Sunday, August 31, 2008

This and That for the Week

Sarah has a new friend who is a foreign exchange student from Japan (I believe her name is Ludi). He is a really nice young lady living with Sarah's good friend Kinzey's family. Sarah has had other friends from Japan (when we lived in Eugene) that she has stayed in close contact. To help her new friend feel more comfortable she found a movie (a scary one) that is Japanese with English subtitles. She watched that with Ludi (Sarah really likes the scary movies - just like her Dad).

Britney came up to visit us the weekend we took Jordan down to SUU (I believe that was two weeks ago). Since she has been coming to our house, Ruby has taken a liking to her (she is allergic to cats). She has been a really good sport (as seen in the picture). We enjoy having her come up and visit. She is always so positive and uplifting.

Sherrie had a bad night on Thursday night (lots of pain in the eye) so she decided to wear a patch. We think that she just stressed it out too much being at school. We call her Captain Sherrie. Saturday I went to Walmart and bought her a proper pirates patch (black) which can be seen in the picture with Jordan at SUU. It does help her eye. The doctor thought she should see significant improvement by Tuesday. Her eye is still red and swollen, though not as bad as it was. This has been a long, grueling process, dealing with this infection. I am so grateful that it will eventually have a happy outcome. I am so proud of the way Sherrie has persevered through this. Lack of sleep, pain and concern about losing your vision, while starting a new school year and still getting all your everyday mundane things accomplished. She is also the human alarm clock that goes off for each medication dose whether in a deep sleep or not...

Sarah got hold of my camera and decided to turn it on me. Looking at the picture you can see why I stay out of the pictures. I was just glad that I didn't crack the lens or something. There is a rule in photography that the non-photogenic should wield the camera and stay out of the pictures of the benefit of all. Some people were made to have their pictures taken and same were made to take the pictures. I am happy to stay in the later category. If you look at the picture above of my wife, you can tell that she belongs in the first category, looking beautiful even with an eye patch.

Stormy Weather

I got an early preview of the storms when we went to Cedar City yesterday. We came through some strong winds and heavy rains. I'm glad I wasn't going down there today with all the rain and flooding. We had heavy winds and rain in Tooele today. I can feel the cooler air and the rain smells so good. It should help out my gardens. It has calmed down now for a while. I am hoping we have nicer weather tomorrow so that I can get some yard work done. I need to edge the flow gardens and put down some mulch. I guess if the weather is too bad, we'll just have to go to a movie or something.

Holiday Weekend Excursion

We didn't make any big plans for the weekend because of Sherrie's eye and our complete exhaustion from lack of sleep. Friday night we went out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory off I-215 (it was a really good dinner). Saturday we decided to take Jordan's bike to him at SUU (an excuse to go see him - but he really did need his bike). We had planned originally to go on Monday, but with the impending bad weather and a lot of cabin fever we decided to go down on Saturday. We called Jordan to let him know of our change of plans. He was just heading off to go cliff jumping down by Hurricane, Utah (maybe we shouldn't have left him at SUU). He felt they would be back about the time we arrived so I proceeded to load up the bike, his Lacrosse gear, some posters, a jacket and the bike tools and supplies that I got him and we headed off. Jonathan and Sarah both decided against going (I can't understand why they wouldn't want to sit in the car for 7 hours). It was a nice drive down. We went the back route and tied into I-15 at Meadow. There wasn't much traffic and it was really nice weather. We made it down in 3 hours and 15 minutes (faster than the GPS said we would - have a GPS in the car is just like having someone challenge you to do something that they say you can't do). We arrived at Jordan's apartment about 15 minutes before he got home, so we introduced ourselves to Matt (his room mate) and moved his things into the apartment. Matt was watching a football game with a young lady so we decided to wait in the car (and make a quick trip to Walmart to get Sherrie a phone case). When we got back Jordan was riding some new kind of skateboard contraption (kind of like roller skates but with only two wheels under each foot - another way to break your neck). We went to dinner together at Applebys. The food and the service were really good. I had the all you can eat chicken fingers (and since (I hadn't eaten anything all day - I ate my money's worth). We looked for a Chinese Buffet, but found that Cedar City does not really have any good Chinese Restaurants (I guess college kids don't eat alot of chinese food). We had a really nice dinner with Jordan and then decided we needed to head back. It was after 7:00 and the GPS was telling me that I wouldn't get home until after 11:00. Because the storms were starting to blow in we decided to take the interstate all the way through SLC (so the GPS ended up being correct). We arrived home at about 11:15 pm (really tired). It was really nice to see Jordan. I was amazed at how clean his apartment and bedroom were. He said that he is me in his apartment. He is constantly cleaning off the countertops and washing the dishes. He had all his laundry done and put away. He even confessed that he mopped the floor with a rag on his hands and knees (wow - is the same child that we dropped off at SUU?). He had goals posted above his bed and in his bathroom. I am really impressed. He has been having a great time making friends and enjoying southern Utah. On Friday he went rock climbing and Saturday they went cliff jumping (into hopefully deep pools of water). I think there are definitely more outdoor recreational opportunities there than at BYU (we just hiked to the Y and up the Canyon). I was glad to see him so happy and enjoying school. He even went to Institute (get this) on his day he has no classes at 7:00 am (WOW WOW WOW). I have definitely been blessed with GREAT children.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Needed Long Weekend

It is really Friday today - yeah!!! After thinking yesterday was Friday for most of the day (what a let down when I realized it was only Thursday), I am glad that the real end of the weekend has finally arrived. Without being able to sleep during the day it is really hard to keep up with Sherrie's medication regiment. Last night she starting having extreme pain in the middle of the night. I think it is the sleep deprivation aggravating her condition. We did both get out of bed this morning, albeit late. My brain feels foggy - maybe I will straighten my office today and get caught up on my filing (that doesn't take too much brain power and would certainly make my office look better, and make me appear more efficient,...). I can smell the chlorine (when I can smell it in my office I don't go outside - even after more than 2 years I am still sensitive to the chlorine) and that should help wake me up. What are my big holiday weekend plans? SLEEP...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

