Monday, June 30, 2014

Week of June 23 - 29, 2014

My week begins because of one of the talks I heard in Sacrament Meeting at church on Sunday. It was regarding prayer, and how our evening prayer should be a report to Heavenly Father on how the day went: the good, the not so good, the cares and concerns, and I began that. I also was going to start my Book of Mormon reading with a journal, to kind of record how the reading I had done affected me. Plus, we are counseled by church leaders to keep a journal, which I don't do because who would ever what to read the boredom that is my life, but I was thinking that perhaps what would help each of us is to be able to have a place to record how we feel, and that maybe that alone would alleviate the need for medications for depression. Anyway, I thought I should try it, though I really don't want anyone to read it.  As it was, I  had no draft book to start it, so I decided to begin on Monday night. 

Monday - My morning prayer was one of gratitude…the other part of the Sunday talk that touched me…which really was nice to think about just all that I am thankful for. One of my concerns was watching Kaylee this week: I just want to have a safe, happy, enriching place for her, and sometimes I just get concerned. Kaylee came, and we had a good time just playing with cups and stuff in the baby pool on the porch. Then she wanted to go out again…when it was much hotter, which pool play isn't a problem, nor is eating fresh grapes right off the vine, but the playground and sand and pushing around three times on the tricycle is…and I was really beginning to think my prayers were all in vain. But, she did have fun, and took a good nap and I got more of Jessica's stocking done and the rest of the time went well, and though she thought we had a  bee in the house that was really a fly but scared her to death, she didn't run to Mommy when she came. Nate's truck had drive shaft rebuild problems, and we offered him a couple of solutions, so he went to talk to Jess. Kayty seemed to be having a blast in Vegas, which is always good. Dee cleaned the pool filters and worked on the pool, and I brushed it early.

Tuesday - Woke up, exercised, woke Dee, dusted, cleaned, vacuumed, and Kaylee kept me hopping all day. I keep trying for some sort of routine, but it isn't happening. She took a good nap, until Dee sneezed…and sneezed…and sneezed…sneezes that people in China complain about…and she woke up saying, 'Achoo'. We made it through the day and she was happy to be here, and happy to go home. Dee's pack meeting was flaky and poorly attended…Cub Scouts right now are sad! Nate came by with a new distributor for the van…we said a prayer that this would be the fix, since we have repaired and replaced everything else. I am just surely praying that this is the solution and the van gets them on to Idaho and their future. Kayty came back and worked late, and I was doggone tired by 9 pm. STill working on my prayers and journal keeping.

.Wednesday - I was awakened very early by a phone call...It was Morgan with a friendly greeting. Dee and I were so glad he was okay and safe, though he was in New Mexico with some vehicle trouble. Kaylee arrive and wanted more water play in the little pool. It was kind of an odd day with her, mostly because we kept getting phone calls from Morgan and little ones pick up on those stressful signals. She fought and fought taking a nap, but finally fell asleep, and that nap turned into an over two hour one! The evening was normal, with Nate and Jess stopping the van running! weld up the tailgate for his truck that Dee had been working on. I was dead at bedtime, so my journal keeping and scriptures were put on the back burner. It really is more of a time commitment to write and ponder, rather than just read.

Thursday - I didn't get much outdoor work done before Kaylee came...Dee has a 7 am meeting on Thursdays that I have to be quite through, so I vacuum like a maniac before that! She had a fun time outdoors in the little pool, and she sure enjoyed the ice cream bar that Papa gave her while we were looking at the grapes in the gazebo. We called it her "happy 18 month birthday' treat. Kayty was off work, and when she woke up, she visited and even went swimming, which Kaylee joined her for. Funny, Kaylee is very cautious with me, but with daredevil Aunt Kayty, she was ready to try swimming on her own. We were right there, but I am amazed at Kayty's effect...on ALL her nieces and nephews! Nate and Jess came by, to work on the truck and to load boxes in the van...they want to leave next Tuesday.

Our lights had been flickering in the kitchen and we assumed we needed to replace one breaker, but all night long, we had power off and power on. Dee checked (while carrying one of my solar yard lights - don't ask what I thought when the reflection of a yard light was on my ceiiling at 2 am) and discovered the main breaker was arcing...bad news. We turned the a/c off and were warm all night, though the ceiling fans still would work.

