Monday, March 31, 2008

Mellow Yellow II

Emma has the same hair style as her mother did. She probably has a better cut.
Will the real Princess Buttercup please stand up?

Single Digits

Pearl Harbor Day is a little less than 9 months away (ask Keira if you want to know exactly how long...)

A few weeks ago I felt like I was living in one of the 9 circles of heck. I was like unto one of the 9 ungrateful lepers. It's probably a good thing that I don't have 9 lives like a cat. It's also a good thing I don't own a cat-o-nine tails - that way I'm never tempted to use it. Since Nathan is allergic to most pets, including cats and dogs, the only dog I'd be tempted to get would be a robot dog, like Dr. Who's "K-9". Did you know that Dr. Who is an alien? He isn't from Earth or Mars...

We're down to single digits in our countdown.....(can you find all nine references to the number of the day?)

Silence of the Hams

After watching (listening to)the commentary for "The Ten Commandments" my husband wanted to watch the bonus 1923 version that came with the DVD set. That version is a silent movie. I've never watched a feature length silent movie, and frankly, I'd rather not do it again any time soon. It's exhausting. Not only do you have to pay attention so that you're looking at the screen when the text comes up, but when the actors are on screen they are always emoting to the balcony, so to speak. Two hours or so of campy organ music is also wearing.

The movie itself was really weird. the first half was the biblical 10 commandments, then it changes - without any preamble - to "modern day". Modern day being the 1920's. The biblical portion wasn't too hard to watch, after all - it's a familiar story - and it did have its share of unintentional humor. I especially liked that Moses is portrayed as an old guy of about 70 or 80 years of age - and yet, his sister Miriam (wasn't she the one who took care of him when he was a baby?) was a babe in her 20's. Poor Moses certainly didn't age well in comparison. The orgy scene wasn't quite as "G" rated as DeMille's later effort.

One thing I did like about the "modern" setting was that the characters reminded me a little of the ones you might find in a GLH book. Especially the sweet little old mother who either slaved away in the kitchen or read her bible. She was big into the 10 commandments, and of her 2 boys (Johnny and Danny) only one followed after her. The other son (Danny) was a big disappointment - he left home to marry and he and his heathen wife said they would go and break all the commandments. Which they did - well, mostly he did. Another character who reminded me of GHL was "the scarlet woman". As are all bad GLH people, she is distinctly chubby. She is also French, Chinese AND a leper (talk about overkill). Johnny, the good son, was content to stay home with mother and go on being a poor carpenter. Who secretly loved his brothers' wife.

As Oscar Wilde said: "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means." Oh, except the mother. She was killed (remember, parents are pretty expendable in GLH's world).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Wait is On.

President Southworth called just a little while ago - Andrew's mission papers have been submitted.

Now we wait.

Mellow Yellow

Here are the pictures Suzanne requested. In all their yellow glory.

Sorry about the picture quality - but hey, these pictures were taken nearly 28 years ago. And I just took a picture of them (it would take a long time to get them scanned). I love how demure Keira looks. How deceptive.

The Best 3 Hours

Try the best 3 minutes.

When we got to church this morning everyone noticed an awful smell in the chapel. It smelled a bit like the 4th of July (without the sulfur). The bishop and his counselors were trying to find the problem (with the help of a ward member who is a general contractor). About 3 minutes after 9am the bishop walked up to the podium and very politely said "Thank you for coming, but we will now evacuate the building. I've talked to the Stake President and he agrees. See you next week, wait, that's General Conference. See you in 2 weeks."

I'd like to report how disappointed we all were, but there definitely seemed to be a bit of a holiday feel. Sort of "schools out!". The nice thing is, I now have plenty of time to watch "The Ten Commandments". Oh, and go visiting teaching.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

When I was young we only got 3 or 4 channels on the tv. No VCR's , no DVD players. No DVR's. If you wanted to watch something on your television, you watched what the station was airing at that moment. Marcy and I would plan out our Saturday morning cartoon viewing strategy with almost military precision - The Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner show was my favorite. I still smile when I see Wile E. Coyote.

