Monday, June 29, 2009

Food Discrimination

From 2009-06-27 001
I have decided, through personal experience, that there is discrimination against "larger" people in the food serving industry. Saturday when we went to the turkey dinner at the Manti Tabernacle, I experienced it, yet another time. As I waited anxiously in line for my plate of special marinated turkey breast with mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy and a roll, I watched the servers dolling out plentiful helpings. The two young girls (less than 12) ahead of me received slabs of turkey large enough to serve a family of four. Yes, this was my kind of "ward dinner" where you went away filled to the brim with good, home-style cooking. As I held out my place, I saw the server eye me, then reach into the crock pot and pull out a thin slice of delectable turkey and place it on my plate. It was almost as if I could hear the thoughts in her mind, "This man has obviously eaten too much in his lifetime. You don't have a gut like that without gluttony. I will help him out by limiting his food intake, even if just this one time. I know he heeds people to stop him from overeating himself to an early death." Now, I don't see myself as large as some other people may see me. In fact, I am really not that much overweight. I am just big boned (and it must be exceptionally large lower ribs that account for the extended abdomen). I do not, however, feel that it is the right of other people in positions of authority (like determining my portion size) to execute an act of discrimination and dole out a portion of food barely adequate for a 6 year old (well, a larger six year old). I enjoyed my four bites of turkey with my mashed potatoes (equally doled out to all with an icecream scoop - although my scoop was scraped and some weren't), green beans and gravy. All in all, it was a delicious meal and I didn't leave feeling like I had over eaten. After we made our way back to our seats, I soothed my hurt feelings over the food serving discrimination by eating a box of Little Debbie, fudge dipped granola bars (and yes, I did eat the entire box, and no Mr. Federal Trade Commission, I didn't receive any free boxes of granola bars for mentioning them in my blog).

Manti Pageant

From 2009-06-27 001

I was able to attend the Manti Pageant on Saturday. I like to go down for this pageant every few years. It is fun to visit the little town of Manti and watch the show. I always forget that it gets over so late at night that I don't arrive home until about 3:00 in the morning. Hence, I am still recovering from an early morning drive home on Sunday. Sherrie and Jonathan went down. Jordan had to work on Saturday evening and Sarah didn't get off work on Saturday in time to go down. Britney and two of her roommates met us down there. I had hoped to stop and visit my sister, Rachelle, and her family who live just north of Manti. They had a soccer tournament so we stopped at the Ephraim Walmart instead. Sherrie was able to stock up on some more fabric for her holiday quilts. We found a bike for Jonathan (I'm not sure it was exactly what he wanted, but with how things get stolen in Tooele - his previous bike - I thought it prudent to buy a cheaper one). I was able to take the front wheel off the bike and maneuver it into the Subaru (although this disrupted Jonathan's bed on the backseat). We arrived in Manti at about 4:00 pm so we visited the little craft fair they hold in conjunction with the pageant. Fortunately, we didn't find anything we couldn't live without. Next stop was the turkey dinner that is a tradition with the pageant.
From 2009-06-27 001
I found the address and decided it was within walking distance (didn't want to lose my very good parking space). It turned out to be within walking distance, but barely. We were so hot and tired by the time we arrived all I really wanted was cold water. The dinner started at 5:00 and we arrived at 4:55 so it wasn't much of a wait until we ate. After dinner we started the "long" walk back to the temple grounds. We arrived at the gate at 5:55 which they opened at 6:00. Jonathan commented that our timing was pretty good. Sherrie made her way in as they opened the gate and procured us good seats near the front.
From 2009-06-27 001
Then began the wait. The show didn't start until 9:30 pm. Jonathan and I decided to do a little exploring. We found the "buried" cabin exhibit.
From 2009-06-27 001
It had shade from a large tree so we stayed there for a while. Then we decided to go up the hill and see what we could see from the top. We made our way to the top, where we could see most of Manti and the two spires of the temple looming over the crest of the hill.
From 2009-06-27 001
It was hot so we opted to return back down to the shade. We found our way back to Sherrie. Jonathan laid down on the grass where it was cooler. Finally the heat got to us so we headed out again to the find the concessions area to get fresh squeezed lemonade. The hot day was good for the lemonade business. They were selling them as fast as they could make them, even at $5 a glass. It was good and cold and quenched the thirst. Somehow we managed to kill three and a half hours. Britney and her roommates arrived a few minutes before the show started.
From 2009-06-27 001
From 2009-06-27 001
The pageant was good. Afterwords my good parking space paid off. We were able to get to the car and on the road in just a few minutes. Going down to Manti we went through Rush Valley and over the mountains through Eureka. On the way back I decided to stay on I-15 through SLC and I-80 to Tooele to avoid any potential drunk or otherwise impaired drivers on the rural, two-lane highways. By the time we arrived home at 3:00 am I was more than ready to go so sleep.

