Monday, July 31, 2017

Friends and Family in a SUPERcalifragalistic Play

We had three performances in two days after three full performance dress rehearsal days prior. This past week has me exhausted!

For the dress rehearsal days, I had to wear my Birkenstock's with a black sock over them due to my broken toe.
I put on my first shoe for the Friday night performance. It was feeling ok for the first part of Act 1 but by the end of the play, I could hardly walk.

Saturday was a super hard day being at the school for the entire day with no air-conditioning. By the time of the second performance on Saturday, I was completely exhausted! It was like being in a sauna for days nearly 6 hours or more a day. It wasn't my best performance. I was front and middle of the stage and messed up my dance for a few counts.

Friends said they didn't notice so I hope that is true but I am sure if I was in air-conditioning for the few days, I could have had more energy but I think months of dancing in the humid heat for hours and hours along with a knee injury and the broken toe / foot stomp has taken its toll on me.

It has been fun having three of my BUNKO friends in the play with me and also Princess Five doing a fabulous job as well!

I wish I could have enjoyed this more but I have been struggling enjoying myself very much due to the heat and there is literally no where to sit other than a few chairs in a very loud noisy room with lots of little children that is super hot. I found a little corner where we set up a few racks to change so we didn't have to be in the locker room which is super hot and smelly even worse than the halls.

I have a few Dr. apts out of town and more performances in the next few days. I will be so glad when this next few days is over. I have SO much to get done in the house and things I want to post about and hope I can feel up to both soon. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

I Couldn't Contain It - Exploding Salad Dressing

I had a bit of an incident today. I made some fresh cilantro salad dressing for Princess Five and I as we had our final dress rehearsal for the play we are in tonight.
It has been very hard to eat well while in the play as we go to practices at five p.m. most nights and get home between 10 and 11:30. We don't usually eat dinner that early so we are starving by the time we get home. Today, I wanted us to eat a good meal with protein before going as we have been super tired lately due to the rigorous practice schedule and the heat.

I made the fresh dressing, poured it into bottles and put it in the fridge. I opened the fridge to get something and the dressing bottle wasn't settled down in the door and hit the floor when I opened the door. The top cracked and the contents exploded everywhere.

I couldn't believe that there was enough force behind the fall for it to end up on the ceiling and light fixture. At first, we only noticed the floor and my clothes. It was everywhere. I cleaned up the floor and went to get back into the fridge and noticed it on the front of the drawers and top of the fridge inside and as I went to clean that, Princess Five drew my attention to the front of the freezer. I started laughing until I looked up even further and found it on the ceiling.

I cleaned it all up or so I thought and then Princess Five laughed that I had some in my hair. It was on my shirt and pants and when I went to get ready to leave for practice, I found some on my forehead. When we arrived home after play practice, I found some on the papers I had on the counter behind me when it dropped. It flew past me onto the papers behind me!

It was so weird that it didn't break the bottle. It just flew out all over in a circle from the floor, to the fridge inside and front, to the ceiling to me and the counter and back onto the floor.

I was glad Princess Five was still home when it happened as I have been dealing with some vertigo issues and she had to stand on a stool to clean the dressing off the ceiling so that was a blessing. I promptly threw out several items in the fridge and made sure that all the items we used were settled safely in the tray. I don't want to have that situation happen ever again! The worst part was losing the fresh dressing!

Have a Blessed and Abundant Day! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Nearly Perfect Credit - Helping Your Teen

Princess Five is headed off to college soon. I am really going to miss her in a few weeks when she is gone.

To help her get ready for college, we got her housing done, signed her up for classes, and she set up group chats with her new roommates as she doesn't know any of hers yet. This week, we started packing up items we have been collecting for her apartment like toasters, shower curtains, dishes etc. Yesterday, we went to the bank and set her up for a checking account and got her her own first credit card.

