Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Let the holiday movie-going begin!!

I know they do it on purpose, release a ton of good movies you want to see during the holidays, but I enjoy it every year anyway - even if they are manipulating us!!

Mom and Donna came out, and we took Marjorie with us. The theater was packed - I can't remember the last time I went to a sold-out movie.

It was a good film - worth watching. And we saw lots of previews of movies that look pretty good too - although we all know how sometimes the trailers have the best parts of the movies and you don't really need to see the show.

This show inspired the full crowd in the theater to applaud when it ended!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!!

I trust you all took note of the early dark today - the longest night of the year - hence the shortest day of the year.

At least that means from now on the days will be getting longer!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thougts on a wedding day

Twenty-one years ago today Bonny and Bruce were married in the Los Angeles Temple. Their courtship and engagement had caught Harry and me somewhat unawares. The day they came down the hall dressed in thrift store wedding finery and carrying a sign that they were engaged took us by surprise. Harry came into the kitchen and said, "I'm not sure I'm ready for this." (But then I recalled Bonny's middle school promotion dance - he hadn't been ready then either to see how many boys wanted Bonny's attention!!)

That morning, early, Helen called with the news that Pop was having a very bad day already - and so they would not be at the wedding. My parents were on a temple mission in Colorado, so they would not be there. It cast a bit of a pall on things, but not for long. We were caught up in all the flurry and hustle and bustle of "getting to the church on time" and soon found ourselves hurrying in.

The wedding was beautiful. Many friends and family members were there in the temple and outside the temple too. We went to Orange County for a wedding brunch that Jinny hosted. It was great - lots of good food and good conversation.

Bonny and Bruce soon left for their honeymoon at Hotel Del Coronado - when I saw them put a cooler in the back of Bruce's old Mercedes - they were bringing their own food - Hotel Del was not cheap - I thought, "These guys know how to have a great life!"

As we drove home, a day that had started out clear and sunny became gray and foggy. Harry and I were a bit introspective, thinking about our parents not being there with us for this special time. Later my mom called and said that she felt that she had been more "present" for Bonny's wedding than if she had been there. She said all day long, as the brides came into the Denver Temple, she thought, "Someone is taking care of Bonny today, just like I am taking care of this young woman." And she concluded by saying that she had felt close to Bonny all day long.

I was glad there was no reception that night. Glad that we had a week more to prepare for that aspect of the wedding festivities. Bonny and Bruce had been pretty definite about what they did and did not want, but I was hoping that after the wedding itself, they wouldn't really care so much about those details. We did all roll up our collective sleeves and get to work however!

Pop perked up and was able to attend the reception a week later. Christmas happened in spite of Hannah's worries that somehow we'd missed it. Noah got over being miffed that the "party" we'd talked about so long was a dinner with salad and soup. And Bonny and Bruce returned from their honeymoon declaring that everything was just perfect for the reception.

Time always puts a better perspective on things.

Happy Anniversary to a couple of our favorite people!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

When you have time to read LAEXTRA -

LAEXTRA is what used to be the 2nd section of the LA Times. For awhile it was called "California" and "San Gabriel Valley." Anyway, it contains the obituaries - which I frequently peruse. I often find items of interest. This last week, I found three items of interest.

The first item was a rather long column obit on Frances Curran. Turns out it was the same Frances Curran Alice and I used to babysit for. She hired us for every Saturday night - she said she'd go out regardless - and go out she did - every Saturday night!! It was great to have guaranteed income.

She had 6 children - 5 girls and one boy. Each girl's name began with Mary, but only the first daughter was called Mary Jeanne. The rest just went by their second name - and all those started with a J. Her last child was a boy - named Tom!

The summer of 1960, she worked at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles when John Kennedy was nominated. I babysat for her that week. She'd go out each day dressed in red, white, and blue - with a straw boater to match!! In retrospect, it seems pretty amazing that a young mother with 6 small children took off for a week to root for John Kennedy - she was definitely before her time!

Upon reflection, it seems like babysitting for 6 kids - who were all quite close in age - might have been a lot of work, but I mostly have fond memories of babysitting there. She must have trained them all well!

Many years ago, I noticed the name Curran in the LA Times sports pages. The husband of a good friend of mine was a sports writer there, so I asked him about the byline. Turns out the young woman was an intern - he asked her about her family and lo and behold it was the same Joanna Curran I had babysat. So we met for breakfast and had a good time hashing over the changes the years had brought.

