Friday, October 16, 2009

New addition to the family!

The good news is we have a beautiful new baby grand-daughter!!!
The bad news is, she is in the hospital. Our daughter had been having mild contractions all day Wednesday, but nothing to write home about. Then while she was on the phone that night with me, her water broke. It was green, which, for you boys who don't know, means the baby has pooped in-utero. Not a huge deal, but it meant she had to go in to the hospital instead of just waiting at home for things to progress. Then early in the morning labor stopped, and since the water had already gone, and the baby's heart rate was considered too high, the decision was made to push things along and they gave my daughter pitocin. Oh, and somewhere in there the gynecologist threatened a C-section if things didn't move forward soon. She had a midwife though, and neither my daughter nor the midwife wanted that to happen so they got her up and walking. After that the baby came quite quickly, but, from the brief conversation I had with my girl last night, she (baby) never gained any color, apparently she has very low red blood cells. She was given a blessing, but my daughter was pretty shaky when we were talking and the authorities couldn't explain why this was happening. A son of mine looked it up for me, and there are a number of reasons. One that sounded most likely to me is if the cord is large and the baby is held too high above mom's abdomen before the cord is cut, the blood can drain back into the mom, leaving baby with not enough. Anyway, since they weren't finding a reason. they were moving baby to children's hospital last night. We have been praying of course, but haven't heard more. I wish I knew what was happening, but they have too much to worry about for me to keep calling. I wish I had time to fly out there and help, but I just started a job that requires me to be here. Talk about being of two minds!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Very busy summer!

Today is the last day of my "vacation" so I thought I had better explain my summer. It started in mid June with Trek. We had volunteered to go along as 'Ma and Pa' months ago. sometime last fall. We had training meetings, and were given lessons to prepare. Nothing, though could prepare you for the actual experience. For instance, the love you have for the youth that you are in charge of. I know it's like that for every calling, but this was so immediate. We had the very best group of kids on trek and knew it as soon as we met them. We all met at the church the night before to check in baggage and hear about what was coming up. Then we were back at the church the next morning at 5 am to drive up to the ranch. I won't even try to explain the incredible spiritual experience we had though I might have if I had written this down earlier. I just want to say that it was wonderful. Physically we had a bit of everything. Some sunshine, some cold, and mostly a lot of rain and mud. And we still had a ball. I'm sure there were some who absolutely hated it, but everyone I talked to had a great time in spite of the wet. (Maybe because of it. Without rain it would have been incredibly hot.)
The day after we got home my son brought my granddaughter to spend some time with us. He only got to spend a couple days, but the granddaughter spent three weeks and that was fabulous. My daughter and her daughter came next and that weekend was our family reunion. We had a lovely camping trip - perfect weather, lots of fun things to do and lovely family to do it with. The most fun for me was that my granddaughter got to go camping for the first time. I think she had fun. I know I had fun watching her.
Then it was the wedding for one of my sons. A couple of spouses didn't make it, but the rest of the immediate family did. It was such a great gathering. I wish we could have spent more time together, but some people had to get back to work. Sigh!
Then my daughter and I drove back to Washington DC where she was living at the time. It was 4 days driving, and we broke the trip in Iowa where we dropped my son's daughter off. I miss you Missy D! Interesting trip, but we were traveling too quickly to stop as see much. That isn't to say we didn't stop. With two little girls you stop a lot. Mostly at rest stops to let certain people run around for an hour or so. In spite of dvd's, toys and food she still got very tired of being in a car seat. (Who can blame her?) (I'm speaking of the 2 year old)
I was expecting to hear about a census job during July, and when I didn't I started think about what else I should do for work. I knew I could have my old job back and that would be fine, but I still needed to think about after. Before I left home my husband had suggested the new quilting business. My daughter and I visited a couple of quilt shops on the trip and I started thinking about quilting for a living. Spent a lot of August looking into the idea of running a long arm quilting business, but then I also heard from the Census Bureau. I will be the Assistant Manager of Quality Assurance for the Provo office doing the decennial census. I begin work tomorrow, which is why I thought I better post now. There has simply been no time.
The garden was very productive, still is. I took a class on a long arm machine, which helped me make up my mind that; yes, this would be a good job for me. I could choose my own hours and work around my garden. I can work barefoot, my favorite way to be. We bought a new sewing machine (regular type for piecing quilts - mine is nearly 30 years old) and I have been taking classes on how that works. We have shopped for quilt fabric and other things needed to start a business. I went to the Utah Quilt Guild Quiltfest, and took a couple of classes there on how to piece quilts. I also went to education week, more very instructive classes. We painted the area where we wanted the quilting machine. We made a lot of quilts to practice on. My husband actually made more than I did as I was always doing other things, but I had a lot of fun anyway. Since August I have made 7 quilt tops and my husband has made 8. His are mostly larger and more detailed than mine.
And last of all, Thursday our quilting machine was delivered. It was an all day affair and we were too tired in the evening to really catch the little bit of training they were trying to give us. Sweet C has already quilted and bound two of his tops. I have been doing sample quilt stuff on cheap fabric. So, there is the summer. Now begins the working life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Ok, so my photos are never quite right color-wise. Maybe you can't tell how wild but cute this is, but I thought you should see it anyway. I think I'll call it Jester.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bountiful harvest

