Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

I feel like I have to write this just so I can get on with life. Yesterday, we had to have our golden retriever, Tigger, put to sleep. One day short of his 14th birthday, he was in pain, could not get up, and very miserable. We knew the time had come, we'd watched him go down day by day for the last week. (I stayed up with him all night--he just wanted to be petted and loved as he moaned and tried to move.) He gave it his all on Sunday with one last romp with the kids tossing him oranges from the tree. The house seems strangely empty without him. He was by far the most intelligent of any of our pets--often demonstrated that he knew just what we were saying to him--and was a great friend. Originally he was Amy-Sue's dog, but he stayed with us when she got married. (That is how we got almost all our dogs--somebody else raised them, then turned them over to us) We both swear we will not have another pet! It is just too hard to lose them. Thanks Gian for helping us carry him to the car and deal with the vet and Animal Control. (both were very compassionate and did the best they could to make a sad situation bearable).
Goodbye Tigger Bear...we love you!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In Any Case. . .

Last week we scheduled a "big trash" pick up. We had a few big items to get rid of, soooo we did.
Not too much to ask--except--Bob is still in recovery mode from his surgery so he can't lift much. Most of the items were not too hard to handle...until I got to the toilet. Hmmmm they are kinda heavy, so I got the dolly and found that the toilet didn't fit very well. I sure hope nobody was taking pictures of me and the old "t"as I wrestled that monster to the street.
Wow! Just a few hours later a small pickup truck is in front of our house and a very small (but evidently strong) man was seen wrestling the "t" into his truck. By the time morning came, I wondered why we bothered the city with a "big trash" request. So few items were left I probably could have put them in next week's cans. In any case, it's gone!
Thursday I taught at Carden from 9:30 to 2:05, then I dashed from school, in Whittier, to the AssistanceLeague for a tea for new members at 3:00. One of my very good friends from Hill MS teaching days is joining , and I wanted to be there to greet her. Sounds okay so far. The only problem is that parking is at a premium at ALLB and I couldn't car pool, so I had to drive my own car. Not a problem, unless, of course, you are just learning to drive a Hummer! I can't find the parking lines yet, so I had to take up two spaces. I can see that I need practice in that area.
In any case, I got there in time.
Thursday evening was Open House in Long Beach Unified, for elementary schools. Well, we have two different elementaries to get to, and Bob wasn't up for mad dash and crowds, so i hopped into the trusty Hummer and headed for Tincher to visit Sabrina and Tabitha's classrooms. Only had to park two blocks away! Then I jumped (literally, it is a jump) into the Hummer and hummed my way to Fremont to catch up with the Ashcrafts--Camryn, Hudson, and Devyn). Luckily, they had parking on the playground! How fun to see each of them so excited about their work and their school. I remind myself that this is why we don't live on that golf course in Utah. In any case, I think I got to see it all--and believe me, there is a lot to see!
Friday,at 8as my car went back to get its brakes and other parts repaired. We thought we had that done, but obviously not. (see my previous blog) Home by 10:30, I had the pleasure to give Jolene Hale , whom I just met last Sunday at church, a knitting lesson. She is quick to learn, I think she will be pearling next week! In any case, she's a really nice girl and fun to talk to.
At 11:40 I dashed from the house, stopped by the gooey cupcake store for cupcakes, and made it down to Tincher in time for "Power Lunch" with Sabrina, Tabitha, Amy-Sue and Charlee and the other Tincher moms. One hour of fun and conversation.
Then back home to get a few (very few) chores done before the Keesters picked us up for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and the Millikan vs Poly baseball game. Millikan won and remains undefeated! It was a whirlwind day, but in any case. . .tons of fun.
Saturday we had to retrieve my car and then I was on the freeway by 9:15 to meet some members of my Delta Delta Delta alumni chapter at the Orange County Design Home. Instead of just one home, however, there were 6 condos on the 13th and 14th floors of the Central Park West Astoria to see. Things are certainly different in the decorating world. I doubt that I would enjoy living 13 floors up in a structure like that, nice as it was, it just isn't me. What's that you're thinking, "She's getting old"! Yep! You're right. But in any case it was fun to see the latest in decor and colors and then to have a lunch catered by Tulip Rose.
Blessings: being here, being able, having opportunities to be with family and with friends
Now it is Sunday...a new week is starting...make it a GREAT week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Last week was Spring Break for me (Bob is on a perpetual "break") and most of it was spent dealing with cars. Let me just say--I hate buying a car!!! The dealership we bought from was Cerritos GMC, Buick, Pontiac, Hummer (and Penske Smart) and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy! They jerked our chain, pressured us and made the buying experience very unpleasant; to the point that it soured us (especially Bob) on the car we now have. You need to be a Chicago lawyer to deal with them--I didn't get to that class when I was in Pacific Coast University of Law. So, I wouldn't ever deal with them again and we can only hope that their service department will be a more positive experience (if and when we need it) and that's my story. Now I'm truly going to "Bless and Release"and, renew my love affair with a Hummer3. PHEW!
Also, my PT Cruiser needed service and that led to added expense for tires and a brake job, which I think the tire company we went to did not do completely. Why do I think that? Well maybe because when I had to stop quickly, yesterday, for a yellow light, I ended up in the middle of the intersection (oooops--'scuse me--I didn't mean to stop out here--I'll just run this red light and get out of here). PHEW!
Ironically, Amy-Sue and Gian are having car issues, too. Not good to have radiator problems on one of the hottest days of the year. Call the tow truck. How to get the girls to and from school??
We may need to use the H3 to help. The girls are ready for that ride. PHEW!
On the fun and positive side, Sherri Araiza did an Arbonne demonstration at our house last night and some of us "girls" tried out some awesome skin care products. Even Tabitha gave the lotions a try, and she was lovin' being with us.
Back to school, it is good. Busy week, that is good, too.
It is good to get a break from "Spring Break."
Make it a great day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Just" get in, sit down, buckle up, and ride on...

