Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Wow, what a roller coaster the last few weeks have been. It all happened very fast. I sold the condo. Everything fell into place, and at the last minute I was looking for an apartment. Luckily, I will have time after Christmas to clean the condo for the new owners. I had to move my vacation a week earlier than planned. The difficulty was that I became very sick. I have sinusitis and bronchitis together. So much for taking vacation time off. I was so sick I could barely move. In fact, the doctor told me to be in bed for at least two days. This was the weekend I was moving, so there was no way that was possible. However, in my frustration, I called my "rescuer", Shane. I told him how far I had gotten in preparing boxes for the move, and that I didn't know how I was going to do it. He and Deb came down and packed up most everything. He encouraged me to sign the lease that day and then they started moving stuff in that day. Saturday the Elders and my other brothers came to help. Brother Kasteller brought a truck. Deb and Shane were there again, seemingly in charge of what went where. Shane is the most organized, experienced, fastest mover I have ever known - and Deb - what can I say about her. She is a saint. I really needed a woman's mind in this, and she not only got in there and moved things, but she put things away and even put my bed together. I am relieved she was there. I could not have moved without Shane and Deb. I am ever grateful to them for their Christmas service of sacrifice. Evan also came, bringing his truck and lending me his basement for storage of some of the things that wouldn't fit in the apartment. He has such a great attitude about his cancer. I remember he said that we were all "terminal". Shawn came and reminded me what it is to serve family. He always shows up to help. He is such a great brother and I look up to his great example. My sisters are loved equally as much, but I didn't bother them with this move. One reason is that I was so sick I wasn't thinking past needing the brawn to move. I know that they would have been there to help, but it all happened so fast, I couldn't see the forrest through the trees.

I wasn't sure that we would have Christmas this year. But, true to his word, Malek found time to put up the tree even though our apartment is still filled with packed boxes. This brought the Christmas spirit to our new home. I have already had Christmas. It was given to me in the form of love from my family. I hope that I can strive to be more like my family. I love the Savior and am very grateful for His birth and life. I am looking forward to seeing the family tomorrow.

Love, Mel

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. The family gathered at Deb's house for dinner. She had worked hard to prepare for the gathering and was rather stressed. I felt so bad for her having to take that big job on. I felt good though, that I was able to help with the dishes afterward. My back hurt, like usual, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

It was good to see everyone there. Evan had finished his current round of treatments and was as funny as ever. I love his humor.

This has been a rather stressful holiday for Malek and for me. Since we had an offer on the house through a short sell, and the bank has accepted that offer, we are now in a rush to pack and to find a place to live. We looked all day today (Friday) and I think we have a pretty good idea of where we want to go, but we shall see if it works out that way. Money is an issue, we will be short the paycheck I was counting on to get into a rental, but again, we'll have to work around that. I hate the idea of packing. I'm so sore all the time. It seems like a monumental task. But, again, I hope that I will get help from Malek. With all the stress, also comes relief because I know that I will get into a more affordable payment that I am in now. That should alleviate so much of my stress level.

Malek and I went to Roger Christensen's daughter's wedding reception tonight. It was Jenny's wedding. I remember her coming with us on an inservice once. She is such a sweet girl. I think she did everything right and her reception was just beautiful. Roger also had a daughter get married just a few months ago, so he and his wife had to do to weddings fairly close to one another. My dream for Malek is that he would be able to have a nice wedding reception some day. . . but more than the wedding reception, I hope that he chooses a spouse wisely and that they will be married in the temple.

