Jan 26, 2016

Holy Shizzle

It's been almost one year since I last posted.
That's a long time with a lot of water under the bridge.
Apparently I stink at this blogging business.

How do you sum up one whole year in one post?
You can't! 
I'll just be brief.
You know, for posterity's sake


Flynn is still working at his "new" job.
He has taken on a second hospital in the same state, about 4 hours from where we'll live,
so he is spending even more time on the roads than before.
He stays in a hotel when he travels, so he's racking up
"frequent flyer miles" (as it were), which is nice when it comes to taking family vacations.

Speaking of vacations, we got a couple good vacations in this summer.
The first was planned... a trip to the midwest to visit my sister and go through
the new LDS temple that had just been built near her.
We traveled to Independence Missouri to visit some church sites,
then over to St. Louis to spend 5 minutes at the arch,
then up to Dayton Ohio, where we spent an entire day at the Air Force Museum.
(My boys drooled the whole day as they gazed at the hundreds of airplanes housed there.)
Then a couple days with my sister, then onto Carthage and Nauvoo, Illinois
for more LDS history.
We also visited two presidential libraries and drove home through Kansas and Colorado,
so we could add two more states to our list of states we traveled through.
(Wyoming, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Missiouri, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado)

About two weeks after returning from that epic road trip, Flynn had a meeting in
Kansas City, so Scooter and I hopped back in the car with him and back we went,
to the beautiful midwest!

While Flynn was in meetings, Scooter and I played the part of tourist.
We went to Adam-ondi-Ahman, the Federal Reserve and the WWI museum.
We ate magnificent BBQ in Excelsior Springs and drove through some
very scary rain storms!

I'll be honest.
Missouri was great!
It was beautiful!
And we loved KC.
We can't wait to go back!
Scooter with his favorite airplane, an SR-71. He almost cried when he saw it!

We still haven't built our home.
We waffled for a bit on where we wanted to live...
in town or out of town.
Finally, we decided that the houses in town are too close together, 
so out of town it is!
We found a lovely lot on an old ranch, about 8 miles from Flynn's work.
The lot is pure prairie and it is beautiful.
It looks south, toward town and toward the mountain.
It has nothing to obstruct the view of the big, blue skies.
As a cloud/storm lover, that is exciting!!

Our neighbors will be
pronghorn antelope, deer, fox, coyote, birds of prey and even prairie dogs.
Maybe a mountain lion or two.

The lot is 40 acres.
That's a lot for us "city folks"
But we look forward to the isolation and the quiet.
 When did we become so anti-social?
Mostly, we look forward to the views.
The day after we put the deposit on the land, there was a HUGE prairie fire, that burned only 4 miles away
We have a new grandchild.
I guess I've got to come up with an internet name for him.
I will call him Skippy.
He was born in November and I was blessed to be there for his birth.
He is an angel and such a good baby.
Belle is doing great being a mommy of two small kids.

And that's it. 
Our year in a nutshell.

Here's hoping 2016 will be great.
And here's hoping I'll be better at blogging!


Mar 27, 2015


Hey, Peeps!
And I say that because Easter is only a week away.
Who doesn't love Peeps?
(Well, okay, I don't. But I love the idea of them! I think they're cute! And colorful!)

So, what's up these days?
Plenty, I tell you!

Flynn started a new job in a new state. It's actually closer to Zion, where we live now.
About 100 miles closer.
But there are no interstates to get there, two large mountain passes to cross and hundreds, 
I say HUNDREDS of deer and antelope to get past safely.
I don't care what the song says, conjuring up all that Wild West romantic imagery:
"Where the Deer and Antelope play"  
Oh please!! Deer and antelope playing on the road isn't cool at all. 
It's dangerous and scary!
So far, we have been fairly lucky. (Knock on wood)
We've not hit any big game with our vehicles as we travel back and forth.
Flynn has hit a small something (it was dark and he didn't see what it was. But it knocked something loose on the bottom of the car).
And I hit an already dead skunk... which was just as terrible as if I'd hit an alive skunk.
The residual smell left on the bottom of the car was pretty terrible!
Thank heavens for automatic car washes with HOT water.
No tomato juice was needed to rid my car of the nasty smell.
Not that tomato juice works anyway.
That's an old wives tale. 
Silly old wives. Didn't know what they were talking about.

