Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Hour

Phone Call Day!
It gives new meaning to the words
"happy hour."
One whole hour to
soak up the
sound of his voice.
And to learn he is
than he has ever been.

We decided there were
two ways to look at
the hour we had.
1. "Oh, only an hour? Waa Waa Waa."
2. "Wow, a whole hour???
We chose #2. And it wasn't
that long, but was enough.

Love you Elder Dixon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That Magic Night

It's Christmas Eve.
Holly and I had fun getting the table ready for
the consumption of
yummy food.

Thanks, Devlin, for
a wonderful rendition of

And of course, we remembered
the reason for the season...
acting out the nativity
with scripture narration.

Um, Eve, could
you be
any cuter???

{Sorry all you peeps I don't have pictures of.}
We loved having you all here.
My Christmas wish come around me,
peace on earth in this little corner of the world,
and beautiful music.
What more could a Clodhopper ask?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Tag

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. Love to wrap presents.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
I love both. I never thought I'd have anything but a real tree, but I do. And I love it, too. The important things to me are the feelings/emotions/enjoyment that come from
the tradition of putting it up every year.
I do miss the smell of a real tree.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Soon after Thanksgiving. This year the day after Thanksgiving.
Thanks for helping me, Bartle Boys!
4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually New Years Day.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Um, that would be a NO.
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Dolls and their beautiful clothes my mother
painstakingly made.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
Depends on how much money I have!
8. Easiest person to buy for?
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. Finally!
Thanks, Amy.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I love any communication from loved ones.
But I'd have to say I love to open mail.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Can't think of a bad one.
Could we change it to funniest?
Sweet hubby gave me the same necklace two years in a row.
I loved it enough to get it twice!
I love that he picked it out for me.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
While You Were Sleeping
Miracle on 34th Street
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Never soon enough.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Hm. Don't think so.
But then I am a senior citizen and I don't remember a lot of things...
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Same as the rest of the year...
restaurant food. (hahahaha)
16. Lights on the tree?
Oh, my yes. The more the better.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Mary Did You Know? (at least at this moment)
There are soooooo many favorites.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home probably. But sometimes we travel
afterward, and that is fun!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
You've got Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen.
Comet, and Cupid, and Donder and Blitzen.
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
*Thank goodness my mom taught me Christmas songs.*
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
I think my favorite is Heidi's Santa's hat on the top
of her tree. We have had various and sundry
top ornaments, but have never found the perf one.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Day.
Except for jammies so the pictures look good Christmas morning.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
That it doesn't last all year through.
You know that song that says:
It's not the things you do at Christmastime,
but the Christmas things you do all year through?
Yeah, that.
(Maybe you have to be old to remember that song. It's called
The Secret of of my faves.)
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Sentimental hodge podge.
24. Favorite time for Christmas dinner?
Late afternoonish.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I want my family around me and peace on earth
good will toward men. Seriously. And a clean house and kids that aren't fighting.
(I added that for old times sake, kids. Teehee.)

I tag Redheaded Stepchild, Runningfan, Hollyoak,
Holldoll, & Joeyship!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Long, Farewell


Not always easy. Or asked for.
But always an opportunity for growth.
Bye bye YW.
Love you.
I'll miss you.
But great things are in store for both of us!
Glad I got to do this one last project for you.
Merry Christmas.
Be good.
Remember I love you. {did I already say that?}

{The purpose of the white stocking
is that while you
are busy filling your
days with
holiday busy-ness,
to think about the gifts
you can give
the Savior this coming year.}

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is It Just Me, Or..... it kind of weird/awesome
that I went shopping
for all of these

on the very same day?

And that I needed this
on the way home?

You gotta love AZ. There is
still a bit of the
Utah girl
in me that marvels
at the
sunshine and shirtsleeves
at Christmastime.

And the fact that you get
kissed by the sun while
hanging Christmas lights
and planting your winter flowers.

