Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More blessings!

Good morning! And it is! New snow outside my window, airplane tickets quandary solved, book club book downloaded to Kindle ("Sarah's Key"), funny mustache app newly added to my iphone, and best of all I awoke with happiness inside this morning! Yay! I have really been fighting that sad feeling and it feels good to feel I am winning! Of course, it helps to be going to the temple today. That is always a boost. And Mel and I are leaving tomorrow morning to go and visit with Julie and her family for New Year's weekend. So that is really great too. So things are looking very cheery and bright this morning.
Yesterday, Mel was able to deliver parts to Micron that he has been working on since August! There was a problem with material. It took four months to get the material in to finish the parts. So that is a big relief for Mel, and me too, worrying about things. So afterwards we went out to dinner with Amy and her husband and sweet baby to celebrate. We had such a nice dinner, and it turned out to only be half price....some deal the restaurant was having. So that was great too! Always nice to feel like you got a deal. Then we went and visited with my dad and Barb. I always like visiting with them, and it gives my spirit renewed hope.
I am having so much fun with my iphone. Yesterday I used it to find the Fedex store for Mel. It was funny because I was telling him the directions as he was driving, but I missed a turn. So he was trying to turn around with the truck on a little narrow section of road, and I am acting like Hyacinth, trying to get him back on track. I think I may even have called him Richard:) I have never been a great navigator. I was always getting us lost in San Francisco. He says the scariest thing I can say when we are trying to find a place is, "I'm sure I'll know it when I see it!"
Well, today looks good from this side. I hope you have a great day too. And just to be sure:
May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past. --Irish Blessing
I love those! HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking on the Irish side of Life

Well, I am trying to have a more positive outlook today, so I will add an additional more positive post today. I guess I was pretty tired this morning when I wrote the last post and a little put out that I had to travel all the way to Micron by myself.
First off, we went to see Sherlock Holmes last night. I enjoyed it, except for how loud they had the sound turned up. I felt like I had to hold on to my was so action packed. I guess I had expected a more traditional presentation. But I really enjoyed the twists and turns. I really liked how eccentric they made Holmes, and wondered if Doyle would appreciate it. He probably would enjoy it too.
The other thing that I have done is a terrible painting:) I tried to redo an older painting I had done, but it just got worse and worse the more I tried. I guess I was in a real rip roaring argument with it. But it was still very distracting, and I think it helped me to focus and stay calm amidst all of the hubub that is life in my home right now. I will post it if I feel brave enough. It is pretty sad. But I guess I need to post the good, the bad and the ugly along with the mediocre and the ordinary.
Well, I get to take another trip over to Micron today only this time with Mel driving. I enjoy going with him, I just don't like having to drive all that way alone.
Well, I hope your day is great and good and that you have the sun on your shoulder. Isn't there some Irish prayer about that? If I was smarter I would look it up. OK I did. Here it is:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand...--Irish Blessing
Here's another on a lighter note:
May those who love us love us
And those who don't love us
May God turn their hearts,
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping. --Irish Prayer
And here is my favorite I think:
As you slide down the banister of life,
may the splinters never point in the wrong direction! --Irish Blessing
May you have a gut and great wan!! Melody

Diddly Squat (Sorry, "Nemo" is on in the background)

Buenos Dias! I hope it will be. I have some running around to do today. Mel needs hardware from Micron to finish the last twenty parts he has run. So I am elected to run over there so he can continue working on all of the other stuff he has going. Tuesday is also laundry day, and there is always plenty to do. Then there is the job of putting away the Christmas stuff. I'm not sure I am up to that today. I'll see. I am still feeling a little sad about Kenny postponing his sealing date. It is kind of a mess with people not happy that they now have tickets to San Diego and no sealing to attend. I think Mel and I may get to buy my dad's tickets. We had not bought any yet because we were waiting for Amy's vacation company deal to come through. It may never, it seems like a scam to of those pyramid scheme things. Anyway, we will see. I guess I am very bummed about it all. But I just need to keep all in perspective. And so far I am doing OK.
We went to visit one of Mel's home teaching families last night. Their grandson was killed in an accident four years ago, and Mel wanted to take them a bouquet of flowers. They are really having a hard time. It was a very emotional visit, but I am glad we went. People sure have hard things to deal with in this life. And this is America. I can't imagine the large heartache people have to bare in other places of the world. Like that woman from Rwanda whose whole family was killed; or people in Darfur, or Kenya, or........ I think we don't have much of an idea of the suffering that goes on daily. Liz lived in a subsidized apartment complex for a while. There were quite a few refugees there from Somalia. The kids would play a game where they would shoot each other. But instead of "bang, bang" you're dead, and then kids popping back up, they would stand there with their pretend rifle and wait. And the child who played dead would lay there for a very long time. Liz said it was eery. I have heard so much how resilient children are, but my own experience is that they carry it with them and it colors their whole life.
Well, I am sounding rather morbid, and I didn't mean to. Oh well. I need to run to Boise now. I hope your day is hard things you can't handle. I will keep my stick on the ice and try not to run over anyone:) HAGW! Melody

Monday, December 28, 2009

Calm and Serene :)

Good morning! I am including a few photos from last night. Mel's brother Dave and his wife Joyce, their three daughters, and Mel and I. It was a very crowded party. I think there were probably twenty adults and maybe another 10 little children, all crowded into the tiny front room and kitchen of Dave's son's house. We didn't stay too long....just long enough to be able to talk to everyone and then high tail it on home. Mel was tired too and had an early morning scheduled for today. He has parts to finish and deliver to Micron today, so he had to be up early to get a headstart on things.

Well, Kenny called this morning and said they are postponing their sealing date. I guess I get to tell everyone as he has to watch his phone bill. I think we will probably still meet down in San Diego as all of the airline tickets are bought and paid for. We will just have a couples' retreat or something. I am a little disappointed, but I am not going to let this get me down. Kenny said they will still get sealed, but not just yet. Sigh!
I took this picture of Michelle's twins. They are so cute and calm and wonderful now. I remember so well when Michelle got so ill, they were three year old screamers! I was so challenged caring for them and keeping the waters calm, plus her new baby! We had quite an adventure together. So it is nice to see them playing so happily and cooperatively, and it gives me hope. I like to look at them and think how things do get better and blessings do come. I also like to remember that the Lord keeps His promises, and I have been promised a lot. So I just have to do my part. It is very reassuring.
Well, I hope your day goes well. I am hoping to paint today. I think I may need the focus:) And also the practice. I am liking each painting a little better than the last. I am so grateful to have something calming and fun to do. HAGW! Melody

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The noncomplainer (Is that a word?)

Good Sabbath! And it has been. Michelle and her family and Kim and her kids and Brody all came to church with us today. It was nice. And a lot of other families were together at church too. It made it seem so homey and nice. I always think that is the way church is supposed to feel, but doesn't usually anymore with kids moving away and creating their own families. We have been lucky to have them as close as they have been for so many years.
We just waved goodbye to the last of them. Tay is still here with us, but all else have departed. We will soon be departing for Mel's brother's family's house to see them for a bit. We don't usually have enough time or energy to get all of them together too. It is hard enough to get our own families together. But they have a 3 year old grandson's birthday, so I made some play do and tied up some cookie cutters and will wrap it all as soon as the play do cools. I actually forgot to get a gift, so this will have to do.
Church was very good today. A lot was said about Elder Christofferson's talk on morals in Relief Society. And the Sunday lesson was all about being a Zion people. So we got a lot of good reminders. I feel well fed.
Well, I hope your day has gone well. It is definitely winding down here, and I am glad. I am really tired. I would rather stay home tonight, but that wouldn't be fair to Mel. He's always a good sport about visiting my side of the family:) So I shan't complain...much. HAGE! Melody

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The morning after

Rachel feasting on chips!

