Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Goodbyes

I never really have good luck, but this year it seemed I had extra bad luck with so many of my closest friends moving out of the ward! First, the Teeples had the nerve to love us and leave us after just one short year in Arizona. Around the same time, our good friends the McBurneys left the ward to build a new house several miles southeast of us (but at least they didn't leave the state!). The final blow came last week when the Robinsons moved to Provo. None of these people asked my opinion first!! I honestly couldn't believe so many of my favorite people left in such short order... sometimes reality bites.

But in memory of the Robinsons, I must write a few thoughts about our friendship. First of all, I don't even really know how it started... I mean, with such different backgrounds, I never would have guessed Marsa and I would become such good friends. I have a degree in English education, while English is her second language. That made for some fun times correcting her mistakes... I'm telling you, she needs more than spell checker. Haha. Or should I say ja ja? (Inside joke)

Soon, though, I realized that what made us a great pair is that we both just love to have fun... and we did. One of my first memories of the Robinsons is when they accidentally showed up to Russ' 80's birthday party 20 minutes early: "It's so quiet," they said when they arrived, thinking they were late. Luckily, they got to socialize with the only other people who had the time wrong... my grandparents!

A few weeks later, I remember Marsa saying she was already planning a karaoke party for her birthday. Mind you, this was January and her birthday was not until May. I loved that she was already so excited. Yet when the time came, her husband didn't want to put on the party, so we went bowling with a few other couples instead. And that was the start of a great thing: double dates, goofy golfing, movies, lunches and dinners out, family dinners together, swimming, the zoo, and of course, we had the cooking club. (Hi Lisa and Melanie!)

We both went to the women's retreat in the pines last summer, and she made the best Mexican food for everyone... I will never love another horchata after having hers. And she can't share the recipe because she does it by taste. Darn! (Hi Danika!)

For enrichment night one time, they had a Hollywood diva theme, and Marsa and I spent a whole day scouring thrift stores for the perfect evening gowns. Good thing all the fun was in trying on all the fancy dresses because hardly anyone else dressed up. We still had a blast taking pictures with the Hollywood props.

But more than all the fun and all the laughing, I loved Marsa because I felt like I could call her any time, and she would be there for me. She has a caring heart, and she is always looking to help a friend. I'm not really sure I deserved her (this was supposed to be funny, not make me cry!!).

All this was made better by the fact that our husbands were friends, played on a soccer team together, and played early morning racquet ball almost every Tuesday. Word on the street is that Eric got whooped most times. Russ needs a new challenger now to give him some humble pie!

It really didn't hurt that our kids were friends, too.

A couple of nights before they left, we had their family over one last time for dinner. When dinner was over and we were just sitting around talking on the couch, we busted out the karaoke mic and had that party Marsa always dreamed of! And then we took pictures with Marsa's camera, which I am still waiting for and will post when I get them. She has just moved, so I guess I have to be patient.

We will miss the Robinson family so much (I don't want to say especially the food, but I will miss that immensely, too), and I'm so glad we have so many memories of them to cherish.

I hope this is my last goodbye. I like hellos so much better.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nerd Heaven

If you ever wondered what nerd heaven was like, just go to the SparkFun autonomous vehicle competition in Boulder, Colorado. You know what, though? I love nerds. I'm married to one!

Remember how his car looked like a jalopy last year?

This year, he had Paige and Kallie give him a custom new paint job. He originally named his car Black Death, but it got renamed to Lalaloopsy Rollercoaster!

Here he is working on his car in the pit. I didn't get to go this year, so I had to settle for what few pictures were taken.

Even though I wasn't there, I did get to watch the race as it was streamed live online. I was so excited when I saw his car and called the girls in to check it out, but as soon as all the cars took off, the camera zoomed in to the lead car for the rest of the race. Russ' car never made it past the first turn during the regular heats, but it did get all the way around to cross the finish line during the ceremonial mass start at the end. He was stoked!

I wondered if Jerry Garcia was back from the dead, but no, that is just his friend who got him into this whole AVC business (I really had to force myself not to write "mess").

And his friend's daughter raced this year, too. She won a second place award in the youth class!

I saw this robot in action during the live streaming. Very impressive, even though it didn't get around the track. It actually warps that big plastic wheel so it can use gravity to move it along. Oh no, I'm impressed by a robot... it's happening!

Remember Mr. Bones from last year?

He was back this year and equally unimpressive.

I'm so glad Russ had fun and made a successful run this year... I think. I mean, I know he's addicted now and will be working on his robot and going to the AVC every year from here on out, but at least that makes it easy to keep him happy. I laugh to myself thinking how different this post would be if he wrote it. So I got curious... (he thinks I wanted his blog address so I could admire his genius)

He hasn't added pictures as of this writing, but I don't need any pictures to prove I was right.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Lull

Spring was busy and full of projects.

-We dug trenches and laid pipe and hoses for extensions to our drip system (oh caliche, how I hate thee!)
-We had our new 10-foot RV gate installed
-I painted the fence once the installation was complete
-We had our driveway extension poured
-Russ chopped down our palo verde tree and hauled most of it to the dump
-We had three ceiling fan boxes and switches installed upstairs
-Russ installed those three fans, two of which we have been saving ever since we moved in!! We bought them all at once so they would match because we knew we would install more boxes someday.
-I balanced our fans (except Kyle's which refuses to be forced into submission)
-I scrubbed and then sealed the grout in our kitchen and eating area
-Kyle scrubbed the grout in the entry and hallway
-I painted walls in three bedrooms
-Russ steam cleaned my car (deep inhale... mmm)

With all that, are we done? Of course not, but I have been super lazy ever since school got out. Is it the heat or what? I keep thinking I should do something useful or do something fun with the kids, but I usually just mill around until the day is through. Okay, that's not entirely true... we went to the pool a couple of times, we had the Robinsons over for dinner and karaoke, I helped Marsa clean her house and watched her kids, and I've been sticking to my workout routine... but I'm just sayin', Brandon is still in his PJ's at this very moment, so things are pretty sorry overall. Poor kids, poor house. The vacuum could use someone to push it around, but who?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


A really old undeveloped roll of film... well, I guess I am just speculating about its age, but gee, it must have been decades since I last saw one of these. One day I found it in my car. Yes, that car that was manufactured in 2006, owned by me for the last three years, and cleaned out many times (kids!!). I once lost my pedometer in there and thought I had seen every square inch of the interior (after having resorted to looking under the edges of the carpet) before finding it in plain view on the driver floor mat. I'm still at a loss to explain that one. I KNOW I already looked there... more than once!

Anyway, I didn't think about it for a while, but I finally just wanted to figure out where it came from, so I asked the kids, "Where did you find that film?" I mean, they are the most obvious source since they seem to see a treasure in every rock, stick, shard of glass, and piece of who knows what. "We found it in the car!" Great. That's where I found it, too.

I couldn't bring myself to throw it away just yet. I mean, it looks old and probably unsalvageable (who but spell check would know that's not actually a word?), it most certainly wouldn't have any pictures that would have any meaning to me, and it would cost money just to find out. But what if they held key evidence to solving the crime of the century? Or the pictures were worth money?

I know, I know.

But still... I can't help thinking that someone's memories sit on my counter, forgotten. Either that, or someone's playing a practical joke on me. I wouldn't put it past the Johnston family, seeing how one of the Johnston brothers once secretly placed a wrapped, unmarked case of tuna in the living room on Christmas. They wouldn't torture me like that, would they? Wait, what if the guilty party put pictures of himself on there so I would know I've been had? I could totally bust him!

And so my mind goes round and round. Sigh.