But I love it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grandma Dent, This One's For You

Holly the Knitter
Impressive, no?
Who knew?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Letter to My Cold

Dear Cold,

I don't like you.
You are cramping my {busy} lifestyle.
You are making simple things difficult...
{like breathing and sleeping.}
I know it was probably "my turn" but
did you have to come at such an
inconvenient time?

But I've gotta say, you have had one
*positive* influence.
You sure make me appreciate feeling
good when you are not around.
I'm grateful for that.
So incredibly grateful.

Oh, and I'm also incredibly grateful for
You know, Sudafed, NyQuil, Tylenol...
they rock.
They rock hardcore.

Have a happy, everyone. May you breathe,
sleep and be merry!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monkeys Off My Back

I had a little issue with flooding yesterday.
But it was a *productive* flood.
I defrosted the freezer.
Those of you who know my ancient freezer well (Devlin, Eve, Chloe) know it was *l*o*n*g* overdue.
Those of you who know my freezer well also know that two tablecloths have been in there many months?
Why, you ask? To freeze the wax spilled on them so I could scrape it off easily.
{I'm happy to report I scraped it off, pressed the rest out with a hot iron and paper bags, laundered them, and they are ready to have more wax spilled on them. I'm happy...they were *cute* ones.}
Why were they in there so long??? Good question. Really good question. No good answer.
I live in the land of procrastination.
Back to the heavens. Not too serious, just hard to keep up with the effects of freezer warming when you wait so very long to defrost. And it would have helped to stay home and take care of it instead of doing a million other things at the same time. Bad idea. Productive, however.
But two happy things! My freezer and tablecloths are restored to their intended purposes, and two very large monkeys are off my back. Now aren't you so proud of me?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrating 100

No, silly, he didn't turn 100 years old on Sunday.

But he did reach the milestone of 100 pounds lost.
Yes, 100.
One Hundred.

Isn't he amazing {and skinny}?
Way to go, my bff.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ring a Ling a Ling

It's nice how much comfort you
can feel just by hearing
someone's voice.

Particularly if that voice
belongs to someone you haven't
actually seen for two months.

And maybe even more particularly
if that voice is heading
over the Atlantic Ocean
right about... now.

And if it belongs to one
of your babies who is
all grown is definitely
a tender mercy.

I love technology.
I love missionaries.
And I love Elder Dixon.

Bon Voyage!

Thanks for the Ring a Ling a Ling.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



Born 9.23.08
6:03 p.m.
7 lbs. 15 oz.
21 inches

Thank you, Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Devlin spent the night.
That led to a fun morning, with Granny and Devlin entertaining themselves with waffle blocks from way back when.
I present to you the castle. And the houses. I introduced the concept of a village, but "no, they are houses" Devlin says.

And this, my friends, is a "house car."
And a very cute boy.

Later in the day, this adorable child came to visit.
She set the table for Mr. Pig....

...talked on the phone, and furnished the doll house quite masterfully.

Pretty much my favorite.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cross Country Round Two

It is Wednesday, and that meant...another cross country meet for Holly. I was lame and didn't take my camera, but just let me give you the scoop:

With three schools competing, Holly placed second for Taylor.
With three schools competing, Holly placed second overall!

Go Holly! Go Taylor! The boys and the girls both won their meet! Wahoo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Girl

Who came in second for Taylor at the first cross country meet last week?

Who came in fourth over all with three schools competing in said meet?
Who got invited to run with Mesa High at an Invitational on Saturday?

This girl.

And who is proud of her?
Um, that would be me.

{Way to go, Holldoll.}

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


What'cha gonna do when you need the reading glasses and it is sunny? Apparently you do this.

Thanks all you cousins, friends, and family who made this day on Huntington Beach so chill. Till next time...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

May God Bless and Keep You

A neighborhood united in love for some of our own.

Faith and hope lifting heavenward.

I believe in miracles.

Know that we love you Christian and Stephanie.