Dad and Barb

Hailey with the manger scene.

Liz and the gamers:)

Kim and Brody

Amy. Michelle, Gary and champion scrabbler Brody

Me and Mel or rather Mel and I

Brody's sweet gift that he painted for me:)
Gooooood morning! Today I felt like I did have Christmas. It all came together as people started arriving. I just needed my family close. I certainly do miss them....a lot! So it was nice to all be together and EAT! Today I have to stop eating so much. I guess I will count carbs very strictly today and tomorrow and the next day...and the next. I am glad we have some leftover turkey. That will help.
Brody, Kim's man friend, brought me a special gift of a little manger scene he had hand painted. I included a picture. He is a good gift giver. I think he has a gift for it:)
I think everyone had a good time because no one wanted to leave. For a little while we thought of all having a sleepover, but then people started remembering the other obligations they had for today. I think the best part is we had a wonderful scrabble game. To our surprise, Brody is a fantastic scrabble player. He was scoring 30 or more points each turn. So we all had to think harder and give him a little competition. He still won both games, but we had a lot of fun trying to outsmart him. I found out a new word, trying to prove the one I had laid down was legit. is plural for os. I'll let you figure out what it means:) Unfortunately, I had oso. Michelle said it was a word and sang a primary song that had a phrase " oh, so happy and something". That made us all laugh.
Well, today should be fun. Michelle and her gang are still here, so we will have to do something fun. We haven't quite decided what that should be. My family always went to see a show in Oakland. I remember when Star Wars came out, we all went together to see it. Those were the days. I would worry about content now.
Well, I'm going to cook us all some eggs, and warm up orange rolls, and try and feed the starving masses. I hope you have a great day. Keep your stick on the ice:) HAGW!!!! Melody

Friday, December 25, 2009

Frohe Weihnachten

Merry Christmas! It's finally here! I got up early, stuffed the turkey...made some more rolls...I gave the others all away....cooked the yams....wrapped more gifts.....did the I have to start making the tables look nice and maybe make a pie or two. Amy may not make it and her assignment was pie. So we'll see.
I have been having a really weird Christmas morning. For as long as I can remember we have always had children on Christmas morning. I love being woken up to kids singing at my door to wake me up and drag me to the Christmas tree. It has been a fun tradition. But this morning was eerily quiet. Mel slept in quite a while. He has been working sooo hard the last month that he needed a break. It just doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Maybe it will when everyone comes for dinner this afternoon. I guess I like the noise and chaos. Have I mentioned that before?
Well, I am hoping your Christmas is wonderful. I'll post pictures on here later today. Joyeaux Noel!!! Melody

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Deep Thoughts :)

Merry morning of Christmas Eve! I am attaching a link this morning as a Christmas gift. I have mentioned that I like this, but didn't see it on youtube 'til this morning. I hope you enjoy it also. If the link doesn't work you can find it on youtube as "The Nativity and Breath of Heaven". It is very special I think.
Today should be fun. I have a few things to fix for tomorrow's dinner, but mostly I will be wrapping gifts and cleaning house. I like both. Especially wrapping gifts. No, especially getting ready for Christmas morning. It will just be Mel and I in the morning, so it may be a little quiet. Everyone else will be arriving about 2. I don't think we haven't had a house full of people for years. Someone is always spending Christmas Eve at our house, but not this year for some reason. I think it might be nice to sleep in a little. Although I am not very good at that.
Last night at the temple I solved a mystery. I had met a lady last week that works on the shift that looked soooo familiar. We talked and tried to figure out how we knew each other, but neither of us could figure it out. Then last night she came up to me and asked if I had any association with St. Luke's hospital. I said yes, that I had worked with Candllighters for years and was there a lot. She said yes, that she remembered me. Her son, David Goosetrey, had cancer, but died at the age of 22 after a nine year battle with cancer. She remembered me coming with gifts for the pediatric cancer floor. I remembered her when she told me that. She said he died in 2002. I stopped working with Candlelighters about '97, so I wasn't there when he relapsed. I admire her strength. She is a very positive person, but she did say the holidays were especially hard. And it has only been 7 years for her. Time has softened things a bit for me.
I am glad to have a special friend on this new shift. I think we will be very close. It is hard to go through such an experience, but it does bond you to others who understand. And it makes the gift of the Savior even more important. I am so thankful for the knowledge that families can be together forever. Now I just have to be worthy of that. No small assignment!!!!
Well, I am not sad, does it sound like I am? Sorry. I guess it was significant to me. I hope your day is happy. And that your family is close to you, whether physically or in spirit. I know mine is to me both ways! HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Looking Forward!

Good morning! And it is! Beautiful clear skies, freezing temps, but the wind has stopped, so it is good. I have already mixed four batches of rolls, and waited for them to rise. They are not too hard, but now I have to roll them out. That is the fun part.
Today is temple day, and I am feeling very calm and rested. It is sure a change from the early morning schedule. I think I have spent the last three years just a bit sleep deprived, because I feel so much better now. I think it was hard not just on Thursday, but Friday too. And then we would just get to feeling normal and it would be Thursday again. So this is much better. And I think I am a better ordinance worker when I am alert and attentive.
I got a very nice comment on my painting on facebook. A friend of mine quoted John Denver..."country roads, take me home, to the place, where I belong." She is from Missouri I think. It does look like a picture from the South. And I have worked a little more on it so some of the flaws have disappeared. But I think I will have to make the white fence into something else. I like the barbed wire fence. Maybe I can make it on both sides of the road. I will see.
Right now I am headed back to the store. I need cranberries. The ones I had have mildewed. I was surprised. I thought they lasted potatoes or winter squash. But apparantly not. I bought these at Thanksgiving and didn't use them. Oh well. I think I may drag Taylor along and get him a haircut. He is a fun traveling companion. Did I ever tell you that I had planned for Max to be my car companion? I tried it a few times and each time he vomitted in the car. So I don't invite him anymore. He probably wouldn't throw up now, but he has never been fond of car rides:(
Well, I hope your day is terrific! Only two more days til Christmas! I am kind of excited. It should be a fun day. HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Warm Christmas!

Well, here it is. I don't think the colors are as vivid on here as they are in the real picture, but you get the idea. I kind of like it. I am still having trouble with...everything. I was going to say with fences, but that's not even half of it. I just noticed that I forgot to fill in around the base of the tree. It is good to take a photo because then I see it from a different perspective and it kind of helps me to see the flaws. I do think I am starting to get the hang of watercolor painting though. It is not what I expected I guess. I am beginning to like how the colors mingle and expand. It makes for some very interesting and unexpected color combos.
Well, I have had a very nice day, although I did go back to the madding crowd at Costco and Target to help Taylor get some Christmas shopping done, and to pick up a couple of items for Christmas dinner. I was so glad I had all my other shopping done. I didn't feel all panicky and scattered. Everyone around me seemed to be feeling that way though.
Well, I hope you are having a lovely evening with balmy breezes and unusually warm weather. We are certainly not here. The wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped below freezing again. I am glad I am in my warm home. I feel so blessed to have a warm home and heat and food and family! I am sooo grateful! HAGE!! Melody

Back in control of the reins

OK, so I had to just show you what greets me on the porch....yuk!!!! I really am not fond of dead rodents!

