Thursday, October 28, 2010

Me and the Bluebird

On our last business trip to Utah we made it as far north as Logan. While Glen dined with a client, I dined solo at The Bluebird. As I sat talking and pondering with myself while I ate one of their gigantic dinner rolls, the realization came that I had last eaten at The Bluebird almost exactly 35 years ago!

The Fall after my marriage I was doing my internship at Utah Power and Light as part of my BYU course of study. Each day I would ride to downtown Salt Lake City (part of a car pool in which I paid for gas but got to sit in back and crochet an afghan as we waited in rush hour traffic) to the office, test kitchen, and auditorium of the Home Economists employed by Utah Power and Light. We tested recipes for inclusion in a recipe and tips pamphlet included in customers' monthly bills, prepared for and gave demonstrations in the auditorium, answered customer's questions on the telephone, and traveled to high schools to give demonstrations in home economics classes. (By far the scariest of the duties!) This meant travel to far away places such as Price and yes, Logan!

Logan Temple

Such excursions sometimes required overnight stays. While in Logan, my mentor took me to eat at The Bluebird which is a historical space. It includes a ballroom on the third floor, banquet rooms on the second, and a soda fountain and dining space on the main floor. During this visit, I saw a bride posing for pictures on the stairway with its beautiful carved banisters.

To give you some perspective on the difference 35 years can make, the electrical appliance that we were demonstrating in high school home economics classes across Utah was the microwave oven! We carried one with us, demonstrated and talked about how it worked and its merits and then let each student prepare a s'more in the microwave. It was pretty heady stuff!

Interestingly, it was also the year when home ec had become coed in Utah for the first time. Boys were now allowed to take home ec as an elective. High schools in the Salt Lake area were full of cocky boys with many questions and smirky smiles. The Logan boys, but especially the Preston, Idaho farm boys, were shy and quiet and looked at the floor. They almost seemed embarrassed by that microwave. However, I don't remember any boys turning down a s'more!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My every six months visitor

Julianna and I hung out for several days waiting for her mom to become "un" radioactive. It was a fun, busy delight. This little girl is a ray of sunshine and her preference is "OUTSIDE?"

So we went for walks around the neighborhood because that is easier than keeping her out of the pool. While we walked we practiced our counting. Little did I know that she is on to letters, too. She spent several minutes in front of this sign calling out random letter names. Give me an "O" anyone?

Julianna also never feels fully dressed unless there are a bunch of colored rubber bands on her wrist. We have a pattern going. One year ago she spent a week with me while her family was at Lake Powell, the end of March beginning of April 2010 she came again, and then this visit. Yup, it's Julianna and I every six months!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Once there was a boy, a very special boy

In June at Grant's memorial, several people, including relatives, brought pictures they had in their possession of Grant to share with his siblings. Some of the pictures were not of Grant but of Glen.

Such a handsome boy he was (and is)!! Here he stands in front of the fir tree in Grandma June's front yard.

Throwing pie in Hawthorne, California. I understand that 135th Street was a hopping place back in the 50's and 60's. Do you see any of your children in these pictures?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Childhood anxiety and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Sometimes you read a book which mimics your childhood and brings back memories and fears of long ago. "Countdown" by Deborah Wiles did just that for me. The main character, Franny, is in 5th grade and I was in 4th grade in October 1962. The setting of the book is near Andrews Air Force and Washington, DC. I lived in rural Eastern Idaho on a dairy farm, but like the main character felt the gut wrenching anxiety that was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both of us practiced evacuation drills and hiding under our desks while at school. Both of us lay awake at night as our fears and imaginations took over.

Forty-eight years ago today, on a Tuesday, I spoke in hushed tones at recess to my friends as we pondered what might happen next after hearing President John F. Kennedy give an address on Monday evening to the nation in which he challenged Nikita Khrushchev of the USSR to remove the missile sites in Cuba.

Deborah Wiles in her documentary novel, which is both a novel and a sort of scrapbook, has taken her childhood experience and recreated a time of great historical significance for the USA. I found myself thinking about and reliving my life as a 9 almost 10 year old. Franny lived in a place most in danger of attack. I tried to take solace in the fact that I lived in a place that surely was so remote the missiles would have no interest. Then an adult, I don't remember whom, informed me that we were indeed a target being just miles from a new nuclear research lab in the nearby Idaho desert.

"Countdown" is the first of a planned trilogy, so it looks like I will be able to relive the whole decade that was the 60's with Deborah Wiles. The book may be written for middle schoolers, but adults will be drawn in by the history, pictures, and music lyrics. For a more definitive and less personalized review, go HERE. That is where I first learned of "Countdown."

