I just got a phone call from Gladys Knight's secretary asking me what kind of help we needed for music at our Women's Conference to be held January 22nd. I was specifically asking for sheet music arrangements for hymns when I blithely sent an email to her from her webpage.

I audaciously asked if Gladys would like to come and sing and was kindly turned down due to time constraints.

I further asked that she put our conference on Gladys' calendar and perhaps a miracle would happen and she would come.

Isn't that a hoot? I have a contact phone number for Gladys Knight.

"And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them..."

See how simple that is?

I have finished my first class. It was a no credit, no grade class, just pass fail and I passed.

This was an orientation class to help you get used to the online community and learn to use the application.

"I done good."

I've had 43 Mother's Days. This year just about wins the prize for the mother of all Mothers' Days.
Tarzan said, "Do you want to do something for Mother's Day?"
I said, "Not if I have to plan it."
Tarzan, "Oh."

End of conversation.
About two hours later he called me back and said, "We have a date at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Is it okay to celebrate Mother's Day a day early." "Sure." I say.

Then I start thinking about it, Saturday at 5:15 is the Laker's game, I bet we are going to a sports bar.
Maybe he is taking me to Circle K for hot dogs--but that is another story.

Hmmmmm, what could it be, I resist the temptation to ask.

Saturday morning we got up early and started working in the yard. Several times during the day he reminded me we had to leave before 5:00 p.m. Then I started wondering if someone was coming to the house and he was surprising me.

I still did not ask.
At 4:45 exactly, we were cleaned up and in the car. We started to drive and conversation ensued. Finally, I said something that made him casually say, "Oh, I'm taking you to that Puerto Rican restaurant I told you about."
Wow. What a night we had and to make it even more impressive, he was willing to completely miss the Laker's game to be with me (but because I am a good wife, I recorded it and we watched it when we came home--he was pleasantly surprised).

This place is in a guys home. He doesn't provide a menu, you just pay $15 a person and you eat what he and his wife cook. When they run out of food, they quit serving. You have to have a reservation.

We had an awesome authentic Puerto Rican meal. I would try to explain to you what it was, but I can't think of anything to compare it to so you would know what I'm talking about. One thing I can explain. There was something like a tamale, except it was not made with maza, the outside was mashed plantains. The stuffing was pork and it was to die for, then there was a rice dish -- oh yum. It was cooked in a banana leaf.

When we left, I had to take half of mine home, so he put it in a to go box and stapled the paper sack shut. When he handed it to me, he said, "I have put a little something in there for both of you."
Sunday morning, I opened the bag to finish my dinner for breakfast and he had put two breakfast rolls on top for our breakfast. When I opened the to go box, he had carefully wrapped everything back up in the banana leaf so it would stay moist.

We are going back on the 29th. We already made our reservation.

Then each of my children called me, each shared their love for me and each made me so happy to be a mother. I know I am blessed.

And you should see our yard!!!

A man comes over--he smells like sweat. He sits down at the blood pressure machine. I speak to him. "Hi, how are you today." "Good. I have to take my blood pressure it is all over the place." He closes his eyes, takes several deep breaths and -- with his eyes still closed pushes the button to start the test.

"Did you pass?" I ask.

"134/72." He replies.

"Not bad." He smiles and goes off. The little cubby hole I'm in still smells of sweat.

Next, a little three-year-old boy comes up. He looks over the machine. "What dat?" He asks me. I explain what it is and he asks how it works. I explain about the buttons and he wants to push them.

"Don't push the buttons -- it's not a toy."

"Otay. If I put my fingow heeow, it pinch me?"

"No, it is made for a big boy. Your finger is too little."

"Oh. If i put my aaam in, it pinch me?"

"No, your arm isn't big enough."

He gets closer and casually puts his finger up to push the buttons.

"Please don't play with the machine, it isn't a toy."

"Otay." He backs off, then his Mom or sister, or aunt or whoever she was finishes her business with the Pharmacist and yells at him, "get over her, we need to go home."

Why do people do that? Why can we just speak to children the way we want to be spoken to? I bet if her boss talked to her that way she would quit her job.

So, I was sitting in Ward Council meeting (or as Tarzan calls it, the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and I took a Wintergreen Ice Breaker mint out of my purse and popped it in my mouth...


I missed and it went down my blouse...

So, I naturally looked down there to see if I could get it out and it wasn't there...

Thinking no one was looking at me...

I put my hand down between my cleavage to see if I could find it...

I did not find it...

When I looked up, all the brethren in the room had averted their eyes...

I demurely smiled and acted like nothing happened, so did all of them...

When I stood up, it fell out from under my skirt onto the floor...

Once again, I demurely picked it up and put it in the trash.

Don't you wish I had pictures.

Since I have become aware of the monetary value of recycling, I have become more "green" conscious. There are many variables to figuring out what, in the environment, can be saved by recycling, but I found one source with calculations on paper alone.

