Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Lucy's pretty happy with hers too, of course, along with her first trike.
Hazel's first bike.
Suspect Grant's having more fun with Hazel's bike than Hazel.
Ruth pegged it instantly: Grooming another tightwad in the family??
Ruth's favorite present was from Grant: A new fancy Coolpix camera (above).
Made the rounds of the parks. This one is in their apartment complex.
Another nearby park.
Lucy makes her escape!
And other happy news.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
"All I Want for Christmas"
"My Favorite Christmas Eve Tradition (in one sentence)"
"If I could be a Super Hero, who/why?"
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
…Something to move on from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Ahhh, yes. Thanksgiving reminds me of fall and fall reminds me of drives up the canyon to see the leaves, which of course is a little dissociative since canyon leaves are long gone off the trees. Well, valley leaves as well for that matter. Here anyway. But we decorate for Thanksgiving with fall leaves, so … it’s all good.
My grandparents bought a cabin up American Fork Canyon, up the north fork, then off and up to the right across the current causeway just before Tibble Fork Reservoir. I can’t remember if they built it. Kinda seems like it - they had the equipment and the ability to do a lot of the work, and I very vaguely remember family drives up to check on the progress. I actually can’t remember the exact lay of the land pre the reservoir which purportedly was built in 1966. The cabin had a large coal burning stove you could cook on/in, and a large fireplace in the living room. It was big and we had lots of great family gatherings there. Eventually use of it was divided up among the families, two or three weeks each, no doubt partly because the family was blossoming and once Grandpa died, it was too much for my Grandma, even though her kids took care of it. She ended up selling it, because the next generation of partying teenagers worried her too much, and repairs had to be done from break-ins. More than one it seems. Lois and Janeil will have to elaborate. They’d remember better and more.
I remember a summer or two, we’d stay our allotted time, and Daddy would come up each night after work. Mom made rag rugs. Huge rag rugs. We fed and befriended the chipmunks. I can remember going to a cook out with the cabin neighbors up there, a big bonfire, and sharing of food, but I also can remember that the “program” was somewhat coarse and Mom and Dad talking on the way back, that we wouldn’t be going to such gatherings again for the sake of our tender ears.
We cousins played ball in the gently sloping backyard. It must have been a half acre or more. My most favorite memory was crossing the dirt road directly east of the cabin, climbing the sharply steep mountainside, up a wash the rain water and snowmelt carved through the scrub brush. We cousins would hang onto roots and sturdy bushes, hauling ourselves up the ravine. Then when we gathered at the top, we’d sit there daring ourselves and each other to slide down the wash, finally launching off and landing at the bottom after a long “ride” which filled our pockets and socks with sand. The grown ups would call us for mealtime or going home, and we’d hold out on giving up the fun for as long as we dared. I’m sure moms didn’t appreciate all the dirt.
Fond memories to be thankful for this fine Thanksgiving holiday season.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
O Come Back All Ye Unfaithful…. J/K. Jewel, remember the rust specks in the tub! I figured it was from one of the more ancient pipes in this house, and woe-is-me! on what to do about that, but they’re gone now I have a new water heater, replacing a 15-year old, the only “essential equipment” in this house that survived the fire. Even having it on 120 the water is WAY hotter than it ever was before. I’m grateful I was more concerned about who to replace it than any other consideration because I found out that some units which happen to be better than what you find in big-box stores can only be purchased from a licensed contractor.
So that’s one of my thanksgivings today. It’s time to do some more because I have been rather ornery the last couple days and need to cross that fence and get to the greener side. I HATE to waste money and just recently I found out I’ve been doing that, thanks to someone else’s decision, which puts it on the top of that particular hate pile. Hence my orneriness.
I’m very grateful my washing machine died. Some things that “work” NEED to die because newer IS better. I’m grateful I browbeat the repair company for the old one sufficiently enough get a complete refund. Not that I expected or even asked for that, but I guess that was their response to me peppering the internet with my “reviews” of their (in)efficiency. (I still don’t recommend H&E [formerly Sears repair] to anyone so try not to have to pick them for any of your appliance warranties.)