Friday - Woke up running or exercising since I didn't need to feel any warmer. I finally texted Cameo and she made arrangements for Grandma Liz to care for Kaylee today. I did minimal, and Dee got ahold of Gary Wilkins (Allison's wonderful father in law) to come help. He was great, and got us a new breaker, which wouldn't fully install, so we needed APS (the local power company) to turn off the meter...which ended up being a loooong process, requiring City of Phoenix permits, etc. Dee and Gary ended up filing down the old main breaker, and Gary felt it would make it until cooler weather comes in November and Dee can install a new electrical panel. Fun Fun. I had no idea what to do with my extra time, since I hadn't planned for anything, so I just went from no accomplishment to no accomplishment, though I did get Nate and Jess's Kitchenaid safely packed up to load. Dee had a rough day at work, with his tech lead correcting some of his work, looking at his Outlook plans, etc. Nothing earth shattering...Dad wants to solve problems. They want him to fill out spreadsheets. It is time to give up and do it their way. I helped him for an hour with one of this bi-annual evaluations...takes 3 days to fill out more spreadsheets on goals and achievements...and got a rough draft sent off. We ran out, went to the bank, got Dad a $2 sub at Subway, and then waited for Nate to come and work on the truck. While we waited, we ended up pruning one of our mesquite trees...I hate all mesquites this time of year...and after load after load of dragging stickery branches out to our pile, since the trailer is full of palm fronds, we got one tree done. We waited for Nate all evening, but he must have had other things to do.

Saturday - I ran to the Phoenix Temple and back, brushed the pool, and pruned a front yard mesquite. I determined the pruners were awful!!! We headed to yard sales early, got 2 Sit and Spins for grandkids to use here, a router table, and some snow boots for little kids. We came home and saw Nate wasn't here to work, so we texted him that we would go out to Savers. WE stopped to check on the laundry situation at the stake center (no wet baptismal clothing to launder!), got me new pruners, hit a couple of thrift stores for a new transformer, Dee had lunch at his favorite Chinese place (I am not a fan, so I had water), and then headed home. Still no Nate...I guess he was working overtime. We weren't sure how long he would be, so we kept filling in with projects till he would come: Dee worked on refinishing a 10 dollar yard sale wheelbarrow for me. I cleaned and dusted. Then, our power started freaking out again. We called Gary again, and he kindly went and picked up that new breaker...again. We visited and decided to install when the sun went down, so Dee and I waited, watched for Nate, and he worked on the wheelbarrow, and I pruned mesquite and pulled branches to the pile. Nate drove up, exhausted, and tried his best to complete the truck, but the pan wouldn't go on, and Dad went when Gary returned to install the main breaker...which worked!!!!...and I worked on trying to help with pipes on the truck, but poor Nate had worked 11 1/2 hours, and hadn't eaten, and the paint gun wouldn't work, and it was just a total give up for the night. He returned home to his sweet wife and we finished up what we could. It had been a long long week with so many , many things happening, and the floodgates opened in stress, and tears...all night. I did write in my journal, but I don' t think I ever want to remember this!

Sunday - I tried to pull things together. Church was great, and our Sacrament Meeting included my two favorite talks during last General Conference...the ones that touched me...and I sat, touched again, and with the events of the week I just was overcome. After Sacrament, my sweet Relief Society President came over to hug me...and to see if I was ok...and then Joy Black, Kim Meikle, and Wanda Calhoun came to see and talk. I told them all was was just a culmination of many little things that just burst forth. I tell you, though, I have NEVER ever felt like the Lord was looking down, right at me, and letting me know that He loved me: the talks (I only printed two and keep them in my scriptures, and those were the two!) and then the circle of friends. Their love meant so much and I knew that the Lord sent them...for me! So wonderful. I helped Dee scan some old photos while he home taught...Nate and Jess came by for a visit, and all the stress of the week began to peel away. My lights didn't flicker on and off. Kayty went to her Sacrament meeting. She tried Scottsdale…when she referred to it on her return as Snobsdale, I knew that wasn't a good fit for her. She is just having a hard time trying to find a ward to fit into. I hope she does find one. Dee grilled chicken with a new sauce…not that great, but then I don't eat chicken much. He did grill a zucchini he grew and it was great. Later, I was taking care of the chickens when we had a surprise visit from Ethan, Cameo, and Kaylee. So nice! I fell right to sleep, but Kayty was up watching her dvd's all night! Crazy!

