Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Well Happy New Year!

Happy New Year
Originally uploaded by wordsforsnow.

O.k., I admit to being a tad late on the Christmas post, so trying to redeem myself I will set up this offering:

Every year it's the same in my house. Thor becomes a small child around this time of year in antiscipation of a new year on the horizon. Full of promise and new opportunity he loves the idea of goal setting, life changing habits, and renewed energy; the ending of all the old bad stuff from the past year, the dead wood being burned, and the basic "new start"!

He giggles with delight as he sees himself slim, firm and tanned in a few short months splashing in a Hawaiian surf. He contently sighs as he imagines his new controlled and managed office, full of inspired coworkers being ever so efficient. He organizes his palm pilot and rearranges the desk, throws out stacks of old papers and gets ready for tax day! Yup, Thor is one of those guys who has the taxes accomplished as soon as the W-40s arrive in the mail. (I'm not really sure that's what they are called, that's how excited I am about taxes!)

His love of tax paying (NOT), but rather getting the deed done, comes from a favorite Aunt, who is a tax gal. Every year for his entire life his folks went to Aunt M for advice and number crunching. We went to her also, until the idea of getting it done faster appealed more than family obligation. Anyway, Aunt M is SO completely into taxes that she, in planning her soon to be end, has informed the hospice care workers that she is to be kept alive until the new year so that Uncle K can have another year of "benefits". Yup, she's a character, and we love her.

Back to Thor. He has a ritual. He takes down his share of Christmas (I don't even start until Jan.6th). He cleans out his files and goes through his "top drawer" for important receipts and papers. He cleans things randomly to burn energy. This year he is taking charge of an over run side and back yard. There are a few odd house jobs and then when all is done, he sits at his desk and pulls out a legal pad.

All those thoughts, the ones that have been formulating for weeks are now placed down on paper. Goals. All kinds of goals. Every year, without exception there is one for weight, exercise, money management, and better health. Others soon follow and he smiles to himself in satisfaction at his new found purpose in life.

After a few hours of contemplation he will prioritize the list and place it permenantly into the palm for a daily reminder. He admonishes me from time to time with quotes from prophets and world leaders who remind us that nothing is accomplished without a plan and daily goals to achieve them.

Most of all he loves the new start. The feeling of being able to start again new and fresh. The new day to make it right and be a better man, father, husband, friend, and "boss". He can forget the past mistakes of last year. A new day to be a new man.

For me, well I am not a fan of making more mistakes, of falling short, and making promises I may never keep...even to myself. So I have avoided the resolution part of New Year's Day for as long as I can remember. I don't like lists, I am not a fan of the typical New Year's Eve party, and a lot of it makes me a tad depressed.

We have agreed to disagree. For years Thor has tried to convince me and I have been stubborn. I look at it differently. I am religious. I admit it. I bite it all -hook, line, and sinker. And for me, my particular religion provides me with a way to have a new start, a new beginning, every week. Each Sunday I partake of an ordinance that I believe creates a new person in me. I have made covenants to God that, if I do certain things, God will forgive me in such a way that it will be a clean start each week. That works for me.

Thor also partakes in the same ordinances that I do, however his New Year's resolutions are still important for him. This isn't wrong, nor is mine wrong. For me, I need that weekly reassurance, that short time frame to renew and make new goals...privately, but yeah, I admit that I do make those same goals. For me, I can make it week to week, a year is just too long to check progress. Thor has more endurance, more patience, more determination a and faith in his ability to get the job done!

The one thing we do agree on is that we both LOVE new things, changes, variety. We wouldn't mind moving each year if we could just get up and move. It's the hassle of packing and unpacking, and the whole address change and bills being forwarded that make it nasty. Meeting new people and having different experiences and jobs would be welcomed. New. New!

Another is that if we could influence all we know to be happy, truly happy and content, we would snap our fingers and do it. We enjoy our life and wish for all we know to have the same.

Happy New Year to you, my readers. I wish you happiness and the ability to find contentment and joy in your life. I wish you a new year of memories and health, a curious Spirit, a creative edge, a thirst for knowledge, and opportunities to serve. I wish you all compassion and an open mind and heart, open ears to hear truth, and hands that welcome, and a heart that continues to grow. May we all find some where to contribute. May we find joy in little things. I wish us all the sight to find need and the time and wherewithal to fulfill those needs.

Thanks to all of you who read this little scrap of e-whatever. Thanks for the comments and support, friendship; and challenges when necessary. It's been a great past's to a new year full of surprises and growth!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

more from the Wild Animal Park!

