31 July 2016

A Rainy Day


 A few months ago I noticed that a life insurance policy was taking money out of my bank every month, and it seemed to have started around the time I had my hysterectomy. I know, that’s been a year and a half, so you know how good I am at paying close attention to my bank. Shhh. Well, anyway, I didn’t remember signing anything so that I could have life insurance, but thought maybe I had while I was out of it during that period of time. Anyway, thinking it might have been one of those things that the Credit Union sends out every once in a while with the option for cheaper life insurance through their connection, I asked them to cancel it.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/887603/annual-report-2014-life-insurance-industry-in-private-sector-surges-35-8/
They didn’t know what it was, said it wasn’t them. They suggested I find out who it was, but I couldn’t remember, so I just told them to cancel. Since I’m fairly irregular about checking my messages in my bank, this conversation lasted a few months. It wasn't a big deal to me. Everything else looked fine in the bank.

Now, a few weeks ago I get this letter from the company I have my eye insurance through saying the bank had rejected their withdrawal. And, uh, what was their name?

http://www.totalben.com/Documents/vision.html

Yes, they were held under a life insurance company. Uh-oh. On the plus side, I probably had noticed their withdrawals earlier than that few months ago, like when they changed hands and started being under a life insurance company. Phew. I'm not that bad at checking my accounts. And another plus, I’d been meaning to cancel them anyway. I used to have all of my health insurance through the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE), but a year and a half ago, or something like that, the health insurance company quit on me, stopped doing business for people who'd started in Virginia. Never mind that I live in Colorado now, I started in Virginia, so bye bye Heidi. We're not covering you any more.

NASE still had my eye insurance and accidental dismembership or something like that, though, and since I wear glasses, I've kind of needed them. Still, with the fees for NASE plus the eye insurance and other insurance thingy, I was paying a lot more per month than I really needed, especially since NASE membership didn't really do much for me. My self employment, well, it's not like I'm a start-up company or have employees or anything. I sell Avon very occasionally and proofread from home.

https://thenounproject.com/term/cancel/542176/

Anyway, so I just needed the impetus to get it all cancelled and find eye insurance somewhere else. So, since my eye insurance was essentially cancelled anyway, I went looking for how to cancel my NASE membership and finally succeeded this week. Yea! And guess what? Today was the last effective date.  So, last night I actually went online and applied for some vision and dental insurance, so that’s in process.

Now, coming to day, it seems pretty good timing because I kind of need new glasses, like right now.

Okay, backtracking just a little more again. (Don't worry; we're almost there!) My glasses frames have been annoying for quite a while in that since I had the lenses replaced a year ago, one of the screws has never been able to hold the lens in very well. I'm constantly tightening it. So, today, after church, it came loose again, but the lens and the screw popped all the way out shortly after I started driving home. Since I couldn't screw it back in while I was driving, couldn't even find the screw at first, I just kept driving and figured I'd take care of it when I got home. I'm not blind, fortunately.

But as I continued driving, the rain came down heavier and heavier so that it was pouring when I got home. I reached in back and grabbed my umbrella, put my church bag and purse on my arm, and then held my lens, my frames, and the screw (which I'd fortunately found on my chest), in one hand and the umbrella and my keys in the other. Can you guess what happened next?

As I stepped up onto the curve by the driveway, my lens fell out of my hand into the gutter with rapidly moving water. I saw it and tried picking it up but it slipped out of my hand and then I lost sight of it as it moved its way down the streaming gutter. Well, I tried a little to look for it, but in the pouring rain, in a dress and heels, and with my hands full, plus no glasses to see well, my efforts were somewhat hopeless. So I went inside to unload and then came back out to feel around in the gutter at all the junctures where it might have gotten caught.

I felt and saw nothing all the way to where it drained into the canal, including between the two high fenced yards with only the gutter between them. I walked down this stretch, trying to balance on one side or giving up and just walking in the gutter, feeling the ucky, grimy water ooze into my nice church shoes and between my toes.

Still, after all that, no lens. But I will add, just so you know, we're not a terrible neighborhood. In addition to their one neighbor cop, we have another cop a few more doors down, and their other neighbor is a nice man who's outside quite a bit--our personal neighborhood watchman, and he offered to help.

https://www.pinterest.com/pharesmckinzy/blame-it-on-the-rain/

Anyway, my dad and mom both came out and tried to help me find the lens, too, but with no success for a while. Then as the rain let up a bit, my dad finally found my lens on a little sand bank maybe 10 feet downstream from where I'd dropped it. Yea!

