Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Saying Hola and Blowing Kisses

If you're wondering if I'm ever going to comb my hair again, the answer is maybe. Working at a garden center has its benefits. No one notices or cares if you wear ratty clothes and a hat every single day. Just thought I'd throw that out there...

You may or may not know that nearly every member of my family speaks a foreign language.
Missions are beneficial that way. It breaks down like this:

Dad, Mom, my two brothers and my sister-in-law served in Brazil. (And now Dad and the boys can speak Spanish fluently too.)

My three younger sisters and one sister-in-law served in Spanish speaking countries. (Panama, Chile, and two in Spain.)

Bec and I served here in the United States, English speaking. (I'm mostly not bitter now.)
We studied Spanish in high school and then I studied it mucho more after high school. I'm not as fluent as I'd like to be...but I can hold my own. Becca speaks more than she thinks she does.

My brother-in-law served in Italy but you would be surprised at the Spanish he throws out.

I'm not sure that my brothers know how to speak a full sentence in English. I'm not sure that any of us do. It can be highly entertaining. Whenever we sing 'Happy Birthday' we sing it in English AND Portuguese. It's a requirement.

Anyway...

The little kids speak a few words here and there. They all say hola and adios and bien and stuff. The nephews say a bit more...Nick can say que pasa, and no pasa nada, and Josh can say even more.

For a long while my nieces thought that any Latino was simply called 'Hola.' One night we were at Wal Mart and Gabi and Erika got so excited. "Look Noelle! It's a whole bunch of Holas!" Can you be any more innocent than that?

We have guys from Mexico who have worked for us forever and they are like family. The little kids adore them and have no fear of using what Spanish they do know. Sami, who is just learning how to talk, came to the nursery yesterday to play with Grandpa.

She and Becca stopped to say hi to me. She pointed to one of the guys and said, "la...la." Becca said, "she's saying 'hola'". The guy turned around and said, "Hola Sami." Sami said, "la" and then went a step further than any of the others have ever dared, and blew him a kiss. I'm pretty sure it made his day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Is Faith

Grandpa spent his afternoons and evenings listening to books on tape. When he tired of those, he would listen to Lawrence Welk shows that he recorded from the TV onto cassette tapes. His favorite Lawrence Welk show was one where someone brought a parrot. Once the parrot tape got eaten by the tape player. It was nearly catastrophic. I was the hero of the year when I fixed that parrot tape.

Grandpa was excited once to tell me about a new story he had listened to. It was mystery mixed with romance, and to hear Grandpa tell it, it was almost scandalous. The more he told the story the more it sounded familiar to me. I had read the same book the week before. Grandpa couldn't believe that he was listening to something that I had read. If we weren't BFFs before, we were after that.

One night Grandpa called me and asked, "Noelle, what is faith?"

I gave him the missionary answer: faith is believing in something you can't see, faith is trusting that God is in charge and that He will take care of you, etc.

I asked him why the question and he told me that he was listening to a talk on faith and just wanted to make sure he understood it.

The next night when I called him for his bed-time alert I asked him what he was doing. "I'm listening to that talk on faith."

The next night it was the same story. When I questioned him about why he was listening to the same talk for the third night in a row he said, "There's a lot I still need to learn about faith. I'm just listening to it until I feel I've got it right."

He listened to that tape every night for over a week.

I hope that when I'm 93 years old I'm still willing to learn and I hope that at 93 I'm humble enough to be teachable.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dirty Dishes

Friends, we have a new 'follower'. Everyone give a warm welcome to Rebecca. We hope you'll like it here.

Every Sunday is like Thanksgiving at Mom's house. It's a production to be sure.

We've got Mom and Dad and then this craziness:

5 - 33 year olds

2 - 31 year olds

2 - 29 year olds

1 - 24 year old

And 8 little kids running around.

We have a dinner chart. Whoever is in charge of making the main dish gives out food assignments to the rest of us.

Every week the kids will ask, "Who made the dinner? Who made dessert? Who made the Jell-O?" (I think they have their own secret rating system.)

Every Sunday, if the weather is nice, I take all of the kids for a walk, and the adults who stay behind do the dishes.

