Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, My Love

Today would have been Alleen's 49th birthday. It snowed all day, the boys just moped around not wanting to get cold and wet. There is an empty feeling hanging around the ol' abode. We have the tree up (eventually even she conceded to putting it up before her birthday, after the boys got older), it's decorated, but the house is still empty. Tuesday would have been our 14th anniversary. I'll take the day off to do some Christmas shopping. I'll probably eat at one of our favorite places, Cafe Rio. There is so much I miss about her it is hard to say them all. I just miss her. Happy Birthday Alleen. I love you!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Angel on the Tree

Well the tree is up. Adam went to bed and Logan was at a scout meeting so I decorated the tree all by myself. I was always in charge of the lights and Alleen put the ornaments on. She had a certain idea as to the way they were to look. The boys would help her and after they went to bed she would stay up and re-arrange the ornaments to they way she thought they should look. I understood this about her and let her do it her way. While putting up the ornaments on the tree I was finding some new ones that I hadn't seen before. I found this one you see here in the box. It was marked on the back with the following "Mommy 1999". We would always make or buy ornaments for each of us and each year. This one was hard to put up and not shed tears as I hung it on the tree.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just a quick note

I thought I would post a quick note along with a new photo of Alleen's name sake. We (the boys and I) had to go St. George for my dad's funeral during our UEA break. WE missed the first 3 days of the new quarter.
I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Alleen's Namesake

Here is a photo of Alleen's neice who will carry her name as a middle name. Mysha Alleen Sorenson. She was born on the 18th of Oct.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Alleen's Resting Place

We went to St. George for a quick trip and got a fuzzy picture of Alleen's final resting place. My camera phone was having problems so that is why the picture is so fuzzy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sagehen's Eulogy

I thought that for all the friends of Alleen who couldn't come to the funural and I thought that I would share the eulogy that Alleen's brother-in-law Gordon gave. Apart from the memories of family members the majority of the eulogy was taken from Alleen's blog and scrapbook pages. Here it is. David

Alleen’s mother wrote this about her.
Alleen was always a quiet thoughtful child. She had a patient loving disposition and was seldom a bother to anyone in her home or at school. One of her friends recently told me that some of her classmates took advantage of her shy good nature and made her life miserable. She has since forgiven them. (ReNae’s note: The classmate who told her this was one of the advantage takers, who, in spite of making Alleen miserable then is a good friend now.)
She was mostly a happy child and she could come up with some good wise cracks. When she was very small she said “Time goes faster than I do.” and this has become one of our family’s favorite sayings. Alleen had a way with words, an excellent command of the English language and a love for learning. She enjoyed reading and was a good student. However, she was a poor speller which proved to cause her a lot of grief in her chosen profession as a newspaper reporter, writer and editor. When she first started to work they did not have computers with spell check. She taught herself how to use a computer and was an expert at it.
Alleen always loved paper. We have a picture of her about 2 years old sitting at a table with pencil, crayons and paper completely absorbed in what she was doing. She was fascinated with shapes and fitting things together. She was very creative in her writing and in her artwork.
She learned to sew and took top prizes for her sewing and 4H work at the Lincoln County Fair. She had a lot of good friends and was loyal to her friends forever.
In high school she was on the yearbook staff. This helped her with her chosen profession. She learned to take pictures and develop them in the dark room. Photography was one of her talents.
As a child Alleen lived on the family ranch in Crow Creek Idaho in the summers and in their Afton home in the winter to go to school. Her father was a cattle rancher and her mother was a school teacher who taught High School Art and Home Economics.
Alleen wrote this about how much she loved the life we had growing up on a cattle ranch in Idaho.
When I dream of home
I am always on
the ranch
in the two bedroom house
where our
family of seven
spent the summers
of my childhood.
I dream
of long golden days,
Dad haying from dawn to dusk,
home exhausted.
Mom cooking huge meals every
day to feed the
hay men.
I remember playing with the grape hyacinths and
our Siamese cat, Ming. Who usually gave birth to
a batch of kittens each summer.
With no television, we gathered
In the living room at night to read.
Just family. It was enough.
Alleen has a long and distinguished pioneer heritage on both sides of her family, with ancestors who were part of the church in Kirtland, the Mormon Battalion, the Willie Handcart company, and who have served the church in in many ways. Her Mormon heritage is very important to her, and she loves the gospel and has always been glad to serve in the church.

