The Heywood kids came to visit and boy did we have fun. Please ignore the date on the pictures, I keep forgetting to take it off the camera setting.

After Mom and Dad dropped off the grandkids for the night, we just let the kids play outside. We have 2 acres so they have room to just play unsupervised--a rare treat in today's world.

Then we all loaded up in the car with our trap and went to the homeless shelter to catch pigeons. What a hoot. Tarzan says when you go to the homeless shelter and the pigeons see you carrying a bag they practically mug you to get at the food. The children put bread crumbs out on the street and we put the trap on top of the crumbs. Then we stood back and tried to hold still as the pigeons came over to eat the crumbs, emphasis on the tried. Finally, we caught a total of 5 pigeons. When we got home, Tarzan took the children out to hide the birds in the little cages he made to train the dogs to find and point the birds. After hiding the birds in the field by our house, they had a lesson on the training dog collar and what the dogs were supposed to do and off they went to train the dogs. To their great joy, Suzi sniffed out the birds and gave them a good point. Dottie is a snob, she only points quail.

Then there was some more play time, lots of eating and to the movies. We went to see National Treasure, Book of Secrets. It was perfect for little children, they loved it. After the movie we picked up ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery for breakfast and went home.

Tarzan had stayed home to get things ready for the next activity. By now it was 9:30 p.m. and there had been enough sugar consumed that everyone was still wide awake. So, we sat around the fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. We even had some smores. It was way too much fun.

See the great fire pit Tarzan made from the inside of an old oven. It worked great for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and it keeps you nice and toasty.

I'm not sure who was having more fun, Tarzan or the children.

While we were in the movie one of the wires on Sasha's braces broke off. She made it through the movie and ate her dinner and then began to complain that it was getting really painful. It turned out that part of the wire that goes around the outside of her teeth broke off and the part that was left had slipped back and was poking her in the back of her mouth. Tarzan pulled out the wire as far as he could, but it wouldn't come clear out so he got out the skill saw and came in the house and said, "Here, I can fix it." Sasha's eyes got really big and then she burst out laughing. He actually took his wire cutters and cut the wire then they wiggled the last little piece until she was able to pull it out. Tarzan says he is going to add that to his resume "part time dentist." While all this excitement over the braces was going on, we didn't even notice that Talia had stopped in mid air and fallen asleep. Please be sure to notice the Tootsie Pop still in her hand.

We all fell asleep in front of a ninja cartoon and awoke Sunday morning to a fantastic breakfast prepared by Tarzan. He had asked everyone what they wanted for breakfast the night before and gone shopping while we were at the movie. Tristan wanted Honey Nut Cheerios, we sent the box home with them. Sasha wanted eggs, bacon and a buttered flour tortilla on the side. Talia wanted pancakes and everyone had cookie dough ice cream with their breakfast.

We met their parents at church and then later came back to the house where we just visited and ate until they had to move on to visit the next family on their visit list.

Lee and I were so let down when everyone left we just sort of stood in the kitchen and hugged each other trying to decide what to do next. We do love our family.

Uncle Lynn has always been dapper, doncha love the hat?

My Uncle Lynn is the master of jokes. He knows more jokes than anyone I have ever known. I don't know how old he is, he is the youngest child of four, my Mom is 85 she is second oldest, you will have to figure out how old he is.

Anyway, he has finally figured out how to blog and has his own blog.

This is an invitation for you to read his blog and comment. I know he would love it and his stories about his life are very interesting.

Annalisa blogged about Alexis losing her first tooth and the tooth fairy coming to visit. It made me remember two funny stories about my children.

Brian was about, mmmmm, I think 3-years old. We were visiting his Uncle and Aunt, Jared and Gloria. They owned a motel and lived in an apartment above the office. We were all upstairs when Brian came running up the stairs and said, "Mom, Mom, the Good Fairy is downstairs cleaning up." It seems that the maid had some into the office to clean. Didn't realize how often I said, "Maybe the Good Fairy will come while we are gone and clean the house."

Then Celia was, mmmmm, I think about 4-years old, maybe only 3. She had a wart on her hand. I used a match stick on it and it fell off. (You wet the sulfur on the end of the matchstick and rub it on the wart and the wart falls off.) Without telling any of us, she put it under her pillow. In the morning she came into the kitchen crying her eyes out, "Mom, the wote faiwy didn't come." It took a couple of tries for me to understand she had expected the Wart Fairy to come and leave money under her pillow. I quickly said, "I bet you just missed it, let's go see." I slipped a quarter into my palm and felt under her pillow and produced the quarter. She squealed with delight and the day was saved.

Don't you wish the Wart Fairy still only gave a quarter? Do you have a funny Fairy story?

Edited 12/20/07--Add some hand dipped minty chocolate treats in a red container with the cutest ribbon--I'm keeping the ribbon.

And the cutest Christmas ornament. I have it hanging over my desk. I am going to keep it there to watch over me the whole year. It is the angel behind the lamb.

Someone gave us a pineapple. I wanted to take a picture of it, but Tarzan was so excited he cut it before I could get the camera ready. Hmmmm.

Someone else sent me a warm cup of hot chocolate and an adorable pad with my name on it.

And another wonderful person gave me a book (I forgot to take a picture of it). While I was sick in bed, it kept me entertained.
Then I wondered what does the angel see from the top of the tree. I guess it depends on where the tree is.

And every day we get serenaded by children from different schools in town. It always makes me smile.

Merry Christmas

I started this blog on October 16th and didn't feel "inspired" to post it, but now the time is right. It was Fast Sunday and I was sitting quietly on the back row, trying to be invisible, as I tend to do from time to time. People were getting up and bearing testimony of the truth. I was listening, but not intently, then Brother Carter got up and bore a simple testimony that God lives and Jesus is the Christ and our Savior among other things. I don't remember his exact words, but I will never forget that the Spirit of the Holy Ghost bore testimony to me as he spoke that it was true and my eyes filled with tears of joy as I felt the Hand of the Lord in my life.

Just last week he was put in the Bishopric, I was not surprised.

A friend of mine volunteers in the emergency room at a local hospital. She noticed that children came in so upset they couldn't even take their temperature. Once she handed a small toy to a screaming child and the child calmed right down so they could get her vitals. She is now spending $20 and $30 a week to take small Ty Baby toys to the hospital each weekend so she will have enough for any children who come in.

