Monday, February 27, 2006

Puzzling Project

Another quick project: puzzles for the Little Man. A while back Chronicler and I were in Utah and she took me to a large craft warehouse and I purchased these wood blocks, hoping to find some time later on and make puzzles for the baby boy. Well, Mommy tells me that the Little Man is doing very well with his potty training (Yes!). So Gramma promised a treat if he did well here at our house. In anticipation of greatness, I pulled out the blocks and began to make my puzzles.

The first set (larger and on the right) were actual photos of him with various characters at Disneyland. I just measured the blocks and then cut the photo to size. Lightly sanding the wood and the back side of the photo paper helped to make the white glue adhere to the wood with a tight seal. Six photos later and a finish coat of more white glue and the large puzzle was done. One problem: all the backgrounds at Disneyland made for a difficult to complete puzzle.

Set two. I used the smaller blocks and just coloured them the primary and secondary colours with permanent markers. I sealed the ink with the white glue and viola!

I still wanted a puzzle with the Little Man as the theme, so I went back to the computer and loaded more photos onto regular paper. This made a huge difference with the clarity of the photos after the glue sealant. (no sanding neccesary either!) I also made sure that in this group of pictures they all had contrasting backgrounds. Success! I have more blocks waiting and think I will try to make some scripture themed puzzles for quiet time during church or family night.

Now all I need to do is hope they come over soon and I will have all kinds of juice, lemonade, and kool-ade to encourage more success!

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Here today, gone Temari

O.k. So what exactly can one do while waiting for 6 weeks to just float by? I decided to get out an old craft that I had worked on years ago and see what I could come up with now. The answer is Temari String Spheres!
This is a Japanese art that looks intricate, beautiful and, if you are out of the habit, makes your fingers sore! Essentially you start with a styrofoam ball (this one is 3 inches), wrap an entire bolt of cotton thread (300-375 yards prefered) randomly around the ball, and hide the end of the thread inside the wrapping via a #1 sharps needle.

Using a thin strip of regular paper, you will make a tool for measuring the circumference of the ball and many divisions; placing coloured pins to indicate certain points as being the top, bottom, diameter and points in between on the sphere. The first winding is made of metallic cotton thread; in this case size 5, around the points to make a geometric grid and divide the ball as perfectly as possible.

Now comes the fun part; the winding-sewing of pearl cotton embroidery thread (size 5) to make the geometric designs. This ball had 6 centers, so I could begin sewing or winding the thread at any one of those points. Each ball is different. Not only in particular design, but because it is near to impossible to make a perfect sphere once you keep adding thread to the original ball. The slight imperfection means you must keep adjusting your design so that it looks as perfect as possible. Small "herringbone" stitches keep threads in place and are used in making points, etc. within the design. When the sphere is completed there should be no starting or finishing points visible, nor should any thread ends be visible. This sphere took about three days of bright daylight to complete (or about 12-15 hours total). It's a goofy craft, but I love it; sore fingers and all.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006


Ahhhh... (insert a big happy face gazing off into the sunset).

Cheeseburgers. Now that the surgery is over and food has begun to have an actual taste again I was DELIGHTED to see the post over at Chubby Hubby on cheeseburgers; and which one is best. (scroll down, please) His home made number looks amazing and it made me hungry for one of my favorite burgers...

I bring you In-N-Out. If you live in SOCal this is a pretty good chain burger. Always fresh (never frozen) beef, hand leafed lettuce and fresh cut potatoes for fries, In-N-Out is consistently good. They also have shakes and a "secret menu" that's not so secret, but never printed. Number four in my ranking.

hawaii -05
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

Next on my favorites list would be Cheeseburger Waikiki. Number three brings us to inspired culinary genius... 2 chicks from SOCal who bummed money from a rich uncle, moved to paradise and found out they left all the good burgers on the mainland. What to do? Bum some more money and make your own. Now the girls are grown women who own a chain of "Cheeseburger" restaurants in places all over the U.S. (according to the menu, saving cities everywhere from lousy burgers). This burger, besides being in Waikiki, is pretty good for it's juicy yummyness (yes, that is a word). Hot, fresh, juicy, a great combination on the sauce, served with onion rings -which were terrific, although I prefer a thinner slice, and also a fresh piece of pineapple. Yum.

T.G.I. Friday's Gas Lamp District, San Diego, CA. is next on my list. Why oh WHY can not the other TGIFridays get it the same way? Who knows, but this fresh ground sirloin is amazingly good. Hot, juicy, and larger enough for two is very tasty and ranks in second on my burger hit parade. Thor and I actually make sabbaticals down to SD just to eat this beauty a couple times a year. This is a burger where the meat is the true star. It is served sans condiments, lettuce, onion, and tomato only. Admittedly I always ask for a little mayo and ketchup, not usually offered on the burger, but the meat is SO good, who cares if the secret sauce is lacking and you need to make your own?

hawaii -05
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

Here we are at number one in my book: Teddy's Bigger Burgers in Kailua, Oahu. Trust me it is worth the plane fare and the wait. They actually have signs up telling you to just chill and relax, they are hand making your burger and when it is ready.... oh momma! This is my burger. It was so hot, juicy, tasty and I am not sure exactly what was in the sauce, but it was perfection in combination to the ground beef. I needed several napkins, and wanted another burger one as soon as I finished the first, I just couldn't have eaten it! This baby is huge and wonderful and you want to dance barefoot in the basket as you sing the praises of burgerdom! YumboColumbo this is paradise! Served with fries or onion rings - also terrific and a superb shake or malt!

