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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Twilight and Sunny

We had a pair of Shetland Ponies for a period of time when I was a child.  Twilight was the female and the mother to Sunny, the spunky little male.  Twilight was sweet-natured, gentle and easy to work with while Sunny was feisty, pig-headed and difficult.  I always got the impression that Mama Twilight was slightly disgusted with her baby-boy's behavior; but she also felt pride in how beautiful and strong he was so she indulged him and allowed him to have his way.  Funny how I did not recognize the human factor of us allowing him to get away with his naughty antics.

When we first got the ponies, I had friends who wanted to come and ride with me. Since my dad insisted the ponies needed exercise, I was happy to have help AND spend time with my friends.  The first time Julie came over, I 'graciously' gave her Sunny to saddle and ride.  We only had bareback saddles, which were basically just green saddle-shaped pads with straps and buckles to fasten under the belly of the horse. I handed Julie her saddle and bridle and went to work getting Twilight ready to ride.  Twilight stood patiently while I placed the saddle on her back and fastened the straps underneath her.  Then she opened her mouth and took the bit.  During this time, Sunny was shying away from Julie not allowing her to put the saddle on his back.  It took both of us to slap it on him and while she tightened and buckled the straps, I wrestled the bit between his obnoxious teeth.

Finally we were ready.  We headed towards the rodeo grounds with Twilight calmly walking down the side of the road without any coaxing while Sunny stood in the middle of the road ignoring Julie's every effort to get him to move.  I turned Twilight around and grabbed Sunny's bridle and led him the whole way.   Once we arrived at the rodeo arena, Sunny was more obliging and was actually handling pretty well.  We walked the circumference of the arena a time or two and then decided we would get them trotting and possibly even galloping so we could feel like real horsewomen.

We went to the far end of the arena to have the longest straight line.  Twilight was ahead as we started out when suddenly I heard a muffled screech; looking back over my shoulder I saw Julie and her saddle slide all the way UNDER Sunny's belly, leaving her head dangling inches from the ground between four trotting pony legs.

I leapt off Twilight and grabbed Sunny's bridle and pulled him to a stop. Julie let go, fell into the dirt, and quickly rolled away from Sunny's hooves.  After she got up and brushed off, she flat-out refused to ride Sunny any more.  She got on Twilight while I replaced Sunny's saddle and cinched down the straps.  This time, I gave him a knee to the belly so he would expel the air he was using to expand his tummy.  That trickster had learned to hold his breath so the straps would not buckle down tight.

It was not a very fun ride back home with fuming Julie and sulky Sunny.  I didn't have nearly so many offers to ride the ponies after that and those who did come always demanded to ride Twilight and I was left with ornery Sunny.

The best part of the whole experience is the mental snapshot I have of Julie hanging under Sunny's belly while he trotted down the middle of the Hinckley Rodeo Arena.  I can't help but smile when I think about that, even now...
I couldn't find any photos of both Sunny and Twilight.
This old black and white one is of me and baby brother, Mark, on Twilight - Summer 1973
The mental photo I have is in FULL COLOR, I wish I could print it out so you could see it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mimi's House

Rob and I have spent every weekend of July and August in Springville working on Rob's Mom's house.  We didn't return her to her house after she stayed with us in April and May.  As of June, Mimi is now a permanent resident at the Julie and David Ashby's home. They finished their basement into the most beautiful mother-in-law apartment you can imagine and Mimi has settled in well.

Her house, on the other hand, has been a struggle.  We were shocked and dismayed to find SO MUCH STUFF accumulated in that home.  We knew an 88-year-old was bound to have a lot of stuff, but we were unprepared for how much there actually was!
One load (of many) to the paper recycling bin.  The seats are down and it is stacked all the way to the front.
You should have seen the loads of magazines we hauled away the week before!

