Friday, December 30, 2011

THE PIZZA MAN

I was tending my 2 grandsons (2 1/2 and almost 4) while their parents and 2 older sisters went to see the movie, "Tin Tin".  In fact the almost 4 year old was given the choice of going to see the movie or staying with Grandma and he chose to stay with Grandma. :0)  At one point I had to go to the bathroom, so used the one just off of the kitchen.  I had the door locked, but could hear the 2 1/2 year old in the kitchen.  I wondered what he was doing when all of a sudden I heard him talking.  He was saying, "I need pizza!  I need pizza!"  When I came out of the bathroom, he had the refrigerator open.  I guess he never found the pizza in there (because there wasn't any) because when I came over to him and asked him what he wanted, he said he wanted a drink of koolaid, which I gave him.  He never mentioned pizza again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BELIEVE

Babs & StaceGhost gave me this sheet music for Christmas, so I've been playing it and trying to learn it.  I love not only the melody, but the words to the chorus. 



Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing.
There's no time to waste,
There's so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside and
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need
If you just believe.....
If you just believe...
If you just believe...
Just believe...
Just believe...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A BED FOR AN AMERICAN GIRL


The week after Thanksgiving, my daughter called us and asked my husband if we would make this for our granddaughter's 8th birthday.  We got very busy and designed it, he made it, and I made the mattress, bedding, nightgown, and look very closely and you'll see an eye mask to match the nightgown.  We took it with us to Texas a week and a half later when we went for our granddaughter's birthday and baptism. 
This is for her American Girl doll. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A SCARY DESCENT

We took another trip to Texas this last weekend to go to our granddaughters 8th birthday and her baptism.  We had to work at the Storehouse on the Thursday that we left, so just thought we'd work until it closed at 3pm and then drive to Lubbock to spend the night.  Since we had to bring in a present that we made our granddaughter so we could find a box for it, they knew we were planning on leaving that day.  They told us to go ahead and leave, so we actually were able to leave about an hour and a half earlier that we thought we would.  We stayed in Lubbock that night and drove onto Dallas the next day.  We had a great visit with our daughter and her family.  We were going to go visit my husband's mother on our way home and spend Monday night in her town, but when we called her Monday morning, she was not feeling well so we ended up just stopping by for about an hour and dropping off Christmas presents.  We had also left Dallas late that morning because we had to run by Rockler, my husband's favorite store (woodworking) so he could pick up some Christmas presents for himself from me. :0)  We didn't leave his mom's until about 3pm.  It's about a 7 1/2 hour drive home from her house. 

We were a little concerned because we started running into fog almost immediately and ran in and out of fog, some of it pretty heavy, all the way to about 2 hours from our town.  By the time we got off the state highways and onto the main interstate, it was raining, but that was better than fog.  Weather conditions got worse the further we went.  We knew we'd probably run into snow at one place that is a higher elevation and we were correct, but a few miles down the road it changed back to rain.  We could see that the fields all still had snow in them.  As we left the last town before ours, it started to snow.  This was not a good sign.  We started our ascent up the last hill before our descent down the canyon and the snow increased, turning into what I termed as a blizzard.  It was snowing really hard and the snowflakes were really big.  We passed the sign that is supposed to flash when the highway is closed, but there were no lights flashing.  Just then we looked ahead and there were about 5 highway patrols cars ahead with their lights on.  I mentioned to my husband that they must be closing the highway, but that was not the case.  As we got closer we saw a Fed Ex semi jack-knifed with the trailer laying on it's side across 2 lanes of traffic.  We had to slow down to about 20 miles an hour and go around it on the shoulder.  Once around the wreck, the snow got harder and the highway was quickly covered.  We could see directly in front of us and about 20 feet, but that's it.  We couldn't see the white line on either the center or the sides of the road.  There was a brown path (from them sanding the highway) that we followed, but all the cars were single file.  There was us, another car and 2 diesels.  The other car exited later but the 2 semi's continued to follow us.  It got harder and harder to see and by this time we had started down the canyon.  We were only doing about 40 mph (and we really shouldn't have been going that fast) and at first had the diesels right on our bumper.  Finally he pulled back - probably when he had to gear down, but he would still catch up with us every once in awhile.  The worst part was it seemed to take forever and I never thought we would get out of it!  I was leaning forward trying to help my husband see.  Every time the semi would get close to us, we thought he might try to pass us.  One time my husband tried to pull over to the right and almost immediately I heard the tires run onto the rumble strips, so I told him that was the edge of the road and not to go any further.  Finally, finally, finally the road started getting better and then finally the snow changed back to rain and the highway cleared completely and we continued to drive in the rain on down the canyon into our city.  As we looked back in our rearview mirrors, we noticed that it was ONLY us and the 2 semis that came down the mountain.  It made me wonder if they had turned on the flashing sign after we went through, because we sure didn't see anyone else as we drove into the city.  That was one of the scariest things I have experienced.  I never want to experience it again, but I am so thankful that the Lord watched over us and kept us safe and gave my husband the patience and skill to get us safely down that mountain highway. 

When we went to Texas at Thanksgiving, we drove back in high winds and sandstorms all the way.  This time it was fog and blizzards.  I think we're going to stay home for awhile...:0)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I KNOW MY FATHER LIVES AND LOVES ME TOO....

There is a children's song that says:
"I know my Father lives and loves me too
The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true,
And tells me it is true."

So lastly, to end my month of Gratitude, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and the knowledge that He knows me personally and cares about me.  I recently read a book called, Divine Signatures by Gerald Lund.  In this book he writes about the blessings that the Lord gives us and that some of them are so tailored to us and our circumstances that it was as if the Lord signed His signature to it.  When this happens, it is a tender mercy to us to affirm that the Lord knows who we are and what we are going through.  I've had a few of these in my life.  

Sometimes we might have to sing the children's song above to ourselves, or at least say the words over and over to remind ourselves that the Lord does love us.  When we are going through a trial it is particularly hard to remember that the Lord loves us.  We even may "curse God" and wonder why He is putting us through this.  But next time this happens to you, stop and very carefully look around and listen.  You might find some things in your life at that time with the Lord's signature on them; proof to you that He does indeed know what you're going through, and proof to you that He also does indeed love you very much. 

I know this, and I'm very thankful for that knowledge.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

Today I'm thankful for "favorite things".  We love to have our favorite things around us.  We even get a little OCD about our favorite things.  I thought I'd just make a list of my favorite things and just let you wonder about why they are my favs.  :0)  Some may be repeat subjects from past gratitude posts:
- my piano
- hoodie jackets
- jeans
- mens white quarter socks
- my Dallas Cowboy t-shirt
- my stuffed weird animal collection
- my bed
- pumpkin cookies
- Nutella spread
- my truck - Ford F150
- the scriptures
- blue malva shampoo
- jergens lotion
- Harry Potter
- any other good book
- my kitchenaid mixer (red)
- spiral notebooks
- Pentel pens
- New Mexican food
- dark chocolate
- my husband
- my children
- my grandchildren
- road trips
- fall (the season)
I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND, THIS LAND IS MY LAND.....

Today I'm thankful for living in this great country! I never realized exactly how priviledged we are to live in the US until I lived in and visited other countries. I also never realized how that we have a more varigated landscape than other countries. Foreigners have never seen things like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc. I heard a story yesterday about a man who was visiting another state and he met a man from that state. The man who lived in the state asked the visitor what he had seen during his visit. He mentioned a national landmark and the man who lived there said he had never been there. The visiting man could hardly believe that this man who had lived in this state all his life had never been to the national landmark. The man asked the visitor what state he was from and he told him. The man said that he had been to that visitor's state and had gone to a national landmark there. The visitor ashamedly replied that he had never been to that landmark in his own state. It makes me think of all the places in my own state that I haven't been to yet. It also makes me think of people who always want to go visit another country, but I wonder how much of this country they have seen? My husband and I have traveled around to a lot of places but there is so much more of this US that we would like to see, I hope we do.
 "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine


Sunday, November 27, 2011

I realized that I had not posted one of my gratitude drafts, which is why I have two postings today. 

