Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Signs of Summer

Can you tell which kids have never had a brown topper and which child has the OCD mother? Actually the 2nd part of that question isn't totally fair because the child with the OCD mother has also had brown toppers before so he's had some practice. Mandy & I took the kids and met Amber, Hunter & Aspen at the Malad City Drive In on Monday. This is the same drive-in I remember my grandma getting triple decker ice cream cones. Jodi spent the rest of that day and all of Tuesday wondering where in Smithfield she would be able to get a brown topper. Brian could have wrung his cone out by the time he got down to eating it. And then, with his last bite barely swallowed, he turned to his mom and said, "I have 'nother one?"

Technical Calculations

Everyone has their own special part of the paper they read every day. My section is the comics. Only instead of reading them in the paper, I have a list of my favorite ones on my homepage and I check them pretty consistently on a daily basis. One more red flag as to my mental stability I suppose. Anyway, couldn't resist this one.

We were finishing the storage room in our basement in Delta. I wanted a rolling-can shelf to make food rotation easier. Our neighbors happened to be working on their storage room at about the same time. Her dad was an engineer at Hill Air Force Base and he'd come down for the weekend to help them on their rotating-can shelf. I was talking to her after we were done with our shelf and she was surprised and told me how her dad and her husband were drawing up plans and making all sorts of detailed calculations in order to get the angle of the shelves just right. How had we finished so quickly? Well, the rednecks (Alan and I, if you didn't guess), worked just like an efficient, well-oiled machine as we constructed our rolling-can shelf.

I held the shelf. Alan laid a can on it. If the can rolled off and hit the floor (or one of our toes), then the slope was too great. If it didn't roll at all, the slope wasn't steep enough. Worked for us. We did the same thing in our storage room in Tremonton, too. So, this comic fit us to a tee!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

Wow, oh wow! Somebody opened up a can of buttons here! Oh, wait that's worms, huh? Well, then somebody certainly spilled the buttons! Oh, wait that's beans. Well, bottom line is, I'm afraid this button Dilly Lemma has spread into another day!

The Red Hen's advice is to simplify. So, to button this whole mess up, I should probably get one of those Culligan water bottles {an empty one, of course} and just dump all the buttons in there and be done with it. I know of a few of my grandkids who would sit for hours, playing with them and sorting them and counting them. Maybe, since I haven't outgrown my need to sort and organize buttons, I've cheated them out of some unique memories. Maybe I've just cheated myself out of cleaning up a lot of button messes, too! Tempting as letting them have memories is, I don't think I'm ready to let go just yet.

In Sharon's comment on the previous blog, she reminded me I do have a bottle of Grandma Ward's buttons on a shelf upstairs. So, rather than follow her own advice to simplify, she has inadvertently created another appendage to Dilly. Oh, this Dilly Lemma is so not buttoned up yet!

I got to thinking about it and some of my buttons have got to be as old as Grandma's were when I played with them! Maybe I should sort mine by age, too. But mine haven't crossed the plains {or at least they were on clothes that were on people who crossed the plains} like I was told Grandma's did so that decreases their value in the stock market just a bit. Assuming there is a button market. If there isn't, there should be. I mean, come on, you can button up, button down, button your fly or wear a button down. Back in the day, you could tell if you were a boy or a girl by the way your shirt buttoned (left over right or right over left).

My mother would also take all the buttons and zippers off of clothes before she donated them to D.I. Her philosophy was it gave someone a job to have to sew buttons back on. I bought that hook, line and button! {Oh, yeah, and do you want to see my zipper collection?}.

And, while I was trying to find these buttons, I realized I'm going to have to re-sort the way the bottles are on the shelf, too. Yes, I'm walking away again.

A Dilly of a Lemma

I don't want you confusing Dilly Lemma with Dalai Lama. To think I might be posting about the latter would be to assume this has been an awesome, inspirational day and I am going to spew forth words of great wisdom oozing with insight. Instead you are being subjected to the irrational world I created for myself today while in the companionship of my pseudo psycho manic alter-ego, Dilly.

