Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mud, fun and a tow truck!!

WHAT A WEEK!  I hardly know where to start but will try to hit a few highlights of Girl's Camp 2011 and my kitchen crew!  This year I had two new 'grannies', Renae Cohn and Jill Jacob and coming back to the torture once more were Cherlyn Call and of course, my long-time buddy Claudia Beach.  What amazing women...we worked together like we were conducting a dance, laughing all the time.  Boy do I LOVE these women and appreciate their time and sacrifice!!

The first day was a hectic day getting to camp, setting up, being sequestered in our little leader's cabin with 65 other people because of impending weather alerts, realizing Sam's had forgotten to load one entire flatbed of food and needing to drive back to Omaha to retrieve it, being stuck in Sam's while the tornado sirens blasted, not being able to get back to camp because of down power lines from the storm,  trying to reach camp by taking back roads and in the process, backing the car into a river-side ditch and needing to be towed out to the tune of $120 [which I just happened to have thanks to Randy's insistence that I cash a check someone gave me and hang onto the cash],  unable to reach camp and needing to drive BACK TO OMAHA AGAIN to sleep and await the clearing of the road that gets us to camp...are you all getting the picture???

Cherlyn and the ditch...

 I make this sound like a nightmare and it really was on Monday but after we got through that serious speed bump, things really did improve and we did have a blast.  Nobody got hurt...we are all still friends...I had the most amazing support staff and we didn't even burn one morsel of food!!

We needed a trailer to get the supplies to camp!!

Our tradition has been to entertain the girls as well as feed them well and I believe we did accomplish that!

Italian night serenade...
 'Doc' is the ranger in charge of the camp and always enjoys our antics as well as our great eats!  We have enjoyed working with him as he will do ANYTHING for food!!  An interesting sidelight-he wants to talk to the missionaries and find out more about the tenants of our beliefs.  hhhmmmmm...:)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So long, farewell...

Friendships are so precious to me.  Everywhere we have lived, I have found friends, people who have common interests and people I have learned to love.  Omaha is no different.  Last night, a group of us gathered at a local Outback and enjoyed a grand evening.  Some were absent, some were there but all are loved and will be missed!  Thanks for the dinner dear ones...

When we arrived at Outback, we noticed a lady sitting in her SUV parked between two parking places.  She didn't offer to move and so I rolled my eyes, probably said something with a huff and pulled down the row and into a place.  When we left the restaurant, I just about died to realize I had done the SAME STUPID THING!!!!!!!   blush,,,blush,,,blush

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our California weekend...

Bill, Kathie, Me and Randy

 Our weekend is drawing to a close and tomorrow we travel home...oh, wait!  WE DON'T HAVE A HOME ANYMORE!!!  We are officially homeless and the new people have moved right in.  It will be a strange feeling indeed to go to the neighborhood and not own that home that I loved so much...I just hope they are good neighbors and love my flowers as much as I did.  

          This weekend was a 'honey-do' for the guys.  Bill travels as much as Randy and the little odd jobs seem to pile up so together [it is always more fun to have a playmate when fixing stuff] they checked off some projects.  We visited Bill's '59 Corvette [currently being restored in Los Angeles], the guys fixed the blinker in Kathie's car, set up their computers with SkyPe and then attacked the lighting system in the flowerbeds in the back yard.  Watching those two together always has made me chuckle-they have worked side-by-side for many years and tackled more projects than I would like to count and always look like two little boys playing daddies...


Church was great today-their ward meets in this cool building in Aliso Viejo that has two complete buildings under one roof-two chapels, two gyms, two Relief Society Rooms, etc.  Eight wards can meet there and with real estate so pricey in California, it really consolidates the congregations and makes the best use of the building.  After church, we had some pictures taken [using a tripod and quick moving men] for our memory books.

If it was not for these two dear friends, this blog wouldn't exist!!!  In 1973, we met and over the course of a few months, were introduced to the church, were baptized and the rest is history.  This morning in Relief Society I was explaining how this was really Kathie's mission also and said she would be living it posthumously through me...oh, the sorrow of getting old!!!  All laughed, probably more at her facial expression when I made that comment than my quick recovery as I corrected myself with 'vicariously, vicariously!!'

I have laughed and cried with this woman-the sister of my heart!

Friday, June 10, 2011

OH!!! my aching back...THE BOXES!!!

One jammed box.
I am a maximizer.  I know that.  I have been a maximizer all my life and will die a maximizer.  What is a maximizer you say????