Guten morgen! I am feeling a little better today. No, a ton better. I did very well yesterday with Christmas shopping, but struggled to stay composed and sweet to everyone with the traffic and crowds. I did manage to get about a third of presents bought, and I mailed the ones to Julie's family. But I was stressing just a bit thinking about having to finish the rest today. So when I woke up at three this morning....and I was still struggling to fall back asleep at occurred to me...Walmart is open all of the time! So I got dressed and drove through the newly falling snow to our nearby Walmart. It was wonderful. I was the only customer with lots of sales people to help me find things.....all still friendly and anxious to please. It only took me about an hour to finish all of the shopping I had left. I got home about 5:30 and climbed back into bed and slept a little until it was time to fix breakfast. So now I am feeling back on schedule, not stressed or anxious. And I am enjoying the season again. Thank you Walmart!
Last night was another fun painting class. I really feel so priviledged to have a great teacher. I told him last night how I had never taken a drawing class and how I really didn't know much about vanishing points and getting perspective. So he stopped what he was doing and gave me a lesson on perspective. I think it will really help my drawing abilities. We worked on a pleasant autumn scene. I will post it later....after I have a chance to redraw and paint it better. I always have a harder time in class because I am so slow and I can't keep up. But I think I learn a lot going through the motions. I was told I need to count my paint strokes...I guess I am over stroking. My teacher said it would help me be more aware. I hope it is not like Bruce B. counting how many times I say "Ummm".
Well, today I start my dinner list for Friday. It is something I found in a magazine about 20 years ago. It lists everything you need to do each day so you are not doing everything all at once at the final hour. I love having the direction. It keeps me calm and focused. Today I make rolls, pie crust, and put the turkey in the fridge to thaw (although I am buying a fresh turkey, so I will not worry about that last step.) I do need to shop for a few groceries today. Mel needs plastic bags for some parts anyway, so I will get things then.
Well, I hope you are having a fun day, or at least a calm one. HAGW!!! Melody

Monday, December 21, 2009


Good morning! I am up and at 'em Adam Ant this morning. I have a lot to do today, so I thought I'd better get a head start. Of course I need to blog first, it helps to clear the cobwebs.
I figured out I have a very short time to accomplish everything before Christmas. Tonight is my art class, so that is a must. I hope it is anyway, since I missed it last week; they may have cancelled and not let me know. I hope not, since I really am looking forward to painting. I just thought of something my art teacher said. He went to his doctor and told him that sometimes he felt like a wigwam, but other times he felt like a teepee. The doctor told him, "Well I think I know what your problem is. You're two tents!" Ha! I guess I will try not to be two tents today. That will be a trick! Before class I need to SHOP. I am having quite a few family members here on Christmas day and so I need to gather dinner supplies. Also I am making neighbor gifts and need baking supplies. Then of course there is Christmas eve at my sister's house, and I am supposed to bring rolls. So groceries are essential.
Then there are the grandchildren. Aack! I have twenty-two that I need to get gifts before Christmas, and 5 of those I need to mail today. And of course there are my own children. I have 5 yet to get gifts for. And my dad and Barb, and two sisters and a brother and ...... this could get a little overwhelming! I will practice deep breathing, and maybe this would be a good year for gifts of the heart. I actually have something in mind, but I can't write about it just yet:)
Do you ever think how different Christmas would be if there were no presents? I do, but I'm not sure I would like it. It is fun to watch the little ones open gifts.....unless they are so intent that they really are not appreciative of the gifts. And I love to come up with the perfect gift. Elder Eyring has a tape out that talks about gifts. He has some wonderful ideas. Actually his talk would make a good gift:)
Well, I can see that I am using this for a planner this morning. Sorry. I will get on with my day. I hope you have a great wan. And that you have a lot of smiling ahead of you. Take care! Melody

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Video Triumph!

Good Evening! I have been trying to upload a couple of videos to youtube for a couple of hours now. I finally figured out how to convert the movie to a file and then upload it. It failed to upload directly to youtube from my movie maker. That is how I have done it in the past. I feel very smart to have finally figured it out. But I think it was more inspiration than smarts.
One of the videos is of many of the older people I am missing so much this year. It was Christmas in 1972, I was pregnant with Amy, who was born three days later. See if you can find me:) The other video is of my folks and Norman, and my uncle Ken and aunt Glynn and Leslie, their daughter. Then a few added clips of my cousins and me at various b-day parties. I am the little fat-cheeked, short-haired one. My cousin Brett is the baby being fed b-day cake. is the link to the Zoo. is the one with all my older relatives. I did get some kind of a message about how I used copyrighted music. I hope it doesn't make it so you can't watch the video.
Today was especially nice at church. Bro. Staley (our high councilman) spoke about a Christmas when he felt like his world had crumbled down around him. His wife had a massive heart attack and was barely hanging on, when his daughter and son ended up in the emergency room downstairs after being in a car wreck. He got through it barely, and everyone survived, but he spoke about how he was deeply grateful for the Savior and His comforting presence. It was very sweet, and helped me to put things in perspective. I really know what he was talking about. I know how close the Savior has been when I have needed Him several times in my life. It was good to think about. And also made me think this Christmas is great in comparison to many in the past. And that perhaps I need to work at being closer to the Savior to make this Christmas meaningful and less stressful. I love church!!! It was really what I needed today.
Well, my favorite TV program is on.....Doc Martin. A pbs gut wan. I hope your evening is going well. HAGE! Melody

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Clean humor

Hi! I watched "Julie and Julia" again last night. It makes me feel I should be blogging about every little thing that happens:) Or at least about all of the good food I cook. And maybe go public with this blog. Instead I wanted to let all of my many readers know that my dad is home, safe and sound and I am soooo relieved. I feel very blessed to have such a great dad to begin with, and extra especially blessed that he has been watched over this week and made it through a scary experience.
The trouble with traumatic events is.... besides being traumatic.....they leave you feeling just a little jostled and unsure of life and your place in it. And when you have very many things happen in quick succession, you begin to lose proper perspective and what I term a healthy denial of the mortal condition. Anyway, I am feeling a little vulnerable and a bit shaken....again. I wish I could just snap back like I used to do. But I suppose it will take a day or two of processing and sorting before I feel normal again. And the ridiculous part is that I am fine. It was not me that suffered with a plummeting blood sugar. It was not me that had a seizure. I just visited at the hospital and drove people around and cheered up the sad...and made someone feel glad....sigh. I am glad tomorrow is Sunday. I like those cheery songs and words of encouragement. And I am very glad I do not have to teach any lessons or give any talks. I think I would be much too emotional for that:)
Lately, Mel has been using a phrase that makes me laugh. He says it whenever he picks up the tab for dinner or whatever. People will say...."Oh, that is not necessary." And he replies, "Don't worry...I'm filthy rich!" It is said in jest of course, but it does make me laugh. I guess it is funny because of course we are not least not that way. But it makes me feel like we are plenty wealthy in the things that count. Anyway, I am enjoying the sentiment. He used to have an employee who would joke whenever it was payday..."What? You're paying me again? I haven't spent what you gave me last week!"
Well, I hope your day went well. I think mine went well. I just need time to sleep and get some perspective back. I really do better with enough rest, as you know by now. I hope this does not sound too whiney. I think I needed to vent just a little. If it bothers you....don't read this:) I will get my stick back on the ice. Red Green comes on tonight at 10 on pbs here in Idaho. He is so funny. I don't know what I'd do without good humor!!!!! HAGE!! Melody