Sunny Days are Here Again

Sunny days are here again
The rain is gone,
The clouds reigned in,
Oh, the flowers are blooming all around
Sunny days are here again.

That is about how I feel after weeks of rain. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. This is the healthiest my gardens have ever been in Utah. I have flowers that plants that are twice the size they were just last year (Miracle Grow every two weeks also helps - don't worry US Federal Trade Commission, I received no compensation from the makers of Miracle Grow to pitch their product. I am furthermore, making NO claims about the effectiveness of Miracle Grow to increase plant growth, bud formation, or flower/leaf size - so Big Brother, if you are reading this hopefully my disclaimers are adequate). Now back to my blogging - I should have Zucchini squash ready to harvest in a week or so, and I already have some good sized tomatoes on the vine. My beans look like they are going to bloom soon. So really all this rain has been good. We had our last big down pour over the weekend with a strong, short-lived thunder cell. I have a bucket on the back patio and it measured over an inch of rain from that one event (it's like living in Oklahoma).

I have all the plants and the water feature for the corner garden so all I need now is to bring in about 6 yards of top soil to build up the garden and side of the patio and I will have my backyard landscaping complete (well, maybe a few more projects like moving some sprinkler heads). I am dreading planting the bigger trees in the garden because I know that once I go down about 6 inches, I hit rocks embedded in clay. I will worry about that when I get there. So far I have managed to get everything in the ground and most of it seems to grow.

I was excited over the weekend to see the lilies starting to bloom. Two summers ago we bought all the lilies that Lowes had on their blowout rack for 50 cents a pot (originally $9 plants). Sherrie put them in large clusters in the ground. They are huge and absolutely covered in buds. They are opening to large intensely orange and pink flowers. The clematis which had made their was to near the top of the trellis over the past few weeks started a second blooming. I love the clematis because of the beautiful exotic flower that it has. It looks like it should grow in a humid rain forest, but thrives in my high elevation, desert backyard. My nasturiums also started to bloom. I remember growing these as a child because they were easy to start from seed. I put some seeds in a planter with a fern. They have a beautiful flower on them also. I couldn't speak about the beautiful flowers blooming without mentioning the dahlia that just started blooming Saturday. I will have to lift the dahlia tubers this fall because the flower on this particular one is quite stunning.

Well, enough about my gardens. I don't imagine that I will have to move soil this week as it is a holiday week for me. I guess I should finish this and do something productive.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Stair Project

Well, the Neverending Story of my stair project is apparently close to ending. I've made some progress as of late. I finished the finish. I finished the trim. I finished the paining. I just have a couple of spots to touch up and add one more baluster on the right hand side and IT IS DONE!!!!! I was so excited that I am almost done with this project that I started painting the basement family room. I had a little water damage from a garbage disposal that failed covertly. I decided to repaint the entire room just so that it would look nicer. I think I will also replace the light fixtures in it. It still has the old 40W fluorescent fixtures. I also bought a large twisted cherry tree for the back garden. I guess that means I will order soil this week so that I can get the plants in the backyard in the ground. I have to get these project done while I have the energy and motivation (well, at least the motivation - I think I have the energy until I start and the first time I bend over and stand back up again I think that I'm done for the day). But in spite of myself, I am finally getting some of these overdue projects completed. Yeah!!!

The Pioneer Trek

Sarah and Jonathan spent Wednesday through today on the Pioneer Trek. Somewhere near the Wyoming border they pulled handcarts about 30 miles across sage brush strewn wilderness. They slept in tents at night (other Stakes had to sleep under their handcart). They had good meals (other Stakes rationed food like the pioneers). They wore traditional pioneer garb (woohoo - Sarah loved it - I actually saw a young lady wearing her pioneer trek dress at Walmart after they all arrived home - a truly dedicated participant). They said it rained and then was really hot. They also said they had a really good time - it was alot of fun. I am so glad they were able to participate in this activity.

