Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Did Your Time Drag by in 2008

If time dragged by this past year, you weren't just imagining it. The scientists at Greenwich in England have had to add a whole nano-second to our clocks. That means that the year 2008 needed to have more time.

As for me, I think it went by pretty fast. It was just a little over a year ago that we put Cyndi on the plane to go back to Utah after her Christmas visit with us in Hawaii. Her being in Hawaii with us on Christmas was really great and I think she had a great time as well. She was especially excited about all the "Lost" sites that I had researched out before she came.

I celebrated my 70th birthday while we were in Hawaii. It was a special day with special friends, those who dropped by the office during the day, and eating with them at the Ambassador restaurant in the evening. The PCC guides surprised me in the plaza with leis and "Happy Birthday" in the midst of the crowds there.

At the end of January, Cathy and Terry came over to visit us there as well. Where Cyndi had slept on one sofa, we pulled out the hide-a-bed for them. And topped it with an air mattress so it would be more comfortable. We were able to visit with them and go to all the great places on Oahu and still get our office work done. And the weather was great...not rainy nor hot.

On February 16th , after a great evening spent the night before at Sam Choys, a birthday gift with and from our friends and fellow missionaries, LaVere and Karelyn Adams, I got up to fix a birthday breakfast for Gordon, who was celebrating his 72nd birthday. I could feel my heart fluttering but didn't pay much attention to it until after it had gone on for several hours, I looked in the mirror and saw that my face was gray and I was in a cold sweat. I knew that was not a good sign, and told Gordon that we were not going to go to the New Zealand devotional that morning, but instead we would have to visit the E.R at the Kahuku hospital.

We drove over there and immediately the E.R. nurse admitted me and put me on a monitor. The EKG confirmed that my heart was in fibrillation. The E.R. doctor was one who flew in from another island several times a month. Thank goodness he had the presence of mind to call The Queen's Hospital in Honolulu and talked with a cardiologist. They could not stop my heart from fibrillating, and when the E.R. doctor asked about shocking my heart to get it to go back into normal rhythm, the cardiologist told me in no uncertain terms that he shouldn't do that because I could have developed some blood clots in my heart and shocking me would cause them to get pumped out and cause a stroke.

Meantime, Gordon called the kids at home and asked them to remember me in their prayers. We tried to call the Adams, so Bro Adams could help Gordon give me a blessing, but their cell phone was off. Finally, we found another missionary couple and that was Brother Wilcox. He came over to assist Gordon with the blessing. While Gordon was so worried, I felt very calm about the whole ordeal. I wasn't frightened and I knew that everything was going to be o.k.

Finally the E.R. people gave me coumidin to dissolve any clots that may have formed, and gave me some other heart medications...those of which they happened to have on hand. However, my heart continued to fibrillate. Finally about 11 p.m. the doctor decided to send me home after spending about 11 hours in their facility. He had wanted to send me down to Queens in Honolulu, but said that by the time the ambulance came up from town and got me down there that it would be about 3 in the morning and he didn't think that any of the residents on staff would be alert enough to check me out until morning. So, he gave me two kinds of medications (the only ones they had on hand) and told me to get an appointment with that cardiologist the coming week.

The next morning, Sunday the 17th, I woke up without any fibrillation, but decided to just stay at home from my meetings. Bishop Keala sent Gordon home after their Bishopric meeting and told me to be there with me. Monday was President's Day, and I knew that the cardiologist was off-island, so I continued to rest and research my problem. We called Gary Christensen in Utah, who was Gordon's doctor and I told me what had happened to me. I also told me that the doctor had given me amiodarone and metropolol as medications, and he verified what I suspected about the amiodarone. He told me not to take it unless I was near death. And he also told me not to try to come home on the plane until I was very stable. I had already stopped taking the amiodarone because of what I had read about it.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling a heaviness in my chest and some pain. Knowing what the Kahuku hospital was like,we opted to go down to Queens. I checked in through their emergency room and was admitted to their observation floor. Dr Magno, the cardiologist, came into see me and started the a full workup of scans, EKGs, Stress Test, and complete blood work. They could not find anything out of the ordinary by then and so I was discharged on Wednesday afternoon.

What a birthday it had been for Gordon. I felt bad that I ruined his special occasion, but I was also very thankful that he was close by me all the time.