Here is the morning picking of tomato and cherry tomatoes.I'll be giving away four or five small bags of "sweet million" cherry tomatoes. As usual. Oh, and I could have kept picking, I just get hot and tired and come in with many still undiscovered.

The top picture is the cherry patch immediatly after picking. ( I had them in the right order for once and somehow ended up deleting that one!) You can see how many I will have to pick tomorrow. I took a gardening class this spring. He suggested black plastic under the tomatoes and the vine crops. That was a great idea. He also suggested no support for the tomato vine. That isn't a great idea. I am wading around in the vines trying to find a place to put my feet that doesn't smash the vines or the fruit. He also said tomatoes like to be watered once every week to ten days. That is probably a good idea, my fruit tends to split a lot just at the end of the ripening process, however, I have a hard time remembering to turn the water on and off at the right times. It is set to water automatically twice a week, which the other crops need.
Here you can see half of my potato patch - ready for harvest but where would I put the potatoes? It is still too hot to store them loose in the storage room. We put in yukon gold and Pontiac Red. We have already pulled out potatoes at least 6 inches across. John and I shared one baked potato for dinner on Sunday and had way too much to eat. I will have to leave them in the ground for now, except to pick one to eat once in awhile. At the back of the picture you can see the sweet potato vines. They look great, but I don't know when or how to know if they are ready for harvest. Anyone?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I finished my green and pink top. I like it, but the stripe is very bold. I have enough scraps to do something else. And you should see the top Sweet C has started. Tiny little triangles that add up to 2 1/2 in squares. In the end it will be stars, but a very complicated way to get there. It will be fabulous.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's in a name?

Sweet C has now made 6 quilt tops. This is his pinwheel.
This is actually a baby quilt. The favored fabric will be the back.
This is the quilt I am working on. I am having some corner problems.
This is the balloon that flew over my head as I was reloading the hummingbird feeders this morning.

Ok, so we have decided to go forward with the business. We have ordered a long arm quilting machine and are preparing some quilts to practice on. We had hoped to buy a used machine from a teacher of mine who hoped to move. She ended up not taking the job, so we weren't able to get the 'deal', but have decided to go forward anyway. I will let you know when new one arrives, cause you all will need to make quilts for me to learn on too.
Here's the problem: What do we call this business? We have a business license already for DJP Enterprises, set up when we were going to do something else entirely, so anything we do can be under that general umbrella. I am thinking maybe DJ Quilting, or DJ Machine Quilting. We could go with something like Spruce Quilting cause it ties with our name. I'd love to do something cute, but I'm not very creative and we do want it to suit us. My daughter told us about someone she deals with whose business name is Green Fairy Quilts. Amazing how well that would fit me (anyone seen the fairies in my garden lately) but it's taken. Should I think of something that goes with gardening? Flowers? Quilting? Or just stick with the name we have?
In the meantime, I will be working as fast as I can in the yard, as there is a bit too much harvest right now, and on the house, as I have lots of painting to do. I start my new job September 28th. That is, the new census job.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

