Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why does God let bad things happen?

2 Nephi 2 (Book of Mormon)

Lehi is speaking to his son Jacob. He talks about the Redeemer, that salvation is free, and those who believe in Christ shall be saved. Then he talks about opposition:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

 12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

 13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

 14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

We exist. We feel. We can act for ourselves, choosing good or evil. Yes, bad things happen even to righteous people. But there is also joy, which would not exist if there was not sorrow.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

A family I know (not from Iowa, not related) is grieving today because their expected child did not survive birth. Any death of a child is hard - this season makes it harder. But I know that Heavenly Father will provide them comfort and understanding. There are many people praying for this family.

There is a God. He loves us and wants us to return to Him. He has provided us the tools to make this happen, including the love and support of those around us. He gives us trials and allows us to fall into error because we have to grow and learn, but He loves us more than we can imagine. There is a purpose to our lives, and there is joy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Second guessing and adjusting

So it's been, what, about 12 hours since our microwave went kaput. I spent a great deal of that time at work, so the significance didn't hit me until after I got home.

A co-worker had given me a lovely Christmas package, which included homemade bread. I usually slather a large slice with margarine and pop it into the microwave to warm and melt the margarine. Only, I can't.

Cayla made a late supper for us - lemon pepper chicken and au gratin potatoes. I was thinking if there were any leftovers, we could heat them in the microwave ... but, no.

I did suggest to Cayla that maybe we just need to clean the microwave, but she reminded me that the smell was kind of like ozone. So it's not burnt food, it's a microwave that has heated its last meal.

And I realize that my mourning over a microwave is kind of ridiculous. There are people mourning for real reasons. A former co-worker at the paper now works for an orphanage in Haiti where they take in handicapped children. Many of the children have families who can't care for them. One of the boys died overnight Friday - he was 3 1/2. One of my Facebook friends (from India) posted that her daughter's 15-year-old friend was raped and murdered - she might have been saved if the police has taken quicker action. Even closer to home - Kent is having a hard time adjusting to the death of his friend last week. So, all in all, I should be happy with what I have.

And on that note, I'm heading off to bed. I am teaching a Primary class in the morning, so I'll definitely be going to church.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another one bites the dust

Cayla was defrosting some chicken in the microwave for her lunch when we all smelled something odd - something that was kind of a burning smell, but kind of electrical. She shut off the microwave and unplugged it. Looks like we're getting a new microwave for Christmas.

I checked the Walmart website and it's kind of surprising the range of prices they have - all the way from $59 to $549.54. Although, that last one is also a convection oven. But they also sell one for $306.66 that is only a microwave. Eeek. I'll be looking in the $130 and under category. Maybe $150 and under - simply because I want something with a lot of power that will last a long time. I checked the back of my current microwave and found that it was made in July 2002 - so it's eight years old.

According to this website, it's a couple of years under its life expectancy, although this thread on the Disney discussion boards is all over the place with microwaves that quit after a year to one that is 26 years old. Unusual topic for a Disney forum, I think.

I'd also like to point out that my Google search for "how long should microwave last" has suggestions at the bottom for how long other things should last: menopause, superbowl, high, mono, garlic, shingles, ovulation and a copyright.

Anyway, it's time to get ready for work, so I can earn money to pay for a microwave for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Currently watching: Elf

One of three DVDs I borrowed from the library today. I returned the first season of "Warehouse 13," "Airplane!" and "A Christmas Story." I looked for "Scrooged," but apparently they don't have it. What the library lacks in the DVD department is made up for by the price (free!).

I'll have to borrow "Warehouse 13" again, though, as I didn't finish watching the whole season. And I should be congratulated for my restraint: I did not borrow anything to do with "Chuck."

Anyway, Cayla, who wasn't feeling well this morning and didn't go to school, is watching "Elf" and enjoying it. I'm getting my Facebook stuff out of the way and then I've got actual work to do.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Safety first

In the past, there have been times that I didn't go home for days because of the weather or even stayed in town one night unexpectedly. I have even said my motto is that I drive like an old lady so I can be one.

Last night was another unexpected overnight in town. The weather started with rain Friday night into Saturday, and the temperature dropped, bringing dangerous wind chills. Rain turned to snow, but a light snow that blew waves across the road.

I made it into town with no problems, top speed of 45 mph. We worked on the paper quickly, and all the pages were over before 8 p.m. (For those who were expecting the lottery numbers in their papers, so sorry, but I was hoping to go home last night.)

My boss went home - she lives in town - and she called (twice!) from her house to tell me to not go  home. The visibility was so bad in town she thought it was a bad idea to go anywhere. After her second call, our photographer called. He lives out of town, even farther than I do. He said he and his wife were stuck in a ditch on their way home.

So I called my mom, who reminded me that her recliner is broken and won't go back. She offered her floor, but I prevailed upon my sister, who agreed to let me stay there. She called into work, and it sounded like the whole overnight crew bailed on going to work. I slept in my niece's bed - she is at a friend's house this weekend.

The skies were clear this morning, and the roads were about 99 percent ice-free. There were a couple of places where I slowed down because snow was blowing across the road and a couple of places that were icy or snow-packed. But I made it home safely.

A sad side-note: I noticed that Kent's car was parked at his friend's apartment and I could tell he had been there overnight because the snow behind his car was  undisturbed. Kent was on the phone when I walked in, talking to Cayla. As it turns out, his friend was supposed to go to the hospital yesterday but didn't because of the weather. And he died in the night, while Kent was at his apartment. Kent woke up this morning to discover his friend had passed away. So he's understandably upset.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once again

I am late posting. I got home in time, but didn't get on the computer  until after midnight and then forgot until a few minutes ago. I'm going to bed in a few minutes, so this is my Dec. 4 posting (after midnight).

I'll be teaching the Valiant girls class tomorrow. I substitute-taught last week, and it didn't go too badly. I had taught the class before, a few years ago, when the classes were boys and girls together. The Primary president is having a hard time getting someone to be the permanent teacher, so I offered to teach just for this month. I figure I can handle 4 more classes, right? And I felt kind of sorry for the girls because they asked if I was going to be their permanent teacher - they've gone through other substitutes, as well.

Anyway, the lesson is about Jonah, and repentance. I'll read it some more in the morning (yes, I've read the lesson, but I need to read it again).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Inexplicable Twitter

I was quite active on Twitter for awhile, then dropped off the radar, so to speak. But I kept getting these "*** is following you on Twitter" e-mails, which I do check out. So I created a filter to put them all in one folder so I can deal with them when I feel like it. I just haven't felt like it in some time.

Now the e-mails are just going to my inbox, which is annoying. But the perplexing question is, why are these people following me on Twitter? I've done maybe half a dozen tweets in the last month.

But that reminds me, it's time to (maybe) tweet again.

I've been playing Office Max's Elfmas Town. It has some cute and somewhat annoying games, but the one I play is Holiday Grab Bag. You choose from 3 possible presents. So far I've won a $10 gift certificate, a pen and 100 rubber bands. The rubber bands are points you can use to get coupons to save money at Office Max. I think the coupons you are offered are based on how many rubber bands you have, and those are reset daily.

So my prize for today was rubber bands (points). I'm not tweeting about that.

The third monkey

(insert oh crap, I forgot to post on time but this counts for Dec. 2, seriously)

Re: the third monkey - you know the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys?

I can't complain about my job. At all. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt

I'm going with the National Blog Posting Month prompt today.

If you could stop your body from aging at any point in your life, what age would you want to stay at and why?

I would stop in my mid-20s somewhere. I'd like to have more energy, be a little more fit, and be at an age where if I had young kids, I'd be better able to take care of them. I try (somewhat) to not let my physical age determine my intellectual/emotional age - in a good way. By that I mean, there are people my age who don't appreciate current music, who get stuck at a certain point in their lives and stop accepting new things. I don't want to be one of those people.

That being said, I have never and will never understand this longstanding trend for young men to wear pants with the waistline below their butts. And if that makes me an old fuddy-duddy, so be it. I try to be young at heart, but that's going a bit too far. ;-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Why are you being such a bitch?"

