Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dryer sheets

It's laundry day.  In a way, I like to do laundry.  Dirty clothes go in, clean clothes come out.  Bingo!  It's rewarding.  I feel like I've accomplished something when everything is neatly folded or hung and put away. 

I'm allergic to so many things, that I have to be careful what soap I use.  Powders tend to stay in the clothes no matter how much you rinse and they make me itch.  So I look to liquids.  On the surface, they seem more expensive, but since they are concentrated, we get more for a smaller portion.  I use a lot of stain removers, too.  I like the spray ones, but just recently, there's a bleach pen that I used to get a stain out and it was wonderful. 

In Mexico, we hung most of our clothes outside.  It was wonderful.  There's nothing like the scent of sun-dried sheets and pillowcases.  And the towels!  Just like old time Turkish towels . . .super absorbent and just a tiny bit scratchy.  They feel like they are doing something. Of course, the sun and wind tend to damage the clothes sooner than the dryer and some things fade quickly.  I guess the cost savings is a trade-off.  I still like hanging out the linens.

A month ago, I bought fabric softener sheets.  I really felt they were kind of stupid and unnecessary, but I thought I'd try them.  I'm hooked.  The clothes smell so good!  And they are softer.  I'm a very tactile person, so it's like heaven for me. It's kind of fun to hug nice-smelling, warm things just out of the dryer.  Now I'm wondering how many different scents there are for those sheets?  I just grabbed the ones with a name I recognized. 

I think I'm going shopping!


Monday, September 27, 2004

Trees and grass

I keep looking at trees and grass.  Oh, how I love the color green!  I liked it very much when I moved to Mexico, but after 15 years in the desert, I love it even more.

This is not to say that desert colors aren't beautiful.  I especially like those southwestern colors.  Alas, Mexico, at least in Baja, doesn't have even those.  As we would drive down the coast toward our home, we'd look out on an ocean reminiscent of California 50 years age.  It was incredible.  Driving south, you would see water and cliffs and a lovely God-shaped landscape on your right.  On the left, you would see poverty, cactus and dirt roads.  Quite a contrast.

Where we lived was an agricultural valley with a huge water table beneath.  Planted, it was an astoundingly great sight.  Flowers, vegetables, they managed to get at least 3 crops a year.  But the yards were bare.  A tree now and then, but few and far between and grass seemed to be only for the rich.  I'd make fun when I first got there when people would complain that there were no trees or grass.  Then it hit. Each visit to the U.S. would find me staring at trees and checking out lawns.  I really missed them.

It's funny how we take for granted all that we have around us.  We complain about having to trim the trees and cut the grass.  Not me.  Not going to complain again.  I used to spend hours every day up in a tree.  We had a walnut in our back yard that was so inviting.  Mom said that our dog pulled me out of the peach tree.  I don't remember, but I do remember relaxing in the crook of the tree with a good book.  Even when we went to the park, I had favorite trees to climb. 

Last week, while we were in the midst of a ranch with tons of trees, I wished for a moment to be young enough to climb again.  I also took a ton of pictures of the trees.  Silly, I know.  I can go outside anytime I want and see them firsthand.  I guess missing them is something you don't forget.


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Happy Anniversary

I know it doesn't seem like very long, but we've been married 3 years today.  That's exciting for me.  I never expected to have this kind of romance this late in life, but here it is.  We spent the entire week at our annual Camp/Missions meeting.  Actually, we got married at campmeeting 3 years ago.  This year, it was outside on a ranch.  I couldn't believe all the beautiful trees.  Awesome.

When we married, we had a wedding here and then travelled to Mexico for a 2nd wedding in front of the children we cared for.  That wedding was a dream come true for me.  The children were my attendants and we had a traditional Mexican wedding with all the "padrinos" and everything.  I might be older, but I don't think many women could have asked for better.  Then we went home to be with our then 12 children.  Well, we got 2 days off and then back to work. 

Now we are here in the U.S. with only 1 child and have a chance to have a romantic evening alone.  Rob wants to go to the pier and have oysters.  It's pretty nice there, so that's what we'll do.  We don't drink, but a little candlelight goes a long way.  What more could we ask for?  A romantic week doing the things we like best.  A beautiful place to spend that week and oysters (for him!  Yuck!)

