Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Know the Drill

I feel a toothache coming on. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may remember that I have very few natural teeth left in my mouth to cause me pain. (a total of five) Yet, somehow here I am with sharp sensitivity to pressure. RATS!

So, after a hiatus of a decade or so, I am going to take a deep breath and make a call to my dentist. I know the drill. I'll call the office. The line will be busy. I'll listen to some innocuous music for several minutes. It will be interrupted only to remind me that my, "call is important" to them. Eventually a sweet voice will ask what they can do to help me and I'll reluctantly admit I need an appointment to alleviate some minor pain in a lower right anterior. They will "fit me in" in about three and a half weeks by which time my minor pain will feel as if an angry crew of tiny men are trying to jackhammer my existing crowns from my mouth.

When I finally find myself sitting in the chair in Dr. Mackley's office, I will be entertained with his HDTV playing an infomercial about Cerec crowns, porcelain veneers, dental implants, and whitening proceedures that no one's dental insurance covers. These will include dozens of Before and After shots from which it can only be concluded that women become much better at applying makeup after they get veneers.

Dr. Mackley is never all that happy to see me. I'm not a good patient and I never want extra dental work now that I actually have to pay full price for it. Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that I used to work for Dr. Mackley and my dental work was done at no cost. (including six implants. (yes I said 6) Pretty pricey stuff! Anyway, he will inquire about Chandi, who also used to work for his office, about my other children, about my church callings, about our new home, and politely ask me if I need some work done, or if I just dropped by to pick up a new toothbrush. He will then proceed to flick a switch which will bring the interior of my mouth onto his high definition screen.

It's somewhat disconcerting to see my inflamed tooth 18 inches in heighth and in full, raging color. He will then pan artfully from tooth to tooth explaining in great technical detail all of the attention he would like to pay to the crumbling remains of the few teeth I have left. I will try to let him know as clearly as possible why it would not be economically feasible for me to invest our entire life savings on this project. I say that because it is always difficult to speak with any degree of clarity with his hand, his assistant's hand, a dual-suction upright rug-cleaning system, and a 22 piece cordless drill set competing for space in my mouth. "Aast aah aaa caaa aga ah ul at ah caa a ent uh ull" Amazingly enough, he will understand what I say, he will be displeased, and will tell his assistant to type in my chart that I have elected to have no further work done until my teeth rot completely.

He will then spend all of 12 minutes injecting, drilling, filling, grinding and polishing until the pain is relieved, the infection controlled, and the tooth sparkling. His assistant will record the events of the day on my computerized chart and walk me to the front desk where they will present me with a piece of paper detailing the Dr's recommendations for future work. A possible root canal, two crowns, some whitening, replacement of two existing fillings and a thorough cleaning. (On five teeth, mind you) I will be then be asked to make full payment for today's visit. I'm guessing $680.00 or so.

Yup! I know the drill.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Witches Britches

Well, the BIG night finally arrived. Witch's Night Out at Gardner Village. I could NOT BELIEVE how many women were running around in tall hats, flowing capes and pointy toed shoes! There looked like there were thousands of us. I know there had to be more than one thousand. It was such FUN!!! The decorations were world class. I especially loved the BIG orange britches on a witch playing baseball. Hilarious!! We decided to make it a tradition and are hoping to be able to take some of our other family members and friends with us next year.

There was great live music with a very talented D.J.. Women (yeah, us too) were dancing, waving their arms in the air, and singing unselfconsciously, though often off tune, to a little Bruce Springsteen. There were fortune tellers, and and old time photo booth. We had "fairy kisses" pressed on our cheeks, 20 - 40% off coupons tucked in our hands, and spider rings placed on our fingers as we traveled in and out of the crowded shops. We even had a chance encounter with the one and only Jack Sparrow... well, at least she really looked like the one and only Jack Sparrow. Of course there were carmel apples (at four bucks a pop), hot soup in bread bowls, cackling laughter, and fabulous witches EVERYWHERE!

