05.31.09

The very full and excellent week

Posted in Miscellaneous at 7:48 pm by Grandma O

     This week could go down in some sort of record book for our lives. So many exciting events and so many spiritual blessings happened in just a few days that it’s really amazing. I will try to begin on Monday and go right through today.
     Last Monday was Memorial Day. Many times we have attended a speeches and flag waving activity at the Veteran’s wall. Dan had a Doctor appointment first thing in the morning and we had lots of projects so didn’t go this year. It was just nice to have the day off from work. Dr. Boston agreed that Dan probably does have gout or pseudo-gout but doesn’t know absolutely without blood work. It’s a shame and also kind of funny that Dan has gone to many doctors, no one has ever suggested that, and he had to diagnose himself from info and pictures on the Internet! I worked outside a little preparing my garden beds and Dan and I both cleaned the upper hall. We have used the areas between our apartment doors and the back stairs as “de facto” storage areas and now it is looking 100% improved when we come upstairs to our apartment. I also went shopping with Bonny and got material to make her a veil for her wedding. We had a lot of fun looking at little white beads and other goodies and laughing about things together.
     On Tuesday, Hallie Nicole O’Barr was born down in Nevada. It was a long night for Connie (and Danny!) since the doctor had started to induce the labor on Monday afternoon. She was 6 lbs. 13 oz. so she is a petite little thing. In reports from Danny she is doing very well and is a good baby. I’m sure Connie is happy to have that over—I can remember that feeling myself. Also on Tuesday, I went to the endocrinologist who had all the tests run on me and he was able to tell me that my biopsy was negative. I was reasonably sure that would be true, but it’s always a relief to have it absolutely diagnosed. Now I have the appointment to take the “poison pill” on June 26th. I wanted to wait until after Bonny’s wedding when I wouldn’t be around a lot of people.
     Little Gunner in Idaho had surgery on Thursday. In all the other things going on, I don’t remember exactly when I talked to Johnny. Poor Gunner has had a lot of ear infections and they removed his adenoids and replaced the tubes in his ears. It sounds like he had problems like Grandma had. It was supposedly because of numerous ear infections that I had radiation therapy on my adenoids. I know that once one of the doctors that my mom worked for commented that Johnny and some of the other kids had a sort of “bend” in one of their Eustachian tubes which contributed to pain and congestion when they got upper respiratory illness. It must be a hereditary problem. He is doing really good according to Johnny and went right back to the preschool he is attending.
      On Thursday, we had the appraisers come by to look at the apartment. Dan stayed home and went to work late to be here and he said the two guys seemed to be fairly impressed and said it was it very good condition for the age of the building. Hopefully, we will get a good rating from it. We talked to the loan officer and she said our credit was good enough so that was a relief, too.
     Now, for the really interesting miracle of the week. Several weeks ago, Dan went in to see Dr. Nolan, his ortho doctor, because of severe leg and back pain. He had numerous x-rays done and they looked absolutely awful. He had a major curvature and I said it looked like a squished “S” but Dan thought it was more like a horseshoe shape. Dan has been going to therapy pretty faithfully for a several weeks plus he fixed up our massage table with a borrowed “chi” machine. That is a machine about the size of a small toaster oven that has two large grooves to put your ankles in. You lie on your back and turn it on and it shakes you back and forth like a fish swimming. He has been doing somewhat better but we decided to have him see a Dr. Spencer who is in the same practice as Dr. Nolan but specializes in back issues. So on Friday he had his appointment. Up on the board he slapped Dan’s x-rays from several weeks ago. I sort of squinted at them and asked the doctor—“Are these the same x-rays that were taken last time?” After he double checked the name, etc., I was sort of puzzled. The doctor explained lots of details about Dan’s back, made further suggestions and said to continue with the therapy. After we walked out, I turned to Dan and started to question him and he said, “Yeah, I was going to ask you the same thing!” His back only looked like it had a small curve to it! We are witnesses to each other since we both saw it! Now we know how his back could be better but how could the x-rays be different? We headed over to the restaurant where we were meeting people from our ward for dinner before going to the Temple. We were both feeling pretty high spiritually but the Temple was frosting on the cake. Dan and I felt gratitude that is beyond expression. Then we actually went to the Dairy Queen like we used to do in Arizona after going to the Temple.
     On Saturday, I finished planting my front beds, put together some flower containers for the entry and generally spruced things up outside. The peas I planted over a week ago are coming up like crazy but I see no sign of the wildflowers! Maybe they have a really long germination rate. Oh well, I have enough other flowers that is looks great anyway. Another thing that made me happy was the dozens of earthworms that were everywhere I was digging. The soil feels pretty good and I have added hundreds of pounds of extra potting soil over the years so I guess it is built up pretty good.
     One of the happiest things to happen in our ward is a new family of Samoans who moved here from Hawaii. There name is something like Talusaulaa but they said everyone can just call them Bro.T or Sis.T. Actually we call them Wendell and Patsy because we became very good friends immediately. She is a great big hugging type person who kisses everyone on the cheek. They released the High Priest Group leader who had made life uncomfortable for Dan and put in this new guy. We were so happy and have rejoiced over this. Even though it has been raining all week, we feel like sunshine and happiness. Today it cleared up, so this evening it looks like a green paradise outside.

