Monday, February 20, 2012

Catching Up

I have not posted a journal entry for 18 months.  Maybe my life is just too boring, but there really has been a lot take place since July, 2010.  I'll try to remember what I can, but I am getting on and the memory is shot.
  •  Mom was diagnosed with stomache cancer in August, 2010 and died on October 15th.  That was a really hard two months but also very rewarding spending those precious last days with her.  She was such an integral part of our lives that it is still hard to realize that she is gone. Nikki, Judy and Ann brought a flannel and minky quilt that they had made for her.  The owner of the Quilted Hen quilted it for free because it was for Mom.  I still have that quilt and have spend many hours enjoying its warmth while I watch TV.   I starting spending nights at her house to help her around the first of September.  Steve, Verona, Cheya and Myke were there every day and Susan Rasmussen came out from Virginia to help the last two weeks.  Greg and Wayne made a special trip on Labor Day and so many of the grandkids also came to visit.  Mark and Susan Merrell came out almost every weekend.  That last night was almost unbearable but also filled with some really incredible spiritual moments.  I will always remember Katie singing "Be Still My Soul" as Mom took her last breaths.   I was so touched by all the friends and family who came to bid her farewell.  She really was a blessing to so many.  All of her grandkids were there for the viewing and only one missed the funeral.  That will probably never happen again.  Sbe is buried in the Vernal Memorial Cemetery next to my dad on a hill that overlooks the entire Asbhley Valley.  Simply beautiful.  Even though I dreaded going through her things and worried that my siblings and I would have hard feelings, it actually turned out to be a fun occasion to share memories and celebrate her and Daddy's life.  I hope everyone felt okay about how things were divided.
  • We celebrated our first Thanksgiving without Mom, but still held it at her house.  I think it turned out okay.  Kristie had really cleaned the place so it sparkled and everyone came with the intention of having a good time.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find her Italian sutffing recipe.  (more on this mystery later)
  • On December 19th, Jordan and Lincoln came from Cedar City and Cassie from SL and helped me move from my house to Mom's  It just seemed easier to have me there so I can go through what's left (way too much) and try to make sense of things.  With the help of members of my church, we were moved in about an hour.  I took the next week off to get ready for Christmas.  Stacey came up from Cedar City and we had a great if extremely cold Christmas.  Mom's house is really cold and it snowed so much.  We had the usual Christmas Eve party with dinner, a program and gifts.  Stacey taught us how to make music with triangles?? (can't remember what we were using but triangles seem right)  We were pretty bad but it was still fun.  Then Myke and Cheya's family played the bells.  Instead of watchng Mom open all her gifts, we did a game with white elephant gifts that was really fun.  All in all, a great Christmas.
  • On February 4, I turned 55 and a friend from work took me to dinner the night before.  When I got home, I found that my water was frozen.  I had to run over to my old house and bring back buckets of water so I could flush the toilet, drank water that I luckily had in the fridge and washed with bottled water that Mom had in her store room.  So I got to spend my birthday getting the water meter unfrozen, but felt blessed that it was such an easy fix.
  • Even though I had the big stuff moved, I still had to go over to my old place numerous times to move myriad small things.  Took forever and let remind you that it was soooo cold and there was soooo much snow.  In February, I hired Tobin Roberts to remodel the big bathroom to get the house ready to rent.  Jordan and Stacey had done the little one on August but the big one was awful.  It seem to take forever to finish but finally it was done.
  • The middle of March, I finally rented out my house to Janelle Summers from the bank.  What a relief to have someone living in the house that I trusted to take good care of it.  She began stopping by Mom's house on Sunday afternoons to take me for rides around the valley since her husband worked non-stop.  I can't believe how many places I've never seen that are so close to home.  We always had such good conversations and I've missed her since she moved to Texas in November. 
