Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy birthday, Nelson!

Thursday was Nelson's 46th birthday! We had a fun birthday dinner, with apple pie (Nelson's request) for dessert. Hope all your wishes come true, Sweetie!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shirlene Siddoway Davidson, 8/20/34 - 5/24/98

When I was in the first grade, my parents made arrangements to pick me up after school so that we could go to visit my grandparents. It was a cold and rainy afternoon, so I waited inside, watching out the glass windows of the big entry-way doors on the south of our elementary school. I waited and waited, but still my parents didn't come.

Suddenly, I saw my mom running across the schoolyard from the other side of the building. They had been waiting for me on the opposite side! I pushed open the heavy door and raced after my mom, fast as my little six-year-old legs would carry me. I ran fast, but she ran faster. "Mama, Mama!" I kept calling. But the wicked Idaho wind caught my words and blew them back behind me. She couldn't hear me and just kept on going. "Mama, Mama!" By now I was in tears as I ran past the buses, trying to catch up to my mom. In my six-year-old mind, it was terrible not to get her attention--would I ever catch up to her? The pouring rain mixed with my tears. At last, she reached my bus, and stopped to ask the driver if I were on. I could catch up to her and we could hurry back to the car and go see my grandparents. I was so relieved.


Ten years ago, we got a call in the middle of the night. It was my dad, telling us my mom had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. I was stunned and shocked. The next few days I felt like that little girl again, racing after my mom and crying, "Mama, Mama!" Some days, when things are difficult, I still feel like that little girl. "Mama, Mama!" I miss her.

All the way home to attend the funeral, I kept noticing the things that we passed on the way, the things that happened. Then I realized I was remembering them because that's what I always did on our way home, so I could share the events with my mom. When we got to the house, she wasn't there, opening the front door screen and welcoming us. She wasn't in the kitchen, stirring up a batch of something for supper. She wasn't anywhere she was supposed to be.


Things I miss about my mom:
gossiping in the kitchen

hearing her cheerful telephone-operator "Hello?" on the phone (She really did work for the phone company after graduating from high school)

seeing her in her bathrobe cooking breakfast

"laughture" "delightful!" "Neltson"

watching her wear a padded neck brace while sewing

her quilting and crocheting

phone calls keeping me informed of goings-on in my home-town or in my family

hearing her sing in church

her laugh

getting to share our successes and trials with her

My sister and I dressed her for burial. It was so obvious that the real "Shirlene" was not there on that bed. I'm thankful to know where she is, and that I'll see her again someday. Some days I wonder how close she is, if she sees the triumphs and sorrows of our daily lives, if she wishes she were still here. I wonder if she's with her mother and dad, what they are doing. I wish I could hug her today and tell her how much I love her. "Mama, Mama!" Someday I'll catch up to you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Glorious Rhododendron Garden

Saturday, Nelson's parents came down from Salem and we took them to the Rhododendron Garden. Is there any place in Eugene that is lovelier? When I first came to Eugene to interview for the UO Library, they took me to the garden--added incentive, I think. It was lovely then, and every time we go back, I am reminded how glorious it is.

We were all smiles.

David says he was imitating an old farmer. :-)

We even saw a wild turkey!

And, of course, there are more than rhodies to ooh and ahh over.

How blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place! I'm amazed at the variety of the Lord's creations. He must love life and living things and beauty. He must love detail and intricacy. He could have sent us to a black and white, rocky existence. Instead, we have all this glorious variety and beauty, all this life and profusion of regeneration. It is a miracle.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Emergency Preparedness 2

Well, I'm thinking about emergency preparedness again. I've tried to gather the materials needed to replace my electric things, and thought maybe others would like to know how to make some of the things mentioned, as well as other emergency appliances. Following are some links for making these supplies:

For a Boy Scout site on how to build a hobo stove, click here.

Here's a page on how to make buddy burners, build a tin-can hobo stove, plus 72-hour kit and first-aid kit ideas.

How to build an applebox reflector oven, click here.

How to build an emergency toilet, click here.

Please let me know if any of these links do not work.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day Call from Aaron

Yesterday afternoon, we got to call Aaron for Mothers Day. We got a pre-paid long distance card over the Internet... (Sidenote: Why it's called a "card," I'll never know, since they just send you a phone number and PIN by email, and there is no physical card at all. But, I digress...) I was worried about dialing all those numbers (card phone number, PIN, number to get out of USA, number to get into Mexico, his phone number), but that went great! We used the speaker phone so everyone could hear him and talk with him. It was super to hear his voice and be able to ask and answer questions. Unfortunately, his phone kept dropping out bits and pieces of his words, and he couldn't always hear us, but, bottom-line, it was wonderful!

Aaron says to tell everyone he is doing great. He's lost about 12 pounds biking everywhere and eating only one large meal a day (the custom there). It's hot, so he's shaved his hair down, which helps, I guess. (He says he's smiling a lot so he doesn't look scary.) The people are friendly, if not always interested. They teach a lot of discussions.

He has not been able to send home any pictures from Mexico, either by email (too slow a connection) or by mail (pictures printed out too large for his envelopes). So we're having to wait for that.

Today is transfer day, and he's going to Rio Bravo, which is a city just east of where he has been serving. His new companion will be a native Mexican from Puebla, just south of Mexico City. He's excited to completely immerse himself in Spanish.

We are so proud of Aaron. He is just so enthusiastic about his mission. To be honest, sometimes he was a bit negative here at home. So it's great to have not had a single complaint from him. I am so glad. I know he is where the Lord wants him to be.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Coming to a circus near you...

Last night for FHE, we played Frisbee out in the back yard. Then Heather, our circus wanna-be, showed us her trick of standing on a basketball while juggling. (On one foot, even.) Too fun. She also loves stilts.

Of my two boys and one girl, it's my girl who I find climbing trees, juggling, walking on stilts, etc. She likes to try new and fun things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

So, since January I've been doing some of the FamilySearch indexing that was featured in the Ensign back in August. (To read the article, click here.) It's been fun, as well as satisfying to feel that I'm helping with family history work. Some days I don't do any, but many days I find a little spare time. This is like a hobby that helps others. Yesterday I passed the 10,000 name mark--I've indexed more than 10,000 names! My dad and step-mom do this all the time. I can't even imagine how many names they have done. It's amazing how quickly it adds up. So if you need a new hobby, enjoy using the computer, and have a fast Internet connection (not dial-up), you might give this a chance by going to

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Thrill of Victory....the Agony of Defeat

Tuesday night was Pinewood Derby. For the past many weeks, David and his Dad have been working on a car. No, let me rephrase that... They've been working on THE CAR to end all Pinewood Derby cars. David designed the car and did much of the actual work, including cutting, sanding, painting, attaching accessories, etc. With help from Dad, of course, but mostly his work. It looked great!

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as fast as some of the other cars, although it came in second in each heat it was in. And it didn't win People's Choice for appearance, mostly because there were only four Farriers there, and David didn't think he could vote for himself. :-( So we've had some talks about winning and losing, about recognition (or lack thereof) for a job well done, and about the unfairness of life.

I still think it is a GREAT looking car, and I'm proud of David for all his hard work.