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The art and craft room

I need to preface this with

It took me 30 years to be able to have this room!

I don't want anyone to feel like this was just something I wanted and went and got. Even after the boys were gone it still took me 3 1/2 years to work long enough to afford to make it how I wanted. I had all of the clear containers before... just all over the house, tucked here and there, hidden away or stacked up in a corner! All of the books were lining the hall and shoved in other shelves. All of the supplies were stored in a garage or in a closet.

I am blessed!

There is still much that needs to be accomplished before the room is complete. Taking down the blanket from the window and putting up the blinds. The blinds are purchased, but Thor is still pretty busy at work and frankly, my "standing on a ladder" days are over! My knees are shot and it ain't gonna happen. There are still 3 pictures to be hung over the day bed. The window sill has need of grout. Now that all the book shelves have been installed and the furniture put back in, after living and working in the room for six or so months, now we have decided that perhaps we should have put down wood floors instead of keeping the old (and I mean OLD) carpeting. Live and learn. I need a comfy chair that is high enough to accommodate the height of the work table... might have found one...I'll let you know. Thor wants to put in a ceiling fan (with bright lights) for the summer heat when it comes. I am not arguing... this is a good idea!

The walls are a funky 'avocado' green to match the leaves in the Hawaiian print on the the day bed. And the closet doors are chocolate brown. All the book shelves were purchased as kits for $15.00 a piece. They only had black, and it matched so there you go! We purchased an inexpensive base board and painted it black to match and nailed it to the top edge, connecting the three and making them look like one unit. We finished off the separate shelf as well so they would all look better than $15 shelves.

Thor installed up lights on the top and behind the molding of the shelves. It looks great at night and adds much needed light to the room while accenting the coral, shells and palm trees, etc. on the shelf tops.

The slat board and glass shelves, along with the metal paper holders were purchased at a store closing. I knew what I wanted and, fortuitously, a store went out of business with those items when I had the money to purchase and at just the right time for our 'remodel'. This never happens, and I was really really lucky and BLESSED! I had to drive 1 1/2 hours three times to get all I wanted, but it was worth it.

I use no name brand reusable plastic food containers -always clear- to hold an organize my embellishments, glues, staples, brads, buttons, etc. I found the perfect folders on school clearance to organize my large sticker collections and other flat paper cutouts. I place them in page protectors and organize them by categories.

My work table is a piece of 1 1/2" thick butcher block 3'x5'. #4 gave it to me until he buys a house sometime in the future (at least 5 years). We have it upside down to keep the pretty side pretty, and supported by two $12 book cases that companion the $15 shelves. The smaller book cases hold books on one, and current projects and photo boxes in the other.

I wrapped a measuring tape around the front edge of the table for convenience. I also have measured marks hidden in the large shelves for measuring ribbon.

Clear containers hold: glue guns and sticks, yarns, felts, sewing supplies, threads, embroidery supplies, sequins, glitters, paints-stained glass, stencil, mural, fabric, poster, puffy, gel, craft, wood, glass, water, & oil, silica sand and flower press, scrap fabrics, magnets-sheets and rounds, book binder, paper making supplies, tablet binder, sticker maker, small sewing matching for scrapping, sea shells and sea life, crayons, markers, pens, pencils of all kinds, small ribbons, pins, tacks, adhesives, small frames, wood pieces, cookie presses, crochet supplies, beads -glass and plastic, vellum, small scrap papers, sponges and applicators, sea glass, tiles, grout, wire spools, and all varieties of stationery supplies, paint brushs, stipple brushes and sponge brushes, and water bottles!

There are pieces of coral, shells, and some other decorative iems on display. #5 made a ceramic tribal mask that just happened to look great, so I put it up also. Over the day bed I have three photos of ferns/tropical plants in black frames. I scanned the photos out of a botanical book I picked up during an after school sale a few years back at Bath&BodyWorks; a coffee table art book that was originally over $60 that I got for $10. Like I said, I have been planning this room for years and putting things aside for it a long time.

Thor drilled holes and mounted magnetic strips onto the closet doors so that I could use them for memos, ideas and other things when needed. On the tiny wall behind the door I have a photo collage made for me by my former deaf students.

That's the tour! Sorry it took so long to get it up.

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finally, the craft room reveal...

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Ornament Swap 2006!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

O.k. a quick post in between trips. I will update more later about the trip to drop off a missionry last week, the family visit to the Wild Animal Park last Monday, and the upcoming temple wedding on Saturday in St. George; and then a baby blessing in Henderson on Sunday. WHEW!