  • Summer in Mom's house is almost as wonderful as winter is bad.  Her yard is beautiful even though I'm not great at yardwork.  I just really enjoy that shady walk on the north side of the house even when the apricots are falling all over the place.  I can walk out in the back yard and find deer crossing by the back fence.  One day I drove in and there was a huge buck standing under the apple trees in front.  Clyde Ruppe put cows in the pasture for a while but soon replaced them with horses.  Maybe it was the two calves getting out on the highway which caused some excitement for me on a pleasant summer evening.  Some mornings I would wake up to the horses galloping up and down just outside my window.  The house stays pretty cool downstairs but the upstairs is terribly hot.  Even so, I had visitors for the family reunion and the 4th of July.  It's nice to have room for everyone which I certainly didn't in the other house.  The autumn is amazing when all the leaves start changing.  Can't say I enjoyed raking those leaves but the leaf blower helped.
  • In August, Kevin Merrell moved back to Vernal and stayed in his old room upstairs.  He helped mow the lawn and it was nice having someone else in the house even if I didn't see much of him.  
  • Another change in August was that my boss at Wells Fargo was given an early retirement.  So my branch was moved into another district with a different boss.  Trevor is easier for me to get along with.  He is more complimentary when I do things well and really has some great ideas.  
  • In September, Cassie and I flew to Virginia to attend Kevin Rasmussen's wedding.  It was so fun to see where all the Virginia cousins live and visit Washington DC.  We got to see where Ben makes his chocolate and had a wonderful dinner at Debbie and Kevin Roderick' beautiful home.  They have the most amazing yard.  Wayne and Susan are fantastic hosts and we really enjoyed our short time there except for th humirity.  I had been there before but had never visited the Library of Congress and really liked that. 
  • For UEA this year, Susan, Mark and I flew to Colorado Springs.  We visited Pike's Peak, the Olympic Training Center, The Garden of the Gods, the Royal Gorge Bridge, and lots of other places.  I really love the city.  In the beautiful homes built on the mountainside, you can see deer stopped at the stop signs and laying in the yards.  They are almost domesticated.  I think the Air Force Academy was one of my favorite places.  After going through the Crystal Cathedral, we were able to watch the cadets turn out of the parade ground to honor the  Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Pretty impressive.
  • In November, Janelle's husband took a job in Texas so I needed to find another renter.  Luckily, Kevin was ready to be on his own.  At least he was on his own for a short time, because he got married to Jenny and moved her and her two kids, Jordan and Brook, into the house.  I am being really lucky to keep that house occupied.
  • I spent Thanksgiving in Cedar City in 2011.  It is Jordan and Stacey's last year there so it was a great time to stay with them and spent the holiday with Susan and her family.  I finally found the recipe for Italian Stuffing.  Stacey had it!!  It was so good as was her cranbery salsa.  In fact, the entire meal was fantastic and we had so much fun with the Merrells. 
  • The end of November, I was transferred to the Roosevelt branch.  I was not too happy with that change as it is a long way to drive to work every day.  However, the people I work with are great and I have enjoyed getting to know them as well as the customers.  I travel almost every morning with Nick who is one of my bankers.  He is hilariousand keeps me entertained.  We have almost listened to the entire book of Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett together. Very funny. 
  • Stacey, Jordan and Lincoln came up the week before Christmas so we got to celebrate a little early.  Now that Lincoln is four, his tastes in presents are getting a little more specific.  He is really into super heroes and it is so fun watching him name them all off.  He is so cute with his glasses on.  They are moving to Las Vegas next summer and I will miss visiting them in Cedar City. 
  • Cassie joined me again for Christmas and we got her to plan the Christmas Eve program.  She did a fantastic job.  I think it is one of the best programs we have ever had and I kept all her music and lists to use again.  We had Jenny plan the dinner which was also wonderful.  Why did it take us so long to figure out that it was time to pass these tasks off to the next generation?
  • It has been an extremely mild winter this year which is nice since the furnace has been so tempermental.  Just got it fixed this morning and it was a pretty simple fix.  He showed me what to do it ever happens again but I doubt if I will remember.  Not too much snow which made traveling to Roosevelt almost pleasant. 
Well, folks, this is all I remember about the last year and a half.  I will probably remember more and add things as I go.  I should probably go back to a monthly journal entry but somehow doubt that is going to happen. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Laugh-Out-Loud Email

My Uncle Donald sent me this; and I thought it was hilarious.  I wanted to share it with everyone who isn't fortunate enough to be on his email list.