March was uneventful, except for the wonderful experiences we had with our BYU-Hawaii students, many of whom also worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They were so full of love and life. It was a joy to be around them.

In April, Christie and Randy and their family of six kids all came to visit us in Hawaii. Tyler who had just turned 8 was baptized by his father at Temple Beach in Laie, with both grandfathers as witnesses. It was a beautiful morning, 6:15 a.m., just as the sun came up over the ocean. The water was warm and calm. All of their children were there in addition to both sets of grandparents, a friend of Marsha's and Bishop Keala from the our student ward. Our friend, Karelyn, on her way to a seminary class that morning, stood up on the bluff and witnessed the baptism from there.

Casey who had just turned 12 a few weeks before received the Aaronic priesthood there on the beach as well. It was such a beautiful and sacred occasion for all of us.

Later on,at the end of April, Mike and his family came to visit. We got to meet Joseph who we had only seen each week on the web cam on Sunday afternoons since his birth the previous August. There again we got to visit all the Oahu visitor sites. Mike's family especially enjoyed the PCC and we spent three whole days looking and visiting all the various "islands" at the center.

May and part of June were spent in finishing up our work at the PCC so that the new missionaries could take over easily although they wouldn't be coming for about a month after we left. It was hard to leave that beautiful setting, the warm and gracious people there and hardest of all was leaving the students. I surprised the young sisters in Relief Society by telling them they could join me on my Face Book page. They laughed and thought it was pretty funny that an old lady would be on Face Book, but I have been able to keep track of most of the kids and still be part of their lives.

We came home on the 14th of June and I had a full-blown case of pneumonia. It took over a month for me to finally shake it. And, coming back to a high altitude after a year at sea level also took some adjustments as well. It was great to be back with our children and grandchildren, although we had seen most of them sometime during the year. Dave and his family and Steve came in the previous October. We regretted that Steve's family was not able to come, but hopefully we can go back with them sometime in the future. After all, Gordon and I have life-time admission to the PCC now.

The next six months have been busy with many doctor's appointments, surgery for Gordon, and Family History Conferences. We were able to visit Dave and his family in Tucson in September when Gavin had his farewell before he entered the MTC on his way to Thailand. Cathy and Terry were here for Melinda's 18th birthday at BYU Provo.

We went to Yellowstone with Steve and his family and Mike's family as well over UEA weekend, and we spent four days in December in cool, rainy California with Mike and his family and Cyndi.

Gordon is again teaching at the various Family History Conferences around the West. He is a popular speaker with topics on Beginning English Family History, Photographing your Family History, and Photography.

We hope to see some of our friends this coming year when we visit St. George, Denver, Sheridan Wyoming, Redding California and Logan Utah as well as Mesa again in Jan of 2010.

It has been a busy year. We have been richly blessed through it all in spite of having health problems that have taken months to resolve, if they are resolved, but we realize that while we are getting older we are still able to do many of the activities that we did before...just a little slower.

We realize that many of our friends are having difficulties too, but with our faith in God and our knowledge of His plans, we can endure. We pray that you too will recognize the blessings that are yours through this coming year, and that the year will not drag for you, but will be one of joy. We send you our love and if you can visit us, we'd love to see you. If you can't visit then go to our Face Book sites or to to see what else is going on in our lives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving in Hawaii 2007

It is hard to believe that it has been a whole year since since we spent our Thanksgiving away from family, (but not away from friends). We were on our mission to the Polynesian Cultural Center in 2007. We had been there for almost seven months and were very comfortable and had many friends, but of course missing our family. Dave and his family had come the first part of October and had spent 10 days with us. And we were looking forward to having Cyndi there with us in another month for Christmas. It was lonely thinking that none of the family would be there with us for Thanksgiving. However, as most missionaries realize, there are blessings and other ways of enjoying holidays away from family.

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the PCC missionaries got together for a Thanksgiving dinner out at Turtle Bay, at the clubhouse where several of the senior couples lived in the condos there. One of the couples cooked the turkey and the rest of us brought the usual "comfort" foods that we attribute to Thanksgiving. It was all so very good. And though we were a little crowded on that covered patio, we were with our new friends who were all missing family and family traditions together. It was a very pleasant day.

The following Thursday, which was Thanksgiving itself, we invited LaVere and Karolyn Adams to join us to have Thanksgiving dinner with the BYU-Hawaii 1st Ward. The BYU-H cafeteria cooked all the turkeys, dressing, potatoes, yams, rolls, and pumpkin pie for all of the University students to be served in their individual Wards.