Now...with the number of adults there are, you would think that dish duty would be under control. Think again.

Last Sunday my sister needed a saucer. She pulled one out of the cupboard and found remnants of dessert from the Sunday before.

Thinking it was just one that got missed in the dishwasher, she pulled out another saucer from the cupboard. Hmmm...same thing.

Every saucer she pulled out of the cupboard was dirty. By the 7th saucer, we were laughing a lot.

No one will fess up. I KNOW it wasn't me...I was chasing the kids up the street.

I wonder what we'll find next Sunday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Blind Date - Literally

Want another blind date story?

I have three to choose from:

1. Pilot

2. Mr. I Want To Kidnap You and Never Let You Go

3. The story I really want to tell but can't. It's one of those where the guy might actually read my blog. Oohh but it's a great story.

I'm going to choose the pilot story - and I'll think about posting the one I REALLY want to post.

The story goes like this:

A guy...a family friend...a distant cousin...a long-time co-worker...someone I've known since we were 2 said one day, "Noelle, can I set you up with my roommate?"

Considering our background, and figuring he knew me just as well as anyone would, I said sure.

The roommate seemed like a good catch. He was a pilot, he was well-established, he was older and more mature, he liked to travel ... who wouldn't say yes to being set up?

The roommate called me and asked if I wanted to go flying with him that coming weekend. I agreed. (I probably wouldn't agree now. Considering that two of my favorite people were killed in a small plane accident...)

The night he picked me up turned out to be a bad night for flying. There were dark clouds in the sky and as we took off I could see a storm moving in. And it was moving in really fast. We were in the air for maybe 5 minutes when he said, "I think we should land the plane." Good idea, I thought.

We landed, and before we got out of the plane the storm hit with all of its fury. The wind was unbelievable and the rain even more so. We ran to the truck and after my date let me in he said, "I forgot something. I'll be right back." (That was the longest sentence he had spoken since he picked me up.)

He ran off into the storm and a few minutes later came back. He was without his glasses. "My glasses flew off and I can't find them," he said. "If I can't find them you will have to drive because I can't see without my glasses." And then he was off again to search for them. I didn't even offer to help. This date was pre-Lasik and so I was also wearing glasses and if I was going to be the designated driver...well, the logic made sense to me.

At one point my date opened the door and said, "I can't see anything. Can I use your glasses?" Ummm...no? You lost your own glasses, you think I'm going to let you lose mine too? Those were the thoughts I was thinking as I took my glasses off and said, "Don't lose them." And then I was wishing I had some disinfectant wipes in my purse.

I have issues...I won't share shoes, or hats, or let anyone touch my sheets...turns out sharing glasses ranks right up there in my list of issues. But desperate times called for desperate measures.

He found his glasses...lucky for him. He didn't lose mine...lucky for me. We went to dinner but it didn't last long as he wouldn't say more than two words at a time. I SWEAR I'm easy to talk to.

We went flying again the next week...(he said he owed me) this time with the guy who set us up. That guy apologized for the next month. "But Noelle, he's so different when he's with us! I had no idea he didn't talk."

It was a shame really. Flying in a small plane over Provo Canyon and up into Heber could be really romantic...

Hey Dentist, want to become a pilot?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

32

So...

I'm thinking I need to write something...

What should I write?

.....what to write, what to write.....

Oh...I know something.

Did you know that living in Utah, and owning a garden center don't go well together?

One number will tell you why...

32

That one little number determines success or utter disaster in our world.

Every night we watch the news, and every day we check the weather report at least 7 times...will it freeze tonight or not?

Grrr... That's how I feel about the number 32.

If we get below 32 degrees tonight I'm toast. Well...technically I'm not toast. My poor little plants from California are toast.

To cover the plants or not to cover the plants...that is the question.

A hundred years ago my sisters and I were having a girls night. We were all wearing silk pjs (I had to borrow some because I'm mostly opposed to silk...but everyone else was wearing silk...you get the picture), we were doing pedicures, and we were watching "While You Were Sleeping." (Actually, I can't remember what we were watching...but it sounded like something we might watch.)

