Thursday, January 22, 2015


The Palms by Jean-Baptiste Faure.

The kids don’t like me to speak of my demise but I have to report this happy thought. 

[But first, an update on my blood disease, as it’s had an adjustment for the first time in almost 10 years (great it lasted that long!).  In the beginning, it took several months for the chemo pill to settle in – Anagelide, busts up the excess platelets, had to trial and error figure out how much to give you to keep the live ones at the right level.  This new chemo pill, Hydroxyurea, instead, prevents them from forming, ditto right amount to keep it at the right level.  The first one was a killer (pun intended) to get used to, this one is less intense so far in comparison.  Feels like my blood is roiling (boiling but sans heat).  I was truly surprised the old pill gave up the ghost, it has been so long, may it rest in peace.  Made me feel a tad tentative – why now at the cusp of “enjoying” retirement – but I’m determined to be optimistic about that one!  I’m going to the same Dr. Bott who presided over my Dad’s cancer – he just started practicing in 1984, and my Dad died in 1986.  I like him.  I also picked a new local GP – Roger Brockbank – his office is in the same building as was Donelle’s reception.]

My only request, as far as the actual service goes (back to my first mentioned happy thought), is that the ward doesn’t pick/do my music.  I requested Janeil (organ) and Lois (piano) do all of it, and an old favorite I listened to them practice for years, and they performed in my growing up ward:  The Palms by Jean-Baptiste Faure.  We happened to connect as adults once, at Lois and Don’s condo in Logan, where she had both the family organ and a piano, and I requested it.  I asked them to touch on it enough that they could do it at my funeral.  Well, apparently I didn’t die soon enough, because Lois said recently that she has given up playing.  Which immediately made me want only a graveside service and no music since I can’t have my heart’s desire.  (Old joke the kids don't like either - obit lists my name, Gail Fugal Adamson, Pleasant Grove, Utah, and the only other words:  "She died."  [Because an obit is now charged for, so the shorter the better!]  Graveside service, cheap pine box off the internet, sing Spirt in the Sky.  *wink*)

I had to find my heart's desire on youtube, since it's the only way I can get it:  The Palms, organ and piano. (It’s actually not as good as they were IM(not so)HO – too slow and stilted rather than with feeling - but the only piano/organ.  Close your eyes and picture them at their respective stations as you listen to it - well, never mind if you're Janeil or Lois - it will drive you crazy!)

Now, there is one: The Palms, choir with better feeling and the vocals as well (but in a foreign language).  Here’s one with vocals in English, organist not very polished but a valiant attempt, and the soloist is very good:  The Palms, good soloist (Oregon Sacred Festival Chorale, FYI) And here’s one that’s just organ but with the best expression and cadence of any of them:  The Palms, organ only.

I think probably more than any other factor, hearing them practicing over the years created my love for music.  That and hearing Mom and Dad crooning and Daddy's vinyl collection.  But trust me, Lois and Janeil's rendition was better than any of the above!  Only theirs could make me cry.  Too bad youtube was nonexistent in those good old days - they'd have a hit on their hands!

So wherein lies the happy thought?  That I actually found it on youtube!  It was an epic googling project, figuring it out!  (I've searched years past and only met up with disappointment.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

LAST CATCH-UP (December)

Sorry, but this one's l-o-n-g - a lot happened in December!!  You'll have to use your editing skills, Grant and Jewel, to pare it down for the kids.

The last leap getting out of Provo School District

The CPA who helps with PCSD retirement issues said school districts were The Worst for all there was to do.  Didn’t get my replacement hired until well into November, but luckily the FY start-up flood helper I had recruited was picked, so I’d spent a lot of extra time training him, hoping that would be the outcome.  It almost didn’t!  A state office employee applied for the job and logic would tell you she would have been the best choice because she’d know all the regs and keep us out of trouble, especially in light of the upcoming audit “AR” fiscal year 15-16!  Turned out she also got an offer from Wick, and chose that one.  My boss was not happy I left.  She wanted us to retire together, and that was the plan, but for June 2015.  She’ll be fine – the last half of the year is much less stressful than the first half.  (She gave her notice just before Christmas.)