We showed up at the appointed hour, sort of expecting to sit at tables with the students. However, the dear Elders who were on the activities committee had other ideas and planned for us all the sit in the classroom desks and watch a football game while we ate. Well, the sisters put their foot (feet) down, just as any mother would, and said, "No football. No TV." However, we still sat at the desks which made it a little difficult to talk with others around us. At least it was difficult for me and the balancing act I was performing to keep my food from falling off to the floor.

But, the food was delicious. And the students brought a certain levity to the occasion. For some of them, it was their first Thanksgiving dinner which also brought new tastes that they had never experienced before. Our dear neighbor, Spencer Tan, who was the BYU-H chef really went all out and everything was great. I know he was up all the night before, overseeing the kitchen to make sure everything was as it should be.

After the dinner, we excused ourselves, went to a movie at the only theatre in Laie, and then went to the Adam's for pie and games.

On Saturday, we went shopping with the Adam's at the swap-meet so we could get our Christmas shopping started and finished, so the packages could be sent early. I certainly wish I had a swap-meet here in Utah like that one to go to. It was great to take the list and know just what to buy for each individual. It only took us three hours at the meet, and for the most part, our shopping was done!

I am often asked, especially now that winter is coming, if I miss Hawaii. Well, I do and I don't. There was a special spirit there that may really only be prevalent in La'ie with all the great students from all over the world. I miss that spirit and those students. I don't miss being so far from family. I enjoyed the fair weather there, but I also enjoy the crispness of fall and winter. It was a wonderful place to be...for a short time, and even for one Thanksgiving, but I am looking forward to Thanksgiving here in my own sweet home.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Big Tree

Well, we outlasted the tree we planted about 25 years ago.  When we got the cottonless cottonwood tree from Valley Nursery, we knew that it would grow big, but we didn't think we would be around when it had to be removed.  And maybe, under the right circumstances, it would have outlasted us.

When we got home from Hawaii in June, we could see that the top 1/3 of the tree had not leafed out.  And through the summer we could see that the leaves that did come out did not look healthy. We were worried that if we had another harsh winter that the tree may just fall or some of the large limbs would break off and perhaps damage the deck or the house. 

So, last week we contacted a tree removal company.  When the gentleman came out, he pointed out all the infestation holes in the bark and said that he could trim off the upper half and probably keep the tree going for another few years, but the cost would be almost as much as if we had the whole tree removed.  We decided that we might as well just have the whole tree taken and not have to go through it again.  It has only been about 5 years since we had another company come and prune it back from the roof.

This morning he came with his crew of three men who took that tree out in about 2 hours. In addition he pruned the Russian Olive and said it would be much healthier and provide more shade next summer.  

It is sad to see such a giant go that provided us with so much shade over the years.  It certainly made our deck much cooler to use and much more pleasant as well. And it kept our house a little cooler as well. 

Happily, however, it left a part of itself in the tall, fast growing tree that is on the hill to the south. Our tree surgeon said that it would be a healthier tree because it had come up on it's own and had most likely put down a tap root deep into the ground that a planted tree usually doesn't do because the planter does not take the time to  loosen all the roots that are wound around themselves in the pot.  

The big tree will be missed, especially next summer.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free-range Children

Recently,while watching the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference,  I saw those sweet little Primary children's choir sing, and I was reminded of when I had to take my little brother Robbie to sing at the Tabernacle.  It was probably a General Primary Conference and not General Conference back in those days.  We were living in Sandy, Utah and it was summertime, so I must have been 10 years old and Robbie was 7.

We caught the bus on State Street on about 8500 South and rode into Salt Lake.  I knew where to take him in the Tabernacle so he could be with his group to sing.  While they were gathering, I recall looking around in the rooms  under the choir seats and at everything behind the scenes.  I thought it was fascinating, as I don't recall being in the Tabernacle before.  And during the program, I sat hidden behind the door that were up at the top of the choir seats.  After the program was over, we probably looked around Temple Square, and then we caught the bus back to Sandy. Oh, to be sure, we did go into the old museum and look at the Indian mummies that used to be in there. 

I was only 10 years old!   But at age 10, I knew how to read the bus schedules, how much change we needed for the bus, where to get on and where to get off.  