Well, I had better get to bed. There is a lot to do tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Condo for Sale

For the past six months I have come to realize that the move to this condo was a bit more than I could afford, but somehow we have been able to keep our home. Unfortunately, the time has come that we need to move. Our debt has exceeded our income and now it is time for a reality check. I need to live in an apartment. I won't have to deal with lawns or mowers or things going out. I won't have to worry about HOA fees. My rent will be much lower than my current mortgage and we'll be able to "live" again. I am selling my home by "short sale", which means that there won't be any money that I have to put in to pay realtors, but my credit will take a serious hit for a few years. Having been one who prided myself on my excellent credit, this was quite a blow to me. But then, it is worse of a blow to not be able to afford where you live. Lesson learned. Evan and Julie have been through it and much I too will get through this. I understand that this process can take several months. For now, our goal is to get out of debt. Debt is definitely bondage. I guess we're never too old to learn life's hard lessons. Since I have made this decision, I have already felt a big weight lifted from my shoulders so I know it is the right thing to do. I will keep everyone updated when I finally get to move.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Promised Pics of Bryce Canyon

As promised, I have put a few pictures up of what we saw on our trip in July to Bryce Canyon. I'm not very good at posting them, like Evan. Maybe I'll get with it and learn how. Until then...don't you think Malek is a great photographer!

Today we went to Shane's priesthood session at 8:00 a.m. It was combined with the Relief Society because they had a special guest. It was an actual descendant of Joseph Smith, I believe through Hyrum Smith. He showed us some great artifacts. Some of them included the bloodstained shirt that Hyrum wore the day he was shot. He also had the pants and vest that Hyrum wore. There was a family dinner bell, a pair of great spectacles, a sword from when they were in the military, and the watch that Hyrum had inside his vest pocket when he was shot in the back. The face of it of course, had been destroyed. And my favorite item was the actual box that the gold plates were in for a time. It had Alvin's name carved on it. The speaker told the story of how Joseph used the box and how the Angel Moroni had told him years earlier that it needed to be a locked box. He didn't have a locked box when he brought the plates home, but later he was able to get a lock for it. It was a neat experience, especially to share it with Malek. I was so greatful that Shane and Deb invited us to come. Malek enjoyed it too, although at this time he does not show great emotion toward spiritual things. My prayers are continually with him that one day he will gain a strong testimony of the gospel. I sincerely know that it is true and I have felt the Spirit witness it to me many times. I love the gospel and I am amazed that I was blessed enough to be born in the covenant. I think about dad's father, my grandfather, and how he was converted to the Church. That was only two generations ago!

Today, the missionaries are coming for dinner at 5:00 pm, and then the hometeachers are coming at 6:00 p.m, and we still have to go to sacrament meeting at 1:00 p.m. Malek is all churched out today, but it has been a good day for me. Until next time, Mel

Malek enjoying lunch - Rocky posing

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Me and my baby

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Looks a lot like a tooth

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Bryce Canyon - Photo by Malek 7-09

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hospital Visit

Once again, yours truly had to make a run to the ER. Saturday morning I awoke with tremendous pain in my right side. I just dealt with it until Monday when I decided to visit the nurse at work to see what it was. It hadn't subsided at all and it was quite painful. They told me I needed to go to the ER to get it checked out. Malek came and got me and we went to St. Marks. At first they thought it could be the gall bladder, then they thought it could be kidney stones, but it was neither, it was a muscle spasm. I never in my wildest dreams thought that was what it was. I had had a muscle spasm in my jaw before and it didn't feel anything like this one. It felt like knives were stabbing me from the inside out. The morphine they gave me helped as long as I layed still, but my breathing was so shallow, they had to give me oxygen too. I couldn't take a deep breath at all. Anyway, I returned to work the next day. It is now Wednesday, day 5 of the spasm and it still has not gone away, but it has settled down to the point that I can work. I am hoping it won't take too long before I can take a deep breath again. It was good timing because Malek actually thought school started that day, but it turned out that it started on Wednesday. He was able to stay with me the whole time. He was such a trooper. He took great care of me. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Malek and I went to Roger Christensen's daughter's wedding reception last Friday. It was in the stakehouse gymnasium, but it was the most elegantly decorated that I have ever seen. Roger hugged Malek. They both have talked to each other before and had established a good relationship. I was so happy to see them hug. He has been getting thoughts of what is nice for a wedding for his future and he keeps asking me "The woman pays for most of it, right?" What can I say? There is etiquette and then there is practicality. Actually, I am hopeful that he will make a good choice for a wife one day. We can worry about the rest later. It was nice to see how the Christensen's decorated though. The whole occassion was quite nice.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Our Summer Vacation