ANYWAY...we were right in the middle of our activities when Dad came downstairs and into our room. He saw us and said, "Oh great." We saw him and said, "No! We're in our pjs, and they're silk!!!"

It didn't matter. Dad had just watched the news report - it was going to get below 32 degrees.

We put coats on over our silk pjs, pulled the brothers out of their own bonding moment, and went to the nursery. And with only the light from the headlights of the suburban, we covered plants.

I've since suggested to Dad that he reconsider his career choice.

I probably won't cover plants tonight...because seriously, 12 acres worth? Who are we kidding?

Good luck little plants...remember what Darwin said, "...survival of the fittest" and stuff.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm So Confused

Arbor Day ?




or

Arbor Day ?




In honor of this day I would like to quote Jack Handy:

"If trees could scream would we be so cavalier about cutting them down?"

"We might... if they screamed all the time...for no good reason."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Promised A Short Post


Once.....in Mexico.....I rode a bull.



The End.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ben, There WILL Be A Quiz

Okay...here we go. This is the post where you will ALL be confused...but it has to be done so you can understand the dynamics of Grandpa Wednesdays. Oh...and there might be a slight deviation to this particular Grandpa Wednesday. But trust me, the story just might be worth it.

This is how it happened oh so many years ago:

Gayle married Beatrice. They had four children. My mom (Val) was the youngest of those four children.

Gayle had a sister named Vicki. Vicki married Lyn. They couldn't have children.

Gayle and Beatrice went on a business trip and farmed their children off to different family members. Before they left Beatrice said to Vicki, "If anything happens to me, I want you to raise Valerie."

Gayle and Beatrice were in a car accident, Beatrice died, and my mom went to live with Vicki and Lyn. (She was 18 months old.)

Gayle remarried Lucy, Beatrice's sister. (Are you still with me? This is where Ben gets lost.) Lucy had two children from her first marriage, and together Gayle and Lucy had one more child.

And they were all one, big happy family. (I mean that sincerely.)

So...to my mom this is how it was:

Gayle was 'Daddy Gayle'

Lyn was 'Daddy Lyn'

Vicki was 'Mom'

Lucy was 'Aunt Lucy'

All four were Grandma and Grandpa to me...except that now I call Grandma 'Lucy' ... mostly because it drives her crazy. (On occasion I'm a brat.)

Grandpa Wednesdays are about Lyn.

I help Lucy with her bills.

I spent the night at Lucy's house. I filed all of her papers from last year, balanced the checkbook, told her three times she did in fact owe the money to Dish Network, etc.

BUT...the real story happened this morning. (I promise that my next post will be short.)

We ate breakfast together. AFTER I poured the milk over my cereal Lucy said a blessing. By the time she was finished my cereal was soggy. Sigh.

On my way out of town I was supposed to stop at the family cemetery (yes, we have a cemetery...strange I know) and fertilize the lawn. "It will only take you 20 minutes," Mom said. Riiight. I stopped at the cemetery and as I was opening the bag of fertilizer I heard a crashing sound. I looked up and saw a car rolling to a stop in the gully on the other side of the road. I ran across the road, and down the gully, and found that the lady driving the car was unconscious. GREAT. The front end of her car was smashed in, the air bag had deployed, there was blood, and I was without phone service. GREAT. She woke up and asked me to get her out of the car.

I told her that I couldn't move her but that I would get help. I ran up to the road and flagged down the first truck that drove by. He did have phone service and so he called 911. I ran back to the lady and told her help was on the way. She asked me again to get her out of the car because her legs hurt. I couldn't open her door enough to get her out anyway, so I used that as my excuse. (She was not buying the whole 'I could hurt you more if I move you' excuse.)

The guy who called 911 had followed this lady through the canyon and said she had been swerving all over the road. He had backed off because he figured it was just a matter of time before she hurt herself or someone else. Lucky for me she swerved the direction she did, because had she swerved the other direction she would have hit me.

We're not sure what happened exactly. She may have rolled, or not. She was going pretty fast and when she hit a low spot in the gully her car flew into the air and we think it got smashed when she landed. It wasn't pretty.

