In Remembrance

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend my grandmother’s memorial service. After two weeks away from my husband and daughter and some existing hostility among (incoming) family members, I felt it was best that I return home and carry with me the sweetness of the previous weeks and not sully the memories with anger and hurt feelings.

My cousin Brandy has written a beautiful eulogy, one that I could have written myself. I have asked Brandy to read some thoughts that I had in addition to hers. It felt like the right thing to do since I wont be there in person.

Here’s what I have to say:

There’s not much I can add to the words spoken by Brandy this afternoon. She perfectly and succinctly stated my thoughts about our grandmother.

In the last two weeks, Brandy and I had a lot of time to reminisce -and commiserate- over our beloved grandmother. And we’re both in agreement: she wasn’t the warm and fuzzy grandmother of television lore. We say that with a chuckle and light hearts.

When I consider the woman I am today, I can easily thank my grandma for her influence in my life. Like many of you, I was given shelter and refuge in her home during troubling times. It was there and through her example that I learned to save money and the value of being debt free. Because of her, I learned to appreciate hard physical labor; a lesson carried with me to this day. And I think, I may have genetically inherited her green thumb as well, but it didn’t manifest itself until my thirties.

I can’t recall a time when she doted over me and told me how special I was just because I was her granddaughter. I can, however, recall times when she would praise me for my intelligence and my ability to solve problems. I don’t recall her teasing me or pointing out that I was chubby and awkward, but I do recall her telling me that I looked nice in a particular dress and she admired that I was tall and had beautiful skin.

She was the only woman to talk to me about the dreaded issue of sex as a teenager, and she spent many hours talking, laughing, and possibly arguing with me at her kitchen table over a plate of eggs, crispy bacon, and home fried potatoes (fried in bacon grease!).

She was there to hold my newly born daughter—her first great-grand daughter- at the hospital. And had she been in good health, she would have been, dressed in her ever so elegant style, at my wedding in 2005 to my wonderful husband, Niel.

Though I can’t recall her saying it to me directly, I’ve always known that she loved me. It was communicated by her actions and not by her words. Because she provided a refuge and stability for me during those critical and difficult teen years, I’ve always respected and admired this woman.

In her last days, It was my privledge and honor to give her the only gift I could give her. My time.

I sang to her. I talked to her. I stroked her head and hands. I laughed with my cousin and aunts in her presence, all so that she knew she wasn’t alone.

And in her last minute of life, she somehow managed to connect with my spirit and tell me it was time for her to return to her Heavenly Father. What a privlege for a grandaughter.

Indeed, she was a tough woman. She may have been aloof. She may not have been the mother and grandmother as dictated by conventional standards.

But she was exactly what I needed in my life.

I can see her influence in the woman I am today. I, too, am a strong, independent, confident, and often aloof woman that takes care of her own.

And for that, I thank her.

Bad Day at the Office

The toner I ordered for the ancient office copier arrived today so I read and then followed the printed instructions. I shook the tube up-down and side-to-side, then looked at the little pull tab and thought, “this is going to be messy”, but quickly dismissed my thoughts and pulled the tab. Because that’s what the directions said to do.

Last I remember was a plume of black smoke heading  straight for my face and then….blackout. When I took off my glasses to survey the damage, there was black dust everywhere:  the walls, copier, tables. The entire kitchen was a dusty black mess and I worried how and if I would ever clean it up.

First, I had myself a good cry because I twas all alone and covered in back soot . I looked like a coal miner returning home from a day in the mine ( Tip: tears and toner don’t pair well).

Then, being a team player,  I thought an office wide viewing is in order because everyone can use a good laugh at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Here I am taking one for the team. Have a good laugh.

Hey, I get some new clothes compliments of TSC.

Teh Interwebs

I could give 2 poops if/what/how kids use the net, but i don’t like Hannah using it so much because it’s consuming too much room in her already free-thinking-is-for dorks brain.

Niel and I have a low tolerance for media in our home. The internet is on a need to use basis and so is the phone. Television is for watching movies or a special treat after all homework/chores are completed.

The quote above is from a typical afternoon chat. Belle sent us an email-something to do with fan box. It annoyed us both.

Are we whacked because we wont allow our kid to have a cell phone or unchecked use of the internet?

Holy shit! We’ve become our parents!!!


