The middle of July in Paradise

Posted in Miscellaneous at 6:56 pm by Grandma O

     I think it’s really interesting that last summer it rained and rained way more than normal and then this year it has been way sunny more than normal. I guess if they could be mixed together it would be an ordinary Alaska summer. But at least we have gotten “rewarded” for hanging in there last year. I won’t forget the summer of 1987 or 2008 for awhile. This year has been so awesome that I wish I had made some camping or vacationing plans on the Kenai Peninsula. Also there are supposedly record runs of red salmon down there too. Lots of people were going fishing Saturday and for a little while I was sort of wishing that Dan or I had the strength to dip-net with the young folks. Then I really thought about it and realized I don’t love salmon THAT much. It’s a lot of work and a lot of expense! There are some Fish and Game regulations that allow a person to have a “proxy” person catch them. I guess we need to check that out further. Dan already has a Fish & Game exemption for being over 60 in Alaska. He is always telling me that I need to go and get mine too since that means no charge at all for the license.
     Everything is so green and lush and looks like a tropical forest. My pea plants have blossomed like crazy and there are tiny pods everywhere. My zucchini is driving me crazy though. First there were lots of male blossoms everywhere and now there are only female blossoms and not a male one in sight. If they don’t get pollinated, there won’t be regular zucchini. The plants need to get it together. The flowers are blooming too and look pretty nice. I tried hard to do a little more gardening and growing this year.
     We had a close call in traffic this week and then we found out that Danny and family had one too. We were driving home one day in Dan’s truck when everyone started throwing on their brakes. It was somewhere between Anchorage and Eagle River before you come to the downhill stretch to the bridge over the river. The newscasters have even dubbed it “Brake-light Hill”. It isn’t really any worse than many other hilly areas but I’ve been told it used to be really, really bad–about 50 years ago. Since the majority of the drivers out there weren’t even BORN then, it makes no sense at all that everyone starts braking going down it and then it backs up traffic for miles and miles before it. It wouldn’t be too cool to go down it 80 miles an hour but during the summer when it isn’t icy, it is perfectly fine to continue at the posted speed of 65 without touching the brakes. Anyway, all of a sudden we had to brake like crazy. There just happened to be one of those huge road construction dump trucks right behind us. We both saw it in the mirrors and Dan was just deciding whether to go for the ditch or change lanes and hit another car (preferable to a several ton truck) when the truck driver changed lanes within inches of our back right bumper. His brakes were smoking and it was kind of noisy but he managed to miss us. What a feeling of relief! It all went on in a matter of seconds but seemed like slow motion.
      Danny and family were on the way to Utah and were right in front of a several car pile-up. They were very grateful to arrive in Salt Lake City alive and well. There was another LDS family directly behind them who got the back of their car crunched in but no one hurt and the other vehicles involved were more damaged but no one killed, thank goodness. The kids were excited to have a helicopter land right there and watch the whole drama unfold.
     Jo Beth had both of her knees operated on Wednesday and I am holding down the fort by myself. Bob is prone to anxiety attacks and starts to ring his hands a little when she isn’t there. She certainly has job security if anyone does! She says she will be back on this coming Wednesday and I sure hope so. I know how to do a lot of things but can’t quite figure out the sequence of events. With a high rate of job turnover at the Dept. of Labor, it has been a regular nightmare to contact them about anything and have an employee who knows what is going on. As usual, I really learn a lot when I have to!


The Quiet Sunday

Posted in Miscellaneous at 6:06 pm by Grandma O

    This week has been quieter and less chaotic than the last few. We had an excellent block of meetings today. I even got up and bore my testimony. I started out by wondering if others remember the movie Ben Hur where they put the food outside the cave and later the lepers retrieved it. I said I now knew what a leper felt like! Then I went on with my regular testimony. The spirit was very strong and I enjoyed the whole meeting. We only had really good testimonies and none of the “weird” ones that make you squirm. I hope that isn’t too negative or critical but there are times when I actually “hurt” for the person standing up there because I’m sure they don’t realize how they sound. I’m especially concerned for the “confessional” type with things only a Bishop should hear.
     I didn’t realize how much I touch other people and vice versa. It was hard not to shake hands and to step back whenever someone with a baby or small child walked toward me. I am at the point where I still need to sleep separately for a couple more days and avoid hugging or kissing anyone. Dan borrowed a Geiger counter from a friend and went around and checked out wherever I had been. My pillow had a small amount of response, I guess because I drool in my sleep, but there was nothing on his recliner chair that I like to sit in and nothing in general around the house that I had touched. If you put the thing right up next to my neck it goes ballistic. From a distance, it goes click-click-click and then faster the closer you get. Right against my neck it clicks so fast it just sound like loud hissing! I will be so glad when this is “over” and hope I never have to do it again. I guess there is a statistical possibility it has to be done twice. I would have a hard time deciding it if was worth it to do again.
     We have decided to just ditch the old bed—it’s twenty years old (at least) and if it isn’t comfortable for us, it wouldn’t be for guests, either. It was one of the nicest gifts Katy and John ever gave us when they moved to Arizona for John to go to school. Since Kayleigh was born there and she is 18 years old, I think I’m pretty accurate on the time. Tomorrow, Costco is starting a sale on beds for $100 off so we are going to buy another. We are fixing up a guest room and already Danny is wishing out loud that Connie could come up for a portion of the summer next year and then he’ll join her. We have so many other people that might like a place to stay that I’d be so happy to get it ready for that.
     Well, I did a transfer and paid off the credit cards. I sure wish the amount we had left was a little larger but we will do what we can do for now. Of course, on a new loan there is no payment the first month, so that gives us a little breathing room to pay for the beds. We also have so many things we need to sell and/or give away and I want to start that project soon. I came across an excellent quote that I printed off and plan to hang up where I can read it every day: “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” (William James) Perhaps with numerous uncompleted tasks, the fatigue is even greater? Yesterday, I cleaned out over half of a large filing cabinet drawer. I filled a trash can and ground up lots in the shredder. Yeah! It was a good feeling. Maybe I will get my life in order before I die! I know the kids are going to have plenty to go through anyway, but my goal is to bring the amount down to a better level.