In the mean time, here's someone pretty to look at while I am gone again. This amazing guy posed over and over for me and just chatted away while I took his photo. I think he likes the attention he gets from all the visitors at the park.

We also saw three rhinos charge each other and challenge a duel of sorts, some lazy lions, tigers, and some long necked giraffes. It was a great day, very inspiring- despite the woman walking around in her mink coat???

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Friday, December 01, 2006

the Christmas trees

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one of my Christmas wishes...

Divorce Lawyer
Originally uploaded by Markettara.

O.k. first off, everything between Thor and myself is great.

Second, if I were queen of the world I would make this one of my first decrees:

If you and your spouse decide you can't get along any longer, that you absolutely must get a divorce, then you have to play by these rules.

If you have minor children THEY get custody of the house. It's the grown ups who can't play nice, the kids have nothing to do with it, so why should their lives be the first to get messed up?

The deed goes to all the children. It will be held in trust until the youngest child is 21. At that time the house can be sold and the profits divided among the children. Parents: figure it out and pay it off. Let's just call it a parting gift for the kiddies. A kind of consolation prize for their emotional foundation being ripped from under them. Don't have a house? Then continue to pay rent on the one they are currently in until they are legal adults... get this: The kids ain't leaving, you are!

In the mean time, Mom and dad can pack up their clothes and favorite toys every weekend and move in and out of wherever they decide to live. Hey, there's still a master bedroom, Mom can have it this week, dad can have it next. Deal people, you're the adults! Find yourself an apartment close to town or drive all day to get here, the kids are staying put.

The kids are staying in the same school with their same friends. They are staying in the same church and going to the same neighbor's house for after school game time. You screwed up -they didn't. They get to keep the same teachers, doctors, grocery store guy... you two adults can figure out where to get new ones for yourselves.

Since when was it fun for a kid to pack up their little life in their backpack and schlep back and forth during their free time just to hear their parents rant about how bad the other parent is? The kids get to stay in their own beds and the adults can schlep.

The kids get to keep all the holidays at home. Yup birthdays and Christmas, Halloween and the fourth of July will be where they always home with the kids. Mom and Dad, if you don't like it, don't come. If you decide to join the kids that holiday, then bring your happy face and pack your own backpack.

The whole idea here is that the kids' lives will not be any different than they are currently, other than the fact that mom and dad are only in the house one at a time.

Oh and another thing. When a crime is committed a criminal has to pay for his crime by "doing time". If you are of the religious sort, when someone commits a sin, they confess and some form of restitution is made. O.k. Here's the deal: You adults made a promise to stay together "until death" and some folks even throughout "eternity". You promised to make a home for little people that would be loving, nurturing and safe. You brought little people into the marriage. If you get a divorce, you are breaking your promise. Marriage is a legal contract, you are breaking that contract. True, it's not like you stole a car or robbed a liquor store, you're just stealing your child's stability and robbing them of trust and emotional good health.

Soooo, to pay your children back for said crimes against them you will not date "seriously" until the youngest is 18. The only thing you'll be "doing" is time. No need to bring in other people and mess up their lives too. Your children don't need two sets of screwed up "parents" and they don't need step siblings to compete with or miss when they go home. Your children do not need to know you have a sex life. Do you, even today, want to know that your mom or dad is doing the horizontal mambo with anyone? Neither do they.

Once all the kids are 18 or older then you can go out and mess up your life again with someone new. As an alternative to dating, how about seeing a good therapist? Find out why and where you messed up in the first place.

Some folks think this would never work. I disagree. Divorce is so easy now that it is almost a no brainer. Some people actually believe they will get married and divorced at least once before they find the 'right' person. If they knew the above rules were actually law, maybe that would cause more folks to pause before making a commitment (and children) in the first place. Perhaps, if when divorce is looming on the horizon, with such a law in place, it would cause partners to reconsider why they 'fell in love' in the first place and work to get it back to that place again.

I am a firm believer that no matter what has happened in the marriage, if both partners want to reconcile it can be done. If one does not want to stay married the other can't do too much about it. Either way, the kids were not at fault and should not be punished.

Back to that part of whether or not this can succeed. Yes it can. Thor has a business partner who, some 15 years ago, divorced and decided with his ex-wife this plan would work. They have been schlepping for 15 years. The kids are happy. The parents are finally happy. It's a decision that can work if you think of your children instead of how much you want revenge.

That is all.

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