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samuel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.

3. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'

And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.

Wouldn't you just love to do something like this at least once?  I never will, but the thought makes me chuckle. 

Sunday, August 01, 2010

July, 2010

Well, the month started off really bad.  I think the first was one of my worst days at work ever.  Fortunately, things got better.  While I was on vacation, the team really kicked it in gear and I ended up hitting my goal for the month.  That's the first time this year.  Yoohoo!!!  I spent the 29th and 30th observing another manager in Salt Lake.  I got to ask her lots of questions, took copious notes; and she gave me some really good insights.  She was 'fabulous", one of her favorite words. Hopefully, I can take it all back and get better at my job.  I know my boss hopes so too.  I have such a great team and they deserve a great manager.  It's just going to take some really hard work on my part.

Cheya and Myke had their annual 4th of July barbecue.  It was as fun as always.  Cassie came out and so did Alyson.  The next day, Cassie and I got up early to drive to Cedar City for the Shakespeare Festival.  We left her car at Brett's house and chatted with him for a little too long.  So I really had to book it to make it to the first play.  Which I did with time to spare.  We went to "Great Expectations."  It was a musical which I think everyone else liked more than I did.  Maybe it was because I kept falling asleep.  It was a beautiful production and the music was fantastic.  That night, I went with Stacey, Jordan, and Lincoln over to her aunt's home to watch the Enoch fireworks.  Stacey has a wonderful family who made me feel very welcome.  Lincoln had a ball running all over the beautiful yard and watching a great fireworks display.  It was the best I've ever seen for a smaller city.  The next day, Stacey and I went to "Pride and Prejudice" together.  Cassie and the rest of the group had bought their tickets the year before and sat in the balcony.  But I liked our tickets down below.  I really liked this play.  And the next day, we got to meet the actors who played Darcy and Elizabeth at a seminar.  Very fun.  The same evening, we went to "The Merchant of Venice."  Because I bought my tickets late, I had to pay quite a bit, but I was sitting o the second row in the Adams theater.  I thought the play was excellent even though the subject matter is quite dark.  The next day after the seminar, we just kind of hung out.  That night I got to babysat Lincoln while Stacey and Jordan went to a movie.  Of course, they put him to bed first so I didn't really have to do anything but watch TV and read.  It was pretty relaxing.  We did watch The Lion King earlier which he found enthralling.  Movies are so much more fun to watch with him.    My last play was "39 Steps".  I had bought my tickets on Monday, and Susan bought hers on Thursday and we got to sit together.  It was probably my favorite play, a take on Alfred Hitchcock movies.  There were four actors playing about twelve different parts so the timing was impeccable.  Later, we went to a used bookstore and I bought four books.  The madness must stop.  Anyway I enjoyed the festival and seeing everyone.  Besides, Cassie and Susan, there were Tracey, her friend, Kerri, Pam, Jane, Connie, Connie's daughter, Brittany, and Julie.  Kylie and Jill joined us as well.  The next day, Cassie drove us home.  She fixed my Walkman or at least figured it out and explained it to me to I was able to listen to some of the music I have on it.  There's about 13 hours and I still haven't listened to everything yet.  Here's the places I remember eating at while in Cedar City:  1. Chili's, Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln joined the whole group and Lincoln got a little shy.  That doesn't happen often.  2.  Lefty's, a Mexican restuarant that had really slow service and the food wasn't that great.  I've had better there.  Lincoln loved the gold fish.  3.  A restaurant up the canyon, can't remember the name.  It was really good food though.  4.  The Pizza Factory, don't remember what I ate there but it was pretty good as well. 

I spent the last day of my vacation working in the yard, mowed the lawn and pulled up all the radishes (They were way too hot to eat.  Note to self:  Don't plant radishes again)  I spent most of the day at Lowe's looking at things to remodel my bathroom with.  Stacey and Lincoln said they were coming up to do that in August.  Fantastic, right?

