Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday in Ferry land

This is the painting I am working on for my watercolor class. It isn't finished and has some basic flaws, but at least I am painting with a little direction. It makes me feel like I am making some progress.
Today I spent with my daughter Amy. She is doing so much better! The Stephens-Johnson syndrome has completely disappeared and she is feeling much better. Did I mention that they put her on prednazone to stop the SJ reaction and then she reacted to the prednazone? It was a very hard weekend for Amy, but I think she is doing well now, and hopefully will stay well for a long while. We had a nice day. She lives in the tiny town of Glenns Ferry which is on the Snake River. Every year they do a reenactment of the Oregon Trail river crossing at Glenns Ferry. It is kind of a big event for the town. There is a state park in the town also that is very pretty and it has a lot of Oregon Trail history there.
A friend of mine went hiking in Switzerland this last week and he posted a picture of a saying I really like. "We only see well with the heart. The most important things are invisible to the eye." Antoine de Saint Exupery. I really like that.
Well, my home teacher was just here. Luckily he brought his wife along, and I visit teach her. But I hadn't been able to catch her this month, so I went out to visit with her. She was in the car cuz she has the flu:( I hope she gets better really quickly....and that I don't catch it. She said it was the swine variety. Well, hope you are having a wonderful day. ATB Melody

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Painting Roads

I have been painting this afternoon. I really like how absorbing it is. Not just water and paint absorption, but mental absorption. I redid the painting I started last night in class, and I really like most everything, except a road on the side of the painting. It just doesn't look like a road. Cute little T said, "Grandma, you should paint yellow lines down the middle." I have to agree that would help. I'll keep working on it and if I can't figure it out I will take it to my class next week and ask the teacher! That is so cool I have a class with a teacher. Jodell and I have been struggling on our own for a whole summer, and we are both excited to finally have some instruction.
Today is cloudy and gray. I guess we are getting a major weather change here starting tonight. It is supposed to get really cold. I guess it is a little taste of winter. Brrrr! That reminds me of a funny thing that happened a few days ago. Mel and I went to dinner at the Cracker Barrel. It was 90 something outside so I didn't dress very warm. We went inside the restaurant and it was super cold. The waitress said the air conditioner had been working overtime because of all the people that had been in there. Anyway, my teeth were chattering! Mel suggested I go and buy a sweatshirt in the gift store. So I did! I felt sort of silly, but I was able to enjoy my dinner. Then as we were leaving the restaurant we walked back outside to the 90 degree weather, and I still had the sweatshirt on:) I really am getting to be a little old lady. Sigh!
Well, I hope all is well with you and yours. HAGW!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Addendum to Monday

Wow! I just got back from a really amazing watercolor class! It was so fun, and I learned quite a bit already. The instructor is Bob Fagan. He did a series on PBS about watercolors and he is really a fine painter. I really liked his stuff. Not the ordinary. Anyway,he handed out a picture we all painted from and then he demonstrated each stage of painting. It was so good. Just what I need to teach me technique. And besides all of that he was pretty fun. He kept telling us little stories about his philosophy of life. One was, life is like a pencil. We spend too much time at the eraser end and not enough time using the pencil:) Another thing he said was that we couldn't make mistakes in his class (I really liked that one) and he said painting can be like a bad argument, so you just have to let the painting win. I really did have a good time. So I am excited to be painting and loving it. He also said that you have to give up something if you really want to learn to be good at something else. I think he was talking about priorities, but I'm not sure. Well, just had to post this because it totally changed my mood. I have felt so despondent today, but now I feel totally recharged and I think this will be a great thing to be doing. TTTT