Work had a retirement party for me in December.  I wanted to get out of it very badly.  I’m not sure why I hate that fluff stuff so much, no doubt because politics becomes involved and I’ve had it up to my teeth with bureaucracy.  (Eyeballs really, were they functioning properly!)  I said, “I’m not dying!! And I do have a phone if anyone wants to say goodbye!!”  No luck.  But my boss let me scale it down some, so that was good.  Rather than inviting the whole district and having it last for four hours, we did a light lunch and only invited the district people, our own people, and a few fringe people I’ve interacted with a lot (and I told those people anyone could come if they didn’t want to pop in alone or anyone felt rejected). Several retired from our department came, which was a surprise. We had it in the PDC, the largest conference room, with white linen and poinsettias on each round, and they bought me a much larger on which was on the dessert table, for me to take home.  We used the table poinsettias as Christmas gifts for our December managers’ party the next week.  I got out of having a line, and mingled with those coming in, and then they got to eat some yummy food including four sheet cakes from Kneaders, and the scrapbook they made me was there for people to look through.  I forgot my phone that day and so got no pictures, and my coworker who has them all, for some subconscious reason, isn’t coughing them up!  Yet.  (She loves me but has this odd competitive streak involving other people’s supposed limelight.  She’s also the one who created the scrapbook published by Shutterfly.  It’s complicated.)   *wink*

                                                            The memories scrapbook:

The invite:
 For the tables:
 The one I got to keep:
My portion to take home from the leftovers:

The last day I was there, before Christmas break, my co-worker's granddaughter, Taylor, stopped in with gifts and to say goodbye.  I have a huge soft spot in my heart for her and it was precious.  (My replacement in the background.)

 Christmas festivities

Went to Jewel’s for Christmas, flew down.  Was having major trouble with inflamed knees (osteoarthritis) and slept on the main floor to avoid the stairs (but they did feel somewhat better there, after a couple of days.  When I got back I had Kenalog injections and was very happy with the results … as far as the knees go.  Hope it lasts a long time.  I had not realized how much trouble stairs could be with swelling going on!

Jewel has a new job as of November, has no earned time off (everyone given part of Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day), so she scaled down festivities which were plenty fine as it was.  She is an administrative exec assistant in accounting department for The Sands.  The Sands owns lot of international properties, and the accounting department is in a business park downtown, not far from the airport.  She has a key card to get into the building, into the elevator, out of the elevator, and a guard escorts the staff from the building to secured parking.  She prepared a yummy Christmas day dinner for extended family including the best spiral ham I’ve ever tasted.  

The picture of Raygen having fallen asleep, was while I was tending -  mom and dad went out to dinner and spent some Christmas cash. Jewel bought work clothes and Johnny bought a classy tailored work coat.

                        Here's my token Southwest photo, flying home (Bingham Canyon Mines):

My last day at work was Monday the 29th - my replacement and I were the only ones there, mostly because it snowed like crazy!  He lives in Provo, and I wanted to stick to that day rather than wait, so I could spend the rest of the week all in a row with family.

When I arrived - and it snowed all day!

Grant and Ruth came up, 24 hours on the road, last bit through Spanish Fork canyon at midnight through the snow!  They were at the Rogers the first week+, then at my place.  Jewel worked over each day that week so she could take off early Friday, and then headed up, arriving in time for supper.  Ostensibly to have one full day for all the grandkids to be together here.  *Wink*

We put the queen Aero up in the back TV room, but switched it out the next night.  (Hard to get to sleep with three bouncing girls on it!)  Ha!  Hayden was a delight to have as he took extra care to look out after the girls.  He didn't get much sleep due to antics and snoring and falling off beds, and I suggested he sleep on the couch, but he declined, saying, "They might need me."  The last night he asked if he could sleep in the panty (close by but some privacy), and I took out the toy bins and put a mat down for him.  They all went off to jump trampolines with Larry's family, and when they got back, that last night, Hazel was pretty much worn out.  Hayden put this note on the door, and invited her into the panty to play for awhile which perked her up.  And he ended up moving his mat back beside the futon.  He was totally cheerful the whole time he was there, and I really appreciated his help.