Why is it so nice to re-connect with the past - and the people we knew then?

The second item was about the death of Carlos Moorhead - a state assemblyman who represented the part of the San Fernando Valley that we lived in. When I was in high school, we had to write a letter to our assemblyman - so I wrote one lamenting the lack of enough trash cans on Chatsworth. Lo and behold Mr. Moorhead wrote me back - and said my suggestion was a good one - and so more trash cans were provided!

I've been an activist for a long time!!

The third item was an obit on Judy Lewis - the "illegitimate" daughter of Loretta Young and Clark Gable. I suppose there are lots of "illegitimate" children of famous people out there, but this story seemed especially poignant. (I put the word in quotes because I don't think children are "illegitmate" - sounds so pejorative. I think mostly their parents are illegitimate - no quotation marks needed!)
Clark Gable and Judy Lewis

Apparently Clark Gable and Loretta Young were working on the set of Call of the Wild when the assignation and subsequent pregnancy occurred. Ms. Young went to Europe and returned to give birth in a secret house in Venice, California. She then placed the baby in an orphanage and then 18 months later made a big show of "adopting" her!

Loretta Young and Clark Gable in Call of the Wild.

When Judy Lewis was 15, Clark Gable came to visit - the story recounted that she later wrote in her autobiography that, "he bent down and, cupping my face in his two big hands, kissed me lightly on the forehead." That was the only meeting she had with him - and he did not acknowledge her as his daughter. Her own mother did not acknowledge it to her until she was a young adult. Judy Lewis said, when she wrote her memoir, Uncommon Knowledge, "I had to write this book. I don't think anyone knows what it's like not to be acknowledged by your own parents."

What was really poignant to me though was the statement at the end. The article concluded that she said that whenever she watched Gable's loving scenes with his on-screen daughter in Gone With the Wind, she cried. "It's very sad to me," she told the London Telegraph in 2002, "because he's so dear with her. I pretend it's me."

Since I'm a big GWTW fan - and the novel emphasizes how much Rhett Butler loved his daughter - and in fact all of Scarlett's children - it is easy to see how this woman could feel saddened each time she saw the film and thought about her own situation.

It's a lot of drama, I know, but it was touching to me. I work with kids - and many of them are not acknowledged by both parents. I often have students who do not know their biological fathers - some of them are pretty cavalier about it - which is even sadder.

What a world we live in!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

When will it end??

We have been living in a "construction zone" for a while now - since mid-August.

It is getting mighty old. I was complaining Monday night - wasn't blaming Harry - although I think it felt that way. I was just cursing fate I think!!

This is the current configuration - a piano in the kitchen!! The recent power outage didn't help matters any. The living room floor and the hallway got its final coat of varnish.

Hope I don't forget how to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies!! Won't be baking for Christmas I suspect.

(Harry said we could make jam on the propane stove - and he'd help. We'll see.)

We are making progress - making choices - compromising a great deal.

When it's done, say you like it - even if you don't. I don't want to hear about it if you don't!!

Pearl Harbor Day Remembered

I was not around for Pearl Harbor, but I heard it talked about all my life growing up. When I ask students about it, most of them don't know what it means. The year the movie about it came out, the kids seemed to know about it - but memories are short with the young.

I read the novel Bat 6 with my students one year. The understanding of the story really depends on an understanding of the significance of Pearl Harbor - it usually takes a lot of telling for me to get them up to speed.

My mom always said, "We were driving home from Judy's blessing and we heard President Roosevelt on the radio."

For my generation, if you say "What were you doing when Kennedy was assassinated?" everyone can tell you where they were and what they were doing.

I guess it's 9/11 for the present generation.

Hopefully there won't be too many more catastrophes that need to be remembered!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!"

So, I was reflecting on the recent power outage that we lived through - and Harry and Dawn are still living through - and I was thinking that we were able to cover most of our bases - Dad brought in the propane stove - he even figured out how to make toast with the cast iron skillet. And I could boil water for tepid baths - but baths nonetheless. (Dad did cold showers - not my forte!!)

I figured I could do laundromats if it came to that - but if it was a situation where the whole town was without power, we did have running water, so we could have washed by hand if we ran low. (We do all have lots of clothes - probably more than we need!!)

Of course, we had candles, flashlights, even a hand-crank flashlight. Someone told us about taking the solar lamps people have in their yards and bringing them in at night to light up your house.

