Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Little Spring Scene

I really wanted to share some nice little pictures of our nice little spring in Idaho, but my daughter Lisa's pictures were much better. So, go over to her space here and see.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've had my grandbabies here for a couple of days. Nathan is 2 and loves to drag his grandma around the house by her index finger. "Come on Grandma!" We play with blocks and find fun pictures on the computer and torment the cat with the laser pointer. It's worth it to see the cat go crazy trying to catch the darting red light because Nathan's belly laughs are contagious.

Zachary is 2 months old tomorrow. There's nothing more cuddly than a baby. His bright eyes and delicious little body just make him fun to watch and to hug, kiss, and hold.

I like the sign my mom has in her house.
"Your grandchildren are your reward for not killing your children."
I agree.
Life is good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Halp, please

I want to do an illustration for my art blog that is on the theme "Spring".
What should I do?
Nest of eggs?

I don't really want to do tulips because they are too cliche.
Does anyone out there in my wide vast readership have any other ideas?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Today in Primary I had them play a game of "Hats".
I had in front of the room a bunch of hats. I chose one child at a time. They came to the front of the room, chose a hat and then we had to sing the song that was inside the hat in the manner of the hat. For example:
Cowboy hat - like a cowboy
Tiara - opera style
Drum Major's hat - marching band
Hard hat - using tools
Ski hat - shivering and freezing
"Lion" hat - growing
Baby hat - like a lullaby
there were a couple of others.

All I can say is you've never lived until you've heard 40 kids sing "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" opera-style.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remembering Norman

March 18, 1928
That was the day my Dad was born.
May 12, 2008
That was the day he died.

When someone you love dies from a long wasting disease, like cancer, it is sometimes difficult to remember him as he was before the disease started the decline. Most of the time when I've thought about my Dad in the 10 months since he passed on I've thought about the horrible times, watching him gasp for breath for days until they finally placed a trach on him and then cleaning it out for him numerous times as he spent 21 days in the ICU. His peg tube, his pic line, and all the other paraphernalia that goes along with cancer. The hallucinations that he had. The look on his face only days before he died that tore at my heart. I knew he was frustrated and scared and helpless in the face of what was happening to him.

He did his best to stay positive, though. He loved the nurses who cared for him, he loved the people who visited him, and he did his best to keep a happy face. I know, though, that when he thought no one was looking he would break down and cry. My friend Scott was in the perfusion room with him one day. He was getting his own treatment and probably looked like he was asleep. He told me not too long ago that he watched one day as my Dad laughed and joked with the nurses as they got him set up for the treatment. Then later, when he was alone, my dad broke down and cried.
I'll never forget what he used to always say as we took him to the doctor. Every nurse and doctor would ask him how he was doing, and without missing a beat he would say, "if I was doing any better I couldn't stand it." I'll never forget that because just 2 days before he died he said it to the hospice nurse as she came to check on him.

So, I've had 10 months of thinking about all of that and now today, on the anniversary of my Dad's birth I've decided that I will now remember my Dad from before. I'll remember the good and the bad, the fun and the not so fun. I'll remember the float trips he took us on, the anger on his face when I disobeyed him, the impatience he had, the snoring I heard as I came in late. I'll remember the "Normanese" he spoke, the way he told jokes (that were only funny if you knew the joke because he messed it up so badly), and all the other times that being his daughter for 50 years gave me.

In short, I won't remember how he died, I'll remember how he lived!

I gave this painting I did to my Dad last year on his birthday. It is acrylic painted on a wood panel.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go.........

This week I’m flying solo at work. My office mate has flown to Iowa to visit family and won’t be back until a week from tomorrow. I really don’t mind working alone. I kind of prize quiet and don’t miss the soft music she sometimes plays when she’s here.
Mike is going to Bozeman this Thursday evening and won’t be back until Sunday. He and the principal are going to a conference. The following week, on Thursday, Abby and I will be headed to Logan Utah where Abby will be photographing her first wedding. I’ll be going along for moral support. It will be nice to get away for a couple of days, too.
We’ve got an appraiser coming to the house this Thursday so that our refinancing can go through. We’ve only lived in the house 20 plus years and we might actually get some things in it finished AND our monthly payment will go down, AND we won’t have to pay that much longer because we’re going to a 15 year loan. Win-Win-Win
There are some things that have to be done before the appraiser comes, though. I’ll work all day here and then scoot off to home and work all night there. I may even be able to squeeze a little homework in, too.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th.

