients:
2 c warm water
2 1/4 t yeast
2 t salt
2 T sugar
4 c flour
olive oil or butter for brushing


Okay, so combine the yeast, salt, sugar. 
Then add flour and stir with a wooden spoon (which I didn't have)

 Cover it with a dishcloth.
 It doesn't matter how ugly or faded the dish towel is.
(Would you believe this one use to be red?)
Ignore it like this for 1 hour.

 After the hour passes,  flour your hands and pull the batter into 2 lumps
and plop on cookie sheet that has been greased and generously dusted with cornmeal.
Cover again and leave it alone for another 30 minutes.


 Then, Brush with olive oil. 
Then McKenna says this is the important part:
Bake 425' for 10 min. Then take out and brush with butter. 
Turn down oven to 375' and bake for another 15 min or until golden brown.

Try it, and come back and let me know how much you love it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My phone call to Apple headquarters

You know how a person can sound very impatient? 
Like they are on the verge of just letting you have it? 
This is just how the sales person sounded that I talked to at the main Apple store 
(the toll free headquarters one) earlier today. 
It was not so much what she said but the way she said it....
until I got to a certain part in our communication. 
Then I really liked her.

So I began:
"Could you please tell me when the new Mac Pros will be available in stores, 
because the local store here will not give me any idea."

Very quick and short she responded, "No. I cannot."
"Well the store here tells me I need to call their store every day and ask them. 
And they said even if they have them in stock,
I can't ask them how many they have."
"That is correct."
"Well how long will this go on?"
"I can't tell you that."

I was growing quickly tired of this conversation so I said, 
"Okay will it be weeks? Months? How long? 
I can't be calling them everyday."
"We are backed up 4-5 weeks so it will be at least that long. 
I can tell you that the stores will get themby the time school starts again."

Okay, so I think I'm getting this now.
So these new Mac Pros will suddenly be available for school purchase? 
Is this a ploy to make people beg?
To play on the human quality of wanting what they can't have?


So I ask her:
"So is the 'new Mac Pro with retina', all a bunch of hype? 
Is it really that much better than the regular Mac Pro? 
Is it really worth paying an extra $500. for?"

So this is where her voice changes. 
I feel like she was suddenly relating to me. 
Like, the heck with her sales pitch, she's just going to level with this me. 
So she says: 
"The only difference with the new Mac Pro is the screen, 
which gives a more clear picture. 
But really, when I see both screens side by side 
I can't even tell a difference. 
I guess it depends on what kind of an eye you have."

She continues,  
"I'll also tell you that any upgrades you want on the new Mac Pro, 
you have to order them at the time of purchase. 
You can't add anything later. 
Also, you can't put any DVDs in them. 
So you have to consider that."

That's when I said, "You know what? You have been very helpful. 
Thank you very much for telling me all this."

Then she got even sweeter.
"No problem at all. I will be happy to help you anytime."

So within minutes of hanging up she shoots me an email. 
I find out her name is PryncesJade. 
But she gave me her direct phone line # and her email address. 
I'm beginning to get a clue about the Mac personal service. 
I think I'm going to like it.

I've also about decided to just get a Mac Pro without the retina. 
You know, the "older" model. 
The one that was the newer model until this Monday. 
All of you who are saying you love your Mac Pro, 
are talking about that model anyway...
since it sounds like no one in the US has the Retina version yet.

Thank you SO MUCH for all your comments 
and phone calls and emails concerning this. 
I studied them all, and you have been so helpful. 
This is all new territory for me. 

Oh and you want to know something else that is really strange, 
at least to me? 
I just now realized that I never gave PryncesJade 
my email address, or even my name. 
I rarely give it out to businesses 
and I know for sure I didn't give it out today. 
It wasn't even that long of a phone call. 
So how did she send me an email after our phone call?? 
Den and I didn't even give any info to that Apple store 
we went to twice yesterday, so it wasn't from them. 
A mystery! 
I guess if anyone knows how to pull up info on someone 
it would be Apple.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Does anyone have an opinion on which laptop to buy?

I've heard people say over and over that MACs are better. Do you disagree?

So we spent the morning at the Apple store. 

I think I have it narrowed down to either the Mac Book Air

 or the Mac Book Pro.

Does anyone have an opinion? 

I wanted something I can take traveling with me, 
but also something I can use in different rooms of our home. 
My PC laptop died in Oregon, so it's time to move on. 
I thought of an IPAD, but I'm not really into carrying my computer around town with me, 
So I don't think I need to go that light. 
And I would like a larger screen than an IPAD I think. 

As we were leaving the Apple store, Den said, 
"So what's wrong with just a regular PC laptop?"

Neither of us know the answer to that.
We've just heard Macs are better??  No?
And if so, can anyone tell us why?