Late last summer I pulled up the grass on my park strip. The official name is” rip your strip” . I started to rip but decided that was way too much work so I put down some cardboard, collected tons of organic material and hauled dirt from a neighbor’s house to mine. I did some broadcast seeding of alfalfa and clover to put some nitrogen into the soil, added some random stuff from the beds near the house, planted some radishes to breakup the soil, gave it some water and waited.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well it wasn’t. Most days were over 100 degrees and hauling the dirt was exhausting because I made a couple of hill/mounds to add “interest”( = dozens of trips up to the neighbor’s). I might add that I had no help during this project.

Well, look what I got come spring:

He happened to show up just as I was done taking pics.
It seems the soil I used had some poppy seeds in it. What a pleasant surprise. It could have been a lot worse! (the cornflower was a gift from fMh Artemis). It may not be the most “designed” park strip in the ‘hood but dammit, it sure is the prettiest.

Next up: pulling the poppies out before they go to seed and planting the new greenies I got for Mother’s Day.

personal progress

Most 14 year-old girls are not known for their wisdom or their ability to see the big picture. No, they’ve got more important things to worry about like friends, boys and hair (hair being the most important issue of any day).

But every once in a while, my typical, often self-absorbed teenager says something that makes me proud and reminds me that despite all of the cons of raising a teenage girl, there are some pros that give way to tons of hope.

Last night the Young Women went on a service scavenger hunt and as we were near the end of our evening( with only seven minutes to go) I suggested  we go to a house we missed on the way up the street.

One of the other young women said “Well, they aren’t LDS”, and as I was about to suggest we should be willing to knock on any door, not just the familiar ones, my Belle sighs heavily, rolls her eyes and says:

That’s not right! We can and should serve everyone in our neighborhood.

Her statement was a little more dramatic than I prefer but I was impressed with her willingness and ability to speak up in a crowd for what she thought was right.

Although I’m not positive she would have had the same courage if I wasn’t present, I do believe it’s a step in the right direction.

Next lesson: Tact.

dear lessie

I now this has been a rough couple weeks for you and my thoughts are with you always.  I hope you find time to meditate and reflect on the changes.  AND…try to remember– even though it’s hard to see it from where you are now– better times lay ahead. I promise.

You are an intelligent woman with a heart the size of California, and you will do good things for your community and family.

Know that your friends are cheering you on as you do your best to be a great mother, partner, daughter, sister.




No great mind blowing posts here*-no. What I have for you is a quick update of the last two or three weeks.

My biddies have all of their feathers so they’re out of the bathroom and into a poorly constructed pen/coop area made on the fly last night.

I also added a couple of new girls to the mix. They’re older, bigger and way prettier.

I’m clearing paths in the superfund site (aka: backyard) hoping that the girls will eat ALL the weeds in the next two weeks. ( I’m an optimist)

The snowboard season is over as of last week and I predict that I’ll  have all sorts of anxiety come Friday since I won’t get to head up the canyon for my weekly ride. I’ll probably continue work on the coop and cleaning but that’s not nearly as fun.

It’s playoff season. That means I’ll be working to  sound of  announcer’s voices, cheering fans and bad 90’s but- rock music. Good times. It also means that dh is completely busy the whole night flipping through every game. To be honest, I enjoy hockey, but I enjoy complaining more.

I should be training for the Little Red Riding Hood Century but I just can’t bring myself to wake up early and hit the trainer and  ride after work when I have so much work to do.

I’ve got way too many excuses, don’t I?

We are going to Arches NP next weekend with fMhLisa and fam. Should be fun.

Love you all.



DH, in a response to a beer commercial during a hockey game: it’s a good thing we have pop culture-
otherwise we wouldn’t know that men are low brow.
On the way home from work I stopped at the Flying J to drop off a FEDEX envelope. A woman has just finished fueling up her Hummer and proceeds to drive 15 feet away to the mini mart.
Belle: I like my birthday!
Girl in the clothing store is talking so loud on her cell phone that I can hear her from the other side of the store. She’s discussing all manner of important items, like dates, dances and church meetings. I make my way over to the accessory aisle, pick out a pair of cotton athletic socks and walk over to her and offer her the socks–to put in her mouth, of course.
Yes, I do think I am better than everyone else.

7 a.m.

7 a.m.

not fully dark; just before sunrise
motionless streets and silent houses
flocked trees and glittering sidewalks

i feel guilty; my shoes leave a trace
i feel refreshed; my lungs draw the frigid air
i feel at peace; my soul delights in the beauty that surrounds me


New Guy: Is that NPR?

Me: Yeah (reaching to turn it down), is it too loud? I try to keep it low so it doesn’t bother folks.

New Guy: No-not too loud. So are you a Hillary supporter?

Folks, what’s wrong with this exchange?

taking myself very seriously since 2006