May Heavenly Father hold you close as you recover.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kinda Creepy

If you were to come to my house today, you might see my snail vine creeping across my front porch. It is kinda hard to miss. The vines are actually planted on either side of the garage, and my plan/goal was to have them creep together over the garage. Mission accomplished.... periodically I even give them a haircut so we can get the cars in and out of the garage. What I didn't exactly expect was that they would also creep across the porch and maybe even threaten to take over the universe. And maybe, just maybe, I might love it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Open House

I took this gaggle of girls to their open house for school on Friday. I have to admit, they are a pretty fun collection of individuals. This is one good reason for holding on to the big car! Happy first day of school tomorrow, my friends. I'll be home making cookies! (Tradish, ya know.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Godspeed, My Son

It has been about 24 hours now since we put Ryan on the plane and said our goodbyes. The goodbye part is always hard. Kind of like "ripping off the bandaid," as Heidi would say.

We are gonna miss the happy, sweet, kind, compassionate, hilarious, thoughtful, friendly, hard-working, and humble presence that is Ryan. He leaves a gigantic hole. But what a happy experience! He is doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. Wouldn't change it for the world. All I can say is LUCKY CROATIA.

Enjoy the adventure, and Godspeed, my son. (Especially the speed part!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Happy Birthday Ang.
A sweeter girl was never born.
Thanks for keeping us laughing and reaching higher.
You are the best thing that ever happened to July 10.
{Do you realize it was 70 degrees the day you were born????}
Fabulous mom, wife, daughter, and sister. Not to mention all the other stuff you do.
Hope your day is excellent! You deserve the very best.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Twenty Year Tag

20 years ago I was

1. 35 years old.
2. Living in American Fork, Utah.
3. The wife of the bishop of our ward and he was traveling a lot with his work.
4. The mother of 4 children who were 9, 7, 5, and 2, and I was expecting #5.
5. Loving working in my very large yard, working with the Beehives in my ward, and playing in the yard with my kids after dinner instead of doing dishes.
6. Maybe perhaps the driver of a brown and cream Volkswagen Vanagon.

10 years ago I was

1. 45 years old.
2. Living in Mesa, AZ.
3. The wife of an employee of Oracle who traveled the world.
4. The mother of 6 children who were 19, 17, 15ish, 11, 9 and 4. Had one in college, one in high school, one in jr. high, 2 in elementary, and one in preschool.
5. Fighting my way back from the effects of mono.
6. The mother of the bride...Heidi got engaged and married. Busy, happy times.

5 years ago I was

1. 50 years old, and happy to make it.
2. Living in Mesa, AZ.
3. Now a granny, with 2 children now married.
4. The victim of purse theft and stolen identity. Very stressful, mounds of paperwork.
5. The mother of the bride again...Angie got engaged and married, making 3 married, 3 at home.
6. Still loving working in the yard and avoiding dishes.

3 years ago I was

1. 52 years old, even happier to make it.
2. Living in Mesa, AZ.
3. Enduring Mark's unemployment, working at and started teaching piano lessons.
4. Loving being a granny.
5. Anticipating Eric's mission call.
6. Still loving working in the yard and avoiding dishes.

So far this year I have

1. Become a senior citizen.
2. Appreciated more than ever my husband, children, and grandchildren.
3. Anticipated another grandchild.
4. Had a reception in the yard, had girl's camp, and helped Heidi move into her Colorado home in the space of 3 weeks.
5. Watched Ryan open his mission call. Wahoo!
6. Enjoyed working in the yard, avoiding cooking AND dishes as often as possible.

Yesterday I

1. Went to IKEA and bought what I went for PLUS a new kiddie table and chairs for granny's playroom.
2. Went to Sam's Club and got luggage and vitamins for Ryan's mission.
3. Went out to dinner with the fam. You gotta love Tia Rosa's.
4. Grabbed the shirts needing ironing and then put them back on the rack to wait.
5. Purchased at Target some little dishes to put in the little cupboard to then be played with on the new IKEA table. Got out the pretend fridge and stove from the attic. Unearthed a heap 'o memories!
6. Fertilized plants, sprayed weeds, avoided cooking and dishes.