What I said was, "I'm not being a bitch, I'm being informative."

Other possible answers:
Because I can.
Because I'm tired/depressed/obsessed with parking spaces (more on that in another post that I'll link to later)/hungry/you fill in the blanks.
Because you parked wrong and didn't put up your handicapped sticker (and I did point out if a police car came by, the fine is $100 and it's their $100, not mine).

The situation: I was leaving Wal-Mart and someone parked straight in one of the sideways handicapped parking spaces they recently put in. I hate these spaces, but finally came to the understanding that there are a lot of people out there with their own carts or even wheelchairs that will benefit from the larger spaces. But you are supposed to drive right in, facing the store in this case. This guy parked parallel to the store. I've seen people park 2 cars that way in one space.

So I waited and when he got out, I told him how the parking space was supposed to be used. He said he didn't feel like parking that way. I looked at his license plate and where you're supposed to put a hanging sticker if you have one (rearview mirror) and didn't see any handicapped insignia, so I said, as a reminder, that he forgot to put it out.

I have forgotten that on occasion and when I realize it, I am always thankful I haven't gotten a ticket yet. I only use it when Mom is with me and is actually leaving the car to go into church or the store or wherever. If she's staying in the car, I park in a normal space.

So, after I reminded the driver about the handicapped sticker, the woman passenger said, "why are you being such a bitch?"

I'm sure if I think about it, I can come up with a few more answers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grammar gripes

and spelling errors ...

This was a post on a Freecycle group I belong to:


I did email the sender to point out that a kettle is what you cook in, while a kennel is where you keep your dog. I didn't make any smart remarks about cooking the dog, although you can probably come up with some funny ones.

This type of error is one of my pet peeves. Yes, I understand about typos and about typing things in chat where you are trying to type quickly and don't always have time to correct errors. But for anything that takes longer, like an email or a blog post, there really is no reason not to make sure you are typing what you think you are typing.

Punctuation is nice, too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

About "Chuck"

Yeah, it's becoming an obsession. I'm still not sure why. It's a great show and funny and all, but I can't pinpoint why I'm suddenly getting into it like this.

And, yeah, I'm all caught up. I've seen every show that's on DVD (Seasons 1-3) and every show that's aired in the fourth season. You can actually buy episodes on for $1.99 and watch them as many times as you like. I wouldn't buy a whole season's worth that way, though, because I prefer to watch on the TV so I can do computer stuff on the computer. But the last 3 episodes of Season 3 that weren't available from the library (disc was damaged) and the first two episodes of Season 4 were available. And, as a bonus, "Chuck versus the Subway" and Chuck versus the Ring Part II" were packaged together for $1.99, so I got two episodes for the price of one.

I've now watched every episode from "Chuck versus the Living Dead" through Chuck versus the First Fight" at least twice.

From this point onward, I'll be able to watch the episodes for free at or Hulu as long as I don't wait too long.

I don't think that will be a problem.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A confession

 Hi, my name is Carol, and I'm a "Chuck"aholic. I could go into a cutesy little post about how it started so innocently, but I'm going to skip right to the meat of it. I don't know why this show keeps me up at night, but it does. I caught up on three episodes I had missed by purchasing them on Luckily, two episodes were packaged together. By Monday, when the next show airs, I'll be completely caught up.

And this post is not meant to mock groups like AA or NA. My point is that I do have a problem. I can't get enough of "Chuck." It does affect my behavior and other aspects of my life. The fact that I just finished watching three episodes in a row - that I purchased online - and it's nearly 2 a.m. should prove that.

Tuesday morning I had a "Chuck" dream. (Kind of like "Chuck versus the Coup d'Etat") There's got to be a warning sign in that.

I'm going to bed now, only to get up again in 3 hours. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nothing to say

I'll get working on some blog posts. I usually think about things for awhile and then just post. I think I'll get some written down for those days when I don't feel like going public with the stupid things that happen in my life and just want to post observations or whatever.

Besides, I'm still living in "Chuck" land. I returned Seasons 2 and 3 to the library yesterday, but watched the available Season 4 videos online - twice. I still want to catch up on the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4, but I'm not sure how I can do that. I don't want to buy Season 3 on DVD just because I missed 3 episodes, and the first two episodes of Season 4 aren't available. Unless I want to pay at, I think. I don't know.

Anyway, I'm considering starting watching the series over - how annoying is that. Partly because it would bug Amanda, who "didn't feel like going" to school yesterday and today and probably just flunked the 3 classes she's been working on since the beginning of the school year. They are transitioning to computer classes, and she can do some online at home, but still has to attend every day. And since she doesn't have enough credits, they probably will want her to go all day, which is not what she wants. We'll see.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still not learning my lesson

First, I haven't managed to do a blog post every day, as part of NaBloPoMo. Second, although I know I need to get to bed earlier, I stay up later than a normal, responsible person should do. I've got my own "Chuck" marathon going on (although I'm finally going to bed now).

So, I haven't learned my lesson about getting enough sleep. I'm going to bed now, and hope my sleep-deprivation headache goes away.

And I'm sure I would be more eloquent if I actually got enough sleep, but that's kind of the point, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Still tired

So yesterday was Election Day, and we worked late. I left at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. We had pizza around 7:30 p.m., so I was hungry when I left. I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things, then went home.

Cayla missed Seminary and the bus, so I asked Kent to take her to school. I took a nap, then took Amanda to school. I made a couple of stops, including to Mr. Money to pay interest on a couple of things I have in there.

I made a discovery there - a couple of things that have been missing from my house for months were there in Kent's name. Needless to say, I did not give him permission to take them. And I have them back now.

Between the exhaustion of working to late last night and the emotional upheaval at finding that Kent had taken my things and pawned them, then getting them back, I'm really tired right now. And it's past time I should be in bed, but I have to stay up until my laundry is dry so I can put Cayla's clothes in the dryer. And tomorrow, I have to go to work early because Sandy won't be there, so I won't even have as much naptime as I usually do. :-(

I guess tired is here to stay.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Unknown treasures

Okay, not really treasures, but things I didn't know about before.

In an attempt at saving money, we're going without cable for a while. So I've been borrowing DVDs from the library. We watched season 1 of "Chuck," season 1 and part of 2 of "Pushing Daisies" and now I've got season 2 and 3 of "Chuck."

I didn't get into "Pushing Daisies" at first, but it grew on me. We didn't finish season 2 before I had to return it to the library and they make you wait at least a day. But I'm having fun with "Chuck."

Why didn't I know about these shows before? Because I work evenings and miss most shows when they are first on. So not having cable is giving me an opportunity to catch up on things I didn't know I was missing.

I try not to think about the shows I like that are going on while I don't have cable. You can't have everything.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Random memories

The bank in Vincent was robbed today, and in newsroom conversation with Sandy, I mentioned that I used to work at a convenience store in Chicago. I was never robbed at gunpoint, but had some "interesting" events occur there.

One time, a guy came in after he was mugged and stabbed. Another time, a guy came in and started shoplifting - he wasn't even trying to hide it. I worked every shift every week, and my two graveyard shifts were Friday and Saturday nights.

I quit there after I was mugged - non-related. I happened to go visit my sister and on the way home I had to switch buses. While I was waiting for the bus, a guy grabbed my bag. There were only two things in it. I had my money and bus pass in my hand.

When I told Sandy what was in my bag, she laughed and laughed. You see, I had visited my sister when she was doing laundry, and had her wash my bra. I put that in my bag, and the only other thing in there was my voter registration card. So then I was freaking out that the guy would be mad about what he "scored" when he mugged me and come looking for me. (He didn't.)

He did leave his mark, though. When he grabbed my bag, I instinctively tightened my arm - the strap was in the crook of my elbow. He pulled so hard I fell down. When I didn't let go, he kicked or hit me in the face. A couple of weeks later, I developed Bell's palsy, which the doctor told me was probably related.

Bell's palsy is the gift that keeps on giving. I got it during my pregnancy with Cayla, to the point where I had to tape one eye shut at night to sleep. I got it another time a couple of years ago for a few weeks.