· 1 ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees
· 1 ton of 100% virgin (non-recycled) newsprint uses 12 trees
· A "pallet" of copier paper (20-lb. sheet weight, or 20#) contains 40 cartons and weighs 1 ton. Therefore,
· 1 carton (10 reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses .6 trees
· 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets
· 1 ream (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree (and those add up quickly!)
· 1 ton of coated, higher-end virgin magazine paper (used for magazines like National Geographic and many others) uses a little more than 15 trees (15.36)
· 1 ton of coated, lower-end virgin magazine paper (used for newsmagazines and most catalogs) uses nearly 8 trees (7.68)

While there are tradeoffs for lowering your use of paper and raising your use of electronics, think about this—

Any time you do anything new, you have to learn it one step at a time. First, we figure out how to save our trees and then we figure out how to create less electronic junk, and move on to actually increasing our green print.

We have been here for 2,000 years without working to save our mother earth, who groans from her abuse:

1 Ne. 19: 12
And all these things must surely come, saith the prophet Zenos. And the rocks of the earth must rend; and because of the groanings of the earth, many of the kings of the isles of the sea shall be wrought upon by the Spirit of God, to exclaim: The God of nature suffers

If you want to recycle you aluminum cans, plastics, paper, cardboard, electronics and car or boat batteries to help save our earth, let me know, I will pick them up weekly. You see, I am paying for my PhD by recycling.

Recycling is hard work and a large effort sometimes gives a small return, but my determination to pay cash for my PhD and not go into debt for it causes me to work, collect and even pick up cans and bottles I find in the parking lot.

I’m not dumpster diving – yet.
I don’t wear a stocking cap – yet.
I don’t have a shopping cart – yet.

But know this, to reach my goal, I’m game. Call me or email me if you want to contribute to my project.

Don't think ill of me...

I believe that women should be strong and that we can do anything we want to do...

Therein lies the truth "anything we want to do..."

Here is the memory: I remember when my children were small that they wanted to go fishing. We lived in New Mexico. Their father would not take them, so I loaded everyone in the car, bought some fishing rods and worms at K-Mart and off we went.

We stood on the pier and caught several fish. They had a wonderful time. Brian put the worms on the hooks and they all caught fish.

So, here's the tip: If you don't like to clean fish and there is no one at home who will do it for you, go to the place on the pier where you can clean fish. Stand there with you children around you and wait for the first guy to walk by, then say, "My children just caught some fish. Will you show me how to clean them?" He will gladly do so. You put the cleaned fish in your ice chest and then you just wait for the next guy to come along and ask him to show you how and so on until all the fish are clean.

What I saw: Three delighted children who experienced success.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time has come!!!

Joete's Playground is hosting its Mother's Day auction HERE and it begins Monday, April 19th!!

Joete's was founded a few years ago by my friend Amberly's amazing sister, Lindsay.

You can read all about the non-profit organization HERE.

Here is what Amberly says in her blog:

"We have had fabulous people and companies donate fantastic things to this auction... so please check it out, let your friends know and bid on something great for the women in your lives!
All proceeds from the auction will go directly to new playgrounds that Joete's has in the works, so be generous! Give the mothers in your life a fantastic gift and help impoverished children at the same time. We'll ship the gifts directly to mom, or wherever you'd like them to go, it's so easy!

And... if you'd be so kind, it would be very much appreciated if you'd repost this on YOUR blog to get the word out. Thanks, bloggies... you're the best!! "

As many of you know, we have been remodeling. We replaced all of the windows in our home with double paned, tinted Milgard windows. They come with a lifetime guarantee on the glass. We have had them for three months and a pebble hit one of the big windows and broke the outside glass.

I called Milgard and they sent two guys out and it was amazing, I'm sorry I didn't grab my camera. They pulled out the plastic strip on the inside, that I didn't even know was there, and with the suction cups pulled both panes out in a unit, then they put up two kinds of glue and went out to get the new window unit. They popped it in, secured it to the glue and replaced the plastic strips, you can't even tell we ever had a problem.

They even washed the windows. Amazing

Old shower curtain?

Torn holes at the top?

Mold at the bottom?

Getting ready to replace it?

Here's what you can do with it:

After washing it with bleach, take it with you the next time you go on a picnic, put it down first to keep the blanket dry.

And then there is always the idea...
Use it to cover things when you are painting or crafting.

Just a thought.

I remember 11 years ago, standing next to the man I love and saying "I do."

Saturday we celebrated by going to the Bourbon Steak Restaurant. Wow, what a lovely evening. We sat on the patio and the weather could not have been better. Tarzan had steak, I had lobster pot pie (2 lb lobster in a pot pie) yum. It was expensive, but worth every bite, every minute and every year of celebration. We talked it over and we like being married to each other.

Kinda nice, don't you think?

What is the first thing you remember, Jake?

Being loved?

Soft voices?

Mother’s arms?

Or do you remember more?

Do you remember the heavens,Stars, moon and more?

Did you bring that with you?

To share with me awhile?

You are a prince above all princes.

Your life will always be filled with joy.

You bring happiness to everyone who knows you.

Silver gifts pale in your beauty.

For you, Jake, are the light of our lives.

You, Jake, give purpose…

I really do like pink and polka dots and red, yup, that's me alright, pink, polka dots and red.