My lesson is Relief Society was from Elder Bednar's talk, "Watching with All Perseverance."  I don't know how I could teach these lessons if it weren't for the sisters and the way they discuss everything.  I learn so much from them.

After I left the branch in Salt Lake, I rode up to Layton with Mark and Susan for the Peterson Family Reunion.  This is the year I can remember that Mom was not able to come.  She is just not doing well, it's very worrisome.  It was great to visit with cousins and Uncle Donald, Aunt Elinore, Aunt Carol (improved from last year) and Aunt Betty Jean.  We made way too much sloppy joes, but they turned out good.  The only bad thing was the heat.  Absolutely sizzling.  Next year the reunion is in Vernal on June 24th.  I hope Cheya is ready to take that on. (giggle)  The next day, Myke, Cheya and I stopped and ate a late lunch at Zupas.  I ate there on Thursday night as well.  It is my new favorite place to eat.  I also bought two more books while I was in Salt Lake.  Jeez. 

I have been eating peas straight from the garden which is fun.  I suspect the chipmunk is eating them as well.  He just better stay away from my tomatoes.  I harvested quite a few zucchinis, grated four quarts to freeze and gave the rest away.  My corn got beat up by a hailstorm but there are a few tassels showing up.  I may get an ear or two.  There are lots of blossoms on the pumpkins and I have a pretty good crop of sunflowers getting ready to bloom.  It's been surprisingly fun to grow a garden this year. 

Books Read   I only read four books this month.  I really enjoyed The Host by stephanie Meier, quite different from her Twilight series.  Right now, I'm reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and really liking it. 

Movies I saw "Eclipse" with Lisa earlier in the month.  Not too bad, better than the first one and I didn't see the second one.  And "The Lion King" with Lincoln.  I hear he's banned from watching until he learns appropriate lion behavior around other little kids. 

TV  Yes, I'm watching the Bacheloette.  I like Ali and I even like both of the guys remaining.  Glad Frank's gone.  I'm really liking Howier Mandel on America's Got Talent but he and Sharon kind of pick on Piers.  It's a fun show to watch.  That's about it, mostly I read a lot. 

Overall Impression  It's been really hot and we've only had one good rain storm which tore up my garden.  I'll come back and read this post in December to try to keep a good perspective on the weather.  I think my life would be really boring if I had time to think about it, so it's a good thing I don't.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

June, 2010

Thanks heavens, that month is over. 

I didn't remember doing anything this month, then I looked in my calendar,  There is a whole week blocked out.  I'm telling you , it's sad to see a good mind decline.  So on the 5th and 6th, Cassie and I stayed in Park City.  We ate at the Windy River Restaurant, great steak.  On Sunday, we drove to Mirror Lake.  It was a pretty drive but the road was closed into the lake because of snow.  We did walk along the Provo River, which was soooo full, and saw the water falls.  Very pretty.  Sunday night was spent in Salt Lake where it was hot and humid.  Cassie and I went to the movie, Killers, with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Hiegel.  Very funny.  I never understood the fascination with Ashton Kutcher until now.  We went back to her house and watched Iron Man I which I had never seen.  On Monday I drove to Cedar City.  Then Jordan, Stacey, Lincoln and I went on to Las Vegas.  Several observations:  it was really, really hot in Vegas, our hotel was okay but our tower was completely opposite from the pool so we had to wind through the casino everytime, Alyson's house is absolutely gorgeous and she had decorated it beautifully, and Lincoln is a fantastic traveler.  I only remember him crying when we made him leave the pool.  Or maybe it was so hot that he had no energy or tears to waste.  We walked up the strip from our hotel to the Bellagio to see the fountains.  They were broken.  Luckily we rode the monorail back.  One night we went to Mandalay Bay and saw the aquarium.  Lincoln loved it and so did the rest of us.  We went back to Cedar City on Wednesday and I watched Cars with Lincoln.  I had never seen that movie and it is so cute.  Next day, I drove to Vernal where I spent the rest of the weekend mowing the lawn, watering the lawn, weeding the garden and even watched a movie, Harry Potter 4.

