Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Some of the terms that have been 'modified' over the years make sense. I love adding the 'handicapped' to whatever the disability is - I got accustomed to 'visitor' rather than 'tourist' in Hawaii (at Target, it's 'guest' rather than 'customer') - black rather than colored (although African-American is just a few too many syllables) - Native American instead of Indian (the drawback there is that Native Americans call themselves Indians, not Native Americans).

But why in the world are telephone poles no longer telephone but UTILITY poles. I think they've always carried electricity and wiring of all sorts of other things rather than exclusively telephone wire.

More importantly - WHO CARES? Is there an activist group on behalf of telephone phones? Have they been discriminated against by being called telephone poles? Do little telephone poles grow up with poor images because they are called telephone poles? Have there been studies that prove being called a telephone pole lowers your IQ by sixteen points, and stunts your growth (well, actually, that one might really matter)?

Tomorrow I am overseeing the chainsaw massacre - wait, that doesn't sound good - how about surveying the environmentally incorrect butchery... nope, can't do that either ... the carnage of a (now I'm on track) UTILITY pole - in fact, four of them.

I have acquired (doesn't that verb always sound ominous - you don't acquire toys or plastic duckies or french fries - you only acquire stolen rifles or illegal chemicals or rat poison) four poles, but they have to be cut down to at least 20 foot lengths to be transported (at least by the one guy I found who will do it).

So the other guy is someone who knows HOW to run an actual chainsaw, HAS one, and is willing to come down after work to CUT the poles for me. He is a nice, extremely quiet guy... who right now just happens to be going through a divorce...

Wait a minute, oh my gosh, I SHOULD be worried about this - I'm going to be the lead story on CNN tomorrow night! ARRRGGGHHH!

Monday, April 28, 2008


I love the show "Dirty Jobs". Part of it is, of course, that I think Mike Rowe is kinda hot (love that 'rugged' look) (and why is it that men look sexy with incredibly deep 'laugh-lines', and we females don't think that WE do?)

And since I have had more than my share of FILTHY DISGUSTING employment (and yes, being a mom is #1 on that list), somehow I receive great joy from seeing someone with a television crew (and probably a hair and make-up person) who is paid a respectable SALARY for shoveling muck or inseminating a dairy cow or crawling around sewer pipes.

Plus I am living such a CLEAN LIFE right now. I am not working a full-time job, so I can do incredible things like vacuum and get the trash out and clean the cat's box EVERY day, and it is AMAZING how much nicer that is to live in/with.

Well, it also helps that I only have one other part-time adult (loosely defined) living in this house - and FeBreze plugs in just about every outlet - and the two dogs are both indoor dogs....

Golly, I think my house should be CLEANER. I'm getting the Simple Green out right this minute.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I was taught first by my dad's example. He was always willing to help people out of holes they had dug themselves into, even when they would turn right around again with their shovel and begin again. I have sheltered more than a few stray persons, and have always tried to volunteer to help without any ulterior motive in mind.


I am fine with adult classes (that way I just play moderator and let the class teach it), and teenagers (because they already know it all) and even kids at about... well, eight or nine years old.

But six-year olds - especially THREE BOYS - rough and tumble, hitting and pinching each other, and TWO them convinced that Star Wars light-sabers were the answer to every problem. And one, yes, I am biased, sweet little girl who ended up resorting to violence simply to defend herself from the boys.

I'm too old for this - next time I am going to find out IN ADVANCE what age I am being asked to teach, and if it's under ten, JUST SAY NO.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Isn't that a cool word, 'thwarted'? Sounds like a group of short people with a nose wart; or maybe a rare type of root found only on islands that begin with the letter "Q" on the third Thursday in March... after 11:00 a.m.

