Friday, November 20, 2009

Kenzie Alina Mann

As promised, I'm (belatedly) sharing a picture of the newest grandchild, Kenzie. It looks like her brother is going to be nice to her -well, at least for now. Cole really is a very good child - mindful and polite. I'm sure he really will be an ideal big brother.
And Kristine and Matt are very good parents. It's pretty impressive to see how well they're doing as a family. It's fair to say that all the grandkids are fortunate to have parents (and grandparents) who love and care very deeply for them. These are the things that make life truly fulfilling.
More pictures to follow...

When does Medicare kick in?

Just for the record, my foot is now fine. Now the part where I get to be the whining hypochondiac:
In the last three weeks or so, I've managed to have two dental extractions, two new crowns (my mouth is a mess) and some mysterious thing on my arm removed. I suppose it's just life as usual, but I can't help but suspect it's also a function of aging.

I've heard it said that getting old isn't for sissies. I think I'm winning that particular battle, but I can't stop marveling at the many things that can and do go wrong these days. I feel like an old car - reliable transportation, but please keep a careful watch for the small things that break without shutting down the whole machine.

Maybe if I can get enough quality repair work, this old car will be more like the "classic" in the picture. In any case, my recent experiences have made me a little more appreciative of life. Maybe I'm a little slower these days, but it's helping me stay between the lines as I get to wherever it is I'm going.

Well, that's all I'm going to write on the subject of getting old, slowing own, falling apart, and living with pain and humiliation. I'm really just stalling while I wait for a chance to share pictures of Matt and Kristine's newest arrival, Kenzie. I'm not lazy, and I'm not procrastinating. I've just been so busy that I'm finding it difficult to manage pictures and properly share them. I promise I'll get some posted soon. I did manage to post some thoughts on the other blog, which you can check out if you're having a hard time getting to sleep :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Preoperative Insomnia

First of all, I really want to apologize for letting three months slide by between posts. That's all I'll say on that subject.

I'm suffering from insomnia caused by the fact I'm facing imminent surgery to remove some excess bone from my foot. I am not nervous, not worried, just awake. So I thought writing this might make me tired, though it's now 4:00 a.m., and I'm due at the hospital in two hours.

I've watched four hours of BYU internet TV, hoping to put something in my mind to ponder while I drifted off to sleep, but that only served to stimulate my brain even more.

I will, of course, succeed in falling asleep about fifteen minutes before the alarm is set to go off. Oh well, I can really sleep later today when I get home after the operation.

By the way, Matt and Kristine have a new baby daughter - more on that after I get some pictures.

So, here I go, signing off and hoping this brief diversion has slowed me down enough to fall asleep for a little while, anyway. More blogging to follow...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What You Don't Know...

It's terrible what life does to us when we think we're on top of things. We go on day to day, walking through our own private hallways, opening the doors we're familiar with, but never stopping to find out what's behind the other ones.

Just when I had figured out who's who in the blogosphere, I find out that, along with my daughters, my son Jay has a pretty cool website, Buzzpath. Actually, I knew he worked designing websites, but just never made the obvious conclusion. Either that, or I'm suffering from CRS disease (if you don't know what CRS stands for, I'll just say it's a synonym for geriatric amnesia).

I've added one of Jay's gadgets (now I know where those things come from) and hope I'm smart enough to solve the puzzles it poses. If my blogging skills and my memory are any indicator, I may be able to find the answers... given enough time, that is.

I'm actually accepting the effects of advancing age. I saved $4.00 the other day by ordering off the Senior Menu (see how close the words senior and senile are in the dictionary). And I've graduated to those "Silver" vitamins, along with Flomax and Avodart. I wonder every day what surprises my body and mind have in store for me. I was informed that this coming week, I'll be in charge at the office. "Well," I thought to myself, "I hope my bad knee holds out for just one more week!"

But I've come to know that, whatever the malady, there's some pill or contraption out there that will help me get by. My chief anxiety, in fact, stems from the fear of losing all those chemicals and devices that get me through the day. Still, I'm happy, especially with smart kids to brag about. Kids who write, invent and amaze with the strength of their spirits. Maybe I discovered Buzzpath at exactly the time I needed it... because life is good, but it's better with gadgets.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Out of the Shadow

It is the curse of being the second in line. I've always been mindful of the fact that there are fewer pictures and videos of Payton, Megan's daughter. She's always had to share the spotlight with her older brother. It's not fair, but it's difficult to rectify. The usual photo ops occur when both of them are together, or little sister's taking a nap, or some other obstacle prevents Payton from getting her picture taken solo. (It doesn't help that she won't hold still for a picture). But I finally got a couple of shots recently, and thought I'd give her a turn, just by herself.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A Day At The Park

Luc and I had been at the park for a few minutes when Taylor showed up. "Okay," I thought... "Luc will have a nice time tormenting Taylor with his squirt gun." But things got really strange a few minutes later, when Uncle Matt arrived with Cole. (No, he didn't know we were there.) This was one day I was glad I had my camera. I shot (literally) a couple of hundred pictures. Just thought I'd share a few of them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Paige Takes The Plunge

On June 6, 2009, Paige Lund was baptized by her Dad in a wonderful ceremony attended by dozens of friends and family. No, this isn't a live-action shot of her baptism (she went swimming with the family later that afternoon). Over thirty family members gathered at the Lunds' for visiting, eating, and congratulating Paige. The crowd included Paige's Grandma and Grandpa Smith, all the way from New York. Also making the trip to see Paige were her Great-Grandparents from California. The Lunds really know how to host a get-together. I probably put on a pound or two, enjoying Fiauna's cooking (yes, she does more than write - a lot more). Needless to say, I had a really great time spending the weekend in Utah, and have the pictures to prove it. But there isn't enough room here to publish all the photos, so I'm going to settle for just a few.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Justice System Has Gone Hi-Tech

Well, here I am in the jury assembly room of the LA County Superior Court. It sure has changed from my previous jury service many years ago. First of all, they have Wi-Fi, allowing those of us who are otherwise bored to sleep a chance to spend the time productively (I've already been called, thanked and excused from one case). For those without a blog, there's regular internet, television, and the excitement of watching other people sleep, read, and talk to other people they will probably never meet again.