My friend [and also my Mission President's wife] Brenda worked for Gallup when she lived in Omaha and needed to learn how to administer the 'Strength's-finder' test for her position.  That test is very interesting.  About 100 random questions pop on the screen and the one taking the test answers with his/her first response.  The answers are analyzed and the results will tell a prospective employer the areas of strength and weakness of a job candidate.  Wweeeelllllll...she needed to learn how to administer this test and all of her friends became guinea pigs.  It was really very fascinating to me how our random answers gave a really accurate and true picture of our strengths [talents] and weaknesses [the junk we can't do well.]  Hence...I AM A MAXIMIZER!!   I always do three times more than needed when asked to do something...I buy eight times more than any one human needs, I use 18 visual aides when teaching a Sunday School Class and overwhelm the poor little kids, cook 7 times more food than we will ever consume, etc.  You get the picture.  When contemplating our upcoming move to the Philippines, I tried to think of everything I might need.  Most of this stuff I had in my home and why should I throw it away, right?  So, the month of May was spent with me shipping paper boxes, Zija boxes, book cartons, etc. to Kathie in California.  The FedEx man is coming for Thanksgiving next year and bringing the pecan pie!!!

There is a company called LBC who will ship boxes to the Philippines for a very reasonable cost so I spent yesterday and today shopping, unpacking the little boxes and repacking into LBC boxes in preparation for shipment.  They travel by boat and will take between 30-40 days to arrive but the timing will be fine for me.  So far I have packed 5 and will take two to the office tomorrow and exchange for two more empty ones.  When I emailed Brenda [who knows me WAY too well] and told her I would be shipping probably 6 boxes, I could almost hear her hooting from here!!!  Each of these boxes probably weigh 50-75 pounds and will need either a hand truck or two strong AP's to unload when they arrive.  My theory---why throw away perfectly good Raspberry Chipolte Sauce when there is a possibility I might use it in the next two years...

Who is having more fun???
Tonight I soaked in the hot tub and will go to bed with a muscle relaxant and sleep like a man is here and the stuff is almost packed!  What a day!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Linda, me, Marge, Pat and Becky

High school is such a confusing time.  My experience was fine but my memories are not as positive as some you see in the movies.  I was in all the musical activities, the plays, I sang with the school dance band, but never went to a dance, a prom, didn't date and felt, as I am sure many of my friends did [but heaven forbid we voice our feelings], isolated.  This summer my alma mater is having it's 45th class reunion in July.  One of my good friends from high school has 'found' me and we reconnected this past spring.  She is still in Lincoln and has her pulse on the wherabouts of the members of our class.  For some unknown reason, she has been in charge of the reunions and when she found out we were leaving before July and I wouldn't be attending this year's festivities, she arranged a little mini get-together for a few of my girl friends.   Last Tuesday we met at Grisanti's in Lincoln and had such a fun evening.  Thanks, Pat!  I will be there for the 50th!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

As the end draws near...

Leaving a home has always been a traumatic thing for me. I love my homes. They become a reflection of me and my personality. This home in Omaha has been one of the favorite homes we have ever had-I remember my first morning in this home in 2003, waking up in my then new bedroom, stretching and saying aloud, 'good morning house! we are going to have a great friendship' and that we did. All of my children, in-law children and grandchildren except 7 were in that house. Babies visited, rambunctious boys ran up and down the stairs and laughter was heard echoing through the halls. I love to entertain and many showers, farewells, dinner parties, open houses, and such were enjoyed within these walls. The memories are many but it all needs to come to an end for us to accomplish our new goals.

The 'Davids'
What a fine looking crew!

Randy and I have moved twelve times in our marriage but only once before have we had to do it ourselves. Lucky people have movers to accomplish this task but luckier ones have friends and support systems...we are the luckier ones! Moving day was physically hard for this old couple but more emotionally hard for this old lady. I knew it would be tough but never expected the emotions that surfaced for me. I am just glad it is over....well almost.

Elder and Sister Mangum
After the packing was done, the cleaning began and only with the help of some dear and loyal friends-Elder and Sister Mangum came, Karen Bourne came, Cathy Wilkinson came, Cherlyn Call came, Ashley Sansom came, and THEY worked and worked. How grateful I am for those angels!

The final task was one of the hardest for me-a few years ago when Seth was almost 3, his family came to visit and he left me a 'present'...a WikkiStick picture of himself on the back of my front door. I couldn't bring myself to take it off and after the packing was done, the loading accomplished, the cleaning finished I knew it had to be done...

Today will be the official end-a U-Haul currently sits outside of our youngest son's home and this afternoon, will be unloaded with the things he is keeping, then driven 20 miles south to finish the unloading of the things our oldest daughter will be keeping THEN returned to the rental place. For the first time in our 43 years of marriage we are homeless!

Two of my three exhausted boys!!!
Aren't families great??? I know now why we have kids-when we need them, they are the ones who rally to the cause. Our three sons [cue the song] with the support of their great families gave up a week of their lives to assist us in this job. Chip and Rob flew in from Utah and Todd drove up from Kansas (twice! but that is another story) and we all crashed at 'The Resort' aka the home of wonderful friends, Warren and Claudia. These three boys [I guess they are really men now but they will always be MY boys] have not been together as adults without their wives or children since they were all kids and they really had fun. AND DID THEY WORK!!!

Bottom line...we are now in Utah, staying with our dear friend Kayleen, trying to regroup. Monday will be another adventure...stay tuned.