I somehow had the distant image in the back of my mind (I really need to clean back there; it's getting so I can't get through a thought without stumbling over memories or crushed packages of Herr's Potato Chips) of taking some striking but candid shots of my dog and cat sleeping. Since after 7 p.m., both of them crash on the floor right around my computer, ready to be tripped over by me, but I, of course like all mothers everything, think they are simply adorable. Tonight especially I wanted to share all this beauty and feline/canine camaraderie via the Internet/blog.

However, I have discovered that whatever Cannon software that was on my old computer is NOT on my new computer. After wandering to numerous website discussing downloading drivers (that's what I am when I get behind the wheel of my truck, right?) and purchasing programs... I'm almost frightened to read my email right now.

So imagine in your head a soft, slightly blurred photo of a German Shepherd/Border Collie curled up right next to an extremely long-haired tabby with white socks (I mean, white around his paws - we've tried real socks, and he hates them - and nylons just run every time). With perfect north-facing window lighting on that same third Thursday in March.

Sigh... aren't they just soo cute?

Friday, April 25, 2008


And I hate to disappoint all my fans, but I did
NOT sketch this - all credit needs to go to ....
er... I can't seem to find the site again. But someone
had posted sketches of Jim, Michael and Dwight -
and this one was priceless. Geesh, wish I DID
draw this well. I'll keep looking for the site so
I can give credit to whateverhisorhernameis.


I realized today why I am struggling against my church calling. I have had to re-create the entire sacrament meeting bulletin from scratch due to the unexpected demise of my computer (please see the obituary in a previous post).

And it suddenly occurred to me (yes, I am a bit slow) that after struggling for months to get the correct, most readable format and layout (this after many nights arm-wrestling with Print Shop graphics... and losing... BADLY), now that I have it all set up - I'm kinda bored with it.

However, our congregation is not fond of varying styles every week. Since we have three wards that meet in one building, there is already enough 'wait, is this our bulletin or the other ward's?" I am not the only one who finds comfort in familiar surroundings, people, hymnals - and for many, the bulletin seems to be one of those well-known customs.

So as much as I would love to insert subtle jokes (Hymn 146: Gently Raise the Sacred Screams - Bro. Richardson, First Comforter - Closing Prayer by Ima Pig), I don't think it would be favorably received.

I am just going to have to satisfy my creative urges by changing background colors (although they will be copied into black & white), fonts (it is amazing how different letterings can communicate), and perhaps slight modifications of... do you think I could get away with subliminal messages like "EAT POPCORN FOR DINNER"?

We will just have to do a survery next week of what people have this Sunday for dinner, right?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Reading back over my previous blogs, I have been struck (ouch! that hurt!) by the freedom with which the words flowed (flew?) from my fingertips. And since I am reading a book concerning ego's self-centered need to be noticed, be ahead, and always be in charge, I am wondering how much of this blog is my ego's selfish need for public expression, groping for external recognition to justify it's high sense of self-worth.

Yes, that must be it. My fumbling need for solid proof of my own self-identity and the proof and security that comes from reading the weekly statistics that show absolute verification that ...

Wait a minute. That report proves that my daughter occasionally looks at my rantings and ravings... but really not anyone else.

Hmm. Guess it's not ego then. I'm really just talking to myself.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I have been inspired to greater heights of literary prose after reading a professional blogger; someone who is PAID to put out her blog (even when it involves a rather funny description of the ultimate in coitus-interruptus… wait a minute, maybe that is WHY she is getting paid - sex always sells, right?)

Now I have lost my original lofty goal of writing inspiring and succinct messages (okay, those of you who actually know me can stop laughing and get up off the floor - but wouldn’t that be great?), and wandered off into the wilderness of random mutterings and rapidly deteriorating schemes.

However, since I do have a quicker computer system, I can at least play with my background settings now (yes, that is why this all looks so funny right now!)

Monday, April 21, 2008


I have a bad case of Juno-soundtrack-on-my-mind - and I just adore some of lyrics. Especially since so many of them sound like a high-school kid wrote them. They, like the movie, are just CUTE.