Some people travel all over the world for their summer vacations. Although that sounds like a dream come true, I could not afford to do that financially or with the vacation time I have accrued at work. This year I took a week off work for my vacation. I haven't done this for many many years, but thought it was a good idea to get away and to get some things done at home. We left on Monday for Bryce Canyon and took Rocky with us. Rocky has never travelled more than a 15 minute drive to the vet. It was like packing a baby. We put a sheet on the back seat, put his kennel with his special blankey and toys in it. I had his treats, dishes and water behind the seat too. He actually did pretty well. He cried for awhile, then Malek held him because I was driving. Rocky really wanted to sit on my lap, but Malek kept him at bay since that wasn't safe. We stopped in Beaver for gas and to let Rocky out for his business. He was happy to get out, but it was really hot and I had to make sure he stayed hydrated. He wouldn't drink water out of his bowl, so I poured a little in my hand, and he licked it right up. (Yes, I washed my hands afterward.) He got back in the car and put his face in front of the air conditioner to cool off. We also brought a water bottle to "mist" him and keep him cooled down. He did spend some time in his kennel sleeping.

When we got to Ruby's Inn, we discovered that they did not allow pets in the main building of the hotel. Well, that is where my original reservation was because I wanted a whirlpool tub for my fibromyalgia. They had other outlying buildings that did not have the whirlpool but pets were allowed there. I explained that I had reserved the whirlpool room in the main lodge because of my fibromyalgia and that their website said they accepted pets and made no mention of the no pets in the main lodge rule. They made an exception and allowed it. I must say, Rocky was a perfect gentleman and made no messes. He was very good about telling us when he needed to go and we took him outside. He even stayed in his kennel without barking for an hour while Malek and I went to dinner. We sure got a lot of compliments on him. By the way, the whirlpool was totally awsome! Someday, I would love to have one in my own bathroom!

We ran into another snafu regarding pets though. Malek and I had planned to take the simplest trail with Rocky and found out that pets aren't allowed on the trails either. Oh brother! So, we drove to each of the designated sites and got out, let Rocky out, and took pictures of the beautiful canyon. This actually worked out for the better because I don't think we would have seen all the views if we had walked only the one trail. Even though bringing Rocky seemed to be an obstacle, we worked around it and were very glad we brought him. We really bonded.

We took several pictures and I'll have to post a few when we get them developed. But I did want to write about our experience while it was fresh on my mind. We got home late Wednesday afternoon. I had a major headache all the way home. By the time I got home, it was a migraine. Thursday was a blur to me. I remember trying to get to the doctor to get a shot, but my doctor was out of town. So I asked them to look in my file and see if they could prescribe something and call it in to the pharmacy. They did. I was so grateful. I slept the rest of the day Thursday and most of Friday. I think I will change my schedule at work to 1 1/2 days of sick leave.

Friday afternoon my head felt better and so I took the challenge of cleaning out the garage - a task that was on my list of things to do while I was off work. There were some items I had to throw out and some items I am giving to Malek's girlfriend to sell at their garage sale next week. Most of it is just junk that will end up at the DI if it is not sold. My other planned task for my time off was to clean out my file cabinet. I hope I can at least begin that tomorrow. However, Saturday is scheduled to be a very busy day for both Malek and I and I hope that I will find the energy to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

Monday will be here soon enough and I'll have to return to work. I am so grateful for work, but it sure has been nice to have this time off.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone. Yesterday marks our one year anniversary of living in our Murray condo. I can't believe it has been a whole year since we moved from Tooele. It is so nice to be living closer to family and to work. I really love my ward and feel so blessed to be here.

