Saturday, March 28, 2009

My "Sunday" FHE #1

Grant inspired me to email Ruth the pictures that go belatedly with one of their Monday Night Flashbacks, and even though they aren’t the greatest (picture of a picture), it also inspired me (without invitation) to horn in on their idea. I mean, old people living alone are not exempt from FHE either, you know. And it’s a pretty fun version of it. The idea all came about at the time Carl and Brenda and families came to dinner last Sunday and I realized just how fun it was to reminisce and how extra lonely I’d been feeling. Only I’ll just do it for Sundays once a month, so it’s not deemed a running competition!  (It's actually Sunday and all of you are still in bed, but apparently blogger counts it still as Saturday night which is nice actually, considering the theme music I picked.)  

Now Jewel never has been and I suspect never will be warm to the idea of sharing her growing up pictures, but since they’re relatively small and indistinct, perhaps she’ll get over it. This is Jewel at six months. She was quite the attraction at church and people were always asking to hold her but she’d have none of it. Our ward had about thirty adults and children who had been adopted and new arrivals were duly noted and extra exciting. One of the group, a young married sister, said she had everything any girl could want: a natural tan, naturally curly hair, and dark beautiful eyes with extra long eyelashes.

One of the ward families had adopted five children and the dad would tease me relentlessly -- when were we going to get another one (as good Mormons are supposed to do, you know). I got so I’d say I got my six kids’ worth in Jewel, but he continued to tease and make me feel uncomfortable. Their last, number six, was a major handful. Their home had windows that were about four feet off the ground, yet the little guy at age three, when put down for a nap, crawled out the window and was found downtown (miles away), on his big wheel! (It was downhill, so the ease was what got him that far.)  After that I would say every Sunday, “So Dennis ... when are you getting the next one?” and his face would turn beet red.

Another of the adoptee group, a grandma, made the statement that the best thing they ever got their kids was a playhouse, hours of unsupervised entertainment for them and their friends. Sounded good to me and we outfitted ours with a table and chairs, cupboard (the one in my current playroom), dishes (plenty left for today's kids to play with), play phone, play t.v., play piano, but I actually hated it and was glad to finally see it go. The biggest attraction it created was Jewel and friends using the utensils to shovel gravel and dirt inside, through the door and the windows, where it stayed until mom shoveled all of it back out! Repeated ad nauseam. They also thought it was a great idea to drag everything out … and leave it out. When it was sold, and the man and his wife came to get it, we all stood around trying to figure out how to load it. The biggest problem was it wouldn’t fit flat into the truck bed and created too big of tipping load for the adults to deal with. They almost gave up the deal when Grant who was seven, piped up, “Why don’t you use the camper jacks.” (Direct quote from my journal.)

Notice Butch in the foreground. Butch met an untimely death when Jewel was three, and when she noticed his absence and learned why, she said, “He can’t be dead! I love him!!” It was a Sunday morning. We’d been packing up Saturday and planned to move on Monday, but in our sadness we decided to just move the beds up that day after church and sleep there as a diversion to get our minds off it.

Tune in for the next installment, the last Sunday in April.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I found him! My Wealthy Man!! Thanks, ABBA!!!

(...Just kidding.)

But I have to tell you this story, at the full risk of reminding you that I have an amazingly bad track record....

A coworker had a St. Patty's day party and gave me leftover corned beef to take home. I love corned beef! And her fiancé made it exactly like I used to (as there is more than one way to skin THAT cat). So as I'm eating it again for supper last night, it reminded me of the fond memory I have of starting a crockpot of it the morning of moving, in AZ, from one apartment to another. The helpers, every time they arrived with a load would smell/mention it and I assured them they were welcome to join us. Some of them said they weren't sure they'd like it, but all of them tried it, exhausted and hungry by the end of the chore. Got tons of compliments and it was a nice ending to a long day.

