Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rumsfeld's Rules

Quite a while ago I clipped a news article about some observations Donald Rumsfeld had made thru his years in politics. The guy makes some good points about life in general. Following is an excerpt...

-  Don't begin to think you're the President. (Or the Prophet, or the Boss or...) You're not. The Constitution provides for only one. (A little humility and perspective goes a long ways.)

-  Visit with your predecessors from previous administrations. They know the ropes and can help you see around some corners. Try to make original mistakes rather than needlessly repeating theirs.

-  Learn to say, "I don't know." If used when appropriate, it will be often.

-  Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post.

-  If you try to please everybody, somebody's not going to like it.

Be able to resign. It will improve your value to the President and do wonders for your performance.

-  It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

-  Don't think of yourself as indispensable or infallible. As Charles de Gaulle said, the cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.

-  It takes everyone to make a happy day. (Said by his daughter Marcy in 1961, when she was 7.)

Don't suppose we could clone him and give Obama some common sense help????


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wow Man, It's All A Fog

So remind me again how old we have to be before we remember not to fall asleep outside in the sun...




I forget.

Monday, June 28, 2010

As Someone "Famous" Once Said...

The Youngest is regaling me with yet another story from the scout encampment. 1200+ scouts in one place. Pretty impressive, not without it's moments, but still pretty impressive to have all these people in one place...

He's in the middle of a tale and is telling me that he had to inform someone else that they were - "nucking futs!"


"Ummm, and which one of your little buddies, pray tell, did you get that charming colloquialism from?"

"Oh, it was at school, and it wasn't one of my friends, it was my math teacher."


Thank you so much, Mr. Klug.

Appreciate the help.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Truth Will Set Us Free

I like to multi-task.

While doing laundry recently I was also picking up items that were laying around and was putting them away as I crisscrossed the house searching for socks and other clothing that The Youngest likes to stuff under chairs, sofa's etc. So while my hands were full I saw some scissors on the table. Picked them up and immediately tried to trip on a cat. (You may have noticed I have a  problem keeping my feet under me...)

Real smart, I told myself. I had a visual on what those scissors could have looked like sticking in my eye...

That lead to a random memory.

Guy named Mark Grey. I knew him, years and years ago...Once told me a story about chasing his brother who was running with scissors. Long story short? Had a whole tale about how the kid ended up in the hospital with the scissors in his eye. And that his brother now had a glass eye. I was appalled but astonished because, as I told him, "Why it looks so natural, you'd never know it was glass!"

Well, his brother's eye looked normal because it was. The whole scissors thing? Never happened. As a matter of fact, most of the stuff he talked about never happened. He was a pathological liar. Looking back I think the only facts he got right may have been his parents names & his address.

Why do people lie?

So many times as an adult I have watched something happen. Then had the child/teen/adult who did it turned right around and say, "Nuh huh, didn't happen." Or "didn't do it, wasn't me." Plus there is the classic, when the parent becomes involved and staunchly states, "Not my child!" While I stand all amazed going, "I sat right here and watched you/them do it!"


You know, if you're unable to tell the truth or can't 'find' the can't get to or deal with "the issue."

And I know some people are counting on that. A lot. Because they don't want to, nay, refuse to deal with, or acknowledge the issue. Apparently they think that if no one talks about the elephant in the room - it's just not there. But sometimes it's a little difficult to ignore the big pile of poo that the animal leaves in the middle of the floor.

I can forgive a liar. It's not my job to define what their reality is. And as much as it hurts, especially if it is someone you're supposed to care about...they are responsible for their own salvation and we ultimately have to leave them to their own repentance.

But respect them? Trust them, their judgement or anything they say? Want to be with them?


Not so much.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Raccoon

We have a raccoon in the back yard. He's in 'Coon Heaven. There are cherries, strawberries & raspberries. A smorgasbord of vegetables. All kinds of places to hide and hang out. And best of all ... his own personal pool!!!


And I'm jumping up and down like Elmer Fudd screamin', I'm gonna shoot me some wabbit waccoon!!!!

