Monday, May 31, 2010

The Flower Rounds

Each Memorial Day Weekend we make what has come to be known as the "flower rounds." We generally go on Sunday after church because the crowds are smaller thus giving us more time to reflect at each stop. It is a great tradition for us and yesterday was no exception. It was especially meaningful as a second generation joined us on our travels. We love this opportunity to remember and honor those who have been an important part of our earthly life but who have left this life for a greater one. We miss them but are greater for having been touched by them.
Brotherly Love
Grandfather and Granddaughter
Mom and Dad Together Again
Peaceful Reflection

Friday, May 28, 2010

All Things New

Every other Friday is a Furlough Friday. Thus making
Thursday my new Friday!

In January we drove to work in this. Thus making
Mount Saint Helena our new Donner!

The rain just keeps coming in May. Thus making
May my new January!

Yesterday I came home to this. Thus making
Friends my new Sunshine!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Love of Lola...........

Today it has been one month since Lola died.  Today it is time to share her story, this story for me is a story of healing. I share it because I would never want anyone to experience it. This story is about the awful outcome of rat poison.

This is the background. Our three dogs Belle, Lola, and Dottie spent the weekend (April 17 & 18, 2010) at the country home of my brother and his family and their two dogs, Sadie and Birdie. We picked our dogs up on Sunday night. Monday night Sadie was not acting like herself so Tuesday morning he took her to the vet. They kept her to do a thorough exam and for observation; initially they felt she might have a bleeding tumor of some sort. Sadie was days short of being 11 years old. After blood work it was determined that actually Sadie had ingested poison; either by eating the poison itself or from a poisoned animal. The veterinarian then called my brother and asked him to bring in Birdie so blood work could be done to determine if she too had eaten some poison. At this point Birdie wasn’t totally symptomatic however, she had been coughing and did act a bit lethargic. Birdie was tested Tuesday afternoon. Her tests came back positive. She was given a blood transfusion and started on Vitamin K. Vitamin K counteracts the deadly effects of the poison. This poison can stay in the body for up to three weeks; the standard treatment is 30 days on Vitamin K. Fortunately, Birdie survived, unfortunately Sadie did not. That same day my brother called me and asked me how my dogs were doing. They were fine, no unusually behavior here.

Then on Sunday morning, April 25, 2010, a full week after leaving my brother’s home Lola became sick. It started with her eyes, they were bulging and red and she was extremely lethargic. After an emergency room visit to our veterinarian, no answers for her condition were found. She was put on eye drops to keep her eyes moist and pain meds as it was apparent she was in pain, at that time we thought from the eye condition. The fact that her condition could have been caused from the poison seemed out of the realm of possibility because it had been at least 7 days since the exposure.

Monday morning (April 26, 2010) her condition seemed mildly improved, she had eaten some and her eyes weren’t nearly as swollen. However, by Monday night she was declining again.

Tuesday morning (April 27, 2010) we took her to another veterinarian, again they were mystified by her condition and felt she may have a brain tumor or an infection in her brain; again not really feeling that the poison played a part. While doing a test on her she had a seizure that last 4-5 minutes. Never had they seen a dog decline in such a rapid fashion.

Due to her grave condition and with no hope for a good quality of life it was determined it was time to tell Lola goodbye. Sadly, Tuesday afternoon that decision had to be made. At that point we were devastated to think that Lola would no longer be with us. Lola was only 5 years old.

At 5:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the veterinarian called us to say that when Lola was euthanized there was such a gush of blood from her urinary tract that they then suspected that the poison may indeed been what caused her grave condition. We were asked to bring our other two dogs in for testing. Dottie’s tests were clear for poison; Belle’s weren’t perfect so to be on the safe side she is now on Vitamin K.