Today I'm thankful for my grandparents.  I have been thinking about them because my husband and I go to a geneology class on Sundays. 

I didn't know my paternal grandfather.  He died when I was a baby.  I only knew my paternal grandmother slightly.  I only have 4 memories of her.  My grandmother lived with us the last couple years of her life because she was a heart patient.  She would let me come in her room and stand on a chair to look in the box that was attached to the top of her chest of drawers.  It had all kinds of things in it, none of which I can remember.  I do remember that when you opened it, it had a strong medicinal odor.  Another memory I had of her was standing outside her bedroom door and watching her hold my baby brother, Sticks, and talk to my other brother, Twist.  She loved my brothers and it was obvious to watch her.  The third memory I have of her is the paramedics taking her to the hospital after she had a heart attack.  We were at church and got a phone call from the babysitter who was watching over her.  The last memory I have of her is looking at her in her coffin at her funeral. 

The grandparents I did know were my mother's parents.  We visited them every year of my life (that I remember) in the summer.  We would leave the week after school got out in June and not come back until August.  My favorite memories of grandma are seeing her in her apron cooking at the woodstove, or down by the clothesline gathering clothes off the line.  I loved going there eating her homemade bread, homemade butter, homemade jam, and skimming the cream off the cow's milk to put on top of my slice of homemade bread with butter and jam.  This is where we ate the bread and milk for dinner (see Daily Food post).  When I was younger we washed clothes in her ringer washer and hung them on the line, had to use the outhouse - which was scary if you had to go out at night.  Grandma used to get us to weed the garden, but I was only allowed to weed the onions or carrots, since I couldn't distinguish a weed from a plant on the other plants.  :0)

My grandfather was the biggest teaser I have ever known. He was always teasing me or someone else.  I finally learned to try to get him back or make him think his teasing had no affect on me.  I think I was actually closer to my grandfather than I was to my grandmother.  Without going into details, I just want to say that he gave me some advice once, and I didn't follow it.  I felt really bad about it and it bothered me for several years, until I fixed it and obeyed his advice.  I miss him. 

DAILY FOOD

Since we just had Thanksgiving,  I'm thankful for food.  I think today I'm thankful for my favorite foods.  One of my favorite things to eat when I was a kid was a cold roast beef sandwich with butter on one of the slices of wheat bread and mustard on the other slice, with lettuce and a piece of cheese. To make this the greatest meal, you had to have a glass of chocolate milk to go with it.  :0)

This is going to sound gross to people who have never had this, but I also loved to eat bread and milk when I was a kid.  We had this a lot, as it was my parents favorite also.  It always tasted the best at my grandparent's house, because then you could go down to the garden and pull up a green onion or a white icicle radish to go with it.  When I got married I never ate it again.  My husband just didn't get it.  But he introduced me to something I liked better than bread and milk - Cornbread and milk.  Most definitely better.

My absolute favorite foods is New Mexican food with green chile.  When I lived in Texas I loved the Tex-Mex food, but New Mexican food is even better than that!  My favorites are cheese enchiladas, tamales, chile rellenos and sopapillas.  Yum.

Pies have to be my most favorite dessert.  My great aunt was one of the best pie makers!  She was famous and even ran a restaurant with her husband that served her famous pie.  I would save my money so that when we went to my grandparents for vacation, I could go to her restaurant and buy her Sour Cream Raisin Pie.  My mouth waters just thinking about it!  My mother-in-law is the next best pie maker.  She excels in Pecan Pie, Coconut Cream Pie and Chocolate Pie. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A GRATEFUL HOLIDAY

We went out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit my mother-in-law and my husband's sisters and families.  I published 2 posts while I was gone so now I have 3 to catch up on. 

The first thing I am thankful for is my mother-in-law and the fact that she is one of the best cooks I have known in my life.  She has been a profound influence on me in my life and has helped me want to be a better cook.  This is saying a lot for someone who really is not that fond of cooking.  I know I fall very, very short of ever being able to cook as well as her, but I have made an even stronger effort because of her influence.  Here is a picture of our Thanksgiving spread.  You can't see the turkey from here because this is only Counter #1.  There is also Counter#2 and Stove #1.  :0)
The next thing I am thankful for is the safe drive we had both to my mother-in-law's and back home.  Coming home the wind was blowing so incredibly hard it was unbelievable!  And let me just tell you right now, that with the drought Texas has been experiencing, it is just a dust bowl.  So we drove through sandstorm after sandstorm as we drove down the highways and passed unplowed fields.  Some places were almost zero visibility.  That was really scary.  We stopped right at the edge of Twist's town to get some gas and when I went into the store to use the bathroom, I could hardly walk upright the wind was so strong.  Sorry we didn't stop Twist, it was only 9:30 am and we were afraid conditions would just worsen as the day went on, so we just kept going. 

Last, I am thankful for my husband's family  I love all 3 of my sisters-in-law and my 3 brothers-in-law very much.  We have a lot of fun when we go there, and especially at Thanksgiving.  For almost at least 30 years, if not more, my sisters-in-law and I would do a craft after Thanksgiving dinner, while the guys and my mom-in-law watched the games.  We have made some pretty cool stuff and some pretty crazy stuff, but we have also had so much fun doing it!  Now that we all have grandkids, and their kids and grandkids are visiting, this has died out.  I think it mostly died out when we went to Ireland.  But it was fun while it lasted.  Now we have a new activity that is just as fun:  This year we hit all the antique stores in town! There are 2 boutiques we go to first and then we go to 4 antique stores.  What a surprise we found when we saw that they had turned the old grocery store on main street into another antique store.  It is a really big one too and full of lots of cool stuff!  This year my husband and one brother-in-law also went to the antique stores. They were looking for antique tools, but didn't find any they wanted.  This was after they had gone to the sale at the tractor store first.  Another of our favorite things to do when we are there is to play "Spinner".  It is such a fun game, and is really an easy-going game, so you can laugh and talk and have fun while you're playing.  I tried to play it here with some friends.  I don't know if they just needed to play it some more, or if they were just too serious on winning the game.  Regardless, it didn't come across as much fun to them.  :0+ 

Friday, November 25, 2011

THANKSGIVING

Today I'm thankful for Thanksgiving!! :0)








Monday, November 21, 2011

TEXAS

Today I'm thankful for being able to live in Texas for 30 years of my life.  I lived in 3 different cities during those 30 years.  I love Texas.  I loved living there and spending my teenage years there.  We moved there when I was 14.  Texas has a love for their state and a love for their country unlike any other state I've ever been in, and I miss that now that I'm not living there.  Even though I lived in Texas for 30 years, I had never been to visit the Alamo until this year.  It was great seeing the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk and learning about Texas history.  If I ever decide to live in another state besides the one I live in now, I'm moving back to Texas. 

FOR HEALTH AND STRENGTH

There's a children's song that says: "For health and strength and daily food, we praise thy name, O Lord". 
Today I'm thankful for my health.  I'm basically a pretty healthy person.  A few years ago I had both of my knees replaced.  It sort of surprised a lot of people that I had that done, because most people didn't know that I even needed the operation (which I don't know how they could have thought that.)  My knees were okay until I fell one night at a wedding reception at church.  Someone had spilled a glass of water and my son-in-law was on the floor wiping it up.  As I walked in he put up his hand and said, "Be careful, there's water on the floor!"  He really didn't even get that sentence out and I had slipped and fell on one knee with the other leg stretched out in front of me.  It wasn't so much the water that made me slip, as it was my shoes.  I had experienced problems with those shoes before slipping on even a slightly damp floor and should have thrown them away, but they were such comfortable heels that I never did.  Anyway, from then on I had problems with my right knee.  About a year later I was helping with a church service project.  We were digging up fence posts and I was helping.  I stepped wrong and stepped in a hole and twisted my left knee (the one that had stretched out straight when I fell at the wedding reception).  That did it for my left knee.  After that all I wanted to do was sit down.  If I went anywhere, I would constantly be looking for anywhere to sit down.  I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes without being in pain.  But all of this didn't really slow me down.  I still continued to work as a volunteer at our LDS temple where I would have to stand for long periods of time.  I only worked 2 days a week, and would usually spend the day after working at the temple resting up. 