I LOVE Friday the 13th. I think I’ve loved it since we gave my oldest daughter a great Friday the 13th birthday party. She was upset one year, when she realized her birthday was going to fall on that dreaded day.
Since my husband was the city pool manager, we decided to have a pool party. She invited about 20 girls and it seems like most of them showed up. After the swimming and waterslide fun we came back to our house. We had moved all our furniture out of our living room and let them take it over for a slumber party complete with scary movies. (not too scary cause these were young girls)
It was a good time. One of those things that you look back on and think, “Yes, we did a good thing and it turned out great.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Better Day Tomorrow, Please

I woke up,
felt good.

Went to work,
co-worker acted distant.
Went to class,
teacher seemed annoyed.
Came home,
kids acted distant and annoyed.

It's amazing how other people can drag you down no matter how hard you try to stay positive and upbeat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Poor Andy

The third trimester for the school district just started yesterday. Andy seems to like his classes. His final semester in high school will be a bit on the easy side. He's got a computer networking class where the teacher told them, "You'll never have homework in this class, you'll probably have about 20 minutes of free time every day, and every Friday is make-up day." I sure hope Andy doesn't strain himself in that one.

The last class of the day is golf. This will be Andy's 3rd year on the varsity golf team. Andy's been a golfer since he was about 4 years old when he swung the club at a ball on our front lawn and broke a 2nd story window in our house. A couple of years ago he came up to me and said, very seriously, "I've been thinking about golf. Golf isn't like work, and it's not like play either. Golf is life."

I'm glad he loves it so much. It's a good thing to love; something that will give him pleasure for the rest of his life. It's a good thing he enjoys it so much because their first meet is tomorrow. He has to be at the school at 6:00 am. They will drive about 150 miles to a golf course that isn't still buried in snow and then play 18 holes before driving another 150 miles home. It's supposed to still be cold. Very cold. It's supposed to be in the single digits for a low overnight and warm up to the teens during the day.

Dress warm, Andy.

Dress very warm.

God Bless Mrs. *****

Yesterday morning came way too early. I had no trouble waking up, or even getting up. But all day long I just felt ill. Not enough sleep. It is a quirk of my body that if I don't get enough sleep, or eat regularly that my ticker wants to beat out a stoccato rhythm all day, or until I sleep or eat. Yesterday was the day. I just felt like going home and crawling back in bed, but I had class and then work. I kept watching the clock at work waiting for the moment when I could drive home and sleep. Finally work ended and I was on my way. I didn't ever have a nap, though. Something terribly exciting happened and I stayed up until midnight.

Anyone who has visited my house in the last, oh, say......10 years has probably noticed the sorry state of my living room furniture. It was over 20 years old and had enough shredded parts to keep the cats entertained. It had enough holes in the cushions to peak my dog's curiosity. Surely there must be doggy treats buried in there? Poor Oscar discovered that the only thing he found after digging a nice hole in the middle of the cushion was a very irate owner. Small holes had turned into restuffed big holes.

Company would come and, when offered a seat, would drop down onto what looked like a fairly high couch. But then they would sink down and down until their knees were about level with their heads. They would then discreetly try to scoot their tushes forward so that they could balance on the edge of the frame. Other guests would absent-mindedly play with the strings and tatters that hung off the side. It was embarrassing. We were becoming recluses, not wanting anyone to visit. Money was always needed for something more vital, like transportation, tuition, food.

Then yesterday a miracle happened. Mike went to school and was preparing for his day. He had first period free and went to make copies or something in the teacher's lounge. There, posted on the bulletin board was message. Free couch and loveseat. Contact Mrs. *****. Mike thought there was no way it was still available. He beat it down to that blessed teacher's room and discovered that it was indeed still available. At 5:00 last night we went to look at it. It was beautiful. there weren't any strings or tatters. The cushions were intact! And she asked if we wanted the two tables that went with it. They were also beautiful. Mike said later he was suprised I didn't start Whooping and Cheering right there in her living room. We brought it all home last night and hauled away the old stuff. It's so beautiful all sitting in my living room, looking so at home. God bless unselfish people who offer things for free.