It started out to be a productive day. I'm not sure where the wrong turn came but then I can never pinpoint exactly where I go wrong when I veer off the beaten path. One minute I was on track for sewing the whole day and the next minute, well...see for yourself:

Actually the picture got taken a little after the disaster so it doesn't look quite as intimidating. I truly think my fascination with the almighty button began when I was a very small girl. We would go and visit Grandma Ward and I would get bored and so she would let me play in her button box. Little did she know she was laying the foundation for what was unfolding today! {By the way, she's the same Grandma who taught me that the best part of the pork chop was that row of fat along the outer edge.} Mother inherited the button box and I continued to be mesmerized for hours sorting and counting the same buttons over and over again. As far as the cause of today's specific episode, I think there were some stray buttons that had been gathered together in a small pile and I figured now was as good a time as any to put them away. That's when Dilly plowed her way through my subconscious and wreaked havoc on an otherwise quiet, unassuming day.

As I was trying to figure out where the buttons belonged, the notion entered my head that there must be a better way to sort all these buttons. Color coded is great but not every button fits smoothly into being color coded and besides what if I just want a turtle button sometime and I don't care what color it is. I'm going to have to dig through all the buttons in search of a turtle. Glancing over the array of buttons, I begin to notice patterns and natural divisions. Hearts, stars, flowers. "This will be easy", I think to myself. Evidently I didn't think it to myself quietly enough because Dilly Lemma slid into the driver's seat and took control of my otherwise easygoing manner.

Pretty soon there were piles of buttons everywhere as I tried to make my final decision as to how they should be divided and sorted {and I remembered why I had so much fun playing with buttons in bygone years}. Once the hearts and stars and flowers were out, what was I to do with the remaining buttons? Well, there were lots of butterflies and dragonflies so I started a 'bug' pile. And then a pile materialized that was all animals.

But what about birds? Am I going to need to sort the animals by sky and earth habitats? Well that would make it easy for the fish buttons because then there could be a water animal pile. But what about the ducks? Should they go with the 'air' habitat or the 'earth' ones or in the 'water' habitat pile? Are you with me here?

And the 'transportation' pile! Do the running shoes go in that pile since they do tranpsort you somewhere? If they don't go with the cars and trains and boats, where will they go? I'm going to run out of bottles!!

And what about the rocking horses? Are they animals or transportation {a small child's imagination can allow them to be transported all over the place, you know}. Or do I need a 'toy' pile? Dilly Lemma is getting out of control and I'm getting the shakes.

Both my hands are flying as I sort my existing piles of buttons into different piles of buttons {also existing but in a less permanent sort of way}. Kind of like in elementary school when the teacher has reached his disciplinary limits and so now he whips out the infamous seating chart method of discipline. He points to a child and then, as if there were some magnetic connection between the tip of his finger and the intended desk, he draws a line connecting the two. And then he points to the next child, and the next, and the next until supposedly no one is sitting by a friend.

There was a whole class in college that I had to take that was on time management. The only thing I still remember to this day is a film we watched where we were taught to use both hands when doing any task. And so I get the left hand busy sorting out flowers while the right hand sorts out the bugs. Or was it the left hand sorting out the bugs and the right hand . . . . . and it is at this point when my right brain and my left brain knock neuro-sensors and realize they are in the throws of a Dilly of a Lemma!

Finally I decide the ducks will go with the water animals and the birds will go with the bugs {birds fly-bugs fly; birds eat bugs - makes sense to me}. I'm on a roll now! I am gaining the upper hand on Dilly and taking back the controls! Screeching halt as I stumble upon a pile of square buttons. There's not enough of them to warrant their own bottle. Ohhhhh! Where is my black juice? Opening a small storage container, I let out a groan. It contains a smattering of angel buttons - air habitat? No, they'll go with the toys as I would hope my children/grandchildren never grow too old to have angels close by them.

Okay, square buttons go with rocking horses in a 'toy' pile. I rationalize this because the square buttons remind me of blocks and blocks are toys. Then an ephiphelation strikes and I realize the running shoes will go with the bows because both of them are worn! D____ I'm good!

I'm fastening lids on jars when I feel satisfied with the division. No use leaving them open to accidentally get spilled. I purposely ignore the pile of mushroom buttons and the pile of boat anchors. Should the anchors go with the transportation buttons since they are always found on boats or should they go with the 'water' buttons since you throw the anchor in the water? Woe is me!

Oh, look, there's strawberries and green apples! That will justify a 'food' pile and so they join the mushrooms.