Father's Day

We did Father's Day a little early. I got a week ahead of myself and mentioned to Sherrie that Father's Day was Sunday (last Sunday). After church she has presents and cake for me. We didn't realize the error of our timing until Sarah went to work at Cal Ranch and told her co-worker that it was Father's Day. Well, she found out she was wrong, and we were wrong. The nice thing is that because we already celebrated it we don't have to worry about it tomorrow (at least for me).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jared Wednesday Update - 06/10/09

Here's a pic of me in the excavator at Bro Brownings work, It was a blast.

I got to ride the riding lawnmower.

Picture of the "PJ's" or the "Projects" It's the governmental housing that is everywhere down here.

We received Jared's Wednesday email while we were sitting in the Las Vegas airport. I was going to try and post his update last night, but I was just too tired.

Jared didn't get transferred which left me somewhat relieved. I always worry more after a transfer because, having served a mission, I know what it is like trying to get used to a new area and a new teaching pool, etc. I think that Jared will go on the next transfer, however.

Jared was able to participate in the confirmation for the baptism they had last week. "Sunday Wayne was confirmed. That was really neat. He was the only investigator to come to church. Everyone else had some type of excuse or something. We should have Kristen, Freda, Willy, Marlene, Wesley, John, and Larry at church this Sunday. That would be totally awesome if all of them showed up. I'm hoping for at least four."

I remember what that was like trying to get people to come to church and even after all their promises they still came up with excuses (oh, wait, that was when I was a Bishop...)

"Friday was first Friday again. It was really cool. They had a ton of old cars as well as the new 2010 Chevy Camaro; the car on Transformers. It was sweet."

I guess that even in a spiritually heightened state, men notice nice cars.

"We have a new investigator, her name is Marlene. She is an ordained minister/pastor/preacher lady for a church of God. She's way intense. We gave her a church tour on Saturday and she loved it. It was great. It lasted 2.5 hours. It was really long. I can see her getting baptized because she really wants to know the truth. She is praying about everything we tell her and she wants to meet with us every night. We taught her last night in Phil's home because she lives in the apartment directly above his. The lesson was really great. We watched the restoration and reviewed what we talked about in the church tour. We also read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. That makes an easy lesson."

"Last Thusday we played some more intense basketball. We had two black guys on are team and they are both super good. We won every single game. It was a lot of fun. I've improved with my basketball skills quite a bit. It's really fun now to play. I used to be horrible."

It will be interesting to see how he stands up to the neighborhood basketball group (which includes his brother, Jonathan who is becoming quite accomplished at basketball and getting rather tall also) when he comes home.

"Monday night we had a lesson with a media referral. Her name is Freda. She use to be a Jehovah's Witness so we had an interesting lesson. She still had some of their ideas in her head like how Jehovah is not Jesus Christ and is his father. We had to show her that Jehovah is Jesus Christ and that they are the same person. She actually agreed with us and said that what we were telling her made tons of sense. She wants us to come back and visit with her again. I think she is really willing to learn so we'll have to see what happens with her."

Jared continues to love Alabama and I enjoy reading his letters because they are always so positive. His companions are really blessed to be able to serve with him (of course, that is my entirely unbiased opinion).

Too Much Week

Wow, it really has been a week since I last posted. As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun. However, too much "fun" crammed into too short of a time is like eating too much candy and you end up with an upset stomach.

Sherrie and I were able to take a little vacation to Las Vegas (although I'm not sure Sherrie would ever consider a trip to Las Vegas a real vacation). She had a training seminar Monday through Wednesday, so we flew down on Sunday morning and returned Wednesday evening. She spent the days acquiring knowledge and I spent the days lying next to the pool and wandering aimlessly up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

Sunday morning we made our way off to the airport for a timely arrival in the long term parking. I had tried to talk on the children into driving us there, but it would have required to them to arise too early on their "day of rest." It was probably better in the end because I didn't have them getting lost trying to get out of the airport or forgetting to pick us up on Wednesday evening. Upon our arrival, I had to figure out how to get to the hotel. In past visits I have either had my own car or a rental. I found out that you have to pay for a shuttle ride over to the hotel. The city that use to offer all sorts of free amenities offers none now. The school superintendent and her husband followed us on to the shuttle along with several other teachers. We stayed at Caesar's Palace, but arrived before check-in time so we had to leave our bags at the bell desk and kill a couple of hours before we could check in. I was up late the night before fixing a leak under the kitchen sink so all I really wanted to do was take a nap. We decided to grab an early lunch and went to the brunch at the Flamingo Hotel across the street. It was surprisingly good (probably better than any other buffet we had the rest of the week - at least in my opinion).