If you would like to do a random act of kindness feel free to send new or gently used Ty Babies to:

Rita Zimny
Legislative Council
1700 W. Washington
Suite 241
Phoenix, AZ 85007

I will be donating weekly.

The Challenge: "your challenge this week is to find a quiet moment. give thanks for all that you have been given, all that you have given in this past year. take advantage of a pocket of an afternoon when you can slip away and be thank-full. we can all make time for this very important date with ourselves, with only our shadow along for company."

This weekend Tarzan went on a fishing trip and I had 3 whole days alone to think. I realized that I am thankful for so much that it cannot be put into a simple list. I made a list and it was so silly to read that I deleted it. The truth is it would be easier to make a list of things I am not thankful for, it would be a much shorter list.

For just this weekend, I was thankful for some down time, a great RS secretary, a fantastic Ward Council, old movies, wireless computers, a soft couch, a heater that works, a husband who loves me and the temple.

Life is fantastic and I love this shadow picture, it looks like I have a bun on the back of my head like maybe I have long hair again, sigh.

  1. I had to wear a sweater this morning--first time this winter

  2. Marie Osmond lost over 30 pounds while doing Dancing with the Stars

  3. I woke up this morning grateful for Tarzan and told him so

  4. I made a sweet potato pie for the guys at work and Tarzan took it on his fishing trip this weekend. He says if it's in the refrigerator and it doesn't have a name on it, it is fair game, oh well. Communications, Sandi, remember, communications

  5. All of the papers turned in so far in the html class I teach are graded

  6. We made a list of things to do in December this year--a first for us.

  7. I love Schweppes Ginger ale

  8. Sunday Sacrament meeting was a good reminder about the basics of the Gospel
  9. It always amazes me when people are just unhappy--no matter what
  10. I'm nervous about next semester's classes.

Kind notes from my students:

"I have to repeate myself again that taking your class was not like taking any other classes because your classes are so interesting and seemed like we're having fun most the time. Thank you very much for everything."

"I love this class, do you teach other courses at delta? I have never looked forward to homework so much."

"Thank you for a wonderful class. Really enjoyed it , and learned a lot from you."

"Just a quick note to thank you. I throughly enjoyed this class and it was a pleasure having you as the instructor. You do a fabulous job and your teaching style is very easy to understand and learn from. "

"There was this one time, in second grade....well I loved my teacher so much, I didn't want to go on summer vacation because I knew I would miss her. I am sad to see this semester come to an end because you are so great!"

"thanks ms grandberry :D. i knew you wouldn't let me down :D.. By the way I just wanted to let you know you are one of the best teachers I've had since iv'e been at delta..most all of my classes are online because I have so many other things going on in my life to go to campus. I am holding 2 jobs and doing 3 classes. So its really tough : /..but thanks for being so understanding and helping me. I appreciate it. I also learned alot and I feel very comfortable working in HTML. "

"I really liked this class. I've never had an internet class that used the chatroom, I liked that. It was something different."

"Great teacher! I learned so much in this class about HTML and she really knows her stuff. I recommend this class if you want to learn HTML."

"Mrs. Grandberry is so helpful, and kind. As long as you communicate with her she is incredibly helpful and understanding. I would love to take more courses with her as my professor!I came away from the class with a wealth of knowledge."

"Teacher was very patience and very understanding. She teaches very well."

Those who know me well know that I have been frazzled lately. The past two weekends we have visited our grandchildren (which of course meant we got to visit our children as well). This has been a stress relieving experience. The level of love extended to us was unbelievable. Our grandchildren just wanted to be with us, nothing special, just time with us. We were going to do something grand with the grandchildren like go fishing, or take them to the zoo or go shopping, all they wanted to do was spend time with us.

First, we went to see the southern California families. The tradition with those families is to take the grandchildren to a hotel, give them the remote control, order room service and let them jump on the beds until they fall asleep with exhaustion. Everyone has grown past the bed jumping phase and now we only have pillow fights. They wanted to spend their time with us in the hotel. We bought some board games and played all afternoon then went to Chucky Cheese. While we were there one of the machines ran out of tickets so we called for help. When the boys came to help cute little Kylee they filled the machine with tickets and set it to automatically feed. It started spitting out tickets and she got over 200 tickets. She was jumping up and down and throwing tickets in the air and wrapping them around her neck like a scarf, it was adorable. She split them with her cousins. Dau, who is 12, learned long ago that the prizes are cheap and just fall apart, so he was not really interested in prizes, but loved the food and games. Lee and Kylee each got things they loved, rings, bracelets, balls, games, candy. It was great fun.

This video is three of the four of them playing Piranha. Lee eats Kylee's fish and everyone laughs, even Kylee, just not in this video.

Next, we visited our Northern California grandchildren and I took a bazillion pictures with my phone camera. The only clear picture I got was of my knee. While there we were able to discuss business matters that have been pressing on us and get a whole new outlook on the approach we want to take with our new business. We had dinner at the peer and took a little time to watch some soccor. Here are some out of focus pictures of a fun time. (Oh, yes, Brian has a swimming pool inside his house, so there was a swimming party while we were there.)

Sasha and Nami getting awards. They tied for the championship.

Tristan after his game, they won the championship game.

All three Northerners

Now, see what I mean, I have got to perfect this self-portrait thing, my daughter-in-law is adorable, and just look at how lame this picture is.

The swimming party. There were lots more children than this picture expresses.

And finally, Tarzan and Brian deep in political discussion as we walk along the peer listening to the sea otters bark.

We returned home to the joy of a visit from our Texas grandchildren at our home. They visited for 2 days and I forgot to take any pictures, but based on what you see above, it's not much of a loss. Harris and Tarzan spent quite a bit of time together and in particular, Harris got to ride in the trailer as Tarzan pulled him down the hill to lock the gate. He was thrilled and said that was one of the best days ever. Maddison and Amber are so grown up, it is fun to be with them. We had a great time, they are fun people.

So, to end this long post, we are relaxed and enjoying our new venture with no stress added to our lives. Brian was very helpful in putting things in perspective for us and gave us some fantastic advice. Thanks son.