Another reason for that Saturday's festivities was they planned a surprise early 70th birthday party at The Pizza Factory, and 40 people came!  I was in total shock!  Even Janeil and Brenda flew in from Oregon.  They worried I’d be upset, having complained about having the retirement party, but I had no time for that phase!  It was a lot of money for them to spend, but they assured me they’d planned and budgeted for a long time!  I had a lot of chuckles after that, remembering the lies they told to keep it a secret!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

NEXT CATCH-UP (October/November)

Bought A Computer in October & Went to Houston (Twice - Hazel's baptism and Thanksgiving)

Realizing work became a non sequitur in light of the two surgeries, and also that I'd have to start S.S. at 70 and would then lose a lot of money from the increased taxes on top of wages, it made working "blind" for the additional six months as if I'd work two and a half months of it for nothing!  Turned in all of my work computers (naturally).  One of them I could have bought and wanted to, but as luck would have it, it crashed and the district never got around to fixing it.  I would have liked to keep it mostly because it had a 21” screen I used for DVDs.  *wink*

Bought a 15-inch 2.5 GHz Macbook Pro with Retina Display.   The biggest Air is 13" and I wanted 15"  Love it.  Other than the dumb idea of gluing in the battery to reduce the latch space for thinness.  It's not so much the expense of having to take it in for replacement, it's the additional expense to replace what it's glued to! At least I have a good back-up system these days, so will just run it to death and pack the cords with me when I travel until it kicks.

Almost killed it, taking it to show off to Grant at Thanksgiving, and realizing I’d have spent over $3,000 for nothing made me sooooo happy it survived a water spill! And I then bought a travel case and polypropylene cover for the keyboard.  What happen was I got a free water bottle from the shuttle to the airport.  I drank it all, refilled it after security, put it in my bag, and when I put the bag under the seat, the faulty cap (which I didn’t realize actually wouldn’t screw tight if ratcheted down) leaked water thereafter across the top of it and into the side ports.  Dabbed the ports repeatedly until no more wetness, then put it in the open window for heat/air circulation, changing positions, for three full days before I tried it, as well as on the dishwasher counter for added heat when it was running, and on the warm router the last night.  Whew!

Just before I left for Houston the first time, we'd divided up fresh pluots from work, a cross between a plum and apricot (samples dropped off by our produce vendor).  I figured they'd be dead by the time I got back and dropped them with Lois, and begged a jar of jelly if they couldn't get them eaten timely.!  (Thank you, Lois!!)

Had great visits.  Hazel's baptism was shared with another girl in the ward and the families did it up big.

H for Hazel, E for Ellie (if I remember correctly).

Brother and Sister Rogers, and two of Ruth's sisters, Esther and Mary Alice.

My first Houston Thanksgiving visit - Left SLC before dawn:

.Here's a note by Lucy which made  my day:

And Hazel's artwork:

We went to a friend's birthday party (youngest daughter of Grant's political asylum friend Firmin from the Congo).  Grant and Ruth had given the children (whom he brought over after years of a pro bono lawyer's help making it happen, as well as the ward's assistance), Hazel and Lucy's play kitchen.

Ruth’s dinner was unique and amazing:


From the cider clockwise: brined turkey, rolls from scratch, apple and sliced fresh
Brussels sprouts with Manchego cheese and bacon, fresh pineapple and raspberries,
gravy, farro salad with cranberries and butternut squash, cranberry and pomegranate
sauce, cream cheese stuffed jalapeƱos wrapped in bacon.
(Mashed potatoes and roasted sweet potatoes keeping warm on the stove.) 