We spent a little time looking at the flamingos and then it was time to check in (yeah!!!). I'm think to myself, here I am in Las Vegas and all I want to do it take a nap! We had a nice room with a view of the Las Vegas Strip (and the whole side of the Flamingo covered with the Donnie and Marie advertisement).

It was kind of eerie having superhuman sized Donnie and Marie staring at me for three days. Well, I did get my nap and slept for 4 hours. Neither of us felt like eating much after the huge brunch so we decided to stroll down the strip and look for a slurpee. We found a 7-11 (probably the scrappiest one I have ever been in) and had our slurpees while we people watched. It was early to bed because Sherrie had to be at her class at 6:30 am.

On Monday morning we got up early and made our way to the conference center. Caesar's Palace is huge and so I didn't want to get lost (never to be found amidst the ocean of slot machines). We easily found the location and I had a continental breakfast with Sherrie. I headed back to the room to plan the rest of my day. I took another stroll south on the strip to get some sunscreen at Walgreens. It was interesting walking the strip early in the morning. The maintenance people were out cleaning and spraying everything down. They were performing the daily maintenance on the Bellagio fountains and most of the people out and about were jogging or had small children. All-in-all there really isn't much to do on the Las Vegas Strip in the morning (it is definitely a nightlife town). The pool opened at 9:00 am so I found a nice lounge chair in the shade and proceeded to start on the book I borrowed from my Dad, Bones by Kellerman. It was a good crime novel. I made my way about half way through it before it became to hot to sit out by the pool anymore. I didn't want to eat any lunch because we were going to a buffet for dinner (after looking at my Las Vegas arrival pictures I'm thinkin' that I should have stayed away from the buffets the whole time I was there). Well, what's done is done. Sherrie finished up for the day and we decided to go to the buffet at Planet Hollywood. It was good and we ate a lot of crab legs and prime rib. We headed back to Caesar's Palace to find out that the pool closed at 6:00 pm (I guess they want you inside drinking and gambling rather than lounging outside when it is actually tolerable to be outside). We ended up sitting up in the room and looking out or window watching the traffic and lights on the strip.

On Tuesday morning we made our way up to the training session and had some more cream cheese danishes and cranapple juice. I decided to walk around so I sent north on the strip to see some of the sights. I ended up at the mall which had mainly high-end, expensive stores (i.e., Neiman Marcus and Abercrombie and Fitch). I went back to the hotel to hang out by the pool, but Sherrie had a free lunch time so we sat up in the room looking out over Las Vegas and talking. After lunch I finished my novel up in the room where it was cooler. After Sherrie class was out we went down by the pool for a little while, but it was starting to cool off and we didn't want to get wet before going to dinner. Tuesday evening we caught the shuttle over to the Rio for dinner at the seafood buffet (they have lobster on it). I had delicious sushi, ahi tuna, and a TON of lobster. It was soOOOOOOOO good. After dinner we took the shuttle back to Harrah's and walked over to see the Mirage Volcano blow and then to Treasure Island to watch the Siren's outdoor show. By the end of those two short, but entertaining, shows we were tired and headed to the hotel.

Wednesday morning I got everything packed up to go while Sherrie finished up the last of her class. We caught a shuttle at noon back over to the airport for our 4:30 flight back to SLC. I figured that I could have driven back to SLC faster than flying after all the time we spent waiting around. We had a Quizno's sandwich in the airport, which tasted really good after three days of buffets. I don't think that I will eat for a week. I actually came back with an upset stomach (too much rich food).