At the bank, since she hasn't had a job, we had to get both of our credit checked as she needed a cosigner instead of waiting until she got a job to apply for her first card. I always get raised eyebrows when people check my credit as I have fairly good credit. It is always over 800 out of the perfect 850. Imagine my surprise when Princess Five had a better credit score than I have! I have many credit cards and I have never paid interest on any card. My girls have great credit as I teach them about interest and using credit cards to make "cash back" by paying all their bills with a credit card and then pay it off each month and never paying interest on anything.

I have never met anyone with better credit than I have so I laughed out loud when Princess Five had a better credit score than I have ever had! I own a home, own several cars, never carry any debt and this teen who just turned 18 has better credit.
I am proud of her score and know it is because I have a different credit card for each of the girls and have them use the cards in high school when on trips so they get used to how a credit card works and also they don't have to take as much cash with them which is safer as well. If the card gets stolen, I can cancel it and we aren't liable for the items purchased by someone else.

All of this only works if you can only use a card to purchase only things you would buy if you had the cash. Using the card to pay off all my phone bills, grocery, gas and other purchases gives me up to $900 a year in cash back depending on the cards cash back available. I have one card
that gives 2% on every purchase and another that a gives 3% on gas so I use the 2% for everything other than gas. I use a AAA card at some gas stations as I get 4% back on all gas and then I pay with my 3% on gas card so I am getting 7% cashback on every gallon of gas.

Princess Five has better credit than 93% of the nation! I am in the B range with 85%. If you want to help out the kids, when they are about 14, add their name to your credit card as long as you can pay it off monthly, you wouldn't want to add them to the card if you have bad credit. 

Each of the girls have been very responsible with finances and getting their own credit cards and spending responsibly. Taking the time to teach them how to pay bills, about the dangers of interests and, the importance of credit has been a blessing in their world and mine!

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I'm Overheated, So is My Swamp Cooler

We came home the other day and our house was HOT! I could feel the swamp cooler pumping in hot air. It wasn't pleasant.

I knew immediately what was wrong. Every year or so, the swamp cooler pump goes out. Sometimes it is due to human error by leaving the pump on when the water gets turned off outside, but this time, there was plenty of water in the cooler.
The minerals build up and I scrub the cage it sits in and even with that, can you believe the build up of minerals on the base of the pump itself? Last year, I had a pump break but it was the base of the pump and the motor worked fine. Due to the base splitting, the water was squirting everywhere rather than into the hose that takes it to the top of the cooler.

I thought I could be frugal and save the motor off that one and put it on the base of the other combining the two pumps saving myself $20 for a new pump.I spent a few hours learning how to take apart the units as to not ruin the base of the one and to get the motor onto the top of the other and worked my best magic only to have the one motor not fit inside the other case well and was so tight that I couldn't get the motor to spin the pump base.

It was a frustrating hour or two and I gave up and threw away both motors. I had purchased a used pump at a second hand store for $2 a few months back knowing they go out and I don't want to purchase a new one just to have one on hand so I was SO grateful when we arrived home after church on a Sunday afternoon to find that I had one that I could slip into the cooler without having to try and live without until I could pick one up on Monday. We believe in trying to have the Sabbath as a day of rest and try to not shop on Sunday so that other don't have to work on Sunday either.  I wimped out on not working to fix it on Sunday as lately I am SO overheated and my feet are so swollen so I spent the few minutes it took to replace the broken one with the $2 find and was super grateful that the used one actually did work.

I am SO grateful for my swamp cooler but it has been so hot that even with it on, I sometimes struggle. Aren't we so blessed to be living at a time when we have air conditioning units in most buildings and homes. I can't imagine living in a log cabin in the middle of summer with no ice, cold water or some type of cooler. I used to think I would have been a good pioneer but the older I get, the less I believe that!

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Disney Princess Four In Japan - Could it Happen

Wowowowow, What is up Beautiful souls!! Is everyone spending their July celebrating? Eat lots of Suika(watermelon) for me!