So what do I want you to do.............Three things:

First: If your dog’s becomes sick for no apparent reason and your veterinarian can’t find an answer through routine blood tests, ask to have them to run a Coag-PT/PTT panel. Remember we never saw the dogs eat the poison; this was learned after the fact;

Second: If your dog has been around other dogs that became sick from rat poison; take your dogs to be tested immediately, even if your dogs are acting fine, DON’T wait for symptoms to appear. The test is inexpensive and the cost of Vitamin K is cheap. Remember, rat poison can stay in a dog's body for up to three weeks;

Third: Please, please share this story with everyone you know…………for the love of Lola.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I need the sun....
That's why I live in California....
When there is no sun....
I feel like this.........
It's May now.......
So where is the sun??
I want to feel like this..........
Come out, come out wherever you are.....
This isn't funny............really!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Losing It

So what's up with the word lost.  Generally speaking when we lose something, we are hoping to get it back.
  • I lost your phone number.........could you give it to me again;
  • I lost my keys..........I need those, I'll be looking hard to find them;
  • I lost my mind........well maybe I want to find it and maybe I don't;
  • My luggage, my luggage I lost my luggage......well I didn't actually lose it......but it was lost nonetheless.
All of the above worthy of finding; it is stuff I want back.  Now there is one more lost "item" I will never understand.
  • I lost 10 why do you want that back?
How does the word "lost" work in this instance? If you've lost 10 pounds why, oh why do you want it back.  If you are going to the trouble of losing it, surely you don't want it back.  Maybe that is why it is so hard for me to lose 10 pounds.  So I'm trying a new approach.  I'm dumping "lost" and replacing it with "rid!"  I need to get "rid" of 10 pounds.  Much better.........I think now maybe I'm on the right track.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Work the Plan and the Plan will Work

I love when a plan works.  For weeks now I've needed to take control of the "so-ing" room. Way back in January when Pandora came to visit I did some reorganizing of rooms and “stuff.” And the "so" room had become the "toss it in there room."  So Saturday I worked until the work was completed. I love when a plans works.
So So much better!
Next stop the "rat room" for all visiting rug-rats...........those wonderful grans! Who will start to arrive in 32 days........but who's counting?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Counting Again......

Today is my 150th post since starting my blog September 24, 2008.  There I go counting again.  I tried to match something to the 150 but no can do, at least not tonight.  I was hoping (not really hoping just thinking it would be an easy match) we were 150 days into the year but alas we are only 140 days, which quite frankly doesn't seem possible.  Seems like we just had Christmas; after all I just finally got my Christmas sweaters put away for heaven sake!  Where do the days go.............

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gettin' Fit

Worn at D1's wedding.....
Wearing it again..........almost 14 years later!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where is my seam riper.......let me fix that for ya

The Rules of Sewing.....

1. Right sides together...always
2. Darts on the inside...naturally
3. Zippers on the inside...obviously
So.....where was I when this became okay?
Mom would never let this fly!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where is the Fire?

Where is the Fire?? That’s what I remember asking my mom when we sat down for dinner. It was like she was always in this huge rush to get finished eating because “the baby” might start crying. So I’m thinking back and thinking………..what baby? I have three siblings and we are all like only children because of the number of years between us. That said I wonder now what the real reason was……it is too late to ask but I have found I have developed that same problem of “speed eating!” This is a problem for me because I really want to taste and enjoy what I’m eating but I find myself eating so quickly that I don't even get to savor what I just inhaled............... I hate when this happens. And I really hate it when I'm eating a sweet treat because it is gone and I don’t even remember tasting it not to mention it can really wreak havoc on one’s waistline. I need to STOP rushing to put out that fire……….I have a fireman in my family now………he’ll take care of all fires and cry babies. Thanks S2 now I can finally slow down and enjoy my food!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Movie Quote

So this quote came to mind today (names have been changed to protect the innocent)

I miss Meeka.
I'll always miss her.
But I ache for Lola.

Can you name that movie??

