Saturday, May 31, 2008


I read this randomly this afternoon, and just loved it.

"If we are attuned to God, we will say 'yes' to the trial we are currently undergoing, knowing it is for our growth and edification, trusting God's timing instead of our own."

Friday, May 30, 2008


It has just been one of those days. I did NOT want to go anywhere, just hang out at home. So guess what? My printer got stuck to the point where I (queen of unsticking printers and vacuums and almost any computer glitch - Ctrl-Alt-Delete) took the printer apart to the point where I was becoming concerned about being able to put it back together again.

Solution? Nice guy at a toner supply place - $5 and 10 minutes - working smooth - but a 20 minute drive into town.

I did NOT want to get sunburned (which is difficult when you are as lilly-white as I am) - took the dogs for a walk and just went a little bit further... and then, gosh, the horses need water... and hey, I need to mix up some fresh fly spray (believe it or not, Listerine and baby oil - and it WORKS)...

So by the time I got back inside, yes, I was sunburned.

And I did NOT want to deal with someone who had, at least in conversation, threatened both to kill several people and quit his job. So, brilliant me, I figure, okay, I'm sunburned, I'm running late due to driving into town late afternoon - I'll take a NAP, and just be ASLEEP when someone gets home.
Okay, so I feed the horses early, make certain the dogs are okay, and SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

And when I wake up, not certain is someone has 'arrived', I go BACK to sleep.

So guess what - when I finally get up.... no one is home. I could have had ALL that "Russell" time and I LOST it.


Thursday, May 29, 2008


This is sort of unreal, and yet it seems to be developing into a habit - switching between two completely unrelated shows to avoid commercials.

Lost alone is confusing enough to someone like me with absolutely no short term memory (although right now I am loving the fact that it looks like Ben is going to die slowly and painfully - keep your fingers crossed), but combine that with a wide variety of very poor amateur comedians.

Wait, it may just be luck of the draw that I switch over only when the bad comedians are on... or, again, they are just not funny.

Lost once again is simply astonishing me with how good people can look after being on a deserted island - I'd love to look that good while here in civilization.

Wait a minute, I live in Palominas - that's not anywhere NEAR civilization.

And it's just gotten MORE confusing - now I'm switching between Lost and The Office.

Do they have support groups for things like this?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Tonight there is a television show about conjoined twins, following the surgery necessary to separate them. Another show is about depression of all shapes and forms, but especially in teenagers. The Sunday section in the newspaper plastered a story about post-partum depression and how mothers can easily consider murdering their children (although that happens even withOUT post-partum depression, I know).

Am I wrong to put in the video of the A&E/BBC Pride and Prejudice and fast forward right to when Mr. Darcy dives into the lake?

Bad things happen, I know - am I an ostrich to not want to know/view/experience them? If I could do something to change reality, then yes - but my awareness of things beyond my realm of control only serves to frustrate and discourage me.

I think I know enough about depression, with two family members in the clinically depressed category,- I don't know anyone who has conjoined twins at the moment, and my chances of getting to know anyone with conjoined twins in the near future is pretty limited - and thank God in heaven I did NOT have any post-partum depression (just the normal post-partum exhaustion that anyone with a newborn goes through).

Do I need to watch and agonize with people having to deal with these problems? I think I have an interesting enough drama and life around me to not feel the need to entrench myself in someone else's misery.

Any comments?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


A Catholic friend/neighbor whose daughter converted to the LDS church didn't speak to her for a couple of years.
My brother and I were never able to discuss any spiritual matters until he became a Buddhist.
The so-called 'suicide-bombers' ('homicide-bombers' seems more appropriate) kill themselves as an act of devotion to God. And yet we all hold the same belief; love God and treat others as He (or She, to some people) would.
Yes, I know, I still believe everyone can hold hands around a campfire, sing "Kumbiya" (sp?) and (perhaps most importantly) make s'mores. I do understand what separates us (there is more than one reason, yes), but this entire thread of thought was prompted by an old re-run of 'Enterprise' on the boob tube last night about a civilization that had been at war for centuries over a theological argument about how many days it had taken God to create their world (nine vs. ten).
Come on, people, aren't we smarter than this?