We hauled loads and loads of cardboard, magazines, newspaper and other paper to recycling bins at local elementary schools.  (I bet the owners of the bins are wondering what in the world has been going on the past month and a half.)  We hauled several huge loads of clothes, dishes, and other stuff to the Provo Deseret Industries before we found a place called 'Rat Packs' in Springville where we deposited the final four loads of donations.  We took several excursions to the landfill, and even held a yard sale one Saturday morning in July.  We were selling items for a quarter a piece just to get rid of it; we also encouraged shoplifting.  We figured the more we unloaded to passersby, the less we would have to haul away.  We got rid of a lot of stuff that day.  Every week we brought home a load of stuff to our house to sort through and determine a final destination for.

Two weeks ago, I gathered up the stuff I had collected to deliver to Mimi at her new place.  There were some rolls of toilet paper, new toothbrushes, lipsticks still in packaging, some soap, non-perishable food items, and other miscellaneous items which filled three boxes and a large shopping bag.  As I sat these items on the counter of her cute little kitchen, Mimi exclaimed, "Oh, my goodness!  I had no idea I still had so much stuff!"  She was absolutely shocked there was still stuff at her house?!?  I almost choked as I gasped and laughed at the same time.  Here we'd been hauling stuff away for weeks, the house still had rooms of stuff in it, our house is full of family history and other stuff we don't know what to do with, Julie's garage is full of boxes of holiday decorations, tools, cleaning supplies, etc. and we rented a storage unit for the rest of her furniture.  AND Mimi was shocked there was still so much stuff we were setting on her counter?  I guess it is a comfort to know she isn't missing anything we got rid of.

This last Friday afternoon when we arrived in Springville, I spent five hours wire brushing the wooden deck on the back of Mimi's house.  It hadn't been sealed in 10 years and was badly in need of it.  So I cleaned all afternoon on Friday, then on Saturday morning while the cleaners worked inside the house, and Rob installed a new kitchen faucet, I stained the wood of the deck.  It ended up taking six hours for me, Julie, Rob and David to complete that task.  We also stained all the wood around her windows and front door.  After outside was tidied and the inside was spotlessly cleaned by professionals plus new toilets placed in both bathrooms, new tile laid, a new oven/range delivered, new water heater installed, a broken pane of glass repaired and the torn screen door replaced, it was looking fantastic for the renters who moved in yesterday.  
Before stain--completely raw rails.
The deck after wire brushing and before the staining.

Staining in Process

The steps after one coat (I put on two).
I've suffered more than a little guilt as we've worked week after week.  I feel terrible that we waited to do these chores until after Pop passed away and after Mimi moved out.  We should have been there doing this work while they were there to enjoy results.  Oh, regret is a sour taste in my mouth!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I hate my hair except for a day or two each month when I like it.  It is usually too short, too long, too thick, too thin; only occasionally just right.

This week I've experienced a whole new hair situation: SCORCHED.

I have been going to the same hair technician (is that the proper term?) for the past five years.  I really like her and know her quite well by now. Mollie has been getting more and more difficult to get an appointment with because she has become so popular.  I guess I feel possessive of her, I was one of her original customer at her first salon and I followed her to the next two places she worked and finally to her own salon.  Somehow I feel entitled to some sort of priority when it comes to scheduling an appointment, but I know that is not the way it works.

When I called her salon last week, she was scheduling out 3 weeks and I was at a point where I needed a cut NOW.  So I called someone who had lived in my ward and had opened her own salon in her home a year or so ago.  I know her and her family quite well and felt comfortable going to her.  Unfortunately, I was late due to some unexpected out-of-town guests who showed up 20 minutes before my appointment.  So when I arrived late to my appointment, I suggested rescheduling to another day or else a cut only, no drying or styling.  She said, "sure, no problem" and went to work.  The cut was going well and when she finished, I reminded her not to worry about the dry/style portion.  She responded, My next appointment hasn't arrived, so we will just go ahead and finish."  She quickly went through the whole process and I was writing out a check when her next appointment walked through the door.

As I rushed out, I noticed a strange odor emanating from my head.  I thought it must be a hair product she had used and went home and got back to work with duties of the day.  During the night, I kept catching a whiff of that strange smell so I was looking forward to washing my hair in the morning.

