Friday, March 25, 2011
The skies here in my neck of the woods today are cloudy and gray, heavy with intermittent rain. It is dreary and I want to crawl under a blanket and do nothing but watch movies or read (not happening, by the way). The sky mirrors the mood here in Utah after BYU's defeat to Florida in the Sweet 16 NCAA tournament game last night. Certainly, not the bleakest of events occurring in the world right now, but one in which BYU fans were hoping for a different outcome.
All the "Jimmer" and BYU fans in our house felt a little beat down and sad for the ending of a great run---even with all the setbacks the team had throughout the season. As I checked my emails before bed last night, I noticed my sister had sent my siblings a memoir written by her husband Gary about my dad--also named James who went by "Jim" (pictured above) in his younger days and was a gifted athlete. I mentioned him briefly in my last post, but my brother-in-law's words made me a little misty-eyed as I reflected on this great man who is no longer with us. I wanted to share a few exerpts:
24 March 2011 Thursday
We were thinking about you today: basketball, March Madness, hoops, Final Four. BYU is playing Florida tonight. Jimmer Fredette is making Mormons proud; he is quite the scoring machine. Many of your progeny find great joy in getting “jimmered”.
It's not 1948, nor will we be gathering around the radio to hear you play. Great-grandma Wray would get so upset when the commentators would talk about your aggressive plays and fouls. University of California-Berkley lost that final four game; but you played in Madison Square Garden and gave your family bragging rights for decades, that you played on the national sports stage- you, just a farm kid from Idaho. We have the newspaper articles and pictures of you, (sorry you didn't have Air Jordan’s in the 40's); we've heard the stories; for some of us we've seen your athletic prowess. You are gone, but your legacy continues.
You would have loved this BYU season- it would have been so great for you to walk from that little white brick home on Fir St. to the Marriott Center. Not like that first year when BYU had a 0-25 season...it did get you on a mission though; no sense staying in Provo to watch the cougars lose!
There's been a whole nursery of babies born since you and mom left us, but, you know that, don't you. Most of us are trying to do what you taught us, and are teaching our children; and our children are teaching their children. We hope you are proud. We are taking care of your name.
Our faith is strong. Oh sure, there are those little things that try our faith, that keep us relying on God: tsunamis, the economy, earthquakes, floods and famines, potato harvest, etc.
Well, we just wanted to say hello- we thought of you playing in the March Madness tournament. We miss you dad; we miss those reunions where we tried to keep up with you; we miss how you and mom worked as one for our benefit. We miss your competitive spirit. Tonight we will yell and raise our blood pressure for 'the Jimmer'. You are our “Jim”. We miss you dad. We wish you were here.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I love having something to look forward to. It prevents the doldrums of life's daily grind from taking over, doesn't it? Today I'm so looking forward to those two things: Rainbow Jello and Jimmer. Rainbow Jello is a pretty-much-once-a-year-tradition for us, since it takes some prep, and coordinates so nicely with St. Patty's Day. Just not something I get around to much at other times of the year, but definitely something to look forward to in March. I love how it looks, the creaminess from the added yogurt, and the melding of all those rainbow-y flavors. Yes, it's a St. Patty's treat for sure! Visit HERE for the recipe and the how-to's, along with some helpful photos.
And Jimmer? We've been a fan for a while now. Our family had the opportunity to see him play in person last year when he was still a somebody, but not quite the SOMEBODY that he is today. Jimmermania struck our house early this season, and we've loved seeing how he has taken the NCAA by storm.
It helps that basketball is in our family blood---my father played in the forty's in the Final Four for the California Bears as a guard; my hubby was a guard in the eighty's with his high school team that took the state championship his junior year and finished third his senior year; and all four of our tikes have played since they could hold a ball. Our oldest was shooting baskets almost before he could walk. This year all four were on teams...one on the junior high team, the others on city league teams with my two boys playing together. That was the highlight of my week, seeing each of my kids grow and learn on the court. Even my little gals became quite the scrappers and shooters; my littlest one scoring her first basket in her last game (she was the only girl on her co-ed team), and my older daughter scoring the winning points in overtime of her last game. And watching my two boys joke, laugh, pass, assist, and score together on the court was completely heart-warming from a mom's perspective. I am convinced that there are metaphors and plenty of life's lessons that are gained on the court and from participating on a team.
