Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We have a visitor........

Her name is Pandora.  She has come with many many boxes.  I hope she leaves soon!

Monday, December 28, 2009

What can I do with a week

Eleven and a half years ago I started working at Mike Brown Electric Co.  I love my job and all the people there!  They are my second family in many ways.  In those 11 1/2 years the only time I've not been there is when we have been on the road seeing the family.  This week at MBE we are closed.  My first thought when I found out we were closing this week was to plan a trip.  But then I thought of all the "projects" that never happen on the weekends.........so I'm home for a week!  I've got a list longer than Santa's.  I'm excited to see just how much I can get done; I'm easily distracted mainly by the computer but I'm going to be strong, okay it is Monday and I'm hoping to be strong!  Wish me luck..............I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Excuse Me, I Have a Question......

This has become a catch phrase in our family.  About four years ago I had the opportunity to stay with Richard and Stacy's five kids (and one friend of Mitchell's) while they went to Mexico for a week. So that was six kids, one dog, and one cat. I knew I would need re-enforcements so I asked Ashley if she would come along and be my helper inasmuch as it had been a few (just a few) years since ......... since I had lived with that much energy.  So while we were there we took the kids to the beach........this was in the days before Garmins and yes we got a bit turned around, aka lost.  So there we were at a red light wondering which way to go and Ashley rolls down the window and ever so politely says to the car next to us, "excuse me, I have a question?"  The question being which way to the beach.  The driver looked at us and shook his head in a "I don't know fashion".........the light changed and off he sped leaving us still a bit turned around.  Next time Ashley ask someone from California.........the guy was from out of state.......or at least his plates were!

I love that memory and even more I love that to this day when a question needs to be asked we still say, "Excuse me, I have a question?"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sometimes we see eye to eye.....

Sometimes we don't.....

And sometimes we just have to walk away.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Go Green

I love what happens just days after the first rains!  It's like the hills have just been waiting to get that first drink so they too can go green.  It happens every year.

And then this little trooper; the California Poppy.  Popping up in the most unlikely place and thriving! Talk about bloomin' where you are planted!  I love it!

Hey this is my 100th post; sounds habit forming.

Monday, November 9, 2009


1.   I saw an idea;
2.   I loved it;
3.   Sold it to Mr. Man in a round about way;
4.   I saw another idea which greatly improved first idea;
5.   I was given more ideas to add to the idea;
6.   Now where to put the idea;
7.   Conflicted on how to make the idea happen;
8.   The first idea was simple but change orders have changed all that;
9.   Now I'm overwhelmed with the idea;
10. Alas, I'm losing sleep over the idea!

This is the hardest part - I see something, I want to own it/do it, but something always seems to happen between the beginning and the end.  I like simple but I can't seem to do simple.  It is the change orders - they mess me up every time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today I’ve been thinking about labels; the adjective kind not the sticker kind. I don’t know why these thoughts came to me today but they just did. So what about labels? The world is full of them. Rich, poor, loser, winner, conservative, happy, good, bad, ugly, beautiful, sweet, smart, cranky, lazy, energetic, positive, negative, liberal, funny, dull, you get the idea. It seems for every “good” label there is usually an opposite label that is not so flattering.

One label in particular that crossed my mind is the idea of being perfect. Being perfect is certainly a lofty goal but for most of us perfection is not something we will attain in this life. Perfection is something we can and should strive for and work toward. But regrettably our humanness can get in the way. I think about the words in the Primary Song, “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.” The words, “I’m trying to be like Jesus; I’m following in his way. I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say. At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice, but I try to listen as the still small voice whispers, “love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught.”

I read once, “You can’t always be perfect, but you can have a life that’s about being something.”

The life of Christ is my perfect example. But there are others who motivate me to want have perfection in my life and that is my grandchildren. They are perfect to me. And because of them I strive toward that perfect label.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How do you know

It is so hard to know what is good to eat anymore.  Good for you I should say!  I know what is good to eat!  I don't have a problem with that.  I know that I can no longer eat candy after nine; no hiding candy bars to snack on in bed!  I watched an episode of Bonnie Hunt the other day and she had on Author David Zinczenko, he wrote the book"Eat This Not That" scary..........this isn't a diet it is just knowledge of what is good/ok to eat and what we should avoid!  Take this quiz.........you might be surprised and what you learn Eat This Not That Quiz.  I think I just might need to check out this book..........