Since I am such a creature of habit, it is painful for me, literally, to have to deal with a completely new computer. All my shortcuts and personalized actions and set-ups are GONE with the old CPU, as well as all my templates, graphics, clip-art... it is like an old friend has died.

Well, it hasn't actually died, I guess, it is sitting on the table next to me, and according to my new HP manual, some things can be transferred over. And then I am giving it to my second daughter with a bit of a caveat; she is a good typist, and I am going to pay her to get my dad's book in electronic format so I can (finally) get it published.

So, in honor of my computer:

Hope's CPU passed away on Saturday, April 19th, at home surrounded by it's friends and family, following a long struggle with graphic overload and the electronic-version of Alzheimer's. It is survived by it's monitor, printer, rickety cheap wooden table, and numerous cables. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Computer Addicts Anonymous (CAA) on-line at www.cac.org


Sunday, April 20, 2008


(Okay, the title is just so someone ELSE can have a song going through HER head for the night!)

I am reading an amazing book that someone in my book club recommended. And I honestly don’t know why it is so amazing; I have KNOWN this stuff for years and years. I just seem to have to relearn it over and over and over and over….

The book is "A New Earth" by Eckhart Toole, which is one of those on the Oprah list (and always is right out front in the Target book section, so I have to admit this is not the first time). And I was kinda yawning over the first chapter…. But then this guy gets into ego, and (here’s the mind-blowing part - which I have known forever but seem to forget just about every single day) he says such wonderful, albeit basic, and REAL things like:

- The quicker you are in attaching labels to people or situation, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes

- Life isn’t as serious as mind makes it out to be

- You can value and care for things, but whenever you get attached to them, you will know it’s ego.

- Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment (doesn’t that sound a whole lot like a General Conference talk?)

- As long as you don’t recognize those thought forms within yourself, as long as they remain unconscious,, you will believe in what they say

- You may then think and speak of yourself as a “sufferer” of this or that chronic illness or disability. You receive a great deal of attention from doctors and others who constantly confirm to you your conceptual identify as a sufferer or a patient. You then unconsciously cling to the illness because it has become the most important past of who you perceive yourself to be (remind you of anyone? I mean, other than ME)

And last but not least,

- Non-reaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego - if you can recognize someone’s behavior as coming from the ego….when you realize IT’S NOT PERSONAL, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were… ANOTHER WORD FOR NON-REACTION IS FORGIVENESS (emphasis added by me - and isn’t it cool?)


I just somehow wish I didn’t have to keep relearning this.

Friday, April 18, 2008


As an AVID "The Office" fan, I am proud to announce that I am in 341st place in "The Office" Fantasy game! Of course, that is only impressive if the game has three million players - so please no one tell me there are 342 players. And since I somehow gave birth to one of the most competitive individuals on earth, I am also extremely happy that I did NOT score any higher.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Najale is an absolute pig, and will never refuse food. He doesn't even share nicely, which is the main reason I feed Sally seperately. So when he is done, this is the act he does to swipe hay from Sally....

So, Barnum and Bailey, any offers?

Monday, April 14, 2008


Sorry, that song lyric does work much better with San Jose.

I have just finalized the flight and car reservations to go honor my mother-in-law's 80th birthday, and I feel slightly nauseous. Not seeing my mother-in-law - I really do love her - but just the costs involved. And I KNOW KNOW KNOW that the same costs to go to Hawaii would not bother me in the LEAST.

Yuck, now my stomach feels even worse. Comparing my husband's home town, which is a small farming community in Oregon that most Oregonians believe is in Idaho, to the islands of Hawaii...

It isn't going to be that terrible - it's just sharing sleeping quarters with (once again) someone who snores loud enough to register on the seismographs in California, staying in a 80+ year old unpainted wooden house that would be burned to the ground by one match and with no air-conditioning in late June, the six-hour plus drive from and back TO Portland, and once again being in a community where EVERYone knows EVERYthing about me (small town gossip)....