 Finally I let myself slide to the floor in utter and pure exhaustion. "I have conquered today's Dilly Lemma", I think to myself while sliding down the wall. After a moment or two of resting on my laurels {or butt cheeks, whichever you prefer}, I clean off the shelf and begin to line the bottles of buttons up. All the buttons that are basically round in shape will remain sorted by color for now. Maybe I should get more bottles, though, and sort them by whether they have two holes or four holes. Hmmm. That's a thought and clearly something I take into consideration when picking buttons. Four-holed buttons take longer to sew on and so if I don't have a lot of time, I would want to be able to just open a jar of two-holed buttons. But then, what about shank buttons? Oh, I see Dilly gathering her strength back and I quickly shut her down by mindlessly putting the button bottles on the shelf.

No more bottles remain - empty or full - outside the boundaries of the two shelves. Three hours later and I am done. I can go on now with the rest of my day. And then I see them.    

 Six errant little buttons. Rainbow colored buttons. They're round so they should go by color; but which color? Or should they go with the 'sky' habitat since rainbows are found in the sky? Or should they go with the 'water' habitat since you only see a rainbow after it's rained?

Gathering up what little bit of my strength and moral courage I have left, I turn off the light and I walk away.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

God Bless the Open Door

Once again I have been enlightened and uplifted by old black and white television shows.

Last Friday I sequestered myself in my sewing room to finish some projects so I can start on Aspen's blessing dress. I have an old TV in there to keep me company and flipped it on hoping for a mindless show to offer some companionship. We have the ancient, no frills roof antenna still and so we had to purchase the awesome converter boxes when the FCC made television stations go strictly digital. I had heard you should do a channel search every once in awhile because there are new channels popping up all the time. I decided to that and, low and behold, it popped up with a new station. Funny thing is I've since found out that the only place I can get this particular channel is in my sewing room so it must just have been meant to be on this particular day. After researching it out later in the day, I discovered it's a station out of Salt Lake City that a group of ministries got together and started. initial excitement at having found a cool family station was squished like a pregnant spider (Krisy will appreciate that visual). During their entire broadcasting schedule there are only two hours in the middle of the day where they are not doing some sort of revival type programming. During those two hours, however, I can watch The Lone Ranger, Jack Benny or Red Skelton Show. Those are the ones I specifically remember.

On this day of my first discovery, it happened to be the Red Skelton Show. I haven't laughed that hard {of course I was by myself} in a long time. It was just good stupid funny and I loved it! What amazed me the most was when the show was ending and I was reminded of how he always closed his shows. He always had some sort of uplifting message that was directed at the public in general and, depending on what was going on, specific groups {like the military, for example} and then his parting words were "God Bless". When he says that, he's not being flip or sacrilegious or sarcastic and there's no canned laughter afterwards. It's just sincere and makes you feel good. I can't explain the feeling I had. It was a good feeling - because he made me feel good and, besides he'd just asked God to bless me! Who wouldn't feel good? But there was also a nostalgic feeling as I wondered what has happened?  What kind of world have we become that something so simple and sincere is not longer subscribed to and, in many cases, is being fought in our courts to be deemed illegal and offensive? When Nellie graduated from Snow College, a school whose percentage of LDS students is in the high 90's, they announced an 'Opening Expression of Choice' and a 'Closing Expression of Choice'. The word 'prayer' was even discriminatory. Anyway, long live Red Skelton reruns.

Then last night, during my late night ritual of Perry Mason, I Love Lucy and My Three Sons, I was enlightened by Perry Mason. I watch these three shows while I'm doing some kind of handwork or playing on the computer because plots were simpler then. You don't miss the key to the whole solving of the mystery if you blink your eye once. There really isn't a whole lot of variety, either. At least in the speaking parts of DA Hamilton Burger and Perry Mason. There's a lot of the same language used in their courtroom bantering and I'm amazed that they could get away with making Burger always appear so dramatic and at the same time downright stupid. Anywho, instead of there being a lot of objections because it was "incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial", there were several times where the judge ruled it admissible for Mason because Burger had "opened the door". By the end I figured out that if an attorney "opens the door" and the opposing attorney catches it, the attorney who opened the door is pretty well screwed. And so, I wondered, how often have I opened the door and let opposition enter my life?