It's really cool to be in love.  I recommend everyone try it.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Weekend Assignment

I had a heck of a time adding pictures to my journal today.  I gave up.  Then I reopened the journal page and was able to do what I wanted.  I'm glad, because I have a really great picture of me and my sisters.

Actually it's only great because it's old and in sepia tones.  Of course, I look better than the rest of the girls.  They were my buddies for a few years.  Except for 1.  She hated me.  I was a skinny little kid and was scared of the dark.  My mom would leave me with Sharon and she would turn off all the lights and tell me scary stories.  Or she'd wait until I got in bed, turn off the lights and make "those" noises.  I spent a lot of time crying and dreaming of boogie men.

The deal is, I did kind of steal her thunder.  The "baby" almost always does.  I was a whole lot younger and cute as the dickens.  She, on the other hand was a scrawny eight year old when I was born.  Beady little eyes, blonde hair and jealous.  She thought she would be the baby forever.  Hah!

They did fight about me.  First for me, then to be apart from me.  They played with me like a doll until I was spoiled rotten and then tried to give me back to mama.  At about 5 years old, I became date insurance for the 3 teen girls.  Everyone wanted to take me along.  Mom would let them stay out later . . .

Now we're older and birth order doesn't matter except for Social Security.  The anger of our youth years has mellowed into "grandma-hood"  Of course, I have the most and best and cutest and smartest grandkids.  Ask my kids - they'll tell you.

P.S., I did raise those two in the picture on John's journal.  And sibling revelry it wasn't!  Thankfully, she didn't damage him too much. Love you both and happy birthday daughter.  I'm proud to be your mom

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Santa Ana's

My husband has been asking me about the Santa Ana winds.  I wish he would have kept quiet!  Why?  We've got them.  It's hot and dry here, even near the ocean and the wind is blowing up so much dust that we are sneezing and sniffling and have red and itchy eyes.  We could be the poster children for a number of medications.

When I was a kid and the Santa Ana's hit, I was thrilled.  I loved to be outside with the leaves and stuff blowing around my feet and face.  I loved having my hair blow wild.  It was great.  Imagination intact, I would whirl and twirl to the breeze.  I don't remember now what was so wonderful, but I was reminded of it when I saw a little girl with her arms spread wide twirling in the wind.

Our Creator comes up with some pretty cool stuff.  The winds are wonderful as long as no damage is done.  Kids seem to enjoy them every bit as much as I used to lo, these many years ago.  I used to love the rain as well.  Walked barefoot in it in my shorts.  Would have killed my kids for doing the same.  I wonder what happened to my sense of adventure?

I'm hoping the winds die down before this evening, however.  We are going to be at an outside meeting.  Bunch of older folks will be there too.  Can you imagine all our freshly coiffed heads of hair sticking straight up?  We'd look like a bunch of punkers.  Nothing funny about old punkers.  Use your imagination .


Monday, September 20, 2004

Sleeping in

For the last nearly 11 years, I have gotten up at about 4:30 in the morning every day.  Countless nights I got up several times to tend to babies.  My choice, I know.  But now I am here in the US - one kid only (and she likes to sleep in!) and I WANT TO SLEEP IN! 

Yesterday, because we help set up before church, my wonderful love song crooning hubby got me up at 7 am.  I didn't want to get up, but aquiesced because of our comittment.  Of course, I made him take me out to lunch after church.  Why should I cook when I am so tired?

I spent the whole afternoon putting together presentation stuff for our upcoming missions conference and fell into bed exhausted at nearly 11 pm.  Late for me.

So who was bringing me coffee at 6 am this morning?  Dear Lord!  I just wanted to sleep.  I pulled the covers over my head.  He turned on my computer (I swear he turned up the volume).  I put the pillow on my head.  He plopped himself down on the side of his bed and started fussing in the nightstand.  Do you know this man?  Does he live at your house too?  What is it?  He can't sleep anymore so he won't let me either?