You want to know what's poppin? My lipgloss, the gospel, the fireworks at your house and here in japan for all of the festivals, AND MY BIKE TIRE!!!!!!!!!!!! I ran over an Earring!!!!! I came out to get on my bike, and it was completely flat... don't worry. I still have the earring. Its owner has no idea that it made a new home in my front tire. My companion is an angel and patched it right up for me! And then the elders came and pumped it up for us. Why does every one love me so much!!

I honestly don't know what even happened this week... but lets try and focus on the MIRACLES!!!
FASHION INDUSTRY..... THE SPIRIT IS SO REAL!!! So the day I ran over the earring we were trying to visit a referral who wasn't home. My companion led the way being totally guided by the spirit! We pinged these few houses, and no body was interested. Then I felt like we should ping a apartment complex called "Cosmos." I was a little hesitant because I let my fears get in the way of the spirit, but I decided to be brave, and raise my voice. UM. Yes. Hello. God loves us. I felt like on one of the doors if they didn't answer, we should leave an English class flyer. I don't know why

I felt that, but then after pinging twice, and knocking we were about to leave,  then we hear a Sorry, in English.  We told her we speak Japanese. She said she wasn't interested in Religion. Then we said we teach free English that isn't gospel related. She got super stoked and she said, please wait a moment. So we waited for a very long moment, thinking maybe she wasn't coming back, then this super cute lady came out!!

We talked about fashion, and pearls, and she looked at my necklace. It is a good conversation starter. I wear a charm from my grandmother that is an abacus from her travels around the world. The Japanese people flip when they see it, then flip when I tell them the story behind it. I tell them my grandmother was famous and got it on her travels around the world and she picked up charms everywhere she visited. They always want to know why she was famous. Well... My companion usually jumps right in to let them know my grandmother was a USA Beauty Queen......

THIS LADY GOT SOOOO EXCITED!! We talked more, and she also found out I want to be a Disney princess in Japan. Her cousin is pretty high up in the securityness levels of Disney japan, so she said she would talk to him. More and more talking and cut two days later when we call her back after a missed call.... She talked nonstop for 40 minutes! She has a surprise present for me.... I'll let you know.... But she is giving me a Disney calendar, and already talked to her cousin.. and she mention getting tea and coffee together, and going to sing karaoke together.... haha don't worry, we will let her know why we cant do those things together. But yeah, so she is studying make up right now, so she wants to take glamor shots of me to send to Disney... so there was a lot more to the story, but that was like the most fun/crazy/funny/eventful/stressful because so much Japanese, but yeah. I can't wait to teach her!!!!!

Anyway. Spiritual things... haha We don't do a ton of work right now due to some health issues in the companionship, but I can see my Japanese improving. The gift of tongues is real. I love it. And the
scriptures ALWAY know just how to comfort me, and tell me what God needs me to know, and what to work on. Right now that is faith and Charity. Doing things of love makes everything a million times better!!! My situation isn't perfect right now, but I am still happy because I have the Lord on my side, and the purpose of his atonement is so that we can all be happy forever. Sorry there was only one long story, but it was really a crazy thing!

If you are feeling down. Go serve somebody out of love. It will change you!

Also... I didn't take any pictures this week.. except this one to my friends who gave me some peanuts butter... haha lol. Life is good folks! Happy end of JULY!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Step in Time - Break a Toe

Truly, once again I ask myself why I seem to need craziness in my world. I hyper extended my knee last week dancing in the play and was so frustrated but it is finally starting to feel better.

I had play practice everyday this week and had some super long days. I have so much I wanted to get done this week but between the bad knee and the play practices, going out of town one day, having a workman at my home all day another day, I had some super long and frustrating days.

I was finally feeling like maybe I was on top of everything on Saturday as I was hoping after the 7 hours play practice, I could get on the ladder and prune the large back tree as I have been borrowing a neighbors ladder and the needed it this weekend. I need to keep the tree short or I will have to pay someone again to prune it and I am trying to keep it from splitting off more as it has many times in the past few years.