There were some television events that would air once a year. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Wizard of Oz. You planned ahead so that you could watch all of it. The other big movie event I remember watching every year - right around Easter was The Ten Commandments. Every year we would watch Moses lead the children of Israel out of captivity. We now own a copy - so we can watch it whenever we want - but we still watch it around this time of year.

10 days to go. So let it be written. So let it be done.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Take it to 11

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Out Like a Lion...

Fire and Ice
By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

There was an article in our local paper today about global warming. It said that the western US is experiencing more of it than elsewhere in the States. Did I miss something, somewhere? If this is warming, I wonder what kind of an ice age we'd have with this degree of global cooling?

Cheaper By the Dozen

What do you think of when you think of the number 12?

  1. A dozen donuts?
  2. A dozen roses?
  3. The mulitplication table inside an old fashioned "PeeChee"?
  4. The Dirty Dozen?
  5. Force 12 on the Beaufort wind force scale ?
  6. The 12 Apostles?
  7. 12 Tribes of Isreal?
  8. 12 months a year?
  9. 12 people on a jury?
  10. 12 noon?
  11. A twelve-faced polyhedron (a dodecahedron)?
  12. I think it's the number of days before Nathan gets home.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Label Love

I cleaned out another closet today. Well, I cleaned 2/3 of a closet today. The other 1/3 didn't really need it. I sorted the "grandkid" toys and put them in containers, then Danny printed up labels for them.

I thought when I got Steve the label maker for Christmas that it wouldn't get much use beyond labelling his files, but I'm loving it. I may even have to spring for some more tape to go in it.

To Dye For

This week's science experient involved learning about capillary action. I harkened back to the days of my youth when we used to put food coloring in vases with daffodils. Unfortunately I couldn't find daffodils the day we started our experiment, so we used carnations and celery (thank you Suzanne for that tip). I found some daffodils the next day, so we added them to the mix. Our next experiment might involve living plants. It would be cool to water some daffodils with colored water. Or some daisies. We'll see, I'm not willing to invest a lot of money in this.
Red Dye #40 doesn't look too appetizing.

Apollo 12-A?

I myself do not suffer from triskaidekaphobia, but I suppose there are many that do.

Maybe those people think that if Apollo 13 had been named "Apollo 12-A" there wouldn't have been any problems.

13 lucky days to go.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

I classify clean closets as things of beauty. Remember....low expectations are the key to real happiness.

Steve came down and helped me dejunk the two large hall closets we have downstairs. We are getting rid of a lot of stuff (yea!), and making sure everything fits where it should be. It's been so long since we saw the inside of the one at the end of the hall that I forgot that we had initially set it up to be computer ready.

Andrew is not going to be a happy camper when he gets home from work - we're moving his computer OUT of his room and into the hall. He has been resistant to getting ready to have a roommate again (Nathan) - but we're just going to give him a giant shove in that direction.

If you hear a loud thud, that'll be Andrew.

A Good Offense Is The Best Defense

Hey Sherri!

I am so going to look for this book for you.

Actually, that's not what I wanted to write about, I'm just putting my defense right at the top.

We had my mother-in-law visit us for nearly eight weeks. While she was here I really noticed a distinct lack of seating in our living room. We definitely need room for more people to sit. I sort of blame Suzanne for inspiring me to get out there and do something about it. After all, she and her family were able to go out and buy 2 sofas and 2 loveseats in one day.

Steve and I bought a sectional sofa yesterday. Sherri equates sectionals with mini-vans. Like that's necessarily a bad thing. I happen to like mini-vans. I'm not even going to defend myself on that one. I will admit to some qualms about sectionals. They mostly tend to be large and squishy. Watching Candice Olson repeatedly pull them off in her designs has somewhat changed my mind about them.

When it gets delivered next Wednesday we'll see if I was right to change my mind.

2 Weeks Notice

"Depend upon it sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

14 is the atomic number of silicon.

14 days to go...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The youth in our ward had a talent show this evening.

  • 3 people played piano.

  • 1 girl showed her artistic talents (paint, pastels, and pen & ink)

  • 1 boy showed his model making abilities (some kind of gaming models?)

