Monday, June 30, 2014

My baton has been passed to the next generation

Laurynn is in the hospital with pneumonia


Amy is by her side round the clock. That's what Moms do. 


Three days ago I had the twins overnight and 
Téa was sick the entire time.



Logan came to visit them right before he left for work. 
I asked if he would bring 1 or 2 popsicles for his fevery daughter. 
He brought 27. That's what Dads do.


Last week while Elora was staying with me she talked while I 
made dinner. I mentioned to her that her Dad called to ask how she 
was doing. She rolled her eyes and sighed, "My Dad is paranoid. 
He even checks on us when we're sleeping!" 


I told her that's what parents do. 
(I have to say hearing the word "paranoid" made me smile and feel happy.
I'm glad to know my baton has been passed.)

Get Well sweet Laurynn. We are praying for you.  


Meanwhile the twins are playing with Tyler's old Star Wars figures for Four FIVE hours straight,
only breaking for dinner. Then I will package them back up, and save them for Tyler and Karen's boys. 

While the twins are in their own Star Wars world right now, they ask me questions as I walk by:

Did Tyler use to live here?
Did he use to be our age?
Why did he grow up?
 Did he grow up fast?
Did he have lots of birthdays?
How many birthdays did he have?
Did you use to babysit him?
Did you ever have any babies?
What happened to them? Where did they go? 

I often wonder the same thing.




Friday, June 27, 2014

August 1926

Recently I was at my cousin Ron and Yolanda's home 
when I saw this picture.  Immediately I was mesmerized by it. 
It's one I had never seen before so Yolanda sent me a copy!

Those are my Dad's 4 older siblings…taken August 1926, 
before my Dad and his brother Gene were born. 


So that is Irving, Ann, June and Leonie up front. 


I just keep studying this picture and wondering things like….Most 
people were poor back then, so how did they put their oldest son in 
a 3 piece suit? His dress shoes look worn so did he dress up like 
this often? I've heard that my Grandma (their mother) was a great 
seamstress so I wonder if she made those 3 darling dresses….

The curls Leonie has…..LOVE those curls and they are a rarity in 
this family. The children look very well mothered. My 
grandmother, the mother of these 4 beautiful children, (along with 
2 more that were born in 1927 and 1930), died less than 10 years 
after this photo was taken, at the age of 42. 

One of my granddaughters looks very much (to me) like Irving.

See baby Ann above? She married and had one daughter, Kristine. 
Her one daughter had 4 daughters, 
and now Kris has 16 grandchildren! 

Here is Kristine and her husband Ron, 
amongst their 16 grandchildren last Christmas!

I know there must be more old family pictures out there. 
I am forever hunting. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A hard and special week for Dennis

The night of Father's Day, Den's only brother 
died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep. 
Just like that, he quietly slipped into the next life.

Den flew to Logan, Utah to attend the funeral of his brother 
and give the eulogy. 

He called me and gave his talk over the phone. As he was 
reminiscing over his childhood, he cried and I cried. 

Days gone by. Days that seemed ordinary at the time. 
But they weren't ordinary. None of our lives are. 
They just may seem like it at the time.

The 5 siblings: Debbie, Sheree, Pam, Dennis, Reed.



Debbie, their Dad, Reed, and Den
(I think Den looks like his girls in this picture)




Den and Reed making pumpkin pictures and cutting them out.

 










Den's Grandma who lived to be 98. 
I even got to meet her in 1998 when Den and I were dating.



Finally a picture of Den's angel mother. He's always adored her. 
Reed is next to his Mom and Den is on that high rock.


And isn't this one a gem. 
Reed and Noelle on their wedding day in 1969. 
Den, the best man. 
I wish I could have been there but I was in 8th grade at the time. 




 One of my favorites. This is Dennis. He looks about 3, 
so this was probably 1952. 
You can sure tell little Denny is Grant's Grandpa. 
I know, it doesn't make sense. 

Last month I listened to a a speaker at church who was familiar 
with death having buried 2 of his children. He ended his talk with, 
"Life is short. We are all going home soon." 
When I can keep that perspective, I live my days a bit differently.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I sort of blew it.