We arrived home at about 8:00 Wednesday evening to find the house still standing, the yard still alive and all the children accounted for and in good health. Fortunately, it rained the whole time we were gone so the yard suffered no damage. I'm not sure that would have been the case if it had been hot and dry. I spent Thursday trying to recoup from the "vacation." It would have been nice to have Thursday and Friday off work, but I didn't want to burn days for nothing. We will have several vacations to take before the end of the year. So, it was fun to have a little vacation with my wife. When I see her outside of our ordinary life, I realize how beautiful and vivacious she really is. I guess the doll drums of every day life do damper our spirits somewhat. That is why it is good to break out of it all on a somewhat regular basis. As for Las Vegas, about one day is enough for me. It you don't drink, gamble or participate in other illicit activities there isn't much to do. I relate it to a couple of Dr. Seuss books (and anybody who reads this blog knows that I relate a number of things in life to Dr. Seuss). First, from the Grinch - "All the noise, noise, noise noise." It just seems that when you are Vegas you cannot find any peace and quiet (I guess they do that so you will pay to go to one of their spas - the only place you can relax). The second is from my all time favorite, "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew" where the character is in the tunnel with all the birds trying to walk. That is what it felt like to me everytime I walked on the strip. It sure felt good to get home (even if the neighbor's chihuahuas bark).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Before the Wind

These are some pictures that I took before the killer winds arrived. It is dark now so I can't see how much damage really took place (maybe I use the term damage to loosely - it would only be to the gardens as there isn't any damage to the house or vehicles).

Candice Graduation Celebration

On Friday May 29, 2009 my oldest niece, Candice Gibby, graduated from Lehi High School in Lehi, Utah. I can't believe that I am so old that my brother younger than me (Ken) has children graduating from high school already. Candice's mother planned a BBQ to celebrate the event. The graduation was held early in the day so we were unable to attend. But we did make it down for the BBQ on Saturday night. It was fun to get together with the family and to congratulate Candice on this significant life achievement. She is planning on attending SUU where Jordan just finished up his first year.

Happy Birthday Britney

Britney came up to visit this weekend. She arrived tonight and we found out that it is her birthday TODAY! Sherrie knew her birthday was soon so she had planned to celebrate it with her. She ran to Coldstone and bought a cake and we had a small birthday party. I should be able to remember Britney's birthday now because it is the day before Sherrie and I's anniversary.

Wind, Wind, Wind

I thought I would sit out this evening and enjoy my patio and flowers. I feel that I deserve that after what feels like a long week. Mother Nature wasn't in tune with that plan and the wind has kicked up. Not just the nice breeze that you can sit outside and enjoy with an occasional gust, but strong continuous winds. The kind that blow over the patio furniture and tear up the gardens. I had a trollius that was just starting to bloom. They have such a magnificent flower for such an unpretentious looking plant. The wind just broke the flower stalk right off at the ground. I hope that it will try and bloom again.

For the first time I noticed a what appeared to be a goldfinch in my yard. It was a beautiful yellow color sitting on the bird feeder. I'm not sure of bird hierarchy, but the rest of the house finches were sitting on the fence watching it while it ate. I remember the goldfinches nesting in my Grandpa Taylor's boxelder tree. I love their coloring. There aren't many birds in the western United States that have such bright coloring. I hope that he comes back. I will certainly put out whatever type of food he wants.

Well, I hope by the time the wind ends I will still have some gardens. I guess this isn't the first time the wind has blown, and it certainly isn't ripping the roof off like it did a couple of years ago. Sounds like it will be a good evening to crash inside on the couch and watch a movie (or two). I am off the the Redbox to claim my movies and forget about the wind. Ta Ta for now.

This and That

Well, I finally finished Jared's weekly update on the blog and it is only Friday. This illness has really knocked the wind out of my sails. I don't know if it is the antibiotic I am on or the infection. I didn't get really good sleep last night because just as soon as I was in a deep sleep my phone started alarming - reminding me that my anniversary is on Saturday (thank you phone for waking me up at midnight to let me know that). It was supposed to remind me a day in advance (not that I was going to forget, but I thought I should take advantage of some of the features my phone offered. I just didn't know that a day in advance meant an alarm at midnight on the day before!

In spite of feeling ill, Sherrie and I went out and cleaned up the corner garden where the pond will be going in. We've had things staged there waiting to bring in some additional soil to build up the garden. Weeds had sprung up and started to overgrow the area. We pulled a large garbage bag full of weeds. I had to stop every 5 minutes or so and sit down because I would get so dizzy. We did eventually finish. And I have to say thank you to my beautiful wife for hauling the trash bags to the front yard and putting them in the garbage can. I just didn't have the strength to do it. I did get the Miracle-Gro fertilizer out and fed the front and back gardens.