  • 1 boy played the bass guitar (solo for over 9 looooong minutes)

  • 1 girl played the harp (again, solo, but only about 1 minute)

  • The priest quorum had 2 videos

  • 1 girl did a modern dance

  • Alex did his Napoleon Dynomite dance. When asked who his inspiration for his dancing was he replied "Napoleon Bonaparte." Oh yeah, that great French dancer...

I was somewhat prepared for Alex's dance sequence. At least I knew it was coming. What I didn't know was coming was one of the videos - Alex was the star. Not only was he the star, he had his shirt off for nearly the entire time. I strongly suspect that the video may find its way onto youtube sometime....

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

15 Minutes of Fame

" prediction from the sixties finally came true: "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." I'm bored with that line. I never use it anymore. My new line is, "In fifteen minutes everybody will be famous." -Andy Warhol

2 weeks and 1 day.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Fresh Start

I started homeschooling Daniel the very week my mother-in-law came for an 8 week visit.

I appreciated having a schedule to keep to without interruption, but it did come at a cost. Pretty much for the past 8 weeks Daniel and I have been holed up in my office. My 9x10 foot office. Slightly claustrophobic (the walls were closing in).

We now have the luxury of spreading out to the living room, dining room and even the kitchen counter. It's wonderful. I can now have Daniel working on math at the dining room table, and I can be more than 12 inches away (which was too close).

16 Going on 15

A few years ago Nathan burned me a traveling cd. One of the songs was by a group called "The Decemberists". He had gone to one of their concerts with his friend Alex. I found a clip of a song by them "16 Military Wives".

But that's not really what I was looking for.

I found a clip of Judi Dench singing "I Am 16 Going on 17", but is wasn't really appropriate. Especially since it's 16 going on 15.

How about Connie Stevens - Sixteen Reasons?

Better, but still not it. Got it.

Sixteen days to go.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Instructions for Practically Painless Egg Dyeing

1. Boil up a bunch of eggs, cool.
2. Lay down a lot of newspaper.
3. Mix the dyes with water.
4. Give each child one plastic spoon.
5. Gently drop egg into dye.
6. Instruct child to gently stir the egg.
7. Repeat step 6 as needed.
8. Remove egg from dye.

I'll admit that this method does little to promote creativity and self expression, but as a grandmother, I'm more about maintaining my somewhat fragile grip on sanity. Besides, they can go home and be as creative as their parents are willing to have them be. We had a good time and there was no yelling and surprisingly little mess involved.

Sure, I told them to smile for the camera, but they won't do it if they aren't feeling it. All in all a pretty successful undertaking.

Oh, I forgot the most important step in the whole process. This should actually be step number 1.

Keep your expectations low.


How could I NOT do haiku for the number 17? It is practically a moral imperative. Ask Keira.

Counting down the days

until Nathan returns home -

seventeen to go.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shiver Me Timbers

My oldest grandson, Kaith, turned 5 years old today. To celebrate the occasion I promised to make him a pirate ship cake. Danny and I found pirate eye patches in the party section of the craft store, so our party plans were complete. Yup, pirate ship cake and eye patches. I waited to frost the cake until a couple of hours before the "party", so that the grandkids could "help". I gave them their eye patches to wear while I frosted and decorated the cake. I got a big kick out of their pirate lingo. My favorite phrase:

"Aargh Maybe!"

Feeling Noble?

Hmm. What to go with for today's countdown?

18 - secret code name for Adolf Hitler?

18 - the atomic number for the noble gas argon.

Argon constitutes 0.934% by volume and 1.29% by mass of the Earth's atmosphere, and air is the primary raw material used by industry to produce purified argon products. The Martian atmosphere in contrast contains 1.6% of argon...

2 1/2 weeks. Wow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Real Genius

Alex headed off to the state Knowledge Bowl tournament today. Up until yesterday Steve and I were under the impression that it was to take place somewhere in eastern Washington. Silly us, it's actually in Camas, WA (adjacent to Vancouver). I had spent the week trying to get information out of Alex about it. About the only information I did get out of him was the name of his team.

"Oh My Lloyd".

That's pretty much my sentiments.

He left me to speculate on which "Lloyd" is the Lloyd being referenced.