Now, I think we need to invite some people over.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I taught a new song in Primary today. It is the song "My Eternal Family". The words start out like this:
"I am a builder
working each day
to build my family."

I had a hard hat and a big construction worker's tool belt.
I told the kids that we were going to play a little game. They had to guess what I was. Then I turned around and put on the hard hat. They all started guessing,
"construction worker"
As soon as I heard the word builder I said, "That's right! I'm a builder. What do you think I build?" They started guessing,
I told them that construction workers build houses, but I was a builder. What do I build? I build homes. One little boy said that houses and homes were the same thing. I told him we were going to learn how to build a home instead of just a house.

I told them I brought my home building tools with me. I brought out the tool belt and started pulling out tools.

The first tool I pulled out was some knee pads.
"What do you think I use knee pads for?"
"to protect your knees when you're up on the roof."
"that's what a construction worker would use knee pads for, but remember, I'm a home builder. What would I need knee pads for?"
They finally came up with the word I was looking for, prayer. I told them that to build a good strong home they need to spend a lot of time on their knees in prayer.

Then I pulled out some lip balm and asked them what this tool would be good for. These kids caught onto the game quick and offered things like, "say nice things, praying".

I pulled out a saw and asked the question again. They were a little stumped, so I asked them if they have ever argued with their brothers and sisters. And if they had ever heard their mother tell them to "cut it out". We need to cut the arguing out of our houses to make them homes.

I rapped my knuckles on the hard hat and asked them what does this tool do for a construction worker. They all knew the answer to that and started calling out all the things that could hit the poor guy in the head if he wasn't wearing a helmet. I asked them what the hat would do for a home builder and they were once again pretty smart.
"keep out bad thoughts, bad words, and bad things on tv or movies"
They knew that to have a strong home they needed to protect their minds from the bad things of the world.

I then pulled out a wire wisk and some scriptures. I told them that they needed to be able to feed their bodies and their spirits in order to help build a strong home.

Then we learned the words to the song and they sang it with enthusiasm. We pantomimed using the tools to the beat of the song as we sang each line. For instance we pretended to pound a nail with a hammer, or saw with a saw, or drill a hole. It really seemed to help keep the rhythm and their interest.

They were all very interested and involved. It was a good singing and learning experience.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Come Saturday Morning

Snowing again. and cold. Yuck
My bird feeder is getting a workout. I've seen a few new faces today. Maybe the migration northward has begun.

I had to go to work for a couple of hours this morning. Then grocery shopping. Now I'm home and feeling totally spent. I have a major drawing due on Monday that will probably take another 10 hours or so to finish. So I think my time will be most productive if I go take a nap. ZZzzzzz

Friday, March 6, 2009


Snow Snow
Go Away
No More Flakes
'Tween Now and May
We All Need A Break,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I used to teach preschool.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my little students would show up at my house. I was very organized and put a lot of work into every session. Every student had their own mini chalkboard which we used when practicing writing. Once they could write their own name without help they could take the chalkboard home with them.

We had singing. I played the piano and had a wide variety of fun little songs that we went through. Every week we had a theme. We started with the letter A. The entire weeks activities were on this theme. Every Friday we took a field trip. I arranged for a pilot to show us his airplane at the airport. We visited a wide variety of places, the fire station, Christmas Tree Lane, museums, and on and on. It was a lot of fun.

Still, it was a lot of work. I decided to put my energies into something else.

That's why I was so confused when the doorbell rang and kids started piling into my house. I was teaching preschool again. I was expecting children, but these kids seemed so much older than my last students. And they were some mouthy rude boys grouped together. And their mothers all came in and wanted to watch, one of them wanted to smoke. One of the pushier mothers tried to team-teach with me. She started giving me songs and activities that she thought we should do. Suddenly I couldn't remember what I had planned for the day. I couldn't think of one song to sing. I couldn't find any of my music. The mothers were starting to complain, the rude boys were being rude. The pushy mother started telling me how I needed to remodel my house to accomodate the amount of children we had attending. I couldn't even form a coherent sentence. I felt so out of control.

I was so relieved when I woke up and discovered it was just a dream.