Thursday, January 21, 2016

Christmas and New Year's

Christmas Day 2016

It was really fun having a Santa from Oregon working in Seattle and attending our ward for a few weeks!
With Patty at a church party.

Sunday Morning

Can't get enough of this little cutie, Amoura. She's 1 1/2 now. Had a fun New Year's trip to St. George.

Had so much fun with these grand daughters.

My very first artificial Christmas tree and I loved it. Excited to be able to put it up earlier too.


4 :  an act of will
5 a :  a thing done :  deed
b  :  the accomplishment of a thing usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition
c plural :  behavior, conduct actions>
d :  initiative, enterprise action>

You know how some people like to have a catch word for the new year? Sometimes I do that. A couple of weeks ago I was driving in my car, pondering what my word might be. I said to myself I want an action word. And that was it. Action.

Action has different meetings but I like the ones above. An act of will, a thing done, accomplishment. I especially like the part about the accomplishment being done over a period of time.

So that's my word for 2016 - action. If it had a partner word that word would be results or outcome. I think for every action there is an outcome. Whether that outcome be good or bad, it's there.

Kind of makes you think twice before "taking action" doesn't it?

Ways I'm going to take action this year:

Accept more, complain less;
Keep looking forward, less looking backward;
Just do it, less putting it off;
Be brave, less fear;
Service, not selfishness;
Find the need and fill it;
Jump in, don't hesitate;
Make it happen;
and accept the outcome and result with a good attitude.

Action requires planning, action deserves rewards, action is movement, motion, not sitting on the sidelines.

This is the year for action. How about you?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Past

December was a whirlwind. But it was all good and fun preparing for the one day of Christmas. Since I live out of state from most of my family, it means shopping early and shipping gifts. Gifts and candies. I had a lot of fun making chocolate covered salted caramels and mailing them out. If you didn't get any this season, forgive me, there will be more later. I think I made like 600 of them over a period of 2 weeks.

I shipped something like 14 boxes to various family members and friends. Caramels even made their way to a friend in Hawaii this year.

The month was filled with fun holiday church parties, a concert at Benaroya Hall, lunches and gift exchanges at the office and food. Lots of food.

Two days before Christmas we celebrated Gisele's 15th birthday at Grazie's Italian restaurant.

On the day before Christmas Wally and I took a drive up to Snoqualmie Falls. We saw snow along the way. It was cold at the falls but still nice.

Christmas Day we slept in. When we finally got up we opened presents, ate breakfast, made many phone calls to talk with family and grand daughters. In the afternoon Melissa and her family came over for dinner and more gifts to open. It was a nice day.

Saturday I shopped, watched TV and did a lot of nothing. It was a nice relaxing day after.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. On to the New Year! 2016 awaits.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Viva Las Vegas and Washington, Utah

In August I made a trip to Southern Utah to visit my son and his family. I flew down on a Thursday and Andrea and the girls drove to Vegas in the morning to pick me up. We went to the Hershey Store and had lunch in New York, New York hotel.

I remember in the mid 90's flying into Vegas to visit my parents who were living in Southern Utah at the time and I remember having some spare time before flying home. I had gone down to the strip and I remember walking around New York, New York.

After the Hershey Store we went to get burgers in the New York, New York hotel. Then it was off to the Las Vegas Children's Museum for loads of fun. There was dress up, there was climbing, there was inventions, there was water. Something for everyone. As we arrived at the Museum I discovered I had left my credit card at the hotel when we had lunch. I called them and they were holding it for me at security. So after the museum we had to make the trip back to the strip to retrieve my card.

After retrieving my card we made the drive home to St. George. Wayne came home from work and we had a nice evening at home.
On Friday and Saturday we visited Aunt VeLois, got to visit the Superior Threads warehouse store and fabric store, had lunch at Cracker Barrel and had a mega fun shopping trip to Costco. We also had dinner at my daughter in law's parent's home. Wayne and Andrea got to go out to a movie while I watched the girls.

On Sunday Wayne drove us to Vegas where we had lunch at the Rainforest Café inside the MGM Grand Hotel. That was quite a pretty site to see. Vegas was very warm and sunny.

After lunch it was time to go to the airport to head back home. It was a fun, fast weekend visiting the kids.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Catching Up with Life

Excuse my embarrassment for not having blogged for two months. Do you sometimes ever feel that life gets in the way of life? I think we spend so much of our time planning our life, that we don't always recognize life as it unfolds right here and now in front of us.

In September I was able to go to Boise to attend my 40th high school reunion. Gail flew in from North Carolina. We had so much fun. Originally the life I had planned that weekend would have been Wally and I driving to Boise on Thursday and spending a leisure weekend in Boise and then driving home on Sunday.

