What a beautiful day. The sun is shining, there is a light breeze, we are both feeling healthy and happy. Tarzan and I are loving life. We started our day with a retirement meeting to find out what we need to do to get ready for retirement and other details. It was a good meeting, not a waste of time at all. We are in good shape and happy with our circumstances. Last night we had a wonderful discussion about our plans for the house and we continued that today as we drove around town looking at new construction going on.

We drove by our old home and visited with the new owner and the old neighbors. What a fun day we were having. Then Tarzan remembered he wanted to show me a piece of property for sale that we may want to buy for investment. We drove to the old part of Glendale, the part that is quaint and fun to be in.

We parked the car and got out to walk around the property that was for sale. There were two tri-plexes and a house. As we got out of the car, I said, “Wow, what a beautiful neighborhood. What a fun place to be.” We walked over to the box with the information sheets in it and I took out a sheet and told Tarzan to guess how much they wanted for it. He guessed a million dollars.

Before I could tell him the price was much lower than that, he walked over to a grapefruit tree that was on the corner, and not inside a fence, and tried to get a grapefruit off of it. A woman in one of the apartments knocked on the window and said “Don’t do that to the tree.”

Tarzan, “I was just trying…”
Woman, “I know what you were doing. Don’t do that. This is private property”

Just then a man came out. If I were going to describe him, I would say he was poor white trash. Now, I would not normally describe someone that way, but I am still pretty mad.

He said, “This is private property.” We were standing on the sidewalk now.

I said, “We were looking to buy this property.”

White man to Tarzan, “You have no right to steal fruit from me. This is private property.”

Tarzan, laughs and says, “Okay, I’ll come back tonight and steal it when you aren’t looking.”

White man , “If you come back tonight, I’ll shoot you.” He turns to the woman and says “Call the police.” Granted, it was not a good time for Tarzan to be clever.

Tarzan say, “Go ahead.”

I mumble, “This is ridiculous.”

I said, “What are you calling the police for?”

White man, “You are trying to steal from me.”
Me, “You just threatened to kill him.”

We got in our car to leave. White woman, “Get their license plate.” White man ran to the back of our car to get our license plate. I rolled down my window and gave it to him so he didn’t have to go all the way to the back of the car and said again, “This is ridiculous. We are planning to buy this property and you will be the first tenants we move out.”

White woman, “We own this property and you aren’t buying it from us.”

We have had small instances of prejudice against us, mostly veiled, never so openly and blatantly racist. This was aimed at Tarzan, as a black man, simply because he was black. They could have cared less about me. The man had the word “nigger” nearly exploding from his mouth. He didn’t say it, but it was all over his face.

For the first time in my life, I want to get revenge. I want to cause them to pay for the cruelty they showed to my sweet Tarzan. How dare they? How indignant I am. What humiliation to have someone talk to you that way, treat you like you are less of a person than they for no reason. Tarzan reminded me that this was not the first time he had experienced it and by the time we got home, he was chuckling about it.

I say there are two good things about this (1) they lost a cash sale and (2) they will be up all night looking for a car like ours to stop and steal one of their precious grapefruits.

Sigh--

  • Since Countrywide was bought by Bank of America their customer service stinks.
  • We paid a travel agency for our vacation to Ireland and their phone has been disconnected (that's not as bad as it sounds, but it is still upsetting)

Note to self--

  • If you don't want your face to be all frowny and set with a look of discontent, smile.
  • Whatever is getting you down right now will be gone in a minute.

Actions to take--

  • Get international driver's license
  • Figure out how to get Ireland map installed in GPS
  • Secure reservation at Hotel in Dublin
  • Secure auto reservation in Dublin
  • Find new travel agency to plan cruise to Alaska in 2009

Fun to have today--

  • Walk with Sarah
  • Play 5 games of Peggle
  • Dance
  • Sing
  • Laugh
  • Play with Tarzan

Did something make you sigh today?
What did you do to have fun?

