Wednesday, September 30, 2009



I look forward to autumn in Florida like I imagine the rest of the country looks forward to spring. After months of intense heat and humidity, I feel it in the air and the water.

Change is coming.

Every morning after descending the stairs, I open the front doors hoping that it is cooler out there than it is in the house,

waiting for the day when I can open everything up and enjoy the breeze and the sounds of the earth all day long.

Today was the day.

Welcome autumn!

Monday, September 28, 2009

missing dash

kim-parker-rudy-the-catI was a little worried when I left for California that my wild kitty would disappear when I wasn’t around…she did. So now I am back to working alone in the garden, if you don’t count all the lizards, birds and other flying buzzing  crawling things.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

filling my mother’s shoes

One thing that I can say about my mother is that she really understood the fashion sense of shoesDSC05840 long before shoes even had a fashion sense of their own. DSC05843When purchasing any new outfit, there were always three questions asked:

1. Do you love it?DSC05838

2. Does it fit?

3. What shoes will you wear with it?

DSC05837Unfortunately, she was genetically predisposed to several feet “issues” that make it impossible for her to enjoy shoes these days. But over the years, she has purchased beautiful luxury shoes that she was unwilling to part with…

DSC05848’til now.

Imagine my delight when she asked if I was interested in her “old shoes”.

Now a shoe aficionadoDSC05847 would love my mother’s shoes for what they are, but I love them because they were hers (and also I am really into that whole vintage thing.) I don’t think a pair of these shoes is newer than ten years old, but some are much, much older…approaching forty!        DSC05844

She gave me nine pairs of shoes, and I will enjoy them all, but one. One pair was just a little too big for me. So, I left them in California with my daughter, Melanie,  to enjoy on her new feet.002

Thursday, September 24, 2009

new feet

Spencer carried her to the car and she somehow managed to scoot herself into the wheelchair when we arrived at the doctors this morning.


Today she got the IV’s taken out of her feet and a new wrap job…but in between, we got our first glance at her reshaped feet.


I thought they  looked fabulous. Considering what they have been through:

incisions on both the left and the right  of each foot

two internal screws placed to hold the bones together that they sawed apart when realigning her toes

and the removal of  four bunions and 2 bursas.

She still has some serious swelling and there is the minor matter of being able to walk, but  her doctor assures her that will happen—quite soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

my three buddies

Truman is my bunk bed buddy. We both wake up early.

“Truman?” I whisper.

“Yes?” he answers.

“Do you want to go get donuts?”DSC05821

Then it’s a quick change for both of us and off to the donut store.


Elliot is my errand running buddy. He makes sure that I follow the GPS system directions by repeating them for me. I taught Elliot how to fasten his own seatbelt, which he is quite pleased about.



Nolan is my mess making buddy. I am quite famous for messes that I can make in a kitchen, but he takes it to a whole new level. There is nothing safe that is anywhere in the vicinity of his 16 month old hands. He’s just so darn cute that we have to keep playing the game…which is:


I’ll try and see if I can block you from tearing the place apart and you see if you can still figure out how to do it.

He wins. Everytime.

Monday, September 21, 2009

the patient

DSC05789 DSC05790

The short story:

All is well.





The long story:

Woke up at 6:20 and took Truman for donuts. Got lost and went the way Melanie took me yesterday when we were looking for the donut store because our “favorite” donut store closed.  Turned around and found the new donut place.

Missed the turn for the carpool girl because Melanie forgot to tell me about it. No U-turns were allowed for a number of lights and when we finally got to make a U-turn the light was reaaaaaally long. Truman and Julia late for school.

Back home for a few minutes to dress Elliot for preschool. On time arrival.

Went to Best Buy for an auxiliary power cord since mine wasn’t working. Best Buy not open. Back home. Melanie leaves with Spencer for surgery. Nolan down for a nap. I feel like I need one too, but decide to read.

Wake Nolan up and go to Best Buy again. They tell me that it is not the $80 auxiliary cord, but the contact point that is bad. So sorry but could they fix my computer?…No thanks. Change baby in car.

Back to preschool. Arrive 15 minutes early. See Office Depot across the street. Run over there with baby. They diagnose a new auxiliary cord to fix the problem and it works.  They are on sale for $59.99. Note to self about Best Buy.

Pick up Elliot. Lunch. Boys play together. Truman comes home from school. Homework and reading done. Nolan takes another nap. Melanie comes home. Has a tube in each leg with medicine. She is in good spirits. Spencer carries her up the stairs for a little rest, then down the stairs where she sort of joins us in her reclining position.

