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Monday, March 28, 2011

Looking forward...

Today I am trying to find something to look forward to this week. I am a very short-sighted person: I need to have something I am working toward. (Like a little kid with the promise of a candy bar after cleaning his room. Except there will be no candy bar involved since I"m on a diet. Well... after what I have to accomplish, there may just be chocolate involved after all. We'll see...) 

So, today, I am finishing the tile backsplash in my upstairs kitchen. We did half of it on Saturday, but I am determined to finish it today!

This week, I am painting the ceiling in the kitchen and installing the new cool brushed nickle track lighting.  I am putting in the backsplash in the basement kitchen as well. This WILL happen this week. It MUST!!! Then, I will be painting the kitchen in the basement as well.

Tonight, my hubby and I will be purchasing some shade trees for our front yard. We've been meaning to do it for 10 years now, it's about time! (And we happen to have my sister's truck here, so we'd better do it before it goes back to its home tomorrow. Nothing like an approaching deadline to whip this procrastinator into action.... usually.)

This week, I will be going out to lunch with my hubby since lunchtime is about the only time we can ever have a "date" anymore.

I will be looking forward to General Conference because it means I get to spend hours and hours of cuddle time with my family all piled on the bed together feeling uplifted and reminded of what a lucky family we are to be together forever.

So, it appears I have a lot to look forward to this week! Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Behind the "facade"...

I like knowing in advance when people are coming by. Even if it is just a few minutes notice. You see, you can shove a whole lot of stuff into closets in a few minutes, thus giving the illusion you keep a tidy house. Sometimes when I'm cleaning, my son asks who is coming over. Now, in my defense, I do clean- often. But for some reason he seems to equate cleaning with visitors.

Why bring this up?

Because I got thinking about the "facades" we put up for others to see in our lives. We put on a smile at church when we are really feeling like crying. We try to keep our voices even and a smile on our face in public while asking our children to stop climbing the walls when we really want to yell at them that their lives are about to be cut drastically short if they don't get down this minute.

I think sometimes in my church we tend to try to appear as though we have fewer flaws than we really do. In talks we tend to use only the good examples of home or visiting teaching, tell the uplifting stories of when we were able to serve another, etc. However, I think we also tend to see only those ideal qualities in others as well. We often tend to compare our bad qualities to others' good qualities. The problem with doing this is that we can't see beyond the facade. We can't see the problems or trials the other person may have going on in their life. We have no way of knowing what difficulties this other person has had to face to get to a certain point in their life.

Case in point, my stake relief society president. I think she is so composed, so well spoken, so successful. She is a nurse, very organized, composed- you name it. I admire her so much. Yet today, she told the relief society that she was a convert to the church. She has only been a member for a short time. I was shocked! She told of how she had to learn more modest ways to dress and to clean up her language after she joined the church. I never would have known how far she had come had she not told us this. I was amazed that she was just a normal person with normal problems just like the rest of us women sitting in there.

It really opened my eyes. It reminded me that every single one of us is unique. We can't judge, nor compare ourselves to others. It reminded me that every home has a facade, but it's what is inside that really matters.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How to make a 71 year old lady very happy.

First of all, happy birthday to my sweet hubby (on Saturday)! Thanks for being born!

Second of all, and more importantly, WE GOT CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING UPSTAIRS!!!!!!

I know most of you are saying, big woop, right? Well, probably most of you live in homes constructed well after WWII, whereas we live in a home constructed DURING WWII- she's 71 years old now! You  know, back when women had two dresses: an everyday chore-doin' dress, and a church-goin' dress. They had no need for closets larger than 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep.  Back when kitchens either had no "ice box" or had a very small one. No dishwaswher (other than the chore-dress wearin' mom, of  course), and before they had ever even considered putting tile on a kitchen floor when you can have fabulous, no-wax linoleum! 

Needless to say, getting central air upstairs is a BIG DEAL around here! And with our new tile floors and dishwasher, you might as well call me the Queen of luxury living! (A queen, maybe, but one who still has to keep all her clothes in her son's closet since there is no room in her own for all her modern-day women clothes!  Luckily, men no longer wear hats to work. I just don't know where we'd put them all.  We don't own a hat rack, of course.)

We will have to wait until the weather heats up enough to even turn it on, but I go out every few hours and admire the beautiful shiny condenser unit. (My hubby is already planning on putting a locked privacy fence around it so no one gets any ideas. He is paranoid about new things. I'm surprised he didn't say "now, honey, don't get it dirty" after I got my new dishwasher installed.) But it is thanks to him that we got the AC unit at all!

Now, no more window units! I will actually be able to look out my windows in the summer! No more cardboard covering the open spaces where the window units don't fit. No more burning up at night and sweating like a pig because I can't sleep with the AC unit on. No more ceiling fans! No more achy feet and... oh, well, ok. I know it isn't a miracle worker, but I certainly won't have to stand over the air-intake vent in the hallway waiting for the basement AC to turn on so I can feel the cool breeze blowing up my dress! (Sadly, I kind of enjoyed that Marilyn Monroe moment, but I think I can still get the desired effect by standing over the heater vent! It will probably be even better!)

So, happy birthday Sweetie! Thanks for the cool air! I can't wait to have to use it! I think our 71 year old house is pretty excited too. She's shaking her aluminum siding off already!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pangs of regret...