Friday, November 6, 2009


So today, well not today but 38 years old today my mother was painting the eves of the new home our parents had built and we were going to be moving into in December. A ladder was being used that's important to remember.  Thirty-eight years ago November 6th was actually on a Saturday.  The next day, November 7th my brother was born.  Did you catch that......painting up on a ladder one day had a baby the next!  Wow, who does that..........our mother - she was a trooper! 

So an interesting fact about my brother's birthday; he was born on our grandmother's birthday. He was mom's last baby.  Our grandmother's last baby also a boy was born on her mother's birthday. Did I say that right? 
Happy Birthday Bro!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Habit

A habit is by definition an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary; like the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street. So how long does it take to form a habit? I've read that simple repetitive tasks require a timeframe of approximately 21 days to condition. I've also read around 30-40 repetitions for most people. So I've been thinking about this idea of forming a habit, having just come off a month (31 days) of 31 for 21. I should be right on the brink of a habit that is formed. But last year after 31 for 21 the forming of a habit didn't take. I blogged 5 times in November, skipped December, twice in January, once in February; not much of a habit there. This year I hope to do better, that is my desire. But then again a habit by definition can be defined as something you wear........I could be in trouble!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Carpool Lanes

The carpool lane is a new way to make the freeway operate better. The lane is provided by allowing high-occupancy vehicles their own lane during peak commuter hours; in our area between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and in the afternoon from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It doesn't take much to be considered high-occupancy; in our case just two people! We fit the bill perfectly. It is interesting to me that not only are signs posted regarding the qualifications to be in said lane but also the fine attached to it if you are there and don't have that extra person with you.  Currently that fine is $281.00; not sure what they are going to do with that extra dollar but apparently the state has some use for it.  Maybe they should post the fine for speeding; would that make people slow down?

Now that the time has changed our commute takes place both coming and going in the dark. As we are "buzzin'" by we see a lot of red lights!  Sometimes it can be a little un-nerving because we are moving and the other two lanes are just crawling along.  It is crazy to think that all they need is just one more person in their car and then they too could enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anatomy of a Near Miss

Driving in the left-hand lane on Hwy 101 near King City, CA
Pickup truck rapidly approaching in our lane
Quickly move to the right-hand lane and slow down
Pickup truck passes
Pickup truck then cuts in front of us and drives onto the shoulder
Rocks and dirt are flying
Pickup truck driver (PTD) wakes up
Pickup truck shoots back across both lanes to median (PTD still waking up)
Pickup truck takes a wild ride down the median
"Hold on," I shout………"hold on"; it was like watching a PBR event
PTD gains control and avoids rolling over
PTD gets back on the highway
PTD takes the next off ramp
We let out a collective sigh of relief
We collect our thoughts and thank the angels who were riding with us and the PTD

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween Memories!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Delightfully Special

These two Delightfully Special Grandchildren, "The Boy" and "Little Miss" are what bring me to 31 for 21.  It is hard for me to put into words the blessing they are in our family.  The Boy and Little Miss are brother and sister.  The Boy will be six in January and Little Miss was one in July.  The journey of the last almost six years has definitely brought a new perspective to my life.  I love the poem by Emily Perl Kingsley entitled Welcome to Holland

I have to admit there was a time in my younger life that the thought of "Holland" was a little scary.  But now I've come to realize that there is no place I'd rather be.  Holland is full of surprises, of happy smiles, of wonderful hugs and gentle kisses.  Holland never stops loving.  Holland is a giver.  Holland is all that is right with the world. I can't imagine life without the experiences of Holland.  Holland has been my teacher and I know that in the coming years Holland will teach me so much more and for that I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sleeping Among Strangers

Tuesday I had jury duty which ranks right up there with going to the dentist for a root canal or so I’m told. I’ve never had a root canal. Anyway, I was told to appear at 1:30. Appear makes it sound like there is some sort of magic in this process; believe me there was no magic in this experience. So I arrive, I mean appear on the 4th floor via the one operating elevator which is the size of a small closet; the stairs are not an option because of security or some such story. Once seated roll is taken and we watch a wonderful action filled movie after which we are told that actually our services are needed in another courtroom but it is busy at the moment so please just wait here until it clears out. Waiting, waiting, waiting. At 3:00 we are given an opportunity to take a break. A break, a break from what, oh right a break from waiting. But we are reminded that there is only one operating elevator and we must return by 3:15. Ninety-five percent of the room empties out; apparently there were a lot of smokers in this perspective jury pool. At this point I’ve run out the battery on my phone; texting and playing games. So there is nothing left to do but to close my eyes and take a snooze. After my 15 minute siesta we are told we can now move into the other courtroom where upon we are given a speech by the judge about our wonderful judicial system and told the case settled and we were free to go. Go, down the only operating elevator, really? I’ll risk the stairs I say to myself although warned I won’t make it out of the building without riding the elevator. A few flights later and I was outside………..free at last.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Amazing Babies