research and learning

Sweet C decided he would make a quilt top to see how it is done. I didn't try to get the whole top in, as the lighting was bad. It is much nicer than you can tell here.
And I went to a long arm quilting class to see if I could even begin to do this. Of course, I loaded the pictures backwards, but you can see that my first ever attempt isn't half bad. Maybe I can quilt for others. My flowers (above) are my favorite. Didn't get the best picture.
They say you get better with practice. The above is my worst square, as I'm not sure I like those styles so I haven't drawn them much.
This is my teacher's favorite flower version
I, personally like hearts, but not perfect little all alike hearts. I can do those, but I prefer the little pointy tipped hearts that look all different.
You can see on the left my first attempt at a meander. Not even enough, but, still, my first few minutes on a machine. The bit on the right is my own version of a bounce. I kind of like the more geometric look than my version of my teachers favorite bounce, which I was horrible at.
And that is a poor picture of the whole days lesson. It was great fun, but I can see that I will need lots of practice. If I do this you will all have to let me practice on your quilts.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Am I insane?

Ok, advice here please. A couple of weeks ago sweet C mentioned an idea of his for my 'after census' job. I need work after the census is over. I am kid-free and capable so I should definitely do something, but I have this yard, and house and frankly want to be home when sweet C is home (don't we all!) and be able to go see my kids when the opportunity comes up so I would like to do something where I would pick my own hours. Not very many jobs like that out there. I talk about it all the time.
Anyway, his idea was about my buying a machine and doing machine quilting at home. We have been saving for years for a business of buying and fixing up homes, but the real estate market is so volatile right now, so completely out of wack, that we have been reluctant to do it. Therefore, we have that money we could put into something else.
My first thought was that I know nothing about quilting, much less machine quilting for a living. I started asking questions. I thought there would already be too many people doing such a thing in Utah, and there are, but even so the wait line is very long at any place you go. Also, not so many people do it other places, and you can ship.
Then there are the amazing varieties of machines. Mind you, all are far more expensive than I would have thought. On the absolutely low end of hobby quilting I could spend around $7000 up to say $13,000, and do small quilts by hand driving the design. I need to learn to do this part anyway, all quilts need some hand work, but it is doodling on cloth and I'm no artist. (They all say, practice, practice, practice, and do a dozen or so before you ever touch a customers quilt.) Then there are the small industry type, with longer arm (so you can do larger quilts) and longer beds. They seem to range around $10,000 to $20,000 +. Still you need to learn a ton, or add a computer. The computer will drive the cloth and make a very even design, which some people would like, and others not. (Also every computer is different and works differently. And the computer costs are about $5000 to $30,000)! And then there are the truly professional machines, running for about $30,000 to around $80,000 or more. You can guess that I wouldn't even dream of the top price, but it turns out that with all the bells and whistles, even the mid price/type come up close to $30K and the professional models are, well, professional. I can't imagine doing this on the hobby machine. They are essentially a regular sewing machine set on a quilting framework, and really have little room to work. I don't want to do only crib and wall hanging types. I think that is what most of the competition do. So, its really between the small industry and the professional. I think a successful business might even need more than one machine, since quilts can take days to do. (or hours with a computer, but I don't want to work 12 hour days all the time) However, I must start with one. So many to choose from!
Would this even work? With me knowing so little about quilting? I have peiced a few quilts but I hand quilted or tied them. I am an excellent seamstress, or used to be, but rather stopped sewing after making too many costumes where I made all the chorus. (50 of the same outfit took all the fun out of it!) I am getting the itch again to sew, but you can buy clothes cheaper than you can buy the fabric nowadays.
I have gone back and forth between: "I can't do this, I know nothing about quilting, I am no artist, and I don't know how to run a business!" to "This would be great, I could get paid for doing something I love (meaning sew) instead of feeling guilty for it. I could pick my own hours. I could really do this!" I look at a machine and get all intimidated, then I go away and think about it and get excited. I read about another machine and think, "good grief, I can't spend that kind of money" and then I think some more and realize that any business is going to take some start up funds.
That brings up another problem. I don't know where and how to learn about the business end of running a home based business. A 'cottage industry' sweet C calls it. That is almost more intimidating than the thought of learning to quilt on a machine. And there are the other start up costs, like: Thread and needles and patterns and batting and backing and most important, advertising and/or a web page. And pricing. Some places charge so much, and get it, I might add, but I think I'd need to start with some more simple designs, lower prices until I can prove myself.
At first I think I could learn anything, and then I think I'm too old and tired and can't learn things anymore. I am chicken. I tend to think I am incapable, which I never did when I was young, but often do now.
So, friends, I am asking for your opinion. Your thoughts on the matter. Would you start a business doing something you have no experience with? (Many of the quilters out there have been doing it for themselves for years.) Would you start small, with a 'cheap' machine and hope to build up to a better? Or would you buy the best you could afford and have more capability to begin with? (I'd never go with the $80,000 and up stuff) Would you start a business knowing you wouldn't be working it really for nearly a year, or would you wait to even start until the other job is done? (There is that need to learn how to run the machine, which I think I could be doing even while I am working for the census bureau)
Am I totally insane to consider this?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Praise of PA

