Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kitchen Update

I tried to post this yesterday, but experienced some "Blogger Problems". So here is the Kitchen update (the pictures are not in the correct order - I have to remember to upload them backwards to tell the story).

Here I am "mudding" the torn drywall spots


Here I am scrapping the last of the wallpaper off the Kitchen light.

Here I am soaking the wallpaper above the cupboards.

Here I am scoring the wallpaper above the cupboards.

With all the wallpaper off the walls, the torn spots repaired, Princess (who became the event photographer which is why she is missing from all the photos) and I cleaned all the crown molding, chair rails and baseboards removing all the fabric softener residue. We both smelled "mountain fresh" as the package stated. We cleaned up all the "stuff" from the cupboards, and invited friends to come over and shop through the tins, plants, and dispensers that had been on top of the cupboards. I am happy to report, we got rid of, er were happy to share quite a few of these items with friends.

We've gotten a verbal quote and are waiting for a written quote to texture the wall. We hope to have it textured by next week, then the painting can begin. Yee-HAW! We're excited about the fact that the walls are going to be whole again, something that hasn't been there for quite a while.

Once this project is completed, we're going to remove the wallpaper from the entry way and the Master bath - maybe even the guest bath as well. We'll see how that goes. As it warms up, we're going to clean the house trim, prep it and then paint it. I'm just a little excited about all these "little" projects!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Busy

Yesterday, Princess was under the weather and we both stayed home from Church. I got bored, and started a project that has been six months in the making. Removing the kitchen wallpaper. I posted some pictures below to show the progress I've made, and the work yet to be done.
Kitchen part, wallpaper yet to be removed.

Windows looking to the backyard

Area above kitchen door, in progress at this point

Same shot, showing the "bigger picture".

I will be getting more fabric softener today, finishing the wall next to the fridge, and then moving all the "stuff" from the top of the kitchen cupboards, removing that paper, and sanding and floating the wall so that I can texture. Then comes painting, then comes putting it all back! Yeesh!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Princess and I have had a wonderful Christmas Morning, and we hope you have too. We've exchanged gifts, listened to Christmas Carols, and had Grandma Ruthie's Breakfast Brunch Casserole for breakfast.

Yesterday morning we celebrated Christmas morning with one of our Texas "families" that have adopted us. We spent the morning watching Ava, Sydnee, Todd, and Lindsey exchange presents. We watched as the girls discovered their treasure trove from Santa, new Barbies, new books, new Princess dresses with crowns, and slippers. There were fairy wings, tutus, and little cat and dog toys to play with. We then had a glorious feast of Breakfast Brunch, OJ, Cranberry Juice, bacon, cinnamon rolls, and sausage biscuit/rolls. It was a wonderful time and tears filled my eyes many times as the girls would let out squeals at their new clothes (that's what adopted Aunts and Uncles buy little girls). We had a great time (Lindsey, this is a better Christmas memory than any musical, dinner at a restaurant, or movie - just so you know), then we went out and did some last minute shopping/errands.

Last night we had soup buffet at the Jacobsen's (we've adopted each other here in Texas), with Elaine and the four Elders. There was Chili, Taco Soup, Elaine's Spicy Chicken Cheese Soup, and Cori's Chicken Chowder. We had Panera bread bowls, and a wonderful cranberry punch. Dessert consisted of Rocky Road Crock pot cake and Brownie Trifle with milk on the side. Each of the kids did at least one special musical number on the piano, then Parker did a trumpet solo, and Kylee and Morgan did a flute duet with Cori on the piano. Mark humbled me into singing a solo, the Elders sang, and then we all sang Christmas Carols and had a good time.

Later we played the "Turley Candy Bar" game (with a lot less candy and more trinkets to collect). Morgan was the winner with the most amount of loot, while the "Mater" truck kept Haylee's attention until she got it on the last roll. We watched a Christmas video, and were held in suspense while the kids opened their Christmas Pajamas (Kylee takes waaaaay toooo long in opening her gifts!

Princess is working on place makers for our Christmas Dinner at the Mock's. The Lackmeyers, us and the Mocks are all going to be there and it should be chaotic fun.

Missing family this year is hard. It's the first year without Mom and we didn't go home. Dad seems to be doing well and sounded chipper on the phone this morning. Princess did get me some sugared orange slices to remind me of Mom and continue a Christmas tradition she started when we were kids.

Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas Days, and Praying that you receive Heavenly Father's choicest blessings.

Jim & Princess

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As promised, here are the photos of the Price household "decked" out for the holidays

This is the Willow Tree Nativity
This is the Precious Moments Nativity

Vista of the decorated tree, mantel and the top of 
one book case


Here's the house lit up


Here is the decorated house during the day


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas 
from our house to yours
Jim, Princess, Sadie and Sasha

Where?

Where have we been?  That's the question I keep getting from every reader of this blog.  Well, we have been uber busy!

While I have been trotting the globe, Princess has been holding down the fort.  We decorated the tree and finished putting up the Christmas decorations (photos to come, I promise).  Then she readied all the preparations for our annual Christmas Ornament Party.  We did that last Saturday and had a blast (although, some of our usual suspects were not able to attend).  Princess has also been performing the job of Christmas present buying!  She has been a real trooper.

I know, I know, quit nagging, more pictures to come soon.

Tonight's our Ward Christmas Party (we're going cause Princess got guilted into roasting a turkey a la Martha Stewart's recipe - we don't usually go, lots of kids running and screaming, cold food - you get the picture, not that there is anything wrong with kids, but I'm getting older) but we are - so look for us there with bells on!

Jim

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Done Prepping

I don't have photos to show it, but the Price household is done prepping for Christmas.  We have the tree up and decorated.  We have the wreath above the fireplace.  We have the mantel set with nativities, and the Willow tree and Precious Moments nativities are in their proper place.

The tops of the book cases are done, and it is the least amount of decorating we have done in decades (I can say that cause see we've been married 21 years, hence "decades").   But, I'm not complaining.  We decorated for us, and for the Ornament party that we'll be having, but we didn't go all out (or as I like to say "Christmas Threw Up at our house").  We contemplated going to Vegas for Christmas, whether driving or flying, but decided to forgo it in favor of some much needed R&R at the homestead.

I'll take some photos and post them later.  We're having cold weather (yeah) except it is raining and windy and we had a bit of sleet.  Compare that yesterday to a high of 70+ and that was at 9:00 PM!  Tonight it is 34!

Be safe - keep warm, snuggle with the one you love.

Jim

Friday, December 05, 2008

Prepping


The Price household is busy prepping for Christmas.  I was in California all week, came home to Thanksgiving still up and decorated, got up and was at work by 6:15 this morning and reminded Princess we had a lot to do to get ready for Christmas.  

Princess brought me lunch at work, and then bee lined it home to get surprise me.  This is what I walked into after work today.

She had hung all the garland and bows by herself.  No easy feat by yourself, but she was speaking to Cori on the phone the whole time!

This is a close up of the tree skirt around our tree.  My Mom made it for us for our first Christmas.  The skirt is all hand quilted and tied with variegated yarn.  The little white blocks are Aida cloth that Mom cross stitched 16 of Princesses favorite Precious Moments figurines on and then quilted them into the design.  That little couple is in a gift box and the wording says "First Christmas together 1987".  When I think of the hours that Mom spent cross stitching those designs just for Princess, my heart is truly full from the love that she gave.

