"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind... We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith." -- Margaret D. Nadauld

Friday, September 23, 2011


Last night I caught Inigo in a lie.

A full on, outright lie.

To be fair, this kid is usually extremely honest.

Painfully honest.

I haven’t caught him in a lie in months.

Last night was one of those times where he felt it was easier to “stretch the truth.”

(The kid IS human, after all!)

He was being punished and dealing with the consequences of his actions
(non-violent of course)
and he said,

“But mom, it was just a miscommunication!”

Oh really?

Is that the “new” way of thinking these days?
Just like “new math”,
telling untruths/lies can be construed as

Not in this house!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dumpety Dump Dump

I’ve got a lot of things running around in this old brain of mine…. time to clear them out and make room for more. Plus, I’ve decided I’ve had enough wallowing in my own self-pity… So, my daughter moved out of the house! Get a grip, Valerie! It happens! So, we’ve had a few flat tires this year? Hello! At least we have a car that can get flat tires! I’m ready to stop feeling sorry for myself and ready to face life with a smile again….

I have found a trail in Florin that I have started walking on every morning! It’s amazing and wonderful! I have always said that if I can find someplace interesting and not boring that’s outside, I would walk it every day! AND I FOUND IT!! This trail is in the dry farms and it’s got a fairly steep incline, a gradual incline and then a beautiful downhill portion. Since it’s in the farming area of our town, I’m walking in the fields of potatoes and wheat, along with patches of sage brush and wild grass. I hear the grasshoppers hopping around in the dry grass and on the dirt of the trail I can see hundreds of footprints: people, dogs, bunnies, and birds. Lots and lots of birds. I wonder what kind they are? Sage grouse? Pheasants? Quail?
I also hear that there are lots of skunks up there. I take Lola Dog with  me, so I’m hoping that they are sound asleep from their night of carousing by 8:30 when I’m up there.

I think the loop that I normally walk is only about a mile, so the other day I walked it twice. Today, I went with a friend and we walked a new (to me) portion of the trail, which I believe is just short of two miles. I’m working hard at getting faster so I can go farther. I’m happy to have found this trail. Sad that I found it after living here in Florin for 13 years!

This is the only tree along the trail. There are always LOT of birds singing their early morning song from the branches of this tree as I walk by.

You can see my faithful walking companion, Lola, chasing something… a magpie perhaps?


(The other day a crop duster was flying over and spraying the potato fields while I was up there. Lola tried her hardest to catch that plane! It was hilarious watching her run – at top speed – through the fields, with her little cocker spaniel ears flapping in the breeze. I wish I had the presence of mind to video it!)

Just some of the footprints I see on my morning journey.
Both of these pictures were taken with my phone, so they’re not the greatest quality


Wedding Planning
Seriously. How do you plan a wedding??!? I have been feeling completely lost and in the dark. I really didn’t plan on Buttercup getting married so soon and so young. I really thought I’d have another 3 years before I had to start thinking about it, so I didn’t pay attention when I went to receptions. She’s been engaged for a month, getting married in two and what do I have to show for it? Not a lot! I have a couple crafty things completed and she’s picked a color scheme. We have the dress on lay-away and I know which ties to purchase for the groom and his co-horts.

I have needed serious HELP, but I’m not the kind of person that calls someone up and says, “HELP!!”

Finally, I realized that that’s exactly what I needed to do. So I called for help today. I contacted a friend in my ward who offered to help with food. She says she’s very good at planning food for large gatherings. Well, I don’t know how to plan food, so I’m going to use her. I called a local person who has a business in decorating for weddings. I wanted to do most of it on my own, but finally realized I simply can’t. I’m here alone and I can’t do all the planning, organizing, assigning and everything else required for a wedding in addition to packing up the house, keeping the house clean, keeping up with Inigo and helping out with his activities, etc. etc.  We’ll meet with her on Monday and I can’t tell you how GOOD it feels to know that I have help in that area!

Now, I just need to find an affordable photographer….

We turned off network TV. We realized that we were paying a lot of money each month to only watch about 3 hours of TV a week. (Love my Judge Judy and Jimmy Fallon!) We watch Netflix a lot more, so we opted to get rid of TV and keep both Netflix plans.

