Monday, September 26, 2011


It's been a long time since I've posted my miscellaneous gratitudes. Partly because I've been swamped at work and mostly because being that busy and dealing with contrary folks makes me less than patient. And you don't notice your gratitudes when you aren't patient. And I suppose another wearing part of it is the pressure of pretending you aren't (impatient)! And then there's the stuff you need to do that you just don't, and after awhile it gets most annoying. Like cleaning and yard work. I need to be grateful I'm on B.P. medication! I can't imagine even surviving this time of year without it and at least I don't have to worry it's being pushed into the danger zone!

I really do like working, in spite of the stressful "season". And I'm pretty good at what I do given how ancient I'm getting. It's a good thing my hair has been white for a long time, or it would be reminding work people that it's past time I moved on. Moving into a new office has its challenges, but over all it has been a good thing and I have hope I'll adjust fully. It's very nice to have more room/storage and lots of sunlight, and I'm grateful for that. I've been able to keep much better organized what with all the paper trail chaos. And my brain is adapting to the lack of privacy. If I survive and am up to going through it again (one last time I keep telling myself), it will be better. Better than in a lot of years, actually! We had to change point-of-sale vendors and though going through the set-up has added to the load, future years compared to the old system will be a pleasant improvement both for me and whomever comes next.

Humm, I can tell already this is going to be l-o-n-g, but bear with me you few who have made it this far, as I am WAY overdue since my last gratitudes post.

It dawned on me I must have been feeling impatient for awhile, when I went VTing. My partner and the people we visit are chatters and the though of spending even half the time we normally do was almost enough to make me flat pass on it. Taking people to the temple the Friday before stake conference, which has become a tradition, seemed a chore. One Sunday recently I found my patience tested by more than one person calling about "the cottage," wanting my help to get it rented to the next questionable prospect! I don't know what is is about old houses that makes people think the owner will welcome people who can't afford it and/or won't take care of it!

I turned down a church assignment, which isn't like me. Shortly thereafter, before the guilt even had a chance to subside, I was asked to do another one! So I didn't dare do that twice, and accepting has turned me onto a better attitude trail, for which I am grateful. Hopefully it and choices like it will sustain me until this busy time fully subsides.

The first request was to be in charge of the next R.S. weeknight supper. Completely. Plan the meal, get the food, drum up the help to prepare it, serve it, clean it up. And since I rarely these days even get home by supper time much less have time to do all that various and sundry, I begged off. Put me on such a committee, fine. Put me in charge of an existing committee, fine. But hand me the whole kit and caboodle sans committee, not fine. I'm betting they struggle with it in general. Not a good plan to on purpose each month pick only one person and expect them to have the charisma to pull that off san a pre-designated group.

Second request was to sub for the Primary music. Given my attitude, I didn't even want to do that but at least it's a one-man-band kind of assignment, and something I can and normally would love to do. And I was very glad I said yes (beyond assuaging my guilt) because it turned out the theme was missionaries. I have a ton of missionary music ideas in my storage room and I had plenty of already prepared visuals.

I felt very blessed and my prayer answered that it went well in spite of my general state of mind. Seniors, I told them about taking Grant to the MTC, unexpectedly choked up a bit about it even, and we sang Called to Serve, among other songs. An eight-year-old boy asked after, what was the name of that hymn because he wanted to sing it for FHE.

Talked about the importance to plan and practice for any important goal and sang other songs about that, and had them pick random missionary commitment slips to do the coming week. One kid whispered to me that only his mom cooked at his house, when he picked "help shop and prepare a meal for your family." I whispered back that he'd need to learn how for his mission and I wouldn't make him share it but would he take the note home and show it to his mom. He didn't say he would but acted like he would. Interestingly, another boy came over to me after and asked if he could exchange his. His was not to watch TV for a day, and he said he didn't watch much TV anyway so it wasn't a challenge, what he really wanted to do was take home the cooking commitment! So we fished through the slips until we found one and he went away happy. (He is one of the very oldest Primary boys and he was in the 4-turning-5 class I taught the first year I was in this ward.)

Junior Primary I gave them all Future Missionary stickers and the last song we sang was I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and I asked them to "Sing it like a Future Missionary!" and they gave it their all. Tons of fun.

Uncle Boyd used to bring me corn several times a season, and those days are gone. Today is a nonwork day and I was blessed to manage not to have take-home-work, so I mowed the lawns, had raspberries and a garden tomato for lunch, got a hair cut, and bought corn on the cob from a local stand (normally closed evenings, even if I happened to drive by after reasonable working hours). I miss my parent's gardening efforts and this is the first year I could say I actually have a garden. How blessed were we to grow up feasting from a garden!

(Part of the overspill. Note I'd have another zillion cherry tomatoes, were fall not on the doorstep!)