Monday, Monday

Well, hello out there in cyberspace. Once more I feel like this is sure silly to write to the great unknown. I wonder if the Aztecs felt this way. They did write didn't they...on rocks? Or maybe that was the Incas...or just plain old American natives. I suppose everyone has the need to feel that they are being heard. And today I join the ranks of all those who need to be heard. I just am not sure what profound thing I should write about. So once again I feel just a little silly.
I am watching two 4 year olds today. That is part of the problem. I need a real job! I liked being a contributing editor, but that wasn't a real job I guess. And I got fired:( I could teach school, but that is really just more of the same...watching other people's children. So, I guess that is why I am thinking about opening a bakery. Mostly I think I would like making money:) Funny, I think, because I probably wouldn't make much. But it would be a hands on kind of job where I could see and feel the product, and feel involved in creating something other people might enjoy. The other thing I think I would like to pursue is my art and writing. I am going to start a class offered by the City of Nampa on watercolor. It is supposed to be pretty good at teaching technique. So it might be fun.
Well tonight we are having the missionaries for dinner (yum) and so I have food in the crock pot. I like the feeling I am cooking up something clever. Hope you are having a gut wan! TTTL

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Minding the gap

I sure do like Women's Conference. I loved Sister Thompson's talk about "Mind the gap". I guess I have felt like I just wasn't measuring up lately. I needed to hear that the Lord loves us so much. I think it helps to feel encouraged and to go forward when you know that you are loved by the Lord. And Bro. Eyring always speaks with so much wisdom. And the spirit is so strong whenever he talks. I think I have a better understanding of why charity is so important in service. And why I need to be a better visiting teacher:)
Amy continues to struggle with her allergic reaction. She is OK but having mild symptoms still and it scares her...and me too. That Stephens-Johnson syndrome is very scary on the internet. Sometimes a little knowledge is worse than none at all I think. Although it is good to be aware and not let things get out of hand. She seems to be reacting to the prednazone now. It is making her heart race. Last night she was trying to get some help from doctors about whether or not to continue with it. And since it is what is slowing down the SJ syndrome it is important to make the right call. Mortality is tricky sometimes.
Well, I guess I should say that personally I have been very blessed. Mel's business continues to prosper despite the economic downturn. So we feel very blessed in that way also. I hope you and yours are well and doing fine. Keep smiling! HAGW!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Second Thoughts

So I decided I would be foolish to drive very far with the tired head I have today. So I am back home watching toddlers and worrying. Amy said she would sleep, so that is good. I will try to get a nap later, and drag Mel along when we take Amy's two year old home. So don't worry about me crashing, I will be careful! I'm sure all will be fine with Amy. I just need to remember to keep the faith. And I can do hard things...if I have to....I guess:)

Cloudy with a chance of showers

So I am really beginning to wonder if my family has been targeted this year for extremely difficult trials. It is really getting to be routine. Last night my daughter Amy called to tell me she was reacting to a medication she has been taking. Apparantly one of the rare side effects is a development of an allergic reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Something like 2 in one million people develop this. Anyway it is very dangerous. She called her doctor and he had her drive into Boise to the emergency room. I met her there to pick up her little two year old and to be of some support. Mel stayed home with Liz's boys as Liz was at school. They put Amy on a good dose of prednazone and watched her for a few hours. I took her toddler home as she was exhausted. Me too. Anyway they sent her back home. I am so worried about her. I am planning to drive there and spend the day making sure she is OK. I just hope I can stay awake! I was up at 3:30 yesterday and didn't get back to sleep until after midnight. I did try to take a nap, but was unsuccessful with that. Sigh! I AM complaining. Sorry, it feels like I need to. I think I will post my cartoon I drew a few weeks ago when everything seemed like it was collapsing around me. I have published it on facebook already, but it does represent how I feel this year. Some days it feels like this! I guess I am still figuring out how to sing and dance in the rain! Hope your day is sunny! HAGW!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today is tired Thursday! I should take a nap before I write anything so I can sound more optimistic than I feel, although I don't really feel too bad. I saw another little critter last night on my way home from picking up a grandson at dusk. As we were coming round a bend there was a fat little skunk, scurrying away trying to miss my wheels. It's a good thing he was fast because I probably wouldn't have seen him in time to avoid a collision. And colliding with a skunk does not leave a nice smell:)
The temple was nice again...but I really had a hard time staying alert. I think we are going to switch to an afternoon shift in November. I sure am hoping so! I really don't think this shift is good for me. I am tired Thursday & Friday and never really catch up. I don't think it is good for my mental health.
Well, I can't think of much else to write. So I'll take a nap! Hope your day is going well out there in cyberspace! HAGW! Keep smiling!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Racoons in the Road