112 Days - But Who's Counting (That's Over 15%)

(Jared in a hat somebody gave him), (Elders Gibby and Lee), (The Suit Burning Ritual - held at 2 years)

Another day, another week gone by (already), my how time flies when you're having fun or not sleeping. We received our Wednesday email today. Jared is doing great! He sent his previous companion home (after the ritual suit burning - things have changed somewhat since I went, we just gave some other elders our ties). He is now the senior companion with an elder who goes home in just a couple of months. He really wants this elder to have a baptism before he goes home (a noble goal which I hope they are blessed with). Elder Lee apparently hasn't had a baptism yet and if anybody can pull it off, it will be Jared. I really enjoy receiving his letters because they are infused with so much enthusiasm. It doesn't matter whether they've had a baptism, they're looking for a lost bicycle helmet, or they've been riding bikes in a downpour, he enjoys it all and relays it via his emails in an uplifting manner (thanks Jared). They are building their teaching pool but dealing with the plague of all missionaries, investigators who don't want to pursue any investigation outside of their own living room. The nice people who will talk to you tend to also be the ones who never to commit to anything (or commit to everything without ever following through). He is working hard and I know he will see success from it. I'm very proud of his achievements, his attitude and his commitment (now I have to get off and deal with my emotions - too many children leaving home and being successful without me).

What a Pretty Daughter!

Sarah brought home her school picture today. We had a fun time putting it in the frame and looking at all the previous years' pictures. She has really grown up, but is still the same sweet, young lady she's always been. It is hard to believe that I have an almost 17 year old daughter that is a Junior in High School and will be getting her driver's license shortly. Am I old, or what! I don't need to feel that old, I work with people younger than me who are already grandparents....ouch.

It is quiet with just two children living at home (not that quiet is bad). Sherrie is on the mend and it is supposed to be another cool night, so I will be able to sleep well for my 1 hour increments (I guess it is good that it is a holiday weekend).

What Day Is It?

After a week of sleeping in one hour increments I am feeling pretty foggy. Sitting here at my desk I couldn't figure out what day of the week it was. My brain kept telling me it was Friday (very wishful thinking). I finally determined that it was Wednesday, although I was fairly sure at one point that it must be Thursday. It was particularly rough last night because it finally cooled down and I went into a deep sleep for those short increments between medication cycles. It is all worth it, though, as the eye continues to heal. Last night it looked even better. The swelling is almost gone and it is more pink than red. I am so relieved that it is healing up without the prospect for long term problems. Only one more week of this sleeping regiment. Sherrie has another doctors appointment on Thursday (which I believe is tomorrow). I am hoping that he will scale back the every 2 hour medication to every 4 hours which would certainly help both Sherrie and I feel better. Last night after we got home from work we took the kids to Subway for dinner and then came home and we went to bed (yes, at 7:00). When we woke up at 9:00 for the eye drop Sherrie remembered that we needed to pick up another prescription at the pharmacy (which closes at 10:00), so I rushed out the door . I've been to the pharmacy so often in the last week that even in drive through the pharmacist asked how Sherrie was doing (there are nice things about living in a small town). I then had trouble getting back to sleep so I read until the 10:00 medication. I feel like I could go to sleep sitting here in my office chair. Well, I had better wake up and get to work ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bad Friday - Good Monday

After a stressful weekend we received encouraging news this morning at Sherrie's daily doctor visit. There was significant improvement with the virus effectively eradicated and the cornea beginning to heal. On Friday it looked fairly bleak with the viral dendrites covering the entire cornea causing swelling and significant pain (the picture provided shows a dendrite on the cornea - in Sherrie's case these lesions completely covered the cornea). On Sunday, the pain and swelling subsided somewhat. The doctor also told us that after the Thursday visit he was worried that she would lose her eye. Even the pharmacist asked how she was doing this morning when I went in to get another prescription filled. All the waking up every 1-2 hrs to put in the medications paid off. I will never look at an eye infection the same way. We have to keep up the medicating regiment for another week to ensure the infection does come back, but that's okay because we know her eye is going to be okay in the end. She's off the daily doctor visit and doesn't have to go back in until Thursday. We are fortunate to have such a competent Ophthalmologist in Tooele. (Information on Ocular Herpes Simplex)

I can't think of much else that happened since last time I blogged. I did some laundry (which still needs to be folded - at least its washed!). I changed out the light fixture in Jonathan's bedroom (we bought the new one about a year ago - he's been so patient that I thought I ought to get it done - now I just have to get his bedroom painted - hopefully before he graduates from high school).

The heat has taken a toll on my gardens. In spite of regular watering, the flowers all look like they've seen better days. My color bowls don't have any color at the moment. I am hoping that as the weather cools down for pre-fall (of course with global warming as serious as it is, who knows whether we will ever have winter again) that the flowers will perk up and give it one last burst of color before they're frozen to death. As much as I love my gardens, I am looking forward to winter and 5 months with minimal outdoor maintenance.

