Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ever since I moved to Utah, I've had a terrible time with static electricity!  Everywhere I go, I'm getting shocked!  I notice it most when I go to the store.  I touch the grocery cart and get shocked.  I walk in and take hold of the refrigerator door to get some milk, and I get shocked.  I reach for a can on a shelf and accidentally touch the shelf and get shocked.  The worst is the self checkout.  I touch the computer screen and it shocks me the most!  The other day I was getting out of the car, and when I stepped on to the ground, my foot got shocked!  This happens all day long, and it gets really annoying!

In an effort to save myself, I put out a plea on Facebook for help.  I tried googling it, but I didn't know what to call it.  Anyway, my FB friends came to my rescue and told me what to do.  They even told me what to call it.  I googled it and got some great ideas.  I thought I would share them here:

1.  Don't wear rubber soled shoes.

I bought a pair of "Crocs" when I first moved to Utah, and they are totally made of rubber.  That doesn't allow the static electricity, that has built up in my body, to exit.  Leather soled shoes would be better.

2.  Ground yourself

When  you are getting out of the car, they suggest that before you lift yourself off the seat, you take hold of the metal outer side of the car.  This allows the energy that built up from the friction of the seat to exit your body before you break that connection.  I tried it, and it works.

3.  Try a key

Another tip, which I have found very useful, is to touch the metal object with a key that is held in your hand before touching anything metal.  That allows the electric charge to leave your body before you touch the object.  I have a weird car key that is plastic, so I carry a coin in my pocket, or use the metal band of my watch.  I think a ring would work too.

So there you go, those are my top tips for preventing static shock.  Since learning these tips, I've had a lot less shocking experiences in my life!  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My New Love

I met Prince Charming yesterday and fell in love.  I had to bring him home to meet my husband.  His name is Bane, and he is probably about as tall as me, but maybe only 100 pounds.  He has red hair, and slobbers a lot.  He is so sweet, a real "Gentle Giant". :).  Did I mention he is only 2 years old?

Bane is a Mastiff/ German Shepherd mix.  We adopted him from the pound.  I went one day to look at dogs, and that night I kept thinking about him, and was worried someone else would come adopt him.  The next day I took my son over and he took him for a trial walk.  We both wanted this dog!  So far he is a great addition to our family and very calm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Next Ugly Bathroom Project

I still haven't decided what color to paint this bathroom.  I know the trend is to paint all the rooms a neutral color, but I am a person that likes color, so I want something different for this guest bathroom.  I know at one time this painting technique was popular, but to me it looks outdated.  It also reminds me of the old velvet wall paper of the 60's.  I just need to pick a color now. (I put up some stick on leaves to get in to the fall spirit.  :)

The downstairs bathroom is kind of cool to me.  It's the bathroom that my boys use, so the "denim" theme of the paint is kind of appropriate.  The color in these pictures isn't quite right.  The walls are more of a blue than it shows in these pictures.  But I'm going to keep this paint.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fixing Things Up

The former owner of this house must have taken a class that taught different painting techniques for walls, because she did some really different kinds of textures on the walls here.  One of them looks like denim, and it's actually kind of nice.  But the other ones are UGLY.  I finally got around to painting one of the bathrooms that had a hideous paint job.  Here are some before pics.  Actually, I had already started cutting in when I remembered to take the pictures. I think she thought it looked good, but I couldn't stand it.  I have another ugly bathroom left to do.  :)

Here are the after pics.  The color didn't come out exactly like I thought it would, but it's a 100% improvement!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Patchwork Day

It seems I haven't had much computer time lately.  I think part of the problem is that I don't have a computer desk set up.  I use my ipad, but haven't read many blogs lately, nor written any posts.  I seem to keep busy all day, so I guess that's good, but I feel like I need to drop in once in awhile and write.

Today I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to take my mother to the BYU art museum.  It's a small museum, but they had several nice exhibits.  One exhibit was of movie costumes.  They even had the outfit Johnny Depp wore in Pirates of the Caribbean, and a dress worn by Emma Thompson in "Howards End".  One of my secret unfulfilled passions is to be a costumer for plays or movies.  I don't know why it draws me so much; I'm not even a very good seamstress.  But I would love the chance to do it.