So then I'm thinking, I wonder what's happened to that crowd who were numbered as bosom buddies for upwards of six years. I looked up Mark Bonsall, whom we called Kram Lla-snob, and he's doing very well, CFE of the Salt River Project. Then I looked up my ex's girlfriend (yes, at the two-timing time), and she's doing very well also, though sadly she's never had any children (well, sad to me, possibly not to her). She even got an advanced degree and taught at OSU in the late 80's. Amazing. And then I looked up the "other Nancy" (which technically is a misnomer - we all called the first one that) and found her interests steeped in family research including being a volunteer contact on "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness." She apparently still resides where I last knew she lived over twenty years ago. So then I looked up my ex and he's now the CPO of Dean Foods Dairy Division -- Dean Foods, whom I pay almost $300,000 per year for milk products, so multiply that by a zillion school districts. Based now in Dallas after living in Houston several years and back east before that for over 25. Kram professed for the years we maintained contact, that he'd end up in the gutter for his choices, but ... he was wrong, as the atonement is obviously available for all of us! (And aren't we glad about that!) ((That or he's yet to get his just desserts - just like the rest of us.))

And while I'm at it, I might as well admit that probably part of my bad track record no doubt includes such things as the fact that, poised to type it into google, I actually couldn't think of his full name for quite some time (whereas Kram's and the rest came easy!).... (It's the flak impact from an 'oh what a tangled web we weave' reaction, I'm sure....)

And in conclusion I might just as well also mention, I really never have nor would recommend ABBA's cleverly cynical advice.  It didn't influence me then, by choice, and my stand hasn't changed.  Well, hopefully you all stayed sane and sober on the holiday, and do end up in general with a better track record than mine.  ;-)  My St. Pat's wish for you, and something we'll all celebrate one day I'm sure.

And so whether you're looking to find -or be- the right person in a relationship, this is good advice:
“A sound head, an honest heart, and an humble spirit are the three best guides through time and to eternity.” Sir Walter Scott
(I have heard of, met, know and admire, a goodly number of those over the years.  And if my experience counts for anything, I can attest:  two out of three won't do.)
[Beg the Irish forgiveness, for quoting a Scotsman!]

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just now this was on the bottom of my clocks section. Humorous.

"Mormon Church
View 1000's of Pictures & Videos of Beautiful LDS Singles
-Join Free Now. Ads by Google."

And speaking of humorous, here's a graph I recently ran across:

Will be interesting to see how long the humor lasts.... My stock dividend is currently paying a whooping 5 cents per share as opposed to 35 cents the week before - the first time ever they've lowered it since the beginning of (their) time (60's). My 403-B has matured so I don't have to worry about the market fluctuation and it will flat-line just like my 401-K which is on the most conservative level. However. My 403-B is ING and I have a sneaking suspicion that ING though major-ly bigger is major-ly and scarily in worse shape than the "income" level of USR investments. Hummm. Someone should graph that for a local short-lived laugh.

When we were at the viewing last week, David Hanks, who has been to Europe twice on his retirement, is now contemplating kicking out his renters on what's left of his farm and going back to work so he has a means of survival. Hope it's not a dairy farm as that industry's on big skids of late.

Here's some more most interesting and varyingly humorous economy crisis blurbs (look quick before the humor bits kick the bucket):

Clever powerpoint by Jonathan Jarvis:
British Comedy:
NPR audio "Giant Pool of Money" (short version):
Then if you're not "full," a New York Times article:
(Note how old it is - and now a year later, the continued and exponentially multiplying "unprecedented actions to restore confidence"!)

And lastly, I am DEEPLY grateful to the church for all the self-reliance direction provided over the years. In some circles I've been stuck in, that concept was not well respected. I may not end up with much of a nest egg, beyond the late start, but I'm grateful no debt collectors will show up on my doorstep. Cross-my-fingers-and-say-my-prayers!, I might add in odd anticipation of formerly unforeseen signs of the turn "enduring to the end" may be taking. Such as: Do I have a fence cropping up I'll consider sitting upon (or falling off) when the day comes gifts to charity are taxed?