My amazing babies Grankiddos! How fun are they!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Amazing Boys

My amazing boys men!  How fun are they!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I love what smiling does to my heart.  In our ward there is a young girl who for me has one of the best smiles I know.  She has a smile that lights up a room.  I don't know if I've ever seen her without a smile.  When I think of her I smile too!  Here are some more smiles that make me smile; I hope they make you smile too!

I'm missing some smiles; if you have extra send them my way!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Amazing Girls

My amazing girls women! How fun are they!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Flipside of Yesterday

The best part about the “hard part” is I know that Utah, Kansas and both New Mexico’s are where they are suppose to be. I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be too. I know that Utah, Kansas and both New Mexico’s are who they are because of where they are and that is a good thing to me. I know that our visits are more memorable and not taken for granted.  I know that I have the best kids and the better than best grandkids who set a great example for me and that makes the “hard part” the best part!

Oh and by the way "Cherry Baby" arrived tonight at 5:15 p.m. We arrived at the hospital at 5:45 p.m. Love those miracles.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Hardest Part

My friend has spent the day in the hospital with her daughter in anxious anticipation of the birth of her daughter’s first baby, a little girl. I’m so happy for them and that they are able to share in this most special event. They have been equally as gracious in answering my “text messages” and phone calls keeping me in the loop.

As excited as I am for them for me sometimes this is the hardest part.  I can't think about the 770 miles it is to Utah, the 1,164 to New Mexico, the 1,761 to Kansas or the 1,112 to a second New Mexico location.  I can't think about the fact that I can't just drop by on the way home from work or do all those other things people get to do when their children (and the eleven grandchildren which I should have had first) still live near by.  Because when I do I cry the biggest tears and get a big fat headache.  It is the hardest part but one I won't dwell on today or ever..........it ain't worth the headache and it hurts too much!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Thinking

Sometimes it is hard for me to come up with a "topic" each day.  I'm driven this month by 31 for 21.  My life seems pretty basic, almost mundane.  Up around 5 or 6 on the road an hour later (I wish I could get ready faster but I can't) (I know it's the showers but it is physically impossible for me to take a shorter shower) anyway I'm at work until 4 sometimes 5 and back home usually an hour and a half later.  Usually in the late afternoon my mind starts to think about what I want to accomplish when we get home.  Unfortunately once over the hill anything I've thought about doing has in most cases been completely erased from my hard drive (my brain).  The evening will usually consist of dinner and the cleanup, laundry (Val does most of it; he likes laundry and I'm grateful for that), some email catch up, dog time, too much tv and reading just before the lights go out.  I'm not even sure if mundane is the best description.......more like humdrum!  I think tonight I'm blogging too late because this blog is putting me to sleep.  Maybe that's what I need more sleep. 

Note to self: More sleep, start blog earlier in the day, write down what needs to be done in the evening before hard drive is erased while driving over the hill.  Is it tomorrow yet??

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Favorite Thing

The question today on The Pioneer Woman that had to be answered for the give-away was “Food-wise, what is your number one weakness?”  And the answer for me is ICE CREAM!  I just love ice cream.  But the real reason I love ice cream is that it is always lovely dished up for me by Mr. Man.  I'll say can I have a treat and he says, "what kind do you want?"  I love that man and our funny little tradition.

Monday, October 19, 2009

You're closer than you've ever been

Whenever we travelled with the kids a common question was, "how close are we?" My reply was, "we are closer than we've ever been!" This seemed to satisfy all involved. Today I spoke to my good friend Lynette who currently has a permanent grin on her face; you see next week her boys return home from serving their missions. One has been in Chile and one has been in Portugal.   Two years ago this day seemed like an eternity away; today it seems like they have only been gone six months!  But today I reminded her that she was closer than she has ever been to seeing her boys again.........and the smiling continues.

