Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Really ugly ways to die:

Really ugly ways to die:

Beheaded with a sword or machete.


Eaten by grizzlies, sharks, wolves, rats, large snakes and crocodiles.

Boiled, grilled or fried.

Drawn and quartered.

Burned at the stake.


Stoned (with stones).


Choking on a chicken bone in a five-star restaurant. Or while you're eating alone in bed.

Being choked by a person with bad breath.


Buried alive.

Shoved out of a small airplane.

It was such a perfectly beautiful day today, I just had to spend a few minutes with my dark side.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Stuff happens and happens and happens

Tom ran into a woman on a bike yesterday. Actually, she ran into him. She sped through a red light and they collided in the intersection. All witnesses said it was her fault.

Still Tom carried the bigger stick as they say.  The woman went to the hospital in an ambulance but the police said she had minor injuries. By the time Tom got to her, others were stroking her head and hand as she lay moaning in the street. There was no blood. He stood by, discombobulated.

And he is still discombobulated. Running into a bicyclist wasn't his idea of a fine afternoon.

The front end of the Fiat had some dents and the glass had a nice crack in it, so today was spent renting a car, and taking our car to Progressive where they will estimate the damage. On the way home we bought some KFC and ate in Liberty Park overlooking the pond. We considered how stuff happens.

Stuff keeps happening. It never stops happening. You never reach that age where someone says to you, "Okay, you've had enough stuff happen; it's easy peasy from now on."

Easy peasy is a con. Always hang up on people who call to tell you you've won a free trip to the Bahamas.

The one image I have of the past two days is Tom walking out of a building into the sunlight with the wind catching his white hair up like a sail on a skiff. Tom. His name filled my head and I had such a warm feeling.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

To Charlene, Ahmud, Jason and all others who lived in my apartment before me

Hey guys, we took down the second tier cupboards, so now you can see from the kitchen out to the mountains. When I say "we," I mean Tom did that. The man deserves a new lunch bucket. He unscrewed the doors and then three cupboards and carried the load out to the dumpsters.

Did we ask for permission?  No. Never ask for permission. Besides, the management is updating apartments as people move out, so these old cupboards are scheduled for removal after we leave.

Don't know when. Don't care.

Sally is coming tomorrow.  Last week, I bought her an unbirthday cake at Mrs. Backers and had them write "Sally" in frosting.  She was pleased, although she let me know that "my mom says I've had enough sweets for today."

"Your mom isn't here," I said. "We're eating cake for lunch."

She stuck on all the candles in the box and Tom and I sang "Happy UnBirthday, dear Sally." 

She was embarrassed and wouldn't blow out the candles or make a wish, so I did that for her.

She didn't want me to cut the cake. She didn't want to use forks.

"I want to lick it," she said.

"Go for it," I said.

She licked about half the frosting off that cake.  Then she wanted it back in the box so she could take it home later. I managed to sneak a couple of forkfuls, which wasn't what I planned. I had hoped for a big hunking piece of cake.

 Sally: 1
Grandma: 0

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Louise's pool etiquette

The pool in my building
The spa next to the pool

The pool is actually smaller than it looks, so there's a lot of turning around, but who cares, I love thrashing through the water.  And there's this: the only time I feel God is in the pool.  God exists in the pool in my building. Don't ask me to explain.

For this reason, I will not go in if there is anyone else in the pool. Only God is allowed.

Okay, so now I'm sounding like the crazy lady in testimony meeting.

I know it's hard to fathom but God is also in the spa, which is my reward for swimming in the pool.

I talk aloud to God in the spa.

Still the crazy lady in testimony meeting.

Yesterday, the pool was empty but when I got further into the room there was an Indian woman in a splendid sari letting her toddler splash his feet in the spa.  She turned and smiled at me, so I couldn't really escape like I wanted to.  I wore sweats over my suit and carried a towel, a cap and goggles. 

She pulled her son up and stood in front of me. She told him to say "Hi" to me. She showed him how to wave. I grinned and waved and repeated "Hi," and made a party of my eyebrows and slowly, shyly, he waved at me.

"How old is he?" I asked her. 

She didn't understand, so I put up two fingers and asked, "Is he two?"

And she nodded and was able to say, "In April." She pronounced the A as Ah.

I am one of those people who can speak every language with my face. I am a facial linguist.
It's a gift.  We "talked" for a few minutes.  I thought. she would leave, but she liked talking with my face and remained standing in front of me with her son waving at me and me waving back.

Soon she will leave, but no, she wasn't leaving.  So I took off my sweats and did a whole routine for the two of them by putting on my cap awkwardly and then a second routine putting on my goggles and lifting them up and down. I was really working it.