My Grandpa, Thayer "Turk" Evans, was a pretty cool guy. (died Feb. 14, 1999) He was an amazing painter of birds and wildlife. He sang with the world famous Evans Quartet. He served as a sharpshooter in WWII in New Guinnea. He made the best wild duck stew in the world. His fingers looked like uncooked sausages. He had the best laugh, and was always so happy-go-lucky. He would bring us kids a solid chocolate bunny every Easter, without fail.

I have some regrets, however.

He was not a very "personal" kind of guy. He NEVER talked about himself to me. He never told me stories about the war, or what it was like singing all over the world in his quartet. He never shared his recipe for duck stew (not that it would help me now, I don't know how to go duck hunting, anyway!). He didn't teach me how to paint, or bird-spot. He did, however, teach  me that his idea of going to church was watching Boston Pops on Sunday afternoons, that Hee-Haw was darn good entertainment, and that no matter how much you love your T.J. Hooker television show, your little granddaughter will always be able to sweet-talk you into letting her change the channel to watch "Love Boat".

Today, for some odd reason, I have been thinking about him a lot. I realized that I do not have one single print of any of his art. Nothing! I don't have an original painting of his. My son has no idea what kind of talent his great-grandpa had. He didn't stand next to him as he painted a beautiful bird effortlessly, as I did. He didnt' see his art hanging all around the house and take it for granted like I did.

I heard a story once of my grandpa in WWII. He jumped off a cliff into the rolling sea below in New Guinnea to divert the Japanese. He apparently messed up his knees pretty bad doing this. That's all I know. Nothing more. I have searched and searched the internet looking for any more information about this, but can't find anything. I wish my grandpa had told me more.

So, I found someone on the internet who knew my grandpa. Who apparently spent lots of time with him, and learned all about birding from him. He said he has an original painting of a Peregrine falcon painted by him packed away "somewhere in his garage". I tried to email him to see if I can purchase this painting. It may not mean much to him... then again, maybe it does. I dont' know, but it sure would mean a lot to me.

I guess I have a lot to catch up on with my grandpa when I see him again in the hereafter.  I sure hope there's duck hunting in Heaven, though.  I'd give anything to taste grandpa's duck stew again!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I couldn't stop laughing!


It was Sunday.

We woke up at our usual "late" time of 8:00, rushing to get ready for church.

"No, I don't know where your socks are....."

"Yes, I'll iron your shirt...."

"No, you are NOT bringing your Gameboy to church!"

"If you want breakfast on Sunday mornings, you're going to have to fix it yourself...."

You know... the usual lilting strains of love floating through our home.

Anyway, we managed to get everyone out the door at 9:00... which is "on time" for us.  Oh, except that just as I was about to leave, I realized I had forgotten to put on my mascara and quickly ran in to do that. Of course, I totally stabbed my eye with the mascara wand- like, really badly. I ran into the bathroom and rinsed out my eye, pouring eyedrops into it to stop the burning. Man, it hurt!

Finally, I realized I was going to live and keep my eye, I ran out to the car and headed off to church. We walked in quickly, grabbed a program, heard the opening hymn still being sung and rushed into the chapel to be seated before the song ended and the prayer began. We sat down just as the song ended.

"Whew!" I though. "Just in time! Thank Heaven!"

The prayer was said and I thanked Heavenly Father for helping us to get there in time for the Sacrament, and for the beautifully sunshiney day. ( And to please make my eye stop hurting!)

Suddenly, as soon as the prayer was finished, people started getting up! What? Why is everyone getting up? Is church shortened today? Is there a baby blessing?

I glanced up at the clock. 10:00!!!! What? We weren't that late.......

then it hit me.  Daylight Savings time!!!!! I had absolutely NO idea we were supposed to change our clocks forward! That is the first time in my whole life I have not known it was daylight savings time!

People came up to us and were laughing so hard. We were laughing too. It was pretty dang funny!!!!!

It kept me laughing all day long, actually.  Thank Heaven for a good sense of humor. I'm glad we could provide the comic relief for the ward yesterday.

You're all welcome!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

At first it was really ok... then it got worse... then really bad... then I was like... ok... then freeeeeeaaaakkkkk ooouuuuutttttt..... then aaahhhhhhhhhhh.....

Those were all the emotions I experienced while planning the Relief Society birthday dinner last night.

 I have planned I don't know how many large ward parties in my time, but it's a lot. I really don't stress about making dinner for 50-100 people. In fact, I find it rather rewarding on the whole.  However, what I do tend to stress about is the presentation of the whole affair. The decorations, the program, the entertainment. My entertainment fell through, and me singing was NOT an option! (not when I'm in charge of the activity, AND planning a Relief Society lesson the following Sunday. No Sirreee, Bob!)

However, I managed to make all the food by myself this time, (rather than have some people bring some things,) and with relatively little stress. I only began to stress when two batches of rolls baked in the oven while they were supposed to be rising, and I had to scrap them. Grrrrr.....

My son was the hero of the day, though. He helped me carry everything  to the car (and believe me, there was a LOT to carry!), carried it into the building, helped me set the tables and set out food! He rocks!

But the best part of the evening was the revelation that I, in fact, was NOT supposed to give the Relief Society lesson this Sunday after all! And good thing I started discussing it with the other teacher or this bit of vital information would not have come out and we would have had a very awkward situation come Sunday!

So, party was a success, people seemed to enjoy themselves, I had lots of help cleaning up, and got to spend today relaxing (and watching conspiracy theory shows- who knows why?)- and NOT planning a lesson!