Hey and get this I bought milk today and the expiration date is November 3rd - Now that is close!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

She's a Star

Last night on Dogs 101 on Animal Planet one of the dogs showcased was the Korthals Griffon; aka Wirehaired-Pointing Griffons. How fun to see Dottie's "kind" on television. The secrets out on this fun loving dog.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday is a Special Day

It's the day we get ready for Sunday or it's the day we catch up on all we had planned to do during the week and didn't quite get there. This Saturday is much like that. It was a day to sleep in; mission accomplished! It was a day to have yummy buttermilk pancakes and even yummier buttermilk syrup; mission accomplished! It was a day to finish up some painting on the front of the house; mission accomplished! It was a day to work on a Relief Society project; mission started! It was a day to go see Rascal Flatts; heading out shortly!

Saturday is a special day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Drive

We do a lot of driving.......... a lot! Recently on the drive to work I commented to Val that it was funny to me that there was time when the worst thing you would ever see a person do while driving was pick their nose........it was like their actions were invisible to the world! Those are habits of yester-year! Today the things we see people do while driving is quite remarkable to me. Why just the other day I observed a women reading a book, while driving. Another women was curling her eye lashes, while driving. In both cases we were on the freeway. Of course talking on the phone, although now illegal in the State of California is still being done; you are invisible when inside your car don't you know. I don't know about you but it is just weird to me that we can no longer just drive and enjoy the scenery!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Dot

Life with a puppy has its ups and downs. And life with Dottie is no different. She is almost 7 months which in and of itself doesn’t seem possible. Yesterday was not a shining day by any stretch of the imagination – two accidents in the house. She has been so easy to housetrain that we don’t even think about reminding her to go outside anymore but yesterday was a definite lapse. Thankfully today has been a better day. But who couldn’t love a face like that; good day or bad!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Crazy Mind

One of the things I’m responsible for at work is obtaining the plans and specs. for upcoming jobs. This responsibility requires me to always be working days and weeks and sometimes months ahead of the actual date on the calendar. I have to get these plans and specs in as early as I possibly can to give the estimators enough time to properly bid them. Because of this I’m always looking ahead and working beyond today; it just puts time in a different prospective for me. Today is only October 14th but I’m basically done with October and already looking for and obtaining plans for November. If someone were to ask me what is happening today or tomorrow I usually don’t have a clue because those days happened weeks before in my mind. Thank goodness for my Outlook reminders.

One thing for sure it does tend to shorten the distance between point “A” and “B” for me. For example, on the actually calendar it is 6 weeks until Thanksgiving. I'm currently working on projects that are just a week or two before Thanksgiving and on one project that is after Thanksgiving! Yikes, that means Christmas is knocking on my door; can’t think about that today.

Another way I judge time is by the expiration date on milk. It goes like this. If I went to the store today and bought a gallon of milk and let’s say the expiration date is October 26th that tells me that when the milk is gone, which with only one milk drinker basically it will last until the expiration date, there will only be five days until Halloween. So in my mind it means I have 5 days to get the candy! I know crazy but that’s just how my mind works.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Things I Can't Change and Things I Can.....

There are some things in life we just can't change; which sometimes is the hardest part of living. Learning to live with that fact can at times be overwhelming. The simple act of letting go can be hardest thing. The phrase, "let go and let God" is a comfort and the words of encouragement I need to accept those things I can't change.

For instance, I know I can't change the weather. So I choose to enjoy each season, although I definitely enjoy some seasons more than others. I know I can't change the traffic. We are in plenty of traffic each day, although myself mostly as a passenger which is okay because (and I mean this sincerely) I do love the ride. Getting upset over heavy traffic is a waste of energy and is the only valid excuse I know for being late! See even traffic has goodness. I know I can't change the distance between Utah, New Mexico, or Kansas. If I could rearrange a few states or remove them altogether (sorry Nevada) that distance would be much shorter but alas I can't. But I can take every opportunity I get to visit those States or have those States visit me and am blessed when this happens. I know I can't change the fact that both my parents are now living on the other side of the veil. But I have felt their spirit with me many times since their passing and I do know that a time will come when we will be reunited. They are at peace and I am at peace in their passing. I know I can't change others to my way of thinking and that can be a frustration to me at times but that's not reality or even realistic or even something that I should really want to be. Differences are what makes the world go round; differences are what makes life interesting. Differences keep us on our toes. Differences make me think harder.