We are fortunate to live in a temperate climate, so even though the house was a chilly 59 degrees, that is not unbearable with a sweatshirt or two. And our down comforters did the job - especially when we added a warm quilt on top.

We could play board games - but Dad and I opted to charge my portable DVD player in the truck and we snuggled up in bed to watch movies. It was fun.

My friend has a hand-crack cell-phone charger - another handy item for the emergency preparedness closet. And if you have a car charger for your smart phone, you can even keep up on Facebook - as long as you can get internet access.

But I was wondering about hand-crank hair dryers. I could figure out how to wash my hair - and I don't have so much hair that it wouldn't air dry. They do make propane curling irons too.j But my hair really depends on blow drying to look the way I want it to look.

So I joked about a hand-crank hair dryer. Then I googled "battery-powered hair dryers." They do exist - but they have to be plugged into a car outlet. And the car has to be running. The Q/A section explained that hair dryers require too much power to make them truly battery powered. But I'm thinking one attached to a running car is a solution anyway.

And they are cheap. So I may experiment!

If not, as long as there are towns that have power, there may a beauty salon open where you can go get your hair dried!!

Long hair may be the answer though - but that's a little extreme.

I'm going to hope the next big windstorm waits a decade or two to return!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lost and Found - sometimes!!

If it wasn't that I'm always misplacing things - and have been for most of my life - I might think that I was losing my memory.

The most recent casualty is my camera!! I took a picture on the bus as we were leaving New York on Saturday. I thought I put it right back into the backpack I was using. (Just prior to that I spent about 10 minutes rifling through said backpack looking for my phone - which turned out to be on the floor of the bus - not sure how it got there either!!)

Didn't even notice I didn't have it until yesterday morning. Went through all my bags - nada. Texted Hannah and Robbie to see if it was in their house/car/trunk - all to no avail.

I'm not too upset about having to get a new camera. And all the photos on it -except the ones from this most recent trip - are on my computer - but I just hate to lose things!! (And hopefully Hannah will share her photos with me - she takes better photos anyway!!)

When my kids were little, I would stay up late looking for all the pieces to their puzzles and games. I kept track of all the Fisher-Price people and accessories. I matched up doll shoes and socks. I would look until I found things.

In my later years, I have given most of that up - unless it's vital, I just don't have the energy - or maybe it's the will - to keep looking. When I was here in August, I brought along my Weight Watcher's Guide to Restaurants and Fast Food. Couldn't find it when I packed up to leave - and it's never turned up here. Thought maybe I hadn't brought it. But it hasn't turned up at home either.

Do you think in the next life there will be a giant lost and found where we can at least satisfy our curiousity??

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"I've got plenty to be thankful for . . ."

As der Bingle once sang, I do indeed have "plenty to be thankful for."

The above is not even a current photo anymore - we are missing Lars and Jonah. And I am especially thankful today that even though future photos will not include Jonah, he is always and forever a part of our lives.

I was thinking that this photo represents the nuclear Terrill crew - it was soon after this that Bonny and Bruce were engaged - well, it was a few months, but the makeup of our family started changing. All the changes have been good changes - every new family member to join us made us all that much better and happier. In fact, it's hard to imagine us without Bruce, and Dawn, and David, and Matt, and Robbie, and Ara, and Ella, and Henry, and Esme, and Eve, and Annika, and Porter, and Calvin, and Harry, and Theo, and Agnes, and Ida, and Isla, and Sully, and Lars, and sweet baby Jonah.

We are not through growing.

Thank goodness for that!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Off we go, into the wild blue yonder . . . '

Dad and I are off on another junket. This is a very old photo - well, maybe not old, since that would imply that Bonny, the baby in the photo, is old now!!

But it's not current, if you follow my drift. (I'm going to quit now - I could turn into a punster if I kept going in this vein!!)

We are excited to see the Eastern Contingent!! And hope that lots of work gets done on our house while we're gone!!

You would think that after all the trips we've taken, I would know how to pack.

It's an ordeal everytime. And this time is no exception!!

(Back then it was easier to pack, since we owned so much less!!)

It's worth the hassle though!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Funny how memories re-surface at the oddest times - and in the oddest places!! Now that we are taking up the floor in the kitchen and the back porch, the original floor is once more open to our view!!

I look at it now and find myself feeling more kindly towards it than I ever did in real life! I hated that floor! It was probably made of asbestos. It was very porous and drank up the wax - it never had a shine. And I could never tell if I'd dropped something on it!

