Sunday, December 28, 2008

Out with the old....

I'm loosing an old friend but I've gained a new one! Ron bought me this piano in 1982. It's a 1913 Brewster made in New York State. He purchased it from a man that renovated it by hand. Probably not the best job ever done but pretty darn respectable and it was beautiful to me. I sat down immediately and began to play - or at least 'play at' playing the piano.

Ron stood there for a few minutes and then said "if I had known you couldn't PLAY the piano, I might not have gotten it" (smartypants)!

We've spent many fun times banging on this ol baby. I'd always hoped one of my children would gain the skills I didn't have - but sadly, it appears that the Dale family musical talent didn't carry through my line.

When the time came to move up to the Northwest, we worked on selling the piano. No one wanted it. No one. The sound quality is not concert level.....very tiney (it would work well in a ol New Orleans jazz joint). At last moment I gave the piano to my dear friend Janet Hancock as compensation for letting me stay with her a couple of months. She accepted it gracefully, but when I came back a year later to pick up a couple things still in town, it became clear that the last thing she needed was a piano - she was just too nice to tell me.

So we wheeled the ol' thing into a little trailer and Ron drove it home (I flew, thank you very much). It was a death defying drive, from what I gather. Poor Ron.

It took five members of the Sequim Football team to move it into the rental house and then, when it was time, into our home here on Burnt Hill. It's a funny thing. I didn't think about where the piano would go when we designed the house. We stuffed it into the living room for a time, then we pushed it into the dining room. Audra would play it here and there. Me even less. We had a piano tuner come out to put new coaster wheels on it (which makes it MUCH easier to move about), tune it up and to let us know what it was worth. Nothing Antiques Roadshow would clamor after. But it's well loved.

Still, when I spotted a black electronic piano at Costco a few months back that had some fun little buttons I fell in LOVE. It's nothing fancy, but I knew that it would fit right into a corner of the living room. I was so excited. I dropped every hint I could think of hoping Ron would buy it for me for Christmas.

Just this last Tuesday night
(Christmas Eve Eve) it became clear that Ron had completely forgotten about it. Oh, the pouting and consternation he got!

The next evening - early evening, Ron drove up with my piano. It was the last one - in fact it was the floor model. He had gotten off early to go get it.

When he got it inside, we discovered that it didn't have the power cord. It didn't matter to me. It wasn't the fact that I had an electric piano that did cool things and fit perfectly into my living room. What mattered to me was that my husband got it - reluctantly - late maybe even - but he wanted to make me happy (or maybe to make me "NOT" mad). I was perfectly prepared to pout my way through the first Christmas with no children at home. Ron gave me an easy target by not listening and preplanning - but when has Ron EVER listened or preplanned? It's just not his way. I, on the other hand, am a planning fiend! Of course I had my shopping done months ago. It just comes naturally. But for Ron to go against his grain makes me think that maybe I need to go against MY grain and be happy for all the gifts he gives me everyday, like hard work, talent and true love.

So now I have a new friend - a fun little toy that has already helped make some special memories between my beloved and me. I'm hoping to find a new home for the old piano. It's been a dear and deserves some lovin. It'll be a little sad to see it go, but I'm learning that change is a good thing.....most of the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Survey

My favorite daughter-in-law challenged people to post their answers to the following survey. Who am I to argue?

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags – and to be honest – USED gift bags. I’m a cheap, cheap woman.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Much to my husband’s chagrin - artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? Not even sure we’re going to get around to it this year, to be honest

4. When do you take the tree down? New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? No! But Ron and my kids are crazy over it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My dad made my sister and I a refrigerator and stove/sink set that if I remember correctly, really ran water. At least in my mind it really ran water! We didn’t have to pay for it (water that is) in those days, so it’s POSSIBLE

7. Hardest person to buy for? Ron. He gets whatever he wants throughout the year and I always seem to pick the wrong brand/style/color anyway.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Me!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. We have a few.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both – and it’s a family newsletter more than a card.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Ron gave me the worlds ugliest ring once. I could even pretend. It went back the next week. He doesn’t buy me jewelry anymore.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Throughout the year. I’m usually 80% done by October. This year I was a little late – November. Still have nothin’ for Ron or Mom. I just have no idea what to get them.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I refuse to answer that one.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Prime rib and Sweatheart Salad

15. Lights on the tree? Of course. Multi-colored.

16. Favorite Christmas song? Whatever is the most smaltzy tear jerker of the season. But by the next year, I hate it and move onto something else. Muppets Christmas Album with John Denver will NEVER get old.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Hopefully soon we’ll travel. There are lots of Grand Kids to see, ya know.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous Reindeer of all?

19. Angel on the tree-top or a star? Ceramic angel by the name of Francis Grace.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? My kids all got their tradition of pjs on Christmas eve and everything else on Christmas morning. I HATE opening gifts up the night before. Then there’s nothing to look forward to.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Crass commercialism

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have all glass ornaments now

23. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Hey, didn’t you already ask that on #14?