He's a destructive little creature. Tearing branches off the tree. Bending & breaking the bushes. And strawberries? What strawberries? There are cherry pits all over the place, he's washing them off in the pool, and at the bottom of the cellar stairs where water collects briefly after a storm, plus he's pooping down there. Now he's started on the pool cover and has torn bits off the edge and someone has pulled the sealant from around the bottom of pool steps and I do believe the pool is leaking again because of it. And my fish in the front yard pond are turning up dead...

Friend Gladys has a wonderful way of comparing situations in life to the gospel. She, unlike me, has a real knack for turning the ordinary into a spiritual moment. But I'm going to take a stab at it...

Because really, I know he's one of God's creatures. And he has his place in this world.

Just - not in my mine.

And that's kinda like a lot of things and people in this life. There are different politics, religions, creeds. Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them wrong or bad. But so much of the time we're just going to have to learn to agree to disagree, and grow some tolerance. But we still don't have to be on top of each other. We can appreciate each other's differences.

From a distance.

And so dear raccoon, this week I will find a live trap for you and we'll figure out how to sucker you into it. Some nice, fresh, sweet corn perhaps????

Then you will take a trip and leave the farm.

Now those other folks I'm trying to learn to be tolerant of?

It wouldn't do at all to stuff them into a live trap to transport...would it???

And I don't suppose anyone has a spare wizard's wand? I mean, how much fun would that be - poof, they're gone. Problem solved.

Silly me, of course not.

We're not at Hogwarts, and I'm sure glad I'm not back in grade school. I'd be at the chalkboard writing one hundred times...

I will be nice.
I will be nice.
I will be nice.
I will be...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Snack Time?

Remember the 50's - 60's movies that had all the buxom, bombshell starlet's dropping items down their cleavage for safe keeping? Money for the parking meter? House keys? Lipstick?

Hold that thought.

Now think about the last time you had some really good Chinese-type sticky rice.

Compare that to Mexican style rice. Tasty, but not sticky.

So - I'm still shaking my head because...

Last Thursday we went out for Mexican food after our service project and I brought home a doggie bag. I made brunch out of it the next day.



That night as I undressed and got ready for bed I was somewhat bemused as I looked down at my chest....

I know. More information than anyone needs.

Totally not the same effect as the young starlets.

But I suppose if I had the munchies???

Mayhaps I should be using a bib when I eat from now on...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Utah Drivers

Ever notice how people drive differently in different places? Some areas are slow and courteous, others fast and furious, while more are known for just being freakin' crazy? Seattle is one of the freakin' crazies. LA...haven't been there for a while but when I was, yeah, it was fast paced but other driver's made way for you. Now Utah...hmmm.

For a bunch of righteous people they have a tendency to get in their rigs and well, let's say they live/drive in their own little "bubble." The corner by The Commander's new house had horns blaring, followed by loud thumps and crashes on several occasions during the 5 days we were there.

Now, when I was younger, I too, used to drive considerably faster. But holding a CDL and age have made me a bit more cautious. I'm always usually amused by the people who are in a great hurry. They speed, duck, dive & weave their way thru traffic. On the open road that may get you there a little quicker.

In town?

Well - how many times have you thought unkind thoughts about that sporty little car that redefined reckless driving only to catch up to him/her at the next stop light.

Am I the only one who looks over and smirks at them?

I'm constantly lecturing The Youngest about good driving habits. "Signal your intent or die," is a favorite saying of mine. So imagine my chagrin when being late the other day, I was trying to maximize my opportunities and ended up hitting every red light on a particular stretch of road.

I was somewhat... frustrated.

As I pulled up to yet another red light after skillfully navigating thru and around obstructing traffic, The Youngest,  having watched me smirk at dozens of darting sports cars in times past, deadpans...

"Traffic Lights. The great equalizers."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Excuses...Everyone's Got One

Here we go again...

Let's assume it's a given that I'm liable to have one, if not both, feet in my mouth on a regular basis. I'm relying heavily on the hope that most people, okay, those who count anyway, understand the intent of my heart, and forgive me - for being me.

So, it was service project time again. I've just travelled 700 miles so I could be back home for a ward project. (And yes, it was time to come home so I don't want to leave the impression that I dropped everything to drive those 700 miles...the Provo visit/work party was scheduled to dovetail with the service project...)

Anyway, Thursday, 6pm.