Please don't hate me. When I get my Christmas cards finished the Thursday after Thanksgiving at our Card-a-poluza activity at the Church, I'm done.

You see, we have ten grandchildren and they have twenty-two grandparents. We decided that rather than get caught up in the Christmas hub-bub and have the children not really even know who sent them what, we would give presents all year long. So, beginning in January and continuing through November, our children and grandchildren get presents from us wrapped in Christmas paper. The first year it was really hard to break the habit of sending something at Christmas time, but the second year it was a breeze, this year, I don't even feel worried that the little grandchildren won't understand. A child who receives a game for their Wii in June is far more appreciative than a child who receives it at Christmas in "competition" with a bazillion other gifts.

So, you see, I am finished. Tarzan and I usually make a large batch of something fun to give people who come to our house. One year it was prickly pear jam, one year it was bottled banana nut bread, this year, someone told me they had a margarita jam recipe, I'm trying to get that, but if we don't get it, it doesn't matter, we can just give out a card to anyone who comes by.
This tradition allows us to focus on the true purpose of Christmas and renew our intention to do kind deeds throughout the year.

Without divulging personal information, one sister in our Ward is overwhelmed right now, 3 other people have offered to give her children rides to church activities for the next 3 months to give her a break through the holidays. That is so awesome.

It's not that I have nothing to blog about, it's just that I am soooo busy right now. So, here goes nothing. See these shoes?

We have a new Intern working in our office and I noticed his SHINY, black shoes while we were playing a dice game (yes, we were taking a game break since none of us smoke and we don't take smoke breaks). I asked if he came from a military family. He said no, he just bought brand new shows for 26 cents last weekend to wear to his new job with us. Tarzan would be proud of the shiny, black shoes. Where in the world can you buy shoes like that for 26 cents?

Okay, back to work.

1. I think diamonds are highly over rated and would rather have a nice cubic zirconium.
2. I love my grandchildren in ways that cannot be described. Children make me happy in general and the laughter of a child is pure joy.
3. I know God loves me.
4. I could watch French Kiss once a month and never get sick of it. (And I love the Borge movies too.)
5. I am very insecure and fear the I am a bore. When I relax in a group and forget my insecurities someone always brings me back to reality that no one is really interested in what I have to say. I love quality alone time.
6. I knew my great grandparents and that is a source of joy I treasure.

I tag Shellie C, Randi and Raynie

We lost our dogs. They were gone for a week. We thought we would never see them again. Suzi, the young one tears through metal with her teeth and gets out no matter what we do. Dottie follows her.

Tarzan was talking to the neighbor, Bill on the Hill, and told him the dogs were gone. Bill said he would watch for them and left for work. About 5 minutes later, Bill came tearing up the hill and yelled to Tarzan that he had found the dogs. They were with a family down by the canal and they were waiting for Tarzan to come and get them.

Tarzan rushed to the canal and found a family with our dogs on leashes happily walking them. That explained why they didn't come home. They had two small children a girl about 10 (she found the dogs and took them home and put them on leashes) and her brother about 6. When Tarzan showed up the little boy started to cry because he had to give the dogs back. His Dad told him that he knew that if they found the owners they would have to give the dogs back, but a 6 year old doesn't process that information well, so he cried.

Tarzan said, "I know you hate to give up the dogs, but I love my dogs and need to take them home." The boy said, sobbing, "Okaaayyyy." Tarzan said, "Do you like to hunt?" The boy said, sobbing still, "Sooommeetimes." Tarzan said, "Suzi isn't completely trained to hunt yet, would you like to help me train her?" "Okaaaayyyy."

So, Tarzan, the tough guy is committed to work with a 6 year old boy and a 2 year old dog and try to make everyone feel better about life. Tarzan is just like a chocolate Carmel candy. Hard on the outside and gooey on the inside. He does Random Acts of Kindness without planning or forethought. That's the best kind.

When I was a little girl my father was in the Air Force so every time he was transfered to some exotic location we stabilized the family by going to my grandparent's house while he got settled, then we would all pack up and move where he was.

Granner always made homemade bread and chocolate chip cookies. It is the homemade bread that brings me comfort (and inches on my waste I might add). She would bake 8 loaves every week, always kneaded by hand. The first loaf was cut open right down the middle while it was still so hot you had to hold it with a dish towel while you cut it. Any children in the house were allowed to dig out the middle of the loaf of bread, roll it in as much butter as they wanted and treasure each morsel. Granner then ate the crust. She always made us feel like she was taking the left over and giving us the best. It was not until I was an adult that I experienced the joy of a hot crust of homemade bread. She was getting the best part. But I digress.

There is no time or place in my life that fills me with more comfort, security, peace of mind and joy than the time I spent in Granner's kitchen where I learned to make bread by hand, kneading it in the large round bread pan, punching it down after the first rise, eating raw bread dough.

Granner's kitchen was red and white. It was so small, I don't know how she could stand it. The table was built in with a bench on 3 sides. If you got stuck in the back at the table and needed to get out before the meal was over, you had to crawl under the table.

The kitchen was small, the table inconvenient, but this we all knew, when we were at Granner and Gramp's house, we were loved.

Old Fashioned White Bread Recipe

3 packages yeast
3/4 C. warm water
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. salt
2 C. milk
1 C. shortening
1 1/4 C. water
2 eggs
10 -12 C. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 T. sugar in a small bowl. Warm milk and butter in a pan until the butter melts. Add water to cool to lukewarm. Add 2 beaten eggs and salt. In a large bowl have ready 10 C. of flour. Add milk mixture and yeast. Mix well, adding enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough on a floured board about 10 minutes until smooth and satiny. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and set bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled.

After it has doubled punch it down and let it rise a second time.Divide dough into 4 pieces. Shape into loaves and place in 4 greased 9x5x3 inch bread pans. Let rise until doubled again. Place in oven to bake at 350°F. 35-40 minutes.

When bread is baked, if you tap on the top of the loaves it should sound hollow. Remove from pans immediately, brush the top with butter and cool on racks.

This is a rambling post about my Mom. First, you should know she is --hmmmmm--I think 85. She was 30 until she had grandchildren who were 30, then she had to start having birthdays, so I'm not sure of her true age.

