Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Her Love's Masterpiece

Last night I dreamed I was in my Grandma’s house.  She was gone, but  I wasn’t worried; I knew she was happy.  Then I looked out the back door into the back yard and it was all paved over in blacktop.  At first I was excited like a child and zoomed around the smooth surface in an office chair.  I noticed that the back fence was gone and the blacktop of the yard blended in with the paving of the alleyway.  It was then that I realized the yard was paved for a parking lot to accommodate the house’s future role as a small apartment complex.  Distressed, I fled back inside and ran through the rooms, trying to drink in each feature with my eyes but I finally realized it was useless; looking preserved nothing.   It's strange I woke up crying; mourning the loss of memory-soaked ceilings and walls.  I wonder now why I cried less for my grandma than for her home, but then where does her home end and she begin?  Her heart is in every brick, every tile.  My grandma’s future departure didn't bother me till I contemplated losing the privilege of visiting and remembering inside her life's masterpiece of love.

Miriam's Madlibs Birthday Party

Seventeen nanoseconds ago, our hipsters were delighted to offend Miriam onto our beach.  Since then she has grown into a blithering, slithering, and withering young woman, and tonight we are excited to be licking her mustacheday.  For the celebration we will be spewing hamburgers and cake and ice cream.  We will also be orbiting a movie called “That Whosie Whatsie You Do” which is a geometric favorite. 
Since I magnified the above paragraph, we ate the kolaburgers and they were delicious.  We also had ugly sweet chocolate fries.  Now we are just talking around Thomas’s left elbow.  Miriam is wearing a t-shirt with a giant nosester stache on the front that she shotgunned on herself.  Brian just said he remembers when she first flushed Miriam.  She was very sparkly—very putrid, but very sparkly.  Jon said that if he could stall her anything in the world, he would give her...um... “this hoopdy mart ”—picking a bug off his unicornburger bun.  Then we had to tell the story of when Miriam was little, she picked an atomizer seed off of her lemurburger bun, Jimmereded it to someone and said sweetly, “Here.  Now you can zoom a hamburger.” 
Brian said that when she little and fetching the doctor said she was too belligerent to be walking. 
Al gave Miriam bamboo for an epidermis she got today.  Katrina gave her pinky toenail polish,  Walt Disney got her a Zelda t-shirt which made her laugh.  She said she’s now officially an astronaut .   
If we could bury Miriam anything in the world we would bury her:
Elmo:  27 ½  years in the depths of despair and a shopping trip to finishing school
Gerald:  Every Hello Kitty product ever made.
Walt:  a 5-use negative twenty pound card
Zelda:  Her own transmutation circle
Me:  Life long guilt and persistence
Blanche:  A miniature Link that would run around and swashbuckle.
Now we’re eating the pickled squid.  Happy toe jam day, Miriam!!

Miriam's Seventeenth Birthday

Seventeen years ago, our family was delighted to welcome Miriam to our home.  Since then she has grown into a kind, loving, and beautiful young woman, and tonight we are excited to be celebrating her birthday.  For the celebration we will be eating hamburgers and cake and ice cream.  We will also be watching a movie called “That Thing You Do” which is a family favorite. 
Since I wrote the above paragraph, we ate the hamburgers and they were delicious.  We also had yummy sweet potato fries.  Now we are just talking around the table.  Miriam is wearing a t-shirt with a giant hispster ‘stache on the front that she sewed on herself.  Brian just said he remembers when she first saw Miriam.  She was very cute—very purple, but very cute.  Jon said that if he could get her anything in the world, he would give her…uh… “this sesame seed”—picking a seed off his hamburger bun.  Then we had to tell the story of when Miriam was little, she picked a sesame seed off of her hamburger bun, handed it to someone and said sweetly, “Here.  Now you can buy a hamburger.” 
Brian said that when she little and walking the doctor said she was too short to be walking. 
Thomas gave Miriam bamboo for a pot she got today.  Katrina gave her fingernail polish, Preston got her a Zelda t-shirt which made her laugh.  She said she’s now officially a nerd. 
If we could give Miriam anything in the world we would give her:
Brian:  Four years of college paid and a shopping trip to New York
Katrina:  Every Zelda product ever made.
Matt:  a ten-use negative twenty pound card
Thomas:  Her own beach
Me:  Life long joy and happiness
Preston:  A miniature Link that would run around and play.
Now we’re eating the cake and ice cream.  Happy Birthday, Miriam

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Caring for Sally

We are busy these days getting Sally’s house to rent and keeping her comfortable and happy in the care and rehab center.  We also are constantly dealing with the insurance company who denied her any physical therapy after she left the hospital.  We appealed the denial and won the appeal, but they continue to deny us every week or so.  This last week, our appeal was also denied, and now we have to make a second appeal.  It is a process meant to wear us out and make us give up.  Most other insurances automatically give 100 days of rehab, but Sally has bought the worst insurance available; all the social workers say so.  It is Blue Cross/Blue Shield Med Advantage.  Still, Heavenly Father continues to comfort me, and I try not to worry about that end of it; Brian and his siblings are doing a good job of taking care of things.  When Sally does leave the care center, she will be living here with us if possible.  We are willing to take care of her, but want her to have as much physical therapy as possible before she comes so that she can have a good quality of life for the rest of her days.  Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cafe Rio, A Gringo's Guide

Okay, I'm hoping that my last post will cause some of my family who have not been to Cafe Rio to try it, but I've decided I need to walk you through the process, so here goes.