So, there you are. I have these random memories come up from time to time, and I remember them and then let them go back into the dark recesses of my mind. I've decided I'll share a few now. ;-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Funny and awesome

Cayla has been staying up too late lately (more than the usual). To the point that, this week, she hasn't been to school. She was up so late that she was too tired to function. Of course, this means she's missed Seminary as well, but she was missing that before, even on days she made it to school.

Last night the bishop called and talked to her. She was still up too late, but when her alarm went off this morning, I didn't even hear it because she turned it off right away. I got up a couple minutes later and her light was on. Surprise!

So, as I was driving her into town, I looked at the time and realized we would be there before 6 a.m. I told her, "it would be funny and awesome if we got there before everyone else," but I didn't really think it would happen.

It happened.

Not only were we first, everyone else arrived a little late. I had let Cayla in and waited in the car. Three other cars arrived a few minutes after 6, including the teacher. I had suggested to Cayla that she get a blanket from the YW room and pretend she had been there all night, but that was just a joke. It was nice to know that she was there on time, though.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. For now, though, I'm going back to bed. Which is not very funny, but very awesome. ;-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Catching the bus

Cayla missed the bus at her regular stop today. I quickly drove her to the third stop in town. After I dropped her off, I checked the time - it was 7:09 a.m., one minute before the published scheduled time for her to be picked up at her stop. After I got home, I called the bus barn. Looking at the bus schedule and talking to the dispatcher, I learned that the bus driver plans to pick up at Cayla's stop at 7:06 - one minute before the published first stop, which is two stops before where Cayla catches the bus.

The dispatcher explained that they've had to adjust the schedule because people registered their kids for school late and had to be added in. I told her I just didn't want the bus driver giving Cayla a hard time for getting on at the wrong stop because he did last year.

And in the end, it's a moot point. Next week Seminary starts and I'll have to drive her to church at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday. I'm just thankful that the bridge repair that has blocked our most convenient road to church will be completed this week. That will save me time and gas.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Small mercies

Cayla is upset with me. I thought we had agreed on a certain course of action, but when I proceeded she got upset. It was pretty unavoidable - I had to do a certain task that affected her. The consequences if I didn't do this thing would be bad for me. But she just says "whatever" and goes off to her room.

The mercy thing is that although she stayed in bed until the last possible moment, pretty much, she was able to make it to the bus on time. It's merciful because now I can go back to bed. I'm always tired, but this morning is a bit more than usual.

Oh, and I tripped this morning and hurt my ankle. Lovely. It was quite painful for awhile, but now doesn't bother me much. We'll see how it goes later, and my knees as well. Sometimes an injury doesn't have much effect at the beginning but makes itself apparent later on.

Good way to start the day, huh?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School stuff

School starts next Tuesday for the girls. Amanda will be going to the alternative high school, Cayla to regular high school. Cayla had mentioned in the past that she might like to join band as well as orchestra. Apparently she wants to learn oboe. She said she's willing to wait until I have the viola paid off. ;-) How kind. How about settling on one instrument and not keep adding more? So far we're up to a violin and viola ... and she still won't take piano, which I wish she would. It would give her a lot of opportunities in church.

Anyway, the girls start school, but I won't be going. There was some sort of kerfluffle with my financial aid and the school won't let me have any until I pay for (and pass) some classes with my own money. The problem with that is I can't spare any for college, so it looks like I'm going to have to completely drop that aspiration. Thanks, financial aid appeals committee, for making my dreams go away. Sigh.

Tomorrow is an orientation for 9th-graders and their parents, for Cayla, Should be interesting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What next?

Going to get ready for work now. Will have lunch with the father-in-law again - he visited last week and took us all to Chen Garden. But Thursdays are a hassle - split shift and deadlines, copy-editing, paginating (one page, but it's a fun one usually), processing obits ... we'll see how it goes.

UPDATE: Lunch was simple, but there were gifts. I ended up with a new set of tires when all was said and done. (Had to use money from Amanda's gift, but now I've got four new tires and I'll pay her back on Friday.) I'm no longer worried that one of the bald tires will blow, especially considering I was using the spare. Now the spare is back in the trunk where it belongs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So I didn't sleep so well last night

Events lined up to cause me to have to sleep at Mom's last night - in her recliner. Not the most comfortable "bed." I stayed up late and woke up early - Mom opened her door and got the paper around 5:30 a.m. I didn't go back to sleep after that - just watched TV until about 7 and then left.

The events that lined up were because of bad weather. We got rocked by a storm Tuesday night. Rain poured down and, as happens when it rains hard, certain roads were impassable. The railroad underpass on Highway 169 was flooded. There was water over the road on the main route I take to get home. I decided caution was best, so I didn't attempt to go home. I did get a nap in my own bed, but I'm still feeling the effects of not enough sleep.

BTW, I'm not complaining about your hospitality, Mom. You were quite accommodating, especially when I showed up late at night without calling. It's just circumstances.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time to win again?

There's a Back-to-School Giveaway Bonanza on Facebook starting today. The first item being given away is a Dell laptop - there are 12 blogs involved, so 12 places to enter, with multiple chances on each blog. I'm currently going down the list.

Last year I won a Samsumg camera on Twitter - it was a total surprise. It would be nice to have that luck return now. ;-)

Friday, July 16, 2010

I can only imagine

I ache all over. A large part of it comes from not enough sleep. I've been getting up at 4:30 a.m. all this week to get Cayla to the pickup point for detasseling. (I got up yesterday, but she didn't go.) Part of it also comes from participating (in a small way) in the cleanup of the garage that Tonya has initiated. I spent 3-4 hours each day on Tuesday and Wednesday in the garage with her - not doing much, but helping and being a facilitator - if she needed garbage bags or paper towels, I got them.

Last night I left work at 11:45 p.m., got home around midnight. I was in bed around 12:30 a.m. but didn't get to sleep for about half an hour. Up at 4:30 a.m. again.

Cayla was still up when I got home last night. Partly because Amanda didn't let her on the computer until after 10 p.m. (even after I told her that Cayla has to get up early and she should let her on right away). So, as much pain as I feel, I can only imagine how Cayla feels right now.

And I should get ready for work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Well, Cayla - and I - survived her first day of detasseling.

I hadn't heard from her while I was at work, so I called Kent a couple of times to see if she had called him for a ride yet. By 5 p.m. she had not, so I took my supper break at 5:15 and went to the drop off point to wait. Another woman drove up and asked if I had heard when they were coming. I said I was just waiting in case they showed up. She parked and came over, and her phone rang. Her daughter said they were on the way back. I asked if I could use her phone, and before the phone number disappeared from her screen, I caught a glimpse of it - it looked like my number. Cayla had my phone, so it seemed likely that she had allowed the woman's daughter to call her mom.

I called Kent to let him know I would take Cayla home. He said she had asked permission to go to Donna's to hang out with Jessica. I waited 'til Cayla arrived and took her over there. I got my phone back and called Jessica to hash out details while I was on my way back to work. We decided that Cayla could stay there until I got off work unless she decided to call her dad for a ride.

When I finished work, I called over there. Jessica said that Cayla had spent nearly the entire time asleep in a chair. When I went to pick her up, I found that Donna had insisted that Cayla take a shower (apparently she was able to change into some clothes Suzanna had left there) and wash her clothes. So that saved me from having to do laundry last night.

We drove through McDonald's for something for Cayla since she had slept through her time at Donna's, and I went to Wal-Mart. My oil light had come on during the short drive to Donna's, and we needed bread. When I got back to the car, Cayla was resting under a blanket. I had bought the blanket at a garage sale held by the Young Women - in May. It was in the car that whole time and finally came in handy.

I stayed up way too late and only got about 2 hours of sleep. Cayla is getting ready now for her second day. I hope we both survive it. ;-)

Monday, July 12, 2010


So I woke up about 4 o'clock this morning. My alarm was set for 4:30, to get up and get Cayla up - she starts detassling today.

My little girl has her first paying job (besides one babysitting gig a few months back). But this one is an official job - she had to fill out a W-2 and everything.