The sheriff arrived and took our statements and then we waited until the ambulance arrived. The poor lady was not happy. We helped the paramedics get the lady onto the stretcher and then helped carry her to the ambulance and with that I said, "Well, I guess I'll go fertilize a cemetery." The sheriff just laughed.

I'm willing to give away a portion of my inheritance to pay someone ELSE to fertilize the cemetery. The fertilizer spreader broke, leaving me to spread the nitrogen by hand. Of course I had no gloves, and of course I had an allergic reaction to the nitrogen, so now I have blisters on my fingers. It's been a lovely day.

I can't wait until Lucy sees the lawn at the cemetery. There will be these nice green patches, and then some even greener patches...where the nitrogen got out of control...and then there will be dead spots, where I missed altogether. Anyone who knows Lucy will know how happy she's going to be. My defense will be this: "Crash...broken spreader...blisters."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Really Wordy Post

I'm pretty sure that my aunts and uncles held a meeting once and decided that out of all of their millions of nieces and nephews, I was the biggest sucker. I can't figure out how they would have come to that conclusion, but there is no doubt in my mind that they did.

As a result of that meeting, I'm in charge of helping Grandma with her finances. I'm sure that somewhere I have at least one or two, or maybe even 30 cousins who are smarter than me, and who are more capable, but like I said...the aunts and uncles...they must have seen something special in me.

Once a month, or every other month, I make the trek to Fountain Green and I go through the stack of mail that is waiting for me on the desk. I throw 97% of it away...much to Grandma's dismay.

"Noelle, are you sure that's not important?"

I balance the checkbook and I try to pay the bills. It would be easier if Grandma just let me do my job. But she doesn't. In fact, she questions everything I do. It's okay, she's 93 and very stubborn and independent, she's entitled I guess.

Once when I wanted to pay a doctor's bill (a co-pay of $5.00) she wouldn't let me.

"That's not the way we do things in Fountain Green. We usually wait five or six months before we pay the bill."

What can you say to that?

Because I'm not a signer on any of her accounts (I should be, don't you think?) I run into trouble on occasion when I need to call about a bill or a deposit.

Last week Grandma called and told me that Dish Network was charging her for something that she was SURE she didn't owe.

I was sure she did owe it. (The credit card that they were using for her auto-payment had expired. A fact I knew but couldn't get Grandma to understand.)

I told Grandma she had to call Dish Network and authorize me to talk to someone about her account. She did.

I called Dish Network and had this conversation:

Me: "I need to find out the details of a bill you just sent to my grandma. I should be authorized to talk to someone about her account."

The Guy: "Yes, your name is on here. I'm not sure that we can help you however. We need to verify somehow that you are who you say you are."

Me: "And how are you going to do that?"

The Guy: "Well...we can call Lucy and ask her for your birthday and social security number and then if you give us the same info that she does, we'll know it's you."

Me: "That would work IF Lucy knew my birthday and soc. sec. number. She's 93. She's not going to know that information."

And then I gave him Grandma's address, phone number, maiden name, mother's maiden name, account number, etc. They finally agreed to help me.

Me: "Can you tell me what..."

The Guy: "We'll be happy to help you with that."

Me: "How do you know what I need? You wouldn't let me finish my sentence."

And then I explained to The Guy that I knew that the credit card had expired and that Grandma owed for two months of service and I would like to pay the balance.

The Guy: "Would you like to pay that with a credit card?"

Me: "Yes...I have her number right here."

The Guy: "We can't take that credit card information from you. Lucy needs to authorize it."

Me: "Well...chances are that will just confuse her. That's okay, we'll just send a check in the mail."

The Guy: "You do know that a check will take at least 7 to 10 days to get here, and in the mean time more late fees could be added."

Me: "Yes, I do know that but you won't let me pay with a credit card. We'll put a check in the mail."

The Guy: "Before you hang up I'm obligated to tell you that you do have a past due balance with us and we would appreciate that you pay that past due balance now, while we have you on the phone."

Me: "Remember, I tried that. You won't take the credit card number from me. For someone who wants money you make things rather difficult."

The Guy: "I'm not making things difficult. You can pay with a credit card. That's rather simple."

Me: "Right...until I tell you it's Lucy's card and then we'll play this game all over again."