Another exhibit had to do with India.  They had a huge collection of special blankets from India and Pakistan.  The quilts were incredibly intricate!  I couldn't imagine all of the many hours of work that was put in to them.  They also had a "Vishnu" art collection.  It included many sculptures and other forms of art.

Of course they have a sort of permanent exhibit of religious art.  There is also an exhibit of American art.  I know they rotate some, but most of these must be on permanent loan.

After we finished there, we stopped by "Deseret Industries".  My mother and I are always looking for "treasures" at this church owned thrift store.  She has been making quilts, so has been looking for fabric to use for the backing.  We didn't have any luck finding anything today, but we have gotten quilt fabric for three quilts.  She has finished two, and is working on the third.  I think she likes having something to do, even though the last quilt was difficult to quilt, and she had to use a pair of pliers to get the needle through the fabric.  She also enjoys "picking" my garden, and will often go out to look for ripe vegetables.

I got another bee in my bonnet and decided to make some "fidget" books.  They are used by people who have dementia.  They had buttons and beads, and other things with which to "fidget".  My husband's sister's mother-in-law has advanced dementia, so I wanted to give one to her.  Also my Bishop's mother-in-law also has advanced dementia, so I'm making a second one for her.

So that's the patchwork day I've had.  A little of this, and a little of that.  That's kind of how my whole month has gone.  I'm a lot more busy than when I was in China.  That's a good thing.  :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

When it Rains, it Pours

Last night I was working in the kitchen while the men folk of our household worked together to move a large desk from the back of our truck to our downstairs.  There is a cement sidewalk that winds down the side of our back yard.  Although it is a long path, it is the easiest route for moving furniture.

Here's the weird thing.  As I was working in the kitchen, the thought occurred to me that they might need my help.  I decided to finish with the cucumber I was cutting before going out to see if they needed my help.  I should have followed my first prompting, because about thirty seconds later I heard a "Wham!" and then an "Ow!".  I hurried to the back upper deck and looked down to see my husband lying on his stomach in the garden.  My kids' reaction was something like, "Dad, did you hurt yourself AGAIN?!"  I heard them say, "Are you all right?", and I heard his answer, "No."  I looked and saw a trickle of blood starting to pool on the cement under his head.  I immediately hurried in to the kitchen and grabbed an old kitchen towel and soaked it in water, and then put a few ice cubes inside.  I hurried down the deck stairs and went to assess my husband.

I remember one Christmas when I got a pair of roller blades as a gift.  I went with the kids down to the school driveway to try them out.  As I was coming down a slight incline, my feet went out from under me and  I landed flat on my back.  Wow that hurt!  It hurt so bad that I just laid there groaning for awhile, and didn't get up for a minute.  I think that's pretty much how my husband felt.  As he was walking backward carrying the desk, he tripped on the side of the sidewalk and fell backwards.  He hit his head on the wooden supporting post of the deck.  After laying there in the same kind of "groaning" posture that I had assumed after falling those many years ago, he finally sat up.  I took one look at his head and said, "Well, I hate to break this to you, but you are going to need stitches."  He had about an inch and a half cut in his head that was kind of gaping.

As the doctor stitched him up, he told me that it had cut clear to the bone.  "shiver"  But it only took 5 stitches, so I guess we are lucky.  He did hit the bone that is right behind his ear, so they did an x ray to make sure his skull wasn't fractured.  Then the doctor educated me about head wounds, and about signs to watch for.  I paid close attention.  You see, about a year ago, a cousin of mine fell down her front steps and hit her head.  She went to the doctor, who couldn't find anything wrong with her.  But she had an internal bleed that they didn't know about, and died within hours.  Died from a tumble down her front steps.  So even though my husband appears to be okay, I'm still watching him closely.  These kinds of brain bleeds can occur up to a week after the incident.  Some signs to watch for are:  uncontrolled vomiting, nausea, difficulty walking, speech problems, and bruising that increases in size over night.

