Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Family Ties

For the past 20 something years, my husband and I have lived outside of Utah.  In August we moved back.  One of the things that has been the nicest is all of the opportunities we have had to visit with family and friends.  One of my sons is studying at BYU.  Another is studying at UVU and is now living with us.  My husband's sister and her husband live in our city, and many of their children live nearby.  My husband's Uncle and Aunt live in Provo, as do many of their children.  My sister and her family, and my brother and his family all live within a 2 hour drive of here.  My mother is living here with us.  Because of all of the family near us, we have had many visits.  This is something we haven't had for over 20 years!  I think maybe some people take it for granted, but we are really enjoying connecting with family again.

In addition, we have had the opportunity to visit with old friends who have passed through town.  Because we were away from family for so long (except for brief visits in the summer), many of these friends have become sort of replacement family.  One set of friends will be moving in to the area soon.  And because we are in a central location, we have the chance to visit with them all.

Before we went to China, we planned ahead and decided that we wouldn't weigh ourselves down with a lot of expensive furniture, and things that would need to be stored.  So when we moved to China, we just gave away all of the used furniture that we had.  Now that we are back, we are slowly acquiring new/used furniture to take its place.  One of the first purchases that we have made is a guest bed.  I think that was one of our wisest purchases because we have already had several people come stay with us for a short visit.

Living in away from family for so long has really made us appreciate the chances we have to visit with family now.  I think being in China amplified that appreciation even more.  It sure is good to be back.  Here is a picture of a recent family get together at a relative's house.

Here is our dog Bane enjoying the winter weather.  I have to admit that the snow is still a novelty for us.  We think it's beautiful!  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bible Basher

My mother has been reading the Bible again.  She has some dementia, and it almost seems like a fixation for her.  She reads it again and again.  When I say she reads it, I mean she reads it for hours and hours every day.  She did the same thing last year when she was living with my sister, and read the entire book several times over the course of that year. I do believe she gets something out of her reading, but for some reason it bothers me that she spends so many hours a day reading it.  Too much of a good thing?

So come to find out, my Mom has always skipped over "The Song of Solomon" in the past.  Joseph Smith did a translation of the Bible, and he said that "The Song of Solomon" isn't inspired scripture.  But we still have it in our King James version of the Bible.  Well, this time my mother decided to read it.  One day I heard her say, "Why would they put this in the Bible?!  Well, I'm not going to have it in mine!"  I said, "What are you talking about?"  She said, "The Song of Solomon has a bunch of filthy stuff in it and I am not going to have that in my Bible.  I just tore it out."  I said, "Tore what out?!"  She said, "I tore out the entire thing."  Sure enough, she had torn out "The Song of Solomon".  If you've never read it before, Solomon talks about lying with his love.  My mother was horrified.  lol

Part of me wonders what other people would tear out of the Bible if they could......  ;)


We got our first snow here in northern Utah.  I know most people here groan about it, but I have lived the past 20 something years in areas that either didn't get any snow, or got very little.  In Wuhan it snowed a tiny bit, but was melted by the afternoon.  This snow lasted a few days.  But the mountains have snow and have been so beautiful!  It looks like I'm finally going to have a white Christmas!

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.  :)