So...I called the operator and found out how to make a conference call (I'm technologically challenged) and then I called Grandma AND Dish Network.

Me: "We'd like to pay a bill with a credit card."

Different Guy: "Great, the amount is ______. There will be a $5.00 service fee for paying with an agent."

Me: "You're telling me that you're going to charge us $5.00 just because we're talking to a live person?"

Different Guy: "Yes."

Me: "Is there a way I can pay this bill without talking to an agent?"

Different Guy: "Yes, I can transfer you over to the automated system." (Why didn't the first guy tell me this?)

Me: "Before you transfer me, can you take the new credit card information so that we can continue with the auto-pay of this bill?"

Different Guy: "No...I can't do that unless the bill is paid in full first."

Grandma says, "Oh good grief. Makes you not want to do business with them doesn't it?"
(She whispered it, I'm sure she thought he wouldn't be able to hear her.)

So I agreed to pay the silly $5.00 fee and then confirmed the auto pay.

Different Guy: "So...I'm just confirming that you would like to set this account up as an auto-pay."

Me: "Only if you can guarantee there aren't going to be any more ridiculous added charges."

Grandma says, "Good...let them have it."

Ha ha ha...you tell them Grandma.

I'm headed to Fountain Green tonight: to throw away more junk mail, to balance the checkbook, and to hear about how much yard work needs to be done. I can't wait.

Monday, April 20, 2009

All I Need

JUST GIVE ME



A sunny day

A fuzzy blanket

A good book

(And then leave me alone...)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah

A photo of happier times

(At this point anything BUT snow makes me happy)



I'd like to file a formal complaint against snow on April 16th.

I've been sweeping snow off of plants all morning. (Literally, with a broom.) Poor plants.

It's been a so-so kind of day and I'm not feeling particularly chatty.

BUT...

I pulled this story out of my memory bank. It might make you laugh.

Once I went on a blind date.

(I've been on way too many blind dates in my life. I don't recommend them.)

My aunt set me up. It was one of those "Hey, my sister knows this guy who is single...and you're single...I think we should set you up."

(Note to those of you who set people up with other people: the he's-single-she's-single thing is NOT enough. If you truly care about someone, only set them up with someone you might actually think is a good match. I'm just sayin'...)

So the guy (I can't remember his name) called and said, "Let's go to dinner."

I agreed.

A few nights later he picked me up.

We went to dinner. (I can't remember where.) It was somewhat painful. I don't consider myself a hard person to talk to. I'll even go so far as to say I'm pretty good at coming up with things to talk about.

But this guy...he wasn't so good at conversation. Really. Not. Good.

Towards the end of dinner he said this: (and I quote him word for word)

"I'VE REACHED MY QUOTA OF CONVERSATION FOR THE NIGHT. I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY."

(It's in caps because...well, just because.)

"Well then, I guess you can take me home." That's what I said rather demurely. But inside I was screaming it.

(This is where I recommend you take your own car and meet the date there. I learned...eventually.)

We got to his truck and he had a flash of inspiration. "Let's go see the Christmas tree at the mall."

We drove to the mall. We parked the truck. We walked into the mall. He said this:

"Huh...looks like the tree is at the other end of the mall. I don't want to walk that far. I'll take you home."

He dropped me off at my front door. I went inside and said to myself, "Noelle, NEVER AGAIN."

Two days later he called me. The conversation went like this:

"Hi, this is ______" (still can't remember his name)

Me thinking why did I answer my phone?

"I was wondering if you would like to go out again this weekend?"

Me: "You know, I appreciate the offer but I don't think so. I'm not interested in pursuing anything at this point."

Him: "Hmmm...sounds like you're interested in becoming a nun then?" (Yes people, he said that. He. Really. Said. That.)

Me: "You know, the option looks better and better every day."

And then I hung up the phone. So there.

I've got more where that came from. I'll save them for the next time I'm not feeling chatty.

Buh bye.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Third Wednesday


Remember friends, this is a post about Grandpa. Nothing else.



Grandpa called me one day and said, "I need to go to the dentist."

I called and made him an appointment.

(Grandpa was 92 ish at the time.)

We went to the same office he always went to.

In fact, it was the same office I always went to...until my dentist retired.