I remember right after I had twisted my left knee by stepping in the hole, we had booked an Alaskan Cruise.  It was a 14 day trip - the first 10 days was on land going all over Alaska and Canada.  We wouldn't get on the cruise ship until the 11th day.  We rode on buses, river boats, trains, yachts, more buses, steam engine trains, more boats and more buses.  Everyday was different and every day was torture.  We would stop when we were on the bus from time to time so everyone could get off and stretch their legs.  I didn't want to get off, but they would make me.  I would get off for 5 minutes and would be the first person back on the bus.  We walked everywhere and even when we got on the ship.  It was a torturous trip.

My knees got worse and worse. I had to use a cane, and after several years, I started having shoulder problems from leaning on the cane too much.  I started having back problems and had got to where I couldn't even stand up straight.  I had been seeing an orthopedic surgeon all those years, but he didn't want to do knee replacement until I was at least 60 years old.  He had already done the laproscopic surgery on both knees, where they go in and scrape your kneecap, but it hadn't worked on either knee.  One day I went in to see my doctor and I told him I had reached my limit.  I told him that I knew that he didn't want to do surgery until I was 60, but that I felt 90 NOW!  I told him my shoulder hurt from leaning on the cane all the time, I literally could hardly stand up straight, etc., and I wanted the surgery now.  He reminded me that you can only have knee replacement twice and each knee only lasts 8-15 years (max).  I told him I didn't care, that I was tired of acting old now and even if I had to be in a wheelchair when I was 80, I wanted both my knees replaced now.  And besides, I told him, by the time I needed a 2nd replacement, medical science would have something new. 

Anyway, I did it.  It was hard, but I'm so glad I had it done.  It gave me my life back.  I'm still slow getting up and down.  I go up the stairs even slower, but I get up there.  I also remember thinking back when I was so crippled up, that the Lord couldn't use me in that condition and that I really needed to have the operation.  Well, he's using me now!  :0)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A THANKFUL WEEKEND

Since I wasn't able to post on Friday or Saturday, I'll catch up on those first:
I'm thankful for Fall!  I love fall - it is my favorite time of year!  I love the fall colors and I even love to see the leaves on the ground.  I see people who hurry to rake up their fall leaves, but I love to leave them at least until they get crunchy, because it's just part of Fall!  We usually love to take a "Fall Leaf" drive, but we just never had the time to do it this year.  Even if we're really busy, we usually can just drive up the back of the mountain, but this year we didn't even do that. 

I remember when I was a kid I used to love to rake up the fall leaves and jump in the piles.  What kid doesn't love to do that?  I always had to pay for it though, because that much close contact with fall leaves would always trigger an allergy attack. 

Another thing I'm thankful for is the internet.  I know the internet has it's bad points, but there is some really good stuff out there.  We live in a time when we have all kinds of information right at our fingertips.  I love to be able to "talk" with my family on our family chats every Sunday.  It's also fun to email my sisters several times a day if we wish!  We keep talking about doing a "Sister Chat".  We used to do one, but when we went to Ireland I had to bow out since I was already getting up at 2:45am once a week for family chat while I was there.  This week I made a recipe that I had found on the internet - "Despicable Me Cupcakes" !!  We had a birthday party for Stace-Ghost on Saturday night, and I made her a cake and Despicable Me Cupcakes for my grandkids.  I learned that I am NOT a cake decorator.  But I tried!  Here's how you do it:
Make yellow cake cupcakes and use a silver cupcake liner.  When they are cool, frost them with white frosting.  Cut a Twinkie in half and spread a little frosting on the cut end and press onto the cupcake.  Using only white Smarties for eyes (gotta find something else, there is only 1 or 2 white ones per package!) - stick on with frosting.  You'll have to buy black food coloring because black doesn't come in a normal mixed package of food coloring. I tried mixing colors to make black but could only get to gray and that didn't look good. Tint the rest of the icing black and pipe around the smarties for "glasses" and put a small dot of black icing in the middle of the Smartie for the eyeball.  Then pipe a mouth.  Remember that some of the Minions only had one eye.  :0)

And finally, I'm thankful for my bed!  I love my bed!  It especially felt good this week when we would work so hard (being the week before Thanksgiving) at the Storehouse and have tired and aching muscles.  And after 3 days of being there this week, by Saturday night when we went to bed we could hardly move.  We have a Sleep number bed.  My number is 35.  :0)  One week I was having shoulder problems with my right shoulder and after I had lain in bed for a few minutes that night, I reached over and let it down to 30. Aaaahh!  If the power ever goes out for an entire night we're sunk though.  :0+  It does need power to stay inflated.  I think it can stay inflated for several hours, but I'm not sure how long.  We also love our down alternative comforter!  I used to think I loved electric blankets, but my comforter beats that hands down!  We stayed in a hotel once that had a down comforter and we were sold,  We bought one when we got home from that trip.  When we went to Ireland we bought one there.  We loved it even more than the one we had at home, so when we came home we brought it with us and gave our other comforter to Babs and Stace-Ghost.  We used to have our bed in front of our tv in our bedroom, but I could never watch a movie without falling asleep, so we rearranged our bedroom so we could put 2 recliners in front of the tv instead.  We figured since we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, we would get the kind of bed that would be the most comfortable. :0)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

HARD WORK

Today I'm thankful for Hard Work. This might sound weird, but sometimes I just really like doing hard work. Today we worked pretty hard at the Storehouse. We did 34 orders. That's like twice our regular numbers. We hardly sat down all day. I like doing hard housework too. My favorite outfit to wear to do housework is a pair of capris (winter or summer), t-shirt, crocs, a fanny pack with either my IPod in it, or my Walkman so I can either listen to music cds or Harry Potter while I'm working. If I'm not listening to either of those, I get my phone and put it in the fanny pack and put my headset on and talk on the phone to one of my daughters. If I'm talking on the phone, or listening to music or HP, it doesn't even seem like I'm working.


I've got a hard project I want to start right after Christmas.  I'm going to strip the cabinets on the big island bar in my kitchen and paint it a barn red.  Then I'm going to sand down the butcher block top and restain it a darker color.  Then....depending on how hard it was to strip that, I'm going to strip all the other cabinets in the kitchen and restain them.  :0P  I also want to get new hardware for the cabinets.  Right now it's just making me tired thinking about it...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WOODWORKING

Today I'm thankful for my husband's talent of woodworking. He's always wanted to learn this craft and it's just been in the last almost 10 years that he's pursued it. That's one of the reasons we moved to the house where we live now, so he could have a woodshop. Anyway, he's having a lot of fun with it and now that he's retired it gives him something to do. :0) After we came home from Ireland, he was so happy to be able to get back in his shop. One day I went out to his shop to talk to him and he said, "You know, I need to find something for you to do in my shop so you can be out here with me." I told him that I appreciated the fact that he wanted to be with me, but truthfully I had other things I needed to do. :0P He's taken several classes and watched lots of videos to be able to learn how to do this. Here's a couple pictures of projects he has done:
This is a desk he made for Gilbert Girl.  The two bottom drawers on each side are file drawers.  Since she does the books for her husband's business, she needed a new desk.  Her other one was falling apart.
These are 2 nightstands my husband made for one of our guest rooms.  He was just wanting to do a project to practice and he was the one who suggested making nightstands.  They turned out so well I want him to make new end tables and a coffee table for my living room sometime.  But I have to "get in line" because some of my other kids have already put in their orders. :0)

 This is my Great Grandmother's buffet. My mom says she thinks it actually was my Great Great Grandfather's and he gave it to my Great Grandmother. My husband didn't make this, but he

restored it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SUNSHINE

Today I'm thankful for sunshine! I live in a very sunny part of the US. We have an average of 278 days of sunshine a year, with an average temperature of 70 degrees in spring and fall, 90 degrees average in summer and 50 degrees average in winter. About 6 months before we moved here, I was driving around in the city where we lived and it was incredibly hot and humid. I thought,"Can't we live somewhere where the weather is better than here?" Six months later we moved here where I think we have absolutely perfect weather.