This week proved to be memorable…and hopefully, forgettable. I learned so much, though. Journal: not going to go that route now. I found that if I allow enough time to read and write, very often I don't do either. We were blessed by some great, wonderful people! We grew in love for our children, and even more for our Heavenly Father. He loves us all, allows us to experience challenges and trials for us to grow, reminds us of what and who is truly important, and reminds us to not sweat the small stuff. Sorry for no pictures…I was so busy I couldn't…and doubt that I would have...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week of June 16 - June 22, 2014

Monday - I had a hard time sleeping, so I just got up and jogged at 4:40 AM. After I returned, I watered the flowers

and pulled out some dead tomato bushes.

I had a yummy snack...

I am just waiting for these beauties to get totally ripe. Those doggone birds better not beat me to it!
One goal for this week is to seal my floors. I have to mop and then put the sealer on, and then let it dry, without traffic on it...big difficulty. So, it is a near bedtime duty, which is my worst time of day. I admit that I was gonna do it Saturday, but didn't have the energy, so I did it on Sunday night. (It was after sunset, so in Jewish terms, the Sabbath was over - I think I am beginning to sound like Old Testament Saul...looking for loopholes.)

First area: table...which I had to get Dee to help me move back before his meeting.
Nate worked and worked on his truck all it primed.

Tuesday - I had mopped and sealed the entryway over night...
Nate arrived early and worked and worked on his truck. Primed more. Sanded.

I cleaned, vacuumed, dusted, and began Grace's baptism gift.
Nate painted till late at night, so I didn't do any more mopping or sealing.

Kayty had jury duty during the day, which turned out she didn't need to be at. So, we worked on cleaning up her room, and getting rid of trash.

Wednesday - Nate didn't come...and didn't I worked on the kitchen floor: scrubbed the grout with bleach, and then sealed it...twice.

 Dee was gone...and Kayty went to work. I made a visiting teaching appointment and cleaned. I used the neighbor's trashcan to get more palm fronds out...and later in the day, I discovered they had put a construction fence up, making their trash can inaccessible. Oh, least I got two bags out.

Nate came later, after he got some injections, both in his jaw and in the back of his neck. I hope his headaches are helped with this...We need to get this stuff taken care of before they leave for Idaho. He ended up second coating his truck...looks awesome, and he got some work from his old boss, so he will be plumbing the rest of the week.

I worked at trimming the dried and bird eaten grapes and pulling up some more tomatoes.

Thursday - I was up and off hiking early this morning. In fact, I was the first one at the park, and had to wait for the park ranger to open the gate. Nicest thing: the temperature in my jeep read 69 degrees outside: a rare June treasure. I hurried home, started Dee's computer, swept the pool, watered the sunflowers, let the chickens out, and trimmed off 40 bird eaten grape bunches from the vines. I dusted and vacuumed, went to what I had planned to be a short visiting teaching visit, but Yvonne and I got visiting, and I got out in time to get to Dorrie's, where we went to Super Salad for lunch. I was worthless after that...just couldn't get things going. I started embroidering on Grace's baptism gift, visited with a friend from our ward for awhile, and then Dee grilled and broiled some salmon. Nate came by after work and wired his tail lights on the truck. Kayty buzzed in and out, going out with a friend in town. I put a few things in her suitcase, packed up the wedding stuff for the Wilkins family, and watched Duck Dynasty on my computer. Today ended with a quick WalMart trip and then off to bed.
Here are Dee's Trinidad Scorpion Peppers and Ghost Peppers
Friday - I decided that instead of hiking or running, I would devote 1 hour of yard work as my exercise. I picked up those awful dried up saguaro cactus fruit out back = 1 bucketload. I picked up more palm tree  muck = 1 bucketload. I raked up pine needles and took them to the bin we use for the pizza oven = 1 bucketload. I took more to the bin, plus some raked mesquite beans (grrrr...I don't like those either) = 1 bucketload. I raked more beans on my own and took them to the trashcan = 1 bucketload. I watered and clipped and raked and I got some good exercise. Then, I decided to help Kayty get the stuff from Grandma in the car by 'making room' in her car. Ummm...I don't think we had enough buckets for those bucketloads. I did get it all in, safely and nicely, plus the stuff from the wedding they couldn't wear here.
I looked out my kitchen window, and a stinkin' bunny was sitting on top of the big rock in my garden, just eating the petals off a sunflower! Thumper rules!!! Grrr
The lock on my washing machine started acting up, so my first step was to clean everything: seals, filters, etc. (Didn't help the lock problem, but it's nice and clean now.)
I baked strawberry cupcakes for Jessica's birthday. I used the same recipe/mix from the wedding, substituting 1 1/3 cup pureed strawberries for the water in the recipe. 