First, you have to know that I have come by this particular flaw in my personality rightly. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all had this flaw and sadly, it has been passed on to all three of my children. I have struggled with this my entire life.

It first became apparent after we lived in “the mission field.” When sometimes my brother and sister and I were the only children in the branch and we attended Sunday School together with one adult teaching us; when if we didn’t contribute there was no contribution; when there was no peer pressure telling us it wasn’t cool to know the answer. There were times we traveled 1 or 2 hours just to have the privilege of attending meetings in a chapel, that was in the days when Sunday School was in the morning and Sacrament was at night. You were supposed to have the opportunity to go home between, have lunch and a nap. We took our lunch with us and went to the park, sitting on a quilt, eating sandwiches and napping, while our Dad attended Branch Presidency meetings. It was a time when we had Sacrament and Sunday School in our home and, with the blessings of the Church were allowed to pass the sacrament in the living room. So, how did my flaw become apparent? We moved to Utah, where having the Gospel in your life every day was ho-hum. I went to my first Sunday School class and began raising my hand to answer the questions and soon found out “that was not cool.” Follow this with a life-time of living, learning, experiencing, grieving, making mistakes, repenting and trying to be who my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Now, that I have excused myself, let me confess:

I have something to say about EVERYTHING. It was confirmed how annoying this is by facial expression and e-mail replies within the last 24 hours sufficient to make me, once again, put this at the top of my self-improvement list.

  • It is not necessary to comment every time a comment comes to mind. Not everyone is interested in my personal experiences. Young women, in particular, are bored with the fact that everything they are experiencing—I have already been through and can give advice on or have an opinion on; my husband can be completely right and it is not necessary that I point out when he is not; and finally, when my children need to talk, all that is required of me is to listen.

So, my personal self-improvement is to try harder, once again, to keep my mouth shut and let someone else give the advice and have the opinions for the day.

The noise in my car began right after my first child was born. It was a crying baby, while I was busy driving. That noise soon turned to a child asking a million questions, each followed by, “why.” Soon, the noise was three children arguing over how much of the back seat was their space and without warning it turned into a near heart attack experience when I got in the car and thought there was an explosion because my teenager had left the radio turned up so loud the sudden bust of sound when the engine turned over was a really frightening experience.

It wasn’t until much later that the noise in my car was the continuous conversation that goes on inside my head. It took some getting used to…listening to myself, finding out who I was, what I thought about, what was important to me, when no one and nothing was demanding my immediate attention. I was glad that I had good things to think about. For the most part, I have good thoughts about people and things. I enjoy the news and the music floating out of my radio.

Then after a week with my grandchildren I realized how familiar and comfortable I was with myself. As much as I adore my grandchildren, I found it very distracting to have to stop and listen to what they had to say rather than enjoy my own mental monologue. By the end of the week, I had fallen into the pattern of thinking, listening, answering and thinking again.

Now, that I am home I realize the noise in the car -- the noise of children laughing, talking, playing can't be beat and now, as I listen to the noise in my car, I miss those little voices and can't wait to hear them again.

Today is my ninth anniversary. I called Tarzan in the middle of our busy day and said, “I just called to say--happy anniversary.”

“Same to you. How many years now?”

While Tarzan went through the process of figuring out how many years it had been I relieved the pressure and said, “Nine years.”

“How are you feeling about our future?”

“I can’t wait to find out what will happen next.”

I could hear the smile in Tarzan’s voice as he said, “Me too.”

Wow! Did I miss the boat on this one. At the end of the week in Texas, I had 3 days to play with my grandchildren in California. I was tired after my big week in Texas so I decided to take the children out for every meal. The last night we had together, I said, in my best, fun, grandma voice, "Hey, I have a great idea. Let's have a progressive dinner."

"What's that?"

"Well, you have each course of the meal at a different restaurant. You start at one restaurant and have appetizers and then you go to another restaurant and have soup or salad..."

"We don't like Souper Salad."

"No, not the restaurant Souper Salad, you get your choice if you want soup or salad."