Here I am in my 4th grade year at Plano Elementary School. Do we look scared and nervous? I do, can you pick me out? Hint: I was too vain to wear my glasses and was the tallest kid in the class. My teacher, Mrs. Kunz, always seemed a bit frazzled. I can see why. Look at the size of that class. When I look at this picture it seems like playing kickball with my friends was just yesterday. My two best friends were Julie Atwood standing next to the teacher and Ann Shirley seated directly in front of the teacher. Ann was also my neighbor on Moody Road. (I just realized as I tried to add an "e" to the end that she could have been Anne of Green Gables :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tara's wedding

We stayed over the weekend after Glen's business trip to Utah so that we could attend Tara and Christian's wedding party.

Christy, the mother of my daughter-in-law, Sally, is in the background. Tara is Sally's sister. The very tall beauty behind her is a sister of Christian who is also a super model. Christian's family is very tall family with 6 ++ feet the norm. Tara is greeting one of her high school friends from San Diego.

Tara is a graphic designer who had many good ideas for her special day. This is the club house at Soldier Hollow in Midway. The giant white balloons were stunning as was the scenery.

Tara looked beautiful in her champagne beaded gown. She and her step-mother, Brooke, agree that the decor is unique and just right.

Glen and Scott, the father of the bride, watch the photography session from the balcony.

One of the great things about our children marrying people from California is that we have met some wonderful new people. When Oscar arrived for the party, he became an instant star. So many people wanted to meet him. These are his surrogate grandparents and aunts. Lezlie (far left) and Nichelle and Sally were BFF's in high school. Kay and John, Lezlie's parents, have been so kind to Nichelle through the years. Kay and John were so excited to tell us about the arrival of their first granddaughter who they had just met in Texas. (You might notice that we also have a very tall member of our family. Yeah, Nate!)

Our wedding responsibilities included helping the nieces get ready to go the the Salt Lake Temple to greet their aunt as she exited the temple. They looked so cute in their jackets and styling dresses.

Sadie loved the new flower fairy doors book that I had purchased the previous day at Anastasia's Attic at Gardner Village. More about that fun day in a later post.

After the girls left for Salt Lake City with Aunt Amy, grandpa and grandma were in charge of Mabel for the rest of the day. This is how Mabel watched BYU football with Grandpa Glen. Special thanks to Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Alvord for letting us hang out at their house.

For more pictures of Tara and Christian's day go Here and Here and Here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The hard goodbye

Lucy is worried that she will be left behind in grandma's backyard.

Lucy watched as Emelia and Ryan loaded up the last few belongings into cars for the big move to New Mexico. Right after this photo was taken there were tears! Emelia and Laurel tears for another hard adjustment in life.

Tonight I picked up Julianna for a several night stay. Her momma is on radioactive iodine round two. Please keep us all in your prayers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

During the last trip to Utah. . .

Nephew Cory joined us at the gardens. He was careful and did not drive his Segway off the highest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere.

We watched a bridal shoot at the Italian fountain. It has been great to visit monthly and see how the garden changes.

It was Plein Air Art Festival time and we watched several artists at work.

The secret garden was very quiet, just us and the artist. Cory's wife, Elizabeth, took this picture.

The mountains were beginning to change color. I took this photo from the kitchen balcony as the moon came up.

We kidnapped cousin Jill from the Primary Children's Hospital and took her to lunch at Ruth's Diner. Jill is my hero. Her two year old had just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and Jill still had a smile on her face. It broke my heart to see her baby in that hospital bed.

While Glen went on appointments, I finished the embroidery on Mabel's dress.

We also walked the Provo River Trail portion closest to Utah Lake and purchased just picked peaches and honey crisp apples to bring home.

It was nice to be in Utah in September.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

As the waters cover the sea

2 Nephi 30:15
". . .for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."

I am so enjoying the Adult Religion Class, "The Book of Mormon" sponsored by the Mesa East Stake this school year. The above scripture was part of our study. In our discussion, it was brought out that the Internet does indeed allow knowledge to become "as the waters cover the sea."

As I thought about this I wondered how I could better use the Internet to share knowledge of the Lord and this idea popped into my head. I could share this class. The teacher, Jenny Denton, updates a blog each lesson. I could share this with family and friends. CES has put out a new Book of Mormon manual. Unfortunately, it is not yet on the church web site in a PDF format, but the old manual is available. One could read the Book of Mormon online while looking at the blog for supplemental material as well as studying the manual online, or, if feasible order the new manual via the Internet or buy it at your nearest LDS bookstore or distribution center.

Daily scripture study will indeed change your life!

Last two overripe bananas

Isn't it crazy that there always seems to be two last bananas which don't get eaten? I used to blame my kids for doing this on purpose so that I would make "Banana Bars." Now it's just Glen and I and there still seems to be two overripe bananas. If company is coming, I still make "Banana Bars." If not, those bananas go straight to the compost bin. Just planted my winter garden this morning and I grinned over and over again as I scooped out scoop after scoop after scoop of black gold from the bottom of the bin to freshen up the soil in my grow boxes.