And... it helps that I am a BYU Alum. I couldn't be more proud of my Cougars and the way they have handled the intense media revolving around the highs and lows of their season. They are a class act team, and we're cheering for "Freddy Cougar" (my boy's nickname for Jimmer) and his posse to get further in the brackets than ever before.
So, find something to look forward to today. Make yourself some Rainbow Jello and enjoy the Jimmer Show and the rest of the March Madness entertainment. I'm certain that neither will disappoint!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The website allpeoplequilt.com has some great tutorials and images for learning ten basic hand embroidery stitches: some that are in my own tutorial, as well as a few that are not. Check it out:
Basic Hand-Embroidery Stitches
In addition, they have a myriad of tips, techniques, videos, and FREE project ideas that could keep me busy for decades! My kids have so many team jerseys, along with sports and souvenir T's...I am in love with this t-shirt quilt!
Monday, March 7, 2011
So much is on my mind this morning, but this quote that I have tacked up in my closet keeps rattling around inside my brain. It's one of those that gives me courage to step out of my comfort zone that is, well...so very safe and comfortable.
"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with something original."
-Sir Ken Robinson
Do you love that? Being original or creative takes on many forms, doesn't it? Such as how we discipline and teach our children; how we make something enticing for supper; decorating our living space to make it more homey; throwing a birthday party on a budget; keeping the romance alive in marriage; how to get the mundane household tasks done when you'd rather not; how to stretch the dollar; teaching kids responsibility and family unity....the list could go on and on, couldn't it?
When faced with the need to take action, I find that I am often tepid at the risk of making mistakes, dread the possibility of rocking the boat, and have a fear of being wrong which at times paralyzes me so that in fact, I do nothing at all. Do you ever find yourself in that situation? I'm desperately trying to get out of that boat. This quote reminds me of the benefits of taking risks and making mistakes.
I think it's a healthy way of thinking to teach our kids (and ourselves) that mistakes are inevitable and acceptable, and often necessary (think Thomas Edison). The challenge is to learn from them and go forward with our new-found insight. The end result will often be far from where we started, but without a doubt, so much better.
(And do you love the light bulb vases? How darling are they? Finding that photo was my ode to Thomas Edison, and some creative person took some risks to apply something totally original to his invention. How very clever. Love it.)
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
It is still snowy and cold here in Utah, and a get-away for our last holiday sounded delightful! Well, I DID "get away" but not in the way you might think, or that I would have preferred. My holiday "get-away" was spent in the hospital having gall bladder surgery. Doesn't that sound grand? Not really, I know. It has been a long and sometimes trying week, but I am glad to be up and around again, and glad to be blogging once again.
I have known for a few years now that I have had gall stones after visiting the doctor after my first horrible attack in the night. I have simply tried living in denial that they existed until the attacks kept increasing in frequency as well as intensity. I mentioned in my last post that our Valentine's dinner was interesting....yes, I spent the night in the E.R. after dinner, almost positive that the docs would remove it right then and there. But since my white blood count was not up, and it did not appear to be an immediate threat to the rest of my body, I was given pain meds and sent home several hours later, and my official date of surgery would be the 21st of February.
So, yes, I survived the surgery, although coming out of anesthesia, apparently my heart raced to 271 beats per minute, then after being given meds to slow it down, dropped to 45 beats per minute. I had a heckuva time getting regulated, evidently. Thankfully, I was still out of it, and don't remember a thing.
Recovery has been slower than I anticipated, mixed with a lot of nausea, pain, and discomfort. Currently, I am still bruised and sore, and unable to dress in anything but sweats. I feel like George Costanza from the days of Seinfeld...("I give up!") It's just better to hear it in Jerry's words:
Ah, that show makes me laugh. Anyway, wanted you all to know I was alive and kicking, and will hopefully get up to speed and creating again here soon. Thanks for hanging in there with me!