Most people are there.

The handout that she signed noted that time. She got a reminder call but understood it to be a half hour later...and showed up even later. We were almost done. My knees and back have had enuf fun in the last week but it's my job to ramrod the outfit so when she walked in I'm bent over taping boxes. People are waiting for me. She can see I'm busy but is embarrassed and wanted to explain.  I nod, smile and say,  "Hey, it happens." She continues to explain. I nod & smile and keep working. Sweat rolls down my face.

"I'm never late!" She wails.


I tactfully refrain from glancing at my watch.

I move to the next box. She steps in my way. Continues to talk. My back is breaking. She's still talking and I'm still nodding & smiling. Although by now it's probably closer to a grimace...Shoot me now. Dear lady, please stop.

You know, I should have just stood up, grabbed her up, given her a great big hug and told her it was OKAY. That's apparently what she needed to hear. It would have saved me several minutes of listening to explanations about 'why I'm not responsible for myself' which as we all know by now is one of my favorite pet peeves.


I much prefer the other little miscreant's approach. This one just didn't show up. I wrote a check for $100+ to cover her expenses. When I finally got a hold of her, I told her how much the product came to. She was at my home 10 minutes later, check in hand. She was polite and apologized - merely said it had been a crazy week and she'd forgotten. I nodded, smiled and said...

"It happens."

The Youngest loaded her up. We all smiled and waved as she drove off. No drama. No fuss. No muss. She was happy to have her stuff. I was happy to have been able to help.

All was well in my world.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Take a Trip & Never Leave the Farm" has Merits

We're back! Home from Provo. Did a little work at The Commander's & DIL new house. Blew out both knees, not just the one that I thought was healing...then added insult to injury by dragging my toe on the curbing at a rest stop, skinning up my left arm when I tried to break my fall and spraining my right wrist when I went down... (boy am I talented or what?) Farm Boy's muscles are stiff. He has more creaks in him than a hundred year old barn and keeps looking at his shoe laces mournfully. I think he's hoping someone else will bend over and tie them for him. He's willing to look pathetic now that the daughter-in-law isn't around to impress!

Sign us up for geezer-hood.

Oh wait, too late. Already there.

Anyway, came back to, among other things:

   About 40 million phone messages - all from people who knew we'd be gone.

   Baked apples on the front porch. I'm sure they were fine on Saturday when they were left. Wednesday nite? Ummm, no.

   A redecorated front yard. This one was funny. My friend probably sent her boys over to pick up the flower pots for their reception and guys being guys... putting them back? I can see their faces now, looking at one another and saying, "Where the heck did you get this one from???"

   But flower pots in interesting places is the least of my worries.

   Because we found that one of our feline friends decided he did not want to be litter box trained.

Now you tell us???


What a "stinkin' mess."


Strangling a black cat is right at the top of my "to do"  list tonight.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Has My Daughter Gone?

It is sad. I get up every morning & hurry to the computer to check email. Then I switch to the blog sites, and finally I invade facebook.

Internet addict?

No.  Just looking for news, any news, of #1 Daughter and her adventures in Uganda. Mostly trying to assure myself she's still breathing. (I know, I know, but it's a mother thing.) She, however, is not a consistent writer. She has a life, is busy and sending news back home?

Not so much.

Next time we're setting up ground rules. I pay, you play write. Or we're calling the whole thing off!

Monday, June 7, 2010

People of Walmart?

Life got you down? In the dumps? G'ahead. Grab your camera & head for the nearest Walmart, let your hair down and have some fun! Maybe like in the next city or two over so you don't run into anyone you know...

Fashion Fail - The Pineapple and Ibuprofen Explain It All

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I hear Walmart calling.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I don't even know their name. Cute little flowers that come in a shade that is called "Sunrise". Soft yellows, muted oranges and yummy, pale peaches. They were lovely. Each summer I structure my front yard around a different color scheme using annuals. I had seen the "Sunrise" flowers for a couple of years at the garden centers and promised myself I would build a whole garden theme around them soon.

And then in the dull, dark days of winter I decided this was the year. Walking into my front garden would be like walking into the sunrise. Ahhhh...sigh of contentment.