I’m grateful for my last calling. It’s very challenging but worth the grief. I think I’ve just recently earned a tad of credibility by being questioningly obedient. Children, there’s a lesson here. ;^) The scrutiny has been so severe the organist didn't have enough time to practice their latest change, and was absent last Sunday. I got a phone call of veiled apology after that one.
I’m grateful I have considerably fewer leaves to rake up this fall. I'm grateful to still have raspberries! (I accidentally trimmed them the right way to get a longer picking season.)
I’m grateful I’ve had the best helper ever at work for this year’s school start-up flood. I nominated her for employee of the month and she gets a plaque and $100 at the next school board meeting. J I found out some interesting things about her when I compiled the write-up for the board. As happens with any rewardable person worth their salt, she hasn’t flaunted her achievements. She was the high school valedictorian. She has played cello in the BYU Philharmonic for four years. She currently plays in the Utah Valley Symphony. She used to listen to Phantom of the Opera daily when she was a kindergartener. She took French for four years in high school, with the plan she then achieved of doing a BYU study abroad program in Paris. All that, and she willingly does data entry for me ad nauseam. And there’s a lesson in that, as well. Dirty work is part and parcel with life’s accolades.
I’m grateful to have a copy of the birthday DVD Greg put together for Lois. And I’m grateful to get to watch it with everyone on Dave’s flat screen.
I’m grateful to have Janeil’s tender blog music to listen to whilst I repent.
And lastly, I have a postscript to my last Sunday FHE. We were talking at work about dolls and it reminded me that I left this out. So sorry, kids, you have to put up with one more story. When Jewel was almost 18 months, her dad brought home a doll for her for Christmas. I was not happy because I envisioned her first doll to be a baby doll, and this one wasn't. She loved it. She also loved the child-sized red rocking chair she got that year, which became the doll’s over-sized chair. She would literally throw it into the chair and say, “Be good baby.” And just in case you’re wondering, no one ever threw her into a chair, though I can’t say she, so to speak, never experienced any “force.” When Grant left on his mission and we were all at the MTC, Jewel was refusing to “connect” by any form of a goodbye. It was an act of self-preservation. She knew it was going to be the biggest loneliness challenge of her entire life and to pretend his leaving didn’t matter made it easier to bare. I was feeling badly for Grant about it, something for him to worry over when he needed to move on, but per usual he knew what to do. There was pressure to get us gone (missionaries had to file out one door, family out another). He finally pulled her into a hug and said something in her ear, and she dissolved into tears and a returned embrace. He whispered, “Be good baby.”
In looking for the above pictures, and remembering Grant pointing out where some would be I’d looked for before (by far, most are with their dad), which led to more ideas, I found these referred to in prior FHE’s:
Jewel’s Diorama - Senior Project
Grant’s Snow Bike - Senior Project
The Avalanche January 13, 1998
Looking forward to pictures of everyone’s Halloween!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Hummmm. I think someone pilfered some pictures. I wanted to put in both Grant and Jewel’s senior projects. Jewel made a huge diorama of a particular Civil war battle and after we gave it to the neighbor boys. (Too big to take inside - they kept it on top of a low storage shed with a tarp over it and got up there to play with it.) Grant made a ski bike which he and Mike intended to market until they had to abandon them on Mt. Hood (later retrieved by Eldon, Ken and Mike). Well, it was more that ski resorts were leery due to insurance issues (why they ended up on Mt. Hood). The first version when Grant was a senior he milled the parts in the BYU shop under Mike’s tutelage. I’m sure Grant has pictures, and Mike, and then there’s the cool sepia video on Jared and Ruth’s facebook!
These two pictures are Jewel and Grant on the coast, the last trip there pre their marriages. Coming home, since it was a Sunday (I had work on Monday), Grant insisted we’d not be stopping for anything but gas, and we drove the whole way eating carrots and cheese and crackers provided by Brenda.