I made a checklist: she had to pack her lunch, take her lunch, water jug, bug spray, sunscreen, poncho, etc. I planned to drive through McDonald's for breakfast (as it turns out, the McD closest to our route isn't open at 5:30 a.m.).

I got her to the drop-off point on time and waited until the buses showed up, then left. She's got my cell phone to call her dad to pick her up when she is done for the day. I'll probably at work. And this is only for one week because she's got camp next week.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Much not have made much of an impression ...

So, Tuesday night our bishop called me on my cell phone while I was at work. He started out by saying, "Carol, you and Cayla haven't spoken in sacrament meeting this year ... " and I started laughing. I said, "two weeks ago. I had to ask you how much time I had for my talk - you were on the stand!" I was the first speaker and Dan Jensen was the second speaker.

Now, I know he just got back from vacation, so it probably slipped his mind. But it's a little disconcerting to learn that my talk - or even the fact that I gave a talk - was so forgettable. But that's water under the bridge now, and Cayla gets to speak this Sunday. I'm not sure what steps he can take after that to make sure we get to church on time ... there are only so many people in my household. ;-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Oftentimes my train of thought takes some interesting paths. I start at one topic, slide to another and before you know it, I've taken a completely different direction. Kind of like surfing Wikipedia.

Usually, though, these thought paths have some kind of logic. Something I'm doing or something that I'm thinking about has a connection to the next direction, and I can usually follow them back to the original thought.

Today, however, I'm stumped.

I was making macaroni salad. Making pasta of any kind usually makes me think of Kingdom of Loathing, where two of the classes of adventurers are pasta-centric (pastamancer and sauceror). This also led me to think of church, because we have potluck this coming Sunday (which led to me thinking about my talk, about printing out the article it's based on and some printer issues at work).

Then it came out of the blue. The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. Really? A Disney musical? C'mon brain - where did you pull this out of?

We saw the movie when I was a kid. We even had the album, which we played on our turntable. But I haven't thought of this movie or album in at least 30 years.

Looking over the Wikipedia article, I notice that Lesley Ann Warren was in the movie. She also is in "In Plain Sight," a series on USA network. It's just possible that a brief thought about the IPS episode I watched last night led to my brain digging deep enough to retrieve this memory, but it's still bizarre. I didn't even see her in that episode, but that's all the connection I can come up with right now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oh, rats!

Just one, actually. Cayla and I are going over to visit my niece Suzanna, whose fiance, Chad, has a rat. This rat needs a new home. Cayla has been asking for a rat for about 4 years. I might relent.

I went to Earl May yesterday and looked at cages. There are several options, but I only really considered two of them. One is quite vertical and has ramps for the rat to run up and down. The other one attaches to the top of a 10-gallon aquarium and also has ramps. The little bit of research I did says this is good if the room has drafts, but this type of habitat has to be changed more often.

I'm still ambivalent. I mean, a rat! I shudder at the thought. I grew up in old houses mostly - where, yes, we often had mice. And we (Kent and I and the girls) lived in a mobile home that was fine for several years but suddenly got mice one winter. So, I'm still trying to overcome that prejudice.

We'll see. I need to find out about the cost for a youth conference this month - still have no information on it except that it starts June 21. Not much time to make arrangements - in fact, it might already be too late. But if I don't have to pay for that (because we missed a deadline and she can't go), I might be able to afford a cage for the rat.

UPDATE: The youth conference doesn't cost, and I have the details about what she needs to take and when and where to meet for her ride down there. As far as the rat goes, it's not looking good. Cayla liked playing with it at Suzanna's, and when we looked at cages at Earl May, she told me which one she liked. But she's not willing to clean/rearrange her room or to keep the lawn mowed this summer to earn my approval for the rat.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Android Karenina: a review and giveaway

I have read four Quirk classics so far: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters," Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls" and now "Android Karenina."

"Android Karenina" takes one of those books you avoided reading in high school and adds a bit of steampunk, intrigue, conspiracy and alien threat. I initially had to overcome some resistance (it's Tolstoy!), but once that obstacle was cleared, I enjoyed reading "Android Karenina." In fact, I actually laughed out loud when Matryoshka's nature was revealed in Part Two, Chapter 14.

The themes include: marital faithfulness and infidelity, humans' dependence on technology, and threats to humanity. These threads weave in and out, bringing the reader to a conclusion which surprised me. I fully expected that the unfaithful Anna Karenina would suffer some illness or accident that would require her to merge with her Class III companion, Android Karenina. This was foreshadowed, in my mind, by her husband's Class III being his Face - a metal plate that covers half of his face, a servomechanism, a thinking machine that councils and later controls him.

I can't do justice to this book in this review. I read it, liked it and will read it again. I do have a copy of "Anna Karenina" and have read portions of it for comparison, and I like "Android Karenina" better because of the sci-fi, steampunk aspects. The recurring thread of the conflict with UnConSciya, the dependence on machines, and the alien "Honored Guests" liven up the book.

There is also a giveaway at Quirk Classics:
Let us know where you read the review. In the comment section below, add the name of the blog where you read about Android Karenina. Please include a link to the blog post. Not only is adding the link very helpful for us, it also gives your favorite blogs some added exposure.

Doing so will automatically enter you to win one of 25 Quirk Books Prize-Packs worth nearly $100, each of which includes: 
You are at Carol's Random Babble. Click here, leave a comment with Carol's Random Babble and this link: in the text and you'll be entered in the giveaway.
Contest closes at June 14 at 5PM EST, and we'll be announcing winners on June 17 at 12PM EST.
 And whether you win the giveaway or not, you can get your own Tolstoy to-do list.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strange dreams

I have them often. Sometimes I write them down - today this blog post will have to suffice.

Background info: I work at a newspaper where we use Macs with OS9 and use QuarkXPress 4.1 for layout. We also have PCs with a proprietory word processing software that pulls in AP content as well. We have new Macs now, with QuarkXPress 8. There will be a bit of a learning curve this week as people begin using the new computers and new software.

In my dream, it was the day we were to get the new computers hooked up. But in my dream it was more than computers. The whole newsroom was changed:
  • There was an area with bunkbeds arranged in a square with a couple of loveseats and a table or desk in the middle - I called that a dorm room. There were college students sitting around in this area.
  • There was an area with files and a person who transported the files - it was very different from our hardcopy library system (file cabinets with file folders), but approximately in the same area. (I say approximately because the whole area was more square than the actual building.)
  • Our desks were different - and this to me was the worst part because the desks were switched out without notification and I didn't have a chance to clean my desk out of personal stuff. (Example: Amanda gave me a small stuffed bear that says "Happy Mother's Day" several years ago for, you guessed it, Mother's Day.)
  • There was apparently a day care setup where employees could bring their small children and have them right there at work (never in a million years). I know how wrong this is when I saw (in my dream) our managing editor changing a baby in the middle of the newsroom.
So you can see this was a very strange dream. There was more - a group of people were upstairs going through boxes and bags and sorting out Christmas ornaments and decorations. That's about all I can remember.

And now it's time for me to get ready for work.

Last day of school

Cayla made the bus this morning ...

I'm sure she would rather not have gone, but I didn't suggest it and wouldn't have allowed it. I told her to take her camera, but I don't think she did.

She's just glad her days at good ol' PMS are done (yep, Phillips Middle School). She doesn't want any reminders of her two years there. I said that in the unlikely event she returns to this area to raise her children (she's so anxious to get out of this town I think she would vow never to return) that they would not go to this school (the district is building a new middle school).

That degenerated into a discussion of the whole green project the district insisted that the middle-school kids participate in, wasting their time (in Cayla's opinion) and for nothing, because only one suggestion was considered. Cayla said that the teachers were told to make time for this project - having the kids help design the new middle school with "green" aspects in the building - but still manage to get their regular lessons done.

What I learned out of that project was that I don't talk to Cayla often enough, as I didn't hear about it until it was nearly over.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sims 3 Ambitions

So ...

