Friday, February 29, 2008

How many times have I seen "Fiddler On A Roof"? Like a million? Maybe more? It was one of those 'safe' videos that I could even plug in on Sunday and leave the kids in front of and not feel guilty (well, not very guilty at least).

And it was on the boob-tube last night (why do I feel compelled to ALWAYS watch movies that I ALREADY HAVE when they are aired on television? Is there a support group for this?), and I tuned in right when the second daughter (Havel? Haval? Henry? Higgins?) is waiting for the train to follow her true-love to Siberia prison camp (or someplace cold and wasted in Russia where they send people who wave red flags in protest), and is singing to her father about why she's leaving (none of my kids ever sing when they leave; is this a common way to depart from home that I don't know about? Is there an on-line course I can refer them to?).

(Now if I can stop the ((())) for a few moments and get to the POINT, girlfriend...)

And sappy old me, I begin CRYING. What is it? I've seen this movie, I know what's coming, this is not a new, surprising story-line that hasn't been used before - I can't even use PMS as an excuse anymore.

So you know why I'm crying? Because MY daughter is moving soon. No, she isn't going to go to the frozen tundra of Russia via slow steam-engine to catch up somewhere in Siberia to a man she isn't even married to yet. And she certainly isn't going to sing a tear-jerking melodic farewell to either her father or me.


She's moving with all the benefits and advantages of a military officer's family. All of her household goods are being packed, shipped and delivered to her home in Hawaii. She, her kids and her husband (hopefully at the same time) are going to be flown to the islands. They are going to have a place to stay when they get there. They have a place to stay before they leave.

I think I'll just google for that support group for watching movies you already have. Or to find that course for my kids.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I take notes in sacrament meeting for two reasons.

Number one, then I have to keep paying attention to what is being said, and don't nod off (well, at least don't nod off as much).

Number two, if the talk is really, really good, I have a record of it (that is, if you can read and/or decipher my notes; generally my scribbles are enough to at least get my memory started).

And number three... wait, I said there were two reasons. Okay THREE reasons I take notes at church. I try to get my learning-disabled child to do it at her church meetings, so I figure I have to be a good example of it myself.

And FOURTH... no, I can't think of a fourth reason.

So last week was our ward conference, and our bishop's talk was worth recording. Just two highlights, however (since you may not be incredibly impressed with it, even though I was);


Beginning at 2 Nephi 28:19 - (can you guess I copied this from rather than type it?)

"19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, ... at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good...And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell....Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! "

And then 2 Nephi 2:11 - "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things"

These are the conditions TODAY. And WE need to be the opposition to the evil around. Everyone looks at 2 N 2:11 as being in opposition to good things, but it also works the other way - we need to SHAKE THE DEVIL (doesn't that sound like a dance? this is me, not the bishop, but doesn't it?) and shake his kingdom. Are we here for just the ride, or are we DOING something?


I liked it - and I'm ready to go DO SOME SHAKING!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


My daughter mentioned something in passing today about searching on, and so, what the heck, let's take a look:

Under my actual name (which I am not putting down - why not, I know not, because it's pretty easy to find out what it is) - six entries (mostly yellow pages for my business).

Under my 'internet' name - nine entries (to include BenGay,a YouTube video that I watched at least four times every day the entire time I was in California last year, and misspellings, including the book 'Robinson Crusoe')

Then nine PAGES that were strictly listings of my blog entries.

I found out there is a Hope, Arizona - which has one RV park, one gas station, and one antique store. And that's all.

Under my daughter's name - individuals in Hartford, CT - a pupil at Elmira Elementary School in Vacaville, CA - a bariatric specialist in St. Paul - a radiologist in Phoenix who is looking for true love.

And why, you may ask, did I spend at least 35 minutes discovering all of this useless trivia? Mainly to avoid doing the dishes and going to bed.

I give up - good night!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I'm watching the Academy Awards, have gone through about half a box of tissues already, it's already going overtime, and they're finally getting to the best male actor. I have no idea while I am being so emotional - well, no, I think I do.

I grew up in L.A., my dad wrote for television for a few (hungry) years, and I spent an incredible amount of my childhood sitting in movies (however, I never remember my butt going numb, so you are still ahead of me on that, Harmony). So the Academy Awards was always a night I/we (family, friends, fanatics) were glued to the tube.

Annette, my best friend, seemed to be by my side for almost every movie from about 1967 through 1977. She's the one who, instead of going with me to the Academy Awards to protest against "Midnight Cowboy" being nominated for 'Best Picture', got me to SEE it. She sat with me through TWO consecutive showings of "2001: A Space Odyssey" And I'm getting a little choked up just thinking about it, so that may be part of it.