I remember when we lived in Ireland we didn't get to see the sun that often. May and June there are the
sunniest months with an average of 5-6 hours a day of sunshine. December is the dullest month, with only 1 hour a day of sunshine. So I missed my sunshine!

I looked up the benefits of sunshine on the web. Here they are:
- Vitamin D from the sun with works with calcium to strengthen bones
- Helps us sleep better by resetting our internal clocks
- Gives us healthier skin and helps clear acne, eczema and psoriasis
- Some people can get Seasonal Affective Disorder from living in places that don't have much sunshine
- Stimulates appetite and helps with digestion
- Inhances immune system
- Encourages healthy circulation and stimulates the production of red blood cells
- Sunshine is a healing agent
- Helps balance hormones (! Who knew?)
- Improves function of liver
- Can lower arthritic pain levels
- Treatment for jaundice
-Can help lower blood cholesterol levels
-Can kill viruses, bacteria and mold on skin
-Regular amounts can help build up against UV exposure

There you go!  Get out in the sun!  :0)

Monday, November 14, 2011

HARRY POTTER

Ok, maybe you think this is funny, but today I'm thankful for Harry Potter.  Or maybe I should be thankful for JK Rowling and her awesome imagination. We watched our new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 dvd last night. I've loved reading the books, listening to the books on cd, listening to the movie soundtracks on cd, and watching the movies - both in the theaters and on dvd.

I've often thought what it would be like to have not only an imagination like JK Rowling, but also her writing talent. See?  More reason to tell your kids or grandkids stories you make up!  I guess another thing I'm thankful for concerning Harry Potter, is Jim Dale.  He narrates all the Harry Potter cds.  He has the greatest voice!  How would it be to have a job where all you did was read books?  Pretty cool. 

Thanks JK and Jim!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

HOME

Today I'm thankful for my home.  I love my home.  For me, a home is a place to get away from the world.  I think Jane Austen said it best in  Emma, where she says, "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." I've found that since my husband retired, I probably stay home far more than I did before.  I'd just rather be here.  I love to travel and always enjoy our trips, but the best part is coming back home.

 Lately I've been seeing that I have way too much junk in my home.  In fact, really ever since I got home from Ireland I have felt that.  So I have methodically been keeping a box in one of the bedrooms and whenever I run onto something that I think I can really live without it goes into the box.  Then when the box gets full it goes to Goodwill. 

Today I had the opportunity to get rid of 3 stuffed animals (all that I could part with at this time).  I have what I call my "Weird Animal Collection" which is stuffed animals, but not your normal teddy bears.  Today I parted with my Alaskan Moose, Monkey, and my Possum.  :0)  Together with a backpack, a tote bag, and about 5 children's books, I gave them to a little girl at church who is starting a collection for CYFD.  I thought it was a good cause.

I've also donated a bunch of my music to our Stake Choir.  I told the choir director that I'd do that every time she decided to do one of my songs.  (I have a whole lateral file drawer full of choir music that I have bought.  See?  Too much junk...

I'm getting ready to start a big project.  I'm going to strip the finish off of my big island bar and paint it a barn red.  I may get it all stripped and chicken out on the barn red, but I'm definitely stripping it to see how hard it is to do.  My sister-in-law redid all her cabinets and said it wasn't as hard as she thought it would be.  I want to refinish all the other cabinets, but I just keep thinking it'd look cool if the island was barn red.  I thought about painting all the cabinets an off-white.  I had a friend who just did that to her kitchen, but I really don't think I'd like it and I don't think it'd go with the rest of the house.  I may not get to it until after Christmas, but who knows?  I'll let you know. 

Be it ever so humble......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

MY BROTHERS & SISTERS AND NEW FRIENDS

Well, I skipped yesterday so I'll do "catch-up today"...

MY BROTHERS & SISTERS:
I am thankful for my brothers and sisters.  I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters:  Inklings, Joyce, Twist, Stick, Delirious, and Mr. Giggles.  I never knew Joyce, because she was born and died before I was born.  But even though I never knew her, she has been an influence for good in my life.

Twist lives closest to me and it was his visit yesterday that prompted me to write this. He, his wife and son stayed with us last night on their way to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah where his son will begin his mission for 2 years to Bolivia.  It was fun to have them come through and visit.  We went out and ate Mexican food and then went back to the house and just sat and talked (my favorite thing to do) since Elder Missionary can't watch tv now that he is an official missionary. 

All of us try each year to get together in the summertime at the home of our parents, to visit, attend reunions, fish and play.  We have a lot of fun and have all gotten to the point where almost all of our kids are now grown.  We also have a family chat each Sunday night.  Our parents don't join us on the chat since they don't have internet. 

I'm so glad we all make the effort to be close, there are way too many families who don't even have contact with their siblings.  I'm also glad that we have so much fun together.  We're always laughing and joking with each other.  My husband dubbs us "frustrated comedians".  So be it!

NEW FRIENDS:
 I think there's a quote that says: Make new friends, keep the old.  That may be true, but today I'm thankful for new friends.  We have a group of new friends that we have made at the Storehouse.  A couple people in that group are old friends that we are reaquainting with.  Some days we are so busy we are practically bumping into each other trying to fill orders.  Then come the moments when no one will come in for like an hour or so.  Then, out comes the needlework - I do embroidery, 2 ladies crochet and one knits.  Other days like today we might pull out our cell phones and listen to different ringtones, or play trivial pursuit, that is an app on one guy's phone.  Other new friends are our repeat patrons who come in a couple times a month. 
Being with these new friends is kind of a different experience.  Maybe it's because we all know we're there for a purpose.  :0)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

THE STOREHOUSE

Today I'm thankful for the opportunity my husband and I have to work in the Bishop's Storehouse.  The reason I say this today is because tomorrow is Thursday and that's one of the days we go (the other day being Saturday).  The Bishop's Storehouse is like a grocery store without the cash registers.  It's a place that people from our faith can go to get groceries, if they are having hard times.  In payment, they can come work in the storehouse with us sometime, or do other things like clean the church building.  We work with a group of really great people who have become our friends.

When we first started, there were afternoons when we didn't have many people come in, so us women would pull out our needlework.  The past couple of weeks we've been so busy that we haven't had time to do much needlework.  Must be a sign of hard times. 