Gardner Village has great shops and it's always a treat to both play and purchase there. But last night was really a very good time! I recommend it highly to anyone who could find a way to put in on their October calendar next year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Families & Phone Calls

I read the posts of many of you today. It was sweet to read about the family traditions celebrated, and the cherished memories of loved ones who've gone before. It was a joy to hear about the accomplishments of a child and the pride and peace they brought to his mother's days.

Family is at both center and circumference of my existance. I loved reading it was the same for so many of you as well. All felt right in my world.

Then the phone call came. A daughter of a client of mine called from Massachussets to ask me to be considerate of her parents. She asked if I would not allow too many people to invade their privacy, walking their land when they aren't serious buyers with both the intent and the means to purchase. So far so good. "Of course, I'd be happy to protect them in that manner. I appreciate the call and the concern you have for your parents that prompted you to make it."

She requested that I let potential buyers know that the terms of the sale are non-negotiable, that her parents are not to be made to sit on a giant yo-yo as they were dropped and tossed in all directions with empty promises of a purchase. She didn't want them on emotional highs and lows as I brought unsuitable offers to them. I wasn't too sure what she was aluding too... but, okay. "I'll only bring SOLID written offers to their home for signature. But, I am bound legally to present any and all offers verbally to see if they have any interest in further negotiations." She got a might testy over that comment. She did NOT want them disturbed with phone calls and visits that were not full price offers. uuhhhh... allright. "I'll discuss the details of your parents expectations with them further. Perhaps let them know I'm more than willing to address any concerns you or your siblilngs have." No! She didn't want them to know she'd called me. uuhhhh...mmmm...okay. I was starting to feel uncomfortable.

Then she threw the frying pan. She informed me that she and other family members don't want to intrude... they're trying to stay out of the transaction on the property as much as they can... but, she "warned" me that if I were to convince them to sell their home and land for less than the price set, if I were to take advantage of them that way, the children may be forced to take legal action and have them declared incompetent to make such decisions. WHAT??!!

I guess you should know that the property in question is 92 acres of the most beautiful ground in the county. The asking price is one and a half million buck's. The parents are elderly, not in real good health, and absolutely brilliant! He's a retired engineer who made mega bucks working in Saudi Arabia for the oil companies for 18 years. He owns and manages several properties in two counties. He's also a crusty old geezer who has certainly never had any trouble standing up to any neighbors when called for. They are extremely magnanimous people, generous of heart, and kind to a fault. But INCOMPETENT?? I should also probably let you know that these have become friends, teachers, and confidants of mine. I have as much respect for these two incredible people as I've ever held for anyone. I truly love them.

I'm not only at a loss to know how to handle the situation, I'm at a loss to understand it. It doesn't conjure up pictures of baking cookies, and watching your children with pride and pleasure, or looking up from the work at hand to lose yourself for a few minutes in the memory of times shared with loved ones.

I wish I'd let the answering machine pick up the blasted call!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Can Fix That..

This would probably not be my first choice for a topic of conversation. I mean, what can you say about some poor old geezer with his head under a hopeless cause thinking that he's going to find some way to put this rusty remnant of days gone by back together. Give a man a little duct tape and he thinks he can save the world.
I hate to tell the truth. But, you know the adage regarding old habits and all that... So here goes:
My cute hubby is a world class dork who thought stuffing an old shirt and some overalls that he found in the barn with whatever he thought the squirrels would enjoy building nests out of, might be a fun way to spend an afternoon. So we looked around for some rags, newspapers, shredded sheets, plastic hands, cowboy boots that no one would claim, and a rusty wrench and built ourselves a mechanic that we knew would not overcharge us. And there he lies...yes, he does have a head (A smiling George Bush) wearing an ugly, green John Deere hat.
By the way Wayne was right, as he often is, it WAS a fun way to spend the afternoon.
And that is the story of the fourth picture in the fourth folder in my photo file.
p.s. Thanks to all of you who left your suggestions and insights on my last post. I shared your sage ideas with Chandi and Dustin and we figure if we follow them and hang tough long enough, his lackidaisical attitude is TOAST! (Am I even close to spelling that right?) Thanks again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

S.O.S. and HELLLLP!!