Sims 3 Ambitions expansion pack came out on Tuesday and I bought it on Thursday. It's installed and I got a household that I had made previously set up in a house in the new neighborhood. I haven't had much time to play yet, and I have to build up their skills to get them to the point where they can do the things I want them to do.

Why is this so important?

Well, besides the fun aspect, I used Sims 3 (this household) to get footage for a video that I put together for my web multimedia class for the spring semester. I did the video and got the grade, but there were glitches. We think it's because the speed on the Sims 3 clips is faster than the default speed in Premiere Pro (the software we were using). So I have to redo the video for the instructor to use as an example for future classes. And I wanted to have my "mad scientist" have the inventing skill and be able to build some things to enhance the video.

The video is for "Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton. It's a love song.

When I get the video done, I'll post it here. ;-)

This is my post for June 3

I was sleep deprived, running late and exhausted. I asked Kent to drive me to work twice. That means four trips into town for me, plus two for Cayla (she needed a ride to school and to be picked up because her class went to Adventureland.

I also didn't have time to take a supper break at work the second time I went. So, I worked from 4 to 10:45 p.m. with only a bag of chips, a soda and a bag of M&Ms (coconut flavored). I was starving when I got off work. I asked Kent to take me to Hy-Vee, and I did some grocery shopping.

I had something to eat when I got home, and played a little on Facebook, and now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting things done (or not)

I haven't made my list yet, so haven't crossed anything off. I stayed up too late last night (as always) and overslept this morning. (7:38!) Kent took Cayla to school. I went back to bed for a couple of hours, then played around on the computer for awhile. Played some WoW with Amanda.

Took Cayla to YW, but they were meeting at the (outgoing) YW president's house instead of church, so I had to take her all the way across town again. Then back to the east side of town to Mom's to download some Big Fish Games for her. And back to pick Cayla up.

Now I'm tired, but kind of want to play either Sims 3 or WoW. For now, I'm going to change into my pajamas and see what I feel like.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


That's the theme for June at NaBloPoMo.

I am full of good intentions. I always want to fulfill them, but get caught up is daily grind, silly stuff and inconsequential things.

I need to focus.

I need to set things in order.

I think I need to take the advice of experts - I need to figure out my goals and what steps are needed to achieve them.

I'll start with a to-do list. Crossing accomplishments - however minor - off a list makes me feel like I'm actually getting things done. And it's good to keep track of what I'm doing, especially at work.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Engaging news

So I logged on to Facebook this morning and my news feed was set to Top News rather than recent. Usually that's a bad thing, but my niece Suzanna had posted a little tidbit yesterday that was right at the top of my wall: she's engaged.

No information on the date yet, but I have a wedding gift in mind - if I win it. It's a Rachael Ray cookware set being offered at Nanny Goats in Panties. Totally appropriate, if somewhat more than I usually spend for wedding gifts (it's valued at $200). But definitely a good gift for newlyweds.

Of course, I have to win first. If that doesn't work, there's always picture frames ... ;-)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Turn signals

They have a purpose, use them. Especially if you are on a motorcycle weaving from lane to lane. Give the rest of us a chance to figure out where you are going next so we don't run you over.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feelings of inadequacy and love

I sent some of this post to a blogger (whom I shall not name). 
A friend posted a link to this blog entry: Saydi Eyre Shumway: The Snapshot That Changed My Life.

I saw similarities to [blogger] - feelings of inadequacy (what mom doesn't feel that?), love of photography, and mostly love of your child.

I also saw a lesson for me - I am constantly criticizing myself for being disorganized, lazy (thanks Dad!), inadequate, procrastinating, etc. I need to look (for) at what I do right, even if it's just a moment.

Anyway, it's a reminder that you aren't alone, many people have the same feelings (although not the depression) that you have. Sometimes "misery loves company" means that it's comforting to realize you aren't the only person with these feelings, that the people you think have perfect lives are struggling as well and we are all (maybe) doing a little better than we thing we are.

How about you? Does it help to know that you aren't the only person who doesn't feel up to the task of being a parent? Does it comfort you to realize that the people you think know what they are doing all the time actually have their moments of inadequacy and maybe you have more moments of surpassing expectations than you realize?

Maybe it's a false comfort, but I'll take what I can get.

A miss is as good as a mile ...

Unless it's a deer that crosses the road 20 feet ahead of you as you are traveling 55 mph. Then, although you don't actually hit the deer, your heart starts pounding as you realize how close you came to an accident.

I wanted to use my bright lights the rest of the way home after that, but of course you can't shine them at oncoming cars or too close to cars ahead of you, so I just had to keep alert.

And at least I am better off than these people.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I felt like a kid again

I stepped on a large splinter in the yard yesterday - it went right through my fake crocs and into my foot. So I had to get a tetanus shot. It has probably been 20-21 years since my last one - when we lived in Chicago, before the kids were born.

I made an appointment and went to work. Had to leave work to go get the shot. I was given the same kind of sheet I got when my kids had vaccinations, with warnings and everything. I tried to suggest at work that they should send me home if I "cry uncontrollably for three hours or more," but they didn't seem to take it seriously.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A bit of nostalgia

When Amanda was baptized, I didn't think to ask how to keep the hallway carpet from getting all soggy - the font isn't connected to the bathrooms. So I brought all the towels we owned that day. I don't remember if I brought towels for the missionary who baptized her to get to the men's room. I didn't think to ask a ward member who owned a business that provided rubber-backed mats to business if he could provide some for this purpose.

In my case, the contractor who was hired by our landlord to replace the kitchen floor had delayed the project for a couple of weeks and had to come that day. So while I'm baking cookies in a kitchen without a floor, I also had to take our towels to the laundromat because the washer and dryer were disconnected (they were in the hallway by the kitchen, which was also being refloored). We lived in a mobile home and the kitchen was a pass-through in the middle. So, chaos, cookies, laundry ...

I know I've got pictures somewhere. I'll try to post when I find them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flea market finds

I asked Kent to be my chauffeur today. He does that for me occasionally (at least once a week). This time I bought him lunch at Hy-Vee. They had the salad bar or Chinese buffet for $5 each. I bought some things there, then headed over to Target to get something for Mom. We dropped it off at Mom's, ran over to KFC for her lunch and back again.

A couple more stops, but my plans went awry. I only use one kind of antiperspirant/deodorant from Avon, and the place I usually get it is closed on Saturdays (I forgot). So I talked Kent into taking me to the flea market, where there is usually at least one person selling Avon products.

The Avon booth wasn't where I expected it, but I saw this while I was looking:

I had a tin dollhouse when I was a little girl. I don't know if it was this big, but it had this type of shape where the upstairs was smaller than the downstairs and there was a patio upstairs (if I remember correctly). This dollhouse has furniture! And it's $75, which I'm guessing is a fair price for something of this vintage (1960s) with furniture. I think my dollhouse may have been smaller, like this one:

But maybe mine was like the bigger one. I'm not sure - it's been 40-odd years since I had that. And just for good measure, some Fisher-Price toys:

There's a toy camera. It's not the same as the one my cousin had in this picture, but brings back memories just the same:

I'm the one in the middle, my sister is at left and our cousin at right.

Oh, and one more flea market find, the one I actually brought home:

There was a sign with an original price of $15, marked down to $10. The table wobbled a bit, and the seller thought it would be okay on the floor. It still wobbled. I think we can work with that, and I was just about to say, "I'll look around a bit and come back (really meaning to buy it at $10)" and she said, "How about $5?"

So, I couldn't pass it up. I had to take it then, which made Kent happy, because he didn't want me to look around for even 2 more minutes. So I carried it out - it's not as heavy as they seemed to think - and we put it in the trunk of Kent's car. It's in the garage for now - I want to reorganize the living room a bit. I'm planning to put my printer on it. I think I can put the little 2-drawer thing with the printer paper underneath, and there  is a drawer for miscellaneous stuff.

Total spent at flea market:
$3 for Avon antiperspirant
$1 for cute tin I found
$5 for table

And I think we were there for about 10 minutes - way less than my usual timing.