Dinner. FHE. Bedtime for boys. And me, real soon.

california nostalgia


Yesterday I had to pass by the 17th Street in Tustin freeway exit. It is the one closest to the house where I grew up. On the way back to San Diego, I decided to go and have a look. My dad designed the house, about 47 years ago now.  Practically an antique for California. Daddy probably doubled his money when he sold it for something like $40,000. He understood real estate and decided to move to Newport Beach when I was a freshman at BYU.


My first date was with a boy named Sted. He was in our ward, but attended the military academy in San Diego. He asked me to come down for a dance. His parents picked me up and took me to this beautiful restaurant in Carlsbad where they ordered lobster for me and then taught me how to eat it. Afterwards, they dropped me off at the school. I wore a navy wool skirt and matching vest. My white shirt had a long ruffled tie and I pinned a jeweled frog in the center of it. Too bad I don’t still have the frog, it could be trendy again!


Lastly,  I ordered Mexican food to go and sat on the beach watching the Pacific sunset.   I really miss the great Mexican food they have in southern California, even  garnished with sand, it was delicious! There were a few surfers looking for a final set and a various assortment of families and friends. Often in the summertime families in our ward growing up would gather for dinner and swimming. Doug was amongst a group of young men that liked to dive off the cliffs and into the ocean displaying their athletic prowess and daring. I recall being huddled up in a sweatshirt on the sand as California beaches are often cool. But  there was no need for that. It was a perfect day for remembering.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

doug’s parents


Today I went and visited with Pat and Bruce.

He dreams of owing a scooter. Bruce is mentally sharp and asked me about all 5 of my brothers and sisters as well as my mom. He likes keeping up with what everyone is doing. That used to be Pat’s job.

Pat moves along a lot easier than her husband. She makes side comments and mildly sarcastic witticisms about whatever is being said at the moment. She probably wishes she could remember who we are…I wish she could too.

Bless them both.

california coach


My brother, Fred, is good to me. This past week he has hit with me several times, even though it can not have been much fun for him. Hopefully, I will be able to incorporate some of his great suggestions into my game. That is, if I don’t forget them all this coming week!DSC05785

Friday, September 18, 2009


I am not really a football fan, but I learned the game watching my boyfriends in high school and loved cheering for my team in college (go BYU!) From time to time, I will sit with my husband and watch the game of the week…or month…or year whatever it is he says is playing. Sometimes I will ask him questions to get a little refresher course and sometimes he will volunteer game strategies…which is how we came to be talking about falling forward.

Anyone who knows the game of football and has played the game of life for any period of time will be able to see quite a few fairly obvious analogies. Of course, the one I have been thinking about lately is the importance of falling forward as we meet the challenges in life.

It is inspiring to be with people who meet challenges with dignity. My mom is one of those.

As a side note and a matter of interest, Mom has a curved staircase. There are several stair lights that she keeps on all the time as a safety precaution. She has been very concerned because the one at the top has been burned out. As part of our errand- running, odd- job doing adventures,  I was able to help her fix the light.

I worry about her on the stairs. Because they are curved,  the steps are different widths depending on where you put your foot to navigate them. Having fallen down my own, quite standard, stairs a few times, I try to be especially careful on these. I didn’t think Doug had ever fallen on our stairs. When I asked him, however, he told me that he had fallen Up the stairs…okay, I don’t really get that, even though he did explain it to me.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t help thinking about the lights on my mom’s stairs and how grateful I am for them, for my own sake, but mostly for hers.

And then I thought about the Light in my life and how grateful I am for that Gift which helps me navigate all the time,


but especially when I fall, whether it be forward or backwards.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

spending time with sandy


My friend got on the road early this morning and drove a couple of  hours to get to Carlsbad so we could spend time together today. By the time mom and I finished our morning routine, she was nearly here. I love being with her. I wish she lived just down the road like she used to. I miss her. I miss her more when I see her because it makes me remember more vividly how much I miss her.

After  very yummy Mexican food at Norte, we drove down to San Diego and visited with Melanie for a little while. Then back to mom’s house where Fred and John waved to us from the golf course below and we sat in the pleasant afternoon sunshine and did some catching up. There are still so many things we didn’t get to…I wish we could do it all again tomorrow.  But even if it is many months before I see her again…we’ll just pick up again where we left off. Because that is how it is with us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

oncology shuttle and shuffle


Woke up at 3:15 this morning. Tossed and turned and wriggled and rolled. Made a deal with self that I could get up at 4:45. Planned my day and tried to relax, at least. Finally fell back to sleep sometime after 4:00 until 6:00. Hurray!

Off to the clinic at 7.30. Arrived to find out from Tiffany with a “Y” and not an “I” that the machine wasn’t working and could we come back later? Opted for cinnamon crunch bagels and strawberry smoothies at Panera while we waited. Mom had never had either before and was surprised to learn that they sell them at all Paneras. Back to the clinic.