While Elora, Téa, and I were on our way to Red Robin last night, 
Elora felt like venting. She said she is offended when people offer 
her the Kids Menu at restaurants. She's 11 now, and how could 
people not know she does not need one of those anymore!

I listened intently and empathized with her because that's what 
Grandmas are suppose to do. What an insult for people to think she 
is 10, when she is in fact 11!

So we sit down at Red Robin and the first thing the waitress says to 
me, is, "How many Kids Menus do you need?" So far so good, 
but guess what I did! I said, sort of on auto pilot, "Two" As soon 
as I did it, Elora opened her mouth in silence and just stared at me. 


Oh no, what did I just do! "I'm so sorry Elora….oh my goodness, 
I didn't mean that." I looked at the waitress and said, "ONE 
please. We only need ONE Kids Menu for Téa!" Then I turned 
to Elora and whispered, "I am so sorry." Sweet Elora gave me a 
forgiving smile. At least I think that's what it was.

So Elora helps Téa choose her dinner…..


and then Elora orders off the Kids Menu as well…..what the heck? 
 "But I thought you were offended by the Kids Menu!?"

"No Grandma. It's fine. I just don't like to BE ASKED if I want 
a Kids Menu. I still like to ORDER from it."

Apparently I'm still a Grandma in training. 

(Turns out the family behind us is in the same ward as Elora :)

I have decided that an 11 year old and 5 year old 
 make a good match. One likes to mother, 
and the other likes to be mothered.

They dyed silk scarves in Kool-aid



And did painting projects


And apparently ate all the cupcakes from Aunt Robin, 
 while I took a nap.


I'm thankful I had a mother who taught me that 
 "kids NEED to make messes."


How lucky am I that I got to have 2 of my grand girls 
 close by the past few days. 



And we topped the day off with a visit
 to Great Grandpa and Grandma Susan.

And next post I'll tell you where Dennis was….

Monday, June 23, 2014

She really did say that


The tech who put my 30 day monitor on Friday went over all the instructions with me. This thing is
very high tech. The information from my heart monitor goes through the cell phone towers around here,
and this is how they pick up the info for their labs. So they can tell, back in Pennsylvania what my heart
is doing here in California.


The tech explained I would be "getting a call from heart headquarters if my heart goes into any kind of
stress." I wanted to make sure I got this right so I asked, "You mean, if my heart shows that it is 
doing unsafe things, they will call me? They will know before I know?"

She said, yes, they will call me. But then she added, "But if it happens in the middle of the night, 
then they will wait till morning to call you."

"Really, they'll wait till morning to call me?"

"Yes….say for example…say your heart stops in the middle of the night….they will call you in 
the morning to let you know."

"Uh"….(trying to process what she just said)…."Okay..." (still trying to process what she
just said)….

I haven't received a call yet, and it's day 3 of wearing this thing. So, my heart must still be beating. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

My hospital adventure

Last Monday about 3pm, out of no where, my heart suddenly went into a very fast rate. I was having a
great day up until then….getting lots of things done around the house.

I've had this fast heart rate a few times before in the past year or so, but didn't think much about it
because it would always resolve itself within about 5 minutes. Not this time.

I tried all my tricks….drinking ice water, putting my face in ice water, holding my breath, etc,
….nothing would bring that rhythm down. About 20 minutes into this Den asked if he should call an
ambulance. I said no, not yet. I took a cold shower. Still no change. Okay, call 911.

We soon heard the sirens coming towards our neighborhood. I could hear a fire truck too. In Clovis
they all come. Den looked out the window and said, "Yep, the neighbors are out watching this."

I felt a little ridiculous because I had no symptoms except for the racing heart.

First in comes the fire fighter asking questions and Den trying to answer them all….Finally that man
said, "I want her to answer them. I'm trying to assess if she's with it." I laughed. Are you short of
breath? No. Are you dizzy? No. Are you having chest pain? No, I feel fine. My heart racing is my only
symptom. (which by now was making me very nervous.)