I think it's fun to work in the Storehouse.  We process fruits and vegetables by putting them in plastic bags in increments of 5 pounds for the apples, oranges and potatoes, and 1 pound for carrots.  Then we just help fill the people's orders when they come in.  Sometimes someone will come in with several orders for different people in their ward.  One time we were really busy and almost everyone was already helping someone.  A lady came in with 3 orders.  Three of us each took one, and we all did them alone.  Most of the time we have either the person who the order belongs to or another Storehouse person helping pull the order.  I thought it was great fun to do the order by myself because then I could let my OCD kick in and  put stuff in boxes EXACTLY the way I want it.  :0D 

About a week ago I was going through a personal hard time and had been quite depressed for a few days.  I just want to say here that this was strictly a personal matter and had nothing to do with my marriage, my husband or any of my children.  That Thursday morning when I was putting my makeup on to get ready to go to the Storehouse, I was really feeling bad and you know, it's really hard to put makeup on when you can't stop the tears from falling from your eyes... Anyway, I worried that I wouldn't be able to pull it together to make it through the day at the Storehouse.  But, when I walked through that door, it literally felt like the Lord just lifted that burden right off of my shoulders and I not only never thought about it again while I was there, I actually had a really nice day. 

I'm so thankful for this inspired welfare program and for the opportunity my husband and I have to be a part of it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BOOKS

Today I am thankful for books.  I love to read and I love books of almost any kind.  I really think the person who helped me develop a love for reading was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Sydow.  She moved up to 6th grade and I got her again that year.  I loved it when she would read a book to us in class.  I loved her voice and the way she read.  Do teachers even do that anymore?  I remember her reading, The Wheel on the School, and The Wind in the Willows.  But the books she read that I loved the absolute most were The Little House on the Prairie books.  She started with reading us, On the Banks of Plum Creek, and that did it for me.  I went to the library and checked out every single book in that series and read them all.  Other books I read and loved growing up were The Black Stallion series and the Big Red books, the Nancy Drew series and the Trixie Belden series.  When I got to junior high, I had an English teacher whose name I can't remember, who told us that instead of reading The Scarlet Letter that year, which is when everyone read it, we were going to read, Rebecca.  It is still one of my favorite books, and I still haven't read The Scarlet Letter.  Some other books that I have loved is, Gone With the Wind, Jane Eyre, all of the Victoria Holt books, Secret Garden, Little Women, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Education of Little Tree, The Book Thief, all of the Harry Potter series, the Narnia books, all of John Grisham's books, Pride and Prejudice, My Cousin Rachel, and many, many more too numerous to mention.  If I were all alone and had the choice of watching a good movie on tv or reading a good book, it would be the latter, hands down.

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high!

Monday, November 7, 2011

GRANDCHILDREN

"Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old." - Mary H. Waldrip

Today I am thankful for my grandchildren.  I have 9 grandchildren - 3 boys and 6 girls ranging in ages from 2 to 18.  Six of my grandkids live here in the same town as me and the other 3 live in a neighboring state.  Using their middle names I'd like to tell you about my grandkids, from oldest to youngest. 

Timothy is 18.  It's hard to believe he's not only that old, but he is now taller than both his dad and his grandfather.  He's planning on going on a mission for our church next fall when he turns 19.  He is still in high school and will graduate next May.  He is currently captain of his team of "Minutemen" that assist the cheerleaders in his school. 

Betty is 15 and made it on the Drill Team this year.  It's fun to see Betty and Timothy "almost" working together at the football games.  They do argue at times like brother and sister, but they ride to school together (Tim driving), and help their mom out by tending their little sister after school. 

Hope is turning 14 next month.  She is a counselor in her Beehive class presidency at church and is on the school yearbook staff.  She loves to be involved and like Betty and Tim, is a big help to her mother with her brothers and sister.  She is always telling me about books she has read, because she knows I like the same kinds of books she does.
 
Marlene is turning 8 next month.  This is her first milestone in life as she will be baptised.  We are hoping to be able to fly up for that weekend.  If Mickey Mouse had a blond girlfriend instead of Minnie, it would be Marlene.  She has a little Minnie Mouse voice.  Think Minnie Mouse with a Southern accent. :0)  Her favorite thing to do when I visit is put on a fashion show for me in her dress-up clothes.

Grace is 6 and right now is feeling the gap between herself and Hope.  Luckily she has her two brothers and it is obvious how much she loves them by watching her play with them.  Grace loves tablets of paper and pens and pencils.  Grace will fill tablets and tablets of paper with her writing and drawing.  Her favorite game to play at Grandma's is "Restaurant"  where she and Marion each get a tablet of paper and a pen and take my "order" for dinner.

Marion is also 6 and she and Grace have so much fun together when they come to Grandma's house.  If Grace isn't here, Marion can always entertain herself and never seems bored.  She loves to dance and has taken lots of dance classes.  She loves to show me her latest dance step that she is working on. 

Andrew is 3 but will be 4 in February.  He is a quiet boy who always seems to be thinking.  He loves his brother and sister Grace.  He also loves trains and cars and is fascinated by anything to do with them.  If I look at him, I think he is what his Grandpa must have looked like at that age, but then I remember that in the pictures I have of his Grandpa at the same age, his Grandpa is as blond as can be.  :0)

Abigail just turned 3 this summer.  Just think of Tinkerbell.  That is who Abigail looks like.  Her Grandpa calls her "Minnie Mite" because she is so petite.  I love it when she comes to tell me something, because she just jabbers away so serious and I can only understand about half of it.  She is saying words, but she jabbers so fast I can't catch them all.  When she is really serious and jabbering away, you'd think she was Italian since she uses hand jestures so much. :0)

Bond is 2 1/2 and is always smiling.  Sometimes he reminds me of my brother, Stick, when Stick was little,  because he smiles so much.  He is a happy little boy who loves to follow Andrew around.  It's so funny, because he calls Andrew by his (Bond's) nickname.  If you say, "No, that's not his name, his name is Andrew," he gets upset and says his own nickname again.  He is convinced they both have the same name, because if you ask him his own nick-name, he says it right.  Bond loves trains and cars and especially planes. 

These are my grandkids.  I love them very much and are very thankful that the Lord let me be their grandmother. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MUSIC

Today I am thankful for music.  Music is a big part of my life.  I play the piano and organ and I played the organ for church today.  Hymns are one of my favorite things to play.  I left almost an hour early for church so I could practice my Christmas music on the organ that I'm playing for the Ward Choir.  I'm not great on the organ, but I'm okay and I actually fool a lot of people into thinking I'm better than I really am.  :0)  I was also a choir director twice - a total of about 10 years.  That was a really fun calling.  The second time was my music education.  I was a co-director with another lady who helped me to learn a lot more about music, since I don't have a formal education in that.  I miss not doing that anymore but maybe someday....  In the meantime I'm trying to regain my piano talent that lessened when I spent a year and a half in Ireland without playing much.  I love music - playing, singing, leading and listening.  What would we do without music in our lives? 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A MONTH OF GRATITUDE

I've been seeing people posting things that they're thankful for on Facebook, so I decided to follow suit on my blog.  Since this is already the 5th day of the month, I'll have to do catch-up.  Hopefully I'll find the time to post every day, but if not, I'll catch up the next day. 

