Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apparently I lied

. . . because here I am, not waiting to blog until after the New Year.  See, that's how we can get me to blog regularly.  Attempt to restrict me.  And then I'll just blog, blog, blog.

Anyway, I wanted to say that TRQ has been an absolute champ during this whole ordeal with the Coach.  She's been at his side non-stop, and at this point I am more worried about her than I am about him.  This morning she left the hospital at about 5:00 a.m.  She told me she wanted to go home and have a smoke.

Okay.  TRQ does NOT smoke.  But I love that she said this.  And if she wanted to take up smoking to relieve her stress right now, I would say carry on, TRQ.  You're the best.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

So, Dad's still in the hospital, but we have every reason to be optimistic.  Meanwhile, he is keeping us entertained.  The night after his surgery, my brother told him that a friend of his with the same condition dropped over dead while walking his dog.  My dad responded by saying, "I don't walk my dog."

Yesterday when I was in the hospital with him, he opened his eyes and said he'd just realized something important.  "What's that?"  I asked.

"The food here. isn't. that. great," he answered.

Today when a therapy dog wandered into his room to say hello, Dad said, "Therapy dog?  That dog's in therapy?"

We're grateful that he's hanging in there and that the prognosis is good.  Meanwhile, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.  I'll start blogging again after New Year's.  Thanks so much for reading and responding.  You bless me.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The poodle and TRQ

Got word yesterday that the coach has to have himself some surgery for Christmas, so I spent yesterday in Provo and stayed overnight with TRQ.  She wanted me close so we crawled into her king-sized bed, along with the poodle.

There were three pillows.  My mother's.  My father's.  And a third pillow, which (I assumed) was for decorative purposes.  Anyway.  That was the pillow I wanted because it was a little plump, unlike my father's pillow which looked like a crepe.

So I took that pillow, whereupon the poodle gave me the hairy eyeball.

"Um," said TRQ.  "That's the poodle's pillow."

So I gave it back.  Because I do NOT mess TRQ's pillow.  Ever.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


You guys!  In the past few hours I have consumed

Chex Mix
Dr. Pepper
almond toffee
potato chips
homemade chocolates
caramel apple
garlic knots (m-m-m-m-m)
a banana (healthy!  What was I thinking?!)
pecan brittle
egg nog

I've been eating crap (not counting the banana) like it's my job, you guys.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stuff I am grateful for tonight

Yesterday over at, Lisa B., a professor, gave an update on her grading efforts.  And I said one of the things I am truly grateful for right now is that I'm not reading final exams.  Which led me to think about other things I am grateful for.  A short list follows.

1.  Cheese balls
2.  Christmas trees
3.  Beautiful children's picture books
4.  Ornaments made out of macaroni
5.  Frank Sinatra singing carols on that cd I checked out from the library
6.  Kids home from college
7.  Meals with friends
8.  Christmas lights
9.  Moonlight on snow
10. Heated car seats
11.  Grandbabies

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In retrospect

I've worried a little about Friday's post.  I meant in no way to compare my experience with what the tragedy in Newtown.  The event just triggered a memory about something I'd almost forgotten.

Here's to the beginning of another week.

Friday, December 14, 2012


As always I appreciate your comments, and yes I think I will make this whole idea--things I didn't know--into an ongoing series.  But today my thoughts are with the people of Newtown, Connecticut.

It seems like these things happen in spates.   Some of you may recall that the day before Columbine, the Church Office Building here in Salt Lake was the site of a shooting.  As it turned out, my mother was there on the same floor as the shooter.  As soon as she heard the first shot go off, she hit the floor face down, covered the back of her head with her hands, and counted off the rounds.  She stayed there until she and other patrons were led out of the building and taken to the Howard Johnson's nearby for safe-keeping.

This was in the days before everyone had cell phones, so we had no idea if TRQ was okay.  I knew that she'd been at the library.  I was supposed to pick her up later.  But of course the events of the day changed everything.  

I called Ken, who was working downtown and asked him to go find TRQ while I waited by the telephone at home.  He and a partner from work left the office and headed over to the Church Office Building to see what he could find out.  Meanwhile I contacted my dad,  who grabbed an assistant at the office and got up here as fast as he could.

We finally located TRQ a few anxious hours later.  She was shaken, of course, but safe.  As for me, I'll never forget those long moments of listening to breaking news on the radio and not knowing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things I Didn't Know, Part One

When I was growing up, I always had a cat and two dogs in bed with me.  We each had our assigned spots.  As I recall, I was allowed by the Pet Committee to occupy the northwest corner of the mattress where I slept in a compliant little ball.