I have a favor to ask of some of you teachers and retired teachers..

We have an 11 year old challenge in our family. He's such a dang smart kid. Davin is advanced years beyond his grade level in all of his subjects. BUT... he's not a good worker and he's completely unmotivated! Therefore his grades are mostly C and below. He's got some anger issues that I think stem from his mom abandoning him at a young age. He's my son Dustin's boy, and Dustin has had full custody since Davin was three and a half years old. Before that time he was sort of tossed from stem to to family. He's not at all rebellious...well...he does get angry at his Aunt Chandi from time to time, and he can be somewhat devious in his negative responses to her authority. She takes on the responsibility for his care and feeding quite often while her brother works. It will take him three hours to complete a 20 minute assignment, whether it's homework, yard work, or cleaning his room. He'sa maka her craceee! Well, truth of it is, he drives all of us a little bit nuts. Did I ever tell you what my husband said when I told him he was driving me nuts? He said, and this is a direct quote, "That's not a drive Caryn. It's a short putt." I'm getting off track, aren't I? Do you think Davin's lack of concentration and follow through could be genetic? Egads!

Anyway, she wrote about having a little pep talk with him and how it turned out. Or didn't turn out as the case may be. She was trying to find the function lever that would turn his brain onto a more optomistic approach to his life. Here's a Reader's Digest condensed version of her experience. She was giving him the old "You can do it if you just stop telling yourself you can't" talk. You may be familiar with "The Secret" and the idea that you will get back whatever you throw out to the universe. She told him that "Positive energy attracts positive energy" to which he replied, "Well, that just doesn't make any sense at all. A positive magnet doesn't attract another positive magnet. It attracts a negative. I can't even push two positives together."

uhh, well...mmmm... "that's not the way it works when it comes to mind power and the universe." Yeah, she was taken off her game a little. Dang sixth grader.

So... whaddaya think? We're not expecting a therapy session here... just a little response from teachers who may have had to deal with children like this in the past... or present. I was about as useful as a bent nail. We need expert HELLLLP!

I had originally asked you to check in on Chandi's blog site... but then I was reminded that her blog is an invitation only type of thing... so you can comment here and I'll have her read them on my site. Thank you, thank you...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Changing the Sheets

I stood in the driveway and waved as his rental car drove across the bridge. My hand involuntarily took the corner of my apron and rose to wipe one small tear as it traced the contour of my cheek.

I breathed in deeply, exhaled slowly... breathe in "He's gone." ...breathe out "sigh... better go up and change the sheets."

He'd made the bed, as he always does. I removed the crocheted pillows and the old quilt, gathered the sheets in my arms taking in the smell of his cologne, and carried them downstairs for washing.

What am I doing? Why, when I miss the children so when they leave us, do I hurry to remove all traces of their being here? Why not leave those sheets on the bed a while longer so I can continue to inhale and take in the whisper of fragrance he left behind?

Does my home really need to be so tidy? Do I need to rush back into the uncorrupted, unspoiled orderliness that we've become accustomed too? Why not leave the note that he wrote to me on the bathroom mirror? Why not leave the book he borrowed on the windowsill? Why not allow myself a few more days to bask in the memory of having him here? Why not?