On the plus side, however, you could never tell if the floor was dirty, since spots were part of the design!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's been going on around here!!

For starters, I had a much-enjoyed dinner reunion with Dalene, Sandee, and Michele. I love my "school friends," but when they retire, I don't get to see them as much!!

Every year Marcie does a mock trial - then the students read "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. The kids seem to get into it - and maybe even learn something!!

Marcie is quite the artist I am learning!! (I am doing an 8th grade Language Arts collaboration model with Marcie this year.)

On Halloween, Marcie dresses up as Edgar Allen Poe and then reads "The Raven" to her classes. She is really good at looking like Poe!! Then "Poevember" begins!!

Dalene and Michele brought me a lovely bouquet, in honor of Jonah, so Dad and I took it to the cemetery today. It really looks lovely there - in fact, it's a lovely place to go and visit. Turns out Charlie Graham's grave is close by, as is Hubert Luszeck's.

Since it's Veteran's Day, there were lots of folks there - flags and flowers too.

Lots to remember!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"Dia de los Muertos"

I decided to drive over to the cemetery and visit Jonah's grave. Bryan L. had sent some lovely roses, so Dawn put them on the grave. When I drove into Live Oak, there was a long line of cars - I thought maybe I was behind a funeral cortege.

Instead I was in the thick of a gathering of folks ready to celebrate "Dia de los Muertos" or Day of the Dead. It's a Mexican holiday I think, and I'm not clear on all the parameters to the celebrating, but there were groups of people sitting in lawn chairs around gravesites. There were lots of flowers and balloons. It was quite festive. And everyone seemed happy, rather than sad.

I was glad that Jonah had such a lovely bouquet of colorful roses for his little spot.

And that his spot is such a lovely place.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A different sort of anniversary

It's been a week since we laid baby Jonah to rest. It seems like death is marked by all kinds of anniversaries. I'm not sure why, but I find them comforting. It is nice to put order into our lives for one thing. For another, it is a nice way to keep the memories alive, by finding a specific place for them.

I have not gone to visit the gravesite, but I want to. I guess I just need to plan it, so it will happen. Dawn says the flowers from the top of the casket still look lovely.

My friend Pam called tonight, just to talk about Jonah and what his life - and death - had meant to me and to all of us. It was comforting to go over his life - and death - with her. Every time I speak with someone about Jonah, I feel a little more "settled," if that is the right word.

Thanks to all who still want to listen.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some thoughts

Dawn commented after dinner tonight that today marked the point where Jonah has been gone as long as he was here! Some days it seems like yesterday - other days it seems long ago.

Life goes on - the kids are excited about Halloween. Marjorie fixed a feast today - since she's leaving on Tuesday. Harry will be honored as Officer of the Year at a dinner on Thursday night. Eve has a competition on Saturday morning at Citrus College.

But we remember. Harry made a lovely slide show, accompanied by the Dixie Chicks singing Lullaby. Dawn and Harry will go select a marker for Jonah's grave. It will be nice to go and visit - it's a lovely spot.

Many of the lovely floral arrangements have withered. There are some lovely plants though, that we continue to enjoy.

Always there will be spot in my heart that only Jonah can fill. I will have to be content with the memories. And the anticipation for the reunion we will one day enjoy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Throughout the days of little Jonah's life, there were many expressions of love and remembrance. Flowers, cards, calls, food, treats. Leslie sent this lovely bouquet - all the bright blues brought smiles to us all.

The group at SMCNS brought over a lovely bush that when it blooms attracts Monarch butterflies!! What a lovely thought - bright orange Monarchs reminding us about the brief life of this sweet boy.

The snow white doves at the gravesite were a nice touch - and the children especially loved them.

The "Clifton family" planted a tree in Jonah's honor through The Tree People, a group Dawn was very familiar with, so she was especially pleased.

I have learned from this experience that every expression of love and condolence is appreciated and treasured. I have often sent cards and flowers and food. Now I think I may do it a little more deliberately - knowing that it truly matters to so many.

I seem to see many things differently these days. That may be a good thing too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moms and other great women I know!

There has been a lot of focus these past weeks on Harry and Dawn and their excellent, loving care of Baby Jonah. Others have referred to their wonderful family in general, and that is all true. But this one photo made me think of what a great Mom Dawn is. She is truly devoted and dedicated to her children. She tries to anticipate their needs and meet them. She is meticulous about their physical care and grooming. She sits down and plays with them, thus teaching them how to entertain themselves - which they all do really well.