But the story isn't over yet. We still had to get the lens into the frames. My dad has a bunch of screwdrivers and he got some tweezers and started working on it. But then, while I was in the bathroom, the screw fell on the floor. All three of us looked and looked, and we used a heavy-duty magnet all over the floor. And in the end, no screw.  Insane!

http://imablog.net/archives/2015/08/broken-glasses.html

Luckily I have a pair of backup glasses with only a slightly outdated lenses,
Or should I go with the duck tape look?



Wow, what a crazy day! Let’s just hope I get that eye insurance approved and soon!


What life lessons do you think can come from this?


--all images except the one of me are from Creative Commons license search through Google, with respective sites noted below.

05 March 2016

The Mystery Drama BINGO game

Scooby Doo got many of us hooked as kids to the mystery genre of TV shows. But have they really gotten any better since our childhood?  We might not hear, "And I would have gotten away with ti, too, if it weren't for these meddling kids!" as much any more, but we still here the same lines pretty often. So, I got to thinking: I'm not likely to stop watching these shows any time soon, but at least I could have some fun with the boring cliches they use!

Enter the BINGO card you've all been waiting for. Of course, you won't hear all of these in one episode, but perhaps over the course of a week, if you watch them regularly enough, or perhaps if you binge watch a particular show, after five or six episodes, you can have a good game. I doubt, though, that you'll have to watch an entire season before someone wins, even if you go for blackout. Prove me wrong.

To play, someone on the show, either a cop or a suspect has to say something to this effect, even if the words aren't exact. The statement doesn't have to prove true at the end (For example, the butler might no have done it, but you can still mark the space if someone guesses during the show that the butler did it.).

Here are my suggested card spots. You can use any of a number of online BINGO card generators.


And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for…, 
Do you have children?, 
Everything happened so fast, 
He’s a rogue agent (he’s gone rogue), 
I can’t have a family with a job like this, 
I know my rights, 
I know who did it!, 
I needed the money,
I want my lawyer, 
I was just doing my job, 
I’ve got your back, 
It was an accident, 
It wasn’t my fault, 
It’s always the (spouse), 
Let us help you,

My (family member) would never…, 
No one was supposed to get hurt, 
The butler did it, 
We can catch bigger fish with (this suspect), 
We’re all hanging out at the bar after work, 
You have no idea what it’s like, 
You need a drink, 
You’ll never get away with it, 
You’re too close to this, 

26 September 2013

The Cup of Water

Last week I started teaching pre-school again after a few years of trying other endeavors. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity. And I might have lots to say eventually, but there is one story from my first day that was particularly noteworthy, I think. When I teach French at the Montessori, I usually have a group time activity—a book, a song, a lesson, sometimes a combination thereof. Then for the rest of the day, I take groups of three or four students at a time to play games—bingo-type, dominoes, matching, slap variation--working on specific vocabulary areas. Of course, there’s also outside time, afternoon snack, and general observing to assure good behavior of the other kids around me.

So, for the first day, with the first group, we played  a couple of bingo-type games, the first three children and I. Then those children went off to find other work, and three more children came. To mix things up, I pulled out a matching game. Well, one of the girls from the first group wanted to play the matching game. But given the number of students in the class, I couldn’t let her join the group this time. Telling her this, though, led to weeping and wailing amidst repeated asking and telling me how much she wanted to play the matching game.

Fortunately, eventually that passed. We moved onto another group and played more bingo, and she moved on to work on other things. 

Nap time came and went, along with outside time, during which time the kids had a snack and a cup of water.  It is important to note that the water was brought in by the children’s parents because of the unknown quality of the faucet water due to the recent flooding.

When they came back inside, we had a much smaller group, but this also meant that I was the only teacher for the 3-5 year-old group, so I wasn’t easily able to ask simple questions. Of course Barb was still there in the toddler room, but I hated to bother her for little things. So when the children were thirsty after their time outdoors, I didn’t know what the rules were about giving them more water from the donations. But it did seem natural to me that they be thirsty after being outside where it was warm. So I filled the pitcher from morning snack time with water and set out some cups, and as individuals asked me, I told them they could get a cup of water and sit down at a clean table away from the toys where the other children were playing and working.