Today I

1. Enjoyed the morning in church.
2. Finished up that last visiting teaching visit.
3. Went to choir.
4. Prepared dinner.
5. Enjoyed having everyone come home for dinner (except our Coloradoans.) Loved watching the grandkids enjoy the new set-up in the playroom.
6. Attended post camp fireside.

Tomorrow I

1. WILL go to the gym early-ish in the morning.
2. Need to do laundry and the above-mentioned postponed ironing.
3. Will finish Sunday dishes.
4. Need to get back to some missionary prep shopping.
5. Realize it is exactly one month till Ryan departs.
6. Will enjoy having Mark in town!

In the next year I

1. Will enjoy having a new grandchild.
2. Will look forward to weekly emails from Croatia.
3. Plan to spend as much time digging in the dirt as possible.
4. Will make trips to Colorado.
5. Hope to get some family history work done.
6. Will probably still be avoiding mundane household chores.

Actually, I think 20 years ago I started this post. I tag angieinpink, runningfan, and redheaded stepchild.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Let me introduce you to the latest and greatest real estate agent in Arizona. Yup, Eric got licensed last month and is more than willing to help you with all your buying/selling needs. We are really proud of his hard work and tenacity in getting this done so quickly. Break a leg, Eric! {You should definitely call him if you are in the market for a new house!}

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Just have to make a quick post to honor this guy. What a blessing he has been to me and to my children. Thanks, Mark, for being a perfect example of all a dad should be.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Camp was....awesome!

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Girl's Camp Eve

So, here's what I'm thinking about at 11:45 the night before camp.

1. What did I forget to pack? It seems impossible that there could be anything because of the ginormous duffle sitting in my living room. But there will be something. Guaranteed. Packing for all the "what ifs" is gettin' me down.

2. I'm already so tired I can't see straight. Not a good way to start out.

3. Do you realize it was snowing in the camp ground two days ago?

4. How did I get to be a senior citizen and not learn how to plan/organize/pull off girl's camp? Thank heaven for camp directors and great staff who did.

5. I'm gonna have fun. It is going to be a blast. Think of me hurtling down the zip line thinkin' I'm gonna die. What could be more fun than that? Maybe canoeing or shooting or repelling off of the giant tower? Maybe.

6. I'll be back in no time to give you a report. Only 4 sleepless nights to go. Hahahaha.

7. I really do love my calling.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Purse

About a month ago my sis tagged me. I'm slow, partly because the purse is such a black hole for all things junky. Here's the list.

*Checkbook...tsk tsk. After I got my purse stolen and my checks used all over the city, I swore I would never keep my checkbook in there again. No longer there, btw.
*Cell Phone. What did we do without 'em?
* My new prescription sunglasses, gifted to me for my birthday this year. Such a luxury.
*Small metal tape measure. Very handy except when going through security at the courthouse. They were convinced I was trying to smuggle in a pocket knife.
*Elvis pen. Since Elvis and I share a birthday, it is only fitting.
*One business card for a custom shoe shop. No comment.
*Carpet sample. We replaced our carpet 10 years ago. Wow.
*Seventeen rolls of Smarties. Granny ammunition.
*Two restaurant mints. Can't stand the things.
*One cough drop.
*Package of unwrapped Orbit gum.
*Keys. What do you know...right where they belong.
*Wet wipes. More granny ammunition.
*Three packs tissues. Overkill.
*Wallet. Very little money, lots of grocery store cards.

Let's see, I tag Amy, Rachel the newlywed, and Laura F.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What Makes A Productive Saturday?

What makes a productive Saturday at your house? We tend to judge our success by the number of trips we have to make to Home Depot. Today was a very productive Saturday.