Alleens sister ReNae writes:
Alleen always had the gift of making things happen. This has been a theme of her life.
Alleen Debra Sorenson Lang was born December 8 1958. She was the 4th daughter of Alf and Colleen Sorenson. Her older sisters were 9, 7, and 4 years old. It was getting to be a family and community joke that Alf only had daughters, so when Alleen came along the stage was set for her to be just another of the Sorenson girls. There were some important differences though. Alleen’s name was a combination of her parents Alf and Colleen’s names. She was the first child to be named by her parents not her maternal grandparents as the first three were. She was the only one of the girls to have a middle name, Debra, which was her father’s mother’s name. She was supposed to be the last child, so finally dad got to name her and he must have realized that a son was not likely, so he made Alleen his special little pal. Four years after Alleen was born dad finally got his boy! So Alleen didn’t remain the last child, but she remained daddy’s little pal. They had a bond built on their love for each other and their similar sense of the absurd.
Alleen is very easy to love; she was quiet and cooperative, but a little bit quirky. She would sit and listen for so long people would forget she was there, and she heard many a conversation that was a little too old for her tender ears. Sometimes when the whole family was in the car traveling with everyone bickering or otherwise making noise mom would suddenly say “Alleen, where are you?” And we would hear a little voice from the very back of the long old station wagon say “I’m right here.” Later she would say some innocent little thing in a clever way that made us all a little too aware of our bad example. Once after a long drive to the ranch with the traditional slapping pinching, whining and kicking dad stopped the car about 100 yards from the house and ordered all the quarrelling children out into the night, Alleen spoke up from the back “I ‘tay right here.” She was right; she was the only one who wasn’t guilty.
When Alleen graduated from high school, she went to Ricks College in Idaho for 2 years, then after graduation she went to Utah State University. There she became a part of the journalism team. She said that she learned far more by working with the irreverent and funny newspaper crew than she ever did sitting in class, but she did both class work and real work and graduated in 1981 with all of the skills necessary to produce a newspaper. She worked on the Preston Idaho newspaper for a year, and then for two years she was the mainstay of the newspaper in Montpelier Idaho. There she interviewed, reported, photographed, made the layouts, went to meetings and ball games and all of the thousands of things a small town newspaper requires. She became a loved and necessary part of the community very quickly.
As her sister in the middle of raising 4 young children I thought she had the life I was missing. She bought her own car with her own money in 1984. It was a red Pontiac Sunbird with a standard shift. To me the ultimate in freedom and sophistication. She moved to Cedar City Utah in 1984 and went to work for the newspaper there. She transferred to St George and lived and worked there for 7 years. I remember going to visit her and being impressed with her numerous skills and all the people she knew. She could do anything.
She was unhappy about her single status, but I don’t remember her complaining about it. She was a spectacular aunt to my kids! They all loved her and she made every one of them feel important. When she came to visit she was like a tropical bird that flew into their lives and for awhile everything was full of exotic colors and extra fun.
She created a group of dear friends everywhere she went. In St George she and some friends started a group that watched Star Trek every week. They became a wonderful family to her and she loved to do things with them. In 1992, even with her support group, her demanding job had begun to wear her out, she made a life changing decision. She had saved as much money as she could over the years, and finally she had enough to take a year off. She was getting tired of the deadlines and the pressure, and she wanted to be closer to her family.
She moved to Logan, Utah to a cute little studio apartment and let time help her sort her priorities. It was there in Logan that she decided to rededicate herself to the church, ponder the scriptures, and pray and there she made the decision to take out her endowments. It was a great time for her family having her close, and she spent time with her dad tas she hadn’t been able to do in St. George. The year she spent in Logan is memorialized in her oldest son Logan’s name. David Lang had been part of the Star Trek group, and had helped her move to Logan, and a year later there he was, helping her move back. She and Dave had been friends for quite awhile, and she was kidding around with him one night about how girls in love scenes in the movies always touched the guy’s face. She stroked Dave’s face and asked “does that make you fall in love?” Apparently it did.
Alleen bought a condo in St George about two houses away from Dave’s parent’s house. She furnished it with furniture she got from her grandparents, and moved a friend in to help with expenses. She and Dave were in the same ward and they became best friends. It must be true that best friends make the best marriages, because it wasn’t long before they were engaged.
Dave and Alleen planned a December wedding, and just before Thanksgiving that year her beloved Daddy died. She said she then understood her need to move. She had that year to be close to him and he was able to be with her when she got her endowments.
The marriage had an interesting start. Shortly after she got married Alleen received a penicillin shot. She had a violent allergic reaction, and spent many days swollen, and sick. She was also pregnant. It’s a good thing Dave is a good Mr. Mom. He had plenty of occasions to put his homemaking skills to use in that first difficult year.
Logan was born 9 months and 1 day after Dave and Alleen were married. He joined an exclusive little group of cousins. A month earlier Alleen’s brother had a little girl and 4 days later her 43-year-old sister had another girl. The family jokes that these are the babies Grandpa Alf sent when he got to the other side. Alleen was very taken with the triple cousins and always made a special effort to combine them for special events. She worked to make their baptism a special day. They were all baptized on the same day in the same place and it really was a remarkable family occasion.
Alleen’s life has never traveled in a straight line. She learned a lot from the zigzags it has taken, but it was not always easy. Logan was a very smart and active little boy. It was a good thing he was also a good baby, because when Alleen was pregnant with her second baby in 1997 when Logan was two years old she had to stay in bed for many months. This is not easy with a 2-year-old and a husband going to school. She had a nice big bedroom and a computer, and a lot of patience and love. Logan thrived, and she was able to hold on to the baby until he was old enough to be born. Duncan Campbell Lang lived only a few moments and Alleen and Dave were able to hold him as he died. Alleen was changed by the experience, as her husband wrote in a tribute to her:

“Most people never saw the sensitive side of her; she took her duties of motherhood very seriously. When Alleen had just given birth prematurely to our second son Duncan, and as the doctors and nurses were taking care of her, she held our little boy as his life was slowly passing from him she was sobbing an apology to him for not being able to protect him, and for letting him down by not carrying him to term. The nurse thought that she was apologizing to them for crying, ... she just didn’t get how seriously Alleen took her job as protector and mother.”