So they loaded me up for my very first ambulance ride. Hooked me up to monitors and gave me
oxygen. I was relieved they didn't run the sirens on my trip to the hospital. I knew this meant I was
okay.

I have to say….I have been to lots of ERs with friends and family. LOTS of them. But I have never 
seen a better run one than this one…Kaiser. As soon as they took me out of the ambulance and
rolled me inside, I was placed up against a wall on my gurney. They apologized that my room was not
ready yet. I expected to wait there for HOURS while "we waited for a room." That's how it generally is
when I am with others at their ERs. I've known many to wait 12 HOURS or so JUST for an ER room.
Well guess what? At Kaiser they told me, "We are very sorry but your room is not quite ready."
and then 10 minutes later they rolled me into my room apologizing again for "the delay." I was
impressed.

So here I was, in bed at Kaiser having lab work, IV, chest X-ray. My heart continues to race.


Den seemed stress but stayed by my side the entire 8 hours, except for 15 minutes when he grabbed a
salad in the cafeteria. And even then I had to talk him into it.


Everything Kasier did to me that day, they asked my permission first. And I was told more than once,
"You can refuse anything." Really? So I asked lots of questions and they kindly and patiently
answered them all. The ER Dr at one point looked at both of us and said, "Is there anything I can get 
for either of you?" See what I mean? They are way into customer service.

At one point I suggested that perhaps my heart rate would go down if they were to give me a sedative.
So they tried that. I became very relaxed and even dozed off a few times, but my heart continued to
race. So strange.

I'm now on a 30 day heart monitor. Meanwhile, I've been diagnosed with SVT. I'm told if it happens
again and won't go away in 30 minutes, I'm to call an ambulance again. If anyone has experience with
that, or advice….I'm listening.

We got home after midnight to our crockpot turned down down to warm, our blinds all closed, and our
front door locked. We have the best neighbors ever.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A warning

A friend of mine, Beth Swann, put this on Facebook today and I just had to repost it 
here….especially for those living in our area…although this could happen anywhere! 
Beth's mother, Mary Moore, is my Family History teacher each Sunday morning, and one of the 
sweetest and kindest people I know. 

I copied it just as Beth wrote it:


I want to share a story in case it happens to spare someone else the frustration of theft, deception, or a 
fate that’s far worse. Last week, my mom was driving home from some errands in the afternoon. While 
stopped at a stop light, a couple pulled up next to her and told her that her back tire was about to fall 
off the car. The driver (male) said that his wife (the passenger) insisted they follow her (my mom) to let 
her know about the problem and had been supposedly trying to let her know about the problem for 
over a mile now. My mom hesitated for a second but remembered a fender bender that she had a few 
months ago and thought it might be true. The couple said they would assist her with a tire change on 
the side of the road. They pulled over and proceeded to “help” my mom. They distracted her enough 
that they stole her wallet and keys to my dad’s truck out of her purse which she happened to have in 
the trunk of the car. My mom’s purse was zipped back up and it was not immediately known to my 
mom that anything was taken. My mom decided at a certain point that she would just wait until she 
could get to a tire shop to have them take care of it. The couple, acting overly concerned, said they 
would follow her there just to make sure she got there okay. Everyone got back into their own car and 
the couple followed my mom until they got to the next intersection where they promptly made a turn off 
the street and went another direction. My mom did not know anything was taken until she got to the 
grocery store an hour later. And until she was able to start making phone calls to banks and credit card 
companies, they had already racked up several hundreds of dollars in charges. Needless to say, 
everything made more sense and my mom felt horrible for believing the couple. She has been kicking 
herself ever since for believing them. My mom noted that at one point during the stop, the lady brought 
out a mallet from her own car and my mom wondered what that was for. I think my mom was lucky and 
things could have gone much worse had they not gotten what they wanted. Now if you know my mom, 
you know she is a SAINT and always wants to believe the best in everyone. And if you know me, you 
know I revere my mom and feel that she is the best the human race has ever had to offer (with 
exception of the Savior, of course). So you can imagine all the unkind thoughts I am having right now 
about someone who preyed on my mom and took extreme advantage of a sweet lady. When my mom 
filed a report with the police, they said that if someone ever tried to get her to pull over again, she 
should just drive straight to the police station and call 911 while driving there and an officer would meet 
her on the way. The officer also told her that they might come for the truck sometime during the night 
(since they now had her address) and that she should park another car in front of it and block it in the 
driveway from behind. So she did and even slept in the bedroom closest to where the cars were 
parked, ready to catch them if necessary. Not only am I upset this happened to my dear mother, I am 
saddened that things like this make you feel like you can’t trust anyone anymore. So, bottom line, don’t 
pull over. And if you live local, be on the look out for a Hispanic couple in their 40s or 50s driving 
around a beige colored sedan asking people to pull over. And on the up side, I’m so grateful that was 
the worst of it and that my mom is okay.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Random thoughts about my Dad