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Since my granddaughter is going to become the first female president of the United States (yes, Barrack is going to get the Democratic nomination and unfortunately that probably means McCain is going to win the election - I wish we were ready for Obama, but I don't think we are - and I don't think McCain is terrible or anything - if nothing else, he's from Arizona, so... okay, what was I talking about?), I must begin destroying any and/or all inappropriate photos of her, editing my journal entries to only include her witty and politically-open statements (no more "E Know" - although when printed that looks as good as E Plurium), and brushing up her family history to include much more important and politically important people than myself.

So - here is to the future President Kate Jacobson!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


DEAR ANNIE: In response to all the suggestions for what to call a man and a woman living together without the benefit of marriage, I'm surprised no one has offered the following: 'shackmates.' The word is derived, of course, from the once popular expression "shacking up. - Californian

DEAR CALIFORNIAN: The derivation makes perfect sense, but the word reminds us of two beach bums sharing a hut. In London.


Mother Nature has determined that my little plot of land in southern Arizona needs to moved into Colorado...immediately.

So she is putting on a wind show that lifts up the area dust mote by dust mote and frantically rushes it in a northeasterly direction. And with winds registering up to 65 mph, walking is difficult and driving dangerous since other vehicles swerve randomly into oncoming traffic. Wind-chill is a factor even when the temperature is in the mid 80's.

The horses stand together, tails towards the wind. Birds clutch unto tree limbs, with only the strongest hawks patrolling the skies. The greyhound insists on her regular outside walks... until she gets out the front door, when she tucks tail and demands to go back inside.

Wonderful excuse to stay inside and watch old movies, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We are about to enter the summer and BBQ season.

Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity, as it's the only type of cooking a 'real' man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

(1) The woman buys the food.

(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.

(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beverage in hand.

Here comes the important part:


(5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

(6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.

He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beverage while he deals with the situation.

Important again:


(8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

(9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed 'her night off.'

And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


When handed a form to fill out, my first impulse is to critic the formatting. And when faced with a completely unreadable font, scrunched and squeezed tiny itty-bitty spaces to put things long things like social security & phone numbers, I spend several hours of a hot Arizona evening bent over a hot computer keyboard making a completely new form.

I don't even WORK for these people, and tomorrow I am going to hand them a wonderfully legible, compact yet precise original to use if the office manager likes it.

Do I need help? Especially since I thoroughly ENJOYED almost every moment of doing it. It could be elevated by calling it graphic design - it could be labeled obsessive behavior - I think I just need to figure out a way to get PAID for this.

P.S. 24 hours later - AHA! I feel COMPLETELY justified. The office manager contacted me after reviewing the form and says they will be PLEASED to use it from now on.

Hmm... sending them a bill now would look pretty cheap, wouldn't it?

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Today summer arrived. The air conditioning roars, the ceiling fans are on, while my short sleeves are unfashionably (and uncomfortably) rolled right up to my shoulders. The dogs are passed out over two of the vents, while the cat curls blissfully next to the third. Three flies are contesting territorial rights of the window, and the horses have not moved from the watering trough since 10 a.m.

I am envisioning tall glasses of iced mint julep (did you know julep is from the Persian for 'rose water'? does it actually exist? has anyone ever had one?) with the cold condensation slowly and sensually trickling down the sides.

I can picture having a glorious water-fight or a hot and sweaty outside job and then someone (tall,, dark and handsome) brings me that imaginary mint julep and fans me with a giant palm frond.

Reality check here - I'm doing what I always do when it's this hot - go take a nap.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The Saturday evening session of stake conference used to be the Leadership Meeting - just for people in presidencies and councils.

Then the church realized that everyone who had ever been in a leadership position discovered that this was the most interesting meeting in stake conference, and since we were all showing up anyways, why not just start calling it the 'Adult Session' and make it official.

It's also a heck of a lot quieter without all the kids.

It helps that I've been in this stake almost ten years; some of the talks have extra meaning because I know the person and their situation. The talk by President Gore (isn't that just a odd name for anyone not a butcher?) about not putting things off, but doing them NOW made extra sense since he is undergoing surgery this week - especially since without the surgery he stands a good chance of becoming a paraplegic. RS President Debra Evans made the normally-pretty-boring-subject of supporting the priesthood interesting by relating it to callings and day-to-day practical stuff (I just love reality sometimes instead of lofty ideals).

And President Goates (another great name) gave the closing talk about one of my favorite subjects now - doing right instead of being right. I even gave him a piece of paper afterwards with one of my favorite quotes - "Be Kind Rather Than Correct."

