Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's Raining and the Humminbirds are back!!

I love this kind of weather.  Not only does it take the temperature down a bit, but it greens things up for a short time.  I used to think August was such a hot horrid month, but then I realized a year or so ago that we get lots of thunder showers in August and September.  My granddaughter's birthday got shut out because of thundershowers, lol.  Poor girl...I'm hoping this year is a little less crazy for her.

And we finally got our hummingbird feeder back up!  We found a cool little hook at a yard sale last yer and we got it put up last week.  It's been fun watching them come back.  When hubby and I went to Fish Lake a couple of weeks ago, it was so much fun watching them, that he was inspired to put it up for us at home.  He's just the best, ya know??  I kind of like him a little...or a LOT!  ;)

Anyway, just wanted to share some thoughts on life real quick, as I haven't been as consistent at writing as I would like to have been.

I've got a new critique group I'm part of now, which is great - only I haven't had time to read any of their critiques yet!!  sigh.  Fortunately that should change this week...(if I can get out of bed!!)  They are great, and I'm excited to be back with a group again.

I've only got three weeks left of summer vacation before I go back to work.  Sigh.  Have I mentioned how I like my job?  I work with some of the best people!  I just would prefer to be home, but ya know.  I told my hubby that I need to work till we pay off his student loans.  He isn't thrilled with the thought of me helping with that, but it's also a good thing for me.  If I weren't working, I'd probably get even lazier.  It's scary.

I have two paintings I need to get done before then as well.  One I need to get done this week and framed if I'm going to enter the county fair.  I'm not sure about the state fair this year...I'm getting a little discouraged with the atmosphere promoted by the judging.  I guess we'll see.

And so...I've been editing my writing this past couple of months, trying to get the three books in my Hibiscus ladies series ready to sell together.  I'm not sure that they're going to work with a publisher, but I promised hubby that I'd submit this year, so I've got to get going on that.

I haven't been cooking as much lately, I realized.  And it's interesting.  I'm not sure why that is.  I'll see if I can't get some photos of the zucchini that I've been adding to everything because it is almost literally coming out our ears!!  It's sooo crazy.  We haven't had zucchini like this in years.  It's awesome!!  We wouldn't be adverse to anyone that wanted some though...  ;)

So I will probably do a couple of posts on my cooking blog, so you'll probably want to check it out next week.

I was hoping to post a photo of my hummingbird feeder with a hummingbird, but I can't find any!  I'll have to take one so you can see.  ;)

Have a great day!!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Happy 4th!

Well, I know it's past the 4th, but I wanted to post a small bit about it.  It was gorgeous here, HOT, but gorgeous, and it truly made me thankful that I live in this beautiful country.  We have so many blessings here!!
We have many things that we take for granted that many other countries struggle to just live.  Like electricity, clean running water, indoor toilets, land that we can grow food on, grocery stores that carry an amazing selection of foods, protection from crime (for the most part, lol) and the opportunity to vote and elect our leaders.  While I don't think that is working very well right now, I do still love this country and am thankful for those that are still willing to fight for it.

Thanks everyone who ever has, and currently is -- serving our great country.  You keep America strong.  Thanks for all you do and your families for all their sacrifice as well.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dads

Yesterday was the day we take once a year to celebrate the men in our lives.  Mainly, our fathers.  Well...I've had several fathers.  My 'real' dad, so to speak, who I lost when I was 7, my first foster dad who tried his best, but didn't know what to do with a girl, lol, and my second foster dad who wasn't really there...that's why I haven't mentioned him before.  ;)  And then my second 'real' dad...at least in my book.

I have been very fortunate in having these men in my life.  They taught me about unconditional love, morality, honesty and integrity. 
My first 'real' dad was a Ranger back in the days when that was a new and big thing.  He was part of that regiment that is told about in Saving Private Ryan.  He was a radio operator and when they landed on the beach, he and another soldier ended up remaking bullets to fit the guns they had because they'd run out of ammo.  He got the silver star for it...and went on to serve in Italy and Africa.  He never told us about those times...

We found out that he was even in Italy from one of his old friends that I spoke with a couple of years ago.  His second wife made him toss all his souvenirs from WWII, which makes my brother fume to this day.  He was a carpenter.  He helped form a credit union for the carpenters.  I heard he actually helped build the Oakland Temple!  wow.  You're awesome, dad.

My last dad...he was amazing too.  He was in Korea.  He had to identify the bodies when they came in...talk about gruesome.  ugh.  But he never let on that it had been difficult.  He told a few stories, but not many.  He came home and went to law school and became an awesome lawyer.