And lastly, here is the tree.  It is an artificial green tree that has been "flocked" with snow.  We have had it for 14 years - a true bargain from the day after Christmas sale at Ralph Jones Display in Vegas.  It is time for a new one - I just have to figure out how to buy one without breaking the bank!  Princesses family always had a white tree with multi colored lights.  This has been our tradition for the past 21+ years.  We're working on this right now, and hopefully, I'll have some pictures to post of the "finished" room tomorrow.

Jim

Turkey Day

We had a really great Thanksgiving.  Lynn was here from Michigan, we had some cool weather blow in and we kept everything pretty laid back.

The Flowers that Bill and Linda sent

Princess and Lynn working hard in the kitchen - notice the smiles - I told you laid back!

The table fully loaded with turkey, potatoes, gravy, cream corn, jell-o, asparagus casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potato souffle, rolls, and sparkling white grape juice - in my opinion, the gravy was the bomb!

Princess using the china, and the place cards that she made using her FABULOUS Stampin Up skills!  Totally adorable.

And for some reason, I could not get the table set without the food as the first picture.  All in all, we had and have a lot to be thankful for.  Freedom.  Jobs.  Health.  Friendship.  Families (both blood and adopted).  The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Being with Loved Ones.

This was the first Thanksgiving without Mom.  Princess made a comment on Sunday after, and said how proud she was of me during the holiday and how worried she was of me.  I love this woman.  She rocks.  I thought of Mom.  Happy thoughts of Mom.  Made me smile, and made me laugh, tears came to my eyes, but I was able to keep them there.

We are now debating driving home for Christmas.  It is such a long drive, 1350 miles, 24 hours long, and even though gas has come down, it is still a bit of a burden.  We'll see though, it would be nice to be home with Dad, Bill, Linda and the rest of the family.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures (Lynn - you need to get a camera!).

Jim

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Time

Time is just flying by. Here I sit, almost one week post Thanksgiving, in Sacramento, CA for the night. I have spent since Monday working in Modesto, and tonight I'm catching some winks in Sacramento before the day long travel trip home.

I cannot believe how fast time is flying by, 22 days until Christmas!!!! What?! I better get my behind in gear and get some shopping done. Princess is working on handmade Christmas cards, so hopefully those will get out sometime this weekend. We still have to set up the tree, garland, and all the other "stuff" that goes with making our house into the Christmas Spirit.

I have pictures of turkey day, but you'll have to wait until I get home to download them from the camera.

Be safe everyone and keep whistling, humming, or singing those wonderful Christmas carols.

Jim

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enjoying

Here it is the day before the big feast.  I did absolutely nothing today.  Nada, zip, zilch, zero!  I was having a lazy day.  Partly because I was recovering from yesterday.  Yesterday, I climbed up in the attic, got down the reindeers, the lights, the wreaths, and began the task of Holiday cheering up the house.

I worked on the lights all day long.  I had some help from our friend who is staying with us, Lynn, but then she left and I continued.  I managed to get all the lights and wreaths and reindeer's up without falling off the roof.  No cussing, no smashed fingers, and yes, I like you am totally surprised and astonished myself that this has come off without a hitch.

We just returned from our trip to the Vance's for annual pie night.  It was great!  Lot's of pie and other deserts to sample, good recipes, good company and good visiting.  The only thing that got my goat was how people were blatantly saying that I am High Maintenance.  I was flabbergasted at this.  I am NOT high maintenance.  I am however, OCD, anal retentive and any other organized adjective you can through at me (BTW, Princess is high maintenance and she knows it, accepts it, and openly acknowledges it).  So I had a long, very long drawn out conversation about how my quirks are not HM, but AR or OCD.  It was quite comical, and anyone who knows me, knows that I am definitely Anal retentive or OCD, not High Maintenance!  

Wiktionary lists HM as " 1 - a system which requires a high degree of maintenance to ensure proper functioning, 2 - (figuratively) a person who requires a lot of attention"

Wiktionary lists AR as " 1 - preoccupied with achieving order and control and with collecting, possessing, and retaining objects, 2 - overly obsessive concerning small details"

Wiktionary lists OCD as "1 (medicine) A form of anxiety characterised by an obsessive compulsion to repeatedly perform trivial or meaningless actions".

So, based on this picture I've painted dear readers, which do you think I am, HM, AR, or OCD (the answer better be AR or OCD or a combination thereof)! :->  Let me know.

Jim

Monday, November 17, 2008

Porcelain

Funny title eh? Well, since Saturday night, I have become best friends with the porcelain throne in our house. Don't know what happened, stomach felt funny about sixish on Saturday, Princess got home from scrap book retreat, and by Sunday early morning, I couldn't leave the bathroom.

Princess taught my Sunday School lesson, when she got home, she came in took my temp - a little over 100, piled on some more blankets and let me sleep. I got up, drank some water, and about 10 minutes later spent the better part of 30 or so minutes puking into my best buddy.

Here it is today, still feel achy and feverish, but way less nauseated. Only woke up to answer my work phone, and decided to post.

Thanks Princess for covering my backside with the Sunday School lesson.

Jim

Friday, October 31, 2008

Firsts

I had a doctor's appointment today.  It was kind of like a well baby exam, I wasn't sick, I needed some blood work done for the insurance, and I needed a flu shot.  I also needed to discuss my constant acid reflux.

The appointment went well.  Princess was supposed to be there to hold my hand while they took blood, but she was called into work at the last minute.  I didn't faint, I told them ahead of time that I do faint, so they laid me down on a bed, talked to me the whole time, and all went well.  this was a first for me.  First time at the doctor to draw blood, and no one there to hold my hand.

Then it dawned on me, that the next eight months will be firsts for me also.  First birthday without Mom, first turkey day, etc.  You get the picture.  No, I'm not all sad and sappy, just thinking about the changes that have happened in my family's and my life.  I also joined Facebook, so I could post to my family.  It's kind of cool.  I even uploaded a pic of myself for a profile, something I don't like to do since I am camera shy.

Anyway, today is Halloween, or better for my native Nevadans, Admissions day.  Yep, on October 31, 1864, Nevada entered into the Union as a free state, desired for it's silver and gold deposits, and the thirty-sixth state of these united states.   It's a state holiday, no work, no banking, no post office, a great three day weekend for everyone there.

So, Happy Halloween!  Happy Admissions Day Nevada!

Jim

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Colors

I really couldn't start my post with Fall, otherwise BJ would've killed me. So, last week, I was at our corporate office for the week, enjoying their lovely fall colors and cool weather. It was a grueling week, lots of meetings, lots of work to get done. I actually got to spend two nights at home, then back on the road.

I'm currently in Boston, MA for work. The colors are spectacular! The reds and golds are so vibrant, and today it was overcast with some rain and then a beautiful, light wind. Street curbs are filled with leaves of all colors, fabulous harvest/Halloween decor, it is awesome. Makes me long for being at home and how much I loved fall as a kid. The decorations, the fun, the excitement about the costumes and the collecting of candy! It's kind of poetic justice that I now work for a candy company for the past 22 plus years.

I travel home tomorrow. Then I'm off to western Texas for an audit and on Friday, taking Halloween off!

Jim

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall II

Yep - it is fall, my favorite time of the year. I know I've posted before about fall, but today I'm really feeling it.

I'm in the Seattle area for work and the colors are gorgeous. The temp outside is a wonderful 52 F, and I'm in heaven. Wearing a short sleeve polo shirt and having the cool Northwest breeze blow against my white skinned arms feels great. Everyone is in flannel shirts with vests or jackets. I'm Loving IT!