I think that I am going to have to redo the sprinklers in my front garden. For the first time in three years I am getting water through the window well into the basement. I caulked the area around the window, but it didn't stop the water, so I think that it may be coming in through the window itself. I think that if I replace the spray head with a "drip" head and individual sprays throughout the garden I can avoid the window well. I thought a lot about it last night, but just didn't have the energy to tackle it. Maybe that it something that I can get done on Saturday.

After a while, all this annoying house maintenance projects get to me and I just have to get away. A few weeks ago we went up to the cabin (where I found more annoying maintenance projects). I am feeling the need for another road trip. Sherrie is taking me to Las Vegas this summer (ironic in that she does not like Las Vegas, but that is where her training seminar is being held - on the other hand, I enjoy Las Vegas). That will be a nice get away, but will it happen before the house and yard drive me absolutely nuts? I thought about going up to the cabin again, but it would be just the same thing - different building.

Tomorrow is my 22nd wedding anniversary. WOW - it is almost hard to believe that I have been married that long. A couple more years and I will have been married longer than I was single. We are going to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House with the kids to celebrate. I made reservations for noon on Saturday. Last weekend Sherrie was confused about the date and so Sarah set up her work schedule to not work last Saturday and to work this Saturday. She gets off work at noon, so we will just have to wait until she gets home and changes to run around the mountain to the open house. It is probably directly east of us through the Oquirrhs, but the road up and over the pass through Middle and Butterfield Canyons is slower than traveling around the north end of the range and into the Salt Lake Valley. Afterwords, I think that we will take everyone to lunch (Italian sounds good).

Last night we took Jordan to get his vaccinations. He went into the doctor's office earlier this week, but they wouldn't give them to him without his "shot record". The record of vaccinations is something that I hope President Obama's health care initiatives addresses. Why can't we have a computerized record of vaccinations that follows and individual anywhere they go????? We had to hunt up the xerox copy of the original hand written record that is almost 20 years old. Sherrie was successful in finding it (thank you!!) so we went down to the Tooele County Public Health offices where all vaccinations except Yellow Fever are offered (they are given once a week on Thursdays from 1-7 pm). I will be so glad when we have all this "busywork" done and Jordan is in Brazil.

I guess that just about empties my brain of all the nuisance material floating around in there. Now I just need to take a long nap.....

Jared Wednesday Update - 06/03/09

It is hard to believe that Jared is on the downside of his mission tenure. Only 11 months to go. I used to calculate out the exact number of days and percentage of time that he had been out. Now he will be home and even married before I know it. WAIT - I'm not old enough yet for all of this. Now that I've vented a bit. Jared continues to love the South. I don't know that we will be able to get him back west again permanently. Maybe living in Tennessee and Oklahoma as a young child made him into a southerner.
"Jonny Williams on the left and Wayne on the right." (I'm not sure which right he is referencing.)

"The most exciting news from this past week is the baptism of Wayne Williams. Everything went really well with the baptism service and he is preparing to receive the Holy Ghost this Sunday. Jonny Williams baptized him, his second cousin, and his grandfather is confirming him so that's wonderful. I played a pretty small part in the baptismal service, played the piano, said the closing prayer, and witnessed. He had a great day and the refreshments topped it off."

Jared has been traveling around with his assignment as a District Leader.

"Wednesday night I went down to Gardendale to do a baptismal interview. His name was Trenton and he is 9. His mother and him are getting baptized this Sunday. He is really excited and loves the gospel. He told me that he wants to go on a mission too. It's so fun giving baptismal interviews. I really enjoy getting to know them and hearing their pure testimonies. The best is when they pray. I love hearing non members pray. It's so sincere.

"Friday night I had to go to Trussville and give an interview for the zone leaders investigator. They don't have the AP's do it, instead they have one of the district leaders do it. Since Wayne had his interview in the afternoon they came up for it then Heywood and I went back down to their area together. It was fun."

Here are a couple pics of me playing ping pong. We played some intense games. I lost once to this guy who was pretty much professional.

"Saturday while we were going around trying to visit different people we stopped by Janice and her neighbors. They were playing ping pong outside on their homemade table so we decided we would join them and play along. We ended up playing quite a few games and had a blast. It was really fun. We're going to go back and play again and teach them too. I'm excited."