The Salamander Letter:)

Good morning! I think it will be! Mel is not working today! Yay! I think we will be helping my dad get back home, mailing the rest of the Christmas packages, fixing things in the house that have broken and maybe putting up the last of the Christmas decorations. For some reasons this year it has been hard to do. I usually am so enthused about decorating for Christmas. But this year it has been more of a chore. Oh well. It maybe is an aging thing.
Yesterday Mel and I found something kind of interesting on our front porch....a salamander! It looked pretty sluggish and the cat seemed rather interested, so we brought it inside to warm up a little. It is quite with kind of whitish yellow markings. I have always liked amphibians. I used to get in trouble regularly for gathering amphibians and reptiles when I was little. At our cabin up near Redding, CA they had lots. My favorite salamander was one we called a red dog salamander. It was brown with a very bright orange underside. We had water snakes that were really cool too. They were black and had two yellow stripes down their back. We also had rattlers, but honestly I never saw one. My grandma found three in the cabin at different times though. She did not like my snakes! I don't think she minded the salamanders though. I also used to capture blue bellied lizards. They were fun to watch, but you had to be careful not to grab them by the tail!!
Hayfork was the nearest little town to our cabin. I think the roads around there are still dirt roads. It can be very hot there. But really dry. I still like that kind of heat. We were last there in 1990 I think. The temperature was 108 degrees, and it felt like my childhood memories. Mel didn't like it much though as he had to change a flat tire on the motorhome in the heat. That was a great trip....the last one we took with all of the kids.
Well, I guess I'd better get on with my day. I got a little side tracked by the salamander. I hope your day is great! Only 6 days til Christmas! Unbelievable!! HAGW! Melody

Friday, December 18, 2009


Today was a better day for my dad. He is off all meds and his blood sugars have normalized and he was back to his normal cheery self. It sure made me feel cheerier. I really don't like it when he is ill. And yesterday was a long day worrying about him, and then I didn't sleep too well last night worrying about him. I think he has gotten through the worrying part of his adventure now. I hope so anyway!
Mel just said the funniest thing! We had baked potatoes for dinner, and I only ate half of mine, and Max, our dog was begging for the rest of it as Mel was rinsing the dish off for the dishwasher. Max can look so hungry. Mel said to the dog, "Do you know how many hungry dogs there are in China?" That cracked me up!
Well, I think we are going to spend our Friday evening here at home. We are both so exhausted and even though "Avatar" sounds tempting, I think we are going to pass and just enjoy our warm home and each others' company. We are the only ones here tonight, and that is kind of nice.
Well, I hope you had a wonderful, happy, sunshiney day. I am looking forward to sunshine again someday. We got just a little before the sunset this evening over in Boise, but driving back here by the lake the fog was still present and pretty dismal. I hope we can burn it off tomorrow. I am not sure what the forecast is. It can get pretty foggy here and linger for a while. Not as bad as Manteca, but nearly. I will have to break out the Italian countryside movies (Room with a View, or Under the Tuscan Sun) or paint summer scenes or something:) HAGE! Melody

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Evening Post (minus Norman Rockwell)

What a day! I am sooooo tired, but home safe. My dad is doing much better. They finally got his blood sugars all the way up to 112. It sort of hovered between 40 and 60 most of the day, even with large shots of dextrose! But this evening it finally started climbing back up to a more normal range and he is feeling better, though still rather shaky. It has been kind of scary. He is usually so healthy, I just assume he will continue on-strong and able. I need him to be around, so I hope he can be healthy for a while yet. They were testing him today for a number of other things they think might be causing the low blood sugars. He had several x-rays and lots of blood and other tests. So hopefully they can figure out what went wrong. Apparantly he has been on his meds for over a month and not had any problems, so it may be something else that triggered all of this.
Today has been very foggy! And this morning it was so slipppery going into Boise. There was black ice on the roads around the lake, and on into Nampa. I am glad to be back in my own home with the heater on and hot chocolate for the making (not that I've had any yet). At least we have temperatures near freezing instead of well below.
When I got home I had three dead mice waiting for me on the back porch. My little kitties have been busy at work again, doing their part to keep the mouse population down. I appreciate their hard work, but I am not fond of the presents they leave for me. One of our kitties always eats everything except....the head! It is rather gross finding a bloody head on the porch. Sigh! I really don't like violent acts of service:) I took a picture, but I will spare you. It seems a little gross for a friendly little blog like this.
Well, I suppose tomorrow I will be at the hospital again. Just in case you were wondering, HWGA stands for "here we go again", which is how I feel. Oh well, grin and bare it, or bear it. How is that spelled? It changes the meaning either way:) So instead just keep your stick on the ice, or your pen in the ink, or your brush in the paint or your grandkids in the closet (what?!!) or whatever! HAGE! Melody


Good morning, I hope. I just got a call from the hospital. My dad spent the early morning there. He switched medications for diabetes this last week, and apparantly his dosage is too strong, because his blood sugar dipped down so low he started convulsing. I guess he is OK now, but they are keeping him for observation. So I am leaving for Boise to give Barb a break, and also to see with my own eyes how he is doing. I will probably update this later today. I hope your day gets off to a better start:) HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Good afternoon! I am having a great day today. I got lots of sleep and so I am hoping my afternoon/evening at the temple will be very pleasant. We will be leaving in about an hour, giving ourselves plenty of time to mosey on over. The weather has definitely gotten warmer. I can function very well when it is 37 outside. There is lots of slushy ice all over, but I have boots to combat that.....combat boots I guess:)
I went with my visiting teaching companion this morning and we were able to visit all of our sisters, so that feels good too. And I am almost done with the Christmas letters. So I feel very encouraged. I haven't had time for painting, but I will try for tomorrow. I would like to finish a painting or two this week. I have some good ideas of things I want to paint. I hope I can put on paper what is in my head.
So, what can I tell you about? We had several bad accidents on the roads around here yesterday. But that is kind of depressing. Ummmm! Did I ever write about how Bruce Briglieb counted me saying "ummm" 37 times in an oral report at Hayward High? It has made me rather self conscious about saying "ummm". But I think I say it more, not less.
Well, I am rambling. I guess I will have to write about interesting and fun things in here when I can think of some. I hope you are having a lovely day. And that the winter winds and storms are passing you by. HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Bright Side of Life

Good snowy morning! It is raining in Boise (I was there this morning and saw first hand), but it is still snowing out here on our hill. It's actually quite beautiful, and after last week's temps it seems rather balmy and nice. It's all relative.
Speaking of which I am watching all of Kim's kids today. All three of them are sick and coughing and rather contagious I think. So they are in the great room watching TV and I am in my room where I can hear them, but hopefully not catch their bug. So far I have avoided all the colds and flues of the season. I really don't think I can afford to be sick. So I will keep a little distance, although it may already be too late. And I am not good at being an absent grandma. We did spend an hour driving back from Kim's work together. The roads were terrible! I left here at 7:30 and didn't get back til 9:30. It was heavy traffic and deep snow banks and then rain and deep puddles about half way to Meridian. It had lightened up some by the time I reversed direction, but I was surprised to see the rain turn back to snow as I came down our long and winding road.
I saw the most beautiful hawk this morning. It had such beautiful coloring.....yellow under belly and black and white on head and wings. Really fun to watch, so I had to keep reminding myself to keep my eyes on the road. Luckily there were no other cars way out here and I could go slow. I have been seeing a lot of big birds this year...I would say more than we have seen since we moved out here. Most of them are red tailed hawks, also a pretty bird...and very powerful. But also a small hawk that has some blue in it. And I think I saw a bald eagle flying over the lake last week. We do get a few of those. The deer seem plentiful also...and the coyotes! I hear them every once in a while. We do live in the wilds of Idaho.
Well, I am hoping you are having a wonderful Tuesday, and that life is treating you well. My thoughts and good wishes go out to you! HAGW! Melody