For the last two weeks she was focused pretty much on Jonah's care - as well she should have been. But she was always aware of each of her children and their particular needs. She was quick to help the rest of us know what we could do for them. And she was quick to reassure them and answer all of their questions. The way they are processing everything is reassuring to the rest of us. She and Harry both prepared them well for this experience in their lives.

I know lots of great moms, and I could make a list that would require a new website, but right now I want to let Dawn know that we are so grateful that she is part of our family. The best thing Harry ever did was find Dawn!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

White Doves and Darling Children

At the funeral service today for Jonah, Harry and Dawn had arranged for white doves to be released. The children each had a turn to let one go, and then the others - about 20 of them - were released. They flew off, circled back, and then headed home.

I know the guy makes money doing this. And maybe it seems contrived or commercial to some. But frankly, it was touching to see these lovely pure white birds fly off. When the first one flew off, I thought of Jonah's spirit, flying off to heaven. I know he is already there, residing once again with our Father in Heaven, but it was comforting to think about what all that means.

And I love this photo of these sweet children, who have been through so much, finding a moment of pleasure and fun in the midst of a somewhat solemn occasion.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saying Good-bye to Baby Jonah

The last two weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions and feelings. When baby Jonah's birth was imminent, we were afraid that we might not get to hold him or bless him if he did not live long enough. The anxiety as we waited in the waiting room was gut-wrenching.

But as we walked quickly down the hall to the delivery room, we heard the blessed cries of a newborn - and our elation seemed to know no bounds.

The hours and days following were filled with unanswered - and answered questions. Yes, you can take him home. Yes, you will have Hospice there to assist. Yes, Phoebe, Eliza, and Hannah will be able to come and hold him and kiss him.

But how long will this go on? How many times can he stop breathing before he can't go on? How long will his strong heart keep beating?

The questions are moot at this point. But the wonderful memories - even the sad memories - will always be with us - teaching us, reminding us, encouraging us.

As a parent, it was most difficult for me to see our son and his sweet wife suffer as they lovingly devoted every waking hour - giving up many sleeping hours to do so - to their small son. It was a testimony to the depth of love and devotion that we are able to summon up when called upon to do so.

Little Jonah acquitted himself admirably. He came to earth to achieve a body. He persevered. He endured. And then his mission was completed.

He returned and reported - and went on to his next assignment. His strong, sweet spirit still lingers here though - and we are assured that he knows of that love we could only shower on him for a brief time.

And we will share that love with others as a symbol of our remembering.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A little taste of autumn today -

It's a well-known fact that we don't really have seasons here - at least not seasons the way the rest of the world knows them. But we do have changes in weather - changes that excite us because we can wear a sweater or some other "toasty" item that doesn't see much usage!

Today was such a day. It rained most of the day. Not hard or torrential, but gentle, steady, and refreshing. Just what we needed.

And I wore a wool skirt and a sweater!! (Shall I tell you that I wore sandals too? And my feet weren't cold either!!)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Another "good read" you might want to add to your list!

My book group is reading this story for October. A friend recommended it - said, "I got it at the grocery store!"

It's the story of a young midwife who wants to become a surgeon - and no medical school will admit her - because she is woman. So she goes to Washington, D.C. and begins nursing in the hospitals that have been set up there at the beginning of the Civil War. The story mainly focuses on the capital city - and I had not realized how involved D.C. and Northern Virginia were in the initial stages of the war.

The plot has some weak elements, and some of the characterizations are inadequately sketched, but overall it's a good read - let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"A rose by any other name. . ."

Driving into Mom's driveway tonight, Harry and I both commented on the vast array of rose bushes that greeted us. I should have snapped a photo. The bushes are full of blooms - if there were deer in her neighborhood, they would all think they'd died and gone to heaven!

So I picked a bouquet for the dinner table. I love flowers - and keep trying to grow them in my yard, but we have pretty deficient soil.

I'm not giving up though - there were never flowers when I was growing up there.

So there is hope!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I love the Women's Broadcast!!

Let me just say that I love the annual Women's Broadcast. I especially love Elder Uchtdorf. He always says something that "speaks to me!!"

And Sister Beck - seems to have some Elder Maxwell influence going on there - "bleach the bones of faith" and "predatory and provocative influence of the adversary" come to mind!!