We have spent most of this Spring Break Week, dealing with cars. First, my car needed an oil change, and my brake light was coming on at random, so Bob suggested this would be a good time to get those things taken care of. The dealership where I bought the car went out of business so we had to find a new service center, preferably one close to home AND one that deals with Chryslers. We chose Browning Cerritos Dodge because we had a mailer with coupons from them and they are close. The service agent was nice, listened to me explain the concerns we had (without laughing) and we left the PT there for its servicing. On the way home, we "just happened" by the Hummer dealer and "just happened" to drive in to "just" look. (Bob has never really been excited with his Chevy HHR, so we have looked at other cars to replace it before we go on our Mission to the wilds of Wyoming. We looked around, then left. Later we got the call that one PT tire had a split in it and in another there was a staple,AND the brake pads and rotors are in need of fixing or replacing. The prices were over the top, so we said just finish the service and we'll take care of the other problems. We left home again, went to Allen Tire where we found that we could get 2 tires and get the brakes fixed for a little less than half what we had been quoted at BCD. Picked up the PT, took it to Allen, one hour later all fixed! Next day, we "just happened" to be in Cerritos and we stopped by the Hummer dealer again, just to look, no we don't want to test drive, yes we'll sit in it, open and shut doors, etc. Thanks Victor--see ya :) Yesterday, we went to trade in my Fender guitar (which was too much for me to learn) at Moreys. I got a tenor Ukelele and carrying case and tuner so I am ready for the bluegrass band at Martin's Cove(highlight of each week there). Well, we were so close we decided to "just drop by" the Hummer dealership. Hello, Victor, here we are again. Well yeah, we'd like to drive it. Well, here is our bottom line on price. Sure you can figure it out and we'll see if you can meet it. We like the white one best because it has all the features we like and need. Sure, we'd love to meet your finance man--Hello A.J.--can you keep our payments near the level of the HHR payments??? Uh can come close?
GUESS What! We are now driving a white Hummmmmmmmmer 3. It is towable (behind the RV) but maybe we'll tow the RV behind the HUM3 (just kidding). I've always wanted a Hummer, but it will be Bob's car, "cause I still love my PTCruiser convertable. I'm sure I will be able to drive the H3 for groceries or something. (please, please, please)
Get in, sit down, buckle up, get ready for the urban assault vehicle ride!
Blessings: family (some of whom think we are nuts, but we love them anyway) ability to enjoy things we have wanted, getting ready for the Mission at Martin's Cove starting in 7 weeks, friends near and far (We miss you, Millers! Travel safe!) (Have fun times in San Diego, Del Bellos we'll miss you these 3 days!)
Negatives: I've got to clean the house!
Make it a GREAT DAY!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Have I Mentioned...

I love LOVE LOVE baseball--and it is baseball season. Last night we met Bob and Roberta Keester at Blair Field to watch Millikan HS play Jordan HS. (It just happens that Ronnie Keester is Millikan's Baseball Coach!) The game was all Millikan--I think the final score was
15-0--so that was good, but it was fun to visit with the Keesters and to visit with Mr. Keller, the Principal of Millikan, who was Drew and his friends' coach when they went to Newcomb School.
Not only that, but Drew actually showed up at the game with Rylee, Cassidy, Camryn, Hudson,and Sabrina. So much fun to have them around, shagging balls that went over the stands, and cheering the team on (even though they will be, or already are, Wilson HS students).
Earlier in the day I went to Tabitha's (kindergarten) awards assembly at Tincher . So proud of her for getting the Principal's award--she sat so patiently while lots of other awards were given out. I am not a fan of awards assemblies. I think children thrive on smaller group settings for awards, (pictures up in the classrooms, everyone receiving some acknowledgement for their efforts) especially the young ones. Too often the awards assemblies just cause the children to say things like : "I got 3 awards and you only got one" because they see quantity, not importance or quality. I also think that having a lot of awards assemblies takes some of the importance away from the awards. I am glad that Carden School chooses to award for specific individual efforts like: Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Music Recitals, and grade level
productions. Their biomes and science projects are put up for all to see, not awarded with prizes; because the belief is that every student is trying their hardest and everyones effort in all areas is praiseworthy. Anyway, I'm proud of Tabitha's efforts, she's a jewel and she keeps us all hopping (so give her an award for that, while you're at it!)
Well, time to count the change for the Easter eggs. Then off to the Ward Easter breakfast in Rush Park. Then groceries to buy and table to set .....Here comes pati-Sue cottontail with:
Blessings of family, friends, and
Gratefulness for the Atonement this weekend, and always.
Make it a GREAT weekend.!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Homework Central