So maybe it's just a lot of the emotions that have come from movies. Part of it was seeing the servicemen and women presenting one award from Iraq. And I KNOW a lot of it is from the old footage they have been showing of past Best Actors, Best Movies, Best Music.

What can I say? I'm a sap. And I can't even blame it on PMS anymore.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I just love how the human body works.

One of my kids borrowed a DVD that I wanted back, so I stopped by, and went through, the drive-thru she works. Of course, I had to order something (otherwise you are violating the fierce rules of American fast-food etiquette and will be banished from ever trying to get an extra-large Diet Coke when you're in a hurry), and I really hadn't eaten much (other than enough of Pam's pancakes that morning that I had felt nauseous on the drive into town... no much really), so I felt justified in getting a chocolate milk-shake (see, it's a dairy product, and chocolate - a major food group - and the whipped topping doesn't count because it's whipped so light).

And then I had to wait almost an hour, along with about 17 other people, at the bank to close my 'business' account (the account's monthly fee is getting to be more than the business is bringing in), so by the time I got on the road home, my stomach was talking to me. Well, not talking to me, kinda being profane and complaining and beginning to get louder and LOUDER and LOUDER.

So by the time I turned off the highway (two miles from home), I was feeling very sorry for myself, and very ready to get home, lock myself in the bathroom, and feel even SORRIER for myself.

But then I saw something on the horizon - is that a nice, Arizona fluffy cloud? Or could that be smoke? ARGH!! It's BLACK and THICK SMOKE coming from somewhere... YIKES! About where my house is!!

Instantly, my body decided that any stomach problems definately were not on the priority list right now. And I discovered that, yes, you can get my truck up to 65 mph very quickly if you need to.

No, it wasn't my house - in fact, turned out to actually be over the border in Mexico. Maybe tomorrow's newspaper may let me know what it caused it. Probably not; this area normally doesn't get any headlines or even coverage... unless it's about illegal immigration (and then we are CNN worthy!).

But boy, my stomach was very quiet the rest of the day.

Mind over body? Fast driving over safety? Panic over normal reaction? I'll let you decide.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I trust my kids. I cringe inside sometimes, and occasionally have tried desperately to talk them OUT of some choices - I mean, I'm a mother, and that's part of the job description. But I feel fairly confident that they at least have been exposed to correct principles, and, to quote Joseph Smith, "let them govern themselves."

It is scary - not unlike the first couple of times you let your baby walk across the floor by herself, and you just KNOW she is going to fall down as soon as she gets out of range. The first time you let them drive YOUR car alone - the first date they go on (and sometimes the second, and third) - and so one and so forth.

So right now I trying very hard to trust my youngest. He is taking a job over the summer rather than classes to get ahead financially and not take out another student loan. I admire that - I put myself through what college I did get, mainly by going one semester with at least one part-time job, taking a semester off and working full-time, and then back again.

However, how ever much I trust my boy, I am worried that this will turn out to be not be the 'security installations only and no selling' - that just sounds a little too good to be true. My best friend as a newlywed spent an entire summer in Kokomo, Indiana, while her husband sold encyclopedias door-to-door (honest). Turns out that nice kids going to church universities sometimes are an easy hits.

So the only way I could think of that would still show TRUST in my son and yet find out if this is a scam is asking him to call up his dad tomorrow and tell him about it. And then, of course, my husband will find out the name, look it up and find out if it's a reputational (is that the right word?) company/organization.

Of course, all this is screwed if my son reads this blog - which he might. At least I tried.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


No, I am not going to give away the plot, for those of you who 'promised' to wait and watch it later with your significant other. But Bill raised an interesting question tonight; do you think the writers on 'Lost' started OUT knowing how bizarre this show would turn out? Character twists, time leaps, huge questions raised that never are answered.... and how do their clothese stay so nice and clean? Who washes Aaron's diapers and when? How does Jack always have the same three-day growth of beard? Why does nobody ever need a haircut? And how can the Iraq guy just keep getting cuter and cuter?!

Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


In no particular order:

Deal or No Deal
Cute shoes
Spending more for higher-quality clothes
Maggie (GPS locator)
Automatic transmission (honestly, it's been YEARS since I have not had a stick-shift)
Hybrid cars
'Doing the Loop' at Target
Starbucks Double-Chocolate Frapaccino (which when I am ordering, I am also looking over my should waiting to be spotted by my bishop or Sister Haymore)
Diet Dr. Pepper
Granola from Henry's
Plain yogurt with fresh fruit
A real, honest internet connection (rather than the embarrasment of a copper=wiring-land-line connection I have at home)
Hallmark cards for no reason
Plain White T's
Smash Mouth
Bare Naked Ladies
Razor cell phones
Crown molding
Spending more than $30 on a stroller
Harry Potter Books
Cute socks
High heels when you are over 5'8"
Retro designs
Avoiding Walmart
Jim Halpert
Being a third counselor in YW
Deb Tweedy
A lot of self-confidence
A lot of awareness of personal strengths
An incredible amount of support for many, many years
Sonic Cherry Limades
Classy second-hand stores

And that's only what I can think of at the moment. Thanks, baby.

I was hanging around town, waiting for a call from my second child in order to take her, as promised, to lunch and then a doctor's appointment. Food is one of the easiest ways to make her happy (or at least approachable), and since I am the one driving, it has to be more or less healthy (Subway is always the first choice). And going along on her doctor's appointments is the easiest way to be able to translate what the doctor is says to her (otherwise it's usually told to me with a shrug of the shoulders and "I don't know."

So after almost three hours waiting by wandering through Target, sitting in my truck (alternating between getting too hot with the sun beating down and getting too cold when I'd open the door and/or window and the wind immediately blew out any of the heat accumulated) and updating my Day-Timer, and talking to the manager of the local grocery store about their lack of stocking my husband's favorite type of ice-cream (Premium Choice Moose Tracks Mint Chocolate Chip - really, that's the actual name)... wait a minute, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, waiting.

So after almost three hours, and getting only Joy's voice mail, I went to her apartment about twenty minutes before we were supposed to be at the doctor's office.... and woke her UP. Her alarm hadn't gone off (although it was already 2 p.m.!), so I tersely told her to take an EXTREMEMLY short shower, and get down to the parking lot.

But by the time I'd walked back to the truck, I realized that getting mad/irritated/upset with her would serve absolutely no useful purpose - I would extending my period of anger, she would react and be hurt, and it wouldn't change the reality - she slept in, we probably would be late, and she would look like she just stepped out of the shower.

And I recognized that some of my irritation was actually embarrasment just at her appearance (let me simply say that her self-defacing symptoms were in full swing).

So I took a couple of deep breaths, blew off some steam at my other daugther's voice mail, and got over it. And then actually had a very nice time with her, both at the doctor's and then at a VERY short lunch.

I just wish I could learn these lessons and RETAIN them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


It wasn't the largest one of the 12 theaters, but it could have very easily been the emptiest this afternoon. Five of us total watching "Juno" - one older couple, one younger couple, and ME.

There are some definite advantages to watching a movie in a crowded theater. When you cry/laugh/sigh with a lot of other people, it isn't so obvious. But when you are the only one who is noisily blowing your nose in an extremely under-occupied room, it does come across with some depth.

I'm glad I am not one of those who embarrasses easily - otherwise, I would already be red-with-shame from not noticing one of the speed bumps at the mall and EVERthing in the back of my truck, to include a metal shovel, bounced UP and then very noisily DOWN right in front of one of the main entrances to the mall. \

Besides, I am accustomed to people staring at my truck,... and no one could have been staring at me because I was already curled in the fetal position under the dashboard.

And I did sit in the theater through the entire closing credits - which I do normally, but THIS time was extra nice because I could ensure that I didn't have mascara running down my cheeks.

Left-over popcorn, anyone?

Monday, February 18, 2008


I am such an evil, evil person. I cannot believe how bad I am. I should probably be put in prison - or at least a mental institution. I ate, tonight, all by myself, an entire Ben and Jerry sized ice cream container. I am certain there are laws in place to keep this from happening; I just couldn’t help myself.

Moving on - I am watching the television show "Medium," and the main character, in the midst of a case involving the kidnaping of a deaf girl, wakes up in the middle of the night, and she is deaf. And I am soooo incredibly unsympathetic about her situation. I guess I’ve been struggling with hearing loss for so long that I’m like, yeah, big deal, so she isn’t even attempting to lip-read people about her - and she keeps shouting, somehow thinking it’s going to help, and just freaks out the people around her - she doesn’t even know the ASL sign for "thank you"!

See!? I really AM evil!

And after tuning a small cabinet piano this morning (which means with every single string of the piano, I had to stand up to tune it, and then sit back down for the next string - lotsa up and down for over an hour), doing about an hour of (admittedly, a pleasurable hour) wandering around Target, and then moving eight bales of hay this afternoon... I am not doing anything more than simply sit at my computer chair and try very, very hard not to move my back at ALL.

