My History

Our personal history changes the way we think about things.  Most of my friends are unconvinced that the federal government needs to provide so much for the citizens of this nation.  I feel differently about it because of the way my life veered off when my dad died.  I was only 11, I had 6 siblings 2 older and 4 younger.  We ranged in age from 16 to 2 and my mother was expecting.  Mother had been a teacher before she got married and started a family, however when she started teaching she only needed a two year degree.  If it wasn’t for social security income I don’t know what would have happened to us.  As it was we were very poor while mom went back to school and worked.  I was the older daughter and suddenly had to become responsible for my younger siblings.  I didn’t have a lot of clothes.  I can remember starting high school with  total of 4 outfits, which meant that most weeks something got worn twice.  I made those outfits, or they were handed down from friends of my mom. 

I wonder what would have happened if mom hadn’t received social security or any of the other money that she received from the federal government. She wasn’t being selfish in having so many kids, this was before birth control.  She didn’t plan on being a drain on society.  With the ss money we received, a little bit of insurance and her income from a job as a telephone operator I don’t know how we made it, but we did.  I knew we were poor, but it didn’t bother me too much, what else could we do? 

I was happy this week that the health care bill passed.  I have read about all the controversy surrounding the social security bill in the mid thirties.  I wonder if those same people who are unhappy about universal health care would be unhappy if they had had to live on social security while they were growing up.  I look at the social programs as protection for our citizens.  I have read some of the benefits of the bill and they are wonderful.  All you who have sons who will be going on missions, be glad.  When your sons get home they will be covered by your health insurance until they are 26.  That should get then through college and into grad school. 

We should all read the bill before we get all upset.  Think about how it will affect you personally the good and the bad.  Finally don’t spread rumors.  Check things out that sound untrue before you spread them around via email.  Thank you, I feel better now.

Healthy eating challenge.

This is not the biggest loser.  This is just ordinary people who want to lose a little baggage, you know that stuff that sits on your hips and stomach and prevents you from leaning over and tying your shoes comfortably.  Leslie and I have challenged each other to only eat healthy foods.  So far we have both done really well, although tonight after our yummy Cuban black bean soup I did eat one square of German chocolate, and there is a lot more where that came from.  The problem is we want fast results like Dale has experienced, but we just plod along without any change in what the scale tells us. 

I hope I can sustain this long enough to do some good.  I mean besides the obvious good of eating really good stuff.  We like results for all this effort.  My problem is I want to bake and I know if I do Dale and I will eat it.  If I could just bake something to have a taste and then give it all away to someone who I don’t care about, let them abuse their bodies!

Another Saturday gone by.

I know we are retired but for some strange reason we always look forward to Saturdays.  Why not Tuesdays?  The day is almost over and what have I done?  Not much.  I don’t know why Saturdays feel like sitting around and doing nothing days.  Maybe it is because I am a little tired because of my Friday.  Maybe it is because I am sad that I am not in Utah.  Those reasons would work for today, but not every Saturday.  I know what I really want to do, I want to sit and read all day, just like I did when I was growing up.  I guess that is the real reason for me.  I always went to the library on Saturdays and then read the rest of the day.  My mom spoiled me that way.

Are you ready for some futbol?

Now that we know for certain that the 2010 Major League Soccer is happening, I happen to have four tickets to the May 22 Sounders game against San Jose.  The game is on a Saturday and I would like to take three family members to see the match.  Who’s interested?


Sometimes men like to overstate their importance, they brag a little.   When we were dating Dale told me some things that were not true (gasp!).  It is hard to believe that a man that is as honest as he is would tell little stories, guess he wanted to impress me. 

One of the stories he told me is that he had duel Swiss/American citizenship, which he didn’t have, even though it was offered to him while he was a missionary in Switzerland, he is half Swiss.  The other story he told me had a very funny outcome years later. 

We started dating in 1967 when he was a senior that needed one group filler, and I was a freshman.  On one of our dates he told me that he had been on the five man bobsled Olympic team.  I was so smitten that I believed him, and for some reason never forgot.  Of course I found out that there was no such thing as a five man bobsled team, but as it happens he was such a wonderful man in all areas that I never brought it up.  Why would I want to embarrass the man I loved?

For some reason, years later, I told our oldest son Dale G. and we both chuckled about it.  He was highly amused to find out that his dad has been “embellishing” stories right from the beginning.  The funny part of this story is very shortly thereafter Dale told Dale G. the same story.  We all got a good laugh out of it.  This is the reason I like the bobsled team, it reminds me of a funny family story.