Finally, based on some covert info, Jared believes he might be transferred this next week. I would be sad to see him leave Gadsden. He has experienced a lot of success in this area and has a good teaching pool with a number of sincere investigators progressing through the lessons. However, he seems excited for another challenge. As for myself, I think that he will probably be transferred also and that is all I will say at this point.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jonathan's Butterfly

Jonathan, the next aspiring photographer in our family, grabbed my cell phone to capture some images of a butterfly that visited the flowers on our back patio. I believe this is a swallowtail, at least that is what we called it when I was young. It spent quite a bit of time trying out all the flowers around the patio.

It is that time of year that I love when I can go out and sit on my patio in the evenings. I guess that is why I'm not getting much else accomplished. I come home from work and sit on the patio. Eat dinner on the patio. After dinner I sit on the patio and talk wit Sherrie or the kids and enjoy the cool evening air. I have a hummingbird feeder and two seed feeders so we get to enjoy watching the birds come and go. Last night I had a strange intruder, a Chihuahua. He made he way through the fence into our yard (I'm not sure why - I'm not sure dogs have reasons for escaping from their yards except that they want to escape). I stood up and he realized I was bigger than he was so he skeedaddled back under the fence into his yard. I put a piece of wood over the hole. I guess I need to add fixing the fence to my "urgent" to do projects - otherwise I might find landmines in the yard or worse yet, flower beds dug up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It Was Flu and It Wasn't

My bout with the flu turned out to be only a partial bout. It seemed as if my flu lasted significantly longer than Sarah's. I started out a day after her with the same symptoms, but hers had resolved itself within a day. I remained feverish and sick for several more days. I finally relented and went into the physician on Monday afternoon. It turns out that I had prostatitis. It is an internal bacterial infection that the doctor said likely had nothing to do with the flu. It accounts for the majority of the symptoms that I have had. I now get to spend two weeks on antibiotics and another prescription. It does explain why I have continued to feel under the weather even after the "flu" symptoms subsided. I have to acknowledge my co-worker who thought that might be what I had an strongly encourage me to get into the doctor. On the upside, I should be feeling much better when I get to visit Las Vegas with Sherrie. I am thinking that I may have had a low grade infection and the flu virus synergized with it to allow it to go full blown. I haven't felt top of my game for a couple of months and didn't know what was affecting me. Hopefully now, I will get back to full health.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Sneaks In

Wow. Here it is the 2nd of June already! The kids are out of school today and Sherrie only has a day left. It seems just a few weeks ago I was shoveling snow off the sidewalk. Thinking about it, it was just a few weeks ago (well, maybe more than just a few). Somewhere in time flying past, I missed May. I don't have many recollections of May. I do remember celebrating Sherrie's birthday and a trip to Mom's house for Mother's Day. But other than that I don't remember much. I don't think I even made any progress of the stairs project during May. (That is how I gauge the progress of my life now - how much I accomplished on the stairs). Well, last night I made some minute progress. At the base of the newel posts there are pieces of oak molding. I cut and attached all six pieces!!!!! While that took me all of about 10 minutes, it is definitely progress; more progress than was accomplished in all the month of May. That fact that I can't remember the month of May sets me wondering. Was I abducted by aliens during May and they erased my memory so that I can't remember their space ship. Do we potentially have a carbon monoxide leak in the house that is potent enough to block brain memory function, but still not register on my CO meter/alarm. Maybe it is a food allergy - Oreo cookies must disrupt memory function on the days I ate them in May (which would be just about every day). Of course, it could just be stress - I certainly didn't have any stress during May....

Well, back to the stair project (when it is finished I truly don't know what I will blog about). I have decided to get it finished. Tonight I am going to go home and say, "to heck with my knees" and start puttying and sanding all the woodwork. That should allow me to start applying the finish over the course of the next few days. And then it will be done! I think after finishing the stairs I might start on the floor in the master bathroom. About 2 years ago I bought the travertine to redo the bathroom floor. It has been sitting in my garage taking up space (along with all the rest of the junk that we can't seem to get rid of....). That would be a significant update from the nasty carpet and GREEN linoleum (my temporary house for purposes of relocating quickly has become my permanent housing nightmare - okay now that I've vented I feel better). Like the stair project, I keep telling myself that once I finish all these upgrades (essesntially rebuilding the interior of my house), I will actually like it (the sad truth is I keep lying to myself and trying to convince myself that I'm not lying to myself - almost sounds like a split personality). I guess that both of my personalities are ready to sign off (it is time to sit and meditate on more ways that I can dump money into the "pit".)