I also planted a few fruit trees and if the large tree gets super tall, it blocks the sun from those trees. I am hoping eventually I can take out the larger tree and use the smaller trees for shade in the back yard.

I was excited when I thought the play practice may end early but it was taking forever and it has been super hot and humid and with my swollen feet, I just really wanted to get something off my "to do" list for the day.

We were on one of our last dances which is a big dance number and most of the cast is wearing tap shoes. I personally think only the leads should be in them as the teens keep making lots of noise and it is really hard to hear the choreographer and the director. Several people have gotten stepped on and toes pinched by other dancers as the stage is really crowded.

We were just about through with the dance scene when the cast stomps super hard three different patterns on the stage. A nearly 200 lb woman stomped hard and hit my foot. I am wearing soft elastic shoes. She hit me with the heel of her shoe with a full hard stomp in the top center front of my foot. I about hit the floor. I had no question that something was broken. I hobbled off stage, sat down and got some ice out of my drink and started icing my poor foot while sobbing.

I have a high pain threshold but it was such a direct hit I couldn't help cry. I think that due to the angle of her stomp and the height of my foot, the major hit was my second toe but I have a bruise in the shape of the heel around the front of my foot but it was a crush injury so the toes swelled and the bottom of my foot swelled. The toe has a break but there isn't much to do with a broken toe so I have just been using essential oils etc to try and help healing.

I am not sure I will be doing the dancing scene in the play but think more bruising will show each day as it starts to heal. Crazy busy time of life but I am hoping I will soon be able to get back to more on my "to do" list.

Even with all the crazy stuff, I am still so grateful for my life. I was discussing life situations with a few visitors tonight and sharing how I know my life is a bit crazy but I am living in a beautiful home, my kids and grandchildren are healthy, kind, smart, beautiful, educated and employed. There isn't much more in life one could want than those things, the rest is just fluff. I am SO grateful that it is just a broken toe and I can still drive, walk, work etc. We are truly blessed.

I hope you have a BLESSED Day!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Carry On - Just When I Needed It

You know I have been at play practice for five hours a day. You know that my feet are swollen for the past few weeks. You know that my lungs are damaged. You know that I have many things that are on my list of things I need to get done.

Today, I was struggling to breath. I don't know if it is the bug spray I have had sprayed recently or perhaps the humidity we have had for the past few days or just that my lungs are getting worse but I had a hard morning.

I was eating lunch and had my feet up trying to get the swelling to go down. I was so tired and I have also been dealing with some vertigo and light headedness and nearly fainted a few times last Sunday. I am really struggling with my health and was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with several others things I haven't felt I wanted to share publicly on my blog but there are several other major things going on in my life.

I was praying over my lunch and expressing to God how scared I am with my lungs not working and my situation with not being able cure the parasites and some of the other major things going on in my world. I turned on Netflix and instead of the show I was watching, I for some reason, chose to watch "Supernatural". I had started watching the new season but didn't find it entertaining so I had stopped after one or two episodes. I don't know why I clicked on it rather than other shows I was watching but I clicked on it. Right at the beginning, the song "Carry On My Wayward Son" played with scenes from other episodes. I was extremely lost on the plot and wondered what was going on. Halfway through the song I realized what the song was and smiled. If you remember, I had a grandmother that wrote a song "Carry On" and we happened to sing it on Sunday at church. Then that song came on today with these words: Carry on, my wayward son There'll be peace when you are done Lay your weary head to rest Don't you cry no more 

I was already sitting and had my feet up so I didn't want to resettle to change the show so I kept watching. Imagine my smile when hallway through the show, there is a rainbow painted on the wall. I felt like my prayer was being answered by not only God but by my mother as well. Here is a link to my history with "Carry On" and here is the first post about my mother and rainbows. I have many posts about each so you can search for more by typing in the search box at the bottom of the page to read more about each. I also worked on my bills today and there was a 1111 on one of my receipts. Here is a link to the first post on that as well.

I was super grateful for that reassurance that at some point I will be able to "have peace and rest my weary head" at some point.


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!!