OK, I think the music should start playing as I start this essay. Something with a country fiddle and a banjo. I am still not used to all the wonderful wildlife I see as I drive between our house and our little town of Nampa, ID. Today as I drove towards town I watched a hawk circling over the farmers' field near our house. Then coming home I saw a large racoon cross the road near the canal. He was a big fellow with all the right markings, and very long feet. He looked a little awkward crossing on the asphalt. He looked up at me as if to say, "OK, OK, I'm hurrying as fast as my awkward feet will carry me." It is such a treat to live out here. Sometimes I get tired of the driving, but most of the time I really enjoy the country scenes.
Today I met Kim & her four year old for lunch and we sat outside in the sunshine at a local restaurant, Bardenay's. It was so nice, perfect weather and perfect company. I really do love to eat outside near the river. Then we drove around looking at vacant properties. We are thinking of starting a gluten-free bakery. More and more people are needing to eat food without gluten, and it is hard to find tasty food without gluten in it. So it may be a niche we can fill. Amy would also like to help in this venture. The trick is figuring out how to do this without robbing a bank. We could just buy a food truck and be a mobile bakery. But that has its advantages and disadvantages. Finding a shop is great, but rather expensive. So we are mostly just looking and exploring at present. Most of the fun is in the dreaming and planning stages. It kind of reminds me of building a house so far. And that is one of my favorite things to do. I really like the planning best. I think I need to do some kind of work where I just plan for other people:)
Well, I hope this Wednesday has been a good one for you too. HAGW

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flying on Tuesday

Good morning! Hope all is well out there in deep cyberspace. Things are good here. Mel is at the doctor right now getting a physical to clear his way for renewing his pilot's license. He's really got the bug for flying again since we went to the fly-in at Hood River. This time I am enthused too. I think I would like being able to take off for far off destinations at a moment's notice. And I don't feel so afraid! That is kind of amazing to me, and to Mel! He is used to me dragging my feet about flying, and he is still getting used to the idea that I might like his obsession with flying. I think flying in that bi-wing has turned a corner for me. Now if I can just figure out how to open a window in the cockpit:) There is a remote possibility that they won't pass him on the physical though. He had a kidney stone last winter, and they don't look very kindly on those. So we shall see. I guess if he doesn't we will look at boats.... or motorcycles:) So have you seen the video on youtube of men flying? I will post a link, because it is really amazing! I hope you are having a great day! Wishing you and yours all the best! HAGW!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mel and Randy

Julie and I

We had such a nice weekend! We decided on Saturday afternoon that dinner at Maddox's sounded good, and that we could visit our daughter Julie too! So we left about 3 in the afternoon and met Julie and Randy and their five boys for a late supper. It was very impulsive and fun. Mel had not been there since she moved and was happy for a break from normal. We had a great dinner, although I made the mistake of ordering a porterhouse steak, which turned out to be enough meat for dinner and then dinner for all of us the next day! It was truly the biggest steak I have ever seen. I hadn't really paid much attention to the menu, but Randy said it was 32 ounces! Can you believe anyone could eat that much meat? We ordered a chocolate cream pie and took that back to Julie's for the next day.
Sunday was fun too, just being able to observe my daughter as super mom, getting five little boys all cleaned up for church! Being a mom is not easy. And she makes it look like it is!
We stopped to see our daughters Michelle and Amy and their families on the way back home! That was fun too. I really do have wonderful daughters, and sons!! I feel so encouraged and happy this morning! I am still so grateful! HAGW