She called me today and told me "I feel so obligated to be kind to old people." It seems she had a friend who got really senile and it became uncomfortable to visit her so she didn't go visit her for a couple of months and the woman died. I assured her that the woman would have died anyway and she replied, "Yes, but I could have made her life a little happier during those last two months." Isn't that a great part of life, no matter how old you are, there is always something you could do a little better and being able to recognize that gives you strength.

Mom says that the worst thing you can do when you begin to age is have nothing to do. So, she has this social life and a volunteer life.

Social: She invited an older couple over to her house to play cards. Then she forgot. She lives with my brother and his son came upstairs to tell her that her friends had just pulled up. She shreeked and my sister-in-law came running up and the two of them spuced up her room and got the table ready and treats and drinks out in the time it took her friends to get out of the car and walk up the steps to the house. She said, "Thank goodness they are old. It took them 10 minutes to get up to the door." LOL, LOL, LOL

Volunteer: She always has a job. She won't let anyone pay her because if they pay her she feels obligated to go to work and she may wake up some day and not feel like working or want to go on a trip to Africa. For years she volunteered as a principal because she was bonified and some private schools needed a real principal to continue in business. Now, she is volunteering in the critical care unit for babies at the local hospital. She does all the stuff like keep the drawer for each baby filled with supplies, keeping all the records for each baby with the right baby. She says she doesn't hold the wee ones. However, one day all of the nurses were busy and they had a baby that had been crying non-stop for 2 hours. They asked her if she would hold him and she did. She worried because he wiggled so much and she couldn't keep him wrapped in the blanket they had him in. She told one of the nurses and they informed her that he was a drug baby and could not hold still. Her instructions were to wrap the blanket around him tight and hold him close to her body. It nearly killed her. So, she doesn't hold the babies.

She does one other thing at the hospital. She helps "old people" get registered. I bet she is the best person to do the job.

Oh, yes, and did I tell you she still wears high heels even after 2 hip surgeries? Yes, I have fantabulous mother.

When I was in the 6th grade someone told me that you can't wear orange on St. Patrick's day and that if you did you were gay. I dismissed that as something stupid, but those things tend to stay with you. Then in High school I had the cutest orange and black plaid dress, it was really full and I wore two crinolines under it with little jingle bells sewing on them. It was very kewl. As an adult, I was ready to say I had NOTHING orange in my closet and then I went to look, I have 3 things in my closet that or some shade of orange. None of them are designated for the month of October only. The lastest was a find at K-Mart, $1.50 I bought one in every color and orange happened to be one of them. Sorry, about the date, I keep forgetting to reset it. Notice the pink shirt in the background, that is my real color. I am a red/pink kind of gal.

When I had children at home and even when I had grandchildren in town, I decorated for holidays, things on the windows. Things by the door. Dishes full of treats. However, at this stage in my life having been there and done that on so many things, I find it just as pleasing to simply make my computer festive for the occasion. I have a feather boa of every color they make, so for fall, here ya go. My fall decorations.

It's Friday. We both had interesting days. Tarzan called me and asked if he could take me out to dinner. I, of course, said "yes."

We got in the car and started out. He asked, "Where would you like to go?"

Once again, I was sucked into answering that dreaded question. "Rubio's" I said.

"Oh, I was thinking Applebees."

"Okay. That's fine with me. Let's go to Applebees."

We headed west to the Applebees on 51st Avenue. There were people everywhere waiting in line. Tarzan said, "I'm not in the mood to wait in a line like that. Let's go somewhere else." He began to drive again and stared down the road to our house.

I asked, "where are we going?" Thinking he had decided to just go home.

"The Casino. I feel like a good steak." We headed south on 51st Avenue.

At the Casino, the smell of cigarette smoke was overpowering. They no longer had a "restaurant." They only had a deli. What? You can always get good food in a casino. Well, apparently things have changed. We coughed our way out to the car and I, stupidly, made a second suggestions.

"There is a new Bistro on 16th Street and Baseline. They were featured in the South Mountain magazine."

"Okay, Let's try that." This should be fun, Tarzan and I love to try new things. We headed east to 16th Street.

We pull up into the parking lot and I notice it was an Italian Restaurant--no steaks there. I mentioned that to Tarzan, but it was too late, the saga had begun. Tarzan was complaining about the parking. He thought it was not well lit. The parking lot had about 30 spaces and we were in the parking lot a full 15 minutes trying to get the best spot (there were only 2 empty spots). We finally parked and I got out of the car, with my neck muscles pulled tight, like that girl in As Good As It Gets, I think her name is Helen Hunt. As I stepped to the back of the car, two cars pulled out, right up by the front door. I suggested Tarzan move the car and he jumped at the chance.

We went into the restaurant and Tarzan started to sulk. We had to wait about five minutes and he said he would wait outside. I should have known right them that we should turn around and walk out. We were in the restaurant about 1 hour while I heard about the fact that he was not in the mood for italian food, the music was too loud, they didn't have booths, we had to sit at a table, the woman at the table next to us had an ugly nose and he couldn't stop looking at it, the family that came in with a child who was metally challenged and how miserable that must be to have to take him on every date. I thought they were probably having as much fun as I was. He even commented on the fact that it was obvious this place had not been built to be a resaturant. Whatever.

So Tarzan ordered just an appetizer and I ordered a pasta dish. I said, "that's not going to be enough food for you." He said, "I plan to stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home." I asked why we didn't just leave and he said he didn't want to always go to the places he wants to go, but that I should be able to pick the place sometimes.

I told him never to do that again, I don't care where we eat, I'm not picky. I would rather have hot dogs at Circle K than have him be miserable at a fancy restaurant. Well, we ate and I had most of mine put in a to go box so we could get out of there.

We got in the car and headed to Kentucky Fried Chicken. We were both laughing by then at what a lousy experience that was. It was certainly not romantic or relaxing. We pulled into the KFC parking lot and I contemplated staying in the car (Tarzan doesn't do drive through). I decided to be a good sport and go in.