Back home tomorrow evening, literally not home until after 5:00 PM, and then "single" (I couldn't get blogger to spell out baching it) until Saturday Night while Princess is out at the ADA convention in San Antonio.

I can't wait for fall to hit Texas - I'm ready, able, and willing to experience it. Come on buddy let the cool times roll!!

Safe travels - Jim

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Through It

To clarify from my earlier post, I was born on October 10, 1964.  My Mom had a habit of getting my birthday a little off.

Last night, Princess and I used our gift certificate from Lynn to eat at "The Range" in Salado.  It was a fabulous meal.  I had pork loin roast with corn pudding and baby carrots, while Princess had Surf and Turf with Mashers and asparagus.  I had a wonderful Caesar salad while Princess had the cream of Broccoli & Asparagus soup.  I had a Valhrona molten chocolate cake with homemade roasted banana ice cream and Princess had creme brulee with biscottis.  We had a great time eating and talking, spending some alone time together.

This week has been full of dinner dates.  On Wednesday, Princess ate with the Martinsen's at Shogun (Shotgun for Molly).  On Thursday, we had the OG with the Blackhurst's and then B&R ice cream cake at our house after, and tonight, we had Margarita chicken, salad, mixed fruit, Spanish rice, and some more of the B&R ice cream cake with the Mock's and the Lackmeyers.  We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends in our lives.  Makes Texas feel so much more like home.

The well wishing came from home also, birthday cards, phone messages, and text messages.  It was great to feel the love.

I thought this would be harder for me.  Princess wept at dinner last night, she's been worried that I would get all depressed as this would be my first birthday without Mom.  I didn't, and I'm not depressed.  I think our friends and family sensed this, or were inspired to really go the extra mile with the effort.  For this I will be eternally grateful, just like I am for a wife who was so worried, she cried at dinner.

Thank you all for the wonderful messages of Happy Birthday - and no, I will not be dishing out shin kicks tomorrow.  :-)

Jim

Thursday, October 09, 2008

In The Dark

I was keeping all of you dear readers in the dark about something.  That is until my sister Christina blew my cover with her comment.  Yes, tomorrow is my birthday.  Taking the day off - relaxing around the house and we have reservations at the RANGE restaurant in Salado for dinner.

Now - a funny anecdotal story about my Mom.  Since Princess and I have been married, and our birthdays are so close together, Mom always messed my birthday date up.  She got it off by one month, another time by a couple of days.  This does bring me to my story.

My Mom had written many important dates about her life, her parent's life, and the birth dates of her children.  Christina did the eulogy for Mom.  As she was talking about each child, starting with Audrey the oldest, she recited each birth date.  When she got to me, number three, Christina stated that I was born on October 12, 1964 - I had been zoning for a minute, missed it and when my vision came back into focus, all my siblings were staring at me, including Christina - then Rich said "Hey, you were born on the 10th, not the 12th, right?" and I said yes, and then we all started laughing.

So this year, being my first birthday without Mom here physically, when people say to me "Hey it's your birthday on Friday" or some such nonsense, I say back to them "nope, my Mom said I was born on the 12th, so it's gotta be Sunday just to mess with their heads"!  It's a riot. 

Thanks Mom, for another wonderful birthday tradition that I will smile about for the rest of my life.  I love you.

As for everyone else, wishing me a Happy Birthday, will get you kicked in your shins (just kidding)!  Have a great one.

Jim

Monday, October 06, 2008

A little Early

Tomorrow I will be headed out again - yes, the story of my life.  The sad fact is that I will not be here on Wednesday for a special event...Princesses Birthday.

Princess came into this world XX years ago ( I figured I would be safer not telling you the actual number of years), in a small strange part of the galaxy (Roswell, New Mexico).

Princess was and still is a military brat.  She has lived in New Mexico, Utah, Guam, Utah, Australia, Utah, then to Nevada.  While I am not in the military, she has had some opportunities to travel because of my job.  She has visited Hawaii, New Zealand, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan.

Princess is extremely talented, she cross stitches, she toll paints, and now she is into stamping and some scrap booking.  She cooks - and do I have the stomach and chins to show for it.  She is giving, more giving than anyone I know.  She is patient, kind, and thoughtful.  She can be strong and feisty when her back is up against a wall.  She loves beauty.  She loves music - although we don't always share the same music tastes, she loves it nonetheless.  She is a hopeless romantic.   She cries at movies, TV shows, and commercials.

She has unparalleled beauty.  Skin that just won't quit.  Gorgeous green eyes, and a talent for putting on makeup - trust me, 21 years I have been watching and it just amazes me.

She loves the Lord.  She loves her Church.  She has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She is a good Mom to our girls.  She is loving and tolerant of my rantings.  She loves to put on a party, to entertain and be surrounded by friends.

For all these reasons, and just one more, she chose me, I love her and wish her the Happiest Birthday of all.

All my Love Sweetheart - Jim

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Travel

So this week, I was at the plant and also travelled.  I had to do an audit in a city called Rosario, in Sinaloa, Mexico.  Luckily for me, it the closest airport is Mazatlan!  Yes, lucky for me, I got to visist a resort city in Mexico and stay on the beach for one night.

After work, our contact brought us from Rosario to Mazatlan to our hotel, the Fiesta Inn.  Great hotel, I had an ocean view, at it was pretty inexpensive.  I tried to boot up and connect to the internet, but no such luck, so I changed into some shorts and took a bare foot walk up the beach, then down the beach, then I changed into my swim suit and walked up and down the beach again, this time getting wet (of course, I kept a t-shirt on - wouldn't want to wound the locals! :-)

Yesterday, my flight didn't leave until 1:00 PM, so I put on the suit, walked the beach, up and down, then ditched the shirt, and swam for about an hour in the warmest water in the world.   It was high tide, the waves were pretty big and this was a first time for a desert rat to be in the ocean past his knees (we went one time to San Clemente, but the water was FRIGID!).  So it was a fun experience, but you know what, I forgot the stickin camera at home!!!!  Who does that!  Any how, here is a link to the hotel and pictures including their pool.  Here is a picture of the beach I found on Yahoo search.

Anyhow - slept in today - ran errands - came home and mowed, but first tried to fix the mower rear wheel drive - couldn't, need a new part, but I didn't have a fit and break anything else - I must be maturing!

Have a great one - Jim





Friday, September 26, 2008

Pictures

Thought I would post some pictures of our trip to Michigan


Beautiful Wooden boat on Lake Charlevoix, MI

Princess & Lynn on the steps of the Terrace Inn, Petsosky, MI

View of the Inn with Princess and Lynn on the front steps

The Three Muskateers on Lake Charlevoix, MI

We had a great time in Michigan - Love & Miss you Lynn
Jim

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall?

So my last rant was about Fall and how this is my favorite season.  The temperatures were in the low 80's, the nights were in the mid 50's, and life was wonderful.

Today was the autumnal equinox.  The first day of Fall.  Today's High was 90 freaking degrees!  What happened?  I'll tell you what, good old Mother Nature - rearing her pretty head decided that we needed some more heat in September to keep up appreciating what is around the corner.  I tell ya, I'm sick and tired of it.  I want Fall back!  And Now! (yeah, get off your soapbox)

Yesterday at Church, I asked that Princess be released from our joint calling.  She has hated it for the past year and several months.  She likes teaching kids, primary kids, and not adults.  It is also hard for us if we want to take a weekend off and go somewhere, we have to get a substitute.  Hopefully Princess will get a better calling in R.S., or Primary, or Young Women's (Hah, that last one was mean)!