Well, this is my life today. I am off to unload a Suburban full of teaching supplies and then to bed to resume the medication cycle. Ta Ta .....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some Tough Days

I haven't had the chance to blog much for the last few days. Sherrie's been going through a difficult and scary illness. On Sunday she noticed that her eye was bothering her. On Monday is started to swell and looked red. She went into the family doctor on Monday night and was diagnosed with pink eye. By Tuesday evening her eye was looking much worse. I called and spoke with the doctor and he thought it was an allergic reaction to the medication. He referred her to an ophthalmologist for Wednesday morning. She was diagnosed with an acute viral infection of the cornea. It is basically like have cold sores on her cornea. By Wednesday she was in such pain that we had to call the doctor and get a pain medication called in. She had to go in to the doctor again this morning. Her eye was worse. The doctor said that is was the worst viral infection that he had ever seen. The doctors said it was probably her first case of this particular virus and like an adult getting the chickenpox she is having a severe reaction to the virus. It has been really scary because if the infection isn't brought under control soon enough it can cause blindness (it moves into the retina). This morning the cornea was essentially covered with viral sores, but it hadn't moved into the interior of the eye. This night it looks like it is somewhat better. It has been a really grueling experience worrying about the infection and having to administer medicines just about every hour around the clock. Sherrie has held up remarkably well. I can't imagine how scary it would be worry about losing your vision in an eye and then having to deal with the extreme pain on top of it. Of course this had to happen in conjunction with school starting and Jordan heading to school. Fortunately, Sherrie doesn't have students for several more days. The doctor said if the additional antiviral medication he gave her today works she should be ready to go back to work by Monday. I will be glad just to get back onto a regular sleep schedule.

On a more uplifting note, Jordan is loving school (of course classes haven't started yet). He is adapting to college life really well. His Bishop gave him some squash from his garden, so Jordan cooked it up and served it with pasta to his roommates. They are going to enjoy having a gourmet cook in the apartment. (We miss having Jordan's gourmet capabilities at home). He is having a good time and meeting lots of other student's, although he says he's not very good at remembering names. He was asked to design the Homecoming t-shirt for one of the campus sororities. He's also been jamming with several musicians that he's met there. I had to order him a wireless router because the apartments have internet, but not wireless. He received it today, so he was happy that he finally had access to the internet (life without Youtube and Facebook for several days is extremely hard). The only thing he is wanting now is his bike. So we may have to make another trip down to Cedar City to take him the bike. It has been really quiet around without Jordan here.

Jonathan and Sarah started school. Jonathan actually started yesterday at the Junior High. He has been going there for a year for band so it wasn't a big shock for him. He is excited for school to start and came right home and finished his math homework before he went outside to play. He is in Algebra with mostly 8th graders. He really likes his classes and was really excited that they sell churros in the cafeteria for only 25 cents (a nice, healthy lunch item - deep fried, extruded dough coated in sugar). Sarah started school, but I didn't hear much about it. She brought home a foreign exchange student (from Japan) after school and then went to her friend's house (life with a 16 year old daughter).

Well, it is time to go to bed and start the hourly sleep cycle. It didn't work too bad last night, but I did notice that I didn't have much energy today.

Jared's Fun P-Day

We received Jared's Wednesday letter and pictures. He is really have a good time and loves his mission. The couple they live with took them and some other missionaries to the NASA space center in Huntsville. He said it was kind of like Lagoon without the rides, although it did have rides. He rode a g-force simulator which apparently made him sick. He rode the takeoff and re-entry ride (missionaries get to do more on p-day than they did 25 years ago when I was out - ours was primarily letter writing and laundry day).

His companion finished up and went home last week. Jared is going to miss him, they got along very well. He is being made Senior companion (congratulations to him - only three months out). He is also getting a very difficult companion apparently. Just like I predicted (Eric commented that he was given difficult companions, and I had my share of difficult comps). It doesn't really seem fair that when you get along with people they give you the difficult ones. I am sure that Jared will do okay. He is having some interesting experiences in the Bible Belt. He had a big Bible bash with a guy that actually read the Book of Mormon with the intent to prove the missionaries wrong. After a while they realized that they were wasting their time and left. I am interested now to see how things go with this new companion.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back on the Van

Today I did what I had promised myself to do in order to conserve gasoline, reduce pollution and global warming, and most importantly, save money - I made my way to the pickup point and rode the van to work. I had forgotten how uncomfortable it is with 11 big people in one van really designed for 10 at most. It's been several months since I was on the van so I ended up with the worst seat on the van (there is a seating seniority system - technically I have seniority because I have paid for a seat longer than most on the van, but I didn't actually occupy the seat - so go figure). We drove to Grantsville where the van driver pulled into the Quickie Mart and one of the riders got out and went inside. I figured he must have gotten sick and needed to use a restroom. About 5 minutes later he comes out with his breakfast (I've never experienced that before). Needless to say, I was little put out that all of us had to sit in the van for an extra 5 minutes so that one person could pick up some breakfast (I thought everybody was expected to eat before the van arrived or carry it with them). I think that tomorrow I will ask the driver to go through the McDonalds drive through so that I can get a hot breakfast. In just fifteen minutes I get to relive the experience, although this time I get to the van before the hourly guys so I will have a better seat going home (why did gas prices have to go so high!!!!) I have never liked public transportation and yet it seems that I have been cursed to ride it a good portion of my career (Thiokol, Hanford, INEEL and now USM). I wonder if I could ride a scooter all the way out here? If I could, I wonder what my life expectancy would be? What I really need is a job where I work from home (I've heard the ads on the radio) and then I wouldn't have to worry about commuting ever (may I could sell Xango - does anybody out there want to buy Xango from me?????)

Jordan's Last Hours at Home

I got ahead of myself and blogged about Jordan arriving at school before I blogged about the final hours. Well, I guess I probably didn't have much to say about the final hours as he spent most of them with his friends (can't say I wouldn't have done the same). While he was out saying all his goodbyes I cleaned his room (well, an initial cleaning to find all of his clothes and electronics that he would need to take with him) and washed all his clothes (that should get me off the bad dad list). On Friday night we all went to dinner at Casa Del Rey (in Grantsville) and then we had to get back home so that Jordan could go down and watch his friend open his mission call. He was really excited to see him open it (his friend was called to Los Angeles Spanish Speaking, I think he is somewhat nervous as this tends to be the scarier parts of LA). He spent some time with his friend Ben, who is going to USU in Logan. On Saturday we worked on packing the car. I was the only one convinced that we could get everything in the Subaru - but I was right and we did (except for the TV which Jordan's roommate come over and picked up). I don't think Sherrie was completely sold on the rooftop carrier. But it worked quite well.