Holy cow!
I digress.
Now that we're past winter, Flynn is able to fly back and forth more frequently, which is
a whole different set of worries.
Too bad you can't see the top of my head and all the new gray hair that has sprouted out.
But, he loves it.
He can fly here in 2 hours
driving for 6.
That's a no brainer for him!

But what about us moving to the other state to live with him to stop all this dangerous traveling back and forth?!?!

Good question!

A long, long time ago,in a galaxy far away....
Well, in January, which seems like a long, long time ago we were in that galaxy far away
(where Flynn is working now),
and we got together with a real estate agent and a builder.
We picked out a lot. And we picked out some house plans.
We put some earnest money down on the lot and house plans.
And then we noticed something.
Remember when gas prices started to drop? 
Remember when they were almost $4/gallon and all of a sudden they were below $2/gallon?
It was pretty amazing, since we're people who spend a lot of time in cars driving down roads,
using that gasoline.
Those low prices, however, STINK for the people who are working in oil fields.
Flynn's new employment is near a lot of oil fields. A lot of people in his town work out in those oil fields.
A lot of the oil rigs are being shut down, and workers are losing their jobs.
Very sad.
But, for us, that meant that the housing boom that has been going on in this town will probably slow down. 
Which also means the prices of houses will drop.
At least, we hope they will.

So we walked away from our lot, our house plans and our builder
(still trying to get our earnest money back).
For 6 months, that is.

And we cross our fingers that the prices will continue to drop and that we will be able to find a house that is not only great but more affordable!

Three months have passed since we made that decision.
And we've noticed that prices are indeed dropping.
It hasn't been as dramatic as we'd hoped, but it's happening.

Here's the plan...

 * Scooter and I finish out the school year here in Zion.
* We are committed to helping out/performing in our local community theatre production of
"Little Mermaid, Jr." (children's theatre) during the month of June.
(I will probably need to be committed when it's over. I'm "assistant director"!)
* I am NOT registering Scooter for school here next fall.
* We begin looking, in earnest, for a home for us all to live in.
* We will be living together, UNDER ONE ROOF, by the end of summer/beginning of the school year.

Holy cow!
It's been 4 years of living like this! 
It's dang exciting to think of seeing Flynn every day.
Hope he can handle us!

I am still a grandma to the most amazing little guy ever born, in the existence of the world.
Some might say I'm being dramatic.
I say I'm just being truthful.
Squirt just turned two years old and he calls me or FaceTimes me almost every day.
Sometimes he doesn't say a word, but that's okay.
I just talk and talk and talk to him. I think he just likes hearing my voice.
We have a connection you know.
Last week, when they were leaving our house after a visit, I heard him say to me, 
"I love you!"
I'm the first person he has said that to.
Brings tears to my eyes.
He always kisses the phone or iPad when he hangs up after our conversations.
Love my guy.
I'm going to miss him horribly when we move.

Scooter is doing well in school.
He's no longer in his "nerd herd" classes and that's been a tough adjustment.
He has no patience for naughty children or mean teachers. 
And when you're shoved back into the general population of the school, that's what you get.
My boy is turning into an activist. He can't sit quietly when he sees injustice being done.
He told off a student teacher who he felt wasn't teaching the subject
(she was supposed to be teaching geography, but was teaching "what do you want to be when you grow up?" or "what piece of the playground do you identify most with?" or "don't judge other people by their outside appearances").
(Those are honest-to-goodness subjects that were taught during Geography hour.)
He reaches out to help the autistic child in homeroom that he feels is being bullied by the teacher.
He looks for ways that he can help his homeroom teacher who is obviously stressed and acting out against the children (she sends kids to the office every day!). He tries to find ways to make her burden a little lighter.
He's a good kid.

I started working.
I work at an assisted living home. 
I am working in the kitchen as a cook, server and dishwasher.
The cooking and serving is fine and fun!
I love this profession (chef) I have chosen!
I love working with the residents. And I have to say the residents with dementia and/or Alzheimer's are my favorite. But that's another story for another day.