Anywho, we are doing good.   I'm off to Mexico this week, and have a long day ahead tomorrow, I'm covering for a shift manager in the afternoon, so it's going to be a long day, 7 to 7.  I'm really going to need a vacation soon.

Jim

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Color Change

No, not to the blog, but to the weather.  My favorite season is fall, followed by winter, then spring, and lastly, summer.  This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, me having come from the desert, I love it when it cools off.  It definitely has started doing that here.

I was in Minneapolis this week, and I realized that highs in the 60's during the day are the place for me.  The leaves had begun their changes, slowly, subtly, into the oranges, golds, and reds.  Man I LOVE fall!  It was a short trip, but I came back to low 80's here during the day and this morning it was 59 when I left for work!  Man I love fall.

Soon, we'll have our windows open during the evenings and reveling in the cool evenings.  I love to sleep bundled up and that is just around the corner - yeah baby, I love fall.

I spoke to a friend from Vegas today - she may not ever know it, but she cheered me up tremendously.  I've been blue again, not too bad, but today on the phone we laughed and we cried.  It was good.  I am blessed.  I know it, even if I rebel against it and all the good I have in my life.  Thanks Debbe for making my day today.

Hey everyone, Fall is coming!  Yahoo!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

IKE part Deux

We are certainly most lucky to live in Central Texas.  IKE has been devastating the Gulf Coast and has done "his" damage there, moving quite slowly through the US heading into Northeastern Texas and points northward.  

IKE has given us some good and much needed rain.  Some wonderful wind, not too much, just enough to be enjoyed.  IKE has also given us a great opportunity today, most everyone we know back home in Vegas has called us to make sure that we are safe, that we have "endured" the ravages of the storm.  People, come on Seriously (said with sarcasm)!  We live in CENTRAL TEXAS - more than Two hundred (yes, 200) miles away from Houston.   We have a better time with Tornadoes than we do with Hurricanes.

Our neighbors up the street and us have had a great time mocking (no pun intended - their last name is Mock) those here that surged the gas stations, surged the HEB's for bottled water, food, milk, ICE CREAM - Come on seriously people - if there's no electricity, there's no freezer for ice cream.  Princess went to the store last night for our normal supplies, and she was faced with empty shelves - same as RITA three years ago.

We laugh.  We shake our heads and we watch hysteria unleash over a storm.  People should listen to the Prophet - "Be Prepared"!  Heck, we could live for at least a week on the candy, chips, soda, and canned food we have in our cupboards.  If we were at home at the in-laws, it would be for at least a month! 

Anyway, we're fine, doing fine, ironing and watching a movie.  Thanks so much for asking.

Jim

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Help Me!

Understand that is.  The last two posts have been trying to reintroduce myself to blogging without being such a downer and guess what?  No comments!  NADA! Zip! Zilch! Zingo!

Come on, I love that you all love both Princess and I, but throw me a bone now and then!

I just got back from 7 hours of driving from Beaumont to Waco - yes!  I said Seven hours!  Traffic was heavy just getting out of Beaumont, then the idiots zinging and zipping through Highway 105 and Highway 6 - just about pushed me over the edge.  Anywhoo, I'm home, tonight is card night for Princess, so I'll be alone again - nothing to do but watch some boob tube and iron!

The girls just barked cause Princess came in and now we're going to go out and get the mail.  Yes - this is my exciting life!

Jim

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

IKE

I don't like Ike! This storm is proving to be one great big headache. Instead of travelling to southeast Texas, I got up this morning and called the folks only to hear it has been put off and we're playing it day by day for now.

Go Away Ike! Leave the battered Gulf Coast alone! We need the rain, just not the destructive winds. Go Away!

Can you tell I've been working couped up inside the house all day! Well, hopefully, I'll be on my way tomorrow and knock that task off my to do list.

Jim

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Trying

All right.

I am trying to be more positive and less "bluesy" about the blog.  I am trying to find my inner voice that once kept this blog lively and fun.  I beg of you to indulge me to work through the grief in my heart...to hang on...to look past the "glum" posts and the ever present "Mama's Boy" that is lost and wandering.  PLEASE, hang in there with me.

Since coming back from Michigan, I have had the pleasure of being in the plant (that is almost a record, the week before vacation, and the week after), which is coming to an end on Tuesday.  My travel for Tuesday is to head to Beaumont, TX for work.  The area is hot and humid, but as we know, the calendar says "September" so fall must be around the corner.  I like Beaumont, small town feel, with large town luxuries (i.e. chain restaurants).

I dislike the drive, only for one reason, I used to have several small calls and chats with Mom on the drive down to Beaumont.  The first time after her  passing, was misery.  This time it should be better, as I am going to concentrate on calls for work.

The next three to four weeks are going to be murder for travel, Mexico twice, then some local visits, Princess out to San Antone for work, all culminates is some hectic planning on my part.  Princess will celebrate her B-day early on in October.  Getting in shopping and secretly buying presents can be a challenge.  I do hold her to our rule established 21 years ago "If you find a hidden present, it goes back to the store...you don't get to enjoy it".  I'll let you know how it goes.

Crazy Crazy Crazy, my life thus far.

Jim

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

AWAY

I have been away. Avoiding mainly, the thought of blogging, of telling the world that Life is great just hasn't appealed to me. Sorry for the downer, but it's true, and this is the first time I have felt like signing in to post in a long time.

Princess and I went to Michigan to visit our dear friend Lynn. We saw quite a lot of Michigan, Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. We spent the night in a quaint inn in Petoskey, did some wonderful sight seeing and shopping, and just relaxed. We all three needed it. Lynn moved from Texas to be closer to her family. Her biological family that is. We are her adopted family. We got to see her new house, play with the kitty's (my allergies stayed in check), and had a wonderful time. The weather was great, her house gorgeous with huge vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and 2100 hundred square feet of unfinished basement - with good ceiling height I might add.

We came home, had an uneventful trip, even with Gustav ready to hit the Gulf Coast at any minute, but the flight was good. I have finished reading "Twilight" and am waiting to start "New Moon", by my newest favorite author, Stephanie Meyers. Loved the book.

Bert called me today, asking if it was normal to be depressed! HA! I told him yes - then we talked and commiserated about our lives and missing Mom. I know it will get better, I feel it, but it's still hard.

Anyway, if you get the chance, pick up the book, or travel to Michigan in late August - it is beautiful.
Jim

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Remembering

So this week with our anniversary, it has caused me much reflection.  Quite a bit of it about my Mom.

Growing up, I was number three, behind a sister and brother in that order.  I think in many ways (if my memory doesn't fail me) that I was a surprise, being a boy I mean.  There aren't many photos of me as an infant and into toddler-dom, as being number three, my parents had tired of the camera thing.  I'm OK with that.  I used that as fuel to claim I was adopted to which I usually got a spanking cause my mouth would rattle on.

Any how, I digress.  Christina came along, then Bert, then Russell.  Now Christy and I were about 2 1/2 years apart and we loved being with my Mom.  In fact, I think that Christy and I grew up in every craft and fabric store in Henderson and Las Vegas.  We were always close, still are.  I can talk to her about anything that is going on in my life if I need to.  Back to the story.