I realized as we were packing things and getting ready for Jordan to go that I was going to miss all that guitar commotion. He is always doing something new on the guitar or with the guitar sounds through his looping pedal and other electronic gizmos. I am sure that he will dazzle the people in his apartment complex. I've felt melancholy most of the day - I actually feel like I could just go to sleep for several days. It is most likely the let down after taking Jordan to school. I know he is going to have the time of his life and he will also do well in school. The classes he is taking are things that he loves and when he loves something he isn't afraid to spend a lot of time doing it and doing it right. I do feel a difference with him being at SUU as opposed to BYU. When Jared was at the Y, I also felt like we could just run down there if we needed to. Cedar City is little bit more of a trip. I did find myself, however, sitting here thinking about going down there and hiking this weekend. I was thinking that I could drive down there, pick up Jordan and go hiking in Bryce's Canyon. I'm sure he'd appreciate that (his first weekend at school). I just have to get used to having a life with less interaction with my children (but I'm not going to let myself feel old). So long for now....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jordan Goes to SUU

Well, the day finally arrived (not soon enough for Jordan) that he left for college. I was somewhat surprised that we had to wake him up this morning. I thought he would have been up and ready to leave by about 6:00 am, but we finally headed out about 10:30. It was a pleasant drive south. We went the back route to Meadow, Utah where we intersected I-15. It was about a 3 1/2 hour drive. About 15 minutes before we arrived we found out that Jordan didn't know the address for the apartment complex. He got hold of Britney and she looked it up on the internet which was fortunate for us because I would have been looking in the entirely wrong part of Cedar City for the apartment complex.

We found the complex and met the Elder's Quorum President and Counselor while Jordan was checking in at the office. They were going around having the new students fill out a form to give to the Bishop. It looks like it will be a really good ward. They had a fireside tonight, so the EQP took Jordan over to it to introduce him to more of the students in the ward. We talked to him afterwards and he had a really good time. One of his room mates is supposed to arrive tonight. One who was already living in the apartment was in New York, so we didn't get to meet him. We got Jordan all moved into his room. I was surprised that everything he brought down fit in his room. It is a nice apartment setup where each room had a bathroom and shower. Jordan was really excited to be moving into his own apartment. We loaded him up with groceries and then said our goodbyes and headed back to Tooele. We made it home about 8:30 pm. It was a long day which was both exciting and sad for us. It is different realizing that we are down to 2 children at home now. At least with cell phones we can call them all the time (unless they are on a mission and don't have a cell phone).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bad Dad Award

While trying to earn the good spouse award, I ended up with the Bad Dad Gold Medal. I had a meeting in Salt Lake this afternoon, so I had Jordan ride the vanpool home from work. After my meeting I went to meet Sherrie at the school to help her get her room arranged. I forgot that I was supposed to pick up Jordan. He had to walk the 2 miles home in the heat (feeling like white trash). The really sad thing is that I didn't even notice that I had forgotten him until he called me when he got home. He wasn't very happy (No, stop do not hop on pop). I apologized and took him out to his favorite overpriced chinese restaurant for dinner.

I really wanted to title this Blog, "Oh What a Beautiful Evening". It is so nice and cool with a slight breeze out here on the patio while I watch the beautiful colors of the sunset. I have the perfect view of the sunsets from my patio. You can hear the sprinklers running and kids playing. There are a few stars starting to shine through the twilight. Now that I have become poetic, my computer has decided to run out of battery power. I had better post this before I "lose my work". It really is a beautiful evening.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mid Week Mid Month

Today started out well. I woke up just before my alarm feeling really good. About two hours into the day all of a sudden I felt like I could just go to sleep and I've felt that way the rest of the day. I'm sitting here now watching the Olympics (true couch potato posture). Every time I watch the Olympics I realize how out of shape I am and sit here and commit that I am going to get back in shape. Well, after how many Olympics I am more out of shape than ever (not very good at following through on commitments to myself). I actually did make good headway at getting physically fit in Eugene. But over the summer I think I've lost all the gains I ever made. I've taken the opportunity to drive with Jordan to and from work everyday. It has been a neat opportunity to spend time together and talk. It is hard to believe that tomorrow is his second to last day. It will be strange getting back on the vanpool. He has done a great job and made me proud. They are really going to miss him. I talked with HR and let them know that he is interested in working over Christmas break. They are interested in having him work (he refers to that as his scooter money).

With Sherrie getting ready to go back to teaching, Sarah and Jonathan back to school and Jordan off to college, I've felt a little overwhelmed and haven't gotten much done. I got my laundry room cabinets installed. I bought all the trim, but have yet to go in and trim them out. For the last several days, I've just come home from work and sat down on the couch - too tired to do anything. I did finally go out and water my flowers tonight. I think they may feel a little neglected. I have to admit that I am looking forward to fall/winter so that I don't have to worry about the yard (and just to get away from the heat).

Sarah went to Lagoon today with her friend. I haven't seen her all day. I will probably be in bed before she gets home. Jordan took off to hang out with his friends before he goes to school. His friend, Kent, just go back from the American Idol tryouts in Kansas (or somewhere in the midwest). Jonathan is sick with a head cold (his all night video game sleepover is getting back at him). Britney is coming up tomorrow night. I think she is going with Sarah and Jonathan to Lagoon on Friday. There is just so much happening all the time. I feel the need for life to slowdown a little.

