Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kick Ball Change and Sushi

 I didn't get much sleep last night and three hours sleep for a few nights in a row is making it hard for me to stay awake to write this.

We have had early morning play practices for the past few days. I worked in the yard and garage from the second I arrived home from play practice until about 10:30. I was pulling weeds in the dark last night.

It was a super hot day but I got lots done and still have lots to do with the garage and the garage door frame but I was so tired tonight after running all the errands I didn't get run yesterday and I also went to the chiropractor today as I have been waking with numb arms at night.

By the time I got home today it was nearly dark and I was tired so I stopped and picked up two sushi rolls and some fresh cherries. I purchased a small massage chair and I have been pulling out things for Princess Five to take to school this past few days as well. I brought in the massage chair and brought in a folding bookcase I had in the garage and while eating this wonderful dinner, I put my feet up on the folding bookcase that I need to dust and polish and watched a show.

I wanted to fall asleep in the chair but my lower and upper back are sore so I opted to blog and go to bed early. My sleepitis is kicking in as I have been sitting at the computer for over an hour and keep falling asleep. I would wake and try to find a picture I had saved and couldn't remember where I saved it and so on.

A few neighbor kids have been waking me as they play and yell. I miss Princess I've but am so tired, I wouldn't be seeing her if she were here. I know she is having fun on her trip. I am now headed to bed! Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Minds Been In the Gutter

I shared with you that I got new gutters on my home a week or so  ago. I hired someone to put up seamless gutters which I am super excited about as my others dripped at every seam.
I was taking a picture to share with you and something dived right at my face as I was taking the picture and I started and backed away only to see a little humming bird darting back and forth in front of me.
I had just eaten watermelon that was super sweet so I think it was smelling that. I got the bird in the picture I took which was a fun find upon looking at the picture.

I had borrowed my neighbors high ladder to get the old gutters off and they came over saying they needed it for a project next week so I figured I had better get the rest of the project done before then.

On the new drain spouts they have them down the house but I need them to drain away from the house into drain pipes on one side and off the sidewalk on the other side.

I went to several stores in town to see what I could find and Walmart had $10 large tubes that were round and I wasn't happy with how large or expensive they were but bought two just for the side that has drain pipes. I then went to Home Depot and they had these smaller flexible tubing that was half the price of the larger tubes and they fit on the bottom of the drain-spout better. I took the larger ones back to Walmart. 

I was able to get four and use the on both sides of the house. I worried about the weed whacker damaging them but they seemed to do OK with that process yesterday.

I also bought some metal drain spout guards that keep leaves and stuff out of the down spouts. Over the years I have had lots of junk down in the angled part of the down spout and have had the take it apart to clean it.

I was THRILLED to find these little metal guards that will keep sticks and any larger items that may block the drain out of the down spout. I learned that there is a right and a wrong way to put them into the spouts. You have to wiggle it around and force it over screws in order to get the metal to pop out and fill the space in the drain. If you don't get it right, there is a gap between the edge of the drain and the metal mesh.

I had a problem with one drain as they put the support screw bar right over the drain-spout so I had to improvise and put one in upside down as I couldn't fit it in the other way. It will still work but may need to be "dumped" every so often.  

It was wonderful to see that they sealed their work and that the gutters were attached securely as I had to go around every few years and hammer ours back in, these are secured with screws and are attached every two feet or so.

I also put in some Gutter Guard in the gutters in the back yard that get tree leaves every year. It is super easy to put into the gutters and I used it last year and my gutters had NO leaves and sticks which I am usually cleaning once or twice a year. It is very worth the cost if you have a yard with large trees. It just pushes into the gutter and the leaves and twigs usually roll off.  

It isn't very expensive if you do it yourself. I know there are different types but I tried this one and it worked great so I decided to stick with it. You just unroll it as you go and then squeeze the mesh into the gutter edges and house and it makes this little bump and the slight bow to it, keeps it in place.

I think it looks great and am super happy I won't be having to clean out those back gutters any time soon.