My garden is doing surprisingly well.  Whatever has decided to leave my tomatoes alone so they are coming along well.  I even harvested some radishes, but they are too hot to eat.  I give up on radishes.  I know I said I hated squash bugs, but there is nothing like squash and pumpkins to make your garden look so lush.  My sunflowers are doing very well and so is the corn.  I hope the raccoons and skunks don't find my garden when that corn gets ripe.  I even have some zinnias and hollyhocks growing.  It's very exciting, even though the daisies and cucumbers died.  My lawn looks pretty green for a change thanks to some good rainy days.  But the last time I mowed it, I was covered with mosquito bites.  What's happened to our local mosquito abatement program? 

Books Read  I read eight books and listened to two.  I really enjoyed Silent in the Sanctuary and Silent on the Moor by Deanna Rayborn.  There's a good mystery and romance as well.  I loved listening to Jim Reid narrate Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I would love to listen to all the Harry Potter books. 

Movies  See above

TV  I wonder if future generations who read my journal will een care what I watched on TV.  Let's face it, I watch pretty worthless stuff:  The Bachelorette, True Beauty (talk about mean people), and America's Got Talent.  Some times I can catch one of those cake decoarating contests.  I love watching those.

Overall Impression  I need to write these journals closer to end of the month so I remember my overall impression.  It's the tenth and I barely remember June at all.  Plus I have a new mosquito bite that is driving me crazy.  Must . apply . Cortaid . now.

Monday, May 31, 2010

May, 2010

I think summer is finally here.  This may be a rash statement that I could regret later, but I stand by my words.  Granted, the gas to my heater has not yet been turned off.  I'm ashamed to say I even turned it up for 30 minutes today.  Even so, it is supposedly in the high seventies outside.  I thought my house would be warmer this year since I had my big tree seriously trimmed last fall.  But I am still cold.  Next month I will be crying about the heat.

My Relief Society lesson was from Elder Oaks talk in the priesthood session, "Healing the Sick."  Great explanation of how a priesthood blessing works and the sisters had a good discussion about it.    I love those women.

It seems like all I did this month was work, several six-day weeks and many nights until six or seven.  Hope I get that under control soon.  On the 10th, I traveled to Salt Lake for a meeting the next day.  I got take-out at Zupas (great Spring Aspargus soup) then went to Cassie's to watch DWTS.  It was a good meeting, only half a day so I spent the afternoon shopping.  I did not need the clothes I bought and certainly not the books, but I did kill some time.  That night Cassie and I ate at Cafe Med and went to a movie, Babies.  It was cute but after an hour, you get a little tired of watching babies cry.  Then we went to her house and watched TV.  I spent the night and came home the next day.  An actual day off!!!

I got all three days off for Memorial weekend.  So I finally mowed my lawn, took forever.  And the lilac bushes that I had ruthlessly trimmed back last fall attacked me.  I was a bleeding mess.  And what's with all the little baby lilacs cropping up all over the place.  Ye Gads !!  What do I do about those.  I merrily mowed them down, but I suspect the lilac mommies may have revenge on their minds.  Silly to be scared of a few bushes, isn't it?  Next I fertilized the grass, something I heartily wished I had done months ago.  It looks so pathetic.  And I watered it for the first time.  I really need to live in a condo for all the time and care I take with my place.  There are a few flowers blooming, some bachelor buttons, my lilacs, a snapdragon I just planted, my catnip, and a cute orange-flowering weed.  I also plowed the furrows in my garden spot.  Then, sinner that I am, I planted most of the garden on Sunday after Sacrament Meeting.  Otherwise, I doubt if it would ever have been done.  It will probably die.  The few plants I already had don't look so spry today.  And sometime in the dead of night (who knows when it really happened, I'm just trying to be literary) a fiendish pest ate all the leaves from four of my eight tomato plants.  The one thing I truly want from this garden is fresh tomatoes.  Any suggestions?  I also planted some zuccini, winter squash, peas, radishes, pumpkins, cucumbers and corn.  I planted some marigold seeds around the squash in the hopes that it will repel those disgusting squash bugs.  It's been 15 years since I last planted squash if that's a clue as to how much I hate those bugs.  I also planted some sunflowers, zinnias, daisies, and hollyhocks.  Then I will be out of town for several days next week so it will probably all dry up and blow away.  Rigth now, it just has its furrows with a few green things sticking up and absolutely no weeds.  I feel wonderful.