So for the first 5 days of November, here are 5 things that I'm thankful for:

1) My Husband.  Lately I've felt so thankful for the opportunity we have to be retired and to be together everyday.  You'd think after 41 years of marriage we'd be tired of each other, but I love to be with him.  I love to just watch him work around the house, working in the yard, and in his wood shop.  We have a lot of fun and he is truly my soul mate. 
2)  My Children.  I have 5 children - 3 girls and 2 boys, born in that order.  I am so lucky to be able to live by 3 of them: Gilbert Girl, Rintor, and Babs.  My oldest daughter lives one state away - roughly 12 hours driving time, and my other daughter lives 2 states away.  I remember when my kids were little, women would call me to see if we could "share" babysitting.  I told them I didn't need a babysitter.  They asked me what I did when I wanted to go to the store?  I told them I took my kids with me.  I loved to take my kids to the store.  I expected them to behave, and for the most part they did.  Oh sure, I remember having times when someone didn't behave - then we promptly left the store.  We didn't have a lot of money to go do things when they were little, but I want them to know that I enjoyed their company and loved just being around them no matter what we did, and that goes the same for now.  I would rather be around my children than anyone else (other than my husband).  I love them and love to be with them.  I enjoy talking with them and am interested in their life and the things they do.  They are all great people and I am very proud of them.
3) My Faith.  I am thankful for my faith in God and Jesus Christ.  I am proud to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and to have been raised as a Mormon.  I honestly don't know how people get through life without a faith in God.  My faith has sustained me through the many trials I have in my life, it gives me hope to get through these trials, hope for a life after this one.  I know the Lord has helped me many, many times in my life and I feel his Spirit daily. 
4) My Parents.  I'm so thankful for my parents.  They are good people who were great examples to me.  I'm thankful for the life I had growing up.  Thankful for my parent's testimonies that influenced me to be a better person.  I'm thankful for the things they taught me in my life and for the wonderful childhood I had.
5) Me.  I'm thankful for who I am.  I know I have a long way to go, but lately I've just been glad to be me.  I'm thankful for the life I have and even for the trials that have made me who I am.  More than once this week, I've thought that I have a great life and I'm thankful for it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ANTIQUED

My mom and dad gave me this buffet about a year ago. Mom said it belonged to my Great Grandmother and possibly even to her father. That means it's at least 100 years old if not older. It sat in our garage for at least 6 months, but my husband finally got around to it and here is the result. He had to stain it quite a bit darker than I had wanted it because of an ink stain on the top of the buffet that he couldn't get out. It still has the original mirror. We also replaced the hardware with some styled after that age. It looks really nice and these pictures don't quite do it justice.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HOT DOGS AND S'MORES

The other night we had a cookout with our kids and grandkids.  At my last pack meeting I bought roasting forks so the scouts could cook marshmallows and make S'mores, and that gave me the idea to have a family cookout so the kids could cook their own hot dogs and then have S'mores for dessert.  We have a free-standing firepit.  We actually have an outdoor fireplace also, but the firepit is easier for the kids to get to.  I think at first they thought it was great fun, but then they complained about smoke in their eyes and the fire too hot, etc.  I thought it was great fun!  They also thought they could just stick their hot dog in the fire for 3 seconds and it would be done.  I think they had more fun roasting the marshmallows because they didn't take as long, and also because of the reward of the S'more afterwards.  The adults had either steaks, brats, hamburgers or hot dogs, even though I totally forgot about the hamburgers until we were almost ready to eat and then we hurried and cooked them.  I think I still miscounted and didn't cook all the hamburgers that were ordered and someone ate something else instead.  Oh well.  We kept the fire going and after it got dark, I got out some glow bracelets I had bought at Michaels for $1.00 and we made necklaces for everyone.  They had fun chasing each other around in the dark and throwing their necklaces up in the air.  One of my grandson's complained to me that he couldn't throw his up as high as his sisters could.  I told him it didn't matter how high it went, and to just have fun throwing it.  He thought about it a second and ran off to throw it some more.  My grandkids on the east side of town wore their costumes over so we could see them.  My oldest granddaughter said she would put her costume on after dark, which she did.  She wore a black jumpsuit - long sleeved with a hood.  It was battery-operated and when she turned it on, a stick figure lit up.  The light up stick figure was all the way as big as she was - the legs went all the way down her legs, the arms all the way down her arms and the head went up around the hood.  It looked really cool!  All in all, it was great fun, even though we all reeked of smoke afterwards.  :0)

Monday, October 10, 2011

TRICK OR TREAT

LAST DAY OF BALLOON FIESTA

I heard the balloons going over my house so went out on my balcony to take these shots.
  Yesterday (Sunday) was the last day.




Friday, September 30, 2011

PENMANSHIP

A week or so ago, we received a thank-you note at the Bishop's Storehouse from a lady who had come for assistance with her groceries.  She wrote a beautiful thank-you to us, but the other thing that was so beautiful about her note was her handwriting.  She had absolutely beautiful handwriting!  She came in to the Storehouse again yesterday and I was talking to her about her note and telling her what beautiful penmanship she had.  She said she was a Fine Arts major and she also said her grandmother had beautiful handwriting. 
We talked about how note writing, is almost obsolete and especially thank-you notes, and even more rare is an actual hand-written thank-you note sent through the mail.  Too often we email, facebook, or twitter or thanks, if we even remember to do that at all.

Reading her note reminded me of my fourth grade teacher who was always on me about my handwriting.  She lectured and lectured me and would make me even redo some papers I handed in.  She always told me that I had nice handwriting if I would just slow down to write, and she was right.  Well, I don't know how nice it really is, but it is horrible if I'm in a hurry.  I also was reminded of my Dad's brother who had incredibly beautiful handwriting.  Although I don't think he wrote in cursive, he printed it.  I remember a letter my dad got from him and when I saw it, it looked like caligraphy, but not quite.   It was a work of art in itself. 

It makes me wonder if writing things by hand will become obsolete in the future?  Maybe.  But maybe it will turn into some kind of art.  We'll go to the art museums and there on the wall will be framed sheets of letters in beautiful handwriting.  :0)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

HP7-2

While I was working at the Storehouse today, a young man, his brother and sister (all young adults) came in to get an order for their family.  He told me that he had just submitted his papers to be a service missionary and was hoping he would get to come work at the Storehouse.  I told him I hoped he would too and told him how much fun it was.  From there we started talking about different subjects as we "shopped".  We discussed movies we'd seen recently and he asked me if I had seen the last Harry Potter movie (silly question).  I told him I had and he said that he hadn't seen it yet.  I told him that my husband and I had just gone to the dollar show last week to see "Super 8" (great movie!) and that we had seen a preview for the last HP movie, which meant it was coming to the dollar show.  He was so excited!  I told him that I told my husband that I had decided that I wanted to go see it one more time on the big movie screen before being forced to only watch it on dvds from now on.  His brother walked up just then and his brother said, "I kind of got tired of all the Harry Potter."  I looked at him and said, "Tired of Harry Potter!  I'd never be tired of Harry Potter!"  Silly boy......

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WORKING AT THE BISHOP'S STOREHOUSE

We started working at the Bishop's Storehouse today.  We started by taking a tour of the facilities and then watching several videos.  It was very interesting to me to see what the Church Welfare program is all about, and I thought I knew everything.  I'll have to blog more about this some other time. 

There are about 14 of us that work there.  Sometimes there's more.  We have one lady who is there because she is our cook.  She cooks us lunch everyday.  Today we had Green Chile -Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, Salad, carrot sticks, zuchinni and squash fried with onions, tortillas and bananna bread for dessert.  They had bottles of water and your choice of soda, one of which was diet coke (with the caffeine) which made my husband happy.  :0)  (and it was diet cherry coke too!)

We filled 14 food orders today.  I guess the thing that struck me the most today was the amount of organization that goes into the Church Welfare system.  Everything is very organized, very neat and tidy.  The other thing that sort of struck me was the look on the people's faces when they came in with their papers - strained, fearful, hard, unsmiling....and the relaxed smiles on their faces when they left.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I WANT TO BE A MISSIONARY NOW...

My husband and I have been asked to serve a service mission for our church for the next year.  We will be working 2 days a week at the Bishop's Storehouse, where people who are in need can come to get groceries.  They then pay back those groceries by working in the Storehouse themselves.  We start tomorrow.  We've known about this for about a month and have been waiting for the paperwork to go through.  We will be released from our other callings as soon as they find replacements for us.  This means in my case, giving up my Cubmaster position, of which I have been in only a short 8 months.  I feel sad at giving up this position since I was finally at the point where I was feeling like I actually knew what was going on now.  I also feel sad at losing the relationship with the other Cub Scout leaders and the Cub Scout boys themselves.  I have enjoyed getting to know them very much. It has really been an education to me to be in this position and has been one of the hardest callings I have ever had, not because the work was hard, but because I had no clue how to do it and I felt like I had been put on another planet when I got put in. 