Have a BLESSED Day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Free Fans In Japan - Princess Four Mission Moments

What is up my Beautiful Hito! Is everyone Genki? I sure hope so!

I had some other emails to attend to, so this will be short, but first off, THANK YOU SOOO x infinity much for sending my companion birthday emails. Sisters, cousins, College friends, mission friends. I don't know if it made her more happy to be wished a happy a birthday, or to hear her say, "Who the freak is Gabriella?, Why did your Sister email me?, Who is this person? I don't know these people?" But I know who you are. She mentioned so many other fun names. You are all so great! You will receive blessings.. I promise. You REALLY made me happy! I feel so loved!  And so does she!
Fun fact. This is like the hottest summer in like 125 years in Hokkaido, so we are melting, but its cool.

Fun things of the week! AKA Some Miracles!!! SPLITS!! Oh my goodness, shout out to Carl shimai raking in the blessings. We were able to find a boy who stopped coming to Eikaiwa out of the blue. He said he can't reply to the elders, but he gets their messages. So like that was SOO awesome!
And then right after that, we stopped by a potential investigators house with a huge garden. She didn't take the Book of Mormon, but she recognized it and said a story about Mormons 30 years ago. Then she ran inside and gave us nice fans! So cute! Pictures included.

I gave a talk this week... oh boy... I pretty much just copied the PMG, but nobody noticed, or if they did they didn't tell me... Thank you MTC for the language books! Everyone was SO impressed with my Japanese..... I plagiarized my whole talk, but thank you ward members! I really actually put a lot of time into it, so that was really scary, but I got through it!

I wrote a note for the other woman who spoke, and she sent me a nice text message. Everyone, I hope you are showing appreciation to those around you. It can make their whole day!

I am still finding happiness out here in Japan! Sorry this one is choto lame... Just remember happiness is a choice. Don't let others choices affect your happiness!

 More chocolate factory with The mission presidents daughter
Free fans!!!
I pick good birthday presents. We found a new love of blowing bubbles!
Fireworks are my new thing, and God sent me a heart shaped one when I tried to take pictures. #shukufuku My favorite American family in our ward at basketball night. I found out they also love musicals! Dear sisters, don't worry, they updated me on new things in the musical world!
Don't worry.
The sunsets are even more amazing in real life. The sunsets are soooooo pretty!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Broadway Birthday For Princess Five

The last few weeks have been super busy. I have been cleaning out my garage, going to five hours of play practice a day, I traveled to see a Dr. and Princess Five had her 18th birthday. 

I have been giving Princess Five gifts for her birthday for the last few months as she is getting ready to head off to college. I have been purchasing shirts for a quilt she would like and she has been on three major trips / tours. I have paid for them and been gathering items she will need at college.

She has gotten some really cute dishes, bath sets, bed spreads, silverware and other items. I think she is feeling a little bit more prepared for college.

The day of her birthday, I was out of town and we had five hours or more of play practice. She didn't want to go with me out of town as I thought we could get some lunch and visit but one of her friends called and she was planning on bringing her a pizza to play practice for dinner.

Princess and I were at practice and I looked over at about 8 p.m. and she didn't look great and I asked her what was wrong and she said that she was hungry. I asked her what happened with her pizza dinner and she told me her friend backed out. I realized that I hadn't eaten all day and she hadn't eaten in hours. I knew she wanted pizza for her birthday but thought it was covered.

It just happened that my dear friend Melissa was at the play for a few minutes as she was helping with props. She owns a pizza shop. Even though it was near nine, I asked if she would be willing to bring a pizza for Princess Five. She was so sweet! She rushed off and came back with a large cooked pizza for Princess Five, a gluten free pizza for me and made a dessert pizza as a "birthday cake" for Princess Five.

We arrived home after ten and both really enjoyed our pizzas and she enjoyed her "cake" pizza as well. I know it wasn't her idea of a great birthday but she seemed happy to have pizza and cake to finish it up.