The years before that when we were living in Orem, my friends and I walked all over the Northern End of Orem. Once, my friends and I walked all the way up 8th North to where a German prisoner of war camp was.  The prisoners were working behind a fence tending to the orchards there. We weren't afraid of them, but we were curious

Across the street on the South side was a canal that was deep, fast and lined with concrete. There was a fence around the canal as well but a child could find a way into it, if they so wanted to.  We were warned and warned again of the dangers of that canal, so we were careful to stay away from it.

We always walked to school which was about 5 blocks away south on State Street.  Our chapel was right across the street from Sharon Elementary, and most Primary days, I would cross State Street by myself both ways to get to and from Primary which was held after school in those days. Some of my friends from my neighborhood may have gone to Primary, but many of them were not LDS. I don't remember walking home with friends, so most of the kids attending must have lived in different areas. 

I suppose I told my mother I would be going to Primary, but what if I didn't go, and I disappeared!  It would have been hours before someone started to look for me.  We had no phone, and my mother had no car.  Parents just didn't worry as much about their children's where-abouts in those days.  There must have been terrible things happening in the world to children, much like today, but they were not publicized as much, or not at all.

And during those years that we lived in Orem...from my 1st grade through the 4th, I often walked to the Scera Theatre to a movie or to the swimming pool in the summer.  It was located on 8th South on State Street, so that was  about a mile and half each way.  During those times, I did walk with my friends.  And most likely it was when we were older.  

But, I suppose we were really "Free-range Children".  Free to run and play. Free to explore our neighborhood and the world beyond. The world was different then, but not without it's dangers.

One time I remember very well, was the early evening when I was late coming home from Primary.  By the time I reached the open field on State Street about a block from 8th North,  I started the short cut to my neighborhood. When I was almost through the field, a dog from the Washburn's  farmhouse came out barking at me and wouldn't let me continue to the street I had to reach to get to my house.

I tried to walk around him, but he would move and get in front of me, barking and bearing his teeth.  I don't know why he was so mean that night, because I had been around him before when my Mom and I went to the Washburn's to get milk.

It was getting dark and I knew that I could not walk back through the field to State Street and walk the three blocks to my house from there as it would be dark and I knew that my Mom would be worried by then.

So, I knelt down in the dirt and prayed to Heavenly Father to make that dog stop barking and go away. I told Him that I knew my Mother would be worried if I had to walk the long way home. And I told Him that I was afraid that the dog would bite me if I tried to get around him. 

Within the minute, the dog did stop barking and he trotted off to his house and left me alone to continue onto my house. 

I have always remembered that simple prayer that I spoke as a little girl who had  learned in Primary that my Heavenly Father would watch over me, and that if I needed help, I only needed to  pray to Him.

I hope all of my grandchildren will remember that Heavenly Father is always watching out for them and will answer their prayers if they ask for help.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vitamin D Deficiencies

I had a call from the nurse in my doctor's office this week. She told me that the doctor had prescribed Vitamin D supplements of 50,000 units to be taken once a week for twelve weeks. Apparently the blood test that they had taken a few weeks ago showed that I had a deficiency in the vitamin. At the end of that time, I have to have another test to see if the level is up to normal. If it is then I will just have to have a more moderate supplement daily.

I had no idea that I would have such a deficiency because I take Centrum that contains 100% MDR of D and also a calcium supplement that contains another 100% MDR of Vitamin D. That means I am getting at least 800 units of Vitamin D a day. But it should also be Vitamin D3 and not Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which has been found to be less effective that Vit D3 (cholecalciferol). I notice that my Centrum vitamin only contains the Vitamin D2. My Kirkland brand Calcium + D has the Vitamin D3

It is very interesting to see that the lack of Vitamin D comes about mainly because of our poor diets (not eating dairy products that are fortified...milk, no cod liver oil or fatty fish 3 x week) and lack of sun exposure. We have been warned so much of the dangers of skin cancer from the sun, that most of us avoid it by either staying indoors or using heavy sunscreens.

The deficiency is tied to osteoporosis, fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraines, abdominal pain, obesity, muscle pain, auto immune disorders, cardiac problems, etc. Since it technically is not a vitamin but actually a hormone that the body produces naturally, it really is quite critical in our body's metabolism.