We got a letter (email) from Jared today. He is going well and loves his area. He has some people that he is teaching now. He just has trouble getting them to come to church (they can't call them investigators until they come to church now). He is losing his companion in a few days. He has really enjoyed with this elder. Today he was going to the NASA Center in Huntsville. I'm sure that was a fun outing. The Hann's went to Nauvoo on vacation and brought sourvenirs back for the Elders. They are really too good to the Elders (but I'm not going to complain).

I can feel myself shutting down. Maybe tomorrow I'll start on my quest to get back into shape ..;.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's All Genetic - Or Is It?

I try to blame everything bad on genetics and everything good on parenting skills. This is an interesting article that should make parents feel less guilty (or more guilty) depending on the genetic makeup of your children (which you won't know anyway) ...

But I Did Everything Right!

Monday, August 11, 2008

One Down - Four to Go

Here it is Monday afternoon (actually evening, well, almost bedtime). Jordan finished up he fifth to last day. He is training his replacement. It is a younger lady and it takes her about three times as long to do everything. He doesn't think his manager is very happy about the replacement (HR brings people in and makes the assignments). I keep looking at all the stuff Jordan is taking down and trying to figure out how it will all fit in the Subaru. I remember when I went to college for the first time I had my suit cases (two of them) and a typewriter. That was about it. When I went back after my mission, Ken and I put all of our stuff in a tiny Honda civic. When we brought Jared back from BYU we filled up the back of the Suburban.

We're sitting here watching the Olympics again tonight. I am watching mainly because I am too tired to do anything else. I wonder if I have a virus because I feel like I am burning up and have a headache. I really just wanted to stay home in bed today. Well, the Olympics may be worth watching now because they've switched to gymnastics. Earlier we had to watch synchronized diving (it drives me crazy how after the dives they just talk about how big the splash was). Watching the poor guy competing in floor exercise - he performs a very difficult routine and then steps out of bounds at the end (which again is all they talk about). I guess I don't have enough of the competitive spirit.

We received a letter from Jared today. He sounds like he is doing great, although he is frustrated that they can't get their investigators to come to church. His companion leaves in a few days. He has really enjoyed this comp. I hope he gets another good companion. A companion can really make your time great or miserable.

It is getting late, so I guess I should go out and get the flowers watered before I go to bed. It has been so hot that even a day without water and they suffer. I don't know why this has felt like such a hot summer (it must be global warming - or at least Regional Southwest Warming). Well, all this heat is good for my company. We like hot, dry summers because that makes good brine for magnesium production (go sun).

I've waited too long to water the flowers. Phelps is going for his ninth career gold right now (200 m freestyle). Of course, before the race they have to do a life story spot. This is my criticism of the Olympics every time, there are too many life stories and not enough of the actual competitions broadcast. We'll see how he does (Lane 6). I guess I could go to Yahoo news and find out if he wins, but I think I will watch the race to see. He is ahead of his world record and almost a full body length ahead of all the rest of the swimmers. Phelps did it - he set a new world record and won another gold medal. He broke the world record by almost a second (it must be these new suits they wear). Enough of my sports broadcasting. Time to water the flowers and go to bed....

Weekend Over in a Flash

Wow, I haven't blogged since last Thursday. This is what happens when I start into my home fixup projects - everything else goes by the wayside. Happily, I can report that I have made progress on the laundry room. I have the new cabinets in (although I ended up buying them rather than making them - it was more cost effective). They look nice and will match what we have in the rest of the house.

For Jordan's last family activity before heading off to Cedar City, we took a hike up to Timp Cave. We had talked about doing this since last summer - so we finally did it. Last time we attempted this, Jordan was working and Sarah and Sherrie got sick part way up so we ended going home without reaching the top. This time we persevered, inspite of the thunderstorms, and made it all the way (once I've paid for a ticket I'm not giving up). The hike was really quite pleasant as the overcast nature of the day made it somewhat cooler. I had a hard time keeping up with Sherrie. She's like a machine (or the Energizer Bunny) when she gets on the trail. Jonathan and I worked our way up the trail a little slower (Jonathan stays with me to watch out for me). Sherrie didn't want to go into the cave (still having claustrophobic flashbacks from a submarine that we toured in Oklahoma). While we toured through the cave, Sherrie made her way back down the trail and arrived at the based just before a large thundercell let loose with a downpour. By the time we came back out of the cave, the rain clouds had passed and it was sunny out. It was fun going through the cave. This was my third time. I went once during the summer of 2006 while we were in the process of moving to Utah. I remember going as a child (but cannot recall how old I was). The kids really enjoyed it. Jordan was able to get a lot of good pictures. We had a great time. Sherrie was down at the bottom to greet us when we made it back down. Jordan made it much faster than I did. On my way down I passed through one of the redline zone (rock fall zone) and a small rockslide occurred right after I passed through (startled me). It was small rocks and wouldn't have been life threatening, but most likely would have caused a headache.

After the hike we were all hungry so we left Jordan pick where he wanted to eat. He chose Red Robin so we went and had gourmet burgers. I ate too many fries (they have great fries and it's all you can eat - so I try to eat all I can - have to get my money's worth). It was really a good meal. It's still hard to believe that in less than a week we will be taking Jordan down to college. I surely can't be old enough to have two children in college (or at least that age). I saw pictures of Eric and Natalie with their new little girl and it seems like forever since my children were that size (much easier and more manageable). Well, like Sherrie keeps reminding me, we are closer to grandchildren now (I hope my grandchildren like to hike). The house will seem much quieter without Jordan. He always has somebody over and they are playing the guitar, watching movies or playing video games. A couple of his friends are waiting for their mission calls (might be this Wednesday) and several are heading off to college. He is fortunate that he will be rooming with a couple of friends from Tooele High School. Is the summer really almost over? I guess the good portion where the kids are out of school and we can do things. I'm sure the heat will continue for a while more!

