Perpetual Plan B

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Coincidence, I Hope So!

I'm rather freaked out that a day or two after the only time I mentioned Michael Jackson on my blog, he died.

Maybe I'd better re-think mentioning my favorite Rod Stewart song since he doesn't look so good these days either.

(It's Baby Jane. I'm really not THAT superstitious.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black and/or White

No, this post is not about the Michael Jackson song, "Black or White", though it is my favorite song of his. And, since this is the only post where it would make any sort of sense to mention that, there you have it.

Now, on to the real subject:

The older I get, the more I really, really do believe that life rarely is just black or white. There are SO many shades of gray.

I was thinking this the other day when I was reading the book, The Memory Keeper's Daughter. One person in the book made a choice with the best of intentions, but it had disastrous results. What everyone else doesn't know (and the reader does) is why he makes the choice he does. It goes back to something from his childhood that adversely affected him, so his choice makes perfect sense (sort of) to the reader. At least we understand why he made it, even though most people would probably not make the same choice. (I'm sure this is probably hard to follow. Maybe you should just read the book. Then we can discuss it online, kind of like an online Book Club. Really, I'd love to talk to someone else about this. There is one thing from the book that is just driving me crazy and I'd love to get someone else's opinion about it.)

Anyway, along the same lines, today I made the comment while driving that I was going to try and drive no more than five miles over the speed limit from now on. (The police have been out in full force lately, probably trying to drum up some extra revenue for our little county.)

Morgan called me on it and said, "Why don't you just drive the speed limit, isn't that what you're supposed to do?"

I resisted the urge to tell her that I'd be happy to go the speed limit if the rest of the family wasn't always making me "almost" late (which to me is two minutes early, instead of ten). What I did say, and maybe I shouldn't have, is that five miles over would be pretty good for me since I tend to go 10-12 over at any given time (except in residential areas where little kids might be).

I've also been paying more attention lately to other peoples' marriages. It seems like we are having an epidemic of neighbors and friends (and relatives) who are struggling because they are just not compatible with their spouses. Most of these husbands and wives are good people, just not ideal matches for each other.

So really, what's the problem, or the solution? Did they get married too young? Were they in too big of a hurry? Did they really get to know each other before they got engaged? Were they only looking at superficial qualities? (When my husband is giving advice, he likes to say "They'll all look the same in 30 years, so you want to look at qualities other than looks when you are picking a wife." I keep wondering how much offense I should take at this statement.)

I guess the problems are as varied as the people themselves.

Again, gray areas.

So I've been sitting here thinking, is life less black and white because I'm getting older and understand more that nothing is as cut and dried as it seems, or did life really used to be more black and white, but just getting more complicated?

Did life change, or did I?

Austin's "Aha" Moment

Tonight as I was handing Austin his plate of dinner and an apple that I had just cut up for him, he made the astute observation:

"Mom, it looks like you're my servant, but you're not."

I stopped and gave him "the look". (If you're a mom, you know what "the look" is. I try to use it sparingly so it will get the desired effect, when necessary.)

"You're not, you're not! I said, you're not!" he exclaimed.

That lead to a little discussion on how he was big enough to do better at taking his own dishes to the sink or dishwasher, etc.

We'll see if he's old enough to have a guilty conscience that I can use to my advantage.

Somehow, I doubt it.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today is our son, Landon's, birthday. He would be 13 today, but he died of a heart defect when he was a baby.

You'd think time would help, and it does maybe a little, but the sadness of losing him is as fresh some days as if it were yesterday. Last year was particularly hard. His birthday was on a Sunday and he would have turned 12. I could barely stand to look at those cute little Deacons passing the Sacrament.

One thing that does help me is the belief we have that someday we will have him back again to raise. Because we have been sealed together in our temple, we know that our family can be together forever.

(I just need to keep working hard every day to make sure we like each other enough to WANT to be together forever.)

Happy Birthday Landon.

I love you and I miss you so much.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm Back

We are now back from a LONG road trip.

It will be a LONG time before we do that again!

I'll fill in the details once my selective memory kicks in and/or I get a good night's sleep, whichever comes first.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Today I cracked the whip and the girls and I worked really hard to get the house cleaned up. I had a couple of little incentives to keep them motivated.

One of these was a little package of chocolates that had been sitting on Hal's dresser since Mother's Day. This is what the women got for a little gift from our ward. They also gave Hal one of the extra bags of chocolate later in the Bishop's office. Since he's not fond of chocolate, I was pretty sure he knew I'd end up being the one to eat them.

What he didn't know (or maybe he did) was that I had actually helped myself to another package (or possibly two) of the extra chocolates. They were being stored on top of his dresser until he took them over to the Relief Society president to distribute to some of the sisters in the ward that didn't make it to church that day. I had forgotten about the leftover chocolates until today when I was dusting off his dresser.

