My Dad's father was my favorite grand-parent. I know you aren't suppose to have favorites, but, it is totally obvious that he was! He lived on a huge hill in California, and had a farm that included cows, chickens, rabbits, hens, and alligator lizards. It was such a magical, and whimsical place. The deer roamed free throughout his pastures and hills, and occasioned close enough to where we thought we could hear them breathing. And there was the side of the hill that we avoided, where two huge hives made sweet honey for our delight. He drove a big, antique, sky-blue truck, and I loved to go on adventures and errands with him, just the two of us, as we bounced and swayed over the dirt roads.

My grandfather was a "Renaissance Man," in that he did EVERYTHING!! In addition to his wonderful farm, he owned, operated and MADE the delicious chocolates and candy concoctions he sold at his candy store. He also taught himself how to make pottery...learning how to throw the clay on the spinner, creating art with his soft, gnarled hands, putting it in a kiln to bake, then painting vivid blue and brown colors onto the surface. He made me a hanging trivet with my name on it, and it hangs today on the wall in my kitchen. He had a "secret recipe" for the most delicious, warm popcorn on earth--we joke how he managed to leave this world without giving someone the recipe, though many failed attempts were made to copy it's flavor!! He was a scriptorian, a comedian, and had the look and swank of Clark Gable. He loved to play with us when we were young, and there wasn't a visit where he did not launch us flying off the cliff of his property, on his huge tree swing. My grandfather would write me letters, and tell me how much he loved me, and how much artistic talent he thought I had. One of the times he stayed with us, my grandparents slept in my room. After they left, I found a note tucked in the front cover of my scriptures. Penned in my grandfather's tiny script, it told me how much joy they had in the visit, and thanked me for the use of my room and scriptures. I still have that note tucked away...close by when I think of him. He stood by and called my Grandmother, "Beautiful," as she battled cancer. He sealed couples forever in the Oakland temple, and I looked forward to the day when he would preside at my own wedding, and seal me to my beloved.

It was my freshman year at college. I had a great boyfriend, a wonderful group of friends, classes that I loved (and some that I did not!), an RA who hated me and was constantly hassling me about skirt hems, and sitting too close to my boyfriend...Pretty much an excellent blend of the good and the bad!! It was just before finals that December, and I had gone to my room to grab something, when the phone rang. It was my Dad... calling to tell me my darling Grandfather had died. I was numb...I couldn't stop the tears and convulsions as his words sank in. My Grandfather with the twinkling eyes, and zest for life was gone. So suddenly, so unexpected...My soul has never quite mended from the mark his passing left on me. We decided that he left so my Grandmother would not be scared as the cancer finally won...My Grandfather was always the romantic!

So on this Memorial Day, I shout love and praise for my Grandfather. I shout love and praise for the veteran who saw two World Wars...I shout love and praise for the man who's twinkle still resides in the eyes of my father...I shout love and praise for the namesake of my youngest son...I shout love and praise for the man who left this world on December 7th (pearl harbor) and left in his place a space filled with memories of love, laughter and life!!


Selling Points 101

So, we are under contract, and hopefully closing on our home by June 15th...The couple who is buying our home did their "walk-thru inspection today. It ended up being a short list of things we needed to complete before the closing...but a few of the requests really "irked" me.

"Fill in all nail or screw holes throughout the entire house."

Now, I can understand if we had gaping HOLES in our walls, but isn't it a little OCD to require every tiny picture frame incision to be filled in?

"Fix or replace the handle on the front storm-door."

This tells me how "ballsy" these people are...Yesterday, after leaving the home with the kids so they could quietly "look around," I got a frantic message from our realtor, saying that she was hoping we were able to get our house secured?..My husband had come home before me, and when we got home, he told me that when he had arrived home, our front doors were WIDE OPEN, and the KEY was LEFT IN THE DOOR KNOB!! Odd...(It gets better!!) I realized this morning, as I tried to open the door to let my children out to school, that the handle WOULD NOT BUDGE--not only would the door not open, but the inside handle was hanging on the thread of a screw! The couple had completely BROKEN our handle! Instead of an "oops, my bad..." they left my home open, and then added it to the list of things WE would take care of. I'm still seeing red...