On the positive side, it will be nice to have a routine again. We will be getting Sherrie moved into her new classroom this week. I am excited for her. She will be teaching at a good school with a good principal. She'll be able to focus on education and not so much on behavior with her students. She'll also be starting on her fourth graduate class (that is hard to believe that she has already completed three classes - or five if you count her to BYU classes she took to get her certificate renewed).

Well, much lunch break is over and I'd better get back on the clock....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Final Week Count Down

I am starting to feel emotional about Jordan leaving home (well, I have to admit that I've gotten emotional whenever I've thought about my children leaving home ever since they were born). But now the reality is here and we are into the final week. I've really enjoyed riding to and from work with him. He's really made me proud at work with his great work ethic and commitment to working hard to pay for his college education. We ordered his books today, so now all we have to do is load up the car and drive him down to Cedar City a week from Sunday (I'm going to get so teary eyed that I won't be able to see the computer screen). I sit out here in the dark and type on the laptop, which isn't too bad except when I need a special character, a number or the delete key (which it seems I need all the time because I can't find my reading glasses, so I seem to make a good number of typos).

Sherrie has been working feverishly on her beautiful quilt. Now I'm realizing that I need to get the rest of the work completed on the master bedroom so that it will be ready for the new bed spread. We are going to use the colors in the quilt to decorate the room.I decided not to work on my cabinets tonight. I was tired from not sleeping well last night and needed to spend some time on the yard. I completed a prototype panel door, but found I need an additional tool to make the door rails (a cope sled). I can't buy one at the local home depot (I think it is probably a specialty item that I would have to mail order - a good excuse to take a vacation from the cabinet job). I actually found some oak cabinets (unfinished) at a store in Salt Lake, and they are cheaper to buy than what it will cost me to make all my cabinets (it would get the project done a lot faster also). Well, I'm sure that anybody who trudges through this blog tires of hearing me blabber on about house fixup projects. I guess that is what I have done for so many years that I really don't know what else to do (I guess I could blame it on my parents since we were always working on our house when I was growing up - a good blame).

It is really a beautiful night out tonight. It is cooler than it has been. I thought we were going to get a thunder storm, but the clouds blew over and it is now quiet and calm. I was excited to see my clematis bloom (it now has two blossoms on it and more buds on the way). This is the first time that I have been successful at growing a clematis. From what I've read, they like lots of sun and cool roots (how do they grow in the wild). I planted them in with the Wisteria and then put rocks around the base of them to cover the soil over the roots. They must like it because they have really been growing.The gardens are looking good. I cut back my watering after I received a water bill that was larger than my car insurance bill (we noticed that the lawn also felt like a sponge). The summer flowers are in full bloom and we have a number of volunteer Rudbeckia (black eyed susans) that are spectacular. Our neighbor gave us one flower that is now finally blooming and it has a beautiful yellow blossom (I don't know what it is). I have volunteer watermelon plants that are taking over the garden spot (it is my Survivor garden this year - too many big plants in too little of a space - but it is pretty green and looks like I have a vegetable garden).

well, I guess I reached the limit for the number of pictures I can put in one blog entry. It ignores my requests to add a picture (if you are reading this you probably felt like uttering Halleluia - no more flower pictures to glaze over). I guess I see myself as an aspiring nature photographer. Actually, I like taking pictures with my camera and in our little house and little yard this isn't much to take pictures of except the flowers. I obviously need to go somewhere (on another hike) so that I can take some interesting pictures. The trail I wanted to hike is still on fire (I may not get to hike it this year now - well, I'm probably too fat to anyway). I need to get back on the Wii Fit. I was doing great until the weekend, with all the company coming and going. It left me so tired that I am still trying to recover. Last night I was working out on the driveway (my makeshift workshop) and I stood up and passed out without falling down. I started stumbling forward (I don't know how I didn't fall) and then everything went black and when I came to a very short while later, I was standing on the grass and didn't know where I was or what was going on (my memory came back quickly), but my neighbor must have been wondering what was happening (we are old people in the neighborhood, so he probably initially thought I was having a stroke). Time to get back on the treadmill and off the Little Debbi's so that I can cut back on the medication.

Tomorrow we get to start watching the Olympics. I will probably watch the opening ceremony eventhough I feel like protesting because they are being held in China. I am getting old and radical. I heard a review on the radio that said the opening ceremony was supposed to be excellent, so I will cave on my core principles and watch it. Jordan went with his friends up the canyon to have a bonfire and roast marshmallows. This will probably be their last time to do that this summer. One is getting ready to leave on a mission. One is heading to USU and Jordan is heading south (I'm not sure who else will be there). Jordan's other friend also put in his mission papers and is waiting for his mission call. They just don't seem old enough to be leaving on missions (I guess because they are a year behind Jared and he just left - actually it has been three months 1/8 complete). I don't think Jordan has decided what he thinks about serving a mission. He is excited to go to school and I know that he is going to do well. He is really excited about his classes (with the possible exception of Geology which has a 760 page textbook). Sherrie is also gearing up to start her next class. The current class hasn't officially ended yet (she finished about 3 weeks ago and received a perfect score), but we have already ordered her books and she wants to get the quilt finished so that she can focus on the class. I don't know how she does it all. She will be teaching full time and taking classes and running a family. I am going to make sure that she takes time for herself and keeps up the quilting and over activities that she enjoys that give her some rest and relaxation.

Well, here it is again, fifteen minutes past my bedtime. It is Friday tomorrow and my boss is on vacation. But Jordan's boss isn't on vacation so we still have to get there on time (which means 20 minutes early). I don't have any big plans for the weekend, so maybe I can get caught up on some of my sleep. So as Lawrence Welk used to say, Adios, Au Revoir, Alviderzane - Good night.

