Saturday, September 17, 2011

First Day in Italy

 What can I say? The bed was inviting and..... zzzzz..... he was out!
That's okay. It was raining cats and dogs anyway.

In the evening, I watched a thunderstorm through the window. Tried to catch some lightning bolts, but they CAN'T be calculated and by the time you see them, it's too late.

So I just did an abstract. 
"Rain on Window"

I PROMISE this trip will get more interesting than THIS!

The "Bagno" Experience

We're in Milan, staying at the VERY ITALIAN hotel, The DoubleTree. :o) First order of business? Well... you know. We peaked into the hotel bathroom. Potts exclaims, "Look! We can sit together!" Funny, Potts. Yup, hotel bathrooms have TWO seats. One, the commode, the other a bidet.

Really, I'm very happy to enjoy a toilet with an actual seat. At most places (in Tuscany at least) they provide a "hole in the ground".

Next, the shower.  This is an adventure in itself. (This time we actually have one -- on one of our previous trips, the shower head was over the toilet!) Only half is covered with a "door."  How do I work these knobs? First try shot me straight in the face and I managed to soak the entire bathroom. Finally figured that one out... Awkwardly accomplished what I went in there to do; tried to turn the water back off  and was promptly doused with an ice cold spray!

Every Italian bathroom has a little red cord in the shower.

P.S. Do NOT pull it, or you are liable to have an emergency response team smashing down your door only to find you in your skivvies.

Two Airport Wonders

FIRST - in Salt Lake City

An early morning rainbow...
extending from one end of the sky...
 to the other.

AND -- at JFK in New York City
an AIRBUS A380
 No, we are not flying on this, but it was an experience enough for me to just see it! This thing is ENORMOUS!
It is the largest passenger airliner in the world and was nicknamed SUPERJUMBO. 
It has a double-decker configuration and can seat up to 853 people.
At cruising altitude it can travel at  560 mph.

I just have one question -- How do they get this thing off the ground?

Friday, September 16, 2011

On MY 30th Birthday...

Figured my own 30-year-olds would get a kick out of this:

From my own journal October 22, 1988 --

Well I survived my 30th birthday -- barely! Dear Randy tried so hard to make it a special day, but I was just out of sorts. In fact, I was SO out of sorts that out of anger and frustration, I actually "jumped out of the car while it was still moving!" my kids were anxious to boast.  Randy said it was like something out of a James Bond movie -- DARING and EXCITING! Actually, I was madder than a hornet; the steam inside the vehicle was getting too thick, so when Randy stopped to turn a corner, I stepped out to take a walk.

Now when I think about all the people who were at the scene, and about the impression I must have made on my children, I am totally embarrassed. I actually blew a gasket! It must come with age... sigh.  Randy was to leave for a 13-day stay in Chicago the afternoon of my birthday. I was trying to be brave, but inside I was in despair. It is difficult for me to cope while he is away. Actually, it is difficult for me to THINK about having to cope. Once it actually happens, I do better than I expect...

The day has come and gone. We will chalk this one up for experience.

Don't you dare laugh about my hairstyle or our matching outfits... It WAS the 80's you know.

Thirty Years ago...

From my journal:

Wednesday,  September 23 - Another night with no labor pains, I even waited up for them... ALL NIGHT LONG. Back to the doctor’s office. BP up -- BP up even further while lying down -- even 15 minutes later. Doctor looked somewhat concerned. I’m thinking you’d better go to the hospital to be induced”  I’ll tell them you are coming.  I’ll see you later this afternoon” 
GULP - all of a sudden I was nervous. I went to the studio to tell Randy. I put on a “Don’t Panic” button on and knocked on the dark room door. I couldn’t tell him very well - all I did was cry. Randy was excited to say the least.
It was 11:30 am and we were off the hospital - a first for me. At about 1:00 pm labor was induced through my IV and a monitor to my stomach to measure contractions and the baby’s heart rate. My contractions were two minutes apart and continued like clock work throughout the day. At about 2:00 pm I began to feel the labor pains. - the time was going by SO slowly. Mother , Randy and I played UNO for about an hour, but the labor pains began to make me quite uncomfortable. From then on it was time to begin the breathing techniques learned at our prenatal course. FOCAL POINT... ABDOMINAL BREATHING... Mother returned to Twin Falls realizing that there wasn’t much  she could do. Randy was a brick and such a comfort.... for a while. Soon the pains wiped the smile off my face and became more and more severe. I couldn’t help but cry. FOCAL POINT - CHEST BREATHING - FOCAL POINT - HEE HOO’S. Randy tried to keep coaching me, but I couldn’t stand it.
Dr. Petersen finally gave me a paracervical block which would help the pain for about an hour. I dozed off, but knew it immediately when the drug wore off. I was so thirsty, but all I could do was suck on ice cubes until I became sick to my stomach. The nurse came in to check me periodically. I was dilating very slowly. By this time the baby’s heart monitor was placed directly on the baby’s head. The nurse could feel hair! She asked me if I had chosen a name - “yes, if it’s a boy, but we are not sure yet if it’s a girl.” She replied, “Well - you could name her “Generic” TEE HEE. We could use a little humor. Two more shots of anesthetic, then they began to have little effect. I couldn’t help but scream now. I even bit Randy’s arm!
I had never felt such pain. I kept telling Randy that I just wanted to quit. I couldn’t take it any longer. The nurse mentioned that I had to try and relax... to do my concentrated breathing. Dr. Petersen came in at midnight. Was I ever glad to see him. He checked me - I had finally dilated to nine.  He mentioned that I might be able to be stretched to ten - so they wheeled me into the delivery room. PROGRESS!
Thursday, September 24
Randy held my hand and gave me a washcloth to suck on once in a while.  He even looked official with his surgical mask on. I think that I fell asleep between every contraction though they were only a minute or so apart. I pushed and pused until I felt I could push no longer. I was exhausted.  
One more push “easy -- easy -- here it comes!” The doctor used forceps to help the baby out. 
“It’s a GIRL!”
I asked, “Am I really through?” “Yes” then I heard doctor Petersen’s voice again. He was helping me expel the placenta when he exclaimed “ Nurse, I think we had better get ready for another one!
Randy was left to help keep our new little baby girl’s heart and lungs working, (she was having some difficulty) and the nurse helped new little #2 into the world. 
At 12:45 I heard - It’s a BOY!
The nurse had to run to the nursery; they were far from prepared for two. Another nurse came in to help and held the umbilical chord. They only had one clamp. Though I kept dozing off, I could tell that our #2 was having trouble, I prayed that he might live. Time passed - Finally I heard a little squeak. They were both okay. What blessings! I was exhausted. 
Randy left to make telephone calls while the doctor stitched me up. 
First he called my mother:
“ Hi. She had a girl! (Squeals of delight!).... pause... 
AND she had a boy! It was pretty exciting for him to tell everyone. though it was nearly 1:00 in the morning, Mother and Randy called everyone anyway.
Randy videotaped the babies being washed off and put in the incubator. He kept me informed and I watched what he had taped on the little 1 inch screen of the video camera. They were beautiful, I ached to hold them.
It wasn’t until 1:00 pm that I heard, “They’re bringing the Twins!”
I took them one at a time.
Jennifer Lin Collier, born at 12:35 am, 5 lbs. 12 1/2 oz., 18.5 inches long. Dark Hair combed with a little curl on top. A beautiful little rosebud mouth. Her eyes were wide open. Dark eyelashes and eyebrows, head shaped like her fathers, fuzzy hair on shoulders and behind her ears. I have a little girl!
David Randoph Collier, born 12:45 am, 6 lbs. 1/2 oz,. He stole my heart. His eyes swollen from the forceps, dark hair, eyelashes and eyebrows barely visible. Skin a bit lighter than Jennifer’s Definitely a Slaughter head. A little bird mouth open and rooting for food.
Twins. It is hard to believe. Randy and I are so blessed!