So what can I change? ME; plain and simple. I know I can change me and for that I'm most grateful. I know that each new day is a blessing and an opportunity to be a better me. And that to me is the most important thing I can change.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Words I Love and Why

There are some words that I just go for and here is why:

Obedience: It just makes life easier
Hope: It floats
Thankful: I am in all things
Prayers: Things happen when you do
Blessed: I have been..........repeatedly
Grandbabies: I can't live without them
Really: It's versatile - It's a question, it's a statement - Really
Attitude: Add it up and you get 100% - I like that
Different: I like being different - it just works for me
Thursday: It's like "Christmas Eve" every week
Work: I'm bless with it and by it
Dogs: They love me unconditionally
Laughter: I can't go a day without it

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just Me

I wish I could have become me sooner. I realize that the experiences I have had thus far in my life have made me be who I am today. But in looking back some of those experiences had to be repeated because I didn't learn the lesson the first time; I know shocking. But I have been blessed by my experiences as we know we will be; although I just didn't realize the magnitude of those blessings at the time. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knew at some point I would "get it" and He kept giving me opportunities to get it right which in turn would help me become who I am today. I'm happy with the skin I'm in and welcome all of life's experiences that I might be blessed with.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

After the Party

I love planning and preparing for parties. And today's party was no exception. It was grand fun.

Yummy food, great friends and fun times.

A lot of work yes but worth every minute. Plus at the end of the day I have a clean house and a good reason to take five on purpose!

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's the Ride

Every workday our commute consists of two one hour’ish “rides.” Sometimes I refer to it as our “six-tens” (that’s six ten-minute commutes) or our “four-fifteens”; you get the idea. Sometimes our“ride” is even longer than an hour; I call that a bonus! Most people’s reaction to our “ride” is, “oh I could never do that!” I guess it is all how you look at it. We look at it as a blessing. Blessed that we have jobs to go to, blessed that we have a home to go to but mostly blessed because we have uninterrupted time to share. It is a time for us to talk about our day, talk about what’s on our mind, talk about future plans or just about anything that comes to mind; no interruptions! Our commute together is a blessing and one that is not lost on me. This day and everyday I give thanks for “the ride!”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Waking Thought

So the moment I woke up this morning the very first thought that came to me was “hot water.” I love hot water and I love even more standing in it. And now that we have a tankless water heater I am able to stand in it even longer. Actually, I could stand it in forever if I wanted to since it never runs out; not sure if that is a good thing or not! Now that the weather is moving toward the cooler side I tend to linger even longer; hard to step out into the cool morning air at least that is my winter excuse. While standing in it I do my morning thinking. It washes off my yesterday and prepares me for today. There is just something about stepping out of the shower each morning with a new resolve to make today a better day than the day before. To be more organized, to be more prepared, to be more thoughtful, to be more better!! And all thanks to “hot water!” It just does things for me and for that I’m grateful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Walk......

In my mind I want to be a walker; well in some part of my mind I want to be a walker. That part knows how good it would be for me on so many levels. Mr. Man has started to walk again. The weather has hit what he calls "delightful" for me it leans toward a bit on the chilly side. But either way there is always something more pressing on my time; really if I didn't have to sleep and eat there would be plenty of time for walking.........riiiiiiight! Dottie and Belle are his current walking partners. For Belle it is the highlight of her day. Once he has his walking shoes on she is bouncing at the door like Tigger on a pogo stick just waiting for the moment when she is invited to run out the door. Dottie, also known as our resident "muppet" is just happy to have another chance to be in the great outdoors even if water isn't involved she is always ready to go, go, go! Now you might be wondering where is Lola in all this excitement. She is not so much about the walk. She too must have "things to do." The minute she sees Mr. Man in his walking shoes she disappears. Well, she thinks she disappears, she quietly steps out the sliding glass door opening and sits on the deck thinking she is invisable.
Oh, Lola if only we didn't have to sleep and eat there would be plenty of time for walking..........riiiiiiight!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Always There............

Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Sometimes words just don't seem enough. Sometimes we just have to jump in with both feet. Today Mr. Man as he has so many times before steps up to the plate to help me around the house as I prepare for "the shower" and in the process becomes my sous chef, my floor cleaner, my laundry folder, my duster, my everything.

Mr. Man, he's always there for me.............he's my man!