If it wasn't for love, he'd be out on his ear. 

Saturday, September 18, 2004


I have a love-hate relationship with my computer.  I love it, it hates me.  I know its an inanimate object, but tell IT that when I am trying to install the network!  I have worked so hard.  I've done everything right . . . the computer is missing a file for installation.  OOOOOHHH!  I hate this!  I love working on the 'puter, spend an inordiante amount of time letting my fingers do the talking.  I am what most of my friends call a "computer junkie."

Here's the problem:  I got a new computer.  It's wonderful, but I need to get stuff off the old computer.  I don't know how to put the old hard drive in the new 'puter, but networking and wireless seemed the way to go to save my stuff before the old man crashes forever.  Now if I were computer savvy like my son or my friend Ed, I would have had this done hours ago.  It seemed so simple! 

Is technology really that wonderful?  Yes!!  No!! I was happy with my electric typewriter before graphics and hard drives came along.  My first computer was a 20 megabyte DOS system.  I loved it so much.  I wrote, I printed, I played games.  No internet then, but I was happy.  Then Windows, Internet, WiFi . . .I think I'm getting too old for all this stuff.  I just want to plug it in and make it go.  I do, however, love e-mail and instant messaging.  In Mexico, it was our primary form of communication.  At our last place, we didn't even have a phone.  Just a satellite.  Imagine.  Dirt roads, water from a well and 2 satellites on the roof.  I loved it.

Back to the salt mines now.  I'm going to re-install yet another time and see if I can get this thing going.  Pray for me, willya?

Friday, September 17, 2004


Went out for a while today to get networking stuff for my computer.  I always seem to forget what seems to be the most important thing when I get home.  We like to listen to oldies while driving.  Kinda makes us remember that we were young once.  Somehow, though, we got some people on talk radio discussing the merits of the major party candidates for president.  Actually, discussing is too kind a word.

I was in a crisis in another country during the last presidential election and though registered, was unable to vote.  It's a privilege, you know, to take part in the choosing and electing of our governing officials.  We're free to do so.  And like my son, I wish the time was already here.  I've made my decision for president. None of your business.  I'm going to vote and if he makes a mistake, I can complain about it. 

I just can't stand all this petty backstabbing the candidates are doing.  One of them is going to win, for heaven's sake.  When it's all over are they going to hate each other, continue this nastiness?  I can't get used to it.  It would sure be refreshing to have a candidate that only wants to serve and doesn't care about putting the other guy down. Then we could actually look at a candidate and judge his worthiness on true performance and his character.  Maybe I'm dreaming. A perfect world it's not. 

I hope everyone out there is registered and will make their voice heard.  Even my little daughter wants to get involved in the process.  She's chosen a candidate, has a wash off tattoo on her arm and throws away the other guys pamphlets and buttons.  Good girl!  I'm proud.  She's new to the U.S., you know, just 2 1/2 months here and already getting some opinions about the place.  Not bad for a 10 year-old, huh?


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wedding Songs . . .

My son John wants people to write down the first song played at their wedding reception.  I just have to ask - which wedding? 

Okay, I'll bite.  There was no music at the first reception.  There was no reception!  It's all right - didn't last anyway.  Do you think music might have helped?

At the second one, we marched down the aisle to "A Daisy a Day" by Jud Strunk.  That will tell you what kind of stuff we played at the reception.  So John - do you remember where YOU were at the reception?

Now, at the 3rd wedding, it was Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle"  We were going to play it at the wedding, but hit the wrong spot on the 8-track and ended up with "New York's Not My Home."  Y'all remember 8-tracks?

Are we talking romance yet?  For the 4th one we had no reception, but it was a wonderful marriage.  Seems the best parts of life for me have come when I was a bit older.  This was the one that truly ended at " . . .death do us part"  We liked classical music anyway.  It would have been a bummer to dance to.

Here I am at #5 with two receptions and no music.  Plenty of music at the wedding, however and two ministers. If there had been music, it probably would have been Mexican Ranchero music, which he croons to me all the time. Time tested its not, but we are wandering down love's path.  It's exciting to come to this time of life and look backward:

Not a dull moment!