I gave her a personalized license plate and she chose to put a Broadway quote on it. "Dancing Through Life" is a song from "Wicked" and she was limited by space and letters on the plate. I also found her a "Broadway" wall hanging and have been working on finding Broadway t-shirts so I can make her a t-shirt quilt out of musical theater shows.

It may not have been exactly what she wanted, but it was wonderful that she was on stage practicing for a Broadway show performance, she also got some fun Broadway stuff and hopefully, we will have enough shirts to make her t-shirt quilt soon. She is leaving today for another trip to some fun spots with a 4H group. I will miss her but know she will have a wonderful trip with some of her best friends!

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Play Practice for Days

Princess Five and I have been at play practice for at least five hours ever day this week. My feet are so swollen and sore as I have be dancing much of that five hours.
I have so many things to do to be ready for the play. I have costumes to make, mend, alter and decorate. I was hoping I could work on some of the costumes while in between scenes but we just kept running the chorus scenes.
We are going to have the busiest next few weeks and hope that my feet start feeling better and are less swollen before the play. I have just been working in my garage cleaning in the heat so they aren't going down.

I haven't worked on my mothers stuff in the past month and hope that I can find some time for that soon as well but as of now, I am hoping I can just make it through July, the play and my garage!
Have a Blessed Day! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Joy of Being a Grandmother

Lately I have been so busy doing house and yard that I haven't posted the fun things. I tend to just post things that are current and lately, it has been super busy and crazy.

About five months ago, Princess One skyped me on my new computer and had Grand-Princess One read me a Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham."

A few weeks back, Princess Five was face timing Princess One and we got Grand Princess One on a good day. Some days, she won't sing for us but that day, she was really happy to sing.

She sang two songs for us. One is an action song that she sings at Nursery called, "Once there was a Snowman" where they make actions and melt in the sun into a small spot on the ground.

She also sang us the "ABC Song" and she was so cute. I love the ones that she messes up. I also love that she feels so confident to sing it out loud. She was so adorable.

I also loved that Prince One was playing in the background with Grand-Prince One. He reads to them each night allowing them to pick the book. He plays a game with his daughter when he gets home. When she hears the door open or sees him pull up through the front window, she runs and hides and then when he comes in, he has to "find" her. She gets so excited when he gets home, it is so adorable.

I hope you enjoy her cuteness as much as I do! Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Removing My Own Rain-Gutters

 About a year ago, it was raining SUPER hard one night. About three a.m. I had a really strong feeling (or as I like to call it a prompting) to go outside and look at the front corner of my house.

I grabbed a flashlight and an umbrella and trudged out into the downpour wondering why I would be having that feeling at such a time. I went right to that corner of my house and saw sheets of rain coming off the roof there and my rain gutters were being pushed away from the house and there was a section of about four feet that were at least a foot away from the house.

I love my Heavenly Father  who gives me promptings or tells my guardian angels to work out the situation as I needed to know that there was a problem in that corner of the house. There were just little signs here and there that a small amount of water was getting into the corner wall of the house.

I had the roof done several years back and I kept seeing little drips in the basement window frame showing that some water had gotten into the frame / wall. I live in a fairly dry state and even if it did leak, it would evaporate quickly so it was more of a mystery where the water was coming from than a worry about it as there was never enough to do anything with it.

I had more insulation put into my attic a few years back and with that, when it would rain, it would creak more. I think a small amount of water was getting in and wetting the insulation and then make the insulation heavy causing it to creek.

When I hammered the gutters back into the house, I didn't get them under the little metal edge and I had many times over the years cleaned them out trying to seal the joints with different methods and couldn't quite get them to stop leaking at the joints. The people who sold me the house put them up themselves and there were many bent nails.

I had the trees near the house and needed to prune them before getting new gutters so I postponed them going up until I was able to finish the trees. As you can see by my post a few days ago, they are now pruned. I was able to climb on the roof and kick down some of the gutters and was able to pull down the rest so I could get new ones put up. I saved a few hundred dollars by taking them down myself.