Mark and Ryan spent about 6 hours this morning repairing/replacing/fixing the sprinklers in the front yard. I believe I counted five {yes, five} trips to Home Depot to get supplies for unforeseen issues with said sprinklers.

Then, my sweet, sweet husband spent some more time this afternoon making sure all my beloved plants in the back had sufficient water supply hook-ups and fixed a few flooding spots, since "someone" seems to have nicked the pipe with a shovel or some other gardening implement. {"Someone" is usually me, btw.} Patient, patient man. Thank you.

And on top of all that, the previous few days he has been fixing the lighting in the yard...some conduit rotted out and caused a short which knocked out the whole yard. So he figured out where the problems were, dug up the corner of the yard, and got that all fixed {after much frustration)}and I'm estimating that project produced at least four trips to Home Depot as well. I'm guessing the good old HD will not be going out of business any time soon. We seem to be doing our fair share to ensure their longevity.

I made a trip to Home Depot myself this afternoon (more plants, light globes, washers for the hose) bringing us to a grand total of six trips to Home Depot just today. That is what I call a great day.

Friday, May 2, 2008

News Flash

Yes, yes, Ryan got his mission call today. Here's the short version:

Slovenia/Croatia Mission
Reports to MTC July 30, 2008
Croatian language

We are feeling very excited, very happy, and very, very blessed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Blast From the Past

I forgot what a great movie The Karate Kid is. After a long-ish flight to Boise and an even long-er drive to Idaho Falls, we plopped down in our hotel room and flipped through the channels. We settled on The Karate Kid, which I haven't watched for probably, oh, twenty years, and got completely sucked into the drama. Maybe my enjoyment of it had something to do with being on vacation with my best friend, but it was such a pleasure to see the hard work, training and perseverance that helped the good guy win in the end. Ah, I *heart* feel-good movies. I highly recommend this blast from the past for your viewing pleasure.

Next post or so, I'll bring you pictures of the cutest bride and groom who inspired the Idaho adventure!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


It was a day of celebration in the Dixon household today. Mark finally is as old as I am again, and has entered the hallowed halls of senior citizenship. We had a little *family get together* to wish him a happy birthday. Happy birthday, beloved boy!

And then a couple of hours later, Holly was honored prior to the General YW Broadcast because she has *completed* the requirements for her YW Recognition Award at the tender age of barely 14 (she was the youngest one honored tonight.) Congrats, Holly, we are SO proud of you!

She was also the only one who had *brothers* show up to support her. Way to go, brothers, and thanks for participating in the photo op. Oh, and P.S. the YW Conference was soooo good. Catch it on BYU TV if you weren't there!

And in parting, I just had to introduce you to the *cutest* ducks who showed up on our front lawn this week. They almost came in the house when I opened the door. So friendly! I wish some grandkids had been here to share the fun!

...Ta Ta For Now

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Week's Top Ten List

of furniture stores visited in one day (Saturday.) How fun is that? {Thanks for letting me tag along, Amy.}

9. Number of blunders made while conducting RS today. I actually stopped counting; I'm sure it was more. Every other 4th Sunday the YW President gets the honors in the combined YW/RS opening exercises. You'd think I'd get better at it, but no, no I don't.

8. Number of bite sized Snickers eaten while filling Easter baskets. This was exactly 8 more than planned.

7. Number of days I did not succeed in eating pre-planned healthy cuisine. See #8.

6. Number of people here for Easter dinner. So quiet. Missed you, D,R,D&E, M,A,&C. Lovely dinner out on the patio, though!

5. Number of days this week I slept in and rejoiced over Spring Break! Oh yes, also the number of dresses ordered on-line and returned. How many ugly dresses are there in this world, anyway? Too many. Far too many. Definitely one of those *not to be repeated* incidents.

4. Number of days I did my Pilates workout. Go me. Someday I will look like the *super-model strongest woman on earth in the black ponytail with 5% body fat* on the DVD.