And yeah, right, it’s now the very end of Medium... guess what? She got her hearing back once the case was solved. I guess I am just feeling very sorry for myself tonight. AND I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR like a normal person. AND I want my back to stop hurting. AND I want more ice cream. And I’d like Liam Neeson to stop by for a chat. And I’d like all my laundry to be done tonight by elves that can keep an eye on the washing machine and not let it overfill and also hang up everything immediately from the dryer. And I’d like to have the family room painted a slightly different shade of blue on five walls. And I want a completely new laptop computer that will print without a cable (I’m certain there is a name for that - some sort of reception/wireless/blahdeblah, but I don’t remember it) and not crash 3 to 4 times a day.

Oh, I’d like to live in the country, and have a pony, and a dog... no, wait, I already have those, don’t I? Guess I should stop griping and go to bed. Tomorrow - another day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


What do you get if you combine a book from a religious instructor at BYU-Provo, the movie "Bruce Almighty, and several separate trips to and from church?

First the book. I was looking through for the selection my book club had selected; "Believing Christ" by Stephen E. Robinson. My overly-helpful-at-inappropriate-times husband decided that somehow finding HIS copy of "Following Christ" by the same author would help me out on the internet (yeah, I didn’t understand that train of logic either), and once I got the first book ordered, I figured, hey, why not check out something else this author had written, and so began reading it.

You know that cartoon image of a little person with a light bulb going on over their head? Yesterday, that was me.

Listen to this: "Too many of the Saints see their mortal lives in the Church as a kind of porch outside the kingdom doors. If they work hard enough in this life, they feel the doors will eventually open up and admit them at some future time. Horsefeathers!" (really, the author's wording, not mine) "Having been handed the good news of salvation, these people decline to open the envelope ...There is more to be done, but we are through the gate." (emphasis added)

I think I’ve been envisioning for way too long a big bucket; each thing I do ‘right’ (go to church, say my prayers, cut back on Diet Coke) is a little drop added to the bucket. And when I do something ‘sinful" (note: most the time we aren’t sinning , we’re just not doing quite right - but not going to church, falling asleep without praying, and drinking MORE Diet Coke), then one of those little drops is taken out of the bucket. Somehow I think I can fill the bucket on my own.


We aren’t expected to fill anything by ourselves. That’s what Christ did already for all of us.

The part about driving back and forth from church - that’s when I got an image of big rocks. We all have a lot of difficulties in our lives - even the people who seem to be ‘perfect’ (neat reality check - read Spencer W. Kimball’s thoughts when he was called as an apostle - he felt so completely and totally unworthy). And we can’t see each other’s rocks/boulders/stones. But when we DO overcome a habit/temptation/non-gospe0-behavior, we can then stand on that rock. It becomes, instead of being a liability, a part of our new foundation. Sometimes a rock slips out below us - some people go through entire landslides where they wipe out everything good in their lives. But that’s when we use repentance, to get back up on top of the rock.


So how does Jim Carry fit in? I’ve never watched "Bruce Almighty" (for one thing, Jim Carey is extremely irritating - it’s all physical buffoonery. Robin Williams did the transformation into serious drama, so it may be possible for Jim also, but in the meantime....), and I didn’t watch all of it the other night. But I did get to the part when the character Bruce is driving in the car, and literally just shouting out for God to ‘show me a sign!’ He passes a "Use Caution" sign - keeps pleading with God - a marquee sign flashing "Caution" - doesn’t make the connection - gets multiple phone calls, finally listens to the recorded message, offering him individually (by name) a job - and he meets GOD (Morgan Freeman, of course , makes a perfect God)... and STILL doesn’t get it.

I simply am one of those people who doesn’t just get spiritual promptings - I have to get spiritual SLAPS. So I can identify completely with Bruce; I simply don’t pay attention to any kind of subtly - it has to be quite obvious.

So the summary here (if you, fair reader, are still with me - and if so, WHY are you still with me?!) has made me feel extraordinarily cheerful. I have been once again reminded: God doesn’t keep a little scorecard on me, and does not compare me to everyone else. He knows what I need to do, and will continue to encourage me to do it. And all these rocks are to help me, not weigh me down.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I am going to complain about things, but after reading a friend-of-a-friend's blog, I really have had an extremely terrific, wonderful day.

However, I am still gonna gripe.