Other Fish in the Sea?

I fell in love yesterday. We went steady for a little while, and then we broke up. By we, I mean me. I just wasn't ready for the commitment. I mean, sure, who doesn't want a big comfy sofa. I do. I just couldn't justify the acreage it would take up in my living room.

I probably sat on at least 19 different sofas yesterday. The search continues.

(this may just qualify as the lamest countdown entry, but I had so little to work with: potassium, Rutherford B. Hayes, Indiana, Product 19 have to admit Steely Dan is cooler than Rutherford B. Hayes, the state of Indiana and Product 19. Combined.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

20/20 Hindsight

20/20 Hindsight - that phrase always make me think of the old saying "if I knew then, what I know now". So....what do I know now, that I didn't know then?

March 20th 1960: Didn't know much of anything - I was only 5 months old.

March 20th 1971: Didn't know how people had babies.

March 20th, 1980: Didn't know that I would be engaged in less than 3 weeks.

March 20th 1982: Didn't know that the baby I was going to have in 2 weeks would be a boy.

March 20th 1990: Didn't know that in less than a year I would be moving to Washington.

March 20th 2002: Didn't know if I would survive being "mother of the bride".

March 20th 2003: Didn't know what kind of grandma I would turn out to be

March 20th 2005: Didn't know how much fun Steve and I were going to have on our anniversary trip to Europe.

March 20th 2008: Didn't know how much I would be looking forward to Nathan returning from his 20 days.

What do you know now that you didn't know then?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Starry, Starry Night

We had a new girl visiting at YW last night. I got to talking with her - she has her own horse. I asked her what the horses' name was - she calls him Vinny.
Short for Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent Van Gogh sounds very artistic, but Vinny - that's a name for a mafia hit man. Or Vinny Barbarino .

Baby Love

Grandson Sterling. And either Trevor or Miriam's toes.


I've done all the laundry, and put it away. Now it's time to pack. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we'll grab our coats and go.

In the Pink

My husband just told me to turn this down. (But did she turn it down? No.)

Time to jump right into the new season and do some spring cleaning. I've already cleaned my bathroom. I actually made a long list with things in the order that I would like to get them done. My bedroom is next. Then my office. I might do the stairs and entry today also, but the rest will have to wait until tomorrow and Friday. The rest of my family don't realize it yet, but I plan to recruit them to help out. Actually I plan to have them help inside and out.

3 Weeks from Today

Chester A. Arthur. Our 21st president.
... "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired… more generally respected." Author Mark Twain, deeply cynical about politicians, conceded, "It would be hard indeed to better President Arthur's administration."

Who knew?

21 is also a Fibonacci number. I just like saying it. "Fibonacci...Fibonacci...Fibonacci"

21 is also the number of spots on a standard cubical die (1+2+3+4+5+6)

21 is also the number of days in 3 weeks.

As in 3 weeks from today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in Dining

Nathan wrote in a letter that he had recently eaten dinner with the Elder family. He said,"I ate an entire Artichoke. I think it was a vegetable, or maybe a pine cone."

I don't mind the occasional artichoke, but I can't say that I love them. Frankly, in my opinion, a whole artichoke is more effort than it's worth. I do like their shape-I think they look cool.

Catch 22

Nathan as judge in the ward chili cook-off
"as Elder West makes his way thru the 12 different types of chili, he discovers the undisputed winner for the spicy category."

In a way, it's too bad that Nathan has to come home from his mission.

In a way.

In another way, I am quite ready for him to be home.

In a way.

It's sort of a "Catch 22". I'm going to miss his emails and letters. I have thoroughly enjoyed our correspondence over the past two years. Not a week has gone by that we haven't communicated at least once and usually twice. Before his mission (while he was living at home) I'm not sure if I could have said that. We'll have to try and build on the past two years and see if we can continue communicating. Maybe in cookie form.

Nathan's current companion, Elder Grish

"Elder Grish is presented with my sentiments, in cookie form"

22 days to go.

Musical Selections from the Wrong Side of the Tracks

Headline photo in the local paper this morning

I headed over to Wal*Mart this morning after dropping Alex off at seminary. I had to wait for a freight train (which is strangely enough, good news) so that I could cross the tracks and get to the store.