Going to an overnight work function was the first time I found out for sure that Jewel loved me. She didn’t feel too secure that she was, so she was careful not to show it. I stayed at home with her until she started first grade. I was asked to go to a state training that was in Ogden. She didn’t let on that she cared at all, but that morning as I was in the bathroom getting ready, she came in and hugged my legs. She was probably second grade by then. I patted her and hugged her back and she shook just a bit with a choked back sob. It made me very happy, not that she was unhappy, but that she “let her love show.” I’m glad she has a little girl now, and that Raygen has a big brother to love her as well, just like Jewel had Grant. But in case we’ve memorialized him too highly, don’t forget, boys will be boys (which Jewel can well remember if she thinks back J - being yarn-tied to a chair for example).
And speaking of memorializing, I must pay tribute to both for the place religion has in their lives. They’ve taken different paths, of course, but the fond memories are there. When Jewel was a Beehive the bishop cooked up this special trip for the YM/YW to take if they completed the Book of Mormon by a specific date. Grant’s reading of it was ongoing and he had no interest at all in being rewarded for it and refused to “report.” Jewel was struggling and acting like she didn’t care. Her Beehive leader loaned her a tape and it made all the difference, combining the hearing with the reading. She finished the first and second tapes and then came complaining to me because the leader couldn’t find the third one. It took me awhile, dense that I was (clear back then!), for it to dawn on me, hey, she’s obviously wanting, committed and able to do this, so buy the set! Grant was a good example to all of us the whole of his growing up years and his willingness to follow the plan of happiness served him and others well. When he got home from his mission his first calling was teaching teenagers. Parents would tell me that Grant was repeatedly the subject of their Sunday dinner table discussion. He was effective in getting them to “think” and want to talk about it more. Several moms were hoping he’d become interested in their daughters! Interestingly, Jewel was adamantly opposed to any possibility except Mary or Ruth. He’ll make a great college professor.
These pictures are at the airport, Grant off to Chicago, then on to Brazil. You don’t see too many missionaries in brown suits, which is exactly why he picked it.
Jewel and I had a very uncharitable-like reaction to his leaving and weren’t interested in inviting anyone. Since then, family can’t go to the airport either! (Post 9-11.) At any rate, a couple of them were far enough out of the immediate circle of family and friends to never get the “message,” and when Jewel saw Ray walking towards us down the long concourse, shook her finger at him and loudly exclaimed, “You! Go home!” Pretty funny thinking back, but at the time, pretty much dead serious. After we recovered from our forced sharing, Ray was taking pictures for us, and in one, he kept putting the camera down, we in the picture not knowing why until he said he wasn’t going to take it until Jewel smiled. It was hard for the family while Grant was gone, as basically our glue was gone, but he got along without us just fine, which was as it should be. When he reported on his mission, he said, “The happiest times I ever had was when we had the most people to teach, when we were running from house to house, when I didn’t even have time to open the letters from home.” [Moroni 7:45: Charity seeketh not her own.]
Well, that takes us up to the end of the FHE picture tour. Thanks for joining me! Will have to think of something else now… after I recover from being swamped with work. “FHE” has been and will be just another blur for some time to come…. And actually, in spite of being exhausted, I know exactly what it’ll be!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
You won’t remember, but back in the blogs I lamented about having grown tired of going to Sacrament meetings “alone,” both in my current ward and the prior ward. And you also won’t remember, but back in the blogs not quite so distantly, one of my gratitudes was getting to sub for the Sacrament meeting music director (which is very fun and where sitting alone isn’t quite so lonely). I’ve been asked twice in this ward, and once I was asked to sub for the 5th Sunday combined chorister.
I did have an unsettling experience, I might add, when subbing. After the opening and Sacrament hymns, I sat there thinking, “This is the calling for me!” It was a Sunday-morning invite, so I only took the time in practice starting each hymn and felt confident I was well enough familiar with them. The rest hymn had a time signature change on the second page I hadn’t taken note of, and for the whole of the hymn I couldn’t figure out why I was starting out okay and then getting off! So sitting down and realizing, studying it, was most humbling.