1956

Here are just some random thoughts on my mind today about my Dad:

*When I was a teenager I casually mentioned how some guy I didn't know 
kept trying to put his arms around me after school….
So next day here comes my Dad at school just at the time I told him that guy usually appears. 
The guy was a no show that day, but I have never forgotten how my Dad came to my rescue.


Dad with 4 of his 8 children back in 1958
I still visit that neighborhood in my dreams.


*When I was recovering from mono (and it was a very long recovery) one evening my Dad brought me 
a Shamrock shake from McDonalds. It tasted wonderful and I told him. He brought me so many after 
that, I got sick of them. But I do think of Dad's sweetness every March, even all these years later.


*Dad would often buy old cars on the side, and clean them up and sell them. 
I would watch the potential customers in our driveway ask him questions like,
"So are the tires good?"
They're older
"How about the brakes?"
Not the best
"Does it run smooth?"
It could be better.
And on the conversation would go. As a young girl I would think, who is going to buy from him with 
answers like that?? He did sell those cars, but more importantly, I learned honesty from him. Tell the 
truth and let the consequences follow, is what my parents would say.


*Dad knew I liked different foods and he would sometimes bring me home 
grape leaves and baklava from an Armenian restaurant across town.



Running in one of his 50 mile races, in Oregon.

*He quit smoking cold turkey in 1955 when he decided to join the Mormon church and be baptized. 
He never looked back. But he did tell me just recently that the cravings were there for YEARS. He 
would even dream about smoking. This is huge to me.
Many cannot quit their addictions. He did it overnight.


*Dad would drive me school most mornings when I was a young teenager 
because it was right near his office. I would look over at 
him there in the driver's seat and be in awe over how good looking he was.
None of my friends' Dads looked as good as he did. He's still got it.

Okay, so this picture is blurry and I'm not in it….but it gives you an idea of quite the group we were!

*One afternoon when my parents were older I was over visiting. My Mom left out the kitchen door to 
walk to the mail box. My dad stood by the dining room window and just stared at Mom as she walked. 
He said to no one in particular, "That is one really good woman." And he just kept watching her.

*I never once heard my Dad raise his voice to my Mom or to anyone. 
I didn't think that was so remarkable at the time. I just thought all fathers were like that.


*My most cherished memory of all, is how Dad would sit by my Mom's side 
all those years she had Alzheimer's, and care for her every need.

*My Dad knows how to choose women. We are so thankful to have Susan in our life now. 
Not only for all the loving care you extends to my Dad day and night, 
but for all the goodness and happiness and fun she has brought to our lives.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dancing the night away.

When I was a little girl I'd always wanted to take dance lessons. 
I DID get to take them for a year when I was about 8 and SO loved 
it. What a dream. But then that was that, and Mom said it was over. 
However, I can't complain because I got a year more than my 3 sisters. 

Watching my granddaughters perform last night was pure joy to me.

Cami and I, trying to entertain ourselves with selfies before the dancing begins….

Our little Camers is such a beauty. Agree?


Such a sweetheart she is.
I am awestruck by her.


And her sisters…
This just gives you a tiny taste of what we got to see last night.