I noticed something on TREK (more to come) that made me think of my own children in regards to their Dad. We had been asked to make sure the carts were clean before we turned them in, take a stick and clean the mud off the wheels, take the knots out of the rope etc. One of the boys mentioned that we didn't have mud on the wheels and I said that that was because Pa Pinette cleaned them every time we stopped for a break. They looked at me in surprise, none of them had even noticed. They hadn't noticed him cleaning up the campground after them, that he did most of the set up of camp, that he subtley checked with the kids to see that they were doing ok, and monitored the weather and encouraged them to eat right and put on sunscreen and drink lots of water, etc, etc.
My husband has always worked so hard to provide for the family, and did so many things quietly in the background for our comfort and safety. He works so ingeniously sometimes to serve us that I think they missed a lot of what he did while they were home. I wonder if they have any clue how much he worries about them now, how he pleads with the Lord for them. Doesn't help that mom is so outspoken either. He works constantly to take care of us all! I just want to say that my husband is an incredible man who serves daily all people that he comes in contact with, feels responsible for. His primary class, his employees, his wife and kids. . . . He is a wonderful man who happens to be a little on the shy side. And I love him dearly!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Young Women Secretary

I have a calling!!! I am so excited! I was beginning to feel like the red-headed step-daughter: unwanted, unloved and useless.
It's my own fault I've been without for so long. Sweet C and I had a calling together, and when they called him to something else I panicked. I complained and somebody listened and passed my complaints on to the bishopric. I always panic at something new or different, and I complain until I get used to something. I fussed to the person who formerly had the calling, because I was afraid I couldn't do it as well as she had, worried to a mom,and complained to a friend. I think it was the friend, but she is the one I depend on to tell me to suck it up when I complain too much!
The bishop seemed to think I didn't want any calling. I'm not sure where he got that idea. I've only turned down a calling once. I still think I was right about that one, (long story - essentially I felt the spirit was telling me something else) but I have felt so guilty over it for years that I wouldn't say no again. I just felt scared that I would be too hard on the little boys without C to temper my strictness. We all know how I ruin little boys.
Anyway, I have had this calling before, for 2 weeks some 25 years ago. Then they called me back to the nursery. I have actually had a small number of other callings, but most of them I only held for a week, or two, or a month, not long enough to actually get into it, before I was called back to the nursery (19 times, through all the years my children were little and I was babysitting to earn extra money and I never saw another adult for more than two minutes at a time! I so needed to be with adults.) I loved the nursery, I just would have liked to do something else sometimes. Now would be a good time to put me in the nursery, I miss having babies.
I thought bishops had lists of who was allowed to do what, since the primary president would get released only to become the relief society president and the young women president would become the primary president and I would be called to the nursery in every ward we moved to and the only difference was whether I was ward nursery leader or stake, or both.
I was so terribly excited to be called to the library! But I was librarian, ward, building and stake for 15 years. When we moved to Reno I had no calling for 8 months then was called to be librarian! Actually, while I was librarian I got to teach sunday school too, and that is what I really loved. I taught the end of the New Testament and then the Book of Mormon - course 17. I so wanted to do the rest of the scriptures before I had to give it up. That would only have been 4 years, nothing like 15. Doesn't seem too much to ask. But it wasn't to be. I was called to teach Gospel Doctrine in Las Vegas just before we were to come home. And then because of the foreclosure had to leave that even earlier than I thought. I only taught 3 weeks, but I sure loved it. Sigh.
Anyway, enough of the old.
I get to be with the young women!!! I was already going on trek. Now I get to go to class with them! I get to get to know them! I get to have a calling that isn't nursery or library. I really want to do something new. Yeah!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bone-lazy cheapskate