So I walked right back upstairs, smiling broadly, and remade the bed with the sheets unwashed. Granted, when I replaced the bedding things were tucked in a little tighter, smoothed a little more... but, next time, they won't be. I'll leave things exactly as he left them for a while. I'll shake my head and wonder who ever taught him to make the bed with the sheets thrown up over the pillows so that the bedspread can't be properly slipped underneath them. I'll mark the passages that we discussed in the book and write in the margins some of the thoughts he had about them. I'll warm myself by reading and re-reading the note on the mirror dozens of times before tossing it in the wastebasket... or placing it in a drawer to be rediscovered, and enjoyed again while putting on socks some time this winter. To toss it would be making a waste of it. And memories of time spent with those you love most are a precious thing to waste.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Through a Wider Lens

The most important thing we can give, or recieve, is not an expanded view of the Universe... but, an expanded view of ourselves.

I made a comment on a blog tonight about what fun it was to "expand our universe". It got me to thinking. It's completely true. Travel that stretches your capacity for appreciation of new foods, different cultures, and changing climates is precious. Reading and digging the depths of another person's attitudes and insights is almost immeasurable in it's value in increasing our compassion, our ability to be useful to others.

But, what use is any of it unless we believe that we can take the knowledge we've gained in our hands and forge a better life for ourselves and those who have entered our sphere of influence. We need to know that WE can make a difference. We need to know that we can uplift, encourage, comfort, inspire, entertain, or carry a wounded soul on our shoulders. We need to learn to recognize and credit our own place...our own purpose.

I've met a few people who have expanded my view of Caryn. They believed in me. They saw me as something better than I was and would settle for my being nothing less than the best that they saw in me. My children Dustin, Dallin, Chandelar and Cordell are such people. They have elevated their opinion of me, and have elevated my behavior in doing so. Lin, my sister-in-law Trina, my mother and dad, and my Aunt Shirley have made me look at myself through a wider lens. And my friends, Patti, Floris, Verl, Terry, Doug, Fred, and Kristi to name a few more. And, of course, my best friend, my champion, my hero Wayne. He's expected me to be smarter, more competent, more in tune with Heavenly Beings than I ever thought possible. And because I love him, because each name mentioned on this page is someone precious to me, I didn't want to let them down. It became necessary for me to find a mental magnifying glass... to see myself as a larger image... to expand my view of me. What a priceless gift they have given me. I may never be what they think I am... but, I will draw closer every day. Because they believed, they helped me to believe. And belief is really the spring board that enables us to swim in sweeter, clearer, deeper waters.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's it all about, Alfie?

Life isn't about waiting
for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to
Dance in the Rain!

Chandi and I have had some glorious rain
to dance in these past few days. It fell from
the skies in monsoon amounts last Saturday.
We had a great time casually strolling through
parking lots and laughing at our hair getting
frizzie as we did the shopping that needed to
be done, and made our way to the theater.

It came in torrents from the mouth and legs of her
three year old in the form of terrible two's tantrums.
We again continued on with the things that needed
to be accomplished as if there were no storm raging

She amazes me in her ability to patiently love and
teach no matter what thunder claps and lightening
strikes. She dances and sings distracting her
distraught little one until the sunshine creeps back
into the landscape of his sweet face, and his rainy mood

On another note....

We did a movie marathon Saturday. We saw three

Our advice is:
Skip "Night in Rodanthe" Although we both like
Diane Lane and Richard Geer, the film is slow and
disjointed, and it has a low believability factor.

Don't miss "Ghost Town" For sheer fun and English
wit it's tough to beat. We laughed until our sides hurt.
And it had some very sweet and tender moments.

SuziQ is 110% on the money in her recommendation to
see "Forever Strong" This is a film that should be shown
to every young person at least once every six months between
age 8 to 26. It is excellent! My son had a companion while serving
a mission for our church that was a Rugby player for the
Highland High School team. He says that the movie depicts
his former coach just about perfectly.

So, there you have it... Our movie reviews for Fall 2008.

As for the week-end review, well...
It may seem silly to see have seen three movies as we did,
but it was a rainy day, and it was fun, so we did it anyway.
We may have gotten soaked in the downpour this past
weekend, but we splashed in the deepest puddles and had
a great time together anyway...
Our three year old may have been a stinker from time
to time, but his mother scooped him up in her arms, twirled
him around and around, and we laughed with him anyway...