I cleaned and vacuumed, in between Dee's meetings, and when he was in his weekly Friday afternoon 2 hour meeting, I sealed the walkway and under the sofa. There is still more to seal, but it will have to be done later.

Kayty ran in the door, threw a few more things in her suitcase, and headed out the door for Vegas. 
We worked in the yard, pruning, digging, watering...I gave the sunflowers an evening water this time. 

We finally took our trip to Costco, though I was so hot, I didn't feel like buying a vacuum at all! Dee worked on some stone polishing for a friend and I cleaned and watched 24 and some scary pirate show. 

After my bath, I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time this year. I was slow...lots of other things got in the way of longer readings...but I have three more times this year to meet my goal.

Saturday - I ran and enjoyed looking at the Phoenix Temple as the sun was coming up on the Summer Solstice: longest day of the year = worst day of the year in Phoenix (though it will only be 107 today). I worked in the yard, and Nate came early to work on his truck. We hit a couple of worthless yard sales and then set out to work. 

I made a batch of cream cheese frosting, flavored/colored with plain strawberry Koolaid, and added papers and decorations that Kayty had gotten for me ages ago...

 Dad and Nate were out in the heat: assembling, lifting, aligning, raising, lowering, kicking...

...and got the engine, transmission in. Nate bolted the bolts and wired the wires. He wants it done this coming week...Nate made lots of progress today.

I made up more pizza crusts while dad napped in the chair...ended up with 16. The doorbell rang, and then the fun began.

Ethan wanted her to jump in to him, but she was not going to have any of that. She would sit down and then jump to him. 

Kooper was famished when he came in from swimming, so Nano fed him this whole bottle!

The husband's job is to light his wife's candles. Nathan got them lit...and lit a ladybug antenna on fire as well. 

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

 And during the party, Dad, Doran, Ethan and Nate put the truck bed back on. It's looking good! Now, pray that it runs after Nate gets all the stuff put together! They NEED this to get stuff to Idaho
Everyone was great and washed dishes, Jessica swept the floors, and the house was clean when they went home. It was an interesting day. I guess I picture the perfect gathering, with joyous family stuff, instead of the constant "Shut the Door!", "That door is not a fan" or the occasional disagreement on toy possession. I was kinda let down, though all went very well. My problem is unrealistic expectations, which I need to talk to more people...cuz when I do, they learn that expectation is always false, and to just enjoy the moment. 

Sunday - Woke up, got ready, went to church, came home, ate lunch, Dee went home teaching, finished reading the July Ensign, and enjoyed pics of Kayty's Las Vegas fun...

Early bedtime on a hot Summer night seemed in order.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week of June 9 - 15, 2014

Funny...I think I used to be creative about these weeks...find a theme, etc. but now they just seem to go and go.

Monday - Sunday night we came home to Dee's favorite treat: a gift from Nate and Jessica...
Originally, there were five, but these are the only two that managed to survive for a picture!
Kaylee came and we tried to create a new routine. We used to eat and either play outside or stroll, but its so hot now. We did try to play in the sand, but as kids age, they change, and she didn't like the feel of the sand on her fingers. We finally decided to try out swimming, and she did pretty well, though my old body thought it was pretty cold. We swam for about a half an hour.

She likes swimming, but has definite limits, i.e. where you are permitted to swim in the pool, and she says a loud and firm "no" if you exceed those bounds. We tried breakfast at Grammy's new porch table, and she did eat some, but not much of anything. She was pretty interested in visiting Papa in the office, though he was busy with a project and paperwork for the project.
Yogurt and peaches for after swim snack

I was washing dishes and she wanted to play with bubbles. She had a blast

 I found out Nate was working in Tucson with his new father in law's plumbing company doing vacuum lines for U of A through Wednesday. I bet he was happy to be working. We swam with Papa after his work day was complete and she had a good time.  When Cam came to get Kaylee, she literally ran out the front door and wanted no more of us. She was done with the old folks. I sure hope I can hit on some kind of routine that she likes. Today was  obviously not a success, at least in her eyes.