About 5 months later Alleen again was in bed with baby number three. She was deeply concerned and reaching the end of her rope. In our conversations she confessed to feeling like the worst mother in the world, unable to save one baby or care for the other and agonizing over the safety and health of the third. Dave was again a great help, as he worked and went to school, and Logan, older now, at age 3, became very self-sufficient. Alleen’s mom was able to stay with the little family and help as the time for Adam to be born got nearer. Adam was born healthy in December 1998. He was like a little miracle and Alleen devoted herself to his care and to Logan, as she was able to be more active.
The Lang family moved to Tooele in 2001. Alleen blossomed as a mother and her love for her family radiated from her. She had never been happier. Her home and her children were the center of her life. She began scrap booking, using the skills from her newspaper life, and her love of paper. She started a blog and submitted her scrapbook pages to a web site where she gained friends both online and in her home and church. She always had the gift of gathering friends around her. She began to work part time as a writer for the local newspaper and her busy life with her family became the subject of her blogs and scrapbook pages. Dave posted a tribute on Alleen’s blog after her death, and the last time I looked it had 73 comments expressing love and thanks to her for her life well lived. Many of them from people who only know her from her writing.
I’m going to quote from some of Alleen’s writings. They express her life and sense of humor in her own unique way.

About the men in her life:
“I have been truly blessed to have close association with some of the best men on the planet.
My Dear Husband is outstandingly patient and hard working. He is such a great father to my children and such a supportive husband; I could not have picked a better man for me.
My father. The man who taught me the meaning of the phrase "unconditional love."
My Eternal Father, who loves me not in spite of myself, but because of myself.
My brother, long suffering and patient in a world of women.
My sons, what precious souls they are. My hope for them is they may follow in the footsteps of their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers.”

About Adam:
Money can’t buy you love, I told my son as he expressed his fondness for me after I purchased 400 water balloons.
His answer.
“No, it can’t but it can buy fun.”
Now there is a child with a grasp of the world.

I don’t much care for sports.
There, I said it.
This would not be too big a problem if it were not for one fact. I’m the mother of two boys.
Boys, as a general rule, do like sports. ...
[For me] Baseball is the exception.
I remember watching the 1975 World Series with the Cincinnati Reds against the Boston Red Sox. Dad was a fan of the Reds with their switch hitter Pete Rose, as well as other famous players Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo on the team. We watched the series together, and it is one of my fond memories of my father.
I sat through a few baseball games played by my nephew, Shane, and never really understood why my sister was so intent on the game.
Now I know.
Adam signed up for Little League this year
He was given his uniform yesterday and he looked cool all suited up with the hat and glove. I do believe baseball uniforms are so much more classic than football jerseys and head’s and shoulders above soccer shorts.
When I see him in the pants, the tucked in shirt, the baseball cap, with mitt in hand it stirs something akin to patriotism in my little heart. During the opening ceremonies a group of three teen-aged girls sang the Star Spangled Banner, they did a beautiful job and it made me teary eyed.
Baseball is just so All-American; it’s hard not to love it.

About Logan:

"Who would have thought I would bring a math wizard
into this world? I am hard pressed to balance my checkbook,
and I only do it under duress.
I was fine in my number-free world, then along came my first born
son, methodical, logical, technical Logan.
"The boy loves numbers, math and all things scientific.
He took first place in the school science fair while he was in first
Instead of watching sports, he has the television tuned to MythBusters or Numbers.
He hates to get up early, but willingly gives up 30 minutes of sleep twice a week to attend an advanced math class.
"When he and his father get talking math problems I
just smile and go somewhere else in my head. I’ll let them discuss negative numbers, integers and Pi while I think about my next newspaper story or scrapbook layout."

Note to self: Be careful how well you educate your children.
Today I told Logan to put on his socks so he wouldn’t get sick.
His reply, “How are socks going to prevent me from contracting airborne illnesses.”
Me: “Because I said so!”