My hands hurt, my feet ache, my back is sore and even my face aches. I have spent most of the last two days racing (hah!) up and down a three tier scaffolding re staining our house. We have actually been at it for two weeks, but since we are both working full time, well, you know. I had two days in a row off, and the rentals were due back. This started as a simple project of fixing some loose trim. However, as soon as we began to stain the trim it became obvious that the whole house was thirsty. Our house is entirely wood sided. We do a good job when we stain, so we haven't had to do it often, but it is a twenty year old house.
Sweet C says that not many women my age would take on a project that involved climbing scaffolding three stories high or putting a ladder on the top of the scaffolding to reach just that little bit higher. (I'm short) He is right. Most women are smarter than that. While I am, in reality, bone-deep lazy, I am also extremely cheap. I can never pay someone else to do a job that we are perfectly capable of doing ourselves, so I get myself, my husband and all the kids involved in these huge projects.
I am getting old though. Everything hurts more than it did when I was younger. The ground looks further away. Twisting myself around to reach something from the top of a ladder makes my back ache longer. I held a spray bottle in one hand and a brush in the other because the liquid is as thin as water and needs to be driven into the wood with a brush, so my hands hurt. And I was on my feet the whole time. Even in the house standing on a ladder makes my feet hurt. But why does my face hurt?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sights and Smells of Spring

The lilacs have faded, but the snowball bush is loaded. The bleeding hearts are covered. Anybody want a bleeding heart start? They are quite expensive as they are perennial, but around here they are almost weeds. (too many babies). The Golden Rain tree is in full flower, as is the Purple Robe Locust. There are not enough English Daisies, but the regular daisies are coming on. The Johnny Jump-Ups are in bloom and the regular pansies too. I have put a few of each of these in between the pages of the phone book in the hopes that they will all dry nicely and I can make book-marks with them for the girls at the Children's Justice Center. We have been asked for bookmarks or homemade cards, and I am not a carder. I so wish I could send you all scents though. The locust is amazing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day

Yesterday I had one of those. I had an interview about something I had REALLY wanted to do, but the rules of engagement are very strict and I have simply made too many commitments in the near future, so, they don't want me. All of the commitments are good things, and things that I want to do, but I had so hoped we could work around them. I cannot go back on my word on any. Even if I did I would have to go back on my word on all. I may not have much, but I have a very strongly developed sense of duty. I cannot change my mind now and say, sorry, I'm not going to do that after all. In addition my employment future is so undecided that I can't really plan anything more after these commitments end mid-summer. I am trying to see the good in all of this, but in reality I am really down.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tulip Festival

It's Tulip Festival Time at Thanksgiving Point Gardens. For those of you who cannot come, I thought I would give you a small virtual tour. Of course, this is only a taste. I took more than a hundred pictures, and didn't get nearly everything.

Some of the daffodils that are still out. I missed Daffodil Days, but really, I didn't miss many of the blooms.
I love this color mix.
This view is coming up the walk toward the top.

I love all views of the stream, but really like this one with the statue.
This is where the stream enters into the pond. There are usually lots of frogs here, but it is too early right now.
This is a view of the butterfly garden from the top of the hill.

I love the smell of hyacinths.
Isn't this a great daffodil!
This one is in the center of the secret garden. I couldn't show all views in there, but they are all lovely.

I wish I knew the name of the yellow drop flower.

This is the circle outside the gardens where you first come in.
And of course this is the gateway saying enter here and enjoy my blooms. I really would like to encourage anyone who lives nearby to go visit the gardens during tulip festival. It is so beautiful. They also have entertainment daily.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Welcome spring!!!

Last thursday it was a record low high of 43. We got 6 1/2 inches of snow. I took these in our yard on Wednesday.
My poor magnolia tree, where the first few flowers all froze as soon as they opened.

Some of the new bulbs I put in last fall.
I wish the color were more true to reality. Or maybe I wish reality had some blues in it. I have a blue garden that always seems to be purple or pink.