O.k. Now it's your turn. Where is your favorite burger joint? Why is it good and tell us all the gory details! This is your bragging time, let the games begin!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I am woman, hear me snore!

Usortert-a 46-01
Originally uploaded by nampak.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning. After a brief paper trail was constructed we were led around many halls, up an elevator, down a few corridors, around the block and down another hallway and found our place in what I can best describe as a "staging" area for pre op. I was assigned room 6 and received my 'jammies' for the day. I changed and soon a nurse came in to set up my I.V. and make sure everything was correct on the paper work.

After about 40 minutes or so I was led back down several halls and about half way around that block again and found the surgery department, gave Thor a quick kiss and was wheeled into the final waiting room for the O.R. I was placed in a small stall directly across from the nurses station and just as I was positioned into place a very large man dressed in army fatigue scrubs announced, "O.K. Just bring her to me and I'll beat her to death with a stick!" Now I know this comment wasn't made directly towards me, but I couldn't let it just go by unnoticed, so I said, "Hey, wait a minute, isn't that the surgeon's job?" He looked up, surprised that he'd been caught and just replied, "We've got a live one!" He came over to me, introduced himself as "Milt" and again checked all the paper work.

Eventually I was put to sleep and when I woke up I, well, I don't remember too much of anything until late that night.

Thor says I was in surgery a little longer than scheduled. Everything went well, although the doctor opted for plan "B". She told Thor that I 'ralphed' in recovery right after surgery, I don't remember that. I was also in recovery about two hours longer than the doc expected. I just don't react the way I am supposed to to those things.

Up in the room I had several visitors, in laws, my sis, and a couple of the offspring... I don't remember anyone being there. I don't remember anything but being COLD. About 10:30 p.m. a nurse offered me one more shot of morphine which I took due to her urging, but I think I was arguing about it. Earlier Thor said the nurse was wanting to give a hit and he suggested that I just lay low for a while... my breathing was at about 14 and very shallow and frankly, I wasn't complaining, so adding more narcotics to the situation didn't seem prudent. He tried to tell the nurses that I react weird to drugs, so go easy.

Sunday morning I woke up about 5:00 to get up and walk the halls. I went for a few strolls around the wing and felt really weak, but not too much of anything else. Eventually every tube was removed and I was able to take a bird bath and go home. I got home about 12:30 and pretty much just went to bed for a couple of hours. I felt really good considering, but when I got up from the nap I had INCREDIBLE pain in my shoulders. Like I had dislocated them or something. Everyone is suggesting that it may have been pent up stress, but seriously, this was like my arm was out of the socket. A took a motrin and went back to sleep. I woke up just in time to get out to the living room for a visit from #1 and his wife and #3 getting home from church. We had a pretty good visit and I was happy to see them all there. A phone call from the other kids and I was a happy gal. I fell asleep in the chair and woke up the next morning feeling pretty good, except this time the pain had gone from my shoulders to my hips. WEIRD.

It kind of freaks me out a bit, because I was expecting a lot of abdominal pain... a lot from what everyone had told me. Heck, even the doc wanted to make sure I could handle swallowing the Vicadin before I could go home. I haven't taken one of those; I really really hate vicadin. GAG. I talked the nurse into giving me oral motrin instead and waiting to see if I ralphed that up....nope, o.k. So I am sticking with the motrin. Any who, the weird thing is the pain everywhere except my abdomen. Maybe that will come tomorrow.

So here I am on Tuesday, feeling pretty good. Major weakness and easily tired, but everything is oakey dokey, so far today, no meds at all. I think I am still a bit woozey from it all, I am beginning to remember things I think I forgot, but mostly I'm o.k. I wake myself up very thirsty and snoring (oh my). Thor has stayed home since Saturday and spoiled me like the Queen of Sheba; and I have had lots of visitors, well wishes, phone calls, and goodies. I am developing into a lazy girl who watches day time t.v. yikes, this could get ugly. So there you go. Surgery update. That is all.

Thanks to nampak for the cool photo.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006


O.k. just another very quick note...

Thor and I had a terrific time on my birthday, in fact the whole day was fabulous! I woke up to a full body massage which almost put me back to sleep again...very relaxing! Then off to breakfast and then to Disneyland with Thor! The best present was him taking the time off so we could be together! (big happy smiling face) I was also very surprised when Thor gave me the most beautiful pearl and diamond ring. I LOVE pearls, they are my favorite and this ring is so pretty!!! I am very spoiled. Back home and out to dinner with some of the kids, 31 flavors ice cream cake and played a very fun game I got from the kids. It was a great day. In addition to those surprises came a phone call from a dear friend from far away, an e-mail from a girl friend and another e-mail from a boy friend in high school who was/is such a nice guy. It was a total surprise to hear from him.