So as a second son, I grew up pretty much as a Mama's boy, doing everything in my power to please her, and spending as much time with her as possible.  When I hit about 12 or 13, I started helping my Dad at his part time job as a night custodian for the school district, specifically at our elementary school.  I think the timing was great.  I had a wonderful solid relationship with Mom, and began building the same with Dad.  To this day, I count my parents among my best friends as well as my parents (never losing sight of that, even though we could vehemently disagree with each other on various topics).  

I remember homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade bread.  "Tuffies", fried bread hot with melted butter.  I remember Christmas crafts and divinity flavored with Hawaiian punch concentrate.  I remember pumpkin rolls and homemade fudge.  I remember her creamed corn (now a staple at many of our holiday meals) and swiss steak with mushrooms, and beef stroganoff over rice.  I remember homemade shirts with zippers instead of buttons (think late 60's and early 70's).  I remember homemade ice cream and Family Home Evenings (which we groaned about participating in).  Sunburns so bad we would be sick and she would take care of us.  Mom kissing Dad and us kids telling them to get a room.  These are just a few that fill my heart right now.

With Mom's passing, I have felt a void.  Something that I didn't think would happen because I had prepared myself for her passing for about the last 12 to 18 months.  Even Princess has noticed.  I go through the motions, working hard, taking care of the house, spending quality time with Princess, but still there is a void, a selfish void, wanting my Mom here with me but without pain and suffering from Cancer.  I know that Heavenly Father's plan calls for us all to be born, to live (however long that may be), and to die.  I have a firm testimony of this.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am amazed at how much I miss Mom.  We used to talk two or three times per week, sometimes long, sometimes a quick "hello, I love you".  And I am grateful that we had those talks.

I have taken to writing her letters, describing the week's happenings, any good news, and also any frustrations that I may have been feeling.  It's has helped me tremendously.

I know the void will be with me for the rest of my life.  And I know that time will heal the pain that the void causes within my heart.  The letters are like "band-aids" over the wound, or salve for the wound.  They really are helping.

Also, I am homesick.  I love living here in Central Texas.  Princess and I have good friends, some that are family to us, great neighbors and a wonderful Church family, but, I miss seeing my family, holding them in my arms, and having a good laugh with each one of them.  I jokingly told Princess to play the Lotto and that if we won, we would move back to Vegas or closer to Vegas, so that we could go and spend long weekends with them.  Who knows, stranger things have happened (note, we do not play the lottery - well not that often, only if it is big numbers :-).

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.  Jim

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Twenty-One

This my friends has been a great week.  Monday I was in Beaumont for work, staying until Wednesday.  As it turned out, I got to come home on Tuesday, a whole day early.

Thursday at 10:10 AM, Princess and I celebrated 21 one years of wedded bliss.  We both took the day off.  We slept in, had a nice breakfast, then went and celebrated with a movie.  We saw the Mummy 3.  It was good, not as good as the others, but enjoyable and entertaining.  

After we came home from the movie, we just relaxed, or as our neighbor's daughter says "chillax".   For our anniversary dinner, we went to China in celebration of the Olympics.  Actually, we went to Cathay House for some scrumptious grub.  We came home, watched some TV and retired.  Quite a great way to spend time together.

Friday we went to Austin to purchase a gift for Princess.  She got this, which is in her signature green color.  I got this (which was supposed to be all black, but by the time we got it home and I opened it, I didn't care).  I also got some movies which was great.

Today we have been furniture shopping.  We need a new matress set for our bed (15 years on a set rated for 10 years is really getting your money's worth), and we want new furniture for the living room.  We'll see what our budget holds for us.

Twenty one reasons I love Princess
1) Because of who she is
2) Christ like love
3) Talents
4) Smile
5) Beauty
6) Charm
7) Style
8) Love of God
9) Humility
10) Cooking (anyone who has dined around our table knows this to be true)
11) Crafts
12) Shopping
13) Love - she exudes it
14) Worker
15) Mother - she dotes on everyone
16) Reminds me of my Mother (in a good way)
17) Great Laugh
18) Sense of Humor
19) Patient
20) I'm the luckiest Man in the World
21) She picked me - I definitely married up!

Love you Princess - Happy 21 - Jim

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Friendly Skies 2

I'm home now.  Got here yesterday, leave tomorrow!  Ahhhh!  The life of an executive - NOT!  

So, Princess picked me up from the airport around 7:00 PM yesterday, we went to HEB, then to Taco Bueno (delicious dinner - she slaved all day to make), then home to do laundry, get caught up - you know the drill.

OK, I arrived at Newark, with my three bags in hand, the one I gate checked (thank goodness, the underclothes and toiletries travelled with me), my backpack - never ever check this, and my trusty Duffel.  While selecting my seat, the computer prompted me asking if I would like to give up my seat for a later flight home for $300.  Of course, I said no.  Then I realized that the flights would be super booked, and saw this when I chose my seat.  After my previous experience checking a bag, you would think I would not trust them for any of my baggage, but I threw caution to the wind, checked BOTH my bags (with a promise from the agent that they would both arrive) and proceeded to security.

At security, the barely English speaking man, looked at my ID, looked at my boarding pass and announced "You are elite, that line over there".  I looked over my shoulder to see a long line, and looked back to see a short line.  I said "That's OK, I'll just go here", to which he promptly said "No".   I told him I didn't mind, and he told me no again.  So being top tier elite with my airline translated into "go stand in long line", to which I did.

Long story short, I was upgraded to first class, had a lovely cold plate with cheese, fruit, cold cuts, and crackers.   Arriving in Waco, greeted by Princess with a huge hug and kisses (I know, a little too much info), we proceeded to the great big baggage carousel.  I told her I was hosed if my bags didn't come, not enough clean underclothes for the coming week (I KNOW, TMI).  Any hoo, my bags, yes both of them, were second and third off the carousel!!  Yeah!  My faith in air travel is restored!

Again dear readers, when you have lost luggage, don't get mad, don't scream, rant, rave, yell, etc., ask for CASH for new clothes!!!  It'll make you and everybody else feel better.

Jim

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Friendly Skies

For the most part, many of you know that I travel for work. I travel by car and by airplane, never by boat. As such, I am very familiar with the "311" of the travel industry, and much to other peoples chagrin (can you beat that), I try to share this knowledge with others to be helpful.

Sunday I travelled to Little Rock, AR, not returning until this coming Saturday (I know, poor Princess), so I packed my roll-a-board bag and found I needed more space. I got out my trusty little duffle bag and packed it out too. Arriving at the airport early, I checked in, got my boarding pass, and after discussing that as a platinum elite member, I could carry three bags on board, I made the most hideous mistake...I CHECKED MY TRUSTY DUFFLE BAG! Now why are you shouting Jim? Because, the airline lost it.

Arriving in Little Rock, I traversed the airport to the baggage carousel, where I found no duffle bag waiting for me. I went back to the ticket counter, filled out the form to file for a lost bag, and left the airport. Before leaving, I was told to call this 1-800 number in an hour to see if the bag would be on the next flight. So I drove around Little Rock looking for something to eat and to pass the time away. NADA! ZIP! All I could find were fast food places - BLECH!!! I settled on a convenience store, bought some nuts, water and a root beer. Then I called the number - no luck, bag still gone. Then the airline realized that I am an elite member, transferred me to the "elite" desk where I was attended too. Oh yes Mr. XXXXX, you will have your bag tonight. It will be delivered to the tiny remote town two hours away. HAH! I Say, HAH! Again!

