Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is It a Bad Thing?

Just suppose there was a person who lived in a house with an upstairs and a basement. And say this person had a burst of energy and decided to wash clothes for her kind and loving hubby (who, by the way, lives in the same house with the upstairs and the basement). And what if this 1st person (not to be confused with the 2nd person - kind and loving hubby - who will enter this hypothetical situation later) has an electric clothes washing machine located in the upstairs portion of this hypothetical house said person lives in (with her kind and loving hubby). And just suppose said 1st person happens to put the soap in the washer, turn the water on and then methodically put the dirty clothes into said soapy water so the washer can begin to do her chore for her. Say this person, since the bulk of her energy has now been consumed, decides it would be a good idea to go into the basement portion of said house to now sit on her butt and relax for a few minutes.

Now, suppose while this person (still 1st person) is relaxing, a strange gurgling noise begins to sound forth from the pipes that Cal's Mickey Mouse building crew built into the walls of said house. And what if this noise becomes so obnoxious that it interrupts the soothing silence said person was basking in to the point that said person is forced to rise off her butt and investigate. And, just suppose, that upon said person entering the small kitchen in the basement portion of said house 1st person sees water bubbling up in the sink at precisely the same time it can be heard draining from the electric washing machine in the upstairs portion of said house.

Would this be a bad thing?

Now, what if, after this hypothetical person works her hypothetical batwings (if the person is hypothetical so are the batwings, saddlebags and ugly knees, right????) ... anyway ... works her batwings to a sweaty pulp plunging the sinks in the kitchen located in the basement portion of the house so that the water bubbles and goes down the drain - like water is supposed to do.

That would be a good thing, right?

Now, what if cocky said person - thinking the problem was a fluke and has been solved by her brawny powers - continues on with her goal of washing yet another batch -- count them, that's two (2) batches -- of dirty clothes for her kind and loving hubby? And suppose said person then cooks a romantic dinner for two (scrambled eggs by the light of the tv) and then what if said person returns to the portion of the house that is upstairs to put on her exercise clothes so she can hypothetically exercise away her hypothetical body fat and, while doing so, said kind and loving hubby (2nd person) comes barging in to inform said 1st person he has stopped the electric clothes washer because the drains must be plugged. Now what if kind and loving hubby goes back into the basement portion of the house with not-so-cocky 1st person following and what if said 1st person were to happen to spy with her two little eyes two huge stainless steel bowls full of dirty water sitting on the counter, with perhaps two sinks full of dirty water and, venturing further a gurgling, bubbling, oozing floor drain, a flooding toilet and perhaps even a bathroom sink with residue from something resembling dirty water floating around in it. And then perhaps this person might even see towels spread around the floor soaking up reflections of dirty water.

Would this be a bad thing, too?

Thank goodness, after more plunging and mopping and thinking and wondering if RotoRooter is open 24 hours a day and more plunging and thinking, kind and loving hubby magically made the water go away with a bottle of something purchased from his store! And thank goodness said first person has plenty of black juice in the fridge for just such an evening because, spacial spaztic or not, two bad things tend to equal a shaky night.

And there you have Wednesday night in a nutshell - or should I say a stainless steel bowl?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Angels in Disguise

Is there anything as sweet as the sound -- or lack of sound -- of three sleeping boys???  No, I say. Nothing. Absolutely nothing!

And it's wasn't even midnight yet! That's a first for this Grandma!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Grampa's brain is fairly bursting with ideas for improving his tractor-train for the upcoming summer! This is the first installment of the fruition of those ideas. Originally he intended to do away with the tiny little wagon bringing up the rear in the picture. Because of it's smaller size, it tends to tip over and jackknife easier and he's been worried about smashed fingers or legs or heads or who-knows-what the way the grandkids ride in it sometimes! As you can see, however, it is going to be harder to get rid of it than he thought. Naturally, being our grandkids - which also makes them the children of our children (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, etc., etc.), it needed to be hooked onto the new wagon because "I like falling out of it." Yes, that was Joseph's child.

Stay tuned for more updates as the newer, more-improved model of Grampa's Tractor-Train is introduced.