I usually don't even hear the background music in stores anymore...I tune it out. But somehow, at 6:30am, with few other shoppers or distractions I noticed what was playing.

The three songs in a row that I heard were (in order)

Washed in the Blood of the Lamb (country gospel - this clip is better than the version I heard)

You Can Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)

Colors of the Wind (from the Disney movie "Pocahontas")

I felt a little like I was in an episode of Sesame Street while they were playing the game "One of these things is not like another..." except that NONE of these things WAS like another.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Birthday Paradox, number 23

Today is my sister-in-law Debbie's birthday. You might be wondering what that has to do with the number 23. She is NOT 23 today. I think she is 51. Today is obviously not the 23rd. I found this article on Wikipedia under "Birthday Problem".

In probability theory, the birthday problem, or birthday paradox pertains to the probability that in a set of randomly chosen people some pair of them will have the same birthday. In a group of 23 (or more) randomly chosen people, there is more than 50% probability that some pair of them will have the same birthday. For 57 or more people, the probability is more than 99%, tending toward 100% as the pool of people grows. The mathematics behind this problem leads to a well-known cryptographic attack called the birthday attack.

Cool. Of course, if mathematicians ever got married, they'd realize that certain dates lend themselves to conception. February 14th comes to mind.

Other 23 trivia:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Right To Privacy

Stephanie and her family came over for dinner this evening. I was talking to Stephanie about my "trials" and she neatly summed up my problem.

I don't like having my life narrated.

I always got a kick out of the asides made by the narrator in Winnie the Pooh (Sebastian Cabot). Turns out, when I have a narrator of my own, I don't care for it quite as much. Maybe if I had a narrator with a strong voice and a fun accent.

...on second thought, I don't think that would help.

Number of the Day...24


1 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

5 x 5= 25?

B-25 Mitchell Bomber

Today's countdown number is 25. I wanted to find of clip of Michael Johnson's "Twenty-five Words or Less", but since I couldn't, the lyrics will have to do. Maybe you could download to your i-pod.

Twenty-five Words Or Less

I like springtime flowers that grow along the lane

I like sunshine showers and walking in the rain

I like a three day weekend and Sundays at the zoo

And in 25 words or less I'll tell you why I like you

You got the sensational smile, irresistible eyes

Oh but the fascinatin' thing about you

Is you look lonesome too

I like a wet martini but I take my whiskey neat

I like toast and honey cause that makes my morning sweet

I like a nightclub after hours,

I like a Coleman Hawkins blues

And in 25 words or less I'll tell you why I like you

You got the sensational smile, irresistible eyes

Oh but the fascinatin' thing about you

Is you look lonesome too

I like a tropical island, I play my ukulele in the lagoon

I climb up the coconut tree and hula-hula with the local baboon

I like milkshakes, cupcakes, clambakes, sweepstakes, lazy afternoons

And in 25 words or less, I'll tell you why I like you

Cause you got the sensational smile, irresistible eyes

Oh but the fascinatin' thing about you

Is you look lonesome,

I'm so lonesome

You look lonesome too

I Should Have Listened

I don't give snow a lot of thought. Until it snows.

Here in western Washington we get maybe a couple of dinky snowstorms a year - if any. Every few years we get a pretty good storm that will dump maybe a foot of the white stuff. Pretty much after February we're done.

Yesterday I went up to a cabin in the mountains. There has been a lot of snow up there this year. Usually it's gone by now, but not this year. I think there was a good 3 feet on snow still on the ground. It wasn't at all like the fluffy new snow, this was hard, icy, grainy stuff - the end of the season snow. I had to walk back and forth between cabins in this stuff. I was wearing my clogs - and let me tell you - I don't know what the Dutch were thinking. I'm sure they get snow in Holland (remember Hans Brinker?). Clogs are not meant to be worn in treacherous footing conditions.

As I was getting dressed to head up to our retreat with the Young Women, I had a thought that I should probably wear my boots. I didn't want to wear my boots. I didn't wear my boots. I should have worn my boots.
I should have listened to that still, small voice.