Monday afternoon--3:45 (or so)--phone rings, and I answer. "Hi nana, this is Sabrina. I need some help with my homework." (Oh boy, I think, I hope it's not too hard.) :). She continues, " I need to know the singular or plurals of these words." (Phew, I'm pretty good with words.) "What are the words, sweetie?" "Alumni" she says. (Hmmmmm) "Alumna" (or is it Alumnae?) "Okay" she says, "and the other one is species" (Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I think third grade is getting too hard for me) " Species " I answer. "Okay" she says (she is so trusting)
Tuesday morning--7:15--phone rings. "Hellllloooo" is your husband awake?" (It's Tiffany) "Well I think he is now" I tell her. I go get Bob and he answers "UHHHH". "Good morning! Could you take Rylee to her orthodontist appointment today?" He comes alive and says "Sure!" Usually that means that he can take Rylee to lunch after the appointment before he takes her back to school. This time, however, she has to get back for Chemistry. (Darn).
Tuesday afternoon--around 4:00--phone rings. Uh oh, I think, I hope I didn't make a mistake with the words! But no, I answer the phone and this is what I hear, "His nana, this is Cassidy. (Phew) I need a poetry book that has rhyming poems in it. I know you have some, I've seen them downstairs on the shelves. I need to borrow one, and my friend needs one too, but I could always share if you don't want to loan her one. Could I borrow one or a couple?" (Oh boy, I think, easy homework today!) "Sure Cassidy I have a few, I'll read you the titles and you can choose." Then we had a little conversation about the Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky books, which were just what she had in mind. "Cassidy," I asked, "do you need these right away?"
"Well, it's due tomorrow". (Ahhh, spoken like a true granddaughter of mine, why do it now if you can wait 'til tomorow?) "Okay, Cassidy, I'm planting some flowers right, but I'll clean up and bring you the books in about half an hour." "Okay", she says "thanks, nana."
This is why we live here, and not in that house on the golf course in Utah. Family nearby, what a blessing. We love you all, and we love to help when we can. After all, what is family for--Love,Support,Help, Understanding,Fun.
btw: What is the plural of species and alumni???????

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's April !

We got our letter from MHHS Martin's Cove, finally, telling us when we need to be there and what space we have for the RV. We think it is the same spot we had last year. All the spaces are filled and we are so excited to see so many familiar names occupying the Loop C spaces. What a reunion! We have found that the people we serve with become like our true brothers and sisters, and since we are both only children, that is very special to us. We got the RV back on Monday, and didn't get lost in the process because I used the navigation feature of my new cell phone to get us there. (ooooo I feel so "techno-savvy"). Bob has spent this week checking and fixing things with the help of our good friend and home teacher Irv Miller. One thing we still have to do is put new tires on it (big expense, but--safety issue). Each new thing gets us more excited! Back to storage for now so it is off the street. Our neighbors are nice but, we don't want to push our luck.
Tuesday was Book Club and our book of the month was Wednesday Letters. I haven't been to Book Club in a long time (although I have read the books) and I found out how much I missed it.
I have felt very out of touch in our newly configured Ward and finally decided that I was causing that myself. It isn't easy for me to reach out, personally, but it is rewarding when I do.
We had the Missionaries over for dinner Wednesday. Elder Watkins is a direct descendent of Peter Mc Bride and of Jacob Hamblin so our conversation was mostly about church history. Retelling the story of the McBride family's events in the Martin Handcart Company was a good reminder for me that I need to review the stories we tell at Martin's cove. It is always great to have the Missionaries in our home and it has been too long since we last were able to feed them and have them share the gospel with us. Hooray for the Missionaries!!
Tiffany's birthday was Thursday--she and Amy-Sue went to Disneyland. What a girls' night out!
(April is adult birthday month: Tiff on April 2 and Gian on April 30).
My classes are still working on their paper mosaics. Some are finishing and I am very pleased with how they look. The Calligraphers (8th grade) are finishing their Haiku Books and they are wonderful .The best part is that they are excited about them, too. The rewards of being a teacher way outweigh the work involved.
General Conference is coming up......I love the General Authorities song--I'm trying to learn it.
Thanks to Amy-Sue for putting it on her blog.
Make it a great day, weekend, month, etc. etc. etc.