And these Hyacinths are really a very pretty pink with purple flowers around them.
One thing I have learned though. Even 20 dozen tulips don't look like much spread over the whole yard.
We went to Thanksgiving Point on Wednesday and I find that the best looking clumps of tulips are about 24 bulbs in 3-4 sqare feet. I planted them too far apart. I will take some pictures down there to show you the difference. On the other hand, I love my yard, and it is getting prettier every day. I love spring. I love the tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and other spring flowers. The fruit trees are in bloom too, and the lilacs will open soon. Smells so good out there. The grass is so green this time of year. May I suggest everyone who can take the time to go to a garden nearby.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Snow II

After what I said yesterday the air warmed enough to take all the snow off the little branches. Then last night it got colder and more snow came. Talk about lots of snow! Notice the pile on the branches! Some of the branches out front have 4 inches piled on them. The thing is, the sap has started flowing, so unlike the winter, when the branches are stiff, they are rather soft, and they drooop under the weight. Look at the opening to the garden. The lilac branches are hanging so low you'd have to crawl under to get to the garden. But now the sun is shining, and it is absolutely gorgeous out!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

I keep thinking I'll post but have been so busy with the non-work stuff, like taxes (aaauuuggghh!) and putting in the spring garden, that I don't get here. I just want to say that spring could come anytime. I am really ready! I am more than ready!
I say this because right now outside my window huge flakes of snow are coming down and swirling around in circles. We have a warm day, then a storm, then a warm day, then two storms in a row. Today started out rainy, and while it is supposed to be 75 by Saturday, there is so much snow coming so fast I wonder how it can all melt. The little limbs on the trees are two inches deep, then it drops in big chunks. Then it builds up again. It really is a heavy winter storm. Hah!
I am now going to go back to figuring out how one should apply for a management job in the Provo Census office which opens in the fall. I am going to be administering tests, but am finding the process a little hard to understand. I need to be able to tell people how to apply, and check over their applications. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Many thanks

Well, it turned out to be an appendicitis attack. My baby girl is better now and home - see her blog for a terse version of the whole story. I just want to say thank you all for your prayers. She truly needed them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prayers Please!!!

My baby girl is in hospital. We aren't sure why yet, the test they would normally use to figure it out they cannot do now due to other medical concerns. She has excruciating pain in her stomach and is throwing up. They are thinking appendicitis. Please pray for her. In the meantime, anyone want to go to Ottawa to take care of my baby girl's baby girl?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

update on Water

I just thought I ought to mention that my vertigo must have been an inner ear infections since it faded away after about 3 weeks. An inner ear infection generally lasts about 3 to 6 weeks and then heals on it's own. I do have a friend with muniers disease, and that will come and go for the rest of her life. I am very glad it wasn't that!

Whoa, baby!

It is something like 2am, there is a full moon out, shining on new snow, and I can't sleep. Some nights I just wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. If I get up and do things my body gets used to the idea and I will wake every night for night after night and go around with a major sleep deficit all the time. Also I wake sweet C if I clean house or do laundry.
I have reached my recruiting goal for the Census Bureau for the first operation. We get all worked up at the beginning with concern that we aren't getting enough applicants and "how do we get more people interested in doing the census?"; and then as our advertising begins to work, and word gets out that we will be hiring, and people start coming, there is no way to stop the onslaught. We simply have to schedule fewer testing sessions with the idea that they will get discouraged if they have to wait for weeks for an appointment. Then a year from now we go through it all again. The two biggest operations are the first, beginning immediately, and the last, beginning about this time next year. In between all the operations use far fewer people so we are able to hire those we have already used.
So, my job is winding down but I couldn't take the next thing offered because I had made other plans for the summer that would interrupt the last week of the job. (More on that later) Therefore the responsible thing was not to take the job. I feel a little jealous, though, of the person who did take on responsibility for "my" people. Also, address listing is probably my favorite operation with the Census Bureau. I like maps and love to see the houses and imagine what they are like inside. I won't get to do even an enumerator job with that operation as I will be recruiting the management staff for the new office that will open in my county in the fall. That is another slightly sore point with me. Since I did this job ten years ago I have wanted to be on the management staff this time around. I really want the census to be accurate. However, as I am to be testing 100 applicants for each management position there is very little chance I will be chosen. Not enough experience. Sigh.
Well, whatever job I do, I will be doing my best to see that we have an accurate count. It means so much to our state, and to each city within our state, to have accurate data. And that is the civic reason to do the census. The personal, or maybe I should say the religious reason is that census data is one of the more important ways we find out about our ancestors, people who have lived here before us. That is why I care about the census. That is why I got involved in the first place and why I will continue to be as involved as I can be.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ten confessions