So, now that I don’t have Judy or Jimmy, what am I watching? Let me tell you, I have gotten reacquainted with Sam and Diane, NORM! and Cliff… Yes, at that place where everybody knows your name. I just finished Season One of Cheers and have laughed my head off. I have also gotten reacquainted with the good folks flying out of Cape Cod on Wings and both Inigo and I are totally and completely in love with the Huxtible Family. Inigo has even said that he wants to have 5 children so he can name them all: Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy. If he’s lucky, he’d also like to have a Cliff and Claire. If I’m upstairs in the kitchen and I hear him downstairs watching TV, giggling madly, I know he’s watching The Cosby Show. He’s made it all the way into Season 4.

I will admit I watched the British comedy, The IT Crowd and found myself laughing so hard that I thought I would disturb my  neighbors, but in the middle of Season 2 (I think) it turned raunchy and when the “F Bomb” started being said at least once in each episode I stopped watching. BUT, before that, it was simply hilarious. Why they ruined it with such foul language, I’ll never know.

I will miss Modern Family on network TV, though. It starts next week and I’m excited for the season premiere. It was filmed in Jackson Hole and I’m so excited to watch it! Hopefully it will be on my ABC app for my iPad soon.

Inigo and I are still in Florin. There are still no houses available in New Florin. I don’t know how we’ll ever get over there. Poor Max. Poor, lonely Max.  (The rental that we thought would work only had one bathroom. I’m sorry, it may sound snobby, but we need more than one bathroom in our home! Even if we are living out in the sticks, I will NOT allow the men in the house to relieve themselves in the yard if the commode is already in use!)

And that’s it… for now at least. It feels good to get all this stuff off my chest. It makes room for other frivolities and nonsense. So I say, BRING IT!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grown Don’t Mean Nothing

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Buttercup is gone.

Outta here.



In other words:
No Longer Living At Home.

She thought (and we agreed) that she needed the experience of living away from home and her mommy before she committed herself to living with another person for eternity.

So, she found an apartment and moved out!

I’m proud of her for making this decision, but I miss her terribly:

I went grocery shopping the weekend she left and I realized I don’t have to buy her favorite cereal any more. (Okay, I still choose to buy it because she doesn’t have a lot of money to buy her own groceries yet!)

In the morning, I still wake up suddenly when I realize that I can’t hear her getting ready for school. There were many, many times I’d frantically run down to her bedroom to wake her up because she overslept or missed her alarm.
I still have that impulse to bolt out of bed at 6:30 if I don’t hear her.

I listen to Pandora Radio through my BluRay DVD player and one of the channels I have programmed is Broadway music. (It also plays a lot of Disney and Glee songs.) I can’t tell you how many of those songs remind me of my girl!
The song that plays that most, that can make me sit down and bawl because I miss my girl so much is You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman.
It’s from the first Toy Story movie.
That song was from her first dance recital when she was in kindergarten.
Even after all these years, I can see my sweet little girl, in her white tu-tu with silver stars and pink ballet slippers dancing while the teacher told them the steps:
PliĆ© ….”

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Even though she spent most of her days and nights at school and work, and she hasn’t spent a lot of time at home in the past year, the house seems unnaturally quiet.
She was never a real chatterbox or an “in-your-face” kind of girl, but I can feel that she’s not here anymore.

Someone said to me at church on Sunday:
”Motherhood. It’s the career that if we do it right, we work ourselves right out of a job.”

So, here’s my question:
Is it this hard on EVERY mom who says goodbye to a child when they move out?
Is it a secret “Mother’s Code” to not talk about it, and how sad it leaves you?

Or am I just a big cry baby?

Do I notice it more because I don’t have a house full of kids?
Do I notice it more because it’s only me and Inigo in this house that once seemed too small but now seems too big?

One mom I was talking to said her mom rejoiced when a kid moved out, because she had 8 kids and it made life so much easier at home when they left.

I guess I don’t understand that.

I recently found this quote:
“Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don't mean a thing.”  ~Toni Morrison

(Well said, Ms. Morrison!)

I read to Inigo every night. And when we get done reading, he climbs into my lap to hug and kiss me good night.
When I say good night and I love you to him, I find that I’m reverting back to saying it the way Buttercup said it when she was little.