To her niece who is struggling with some of the same things Alleen went through:

It was May 1993, I was living in Logan without a job, or a family, or any idea of what I was going to do with my life.
I had just gone through the temple on May 1 and traveled south to go to my friends wedding in the St. George Temple on May 9. I was sick when I went south, but I just kept getting sicker and sicker until I ended up with laryngitis. On the way home I was stopped by a cop and given a ticket because my car registration had expired.
In short, I was miserable.
One year later I was living in St. George, married to Dave and pregnant with Logan. We were both unemployed, and he was going to school. We are still paying off the student loans.
I was single for 35 years and I often wondered why
(well I kind of knew why I was single)
but why I had been given this lot in life.
But, being single did have some great moments.
The whole not having to answer to anyone but myself, having the house the temperature I want it to be, watching the television shows I want to watch, not feeling guilty if the dishes aren’t done at the end of the day aspect of single life still appeals to me.
Do not get me wrong. I adore being married, I fiercely love my children, I can’t imagine life without my beloved companion by my side.

But every now and then I remember watching television shows without interruptions.
My life is always changing. Just when I think I’ve figured out what I am doing something changes and I’m struggling to learn something new.
Right now the something new is juggling my obligations to my children, my husband, my home, my job, my church calling, my hobby and myself.
I am spending way too much time and energy on a job that uses my skills, but is not bringing in enough money to justify its existence.
The distractions of my job leave my children wanting more attention from me, and I slightly resent it, because I’m feeling pulled so many directions.
Dave is not home nearly enough, he’s not getting enough sleep and I am worried about his health.
But it’s not going to last forever.
One day my children will be grown and I will miss them more than I miss my left hand.
My Dave’s schedule will eventually settle down and he will be home more often. I hope so, because we all miss him.
I may hit it big in the scrapbook world, quit my reporter job and start resenting my hobby.
So many things can change in such a short period of time.
This too shall pass.

Change is on the horizon:

I am now thinking a change is on the horizon and I’m not really sure where I’m going to fit a change into my open days with nothing in them.
But I can’t spend a lot of time thinking about it today. The day stretches ahead of me with nothing in it but a few loads of laundry and a kitchen to clean. O yes, since I now have the spray paint, maybe I can start on that scrapping project …

My new motto: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, Cola in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WHOO HOO! What a ride!"

Do you ever have the feeling that something is about to happen? And that something, be it big or small is going to change the current course of your life.
What’s more, you know something should happen, but you are not sure if you want something to happen, or if you think the something is good or bad, or just … something.
Kind of like the feeling that you are either seeing the light at the end of the tunnel or the headlight of an oncoming train, but you are not sure what it is just yet?
That’s kind of what I’m feeling right now, and it’s making me a little uneasy.

The scripture on the scripture a day calendar for the day Alleen died was:
In my Fathers’ house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14: 2

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One of Sagehen's Last Pages

Alleen (AKA sagehen) had finished this scrapbook page on the 16th of July for a contest, however, Logan didn't want her to submit it because they would keep the page. She hadn't gotten around to submitting it, so I copied the journaling so you could read her feelings about life and how insightful she was.

48? Seriously?
Not I, the female version of Peter Pan. Born the youngest of four girls, I was the perpetual little sister. I played in the creek and gathered wild flowers while my older siblings hung laundry and cooked for hay men.
They followed practical courses in college, home ec. and teaching, while I studied journalism. They raised children and I launched myself into the world as a newspaper reporter, admittedly in a small town. Along with boring school board meetings and deadline stress my job brought adventures like gliding over dawn-washed meadows in a hot air balloon and listening to blue grass music in a natural red rock amphitheater under the stars.
At 35 I married my sweetheart. Within the year our first son was born. The second took a bit longer; I gave birth to him a few days after my 40th birthday. Play-dates with my children’s peers put me in a group of women 10 to 20 years younger than myself.
But at 48 I’m starting to feel my age. My knees creak when I climb the stairs, the silver strands in my hair are getting harder to pass off as sun kissed blonde streaks, and skin around my eyes is starting to crinkle.
Just this month a high school classmate called to tell me about our 30 year reunion, and my mother celebrated her 80th birthday. Unless I plan to live to be 98-years-old, I’m on the downhill slope.
Behind me stretches a life full of memories. Ahead I face more joy and more challenges.
One of my favorite scriptures reads: “We see through a glass darkly.” We do not know what the future holds. My life is half over? I don’t think so! My life has just begun. Well, okay, maybe not just, but I can bring experience to bear as I continue to fill my glass with wishes, dream and memories.
48! Seriously!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell & Loving Tribute.

Alleen (aka the Sage Hen) was taken from us on August 3, 2007. She was suddenly stricken with a broken blood vessel in her brain which quickly took her life. She felt very little pain and she went quickly.

I am going to miss my sweet wife, helpmate, confidant, and mother of my children. Alleen had a sense of humor that was witty and to some, hard to get. She would come home from teaching a Relief Society lesson and tell me how it had gone, and then she would tell me of one of her statements or jokes that she had told, then she would laugh as she described the look of the women’s faces as they tried to tell if she was joking or not, but the ones who knew her were trying to contain their laughter. I remember at my 20th high school reunion, one of my classmates was saying goodbye as we were leaving he said “It was nice to see you”, and Alleen said without missing a beat “It’s nice to be seen”. The classmate who was a lawyer just stared at us not knowing how to respond to her comment.