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Happy, healthy children. Especially my son-in-law who will be returning from Afghanistan in January. Job security in my new business. Honest - I don't need any THING else -

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What I Know

Ours is an apostolic church. I just don't have an apostolic heart. I'm always afraid that I will offend someone or cause discomfort. The Internet has provided an avenue for virtual anonymity, or at the very least, a platform to be able to say what we might not have the courage or fortitude to say in person. I'm not sure how virtuous that is, but at the very least, I appreciate the opportunity to practice my faith by offering my inner most thoughts.

The church in which I belong to has taken some amazing hits lately. I believe with my whole heart that the Church leaders knew that by taking a public stand on a very hotly contested issue recently, that we would be thrown into the public light for close examination. I will not hide from that light, nor will I shirk my duty as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to express my support and gratitude for honest and inspired leaders. The world may not understand, but if they were to look inside our faith rather than believe the nay saying of others, they would see that we are a Church of love and unshakable faith. We are committed to the Lord's commandments, and no one else. Our foundation is strong and sure and never has nor never will be based on public opinion or speculation.

Twice a year, every year, our Church holds General Conference. Our Church leaders speaks to all of us - and their counsel is broadcast around the world. I cannot more concisely or eloquently express the truth better than this 11 minute review of counsel from our last conference (October, 2008). If you really want to know who we are, you will find it here in this video. If you want to know more, this link also takes you to the conference in its entirety (the 11 minute review is the first video and is entitled "New Highlights Video":

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A poem by my dear friend, Theodocia Atkin best reflects where I'm at today:


I'd like to take a little break
and put myself at ease,
to reminisce, and rest awhile
and regroup, if you please.

I'd like to hear celestial music
and feast my eyes upon the view,
and then, dear Lord, I hope you'll find
some work for me to do.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grandbaby invasion

The grandchildren have arrived (along with their Mommy, Veronica). We're having a grand time picking berries, playing games and trying to figure out where to fit everyone.

This is James. He's in the laundry basket

My mom who lives downstairs is being so very tolerant (though she seems to relish being able to close the door and relax).

Here are some pics of the girls outside...

This is Ron and Amber going for a ride on our tandem bike.

Here is Jade. She is crying because she wanted to go on a ride on the tandem bike too.

This is Harley. She is throwing away a banana peel. See it in the upper left hand corner?

Here is one more pic of the newest edition to the Jones family.....Master Ledbetter himself - James Ronald.

Now THAT's a cute baby!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nina and the no snow prayers

I had a FANTASTIC weekend last week visiting my baby in Idaho. 6 months since I last saw her!!!! How in the world did I survive? Well, possibly the 4 - 10 phones calls per day, but that's another story.

The only downer was the forecast for snow. As my friend Lisa and I drove to Rexburg we were told that it would snow everyday.

I hate snow. Used to love it - but no longer. I especially hate to drive in the snow.....and the road between Sequim and Rexburg can be particularly ugly in the snow.

Needless to say, I was not pleased.

So - I prayed. All the time. I asked those in the know whether it was wrong to pray for it not to snow, or whether I had any chance in asking for such a monumental task. I decided that the only argument I could give Heavenly Father was that there were so many wonderful Moms there for Mother's Weekend and that we all needed protection.

It did snow. Everyday. Big puffy snowflakes at times - hard little snow pellets at others. The cars were covered. But the streets never accumulated anything - ever.

Wow. I'm going to have to keep in check and remind myself that I am NOT so powerful as to direct the weather. It must have been all of those wonderful moms......and a very generous and patient God.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Into the Wild

Ron asked me to share some pics of the various animals you might see on our land

Such as the turtles (look on the log in the middle of the picture. Ron has many turtles. He loves his turtles. There are two in the upper pond, four in the middle pond (this one) and four in the lower pond. They like to sit on the logs in summer and stretchhhhhh their necks out to warm themselves.

We also have the bachelor herd of elk coming thru the property throughout the year. We call them 'da boys'. They're not the brightest bulbs in the package, let me tell you - but oh how we love them.

We also have "Bob", our resident bobcat. He has no real fear of us though he keeps a healthy distance (this picture was taken at a distance and obviously has been cropped). He thinks the road belongs to him, however. If he's walking up when when we're driving home, we have to wait until he's gotten to where he wanted to go because he will not get out of the way). This pic was published in the local paper. Proud day for me!

Other animals that surround us:

Deer (or as I fondly refer to them, big plant eating rats!(
Eagles (golden and bald)
Turkey vultures (truly one of the ugliest birds known to man)
Coyotes (the reason I never let my grandchildren run around the property alone)
Bears and cougars (haven't come across any myself, but some of our neighbors have!)
Moles (plant killers!)
Field mice (much cuter than typical mice but still a rodent when they get in the house)
Salamanders (they feel like gummy worms, YUCK)
And a million, gazillion frogs (ribbit, ribbit).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Berry Pickin' Time!

It's one of my favorite times of year, and this year the berries are beautiful! How happy am I?

I just hope I can get them before the rain turns them mushy.

Ron also picked some inky cap mushrooms and what little we have from one of our plum trees in the orchard (it's been a bad year for fruit trees, I'm afraid). I'm feeling so homey.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ron's newest toy

Audra is giving me a hard time for not posting anything new on Ron's and my blog. This surprised me since I only developed it so that I could show off my new grandson, James.

So, here is my opportunity to give Ron some equal time....

As you may have noticed, we began to wonder if the phone camera was recording. It was. So here is Part II...