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Today I am thankful. I am thankful for a good husband who stands by me through all trials we have had in life and still loves me despite my weaknesses. That means everything to me. I am grateful for each one of my seven children, and for their sweet families. I am so blessed to have good children and wonderful grandchildren. No, they aren't perfect, but they are still wonderful and lots of fun and they keep me enthused about life. I am also grateful to have been born into a good family. I love my parents and siblings. No one could ask for a better or happier family. They have been a support over the years. I miss my mother terribly, but I have a great step mom who has been a strength and support too. And I am grateful for good friends that keep my testimony strong and who validate my existence. I have had a hard year and it has been wonderful to have good friends that encourage me in doing my best. I have a lot to be grateful for. Just thought I would share! HAGW

Friday, September 18, 2009

Early Morning...Again!

Well, I guess I've officially had enough sleep, because I cannot fall back asleep this morning. But that's OK since I have a very busy morning. I have a hair appointment in a half an hour. Then I am painting with Jodell for a couple of hours and then I am meeting Kim to watch her 4 year old. I will watch him for the afternoon. Then this evening we are getting together with some old friends for dinner. That should be fun.
The Movie of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency was very enjoyable. Not as good as the book of course, but good enough to keep Mel and I laughing. Mma Romotswe is portrayed well, although so different from what I had in my head. And they didn't say Mma like in the audio book I had listened to, which was probably a good thing. Some of it was more disturbing than the book I think. Maybe it is like that to see things rather than just read about it. But I would give it a 2 thumbs up:) I will send this disc back and get the next disc tomorrow or Monday in the mail. Netflix is sure convenient.
Well, so long cyberspace. HAGW

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

I am so excited! I received my first disc of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency from HBO in the mail from netflix. I love this series of books, and now I can watch the HBO series. I wanted to watch it with Mel this evening, but I cheated just a little and watched the first ten minutes or so while I was waiting for dinner to cook. And it looks like it will be very good.
Thursday is always a hard day for me because I get so tired from the temple, so it is especially nice to have something fun to look forward to. I tried to take a nap today, but first I got woken up by a fly buzzing in the room, then by a phone call from Liz, and lastly by a phone call from the man coming to fix our broken window. After the last I just got up and gave up on the nap. I have a little bug of some kind and an upset stomach. But it is probably because I am lacking sleep.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not much to say today, except I am exhausted!!! I couldn't sleep last night. I went to book club and ran around town for stuff, and now I am going to sleep (I hope). Hope you are having a great day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Antique Autos in the Hood

Old man I met at the fly-in
Cool old Ford!

My favorite car at the show!

This was an old mini cooper.

Studebaker Insignia

Studebaker car that the insignia was on.

My dad and Barb by his old favorite car.

Mel by the old Studebaker truck. Today I am watching my four year old grandson. He is not real happy to be here, so I am so grateful for the TV! He is currently watching "Dinosaur Train", and completely mesmerized.
Today I thought I would post a few pictures of the old cars at the WAAAM. They had lots of Fords, Chevys, and Studebakers! We had fun walking around looking at them all. For a more complete pictorial you can go to my facebook pictures, or my dad's wall on facebook for a connection to the album. I guess I was not aware that the Studebaker was such a nice car. Some of the old models are really nice. There was an old green truck that I especially liked. I met a cute little old man there who said he had 3 of his old model T's on display at the museum. He was quite a sweet little man, still in love with life at his very old age of 90 something. He was there with his wife who appeared to be quite disabled with age. I especially liked his blue paisley polyester pants with his plaid shirt....not a slave to fashion! People are so interesting. Each has his own unique story.
My dad found a car that was exactly like the model he had wanted to buy as a teenager. He said it would have cost him $200! But his dad would not let him buy it for some reason. He said it still made him feel bad, he really liked that car! He also found a car that reminded him of one that he had ridden in up to Strawberry, CA when he was a teenager. They were on their way to play a dance job. My dad played saxophone. Anyway the car got a flat, but the owner did not want to stop to change a tire because they were running late, so they drove on it and went through the rim down to the hub. I liked a dark blue car there, but can't remember what it was called. I will just put in a picture.
Well, I hope all is well with you and yours. HAGW!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flyin' the Hood

