Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall, as in ...

... the garden goodies end is nearing, the federal fall from grace (assuming the grace part ever existed which is doubtful), and the beauty of fall leaves....

Have about BLT'd myself and gardenless neighbor enough to last until next summer's tomato crop.

Work is actually going smoothly thanks to online apps - and hopefully my saying so doesn't jinx this coming week (which is normally the worst week of the entire year).  This week's overload brings me to the point I have to bite my tongue the most often in response to thoughts about bureaucracy.

Which brings me to easing my angst by posting this parody, a clever well-made vid by students in Kanas in reaction to all the new fed food regs.  (Currently almost 713,000 views, posted September 17th.)   Details on the Nutrition Nannies FB page (up to 3,100 likes at the moment, only "born" September 14th) and also recently commented upon by Shepard Smith, a national news commentator (who, per usual, winged it and didn't get it quite right, lol).

Keep in mind that our district trays look much better than those posted on NN FB, because we know how to merchandise.  (See ITSMealsProvo on FB.)   Which may become a thorn in our side financially I must admit.  (And hopefully those in charge face/admit it in time.)
Got invited to dinner in Midway, by my CCH (BYU-Hawaii) roommate.
(Her family is from Switzerland, hence the love of the Midway area.)
The drive up Provo canyon was an amazing plus!

As you can see though, as I neared Deer Creek Dam,
the sky warning was getting iffy.
Half way around the dam, my car was pelted with very angry raindrops.

This is the house, 2011 properly tax values it $640,000, 3,295 sq. ft, .98 acres.
They bought it in 2008, when it was new.

Finding it in the daylight, with the help of the i-4S map update, was a snap.
Finding my way out of there in the dark was another story!
(Figured I'd skip the phone since it was on the mountainside, so would be
a matter of heading down in a southerly direction.)
Finally gave up and pull out the phone after 15 minutes of wandering.

Had a great meal and visit with Erika and look forward to seeing her again ...
would be a nice drive to her cabin home, 40 miles out of Missoula.
She's doing well - has a keeper husband who took her to the temple.
Her first husband, the one I knew in Michigan,
is under lock/key for a ponzi scheme, convicted in 2010.
His then-wife became friends with Erika,
has since gone through the temple,
and others in her immediate family have joined.
So I guess you could say the in absentia ex-husband's bad example
became the opportunity for the good ex-wife's missionary conversion platform.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's Not Over Until Its Over

Summer, that is.  Don't think we'll get up into the 80's again, however.
 But it will be awhile before it freezes.
This was my biggest cantaloupe.  Yum!
Actually never thought I'd ever have the pleasure of eating
one so yummy, after Daddy died.

 Only had two watermelons.  On the small side, but still delish.
This bell is seven inches tall!  One of many.
I've told you about the bureaucratic mandatory fruit/veggie edict.
We also have to "offer" so many servings of beans per week, so this concoction
is out at every school daily.  Don't have to make them take this one
put it basically ends up in the trash once its serve-ability expires.
(It has a bit of zesty Italian dressing on it which actually doesn't taste half bad.)
 School has been busy.  Note our dancers who are enjoying
lying to the gullible younger students when they ask questions about the future.
So cute.  The little kids, as well as the dancers, who are sisters.
The dance they're teaching this year is the cleaned-up version of
Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed Peas.
 Speak of peas, we're have veggie contests at the elementaries.
This day it was for eating all their peas at Timpanogas.
This student got his hand marked for eating every single one.
I told him to tell his mom - she wouldn't believe it!
We also used our smart phones to post to a digital scoreboard,
 and there was plenty of cheering/screaming as the score changes,
boys against girls.
All the kids got sunglasses - 'cause cool kids eat all their peas,
and their "future" is "bright"!
 Speaking of bright - a recent sunset
... and rainbow
 And fall leaves in the mountains.
Red in both Grove and Battle Creek Canyons,
with a bit of yellow higher up.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Three Week Blur (but with a very special ending)