And our stake has a dinner beforehand - always a hit with me!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I miss about Utah -

I lived in Utah for almost 17 years - and had to be dragged kicking and screaming back to California - 32 years ago now!!

But I do miss autumn. In California, autumn seems to mean excessive heat and forest fires!!

The nip in the air, the changing leaves, the crystal blue skies - we could use some of that right now!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The end of the day!!

When we were at Mom's last Saturday, Baby Harry said, "Take a picture of me falling down."

So I did. He thought it was pretty hilarious.

I'm glad it's so easy to entertain kids sometimes!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

People save the darnedest things!

I came across this sketch in my "stuff" as Mom calls it. My friend Laurie drew it back in 12th grade - we were bored to tears in Mr. Pitkanen's Econ class - I usually had a book hidden in my econ text to pass the time.

Laurie sketched! Click on it to see that she drew me reading Conscience of a Conservative - the one by Barry Goldwater. My politics have certainly changed over the years.

And so has my waistline!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

"When the family gets together . . '

Jesse organized a little luncheon for Grandma Helen - it was fun to see everyone who came.

Eve and I were having our Grandma's Birthday Sleepover, so I came a bit late to the party, but there was time to visit.

And take a group photo or two!!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A picture - worth how many words??

It seems like every event has everyone taking pictures. I suppose this has always been true, because there are certainly photos of past events. But it seems like everyone is always taking shots - except when you forget of course!!

After seeing all the wonderful photos on Hannah's blog, I'm feeling like I don't want to post my shots - they certainly pale in quality and interest!

But even a poor photo is better than none at all - especially once it gets old enough. I recall the group shot from Lyn's mission farewell - the one of Grandpa Clayton with all of his grandkids. It's small, grainy, and not exceptionally well-composed. But we all treasure it, because it's the only one of its kind!

But I probably will continue to take and post photos. And maybe I will improve. And maybe I will get a new camera too. But then I would need to take a class on how to use a new camera. But maybe I will do that too!

Another project for my "things to do when I retire!!"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An anniversary of sorts

48 years ago this month I headed off for BYU! This is an old BYU i.d. card.

So many things were different then - everything was done by hand - computers may have existed, but they didn't do the registration. We all pooled our money and cooked meals together in Heritage Halls. We walked everywhere we went. The Wilkinson Center (always the Y Center to me!!) did not exist. Women wore skirts - pants were not allowed. And we wore hose to school - and they weren't pantyhose either - we had girdles to hold them up!!

But I suspect some things were the same. The sense of fun and adventure and trying something new. Meeting new people. Having great experiences. Staying up late studying. Hanging out in the library. Making friends for life.

Meeting your one and only!!

Ah, trust me - time flies!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What brings out the worst in me!!

School started Monday. I'd been going to the campus daily for a week or so - every time I went, there seemed to be a new snag to fix. School started - and the enrollment in SPED skyrocketed - and we were inundated. My classes are at 18, 24 and 11. The 11 almost seems small!! (Traditionally my classes have been 8 to 10 or smaller.)

Those I talked to seemed to feel like I had to just buck up and carry on!! I figured I was talking to the wrong people.

Then I found the right people. They listened anyway. Said it was a problem. Said things had to change.

Our principal is new - not starting until September 12th. The VP came in today with two scenarios. One is better than the other, but both are doable.

I will let you know how it goes. Meanwhile I work on not taking my frustrations out on the kids. (My room only has 18 seats. Things get quite congested!!)

Retirement looks better every day!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All good things come to an end!

I have had the great privilege of serving as the Arcadia Stake Relief Society President for the last 5 years. Today in Stake Conference, I was released. I had known about the release for a couple of weeks, but it became official today - and I could finally talk about it!

Here we are 5 years ago - the original presidency. First Brenda left to become the Relief Society President in her ward. Then Amy was released and became the Primary President in her ward.

Yukari was the new secretary, and Trina took over Amy's job. Elizabeth and I were the last two holdouts from the original gang of 4!!

I should have gathered them all up today for a final shot - but I was not that organized!! Suffice it to say that it has been a wonderful blessing in my life to enjoy a regular association with these women - and that is what I will miss the most.

President Magnusson once commented that when you accept a calling, you accept the notion that there will be a release. I understand that concept. I have had a few weeks to ponder, and I can report that I feel good about my efforts. I'm sure I could have done some things better, but I have no regrets. I raised my hand high to sustain the new president. The mantle has been removed, and that is as it should be.