This last one...well...judge for yourself...

"Sheetrock, paint, and texture, the wall behind the dryer."

Sure...I ALWAYS bring people into my laundry room, and show them the tiny, cut-out wall area where my dryer slides into...It is TRULY a vision to behold...I thought the plug-in outlet and exposed air hose was quite quaint...I guess not...

All in all, I am pleased with how things are going, and looking forward to the next phase...RENTING!!!

(Maybe my rental will have a mural painted on their dryer's back-wall?!!)


Hummer...A Steve Irwin Moment

My daughter heard a noise in the garage...And this is what we found...
He was very shy...

He flew all around every nook of our garage...As well as flew INTO every nook!

We decided we needed to intervene...

So we gently caught him in a soft butterfly net...

And went to set him free...

But...He decided to stay...

He perched calmly on everyone's hands...

And we marveled at our little, "Hummer"

We then set him in a wild area behind our home...and watched as his wings surged strong...flying away to his new destination...

I read somewhere that hummingbirds are messangers between worlds...Between our world, and that of our Father...


Chevy and FTD

I sent my mom flowers for Mother's day...
The card said this:

Happy Mothers Day!!

If I had a nickel for every Suburban horn honked (my mom would literally sit and honk until I got into the car...this included if I was with a guy I was trying to impress, at a party/group setting, or taking too long "talking" with friends...), for every porch light flickered (I enjoyed nice conversation at the end of a date...), for every minute late (my parents got to the point where they threatened that for every minute late, it would take an hour off my curfew...) and for every trunk searched (yes...my mom once searched my trunk...In one of my nights of having her come in "the SUB" and do her ritualistic honking, she noticed that a friend/GUY was doing something in my trunk...She thought one thing--drugs? alcohol? illegal transfer?--when in reality it was the guy tying up my tail-pipe that had broken...) This bouquet would be A LOT bigger!! I love you, Mom..."Yolanda"

I love my Mom for so many reasons...But one of my favorites is looking back with "adult eyes" at how much she REALLY loved me!! Here's tribute to the big, red, Suburban, and the woman behind the wheel, honking that horn!!


Sluffer Mom at the Movies

It's testing time at my children's school...So like any responsible, and dedicated parent, I was sure to make sure that my kids got a good night's rest, and an adequate breakfast...And tomorrow, they will be well-rested and well-fed before we leave...and load in to the car...and drive to the Cinema to see the 9:15am showing of "Spiderman III"...

(FYI...My husband is actually taking a DAY OFF from work tomorrow, and that means it is time for some serious sluffing...Isn't it all about making memories?!!)

This will also help carry us through a very BUSY WEEKEND!!

Tomorrow my brother graduates from college, and after the graduation ceremony there will be a celebration til very late...Followed by my niece's baptism the next morning...Followed by another celebration...Followed by my Sunday school lesson early the next morning...Followed by (hopefully) a NAP celebration!!

Movie review will follow...I wonder if I could incorporate it into my lesson?


A Simple Request

It was late, and I barely noticed the covert note sliding under our bedroom door...

Dear Mom,

I want a baby sister.
I need another girl to hang out with besides Kayli and Lilli (cousins).
I need a girl.
I want a sister.

Love, Ella

How can you respond to this when you would only LOVE to oblige? When you heart and soul mourn the fact that your body is done? When you are not Angelina Jolie who can afford to build a wing for an orphanage in exchange for an easily expanding family? My heart is full...but empty at the same time. How do you adjust to your "season" in life?

I use to stay up late at night, thinking of what I would name future children (this was even after I knew I could not have anymore children!) It has been a while since I have done that.

(If it is a girl...Lola Jill...If it is a boy...Lars Monroe...)