Then one day I went on a semester abroad to London where I slept in a twin bed without pets.  And it was AMAZING.  And I did think to myself, "Who knew sleeping could feel like this?"

Tomorrow:  Things I Didn't Know, Part Two.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Did you know that every day during the month of December you can hear a FREE organ concert at the tabernacle on Temple Square?  They begin at noon and end exactly thirty minutes later, which is exactly how long my attention span lasts.  On a good day.  

Of course it's all Christmas music (except for a rousing rendition of "Come, Come Ye Saints") right now, which is fabulous, and fear not, ye friends o' mine who aren't Mormon.  No one will try to convert you, although people will be especially nice to you if they think there's a chance.

Anyway.  Ken and I went during his lunch hour last week, and I loved the experience, although I confess that I did nod off during "Come, Come Ye Saints."  When I opened my eyes during the song's Big Finish, the lights on the wall above the organ glowed pink and orange, just like the color of morning.

And you know what?  I was moved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mayan Calendar

This morning when I first woke up I thought, dude.  I hope the Mayans were right.  It would be AWESOME if the world ended on the 2lst of this month.  I wouldn't have to worry about paying off my VISA.

But that's just my Winter Brain talking.  After all these years I know if I get up and start engaging with my day I'm gonna feel a LOT better in a hurry.  Which I did this morning.  I did my walk with Kathy and Nancy, and I took pleasure in the fact that I could smell the snow.

Seriously, I track my life with my nose and snow has its own scent--all peppery and sharp.  And it's enjoyable enough to me that halfway through my walk I was able to say, "BACK OFF, MAYANS" and really mean it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A moment

I haven't written since Tuesday?  Wow.  That's all I can say.  Wow.

It's been an interesting week, actually, full of small emotional moments.  The one I'm thinking about right now happened Thursday morning when I taught my Relief Society lesson at the rest home.  One of the residents--an elderly woman with Down's (someone at the care center told me she is the oldest person in the state with Down's)--always gets to say the closing prayer.  It's something she likes to do, something she looks forward to.

Anyway.  She didn't get to say it this time.  Someone else wanted a turn for a change.  And when Barbara realized she wasn't going to say the prayer, she started to weep like a little child.  Not a spoiled one--just one whose heart has been well and truly broken.  Barbara cried through the entire prayer.

After the prayer was over, a few of the residents complained and told Barbara she was a baby.  And, of course, I wanted to say, "Come on, you guys.  Give her a break."  But then I remembered that the care facility is the whole world of the residents and that the same dynamics we all experience in, say, an office setting or with extended family are at play there, too.

Which reminded me, of course, that no matter where we as human beings are--there we are.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Girl Baby at Christmas

Yesterday I babysat my 2 year-old granddaughter, and people I had a lesson plan.  Together we would
1.  make a star ornament
2.  decorate sugar cookies
3.  put candy canes on the Christmas tree
4.  mess around with holiday stickers
5.  read Christmas books
6.  create a snowmen diorama with cotton balls

And we did!  All six things!  In twenty minutes or less!  Because when you are a little whirlwind you do things fast!

Oh, Baby Girl, I love you so.

Monday, December 3, 2012

When eyeballs go south

So, first let me give Donna the Queen a big shout out.  After corresponding with one another for ten years or so, we finally met in real life last week. And she is as delightful and funny in real life as she is in her e-mails and posts.   Thanks, Donna!

While I was there in Vegas, I stayed with my brother Jimmy, who had a sign on his kitchen wall that said "Tommy's Birthday" to mark his son's big day.  But because my eyes have taken a turn for the worse, I thought it said, "Today's Bitchin'," which is actually an awesome life motto.  People should be cross-stitching "Today's Bitchin'" onto little pillows and throwing those "Today's Bitchin'" little pillows all over their couches, because that would help us to remember to keep it bitchin' whenever possible.

Good idea, right?  I'm in.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Princess of Music

So our chorister in Primary is awesome--so awesome that one of the little boys (he's 3) calls her "The Princess of Music."  I always love watching her in action, but I have never loved her more than today when she was teaching the kids a new Christmas song.

THE PRINCESS OF MUSIC:  Who can tell me what a stable is?

KIDS:  The place where Jesus was born!

THE PRINCESS OF MUSIC:  Fine.  What else is a stable . . . besides a place where deity is born?