”I’ll You!”
was the way she said “I love you,” until she was about 4 and starting to talk more clearly.

“I’ll You, Buttercup!!”

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Still Gloomy

Remember in June when I wrote this post about all the bad luck we’ve been having?

Well, the bad-luck-sisters are still playing with our life string!! And they are having
waaaaay too much fun with it!
At night, when I go to sleep, I can hear them cackle and laugh while they wad it up and throw it back and forth to each other.
They are tying it in knots and lassoing each other with it.
They play jump rope for hours with it.
They are displaying too much gaiety if you ask my opinion.

Let’s fill you in on what’s happened since my posting on June 29:

* Buttercup ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pain. This was only an hour after an emergency visit to Community Care in Florin.
(Max and I were out of town, so we didn’t have a lot of control over the situation. We probably wouldn’t have taken her to ER. We would have waited to see if the previous dr.’s diagnosis and treatment worked. They diagnosed her with an intense bladder infection.)

* Buttercup ends up having a CAT scan and having more blood work taken. The ER docs think it’s appendicitis. (Sound familiar?)

* Finally, about 2 am I get a phone call that says she has a cyst and that’s what’s causing her pain. It should burst on it’s own and no further treatment is needed.

I’ll sum up:

In two months time, two people in my family had two separate ER visits with two separate CAT Scans.

And here’s the kicker:

Our insurance, that I was so happy to write about on June 29, has DENIED all our medical claims. The medical care we sought was “out of network” so they are refusing to pay. But they are so generous in applying all the costs to our deductible, which IMO is incredibly high for an employer sponsored insurance program.
Nice Insurance people.

I have to ask the question:

I could go on and on,
but I won’t.

There’s even more bad luck.

Back in June, I wrote that we had accumulated 6 flat tires during the course of this year.
Now that it’s September, I am “happy to announce” that we can add

(drumroll please…..)

flat tires to the count!


We had the 8th flat over Labor Day weekend while we were up at my parent’s cabin in Montana.
It wasn’t a total on-the-ground flat, but air was leaking enough that Max and my dad were worried that it would be completely flat by the time I made the 2 hour drive back to Florin. And with holiday traffic, it wasn’t worth the risk to go totally flat on the highway, so we put the spare on before I headed home.


While we were there, my dad noticed his tire was looking low, so he got out the air compressor and filled it up. While he was putting tools away, I could still hear air coming out of the compressor and I thought that was weird since the compressor was completely turned off.

Turns out it was his tire that was leaking air.
There was a HUGE hole in it!

So, before we left the cabin, we had to change another tire!

(This tire is NOT added to my totals, even though I feel our bad luck is starting to rub off on other people.)


Add to this list:
 Buttercup’s car.
She drives an OLD (1991) Chevy Corsica.
Yes, her car is older than she is.
She likes to point that out.
But, I say, at least she has something that has 4 tires and a steering wheel!

She has had some trouble with it.
The “serpentine belt” broke and all the equipment that goes along with it had to be replaced.
Also the alternator.
$400 in repairs in a car that cost $800.
Oh, she had a flat tire too.

(It’s included in the flat tire total.)

We are also having some mechanical problems with the Tahoe.
* We need new shocks
* The battery is wearing out
* Something is up with the fuel injector
* The catalytic convertor needs replaced



I usually try to be upbeat and positive.
Sometimes I just need to vent.
I’m still trying to follow Max’s
”LIFE IS GOOD!” motto.


Max has found two houses in New Florin to look at.
One (to purchase) is a new home they are in the process of building.
It’s very small and probably cheaply made, but it’s the only thing in our price range.
The housing market there hasn’t been hit hard like everywhere else and home prices are still very high.

The other home is a rental that is about 3 miles out of town in the country. Rent seems reasonable. But we don’t know what the inside of the house looks like and what condition it is in. Rentals are a rare find, so if we want it, we’ll have to move fast. The house is available October 1.

Looks like we’ll finally be making the move.
I’m scared and a little LOT sad.
I knew the day would come when we would leave our happy town and our great friends,
and I’ve had more than ample time to prepare,
but it’s going to be hard to leave.


My next post will be happy and upbeat.
I promise!