Last time I was there, I had my daughter and grandson to distract me, and an excellent excuse to stay in a HOTEL.

One bright spot is that a dear friend of mine who has been living in the (honest) Democratic Republic of the Congo for the past five plus years will (hopefully) by then be living in a small town in Washington about three hours north. What, an excuse to ESCAPE for at least one day? YES (arm pumping movement that my granddaughter seems to be adopted also).

Wish me luck, people.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Just for fun.

Friday, April 11, 2008


I have three great kids. A wonderful example of God only giving us what He already knows we can handle; otherwise I'd be in prison for murder. They have all done amazing things (of course, in very different ways), and I am proud to be related to them (I can't credit any of this to my prowess as a parent - quite the opposite - I think they all have admirably overcome the handicap of having me as a mother).

However, did I perhaps I teach/show them a little too much confidence? It's an old joke among us early feminist that what is called confidence in men is labeled as pushy when a woman has the same thing.

And although I think of myself as a fairly mellow person (as long as chocolate, my animals or pizza is not involved), I also am known for my opinion appearing on the editor's page of our local newspaper (which, since I don't get the Sunday paper, people at church have to tell me about) and not being quiet, lady-like or nice when something that I am/have paid for does not reach/maintain/exceed my expectations - you should have seen me the last time I got a non-smoking hotel room that someone had smoked in.

Plus I don't think I have ever NOT asked for a discount - military, senior citizen, just because I made someone smile... it works a lot more often than it doesn't.

Being raised as military brats... excuse me, service kids (wait a minute, that sounds worse, like I sold them into child-labor or something), perhaps my kids had to experience a few more unplanned changes of life than most civilian kids. Coping with new situations, losing and gaining friends, being edged out of your comfort zone - this can either lead to confidence, what is called character, or early psychosis.

So when my oldest told me today that she had commandeered the early release of her vehicle... umm, how about forced the capitulation of one of the four branches of military services... nah, how about single-handily pressured the early relinquish of a powerful....

I better quit while I'm only this far behind. But I'm still proud of her.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


We have all used the word 'nonchalantly' - meaning casual, lack of concern, sometimes as a pretense.

So why isn't there a 'chalantly'?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I just wrote down a quote from "Imitation of Christ", by Thomas a Kempis, one of my favorite books in the whole wide world. Since President Hinckley's passing, so many of these sound so much like him, so I thought I would share them with you:

True learning is good in itself and ordained by God.

It is supreme folly to neglect things that are useful and vital, and deliberately turn to curious and harmful things.

Many are more eager to acquire much learning than to live well.

Consider none more frail than yourself.

At the Day of Judgement, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done; how holy we have lived.

To take no account of oneself, but always to think well and highly of others is the highest wisdom and perfection.

The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all that he does.

Confess your ignorance.

We should seek food for our souls rather than subtleties of speech.

Do not be conceited of any skill or knowledge you possess, but respect the knowledge that is entrusted to you.

Do not inquire, "Who said this?" but pay attention to what is said.

Learned men always wish to appear so.

Accept in simplicity.

Restrain an inordinate desire for knowledge, in which is found much anxiety and deception.

Read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and have no concern to appear learned.

It is vanity to wish for long life, if you care little for a good life.

A poor and humble man enjoys the riches of peace.

A pure, simple and stable man does not become distracted; he does all things to the glory of God.

If you have any good qualitites, remember that others have more; and so remain humble.

I would far rather feel contrition than be able to define it.

True peace dwells only in the heart of the humble.

Sunday, April 6, 2008



Has any one else noticed the proliferation of 'green' items lately? Clothing catalogs have 'green' items with things such as bamboo linen - every grocery store has ecologically-correct bags to reuse (of course, you have to purchase the bag first) - automakers now all seem to have a hybrid available 'or coming' and update us passionately about their 'great mileage' gas guzzlers ("You will get up to 21 mpg!") - and all the major oil companies seem to be running commercials stating their concern and willingness to 'solve' the oil problem facing all of us fat happy Americans.

