Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Monday, December 26, 2005

Mele Kalikimaka
To all our family and friends, we say to you in the familiar Hawaiian greeting "Mele Kalikimaka" or Merry Christmas. Over the years, our Christmas traditions include celebrating Christmas Eve with a wonderful dinner in the company of our family and friends. This year has been no different. With one of our daughters and her husband and two sons, we were joined also with my nephew Aley and his wife Sarah and daughter Audrey and Sarah's Mom. In addition, our dear friends Boyd and Priscilla joined us in addition to two students from work, you know the type, RMs, single, and from Hawaii. The dinner was delicious, program was special with a live enactment of the Christmas Story, scripture reading and Christmas hymn singing. It was so nice to be with family and friends on this special evening.

Early this morning (4:30am) I drove Boyd and Priscilla to the airport so they could catch their flight to Atlanta and join up with some of their family to celebrate together. The highways were empty at that hour of the morning. At 7:00AM, Mom and I went to our home ward early morning Christmas service. It brought back memories of a tradition in our ward and was well attended. When we got home, we celebrated the morning opening Christmas gifts. We received visitors later in the day as well as telephone calls to most of our family, those that were home.

The picture is of a special gift from Mom, a memory quilt with pictures of our children and their families. She did a great job putting this special quilt together.

It was such a great day but especially knowing that this same activity was happening in the homes of each of our children. We hope you all had a great Christmas celebration and each of our grandchildren knew that he or she was loved. yes, we had cinamon rolls, hot cocoa breaks between opening presents.

I understand there is a movement in our family to join together and celebrate it together here in PG. I for one am not opposed to it at all. Infact I am encouraging it, and Mom too. I don't believe we have ever brought all our grandchildren together at one time. Wow, wouldn't that be exciting. I believe at the most, we've had three out of the five families here together. How about all five at once? Well, you all discuss it.

We will post more pictures soon. Mahalo, and Mele Kalikimaka and Hauole Makahiki Hou!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Pounders beach

Little people food surprise.

Henry, George, and Klai proves our family is multi tanned.

The island meets the sky is perfect. The colors of beach, ocean and sky make a great combination.

These are all some of the great highlights of out trip to the beach. We hope you enjoy them.

The month of October, halloween, and anything significant that happened, seems to be a blurr. Some of the only significant things to comment on was Mom's recovery from her operation. Even though she is much better, the after effects are still lingering. As part of her recovery therapy, she decided that upgrading her sewing machine was impractical and that total replacement was needed. After all, what better way to promote a return to good health than to buy a new Bernina sewing machine. Now that she's had it a couple of weeks, I believe that this medicinal treatment has made a positive impact on her health, mental or otherwise.

By coincidence, the pump on the trusty Maytag washing machine gave up completely. Fact, replacing the pump on the old machine is only a tempory measure of comfort and peace of mind. Fact, new washing machines come with just about all the bells and whistles and even extended warranty. They look cool, especially with the numerous buttons, lights, and big, round picture tube window to the world of clothes washing. At first, we wondered if we had made a good decision with the machine sliding or jitter bugging across the laundry room floor when it cycled into the spin mode. The dealer even came and replaced the unit as a sign of good faith, not wanting to investigate the cause of the dancing washing machine. Afterall, when you read the installation manual, it calls for using a level to insure the machine was placed or adjusted to a side to side and front to back level on the floor. Secondly, the principle of centrifical motion of the washer drum, with a medium load of clothes slightly off even distribution can cause the washing machine to dance, especially when in the high speed spin cycle. They only tested the machine when water was being added to the drum (no clothes added), and watched it go through a spin cycle. Anyway, the whole approach to customer service here was not solving the problem but replacing the machine. RESULT: The machine danced when clothes were added. CURE: Take the machine off the pedestal, balance the unit on the floor, and now you can add clothes when running the washing machine. LESSON LEARNED: Demonstrate the problem in actual conditions to the service people, then recommend they balance the unit, etc., etc., etc.

Now that you've experienced life on your own for awhile, and have your own families, here is another true-ism. Things, can be but not always are bad, usually happen in 3's. Well, I told you about the first two, sewing machine and washing machine, now comes the third. At the beginning of the month, Aunt Dot's husband was watching TV to keep from boardem when they visited us at the beginning of the month and one day, he's using the remote control on the TV and the picture goes blank, "poof", the transformer gives up the ghost. Well, I reckon that it was more than "about time" that it happen. Afterall, we bought that Sony TV back in 1988 in Lompoc, CA after we moved there and it lasted all these years. I now can honestly say that the Sony TV was a good one and lasted all these years. Anyway, we've been looking to replace it but the technology has changed considerably since 1988. You can chuckle to yourselves, gee, what do they need another TV in the home for? There's only two of them and the dog and they have a couple of sets. Now, I need you to help rationalize the need to replace the burnt out TV and your recommendations of what type. After all, your recommendations will be taken seriously because it will benefit you all, if and when you come for a visit. So, what will it be?