At the same time, I look forward to what this new position will bring, since I have come to learn that no matter what you do in the church, it is always an education and an adventure. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'VE GOT MUSIC... WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE?

When we went to Ireland, I took one of my radio/cd players.  My husband assured me all we would need to do would be to plug it into a voltage converter before we plugged it into the outlet.  We bought a converter and plugged it in and it promptly blew up.  Well,  at least it blew out a part.  We didn't throw it away, but saved it, as my husband assured me he could fix it if he could get a part.  Sometime after we got back to the states he ordered a part for it online.  It wasn't a bad price - $20.  It took about 6 months to get that part however, but I can't remember why since it was so long ago.  The other day we got the part and today my husband put the new part into the radio/cd player and voila!  It works!  Yay!  Now I can have music in my kitchen again! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!!"

I have a new Droid Incredible HTC2 phone and I love it.  I love all the apps you can get for your phone, but I've decided that someone needs to come up with a new app.  I know that with most phones you can set certain rings for certain people who call you, so you'll know by just that ring who is calling.  The app I want is one that can read the mood of the person that is calling.  If that person is calling because they are stressed out, need money, mad at you, or are just having a bad day and want to vent to you, then a little cartoon robot - like the one from "Lost in Space" appears on your phone and says, "Danger!  Danger, Nene!  Do not answer!" 
:0D

Saturday, August 13, 2011

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE


For the past week and a half I have been trying to learn 8 piano pieces for a choir performance that is a week from this coming Sunday.  I did have 9 pieces, but just yesterday the other pianist (who is also one of the two choir directors, and is a pianist on the 10th number), decided she would play it.  These are not extremely hard songs, but they do have a few challenging parts.  So I've been practicing everyday for about an hour and a half.  Some interesting things have happened...
First of all, I have had some shoulder problems in the past due to a torn rotator cuff on my right shoulder.  Playing the piano too long would always aggrevate it.  I have to admit that it is sore, but not as bad as I thought it would be after a week and a half of playing an hour and a half every single day.  I really think it is helping my shoulder. 
The Second interesting thing that has happened has been that I was pretty rusty before.  For the last 3-5 years I have cut down on my choir accompanying due to other involvements and have only been playing hymns for church services.  In fact in the last 3 years I have only been playing hymns and nothing extra.  It's been very self-gratifying to feel my talent slowly (and I do mean slowly) coming back.  I know it will take many, many more weeks (and months) of practice to get back to where I was before.
The Third interesting thing is that it amazes me that on the more difficult parts of the songs, even though I have mastered some places and almost mastered others that I first had difficulty with, that there are still a few places that I am really having problems.  I've sat and played one line 5 times and 5 times made the same mistake.  So I play the right hand over and over and over.  Then I play the left hand over and over and over.  Then I play them together again and STILL make the same mistake!  I get my handy pencil out and mark the note - labeling what it is- then play it again.  Then I play it right.  So I play that page over again.  AGAIN I make the mistake!  Back to the right hand over and over and over... Then the left.....
Another trick I found out thanks to my good friend Dixie, is to just get out your handy-dandy-white-out pen and just take out a few notes.  :0) 
So maybe with a whole lot more practice, maybe a little more white-out, a bit of faking here and there, and if I can get it -  a lot more nerve, maybe I can pull this off.  Because no matter how hard you practice, if you can't overcome the nerve thing, you're pretty much screwed anyway.  Why did I agree to do this again???
I think I can....I think I can.....I think I can................................

Thursday, August 4, 2011

BEATING THE HEAT AT SIX FLAGS

I went to Dallas last Thursday and took 3 of my granddaughters who live here.  We went to stay with my daughter and her husband and 3 kids (boy and 2 girls).  I don't care how you drive it -Hwy 287 out of Amarillo, or I-40 through Oklahoma - that is one long drive to Dallas!  It took us 12 hours. 

The day after we got there we all went to Six Flags!  It was so much fun!  If you want to feel like a kid again, you really need to go to an amusement park!  It had been really hot before we got to Dallas, with temps around 108, but starting with the day we went to Six Flags and throughout the weekend while we were there, it was only 100-101.  Still, that is plenty hot!  The day we left, the temperature went back up and even higher to a scorching 112!  When we got in the park we split up - the teenagers going with my son-in-law to ride the scarier rides and my daughter and I taking the 3 little girls to Loony Toon Land.  My son-in-law rode a few rides with the teenagers until they got to one of the rides that he got sick on and then he sat out for awhile.  :0) 

After we had been there a couple of hours, we were really feeling the heat, so we decided to buy the refillable cup they sell for $15.99.  Yes, that is a lot to pay for a drink, but we really got our money's worth.  My daughter bought one and shared it with her little girl and I bought one to share with my other 2 granddaughters.  We first filled it with Powerade and that REALLY helped us feel better!  Then we decided it was time for a water ride, so we went on the log ride.  We got splashed a little, but not enough, so then we decided to go for the big one and went on AquaMan (see picture above).  On that ride, you get in a flat boat with about 10 or more other people and it takes you up a steep incline, around a curve and then straight DOWN!  As it comes down, it hits the water hard and splashes a huge wave up and into the boat and completely soaks everyone in the boat!  It was so funny!  Then when you get out of the ride, you walk up to the bridge where (if you want to) you can stand and wait for the next boat to splash down.  When it does, the huge wave also comes up onto the bridge and completely soaks whoever is standing up there.  It's so popular to do, that they have an employee there to make sure everyone stands to the back of the bridge to make sure the wave doesn't knock you down.  One problem though - don't wear tennis shoes.  If you do, then you have to walk around with soaking wet socks and shoes.  I had to take my shoe off and POUR the water out of it.  Flip flops would have been much better.  They do sell flip flops at the shops though, probably for that reason. The AquaMan ride was so much fun that we rode it again several hours later. :0)  As long as we stayed wet, we weren't hot.  They also had lots of misters to spray you as you walked by them. 

The other rides we rode were: The Gunslinger (you sit on a swing that swings you way up and around - we rode that twice too), The Tea Cup (we let the little girls ride this alone), The Hot Air Balloon (I passed on this one), The Mini-Mine Train (I wished I hadn't ridden this one - I lost one of  my diamond solitare earrings on this ride!  :0+ ), The Roaring Rapids (another water ride where we got soaked - it was fun and we rode this with the bigger kids and had a boat all to ourselves).  I rode this one with the girls that I can't remember what the name of it was - it was like a big bus that went up and around.  My daughter and the girls rode the Parachute drop, but I passed on that one also.  We also went to the Loony Toons show which was kind of corny, but funny all the same.  We didn't get to the park until about 1:30 and stayed until after 9pm.

On the way out we bought souvenirs.  Two of the little girls bought light sabers and the other one bought a Superman cape.  We also bought a light-up tiarra for one's little sister, and 2 light up noisy space guns for the other girl's brothers. 

So now I wonder if anyone could possibly have found, and turned in, my earring?  I guess a phone call won't hurt....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GOODBYE HARRY.....

My husband and I got up this morning and went to the 10am showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.  It was totally awesome!  The weird thing is, I started crying at the beginning of the fight scene.  I think, because I knew it meant that the Harry Potter movies were almost over.... 

My daughter-in-law, StaceGhost, got to go to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios in Orlando.  She brought me back a Griffindore bookmark and some Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans!  She also  brought us some Pumpkin Juice to taste.  It was pretty good, although I would have liked it better if they had cut the sugar a bit more. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

THEN YOU STAND...