As we started in, Tarzan said, "I hope you don't ruin my choice of eating establishments with a bad attitude." We both started to laugh and I turned my nose up and said, "Yuck, that guy is spraying for bugs outside the restaurant." "Euwww, the floor is dirty." "Gag, the place smells like grease." By then we were both nearly in tears with laughter. We stepped up to the counter and no one spoke to us. We waited about 5 minutes while the employees argued about their private lives. Then Pedro, a young man stepped up to the cash register and say "Yo, man wachu want." Tarzan made his order. Then we waited while he put hand cleaner on his one hand that was not bandaged and started to get the chicken, we both started to say something about sanitation, when the girl he had been talking to stepped up and got the chicken for us. They continued their personal conversation and she put the lid on the bucket and brought it up to the counter and plopped it on the counter without looking at us, without saying "have a nice evening," without saying "drop dead" or anything.

Tarzan said in a loud voice, "Thank you for the chicken." She looked up in surprise and Tarzan asked to speak to the manager. Leaving out the details here, let me just say the service was like that because the manager could care less about our complaint.

We got in the car with our chicken and started home. About one block away we began to laugh again and decided that next time we would just buy steak at Bashas and grill them. So, here we are staying up late watching movies while we still have free HBO and Show Time. We have to stay up late because it took us so long to get food that we can't go right to bed or we will both get heartburn.

My whole life I have hated to miss out on anything!!! I hate to leave the room because you will have fun when I leave. I hate to be sent to bed early because you will have fun as soon as I fall asleep. I hate to miss church because they will have the best sermon and the best music on the day I miss. I hate to be left out when someone has a party, they will surely have a good time without me.

My mother jokes (to my embarrasement) that when I was a little girl and we lived in Germany, no matter where we were you could find us by asking if anyone had seen the American family with the little girl who has her hands between her legs. She will then demonstrate what a little girl, needing to go to the bathroom, does.

Nothing has changed, I will put it off until I am miserable and when I finally give in, I am so glad to complete a task I have been meaning to do for the longest time.

Ignore the date, the battery died on my camera. I need a pedicure! Don't you think washing your hands after handling your feet is a good choice here?

I personally wash my hands all the time. Since I was treated for HCV, I am a nut about it. Also, I work on computers and it is SO GROSS to work on someone's computer when the keyboard has enough food in it to feed the hungry and you can tell they never wash their hands because the keys are so filthy.

Okay, I have been snake proofed. LOL. If you look closely at this picture you will see that I am wearing chaps, and I don't mean the Ralph Lauren scent. These are bonified snake chaps. We took the dogs out this weekend to try them out and I didn't get bit by one snake, they must have worked.
Dottie is the "orange" one and Suzie is the "liver" one. They can't wait for quail season. We missed dove season because we didn't have the chaps.
Since I am writing this, I may as well tell you that I am the sucker in this foresome. Dottie and Suzie find the birds and point, I flush them out of the bush and Tarzan shoots over my head. Hmmmmm, I think maybe I need to rethink this activity.

I had to dismantle my photo album to do this so you got a few extras. Notice one in particular taken in Germany, note the chain around my neck, I'll blog about it later. As for first day of school memories. I have to say that is one memory I don't have, I can tell you all kinds of other things about school days, but not the first day back, ever in all 12 years K-12.

I went to Labcor to have a blood test. Since I had to fast for the test and I had a RS Presidency meeting at 8:30, I arrived early. There was a sign up sheet in the hall for those who arrived early to sign up in order of their arrival. When I got there, 2 men were standing in the hall and 1 man came up right after me.

They informed me of the procedure for signing up. I stepped up to the sign in sheet and without thinking, signed my name SANDI HEYWOOD. The 3rd man, stepped up to sign his name and I suddently realized what I had done and told the men in the hall with me. We all laughed and I corrected it. SANDI GRANDBERRY.

Now, I only tell you this because it was a lead in to what happened next.

One of the men started to tease me saying that I must still have a crush on my first husband, which brought up the subject of his wife.

"I have been with my sweetheart for 30 years." He bragged. "I even went to prison and I came back to her."

I tried to be light with such new found information and said, "Did she send you there?"

He came right back with, "Hell, no, I would have kicked her out if she had been the cause of my going to jail."

Now, the 3rd man spoke up. "Hey man, where did you serve? I just got out 2 weeks ago. Maybe I know some of your people."

1st Man, "Oh, man, I was in Florence, 15 years. My brother is in prison in California now. He started here in Phoenix, and they transferred him all over the place. He was out for 1 week and he got put back in for killing a cop. He's doing life now."

3rd Man, "What is your brother's name, maybe I know him."

1st Man sayed his brother's name and 3rd Man replied that it sounded familiar.

The 2nd man in the hall gave me a sideways glance at this point and looked a little nervous. I just stood there and listened while they bragged about their prison experiences. 1st Man had been in prison for hauling a truckload of drugs. 3rd Man had been in prison for a serious assault (translated later to "I nearly killed the guy.") I just stood there and tried to think of something appropriate to say. Nothing came to mind.

1st Man went in to get his blood test and the 2nd Man came over and sat by me. It seems that the 1st Man had Hepatitis C. I told him that I got Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion with blood given by a man just like him. He was very sympathetic.

I bet I am the only Relief Society President who has had two such interesting experiences. The first time, I was riding the city bus when two young men got on a full bus and stood holding on and leaning over me when one said, "Hey man, it stinks on this bus, it reminds me of prison. Everyone lined up and it smells like stinky feet."

Yes, I lead an intersting life.

It's the end of summer and it's still hot and I have a scar on my neck and feet from having moles and warts removed and I haven't lost any weight because it has been too hot to move and we went a couple of weeks with an air conditioner that limped along and Tarzan got bit by a snake which put me into an ice cream eating frenzy and sleep deprivation. But now it is going to be fall soon and the weather will cool down and everything will be better.

The following light hearted story had a frightening turn about an hour after I posted it. Tarzan began to complain that his leg hurt and when I looked at it, I found it was swollen and had two small puncture wounds which were difficult to see because his skin is so dark. When he agreed to go to the emergency room to have it looked at, I began to worry that it really was a snake bite even though he doesn't remember the snake actually making contact with his leg.