05.24.09

Memorial Day Weekend

Posted in Miscellaneous at 9:04 pm by Grandma O

     One of my favorite things at work is a three day weekend, especially when I get off early on Friday, too. Jo Beth and her husband left at noon to go down to Seward where they were going to spend the night and go on a 5 hour boat ride on Saturday. So Bob left about the same time. I got stuck waiting until the mail came at 2:00 and the Messenger service at 2:25. Then I checked my personal email and left at 2:45.
      I went to a local store called “New Sagaya” which specializes in oriental type stuff so I could get some Sesame oil for a somewhat reasonable price. Most oils other than corn, soy or canola are pretty spendy. I can get a large container of peanut oil at Costco but anything else is $10.00 or more a pint. They also have a pretty good seafood department so I bought a chunk of halibut and some shrimp and made a nice dinner for Dan. He was on the pipeline this week so I picked him up from the airport at 4:00 and we hurried out to the valley.
     We went by the credit union and turned in papers to re-finance the apt. building. Everything is turned in and now we will have an appraisal this week. We should have the appraisal report the following week and then a few weeks for the underwriting deal that goes on with loans. The loan officer said that it is taking longer because of the new stuff from Pres. Obama. The mortgage companies are required to contact everyone with the new information and offer refinancing—or something. I didn’t quite catch exactly what the issues are. We want to pay off our debts, drill a new well, fix up this place, etc. It will drop our monthly outgo quite a bit so we can add more to the principal and get ourselves in a better situation faster. The only aggravating part is that even if we are using this as our primary residence and not as a rental it will still be higher for the percentage of interest. Some loans are only 4.75% but we will pay at least 5 or 5.1% because it is commercial property.
     Benny & Molly helped me in the yard last night and we got wildflower seeds planted around the big tree. Tomorrow I will finish planting my front gardens and put away the rakes and shovels for awhile. Then it will be weed pulling and swatting mosquitoes. It is very dry right now and we could actually use some rain! Jo Beth said they got rained on out in Resurrection Bay in Seward. It was predicted to rain here but didn’t happen.
     This evening we went out to Willow to the Nancy Lake Campground and had a little picnic with the campground hosts who are friends of Bonny’s. She met them a couple years ago when she worked as a temporary campground “ranger” for the State Parks. It was a beautiful drive and the traffic wasn’t too bad. I wanted to show Bonny a pattern I had for wedding veils and discuss making one for her. She managed to snag a wedding dress for a real bargain and I’m probably going to help her hem it up a little since she doesn’t want it dragging on the ground. I don’t know any other details, but I know that they are having a whole roast pig at her reception so that should be interesting.
     Well, tomorrow is a big day with lots on the list and I have a day off from work so I better get to bed. I’m caught between the inside and the outside work that needs doing. We need the place to look good for the appraisal too.

05.17.09

Sunday, Sunday…I love this day!

Posted in Miscellaneous at 7:30 pm by Grandma O

     Saturday’s are great too but I still feel obligated to “work”. I feel so sorry for people who don’t understand the Lord’s plan and feel like they have to be hooked up all the time. On Sunday, I can be a total bum and not feel guilty!
     Today was good at church but Relief Society was a little different. Our teacher is a beautiful woman named Sandy in her early 40’s who had a horrible tragedy happen to her several years ago. Her daughter, Brooke, at the time about 14-15 years old, was involved in a car accident with several other teenagers. They were pulling out a side road from the movie theatre onto the highway and the young person driving probably didn’t judge the speed of a vehicle coming toward them. They were T-boned and I think one of the girl’s cousins was killed and Brooke suffered a severe head injury. She lived, but she is permanently brain damaged and remains in a wheel chair. It’s difficult to tell how much she understands since she can’t talk and her eyes don’t focus well. Sandy goes back and forth between great guilt and anger over the situation and has many times broken down in serious crying when she tries to bear her testimony, or give a talk or lesson.
     Anyway, today was Sandy’s turn to teach and she prepared the wrong lesson. So she just got up and cried a lot and talked about her guilt about many different things and how imperfect she is compared to others in the ward. Lots of people made comments and talked about how we all have problems and aren’t as perfect as we appear. (I guess she thinks she is worse than anyone else and somehow has been punished by God for her failings.) Some of her beliefs bordered on “superstitious” and made me uncomfortable. I wanted to get into some deep gospel testimony and I was thankful for another sister, Cheryl, who lost a 4 year old to a seizure disorder and has another child with some severe disabilities. She is a real rock (a returned missionary) and was able to articulate sympathy to this lady. I guess my point in all this rambling is that Dan always says that I am an “emotional nudist”. He doesn’t realize that I can’t hold a candle to several other women in our ward and many others that I have known over the years. Men talk about objects and events and women talk about people and emotions.
     The weather is absolutely glorious. Right now, I am thankful to be in Alaska. It is so sunny and beautiful with just a little breeze. The trees are totally leafed out and the undergrowth is beginning to rise up—all the ferns and roses, etc. Yesterday, as I was out running errands, I told one old lady that it was so nice today that the only thing that would make it better was to be 30 years younger. We laughed together about that. I have my garden bed in front almost prepared for the flowers. I have 50 little pots with gladiola bulbs coming up. About 12 of them are up—a couple are about 2 inches but some of them show no signs of life. I stopped by the greenhouse and bought 2 zucchini plants. I just couldn’t help myself. I don’t really have a vegetable garden but I’ll find someplace to poke them in. My biggest bugaboo is the big tree roots on the north side of the driveway. We had all the trees taken out last fall on the northwest corner of the lot but some big roots remain and I have to do some major sawing and hacking. I left the ground messed up out there when I got too tired to finish. Of course they could be coming from the big tree in the middle of the circular driveway. I’ve been told that roots in Alaska go great distances sideways since they can’t go down that far. I’m also going to get some other plants to place among the glads since they are tall and skinny and don’t take up much room. I am praying for a good summer that isn’t a rainy mess like last year