Not bad.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Very powerful, very important message

Embrace Life - always wear your seat belt

(I apologize that it's cut off on the right - click on the video to go to the source and view it better.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mixed emotions

It's General Conference today. My usual thing is to stay home with the intention to watch conference online, but hardly ever do. And today it's even more tempting to go back to bed, as I stayed up later than usual (4 a.m. - bad me) and I'm soooo tired.

But on Wednesday I did a family history presentation for the Young Women. We ran out of time and didn't get my real goal done, which was to get names the YW can take to the temple for the youth temple trip this month. So I told them I would bring my laptop and we could work on it between sessions. There's a potluck, but it shouldn't take the whole two hours.

I'm so tired, and I'm not sure if it's allergies or the beginning of a cold, but my bed looks real good right now ...

I'm going to see if I can get Cayla to get up.

Update: I called Mom, she's not going. Cayla is nearly as tired as I am. I'll try to make myself available for the YW at other times before the trip.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Danny the Dragon review

I would like to invite you to visit my review blog and see what I have to say about the book Danny the Dragon "Meets Jimmy." I was given a copy of the book, a DVD and CD as well. I liked the tone of the book - people are nice and polite, and it shows kids how people can get along with each other.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

In order to keep a little separation between personal blogging and review blogging, I'll keep my personal stuff here and post reviews and so on at Therefore, my review of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls" can be found at There is also a giveway - read the review, click on the link and when you enter, tell them you came from "Carol Says and Does." Enjoy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


All I can say is that it's easy for others to offer advice when they don't know all the behind-the-scenes stuff. It's easy to point and laugh, but don't bother considering all the aspects. Was the failure because the entity can't possibly be there 24/7? Mock away - it's a safe bet that situation won't be remedied and you'll have plenty of chances to mock again.

I can't be more specific ... but there is a person who repeatedly "informs" the public about how the industry my company is part of is going belly-up. Lovely. Thanks a lot. Do you mind if we keep slogging along providing our product while you keep harping on how it's a dying industry? Oh you welcome the chance for mockery? Carry on.

It's frustrating to work every day and have people say that your work doesn't matter.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Too much safety?

In response to this article, I left the following comment:

We are getting to the point where we might as well wrap our children in cotton wool and put them on a shelf. The latest thing in the U.S. is choking danger from foods. Hot dogs, grapes and popcorn are listed as some of the more dangerous foods. There is talk of labeling foods or even redesigning them to lessen the danger.

Guess what? Adults choke on food, too. I can see this going two ways: either we (society) teach people to cut foods up for small children and teach children to properly chew their foods, or we all get food processors and chop our foods into itty-bitty pieces so there will be no choking danger.

As far as letting your child walk to school, when do these people think the children will be old enough? Are they going to accompany their adult children to job interviews (I've actually heard of this), escort them on dates (in case the other party is a serial killer) and generally hold their hands for the rest of their lives?

As parents, it's our job to teach our children, to raise them to be responsible adults. Responsibility (and trust) begins early.

Now, I do believe in a lot of safety precautions. I firmly believe that everyone should wear a seat belt (and children should be in car seats. I think that you should work on the safety issues you can and then kind of take it easy. I have cautioned my kids (who are now teens) about certain strangers and they can now check the sex offender registry for themselves. (There are 15 registered sex offenders within 5 miles of us, 4 in our small town and two within a block.)

But I also have to let them do their own thing to a certain extent. Because I'm not going to be around forever, taking care of my kids into adulthood as if they were still toddlers. They need to grow up and become their own, responsible adults.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

11 days

That's how many days our school system has lost because of bad weather. It's ridiculous. They are going to make the school days 30 minutes longer for a few weeks to make up three days (I think it's 11 longer days to make up one missed day.) They are also going to take a couple of scheduled teacher development days and turn them into school days. And the school year will end (a week?) later than originally scheduled.

My question is: Will Iowa Central Community College have to make any changes because of snow days? I've got three Flexnet classes (and I'm behind), and a couple of extra days would be handy. ;-) I also have a regular class, and I'm sure we're behind where we would be if not for missed days.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A review is coming

I received my advance review copy of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls" today. I'll be reading it and reviewing it. The review will be posted on March 3. There is also a giveaway held by Quirk Books. Yay for giveaways!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow update

I didn't sleep well at Mom's last night. Sleeping in a recliner is more uncomfortable than I remembered. I tried sleeping on the floor when I woke up around 6:30 a.m., but that didn't help. After Mom got up, I stayed up for awhile, then tried sleeping on her bed on top of the covers. I probably would have slept better there, but I had a weird dream that wasn't very restful.

Anyway, I've got to get ready for work and clean off my car. It's the car at the left in this picture:

Looks like fun. :-(

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow day



I'm not sure I can summon up the enthusiasm to take and post photos ... we'll see.

I guess I'll be staying at Mom's house tonight and either come home Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Kent will stay with the girls while I'm gone. Plus, he has my old car, so he can get around in town.

UPDATE: I don't know how the road are tonight, but I was told that the road crews would stop plowing at 6 p.m. So I'm at Mom's tonight. I'm doing this so I can work tomorrow. I can't afford to use my vacation days up this early in the year.

I saw this road grader off the side of the road on P59 as I was coming to work. You know if the road grader/plow runs off the road, road conditions aren't good.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I bought a car!

It's a 1999 Toyota Camry LE with nearly 225,000 miles (should reach that today or tomorrow). It needs a new windshield and new struts, but it was cheap and runs good.

It looks like it has plenty of room in the trunk for Mom's Rollater. It's got a stereo with CD, with removable faceplate; a sun roof; and remote start (yay!). It should get lots better gas mileage than my old car.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A day late and a dollar short

is the story of my life.

I should be on my way to work, but need to get ready. I wanted to quickly change my blog theme to something more fitting for February. I did manage to update the NaBloPoMo badge, but when I tried to go to The Cutest Blog on the Block, I keep getting an error message.

Just tried it again, it seems to work.

UPDATE: Changed the theme, it looks okay. Now I've got to scramble to get to work.

Friday, January 29, 2010


So, my car has been running fine since Monday night's incident. But I'm still planning to replace it. Kent and I went to H&R Block to get our taxes done (for the last time ever!) Wednesday. We didn't qualify for Rapid Refund or Refund Anticipation Loan. So we have to wait 8-15 days for our refund. There was no benefit at all to going there instead of going to the guy we usually go to - an AARP tax aide who does the return for free.

And we are out a couple hundred dollars for this service. Yikes.

But I'm now in a position to start looking for a new car. If I say "new" I mean "new to me" rather than actually new. So, a different car for me. After nearly getting stuck in the snow Monday night, four-wheel drive looks better and better. I do need something that is a little higher to get into, to make it easier for Mom to get in the vehicle. So a van or SUV maybe.

Kent had a Blazer a couple of years ago, which would have been fine except when the door didn't latch. It did that to me once on a trip to Ames. I held the door closed the whole way home. I even stopped at Little Wall Lake and got out, slammed the door shut, crawled in through the back, and got in the driver's seat. My arm touched the door and it popped open. I had to continue holding the door shut the rest of the way home.

I never drove it again.

Kent sold the Blazer a couple of months later, but he still brings it up. He misses it. I don't.

Anyway, so I'll be checking out local vehicle dealers and private sellers. I wish I could keep my license plate - I won't keep the car, and I like my license number. But unless I buy from a private seller and turn right around and give away/sell the Chevy, I don't think I'll be able to do that.

Oh, and for English Composition I have to do a memoir. It's only a few pages, so not a whole autobiography. There are three choices, and they can be combined: chronological, importance, and theme. I will probably do mine on a theme either of cars or travel. I have interesting tales to tell on both themes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Better news

This is what your engine looks like when you drive through a bunch of snow. The car started this morning and Kent drove it to the convenience store.

This chunk was up inside the front of the hood.

So now, I'll get ready for work and run a couple of errands for Mom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good news and bad news

The good news is that I made it home in one piece.

The bad news is that I'm not so sure about the car.