Fred Meyer has one Saturday every spring, were they offer some really good prices on geraniums & fuchsias. I sucked into it. Only problem is, they're priced so low 'cause they're just babies. But I like babies and it is only April, I'm willing to let them grow.

Now here's the unfortunate part. When one is looking for that particular shade of peachy/orange you'll find coral, apricot, peach, mango, papaya, pinto orange, apple pink, blush even. The list goes on. And in April, with all those darling little plants one is left eyeballing the plastic plant tag and wondering exactly how close the color of the picture on the tag is going to match the actual mature plant.

C'mon. We all know the answer to that. Don't we?

Hope springs eternal. Out of the twenty five or so pots that I distributed throughout my front yard, most with 3, 4, even 5 plants in each....only 3 pots came out with colors that "clashed."

Yah!!!! What a woman!!!!!

Only problem?

Those three pots were the color I wanted.

Everything else?

Pink.  Very PINK.

I even won an Internet sweepstakes and got this huge box of wave petunias for free. I NEVER win anything. Twenty seven, gorgeous, healthy plants.

You guessed it.


The Youngest about died laughing.

His eyes sparkle every time he walks out the front door and looks at my garden.

I mustered all the dignity I had remaining and moved my three lonely little pots to a more isolated spot where they could shine by themselves and set about adding some yellows, whites and a few darks to try and contrast the pink debacle that my front yard had become.

Enter the neighbor.

Her son was sealed in the temple last week. They are having the reception in their yard. Her yard is a bit "low keyed." But she did pot up 5 plants to help decorate the tables.

Her youngest son's new dog ate them.

She was distressed.

"Well," I said, "What are the bride's colors."


Go figure.

So I told her, if you can keep a handle on the dog, I think I have a solution for you. We won't be able to attend the reception as we'll be helping The Commander with his new house in Provo that week but feel free to pick up as many flower pots as you'd like for the reception. They've all been fertilized, insecticided, deadheaded and fussed with. They should be absolutely stunning in another week. Pink, but stunning.

Who says God doesn't have a plan. You know how they're always talking about YOU being the answer to someone else's prayer?

Glad to be... of service.

I think.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Greasy, Grimey, Gopher Guts



   But wait.


    It's just the pool.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Soggy Bottom Boys

Here in the arid dry lands we aren't used to a lot of weather. Mild winters turn this area into a banana belt with a growing season that usually stretches from March until October. We are blessed with irrigation water from both the mighty Columbia and the winding Snake Rivers. The "desert" blooms and we have a booming agricultural community.  This spring was lookin' mighty fine. Back in the start of April we hit a few days that had highs of 80+. The doomsayers immediately started screaming, "drought, drought!" The rest of us just shed our sweatshirts and turned our thoughts to opening the pools no later than May 1.

There is, of course, a saying about not counting your chickens before they hatch.

Things cooled down a bit.

Then the rain came. And stayed.

Photo by Scott Butner of Richland, WA - April Storm Over Rattlesnake Mountain

We've had some pretty impressive storms as of late. The above photo does not need to be photo shopped. It really does get that dark in the middle of the day here when the rain storms move in. Kind of scary. Mowing the lawn is a challenge. Trying to get to it when it's dry takes some reallll timing. Nice & green tho....but my cantaloupes & watermelon? Liking this? Not so much. Are their leaves supposed to be yellow??

Today's newspaper even has an editorial about the rain. Noting that this is supposed to be the land that boasts 300 days of sunshine and less than 12" of precipitation for the year.

Dry land wheat farmers are eating it up. Hay & cherry farmers? You can start playing a funeral dirge for them. They're well into the "suck it up" mode.

So some wit, named Mike Lauman, writes a letter to the editor. And he says:

Enough with this bad joke of sending all this rain our way. This is supposed to be a desert area, remember?

If I wanted a lot of rain I'd live in Seattle, get a lobotomy, pay attention to the liberal media and become a fan of Chris (Gregoire), Patty (Murray), and Maria (Cantwell) and spend my days stuck in traffic.

No thanks!

I knew it! I knew it! It's all a liberal plot...but liberals or not, I may have to  break down and buy an umbrella.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bumper Snicker

Spouses are like guns.

Have one around long enough, you're gonna want to shoot it.