Pumping Gas

It used to be you could find a full service gas station on almost every corner. Full service meant you sat in your car while the attendant looked after the needs of your vehicle. All the windows got washed; the oil got checked; the water levels and battery terminals were checked - and this was all done while the gas was pumping into the tank. Loyalty was important as far as the local stations were concerned. They knew you and they knew your car.

Lately I've decided I might have to add a gas pump to my ever evolving story. Now I really know the story is going to be wild because I'm pretty sure we would never have been offered the choice of being an 'object'. Humor me, though. It's my blahg and I'm in the mood to ramble.

Since self-serve gas stations are one of the many signs of our advancing times, I was actually pumping my own gas into my vehicle when I decided it would have been an interesting choice. I'm always trying to get every drop of gas I can into the tank. Not sure why. I've tried making the dollar amount even and that's happened a time or two. I don't think I've ever been able to get the gallons to come out even. And I know for a fact I've never been able to gauge the drops of fuel so precisely as to get the dollar amount AND the gallons to both be even numbers (not the same numbers - just both even). And it was filling my orange VW Beetle before I got married when the dollar amount was less than the amount of gallons.

Anyway, my gas-pumping techninque is, therefore, a series of battles between me and the nozzle. *I squeeze the trigger to get just one more drop or two of gas in the tank and the car somehow communicates with the nozzle that it is full, it's had enough, so shut off already. The trigger then clicks off. And it's a repeat from the * until I feel I've won. Or until I find myself splashed with the nasty smelling stuff because I've pushed the limit.

So, of course, this particular day, I realized, in a humorous way, of course, I was that nozzle. I get spouting off all these amazing and wonderfully weighty, witty words of wisdom when I'm talking to my kids; trying to get every last drop I can into their tank. I have the best intentions.  How dare I be clicked off like that in mid-drop! And why do I continue to get this surprised look on my face when I hear that click and realize I've been shut off? "Is there such a thing as a victimized gas nozzle?" I think to myself as I take my hose and hang myself back up in my spot.

Then I was reading something about being inspired and in tune to the promptings of the Spirit. As offended and caught-off-guard as I seem to be when I get shut off, how many times do I turn around and do the same thing to Heavenly Father? How many times have I said/thought,  "I'm becoming so enlightened by reading all these books written by (wo)man, I don't need to read the scriptures." Click. Or, "Surely He knows what's in my heart already, and I'm really tired, so I don't need to pray tonight." Click. Or "The weekend has gone so fast and I haven't gotten everything done that I intended to. I could sure use that three hours on Sunday!" Click. Not only am I shutting down the actual inspiration, but I'm missing all the little additives that are kind of bonuses; i.e. the little things that go right during the day because I am better able to liken them to the scriptures I've been reading or the relationship I am building upon when I take the time to actually tell Heavenly Father what's in my heart instead of assuming He knows.

Thank goodness He doesn't give up on me or get disgusted and leave. Thank goodness He waits patiently for me to realize I run a lot better when I allow His inspiration to surge through me. And thank goodness He's not grounded to this one spot, either, because I've had to be rescued on the side of the road more times than I care to remember because I've allowed myself to run empty!

So, I dare you to pump gas the same way again!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Succumbed Again

Once again, I couldn't help it. This time Ethan and his origami had a table set up inside the grocery store instead of standing outside, using the baskets on his bike as his shop. I don't think he's changed. His dance was still as captivating and his smile still as contagious. Who can walk past something like that and, even without buying one of his paper-creased works of art, not be affected?

Today he had Easter baskets with a rabbit and a chick, a bookmark and the flower like I got before. Of course, I couldn't decide so I bought the two things I didn't already have. Half his profits still go to Primary Children's Hospital. I imagine his worldly needs are few. His appearance doesn't leave you thinking he's deprived or desperate like the unkempt, cardboard-holding, scraggily dressed person on the corner of WalMart's parking lot.