Happy 30th Birthday to my Twins! 
What an adventure you have been! 

You've reached a milestone in your life. 
(Which means I've reached a milestone in mine.)

Please know that we are so proud of you 
and the amazing individuals you have become!

It's Birthday Time for Lily!

Happy Birthday to my grand-baby # 2!
She's five years old !

And her mother, Katie, provided a "Rainbow of activities" each designated with a different balloon color.

Like -- Fruitloop Necklace stringing,

Pin the cloud on the Rainbow,

Gathering up colorful flower bouquets.

Daddy on the sidelines.

Little sis, Paisley.

It was a "kids only" party,

But Gammie kind of finagled her way in... bringing cousins, Ethan and Evylee

Katie made an ingenious Rainbow Cake.
She divided the cake batter into six portions, colored it, then layered it. What a GREAT idea! Daddy David now wants one for HIS birthday!

A Rainbow of Treats.

Happy Birthday, Lily. 
Gammie and Potts love you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Potts is LOST?

Evylee (3) and Ethan (1) were with me on Saturday morning. They missed their Potts. Evylee asked where he was. I answered, "He's in Las Vegas."

"POTTS IS LOST?" she questioned with sadness in her big brown eyes.

Yes, Potts was LOST in Vegas this entire week! He and Wayne attended Photoshop World, his favorite convention of the year.

And while he was away and his giant computer was free, I got LOST in an ENORMOUS project. I took the 3074 images and video clips from Youth Conference and determined to put together a video program of the entire event.

I didn't eat, sleep, or shower for FIVE DAYS! Okay... not quite... but I really didn't do the dishes for five days! I spent every waking hour with the exception of two music jobs and tending twice and worked on this project from 6:00 in the morning until about 1:30 in the morning the next day. I finished Saturday evening at 11:00 pm and collapsed. I actually plopped onto the bed and bawled like a baby... partly from a feeling of relief and mostly from a feeling of gratitude for the help I received from  Heaven. The music fit perfectly, the program was very moving.

The entire presentation is 42 minutes long, and it's TOO big to post, but here is a sneak peak of the beginning image...

...and the very end one.

You'll just have to imagine Old Jerusalem, the Promised Land, games, skits, wars, vignettes of Nephi, King Benjamin, Abinidi, Alma, Mormon, Moroni, and Christ. It was intense!

The Stake Youth Conference theme song ended the program.

And by the way...
Potts has been FOUND! Can you see him? He's the little blue spot in the middle.

He was in the Narrows at Zion's National Park!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stepping Back in Time

Living the Book of Mormon 
July 2011

Randy and I were both invited to help with Stake Youth Conference.
I was a cook in "Old Jerusalem,"
and was responsible for cooking up 36 cups of rice pilaf. Thanks to Audrey and my friend, Kathy. I had two rice cookers. Mixed all the ingredients up in them at 9:00 at night, set the delay timer, and by the time I awoke at 5:00 am, it was all cooked to perfection. Somehow I don't think they had it so easy back then.

Our breakfast menu also included Mediterranean chicken skewers, falafel, hummus, tahini sauce, grapes, olives, pita bread, and cheese.

And Randy was a Book of Mormon photographer? We all know there were no photographers in the Book of Mormon.  It did pose it's challenges.

"It's impossible to do ANYTHING in a dress!" stated the photographer himself.