On a more enlightening note, the rest of the month was not all a less than stellar month. Work has been busy for me. I went to a conference in Pocatello for a couple of days. On the second evening, the activity was to go to a play of "Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde" that was superb. This broadway play was really good. Besides the dialog, there was lots of music and singing. It's the first time I've seen a play with lots of singing. The actors used those small face microphones that were remote and even with the mouthpieces on, it didn't detract from their character, costumes, or the play.

Since the weather turned cooler, Mom and I have been dealing with raking the leaves and other chores. We sure get lots of leaves, even from our neighbor's tree (Matt's family). One day, I guess they felt bad that we had so much raking to do that Matt help clear our front sidewalk and road area of the leaves from the big trees there. With halloween, I decided to just not rake the leaves and give it an unkept look. Well, thats another way of putting it that I didn't do the front lawn. So on halloween, we had only two trick o treaters come here. Our neighborhood must be just old folks. How dull?

We've been reviewing some of the pictures of our trip to Hawaii and here are a few more for the Blog.
Summer is gone, fall is here and the mountain sky will never look like this picture. Being back in the real word, I often wonder why we ever left paradise. It really gets to us just about this time of the year, the leaves fall all over the place, the air is colder, snow on the mountains, and it gets dark earlier. Wow, where's the beach.

With our recent washing machine upgrade, we don't need a television to watch. We can just sit in front of the washer and watch it go through the cycle. I am amaized at the speed and efficiency that Mom's new washer can do the laundry. Now that we've solved the problem of the machine dancing all over the floor when in the high spin cycle, it's cool to watch. I can understand how addicting it can be just like Leslie's daughter Anna, watching the washing machine. I am even more amaized at how the machine will cycle in opposite directions to balance the load or unsmoosh the laundry after it's high spin cycle. Wow, who needs TV. (Frankly, I may be out of my mind on certain things, but with the prices of appliances and entertainment going up, we have to make wiser choices.)

We only had two trick o treaters come to our home this year. To purge our home from the treats, I took the candy to work and shared them with some of our student workers. After all, what harm is there with a little sugar high once in a while here in "Happy Valley"?

I think Rykell and Audrey are making a statement here. They were so cute together on the beach blanket.

I can see that Mom and I have a hard time dealing with missing all of our grandchildren. We haven't come up with a good solution to handle the withdrawls. Last evening, Mom needed to go fabric shopping to relieve some anxiety problem with missing the little ones. Even though we communicate freely via cell phones, we still are a little slow in getting our children to send photos of the grandchildren. Yeah, you know who you are. Maybe that lump of coal will come to fruition this Christmas season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"Paper, Scissors, Stone" . . .

Making a decision in behalf of two or more interested parties can also lead to a dilema, how to be fair. Pulling straws, the vote, debate, etc., is not always the best method to please everyone. Case in point, while the majority of the family wanted to move from Hawaii to Utah, not everyone agreed. Since that time, some good came as a result of the move. In the future, if ever a monumental decision needs to be made, I will invoke the "Paper, Scissors, Stone" rule and thats how it will be decided.

Latest Happenings . . .

Moving on to more important matters, Mom and I are at home today, she's resting trying to recover the sleep she lost last night at the hospital. You may be aware that yesterday, after much discomfort and pain, she called the doctor and requested they move up her surgery appointment to take out her gall bladder. So around 10:30am, she goes to the hospital for same day surgery. They had a full house, the surgeons busy with a full plate. At the end of the day, they get to Mom and quickly run a few important test to reconfirm her health status. In about 35 - 45 minutes, its all done. One inscision at the belly button (less scarring) and three tiny one placed strategically, one at the top of the abdomen and two to the right side of the mid abdomen. With that, they removed one large gall stone, the size of a pecan nut, and the gall bladder, sew up everything and then home for dinner. Wow, they were good. I was expecting this to last at least an hour, if not longer.

We want to thank all of you "well wishers" who called last evening and today. Mom will want to brag about that large rock or "stone" that was giving her so much pain. Too bad she didn't have this done a lot sooner. She may have enjoyed her earlier travels/trips done in the spring, summer, and fall a whole lot more, without the discomfort.

Recovery is progressing slowly but who can complain. Anyway, we had some great memories of our trip to Hawaii, especially visiting some of our grandchildren and their parents.