The only difficulty was sitting through two and a half hours between a person sewing dolls clothing (honestly) and another person doing scriptural research and markings while people were talking and making growling noises like a pacing beast when someone make a comment that did not agree with his personal view.

So it helped to hear about doing right. I kept taking deep breaths, and repeating "I am not responsible for how they listen, I am only responsible for how I listen" and kept taking notes.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Life is fatal - that is pretty well proven. There are medications, surgeries, treatments that can extend your time on earth, but no one gets out of the ending.

So I hold in great respect those who gracefully excuse themselves from the chemo and radiation and simply tie up as many loose ends as they can and wait in patience for the end.

I have a neighbor who, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, moved back to the Northwest for both treatment and to be closer to her family. After two rounds of chemo (which didn't seem to affect the cancer much), she has come back, renting a house almost directly across from where they lived before, has reintroduced herself to her faith and Catholic beliefs, and is doing all she can to enjoy the time she has left.

Her husband is being incredibly supportive and patient, and like her, is helping her enjoy what she can.

I felt humbled this morning spending time with her, and feeling her willing acceptance of the future.

However, when I reach that point in my life, I hope I then can do the semi-dangerous things I've been putting off for fear of a(nother) broken head and coma, such as:

- go skydiving again, but SOLO, not as a tandem

- ride Najale in the Palominas Unofficial Unorganized Christmas Parade

- rappel off Coronado Peak naked

and then finally:

- die of a wonderful overdose of chocolate.

Yeah, if wishes were fishes, we'd all cast our nets (courtesy of the novel "Dune")

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Quoting the ultimate authority on the Internet (Wikipedia, of course):

"Getting the last word means that you win the debate. It also shows your moral superiority, and willingness to stand your ground. "

Unfortunately, I live with someone who takes this expression literally; namely, it is whoever vocalizes/says the last word, even if it's "okay" or "alright" or "let's drop this discussion, please."


However, I did have fifty (count 'em, fifty) teenagers, covered in mud, soaking wet and freezing in a brisk cold wind, sing me "Happy Birthday" completely out of tune, rhyming and even lyrics (half were singing "Happy Happy Birthday" from the Primary songbook, 30% the traditional "Happy Birthday" and a few odd ones jumped into their very punkish rendition of "Auld Lange Syne" (I have no idea if that's how you spell it - somebody get hold of that Clark guy who always host the New Years Eve show at Times Square).

"Sometimes we spend so much time staring at the closed door we fail to notice happiness tugging on our shirt tail."

Sunday, May 11, 2008


A sudden movement caught my attention - the shadow of the muscular cat streaking across the room. I followed his line of attention, and spotted the item of his keen interest.

A spider - but not just a regular garden-variety arachnid . This brute turned to defend his corner, waving assault rifles and threatening the feline with a grenade.

But as the cat moved in rapidly with a combination of tai-chi and Richard Simmons moves (to include his change of costume into pink glittering tights and ear muffs), I brought up the rear with the ultimate in lethal weapons - my steady, reliable Hoover.

Combining both the instantaneous powering of the vacuum with a swift forward thrust, I shoved the brutal instrument on top of the livid (albeit cowering) creature, and the cat and I both gave each other a satisfied smile as we heard the remains being crunched between the brushes and suction.

So - who can I get to volunteer and come over to change the bag for me? I'm terrified to get any place near it now.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


In zoos, the larger animals stride back and forth, back and forth, and seem to be glaring at the ogling patrons, as if envious of their freedom of movement.

Tonight I felt that sort of concentrated energy directed towards ME, jealous of a regular, normal conversation on the phone.


Friday, May 9, 2008


The expression 'light-pollution' never made any sense to me until I camped on the east side of the Timpenogas (sp?) mountains and actually saw the Milky Way for the first time. I grew up in Los Angeles, and between the smog and the lights you were lucky to see ten stars at one time (in the sky, silly, not Hollywood stars).

Now I found myself irritated at 'newcomers' who move out into our lovely valley and bring their non-motion-detected-floodlights (if anyone has a better way to say that, please let me know) that remain on all night - their bright 'solar-powered' (why did I just put that in parenthesis? maybe to show a little bit more disdain) driveway guides that stay on until 2 a.m. (do they actually expect company that late?).

It's like people are scared of the DARK.

And when there isn't a moon up and about, it is very very darkout here at night. I know I used to have much better night-vision, and it now takes my eyes four to five minutes to totally adjust. But then it is simply one of the coolest things in the world - you are guided by STAR light. You can see your SHADOW just by the dazzling constellations.