That’s one thing I deal with, getting old, the “daze” being far bigger than the occasion warrants!! (And I do NOT appreciate the local TV ads stating Alzheimer’s begins with such “blanks”! I mean, sheez, it’s been 15 years or more since I couldn’t find my temple locker!!!!!!!!!! [Took the wrong key.] J Which means I’m either doomed or they’re wrong!) But which is the same reason why my all-time favorite calling, Primary chorister, will never happen again, but then I got to do it for 12ish years all together, so I can’t feel too badly about it. And it just means, which I am fully willing, to spend the full preparation time I need, and never wing it (if I can avoid it)! And I know I’ll be blessed, if I give it full measure. That’s one thing I know, bear testimony of, that full measure = blessings.
So far (seven Sundays), it has been a wondrous experience for which I am most grateful, ward music chairman and ward music director. Jessie said she was happy for me. J Personally, it seems a blessing to have both callings; to be given the bishopric themes, pick the hymns, run them by the organist, give them back to the bishopric, as well as to be able to pick my own special musical numbers. One particularly nice pick was the rest hymn, Behold A Royal Army, based on the scripture chosen for the theme, and two of the three speakers used it in their talks! (D&C 104:82 - “And inasmuch as you are humble and faithful and call upon my name, behold, I will give you the victory.”) It was a particularly fun Sunday when All My Children attended my sacrament meeting and Hazel and Hayden waved to me from the congregation, as they audibly and adorably said, “Hi, Grandma!”
[These are pictures of the kids visiting that Sunday.]
I’ve had one “set back” so far, that amounted to anything. I truly believe (as any tempting-apostate-fate person would) J, that our ward under this bishopric is too limiting in the “is it familiar” hymn world. So I’m promising myself to be careful I don’t continue down the tempting-apostate-fate road, yet continue to slowly split the seams a tad as time rolls on.
I still have my other callings, but I do think they’ll soon jettison me from one of them as I can’t seem to overcome my aversions to it which translates as having become a thorn in their side! Another reason to feel particular blessed - in that one would think such would be a stumbling block as to subsequent callings. That calling is a dreamed up one tagged to being assistant compassionate service person, circa our new R.S. presidency who decided to purchase with the supposed leftover budget from the former presidency (us), canning supplies. And seems a tad odd given the fact that during our term we had a problem enrichment assistant who often exceeded her allotted budget! There wasn’t to have been any leftover, regardless, and three-fourths of the year gone before we were ousted, which means they apparently didn’t do what was designated for standard events the last quarter. But well beyond that, I have a hard time mostly due to all the government regulations I deal with at work, which would preclude loaning, for example, a pressure canner to various and sundry! Etc. (By far the worst of the lot, granted.) Not to mention advertising me as the instructor in the use of such objects! So I pushed for further clarification at just the wrong time, once the ward garden began producing. (eh-oh) They were nice enough to say they hadn’t thought it through, but I’m sure they’d been happier if they’d asked for the “right” person in the first place (i.e., not me). Another reason I think they’ll say se la vie is the fact that the two contradict each other when we have funerals. Can’t be in the kitchen and leading music at the same time. We had two funerals the same week in August!
Any one out there have a ward garden? Definitely a learning experience, it seems. In my boss’s area, they have a stake garden, and the planting, weeding and harvesting was divided out among the various ward organizations so that no one has more than one assignment for the whole summer. In our ward, the organizations have had numerous assignments so that individuals involved have had to neglect their own gardens to meet the needs of the ward’s. Ours is dealing with a lot of waste (regardless of the availability of canning equipment!), so the same plot for a bigger group would have worked out better. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that we’re not hard enough off (yet), to make it “work.” And of course, there’s always the live and learn part of any new venture.