As life would have it, Wally got a stomach virus and was very sick the first week and a half in September. So I bought an expensive plane ticket two days in advance and I have no regrets. Well, except leaving a recovering Wally home to fend for himself for a little over 48 hours.

Gail picked me up on Friday night for the first activity. It was a casual gathering at The Drink Waterfront Bar and Grill. It was the perfect spot for this gathering. We donned our name tags at the check in desk and then spent the next few hours trying to guess who people were! Some I could recognize, but for most it was hard. High school was so long ago. But the evening was very fun spent visiting and catching up with people.

Saturday morning my brother and sister came over to Sue's house and we met to discuss things about the cabin with Nancy on the phone.

In the afternoon Gail came over and we spent the afternoon floating in the pool in the backyard and visiting. It was a much needed rest for a crazy month.

The Saturday night event was a lot of fun. It was held at the Riverside Hotel.  It was fun getting dressed up to go out for the evening. We had a light dinner, short program and a DJ playing 70's music. And lots of space and time for visiting. They had yearbooks spread out and even some grade school and Jr. high photos. A lot of the kids had gone to school together since grade school.

The evening was a lot of fun. Sunday came very quickly and it was time to fly back home. Wally survived and I was back at work on Monday.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Little Nostalgia

I recently blogged about a trip to Boise to attend a memorial service. It was a quick trip. One morning as I was driving my sister's (manual transmission) car around town, I found myself in a familiar area and realized it was near my grade school, Whittier Elementary. So I took a photo.

The grade school turned out to be really close to the Main Street auction where I spent many a Saturday as a kid with my Dad. So I took two photos.

Walking back to my car, there was a heart shaped oil stain on the road. I saw that as a sweet sign from Brenda. So I took a photo.

And to add to the 70's nostalgia vibe of my trip, this was parked on the street near the auction and grade school. So I took a photo and slugged myself!

Since my Junior High School, Fairmont, was on the way back to my sister's house I figured I might as well stop there too. So I parked in the stall marked "principal" and got out and took a photo.

There was another grade school that I spent 3rd grade at but I didn't get that photo. I decided to round it off by driving by my High School, Capital High, home of the Capital Eagles. Given the fact that this year is my 40th reunion I found it appropriate to visit. I took lots of photos.

I'm not 16 anymore! 40th reunion in September!

I then drove by our old house on Cory Lane. I didn't recognize it. I had to identify it by the house number. Of course trees have been taken down and the surrounding property has homes built on it. It was fun to see it though. And I snuck a picture (of some stranger's home because it used to be mine).

My bedroom was the dormer on the top right side. I shared it with my sister Nancy for many years. It was big and had green linoleum on the floor! Lots of fun memories from my 10 years living in that house.

Saying Good Bye

When I was eight years old my family moved to Boise, Idaho. We bought a big five bedroom house on Cory Lane. We had a pasture on the side and back of the property that connected to the Amidon's home. Dorothy became a close friend of my Mom's. Dorothy and her husband had five kids. The oldest, Brenda was one year older than me. I was the youngest of five and she was the oldest.

We spent much time together playing in the field, riding bikes, taking the bus to grade school, going to girls camp at Pine Top, Saturday night dances at the church, the drive in movies, and just pretty much enjoying the 1970s. Through grade school, junior high, and high school we were friends. She graduated a year before me and the next year she married Dan. This year in May they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

I had moved away from home to attend college. We saw each other off and on when I made trips home to visit my parents. Then later when my parents had retired to St. George I would occasionally visit with her on our way to the cabin in Idaho.

The older I get the more it feels like time passes quicker. Before I knew it, it had been many years since we had seen each other. With Facebook we had reconnected, able to share family pictures of kids and grand kids.

In May this year Brenda spent three weeks in Seattle with her son and daughter in law while her son was having some medical procedures done. I was able to visit her on multiple occasions and we had a wonderful time sitting and talking.

Then on Saturday morning, July 4th I received a phone call from her daughter in law telling me that she had passed away that morning. She had lupus and health problems related to that, but it was still unexpected. How grateful I was for the gift of being able to see her in May and spend time with her. And how sad I was for the loss. She was only 58 years old.

I was able to go to Boise to attend her memorial service. It was nice to see her husband Dan and her son's families, two of her brothers, her father, and to be able to meet her sister's son. I still find it hard to believe that it's been nearly 50 years ago that my family moved into that house near hers.

At the memorial her daughter in law shared this picture with me that she found on Brenda's cell phone. Brenda must have found it recently and taken a photo of it but hadn't sent it to me. I'm guessing we were probably in high school at the time of the photo.

I regret that we never took a photo together during the visits we shared when she was here in May. But perhaps this is the way I'm meant to remember her. She will be greatly missed by many. Be at peace Brenda, united with your Mom and sister Ruth.