The new dentist was very nice to Grandpa.

(A fact Grandpa repeated over and over again for the next few days.)

* * * * *

A few days later Grandpa called and said he needed to go to the store.

We made a list of what he needed:

Milk

Root Beer

Potato Chips

Hersheys Chocolate Bars

Soup

I mentioned that perhaps we should stock up on toilet paper as well...oh...and he was getting low on tooth paste.

"I don't need any toothpaste."

"Do you have it somewhere I don't know about?" I asked.

"No...I stopped brushing my teeth a few days ago."

Long pause while I try to come up with something to say...

"Why?"

"I'm afraid that all of my teeth will fall out. You know that dentist did a lot of stuff in my mouth and I just don't want to make things worse."

"Grandpa, you need to brush your teeth."

"But what if my teeth fall out?"

"Grandpa, this is one of those times you just have to be obedient and do what I say."

As he's chuckling he says, "Okay, I'll be obedient."

* * * * *

10:00 pm - I call Grandpa.

"Did you brush your teeth?"

"No."

"Grandpa! BRUSH YOUR TEETH!"

"Okay, I'll do it before I go to bed."

"Do you promise?"

"I promise."

And he did.

Raising a grandpa can be hard work!

Uncle Ben...Our Hero


These three kiddies belong to my brother and his wife.


They have another sister who is a year old.

I don't have a picture of the four of them together.

(Rachel...can you fix that?)

Yesterday Rachel brought the four kids to work for a few minutes.

The three oldest were told, "play outside or in my office, but let Noelle do her work."

They played outside.

At one point I saw Nick playing on the other side of a ditch and I said,

"Nicholas, DON'T fall in!"

He said he wouldn't.

I believed him.

(And now I'm turning the rest of this post over to Uncle Ben...it's his story to tell.)

I recently went to Disneyland with my wife and son, as well as some of my wife's family. We were searching for characters the first day and ran into some of the most obvious. All of a sudden my 7 year old nephew screamed "Stitchy" and ran a gave Stitch a huge hug. For him, the trip could have ended there. I had no clue who Stitch was until that moment, but I learned how much influence the right character can have over a child.

Well, back to the ditch...I was just finishing helping a customer when Allie, Nick and Kate all came running over to me hysterical and crying. Theirs was no wimpy cry. It was "someone is on the verge of dying type thing." Adrenaline kicked in and I ran over to the ditch where they were pointing. The only thing that I could think of was that someone had fallen in and was drowning in the irrigation ditch.

(I'm pretty sure Uncle Ben thought that someone was Ruth, the baby sister.)

As I reached and crossed the ditch I realized that part of my thoughts were valid; someone was in the ditch: Stitch.

(I think Uncle Ben is being humble here. From what I hear, he ran as though he were leaping tall buildings in a single bound. And just so you know, Nick got a toy Stitch on his trip to Disneyland a few months ago.)

I hustled to the head gate and waited for Stitch to float into my hands. I gathered him up, shook him off and gave him to a still sobbing and hysterical Nick. All 3 kids were still crying and all 3 acted as if I had just saved their little sister or something. I reassured them that everything was okay. I also reassured the onlooking adults that no humans were harmed in this event and that Stitch would be just fine. Phew.

Stitch was fine.

Nick wasn't.

The poor kid was traumatized!

I helped wring Stitch out, which got Nick to laugh and say, "Look, he's going to the bathroom."

And then I told Nick that river baths were okay.

I showed him a picture of a river in Guatelmala, where I took a bath once.

Later, as they were leaving the nursery Nick said this:

"It's been a really hard day."

And then he whimpered a bit and patted Stitch on the head.


PS. The ditch isn't that big, nor does it have that much water in it. I wouldn't want you to think we're not careful with our kiddies.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Faith of a Child


Yesterday as my sister was getting ready for work she said to her girls, "Dress warmly. It's going to be a cold day."

The girls said that they would.

My sister said, "Even though it's going to be a cold day we need to have a good day at the nursery."

The girls wanted to know why the nursery needed a good day.

"We need people to buy plants, so that we can buy food," my sister explained.
"Maybe you can pray to Heavenly Father and ask him to have the rain wait until tomorrow."