When he and mom took me in, it was as if we'd been meant to be.  They were my kids grandparents.  Their children are my brothers and sisters, and my kids aunts and uncles.  There is no doubt, no questions... only confusion from outsiders, lol.  I remember one time when I was shopping with mom and she ran into someone who had known them before me.  She asked who I was, and Mom said her daughter.  They looked really confused, and then mom laughed.  "Well, our adopted daughter."  Though it was never official.  It never really needed to be until dad became an emeritus patriarch and couldn't give my kids blessings because he wasn't legally related to them.  sigh.
Oh well...a couple of them were able to receive them from him.
Anyway - one has been gone for almost 50 years, and one less than 8 months.  It doesn't really lessen with time...in some degree.  And yet, it does.
Well...Love ya Dad.  Both of you.  And miss you sooo much....
Thanks for all you taught me.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mothers

A while ago a friend gave me a CD that talked about listening to the voices in your head.  I thought it was rather odd, I don't really have voices in my head other than my own...but sometimes I think we do end up beating ourselves up that way...
Anyway, one of the points was that we can ask for help from the good voices.  That we can ask the Lord to let someone help us, such as a scripture hero, or historical hero.
Suddenly it occurred to me that I could ask for my mother's help!  My mother was a wonderful woman.  I just wish I had known her...or had memories of her.  She died when I was 4.
My aunt tells me that she liked to sing and was always smiling.  My cousin tells me she was like her best friend.  She was a second mother to her.  It makes me kind of jealous...  I imagine that we have lots in common.  Just looking at that photo tells me she enjoyed cooking.  ;) 
She and my dad were apparently a wonderful love story, and I feel that it was the loss of the love of his life that caused him such unhappiness afterward.
They married when she was barely 18 and dad was 25.  Doesn't that sound like a wonderful love story?  I would love to have her influence in my life.  My parents were converts to the church.  They were able to join and be sealed before I was born, so I was born under the covenant.  I was truly blessed.
Then I entered another phase of my life.  I discovered another mother. 
When I was 17 I moved to Utah and was introduced to the Beans. 

They were a large and strange lot and decided that I fit right in.  We ended up informally adopting each other, and I gained another set of parents.
And that's when I got Mom Bean.  Look at that face!  Isn't that the sweetest face you've ever seen?  She tried to give me a motherly example, but I was old enough that I was clueless.  I wish I'd learned more.  Even now, I look at the photo in my room and ask her, "what would you do??"  sigh. 
I was greatly blessed.
I have been so fortunate in my life.  At times Heavenly Father has truly watched over me and given me such amazing blessings. 
My mothers.
I just wanted to share them today.
Thanks mom.  For loving me, and leaving me a legacy of kindness and love that I have tried to emulate for my children.  I feel that success has been limited...but I do try.

Thanks.  I love you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

My 4 minutes...

I loved conference, it was wonderful as usual.  ;)  We were even able to watch every session.  I listened to a little of the preisthood session, but had too many things to do in between...  ;)

Anyway - my favorite talk was the one about the Olympics.  If you've read my blog before, you'll remember that I'm quite the fan of the Olympics.  I love to watch them and I watch as many of the games as I can.  When Bishop Gary E. Stevenson compared our lives here on earth to the Olympics, and Noelle Pikus-Pace, it made sooo much sense to me. 

It also made me panic a little.

I mean, I'm over 50.   (shocking, I know, lol)

But, that means I've already used up at least 2 of my minutes.  Really.  The chances of me living past a 100 is pretty slim, my ancestry isn't known for their longevity, but I don't really know.  I mean, my uncle is currently in his 90's and still lives on his own...

But anyway.  What have I done so far with my 2 minutes?  Not as much as I'd hoped to. 

Sure, I've done some stuff.  I went to college, got a 2 year degree, went on a mission, found the perfect Guy, got married, had children, tried to raise them correctly...enjoying being a grandmother!

But I still haven't figured out what my purpose here is.  What my mission in life is.  I'm trying to become a published author, trying to do more with my art, trying to teach my daughters and hopefullyl granddaughters some hand crafts...

We spent millions of years (possibly...who knows...) preparing for this moment in time.  This little blip of time where we get a chance to show Heavenly Father that we can do what He wants us to do.  That we can have faith and grow and improve so we can return and live with Him eternally.  The biggest goal/prize/medal we could ever earn.

It's still hard to comprehend that this life is going to seem so small when we get to the other side.  It's hard to realize that so much is riding on this  moment of our race.  Are we strong?  Are we healthy?  Are we spiritually fit? 