Flying high and loving it! That is quite an accomplishment for me. I always thought I would love flying, until I went up with Mel in a little Cessna. That was just a little scary, and then we got into some bad weather near McCall one afternoon and I decided I didn't really ever care if I went up in a little plane again. Flying in a bi-wing airplane has changed that. It must be that I get a little motion sickness when I fly, because with an open cockpit I felt none of that. It was just fun.
Now, let me explain a little about why we were in Hood River. My step mom's brother, Alex Newman married a lady, Judy Brandt. Her father invented a machine called a Shock Wave Shaker. It attached to a plum tree and would shake the tree and all the plums would fall off. At any rate, the machine became a money maker, and was soon used all over, not just for plums, but for nuts too. And soon the Brandt family became quite wealthy. Apparantly they loved old planes and automobiles and collected them where ever they could find them. Anyway, about three years ago they started this museum with the folks in Hood River. It is unique in that it has both planes and cars, and it is interesting to see both from the same era.
While we were there we met all kinds of interesting people. Barb's brother Alex is fun to talk with. He took a three year trip and flew with his plane and tent and a moped to all 48 states. He introduced us to a friend, Tom Casey, who took a Cessna 260 (I think) and flew all the way around the world. He lectures all over the country about his adventure. He said he wanted to write a book, but really wasn't a writer himself. I told him I would be glad to help him write his book. Wouldn't that be a kick? Another person I met wasapilot who had helped restore an old Boeing mail plane. It had originally flown back in the 20's. He flew it into Hood River to store it at the museum for the winter.
A whole family that had something to do with the WACO airplane was there also. They had brought a beautiful WACO bi-plane to the fly-in and won the grand prize for the most fabulous plane. It was a big beautiful black and white plane. I know nothing about planes, but it was my favorite of every plane there. Well, I hope you enjoy the pictures. I will write about the cars tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I've been educated since my last post. We are attending the fly in at the WAAAM in Hood River, OR. And it stands for Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum. I am having the time of my life:) Yesterday I flew in a bi-plane....twice! Once was not enough! I have never flown in an open cockpit before, and it changed the whole experience for me. What a fantastic, thrilling adventure! I really would not hesitate to go up again. I guess it is a little like the difference of riding in a convertible versus a regular vehicle. Only to the power of 10. It really was fun.
Right now it's time for church, so I will leave the lovely land of cyberspace. I will write more and include photos when we arrive back home. Hope you are all well and having a gut wan! Melody

Thursday, September 10, 2009

OK, so I guess I am struggling with my feelings about blogging. It feels so very impersonal to just write to the great unknown cyberspace out there. But then maybe I can reach someone I might not otherwise reach. So is it worth it? You tell me:) Or not. I have unjoined facebook. It was making me too sad. So I will try this for a while again. I am in a pretty good place these days. The pain of losing a friendship that was important to me has subsided, and I feel like it is all in the Lord's hands.

This weekend I am going with Mel to the WAMM museum. I am not sure what that stands for. I think it is Western Aeronautical something or other. I should google it. At any rate it is in Hood River along the Columbia River and there is a fly-in this weekend. We are not flying in (thank heavens), but Mel would like it if we were. He loves airplanes and flying. I thought I did until we actually started doing it. And I found that I get a little airsick. I am still not sure if it is because I am so afraid of flying (or rather bad landings), or if it is because I really do have motion sickness. It's hard to tell. At any rate I am glad we are driving. It should be lots of fun, since my Dad and his wife Barb are going to meet us there. I guess there will be lots of antique airplanes on display. Maybe even rides in them for a fee. It will be an interesting weekend.