Some blessings come in disguise. Tearing down the old shed and the area being relatively sunny, I was planning to garden there, but the ground inside the shed I figure they must have added cement mix to the soil, it was so hard! I would have had to hire an excavator to make it so I could garden there. So the guy who tore out the old suggested a large grow box. At first I wasn't too thrilled with the straight compost he filled it with, seemed "hot" and took a lot of water (not culinary, so it upped my water bill), but it is a veritable jungle out there of yummy stuff - tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, squash, and maybe baby melons if it doesn't freeze early. Of this assortment, I've planted tomatoes and green peppers elsewhere here prior years, without good luck. And corn ... which always blew over. Had a good patch of sweet peas a couple of years, and potatoes, but the potatoes never came on early enough to do the creamed peas and new potatoes on toast treat.

Another blessing has been a change in bishopric advisors who micromanages sacrament meeting music less. Still a bit tricky due to whom he reports to ;^) but last month's was approved with one change and this month's had no changes. Even got a nonhymn special number approved! My favorite sacrament hymn is O Savior Thou Who Wearest a Crown and it wasn't liked by the former. Unfortunately I had it slipped in and already turned in for the first Sunday after the switch, which drew a lot more attention to it, so that was the one change and it will be a long time before I dare try for it again, even under new management!

Another blessing in disguise was making it through the summer before my AC died. You'd have though the war in heaven was ongoing when it finally flipped its lid. Was warned two springs ago it probably only had one season left in it, so one extra was nice. It will cost me a bundle but the HVAC guy (former bishop) who will take care of it claims I'll be very happy with the replacement. He said what was there was a conglomeration (the fire restoration company) and wasn't even assembled properly on pieces of it that could have been.

Thoroughly enjoyed going to Women's Conference with my sister, who also brought me three pints of stewed tomatoes! She said she got 16 pints off one picking from my garden! I'm sure I join a raft of women who especially enjoyed President Uchtdorf's speech, seemingly/hopefully an annual tradition. True to form his tie was a punctuation mark to his statements, and what will you bet this will be his next book:

Had time to use the clothesline for a load of wash today! Looking forward to "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Hale Center Theater tonight! Life's good at the moment and I am grateful to notice. The day had a great start that also warmed my heart, waiting in line at the post office, and overhearing Joe Hilton (who's got to be 20 years my senior) tell the postal agent, no hurry, "slow boat to China's fine."

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Artist Fourfold!

When I was a kid one of my favorite things was our visits with my Dad's sister, Lucille Turner's family, in Springville. Uncle Glen was a watercolorist, landscape oil painter, award-winning filmmaker, writer, director of the Springville Museum of Art, BYU professor, and elite hobbyist which included restoring antique autos and motorcycles. His kids were the characters in various films he'd showcase, very much like The Little Rascals, and I envied them the fun of doing that.
The above watercolor he gave me as a wedding present, all the nieces and nephews got one. I have it hanging in the northeast bedroom. The next watercolor he'd given to my parents, which is hanging in the library.

My sister has this large oil which he'd also given my parents.
(Note my other sister's response and his paintings she has on her blog.)

Maeser Elementary was built in 1898, the first school built in Provo. It was abandoned in 2002 (later sold) and various artwork from the school was then hung in the district office halls. One day I was walking down the hall and was taken aback seeing this hanging there:

It was easily recognizable as his style
and I asked if I could put it in my office.

Recently we were kicked out of our basement offices
and somehow (courtesy of our boss's PR skills) managed to upgrade to this:
(Notice Ruby's box and picture she embossed from copper sheets, top shelf.)

Plenty of storage and sunlight!

Recently another old elementary school, built in the 1930s, bit the dust,
and the artwork from Farrer was also brought over to the district office.
Low and behold, another Glen H. Turner painting
has now joined the other one in my office.

Pretty classy, huh.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The houses across the street belong to another ward. Their Scouting program elected 9/10 to display their flags. Our ward's Scouting program apparently didn't consider the project "work" so they displayed ours today. So it was nice to have the double tribute. I do it also in honor of Norma. She participated in the program so I have continued. And I'm glad I noticed before I moved in.
Snowballs bloom in the spring, leastwise any I've seen in these parts. This is the third season after planting this one and for whatever reason, this year it bloomed twice. I hope it doesn't portend an ill omen. Like an abundance of conifer berries means a hard winter... or Ovid's white raven turned to black for being the bearer of bad news... or the moon turns to blood the eve of the great and dreadful day of the Lord... or the rooster crowing at night means bad luck on the morrow... or owls hooting in your trees brings ill-health. Humm, I have one of those but he lives on the roof and hangs out by himself so I'll just have to make sure he doesn't drum up some friends and "branch" out....