About a month ago my husband fell while moving our belongings from California.  He thought he had broken a rib.  We read online that there isn't much they can do for a broken rib.  He never did go to a doctor, so he took advantage of the time spent in urgent care to ask about his rib.  The doctor said he thinks it is what people call a "separated rib".  He gave my husband good advice on how to help it heal.

Today I was browsing Facebook when I got a message from my neighbor in California telling me that my house there had caught on fire!  Someone took pictures and in one of them I counted at least 5 fire trucks that showed up.  It sounds like they caught it just in time, and that the damage is relatively minimal.  Mind you, it will be expensive to fix, but no one was hurt, and most of the damage is external.  Thankfully we have insurance that will take care of this.  They think the fire had something to do with our gas meter   I'm just thankful no one was hurt.

Tonight my son was talking to my husband about something to do with our roof.  My husband said, "I could go up there and check on it."  I said, "You are NOT going to climb up on the roof while you have the black cloud of bad luck hanging over your head!"  :)  I sure hope that bad luck comes in threes, and that we are done.  

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Busy Bees

image source

My mother and I have been very busy these past few weeks.  She came the day we were moving in, so has been helping me unpack boxes.  But right in the middle of the move, the fruit on my peach tree came ripe, so we stopped and started canning fruit.  We did 12 quarts of peaches, and 6 quarts of peach jam.  Then I saw strawberries on sale and decided to make strawberry jam.  We did 6 quarts of that.  About that same time, the green beans in my garden were producing like crazy, so we put up 4 quarts of "dilly beans".  Then I thought, "Make hay while the sun shines", so I bought a lug of tomatoes and made 6 quarts of salsa.  I want to make 6 more, and I also want to bottle some plain tomatoes.
My mother also had a reunion of her mother's family, so we drove to her home town for that.  I have to be honest, I didn't know very many of the people there.  This particular reunion is held every year on Labor Day weekend.  For 18 years I lived in California and only came to visit my parents in July.  I couldn't make a second trip in September.  The last time I went to this reunion was probably 20 years ago.  At that time, a certain family member gained a lot of notoriety for his crimes, and his family was in attendance at that reunion.  My husband was quite shocked to see his family there in the flesh.  Anyway, because I haven't attended it regularly, I didn't know many people there.  But my mother was in the height of her glory and went from person to person, hugging and talking the entire time.  Her Aunt, who is only 4 years older than her, (my mother is almost 89) was also there and when her son started playing his guitar, she did a little jig.  :)
Another task for us has been to acquire furniture.  For years, my husband and I have been talking about "when" we would go back to China to live.  We knew it would happen, it was just a matter of when.  So we purposefully lived with used furniture.  When it came time to move to China, we just gave it all away instead of paying to store used furniture.  But now that we are back, we are having to start all over.  We do have our beds, and a kitchen table, but not much else.  Luckily, my son, who is now living again with us, brought his college couch with him, so we are using that until we get something better.  It's a lot of work, but the hunt is kind of fun.

The one bit of work we are having a hard time getting used to is the mowing.  Our house has 1/4 acre of land, and much of it is hilly.  It is quite a job to mow this, and I'm not sure how well a riding mower would work.  We have a nice mower, but it's a little more exercise than we have been doing the past two years in China.  But it turns out we have a Mrs. Kravitz in our neighborhood who drops hints if our grass is getting too long, so we have to break down and mow it regularly.  :)

The garden is still producing and needs regular picking.  I'm not complaining.  I love that I get to reap where I didn't sow.  But that's one more thing that keeps us busy these. days.  I haven't even had time to read blogs regularly.  I'm sure things will settle down soon.  I hope I keep busy though.  In China I was bored, so I'm happy to have more work to do now!

Where is Rummuser?

I've been clicking on the links to Ramana's blog lately, but each time I do, I get a message saying that the page doesn't exist.  Dang it all, I know it exists because I'm getting the notifications in my blog roll!  Does anyone have a suggestion for how to fix this problem?