Monday, December 14, 2009

Post Script

OK! I uploaded a video of Taylor on youtube, since I couldn't get it to work on here. I will work on the family Christmas movie, but I don't know how soon I can get that ready. The link for Tay's video is Let me know if it doesn't work. HAGW! Melody

Fun - my motivator

Good morning! I hope it is a good morning for you. I am feeling much less stress today. That lesson was tough, but I think I did OK. I was shaking before hand though. Jodell took my hand and said that I would do just fine. That helped. I think I may have had a bit of a sugar low, too. I tend to shake if I haven't eaten for a while:) I guess we will be switching to the later schedule in January....2:00 to 5:00. That should be interesting. I think the highlight of the day was Tay singing with the choir. They had a choir song with one verse that a group of children sang, and Tay sang with them since he was with me at church. He came to the one practice before church, but he is very quick with music and had it down by sacrament meeting. I think it was a good, positive experience for him.
After church we had a family dinner. I am trying to do that more often. Amy & her family, Kim and her sweet manfriend, and Liz and her friends came. It was fun. I think we are going to try for fast Sundays, then Michelle and her family can come too. Julie, you are probably a bit far for this. But of course, you are welcome! And Kenny you live in OKLAHOMA! Not for long though! We will be glad when you are within driving distance. Here is Amy playing "Claire De Lune"

Today I have to make another raspberry cheesecake for a dinner tonight. I make yummy cheesecake! The trouble of course, is that I am my greatest fan:) I love cheesecake! I will have to be very diligent after the holidays to get back into the no food diet:)
Well, I have a busy day planned with lots of work for me to do. But I am feeling pretty good today. I think this Christmas is a little harder than Christmases of the past though. For some reason I am really missing all of the people that used to be with us for Christmas....Tommy of course, but also my mom, and her parents and my dad's parents and all of the aunts and uncles and cousins. Those were wonderful times. I may put a movie with all of them on youtube later today. I'll see how the internet is working. I'll post a link if I do.
Well, have a wonderful, smile-filled day. Remember I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together:) TTYL Melody

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Looking forward to tomorrow at 2:30 (when my lesson is over!!!)

Good evening! We have sure had a snowy day! And it hasn't really stopped yet. It may go on for a few more days. I wish I could say I love a white Christmas. I like the idea of a white Christmas, like a Currier and Ives card. I guess I can say I love a warm house and a pellet stove! And a sweet husband who has been working all evening putting a TV on the wall. It looks hard, so I have stayed pretty clear. I have been working on my lesson. I have the chocolate all ready. I am just deciding on a centerpiece for the lesson table:) And I am making my outline more solid. I never know exactly what I am going to say until I am saying it. I just make an outline and have lots of backup and filler material. And chocolate:)
I am trying to upload Taylor's Christmas program video....just for you Julie! I hope it works this time. He loves to see stuff with Jake and Nick. So I'm sure they would like to see him, too. He is currently watching a puppet animation of "A Year without a Santa Claus". He loves this one! He has the music all memorized and he sings along. It is pretty cute. He is kinda cute anyway with his front tooth missing. He has another one that is loose and threatening to fall out soon. We have had a pretty fun day with him today. He wanted to spend the weekend with us instead of going with his mom and her friends, so we have been having lots of fun. And he has opted to go to church with us tomorrow, so that will be nice too. I like having someone to go to church with. Mel is always there early for meetings, so I ususally go alone. I think I am lucky to have him there to sit with me though. So many years he had to sit on the stand. Well, the video failed again! Sorry Julie. I'll try again tomorrow....after my lesson is OVER! Right now I am loving the scripture..."And it came to pass.." Very meaningful! Hope your day went well and that your night is restful. Take care!!! And keep your stick and feet on the ice. No fun to fall down on it, as I can heartily attest to. TTYL Melody

Friday, December 11, 2009

Master pieceS

Well, I feel pretty good right now. I have finished two...count them...two masterpieces today. My lighthouse AND my rolls. Not bad for an old lady:) Actually in this photo of the lighthouse I had not quite finished. Can you guess what I had not painted yet? There's a prize for the winner. If you think you know just send the answer on the back of a .....Hmmmm. I could use a new gas barbecue:) The other photos are weird. It looks like the tower is falling in a couple and then in the others it looks like the house is bent. I guess it is because of the light or just my camera, or what ever.
Well, I have to run, but I wanted to post these to add interest and of course to brag just a little. TTTL Melody


Good morning! I hope your day is going well. Mine is rather slow, although when I think about it, maybe not. I have already cleaned the kitchen and the great room, made dinner rolls for the ward Christmas party tonight, fixed breakfast, washed my hair, and worked on my lighthouse sketch. That doesn't sound too lazy I guess. I sometimes forget that the stuff I do all of the time is still work. I just have been wanting to write all morning and so I guess it feels like I am swimming in molasses or something. That's not a great analogy, but you get the idea. It's hard to put off something I would rather be doing for the less entertaining things of life:)
I have been a little frustrated with the sketch too. It was good to take a picture, but I have erased so much on this paper, I'm not sure it will take paint. I hope so. I am not a great sketcher. I like to put in things the way I want them, or I don't paint as well. I know it is important to be able to make a light sketch and then get into the painting, but it doesn't work so well for me. Maybe there is a sketching class I could take. Or maybe I will ask my instructor if it is something I can learn to do better. I do take a sketch book with me. But I find I don't like my sketches nearly as much as I like my photos. Am I rambling again? Sorry!
I am planning on painting this morning. I have it all set up....downstairs. I find I really don't like painting upstairs. The light is very bad, and I get so lonesome. I like the stereo downstairs. And today there is no one else home. So there will be no distractions. And I can always walk out to Mel's shop if I get too lonesome. I guess I am used to having so many people around that I get a little uncomfortable when it is only me. I had a dream last night that I was painting at a museum or something. There were lots of people around watching me paint. I remember thinking it was kind of fun. I don't know if I would really think that was fun though. Dreams are kind of weird.
I never was able to get that video to load of Tay's program. So I will put in a picture. He has such a cute way of dancing, that I thought the video would be fun. But you can still see his contagious smile in the photo, well sort of. He is second row from the top, third from the right.
Well, I hope your day goes well. Is it still cold where you are? It is sooooo cold here. I just checked and it is all the way up to 9 degrees. A little chilly for a banana belt:) HAGW! Melody