It's the dishes that kill me.
Imagine with me, if you will, your kitchen on Thanksgiving.
You have just cooked the biggest meal possible. You have fed your family.
Everyone is fat and sassy and comfortably resting in the living room.
You return to the kitchen to clean up the dishes that have created this culinary masterpiece.
You are shocked when you realized that every dish from your cupboard has been used and is dirty on the counter. Just waiting to be cleaned and put back in its proper place.
Can you see it?
It's overwhelming, isn't it? 
It's exhausting, isn't it?

Okay, now times that by
I was shocked the first week I worked and I saw the amount of dishes we have to wash/clean.
And it's not just once a day!
On my shift, I have to wash the same amount of dishes
twice a day!!
(breakfast and lunch)
With three of us working on clean-up, it can take 1.5 hours just to wash and put away the dishes. 
That's straight work time.
No breaks.
No stopping.

It's hell.
Not gonna sugarcoat that one!

But, these wonderful people have to eat. And they deserve to eat the best food we can provide.
This is their home, and who wants to eat hospital food three meals of every day?
It takes a lot of dishes to make good food.

So, we keep on cooking, serving and washing.
And washing.
And washing.
And washing.

(I did give my notice, however. I need to focus on getting our house packed up and ready to rent.
My last day of work will be May 18.
My fingernails are grateful.)

And that, my friends, is


Jan 28, 2015

A Bad Joke

In recent months a doctor from Venezuela was visiting the United States.
On his return trip home, he was flying out of Miami International Airport.
When the ticket agent asked him if he had any explosives in his bag, the overly tired
man responded, “Yes, he had C-4 in his luggage.”
The ticket agent was unsure what that was, and asked if it was a gun.
”No,” the doctor replied, “It’s explosives.”

Now, I’m no genius, but even I can see that that was not a smart move to make.
Especially in the Post 9/11 world.

The airline worker also didn’t think it was a joke.
The police were called.
His luggage was searched.
Five airlines were delayed and two concourses shut down.
Thousands of people were affected by his joke.
Because, he insisted that it was a joke.
He really didn’t have C-4 in his luggage. He was just trying to be funny.
He was also very tired, he claimed, and didn’t realize the effect his joke would have.

His joke ended up costing him $90,000.
Because he had the funds to pay the fine, he didn’t have to serve any jail time.
Dude is lucky he’s a doctor and had money sitting in his account!

I can read this story and get a chuckle and shake my head in disbelief.
I can say this guy was a dummy and
But really, I can’t.
That would be the pot calling the kettle black.
I cannot sit in judgment on this poor doctor.
Because I did the same thing.

Remember my statement earlier?
That I’m no genius?
I’m not.

Way, way back in the 1990’s – I think it was around 1996 –
(thankfully PRE 9/11)
we lived on the Oregon coast.
The Smithsonian Museum took several of its displays and put them on the road
so America could see some of its treasures.
The display came to Portland.
Flynn, Belle and I had to go see it.
There were some fabulous things to see:
Indiana Jones’ hat
The Fonz’s leather jacket
The capsule that the first astronauts splashed down in the ocean with
Dorothy’s ruby red slippers
I think we even saw the bar from Cheers
There were many other wonderful things that I can’t remember

Since this was such a special exhibit, there were also Secret Service agents that traveled
with it, to keep it safe and protect the artifacts – most of them are irreplaceable.
I was new to security checkpoints.
We didn’t need them back then.
We were safe.
We weren’t scared of terrorists or bad guys.

And Secret Service guys are hot.
Have you seen one up close and personal?
If not, take my word for it.
At least the agents traveling with the exhibit were quite attractive.
(Don’t judge! Yes, I was married, but I wasn’t dead! A girl can still appreciate attractive men!
Have you seen Hugh Jackman?!?!)

So it was my turn to go through security.
A very attractive agent took my purse and said,
”Do you have any guns, knives, pepper spray or any weapons of any kind?”
I looked at him, and with smoldering eyes said,
(I cringe when I think of it)
”Yes, I have ALL of it!”

Good Hell!!
What was I thinking?!?!?!

I would love to kick old Betty in the knees and tell her to knock it off.
Use the head that’s on her shoulders and keep her mouth shut.

Of course I had no guns.
Of course I had no knives.
Of course I had no pepper spray
or any other weapons of any kind.
I still don’t have items like that… almost 20 years later.

Mr. Secret Service man didn’t think I was as cute as I thought I was.
As a matter of fact, he didn’t like me at all.