Tarzan is now in the hospital for overnight observation. I have been in critical care with him since 7:00 p.m. and it is now 4:00 a.m. We count our blessing though, he is resting fine and healing well. While we were in critical care, one man had a broken neck and pulled the tube out of his neck that was helping him breath, one was found unconscious by the canal -- he was either on drugs or someone had beat the heck out of him or both, one came in with blood pressure so high they were afraid she would go into cardiac arrest before they could get it under control, one came in with back problems and couldn't speak English. And there we were with a little old snake bite. The interesting this was that they don't see very many snake bites so as the word spread, we had doctor after doctor come in and ask us "official" questions so they could see the snake bite.

I have to say one more thing. I have never received such kind care in a hospital. We first went to the closest hospital, and they sent us to the County Hospital where Poison Control is. In the first hospital, they took us in ahead of a whole line of people because rattle snake venom can be so dangerous, they had us transferred to County Hospital where we received excellent care and everyone was so kind. I was very impressed and kept thanking people over and over again.

This is Tarzan with jig, rake, hatchet and a pulled muscle. It seems a rattlesnake nearly got him and it slithered under the woodpile. He reacted like a gazelle and got out of the way.

I kept telling him it was long gone, but he insisted on moving the wood pile in the 100 degree weather. We were both covered with sweat when he saw it quivering under the bamboo shade on the bottom of the wood pile.

Tarzan's quick hand pegged the rattler with a jig he uses when he hunts bull frogs.

I snapped another picture before we finished it off.

Tarzan cut its head off with the hatchet while I held it down with the jig.

This is its rattler. Tarzan measured the snake at 2 1/2'. It was a young one, but we understand they are the most poisonous.

Our dogs were interesting around the dead snake. Dottie has been "snake broke." She ran and hid when she got the scent. Suzie who has not been "snake broke" wanted to smell it and find out what it was. She would have been bit while Dottie would have run away if the snake had been alive. I guess we will be spending another $250 on our dogs to protect Suzie.

I have to write this or I will burst.

We have 2 rental properties. One of them is a 4 bedroom 2 bath house with a new kitchen, new floor tile, fresh paint, and new stucco on the outside and it has an Arizona Room and a sprinkling system in the back yard, oh yes, and a new air conditioner and carpet and on and on and on. Here is a picture.

We rented it less than a year ago, to tenants who were so excited to rent this house that they demanded a 3-year lease. We had to evict them this month. In February, they said they lost the rent check, so we waited for it and never got it. In April, their son stole the rent check so we told them they could make it up in May, they did not. In May they paid one month rent. In June they said they did not get their government check and his father died. In July they said they did not get their government check and their car was repossessed. We demanded rent anyway. In August, they did not pay rent but they were driving a brand new Cadillac--we had to evict them. If I am going to give away thousands of dollars, I can think of better ways to give it away.

I was going to share pictures of how filthy they were, but I would rather just clean up, replace, paint and move on.

So, here is my do you develop an attitude that you can live in my house and not work and not pay rent while I work three jobs and my husband works two jobs so we can make the payment on the house you feel entitled to live in?

How do you learn to live in filth? How do you justify having animals in the house who pee wherever they want to and you never wipe it up? How do you learn to just drop trash on the carpet, smoke in bed and leave cigarette burns in the carpet? How do you stand the smell of spoiled food in the refrigerator?

Why would you yell at my husband and tell him he is a bad person when you have trashed our house, you have mooched off of us, you have lied to us, you have made bad choices and we have given you every opportunity to be responsible, while you have deceived us and taken advantage of our kindness? You must have terrible headaches and trouble sleeping.

We, on the other hand, have no problem sleeping and we have a place to sleep and everyone in our family has a place to sleep. I hope someone in that family realizes they are making bad choices and someone makes a better life for themselves rather than having generation after generation continue to be a burden on society. I hope the goodness inside any member of that family comes to the surface and they find some joy in life. At the present time, no one in that family seems to be finding any joy.

But thank goodness and the Courts system, they are gone. (Oh, yeah, they left their Rottweilers in the back yard and we had to call animal control.) Ain't life grand?

I haven't knitted for a long time. I am a crocheter. However, I saw this pattern and went crazy for it. I bought the book and some hand painted silk yarn and started knitting. It is probably the hardest pattern I have ever knit. I had to restart about six times. We were on our way to Germany when I first started and after several failed attempts, I finally went out on the patio at our friend's house in Ramstein, told everyone to leave me alone and tried it once again. After about an hour with Hans tanning, Lee napping, Rachel at school and everyone else off doing their own thing, I was able to get it going. It took me over a month to finish, and I really planned on solid blocks of color, not stripes, but the yarn was self striping and I ended up loving it. It is a shawl or neck scarf.

This picture shows the color quite well. Sorry I couldn't get the fringe to hang right. It is really beautiful.

I'm crocheting a really cute pattern right now. I am using a different kind of yarn, mine is multi colored wool/silk hand painted in shades of green, gold, and blue, but this should be pretty classy when I finish. It crosses in the back. There are several ways to wear it.

Now, all I have to do is find a model this cute when it is finished :-).

Two ladies in my Ward were kind enough to let me have their children for about 3 hours. We loaded children, car seats and giggles into my car and I took everyone to Sonic for a Blizzard. We bought just one and shared it. Along with a red slurpee for me. The little boys were busy eating their ice cream when one of them asked for a drink of my slurpee. I said, "I don't share my drink with anyone, not even my own grandchildren." He looked me right in the eye and said "Sister Grandberry, you should share." I promptly got straws for everyone and they shared the rest of my slurpee.

All three little boys were perfect gentlemen. They shared nicely, they cleaned up their mess. The oldest one showed the younger boys how to move the straw up and down in the slurpee to get more juice in it. What a joy. It was probably 105 degrees outside, but we were in the shade and we didn't care.

Tori called me and said, "Hi Mom, I called to tell you about my week." I settled down on the bed to listen. By the time she was through, I was standing up with every muscle in my body tense. Let me see if I can capture what happened.

First, she went in to get her hair colored and cut. In the middle of the color, her beautician got sick and someone else had to finish the job. She colored it the wrong color and gave her an awful haircut. They said they would fix it. She said she needed a couple of days to calm down and decide if she wanted them to work on it again. She went back and they fixed the color and sort of fixed the cut.