Confession #1: I doubt I can come up with 10 confessions that I will be willing to share with others.
Confession #2: Referring to confession #1. I Have done many, many things in my past that shame me to remember. I have learned a few lessons, wish I had learned more, but mostly I owe a number of apologies to people.
Confession #3: I have been faking the self confidence all of my life. I got a lot of compliments on the talk I gave in church last Sunday, and I was up there shaking like a leaf, knowing full well that I wasn't well prepared and could barely follow my own notes. One of the complements really meant a lot to me though, because I admire this woman so much and always feel she is so spiritual.
Confession #4: I fear terribly for my health, knowing I weigh too much, but I love to eat, crave sugar, and always feel empty and I am trying to fill the hole. I am a little jealous of my husband, but more proud of him for what he has accomplished. I am scared that he will get tired of the fact that I am not keeping up with him in life, and leave me.
Confession #5: I like to work cause I feel like I am accomplishing something, but I feel like I'm not getting anything done at home. I just never have the energy to do both.
Confession #6: I love Sunday. I get to see sweet C all day, I get to attend church and I am a true believer, and now that we are on a 9am schedule I get to take a nap. Ok, lame but I never get enough sleep.
Confession #7: I love color! My favorite color is always purple, but I really like the deep reddish purple. I want to paint my bedroom with purple stripes.
Confession #8: The best thing in my life right now, (other than the wonderful sweet C), is the thought of the grandbabies. I sure do love those two little girls.
Confession#9: I am incredibly excited for spring! I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt, put in seeds, see them grow. I can almost see all the tulips coming up in my yard. I put in 20 dozen bulbs. It should look good. Of course, I have no idea what those bulbs were.
Confession #10: I meant this blog to be a political rant blog. I made it completely anonymous so that anyone could read it but not bring whatever anger I brought on back to my friends and family. However, I am trying so hard to be a nicer person, that some of the desire to rant has gone away. Oh, you still see some, but mostly I want to talk about my garden. Silly, huh? I may have to go back to the original thought with the way things are going in the country right now though.

Anybody else got anything to confess?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Police State