Alleen loved her family. She loved going to Star Valley to visit the Bowling’s and the Sorenson’s and her mom of course. She loved to get together with the Stott’s and she regretted not seeing the Draper’s as much as she wanted to. She loved her dad Alf, She would tell me about going on road trips to Idaho Falls or other places and how she would stay awake to talk to her dad so he wouldn’t get lonely while the others were asleep. Alleen always had her camera with her to take pictures of the kids, nieces and nephews. Holland and Ashlee were some of her favorite targets because of the closeness of the two with Logan. She loved to take pictures of raindrops on roses, the cat attacking the toilet paper roll, the sunset, the lone bush, rock, tree, or critter just sitting out by itself in a field. Her favorite subjects were Logan and Adam, Katie then Ginger (our cats).

Alleen loved being a reporter and writer. She was known for her non-biased opinions and reporting style for the paper. She hated being on the school beat because it made her feel very uncomfortable dealing with my employer and bosses. They really liked her, when I told one of the directors that they had replaced her with another reporter he said “Why I like her and I know that she was going to be fair and not try to create trouble.” She took her journalistic ethics very seriously and was never shy about letting me know when she saw another reporter abuse the ethics that she so deeply believed in.

Most people never saw the sensitive side of her; she took her duties of motherhood very seriously. When Alleen had just given birth prematurely (due to incompetent cervix) to our second son Duncan, and as the doctors and nurses were taking care of her, she held our little boy as his life was slowly passing from him she was sobbing an apology to him for not being able to protect him, and for letting him down by not carrying him to term. The nurse thought that she was apologizing to them for crying, but I knew who she was apologizing to and I wanted to tell the nurse to shut up because she just didn’t get how seriously Alleen took her job as protector and mother.

Goodbye and farewell my Alleen. I’ll miss you and I love you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I may never be dry again

This week I have been reminded of the time Wyo. Sister came to visit me in St. George one summer. It was sweltering hot, and just before she arrived, the clouds burst and we were hit with a gully washer, which left the town not only hot but humid.
The first words out of Wyo. Sister’s mouth when she climbed out of the car were “But it’s a dry heat!”
Muggy doesn’t begin to describe the weather.
We went to Lagoon on Pioneer Day. My workplace has a tradition of giving employees tickets to Lagoon, and treating them to lunch every summer.
It’s been hotter than hadies, so we thought we were being clever dressing the boys in swim suits and riding “Rattlesnake Rapids” first thing ~ three times. For those of you who don’t know about “Rattlesnake Rapids” it is a pseudo white-rafting experience guaranteed to get everyone in the boat sopping wet. I’m very glad I didn’t take the camera, because my bag was soaked through after the second trip down the river, so I sat out the third ride while DH and the boys went.
We followed this by a trip on the log ride. Apparently the more weight in the boat, the lower it rides in the water and the bigger the splash when you hit the bottom of the slide. DH and I (plus the boys of course) made quite a splash.
In previous visits to the water rides, we have dried relatively quickly because of the heat. Not this trip. The high humidity just kept the four of us in our own personal weather system.
We went home right after lunch to peal off our clothing and change into something blessedly dry.
We ducked out of the Primary Parade by going to the movie “Ratatouille” that evening. It was a fun movie.
Yesterday, after a long day of trying to muster up the energy to do our daily chores in spite of the high humidity, the rains finally came. It was a monster cloud burst. Our street was flooded in short order and our lawn followed. DH was happy because we were getting water on the yellow spots on the lawn.
I was standing on the porch taking photos when the cat came streaking across the lawn yowling. She didn’t stop to go through the front door, but scurried into the shelter of the carport. Ds-8 was terrified by the lightening.
We were just sitting down to dinner when the power went out, so we finished the meal and I cleaned the kitchen in the dark. We had hopes that DS-12’s swim practice, DS-8 Cub Scouts and my town meeting would be canceled, no such luck. The power went on just as I was driving out of town.
It’s much cooler today, but everything feels kind of damp.
I hate humidity, so I am very grateful I live in a desert when the air is usually dry.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Snap shots

1. Take a picture of three things in your home that represent you.

Here are our fourth and final set of Photo Challenges:

2. Take a picture of three things that epitomize the city/town you live in.
3. Take a picture of the three places you frequent the most. (these two did not happen because it's stinking hot outside, DH took the car with air conditioning and I'm not about to go running around with my camera on a blistering hot Sunday afternoon and no air conditioning.
4. Take a picture of all the people around you now.
5. Take a picture of your favorite shoes.

To be fair, these are not so much my favorite as my only pair of shoes. I think I have three pair of shoes in my closet (well, okay, on the living room floor) right now: Black heeled pumps for dresses, these for every day and a pair of those foam clogs for my frequent (ha!) trips to the beach.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ahhhh, sigh

I finished HP. Yep, I am a fast reader.