Unfortunately, this method had children overfilling their cups, including the little girl who had wanted so badly to play the matching game that morning. Both she and another girl ended up spilling their cups, so I gave them the sponge and rag so they could clean up their own mess, as is the policy in the school. Well, the other little girl cleaned up her spill without a problem and went on her way, but the girl who’d been crying that morning broke down again into weeping and wailing about how thirsty she was. Based on the experience from the morning with the French game, I naturally didn’t take her too seriously, so I let her just get it out of her system for a while.

It went on for quite a while, though, and Barb came out from the toddler room to see if everything was okay. I explained briefly, and she was satisfied. And eventually, the little girl calmed down, in part because I told her I would let her have another drink if she would calm down. Sometimes I can be firm, but I’m not all together heartless. So, when she calmed down, I let her get another cup, but told her not to fill her cup very full, just a little. She followed my instructions well, only filling the cup half full (or leaving it half empty?). But the next thing I knew, she’d spilled this cup, too, which, of course, brought on another flood of tears. She didn’t say anything this time, though, perhaps just frustrated with the situation and reconciling herself to the fact that today was just a bad day.  

And so now, my heart started really going out to her. I rubbed her back and showed my understanding to her, explaining I knew today was just a bad day. She agreed. Of course, this was in English, since I needed her to understand. When she calmed down, I wanted to give her some more water. But by this point, though, there was only a very little bit of water left in the pitcher. Fortunately no one else was asking, though, so I filled her cup with the last little bit of water, and she did her best to put on a happy face for the rest of the afternoon.

The most curious thing about the day, though, happened later that evening when I was reading the scriptures with my parents. We were in Matthew, and it just so happened that I was the one to read as we reached the end of Chapter 10, where it reads, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.


After the first water spill, particularly given the French game incident earlier that day, I admit I was inclined not to let her have another cup. After the second, I could have easily just said that there wasn’t enough water. There really wasn’t much. But the Lord touched my heart, reminding me that I need to treat these children as a good mother would, as I would treat my nieces and nephews—in short, as Jesus himself would. And though a few drops it was, the Lord helped me make the right decision. For as the scriptures also say, by small and simple things, great things shall come to pass. The little girl will trust me, and I can remember to soften my heart towards the little children.

10 August 2013

Americans Need to Have a Foreign Language Requirement During Compulsory Education