Most importantly, I no longer have to return every day for a week or more. The rule is "one case or one day." If my luck holds, I'll be back to work tomorrow. Well, maybe that's lucky - it depends on what's going on at work.

I'm still looking forward to this weekend's visit to Utah. I'm nearly counting the minutes until I can fly there. In the meantime, life goes on as usual. But some things don't remain the same, thankfully. The task of being a juror has been improved measurably. Now, if I can avoid being called on another case, I should be able to look back on this as a day relatively well-spent.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Heavy Burden Upends Holiday

Memorial Day - perfect for celebrating the unofficial start of the summer season by getting away, visiting family and friends, or just staying home with a barbecue grill. Yes, Memorial Day is great - most of the time.

This year, we've decided to get caught-up on a lot of the repairs and other tasks that have been neglected for some time. Actually, a long time. I'm realizing that I'm getting older and slower, getting reminded every time I lift what once was a reasonably manageable box of no-longer-wanted stuff. Now it's a major challenge to carry the load. Strength is one thing. Flexibility also disappears with age. My body makes a different noise for every kind of physical movement. It sounds like a hinge in need of WD40.
I'm really not complaining, just feeling sorry for myself. This is the price I'm paying for putting off my unwelcome tasks for too many evenings and Saturdays. I really have no excuse, living in Southern California. It almost never rains, and it's generally pleasant as far as the temperature goes. So, while everyone enjoys the fruits of their labors, I'm just laboring.
And now my computer has decided to give up the ghost. I'm doing CPR on it as I'm writing this post on my work laptop. It's terrible how much we depend on complicated things (like cars, cell phones, and computers) to function reliably.
Anyway, for now I'll get back to the drudgery of home maintenance and the anxiety of trying to save a dying P.C. I just want to wish everyone a very nice Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, May 15, 2009

When Life Gets In The Way

Yes, that's an actual picture of my brain. At times I need to look at it to reassure myself I still have one in my head. Once again, months have gone by since my last post. I have been lagging on everything important: remembering birthdays, paying bills, and just plain taking the time to enjoy life. The reason is, back in February, a rather large lay-off was announced at work, affecting in particular my area of activity. Since that announcement I have been in Anxietyville. Days of relentless work and nightly insomnia made me a wreck.

Well, I've finally (three months later) been informed that I have a job - they're just not sure what it's going to be. I have resolved to become as teachable as possible. It's going to be somewhat challenging at my age, learning new job skills and technical knowledge, but that's what life is really about- learning to survive whatever comes your way.

So, I am writing this by way of apologizing to all those who may have wondered what edge of the earth I fell off of. I am just living the fulfillment of the saying, "May you live in interesting times."

Speaking of interesting times, I got a nice invitation recently to attend Paige's baptism in June. The tickets are already paid for, though I never seem to have the time to stay as long as I would like in Utah, it will be a timely opportunity to put things in their proper perspective. Thanks Paige, I owe you one.

And finally, I'm very proud to say that Mindy rean a 10K marathon earlier this month. She's living proof of the resilience of the human spirit. To think where things were just six months ago...

Well , I'm going to get back to reading the daughterblogs to see what else I've been missing. I promise to stay up-to-date on this particular blog... with the hope of living in times that aren't so interesting, at least not in the same way. And my brain? Don't worry, it's normal.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Notes from the Land of Daytime TV

I recently set a rather unenviable personal record: eleven days in the hospital, this time for phlebitis. I'm fine now, though the experience of getting well was not without its frustrations.

For one thing, I became a reluctant expert on the process of suing somebody in small claims court. I counted no less than six different (or not-so-different) "People's Court" style programs. (Actually, there was one more that I never got around to watching, so I guess that makes seven shows per day).

And those daytime commercials are so depressing. There was no end to the Medicare plans, the fantastic vocational schools for hopeless couch potatoes, the mesothelioma lawyers, and so on.

I had no idea that the news really isn't. The same stories got recycled at noon, four o'clock, five o'clock, eleven o'clock and then even at 5:00 a.m., in case you might have forgotten while I supposedly slept soundly in my comfortable hospital bed (yeah, sure).

I must have had my perfectly normal temperature taken over fifty times, and it was nice to know my pulse was still pulsing, at least every two hours. Between the doctors, nurses and student nurses, I recounted my medical history ad nauseum. It's nice to know how "interesting" I am.

So, here I am, trying to get back into the work mode, glad I'm well, but sometimes wondering why. Eleven days and twelve nights later, I can finally appreciate the words of consolation, "at least you have your health." Well I've got most of mine, anyway, and for that I am truly grateful. Good health means never having to watch daytime TV.