It’s Springtime In Washington

There is not another place I’d rather be than in Washington this time of year.  We just got back from a nice ride from our house to the capital campus and back.  The Japanese cherry trees are blooming and the daffodils are in full bloom as well.  The sky was blue and the temp was just right for a longish ride.

How did we get so lucky?

Merlin Olsen and Me

Thursday the 11th of March. I heard from Dixon, of all people, that Merlin Olsen had died today. Merlin was a neighbor of mine and our families grew up together. His older sister was Marilyn’s age, Larraine was my age and Gwen was Janet’s age, plus they had 6 other. Merlin was three years older than I and he became a good football player – good? Well, all American, All Pro, and Hall of Fame. Plus he was a TV star and broadcaster. I had to think back to our youth and a couple of funny experiences came to mind. On Sundays we didn’t have block meetings so we had all afternoon to goof off (yes, I know, I should have been reading scriptures or something). Often we would change out of our Sunday clothes and go to the park, across from Merlin’s house and we would play touch football. One time I had the ball and was trying to run for a gain when Merlin (on the opposing team) not only touched me, but picked me up and ran me and the ball backwards for 30 yards or so. I didn’t know about the forward progress rule.

Another time he had to play for our ward’s softball team because he lived in our ward’s boundary, although his family went to the 11th ward. We picked him up for a game and he came out with two slices of bread and four hot dogs in the middle. He wasn’t as good at softball as he was at football, but if he ever hit the ball, it was “Good by Softball.” We were lucky to retrieve it.

I worked with his mother at the Island Market and she was a big lady (not fat, but large and strong). She worked during the day and I worked after school. She would sometimes go shopping after her shift and when I would check out the purchase, she wanted me to carry the bags to the car for her. Heck, she was big enough to carry the bags and me too! Merlin, I’ll always remember you and your family.

And I thought we were so original.

Other people celebrate Pi day. Yes, it is true.  We are not the only nerdy family in the world.  But do they celebrate Pi day with a salmon pot pi?  It was delicious by the way and I plan on making it again.  The base of the pi tasted like clam chowder.  It had leeks and garlic and fresh dill and I used puff pastry already cooked for the topping.  Yummy.  Next time I make it I will use a salmon filet instead of a whole salmon.  I cut my fingers a little while fileting the salmon, don’t worry I didn’t bleed in the pi. 

Porter (age 13) and Landon (age 10) made a yummy apple pi to share with us.  I think they were trying to make up for breaking a mattress yesterday.  How can you break a mattress you ask?  Porter and Landon will give you the details.  Oh , we also starved Hayden, to death.  But somehow he was back on his feet today and didn’t look like death warmed over, or even the walking dead.  He looked as well as any 15 year old can look.

Is filet spelled with one l or two?

What we put in our mouths.

I am usually very careful about what I eat. I eat oatmeal for breakfast because I know it is good for me, it is low in calories, it is cheap and it tastes okay.  I like some cold cereals but they don’t taste good on a cold morning.  I love pancakes and don’t mind making them from scratch but you can’t eat pancakes every day and stay thin.   Sometimes I eat things not because I want to eat them, but because they are good for me.  I worry that I won’t get my seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  My daughter told me once that if she eats all the fruits and vegetables each day that she is supposed to she looses weight.  Yeah, if you fill yourself up on low calorie food you will loose weight.  I also avoid some foods because they are bad for you.  I don’t like to eat fast food because it doesn’t taste good and it is calorie dense.  I won’t eat deep fried food, I won’t eat “variety” meat, I won’t eat most processed meat, I won’t eat store bakery treats because my home made baked goods are superior and I won’t eat cakes from a box because I know what they taste like (unless they have delicious homemade frosting on top.

Now I want to loose a few pounds, just  few.  I can hear all you out there rolling your eyes back, just stop!  My pants are too tight and they are uncomfortable.  I don’t want a new wardrobe, I want to wear my too tight current wardrobe and have them not be too tight.  So since I want to loose some weight and so does Leslie I thought that we could support each other in our quest to become less than we can be.  I suggested that we both be accountable to each other each day.  Just a phone call or an email telling each other everything that we put in our mouths each day. 

I don’t know if Leslie really wants to do this.  She didn’t seem excited, but I know that I won’t loose weight unless I have to be accountable. Would I eat a palmful of peanuts if I had to tell Leslie?  I am at home all the time, it is easy to snack and I do have food on hand that you can eat out of hand.  If I knew Leslie would mock me because she knows I snack on calorie dense food, I would stop.  So this is a plea to my daughter, please help me be accountable.