We had an early deadline and I was able to leave work at 9 p.m. Travel wasn't too bad most of the way home. Highway 169 was mostly clear, with some areas of blowing snow. County Road D33, though, wasn't so nice.

After I turned from 169 to D33, a truck passed me. I followed it all the way into Otho. When the truck went through drifts, I followed in its tracks. There was one spot where the visibility was so bad that I just plowed through as best I could, but almost got stuck. The truck stopped and nearly backed up, but the driver saw that I was following, so he went on.

(This is a shot of the taillights of the truck I followed into Otho.)

There were some more drifts just outside the city limits and along North Highway Street. That's when the car started acting odd. When I turned onto my street, it died. It would not start again.

The truck came back and came alongside me. The driver asked if I was stuck. I told him the car wouldn't start. He had me try a few more times, then he offered to push the car if it wouldn't cause any damage (I hope he meant to his truck - it doesn't matter what happens to the bumper of my car). He came around and lined his truck up and then gave my car a push. He got it going fast enough that I was able to travel the last two blocks and even turn into the driveway.

So, in the morning I get to open the hood and see if I can figure out what the problem is. I hope it's just that there is snow blocking something, not that something is broken or knocked off. I hope I can figure out what the problem is and that it's easily fixable.

And the timing sucks. I'm supposed to get my financial aid money next week - and I was planning to get a different vehicle. Something with four-wheel drive looks awfully good right now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm old enough to know better

But I still stay up too late most nights. Sometimes too early, if you get what I mean. Last night I was on the computer for way too late, then went to bed and read "Unseen Academicals" by Terry Pratchett. Not the whole book, although I've done that before - even recently.

So now I'm going back to bed for a nap before I go to class. Kent will take Cayla to school - she has some math thing two times a week where she has to be there at 7:30. I'm in no condition to drive.

Later, Kent will take me to class, then head over to Mom's so he can work on her computer. It's loaded with viruses. I brought it home Sunday, but it wouldn't recognize my mouse and keyboard, so we couldn't do anything. So he'll take it back and reformat it there. Loads of fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I feel like I've lived a week

Tuesday was like three different days.

In the morning, there was fog and hoarfrost. It was like fairyland. I took Cayla to school and picked Mom up to go grocery shopping. I didn't take any pictures, sorry. But Wednesday morning might have fog, as well, so another chance for pictures.

I took a nap when I got home, and when I left for work, it was sunny. Everything looked crisp and crunchy (snow crunchy). The air was brisk.

Between 4 and 5 p.m. I learned about the earthquake in Haiti. A former co-worker lives there, working for a charitable organization. I couldn't check on here because my computer at work has Facebook blocked. (I didn't go on Facebook at work often, and it was usually to check to see if the latest dead teenager had friends who started a Facebook group or what would have been in this case - to check on my former co-worker because Facebook is my only contact with her.)

So the rest of the evening, in between proofreading two papers and laying out the obits page, I checked for updates on the Haiti story. It wasn't until late in the evening that any post-earthquake pictures were available on the AP. But it didn't matter, because it wasn't important enough to make it in Wednesday's Messenger. I'm glad it's not up to me to make those decisions.

What I've been able to gather - from an update on former co-worker's Facebook and the website of the organization she works for - she's okay, the kids and the workers at the organization are okay, but the buildings have been damaged.

I don't know what I can do for anyone in Haiti, but I want to do something. Maybe as a family we can figure something out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy birthday to me

I think the girls know it's my birthday ... I dunno.

Anyway, one co-worker gave me a granola bar and money for a soda - it was kind of a joke, but she gives me a Christmas present every year, so no big deal. I modified her desktop wallpaper - jazzed it up a bit, added a calendar. Wait 'til she sees next month - I didn't tell her I was going to do it for every month. Another co-worker gave me a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. Ummm, chocolate.

Kent said he won't be able to give me anything, which is fine. We are still married but haven't lived together in over a year. He gave me some jewelry and roses for Valentine's Day last year, which was awkward.

Anyway, it's fine. Right now all I want is a good night's sleep (which isn't' happening tonight - it's nearly 1 a.m.)

UPDATE: Amanda said Happy Birthday, but Cayla apparently didn't remember until Mom said something when I picked  her up for church. We got there late (somebody was trying to read through her Relief Society lesson, somebody else took an hour and a half to get out of bed), but I had plenty of time before my lesson. People said they enjoyed it.

We had stew for supper, and I had ice cream later. No cake, but I didn't feel like baking one.

I'll take Mom to the store tomorrow, as well as pay my rent and  ... there was something else ... oh, yeah, pick up my books at the college bookstore and also call the business office to see if my account is okay. Usually by this close to the start of a semester, my classes are listed in Inet, but there's nothing there. I don't know if that indicates a problem with my account or just that the teachers haven't gotten to it yet.

Cayla has just gone to bed (it's nearly 12:30 a.m.) and she'll be hard to get up in the morning. It's a vicious cycle, and she is not cooperating in fixing it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow day (but not for me)

We've had three bad snowstorms in two-week intervals. By bad, I mean schools closed, travel not advised, etc. The first two cut into my pay because we had early deadlines adn I couldn't make up the hours. I'm expected at work today, but haven't shoveled my car all the way out yet.

I was standing in the plowed part of the street. At this point, the plow had done one lane down the middle of the road.

 I park near the end of the driveway and shovel a path from the house to the car and around the car. Here's what I had on one side of the car.

The snowplow has been by again, so I'll go out to see what it looks like now.

UPDATE: I'm  not going to work today. I got stuck half a mile from home, called work, called Cayla to have her bring a shovel, some people helped pushed me out. Cayla was nearly where I was, so I brought her home. She thought I was still going to work, so she locked the door when she came in, and I yelled at her about it. Sorry, Cayla.

Good thing to know: when they say "travel not recommended" they might know what they are talking about.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A song in my heart

Yesterday a co-worker was singing a line from "there were 10 in the bed and the little one said, 'roll over'" and it reminded me of the songs we used to sing when we were kids. Today one of my Facebook friends posted "{sings} all around the cobbler's bench...." So this post is dedicated to the folk songs we used to sing.

"Down in the valley, valley so low. Hang your head over, hear the wind blow."
"You get a line, I'll get a pole, honey (honey). You get a line, I'll get a pole, babe (babe)." (We only sang the first verse.)
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray."
"Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now ... "

We used to sing these songs and others that I can't recall right now - usually when we were on road trips. I think part of the reason I didn't do this much with my kids is that we didn't always have a car and therefore didn't go places. It was part of what we did on the way to someplace else.

I'm going to ask my parents where they learned the songs and if there are any other songs they remember.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time management

I know I have a problem with this. But some of my problem is caused by others' lack of time management. When I got home last night, Cayla was up and on my laptop. (It was 11:20 p.m.) I told her she needed to go to bed, and I wanted the laptop. After waiting for 10 minutes or more, I went to bed. About 20 minutes after I told her to get off the laptop, she finally did. (There have been times where she took longer.)

I was going to try to sleep, to not go on the computer, but after Ebon (cat) walked across my face, I wasn't ready to sleep. I had to check to see if he left a scratch. so I was waiting for Cayla to get out of the bathroom so I could look in the mirror. She was getting ready to take a shower - at nearly midnight. At this point I had decided to put a load of clothes in the washer, so I had to wait until she was done in her shower. Then I just didn't go to bed - but neither did she. She was still up after 1 a.m.

Cayla is 14 and in eighth grade. She needs her sleep. I'm not home at 10 p.m. to enforce a bedtime. And when I do get home, she ignores what I tell her. I think she gets it from her sister's fine example. Amanda can turn "just a minute" into two hours, and her selective hearing is second to none.

Anyway, I'll end my rant now. I realize the girls get their time management skills from me, but I wish they would occasionally do what I tell them. I do know what I'm talking about once in a while.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to square one

After trying and failing to convert my WordPress posts at to Blogger posts, I went through each post and copied each one to my Blogspot blog. When I was about 2/3 of the way through, Blogger started requiring me to do word verification.

If you make a large number of posts in a single day, you will be required to complete word verification. After 24 hours, the word verification will automatically be removed.