I ended up buying a pair of pants, shirt, and socks at the local Wally's world to get me by (I was not showing up in my shorts and polo shirt I travelled in. Worked the day away (la la la la ), only to return to Little Rock, encounter a not so friendly person on the 1-800 number, who then told me to go out and shop some more - spend up to $250! Yep, I did, with Wally's world and KOHL's, I got in about $200 that the airline will reimburse to me.

This morning, while checking in for my flight to the east coast, gues what awaited me??? MY TRUSTY DUFFLE BAG! It found it's way to me. So I packed all my dirty clothes into it, put the new stuff in my roll-a-board, checked the duffle bag to NJ, and when I arrived here in NJ, there it was on the carousel - my duffle - so now I have clothes galore, some old, some new. I have learned one important thing from this trip. Don't get mad and yell when they lose your bag, ask for money to buy new clothes - it worked for me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mama Mia

Princess got off early this afternoon and we went to see the obligatory Chick Flick! Well, not really twisting my arm, I love musicals, and both of us love ABBA. So we ate a Whataburger and headed over to the Hollywood 16.

We got there a little late, but found two seats together at the top of the theater. This movie was great. Not a lot of substance (no moral stories, etc), pure fluff (feel good, toe tappin dance in the aisle), but we loved every minute of it. We both hummed and tapped along with the music, laughed and there was a group of mature women in front of us that would squeal with delight. It was a great afternoon.
If you get the chance, go see it. It will make you smile.

Jim

Normal?

Avoiding, that’s what I’ve been doing. Avoid blogging; avoid feeling, kind of like walking around in a daze.

I was in Chattanooga, TN this week, visiting our plant, meeting up with a gentleman that reports to me, making my presence known in the plant/office. The change did me good; it got me out of my funk. I got to see a little rain and that always perks my spirits up…guess its cause I was raised in the desert and rain came in huge waves, like August monsoon and February/March.

So, to mix things up a bit, I thought I would include some photos.


This is Sadie, begging for food from our table. Thanks to my lovely Princess and her Dad who taught Sadie that food from the table is mmmmhh good!


This is Sasha, looking for her Mama (Princess) and wondering why she was left alone!


This is my niece Mallory Kate! We took this while in Vegas and I bribed her with marshmallows to come sit with me and watch baby Einstein’s. She is full of energy and sometimes she is a little cuddly and she’ll give you hugs and smooches.


This is my family, taken after the Mom’s funeral. Back row (l to r) Bert (#5), Rich (oldest), Russell (youngest). Front row Christina (Buffy, also #4), Dad, Me (Skip – these were our nicknames for each other in high school #3) (not pictured Audrey #1 - deceased).




Taken 2 July 2008
Standing (l to r) Me, RL (Berts #2), Aunt Aurella (Mom's only surviving sister), BJ (Bert's #1), Bert, Russell, Justin (Christina's #1), Kelley (Bert's #3), Nichole (Rich's #1), Richard III (Rich's #2), Kyle (Christina's #2), Tanner (Christina's #3), Shane (Christina's hubby), Rich
Sitting (l to r) Princess (mine), Christina, Dad, Dawn (Rich's), Alisa holding Mallory (Bert's and Bert's #4).

Just a side note, Alisa was the only smart woman there, she had taken off her heels to feel more comfortable. Also, notice, my tie coordinates with Princesses dress!

I'm doing better each day - I still struggle with the "funk" now and then, but I took yesterday and today off to catch up on some things and just relax. As far as becoming normal - heck, it hasn't happened yet, so don't hold your breath!

Jim

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blue

That's how I am feeling. I was in a funk on Friday night in the airport in Houston. Blue, I still am. I was feeling sorry for myself (that's how it always is right?), for the loss of my best friend. So I decided to cheer myself up. I called Princess.

Princess was less than talkative. She was busy doing things around the house, her answers to my questions were short or one worded. No luck there.

So I called my sister Christy. She was busy, preoccupied working on a template, her answers too were short or one worded. Two strikes.

I then called Bert. He always likes to talk, but alas, it was not to be. He was on the other line and asked me if it would be OK if he called me back. I said sure. Well when he called back I was on the plane from Houston to Waco. Three strikes.

I didn't call Rich, he's usually riding his horse or roping or something cowboyish, and Russell works a lot of swing shifts so I didn't call him either. Instead, I sat in the airport with tears escaping down my face wallowing in self pity. It was, I was, pathetic.

Everyone says that the death of a parent is hard, I thought I was prepared. Mom had been so sick and in so much pain that I knew that her passing would be a blessing for her, and for my Dad who had worried so much for her these past five years. I'm not prepared. I made it through the funeral, put on my smile, stopped crying when Dad said to stop, and put on the brave face. I'm still doing that. But it's painful, my Mom is my best friend. We had so much in common, movies, TV, music, books, sense of humor. My brothers and sisters all said I was Mom's favorite. They were wrong, she IS MY FAVORITE! That is the difference.

Oh, I know that I'm whining, full of self pity, and down right wanting, no needing to, requiring that I get through these feelings in my schedule and put my life back on track. Well I can't. I just figured that out this morning at Church. I have to heal. It's gonna be a long road for this Mama's boy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tribute

Mom's service was beautiful.  Probably the longest funeral service I've sat through in my whole life, but it was a beautiful tribute to a loving Mother, Sister, Wife, Aunt, and Grandmother.

Dad had all of us kids line up by age in the Relief Society room to greet and thank all the people that came to pay their respects.  Aunt Aurella was next to Mom, fitting for sisters to be next to each other.  Think of it as a receiving line (like for a wedding), so that we could personally thank everyone.  We were warned not to cry, he said "No tears in this line, no matter what.  Your Mom is at peace, we are happy for her and I want you kids to emulate that and to show that Joy on your face".  It was hard, and we would tell people that came through crying, "no tears, she is in peace, be happy for her".

My Uncle Gary gave the family prayer, then we said our goodbyes to Mom.  Rich and Dawn and their son Richie, Christy and her son Kyle, Bert and Alisa, Russell, and Princess and I, all left to sing a prelude as Mom was brought into the Chapel.  We sang "I Know that My Redeemer Lives", one of Mom's favorite Hymns.  Aunt Aurella gave the invocation.  My younger cousin Eric Price, Bishop of his Ward, conducted the service.  

Christina gave the Eulogy, and did a superb job.  Then Russell spoke.  My how my littlest brother has grown and matured into a fine man.  The grand kids then sang "Families can be Together Forever" with dry eyes, and with smiles.  They did a good job.  Bert spoke next.  He reminds me of Dad.  The way he speaks, his hand motions, even his facial movements, all scream Dad.  I spoke next, a few tears, told everyone in the Congregation that I was no longer "Jimmy", but had graduated to Jim and they should respect that.  Us kids again sang, this time "How Great Thou Art".  Then Dad's Bishop from Hurricane spoke, then Eric concluded.  Rich said the closing prayer, the Congregation sang "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again".  All in all about an hour forty minutes long.

We had a great visit with family at the luncheon, then we helped the Relief Society clean up the Cultural Hall, and headed to Christina's to change, then it was home for a nap.

My days are good, peppered with some tear time, when I let the emotions get a hold of me, and then I remember Mom's last conversation with me "Stop Crying.  Don't cry for me".  Well Mom, I'm crying for me, cause I am selfish and I miss you.

Dad is doing good, we spoke for about 30 minutes today.  I am grateful he took the time to develop in me a friendship when I was an awkward 14 year old going through the awful emotional stress of teenage strife.