So all you civilized types that want to bring that bad 'ole light out here - GO BACK TO YOUR CITIES and LEAVE US IN THE DARK.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Why is it, when you are getting ready to go eat someplace 'nice' (i.e. a better restaurant than Taco Bell) that your dog will leap up and come down exactly at the right angle to rip your brand-new pair of nylons (the ones that have reinforced toes and you have to search for every month so that your non-pedicured ragged toenails won't slash them within the first ten steps)?

When your home teachers (or worse, visiting teachers) are coming over to visit, that is the night the cat decides to barf alllll over the floor in the front room just as they are walking up the front porch steps?

The one time you finally DO actually run into that stunning-handsome guy in aisle 16 at Safeway that it is on a so-far-beyond-bad hair day that you hide by putting your head in between the canned vegetables (and get stuck between sliced mushrooms and asparagus and it takes four grocery employees to get you out and when you are finally freed, that guy is still there, WATCHING the rescue operation)?

But THEN, the one time when you are actually TRYING to recreate mud splatters for a poster (long story - hopefully I'll have photos next week to show you), nothing but NOTHING will turn out look MESSY enough! Splatters are only sorta gentle sloshes - dirty mud resembles chocolate milk - it just isn't YUCKY enough.

Murphy's Law still is alive on my planet. I want mud, chaos and dirt, and for once I can't get it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


As an aged war veteran proudly displays his medals on the wall, I respectfully submit that I wear my grey hairs and my numerous laugh (or perhaps scowl) lines in the same manner.

But I do reluctantly admit that I do not honor my rapidly thinning papery backs of my hand as much. I do not admire the hollows that twenty-nine years of.... hmm... inflated breast tissue dragging down my bra straps have created. I do not hold in high esteem the fifty lbs. that have held tightly on to my frame over the past... wow, twenty years (didn't realize it was THAT long). I grudgingly acknowledge that numerous fractures and breaks have unwillingly embraced the arthritic diagnosis that seems to accompany age.

However, I have not and hopefully WILL not embrace Botox, plastic surgery, age-spot whitening paste, garlic vitamins, teeth-capping (although if I had the money, I actually might do that one), hair-coloring (unless just the perfect violent shade of pink becomes available) an/or breast-job - no, I take that last one back - I still would LOVE to have a breast-reduction job that is not actually a mastectomy. I'd love to have a boyish figure again; wait, that sounds like I'm looking into a sex-change operation.

I think I better shut up before I get myself any deeper into this hold I am digging.

Monday, May 5, 2008


"Surely by now we're all sick of the mommy wars, with stay-at-home mothers and working mothers mercilessly attacking each other's career decisions as if the survival of the human race hangs in the balance."

Forgive me if I sound a little old-fashioned here. My generation are the women that first hit the glass ceiling head-on - that read Betty Friedan books - that went way beyond the 'norm' of secretarial, bank teller and grocery store clerk positions.

And yeah, we made major headway - the generation of female CEOs, middle management, and even military positions in combat positions (don't ask me if that's liberation or just stupidity, but it's equal).

We dealt with slow economics by going back to work full-time, and juggled work, housework, meals, kids and oh yeah, some of us went back to school to finish those bachelor's that we never finished because we got married.
But I've been on both sides of the fence here. I feel very fortunate that I was able to stay home until my second began pre-school - and then was still able to be back home by 2 p.m. when they got home from school (by my workday beginning at 6 a.m., but you do what you gotta do) - at least until my baby began pre-school.

After that, it was full-time - going up the ladder (at least in non-profit health!) and landing better paying positions each year. It was going back to school part-time for quite a few years - and it was overseeing homework via the phone, and having the kids make dinner, do the dishes and be ready for bed sometimes before I even could get home. It was missing a lot of school events and basketball games and asking a lot of other people to give my kids rides to where they needed to be in the hours before I got home.

So - it IS great that women have stepped up to the plate in the workplace, and proven that we should get paid the same as a man for the same job. We've proved that, with nervous breakdowns and some medication, we can handle being single-parents. We can do it.But you know what? The "survival of the human race" DOES hang in the balance. Because this is one of many reasons the family as an institution is so fragile. Mothers switched a lot of their responsibility to day-care, to after-school programs, and to the oldest latch-key kid (yeah, that's you, Harmony).

