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Showing posts from 2017

Inked Pillows

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I have a great big giant bed, and only two of us sleep in it.  More people are in it at other times - two big boys were sprawled across it last night, looking at pictures of a recent camping trip; and two littler boys with cold feet were snuggled in it with me much-too-early this morning.  I have great big pillows that fit on the bed, but I prefer to use the regular sized pillows.  Partly because they are Goldilocks-just-right, and mostly because of the nice pillowcases I have for them.


My grandmother made these pillowcases for my mother's trousseau.  I don't do fine handwork like this, so I can only imagine how many hours she spent embroidering and crocheting the edging.  The pillowcases went from her loving hands to my mother's cedar chest - where they stayed for decades.  My mother never used them.  I don't know whether they seemed to fancy to actually sleep on, or whether it was residual bad feelings from her short first marriage, or whether she just forgot about t…

Snippets

A neighbor up the street replaced the grass in their nature strip with rocks.  A few times every week, they have to get after the neighborhood kids for throwing rocks or kicking them out in the street.  They told me they were plenty surprised when they answered their doorbell to find my Angel on their front porch.  She opened her hands to show a collection of rocks and asked timidly if she could take them to school for show and tell.  She loves pretty rocks!
Freddy has a loose tooth.  It's on the lower left side,  and he's been wiggling it a bunch.  These first graders are so proud of their missing teeth!  He showed me the wiggler, and I told him that Georgie also had a loose tooth.  Before I could mention that Georgie's was on the opposite side, he grinned and exclaimed, "I know!  And it's the very same tooth!" I guess it looks that way when you face your mirror image. 
I drove to the high school to pick up David after his track meet.  I was people-watching wh…

Easter Ants

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I was too tired to do a big Easter this year.  I didn't do Passover or Easter egg hunts or coloring eggs or even Easter dinner (we had Easter tacos).  Trent, remembering the big Easter celebrations of his childhood, put together some Easter baskets for the kids with random stuff he had on hand.  I am always amused to see what random stuff he can pull out of his sneaky hiding places!  I did get Angel a new dress, because they were at the store and she is so cute.  After church and before we started getting dirty making Easter tacos (I think that should be a new tradition... wait, Sunday tacos IS our tradition), I pulled one of the boys outside to take a quick snapshot of our Easter dresses.

We posed for about 20 seconds before we realized we were standing in an ant nest and they were crawling all over our legs.

Yup, that's how holidays seem to go down around here!

Today I...

Today has been a busy day.  I gave Chris some pointer on the biscuits he was making for breakfast.  I won't say I helped him, because he did a great job solo!  I led a great family discussion about how to handle kitchen cleanup when Ben and Chris move back home for the summer.  And then I helped clean up the kitchen.  I don't mind cleaning up when I didn't have to make the food - Trent and Chris made a fabulous team for biscuits and gravy this morning.

I helped Angel sort through the dresses in her closet.  She has a dozen of them, but only wears two.  We pared down a few, and she remembered some that she just loves - maybe they will see more wear time.  Or we can pare down a few more.

I assembled a shelf, with the help of four additional hands, and figured out where to hang it.  Trent is better at the power tools, so I let him hang it on the wall.  I also located a spider in the bathroom sink and allowed him to kill it for me.  See how nice I am?

I supported a neighbor&#…

Pioneer Face

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A couple of months ago, Trent and I had a little weekend getaway.  As we were driving around the city, we stopped in at a historical society museum and looked around.  I've always been drawn to old things and historical stories, so I could have easily spent several days there.  On every wall hung portraits of people long since gone.  Posed family portraits, individual faces mounted behind rounded glass, formal wedding pictures, stiff groupings of social events...  The old photography rendered their bodies still and their faces grim.  Rarely did I see even a flicker of a smile.  

I wonder who these people are, and what the occasion was for them to have a formal portrait taken.  Was it in joyous celebration of a life event?  A memento for a too-distant loved one?   I'm sure their expressions wouldn't have always looked so grim, but that's how I always see them portrayed.

I know some of their stories, and I've read of hardships that my own ancestors faced.  It seems,…

Spring Break

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It's Spring Break around these parts.  It is a Very Important Week, and that is why I capitalized it.  Actually, for the kids it probably should be written SPRING BREAK!  With probably a dozen or to exclamation marks and a random assortment of silly face emojis.
We aren't able to go to Disneyland or even camping this year,  but we thought we'd make the most of it at home.  Today, we built tent forts in the back room.  Yes, they do want to sleep there, so sure why not go ahead and have a tent fort slumber party.
I mopped the kitchen floor and made it cry in happiness because it has been so long since it got an all-over, proper mopping instead of a quick wipe here and there with a washcloth under my foot.
Yes, of course we went to the library!  I figured that if the kids had some books to read, then we could have some nice quiet time without anyone punching anyone else.  Not that we ever have punching.  And I even picked out a few nice books to read.  They have nice covers,…

How to Keep a Big Bag of Spinach from Going Bad

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I bought a bag of spinach at the grocery store when I was doing my weekly shopping.  I wish I could go shopping every two weeks, or even once a month - oh how nice that would be!  But we eat enough food around here that I would need a second refrigerator just for the produce.  And produce doesn't stay lovely and perky for that long, anyway.