I saw my Hair Spray in the bathroom cabinet right by the hinge that opens and closes the door. I closed the cabinet door and that hinge was just too close to the can...

and I heard this aweful pssssssssttttt noise. I opened the cabinet door and got hair spray all over me and the bathroom. See the little hole right above the words "Ultra Strong"...
Hair spray is real sticky.

The two-second rule is a way for a driver to maintain a safe following distance at any speed. The rule is that a driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of them.

You do it by spotting a landmark, such as a light pole or street sign, then count "one thousand one, one thousand two." If you reach the landmark before you get to two, you are too close. The interesting thing is that the distance shortens and lengthens based on your speed to keep you just 2 seconds away from rear ending someone.

And how do you know that, you may ask. Several sessions of safe driving classes, but I was never there for a rear ender :-). Oh, and if you are over 60, you can get a discount on your car insurance if you take the class (they don't ask you why you took the class, just if you took the class)

When I was a child, my mother always made sure my sister and I had new Easter dresses. Mom would dress in her favorite suit of the season and with hat and gloves we all dressed up to pay reverence to the resurrected Christ. Mom made it clear that we were getting new dresses to show our love and respect for the Savior and not because we needed to be cute or well dressed.
I don’t know if I instilled that in my children, but I do remember one Easter dress event with them. Tori was about 3 years old and Celia was about 1 year old. I made matching Easter dresses for the three of us. They were yellow and white (double knit polyester :-)). The girls’ dresses had little orange appliqué carrots on the front.

Saturday night, I had hung the dresses on the door in the kitchen so they would be fresh and ready Sunday morning. When we got ready to go to bed Saturday night, Tori started to cry. When I asked why she said “if you don’t turn the dresses around and hide the carrots the Easter Bunny might eat them and ruin our dresses.”

I love children.

As I drove to work today, I saw four people standing at the bus stop. Interestingly, my first thought was that they were all together because they were all dressed in dark cloths and had on shirts or jackets that, from a distance, looked like they matched.


As I got closer to them I noticed they were strategically positioned so they would not make eye contact with each other or have to speak to each other. For some reason this saddened me.

And I thought...
How did we, as a society get so that we don't interact with each other on a casual, friendly basis?
How did we move to a position of self absorption so that we avoid contact with strangers?

Let's change that.
Join me in this movement.

I will:

  1. Speak to strangers on the street -- just a simple nod and hello
  2. Greet the clerk in the store with a smile and ask how their day is going
  3. Smile at little children in public and tell them I appreciate how nice they are acting
  4. Get to know my neighbors better
  5. Listen carefully when someone talks to me
  6. Speak to people on the elevator
  7. Speak to people on the bus or at the bus stop

Will you?

As Jenny lay in bed that Sunday morning in the twilight state between being asleep and being awake she felt the old familiar joy of starting a new day with the man she loved. What would today bring? As the foggy waking up dissipated she slowly remembered that what the day would bring was not what she had dreamed of.

Keith lay in the bed next to her. She could hear his heavy breathing. His wavy blonde hair tussled over the pillow like a little boy. Though his face and body were at rest now, those beautiful blue eyes that sparkled when he laughed and the way his mouth was always turned up as though he would burst out in laughter at any moment brought a smile to Jenny’s face even as she thought about the labors of the day ahead. With love in her heart she got up. It was 5:00 a.m. The acid smell of urine on the sheets permeated the air.

Jenny took a hot shower to ease her aching, overworked muscles. She was only 5’4” tall and weighed just 100 pounds. Yet she shouldered her responsibility with a glad heart knowing Keith would do the same for her if the circumstances were reversed. After the shower the ritual called for daily hygiene and cosmetics then dressing comfortably and layered so the temperature could be right for Keith.

Jenny went into the kitchen and decided to give herself a little treat today. She turned on the oven for a little extra heat in the room, put a teapot on to heat the water and got out her favorite hot chocolate mix with hazelnuts, the one she had been saving for a time like this. Today was Jenny and Keith’s fifth wedding anniversary.

As she sat sipping her hot chocolate she wondered if Keith was even aware of what day this was. It didn’t matter, she would celebrate just the same and then give her gift of love to him for the rest of his life and receive his gift of gratitude in return for the rest of hers. Ten minutes she gave herself, just ten minutes and then it was 6:00 a.m. and time to start Keith’s day.

“Good morning merry sunshine, what makes you shine so bright?” Jenny sang her usual wake up call.

“Gmmmmg” Keith always tried to respond.

Jenny rolled Keith over on his side and got ready to hoist him into the wheelchair. The chair was anchored and, with the pulley system Keith’s brother had set up for them, she lifted Keith into the wheel chair and headed for the bathroom.

“Keith, what soap scent do you want today, apple, peach, or pear? “


“Pear?” Jenny stopped pushing and came around in front of Keith for a response.

His blue eyes sparkled and she knew she had guessed right.

To be continued...

Sandi Grandberry (c) copyright 2010

We almost finished the remodeling
We almost emptied all the boxes
We almost have the living room put back together
We almost have one room ready
We almost have the electrical stuff getting done
We almost have ...

Are we ever finished
Or do we live in a perpetual state of almost...