I actually remember at least one Family Home Evening {or Hambly Foam Evening as Joe would say} where we tried to teach the kids about how we opened the door for Satan and a bad spirit to be in our home. Last night I started thinking about all the different ways I have opened the door for jealousy or misunderstanding or guilt or insecurity and allowed those things to not only come in through this open door of mine, but actually settle in, lock, stock and barrel. I'm sure there are a lot of hardships that I would not have experienced if I'd have kept the door closed. . . and the chair under the knob!

Since there are always exceptions, though, and two sides to every picture, I'm grateful for the times I've opened the door and good things have come into my life. Because of my new found belief that every One comes into my life for a reason or with a message or a lesson and every Thing happens for a reason, I've been a little freer with the opening of my door and I can honestly say I've been blessed for it. Maybe it's only in the courtroom that you seem to always get screwed by opening a door. Or maybe I just need to ask God's blessing on the Open Door.

Two humorous sidenotes:

   1. When I was little and goofing off by pulling funny faces, I would frequently go crosseyed. My mom would get so mad at me and tell me my eyes would stick like that if I didn't quit it and I'd look just like Red Skelton. She hated Red Skelton. She would always say you weren't funny if you had to laugh at yourself. It's his laugh that is so freaking contagious!

  2. I was watching this same station the other day and right before The Lone Ranger came on, there was a blurb that came across the screen that said, "The following educational program is for audiences 14 years of age and younger". I figured it was going to be another religious program only geared to younger children this time. I thought it was funny when it turned out to be The Lone Ranger. Of course, there was a moral to the show so I guess if I were 14 or younger I would have been educated.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Arrivals vs. Departures

There's just two more corners to quilt and three more blocks to tie and the baby's quilt can be taken off the frames and the binding finished. I have to do pekoes. Mom always put pekoes on the baby quilts she made and so it's a tradition I started with my grandkids.

I'm finishing up all my little sewing projects so I can clean off the work table, wind bobbins and bobbins of white thread, get out the laces and frills and start on the baby's blessing dress. It made me feel good that Amber would entrust me with that privilege. Every night I do at least two rows on the baby's afghan so she can be wrapped in it that Blessing Sunday. I've never made something this big out of crochet thread so it's taking a little more time.

I helped Amber make some sleepers for the baby. I was so excited she wanted to help sew them. Mention the word 'sew' to her and she falls to the floor, writhing in pain and gnashing her teeth as she imagines giant unpickers coming after her. But now, she's even made a car seat cover all by herself, as well as some receiving blankets. She's gone through Hunter's baby stuff, gleaned the 'generic' items and washed them and put them neatly on shelves and in drawers. There's Q-tips, baby oil and lotion around now where there were books and scrapbooking tools.

Amber got Scott to help her rearrange the baby's room. They put up the crib {even though it will be months before the baby goes in there} and she arranged the new bedding she purchased around in it. There are packages of tiny little diapers on a shelf now with wet wipes nearby.

I had to put something in her car about a week ago when she was at the house and my breath caught as I noticed she had put the baby's car seat in the car. Good idea to get Hunter used to sharing his space before there's a living, breathing, kicking, crying little sister in their to taunt him.

In the baby's closet are hangers {not much bigger than I remember her putting doll clothes on not so long ago} with baby-sized real people clothes. When I was having babies, you had lots of yellow and green sleepers. Now you have to know what the sex of your baby is because you can't buy much that works for both.

Amber has even got the first page finished for the baby's scrapbook - the one with the ultrasound pictures on it. I watch her blog as it counts down the days with an animated graphic showing a rendering of how big the baby is and what body parts have formed to this point. It's like the big digital clocks that were all over the place counting down the time until the New Millennium, filling me with dread and excitement; worry and joyful anticipation; anxiety and gratitude.

Amber's as ready as she'll ever be. As I've been working on the quilt alone tonight, I have to wonder, while we're making all these anxious preparations for this baby's arrival, what preparations are being made for her departure?

Is there last minute training going on with ancestors and friends spewing out last minute words of wisdom as they remember what it was like for them down here? Like at the breakfast table on the first day of school and Nathan {going into 2nd Grade} is explaining to Joe {starting Kindergarten} how you play tag at recess. "Don't chase a girl with a coat on because you'll grab the coat and she'll wiggle out of it and then all you'll have is a coat." It was a very serious lesson he was presenting and Joe was intent on listening. I hope she's listening as intently.