I was sitting at my computer, chipping away at the weekly church bulletin that I am responsible for, when out of the corner of my eye, I caught one of my favorite sights - my black and white Paint gelding cantering across the field.

And it took just a second more to realize that the field he was cantering across was OUTSIDE the fenced area he is supposed to be INSIDE of.

Luckily for me, this horse is also a complete sucker for carrots, and was quickly guided back inside the fence by just waving a vegetable in front of him.

The mare, however, was ready to experience some more freedom, and took a little more convincing to get back. And tonight AGAIN proved to be the problem child when I was doing the nightly swap (I have to feed her seperately or she gives almost all the hay up to the gelding). While hanging on to our greyhound (who cannot be let off a leash), the mare made a dash for the open range, and even when 'roped' (purely symbolic language - I managed to get a lead rope around her neck just before she took off), she didn't want to go in through the gate, but the Paint was determined to get OUT.

Everyone is safe and sound and where they are supposed to be at the moment.

But for the first time in my life I am just a little concerned about my blood pressure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I have nothing to complain about. I have three grown-up children, all living away from home - my husband has WILLINGLY given up the 'extra' medications he was on - I do not have a full-time job that I have to go to - I do not have any kind of demanding, last-minute church calling.


It's supposed to snow - really, it's supposed to snow here. Probably just a couple of inches, and people here normally do handle it better than in Maryland (which isn't saying anything at all - Maryland used to go into crisis mode at the slightest possibility of anything white coming down from the sky).

And I've been helping out at the local cafe Friday mornings... but it means getting up EARLY (want some cheese to go with that whine?), and running around with an sore ankle (yeah, it's not broken, or twisted, just sore) and being nice to the cook and customers.

But the WORST part of is, I have a piano to tune - AND I DON'T WANT TO. I feel like I have lost whatever talent I did have after the last four tunings I have done - the pianos sounded WORSE when I was done with them. And I just haven't been brave enough to call the lady and simply cancel it.

So let's see if we can use all this to my advantage -- if it snows enough tonight that the cafe doesn't open AND it's unsafe enough to drive into town for the tuning....

Hey! We got a plan!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"If I die, would you remarry?"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Having just returned from a week at my daughter’s in San Diego, the following facts have expressed a strong desire to be posted and shared:

Nothing in the world is more beautiful than a child discovering something for him/herself the first time.

I always pack things which I never get done at home and somehow think I am going to find time to do it while on vacation.

Not having animals around compels me to fawn exuberantly over other’s pets (to include animals at Petsmart, dogs being randomly walked past me, and even the neighbor’s incessantly-barking Shepherd mix).

Being fed Cheerios by a grandchild can be the highlight of your morning.

People drive like suicidal maniacs, and I occasionally need to fight the inclination to help them reach their desired final destiny immediately.

Getting off of pain medications is not any fun.

I miss seeing the ocean.

I also have been incredibly spoiled by having 'regular' internet access for a week. I'm not certain if I will able to readjust to the plodding speed of my copper-wiring land-line connection.

Friday, February 8, 2008


I keep forgetting why I live in rural Arizona. And then I come to visit my daughter in San Diego.

Although it's nice to have a Costco, Target and Cold Stone Creamery less than a half hour away, it also involves hitting the freeway and naval base with five million eighty-three thousand and sixteen drivers who either have converted the mph idea into a new form of mathematics (65 mph actually means 15 mph faster than the car in front of you) or simply have an odd vision deformity that convinces each driver that they must be the only driver on the highway. It also means that houses are three feet four inches apart from each other, traffic lights are every second block, and it's impossible to eat anywhere or anything for under $17.65 per person (plus tax).

Don't get me wrong, I am having a great deal of fun on this trip (to include a minimum of two naps a day, a chance daily to see the Pacific Ocean before sunrise, and all the Kate hugs I can handle) (and when reading my son-in-law's math books, once again realizing that that portion of my brain is still missing).

But I am also looking forward to getting back to slow, dirt roads - a mailbox that 2.85 miles away - my adoring dog - the aloof attitude of my cat - and having two horses chasing me to get carrots out of my back pockets.

And the age thing?

Harmony posted something about being 'almost' thirty. The best year in my entire life (well, so far at least) was when I was thirty-six. I was in the best physical shape of my life (140 lbs., running four + miles a day (we don't need to mention that it was at a 12+ mph pace), lifting weights (at the gym, with three kids, and groceries weekly)), had the best job I've ever had (non-profit health, being responsible for spending an insane amount of money in the community), and (coincidence? I think not) living in paradise.

The best is yet to come, baby - trust me on this one.