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Good afternoon! I have a moment finally to sit down and write some more trivia. I am officially off the Thursday morning temple shift. It was very sad to say good bye to so many sweet and kind friends. A few of them I will stay in contact with, but most I probably won't see much. I sort of felt like I was at my own funeral this morning though. Everyone had so many nice things to say to and about me. I guess it is good to hear how other people feel about you every once in a while. As long as it is nice:) Four of the couples I think we will stay in close contact with. We even talked about all of us getting together once a month for dinner, taking turns at each others' homes. Sounds fun!
Then this afternoon I decided to go to Gabriel's preschool and see him. He spends every other Wednesday through Sunday with his dad. But during the day he is in preschool, so I thought I would start seeing him there when he is not here. I miss him, and I think he misses us a lot during those days. It was fun to see him in that environment and the teacher was glad to have an extra body to help. It is a cute class, but all of them are 4 and very busy:) It makes me realize how normal he is too.
Last night I worked on a sketch for a new painting. I will post it. It kind of helps to see perspective when I take a picture of my paintings I have noticed. I can also see better what is missing. I may have to get another brush to paint this one. I need a wide flat brush. I have a 1/2 inch one and an inch and a very small one, but I think I need maybe a 3 inch one. It would help with putting in the bigger shapes. Wow, the photo does help! I will fix those upstairs windows:) And the lighthouse thing.....tower? I don't think I know what that is called that actually is the part that the light beams from. Tsk! Tsk! I have always wanted to write that:) Well, I am starting to feel pretty tired. I always ramble when I am tired. I really don't have a lot to write about anyway I guess. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Take care! And don't trip on the ice!!! Melody

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Musical morning

Gooan daginin! (Look up in your icelandic translation) It's 0 degrees out right now! So I feel like I live in Iceland! Ugh! I hate the cold. Mel always gets annoyed whenever I say I hate something. He thinks it is a very strong word. And with that in mind may I say....I HATE the cold! But I love that I have a very nice warm house to be in. That is really a blessing!!
This morning is book club, but I have decided not to go. It is just too much today. I have been running like a chicken with it's head cut off (the 1812 overture) for the last three days, and I just need a moment to catch up with myself. And the roads are not terrific either. I would have to slide all the way to the other side of Meridian and I'm just not up to it today.
Our Relief Society Christmas party was fun last night. Our duet went well. I was not excited to sing, because it wasn't a Christmas song. It was "Walk Tall You're a Daughter of God". But it fit in nicely with the reader's theater about all of the women who knew Mary. I guess she must have been an exemplary young woman, and that was the point of our song. I would rather have sung, "Breath of Heaven". I think it would have been so beautiful! I love that song. Amy Grant sings it and it goes perfectly with the "Lamb of God" video. I think that's the video's sure hard to have a faulty memory. Sigh! It makes for a nice presentation to play that song and watch the video. We did that last Christmas eve with our family. We always try to do something spiritual. And Mel always reads "The Polar Express" and talks about faith.
Yesterday I downloaded a couple of songs by Loudon Wainwright III from his new album....High Wide and Handsome. "My Mother and my Sweetheart" is my favorite. I also like "Rowena". It reminds me of the letters between my great grandparents. He was interviewed on one of the Fresh Air podcasts I listened to. I sure am enjoying my iphone. I am beginning to wonder how I ever got along without it:) At the present time I am listening to James Taylor's Christmas album that Hallmark put out. It is one of my favorites at Christmas time. And painting! Last night Taylor had a Christmas program that I had to miss because of the R.S. party. But Mel kindly took a few short videos. This one is pretty cute. He is on the second row down, third from the right. His music teacher is pretty good with the kids. Tay really likes music! Well I have tried uploading it about 6 times and it keeps failing, so I will try later:)
Well, I hope you have a very cheery and happy day. If I paint anything good I will post it later along with the video. HAGW! Melody

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Good morning! This is my 100th post according to my "dashboard". I never thought I would blog, but 100 times is amazing! Now if I could just think of something interesting and fun to write about:) It seems like a blog is a little selfish. It reminds me of that country song, "I wanna talk about me!"
So, I am having a pretty good morning so far. When I left to get Bassie, it was 4 degrees outside. I think it is all the way up to 9 degrees now. The high will be 20 if we are lucky. Brrr! I guess it really is winter. When we first moved here we were told that Boise is the banana belt of Idaho. It seems to me that bananas would not survive in this climate. Although a friend of mine does grow bananas in his greenhouse...but that is cheating I think.
I had a fun time in class last night. I always paint better with some instruction. But I will have to do a do- over. I learned a lot in the attempt. It was interesting. We used a white crayon to block out the branches of trees and then painted darker over the top of them. So it was kind of fun. I will try and post a picture of my unfinished masterpiece. It really isn't finished, but I may start again without finishing it, so that I can get it right.

Gabe loves sliding on our wood floor and wanted me to take a picture and put it on my blog. Isn't he cute? He is one darling, fun, energetic little boy. He is challenging! So smart and always into everything. Well, I guess my job is cut out for me with two little boys to watch this morning. I doubt I will get much else done today. I hope your day is fun and full of smiles! Take care!! Melody

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Colors

Guten Tag!
Well, I just can't seem to paint today. I have goofed two paintings now, and I don't think I will try for a third until I go to class tonight. It's too discouraging. I start thinking I can paint, and then I realize I have so much more to learn. But oh well! I CAN do hard things.I have an afternoon of errands planned. Mel wants me to deliver some parts and buy stamps, then I need to go to Deseret Book and look for something visual for my lesson coming up. I have some prints by Liz Lemon Swindle of Joseph Smith that are good, but I know she did some of Carthage, and I don't have those. So maybe I can find them in a calendar or book or something. I will spend some time researching things on the internet too. Then I have an appointment with my colorist:) I may go red! Wouldn't that be fun? I will see. I don't really want red hair. I would like something fabulous and youthifying though. Maybe I'll try green or blue! I could be a Christmas ornament! Oh wait. It isn't Halloween, huh. I should have stuck with gray. It was so much easier!!!
I took a couple of pictures of our Christmas tree. I love our fake tree! I never thought I would say that. I fought buying an artificial tree for so long! But I really like it, and it has taken some stress out of the holidays. I used to fret about the tree. It had to be perfect and a certain kind and they were always so expensive! And then I would worry about a fire starting. So this has eliminated all of that. I do miss the smell though. I have a candle, but it's not the same. I got some pine boughs, but they don't smell very loud:) So I may try that sentsy stuff, and see if that does the trick. Silly, huh?
Well, I hope your day is going great! HAGW!!! Melody

Sunday, December 6, 2009

That's All (I can't eat anymore!!)

Good morning! Aqui esta esperando que el domingo es su fabulosa y llena de nuevos conocimientos e inspiracion. I am working on my lesson for next week. It is on the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. It is a good lesson, but I would rather not be the one teaching it. I guess I could high tail it out of town. But I will face the music and do my duty. It is very inspirational, it is just very touching, and I am not good at keeping my feelings in check just now. I will bring a box of kleenex and assign lots of other people to tell about the hard stuff. Maybe I can bring a video:) I already showed them the one of Greg Olsen and Mac Wilberg and the Tab Choir singing "Praise to the Man". I guess I should have saved it, but it went with my lesson last month too. Sigh! I'm sure I can pull it together. I still have to find a good ice sculpture for the lesson centerpiece though:)
Well, Tucanos in Boise is wild! It was sooooo crowded and noisy. They all seemed very happy! It may have been all the liquor being served. It was still lots of fun. We took Amy and her little H, and my dad and Barb. We all ate way too much. I guess that is a given. It is hard not to try everything.
I forgot to take pics at dinner last night, but I did take them at lunch yesterday, so I will include all but the one of me which was not very good. Mel did not like me snapping photos. I don't know if you can tell or not:). Well I probably need to get on with my morning. I hope your day is going well and you can have joy and peace throughout this wonderful time of year. HAGW! Melody

Saturday, December 5, 2009

That's Entertainment!