I also hired someone to redo the gable flashing and apparently, the roofers did the East gable right and the West gable wrong and unfortunately, the West is where most of the storms hit my home so each time it would rain REALLY hard, some water would seep down under the roof shingles and drip a bit in the basement window! It also explained the sheet of water during that super storm a year or so ago. Yea for figuring out that mystery and getting it fixed! It will be nice to have seamless gutters!

Have a blessed day! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Prayers Needed in Japan

I had a weird thought a few weeks back about Princess Four maybe coming home early. I thought it a "weird thought" as she has been doing so well and you can follow her posts as I post about once a week since she left in October.

That evening, she wrote me a personal email stating that she was having some health issues. She was having the exact symptoms that Princess Two had in Taiwan before coming home sick a few months early from her mission.

She is having metal taste in her mouth, sores in her mouth, one her face and now sores in other areas. This is stressful to me as I have been through this twice before and they weren't the best outcomes so I am a bit worried.

She got some cream from a Dr. and it was helping the sores on her face and she got some medication from an older couple that were headed home to the U.S. for her mouth but now she is having a few other symptoms. I told her to speak to the Mission Presidents wife and hopefully they can get her in to see another Dr. and figure out what is going on. Truly, she loves her mission and wants to stay and finish it up but I don't think she would be able to take another year like this so any prayers you can send her way would be appreciated! Here is her latest letter.

"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear beautiful people, but mostly right now my little sister Princess Five, but you all deserve some birthday love toooooooo, Happy birthday to you! *sung to the tune of happy birthday with the long part in the middle sung on the same note*

So miracles of the week. It was crazy. Also, yesterday we were fed by our amazing ward mission leader, and I thought he said that he ate raccoon, but he didn't, but he made sure to assure me that we were not eating raccoon pot-stickers, so don't worry! It was really cute!

But miracles. We were biking and stopped for a phone call that took a while, because we sat for so long, I was feeling bad because I was making my companion wait. But then our ward mission leader pulled up in his car, in a super random area  and was like, let us feed you and your investigator Ayaka. It was awesome! Especially because you never really get recognized here, because nobody knows who you are, it was so cool! Also saw a man in a go kart dressed as Donkey Kong. So that was a party. 

But the dinner with Ayaka went really well. She loves my moms blog videos. Her mom made us a video saying sorry that she couldn't come to our events, so we made a video for her, and hope she lets her daughter get baptized! 

We are having a member extend the invitation today, so lets all pray that that goes well! 

We met the new mission president this week!!!!! So cool!!! President and his family are so cute! We were also asked to sing, and our song went really well. It had 6 singers, an organ, and a piano. We rocked it. 

The presidents wife and daughter were able to come to our Fourth of July party! They came with the senior couple! The party was so awesome! Everyone had such a good time! Thank you God for that inspiration! God bless America! I hope everyone had a good fourth! 

I got to see my MTC companion and spend a little bit of time with her! Ayaka got a job at a convince store right by the elders apartment. We were able to give away a free family English program flyer to a cute mom at a baseball game! We are going to have to drop a less active member we have been teaching, so that will be hard, but we think that is what we need to do right now!

Sorry This week is kind of a blur, we had some health issues and a conference, so not too much dendo, but we are going to see lots more miracles so. Just you wait!

I love you all so much! I hope life is happy! Happy is a choice, and I choose it everyday! I also had a sort of cool spiritual experiences. Go read Moses if you want to have some awesome personal study. I learned a lot from it! I hope everyone there isn't dying of heat, because we are melting over here, but we keep pushing on! Stay happy! Happy Birthday again Princess Five. You're beautiful! Don't ever forget it!

福音は真実です! The gospel is true! 愛しています! I love you!"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Trimming the Tree and Saving the Birds

I don't know if you remember when I posted about our nectarine tree that was dying last year and commented how I thought it looked like a "Dr. Seuss" tree but here is a link to that post.