Every year our new school year theme is a secret until our August trainings.
I missed the first of three days because the state chose that day for their training
and I was elected to represent us.  It was at UofU.
Nice drive to/from along Foothill Drive.
 This theme was our boss's attempt to work up some enthusiasm
for the latest (ridiculous) federal regs.
 Did you know your students have to take a half cup fruit or veggie,
even if it goes straight into the trash can?
Never mind the added fact that fresh produce is costly.
(Not that eating that much produce with lunch is a bad thing;
it's the mandated cost/waste factor that's ridiculous.)
We actually already upped the produce last year,
hoping to influence by familiarity,
but it was offered not enforced.
If a child gets to the end of the line without the required amount,
he/she HAS to go back for it.
Teachers and principals not happy about the slow lines
since there are many of them trying to escape having to carry/look
at the offending morsels.
We had this cool chef do a presentation on fresh produce the second training day.
Chef Jason Kieffer out of Park City.
 We got to sample this drink.
Definitely delicious, but beyond my pocketbook!
 The last day of training was "mine" - kitchen managers and clerks -
refresher on running lines,
getting their school's family reapplications for free/reduced meals,
 and adapting to many new regs -
all meant to make it easier to accommodate free meals -
easier for patrons, not easier for the crew.
By Friday, two weeks later, averaging 12-hour days including Saturdays,
I'd about had it, and was a bit sharp with one of the clerks.
Standard procedure is not to call me for things they can figure out themselves.
First her manager has a parent call me for info the manager can readily provide herself.
So it's a wasted call for the parent and my time already stretched to the limit.
I send a refresher to one and all,
how to tell if families are approved per last year or this year,
and reminding managers if they don't have time, to have their own clerk take care of it.
So then the same manager has her clerk call me,
again wanting to know what either can readily/easily figure out on their own.
My response was that I was not a wizard, and since it all funnels down to one person
I couldn't -nor would I!- magically iron out the details as it applied to her school,
and calling me to do their job was taking unfair advantage.  Sigh.
Now to be honest, I do have two helpers -
one stuffs envelopes and files, and one knows the whole system and is fantastic
but can only help me one day a week.
(So it definitely could be even worse.)
Add to that the patron (keeping in mind the customer does no wrong),
who came in with a stack of papers,
saying she needed her income calculated, 
and said as I proffered one, "I don't do calculators" -
(I did luck out in the sense that I spotted a case number,
eliminating the computation need altogether.  Whew!)

Didn't sleep well even Friday night, passed exhaustion,
but got to do a most delightful thing on Saturday:
Laura Janeil Olsen, baptized and confirmed a member
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by Carl Eldon Olsen.
Culminating point of my talk:
"Put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good–yeah,
to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously;
...this is my Spirit."  (D&C 11-12)

And fit well will this necklace:

(The stones in the center spin.)
 Laura, proud to have Dad doing the honors.
 Proud to be a good example for her sisters.
 Proud to be a member of a beautiful family.
 Proud to have lots of friends there in support.
(More than in this picture - the kids lined up on the floor to watch the baptism,
and spontaneously clapped with Laura was raised from the water.)

 I suspect Grace and her friend shared the same
hairdresser on this special day.
(Bishop Derksen in the background.)
 Gift from mom and dad.
 I swear, though, I take my life into my own hands
when I go to Taylorsville/West Jordan/Salt Lake City/84129!
If I recall correctly, it was for Grace's winter baptism that I crawled home
on the freeway, dodging half a dozen black ice sliders!
This time it was hydroplaning autos!
 Barely got home this time before the hailstorm hit!
(Warned on the radio just before the Point.)
Small "potatoes" I have to note, however,
compared to what Saratoga Springs dealt with -
half dollar hail and 60 mph wind
(on top of their fire scorched earth - many homes filled with mud).
 Definitely worth the white-knuckle driving though,
to get to spend time with loved ones!
(The head of my driveway.)