I was MORTIFIED as he said (in a very official tone of voice),
”Ma’am, come with me.”
And he took me away from Flynn and Belle,
to a secure room.
He took my purse and searched it.
And then, the ultimate of humiliation,
I got a pat down.

I was ready to cry the entire time.
I was so embarrassed.
I wanted to DIE!

Thankfully the agent realized I was just an idiot, 
spouting off my too large mouth, and sent me on my way.
With my tail between my legs, I crawled back to my family and tried to enjoy the exhibit.
Which, amazingly enough, I did.
It was amazing.

BUT… (and here’s the important part)
I learned two very important lessons that day:
There are only 3 surviving pairs of Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers
Don’t mess with a Secret Service Agent.
They may have big muscles and cute butts,
but they don’t have a sense of humor.
They have a job to do, and they do it well.
Very well.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

PS – 20 years has removed me far enough from this story that I can look back and chuckle.
Just a little…
I’m still quite embarrassed by it,
but that was a different Betty at a different time of life.
Of course, I would NEVER do anything like that again and hope I’ve learned
the value of keeping my mouth shut.
Especially in the days since 9/11.
There’s no room in this world for “jokes” like that!

Sep 10, 2014


Recently, on Facebook, several people have been talking about
ten books
that have made a lasting impact on their lives.

They don’t have to be fine literature,
classics, or “deep reads”.
Just 10 books that stayed with you or shaped your life.

Instead of doing this on Facebook, I thought it would be fun to do here.
However, in the interest of being interesting, :-)
I will only do 5 books.

1. The Dick and Jane Books:These are the books that I learned how to read with.
I remember sitting at a table in Mrs. Wickham’s 1st grade class,
pouring over these books,
feeling wonder and awe as the letters came together and started to form words.
I could feel the magical world of books coming alive at that time!
Who knew that all these jumbles of letters would take me through so many time periods,
introduce me to so many interesting people
and take me on journeys to far-away lands I could never afford to visit?
Dick and Jane began this adventure for me!

2. Pippy Longstocking
Pippy lived the life that I was too afraid to live at the time.
She was adventuresome.
She was brave.
She didn’t care what people thought of her.
She was rich.
She had a pet monkey.
And she could do what she wanted, whenever she wanted.
And, didn’t we all wish to wear braids that stuck straight out from our head?
Heck yes!

3. Laura Ingalls Wilder Series

Can you see a pattern here?
Another strong, female character that wore braids!
I must have been a very timid child, longing for adventures.
I loved that Laura got to live on the land,
and run freely through the meadows.
The thought of a “dug-out” for a house was both
enthralling and repulsive to me.
To be surrounded by all that dirt….
Can you imagine the bugs?
Confrontations with Native Americans were also exciting and terrifying to me.
And the blizzards where Pa had to hang on to a rope, or he’d get lost going to the barn…
oh, it was so dangerous, cold and unimaginable.
I still think of this when a big snow storm hits or we see a dug-out along the highways in Montana.
Thank you, Laura, for teaching me what this is!

4. Jane Eyre
This was probably one of the first “classics” that I ever read.
I thought it would be sweet, romantic and beautiful,
which is how I envisioned that time period.
I wasn’t planning on living through the horror of Jane’s abusive childhood.
I thought she would be beautiful, not plain looking.
I wasn’t planning on Rochester being so gruff.
What sold me on the book was Jane’s integrity.
Her moral character that was imbedded deep into her soul.
Even though I knew it was wrong, I wanted her to run away with Rochester!
True love conquers all!! Right?
Your ability to love yourself and look at yourself in the mirror is the most important.
Jane taught me that.

5. Ann Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
I read this for the first time in Jr. High.
When I read it the first time and every reading since,
I hope and pray the ending changes.
I pray that I’ll get to that last chapter and it will have all been a terrible dream,
that it was just an amazing/horrible work of fiction.
To this day, I cannot wrap my brain around the horror of living life
as a Jewish person during that terrible time.
I cannot imagine being a girl her age, living her life in hiding…in an attic.
Every time I read it, I’m thankful for the simple things:
fresh air, good food, freedom, security

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I find it difficult to only stop at 5 books.
Maybe another entry, another day, I will write about 5 more books that have changed/shaped my life.
I love books.