Then I said, "I'm going to swim," and pointed to the pool and swam across.  When I turned around, they stood at the edge of the pool waving at me, so I changed to the breast stroke, so I could wave back.  It was the longest five minutes of my life when they stood and waved while I swam.

Speaking a foreign language can be exhausting.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The institutional phone call

This morning the phone rang. It was BYU calling. I didn't answer. I've been retired eleven years and barely know anyone at BYU anymore. Tom is in the tub. I yell, "It's BYU, don't answer!"

But Tom being Tom actually called them back to find that it was someone from the Alumni Association. When he heard this, he said, "Oh, I have the wrong number," and hung up.

"Why did you do that?" There is no good answer to this question, and I freely admit it's a bad question in any case.

The phone then rang again.  It's BYU again. "Don't answer!" I called to Tom.  It rang forever.
It stopped.  But immediately it rang again.

Tom answered. It was a man from the Alumni Association. "It's for you!" he called.

I could kill Tom by gouging my thumbs through his eyes while holding my breath. I could kill him. Married almost 52 years, and he doesn't yet get it about me and the phone?  Why would I want to talk with any institutional person?  They either want money or they want me to drive down I-15 in my car, which is the size of a tuna can, and do something I don't want to do.

A nice man--really, a very nice man--wanted to know if I knew any of Susa Young Gates's progeny, because they were honoring her at homecoming this year.

Why would I know this? I don't know why I would know this.

He reminds me that I wrote a short article on Susa Young Gates for The Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

Oh yes, I forgot I did that. "Well," I said, "Someone asked me to write it and I researched it like I would anything else I didn't know about. I don't know anything about her. I don't even have pioneer ancestors, and I pretty much hate people who do."

No, I didn't say that. Not all of it anyway.

Then, get this, he said, "I read your blog."


I blame you, Rob and Jeff.

I wish I remembered Mr. Alumni's name, but I was too busy worrying that he might ask me for money.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Vermont Country Store Catalogue

Yesterday, a nurse at LDS Hospital looked at the name on my volunteer badge and said, "I read your blog."

"You do? Do I know you?"


"I haven't written a blog in three weeks."

"I know," she said.

So that was a heads up. Mostly, the reason is that my laptop gave up the ghost and I find I don't like to sit at a desk at the large computer.  I'd rather be lying on the sofa and writing on my laptop.  Is that an excuse?  Of course. My life has been filled with excuses; all of them valuable.

So, today the Vermont Country Store Catalogue arrived in the mail.  It was sent to a "Charlene" who used to live at this address.  Not the last person, because he was named "Abdul," and recently I found out that "Jason" also lived in this exact apartment.   Think of all those people we have shared a toilet seat with.  Makes me think I should order some Witch Hazel Salve for my rectal irritations. (There's also a product called Fire in the Hole).

"We've got a tonic for what ails you." Not everyone can promise that.

Moonbeam Meadow, a herbal formula that encourages restful sleep and relaxation.  Strength of the Hills aids digestion, relieves symptoms of arthritis and clears the sinuses! And there's Lung Flush especially good for athletes and folks with asthma, bronchitis, or upper respiratory infections. I can also buy homeopathic cataract drops and calm my tremors and shaking with a tincture blend of lemon balm, lavender and passionflower.

There's a page dedicated to gel toe separators and hammertoe cushions and there is a" military strength" fungus treatment.

I like Vermont cotton nightgowns, but the dresses look like they're made for old people. All comfort and ugly.

Oh wait, I am an old person.

I'll never be THAT old.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tom's wheat project

We bought 800 pounds of wheat in 1967 in Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Tom bought tins and dry ice for proper storage for that soon-to-come apocalypse.   We moved all of it to Minneapolis in August of 1970 and then moved it again to Provo, Utah in 1985. We moved it to a storage unit and then back to our house. It's the most expensive wheat ever bought. (In some places in this world, there is an on-going apocalypse already).

We brought one tin to the apartment. It sat in our kitchen for awhile where Tom became aware of it and decided he would try sprouting the wheat. He went to YouTube for instructions. This is day four of changing the water and sifting the wheat, but nothing green has sprouted, although the wheat is swollen as if it could sprout any minute. It sits on the kitchen counter on a plate with a wet cloth over it.

I discussed this with the sisters at card night, and one of them said that if treated with dry ice, the wheat would not sprout.

I told Tom this when I returned.  He immediately googled wheat and dry ice. Someone, sounding quite authoritative said that dry ice does NOT keep the wheat from sprouting.

I just looked. No sprouts.

I want the wheat to sprout.

Will they sprout?

Remember that book by Ruth Krause, THE CARROT SEED, where a little boy plants a carrot seed and everyone says that it won't come up, but it does become a large carrot.

I don't want to be that person who says it will never come up.  I don't want to be that person.

But, honestly, I think I am that person.