Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tablecloth

After making my Christmas presents, I FINALLY had time to make my Christmas tablecloth yesterday. Orville and Wilbur are making fun of me. Get home soon Hermione. I need feminine company.

Orville Arrives

In the time Honored tradition of all college attendees everywhere, Orville arrives with every piece of clothing he owns ready for the wash.

When the Kitchen Belongs to the Man

He made the announcement.
I cleared out.
Party Mix is what he's all about.

For several weeks,
He's shopped around.
Nuts and cereal now abound.

Hand-picked crackers,
Lots of nuts.
Our Party Mix has lots of guts.

He cranks up the stove.
He stirs and measures.
The smell of Party Mix is a pleasure.

Our family tradition of 32 years.
He began making it,
In our younger years.

So here's to traditions.
Make some of your own.
Before you know it, your children will be grown!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Teaching in Primary

The first Primary class I taught was a nightmare. It was 1977, and I had a four month old baby. The class had grown too large and had lots of problem students. So the Presidency decided to split the class. The teacher of the too-large class must have had some input into how the class was split because, mysteriously, all the problem students ended up in my class. All the children who behaved were inexplicably placed in the other teacher's class. I liked the kids in my class about as much as I like paying income tax. Without question, the feeling was mututal.

When I remember that experience the phrase "Cold War" keeps coming to mind. In those days I gave lipservice to the idea that we love those we serve. But I had no idea how to love a bratty kid who was entertaining herself by doing hippopotamus imitations and voicing the opinion that she was mimicing my behavior to perfection. Most of the time I was in survival mode. I felt destined to fail at anything important. I had a small baby that I failed to nurse, and so she had constant ear infections. I didn't finish college because I married. So I was a failure to my mother, and she told me so. I was trying to deal with a nasty bout of post-partum depression, which the other new mothers around me did not seem to have. There was no health insurance that offered me any kind of medical help. My husband was still an apprentice at his vocation and made just enough to scrape by, if nothing unexpected came up. At the time, I had no friends in town, only acquaintances, and no one to talk to. There might have been a support system at church, but I was scared spitless to open up to anyone. I wasn't hanging by a shoestring, I was hanging on the edge of the Grand Canyon by bloody fingernails. To be sentenced every week to teach kids who were collecting scalps by running off Primary teachers, set my cup of gall overflowing.

When the call came to be the Stake Young Women Sports Specialist and create a whole new Young Women's sports program, I accepted it in a flash. The words, "You might need to be released from your current calling..." were no sooner out of the man's mouth than I was on the phone to the Primary Presidency telling them I had to be released: IMMEDIATELY

After that experience, I avoided teaching Primary like I avoid bears when I'm hiking. To me, both were deadly. After raising five childen, returning to finish college, having callings in almost every other organization, and working in a job I loved for ten years, at age 53 I was given two Primary callings: one in Cub Scouts, one as a teacher. These have been my favorite callings of all time. I've found it easy to like and love the kids. I've found when they know you like them, they want to behave. I love planning activities that are fun because, doggone it, I don't want to be bored anymore than my scouts do. I love the satisfaction of seeing the kids learn or achieve something. Probably because I am not stressed to the point of breaking, I can laugh with the kids. After sitting through some lessons where I was pretty darn bored, I can understand when children act up a little. I love getting know them and enjoy their unique personalitites. So, here's to hoping my next year in Primary is as great as this year has been.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New Stories about My Grandpa

My cousin works for the Tri-City Herald. Below is a link to one of the editorials that he wrote. The article contains a story I never heard before about my grandfather:

I have another one I heard from my Cousin Greg, but I'm not so sure I want to publish it online.

And here is another one from my cousin Bobby who is the first of O.D. Robertson and Maude Brodock Robertson's grandchildren:

Do you remember the trap door in the kitchen at Grandma and Grandpa Robertson's house? Grandpa kept a wolf in the root cellar under the kitchen. The reason I know:

When my mother, your Aunt Neve, was pregnant with my sister Mona in Missoula, the doctor ordered complete bed rest for her if she hoped to carry the baby. As a result, I was sent to Helena to live with Grandma and Grandpa Robertson. I was 5 years old, and Grandpa Robertson told me about the wolf who would eat me if I ever tried to open the trap door in the kitchen. Well, the day before Easter, Uncle Les (who lived up the hill in the little white house) brought me a HUGE decorated Easter Egg in a clear cellophane box, and Grandpa put it up on the shelf by the clock in the kitchen, over the west windows. I was told I could open it and eat it on Easter Sunday morning. So I went to bed dreaming of that beautiful Easter Egg. The next morning, I ran into the kitchen in my pajamas to claim my Easter Egg. But the wolf had found the Easter egg and eaten more than half of it. It had his big, jagged teeth marks all around it. I was horrified. What if he hadn't found the Easter Egg? He might have eaten me!

I was in high school before Uncle Les 'fessed up and said he and Grandma and Grandpa had carefully carved the Easter Egg to look like it had been eaten by the wolf with long fangs. He roared with laughter when he told me and said, "You should have seen your face when you saw what was left of the chocolate Easter Egg, and we told you the wolf had eaten on it; your eyes were as big as saucers! Grandma told me she tried to stop them from spoiling my Easter, but the men loved chocolate. That wolf made sure I behaved when I was living with the grandparents - I didn't want anyone to let him out of the trapdoor to the cellar.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

High Tea

Every year there is a High Tea held for the Festival of the Trees. Below are picture I took. To really get a good view, click on the picture. This year my friend Charmaine sponsored a table and she invited me! Also invitees were invited to come an hour before the tea to look at the beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Each table hostess specially decorates her table. The women in pink in the background was co-hostess with Charmaine. She wears her Victorian dress to several historical events around town. Below are other tables sponsors decorated. We were served tea or herb tea, scones, tea sandwiches and chocolate mouse and petite foires (correct spelling please, Prudence ).

Charmaine, our hostess.

Eloise brought hats for us all to wear.

More tables.