As I lathered my hair in the shower, it felt strange in my hands--dry and rough. I started to suspect something was not right.  I slathered on conditioner and left it on extra long.  When I started blow drying, it seemed as if I was handling dried grass and when I finished I had this ball of fluffy, feather-like stuff billowing around my head.  My fears were confirmed, my hair was scorched.  She must have  had the straight iron turned too high in her rush to finish!  I was shocked and dismayed.

That was Thursday afternoon.  I've spent the days since snipping away at chunks of scorched hair. Every time I look in the mirror I take my scissors and try to cut off the worst parts into my bathrooms sink.  The ends of hair landing in the sink are letter-shaped: 'C's, 'L's, 'S's, 'U's and 'O's decorated the sink.  I wonder what I could spell with all my burned letter-shaped hair ends?

Lesson learned!  I will never be in a rush to get an appointment again.  I am going to schedule myself three, four or five weeks out and never complain.  I will call Mollie when she opens on Tuesday (she takes Mondays off) and see when she can fit in an emergency case and I will confess my impatience, plead for forgiveness and hope for a solution to being burned.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Silence is Golden

Did you noticed how quiet it is when you viewed my blog today?  I finally deleted my playlist and you will no longer be subjected to my favorite tunes while you read my latest ramblings.  One or the other is plenty there is no need to compel you to both listen to noise and read my blathering.

Thank you for your prolonged patience with me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lost and Found

Over a month ago when Kevin and Lindsey got married, I took my camera to the event with the intention of taking photos.  Somehow in the joy and confusion of the day, I came home without it.  The next several days my stress level was somewhere in the stratosphere so I did not notice the camera wasn't at the house.  A few days later I was looking for it but thought it was probably in boxes of stuff still to be put away following the receptions or maybe even under the seat of the Jeep.  As each item was returned to its proper place and boxes were emptied, the camera still had not resurfaced, I despaired, I had left my camera at the Logan Temple and it was closed for cleaning until August 3.

August 3 has been circled on my camera for a month waiting until I could collect my camera because I was certain anyone finding a camera on the temple grounds would turn it in.  Imagine my sadness when the sweet sisters in the temple searched through everything and could not find it.

The good news is that after our session last night, we zipped downtown to the Coppermill Restaurant and asked if they had a lost and found.  When the girl heard I was looking for a camera that might have been left there five weeks ago, she was doubtful since she didn't recall a camera being in the lost and found collection.  But she went to look; when she walked out of the back room holding MY CAMERA CASE, I could have kissed her!

So I was able to see the photos for the first time that Margie Marsden took for me with my camera at the Logan Temple.  Here are a few:

 Groom's Family

 Our Beautiful Bride
We are so happy for Kevin and Lindsey AND I'm so happy to have my camera back.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hello garden, hello yard, hello life

I finished my last final today.  I sat for three hours regurgitating onto paper all I had learned (or at least what I could remember of what I learned).  I wonder how often I will use the Quadratic Formula after today?

Walking out of the classroom, I started thinking about all the things I have set aside over the past few weeks as I have concentrated my time on study groups and homework.  I could hardly wait to get home today and work in the garden, putter in my flower beds and mop the floor, but before I even got home I did something I had neglected far too long and called Dani.

We had a nice visit and caught up on some of the things we've both been doing, she enjoying her summer off from teaching and me spending far too much time in a classroom.

I wandered into the yard late this afternoon and deadheaded flowers, pulled weeds and picked up debris from that horrendous storm we suffered on Monday morning.  I made my way to the garden where I spent the next couple of hours picking veggies, tying up tomato vines, spreading mulch, and pulling out the rest of the lettuce and old cilantro plants to make room for the new ones I planted.  I ate several handfuls of raspberries right off the canes and then came back into the house to prepare a veggie stir fry for dinner with the onion, pepper, tomatoes, and squash I picked.

I'm going to do my very best to spend the three weeks enjoying summer break before fall semester starts and its back to the books.