School is starting, our house is in disarray from the recent "flooding" we experienced - and no one is sure how long it will take to get things back in shape, there are aprons to be sewn, grandchildren to host for sleepovers, letters to write, blogs to post, aging mothers to care for, and books to read.

And tomorrow is Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

"The wild blue yonder!!"

This is a photograph of the rings of Saturn. Dad got it through Larry Steimle. It was taken by a special camera that Larry helped design and build at JPL. I think it was involved with the Hubble telescope too.

Space is so thought-provoking. The last two years I have done a collaborative teaching assignment with the 8th grade science teacher - and we have studied chemistry, physics, and outer space. It has been a real education for me.

Just looking at the photograph sets your mind going in many directions.

If I indeed could hie to Kolob!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some points to ponder . . .

You may need to click on these to read them, but when we visited the Postal Museum in DC last week, I was impressed by these two very different thoughts - that were posted next to each other in a display.

The history of the United States is mostly meritorious. But the way we treated the Indians was not at all meritorious. In fact, it was downright shameful.

I think we need to ponder and understand the great wrongs that were done to the Indians - especially those done in the name of "manifest destiny."

Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to make serious errors - I think that's a variation on a famous quote.

But in these days of unrest and political polarization, we need to pause and think very carefully.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

It wasn't just a Clayton Weekend!

The Taylors had some action this weekend too! Jack and Thalia brought son Mclean here for a weekend visit - he just got home from his mission to Russia last week!

They all went to church at Helen's ward, then came home for lunch before Mclean shared his photos and experiences from Russia.

Most of the get Taylor/Terrill get-togethers this year have been at funerals - so it was nice to have a more festive occasion to meet.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What we do around here!!

We enjoyed having Esme and Annika while Bonny and the big girls went to camp. A new craft has emerged - making accessories out of colored duct tape - very cool!!

And of course we visited with Grandma Mary - and Aunt Donna took the little girls to movies and to McDonalds.

We shopped for fabric for American Girl Doll sleeping bags - made our way - the cheap way!! They came out quite nice if I do say so myself!

The white board - always fun - especially for leaving reminders that you were here!!

We had a puzzle going the whole time too - on the last day, Grandpa helped us finally solve it!

We also enjoyed swimming, Grandpa Bob stories, chocolate milk and Milanos, and shopping for skirt material - I made the three girls matching skirts - need a photo now!

Our next event is the Clayton Reunion, then a trip to VA for the blessing.

The fun never ends!

Whare are those "hazy, lazy days" of summer??

This summer - and most summers actually - has been a busy one. I think "hazy, lazy days" of summer are lost somewhere in the past. I remember summer being a laid back time - way back when I was a kid!! Starting with the year I worked to save money for college, summer ceased to be a "kick-back" time!!

But this summer has seemed exceptionally busy - a very good busy, but busy nonetheless. And it's not liable to change before next summer!! First came going to VA for Lars' birth, having Phoebe and family here, having cousin camp, having the Little Women here while Bonny did camp, the Clayton Reunion, going to VA for the blessing, having the Little Women here again - and then school starts! In between there have been other visitors, other events - I have loved all of it.

But Saturday - a busy day also - I decided to sit down and watch Giant - I had ordered it on NetFlix and it came weeks ago - so I took up my crochet hook and started watching it. Harry joined me - and since it's a two-disc movie - and we spent two nights watching it. (I had ordered it because the Times did a series on movies that hadn't won Oscars but that should have - Giant was one of them. So I started ordering the films they had listed. I'm not sure I agree with their conclusions, but it's been interesting to watch the movies.)

I went through a phase in late high school, early college of reading all the books by one author. I read all the Edna Ferber novels, all the Sinclair Lewis novels, all the Ernest Hemingway novels, all the John Steinbeck novels - you follow my drift.

I had totally forgotten Giant - so yesterday I went and got it from the library - resisted successfully the temptation to buy it - and spent the day on the couch and on the swing outside - totally engrossed in the story!!

And it looks like the movie was pretty faithful to the book - some minor details have been changed, but the story line is intact. James Dean - always eerie to watch him on screen; Elizabeth Taylor - beautiful as always; Rock Hudson - I'm not surprised he didn't get the Oscar - surprised he even got nominated. Although Harry thought he did a credible job.

It was good to kick back - for at least a day anyway - today may be back to busy, but busy has its place too!