Julie and Ryan held our annual Memorial Day breakfast at their house.  They have done so much work on the house, it looks beautiful.  I always eat too much at this event, but it was sooo good.  Myke made his has browns that I have never been able to duplicate.  Julie made quiche and we had sausages and lots and lots of fruit.  Then we just sat around and visited for a couple of hours.  I've missed my family.  They've spent some weekends together painting Mom's house, but I've always been at work so it was good to see them.

Books Read  I read six books (is that all??)  and quit one about half way through.  I definitely recommend The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.  Wonderful, heartwarming story.  I tallied up my TBR list today and found that I bought or acquired twenty books in the last month.  Yikes.  There is no room left on the shelves for books.  This book-collecting habit needs to be brought under control..  Sigh.

Movies  Cassie and I went to see Babies.  On the 15th, Lisa invited me to go the matinee after work and see Iron Man 2.  It was a fun movie and I love Robert Downey Jr.  Thanks, Lisa, for including me in your family and friend outing.  This last Sunday, I watched The Philadelphia Story on KBYU.  It's one of my favorites and a true classic.  The black and white cinematography is fantastic.  Plus Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant are wonderful.

TV  DWTS and American Idol are over.  Nicole Scherzinger won DWTS and rightfully so.  I did enjoy the other two finalists as well.  Good finish to that show.  Lee won American Idol but I would have been equally happy with Crystal winning.  They were both so good.  Not sure how I will like this show now that Simon is leaving.  I hope they get someone good.  The Bachelorette just started and looks like there will be plenty of drama.  I hope no one has to leave because of work this season.  That's getting overworked.  And Gray's Anatomy had a great season finale.  I am definitely watching more TV lately.  Maybe that's why I only read six books.

Overall Impression  I will be so glad to not see any more snow for a while.  And I have three weeks scheduled to take off in the next two months.  Yippee.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

April, 2010

     Another month, another . . . month?  I was trying to come up with something along the lines of another day, another dollar; unfortunately, creativity has run out the door.  Buh-bye.  It is getting warmer.  I say this despite the five inches of snow left on the ground on the last day of April.  I also had my best month at work in ages.  My boss tells me I've almost turned the corner.  Of course, that was just before we tanked the last two days of the month.  I'm halfway  back down the block now.  So I've turned in my resignation and I'm moving to Salt Lake.  It's got to be better than working until seven every night and six days a week.  I've also missed my last four weeks of working at the temple because I can't leave work early enough.  And I'm not reading the scriptures I keep at work because I don't go to lunch any more.
     General Conference was the first weekend of the month.  Susan and her family had come out for Lorin's funeral and Cassie was here as well.  That was a great treat.  Unfortunately, I didn't watch as much conference as I should have.
     On a bright note,  I bought two grow boxes at Walmart, you know, the kind with little pellets of soil that you soak with water and plant seeds in.  Now I have eighteen pea plants about six inches tall, myriad little carrot tops, some of that cute curly lettuce with red edges (the edges aren't red yet, the plants don't look anything like lettuce.  I think it's a hoax), twenty-four corn plants, eighteen sunflowers (they grow really fast), thirteen or fourteen hollyhocks (some seeds are refusing to germinate) and a bunch of daisies.  I really like watching things grow and there are no weeds in my grow boxes.  Naturally, I will have to plant them outside; and my sweet home teacher has even plowed a garden spot for me.  Too bad I am going to move.  But the plants can go with me.  My peonies are coming up and that always excites me.  Dang, I'm going to miss them.
     On the fifteenth, I drove to Salt Lake with a colleague for a meeting.  We ate lunch at the Olive Garden, great but made me sleepy at the meeting, and had dinner at Zupas.  Have I mentioned how much I love Zupas.  I didn't get home until ten that night, but what's another late night?
    The 23rd was Mom's birthday.  Mark came out and we went to dinner at JB's that night and then to Mom's to play games.  Susan snuck in as a surprise birthday gift.  That Saturday tons of people converged on  the  house to paint.  I went to work and got some much needed work done there.
     As an example of how out of whack I am, I hung my sheets out to dry on the line again.  That was two weeks ago, and I've yet to put them back on the bed.  Who does that?
Books Read  I read eight books this month.  My favorite was Inside the Dream.  It's a book about the work of Walt Disney.  While it includes some bits and pieces of his life, mostly it deals with his cartoons and films and how they evolved.  Pretty darn good.
TV  Still watching Dancing with the Stars and American Idol.  I don't have an overwhelming favorite on either show, but I do like watching them.
Movies  If  I watched a movie last month, it made no lasting impression on me and so I've forgot about it.  Jeez, no movies?  I know watched movies, Cassie was here.  What did we watch?
Weight Loss  Please, who has time to lose weight?
Overall Impression   This has been a particularly negative post and my goal next month is to become more positive about things.  I have developed the growing conviction that very few people actually read my blog.  And I'm all right with that.  But just as a check, I did put in a grossly misleading statement. I didn't quit my job and I'm not moving.  At least not in reality.  Gotcha.  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