It is a holiday today, and so Malek went over to Lexi's house to do fireworks with her family. I am home alone, but I'm really ok with that. Earlier today, Malek and I went over to Shane and Debbie's house to swim. Lori and her whole family came over. I got to see the grandnieces. Jaylee seems so grown up and she is just turning 7. Kylea was a joy. She is only 17 months and she let me hold her in the pool and hold her to eat her dinner. It was so cute the way she curled her lower lip when Shane told her "no" and she began to cry...but ever so slowly. I wish I had a camera to take a shot of that little girl. She is an absolute doll!

Malek and I are getting ready to go to Bryce Canyon on Monday. We are only going for two nights. We'll be home Wednesday night, but I'm excited to take some time off work and get away to see nature's beauty. We are taking our sweet little Rocky with us, so I am sure it will be quite the adventure. I have made a list of things that I would like to accomplish while I am off for this week, but I know the time will pass quickly and I probably won't get it all done. No matter, I'll finish it sometime.

Well, I had better get to sleep so I can start my day at a fairly decent hour tomorrow. I'll write again after we get back from our trip.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Today has been one of feelings. Nothing more than that. Michael Jackson died today, and I think Farrah Fawcett died yesterday. These two actors were icons as I was growing up. Michael Jackson's music is what I danced to back in my twenties. Wow, an era has gone by. Now my own son is twenty.

I also just want to take a moment here and say that I am extremely embarrassed about asking for money for the tortillas at dad's party. Normally, I never would do that. I usually don't take leftovers home either. As a matter of fact, I left the extra tortillas and a multitude of sour cream and thought nothing of it. I guess I just was thinking about how I bought too many of those good tortillas from Taco Time that others might want to buy a package. I should have kept my mouth shut because it has bothered me ever since. I am sorry - so very sorry.

Also, I am sorry I didn't help clean up. I was really hurting that day, but that is no excuse. I should have helped. I will make more of an effort to do so at future family functions. I feel sometimes like the family talks behind my back about my lack of ettiquette. (Probably not true, it's just my own lack of confidence/esteem.) I do apologize and hope that you all will forgive me.

I love you all very much and would not ever intentionally hurt anyone's feelings. If I have offended anyone, I apologize. Life is too short to carry the pain.

Love, Mel

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dad's 80th Birthday Party

I knew today would be a better day, in spite of the rain. So we didn't get to swim. The small children didn't seem to mind swimming in the rain. After all, the pool was 95 degrees. As usual, Shane and Deb were the perfect hosts. Everything was so nice from the Mexican Fiesta decorations to the wonderful food buffet of Mexican tacos, fruit salad, virgin margaritas, and many many desserts. Shoni had prepared a wonderful photo video of dad's life and with Shane's help it was set to music. In fact, it was Jim Reeve's music and singing - one of dad's favorite and one that I remember when I was growing up. We saw so many people from my childhood. The Eubanks, the Yates, the Lunts, Sheryl Bohn, dad's sister Liz, and so many more. It was wonderful to see them. I think dad enjoyed his party. We sure enjoyed giving it to him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Day of Bad Luck

I kept wondering if today was Friday the 13th or something. I got to work and my boss called. He sounded awful. He said he had been up all night in the ER. His wife and son have the swine flu. Of course we all worried about that. Everyone is taking precautions at work. Then I got a call from one of the area office coordinators that I work with. He and his wife just bought 4 wheelers for the summer and wanted to try them out this last weekend. His wife crashed, broke her arm and pelvis. He was trying to work and go to the hospital to see her. Another secretary that I work with - her father passed away. After that phone call, someone saw our senior missionary on a stretcher. He had just passed my desk an hour before and now he was having a heart attack. Then Malek called me and said that Discover Card had won the battle and he was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. Hello - what a day!

I am so looking forward to seeing the family tomorrow for Dad's birthday party. I know it has to be a better day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It's official - I have entered the world of technology. I'm a blogger. Having been an avid reader of my brother Evan's blog, I have found it an interesting way to keep a life journal. I would like to begin today. Today I created and formatted my official blog. I hope it looks ok, I kind of like it.