Second, she was taking her daughter to piano lessons. There was a lot of construction and had been several storms. There was a large rock in the middle of the road. She could not go left or right, so she drove right over it and it tore the transmission pan off her car. Her husband came to her rescue and they had the car towed and fixed.

Third, their dog quit eating so she took her to the vet and he said he couldn't find anything wrong with her, gave her some vitamins and some antibiotics and sent her home. A couple of days later the dog's eyes and mouth turned yellow. She rushed her to the emergency room and found she had liver damage and they had to give her a steroid shot. Hopefully, that will give her a boost and she will be okay.

Fourth, she took her youngsest son to one of those places where you can bounce on several different air inflated bouncy things and there was one of those things that looks like a man, let's see how do I describe it, it has blowers on it and it blows arms and body tubes up in the air. Well, he went over to see how it worked and lost his balance and his head went inside the hole where the arm blows out of and he couldn't catch his breath. She felt impressed to see where he was and when she got there she had a tough time pulling him out. His lips had just started to turn blue. Scary. The guy who runs the place said it had happened the week before to someone else.

An expensive and exhausting week. She is a positive woman and we got a small chuckle out of the whole experience. It is amazing what we go through sometimes and no one even knows it.

I guess by some standards I do. But, little do they know what troubles are in my life. It made me think about the things we don't know about each other. So many times things happen to people over which they have not control and they don't show on the surface.

We never know if the person we are sitting right next to:

  • is suffering a deep heartache for something over which they have no control
  • is recovering from a serious illness or injury
  • is in serious debt trouble
  • doesn't know how to read
  • is homeless
  • was an abused child
  • is being abused by a spouse
  • has a child in jail
  • just lost a loved one
  • has no food in the house
  • is about to lose their home
  • can't afford a birthday cake for their child's birthday
  • is new in town and doesn't know anyone
  • is in a great deal of physical or emotional pain
  • is suffering from depression
  • has a serious chemical imbalance
  • has no family
  • can't count change

Bet you didn't know I have gone through the awful treatment for hepatitis C, did you? I bet I don't know things about you that would make me be kinder to you, have more compassion for you.

I challenge you to assume the best of everyone. Give each other a chance, do something nice for someone you are inclined to avoid. Smile and speak to each person you meet on the street. It's a good habit and will bring smiles back to you. Then send an act of kindness to someone you do not know well and kindness will come back to you.

I did my act of kindness this morning at work, when/where did you do yours?


This time IT DID. We have suffered in this 115 degree, humid, weather for 2 weeks with our air conditioner running day and night, only to cool off the house to a meazly 85 degrees. We called the air conditioning guy (Rafael) and he has been out here twice.

New duct work $1,200
New Air conditioner $4,000

Not in the budget, we decided to just have new duct work. We are fully aware that we need that done. Rafael was supposed to come yesterday, but Lee had to work and it is a two man job (somehow there is something wrong with that picture--we are paying $1,200 and Lee has to be the helper--shouldn't he get paid for that with something besides cold air?). But I digress. Lee called Rafael and asked him what he wanted to do and he said put it off until next weekend.


This was our plan in the meantime.......We would make only one room at a time receive air conditioning and we would stay in that room (or spend the whole day in the movie theater where we would have to wear a sweater). So, Lee took off all the vent covers and taped cardboard over the whole in every room but our bedroom on Friday night. We slept comfortably for the first time in 2 weeks. I even had to pull the covers up once.

Saturday morning, Lee left for work and I covered the vent in our bedroom and uncovered the vent in my office. I worked in there all day only leaving for basic necessities. I was comfortable and enjoyed my day (not to mention I got a ton of organizing done).

Saturday night, Lee came home and cooked dinner outside while I moved the vent covers so only the living room was being cooled. We enjoyed a steak and greens dinner in the living room and held vewwy, vewwy still the rest of the night so as not to generate any more heat in the house (we watched Bourne 1 and 2 in preparation for going to the theater to see 3 :-)). When we went to bed we moved the covers so only the bedroom was getting air conditioning.

In the night the cover fell off the living room and the office and yet we slept through the night comfortably. Once, I recall being semi conscious and noticing that we were sleeping comfortably. Once, I heard the cover fall off one of the vents and wondered if it would get hot again.

This morning we got up and the whole house was cool. The thermostate read 79 degrees. It is showing 80 degrees right now, but it is still comfortable at 80 degrees. I see the clock is wrong, now I'm going to have to get the book out to figure out how to reset the clock, but I will be able to find it because I spent all day yesterday organizing.

What in the world happened? It is a mystery. Maybe it is a tithing blessing. I guess we'll find out when Rafael shows up next weekend.

The challenge is to record random acts of kindness. At first, I thought, every random act of kindness I have done, is so small and simple, it doesn't count. But as I have read yours I see that a random act of kindess is very often just that, a small and simple act of kindness. It doesn't have to be something big and fantastic. More like something no one sees, but those who are affected.

We were in WalMart. We had picked up enough stuff to bring our bill up to the usual $100. Along the way, I had picked up a pack of Spiderman bandaids in case my grandsons came by to visit. While we were standing in line, a young boy, his brother and father, got in line behind us. The father had a big birthday cake. I turned to them and asked, "Whose birthday is it?" The young boy said it was his and he would be turning six. I asked what kind of cake they bought and he proudly announced it was a Spiderman cake. The cashier had just rung up my Spiderman band aids. I picked them up and handed them to the young boy and said "Happy Birthday." I made sure the cashier saw so she would not charge him.

Grin does not describe the look on his face. It was an awesome feeling, my husband and I both felt quiet joy for this silly little thing we did.

Now, even better than that. Let me tell you what kindness was done to me, rather than by me. I was very sick and the Bishop's wife, came to visit me. While we visited, someone else stopped by (an unusual event to have 2 people just drop by). The Bishop's wife got up and left the room, the next thing I knew she was vacuuming my floors while I visited with the other ladies. She had asked my 3 year old where the vacuum was, and he, knowing everything, showed her. What a lovely thing to do.

This is Zeke. He just put Direct TV in my house. He included a fancy shmancy box that works like a Tevo. He doesn't have a computer. He was surprised to see three computers, two scanners, a digital camera, an iPod, a DVD player, a manual typwriter, a sewing machine, a laminator, a cell phone, a hot glue gun, a speed bag, and a label maker in my office. Now, I have to learn how to use all the fancy features on this fancy shmancy box he left.