I am very happy to have read it, to have all the ends wrapped up, to know what is going on.

But I am very sad to be done reading.

I took a few minutes away from my busy schedule of reading, ordering a pizza for lunch and trying to keep my boys from killing each other to take four more of the five photos in the ST challenge for today.

1. Take a landscape photo. Sorry, missed it.
2. Take a still life photo.
3. Take an unposed photo of someone displaying emotion.
4. Take a photo of a beautiful weed.
5. Take a photo of your favorite hangout.

HP and ST weekend

I have too many fun things to do this weekend.
DH went down to Wal-Mart last night to brave the crowds picking up Harry Potter seven. He bought two books, even though we have one winging its way to us from Amazon even as we speak, because we have three HP fans in the house.
Since he is a elementary school teacher, he can put two of them in the classroom and get reimbursed from the school for the purchase. WhooHooo. Every job has its perks.
But I’m torn between reading and playing on line ~ even though I have a great fear someone will slip a spoiler in somewhere. But ScrappinTrends, is having an on-line crop weekend with prizes.
I came downstairs to have a shower and logged on to find this photo challenge, so I took a few minutes away from HP and went photo hunting.
Grab your cameras ladies! I'm going to be posting some challenges for you to capture with your camera throughout our crop. You'll get 10 points for each photo shared. If you create a layout with your photos you'll receive an additional 40 points!

Here are the first 5 Photo Challenges:
The only thing I missed was the sunrise. I could have shot a wicked sunset last night. We have wildfires on the mountains across the valley from our town. Last night we went for a drive to the neighboring town, about 10 miles from here, where DH works. It is being threatened by the fires, but they seem to have diverted it back over the mountain.
1. Take a picture of the rising Sun.
2. Take a picture of your favorite body part...keep it clean! lol

3. Take a picture of your craft table..right NOW!

4. Take a picture of your neighbor's yard.

5. Take a picture of yourself without makeup!
I took the photo right after I climbed out of the shower.

Here are the second set of Photo Challenges:

1. Take a picture of the first thing you eat/drink in your day.
I made the muffins to celebrate HP day.

2. Take a picture of what you're most proud of.
I am proud of my whole family, but DS-12 and Djin were the two members readily available.

3. Take a picture of something red. DS-8 in his red T-shirt.

4. Take a picture of what's in your fridge

5. Take a picture of something with wings.
DS-12 suggested this. It is not a real bird, of course.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Napping, always a good option

This topic just seemed like a great blog in the making, don't you think? July is National Anti-Boredom Month. So, here are a few questions about boredom that I'm asking as this week's blog challenge.
1.Your entire family has gone away for the weekend. The house is all yours. What are the first three things you do?

1. nap. 2. scrap. 3. repeat.
2. Your bankbook is looking healthy, you have a four-day weekend ahead. What sounds good?

Taking the family to San Diego ~ Sea World, sailing.
3. What do you do while waiting in the doctors office?

Try to keep my children calm.
4.Would you rather spend an afternoon alone in a book store, a mall, napping in the hammock?

Reading in a hammock? Is that an option?
5. You have an unexpected 48 hour stay in the hospital. You're coherent and not in pain. How do you spend the time? Reading? Channel Surfing? Laptop surfing? Calling your friends to come visit? Ringing for a nurse every five minutes? Sleeping?

O no question, I’m sleeping and reading.
6.You have a nine hour trans-continental flight. Get excited about finishing a hot novel? Watch the in-flight movies? Become best friends with the stranger seated next to you? Take three valium and sleep the time away?

Watch the movie, read a book, gaze out the window.
7.You have a seven hour layover in Chicago O'Hare Airport. Do you wear down your cellphone battery calling friends? Read a book? People watch? Shop every store in the airport? Take a taxi and see the city?

Seven hours. Probably shop, eat and read.
8.What do you do when your bored stiff?

Take a nap.
9.Work first, play later? OR Play while you can, the work will still be there when you get home?

10. List three times that you are easily bored.

I think the airplane trip would bore me. Any discussion of sports has my eyes glazing over. Gossip about people I don’t know has me yawning, too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cat lady for fun and profit

If I were to become a crazy cat lady, I would probably be a breeder because I love kittens and I’m a little bit snobbish about what kind of cat I have in my house. I love all felines, but I want to own pretty, well bred ones.
I have always fancied Siamese, but today while I was looking at Stuff-On-My-Cat they showed this photo of some very lovely cats. Following up on everyone’s comments, I discovered they are bangels.
A Bengal Cat is a hybrid between several breedings of Asian Leopard Cats and Domestic cats.
Males can weigh up to 20 pounds and females between 7-12.
They look like a typical housecat except they are more spotty .
"The Bengal Cat is a distinct, unique breed of spotted domestic cat derived from the ancestral crossing of a domestic with an Asian Leopard Cat'.