So I Think They Can Dance

We watched the season finale for what has probably become my favorite show on TV, So You Think You Can Dance. They had the four finalist dance last night to determine the winner. I thought they all deserved to win - they were all exceptional dancers. I enjoyed the show tonight because they had the couples perform a number of the dance routines that were performed during the course of the competition. It was sad each time they eliminated one of the top four. Joshua ended up as the competition winner. He came across as a very nice young man and was almost an unbelievable dancer (with very little formal training). I thought that it was in keeping with his character that in his final words after winning (and I paraphrase) he thanked God for helping and inspiring him. This will now give me a several week reprieve from TV (except for the occasional late night episodes of Seinfeld and The Simpsons).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

P-Day Update

I received a nice, long email from Jared today (actually he writes to his mother with comments for the rest of us - what a good son). He is doing great. He loves his area, although they don't have anyone in their teaching pool. He spent a couple of very hot days walking around while they tried to find his companions helmet (no riding without the helmet). Wouldn't it have been faster to go to Walmart and buy a new helmet? He really likes his companion and will be sad to lose him as he is finished and ready to go home. They family he lives with treats him very well. They left the Elders housesitting while they traveled to Nauvoo (is it wise to leave a real house with two 19-21 year old boys?). I sure hope it is clean and everything is in working order when they return. When the Hann's get back they are going to take the elders up to the NASA center. Jared is really excited about that.

I got all my tools out this afternoon with every intention to complete the cabinets for the laundry room. Well, I finished one paneled door. It is the first one I have every tried. It is a good thing I did a prototype so that I could learn how to do it. The first thing I need to do is get a speed control for the router. At high speed, it just chips the heck out of the hardwood. I also need to get some door clamps. I though I had some, but they are "frame clamps" and require an opening in the middle of the frame for the tightening mechanism (didn't work with the paneled doors). Maybe this weekend I will get them done. It is such a bother to have to drag all the tools out onto the driveway and then put everything back away. I really need to get my garage cleaned out so that I can set up a shop inside of it. (But that isn't going to happen as long as I have a wife teaching school and children in college....) If I was like the rest of Tooele, I would just build a badly designed wood shed in the middle of my back yard and put my tools in it! And then let the weeds grow up all around it so that I couldn't get to it. But I would never really go in it after I built it.... Ahhhh, the idiosyncrasies of Tooele). Today I ran into an old (well, he's older than I am) co-worker from Idaho. He is the environmental guy for BYU (next step environmental guy for church HQ, and then environmental angel for heaven), he asked about living in Tooele (he's in Spanish Fork, how much better can that be). I told him that we really liked it. It replied that it was probably a nice place to live, but that it got too hot there (another person who must think Tooele is on the Nevada border). I told him that we usually had the same weather as Salt Lake (he didn't realize that we were that close - only 300 miles out and 30 miles back).

Well, it is late, I am tired and I am beginning to ramble rather than blog (I'm still not sure what the difference would be). Enjoy the pictures of Jared's mission.

Until next time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How Time Flies

How time flies when you're having fun (it seems to fly even faster when you're not - you just don't see the end). After getting the master bedroom closet in order (we can actually fit everything in the closet now - yeahhhh), I have embarked on the laundry room. This is the project that I have been dreading since we bought the house. It was never finished properly. There was a piece of scrap carpeting on the floor (full of mold) and two cabinets hung on the wall (only after we heard a large crashing sound one night did we realize that the cabinets were secured only to the sheetrock). I've built two cabinets and have two more to build (just the boxes - I still need to do the doors, but I will have to find my router in the garage before I do that). Anyway, I am going to build the boxes and get them hung so that I can do the tile floor. I've dreaded this primarily because I have to take the washer and dryer out of commission for a couple of days while I do the tiling (yikes!!). Last night while I was wandering around home depot looking for the right lumber for the cabinets I found the oak stair treads. I just about bought those so that I could work on the entry stairs and hallway (I've already bought the wood for the hallway). I had to contain myself and commit to finishing the laundry room and master bathrooms before I start tearing up the stairs and hallway. When we were first married, we rented a house and neighbors next door were "fixing up" their house. They had about 30 projects going at one time (none of which were even close to being finished). They eventually sold the house (with all the unfinished projects) and bought a home with everything done. I swore at that time, that would never be me....

Jordan was asked to stay over again tonight at work. He is just about the most reliable employee they have in the warehouse. I really don't know what they are going to do when he leaves in a week and a half. He likes the extra hours, because that is more money for school (we like that too).

I am excited for tomorrow (we live for Wednesday). That is the day we get our email from Jared (they usually contain more than the letter received normally on Friday). It is exciting to see him serving a mission and experience things with him through his letters. It brings back a lot of memories from when I was serving a mission (although his is a lot cushier).

Tonight was a nice night in Tooele. It was cool with a slight breeze. We stood out on the driveway and talked with our neighbors (everybody talked while I assembled cabinets boxes). It was really nice. I will be glad to get all the projects done on the house so that I can just enjoy being outside in the evening without worrying about what needs to be done. Sherrie took our neighbor, Carol, to lunch today for her birthday. She had a really good time. I guess we are starting to mesh with the neighborhood. (Next thing you know, we'll be buying a big 4x4 truck and letting our backyard revert back to weeds.) Really, our cul-de-sac is an oasis in an otherwise (I don't know how to say it without being mean).... neighborhood.

Jonathan had a friend stay over last night. They wanted to stay up and play video games when I went to bed. This morning when Jordan and I got up to leave for work, they were still playing video games. I asked them if they had gone to bed (you guessed it "NO"). Jonathan has spent the rest of the day sleeping. Well, speaking of bed, it is that time again, all too soon (I feel like all I do is sleep and go to work).