Well, the temple was wonderful this morning. I sure do love the feelings I have in the Lord's house. I watched a video by David Bednar yesterday that I thought was very good too. It was called "The Way Things Really Are" I think. I gave it to my daughter to watch. It was really very insightful on the dangers of the internet. It was a CES fireside and is available through the sight I think. Well, have a gut wan:) Melody

Friday, September 4, 2009

I listened to President Eyring this morning on my drive to pick up my 3 year old grandson. I have a cd called"Because He First Loved Us." It is very insightful and really strengthens my testimony. If you haven't listened to the cd or read his book I would encourage you to do so. The part that really helped me today was about remembering Him (the Savior) "always". I have wondered how that is possible, but Pres. Eyring talked about how it is something we strive towards. He said the atonement is provided for us because Father knew how hard it would be for us to always stay on track. But that we are encouraged to always remember Him and that by striving to do that we can keep correcting our course as we err and learn from our errors, repent and go forward. But it takes humility to recognize we have sinned. That is hard for me, but I am learning. I do not always see things in black and white, and so I sometimes make mistakes that others might not just because I don't see the mistake until it is too late. I guess I am learning some things the hard way. And it hurts to learn that way. Much better to see things clearly ahead of time. I am so greatful for the atonement!
The scripture I am impressed with today is from Mosiah, King Benjamin is speaking. "And again believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things, see that you do them." I hope you are having a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday is temple day....the best day of the week for me. I love to go there and feel the spirit so strong. And today was no exception. I got to be the mentor for a new sister and found out we have a whole lot in common. We are the same age by a month, got married in the same year, and I knew her best friend at BYU. It was fun getting acquainted. And the song today in prep meeting was especially meaningful for me...."Where Can I Turn for Peace?" I love the words and it helped me to feel consoled.
Well, my scripture for the day is Moroni 10:18. It is about gifts. "And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ." I know that is true, and I am so grateful for the gifts I have been given. I also have faith that God remembers His promises. HAGW!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My long-lasting flavor

So today I have another little funny from my grandson. His mom bought him a package of gum. He was quite excited about it and especially that it was mango flavored. He asked me all about mangoes and what they taste like and if I had ever eaten a real one. Then he announced from the back seat of the car, "My long-lasting flavor is gone!" I had to laugh at that one.
Today is Wednesday and I am excited because this is my painting day. No, not walls or ceilings. On Wednesdays I paint pictures with my friend Jodell. We are both trying to develop our artistic talents and so join together for a couple of hours to paint and talk. I guess women like to talk, or at least I do. And painting is a wonderful calming thing to me. I like the smell of the paint and even the paper. And I like the challenge of making a flat piece of paper look alive. I'm not real good at it, but it is still very enjoyable.
I thought I would share a scripture each day. This one is from Alma 7 and it has helped me to keep focused on the most important things in my life. "And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive, and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works." "May the Lord bless you and keep you!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AGE - It isn't all bad:)

Today I wanted to share a couple of funny little things that happened at breakfast with my six year old grandson. He is quite precocious and comes up with some pretty funny stuff. The first was that he wanted fried eggs. But not just any fried eggs. He wanted them to have runny yolks. So as we were eating he kept talking about how great those runny yolks tasted. Then as he was eating his toast with jam he said, "Grandma, I just love "smucker" berries!" That one made me laugh right out loud. He is just so cute.
The other thing I wanted to share was an acronym....AGE. It is for dealing with stress. A stands for "Amplify" your feelings of something good that happened to you by sharing it with another person that cares about you. G stands for "Gratitude" and a gratitude journal. E stands for "Engage" in acts of Kindness. The speaker I heard this from, Susan Folkman was on the UC channel. She said people don't realize when they are going through a bad time that they can take a break from bad feelings by creating positive emotions and that AGE was a reminder of a few things to do to create positive feelings. She emphasized that we should focus on what really matters. So today I am trying to do that. And it is working! Hope this helps someone out there in the great cyberspace out there:)