Sunday, May 16, 2010

68 Days

So, 68 days ago I was nominated by D2, and for 68 days I've been think about this nomination. Today D2 I thank you for being you; you are an inspiration. Thank you for your energy, for your ability to rise above all of life’s bumps and to be better today than yesterday. I accept this Beautiful Blogger Award and in doing so also want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to dig deep. As part of this award I need to list seven interesting things about myself and then nominate seven other bloggers who I think also are deserving of a Beautiful Blogger Award. I’ve never thought about myself as being someone who is interesting; although I love the word. So when I looked up the synonym for interesting, words like motivating, appealing, exciting, fascinating, “out of the ordinary and remarkable came up. So maybe some of these words work better for me. Exciting, I like to think I can be exciting. Out of the ordinary, I’m pretty sure that fits me. So here goes……..

The Seven Parts of Me (in no particular order):

1. Numbers: My Mom was a countess, that’s what you call a person that loves to count right? I don’t know when she started counting as I only became aware of her counting ways until later in her life. Recently, I have come to realize that I too possess this love of numbers and counting. About a year ago I realized that 2010 was a “cosmic” number year for our family. This year 2010 is the year our marriage numbers collide. It goes like this:

Mr. Man and I will celebrate 37 years
D1 and her husband will celebrate 14 years
S1 and his wife will celebrate 10 years
D2 and her husband will celebrate 8 years
S2 and his wife will celebrate 5 years
See the connection we’ve been married 37 years and our children collectively have been married 37 years. Who thinks of this stuff? I must be a countess too. Okay so maybe I am interesting.

2. Words: I love words like, really and so and interesting and different. I also love hope and believe and obedience too. Because as interesting as it may seem we really aren’t so different. We each have hopes and dreams and aspirations. And I believe when we are obedient we can reach them, remarkable!

3. Passion: Yes I’m passionate. Now being passionate may not be interesting but it can be exciting! I came across an email note my mother had written me on July 21, 2001. She said “I can’t imagine what on earth got you so upset (aka passionate), but do try to put it behind you.” Great advice. Over the years my passion has, I believe, toned down. I think passion mellows with age, thankfully so. Passion takes energy and I choose to save my energy for more important things, like my soon to be 13 grandchildren in 7 years……there I go counting again, it’s the countess in me……fascinating!

4. Ancestors: Now this is interesting at least to me. Bishop John W. Hess, who presided over the Farmington (Utah) Ward when Aurelia Spencer Rogers organized the first Primary there in 1878, is my Great-Great Grandfather. My dad’s cousin is President Cecil O. Samuelson, he is president of BYU. James and Elizabeth Allred (Mr. Man’s 3rd Great Grandparents) were friends of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his family. James was a bodyguard to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Maybe I am out of the ordinary!

5. Cheerleading: The one singular event in my life that I fall back on……..really. When I was a sophomore in high school I really wanted to try out for cheerleading. I tried so hard to convenience my friends to try out with me, alas I had no takers. It was just me, just me at practice, just me at try outs, and it was just me who made it on the squad of 4. I look back and think amazing. Amazing that I had the courage to do it alone… would have been so much easier to just watch from the sidelines. That experience taught me that I can do anything in life if I put my mind to it. It also taught me that sometimes we have to do it alone. I gravitate to that experience whenever I feel like something is too hard and I believe it has helped me through a lot……..Motivating

6. Cars: I love them, I just love them. I’m not sure if that makes me interesting or not. I think it makes me unusual rather than interesting. But I do know it is definitely genetic. My dad loved cars. When I was a kid he taught me how to distinguish the different models of cars and what year they were. Back in the day cars changed body style each year; that doesn’t happen anymore. If I could have any car today I would have two. A Corvette and a 1936 Ford. The Corvette because I love them and the 36 Ford because my dad restored them…..Exciting.

7. Shoes: I love shoes because they always fit. Your pant size may increase but not your shoe size. I can always count on my shoes. Hello I’m counting again. Boy once you become a countess it is hard not to count everything…..Appealing.