Not to sound old or anything, but some of us should remember the first real 'gas' crunch in the early 70's. It wasn't so much the price as the availability - the lines at every gas station were incredible, and you could only get gas on certain days.

Back then, the immediate advice was car-pool - ride your bike - take the bus (which, unfortunately, in Los Angeles at that time was not possible - there really wasn't any sort of mass transit) - and the message to the industry was clear - "Develop alternative sources of energy - solar, wind, water."

Now, those of us that can count, let's all figure this out - hmm, this was back in 1972, I think, and now it's 2008 - carry the one, subtract the square root of pi.... let's see, it looks like 36 YEARS ago that we had problems. And what has happened in the meantime? A few hybrid cars - some wind energy - but haven't we also gone for bigger and bigger cars - less and less of us are car-pooling (however, the sale of manikins to allow use of the car-pool lanes have been very good), we're living further and further outside the cities where we commute for work and shopping (yes, yes, I am SO guilty of that - 20+ miles outside of any city limit).
I'm just being a little bit sorry that 36 years from now (let's see, that'll be 2044), we're going to still be dependent on oil from the Middle East, and one of my children will be writing something like a blog much like this one bemoaning where we as Americans are... or aren't... or should be.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


That is just a horrible expression, and I was amusing myself on our way to breakfast by thinking of 'nicer' alternatives to it. My husband suggested I look it up on the internet, and viola!

These are all from kids in repsonse to a contest - gotta love 'em.

Feed two birds with one scone!

Bless two birds with one lotus.

Light two candles with one flame.

Free two birds with one key.

Brighten two hearts with one smile.

Love two birds with one heart.

Feed two birds with one seed.

Make two wishes upon one star.

Send two e-mails with one click!

Take two pills with one gulp.

Love two animals with one heart!

Write two things with one pencil.

Talk to two people with one phone.

Send two e-mails with one computer.

Comb two heads of hair with one brush.

Dance to two songs with one loved one.

Lift two spirits with one kind word.

Cross two hurdles with one leap.

Love two people with one heart.

Welcome two friends with one open door.

Bake two desserts in one oven.

Heal two wounds with one kiss.

Smell two flowers with one nose.

Fix two owies with one special hug.

Free two birds with one heart.

Unite two people with one hope.

Love two children with one heart.

Tickle two feet with one feather.

Dig two holes with one shovel.

Feed two cats with one bowl.

Now, friends - your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to get THIS in circulation instead of the MEAN one.


I have never been able to post scans to my blog; the internet must be in a good mood today.

First, all this is clipped from a Lands End catalog. But this is SO much the type of photo my daughter would take, and it looks SO much like my granddaughter's little butt.

This because I loved the wording.

And does this strike complete FEAR in anyone else's heart? Do I want to see an image just like me? Heaven forbid - it's a bad as regular dressing room screens, which I can only pretend add about 30 lbs. and 20 years of age.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Depending on how you look at it, growing up in Los Angeles in the 60's/70's is the reason I only reached 5'10" (poor air quality and/or smoking can seriously limit your growth; which is why my 10 lb. 2 oz. baby in a British hospital caused such a fuss - 80% of all the other mothers in that maternity ward had smoked through their entire pregnancy, so the next-closest baby in weight was a mere 6 lbs.), or growing up in Los Angeles (which was the original thought but since I had already wandered so off base felt was worth repeating) is the reason I can recognize so many completely and totally random parts of television shows and movies. A house in San Marino was used in "Back To The Future" and "Firefly." A bridge in Pasadena, locally labeled Suicide Bridge because of so many people jumping off it, shows up regularly on Jay Leno and about three national newsbroadcasts. Tujunga Canyon seems to fit the ideal alien landscape, because a whole lot of sci-fi has been shot there. And I honestly do not know how they ever get permission to clear an entire freeway for a week's worth of shooting for almost any car chase sequence. I know they do some on freeways that have not yet been opened, but too many times it's actually the Harbor Freeway - how do you get it empty in daylight? Threats of a bombing of one of the overpasses? Evacuation for a terrorist bio attack? Multiple police cars actually issuing tickets for going over the speed limit?