The sister missionaries and Eric's family came for grilled pizzas last Saturday so I used up those bananas for one pan with nuts and one without. Here is the recipe which I got from the back of a mini-morsels chocolate chip bag years ago.

Banana Bars

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter
2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, smashed (about 1 cup)
1 egg

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate mini-morsels
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in bananas and egg. Gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in mini-morsels and nuts. Spread in greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch baking pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Cut into 2 x 1 inch bars.

Makes about 6 dozen bars.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

General Conference memories

President David O. McKay speaking at General Conference, 1958

My first memory of General Conference was when I was a very young girl. Our family had journeyed to Salt Lake City from our farm near Sugar City, Idaho so that my mother, a medical technologist, could attend a convention. While she was in her meetings, my father took the children to Temple Square where conference was in session. As we stood in the door at the very back or east side of the Tabernacle, he held each of us up high so that we could see the prophet speaking at the pulpit. It is one of my most treasured childhood memories, one that gave me a testimony that there are present day prophets who guide us.

Other memories:
*Being a TV free family until I was eleven, I would sometimes watch parts of conference on the TV at the Shirley's home. It would be on the radio at my house.

*Good old KPHO, Channel 5, would broadcast conference once we were residents of Arizona.

*My first semester at BYU, rising at 4:30 am to go to Temple Square where we would stand in line for hours to get in the morning session. Then they packed us in the balcony benches so tight it was almost hard to breathe (and stay awake.)

*Raising my arm to the square with tears streaming down my face as I listened alone in my BYU apartment bedroom as Spencer W. Kimball was sustained as prophet, seer, and revelator. My testimony once again confirmed.

*Making packets for my children which included M&M's for conference bingo, so that it might be a good listening experience for all of us.

*The event of cable TV and my sisters coming to our house to watch conference and taking all the good seats while I was fixing them food. I know, me and Martha!

*Standing in line when the Conference Center first opened with two tickets and four possible attendees. How do you handle that? Janae and friend Caroline finally peeled off at the last minute and headed for the Tabernacle. Ryan and I very much enjoyed being there live. As I sat by Ryan, he sketched the speakers in his journal as he listened. One of my best memories, especially in light of the last few years.

*Hearing President Hinckley announce the rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple. I thought my heart would burst!

*Every time they announce new temples I rejoice for those parts of the world. Prophecy being fulfilled!

*This weekend, just me and my sweet hubby sitting in our favorite spots listening without any interruptions. I had a new responsibility and I listened as one who will help decide the talks to use during the next six months for "Teachings for Our Times." It was wonderful!

A grandfather, son, and grandson

We stepped onto another important family milestone last night. Three generations of Jensen men attended the Priesthood Session of General Conference together. After grilled pizzas with family members and the sister missionaries, Glen was joined by his son, Eric, and grandson, TJ, at the broadcast at our stake center. As they returned home, I realized that I needed to record this special evening.

Glen and his sons have always made this a special time usually with a dinner out after. Lately we have been inviting the family over for a meal after the afternoon session of conference before they leave for the broadcast. Sometimes the wives and children hang around to socialize with me.

Glen has also had the opportunity to take his sons to Salt Lake City to attend in person.

On this trip Glen was able to introduce his sons to then Seventy Gardner Russell. Glen served as a missionary and AP under President Russell in Uruguay/Paraguay Mission in the early 1970's.

L to R - Ryan, Eric, Gardner, David, Glen, and cousin Aaron.

Julianna was really happy to see them come back. She stayed with me while her mother, Heather, and Toby went to their school Fall festival.

Before they left for the festival, there was a bit of music out on the front bench. We also had Nichelle and Oscar as visitors.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Traveling with the girls

Sometimes I tag along in the car to Yuma with Sally and her girls. We meet up with Glen and Dave after their client meetings. I then hop in the car with Glen for a ride back to Mesa and Dave joins the girls for the remainder of their trip to San Diego and the other grandparents.

This time I took the middle seat so that I could watch this little one sleep or find her pacifier.

And this one who is great with buckling seat belts and running the DVD player. I picked her up from school today, early, the first time anyone has picked her up from school early. It made me a bit homesick for my elementary teaching days. She will have an extra week of Fall break.

Sally was our trusted driver and partial wedding planner.

Two great events are coming for she and her family the next two weeks. Tara, in white, will marry and their brother, Troy, will be returning from the Albanian Mission. This picture of Sally and her mother and sisters was taken at Tara's bridal shower during our last Utah trip.

I love this picture of Tara flanked by her grandmothers. How fortunate she is to still have them both in her life at this special time.

Yesterday Mabel's baby afghan was also delivered to her. Finally!

Since I learned to knit over a year ago, I have knitted rather than crocheted Oscar's and Mabel's afghans. The process takes a bit longer but I really like the results.

So, before I leave the girls, did you visit the "Ladybug Picnic?" To help in your viewing, look for numbers LP 129, 132, 134, 145, and 148.

Love my girls!