So this award really got me to thinking and realizing that maybe I am interesting after all.  But the fun can't end here so now it is my privilege to nominee seven other bloggers........
1.  Amy: She is my D1. This is her second nomination, I hope she will accept. She is one of my go-to-girls. As a self-designated “Queen of Useless Information” (which is never useless to me) I admire her constant thirst for knowledge as she has stepped into the world of homeschooling, something I could never do.
2. Ashley: This is her second nomination as well, and I’m hoping she too will accept. She is my “excuse me I have a question” girl!  She is my the real "dil" and I love her for it.
3. Jessica: She is my latest blogger friend. I’ve known her for a short time. I love her smile, her zest for life, her courage, her faith.
4. Tiffany:  She is my sister from another mother. She is the other half of my brain. She is a friend for life. We laugh, we cry and dream together.
5. Erin: Who doesn’t love a cherry? She is faith and courage and hope. And I’m privileged to call her my friend.
6. Lynette: I'm nominating her because she really needs to get her boys home (on the blog) from their mission! Plus she is a friend from beginning to end.
7. Sherrie:  I know of Sherrie through the world of blogging. She doesn’t know me and I’m not sure how she is going to know about this award she has been nominated for but I love to read about her insights. She lifts me up.
Now for those of you I just nominated/awarded all you have to do is the following; in order to accept this award yourself...

-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
-Copy the award & place it on your blog.
-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
-Tell us 7 interesting things about yourself.
-Nominate 7 bloggers.
-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pressing Forward

There is a very tall redwood tree in Calistoga that has a flag flying from the top of it. I’m not sure how it got up there. It doesn’t seem like a crane could reach it and I can’t imagine anyone climbing to the top. Either way, today when I passed by I thought about that flag, flying so high above all the trees and it made me think about rising up above all those things that can pull us down. Standing tall, when tall doesn’t feel tall. Standing tall and weather all of life’s storms……..facing them head on. That flag has been there for years, but today that flag seemed to stand taller than ever before, reminding me that even when I struggle it is important to look around and see all that is around me to strengthen me and help me press forward even when I don’t want to. Because life goes on and so must I.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Dozen

It is official my picture for my blog is outdated. 
At 1:20 p.m. (MST) Isaac Grant Allred was born.
He weighed in at 7lbs. 14 oz. and was 20" long
Mother and Son are doing well!
Counting the days until we get to visit!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Have I Told You Lately..........

I heard this song yesterday on my way to church and all I could think about was Mr. Man.  This songs for you:

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there's no one else above you
Fill my heart with gladness
take away all my sadness
ease my troubles that's what you do

For the morning sun in all its glory
greets the day with hope and comfort too
You fill my life with laughter
and somehow you make it better
ease my troubles that's what you do

There's a love that's divine
and it's yours and it's mine like the sun
And at the end of the day
we should give thanks and pray
to the one, to the one

This day I give thanks for you.....for easing my sadness, for filling my life with laughter......I love you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Many (really most) (ok every) evenings are spent upstairs, watching one our favorite shows. It's our relax time. Mr. Man can be found in his recliner with Belle at his side. Dottie sprawled out sometimes on her bed sometimes at my feet, sometimes at Mr. Man's feet.  I'm on one end of the couch generally with my laptop on my lap; which is where laptops belong.  At the other end of the couch was Lola.  I miss my couch buddy, the routine just isn't quite the same without her.  Thank you Rachael for capturing our happy girl!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Day the Healing Began

Let me back up.  Last Monday I made a phone call no one wants to make.  Last Monday I called Brian's father to tell him that Brian had passed away. The whole idea of Brian being gone from this earthly life is so very surreal to me.  For the past week I've replayed the phone call a hundred times in my mind.  So much so in fact I started to second guess what I said; was I kind, was I thoughtful, did I cry too much.  I wondered should I have placed that call or should I have gotten in a car and driven to his parent's home.  As a parent I thought how would I want the information delivered to me. (For the record no parent wants this information, children are suppose to out live the parents) But that said I still couldn't get the conversation out of my mind. 

Today was the funeral.  Today as I walked up the steps of the church I was greeted by his father and his two sister's.  It was at that point my healing began.  Each of sister's hugged me and thanked me for making that phone call; they thanked me for my kindness for watching out for their brother and caring enough to call, knowing how hard it must have been. 

Brian left this earthly life too soon.  He will be sorely missed by many. My life has been touched by his and that of his family as we celebrated his life this day; this day the day the healing began....