As most of you well know, it is produced through moderate sun exposure without the use of sun blockers, etc. The little bit of exposure a person needs will not cause skin cancer. We do not get enough Vitamin D, either, in most of our diets. If you are not a milk drinker, then most likely you are deficient. And they have found that the 400 units that use to be the MDR, is not longer. adequate. Although a child needs are much less, an adult needs more like 2000 units a day,which they say is not hard to come by if you are fair skinned and have sun exposure. Our bodies can usually produce enough Vitamin D through our exposure to the sun, and it is stored in all of the cells of the body. The exposure that people use to get in the summertime was adequate enough to last throughout the winter months.

People who live on the equator and who have sun all year round, have naturally darker pigmented skin. They absorb less of the sun's rays but because they were exposed all year round, nature seemed to have a perfect balance. However, if they now live in areas where there is less sunlight, they now have greater deficiencies that even those with lighter skin pigment.

I guess, even living in Hawaii, did not give me enough exposure. I spent most of the day indoors and when I was outside I wore a hat and had sun screen on what skin was exposed. And even now, I certainly do not drink even a half glass of milk a day, more likely 1/4 of a cup. We do take fish oil supplements for the omega 3 fatty acids, but that doesn't contain enough D to count.

As children, my mother used to give my brother and I daily doses of cod liver oil before the milk was fortified with Vitamin D. It wasn't terribly bad to take, as I recall, but I don't know how old we were when we stopped taking it. We also played outdoors all day long. The doctors who are investigating the deficiencies in the population here in the US say that we have gradually all migrated indoors and even some children today, do not get the recommended sun exposure because they don't play outside anymore.

And, more people have stopped drinking enough milk that has been fortified with Vitamin D. Besides that, to even get the former recommended MDR, a person has to drink one quart of milk a day. A six ounce serving of yogurt, that has been fortified, usually gives only 20% of the 200 units once required. If you get your calcium from eating cheese you should know that most cheeses are not fortified.

Anyway, here are a few of the URL's I looked at this evening. There are many, many more. If you have any of the above symptoms that are not attributed to other causes, you may want to have your doctor check you for Vitamin D deficiency. You should not try to self medicate yourself with a supplement in the extremely high dose as I am taking. The 50,000 unit capsule is by prescription.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


On my last post, The Gramma Tag, I joked about having to clean more toilets, using more milk and cereal, etc. when our grandkids come. Please don't get me wrong. We love having our grandkids come.

Anyone who has been in our house, knows how much we cater to our grandkids. We have furniture that they can sit on, food in the cupboard they can eat, toys in the kitchen corner to play with, books in the bookcases for them to read. They are always welcomed!

What would it be like if you didn't have your grandkids in your home? Well, Sister Adams and I sat appalled one evening at dinner in the Ambassador Restaurant at the PCC when one of the volunteers described his house: No children allowed. Huge glass windows overlooking the valley. A showcase. A home out of Better Homes and Gardens. Etc. Etc. He went on through most of the dinner describing his house, how inconvenient it was when his wife died and left him with a teenage daughter, how his new wife loves to travel with him, etc.

We both came away dumbfounded! We certainly lost any respect we had for the man if we had some before. We knew he was different....but so anti children? It was unbelievable that someone who is active in their church and has a testimony that Families are Forever, that they are an eternal unit, could say the things he said. For us, no possession in your life can replace the joy of having your children and grandchildren around you.

I have heard some people say they wished they could have had their grandchildren first when they were younger! LOL. But that is only a testimony of how great their own children are to have raise good grandchildren.

One day last fall, I was manning a table that the PCC Mission Settlement had set up at an LDS Conference at BYUH. I was wearing my missionary badge on my muumuu. Sister Ardath Kapp came by and noticing my badge, said: "A mission in Hawaii. What a sacrifice!" Of course, she was only saying it in the same way as others who have commented on a mission in Hawaii, that is wasn't much of a sacrifice to go there.

I told her, "Yes, Sister Kapp, it is a sacrifice." "What are you sacrificing here?" she responded. "I have twenty-four grandkids at home." I replied. "Oh," she said, "I understand."

Yes, it was a sacrifice to leave all those kids behind. Being a grandmother is great, because you can enjoy your grandkids, but you don't have all the frustration of having to raise them. Well, not all of them, and not all the time.

We missed out on graduations, a wedding, a new baby, a baptism, and a missionary farewell among many things. We missed just seeing them and being around them.

