Sunday, August 26, 2007

Charlotte's big day

Our choir director at church lost one of her sons this week. Her kids that came up for the funeral were leaving this afternoon, so I called and asked if I could lead the choir for her and she said, yes, please, and would you please play the organ for Sacrament meeting, as it is her turn to play ( we have 5 organists that take turns - none is that good really, and we've lost 2 of them this week to moving). So there wasn't anyone else to play the organ.... so I got to pick the songs. I only know 2 sacrament hymns - I have about 12 or 15 other songs I can sort of play. Alicia and Justin went to Palmer for the State Fair and to visit some friends, and just have a weekend away ( I think they wanted to skip out on the children's sacrament program, but they said that was an unfounded rumor).

So, I also volunteered to teach Alicia's young women's class. So, Friday, I had to drive myself to town to see my doctor and that was weird - I haven't driven in MONTHS or even years. Thank goodness for cruise control. I couldn't keep track of what my feet were supposed to be doing and what my arms and eyes were supposed to be doing. Made it safe and sound - even went to 2 banks and didn't hit anything going thru the drivethrus.

Friday night I had to make 4 dozen rolls for the funeral - and I haven't baked in YEARS, especially not bread, and not by myself.... I kept telling myself, I can buy rolls, no one will notice. But I knew I would notice and this was a special friend that would make home made rolls if I had a funeral, so I made 2 batches of potato dough in the bread machine and formed them into rolls and baked them - the last ones came out about 12:30 am - right after Brian got home from work.

Then, of course, I had to drive my self into the funeral because the kids were still gone and Brian was working. I don't usually do funerals, but, again, she would come if we had one. She is a very kind and loving and self-less person and would do anything for anybody. So I went to the funeral and while they all went to the cemetery, I practiced the organ a bit. The chorister was there and worked a little on our timing and such, so felt a little more confident, but still had a major panic attack last night. I called Brian finally and he was already on the way home, so I was okay. It was one of those situations where usually I would just take more tranquilizers to calm down, but knew that I had to be so on top of my game physically and mentally today, that I didn't dare take any extra to calm down.

He was teasing me about being an over-achiever and stuff like that - then today, when he had to cart all my accessories he was complaining about my need to travel lighter, but he carried everything.

So I directed the choir for practice and to perform- since it was the children's program, we sang a song to them - "A child's prayer". It was really difficult to get the adults to get how to sing it, but fortunately we got a bunch of the young women to come up and help us and it turned out really well. Then I went staight to the organ and played. I could use work on my ingress and egress, I don't practice introductions, and I will need to start doing that. But it went REALLY well. The congregation could recognize the songs and I had like 3 mini-tiny baubles, but there were so many people there, I don't think they could hear them. Our organ is not designed to be played for 2 huge rooms, so when we have 300 people here for summer meetings and have to open up the back, the organ isn't loud enough. But it was a good beginning for me.

I did lose feeling in my lower back and legs and yesterday, the chorister and I had already talked about how hard it is for me to get on and off the organ bench ( my feet are a good 6 inches from reaching anything). I glanced over at her during the sacrament and she signaled that she would come over and help me get down, so she did and I limped down to my seat with brian for the meeting, then booked it back up for the closing song.

This is SUCH a huge triumph for me. I have only been able to go to church about 6 times this whole year because of my agoraphobia, so to be able to go, in the summer, and play and perform in front of 300 people, is a major, major victory. YAY !!! Please keep me in your prayers that I didn't over do it and will now backslide - I don't think I will, but I can surely use your prayers.

Dr. Burgess is starting me on another new medication this week - finally addressing the pain issue, I'm hoping for great success. Keep your fingers crossed. Have a good week everyone - I know I will !!! -----IT'S COLLEGE KICK OFF WEEK!!!!! TRIPLE YAY'S ALL AROUND.
Love, Charlotte

Friday, August 17, 2007

Playing Ball

Before Mya, we'd never had a dog that liked to play ball more than 3 rounds. Our other dogs would go get it that often, then look at you like "if you can't keep a better hold on that ball - I can't help you" then go lay down. But Mya is a ball playing fool. She'll play for hours (literally). Just now she wanted to play, but mom's taking a nap, and I'm making sugar cookies for the youth dance tonight, so there wasn't anyone to play with, but I could hear her carrying her ball around and whining at someone. So I walk into the living room and here's the cat curled up asleep with the dogs balls all around him, and the dog was whining at him trying to get him to play. It was too cute, I had to get pictures of it. I've tried to teach her that the cat doesn't want to play ball, but it apparently hasn't sunk in. Too cute. Love you all. Alicia

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Driveway re-construction

Here's just a pretty view of mom's flower garden that we planted last year. Its doing great this year.

This past weekend Justin borrowed equipment from work to put a french drain across the front of the house/bottom of the driveway, and to re-do the slope of the driveway so that it drained better. We always get these really big soft spots in the driveway and end up parking away from the house so that we don't sink in the spring and fall when everything gets swampy. But now we won't have to do that. YAY!