I can't think there would be tears because everyone still sees and understands the whole process. I wonder if Great Grandma Goodsell is teaching her how to gently pat her mom on the shoulder as she cuddles there {she always maintained she was the reason Amber did that}. Or maybe friends are reminding her of commitments they've made to look out for each other and help each other when they all get down here. Have they created a system to help them recognize each other?

She's picked an awesome family to be a part of so I'm sure she's hanging on the edge of the clouds anxiously waiting, secretly hoping she might 'accidently' slip and get a headstart on the whole thing. Except there's no 'headstart' now. Maybe she's clinging a little bit tighter wondering if she's got what it takes to be Hunter's little sister. That's entirely possible.

When the doctor 'starts' Amber, will the angels take her baby by the hands and walk with her to 'start' our little one on her awesome, miraculous journey of discovery?

Anyway, I was just wondering if there's as much anticipation up there as there is down here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hubba, Hubba!

By the end of the night, I couldn't hide it any longer. Joseph was the one to catch me looking at this handsome hunk of a Man. First glance had me looking for more facial hair as I was sure somewhere in the family lineage, and still alive enough to be on the invitation address list, was a gentleman from the Amish Colony. However it was soon obvious he wasn't serious enough to be Amish, or any other -ish or -ite or -ese. But the Man had definitely caught my undivided eye. They say time doesn't change things, we change them and I'm not sure if that's true in this case or not as I'm not sure if the Man changed, I changed or time changed. The first time my undivided eye was captured by this Man, it was because of one of the coolest, braided belts I had ever seen. A Man that wears a belt like that, has to have good taste in all other aspects of his life, right??? {The answer to that is still under construction}

I think this time it was not only the lack of a belt, but the handsome suspenders that cried out to me for a second, longer look. Mustering up my courage, I approached the Man and said, "Wow, kind sir, I just have to tell you that because you pull the whole suspender look off so well, my fashion savvy (rightfully acquired from years of living with fashion Nazis) tells me you could hitch those pants up another couple of inches and totally get away with it!" {wink, wink} And, snapping this fine picture of a fine speciman of a Man {instead of his fine suspenders}, I flirtatiously smile at him. I continued covetously ogling the Man off and on {figure out how I could continually do something off and on and you get a star on your forehead}. Back in the day, I would have just found a copy of some program and wrote a silly limerick inviting him out on a date on the back of it, handed it to him and turned and bolted. With age comes  . . . something cool, I'm sure, but I'm having a senior moment and can't remember what it is  . . . but suffice it to say I didn't hand this Man any handwritten note this night. I was so hopelessly smitten with this hunk of a Man by the end of the night {and evidently he with me}, that when he made me an offer, I couldn't refuse. Some things time doesn't change, or sometimes things don't change or some changes don't come with time or something like that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Needed This!

I had a friend at work send this to me after I mentioned they don't make enough Max and Pretzel M&M's to medicate me this week. He suggested I tried mixing the two and see if my results were as good as Diet Coke and Mentos.


It would be fun, but I think it's a perfectly good waste of both of them with no internal benefit to me. But fun, just the same. Almost as good as the synchronized sprinklers at DisneyWorld!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Creed

Weekend camping report to come but in the meantime, I wanted to share this quote from Abraham Hicks. Although I've messed up and made a gazillion mistakes, the gist of what this quote is referring to has always been my deepest desire. I haven't always known how to achieve it, however, hence the gazillion mistakes. Oh, yeah, and I forgot the umpteen belly flops. From this point forward it will be more front and center as my creed and promise to my children and grandchildren. Be patient with me, though, I will always hiccup.

Child of mine, I will never do for you that which I know you can do for yourself. I will never rob you of an opportunity to show yourself your ability and talent. I will see you at all times as the capable, effective, powerful creator that you've come forth to be. And I will stand back as your most avid cheerleading section. But I will not do for you that which you have intended to do for yourself. Anything you need from me, ask. I'm always here to compliment or assist. I am here to encourage your growth, not to justify my experience through you.

P.S. I found that robin's egg out by ImaTree! I'm excited to see new life happening around her as I'm convinced it will create the much needed positive energy!