Rain on a Saturday is NOT a good thing for a nursery in the Spring.

Erika and Gabi immediately went to their bedroom and knelt down by their beds.

A few minutes later they came back and informed their mom that they had said a prayer about the rain.

Erika asked, "Mom, when is Easter?"

"Tomorrow."

And then Erika and Gabi started to talk excitedly about the Easter egg hunt of last year, and how they hoped the one this year would be just as great.

"We might have to hide the eggs inside this year," my sister said.

"WHY?"

"Well, you just prayed that the rain would wait until tomorrow."

Gabi turned around and disappeared.

When she reappeared my sister asked, "Where were you?"

"I was praying again. I told Heavenly Father that it was okay if it rained today. We don't want it to rain during our Easter egg hunt."

I'm looking out the window, and I'm seeing brightly colored eggs hidden all over the back yard.

Rain on a Saturday is not such a big deal...not when little girls' prayers are answered.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If Dogs Could Talk

This is what Mia would say:

Dear A and J and Lil A, (Mr. Thompson and Me)

COME HOME NOW!

This girl who is staying with me while you're having fun in Disneyland is not very nice.

She doesn't let me jump on the bed at night. She keeps saying something about personal space. And do you know she thinks I snore???

And although she wakes up EVERY TIME I put my nose by her head and tell her I have to go outside, she complains about being tired and wants to know why I can't just hold it until morning .

And last night when it was raining too hard for me to play outside she got mad at me when I wanted to peak behind the shower curtain. How was I to know that some people are sensitive about that stuff? AND she said I scared her to death. You should have heard her scream! (I thought it was kind of funny.) I just wanted to say hi.

She does take me on long walks, I'll give her credit for that. But she doesn't let me chase after the kids who are playing soccer. She's no fun.

Last night she didn't get home until almost 8:30pm. Do you know how long my day was??? And when she finally let me out of my kennel and I wanted to attack her for an hour she said, "Mia, enough is enough. You can only jump on me 12 times before it gets old."

So I wandered into Lil A's room looking for love somewhere else. I didn't find it.

This morning I was kind of out of control and I guess I slobbered ALL OVER her clean pants. She said something about how it's "okay to smell like dog after a day at work, but it's not okay to smell like dog before I even leave the house" and so guess what J, she wore some of your clothes to work. I gave her that look that told her you were going to be mad at her and then she said something about how you owe her and you won't care that she wore YOUR pants to work.

I just said, "Well, I guess we'll see about that."

She does feed me and give me fresh water.
And she did clean out my kennel after I made a HUGE mess in it.
And she lets me sit with her at night while she watches TV for a little while.
And I guess I've heard her say that she feels bad about leaving me in the garage all day.
So maybe she's got some redeeming qualities.

But really, COME HOME NOW!

And give a shout out to my bro Pluto.

Next time can I come too?

I'll be good I promise!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Gardening and Drinking Wine

My grandpa planted a huge garden:

Peas

Tomatoes

Peppers

Peas

Grapes

Corn

Squash

Peas

He liked his peas.

He had apple trees too.

Every year he would harvest his crops and share with everyone.

He made applesauce.

He made grape juice.

Well, he kind of made applesauce and grape juice.

He would cook the apples and mash them and that = apple sauce.

I'll be honest. I'm not sure how he made the grape juice.

One night I was at his house and Grandpa said, "Noelle, will you taste my grape juice?"

I was instantly on guard. "Why Grandpa?"

"It doesn't taste right. I made it a few weeks ago."

(A few weeks could have been a few months in Grandpa's world.)

"What do you mean it doesn't taste right?" I asked.

"It just has a funny flavor. It's like it's got a kick to it. Just taste it!" my grandpa said.

I didn't taste it, but I smelled it. And boy did it smell.

"Grandpa? I believe what you have here is fermented grape juice. Some people call that wine."

Grandpa didn't laugh, he chuckled. And his whole body would shake as he was chuckling. And his eyes would tear up. And he wouldn't really make a sound. And if you saw him chuckle, you couldn't help but laugh along with him...no matter what the situation was.