"I don't like soup or salad."

"Okay, you don't have to have anything at that restaurant."

"I will put 4 pieces of paper in a hat and we will each draw out one of the courses for the meal. Then you get to pick what restaurant we will go to for your part of the meal."

"I get P.F. Chang."

"Wait until you find out what course you get."

"I get to pick the dessert place."

"No, we are going to, oh never mind. I'll show you."

I wrote Appetizer, Soup/Salad, Entre, Dessert on 4 separate pieces of paper and we each drew one out.

"Oh, I got entre, can we trade?"

"No, let's just go and see what happens."

We agreed on a mall where there were lots of eating establishments and started with Sasha who had picked Appetizers.

"I pick Starbucks. Does a Vanilla Steamer count as an appetizer?"

"If that's what you want, that's what we'll do."

4 Vanilla Steamers, no 3 Vanilla Steamers and one Carmel Apple hot something or other.

"Ooow, I don't like it." "Okay, I'll have the Carmel Apple hot something or other. You can have my Vanilla Steamer."

California Pizza Kitchen was picked for the Soup or Salad. No one liked their soups, no one liked their salads. There were no whiners and no one making a fuss, just looks of confusion about what to do since they were supposed to have soup or salad and that wasn't working out. I said, "How about a bowl of rice, you all like rice." Everyone agreed, but remember we were at California Pizza Kitchen-----no rice. $21 worth of buttered pasta later, we decided to go to the movie and have hot dogs and candy for the entre and dessert.

Movie had already started. I was in no mood to stand in the wind for 2 hours to wait for the next one. So, without complaint we all agreed to go to Cold Stone Creamery and have whatever they wanted--no restrictions.

I didn't bother to look at that bill, but I had a chcolate covered cone with nuts on it filled with chcolate ice cream with Ghirardelli dark chocolate carmel filled pieces broken up in it and small chocolate chips. No interest in bubble gum, cottom candy or sour green apple for me.

Next time, I'll let them come up with the bright ideas. Never let it be said that any of my grandchildren are not independent thinkers or afraid to say what they want. I forsee a generation of indepdendent, individuals, leading the pack and confident in who they are and what they want.

Now, be sure you understand, this was a fun, pleasant, learning experience for me. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Feed children
Pack lunches
Drive to 2 different schools to deliver children
Grocery Shopping
Buy present for birthday party Friday
Vacuum
Answer e-mail
Grade Papers
Fix lunch
Grade Papers
Get Amber and Harris off the bus

At this point, we were all sitting in the kitchen having after school snacks when I heard a far away whine. It was so distinct that I asked Tori what it was. She jumped up out of her chair and her eyes got really wide and she said, "I bet it is the tornado warning." I thought she was joking, it was just barely sprinkling outside, hardly what I would think was a serious storm of any kind. We turned on the Weather channel and sure enough, we were right in the middle of a tornado warning. They said our town had about 20 minutes before we were in danger, so we jumped in the car and ran to school to pick up Maddison. Within about 2 minutes the rain was so heavy I couldn't see the road. I drove carefully to the school and we got Maddison. As we started home, we got some hail and then suddenly, and while the rain was still pouring down on us, the sun came up on one side of the valley and shown like crazy. So one side of the car was drenched in sunlight while the other side of the car was in the rain clouds.

When we got home there was still hail on the lawn, the wind was blowing and the rain was subsiding while the sun continued to shine down like crazy. We all went in the house to watch the weather channel and just like that it was over. Whew! I haven't been in a tornado ever. Hurricanes, yes, but tornados never.

The thing that made this so scary was the children. I think any man in this situation would have said, the children are safe at school. Let's wait until the storm passes and then go pick them up. Our maternal instinct was to get them with us so we could be in charge of their safety. Maybe not the smartest move, but we had checked to be sure we had a window of opportunity for safety before busting forth.

The rest of my activities for the evening pale in comparison to that one hour in our day.

So, how was your Monday?