For you dear readers, I thank you.  For your friendship, for your love, and for your prayers.  Both Princess and I are blessed to have you in our lives.

Jim

Blame Canada

Yep, it even sounds like Southpark in my head when I say it.

So Princess and I arrived home on Sunday around 9:30 PM, unloaded the car and then crashed into our own bed for the first time in two weeks.

Monday I worked from the plant and Monday night, the Keller's brought over a scrumptious dinner even after I had threatened Andrea and Brandon both (It was extremely good and we appreciate the thought behind it).

Tuesday, I flew to Canada, Northbay to be exact, about a one hour flight north of Toronto.  In Toronto, I met "R" from my group, and we drove two hours farther north to a small town, called New Liskeard.  The next morning, we crossed over into Quebec and drove to the vendor's site for the audit.   Afterwards, we drove back to Northbay, stayed the night, and flew into Toronto where we were picked up by the same vendor's salesperson to audit another site about an hour and a half away.

Friday I flew home, did some yard work - not much, mainly pulling weeds, etc, and then Princess and I had a quiet night, eating poached eggs, bacon and toast.  It was deeeelish!  Today we've been doing chores, ran a couple errands and are about to have homemade tacos for dinner, and then I'm going to prep my Sunday School Lesson for tomorrow.

Next week, I'm off to Georgia and Tennessee for team meetings.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Finale

Last night we had the viewing for Mom. She looked so beautiful. Her daughter and daughters-in-law, along with Mom's only surviving sibling, dressed and prepared her for the funeral. I was there too. I was there to fulfill a promise made to Mom 14 years earlier when my older sister had passed away. It was a blessing that I was there. After we finished dressing Mom, my sister, Christina, Princess, and Aunt Aurella set to task to apply her makeup. They did a great job, she looked so good - and I believe it was because they used her very own makeup and not the mortuaries product. Then Aunt Aurella did Mom's hair, just like Mom did in life. The flowers were beautiful and filled the room, it was amazing.

The three and a half hour viewing was great, so many faces I hadn't seen in a long time. Many remarked how beautiful and peaceful Mom looked, and I heartily agreed.

Today will mark the longest funeral in the history of mankind. Mom had mapped out her funeral, three musical numbers (us kids are doing two, the grandkids are doing one), four speakers (Christina, Russell, Bert, and me), two Bishop's from Hurricane are speaking, and then the final remarks by my cousin, the Bishop conducting. I'm taking snacks and a Big Gulp. I'm gonna need'em! And I'm bringing my stock in Kleenex with me. I'm a Big BOOB with capitol letters - and I'm a Mommas boy, so this is gonna be hard.

Thank you again for all your comments, your phone calls, your e-mails. I am thankful for my membership, testimony and faith. I know that Mom is in a better place. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us. I am thankful for His son, Jesus Christ, whose atoning sacrifice makes it possible for us to return to live in their presence. I am most grateful for Princess, a loving wife and best friend. Again, thanks for all your support and for your prayers. Keep them coming, I gonna need them today.

Jim

Friday, June 27, 2008

Peace

That is the great feeling I have in my heart.

At 3:20 AM this morning, Mom was released from her earthly cares. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more cancer. She is at peace. She is rejoicing with her Momma and Daddy, with Audrey, and with her sisters, Janice and Juanita. How grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, and the knowledge that this life is not just a speck of dust spinning and floating in space. That we have a purpose, and that we have something to look forward to.

Princess and I had a good visit with Dad, his sister Mary and her husband Ralph last night. Mom was peacefully breathing throughout our visit, but I had noticed a slight change in her, something wasn't the same. I remarked to Princess on our way out, that Mom had changed, and it would not be long before she left us. How grateful I am to have kissed her face, to have stroked her hair, and whispered "I Love You" before we left. The veil was thin, I know that is why she had changed, she was ready to go and they were waiting for us to leave.

My siblings and I gathered with my Father at her bedside this morning. We held her hands, and wet her face with our tears. There was great peace and serenity in her room. How thankful I am to a Loving Heavenly Father for such a Mother as I have had.

My Dad is doing well. We are keeping a close eye on him. He thinks we worry to much. This transition will be difficult, they were married for 47 years.

Thank you all so much for all the prayers that you have offered on our family's behalf. Thank you so much for your calls, e-mails, and comments.

Jim

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

VEGAS BABY!

Yeah, that's where we are.

We arrived into the valley about 7:30 local time on Sunday, clear, bright, beautiful. You could see the whole valley as we came in from Boulder City. We went straight to Princesses parents, dropped off the girls, and headed over to Hospice (it was93 degrees).

When we arrived, Dad and Bert left Princess and I alone for a while. We spoke to Mom, held her hand, kissed her forehead and cheeks, telling her of our love for her, and that when the veil parted and she could see her Momma, Daddy, Sisters, and her baby girl Audrey, she was to leave. I told her how proud I was of her as a Mother, her examples, her strength, her Christlike love to me, to our family, and to others she came into contact with. We wept. Princess moved to her side, and whispered in her ear. I couldn't hear (too old I guess), but she wet Mom's cheek with her tears.

We spent all day at the Hospice on Monday. Monday evening we went to Rich's house and visited a while, seeing their son Richie. Tuesday, we went to the mortuary. This was hard. Mom had planned her funeral program, but neither of them had planned for the process. As a family we selected the casket, the burial plots, and filled out pertinent information. Princess stayed with Mom during this whole time.

I came back while Dad ran some errands - sent Princess out on her own for a while to escape the Hospice room. I stayed with Mom, held her hand and sang Hymns and favorite Primary songs to her. I believe she liked it. It was a good day.

Today is Wednesday - we are at the in-law's, Mom is still holding on. Yesterday the Doctor said that some people can go for a week or longer without food and water. They are keeping her pain level down by monitoring her vitals and her facial expressions (really her forehead). Bert has been a trouper, staying every night with Dad. I think tonight, I will spell him, it's his 15th wedding anniversary.

Thanks dear friends for your wonderful thoughts and prayers. Both Princess and I greatly appreciate them and your friendship.
Jim

Friday, June 20, 2008

Transition

Odd title I know, but many of you Mormon readers will understand. All medical attention to prolong my Mother's life has ceased. Mom has been moved to a Hospice facility. From my mortal perspective, this is a transition from this life to the next.


Mom and her Doctors made the decision to end any and all therapy that would fight the infection and cancer in he body. This was done late Thursday night. Since then, I have had one small conversation with Mom, relaying my love for her, and thanking her for being my Mom, for teaching me right from wrong, for teaching me about the restored Gospel, and for encouraging me to go on a mission to proclaim the Gospel.


Today, she could hardly speak at all. Christy and Bert have relayed that Mom's oxygen content is falling, and that her time here in this physical shell is ending. Dad is doing good - "a rock" as Christy put it. I am so thankful for the knowledge that I have of the plan of salvation and that Mom will have peace and no more pain.
Here is a picture of Mom and Dad just before they were married, it gives me warmth just to know that I have these memories to give me "roses in December".
I love you Mom - Jimmy

Update

Mom made it through the night, and all day yesterday. Her GP said that she is not giving up on Mom. Her surgeon has said (through tears) that there is nothing more she can do for Mom and that it is in the Lord's hands (Yep, a Doctor who has faith, not just in medicine). I'm still waiting for an update from her Oncologist.