Having been a composition teacher in local colleges and universities for the past three years, I have participated in many online and in-person conversations among employers and teachers that corroborate the experiences I’ve had with a number of my students. The fact is that America’s public education system is on the decline. Grades are inflated, and requirements have been reduced to the point that students are under-prepared both for college, for the workforce, and even for real life. I’m sure you have heard this point of view, but I’m not writing just to complain but to provide a piece of the solution. While many of the ideas toward solutions that seem to find their way to implementation have some sense—focus on math and science, and hurting both teachers and students through by having teachers teach answers to mandatory tests—these efforts only treat some of the symptoms and will not provide long-term results. Having required foreign language classes in our public school system, however, would help our students improve their intelligence, and better prepare them for the workforce and for a broader real world than many of the intelligent Americans by whom high standards have been set in the past.
Although I would not dictate that we only require Spanish, the growing Hispanic population in the U.S. would lend significant support to the argument. Certainly if a language were required, many students would choose Spanish, recognizing the improved job potential this would bring to them. Additionally, more Spanish speaking Americans would mean more help for these immigrants to integrate socially and to find work. Thus both the natural-born Americans and the immigrants would improve their work opportunities as students broaden their understanding of the culture and language of this growing segment of our population.
However, as noted, I would not make Spanish the requirement because Americans would greatly benefit from a wider range of language abilities.  For one, as with the situation with Spanish, work opportunities abound for speakers of Arabic, French, Japanese, Chinese, and many other languages. And this need will only increase in years to come. The jobs of interpreters and translators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are “expected to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.”  Plus, jobs that involve some translating have some perks. According to Salary.com, “Language differentials typically range between 5 and 20 percent per hour more than the base rate.” These statistics seem to hint quite loudly that America needs more speakers of foreign languages. Furthermore, because I worked in the Foreign Service Institute of the State Department for nearly five years (2002-2007), the first field of jobs that actually comes to my mind in regard to need for foreign language speakers is that of foreign diplomacy. We will always need highly qualified workers in our embassies and consulates, as well as in our DC offices, particularly those with language skills.
But while the economic interests are quite compelling, they are not the only reason. Our public employees are not the only diplomats who will influence our public relations. American tourists have a strong need of cultural sensitization to ensure and improve our ties with all nations.  Many Americans enjoy traveling, but while most may tend to stay within the U.S. for their vacations, many still have business or family-related needs to travel abroad as well as a desire to see both natural wonders and cultural phenomena in exotic locales. And these wander lusters need to be able to communicate and appreciate aspects of their hosts’ cultures other than the art that originally drew them there. I have heard too many stories of property destruction and other utter rudeness. For example, recently an ignorant American, who, as Matt Peckham reports in Time, “wasn’t drunk, being belligerent…or whatever other wild imagery your brain might conjure” vandalized the 600-year-old “Annunciazione” in Florence, Italy. Peckham goes on to say, “The reportedly 55-year-old Missouri native was simply trying to measure the statue’s pinky finger.” While the man might not have needed to speak Italian to know better, if he had learned from his youth to appreciate other cultures, such as through mandatory foreign language learning, I would think he might have learned some other rules of cultural etiquette in the process. In fact, in a 2007 NEA report “The Benefits of Second Language Study”, they quote Helena Curtain and Carol Ann Dahlberg in their 2004 Languages and Children: Making the
Match: New Languages for Young Learners, Grades K-8, saying,  “(E)xposure to a foreign language serves as a means of helping children to intercultural competence. The awareness of a global community can be enhanced when children have the opportunity to experience involvement with another culture through a foreign language.” Clearly the studies of language and culture do go hand in hand.
But even among the somewhat cultural savvy of the tourists, there still exists an enormous error in thought—that Europeans all speak English.  According to a 2005 report by the European Commission, although English is the most common foreign language learned on their continent, only 34% of Europeans claim to speak it with any degree of fluency. Of course the percentage might be higher in the capitals and other metropolitan centers, particularly at famous museums and the like where they will have hired or trained personnel who can cater to tourists’ language needs. I would definitely not, however, expect many of the pedestrians to speak English, nor all shop owners or train station attendants.  And even if they did, the utter egotism of expecting that people will want to speak in our language in their country does not help America’s international relations.  Culture sensitization that comes from language learning, in addition to the benefit of actually learning the desired languages, will help even if a student does not travel to a country where he or she speaks the particular language.
And curiously enough, in addition to the natural cultural knowledge that accompanies language learning, general intelligence also increases. Studies do show that learning a foreign language will make students smarter. In the article, “Why Bilinguals Are Smarter” from the New York Times, Yudhijit Bhattacharjee says, “The key difference between bilinguals and monolinguals may be more basic: a heightened ability to monitor the environment.”  Then later, he adds, “In a study comparing German-Italian bilinguals with Italian monolinguals on monitoring tasks, Mr. Costa [from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Spain] and his colleagues found that the bilingual subjects not only performed better, but they also did so with less activity in parts of the brain involved in monitoring, indicating that they were more efficient at it.” If students are required to learn a foreign language while they are still in their formative years, we can certainly imagine how they will be benefited by becoming more efficient at monitoring their environment—from noticing cultural norms to performing job-related multi-tasking, to simple improving their traffic behavior. Everyone will benefit from this requirement.
But wait, there’s more! In the 2007 NEA report noted earlier, they summarize the College Board’s 2004 findings saying that “Students who completed at least four years of foreign-language study scored more than 100 points higher on each section of the SAT than students who took a half year or less.” Since test scores are of such importance to our current education system, this seems highly significant. But speaking to the broader reason for these scores—that we want intelligent students, not just those who know test answers, the NEA also reports that “Strong evidence shows that time spent on foreign language study strongly reinforces the core subject areas of reading, English language literacy, social studies and math. Foreign language learners consistently outperform control groups in core subject areas on standardized tests, often significantly.” Considering the knowledge I have seen students bring to my college English classrooms, I know they could benefit from improvements not only in language literacy but in social studies as well. I have had too many college students who admitted to thinking Abraham Lincoln was our nation’s first president, let alone not knowing anything more about George Washington than that he had white hair (that he wore a wig was even a surprise to them). They need these improvements in their education. This kind of ignorance simply cannot continue.
If you’re still not convinced of our need for foreign language literacy, let’s take a look at Europe, a greater community of multi-linguists and one whose culture is somewhat similar to ours. Although we are not as closely geographically connected to as many countries as are the countries in Europe, we can still learn some things from their trends and policies regarding foreign languages. For example, many Europeans learn not just one but at least two foreign languages. A 2009 Eurostat report indicates that “60% of students in upper secondary education study two or more foreign languages.” For business reasons, this makes perfect sense due to their proximity to other countries as well as the cooperative ties associated with the European Union. Of course we don’t have the number of foreign-speaking countries bordering us as most European countries, it does seem important that we remain competitive with them as we also conduct business with these countries.
But there is a somewhat stronger appeal. Even those Europeans who don’t go into business benefit from their multilingual background because they are better able to understand and to communicate as they travel.  For example, while some people might not have decided to go into business, their spouses might have, leading to their need to relocate abroad.  Additionally, some countries have seen economic downturns and wars that force many of their citizens out. In all of these situations, having multiple languages under their belts would be a tremendous advantage. So again, while it is true that we are not Europe--we have seen difficult economic times, but not sufficient to send too many out of the country; we have had wars, but most have been fought on foreign soil—couples do unite with different backgrounds and needs for relocation. But more importantly, while yes, we have been blessed with much peace and security, can we guarantee this will always be the case?