Thanks to all of you who wrote to me and gave happy thoughts and wishes as well, that is totally cool and I am glad to have such nice blog buddies! Thanks also to my sis Chronicler, she was very sweet and did a whole blog just for s'mee (gush)!

Then back to reality.

One of the momma's of the sick babies was also admitted to the hospital... a lump on her kidney, severe pain, high liver enzymes... oh my holy hannah! She is home now, but still in a lot of pain. More troubles with sisters in the ward being mean to each other. And tonight a final evening focused on Wanda. Her sons could not be at her funeral, so we are getting together tonight to make them "scrapbooks" of our memories of Wanda for the few short years we knew her. Everyone is meeting tonight and we'll just write down stories, memories and whatever comes to mind via the Spirit to show her sons that she was loved and will also be missed. Hopefully these new memories of their mom will allow some healing and soften their hearts to the Lord.

Tamale is Friday... count down round to surgery on Saturday! WAHOO! If I don't write for a day or two I will as soon as I can get up and to the chair. Hang in there with me, hopefully things will settle down and I can get back to some fun subjects.

See you all soon!

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

when's recess?

Chronicler had mentioned that, with death, lessons come.

Since the whole "Z.Z.Top" funeral way back in September, I have been in school. Some things I have learned so far:

1.If you try hard enough you can put the "fun" in a funeral.

2.Just when you think you can't do enough, someone will remind you of that very thing; and others, who will remind you that you continue to let them down on a daily basis.

3.Sometimes you need to just let it go, let it be, walk away.

4.There is more than one way to skin a cat, or in otherwords, there is always a loop hole that can be utilized legally.

5.Women can be mean, snarky, and unforgiving.

6.Men can backup a snarky wife in the most ridiculous of ways, especially when you consider the situation at hand.

7.Some people are just too sweet to notice anything other than the hearts of others and the needs hidden therein.

8.Good intentions can get in the way of justice and "doing what's right and necessary".

9.People are idiots.

10.There are times when the church must step in and times when the church should just say "no".

11."Open mic night" isn't always a good thing when folks are grieving.

12.One should never ask someone to pay for final expenses if they are unwilling to have that same person participate in the service.

13.Taking care of your own is a good thing.

14.Sometimes it's your own fault and suing for damages, pain and suffering will only cause more damage, pain and suffering.

15.You don't have to be old to have lived a full life.

16.You don't have to be young to have died too soon.

17.Accidents happen. Laws of the universe can be broken and results can be devastating. Sometime it is not God's will, but His mercy that is in control of who lives and dies.

18.Taking the high road is much better than proving your point.

19.Saying you are sorry for something someone else did is sometimes the only way to help.

20.Telling someone what needs to be said isn't always easy, but at times quite necessary.

21.Sometimes telling a lie is more merciful than describing truth.

22.Not all traditions are true doctrine. Not all policies are written in stone.

23.Telling your dear friend what a common enemy thinks of them is more hurtful than what the common enemy said in the first place.

24.There is no need to shoot the wounded. There is no need to exalt the esteemed.

25.Music can indeed sooth the savage beast.

26.Sometimes compassion hurts more than neglect.

27.Neglect can be the perspective of a foreign judge.

28.No one is perfect. No one has telepathy, or crystal balls that are accurate. No one can change the mind of another without the willingness of both parties.

29.Grudges weigh more than forgiveness.

30.You can not argue with those of limited mental aptitude.

31.You need to remember that if it looks like a dog, smells like a dog, and acts like a dog, chances are -it's a dog.

32.What is correct and right for me isn't necessarily correct and right for you, and vice versa.

33.Leaders make mistakes. That's o.k.

34.People say things they never would when they are under stress.

35.Some folks can have closure without a viewing.

36.Little children do not always benefit by being involved in family or ward matters, sometimes it is better to ere in hopes of keeping children innocent a day longer.

37.Just because you have a special talent does not mean everyone needs to see it (hear it, experience it, etc.).

38.Even if someone just had a Priesthood Blessing yesterday, if they ask for another one, give it to them. In other words, you can never have too much Priesthood in a home, a hospital room, a car, the grocery store, yada yada yada.

39.You just can't please some people.

40.Some people only need a smile, a hug, a wink to get through the day. Even when they have the greatest burden.

41.Misery sometimes needs company.

42.I am supposed to be learning something from all of this. I will be a better person for all this learning when it is done. There will be a much harder lesson to learn in the future. All of this is for my personal benefit.

43.Hormones create a huge vacuum.

44.I miss my cat. (but please don't get me a new one)

45.Listening to the Spirit can be a good thing, a weird thing, and actually tick other people off because "you got there first"...go figure.

46.I prefer "she/he just passed" to "she/he just passed away." (think: "she just passed...her life's test." past away makes me feel like they just faded and went some vague place at some point.)

47.I have a good and wise husband. I have good and wise friends.

48.Sometimes one can actually look forward to abdominal surgery as a vacation from reality.

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