I brought home my little bag of spinach and tucked it in my produce drawer - the one on the left side.  The right side produce drawer is my husband's and I keep it stocked with the kinds of things he uses.  The spinach is for my green smoothies.  Later that day, as I was making my usual green smoothie - two carrots, four cups of spinach, a frozen banana or two, an apple or orange, and a handful of whatever fruit I could find in the freezer - David came home from track practice.  He said his track coach wants them to get more vitamins and minerals in their diet.  As we talked, I realized that he could get everything his coach wanted in a d…

Women's Conference

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We went to General Women's Conference, Angel and I.  We have a church-wide conference twice a year, with a session just for the women a week before.  They used to have a special session just for the girls in the spring, with the rest of the women in the fall, but now they have combined the two.  Women of any age, and girls age 8 and over can attend.  We went to our local church building and watched the conference live.

Angel is always delighted to have "girls time" together, and wanted to bring a notebook just like Mom.  She took notes for the first few minutes, then just wanted to snuggle into my arm.  I'll take that!
My favorite talk was given by Linda Burton, president of the Relief Society.
"The New Testament includes accounts of [certain] women, named and unnamed, who exercised faith in Jesus Christ [and in His Atonement], learned and lived His teachings, and testified of His ministry, miracles, and majesty. These women became exemplary disciples and impo…

Dementia Caregivers Conference

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This is where I am today - studying crazy.  I know, I know, one cannot go where one already is and all that.  I often feel like I am the one who is losing my marbles, but whatever my personal sanity is, this fact remains: I am a full-time caregiver of a man with dementia.

My sweet dad has Parkinson's Disease.  He also has Lewy Body Dementia.  They are really two sides of the same coin, since when the body runs low on dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps brain cells relay messages, it will affect both the body's ability to move (Parkinson's Disease), and the brain's ability to function (Lewy Body Dementia).  They don't always go together, but usually.  50 to 80% of Parkinson's patients will eventually get some dementia.  70% of Lewy Body patients develop some movement difficulties.  I learn as much about it all as I can.

Much of the conference was geared specifically towards Alzheimer's Disease, because it accounts for 60 to 80% of dementia.  Lewy Body…

Hashimotos in the Park

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Sounds like we're having an Oriental picnic, no?  The kids were begging to play at the park, but the weather, indecisive about whether to be winter or spring, has been leaning towards winter.  Finally, we had a clear day and I figured I could sit as well at the park as at home.  Away we went.
I make this out to seem like a big deal, but it's really not.  The park is nice and safe and just up the street from our house so it's quite easy to get to.  I've just been... so... tired... lately.  Any exertion is a big deal to me.  But what mother won't ever let her kids go to the park?  I'm sure I'm not THAT mom.  Even though I want to be.
So up the street we traipsed.  Twins, girl, cute husband, maybe an older boy or two, balls and plastic bats, sturdy shoes and warm jackets.  And me with a giant quilt coming slowly behind.  I thought I'd spread the blanket out in the grass and sit on it to watch the kids play.  The wind turned out to be windier at the park t…

Happy Valentine's Day

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25 years ago I found myself a lonely and somewhat cynical college student with a class assignment to make a simple computer animation.  I created a beautiful rose... and then had it explode into smithereens.  The year after that was my first Valentine's Day with my very own valentine - we were newlyweds of a couple months and it was delightful to know that someone loved me on that day.  The next year, I celebrated Hearts Day by feeling the new wiggles of a little one beneath my own heart.
This year, I'm celebrating all those hearts.  I bought our traditional red carnations, and bundled them up with bunches of baby's breath.  I took flowers and pizzas to my college boys.  I took flowers and pizzas to my newlyweds.  I gave cute little boxes of candies to my small fry.  I got my dad a box of chocolates.  

Then all my little hearts gathered up their valentines for their classmates and their lunches and backpacks and trotted off to school.  Maybe not all of them trotted.  Mayb…

Happy New Year!

It's a new year, but it feels an awful lot like the old one.  We're still eating odd things at odd times, we're still sleeping in late and staying up late, we're stl in party mode, and the house reflects that.  
Usually by the time January 1 rolls around, I am so ready to pack away the holidays.  The tree bugs me.  The red spangled decor looks like clutter.  The cute window stickers are all in disarray and have long ceased to be cute.  The stockings were hung with care, but now live in a wad on the floor.  The camels and sheep have been played with thoroughly and their packs and bells are regularly rolling around underfoot.  The pine boughs on the front porch look like something I picked out of a throwaway pile (wait, I did pick them out of a throwaway pile, but they definitely look worse now than they did a couple of months ago.).  It's all a big mess.
But this year, it doesn't bother me so much.  There's a messy pile of boxes still in the corner which hous…