I, of course, want one ~ sometime in the future after having lived a long and happy life with Djin, of course.
I have always held ~ deep in my little heart ~ a desire to own a leopard. You know, the kind of cats seen in those movies about slinky Egyptian princesses in heavy black makeup reclining on chase lounges and being fed peeled grapes.
I have come to terms with the realization that I will never be slinky or have servants peel grapes for me, but I have been known to lounge around the house.
So I have a plan. I’m going to be a bangel breeder. Of course this would involve an investment of several thousand dollars, since bangels are remarkably rare. It would also involve finding people willing to pay thousands of dollars for a cat. Ain’t going to happen in Utah, I don’t believe.
Still, it gives me yet another reason to live forever.

Monday, July 16, 2007

MMM now what?

I’ve been thinking about entering Memory Makers Masters, plodding along, putting together some layouts that are quite nice, but I can’t say whether or not they are prize winners.
This weekend I worked on the “I wish” assignment and my DS-12 played in the supplies with me as I figured out some techniques. He helped me set up the computer for journaling and offered feedback on the page.
Today I was finishing up the page (and I think it’s hot!) and mentioned that I was going to have to send it away, never to be seen again.
He was devastated!
The page is not about him, it’s about me. But he really doesn’t want me to enter the contest now, saying things to me like “you are not going to win anyway,” and “why don’t you just throw it in the trash right now.”
Thing is, he is probably right. I don’t have a big chance of winning.
What would you do?

I posted this question on my scrapbook message board and got some interesting responses. Now I'd like to her from you guys.

The rules of the contest are, you can send copies of four layouts but must send in the original of the "assignment" in this case the assignment is scrap about "I wish."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Umbrage and moments of chagrin

DH, the boys and I went to the Harry Potter movie yesterday. It was great fun. Here are a few of my thoughts.

I loved Luna ~ her soft voice, combined with that spectacular hair reminded me a bit of Holland.

I did have questions about Umberage at the beginning of the show but by the end I loved to hate her.
Beatrix and Tonks were also great characters. I had a really time fixing Tonks in my mind while reading the book, the movie actually helped fill out the character for me.
If you did not know anything about the book, the move was spectacular. It flowed well, the special effects were stunning, it was just cool.
Having recently read the book, however, I will admit to being a bit confused on occasion.
That being said. Yes, we will be buying the DVD.

Today, in the aftermath of the movie, I have found myself busy once again.
I didn’t bother to shower, change out of pajamas, even eat breakfast this morning because I had two stories I needed to write and file.
DS-12 had a dentist appointment at noon, so at 11:30 a.m. I quickly finished my stories, put on some pants and clean unmentionables and hurried off to the dentist where I waited for 90 minutes.
Afterwards I took the boys to Wal-Mart. My plan was to pick up pop and photographs. Alas, they couldn’t find my photographs, so we settled on a brownie mix instead.
It wasn’t until after we climbed in the car to go home that the oldest son mentioned: “Mom, you shirt is on backwards.”
Tuesday I wrote an editorial about the lame condition of our community library. When I asked my boss this morning if he had any comments about it, he said nary a one. But when DH returned from a day of classes with other teachers, he said several liked it. Their only problem with the commentary is it wasn’t harsh enough.
Feeling please with myself, I went to the Pine Canyon Planning Commission meeting. Afterwards I went up to one of the commissioners ~ a fellow newspaper correspondent who I had seen waiting in line for Harry Potter 5 ~ and asked her what she thought of the movie.
A second commissioner asked me my name, I told her, and then she commented. “I work for the library.
*rut row*
We had a civil discussion in which I reiterated my point of view and she defended the lame excuse of a local library.
She didn’t convince me, but it was another “my shirt’s on backwards” moment that could very easily left me embarrassed.
Instead I found it amusing.
The moral of the story? If you are going to go out in public, be ready to be observed doing so.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Famous kitty

Look who is on Stuff on my cat!

Yesterday I was called by one of the employees of my local scrapbook store. It was a good news / bad news call.
The business owner is going to the doctor today in hopes of being able to deliver her son. She is a week or so away from her due date, but she usually has her babies very early and going full term has been a challenge for her.
Unfortunately, the surprise of this pregnancy along with the expense of running the business has left her making the decision to sell the business.
I'm heartbroken. I love her store.
Another scrapbook store moved into town in May ~ which helped seal the deal on her decision to step down. Alas the "new" business is full of old themish, cartoon-like paper.
It is really not my style.
On a related, but different subject, the employee called to ask me to be on her scrapbook team for a competition in SLC. She and the store owner, as well as I and one of my Ya-Ya Scrappers are going to be on the four-woman team. (I am assuming the Ya-Ya will say yes.)
As part of the competition we have to come up with a team name, a logo and have a photo taken of our team.
I was pondering this last night while I was sweating and wishing for the bilssful escape of sleep.
Here are a few of my team theme suggestions:
Team Tulies
(a play on the word Tooele) I picture a photo of us in the middle of a field holding sunflowers
Salt and Paper
This plays with us being so close to the Great Salt Lake ~ but it can also be a cooking theme, with all of us wearing black and white (with touches of red) aprons. Photographed in a kitchen, of course.
Commando scrappers
Again, identifying with Tooele and its military history, I like this because I can see us wearing camo T-shirts. We could be photographed at industrial depot.
Area 31
Not quite as secret or far out as Area 51, but still the undiscovered scrappers ~ which could be another team name. I envision a “Men in Black” photo shoot here, on the salt flats, of course.
The Undiscovered Scrappers
We could have secret identities!
If only I could be so inspired with my page layouts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's hot here