Cuz THAT'S what it's all about, Alfie.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ahhhh, Sweet mystery

What makes something (or someone) beautiful in the eyes of one beholder and so sort of not too special in the eyes of another?

That's a fair question. I really don't understand it. Personal preferences and perspective seem so odd to me. I mean, you'd think a guy would either be goodlooking, or he wouldn't. A woman would either be pretty, or she wouldn't.

Wayne and I had a good friend from Samoa who thought Southern Utah was the most gorgeous place on earth. Southern Utah? Is he kidding me? He grew up in Samoa...that's the Pacific Islands, for Pete's sake! White crested turqouise water, mountains weeping moisture from moss covered rocks into open mouthed pools below, a myriad of coconut laden and flowering trees, orchids, white ginger, ...fresh pineapple. Yet, he found scorched sand, dried sage brush, scorpions, and parched cedar brush beautiful.

What would cause something like that?

Have you ever been shopping with a good friend and shuddered at the new blouse she bought? My sisters are always an interesting experience for me to shop with ...and for. Wanda Lee likes to dress like a gypsy on steriods, (baubles, beads, free flowing fabrics in wild colors, rings on every finger, false eyelashes, red lipstick, and rhinestones in her long, black tresses) She's our vibrant personality. Shirley dresses like a polygamous wife, (neck covered up to the earlobes, long sleeves, very 50's colors, prints, and styles, no make-up) She's the epitome of purity. Marlene dresses like a fading southern belle, (big skirts, lacey blouses, big bows in her hair, light lipstick, pinched cheeks, and occasionally a little mascara for a big affair) She is the classic, virtuous woman....and I dress very Banana Republic, Gap. (Plain shirts and fitted pants in earth tones, small gold earrings, natural fabrics...and yeah, make-up...the whole gamut, in natural tones) Basically boring. We all gag when we go through one another's wardrobes... and often into one another's homes.

We grew up together, same mom bought us our school clothes, lived with the same lamps and drapes in the living room. We attended the same charm school and had the same woman teach us how to apply our make-up. How did we get so diverse in our tastes?

Even our men are different. We have a blustering old fart, a workaholic, an intellectual, and a down to earth, laid back, outdoorsy guy. It just seems so odd.

I don't even know why I'm bringing all of this up. It was just on my mind, I guess. And, please don't get me wrong. I'm never embarrassed by any of my sisters...they always look very presentable, quite attractive, really. It's just that what's pretty to one, isn't necessarily pretty to the other.

Oh, except, Chandi standing in fall leaves. Now, THAT'S just a universally pretty sight.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where are the clones?

Do you ever have those times when you honest to gosh wish you could divide yourself into about six different people? One to tidy up the house, one to can some fruit, one to get a little cardio vascular exercise, one to show clients around the county for hours, one to write some entertaining and profound words for your posterity, and one to take a loooong shower and use up all the hot water? I've had several days where I feel like some kind of wind up hummingbird flitting from one project or obligation to another. Almost makes me want to believe in cloning.

What do you think? If you pushed your clone off the top of a skyscraper, woud it be: a)murder; b)suicide: c)making an obscene clone fall? Just wondering...

I digress. My pal, Lin seems to thrive on having a zillion things to do. I'm learning to like a slower pace. I'm really beginning to guard my time with ferocity. I just don't seem to be as willing to serve on committees and volunteer for as many town functions as I used to. I want more time to spend wandering the aisles of my own mind. I've become a fan of puttering, frittering, trifling, dallying, and dawdling.

Some days, I find the interruptions of making beds, doing the laundry, putting up peaches, taking clients from one home to another, shopping for groceries, etc to be an enormous infringement on my time. But, it all needs to be done. Someone bring in the clones.