I hope conference gave you much to think about.  I hope you're working on making these 4 minutes the best you can.  He wants all of us back.  But we've got to want it to.

Give these 4 minutes your best shot.  Your VERY BEST.

You've got one heck of a cheering section rooting for you.  I know I do at least.  At my age?  It keeps getting bigger ever year...  ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring Break...

Guess what??  I'm pregnant!!!

NOT! lol

That's about as silly as I get on April fools...I can never remember to pull of anything crazy. 

Well...how um, un-exciting can it get?? lol  Hey, I'm just enjoying not having to go anywhere and be doing anything.  Today's list??  Find out how much synthetic oil changes are and get the grocery shopping done.  Then I get to babysit my girls!!  ;)  Life as a grandma is so tough, let me tell ya.
Last night we went to see the new Hobbit movie.  sigh.  I'm sorry folks, but I didn't like it as well as the first one.  Just sayin'.  And where they left it???  Seriously??  sigh.

Anyway - spring in Utah continues to be the 'guess what the weather is going to be' in 5 minutes.  ;)  One of our neighbors who teaches school and is off during this time was mentioning to me on Sunday that she was not excited about having it rain or snow on spring break.  Then she reminded herself how she sooo much would like to stay home some days when it's raining or snowing and curl up in a chair with a book.  This time she can!  lol
I like that mentality...  ;)
So...off to figure out a menu for the next 2 weeks.  Happy April Fools!  ;)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

School Economics

my hubby took me out on a date last night.  It was to one his schools that he does computer work at.  It's a jr high and they put on the Disney Little Mermaid (jr) version.  At first glance, it seemed like they were going to do a cute job.  As it started and progressed, I could tell that they'd spent a lot of money and time on the costumes and sets. 
It also seemed like every kid in the school was in the production.  There were lots of dancers and chorus people.  It was interesting how despite the amount of people, there wasn't a lot of voice.  The girl that played the part of Ursula, the sea witch, was amazing.  She was probably the best thing about the show.
It saddened me the most to see the sponsorship of the play.  There were two pages of sponsors listed, and it started with $1000 donations.  $1000 for a school production???  Really? I mean, it looked like they garnered over $10,000 for this school production.  Once they started and we saw the costumes, I saw why. 
Now, I'm not one to say get rid of the arts.  I'm an artist, I paint, I write, I sang in school - though it never would have occured to me to participate in something that big.  But I think the arts have a place in our schools.  I would even say athletics have a part, because I think it helps students to think in terms of team and sportsmanship.  Unfortunately, there is as much money thrown into sports as there is into everything else. 
But especially this show.  I still can't believe it.  We are talking professional costumes.  These would have rivaled Tuachan, and there was a mention of thanks to them as well.
My husband and I both work for school districts.  We both have seen the crunch of budgets with the cuts in spending.  I work in special ed, he works in technology.  His district is smaller than mine, but his district spends a heck of a lot more on technology than mine does.  Not that we have outdated stuff or anything, and there has been an influx of Ipads in almost all the schools, but still...
None of the schools in my district would have been able to put on this production.  There simply isn't that kind of money.  Yes, we have our affluent neighborhoods, but nothing like that.
We saw a production of the Scarlet Pimpernel last month at a high school.  It had excellent costumes, though I thought they might have been made by the parents - they weren't perfect.  The sets were good, but I think they were done by the students.  Which is as it should be.
I remember seeing a production of Aieda at Davis several years ago.  Now that I think about it, the costumes were pretty ritzy - but apparently that didn't bother me then.  It wasn't as large a production as this jr high's was.
Our discussion focused on how a west side school would never be able to pull of that kind of production.  They would never have that kind of support.  My hubby mentioned that one of the vice prinicpals came to one of the west side schools from an east one.  The east one they used to hold art auction once a year and they funded everything for the year.  This new school they have to sell popcorn every week.  All of my elementary schools have candy and popcorn sales once a week to raise funds.
I have no idea what the high schools do, or the jr highs.
We went to a production my niece was in several years ago in her jr high.  They did the jr Disney Aladin.  It was cute - they did a good job.  But it had nothing for sets and costumes like this other school did.  It was obvious that it was a school play, not trying to be a professional production.
It's sad when you think about it.
Are these kids thinking that they have to do a production like this??  Was it pushed by the director or the parents?  And what about when they get to high school?  Are they going to be disappointed in the drama department then?  What are they going to expect from life?
Oh well.  It seems that nothing really changes.  Everything is run by the almighty coin.
It's still sad.
It would be so much fun to see a west side school pull off something like that and see the kids take interest in something outside of gangs, poverty and the like.
you think?