So, we don't care how many times we have to scrub the toilet, buy more milk and cereal, buckle kids into their car seats, wipe up the floor. We enjoy our grandkids and we love to have them visit.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Want to Play Too!

Gramma Tag

How many loads of laundry do you do every week? Two; three if we have the grandkids over.

How many toilets do you scrub in a month? We have three bathrooms for three people. But only two are used daily. And one of those two is only used in the morning and in the evening. I don’t scrub that toilet. Hmm, I usually don’t have to clean the main bathroom either because no one uses it unless the grandkids come. So I clean one bathroom, once a week x four weeks.

How many diapers have you changed? Well, I had six children and now 24 grandchildren. If they are in diapers for an average of twenty-four months and they use about five diapers a day in an average month of 30 days…that would be 30 x 24 x 30 x five =108,000 . Oh, I know I didn’t change all those grandkids diapers, but I did work as a nurse in pediatrics for three or four years and in the new born nursery for several years, and we changed diapers on those infants probably once every hour if not more often!! And most of the time they were the cloth diapers! They had to be rinsed out in the toilet!

How often do you have to empty your vacuum? I just emptied the vacuums for the first time this year.

How many loads of dishes do you do each day? We run the dishwasher about every third day, unless the grandkids come.

How often do you scrub your floors? Oh, probably once a month…or at least spot clean them once a month, unless the grandkids come.

How many boxes of cereal does your family consume in one week? One or two bowls a week, unless the grandkids come.

How many buckles do you buckle when loading the car? I just buckle my own seatbelt. Grampa can buckle his own. If we have the grandkids come, then it takes us a half hour to figure out how that car seat works.

How many gallons of milk do you buy each week? A gallon usually last us for three weeks, or until it expires, unless the grandkids come.

How much does it cost to fill your vehicle with gas? About $40 every two weeks.

How often do you go to Costco or Sam's? Twice a week.

How many meals (equivalent) end up on your kitchen floor? It depends whose meal it is: The ants? They had a feast last week with a tiny piece of potato chip. I messed them up big time by squirting a circle of detergent around them. (I learned that in Hawaii)

How many beds have you made in the past year? One bed x 365 days = 365 divided by two (because Grampa helps) = 182 ½

How many baths do you give each week? At my age it should be: How many baths do you take each week? Well, in Hawaii, we needed at least one shower a day. Here in the desert, well that is another story.

How many Polly Pocket shoes have you vacuumed? None, unless the grandkids have come over

Airsoft BB's and/or rocks have you found in the washer/dryer? None, since Grampa stopped collecting them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Nights at La'ie Point

Sometime during the late winter months in Hawaii, Gordon and I started going out to La'ie Point on Friday evenings. We would stop at Subway, get a two for one sandwich, and drive out to sit at the Point in the car. We went out looking for whales that were migrating North. All the other missionaries said they had spotted them out that way, so we went looking ourselves. It made for a very pleasant evening. The breeze was so fresh, the sky and ocean so blue, and it was very peaceful, just sitting there, eating, and watching for whales.

Several times we did spot some, but they were so far out from the Point that they were really hard to see.

One Saturday we went with Karelyn and LaVere Adams, the CES missionaries, on the "Star of Honolulu" on a whale spotting cruise. It was guaranteed deal: if they didn't spot any whales, then we could have another trip. It was a two hour trip around Waikiki and beyond. And we did see a whale.... a baby one at that. The Captain explained to the 100's on that cruise that the mother whale was teaching her baby how to come up for air. We did follow them for quite some time, but we really didn't see either of them 'breach' or jump out of the water. They just came to the surface and blew. All we saw was their spouts and their backs. But we did see a whale, so there was no other trip in store.

Fly Lady = Fly Baby

Well, the fly baby in me is back! It has been dormant for the past year while we were in Hawaii. Why? Well, life there was very easy and very simple. When there is just two adult people in a three room house and you only brought four suitcases of stuff to put in it, there wasn't much work to keeping it maintained. Oh, about every two weeks, Gordon would vacuum and I would clean the bathroom and mop the linoleum in the kitchen. Oh, and a quick dusting of the few pieces of furniture we had.