To my disappointment, there was only one chocolate left. Someone - and I have a pretty good idea who it was, and it wasn't Hal - had opened the package and eaten one of MY chocolates! How dare they do such a thing!

I marched downstairs to express my indignation.

Morgan took the news in stride saying, "I thought you said they weren't that good anyway."

"Well, the first batch had flavors that weren't my favorite." I said. (One was maple flavored and I'm not very fond of maple. Of course I did eat it anyway. I couldn't let a perfectly good chocolate go to waste just because I didn't love the flavor.)

"What do you mean, FIRST batch?", she asked. "I thought you only had one batch?"

"Well, I might have swiped some more." I sheepishly answered.

"SWIPED!" Austin chimed in, "Does that mean you STOLE them?"

Oh great, I thought. Nice example I am. And especially after all the talks we've had about not taking things that don't belong to us. I knew I needed to say something to make sure he knew stealing is not a good thing to do.

"Well," I said carefully, "It made me feel really bad on the inside."

Austin looked at me for a while with a puzzled look on his face. Then he finally said, "But did it make you feel pretty happy on the outside?"

(While typing this I remembered that there was still that last chocolate left on Hal's dresser. So I went upstairs and, with great anticipation, I took a little taste and - wouldn't you know it....maple flavored. So see, I really did get punished after all.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"The" Haircut (Self-Inflicted)

I've been sitting on this story for while now, hoping I'd run across the photo to illustrate it. I'm actually wondering if my husband may have destroyed the evidence.

Anyway, it's too good of a story to keep under wraps, especially since it involves someone else's stupidity (oh, maybe to be politically correct I should say "poor judgment") and not my own.

First a little background info:

My husband doesn't like to go anywhere to get haircuts. He usually just hacks into his hair himself, which isn't usually too big of a problem. His hair is very wavy and pretty forgiving. The main complaint I have is when he cuts the back himself. It just never looks good and I don't want people thinking that I made him look like that. I tell him not to cut it without me, but sometimes he just doesn't want to wait if I'm not available, so he cuts it all himself anyway, even the back.

One summer, quite a few years ago, his sister volunteered to cut his hair while he was at his parents' house. (I wasn't there or I would have protested.) She cuts his dad's hair, so she is experienced and should have done a good job. When he came home though, I was not pleased. She had used clippers and just basically shaved his head. She had nearly shaved him bald. Bald is not a good look if you're skinny and don't possess a big head. It was not a good look on him.

Anyway, now here's the story:

One day in December in the late 90s, my husband started to cut his hair. He is always trying to get the sides as short as possible because his hair grows kind of "up" and "out" and not down, like most peoples' hair. I had recently bought some clippers to help get the back and sides even and make things easier. For some reason Hal thought the guard, even on the shortest setting, was leaving too much hair so he removed it.

"You need to use the guard." I told him.

"I'll be careful." he said.

I can't remember how much time we actually debated back and forth, but I do distinctly remember the muffled "Oops." he uttered a few minutes later, from behind the bathroom door.

I raced in to see how serious the damage was.

It was pretty bad, a totally bald patch of skin about 1" by 2 1/2" right on the side of his head. Not good. Especially since his hair is very dark brown and the skin on his head is not as tan as the skin on his face.

The next thing I knew, he was aiming the clippers at the other side of his head.

"No, don't do it!", I protested, "You'll do it on the other side."

"No I won't, I'm just trying to even the two sides up a little bit."

Sure enough, an even bigger bald spot on the other side.

This was during the time he worked at a bank as a loan officer and wore suits to work every day. He ended up wearing a baseball hat to work anyway. I wonder what the boss thought.

Here are two very funny circumstances that came about from this haircut situation:

Nate Webb was a customer at the bank and also sort of a friend of Hal's. Nate was at the bank one of the days Hal was wearing a hat.

Nate playfully hit at the brim of the hat, lifting it up a little bit and kept saying, "What's with the hat?"

Hal kept telling him to knock it off, and had to get rather serious about it. Nate called Hal the next day and apologized.

He must have had a peek at what was under the hat because he also said, "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were going through chemotherapy." (I still laugh when I think about this.)

Hal was also asked to narrate the Christmas Choir program in Sacrament meeting. He said yes, but when he hung up the phone, he remembered the bald spots. You can't exactly wear a baseball hat to church, and especially for the Christmas Choir program. That would not go over well.

He thought about calling the lady back and saying he couldn't do it, but what he ended up doing was taking a SHARPIE (yes, you read right, a Sharpie) and coloring in the bald spots on his head. His hair is not black, but it was close enough. From the pulpit you couldn't really tell.

Fortunately Hal has gotten a little better at cutting his hair over the years.

That, and I have a REALLY good hiding place for the clippers.