Well, excuse me for rambling on. Just felt the need to “cover” the subject, to propound the point that God demonstrates His patience and love for us in many ways, in spite of our frailties, weaknesses and opinionatedness(es)!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
These pictures are of Jewel and me at my annual work summer conference, where one of the gimmicks at the food vendor show was getting your Got Milk picture taken with the milk mustache. It was usually held in St. George, and several times Jewel went with me. She even looked forward to it. All my bosses and coworkers over the years have made a big fuss over her (and now are fussing over the grandchildren!). She also got better acquainted with some of them from going to Provo School district year-round 5th and 6th grades and one semester her junior year.
They didn’t see that much of Grant over the years, except when he kept his lunch in our fridge for a time during his premarriage Y years, and he’d write things in foreign languages on our white board, which got our vendors adding things in even more languages. I added this one: Morgen, Morgen, nur nicht heute, sagen alle faule Leaute. (Tomorrow, tomorrow, only not today, say all the lazy people.) We could never get him to tell us what his said, and only one of them was ever deciphered, by a visitor, probably the Portuguese one as opposed to Hebrew, Latin and Greek. By then he had an even fancier bike we’d lock up for him while he was on campus and the delivery guys would ride it around in glee inside the warehouse.
We don’t have any pictures of Jewel’s actual graduation, so it’s a good thing she wanted a professional picture taken! ☺ She had a video camera and gave me instructions just before the ceremony. I faithfully videoed her walking down the Marriott Center steps and onto the stage, and other bits and pieces. So when we got home, we had great pictures of the floor! (Turned it on when it was down, and off when it was up!)
Jewel’s employment history as a teen started at Brick Oven in Provo where she ended up in charge of balancing tills/checking out the waitresses (who were all older than she was!). (She was going to Provo High and often had a hard time staying awake in her first class though it’s entirely possible it wasn’t just the work late hours that caused it ☺.) Then she worked at The Gap, Border’s where she loved the employee discount, and briefly at Winger’s (just before she moved to Vegas). P.S., Provo High was wonderful compared to P.G. High - if she missed a class she had to take a pre-first period class to get back in and if she missed the first make-up class she had to pay for the next one. Much better plan than P.G. High, which just left you a phone message for your student to erase before you had the chance to hear it! (Not that mine did that, mind you.) ((It also helped having email access to teachers! ☺ ))
Sunday, July 26, 2009
(In honor of Jared’s upcoming wedding, but not at all in the way you’re thinking! Read on.)
Grant spent a great deal of time dirt trail biking with Jared, Ruth’s older brother, building jumps and surviving crashes, which continued on to surviving snow boarding jumps and crashes, then rock climbing which ended up with Jared going to Emergency and subsequent surgery, and then they both learned how to play guitar to fill the healing hours. They would listen to the recording and then figure out how to duplicate it, with a few tips from Jared’s dad who is a classical guitarist. They actually got quite good and I loved to listen to them play and sing “Ball and Chain” (Social Distortion) or “The Man Who Sold the World” (Nirvana). Once his cousin Mike (who also suffered a serious injury on the bike jumps), was flying in for his company’s BYU recruiting and they planned to go snow boarding. Grant and Jared where jumping fences on their little bikes and Grant misjudged the frozen ground, resulting in a shin gash. I felt so badly he probably wasn’t going to get to go boarding with Mike, but with hope eternal, asked the doctor who was stitching him up if he could, and the doctor said, “Sure! … Just bring him back and I’ll stitch him up again.”
There are five big “outdoor” events that Grant should cover, and this is your reminder: the time you, Jared and Justin Burgon spent the night in the hut you built, complete with stove, on the mountain with the cougar waiting to eat you; the time you biked the Oregon trail from Wyoming to the coast with various Olsen clan; the time you biked around the Provo to A.F. Canyon loop alone in the dead of winter and actually had to stop for shelter at the Mutual Dell caretaker’s cabin; the time when you, Ray and Spencer survived the whiteout from the avalanche on Timp; and the time when you and Mike (again) almost died from exposure on Hood. I used to have a full set of pictures of the avalanche, which were surreally beautiful, but they’ve been pilfered over the years, and wouldn’t retain much of their glory anyway in the photo-the-photo process. I told Justin after the cat adventure that I felt badly because his parents would probably never let him go into the mountains with Grant again, but he said not to worry, he didn’t need their opinion for him to determine he’d never be going again!