3. Number of quilts finished...oh wait, I still have to bind one. I'm still counting it.

2. Number of dresses and hats completed for my adorable Chloe and Eve. So fun.

1. Number of Easter egg hunts held in the back yard for local grandkids. Missed you Z,T&G! Oh, and don't forget the super fancy hot dog grilling fest held afterward. Sweet memories.

0. Number of times I got up at 6:00 a.m. this week. Pure bliss. No kidding.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

Did anyone else wake up on Monday morning, poke their nose outside and decide they just had to spend some time in the sun? Well I did, and it was intensified when I looked around me and saw the deplorable state of my yard, an empty green barrel and the beckoning wall-to-wall blue sky. The words to that old- school song kept going through my head as I worked. (Was it from Oklahoma!?)

Oh what a beautiful morning!
Oh what a beautiful day.
I've got a beautiful feeling
Everything's going my way.

There's a *green sort of haze in the garden
There's a green sort of haze in the garden
The weeds are as high as an elephant's eye
And it looks like they're climbing clear up to the sky!

Reprise Chorus. C'mon, I know you are singing along. (Sorry about changing the words.)

For crying out loud, where did all these weeds come from???? I love the rain and all, but hasn't it been too cold to grow four foot weeds? Apparently not. Seriously, some of them were about as high as my eye, and I'm not even joking. So it is a good thing you couldn't see me hacking and pulling and otherwise making myself ridiculous trying to improve the view from my kitchen window. I completely filled a green barrel (just in time for pick up...wasn't that clever?) And then I sprayed the bajeebers out of the rest of them. You would think I would learn to keep things under control in the winter, but no, sadly I never learn. Another embarrassing side note is that my hamstrings are making me cry when I walk as a result of my weeding extravaganza.

On a happy note, the flowers out front are blooming their hearts out and making me happy every time I see them. I *heart* flowers and digging in the dirt. I'm even going to post a picture of them when I learn how. Hahahahaha. Promises, promises.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Rest of the Story

A few people have asked me for "the rest of the story" from the tag quote. So I will post the entire poem for you. Here goes. It was from page 123 of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.


She smiled at a sorrowful stranger.
The smile seemed to make him feel better.
He remembered past kindnesses of a friend
and wrote him a thank-you letter.
The friend was so pleased with the thank-you
that he left a large tip after lunch.
The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip,
bet the whole thing on a hunch.
The next day she picked up her winnings,
and gave part to a man on the street.
The man on the street was grateful;
for two days he'd had nothing to eat.
After he finished his dinner,
he left for his small dingy room.
(He didn't know at the moment
that he might be facing his doom.)
On the way he picked up a shivering puppy
and took him home to get warm.
The puppy was very grateful
to be in out of the storm.
That night the house caught on fire.
The puppy barked the alarm.
He barked 'til he woke the whole household
and saved everybody from harm.
One of the boys that he rescued
grew up to be President.
All this because of a simple smile
that hadn't cost him a cent.

Barbara Hauck, age 13

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I got tagged a few days ago by Runningfan. Sorry I'm so lame, but it has been a *busy* week. But I digress. Now for the tag.

Grab the nearest book to you (it must have at least 123 pages.)

Open to page 123.

Go to the 5th sentence and write the next three sentences.

Here ya go:

"The waitress, surprised by the size of the tip, bet the whole thing on a hunch. The next day she picked up her winnings, and gave part to a man on the street. The man on the street was grateful; for two days he'd had nothing to eat."

Would you believe the closest book was Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul? Too bad you didn't get to hear "the rest of the story...."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Echo Monster

The echo monster sometimes takes up residence in my refrigerator when I don't get to the grocery store to replenish the supply of edible items. Ketchup and mustard, mayo and pickles aren't very fun when we don't have the milk, bread, meat and eggs to accompany them.