You:  I would like a tostada on a soft corn tortilla with no rice, please.
Worker:  WHAA???
You: (Beans.  Choose either. They are both good).
You:  Chick...I mean...CHICKEN!!
You:  YES!!
You:  WHAT??
You:  Oh, some cost extra.  OKAY!!!
At this point you become pro active and yell:
You:  OKAY!!
The worker smiles a big friendly smile and sends you on the way to the checker where you just bob your head and smile as you hand over your credit card.  At some point, state your drink preference.
Worker:  You don't have to yell anymore.
You: Oh.  Water, please.
You are done.  Don't forget to take a mint.  They are cinnamon, not peppermint, so take two.  You earned it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cafe Rio Me-o

On Valentine's Day, Brian and I went to Cafe Rio for dinner.  I know that's a bit lame, but we were too worn out to think ahead and make reservations anywhere shmauncy.  The food was great and the company was breathtakingly handsome, so t'sall good.

Brian and I are getting the hang of ordering at Cafe Rio although Brian still needs me to translate what the workers are yelling at him from time to time, ha ha.  And since I have finally perfected my Cafe Rio salad, I will record it here.  First, may I mention that if you order the regular salad, it will be gargantuan.  They will build it on top of a giant flour tortilla or 3 regular sized corn ones.  For this reason, I order a tostada on a soft corn tortilla with a small salad dressing on the side and ends up being just the same as a small salad.  Anyway, here's the masterpiece.

Tortillas:  Corn or Flour?  Corn.  Their corn tortillas are delicious, and I think their flour tortillas are so-so.
Rice?  NO RICE.  I think their rice is yucky.
Beans:  Black or Pinto?  Either.  Both good.
Meat:  Shredded chicken, grilled chicken, grilled steak, or pork barbacoa?  Shredded chicken.  Pork barbacoa  is sweet and not good and their most popular meat.  Weird.
Salsa?   No.  Their green salsa is gross, and I haven't tried any other kind.
Lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, pico, Mexican cheese, fried corn crunchies?  Yes!!!
Sour cream?  Nope.  Too fatty.
Dressing:  Cilantro lime or tomatillo?  Tomatillo, yummm!  I've loved it so much that I haven't even tried cilantro lime.

Well, there you go.  The result of much trial and error and very worth all the trouble.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a  Valentine's Day fairy who got off to a very bad start one Valentine's Eve by forgetting to send valentines to her son Jonathan (who is in college) , her daughter, Cassandra (who lived far away) her son-in-law, Emerson, and her sweet little grand fairy, Lily.  Don't ask me how she forgot to do that because she'd been looking forward to doing it all month.  "Boo hoo!" cried the poor Valentine's fairy.  "Moonlighting as a personal-care-fairy for Sally, my mother-in-law, has addled my brain and made me forget to think ahead."

On Valentine's day the fairy did a bit better and managed to have the usual helium balloon, valentine, and treats waiting on each of her at-home-children's bed  when he or she got home from school.  She even managed to get Valentine's Day to Jonathan because she found out that her other son, Matt was making an unexpected drive to College Town that very day.  So she promptly appointed Matthew as "Deputy Valentine's fairy", loaded him down with goodies, and sent him on his way with a promise that similar treats would be waiting for him when he got home.  When all of this was accomplished, off flew the fairy to pick up Brian so that she and he could deliver balloons and flowers to Sally, and that was the end of the Valentine's fairy's adventures for the year. 
P.S. Cassandra told the poor frazzled fairy that she is forgiven and loved anyway, for which she is eternally grateful. 
P.P.S.  The Valentine's fairy's knight in shining armor made sure that she was generously remembered on Valentine's Day, by having 3 dozen lovely roses delivered to her door, and taking her out to eat after her crazy busy day.

P.P.S.  The fairy amply rewarded her gallant night in various ways including giving him balloons, chocolates, and two filet mignons which he plans to cook up tonight.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Note for Valentine's Day

I love my Heavenly Father.  He guides me when I stray.  He strengthens me to not turn back and answers when I pray.  He gives me courage I don’t have and calms my many fears.  He chastens me when I forget and dries my bitter tears.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Learning, Visiting, and Going to Meetings

Lately I have been learning my duties as stake young women first counselor.  I have also been visiting Brian's mom daily.  One day this week, I had two meetings for stake young women.  The kids really helped me out with cleaning (one meeting was here at the house) and cooking.  While they made dinner, I read the four conference talks that I had been assigned to read before the evening meeting.  The dinner was delicious! 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kissing Lily Goodbye

Saturday I kissed baby Lily goodbye and returned home to Brian and the kids.  It was so hard to leave her and her mommy and daddy.  They showed me a wonderful time and I loved every minute.  They say she misses me which is sad, too, because she's too little to understand.  Actually, I'm much bigger, and I don't understand.  Why do families have to live apart?  How do we stay connected?  How do I make sure that I keep in contact with her and her parents and her future siblings in a way that binds our hearts together always?  I guess I just need to try my best and make sure I never get discouraged or give up.  Today I Skyped with Lily and Cassandra.  It was not the same, but it will have to do for now.

Matt's Mission Call

Matt'call to serve a mission for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints came Wednesday while I was still visiting Cassandra, Emerson and Lily.  It was very exciting to get on Skype and watch Matt open the letter.  As he opened it, we all threw out guesses as to where he would be going.  I yelled "Japan" or something, and then changed my mind.  "Mexico" I called out a couple of times and each time I said it, I wanted more and more for that to be the place.  I realized then that Mexico would be the perfect match for my boy, and by the time he started reading the letter, my heart was set on it.  Sure enough, the call was to Mexico.  I squealed in excitement.  Unfortunately, I was holding poor little Lily and scared her to death.  I felt soooo bad.  Her mommy and daddy took her and comforted her and she recovered.  I would have been happy for Matthew if he had been called elsewhere, because I know that his call is of God, but it was really neat that he was called to Mexico.