Digging in front of the garage
Test hole looking for the phone lines.
Prepare to move plants!
Starting to dig the trench
Here's the big money shot. :)

Another view of scraping the gravel out from in front of the garage
Justin working his magic in the track hoe.
The trench started shallower on the right side of the house and went deeper as it went across the front, towards the neighbors, so the water will drain to the left, and run into the channel/ditch that Justin dug, to funnel it back towards the pond, and out of the garage, carport, driveway, and basement crawl space.

Another hole.

The first, and only, casualty of the day. The step got a little smashed by the track hoe. Oh well! :)

He parked the trackhoe and switched to a smaller skidster machine after he did the trench digging, and moved the gravel he wanted to save out of the way.

Here's the trench on the left side.

Here's Mya the watchdog, supervising the whole project.

After digging the trench, you line it with fabric stuff. Here's Justin spreading it out.

Mya doing more supervision.

Still supervising

Another shot of the trench.

Overlooking her subjects
Here's the pipe, its perforated so that the water can flow into it, the down the line. Its got a little sock thing on it to keep sediment out, and just let water in.

The trench is filled in with 1 1/2" drain rock, so that the water can flow down into the pipe, and out the side yard, into the ditch, and out the backyard. The fabric stuff on the parking lot went under the gravel when he put it back, so that the driveway will stop sinking.

Mya was getting a little bored, and very ready to be let off the leash after being tied to the top step for about 2 hours while we tore up the yard.

But now the driveway is all put back together, and working great. Its first big test should come next month when all the big rains start. Can't wait to be able to use the whole driveway and not slog through the mud! :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Losing President Faust

President Faust died today. We got an email from Stef Nef this morning. Not living in Zion, we hadn't even heard that he was failing - although, I don't think he has been able to stand for a couple years. Anyway, it is sad. For those you you who don't know him - he is one of the leaders of our church. Alicia noted today that he always seemed like Grandpa to us - his face and voice and his gentle nature were all so much like Grandpa Ted that when he spoke, it always felt personal to us. So we will miss him and his kind counsel. I loved his last lesson about forgiveness a couple months ago.... I hope I will always remember it. He talked about the Amish and how they had so quickly forgiven the man who hurt their little girls and not only did they forgive, they took the man's family in and helped them get over it, too.

so many people say, "Oh, I forgive so and so, but I WON"T EVER FORGET." and his teaching was not only to forget, but to go the next step and help correct and heal the offender. It was just a great lesson I need in my life. So this is my little tribute to President Faust. In the December Ensign is one of my favorite songs "THIS IS THE CHRIST". President Faust wrote the words to it. You can look it up at - look in the gospel library, under Ensign, 2006, December. It is a beautiful song and the words are so moving.

Well, Beena and Mylan are coming over in a minute to spend the afternoon, so I better go get ready. Charlotte

Monday, August 06, 2007

August 6

Well, as usual, I don't have any pics to share. We had friends from Oregon up last week - kids Brian and his family had grown up with, and somehow, did not take a single picture. I still don't think like a scrapbooker sometimes. And actually, they aren't kids anymore - they are just a couple years younger than us (Larry and Linda Shirley, and her mom, Peg.) They rented a motor home in Anchorage and toured the country and fished a lot. Larry and Linda and Brian went out on a halibut charter one day with Aaron Mahoney and had the fishing day of their lives. They said you couldn't even set your line before you would get a halibut - so they got to pick and choose which ones to bring home. They didn't get any monsters, but had a great time catch and releasing lots of "ping pong paddles" before bringing in the meat fish.

It was a week day, so poor Justin didn't get to go. Then this weekend, when Brian and Fred and Justin could have gone out in Fred's boat - the wind blew so hard it kept blowing the doors of the house open.... not good weather to be out on the water.

Brian took the boat back over to Fred's house today - Brian has to go back to work tomorrow, so figures his chances to use the boat are over for this year. They only took it out once. Brian gets up early every morning and catches silvers in the river and since he works nights at the school, he can keep doing that until the river freezes later this fall. This year, he works Tuesdays thru Saturdays from 4 to midnight. and has Sunday and Monday off. I don't know if we will like that or not, but I spend most of my time sleeping anyway, so I guess one day is pretty much like any other. hehehe I mean, my physical therapy is helping me get stronger, but it sure takes the starch out of me for a day or two each session.

Our dog is not progressing as well as I had hoped - I don't know what to do with her - sometimes she is the sweetest thing and then other times, she just drives us all crazy and makes me wonder what I was thinking. Oh well, at least it keeps us all busy and our arms are getting a workout throwing that ball over and over and over and over again.

Well, I guess I don't have any news - I just wanted you all to know we weren't up to anything around here. LOVE Charlotte