Well, today the echo monster moved out of the refrigerator and into the house! For ten wonderful days we have had our beloved daughter and her 3 boys here to share our space. We had to let them go today, and the echo monster is roaming from room to room, missing the life, the energy, and the spontaneous fun that erupts when children are in the house. The toys are lonely, the table deserted. The back yard is empty, the giant frisbee lifeless. It is so quiet. They need the accompanying human touch to make them meaningful.

We miss you!

Hurry back!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a Puzzle

It is puzzling to me that one of my favorite (although not frequent) ways to entertain myself is by working puzzles...often while watching a sentimental movie I have memorized going in the background. I usually find time for it on holidays or when members of my family are visiting who share my fetish for the sport. I suppose I love it because I have such happy memories of working puzzles with my mother, sisters, and children... perhaps my love for spending time with them spilled over into the puzzle box. And most of my children love puzzles because my mother spent hours with them working puzzles nearly every time they were together. It is such a nice time to indulge in small talk and for sharing good laughs. I love to buy a new puzzle, but they are getting harder to find. I'm picky about my puzzles, you see. They have to have a lot of different things going on...none of this half the picture being blue water and the other half being blue sky nonsense. Not too small, not too big, not too ugly, not too "all the same," not too hard, not too easy. Hmmm, no wonder they are hard to find. My niece, Amy, recently bought me a wonderful was a picture of many kinds of could we improve upon that?

We have some funny memories of Eric hiding one puzzle piece in his room so he could put in the last piece, Grandma lifting her arm and having five pieces stuck to it, looking up and realizing it was indeed 2 a.m., and recently, having Mark find a piece in the garage that belonged in the puzzle we were working.

I've decided there are two kinds of puzzle workers. The first type works mostly by shape and color. These are usually the puzzlers who like to complete the outside edge first and work on little sections of the puzzle that eventually flow together.

Then there is the "big picture" puzzle worker who picks up a piece, examines the picture on the box, and finds the minuscule hole to drop it into.

I am a shape/color person. My husband is a big picture person. You know, we approach nearly everything in life from those perspectives. I work on life one ridiculous detail at a time...and he sees nearly everything from a more global perspective. That is why he is so good at planning solution strategies for large telecom companies, and I'm good at knowing which socks belong to whom.

We make a great team. That isn't much of a puzzle at all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vicki Jeanne Porter

I guess people come into our lives for a reason. Vicki came into mine for lots of reasons, I think. She was just what I needed, just when I needed it.

We emailed. My husband thought it was hilarious that we lived about 1/4 of a mile apart, but did we pick up the phone? No. Did we run over to each other's house for a chat? No. We sat down at the computer and quietly supported each other. She was so much better at all the technological computer stuff, but she was so patient with my ignorance. I never did get the hang of attachments...

We went to lunch. What is it about going to lunch with a friend? It was...priceless. So many good times and happy memories. And coupons for new places out of the newspaper.

We laughed. Almost every one of her entries had at least one comment that made me *LOL*. And sometimes I really needed that after a long day.

We rolled our eyes. Life is just ridiculous sometimes and we made the most of that. It is funny when you know somebody well, how a little roll of the eyes in their direction across the room can communicate volumes. It makes me giggle just thinking about it.

We learned new things. Like she taught me the meaning of the word *shattered.* (That is when you are really, really tired.) And *scattered* is just a little bit before you are shattered. And she taught me that the VF Mall is called the VF Mall because it is the Very Far Mall.

She liked Bashas. I like Frys. She loved computer games. I don't. (Probably because she could beat them and I can't.) She liked Victorian, I like Traditional. She liked beige. I like red. Did it matter? No.

We kept in touch. I'm so grateful.

VJ left me a great friend's legacy. She was a dedicated mother. Nothing came before her family. She taught me about keeping on keeping on and hanging in there. She taught me about doing hard things. She taught me about love unfeigned and unconditional acceptance. She called me Clee. Nobody else on earth calls me Clee.

I'm not ready to let her go. Do you think there is email in heaven?