Since the studies and statistics have made it apparent that foreign language learning will benefit Americans in our economy, our international relations, and our general intelligence, I fail to see any further justification for not requiring that our students learn a foreign language during their compulsory education. Our workforce demands it, our international relations demand it, and our people as a whole cannot continue to thrive without it.

07 July 2013

Giving and Preparation and Learning and The Creation and stuff

I haven't been blogging much lately, mostly waiting until the end of the year for the final shakedown. But I felt during church today that I need to blog a bit more. I had a handful of things running through my head that I wanted to blog about. And as the day has worn on, more things have come to me.

The thought I have in mind right now came as I was driving home listening to The RM CD, some modernized old children's songs, hymns, and Janice Kapp Perry tunes. On came "Give Said the Little Stream," a song that has unfortunately gotten a little of a bad rap because it's not as doctrinal as many of the other children's songbook songs. But I think a little injustice was done the song. It does have some good values--true perhaps not as good as some others--but still an important lesson, that of giving. As I listened to the song, I thought about all that water gives. It gives and it gives--water to help the plants grow, water to help us keep clean, to name the two most important. But what does water want or need? Does it need the algae at the bottom of the lake? Does it need the plants? Does it need people? Not for its existence, nope. For it to stay clean, perhaps, but it only gets polluted because of people, so that's kind of circular. What does water need to exist? Two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule. In other words, it really only needs God. Its function is to give.

Then this led me to think about the order of creation, from Genesis. Wasn't water one of the first things? Well, it was just there.
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: 2 Cor. 4.6 and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

But we did need to have gravity to keep it one spot, so God gave us gravity:

6 ¶ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. 2 Pet. 3.5 And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And then, as the story goes, you know, we got land, because everything He created after would need land. And then He created grass and plants and stuff because his other creations would need plants. And then we got the sun, moon, and stars because everything needs to rest and have light to get work done. And then He brought forth all of the animals because we would need animals for many, many reasons to live. And then came us. In short, little by little, He brought forth everything that would be needed before it was actually needed, so it would be ready for the creatures, plants, and ultimately the people who would need it. And of course, we were the final creation before He rested because everything created up to the end was created for us because we'd needed. We're the reason for all the creations.

But that's not the end of the lesson. Is Give Said the Little Stream just about how nice water is just to give to us all the time? No, of course not. It's an object lesson. The obvious lesson is that we're supposed to give, too. If we want to become like our Father in Heaven who has given us EVERYTHING, then we need to give, too.

But it does go further still. He prepared everything for us that we'd need before we needed it. And it was well organized and planned out. That's the nature of God. He is a God of order. And since He's the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, then we can expect that He'll prepare everything we need still--such as the work that I need right now.