Dee spent the time after eating Taco Soup (deemed awesome) blowing the yard with the blower he borrowed from Ethan and stores here and uses all of the time. I know that if I die, he will be happy as long as that blower is here...our supply of weeds/needles/leaves is eternal.

Tuesday - Kaylee started her day here swimming, but we only swam once. As I said, she has limits. We tasted grapes from the grapevines and she thought that was pretty good…and it's hard for me to discover healthy things she likes (though "chokit?" aka my dark chocolate chips are good for the heart). She took a wonderfully rare 2 and a half hour nap. During nap time, I sit by her on the couch and work on Christmas stockings. I am now busy with Jessica's. Kaylee didn't run out the door when Daddy came and Ethan spent some very frustrating time trying to get our ancient computer to sign them up for the deer hunts. He finally left to try it at his house.

Wednesday- Dee had many meetings, so he left early. Nathan finished his work with his father in law in Tucson a day early, so he was here ready to work on his truck. He asked what Dad wanted for Fathers' Day and I told him the only thing was to have that palm tree that was getting too tall cut down. I figured that would be that, but he was excited to do it…and he worked and sawed and hauled and chopped…

And she finally came down.

Dad and I hauled a trailer full of fronds and those sweet smelling, very messy flower/seed monsters out. After a fun day with Kaylee swimming, playing, feeding chick chicks, and all, I was literally dead. I watched the newest episode of Duck Dynasty in my robe, took my bath, cleaned a bit, and crashed into bed.

Thursday - Typical Thursday, without swimming. Kaylee was not as enthralled with it every day. We just played in the yard, under the tree, in the shade. I checked the mailbox and found a gift for Dee from Amber, Doran, Kelsie and Kooper:
It looks great on our wall! Thank you so much...and again, Amber...perfect!

Friday - Kaylee didn't want to swim, we played indoors. Dee's supervisor, Klemens Raab, came out to see him...and ended up assigning him the suppliers in well as the ones he currently has! Lots of extra work for him, but he gets to travel one week a month, which means I will be able to go with him sometimes. Our freezer emptying quest continued, with Dee cooking ribs and making more jerky.


Saturday - I woke up too early, jogged and then worked in the yard. I even got to take some pictures of what we have growing on...
Sunflowers are looking pretty good. Zinnias, on the other hand, are having a struggle...

I have hauled and hauled to the trailer. I figure, that until it's done, an organized mess is better than a disorganized mess!

We went to a few yard sales. I did find a few books for Adam and Grace. Nate had asked for help on his truck, and so Dee spent the day helping with a hood. Nate discovered the one he had worked on for days was not going to work, so he went back to his old one. Now he has 2 sanded hoods, ready for priming next week.

We headed to Ethan and Cameos, and joined with Wade and Liz for a Father's Day dinner and movie. Cameo made some awesome Tomato Round Steak, using the Elk Back straps from Ethan's elk. I brought some of the remaining cabbage salad, and she made peanut butter stove top cookies. We then watched "Nemo" with Kaylee, who was in and out and all over the place, as a typical 17 month old should be.

Then, came gift time...which was already way too much. Cameo made these, with help of Miss Kaylee, for Daddy, Papa, and Grampy...I don't know how she did it...and then are so adorable!!!

Sunday - I kept waking up all night with numb arms...sleeping wrong...and finally woke up late. I ran out to water sunflowers, let the chickens out, and got ready and headed to church. Yep, no Father's Day breakfast for dad. We had wonderful talks, one from a wonderful man in our ward who was in a terrible helicopter crash two years ago that should have taken his life, but he recognized the Lord's hand in all things, protecting him, providing for him, and even though he is in a wheelchair, he is with us. Father's Day in our ward means the women bring in pies and the men eat during their Priesthood Meeting. Dee ended up having two pieces: one blueberry and one cherry. ( was good of me to make him no breakfast so he would have plenty of room!). I made him a great salad for lunch. While I blogged in the afternoon, I got a wonderful call from Joshy (I sure do love getting calls from my Punky Monkey!) and got to talk to Adam and to Grace...and Grace sang part of her talent show song to fun!

Dee had requested Clam Chowder for dinner, and while he napped in the chair, I made it for him.

The evening was filled with visits from Nate and Jess, a call from Doran, a sweet facebook message from Allison, and gifts from Kayty.

When Dee got into bed, he deemed it a wonderful Father's Day! Perfect for a wonderful father!