Hasta Manana

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yihaaa - Tooele County Fair

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Tooele County Fair (it's free). I have to admit that I could tell the fuel prices and general economy have taken their toll on even the country fair. There wasn't much there this year. We watched the 4-H animal auctions. It is fun to see these little kids wrestle that lamb out into the arena and then hold it there in show posture while the bidding takes place. Some of those kids were about half the size of their animals. We walked through the stock pens and you just tell that the pigs just wanted to go home. They would look up at you while they were laying there with this look in their eyes that communicated, “Are we there yet?” We thought we would try some fair food, but couldn’t find any. The trusty Waterless Cookware salesman was there “with financing”. So if you can’t afford your water bill, buy some cookware that doesn’t need water at only 6.8%. The highlight of the excursion was the petting pavilion. Jordan spent time taking artistic pictures of the horse’s nose. I admired the exotic chickens and Sherrie always loves the bunnies. I think Jonathan went just so we wouldn’t feel bad.

After an hour in the excessive heat (whine whine whine), we headed back home. Sherrie decided we needed some groceries and I decided we needed a functional closet in our bedroom, so we each embarked on our selected task. She finished before I did. I worked past my limit (my back tells me when to quit and I didn’t), so that we would be able to go to bed (I had to take all the clothes and other assorted items from the closet so that I could retrofit it). We ended up with a closet with a lot more space for hanging clothes. We now have four full-length rods and two short rods. I think it turned out nice, even if I say so myself. Now I just have to go through my clothes and get rid of all the out of style and sizes that will never fit me again clothes. I feel like it is taking me forever to get the project on this house completed. Sometimes I would compare it to walking through knee-deep mud trying to get a project completed. I guess I will move on to the laundry room next (I would like to have a month off work to get all my project done and then I could get rid of the anxiety associated with all the yet-top-be-completed house maintenance and livability activities.)

Jordan is counting down his last days at home. We take him to Cedar City two weeks from today. I hope he has a place to stay. I keep asking him if he has made arrangements to move into his apartment early (I called to find out if they could) – as of yesterday he hadn’t. They are going to miss him at US Magnesium. His boss told me he is worth his weight in gold (that would make him worth about $2.1 million). He has really been a good employee out there.

Well, I am being summoned for lunch so I had better report for duty. We have the Farnsworth kids coming in a few hours and we need to get things ready. So I am signing off until next time ........

Friday, August 1, 2008

Run Air Conditioner Run

I sit out here in the lessening heat and darkening sky listening to the endless drone of the air conditioner and the barking of dogs. I would have expected it to be cooler by now (the heat has become a common theme in my mostly whiny blogs as of late), but I sit here with sweat running down my face. I dread seeing my electric bill. My water bill came in today - I guess I shouldn't water my lawn so much... It almost doubled from last month. If the electric meter were on the back patio it could probably double as a fan (no more complaining because the house is COOL).Jonathan mowed the lawn for me this afternoon. I was going to mow it and decided that the heat was too much for me. He was nice to do it for me and did such a nice job. He mowed it on the angle and then didn't want me to walk on it and mess it up (such a perfectionist).

I didn't get the back lawn mowed, but that can wait until tomorrow (it's all about image here - keep the front of the house looking good, sounds kind of like rotting bones in whitewashed crypts - watch the attitude). I really am grateful that I have a finished backyard (except for the pond and a few yards of top soil). It is so relaxing being able to come out here in the evenings and relax and to barbeque meals. It really has become my favorite room in the house.

This is really a droning blog. I guess it is a reflection of my basically uneventful life. The older I get the less eventful I want it to be. I did get the mirror on the car fixed and remounted. I still need to order the mirror glass to finish it. Sherrie reminded me of that three times tonight while we were driving in the car to pick Jonathan up from the swimming pool. I checked the local parts places and it is special order, so I am going to just order it off the internet because it is cheaper that way.
It is getting to that time of the night when I can't see the keyboard anymore and I start making alot of mistakes (and I can't find the delete key to fix them). I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow. I am thinking that I will redo the inside of our master bedroom closet. It has been a problem for us since we moved into the house. It is by far the smallest closet we have ever had. It should be a project that I can accomplish in a day (I hope - provided there aren't any other disruptions). I think we are also going to go to the Tooele County Fair. It is a fun little fair (and its free!!!) We go over there and check out the 4-H stuff and the chickens and rabbits. They have fair food, but we don't usually eat it because it is so high in fat (like my Little Debbie snack cakes aren't - anybody could look at me and tell I don't any high fat food). Well, Sherrie keeps me from eating it. I tried to get her to go to dinner there tonight, but she wouldn't give in and we ate at Bajio (a salad). I didn't do my Wii exercises tonight because we thought we had company coming. So we finally called to find out what time they would be here and they aren't coming until Sunday night (a slight miscommunication). Sunday night works better for us anyway.

Sarah went to Lagoon today with Britney and her friends from BYU. She got to try out being a college coed. She is excited to go to college (that is about how I felt my Junior year).

Well, it is time to sign off and spend some time with my beautiful wife. She sits out here and taunts me about being on the computer on such a lovely evening (although I am still sweating). We are going to go to the Quickie Mart and get a squishie and then come back and sit on the porch some more. We have to enjoy these beautiful nights while we have them, and I don't have to go to work tomorrow. So Good Night.

World on Fire - FRYDAY

I woke up to a glowing orange mountain and a large smoke plume this morning. It was a sad sight to see because it is the mountain I love to hike. I am hoping that most of the burn will be off the trail, but they had closed the campgrounds up South Willow Canyon.
We hiked it earlier this summer and it was such a nice getaway from the hot dry valley. On the positive side, the burning rejuvenates life and in a couple of years it will be a wonderful wildflower hike. It has been so hot that all I really want to do is sit in the house where it is cool.