Violet has her own style of dancing as you will see….
And I love how she waves to Mommy on stage at the end!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bed update

Time will tell. But for now, it seems Dennis has figured out a 
solution to our new bed buying decision:

I don't know if you can see this or not, but Den put 2 pieces of particle board
between the box springs and the mattress, on his side of the bed. 
Total cost: $18.

We have slept on it this way for 2 nights so far and he's happy. 
I've always been happy, so now that makes 2 of us.

This also fits in nicely with the motto we try to live by since we 
got married, "Why spend money if we don't have to."
(mostly his motto)

Thank you for your suggestions! 
I checked them all out and when we go back to the bed drawing board someday, 
I hope to remember them. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Bed hunt is back, this time with Violet.

Many months back we were on a hunt to find a new bed. We never 
did find one and then just gave up. But now Den can no longer 
tolerate the one we have, so like it or not, we are back on the hunt.

This time we took Violet with us.

She was "so a-sided" about going to a bed store…..

until we actually arrived and then she wasn't so sure.

I did ask the store clerk if I could take pictures in his store and he 
said, "Of course!" Then he added, "You wouldn't believe the 
things people take pictures of."  ...Uh, yes I would.


Violet is not one to keep opinions to herself. Even when she 
doesn't verbally express them, they are written 
all over her little face and body.


She looked up at me as if to say, "This is not fun Grandma Honey."
But give this girl a few minutes and she finds the good in anything...


So she slowly decides to give a bed a try….


Although her way of checking out a bed is a bit different than ours.

and that's okay. We just want our girl to be happy.

She especially liked it when she had Grandma and Grandpa 
lying on both sides of her while all 3 of us tried beds together. 
Nope, didn't ask the clerk to take a picture of that. 
Den would have been too embarrassed.
By the time we were ready to go, she was sad about leaving….

When we got back home and after lunch, 
she requested sleeping in Grandma Honey's bed for her nap.

Since no one had made our bed yet, she thought it was the best 
thing ever to settle in between the sheets. She smiled and said, "I 
get to sleep in Grandma Honey's blankets!" 

I wasn't tired but I love listening to this little girl talk herself to 
sleep... so I layed right beside her. Girls are so different. I don't 
remember any of my boys talking themselves to sleep. 

Did you know that the average woman speaks 20,000 words a day?
That is 13,000 more words than the average man.
They apparently start practicing at a very young age…..even while 
dozing off. Gotta get those 20,000 words in.

And the bed? Still no decision. I told Dennis it would be soon. I promised. 
I'm feeling the pressure. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ugly and dead as it is….




Driving home from a friend's house on Sunday evening we spotted 
a Christmas tree all by itself next to the high school. Just sitting 
there on this 1st day of June. I have no clue why that old dead tree 
was there but it reminded me of a story I read in a magazine many 
years ago….

One December there was this mom who was so sick she was in the 
hospital and couldn't come home for Christmas. Her husband 
decided he and the kids would not celebrate Christmas until his 
wife was released from the hospital. That took until APRIL.

As her husband pulled into their driveway with her that springy 
day in April….the wife looked out from the car window and could 
see this dead Christmas tree with hardly any blades left on the
branches, peering through the crack of their living room drapes. 
Up until that time the wife had no idea the family had been 
waiting all those months for Christmas.

I remember reading that story aloud to my Mom and saying to her, 
"Wasn't that the sweetest story!" Mom did not agree. She 
without hesitation said, "The last thing I would want to come 
home to after being in the hospital is a dead Christmas tree!" 

My Mom….alway the practical one.


PS  If anyone who lives in this area knows WHY that dead 
Christmas tree suddenly appeared by Clovis High, please do tell. 


Sunday, June 1, 2014

He's still got those great lungs!

My Dad turned 84 on Friday and look what he was able to do….

With just one regular blow…..

ONE blow, and he knocked the fire out on all 12 candles! 
(one for each decade and one for each year = 12)
We watched in amazement. He didn't even make an effort. 
All those years of running and he still has the power lungs!