We also played a lot of games:

The girls each made a "movie" box, with Dad's help.  I took iPhone pictures and then let each one "edit" one of them:


Got to ride the bus to Rice with Grant and see his office in the library, nearest window faces the sallyport:

Lastly, here's a couple of pictures from my last Halloween at work:

(Grant's late elementary school artwork.)

Friday, January 9, 2015


So now I'm free as a bird on the wing, I'm going to keep up my blog.  It has become my journal over the years since my divorce and since have very little to complain about.  In comparison.  *wink*

August 2014

Jewel came up twice last summer, with Johnny and Raygen as well and we got to celebrate Johnny’s birthday (and they attended Austin's baptism),

and again with the kids when her dad had four/five? bypasses – and it was nice so Hayden could have a summer P.G. visit (he missed the 4th and Labor Day - his Dad's year for holidays).  I would tend when she’d spend time at the hospital.

The kids are now too big for the rocker, but had fun on it anyway.  Jewel said it was totally reflective of their personalities – Hayden the least interested but nicely participating and Raygen being overbearing even so.  Ha!

Irony Defined

To back-track a bit, I’d been told for three years by my eye doctor that I should consider cataract surgery.  It was becoming more and more common making number errors at work, but it took going to Grant’s graduation in May for me to decide to do it.  I didn’t have to do any driving while there but was fully aware that I would be a menace to society driving in unfamiliar areas, not being able to read most road signs quickly enough.  I also rationalized that if I was going to keep on working (planned at that point to retire June of 2015), I’d want to avoid the error frequency embarrassment.

Had the first surgery just before Donelle’s wedding, with the plan to have the other eye done two weeks later, getting it all accomplished while work was slower and during the current insurance year.  Had a bare few days of hints of forthcoming better vision when it suddenly turned worse due to a blind spot surrounded by distortion.  The eye doctor (who also did the surgery), said a macular hole was threatening and talked me into taking a wait/see mode, as it had a 40% chance of healing.  (Having a macular hole after cataract surgery is a 2% risk – lucky winner me.)  So I waited, which put me into the next insurance year and a new $2,000 deductible (which I’d discussed with him)!  

Had the next surgery for the macular hole on September 12th (scheduled the week before).  Don’t know what the % risk for it was and I know it was likewise low (but there is a 10% risk of the other eye developing a macular hole "in sympathy", cross that irony off my lot in life please!), but after that surgery it took extra time for the hole to close (closed from the outside edge down, so the bottom of it remained open longer than hoped), then I still had to deal with the healing of a new and enlarged blind spot (but less distortion surrounding it) created by fluid leaking under the retina during the surgery.  At this date (January), I still haven’t replaced my glasses, waiting for the best possible refraction.  Retina surgeon says it usually clears up between three and six months, so the hope is I might be less of a risk on the road eventually.  Looks like I'll be crossing  my fingers for remaining two months (and being retired should help - stress can be a factor in keeping the fluid inflamed).  Meanwhile, so far it has cost me out-of-pocket $4,602.31 for worse vision (even after/if full recovery) than I had the day of the first surgery.

Here's the picture of the hole just prior to surgery:

Here's my retina surgeon's note for work, which I had to decipher (Asked him! More irony!  Ha!):

The beautiful flowers sent by our cook's association:

I don't exactly know why on this either, but I hate people spending money they don't have.  I have managed this account for many a year and knew they would have to "borrow" to send me flowers at the point of the cataract surgery and my boss had just prior commanded that an arrangement be sent for an unauthorized (per the bylaws) funeral - former employee, so I convinced the person who orders them to skip me to offset.  By the second surgery, they'd accumulated enough to do so, so I had to bite my tongue.  We didn't want to reveal the error in judgment, of course, so the order person said I wouldn't give her my address, which is also true.  *wink*  My boss promptly gave her my address, and that was that!

And lastly, here's a yard picture taken in September, flowers planted in the old Maple tree stump:

More catch-up later, oh, vacuous time that blessedly awaits!!