Anyway, I paid for and picked out my preferences from his selection and carefully put them in a safe place in my basket. I got a few more things and when I was walking back up to the front of the store to pay for my 'worldly' needs (black juice included), I noticed the bookmark was no longer in my basket. Frantically I rearranged the few items I'd picked off the shelf, in hopes of finding it had just gotten buried. I retraced my steps, watching the floor the whole way. Nothing. I felt careless. All of a sudden I was three feet tall and waiting to be scolded by an adult for not taking better care of my things. Even now, it makes my eyes tear up.

Ethan's Origami was strategically set up so I had to pass it to get out of the store just like I'd had to pass it to get into the store. We exchanged smiles and I, once again, told him thanks. Do you think he could see 'guilty' written all over my face? Guilty of negligence, of carelessness, of worrying more about food and drink for my physical body than a small item that had touched me deeper than the pit of my stomach? I was almost past the table when Ethan reached out to me. "Actually", he says while looking towards his mug of bookmarks, "I think you dropped your bookmark." Ethan is smiling. Does he know how not to?

Again, my eyes got teary. "I did lose it. And I've looked all over."  Ethan fumbles around in his mug and eventually picks the exact bookmark I had previously selected. He hands it to me and says, "A person found it and brought it to me . . . thought someone had dropped it." Smiles. Again I thanked him - profusely, promising myself I would be more careful, more vigilant, more aware of the silent, invisible theives that I allow to steal precious things from me.

I firmly believe information, knowledge, experiences, opportunities, etc., etc., and especially people, come into my life for a reason. I'm learning that the reason does not necessarily coincide with current events in my life. Heavenly Father knows me from the beginning to the end and I believe He places these little spotlights of time at moments when I may not understand my specific need for them but I am at a point where I am open enough and receptive enough that they stay in my memory for when I do need them. How can I say what I'm feeling?

Except that, even though I don't know Ethan, he's in my life for a reason. And I hope I never allow the image of his smiles and his dancing and his creased paper to be lost from my mind.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Counting My Blessings

I've been trying for an unbelievable amount of time to get this to be a permanent place somewhere on the blog, but, alas, I say "Uncle" and include it simply as a post. Oh, well, it will have to be redone after June anyway.

Love these babies!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


There's this story line going on in my head. It's been there for years now, but the words have never found their way through a pen or onto the computer keys. I want to develop a scenario of how I chose to come to earth as a naked little baby. . . and then why I chose to be female . . . and then a mother. It's hard to explain (which is probably why it hasn't yet been written), but knowing me like I do, I wanted to know what was behind all the doors and curtains before I made my final decision. Maybe that's the way I am only because I'm human, though. Maybe my spirit didn't feel that way? No, it did. I'm sure of it. Anyway, I've thought of a lot of things over the years that I may have considered chosing to be. Today, I have added a new choice.
I choose to be a bird.

Birds fly high above the activity and chaos. They can see the action in the main ring as well as the villains hiding behind the rocks. I would be a bird with choices, though, swooping in and plucking out the underdog and carrying him to higher territory. I could eat all the nasty little cricket-people and then go regurgitate (sp) them in some deep, bottomless crevice.

I would be able to spend quality time with my little eggs and when they hatched, I would feed them only the bugs and worms that were good for them. I would sing to them and soothe them and point out all the beautiful things of the world. I would keep the nest warm while explaining the freedom their wings possessed. And then, one day, I would sit in my nest and watch them hit the ground as I accidently pushed them off the edge of the nest. (Okay, maybe that sounds a little morbid - I'll have to work on that part.)

As the mother bird I would swoop down (I really like that word 'swoop'. It seems to have a sort of omniscient power about it - like by 'swooping' you get the whole buffet, not just the finger foods) and pick them up and brush off their wings and straighten their beak. Then, as I carried them back to the safety of the nest, I would explain the process  whereby they could avoid that sudden introduction to the hard earth. After that, we would fly to amazing heights while they tested the strength of their wings and I would encourage them to fly out of range of the desolation below. On some certain day, I would watch them soar and my little bird chest would puff up with
And then I could just fly off into the brilliant warmth of the sunshine.

Not sure it would have ever been an option but it might be kind of fun. For a minute anyway. Then again, maybe being a bird is just another of the many definitions of 'mother'.