Good morning! It is beautiful here today, sunny and bright, although quite cold and windy. I think Mel is planning to not work today, yay! I love it when we can spend our weekend together. He is going to help me bring in the Christmas tree, a job I can't do on my own. Then I suppose we will have to have fun. I have a coupon for a free meal from Tucanos....a Brazilian grill in Boise. So maybe we will try it out.
Last night we went to see "Blind Side". It was really good! I was not expecting it to be all that great because I had read a critic's review or two, but those critics don't know what they are writing about! It was really a warm, funny, touching movie. Maybe I especially liked it because of the foster care aspect. I loved the funny football practice scenes. And I especially liked the character Sandra Bullock played- a strong, courageous woman who knew what needed to happen. Usually personalities like hers go unappreciated in a world dominated by strong men. So it was nice to see.
Then after the movie we came home and watched Robin William's interview on "Charlie Rose." It was very funny and entertaining. I think he is hilarious, and Charlie Rose did too. He kept laughing so loud it made me laugh! When my sister Joy lived in San Francisco, we used to walk by R.W.'s house on our walk to the beach. We always hoped to see him, but I never did. Joy did I think.
Well, I guess I'm on. Time to go fix the breakfast and enjoy the day. I hope you have a wonderful day too! Take care! Melody

Friday, December 4, 2009

Imaginary Friends

Guten morgen! I sure have had a busy morning. It was supposed to be a morning that nothing was happening, and I was kind of excited to be able to be a little selfish and get some of the things done I want to do. But no! I guess that would be a lot to ask. So now I am finally back home, and the morning is almost gone. And I haven't even taken a walk yet! Oh well. I guess I just have to realize that this is life and I'd better get used to it.
I have been thinking all morning about a little story about Tommy. It is a happy story and I'm not sure I have it written down anywhere, so here goes. When Tommy was about 3, he had an imaginary friend. He was constantly talking and playing with his imaginary friend. I don't think any of my other children had one that was so constant. His name was "Ridey", and Tommy loved to talk about his best friend "Ridey". In every other way he was so mature, that it was just a little weird that he had this imaginary friend. Well, it was long after Tommy had died that I was remembering this and telling one of my daughters about it. And she said,"Well, Mom, maybe he was talking to Grandpa Riding!" It had never occurred to me that might be the case. But I have thought about it alot. He was my great-grandfather, and I grew up hearing how wonderful he was. I even have letters that he and his wife wrote to each other that are very sweet and endearing. Anyway, I thought it was something I should share, especially at this season, when I am missing all of my grandparents, and great-aunts and uncles. My grandma Duffin was the only sibling in her family who had children, so we were very close to her two sisters and two brothers. I guess they had rheumatic fever or something that affected their ability to have children. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if a concerned great grandpa paid an occasional visit to a sick little grandson to cheer him and reassure him. It makes perfect sense to me. He is the one all the way to the right in the back row, holding hands with my mom who was about three at the time this photo was taken. So that would have been somewhere around 1926. My great grandma is the one sitting in the middle. I wish I had known them. I probably did in the pre-earth life:) My grandma Duffin is front row second from the left. My uncle Kenny is the cute little guy next to her. A fun photo!
Well, I am feeling the pressure to return to reality. I hope your day is going great! Melody

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Good evening! I have had a very long and busy day. But I think Thursdays are always a bit challenging. Although the change is happening! Mel got replaced today as shift coordinator. So we have one more week of early morning and then we will shift to Wednesday evening. So I am a little bit excited. But I have some ambivalence, as I will really miss all the wonderful people I have come to know and love that work on the Thursday morning shift. We do have some friends that work on the Wednesday evening shift though, so it should help make the transition easier. And of course, the people who work at the temple are pretty good people that are fun to get to know. I did get a lot of hugs and good wishes today from so many of the women on our shift. And good wishes and handshakes from a lot of the men:)
So today I have been thinking about....not very much of significance. I guess I just keep worrying. It is what I do very well. But I probably spend too much time worrying. Maybe it is even fretting. I spend a lot of time worrying about things that never really materialize, and I think technically that is fretting. And I think we have been asked by a prophet not to do that. At least that was my understanding. I just can't find the off button...or bunnet as G would say. That reminds me of something I learned in my painting class..... the difference between a photo and a painting is that a camera has no button labeled "Opinion".
I decided to include this pretty picture of a Christmas tree from the festival. Just to add a little color and interest:)Well, I am definitely rambling. I did get my workspace put together upstairs for painting, so maybe I'll spend some time painting opinions. I hope all is well with you and yours. Take care! And HAGW! Melody

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Like Sand through the Hourglass....

Buenos Dias! I am puzzled. When I put "Good morning" in the tranlator, it only says "Buenos Dias", which means good day. Right? Do Spanish speaking people never say, Good morning? I am just curious. I will have to ask my son and daughter in law. They will know!!
Well, I am feeling in a Christmas-sy mood this morning, so I think I will try and upload the Christmas countdown from Saturday evening. It is kinda corny, but very festive:) I hope you can feel the Boise Christmas good will. It really is a nice community.
Today I have a couple of hours before I go to pick up little S from his preschool. So I think I will work at moving my art supplies upstairs and really tackle establishing my own art studio. I was going to do that Monday, but it was too hard with all else going on that day. Then if I have time I will paint. But I have to be careful with painting, because I lose all track of time. Maybe I will have to set a timer, so I don't forget to pick up S:)
Last night as I was reading I kept thinking how quickly life passes. I even had a dream about it. I was at Women's Conference....frustrated because I couldn't find where to register...yes, it was one of those dreams where you wander all around looking for something you never find in the dream....and I kept seeing people I knew and everyone kept saying how it just didn't seem possible it was time for Women's Conference again. In my dream the BYU campus was a mixture of the old campus, Village school in San Lorenzo, and the newer BYU campus. There might have been a little of Hayward & Amador High schools in there too. Dreams are funny. Little G climbed into bed again with me this morning and started in about how he had a dream about "bunnets". I asked him what "bunnets" were and he said "You on a snowman." I think he may have meant "buttons" but I am still not sure.
Well, here I go, gabbing away about silly things. I hope you have a really fabulous day! Keep your stick on the ice. Remember I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together!! Melody

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Safe Harbor

Well, good morning! And it is a lovely morning here. It started out a little early, when I woke up at three and couldn't fall back asleep. Luckily I had down loaded a book I wanted to read by Mark Gungor, "Laugh your way to a better Marriage". It is really pretty good. Mr. Gungor has a few really funny things on youtube about men and women's brains. Anyway, it made me tired so I was able to sleep a little bit longer til G bounced in and climbed in bed with his grandma about 7. He is so cute!
I like early morning snuggles with my grandkids.
Well, this is last night's painting. I kind of like it, although I am still pretty critical of my own work. It kind of reminds me of Redfish Lake. Although the mountains there are much more spectacular. Maybe I will do a repeat with the Sawtooths in the distance. It's a thought.
Well I have little S today. He is Kim's 4 year old. He is so easy. Kind of a quiet little personality. He is fun to have here. And it helps me to not feel lonely in this big house. Maybe it is the 10 foot ceiling, but this house does not have a cozy feel to it. And when it is cold out, I miss my old cozy house in Boise. Oh well, it is beautiful here and Mel can work a few yards from the house, so he is very accessible. I like that.
I hope you have a great day! I am just doing laundry and starting to do Christmas decorations. It should be a nice lazy day. And it's a little warmer today. Not much, but every degree counts! I am already looking forward to Spring, and it isn't even Winter yet:) I am such a California girl! Take care! Melody