This reminds me of a little incident many years ago when I was visiting my sister and she was working on preparing lunch for her little boy. He was sitting in his chair crying and almost bawling that he wanted his food. He wasn't a baby, so he could talk and could have exercised a little patience, but he was still little, so it was understandable. Nonetheless, what he would have seen if he had turned around was that his mother was working on it the whole time and it was almost ready. He might have thought he needed it "right now" but he also needed to learn some patience. Just like we do. The Lord is preparing things and we'll have what we need when we need it, but in meantime, we can learn a little patience and as we're older, sometimes more than patience--lots of other lessons to be learned.

Of course, it goes a step further, too. When we give, it's important for us to plan and be organized so that we aren't too hasty and end up not being as helpful as we otherwise could be.

Okay, so there you go for now. More coming soon, maybe, probably. :)



31 December 2012

EOY 2012


December 2012

Dear friends and family,

Christmas is over already!! The New Year’s approaching! Where has the time gone? Without further adoHighlights from my year:
From January through June, I taught a few English Composition classes at Colorado Technical University in Aurora and Westminster—Denver suburbs.

Beginning at the end of August, I was blessed to start teaching a couple Composition classes in Greeley at Aims, much, much closer than Aurora, and even a bit closer than Westminster. Other benefits include interacting with other English teachers, which I’ve had very little opportunities to do in all three of the other campuses where I’ve taught (NOVA, Kaplan, and CTU). I do really enjoy that and benefit quite a bit from it. The students here are also more of the traditional variety—18, 19, and mostly American, so again a different crowd than I’ve had. And I’ve enjoyed working with them. Sure, sometimes I’m baffled when they don’t know why conversations about guns and schools have changed since 1999, or when they don’t know who Mork and Mindy are. But maybe I like having that edge on them J. 
In May, I was called as the Relief Society (women’s organization) secretary and released as a primary (children’s) teacher. So I’ve been spending a bit more time on my calling than I had before. I missed primary for a little while and still do some. It didn’t seem a long enough stay, but as things go in the Church, I’m sure it’ll come back around eventually. Work in the Relief Society has been rewarding, too, as I’ve gotten to work with a few great ladies, with some turn over in the counselors.  
As the school year approached, I was hired by a young family to teach their two daughters French in their home. The girls are 6 and 9, and sometimes fun kids to work with. (Sometimes they’re as most kids are, particular after school hours—fidgety and ready to be done with it.) But I like both having the opportunity to work with my French and to work with these kids.
As the school year approached, I was hired by a young family to teach their two daughters French in their home. The girls are 6 and 9, and sometimes fun kids to work with. (Sometimes they’re as most kids are, particular after school hours—fidgety and ready to be done with it.) But I like both having the opportunity to work with my French and to work with these kids.
 In August, I started selling Avon. It’s been fun meeting new women through this endeavor (one of the reasons I signed up—to get to know my neighbors.) I’ve also met some through Avon meetings and through a couple Open Houses. And I like Avon products. On the down side, I really dislike multi-level marketing strategies. I haven’t made much money by it, though I appreciate all who have supported me! But I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep it up. You can still contact me, though, or go through my website if you’re interested in buying since I’ll still keep my account. Their prices are actually pretty good, but sharing the shipping with other buyers certainly helps.
This summer we had an RW (my parents) Quist reunion up in Post Falls, Idaho, with Aunt Patsy and Uncle Tim (Dad’s sister and her husband) joining the gang for a while as well as one of Pat and Dad’s cousins and her husband.  We had some good times there, hanging out mostly, in my sister Cyndi’s expansive backyard and at a nearby beach.

For Thanksgiving, we had another family reunion of sorts. First my brother Thom and his family came up from Leadville for a few days before Thanksgiving, which brought the locals up to the house. Then, the day they left, a few hours later, my Grandma Wilson, Aunt Gayle and Uncle Al came over from Orem, UT bringing Nicki up from Denver for a while on T-Day. To add to the fun, my sister Kim and her family came over from further south in Utah, too. So we had a nice full table and much to be grateful for.

So, I guess that brings it to the end of the year, eh? Do I have anything else to say? Um, I’m still single. No news there.  Health is doing okay. My sleep schedule is still a little wonky, but I’m kind of used to it.
Thanks to all for your friendship and familyship. Wishing you the best in safety and happiness with the holiday season and the upcoming year! In spite of the horrific things happening in our world, we still have reason to celebrate.  Christ came to save us! The New Year is an opportunity to improve ourselves, improve our lives and our world.
  






Quotation of the Day