And it ended up NOT being the best option. It was okay, and it worked, but we cheated our kids out of, not quality time, but quantity time. Time to just hang - time to talk - time to spend. We were forced to inject short, carefully timed micro-managed bursts of sharing.And really, it does make a difference.

The oft-repeated "If I could back and do it all over" in this case is SOOO true. Sometimes financially it isn't possible, sometimes it isn't easy, I've done both - and being a full-time mom is, trust me, MUCH harder than a full-time job - but is IS what will make the difference the survival of the family, ergo the human family.

Trust me on this one.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


A long, long time ago, in a semi-arid land right between the magical lands of Espanol and the Untied Stakes of Armadillos, an evil youth leader at my church came up with the idea of having the youth play the game called "Mud Football."

Since the heroine of this story (who is just a bit of an air-head) had four acres of completely virgin land which happily and equally supported quail, rattlesnakes and cute little bunny rabbits, she naively volunteered her unspoiled land for the original-soon-to-be-revealed-as-completely-evil project.

Then the wickedness and true malice of the actual goal began to emerge - before the game of Mud Football could be successfully played, the innocent heroine was forced to repeatedly plow the accursed section of land over and over and over again with a tractor with a partially punctured left tire, diesel fumes spewing about, and (the main by-product and export of the the magical lands between Espanol and the Untied Stakes of Armadillos) DUST.

When several tons of powder-fine grime have been produced and settled on the arid land (with 487 lbs. being filtered through her lungs), then approximately 4,811 water-feet of pure, liquid gold (when the annual rainfall here is under 4 inches, it's gold, trust me) are wasted to create a mud-bath from the dust.

And then it must again must be plowed with the same tire-leaking-fume-emitting-energy-wasting machine, but this time combating MUD instead of DUST, and using three times as much diesel fluid.

On the horrific day of the actual game, miles of SUVs disregard meticulously detailed and provided-way-in-advance directions and wander aimlessly across neighboring kingdoms gardens and cause millions of dollars in damage.

Then the vehicles discharge their adolescent cohorts to race across rattlesnake-infested undergrowth and jump into the mud with new, expensive shoes and jewelry that will be quickly eaten by the mud, along with car keys, debit cards and orange Tic-Tacs.

Sexual tensions arise as several young men take to tackling young women, and leaders scream "but we can't see your HANDS - what are you actually DOING under the mud!!" as well as trying to convince the young men that they canNOT go shirtless.

However, since this is the 6th (count 'em, SIXTH) annual event of this event, why am I complaining? I'll do it - I just wish the original date of late June had been kept, and I could use our travel to Oregon as an excellent excuse to get OUT of this. ;-)

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I've heard of 'dream-management' before. The idea is to take control of where your dreams are going by somehow recognizing you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Since most of my dreams lately have been exhausting repetitions of trying to get somewhere with someone by such and such a time (and not meeting with any success time after time), I thought this might be worth a try.

Somehow I was tired from watching eight utility poles being loaded at the maintenance yard, and then also watching them being unloaded by the horses' corral (I guess I did help them roll off the truck a couple of times, but that was it) - but I was fatigued beyond measure (yes, I am a wimp, my friends).

I tried valiantly (who was Prince Valiant? Was he an old cartoon character on television back when it was just black and white?) to get some housework done, but gave up at noon and slept for THREE HOURS.

Not straight through - the greyhound woke me up by barking her desire to go outside - the cat continually waited until I had just fallen asleep (I think he hides behind the bed and just listens for my breathing to slow down to a certain scientifically established rate) and then jumped on me (it's amazing this cat has lived as long as he has) - and my shepherd mix was having bad dreams, yipping and running in his sleep, while laying right at the foot of my bed.

So perhaps this light-doze-state is what enabled me to realize that I was dreaming while I was dreaming. I kept repeating to myself (hopefully just in the dream, not out loud) "this is just a dream, this is just a dream," and it was incredible. In the dream, I was driving like a complete maniac, but by being aware that I wasn't awake (although I know some will argue that I drive like that when I am awake), I could actually control some of it. I was driving on an imaginary coastline, and all of the incredible scenery I could somehow keep bringing back into vision. (Couldn't control my crazing driving in any way, shape or form, but at least the view was beautiful)

The question now is, do I know encourage the animals to keep waking me so I can recognize dreaming? Do I go back to sleeping in the same bedroom as my snoring mate (guarantee to NOT get a good night's rest)? Or do I just hope to achieve this Zen-like state by accident?

Any advice?