Grant got his Eagle the previous summer on the verge of turning 18, and invited the littlest Scouts to help him clear part of the Great Western Trail on the face of Timp (runs from Canada to Mexico, and is 90% complete). He really didn’t care to get his Eagle but luckily for us (the parents who couldn’t), he had a Scout leader who convinced him, Mark Bezzant (one of then UVSC V.P.’s). Mark took the Deacons up to Scout Camp which is just into the pines at the base of the Grove Creek Springs basin, on Grove Creek trail, to camp the night before. Grant had to work so he biked up just as it was getting dark, arriving in a lightening storm, the steam from the exertion rising from him as he pulled into the camp, and the boys said they thought he was a ghost. (Reported by Mark.) The next morning he dropped down home on his bike to pick up his bobtrailer (of Mike fame) with food to meet them back up on the trail where they did the work. The deal was we couldn’t hold an Eagle court, so he got it sans any fanfare. (One of his badges was for doing something that would change the course of the ecosystem. I was the merit badge counselor, so maybe we “cheated” since it was not anything you could deem “green,” but he got it from the pond they built by diverting the water near their hut on Baldy.)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
If a certain word in it bothers you, then you are too! ☺ [Which reminds me, school districts have to have a pretty high level of filtering and I was asking a google question at work a few days ago with that word in it, as a verb instead of a noun, got the access denied message, which made me laugh so much my boss stepped in to see why.]
As to copyright rules, I'm assuming I am safe, sending you to the podcast URL, but regardless (assuming copyright laws are international):
Apart from their nostalgia value and their interest to musicologists, the very interesting thing about … ripped 78 records is the question of copyright. As you should know, mechanical copyright (that’s in the physical recording itself) lasts for just 50 years. In the original 1911 Act of Parliament, the 50 years started from the date of the master recording; in the revised 1957 Act, this changed to 50 years from the date of release. In 1987, it changed again: still 50 years, but from the end of the year in which the recording was made. Anything that came out before January 1 1958 is now out of copyright – that includes all of Elvis’ Sun records and some of his early RCA ones. In a few short years, the first Beatles record will be out of copyright – unless the law changes.
In July this year..., the EU adopted a proposal that the 50-year term be extended to 95 years. The extension will only apply to recordings still under copyright when the law comes into effect – so anything out of copyright now will remain so.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Our Bundle of Joy
Straight from Heaven
Born at 7:58 a.m.
Monday, July 6th, 2009
8 pounds 10 ounces, 19 inches
Summerlin Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada
Had to go to the NICU for a few hours due to too low blood sugar and temperature.
Johnny's maternal grandma
I got there Friday night and Saturday we celebrated the 4th with one of the six Vegas fireworks shows and Jewel's great cooking. Orzo pasta salad with shrimp, oreo cookies (white frosting for some adults and electric blue for some others and Hayden), and other yummy stuff. We were also all amazed that she was up to the task.
There were a lot of tears at the hospital. Some from Jewel, worrying that she'd have to part with bonding time due to NICU demands as had happened to her with Hayden, lots from Johnny who let the wonders of God's plan leak out through his tears. Johnny is and will be a great dad. In the week I stayed after the birth he was fully vested in her care and keeping, very accepting and careful to follow the micro-managing he received, and talked to Raygen constantly. It was a pleasure to observe and I am very grateful Jewel has him in her life. There's nothing better in this whole world than a good dad (speaking as a daughter who had one)!
This event was a big deal on Johnny's side of the family, Raygen being the first grandchild. There are five male cousins, Johnny being second to the oldest and soon to be 29, and his brother Seth the youngest at age 24, Raygen the first child born to any of them as well. So there were a lot of unseen tears of joy as well in the extended family. One side hails from Georgia and the other from Alabama.