On a lighter note, I saw this and had to post it:
Right now I'm proud of myself for posting this picture.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Looking for a great book to share with your kids? I came across Number the Stars last night and read the whole thing in one sitting (160 pages.) I highly recommend it.
Click on the picture below to read my review on my other blog. And then..get this book.
Click on the picture below to read my review on my other blog. And then..get this book.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Education Week is a very inexpensive event that takes place on the Brigham Young University campus August 19-23 of this year. For about $60 (for the entire week!) you can go to classes on many different subject from 8:30am until 9:30pm. You have complete freedom to attend an entire series or hop around from one class to another throughout the week.
These are not college classes. They are structured to be of interest to people in the middle of their lives. There are lots of classes on religious topics and church history, because this is a private religious university, but there are many others as well. There are classes on marriage, parenting, home management, communicating, estate planning, history, music, dance, law, finance, and many others.
As I scoured the catalog and thought about how to best use my time, I thought about how my priorities have changed since the last time I attended, which was about 15 years ago. At that time I went to a lot of church history and music classes. Now, as a married woman in my (gulp) 40's, some other ones caught my interest. (Marriage, food storage, finances...but I'm still planning on going to some of the fun ones!)
Although I haven't completely figured out my week, and may not until the last minute, I know it will be a week of learning and growth. How wonderful that an event like this exists every year. I can't wait!
This event is open to everyone of all faiths. It is not too late to register and attend. Click HERE for all the information. It is an amazing experience!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
It's no secret to most people who know me that I really, really don't like offensive language. Today while waiting for a doctor's appointment, one of the male LVNs was being loud and using the s--- word over and over. Really? You can't say "thing" or "stuff?"
And, yes, I mentioned it to the nurse who took me back to the exam room. Who knows if anything will come of it. But, wow, it was unprofessional.
The other day I watched a movie I hadn't seen a long time. Bad decision. It was one of those I-didn't-really-like-it-at-first-but-I'll-give-it-another-try type movies. Now I remember what I didn't like about it. The offensive language peppered throughout. An otherwise decent story was totally ruined.
From movies, to books, to music (I use these terms generously,) it just seems like using certain words is the "in" thing.
Here's my take, and I know I'm not alone. Using those words does not make you "in" or smart or more adult or part of the group. If you think that, then maybe you need a new group or a redefinition of the word "smart."
Maybe it is the idea that the words are "taboo" that make people want to say them more. Human nature is to always want what we can't have, right? But at a certain age no one is going to spank us or wash our mouth out with soap for saying these things. At that point it's called personal responsibility.
And of course, there are so many politically incorrect words that offend others, yet the old standbys are there for everyone to partake of. What a great way to bring everyone together. Not.
We wear the way we express ourselves like our wardrobe. There are the people who you can always expect to speak eloquently, without resorting to that garbage. Then there are the ones who come with their own personal "bleep" button.
Seriously, humans. Let's work on this.
OK, off my soapbox.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
At the end of June I started preparing for my mom to come up and visit us. I'm a little obsessive when it comes to preparing for company, no matter who it is, and Eric has just learned that when I get into "tornado mode," it is best to step aside. I don't think I got that bad this time, but having overnight company did give me a push to do some of the things I constantly put off. A big one was polishing furniture. Most of my wooden furniture in the dining and living rooms are inherited pieces from my grandparents and from a senior, never-married lady who lived next door to the house I grew up in. My dining room table set and secretary are from her. A huge console in our dining room was once the first TV/radio/turntable combo that my grandparents put in their house back in the 1950's. All of these are beloved pieces, even those that are not in the best condition. Polishing them brought them back to life quite a bit.
When the day of my mom's arrival finally came, it was a day of delays. They weren't her fault, but that of an overly cautious airline after the crash that happened in San Francisco a few weeks ago. All told, my mom got in about 6 hours later than the original scheduled time. We were eating dinner near the airport at nearly 9pm and still had an hour's drive back to our house.
The following week was a good visit, probably the best one of my mom's visits up here. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that I am not that new in this state and house anymore. That's a nice feeling, and even though we visited a couple of places I had never been to before, my comfort level permeated throughout her visit.
We went outlet shopping, we visited Pittock Mansion in Portland, I gave her a perm, we went on a lot of walks, I cooked a lot of dinners and we went out a few times. She also had more of a chance to bond with my hubby, who she hadn't seen in nearly 2 years since he and I drove to CA for Christmas 2011.
We rounded out her visit by going to dinner at a local BBQ place, which, happily, she really enjoyed. All around, I think all of us felt more relaxed this visit, which cut down on the post-visit recovery time.
Unfortunately, Ashley's health had taken other negative turns as well. She was losing weight and yet she was constantly hungry. Her day consisted of either sleeping, going potty (very unhealthy potty,) or asking for food. It seemed like her body just wasn't absorbing food anymore and she was getting thinner and more and more bony.
A couple of weeks ago, a new reality hit. She was starting to go potty outside of her box. We don't think she was doing it on purpose, but that was kind of a non-issue. It just meant that something else was wrong.
After all of the discussion of when to put her down, we realized the time had finally come. I tearfully made the appointment on Thursday. That night she ruined my favorite, hand stitched, tablecloth--a confirmation that we were doing the right thing. Again, I don't think she did it on purpose, but it proved that she wasn't able to control her insides anymore.
Yesterday we did the deed. It was so, so hard and she was still feisty up until the end, which made it harder. We tried out a new vet, who turned out to be really great and sensitive throughout the appointment. (We had come close to doing this 2 months ago and I had done a lot of research with clinics in town.) Sadly, Ashley did have one last (short) seizure between the sedative and the final injection. We petted her and I cried during our last moments with her.
Today we are adjusting to a new normal. Ashley was always circling around the kitchen asking for food, or skittering across the counters. A lot of times she was just sit looking out the window. She was the curious kitty who would greet and sniff anyone who came into the house. Our 100lb dog would not cross paths with her, finding her too intimidating.
She and her brother had been with me since the day I moved into my first apartment back in October 1996. It was a Saturday afternoon and the humane society was closed, so my mom and I went to a Petco in South Pasadena. As we entered, a lady was holding a kitten with enormous yellow eyes buried in her dark face. I instantly knew that I would be adopting her. (The cat, not the lady!)
Ashley's been with me through 4 different homes, since I started my career, and through an 18 hour drive from California to Washington after Eric and I married in 2010. She's always been a combination of solitary and social and she loved attention, although it had to be on her terms.
The house definitely feels different today, even though I have a doggy at my feet and 2 more kitties napping with Eric in the other room. Outliving our pets is part of the cycle of having them. It's the hard part.
And so Life goes on, with its ups and downs, always trying to teach us something and always giving us opportunities to decide how we are going to handle things. Despite having to say goodbye to a beloved kitty, it has been and will be a good summer. As always, we have so much for which to be grateful.