So he chuckled and I laughed. A lot.

And then he said, "I really have been drinking wine? Oh...what will my bishop say?" And then he started chuckling again...for a good long time. And then he pulled his hanky out of his pocket and wiped his eyes.

I loved that man.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On A Tuesday


What I Wish I Was Doing:

(drinking my favorite soda in Mexico)

((lovely picture I know))




What I Am Doing:





(just working)

((Even more lovely of a picture, I know))

I need a vacation.

The dentist gets to go back to Guatemala next week. (Where we met a year ago.)

At one point I thought I was going to go too.

I'm not.

I'm sad.

Sigh.

But back to the original point: I need a vacation.

Do you need a vacation too?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Deep Thoughts By Katrina


Kate and I are great friends.

Kate comes to work two or three times a week and plays with me.

When Kate grows up she wants to work at the nursery with me.





Sometimes Kate and I have really serious conversations.

This morning was one of those times.

"Noelle, can I have a jelly bean?"

"Yes you can."

"How many?"

"Three."

As Kate is reaching for the jelly beans she says, "Noelle?"

"Yes Kate?"

"Yesterday we went to see my Grandma. She's gonna die."

"She is?"

"Yeah, my Grandma Sumsion is gonna die."

"You mean your Grandma Hjorth?"

"Yeah. My grandma that lives with us...she sleeps downstairs. Her mom is gonna die."

"Does that make you sad?"

"I'm gonna miss her. She's going to heaven to live with Jesus again. She's gonna die."

"Noelle?"

"Yes Kate?"

"Nick likes pirates, but I'm afraid of them."

"Noelle?"

"Yes Kate?"

"I want another jelly bean."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cleaning House

And now for a few items of ward business...

Hmmm...that doesn't exactly work in this setting does it?

Okay. And now for a few items of blog business...

* Last night my sister lost some dear, dear friends. I'm not sure that she will ever be the same. The final episode of ER aired last night. When it was over Becca said, "I'm going to bed now so I don't have to think about how sad I am." Condolences can be sent to ...

* Today is Kim's birthday. You don't know Kim, but that's okay because I do. Happy Birthday Kim!

* Mr. Thompson and Me and Mr. Thompson are going to Disneyland on Monday. Mr. Thompson and Me asked me to dogsit. This should be entertaining. Did you know I'm not really a dog person? It's true. BUT...because I love Mr. Thompson and Me I love her dog and I will be the best dang dog sitter Mia (the dog) will ever have!

* On a more serious note, today marks the one year anniversary of a pretty horrible day in the life of Mr. Thompson et al. I love you lady! I admire your strength and courage!!! And I love Mr. Thompson too...you can tell him that.

* My head hurts...still.

* There is a dead deer in my parents flower bed. It looks like it's just taking a peaceful nap. The Division of Wildlife told Mom to call the local Animal Control and the local Animal Control told Mom to call The Division of Wildlife. Wonder who will draw the short straw with this particular task.

* And finally...remember back a few posts when I made mention of Baby Sister's boyfriend? Seems she's been getting some flack (TOTALLY DESERVED I might add) and she wants to set the record straight. Here's the record: (The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the owner/operator of this blog)

FROM THE DESK OF BABY SISTER

To Whom It May Concern:

I have come down from my lofty 'no blog' ladder to set the record straight once and for all.
Baby Sister does NOT NOW, nor does she see in the future ever having any type of boyfriend, secret or otherwise.
If I have learned any 2 things in the course of my 'long' existence of almost 24 years (I know...I'm old...with crows feet, grey hair, and saying things that don't make sense, etc.) it would be these 2 gems of wisdom:
1. I am not the boyfriend type
2. All of the male gender are dorks.
Now that the record has been set straight, I am climbing back up my lofty 'no blog' ladder. I will descend every once in a while to check up on you.
Thank you for reading Big Sister's blog. It makes her day...and mine...when I read all of the comments...especially Mr. Woolley's.

Well...tell us how you really feel Baby Sister. The only thing I can think of to add is this:

"Go my son...go and climb the ladder...go my son....go and earn your feather..."

Please tell me at least ONE of you had to learn that song in grade school!

Happy weekend everyone!