I am a law abiding citizen. I believe in the rule of law. I believe no one is, or should be, above the law. I do everything in my power to know what is legal and to follow the law. I believe most laws are good, and necessary. I believe that if a law is bad, we should still obey the law until we can get it changed.
Having said that, I still think some policeman are bully's. I think some of them take up that profession because they like to push people around.
One of my sons was walking home from Junior High when a policeman going the opposite direction down the road made an illegal u-turn and came careening around to pull up next to my son and his friends. He demanded to know what my son did with the cigarette. My son was confused, as he doesn't smoke. The policeman was yelling at him, "I saw you smoking, I saw the cigarette in your mouth, what did you do with it!" apparently rather out of control. My son finally figured out that he had had a pen in his mouth while he reached in his pocket for something, but by the time the policeman pulled around he had put the pen in the pocket. I would never have known about the incident except that one of the friends reported it to her father, who reported it to the chief of police. They called me to say the officer was under investigation for the incident.
One night another son was driving home with a group of friends when a policeman pulled them over and made them all get out of the car. The driver wanted to know what they had been pulled over for and was told there were deer out that night and the policeman wanted to warn them to drive carefully. Okay. The policeman then made them stick out their tongues and proceeded to tell them that their tongues were green so he knew they had been smoking marijuana. He kept talking to them, harassing them about all sorts of things they had not done until one of them said that they were going to be late for curfew (their family, curfew, not the town curfew). The policeman asked what their curfew was and said he was going to keep them until they were late. At that point, one of the boys whose parents are political activists asked the man's name and badge number. He finally let them go then, without giving his name or badge number.
One evening we (sweet C and I) were sitting on the front porch listening to his ham radio when we heard about a riot at a youth dance at the next town. The police were asking for backup from the closest towns. Our three youngest boys were all at that dance so we went up to get them. When we got there young people were streaming down to the closest store to try and call home, wandering everywhere while they waited for their parents to pick them up. We walked into the crowd to try to find our boys. We found one, and he was steps behind us when a policeman started yelling at him to get out of there, go home, he'd been told to disperse, why was he still there?!!! He replied that he was looking for his little brother, which got more yelling, and then said he was with his parents, and pointed to us. The policeman calmed right down but we had already heard him, all of them, screaming at these kids as if they were criminals. We later heard what had started the riot. Someone in a house nearby had set out a chair for the parade the next day, and one of the kids had picked it up and brought it to the dance to sit on. The woman called the police and they came to find a young man sitting in it. They immediately started bullying him about taking the chair, only, this young man hadn't brought the chair over, he was just sitting in it. He also happened to be a young man with mental problems, he is rather slow, though probably not retarded. When the policeman got into his face and was yelling at him, another boy stepped in and tried to protect the first boy. The policeman yelled at and shoved the second boy, so the kid shoved back. The policeman was twisted around at that point and he went down, twisting his ankle. He came up spraying mace everywhere, and all the kids who got hit started yelling, which made the other two police at the scene jump in and start with the night sticks, as well as call for backup. This was an outdoor dance held in the parking lot of a church. No seating provided, no access to restrooms, or phones. Kids had been dropped of by their parents with instructions that they would be picked up at a certain hour, and after the first few kids came to the only store nearby , the store owners wouldn't let anyone else borrow their telephone. The kids had no way to reach their parents (cell phones were just coming in to fashion, only one or two kids had them) and no way to get home.
One day we got a call from the school. Our son was with the police. He was suspected of stealing a stereo out of a car in the auto shop. When we got down there we found that the police had been questioning him for hours, telling him that the other kids all said he had done it, and that they, (the police) knew he had, as they had proof. They showed us the tape from the shop camera, and sure enough, you can see my son get into the car. And you can see him get right back out again. He was in there all of 3 seconds, not time enough to steal anything. I pointed that out to the police, as well as the fact that he had not left the shop before they arrived, where would he have the stereo? Turns out the kid who fingered my son was the one who took the stereo.
One of my sons got a ticket for obstruction of vision. Since there was nothing obstructing his vision except a little tree shaped piece of cardboard hanging from the mirror, he went to court to talk to the judge. Turned out the policeman was driving past and saw my son flip him the bird. Now, I am ashamed that my son did that, but it isn't against the law. The judge told him so and let him off.
My boys don't think much of policemen.
Yesterday one of my sons came out to find his car had been booted. This car is new, only four months old. Right after he bought the car he got two tickets for parking in front of his house, (no off street parking at his place of residence so he has to park on the street) without a permit. Only, you can't get the permit without proof of registration and it hadn't come yet. When the license came he went to get a permit, but needed the paperwork. They hadn't sent paperwork, only a license. He went to the DMV to get paperwork, but they had suspended his license since they didn't get proof of insurance. When he called the insurance company it turned out that they had sent paperwork, but one number or letter on the VIN didn't match what the DMV had so it was ignored. He got that straightened out, but before the paperwork came he had received two more tickets. Revenue is down so the city has doubled the price of tickets. This young man has been out of work for three months and doesn't have the money to pay the tickets so hadn't done so. Now he has had to pay the last of his savings to pay 4 tickets he never should have gotten and the boot removal fee. $530, but you can't find a job if you don't have a car. Besides, they would have towed the car if he didn't pay it, they have done it before, and then he would have owed even more.
Ever think the government is just out to get you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A bit of cheer

A quick update: I still don't know what exactly is causing my vertigo. The doctor just gave me motion sickness pills, and since they make one drowsy and so they shouldn't drive - I seldom take them. I am getting rather used to being dizzy though! Hah!
I really am posting just to bring a little spring into this very cold and snowy winter. I thought I should post some pictures I took at Thanksgiving Point Gardens last summer and saved purposely for mid-winter cheer. Hope you ENJOYED them!