Dishes weren't much of a problem because we mostly used paper plates and cups. We only had to wash the utensils and the one pot or pan that we used to cook our simple meal. We usually ate the leftovers the next day, so there was no food to sit in the fridge and spoil. We rarely used the oven, so I never had to clean it. And though we had a four burner stove, I only used a small one or a larger one. I keep the other two burners covered.

Washing clothes wasn't much of a chore as I only did one or two batches a week and that was usually in the evening when we were winding down from the busy day. After the batch was dry, it didn't take long to put the clothing or towels in their rightful place.

When we were getting ready to move back here to the mainland, some of the students offered to help me clean the house. I didn't need to take them up on their kind offer as the house and the cupboards had been maintained because of the things I had learned a few years ago from Fly Lady.

Our biggest problem was just shipping the stuff we had accumulated and wanted to take back home, or giving away those things what we chose not to leave for the next missionaries who were moving into the apartment.

Those boxes that we shipped are the things that are facing me today. On Thursday, I was set to hit the bedroom with all the enthusiasm of a new fly baby, but the lack of hangers set me back. Instead I went to Wal-Mart with Sandy to buy some material for a bean bag cooker (another blog about that later), material to make my chicken pincushions for the DUP museum (another blog) and the very needed hangers. No sooner that I got back from that excursion, that Gordon told me that Hailey was in a soccer tournament and that we should go watch her play.

That was more fun that tackling the bedroom, so off we went to watch Hailey help her team win! Naturally by the time we got home I only had time to make a quick dinner (posted on the whatcha got cookin'? website) before I went off with Sandy to her Enrichment Night meeting where I saw some dear old friends from the old ward and met some new ones. There we cut out the makings of the bean bag cooker. We still have to sew them up and stuff it with the polystyrene beads that come in bean bags.

So this morning, the fly baby emerged and I hit my closet. I chose to clean out all the boxes I had put in there and had never opened since. I also found some little gifts that I bought for my granddaughters a few years ago and forget I had them. (I am always doing that, but my fly baby tendencies should help me be better.) There are more girls now, so I have to find some more of those little gifts so no one will feel left out.

Anyway, I found lots of room on my clothes racks for my clothes. It looks so nice and neat and I can find everything. Of course, you should see my hallway and the other bed room. :( That will have to be tackled on another fly baby exercise.

If some of you wonder who Fly Lady is or who have forgotten about her great ideas which are just good common sense, you should look at her website:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here is the cover of the first book in the series!
So much for the early enthusiasm... :(

No, it hasn't helped that first Dad and I were speaking in the 1st Ward's sacrament meeting last Sunday, and I had to organize my thoughts on what to say there. It's hard to put into 12 minutes all the wonderful things we learned on our service mission to Hawaii.

Having that over, I was finally beginning to feel good. I had stopped coughing and was actually getting some energy back and saw all the 100's of projects that I need to start tackling. However, on Tuesday, Dad had his surgery on his back to remove the fatty cyst that has been growing very fast for the past year or so. He did very well and has not taken any pain medication for it. It is the itching that is troubling him. If I had a scanner, I would scan the picture I had to OR nurse take before they took the specimen to the pathologist. Then again, maybe I wouldn't.

Early, early Wednesday morning I woke with churning in my stomach and I won't describe what then happened, but it took several hours for me to finally get back to sleep. So, Wednesday was a 'wasted' day as far as what I had planned to accomplish. However, lying around in bed, I started reading the books that Steve and Deidrien gave me last year before we left for Hawaii.

They are the series of books by Alesander McCall Smith about "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" . I have two in the series of nine and when we get out to a bookstore, I will be getting the other seven.

Here is the review from the back of the book: "..the No 1 Ladies' Dectective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enornously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to 'help people with the problems in their lives.' Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone [Botswana Africa], she is hired to track down a missing husband, undercover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart and lands her in danger is that of a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witch doctors." These books are fun and easy to read. Just right for someone who doesn't have the energy to get out of bed. Here is the URL for the website. Be sure to turn on the music. It is delightful!

I am halfway through the second book already, but I can't pick it up today until I accomplish something around the maybe tackle the bedroom. It still looks like the day after we got home from Hawaii. Of course, in order to find a place for all the stuff in there, I have to clear around other things as well. A never ending job, isn't it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

I might as well jump onto the bandwagon. Half of my kids and several of my grandkids are bloggers now. Not that I will have many interesting things to say, but maybe I can share some of my wisdom that came through the many years I have lived.