March, 2010

I waited too long to write about last month.  There's very little I can remember.  Thank heavens I wrote a few things down on my calendar.  On the first and 2nd, I finished my trip to visit my kids.  It was so warm in Salt Lake that I drove with my window down.  It was sheer bliss.  I got back to Vernal on Tuesday to overcast skies and cold weather.  Jeez.  Jordan turned thirty this month.  How did that happen?  I'm very proud of him.  He has decided to quit his job and go back to school.   What a hard decision but ultimately, it will be so good for him and his family. 
Annie passed away on the 10th after a fifteen-month struggle with cancer.  It's hard to imagine her gone since she was so full of life.  Even sick as she was, she always had that beautiful smile on her face.  The funeral was on the 13th.  Everything was spoken in English and Spanish as she had so many friends who spoke one or the other.  Her parents don't understand English much at all.  It was a very moving service.  Eric spoke and gave a wonderful tribute to Annie.  We will miss her so much.
Cassie came out for the funeral, and it was so good to have her here.  We mostly spent time at Mom's house visiting with all the other family members who came to say goodbye to Annie. 
Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln spent a few days in Vernal on the following week.  I had to work but spent one lunch hour with them all at the Natural History Museum.  Lincoln loves dinosaurs and it was watch him look at all the dinosaurs and other preserved animals in the exhibits.
The only other thing I have written on my calendar is that on the 20th, I hung sheets and towels on the line.  Yay!!  My house smelled so fresh for days because I didn't fold them for days.  It didn't stay warm but I sure enjoyed the warm days that we did have.
Books Read  I read eleven books this month.  No fives, but three books were rated 4.5 which is pretty darm good:  The Great Bridge by David McCullough (Fascinating history of the Brooklyn Bridge), The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (I love the way he writes) and The Time Travelers by Linda Archer (Great children's book about time travel and medieval England).  One book I did not finish:  Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury.  I just couldn't get into it. 
TV  On the first, I watch the Batchelor final with Cassie and her friends in Salt Lake.  That was a lot of fun even if Jake did choose Vienna.  Dancing with the Stars started and I love watching it that.  Otherwise, nothing much has changed except I may be watching more TV than usual. 
Movies  I went and saw "Nine" with Cassie in Salt Lake.  It's a musical with Daniel Day Lewis, but I didn't love the movie.  I watched "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" on video one Saturday.  I don't watch movies at home very often even though I own twenty or so that I've never seen.  But I do enjoy the Harry Potter movies.
Weight Loss  I lost about a half pound.  I guess that's better than gaining but still . . . I think I include this in my journal just to shame myself to get more proactive.  So far, it's not working.
Overall Impression  It's getting warmer!!!  I can't remember when I've so excited to see the end of winter.