I had an open house at my home Saturday night for some friends of mine who just finished a 2 year mission to the Phillipines.  We set up 4 tables with chairs in the backyard, but a dust storm blew in, so when we first started no one could go outside.  After about 30 minutes and maybe 60 drops of rain, it stopped, so we went out and got 3 of the tables and pulled them underneath the patio cover (which runs almost the length of the house) so people could sit under there if it started to rain again (it didn't).  We had tons of people in the house and all they did was stand and talk.  Just. Stand.  I had two rooms of couches and nice soft chairs inside, and three 6' tables with chairs outside, but people just stood in the kitchen and at the entrance to the kitchen.  Now granted, the food was in there, but once you get something to eat, don't you want to sit down?  I do.  I did have some people go sit at my dining room table, and several people went outside finally and sat down, but the original group just kept standing in the kitchen.  I didn't get it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

MURDER MYSTERY

We have a flat-roof house - southwest style.  So occasionally my husband has to get out  there and blow all the leaves, pine needles, pine cones, etc. off the roof.  The other day when he did it, he also blew out the canalies (rain spouts so the rain water will run off the roof).  He didn't realize that a dove had built a nest in one, so when he blew it out it blew out her nest that had 2 babies in it.  He felt really bad and didn't know what to do, so he went to the garage and got a shallow bucket thing (low and wide) and "built" a new nest and put the baby birds back in (he used gloves so as not to get his scent on them).  Then he put the new "nest" bucket in a tree close to the canalie.  We were worried that the mother would not find her babies and/or would not accept the new nest, but she did.  I kept telling myself that I should go take a picture of them because they were so cute, but I never did.  A couple of times when we accidentally walked too fast towards the tree, she would fly out in a hurry, fly to the ground and flutter around on the ground pretending to have a broken wing.  I guess that was to draw our attention to her so we would not attack her babies. :0)

The next afternoon my husband accidentally walked too fast towards the tree (he'd only done it one time before).  Sure enough she flew out and did her broken wing routine.  Then another dove (the father?) flew down to the grass with her.  He walked around beside her while she continued to pretend to be hurt.  Then they flew up onto the wall and sat a few minutes, then flew off.  We sat outside for about 45 minutes and never saw her come back, so we were worried about her.

The next morning, we sat down to breakfast and my husband looked out the patio door and said, "Uh oh!"  He said there were feathers all over the patio.  We went out to look and sure enough, there were no birds at all in the nest.  We looked all over for them and didn't find them. What we did find though was a pile of tiny feathers, tiny feathers all over the patio, and with the tiny feather pile were some larger feathers.  So we figured that the mother must have come back sometime last night, and in the night something must have gotten all of them.  :0(  There were no bodies, so whatever got them carried all of them off.  The only thing I could think of is that something - our neighborhood Hawk or our neighborhood Owl - must have gotten them and killed them and carried them off.  Maybe he did one at a time, or maybe killed all of them and carried them all at once.  We'll never know, but we also know he visits our yard for the tasty baby bunnies.  He has killed the babies and left them in the yard and we don't know why he did that either.  Did he kill too many and couldn't eat them all?  Was the bunny bigger than he could carry?  Who knows?  And we don't know if it's the Hawk or the Owl.  We've see both, and we know the Hawk loves to come sit on our fence or in one of our trees. 

Well, that's the Circle of Life.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONES, NO TALKING DURING THE MOVIE...

I just had to post this story about my little grandson.  He and his family took a trip to California a couple of weeks ago.  On their way home, he and his brother (brother is 3 and he is 2) were watching a movie on the dvd player.  I can't remember the movie, but it was one of their favorites, like "Toy Story" or "Cars".  His 6 year old sister kept talking about something, like what she was seeing out the window, or stuff they had done in California.  Finally, he turned to her and yelled, "NO TALKING!" 

He cracks me up!

Monday, June 27, 2011

CHOLESTEROL

For our Father's Day celebration, we had a cookout and barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs and brats.  The kids mostly wanted hot dogs and everyone else mostly wanted hamburgers, so we had a couple of packages of brats leftover.  I told my husband to cook all of them and then we could freeze them.  He and I ate one for lunch a couple of days in a row and then I put them in the freezer.  The 3rd day I asked him what he wanted for lunch.  He said he wanted another brat.  I said, "Don't you think you're pushing it with your cholesterol by eating brats for lunch 3 days in a row?"  He said, "No, it doesn't raise your cholesterol if you eat them for lunch." 

Who knew???

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CAFFEINE FREE

Diet Coke Pictures, Images and Photos

I went for my breast sonogram today.  As usual, they said everything is okay.  (I've been doing this the past 4 years).  They're safe for another year!  :0)  But....I decided 2 weeks ago to give up diet cokes.  I know my breasts have several cysts, and I've come to the conclusion that caffeine affects cysts.  You may disagree with me, but I've done the experiments - drinking lots of diet coke, and then cutting back drastically.  I've seen the difference and I think the caffeine makes them worse.  It's been harder than I thought.  I tried caffeine free diet coke, and to tell you the truth, I'd rather drink water than drink that.  Pretty gross.  In the meantime I've tried diet 7UP (pass), diet cherry 7UP (ok but not great), dark cherry Fresca (better than diet cherry 7UP), and Sparkling Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice (pretty good), and Sparkling Ocean Spray Blueberry/Pomegranite Juice (also pretty good).  Good old ice cold H20 is the best, but when I really get a craving, I try one of the above.  And every once in a great while, I do have a diet coke.  But you know what?  As time goes by, it doesn't seem as satisfying as it did when I was addicted to them.  So I think as time goes by I will crave them less and less.  A few years ago - I think it was about a year or two before we went to Ireland - I gave up diet cokes (caffeine).  But since my husband is a diet coke addict, I slowly got back on them.  But not this time.  It will be really interesting to see if all the cysts in my breast clear up, or not.  Another interesting thing - since I've given up diet coke, my husband has cut back drastically.  He's drinking all the substitutes I mentioned above, but is still drinking diet cokes too.  Who knows?  Maybe someday he'll kick it competely! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

APRICOT JAM


My husband and I picked all the apricots off of our tree this morning and I made 18 pints of jam.  We still left a few on the ground for the rabbits and squirrels to enjoy. In fact when I went back out to the tree for a few more, the squirrel was running off with an apricot in his mouth!  I even gave 2 gallon-size ziplox bags of
apricots to a friend who also made jam.  After I made these, I was glad that I had given them to her.  :0P

Friday, June 17, 2011

YOU CAN BE IN MY BAND...

Watch this - this is incredible!!  Somebody tell me if there's a way I can adjust my settings so it will show the whole picture better.

YEARLY MAMMO

I had an interesting experience the other day.  Last Tuesday I had to go get a mammogram.  Just my yearly thing.  As I walked into the waiting room after signing in, I was surprised to see a man sitting there playing classical guitar music.  As I sat there waiting my turn to be called, I wondered what this guy's story was.  Did they hire him to try to make the mammogram experience a bit less stressful?   Did his wife, or mother, or sister have breast cancer, or maybe died of breast cancer, and this waer,s his way of helping others?  Did he just need a place to "practice" his classical guitar in front of a live audience?  Whatever his story was, I was glad he was there, because it was so soothing to just sit and listen to his music.  When he finished his first number, I thought, "Should we clap?" But no one did, so I didn't either.  But as I listened to him play song after song and felt my body just relaxing more and more, I finally felt like I should say something.  The next time he finished a song where he paused for a minute, I thanked him for his beautiful music and told him it was very relaxing.  He made a comment about how wonderful the 1960's and 1970's composers were of the music he had been playing.  I knew a lot of the songs he was playing and the words to those songs went through my mind as he played them.  When my name was called, I went back into the dressing room to disrobe and put a gown on, and realized that his guitar music was piped in back there.  I got to sit there for about 10 more minutes listening to him play.  I don't know if I got my music term right or not, but when I say classical guitar, I mean he didn't strum it, and they weren't Spanish songs.  He just picked each note. I hope you understand what I mean.