Thank you - I needed this little trip down memory lane (at least to distract me from a coughing, doped and chatty individual who keeps popping out asking for Mt. Dews).

Thursday, April 3, 2008


It sounds so dramatic;

"As I walked carefully through the moonless night, the only lights visible were on the horizon were across the international border."

Images of French / Italy - Germany / Austria borders - toasting wine glasses - wearing berets - international intrigue, right?

Not looking across the San Pedro River from Arizona into Mexico, and trying to see if Cananea has electricity again and what the heck are two Border Patrol trucks doing south of my place.


However, we are in the national news.... a lot. When they are talking about virtual fences, drone planes and discovering huge catches of drug coming across the Mexican border - well, that's home for me.

And I found out yesterday that we (well, about twelve miles east of me) will be hosting the Olympic Torch. The real one - that's going to end up in China for the next world games. It was supposed to go to San Francisco, but a lot of people there are trying to get the U.S. to boycott the games, and were planning protests as the torch was carried by.

So someone, who probably will get a pay raise because of this brilliant idea, thought, hey, let's instead send the torch to a little itsibitsee historical district, Bisbee, known only through the valiant efforts of the Cochise County visitor's bureau for an old copper mine which is no longer operational and an annual stair-race that (in theory) rivals the hills of S.F. Even the county government offices in Bisbee are actually west of Bisbee city limits.

Come on, almost every American has heard of Tombstone, for crying out loud, and that's only about twenty-five miles north of Bisbee. And Tombstone actually DOES have a tourist industry that could benefit from something like the Olympic Torch going through it.

I would ask if someone could explain the sense of all this to me if I could only be convinced that there WAS some sense to it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Do you ever wonder if life is some sort of charade? I've asked myself too many times, of course after watching something like "The Matrix" late at night, if all of this is simply inside my head. Some elaborate sort of test that saves serious federal funding by managing it entirely inside my little neurons and electrical impulses.... but, then, if it's all just fake, then I probably don't even have neurons to begin with. See, questions like this just lead to other slightly insane views and seem to wander farther and farther from what is... well, at least what I consider reality.

Okay, who started this conversation anyway? And am I aware that I am perfectly capable of ending it?

So I am getting back on this kick of sorta finishing things. There are so many little projects, and ideas, and dealios (is that how you spell that word?). For years and years and years I have always been working full-time, dealing with a growing family, frantic commutes, church responsibilities and somehow trying to fit in those fitness routines and projects and ideas and dealios (I guess I'm stuck with the way I spell it now).

Now I've sorta given up on a lot of the physical fitness things. Especially after having my back seize up for three days straight, and having to still walk with little bitty steps (that's another great word - is that how you spell bitty? Could it be bitti? Bitte? Actually be the French word beittii?), I think right now I'd be happy just to remain upright for a couple hours more.

But I do have a quilt that needs to be put together - I mean, the final put-together border and tie together all the little bits and then MAIL it. I have a whole lot of writing that needs to be written. I do have a horse that needs to be, perhaps not ridden, but at least be comfortable taking walks with me. And I still have a (completely controllable, but still there) longing to finish painting the walls of home almost any other color than the boring beige/slightly yellow/faded with age color that they are right now.

And I finally have the time to do these things. And I am enjoying having the time, even when my back does not want to cooperate and I am going to have to take probably more time than I actually have.

Oh, well, what is life if not the moment. Now somebody PLEASE tell me to SHUT UP.