Yes, that is sweat, it was 114 degrees in here today. He took out all the old satellite stuff from Dish TV (boo) and installed all new cable etc. for the Direct TV stuff (yea). He had to do it all on the roof, outside. I gave him several glasses of ice water.

Zeke arrived with a drill and drill bit big enought to drill a hole through Texas, which is a good thing because our walls are solid cement (thus no pictures on the wall :-)).

Zeke wants to start his own business. He said he doesn't want to work for someone else all his life. His ambition is to start a portable car wash business where he will come to your home or business and wash your car. He is only charging $75 for a detail. I told him to come back to my house tomorrow and we would pay him $100 to do his first mobile detail job. We are paying him a little more because he has to buy chemicals to do his very first job on our car.

Zeke is a nice young man with a girlfriend and 2 children. I hope he is successful.

Expanding on Lelly's definition--

Geek: Someone who knows a lot about computers, but also has other interests about which she can converse, such as sky diving, grandchildren, crochet, cooking...

Nerd: Someone who can only talk about computers.

Am I a Geek? Yes, and proud of it (definitely not a nerd).

I asked my friend SteveE what makes me a Geek and he said, "He couldn't use that phrase because it has a negative connotation." He said, he thinks I am more of a "guru." I love computers. I love all parts of them except that I think printers are the devil. I teach computer classes "fabulously." (I am stealing that word from Amberly.)

Some times I wonder how we got along without computers, but then I wonder how we got along without microwaves, pens, cars, cell phones and Jolly Ranchers. Somethings are just meant to be. Computers are among the necessities of life.

On our trip to Germany, Lee and I both commented that we felt disconnected because we did not have access to a computer without going to the library.

Notice the Geeky stuff around me. There is a thumb drive in the laptop, and a pink document holder. What you can't see is the second computer on my desk, the headset for my phone, the headset for my computer, the wireless mouse and keyboard, the stack of CDs on my desk and the case I carry around with 3 more thumbdrives. Oh, yes, and I just went to Google Reader and subscribed to updates of all my favorite blogs.

Yup, I'm a Geek.

Sometimes I would like to be a person who just sits with no ambition. However, I seem to have been born with a personality to be driven to try something new.

In about 1986, I was on an airplane and saw a man reading the New York Times. He had done it so many times on an airplane, he had figured out how to fold the paper so he only had an 8 x 10 fold open at one time. He would then do an oragmi type fold and another section was ready to read. I drew a sketch of a pda in the magazine I was reading with the small screen, keyboard, etc. and the idea that you could read the news electronically and fit it in you pocket. I told a few people and they laughed at me so I didn't do anything about it. That will never happen to me again.

Have you looked at my other blog? I am a computer geek among other things. If you can use tipe on how to learn to like your computer, this is the place for you. I can't help it. I just have to have something else going on.

Have you looked at the small business my husband and I have started? You know how you mark the wall to see how tall your children have grown and then you move or paint over the marks and they are lost for ever? We have come up with a permanent, decorative, heirloom solution. I can't help myself. I am always coming up with a new idea and trying to create it.

Do you have any good ideas, you need to act on?

When I think of the 4th of July, I always think of my mother. Every year she opens her home in the mountains of northern Arizona to the entire family and their friends. We eat, go to parades, eat, play in the water, eat, go to rodeos, eat, watch the fire works, eat, watch movies, and eat some more. My husband once said when he goes to my Mom's house he just sits down in the recliner and opens his mouth and she puts food in it.

I wish I had pictures of all the crazy things we have done together. I would love to have a picture of all the moms and grandmas marching in a parade for the children because we missed the parade that year. We all had newspaper hats and various pieces of decoration as we marched and sang "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy."

Another picture I wish I could share with you is the picture of my sister-in-law, Nan's, face the first time we had a chocolate sheet cake and one of us ate a piece out of the middle before it was cut and then everyone just sort of took a little here and a little their until it looked very unappetizing. She had never seen that before, it was totally unstructured fun.

And then there is the inevitable water play. Children of all ages in varying stages of dress, mud, dogs, water guns, buckets of water and lots of laughter.

The sad part is that as we all grow and our children get involved in other things, fewer and fewer of us are able to go and join in the fun. Every year some of us join with Mom, but it seems to be a different bunch every year. We hope to go this year for a weekend.

However, to finish this spt, I will tell you that we live on top of a hill with a 360 degree view of the Valley. We can see fireworks all over the place from east to west. We always have a dessert party at our house, open to anyone who knows about it. So, if you are in town, as soon as it begins to get dark, come on up and bring a dessert and enjoy the view. We will take your children up on the roof for the best view. They will love it. We will try to get some pictures and I will add them later.

God bless America.

I love America, but there is so much to see and experience in this world and I don't want to miss any of it.

We lived in Germany for two years when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade. We lived on base for part of that time and Rachel and her Mom are living in the exact same complex we lived in while we were there in the 50's. It was weird, as we drove up, walked up the stairs in into the apartment, I said, "I know where the bathroom is, right behind the front door." It was, weird.

The past two weeks in Germany have been relaxing and fun. These are real pictures we took, not post cards or commercial shots. This country is really this beautiful and clean.

Eating in Europe is an experience all in itself. There is no rush, no loud music, no one making you feel like you need to get out so the next customer can sit down and spend money. No one is pushing more drinks on you and you will not get a bill until you ask for it. Neither of us had indigestion the whole time we were there and we often ate at 9:00 o'clock at night. We want to remember that and slow down.

We walked miles and miles. There are beautiful walking paths everywhere. You don't need a car. Between the walking paths and the train system, you are set. We walked from Meisenbach to Lanstuhl. It took 1 1/2 hours. We took the train back 1.50 Euro and 5 minutes.

Our time with Rachel was precious, it is fun to see young people with the future shining bright before them, go into the world with enthusiasm. It renews my own personal enthusiasm for life.

And guess what? We got bumped on one of our flights so we have a free round trip ticket to Ireland for next year. I don't remember Ireland, so this will be a great exploration for me.