Seriously, stinking, putrid hot. The air is grey because Utah is burning. But I could be one of the firemen on the lines trying to battle the wildfires in this misrable heat. I'm not, so I'll pray for those who are.

My children are restless.
Seriously, stinking, beat up on each other and scream restless.
But I get to stay in my house away from the heat. It could be worse.

Apparently I am in charge of the entertainment.
Not only for the children, and the husband, but also the cat. I am also in charge of the meals, the laundry, working part time, and painting the living room. But at least I am not working two full-time jobs.

Clearly I am cranky.
But I'm trying very hard not to be. So I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and pray for rain. Won't you join me?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's more fun to watch

I had a great many titles planned for this blog. Perhaps I might call it “It’s a long way, to painting Sagey” or even “Ready, Set, Paint!”
But after spending the last 24 hours indulging my wild hair and painting the living room, I have settled on the above title.
Yes, it is much more fun to watch “Trading Spaces,” “Property Ladder” “Flip that House” and “Designing Cents,” than it is to actually paint.
Perhaps that is why it has taken me the better part of a year to work up the energy / courage / nerve to actually apply the Sagey paint I purchased for my living during the Labor Day weekend ~ 2006.
Yesterday the wild hair hit and I decided the time had come to paint. I have a long weekend because of Independence Day, and DH didn’t work Wednesday or Friday. He is going in to work today at 2 p.m. I think I have found something he likes less than working for Flying J. … working for me.
DS-L is also impatient with my methods. He want’s everything painted and put back into place right now. If it can’t be right now he want’s a detailed timeline right now.
DS-A just wants to be part of the fun, but he had a hard time remembering he can’t put his hands on the wall.
The cat is simply confused.
I will continue with my Sagey saga later. Right now I have been informed by DS-L that I have to cut my afternoon nap down to 30 minutes because he want’s to get to that second coat so we can put the furniture back in place.
He was not pleased when I told him he was going to have to put up with two boxes of books in his bedroom for another day … or three.
I am gaining a new respect for my Mother, who had five young helpers.
BTW, Mom, Happy 80th birthday!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Small town fun

First let me state that I am deeply, passionately patriotic.
I love my country.
Independence Day, however, doesn’t really do it for me.
Parades, eheee, don’t trip my trigger, even though I have memories of my Father heading up the VFW display in his Army uniform. I also have memories playing clarinet and marching with the band in those horrid, hot uniforms with the plastic lined caps or stuffing napkins into chicken wire until my fingers were raw top make parade floats.
What's more, you've seen one parade, you've seen them all.
Every parade features the same entries.
“Beauty” queens giving the elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist wave.
Politicians in convertables.
Fire trucks with hoses to spray the crowd.
Horses crapping in the street to the disgust and delight of young boys.
And for a really good time, everyone chucking salt water taffy to the same young boys with plastic grocery bags poised to collect the loot.
But we went to the parade, anyway. Instead of going to our big city, we drove to the town where DH teaches school. The parade started later in the day and we were able to watch from the lawn of the school, which happened to be in the shade.
We went back to the town for the fireworks display. This time we settled down in the middle of the soccer field. I think we were the only ones there since most folks had staked out a spot by the park ~ the site of the great launching.
We lit some sparklers and smoke bombs then played with light sticks. I found a deal on the skinny little light sticks usually used for bracelets. I bought 50 of them, along with 50 connectors, for three dollars.
When the fireworks started we realized our blanket was not ideally positioned for viewing, so we loaded everything on top of it and dragged it to a better spot. We were able to settle down for about five minutes of fireworks before the whole thing was over.
The traffic jam drive home was complicated by a crew of firemen dousing a lively blaze that had broken out along the side of the road.
We didn’t actually see the fire, except from a distance. When we got to a place where we could turn off we took a back road home.
It was not an earth shattering day of fun, but when I asked the boys what they liked best, DS-12 said he liked that we were able to spend the time together as a family.
Good point!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Help please

I’m kicking around ideas for this MMM scrapbook challenge and I need some input. Which of these photos do you like best?

<---hand one

hand one bw--->

<---hand two

hand two bw--->

<---hand two bright bw

hand two low sat--->

I also need left handed family members to send me a sample of their handwriting. Maybe you could write down a favorite saying or scripture? The page deadline is July 30, so I need handwriting samples ASAP.