I had to take that tree down so I could put a peach tree in its place last fall as the entire tree did finally die due to boring insects. I was sad to see it go but have hopes that the peach will take off and hopefully, it is a seedling from one of my peaches as my tree was wonderful, juicy and sweet. It may have sprouted from a neighbors tree which was a white peach and was a bit dry and non-flavorful.

We won't find out this year as none of my trees have any fruit on them. I may have 6 plums this year, no pears, no apples on the variety tree and no green plums and a few apples on one of the golden delicious trees.

It seems like God gives us bumper crop years before famine years where the fruit trees are concerned.

I have had some issues with a new roof I put on a few years back and will maybe get to that post in a few days but I needed new gutters on the house and had someone come and give me a bid a few weeks back and they were supposed to come but I postponed them a week.

I have worked and worked on my gutters trying to seal them for years, cleaning them out regularly, using the rubber seal spray etc. I think if I had used some thin rubber tubing and sealed it between the seams, it may have sealed but I have had to hammer them in several times and they were put up by the last owners and not a professional so they just haven't really ever worked well.

I figured if I were getting new gutters, I would need to get the front trees cut down or pruned short so that they wouldn't hit the gutters on the way down damaging the expensive new seamless gutters.

I had Princess Five help me and on the first day, we cut off about four or five major branches hanging over the house and one section of the larger tree. It took us hours in the super heat to cut the wood for the wood pile and clean up all the smaller branches for the garbage man. You can see in the first three pictures what we got done the first day. Lots of fire wood and lots of garbage and bundles for the garbage men the next day.

We cut down major branches from both front trees the second day and I had blisters on my hands from the saw, rough bark and on that day, I could hear two birds freaking out every time I would go outside or got on the ladder to cut. They were dive bombing me and so I looked for a nest and high on one of the front branches was a nest. I could see a baby beak just over the top and could hear several baby birds and the mom kept bringing worms but I could see and hear both dad and momma bird extremely upset whenever we were near that branch or sawing on the tree at all. You can see it in the y section in the photo above.

I had one last large branch on the back to cut but didn't want to take a chance on it hitting the front branch with the nest in it as I accidently killed some babies in a nest last year and felt horrible for days. I figured it wouldn't matter if we left that lone front branch I could cut by myself later in order for the bird family to survive for another month. I ended up working on the other tree for the rest of the second day and you can see how the trees ended up on that day. We had about 10 bundles of twigs for the garbage and another few loads of fire wood for the pile.

The last day, we had play practice in the morning but when we got home, my sweet neighbor came over and asked if he could help with the remaining branches so I asked him to help me pull down the larger back branch by cutting it how I told him so that it would fall a certain way and then I could pull on the rope making it miss the front branch with the nest as those poor birdy parents had been so diligent for three days trying to protect their babies. I wanted to do my best to help them.

By notching a v in the front and by coming down on the back at an angle towards the "V" we were able to get it to fall towards the house and as soon as it started to lean, I had him jump down and come help me pull it away from the house once it had creaked past the branch with the nest in it. Of course I said a few prayers in behalf of the little birds nest. Last year after I killed those babies by removing a nest from above my window, I opened an antique songbook and it opened to a song about not hurting the baby birds. I felt horrible and swore I wouldn't do that again if I could help it.

We were able to do it perfectly and then he helped with the last few branches on the other tree as he had a folding ladder that fit better with a smaller base than the larger ladder I was using so he stayed until the larger branches were down and then Princess Five and I spent hours cutting up the last branches and we had twice as many bundles as we had the first day and I am sure the garbage men hated us this week as we had so many bundles of branches but it was good to get that done. I have a few branches to finish trimming but am super glad that I was able to get that large job done as it has been years since I cut back those trees.

It felt good to get that done even thought it wasn't even on the "to do" list, it was something that needed to be done. I called and rescheduled the new gutters and will share that with you later.

I can't help thinking of Horton Hatching his egg on my tall single branched tree but I smile when I ear the little chirping babies thinking I made someone's day even it is was a bird!

Have a BLESSED Day!