So, if anyone is checking, here's the story: I had moved my blog from Blogspot to my hosted site last April. After a few months, I decided that I want to change my hosted site from my personal blog to something I can use to showcase my design work. So I'm moving back. Since Blogger wouldn't take my WordPress posts, I had to do it the hard way. Not much fun, but at least now I can go ahead and post as much as I want here without being concerned about having to move a post later.

Always a step behind?

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on January 3, 2010.

Technically, it's January 3, but this post counts as January 2 because I haven't gone to bed yet.

My plan is to move these posts back to my original blog. Since I wasn't able to convert them from WordPress to Blogger, I'll have to copy them manually and put the date/time of post in the entry. One at a time. Yippee.

I did read the first lesson for Sunday School, but I'm not sure if we're going to church. The high is supposed to be around 3 degrees. I would just rather stay home - and stay inside - when the weather is like this. We'll see.

And my comment about the lesson manual - I really am concerned about how I'm going to make 2 1/2 pages into a regular lesson. I'm more used to running out of time for the lesson, not running out of lesson for the time.

I didn't design anything today (Saturday). I'll try to have things average out. I'm thinking of designs for the rest of the year for Sandy. I kind of wish I could be there on Monday when she sees it for the first time.

New beginnings

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on January 2, 2010.

I haven't formally made any resolutions yet. I do want to do the Design Something Every Day and post it here. Today's is a modification on a co-worker's desktop background. She has a picture of a donkey that she likes. I made some modifications Happy Birthday- I put Happy Birthday across the bottom and added stars around the donkey using a Photoshop brush. And I placed an image of a party hat on the donkey's head. She won't see it until Monday, so we'll see how she likes it. Oh, yeah, I also added a January calendar.

I'm thinking about doing this for each month - modify the original image with specialized additions and a calendar for each month. I've got time, though - I don't have to do it all today.

I had also planned to start reading the Old Testament. We're studying it in Sunday School this year. I glanced over the class guide for the first lesson, which is mainly out of the Pearl of Great Price. I haven't read it lately, so I'll need to do that before Sunday. Also, I need to start working on my Relief Society lesson for next week. I'm kind of panicking over it. The lesson is so short in the book. I don't know how I'm going to make it take the time available. I don't want to get done with the lesson and have 15-20 minutes left!

I will place the NaBloPoMo badge in the sidebar, though. This month's theme is BEST.

Oh, and I'm counting this as the entry for January 1, because I started it on January 1 but just took a little too long getting things finished.

Changing back

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on December 30, 2009.

I've been thinking of changing my personal blog back to my Blogspot site. In anticipation, I have deleted the archived posts that I had imported from Blogspot, and am in the process of figuring out how to export the remaining posts to Blogspot. Then I'll use this site for more professional/design stuff.

I'm going to start designing desktop calendar wallpapers. I spent a great deal of time today downloading resources and I'll be working on integrating those into designs. Smashing Magazine offers a few every month are submitted by designers from around the world. I have also used wallpapers from and in the past. (Mamselle is not doing designs for now - her parents have both just died.)

So, I'll be posting my designs here. I'm also going to try to design something every day.

Time flies

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on December 26, 2009.

I just checked and it's been nearly a month since my last post. This is not good. I'll try to do better, honest.

Here are a few thoughts:
  1. Thanks and kudos to my neighbor who came over Christmas morning and used his snowblower on my driveway. He cleared what I had done after the last snowstorm 2 weeks ago. I hadn't done the whole driveway - just enough at the end to park in and a path to the house. But having him do that was awesome - this recent snow was preceded by rain and sleet, and was wet and heavy. No fun.
  2. I enjoyed having a quiet Christmas at home. I wish I had done laundry during that time, as I really need to do it now but Cayla really needed to take a shower, so I have to wait.
  3. Some people need to take a chill pill. Apparently DJ Delilah decided to take her kids out of their school because the school is adding some things from "The Leader In Me," a program for students from Stephen Covey, author of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
    Here's my response (posted on an LDS forum):
    It's not the first time I've questioned her judgment. She had a caller ask for a song just before Christmas. The caller was listening to Delilah's show while painting her living room of the house she and her husband just bought before putting up the Christmas tree. They had a baby boy in February, so this is the baby's first Christmas. Delilah picked "A Christmas to Remember" for the caller.
    Really? A song about two strangers who randomly decide to go to Tahoe for Christmas and happen to meet, then hook up? And they're hoping to do it again next Christmas? Yeah, I would definitely pick that to associate with my baby's first Christmas.
    In other words, she appears to make decisions based on superficial information. She probably picked "A Christmas to Remember" because of the title, not the content. But the content is what's important. I wonder if she interviews every teacher her kids have to make sure none of those pesky Mormons teach her kids, and runs a background check on her kids' friends to make sure they don't hang with Mormon kids.
  4. I have a habit of trying too much and failing. Seriously. I make New Year's resolutions that last maybe a few days. I've had to drop classes at school two of the last three semesters - and a Flexnet class I only did one assignment in. But I want to try this: Design something every day. I'll post what I do here. I also signed up for a regular class and three Flexnet classes, although I'm thinking of dropping one of those classes. I've got Web Multimedia (in class), English Composition I, Western Civ: Ancient to Early Modern and World Regional Geography. I would drop Geography. We'll see.
  5. I need to get more organized. (And the sky is blue ... )
That's all I've got for now.

Looking at things in a new way

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 28, 2009.

Pencils, chalk, dominos, paper, food 1 2 3 4 5, sand, and makeup.

I realize this is just a bunch of links, but look at how common things are made uncommon by someone who makes a twist on how things are.

Catching up

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 20, 2009.

Obviously, November hasn't been a great month for daily postings. Maybe December will be better.

In the interests of passing at least two classes well, I have dropped two classes. I'll concentrate on getting caught up in my Marketing class. I'm doing okay in Web Animations. I was so far behind in Dreamweaver - I think I could have caught up, but the site wasn't working for me. I'm going to get a book for CS4 (we were working from a book for CS3) and try on my own.

I've got a couple of websites I should work on, too. I need to work on online training for Family History Consultants. I've got a whole list of things I need to do. I get tired just thinking about it.

FFWriMo: placeholder

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 7, 2009.

I meant to but haven't actually started writing for Laurie Ashton's Flash Fiction Writing Month. So I'm posting the links to the prompts (so far) so I can go back and go through them.

I participated in some Flash Fiction a couple of years ago (in 2006, actually), but dropped out after a few weeks. This Flash Fiction Writing Month is sort of a counterpoint to National Novel Writing Month, which for the first time since I heard of it I'm not even signing up for. I have never completed it - not even close. And since I already feel like a failure on nearly every level, I'm not going there.

However, I think I can catch up with FFWriMo and produce something that will be interesting to read. And maybe I won't feel like such a failure. (Long story.)

The "ugly" side of autumn

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 22, 2009.

wet, windy day

Okay, it's not really ugly - in fact, there is a certain charm to a drizzly, wet, rainy, windy day, as long as you don't have to spend a great deal of time in it. In fact, it's a great day to go back to bed for a couple of hours. Which I'm about to do.

Free hosting contest

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 15, 2009. is holding a contest to give away 1, 2 or 3 years of web hosting. To enter, follow @myhosting on Twitter and tweet: I just entered to win 1 of 3 FREE web hosting packages! Follow @myhosting and retweet Contest ends today, so time is limited. Open to "everyone worldwide, except Quebec and any other jurisdiction that prohibits participation." (Must have a Twitter account - they are free.)


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 14, 2009.

The other day I clicked on a video that I could not finish watching. It was horrific - a man attempted to dive in water but didn't make it and landed on his head. I'm convinced he did not survive the accident and the image has haunted me since. I will be very careful what I click on from now on.

This video is safe for all ages. It may bring a tear to your eye - it is sentimental and thought-provoking. But it is worth watching and worth considering for your relationships with people of all ages. The video has subtitles and takes about 5 minutes.

Thanks to Mike Henneke for the post - he got it from a reader.