Karen's Keepers

Karen's Keepers

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Well, here we are in the thick of the holidays! In some ways I love it, in some ways I don’t. I’ve got 2 more weeks of school and then I’m done! We have friends from Los Angeles coming to stay for a few days before Christmas, and also Ingrid, Jeff and Kalvin will be here for a few days after that. Something to look forward to! However, I still have shopping to do. And I hate the cold.

At the beginning of November I had to pick up a new hearing aid for my mom – her old one had a tear in it. I also canned tomatoes. ..What?? Yes, I had picked a bunch of tomatoes off the vine when the first frost came and I had them in the window ripening. So, it wasn’t a big batch. I still have 3 tomatoes in the window that are green! One night we went down to Ralph and Sandy Edson’s for dinner in their new house. He used to play guitar in the band that we were in when we lived in Los Angeles. They moved up here after he retired, and have now built a beautiful new house. It was a nice evening.

I have been to a couple of doctor’s this month. I went to the eye doctor – this time an ophthamologist instead of just an optometrist – to have the cataracts in my right eye checked. I guess they aren’t getting much bigger so I can wait awhile for surgery. My prescription hadn’t changed much, either. Then I also went to see the doctor about my hip joint. It has been bothering me for some time, but progressively keeps getting worse. First it started hurting all the time when I was on the treadmill (fast walk – not run), so we got a stationary bicycle for me to ride. That’s been a lot better because I don’t put any weight on my hip during exercise, but my hip has continued to get worse. It’s not too bad if I’m just around the house, but if I have to walk any distance (like into a store) I have a noticeable limp and it really hurts. So, the regular doctor had me get an x-ray. Nothing showed up, so I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon this Friday. I hope they can do something non-evasive for it – cortisone shots, maybe?

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday night so that Heidi could join us. She had to work on Thursday. Tyler also joined us, so there were 6 of us. It was very simple, but gave us a chance to reflect on all that we have. Tyler stayed that night and helped Randy put up the Christmas lights the next morning. The 3 of us went to see “The Big Year” that day. It is a movie about bird watching. It doesn’t sound too exciting, but the stars are Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Narration is done by John Cleese, and a few other stars that I recognized were Kevin Pollack, JoBeth Williams, Dianne Weist, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, and Corbin Bernsen. We loved it. I still keep hearing the ring tone “♪…the bird is the word… ” We came back home and had leftovers and pie. It was kind of nice to not have to do Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving!!

For the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, Randy and I decided to have a “stay-cation.” Friday morning we went to an art gallery downtown called the “Rio Gallery.” They didn’t have much there, but it was enjoyable to walk around and look at the paintings and sculptures that were on display. Following that we were going to go to a much larger art gallery, the “Hope Gallery,” but it was closed for the long weekend. We will definitely have to go there someday, however. They have some pieces from at least 25 different artists, including some of the masters (Rembrandt, Carl Bloch, etc). So, instead we went to the State Capitol building and walked through it. The offices there were also closed, but we could see the paintings, murals, and sculptures that are placed all around the inside. There were also a lot of other displays to see. From there we found a hotel room and then grabbed some lunch. Next we attended a play at the Desert Star Playhouse. It was a satire (as are all their productions) of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was pretty funny. Then the actors and actresses sang a handful of Christmas carols. It was enjoyable. From there we went to Tepanyaki for dinner and then went back to the hotel for a swim in the pool (Randy only – it was too cold for me) and to sit in the Jacuzzi (both of us).

The following morning we ate breakfast in the hotel lobby (there was also a small-college basketball team there) and then checked out. We drove up to the University and went through their new Natural History Museum. It was beautiful, and quite large. I always get a little put off when they start talking about “millions of years,” but we enjoyed it on the whole.

From there we went to see the movie “The Help” about black families in the South that were no longer slaves, but were basically still treated like they were by the families that they worked for, and how a newspaper reporter writes a book about it. It was excellent. After that, we went to the Living Planet Aquarium and looked at all the underwater life there. It was a pretty good museum, although not too large, and we especially enjoyed watching the penguins. There was glass so that you could see them both above and below the water and they kept chasing each other around and jumping in and out of the water. We then grabbed some dinner at Fazoli’s Italian restaurant (fast food) before going to IKEA. I thought we would just be in and out quickly, but NO. We finally found the exit without getting anything, and left and drove home. It was nice to get away for a couple of days and not think of work or school, but it was also nice to be home and sleep in our own bed!

Finally, I attended a missionary farewell for Clint Hubbard, the youngest son of Connie (Mach) Hubbard. It was nice. It’s hard to believe that everyone around my age has all their children grown – I. AM. OLD!!

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