Mom is in a lot of pain, on a morphine pump, and IVs to keep her hydrated. The GP said this was "just" a very bad intestinal blockage (about the umpteenth one she has had since they determined her small intestine was full of tumors and surgery is not an option) and caused the septicemia and fever along with other things.

I appreciate all of you who have kept Mom and Us in your prayers. Thank you so much. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, and sometimes the "endure to the end" part is difficult to swallow. Mom is a strong woman, a fighter, and full of faith. Whatever the outcome, I know that her health, her life, are in the Lord's hands.

Again thanks - and I'll update when I know more.
Jim

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Prayers

I just got off the telephone with my sister. Mom was admitted to the hospital today, she has taken a turn for the worst. With her cancer, she has been taking heavy doses of chemotherapy, and her CA125 numbers are still rising. This afternoon, Mom became ill, vomiting and very lethargic, so much so that Dad could not get her off the bed, and had to call the paramedics.

She has a fever of 103, and the Doctor's just told Dad and Christy that she is very septic. Please keep Mom and our family in your prayers.

More updates as I get them.

Jim

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ever had one of those...

So, I haven't abandoned my blog - our blog. We've both been so busy since Stake Conference that neither of us has had time to update the site.
Jim's Reader's Digest version: Mexico trips twice, Pennsylvania and Georgia once, and this past week, WACO - Yes dear friends not since June 2007 have I spent one entire week at home working from the office. Felt great - and I'm taking tomorrow off to spend quality time with Princess.
Princesses Reader's Digest Version: Bored, more Bored, - oh and movies, I get to watch all of the Netflix movies when Jim's not home, send them back and get more! Work has been busy, Church has been busy, and I can't believe that Summer is here already. It's too hot.
Now, some photos:
Front of house - Flowers and plants gearing up for blooms.

Princess arriving home after all the yard work is done!

Graham's Birthday cake - She's gotten so good!

Sydnee's Monkey Cake

And lastly - We painted the Living Room - Beige - no really, Nomadic Desert


Finally there is contrast between the walls, the trim, and the ceiling!

I'm Lovin IT!

Be Safe - Jim

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Edified

That's how I'm feeling right now. We just got home from the Adult session of Stake Conference in Killeen. The Jacobsens and Blackhursts twisted our arms until we went. We drove down and met them at Outback in Killeen, had a great dinner, then went over to the stake building, where we were spiritually fed.

It was a great evening, good friends, good food, and edification for the soul. Glad I didn't buck the trend and not go. Now just so you don't think I'm such a heathen, Princess does not like to go on Sunday, as it is too early, and the Saturday night session is too late for me, so we've both had our differences in the past. Tonight, we just began a new tradition.

Jim

!Hola!

He estado en Mexico...Ooops! I've been travelling south of the border down Mexico way.

I spent this past week down in Mexico auditing suppliers. I absolutely love this country. The people are wonderful, humble, kind, and loving. They are proud of their country, their heritage, and their culture. I love their food too (it shows by the number of my chins)!

While travelling in Mexico, I am sure that I surprised many a person that I came into contact with during this trip. First, I saw missionaries on a street corner and shouted out the window "Hey Elders" and waved. The jumped, shouted back and gave me the "thumbs up" sign. Then in the airport in Mexico City (DF as it is called there), I ran into three Elders on their way to their assignments in the Veracruz mission. My travelling companions, a Catholic and a Jewish gentlemen were giving me grief for stopping to chat cause we were running from plane to plane. I just reminded them that we are all on the same rock, spinning wildly in space, breathing the same air, and if stopping for 3 minutes to chat with someone who holds the same beliefs as me was a bad thing, then have at it. Later we saw a Jewish man in the airport lounge (yes, Yamika intact), and I chided my co-worker for not greeting him and visiting. He stated to me, "well, my peeps are not like your peeps!" I replied "How sad, at least my peeps are happy to see another peep!" Anyway, it was a good trip filled all kinds of wonderful experiences.

For those of you who have asked, my mom is about the same, good days and bad days. She struggles every day of her life. We did have an enjoyable time with her in Vegas, something I can treasure the rest of my life.

Well, it's off to the races, we have a few errands to run, then home to clean and get ready for stake conference adult session tonight, and then again tomorrow morning in Killeen - and yes, we are being dragged to it (the adult session) by our friends the Jacobsens and Blackhursts!

Jim

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Disappear?

That's how I've felt for the past two weeks!

We returned from our visit with Mom.  She is a trooper.  We spent every day with her while we were in Vegas.  She had some pretty good days during this time.   We watched some movies, a lot, and I mean a lot of HGTV - even sick, Mom wants to see what's new with home improvement, my guess is she is making a list for Dad.

We had a good visit with Princesses parents - camped out at their house for the week, and got to see them every morning and every night.

The last two work weeks, I have been in Chicago/Minneapolis area - feels like home almost.   Next week it's off to Mexico for more auditing fun.

Princess and I spent today in Austin where I got this as my newest toy.  I didn't get the newest greatest version, but what I got, I am Capitol L, Loving IT!  We also went to Costco, Cheesecake Factory, Pottery Barn, and several furniture stores looking for a new sofa (Yes LP, I did think of you, but you were not feeling well, so I wanted you to rest).

Tomorrow is Mother's day, the 100th anniversary of this official celebration.  So, to all you Mothers out there, Princess, Mom, and Linda (and all you other Ladies who are special in our lives)  Happy Mother's Day!

Jim

Sunday, April 27, 2008

HOME

We're home! Safe and sound - a little chilly here in Texas compared to Las Vegas, NV (yeah baby). It's late - more to come on the past week.

Jim

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A bottle

I need a bottle to trap time in! I last blogged in March, now it is the past the middle of April (hope everyone sent in their taxes before the 15Th).

We had a wonderful Easter with our "Waco family" (this is defined as a any of the dear friends we have met here in Waco), enjoyed watching General Conference, especially Elder M. Russell Ballard's talk - his face in describing his wife's expression while he tended to his little children was priceless, and we have enjoyed some cool weather, some warm weather, and some stormy weather - without the tornadoes.

I have travelled so much, I feel like I have forgotten where I've been and what I've done. It is a sorry state to get old and lose your memory.

Today I have a special assignment. I have been asked to sing at Haylee Jacobsen's baptism. What an honor for me. I didn't think that Haylee even liked me, and she certainly surprised me with the request.

Afterwards, Princess and I and the girls will be gone for about ten days. This too is an honor. We are travelling home to spend time with my Mother. I fear that, I know that her time here on earth is limited and with my work/travel schedule, I desire to spend some time with her while I can. The cancer in her body is causing more and more problems with normal functions, and she has just returned from her ninth hospital stay since the end of January this year. It is truly a privilege to make the drive home to see and spend time with her. She has proven to all of her children that every single day is worth fighting for to live. Heck, she was only given 18 months to live when they diagnosed her, and that was in May 2003! This may sound a little selfish (rightly so I think), but with Princess and I having lived in Texas for almost seven years, we know that the call will come telling us that she has left this life, and I want to take advantage of each opportunity I can to express my love, my gratitude, my honor and privilege for having the wonderful, glorious duty to be her son and call her Mother.

I know - I'm too sappy and sentimental - can't help it for cyring out loud - she's my Mom! Our wonderful friends (family) will be taking care of the house - I even had offers from someone to mow the yard while we are gone - thanks, but I'm anal about the pattern I put in the grass with the mower.

I still need a bottle - to capture the memories and the time in - I guess that's why the Good Lord gave us memories instead.

Jim