Then errands with my mom for makeup, library books and a new pair of pants at the Anthropologie sale. I didn’t get anything…this time ;) Was wishing Tricia was with us to see the beautiful new library in Escondido overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Truly spectacular (meaning both the ocean and the library!)

Took mom home for afternoon nap. Spent two hours doing one hour of missionary work because internet kept fading in and out. Decided that I will have to go to a wireless cafe tomorrow. Did a few jobs around the house. Mom woke up and we went to see Julia/Julie movie. Still freaks me out that both my mom and I are seniors now! A guy from the theaters came in and told the audience no talking during the show and asked if anyone had any questions. The man behind us asked if this was the right theater for  Inglourious Basterds? Love, love, loved the movie. Even Mr. My-wife-is-making-me-take-her-to-this-Chick-Flick was overheard to have said that he was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it. My own Mr. would have liked it too. Missing him. Home for dinner which seemed quite bland after all that amazing cooking in the movie. Didn’t make me want to cook like that though.

Chatted with mom this evening about genealogy and shoes. Melanie was so disappointed yesterday after demanding to see my feet. No sign of bunions for me, although clearly hers came from my side of the family. Fred called and said he would play tennis with me tomorrow. Yeah for him! Went to bed at 9:00.

Monday, September 14, 2009

travel day

This morning I got on a plane….by myself…but felt the prayers and comfort as if I was not alone. My seat partner was very nice and we chatted about a variety of subjects including cancer. She said that mom’s cancer was the result of estrogen therapy, a fact I later verified talking with Fred’s wife, Sherry. (Further entrenching my long held belief that you have to be very careful what you put into you body even IF the doctor says it is okay.)

Started reading my 8th DE Stevenson book, which reads like a blog. Decided to copy her style for a while. Wish I was witty and entertaining!

Arrived STARVING since I think it is better to feel ill on an empty stomach than a full one. Melanie had chicken salad and homemade bread waiting. So delicious!

Watched  Truby play games with Nolan on the carpet at mom’s house while Elliot slept in the car. Decided Tru needed a turn at the fun. I was quite awkward playing the same games with him, a fact I realized when tripping over myself and further verified when his mother asked me if I was punishing him or playing with him.

Took mom to the bank to see if a check of hers had gone through and was grateful for my online banking account. Went to the grocery story and waited 20 minutes while mom got some cash that she forgot to get while at the bank. Grateful for ATM card too.

Came home and tried to get connected to mom’s internet. Failed. She doesn’t know her password or username. Have small wireless signal from someone nearby. Wondering if I should use it?

Mom told me about her friends that no longer drive. Suggested it would be a good idea for her not to drive. Idea did not go over well. (Note to children: Take Away My Driver’s License!  when necessary no matter what I say.)

Exhausted from 4.30am (EST) 1:30am(PST) alarm this morning and went to bed at 7:00pm(PST).

Fell asleep hoping I can afford a driver a few days a week when I should no longer drive.

Friday, September 11, 2009

land that i love


On THE September 11 were living in Buenos Aires. I had just finished a lesson with my Spanish tutor when the phone rang. Doug told me that a plane had run into one of the towers in New York. Hardly believing that it was possible, I asked if it was terrorists? Yes, he answered, they think so. And so began a day and many days of mourning.

But our Argentine friends and acquaintances expressed such an outpouring of love and compassion towards us that I was deeply moved. Once when asked what it made me feel like, I said that I just wished I could fly an America flag. Sadly, they strongly recommended that I not do that.  A few weeks later though, we were able to attend a wonderful memorial service at the American Embassy downtown.

Nowadays,  it is always a pleasure to adorn our home with the symbol of this wonderful country. God bless America.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

dash on the beam

DSC05751 DSC05752

Dash usually does her morning ablutions in the herb garden while I tend. But I was later than usual today, and so she entertained  during my breakfast with her fastidiousness,

while balancing on the porch banister.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

not bloggable days

My husband likes it when I blog. And I love blogging, so that works out…most of the time. Except for when I have a series of non-bloggable days. Personally, I really like non-bloggable days too. Those are the days when just the normal stuff happens. Here is the normal stuff, but not necessarily the order in which it happens, on a non-bloggable day:

Wake up

Meditate, Pray

Feed Dash

Work in the garden


Tidy up the house and do some house project like laundry or floors or vacuuming. Sometimes I will “clean” the whole downstairs or upstairs, but seldom will I do both on the same day.

Missionary work


Play tennis

Eat four or five times… most days I make one of those meals for the family

Errand running

And I really love it if I get a 20-40 minute nap in the late afternoon

Computer checking

Telephone talking

Monitor the A/C, lights and doors




So that’s about it for a non-bloggable day.