Monday, November 30, 2009


Good morning! I hope all is well with you and yours. Things are back to normal here, although I need to clean up from the festivities today. It's not too bad, so it shouldn't take long. I want to be able to put up the Christmas decorations and tree this week, so it would be better to start out organized. Then I would like to paint a little before my class tonight. I feel a little rusty as I haven't painted at all in at least a week. I really can't paint with so many little kids around. Not just the distraction of little bodies asking questions and wanting to help, but also I can't focus. I need to be able to really fact that is the part I look forward to. I am excited to return to class tonight. I always like the feeling that I am learning new things and cool techniques to try. I am also thinking I may move all of my painting to the upstairs now that everyone is gone. I can lock it up tight and so I could leave things ready to paint. That would be amazing. And I probably can warm it up enough to enjoy it up there. It's too hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But portable heaters are great and we have several. So I will try it.

Tommy's kindergarten picture.
The talk on prayer yesterday was great. I didn't feel too uncomfortable, although it did bring back some painful memories. I guess I like to shelve those memories and not look at them too much. It was a difficult thing to have a child so sick. But it was definitely a time when prayer was needed and answers felt. I know we were watched over in so many ways. Even our move back to California was a blessing. We had no health insurance before our move back. Then Mel got a wonderful job in Oakland that had excellent benefits with Kaiser Permanente. So all of the medical costs were covered almost completely. Even when the recession in '83 caused him to be laid off, we still were able to retain our medical coverage. And that is just one of the blessings. But it was also a time of extreme challenges. It wasn't just Tommy having cancer. There were a myriad of events that kept happening. I remember thinking if I wrote about it nobody would believe it wasn't fiction. Just an example.....the month Tommy had surgery I was due to have a baby- our Julie. So they induced the labor two weeks before his surgery so I could be there with him at the hospital. We had quite an adventure. I came very close to death giving birth to Julie. The doctor told me he wasn't sure he would be able to pull me through. But I never felt too worried because I had a priesthood blessing that assured me I would be fine. Then the adventure got very interesting as I handed my brand new baby over to our bishop's wife for a month while we lived in San Francisco through Tommy's surgery and recovery. He was in intensive care at UCSF for 11 days. And Kaiser another three weeks. During that time we had a friend that worked at the Chronicle that Mel would meet as he left work each morning at 5 am to hand him the bottles of frozen breast milk I had pumped the day before to take to little Julie so she would have a good start. Crazy days! I used to wonder if life would ever be normal again. But I would go back there if I could hold our sweet Tommy again. How I miss him! What a bright and wonderful little person he was. I look forward to seeing him again someday. I do feel him very close at times. He is an inspiration to me each day as I try to be worthy to be with him and all of my family forever.
Tommy painting his Christmas tree salt and pepper shakers.
Well, this got a little serious today. Sorry about that. I guess I miss my son.... especially at holidays. I suppose that is normal. It just makes me reflective. And the talk yesterday was a bit of a catalyst. I hope you have a wonderful day. Keep your stick on the ice. There is ice here in the mornings these days as it is around 23 degrees. Brrrr! HAGW! Melody

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning!

I liked this Tucanos tree.
My sister's name is always to be found at Christmas!
Mel highly enthused about the celebration:)

The crowd

Good morning and Happy Sabbath to you! This morning is rather peaceful, even with 8 extra bodies in the house. I think everyone is worn out from all of the festivities. We had fun at the tree lighting last night. It was a little anticlimactic though. A lot of hoopla about how fantastic it will be to light the tree, than a countdown and then boink....all the lights came on and they were pretty but....I guess I was expecting the Griswold's lighting their house up and then blowing all the fuses or something:) The festival of trees was pretty. Lots of lights and pretty decorations. But I miss real trees and that forest smell as you walk through a tightly confined path through the decorations in a small florist shop in SF. This was in a huge building with lots of space and echoeing and many distractions on the stage and outside on the other stage. Lots of noise and people and we were glad to leave after we saw the trees. I guess I sound like I am complaining, and I am really not. I did enjoy the Christmas feeling. I just miss the old days:) Mel noticed that no one even said the Christmas word in the speeches and presentations. All that was said was "holiday". Things have changed. Too bad:(
Well, I have choir practice this morning. That should be fun. But I am a little worried about sacrament meeting. A friend in the ward is speaking about prayer. She asked if she could use some of my experiences with prayer from when Tommy was sick. It seemed fine then. So she came over and did an interview and took all kinds of notes. She also interviewed our last bishop and also the young women's president. I am not sure what she will use, but I am a little nervous. Probably not as nervous as she is this morning though. I am glad I am not the one speaking. Maybe I'll sit near the back in case a hasty retreat is necessary:)
Well, I will upload a few photos from our tree adventure. I have tried to upload a video of the countdown, but I guess that will have to wait til the internet is not so busy. I hope you have a wonderful and inspirational Sunday. Melody

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Winding Down

Fabulous locks of red!
Randy and H

H is a cutie. He had three surgeries this last summer for an infection in the bone beside his ear, and a couple of other things.

Julie with baby M.
Good morning! Things are definitely winding down around here. Julie and Randy & family are headed off to his parents to spend some time with them. They have been so fun to have here. 5 little boys are quite a bunch. And she does very well with all of the hassle and constant drain on her attention. Her baby, M is quite a cutie. He smiles constantly and is very content to be on his own. He sucks the same two fingers Julie used to favor.
Michelle & Gary will leave next with their 6 kids. Her oldest is 15. I will include a picture of him with his fabulous long red locks. He's lots of fun. Of course they all are. Her baby is 6 years old, soon to turn 7. Unbelievable! Time passes so quickly!!
After everyone leaves it will be back to the two of us plus Liz and her 2 boys. So life will proceed as normal. Mel and I will probably go visit the Festival of Trees later this afternoon. It's not as glorious as my childhood memories, but I still like to see all the ornaments. And of course I like to do fun things. That may never change:)
Hope your day is going well. HAGW! Melody

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Morning After

Mel, Jamie, Eric, rob
Rob, Julie, Diane

The buffet line.
Taking a break!

Good morning! I hope you are feeling well and happy. I am feeling great, I love having kids back home with their kids. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. Barb passed out her cute hats, and even a brightly crocheted tie for Mel.

Diane and Rob came after all. They had been sick, so I didn't think they would make it. That was a nice surprise. There was tons of food left over, so I guess we will work on it this weekend with Julie and Michelle and their families still here. The kids are having a riotous time and creating memories to last a lifetime, which is what this is mostly about I think. I still recall holidays at my grandparents' with my cousins. It was always so much fun! When you are small you don't realize all of those wonderful people will not always be there at every holiday. I sure miss my grandparents and great aunts and uncles! And of course my cousins! I always enjoyed being with them so much!

Well, I hope your holiday was great too.
I hope you have a splendid weekend with your family gathered close around you. HAGW! Melody