Sunday, April 26, 2009

You can thank "Mr. Kravitz" for this information

Well. Even though Mr. Kravitz in Bewitched never was the one to come to the bottom of the neighborhood hijinx (I like trying to use that word as much as I can), my own, personal Mr. Kravitz (Darrell) is the one who got the 411 about our neighborhood hijinx.

If you don't know what I am talking about, scroll to the post just previous to this one and you will soon know of what I speak.

Thursday, as Darrell was preparing to go to work, he ran into our neighbor just to the East of us. The owner of the home that had the police cars parked in front of it. "J" asked Darrell if he was aware that there was an incident in the neighborhood. Darrell told him that he wasn't away of it, except that I had been awake and told him about it.

"J" asked Darrell if he wanted to know what happened. Thank goodness Darrell said yes. "J" was concerned that Darrell would think less of him, and Darrell reassured him that we like him and his family and wouldn't think any less of him.

"J's" family is from a country South of Mexico. I'm a bad neighbor and can't remember which one. His wife has family from Mexico. Many times when they come to the US to visit, they will stop by late at night and drop off food or gifts and then continue through.

Well. On the night in question, "J" heard some knocking on his door just after midnight. Although this isn't necessarily unusual, it was unusual that no one had called or texted that they would be in town.

When he got to the door, he heard the person on the other side of the door, sounding frantic. He was banging on the door and asking to be let in.

"J" opened the door to find a young man, desperate for help, and bleeding. He told "J" that he had been stabbed and was being chased. He had been driving his car around the neighborhood to find someone to help him. He stopped at "J's" house since he was obviously a member of the police force, since a police car was parked in his driveway. ("J" is not on the police force, but has a white Chevrolet Caprice that appears could have been a police car in its previous life).

The young man was trying to get into "J's" house, but "J" refused. He did call the police and the young man was given medical attention. Turns out that the car he was driving wasn't his, but we don't know who it belonged to and if it was stolen.

There were two women who were talking to the police in the street that evening, that I didn't recognize. Apparently, one of them lives down the street and works for the police department, so she was chatting with some of the officers she knows. The other was her friend that was at her house at the time.

So....sort of exciting, don't you think?

The moral of the story is...don't buy a car from the police don't know who may show up at your door.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I feel like Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched

Ok. I don't know what is happening.

There are 3 police cars, one police SUV, and on police van outside my house. Earlier, like 15 minutes ago, there was a paramedic truck and a fire engine also.

There are a few people outside, to the east of my house, but I don't know what is going on.

I've been peering out the windows, trying not to be seen, to determine what is happening.

The only other info I have is that about 45 minutes ago, a car roared through the neighborhood, and honked the horn several times, then sped away.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Piano (Memory)

So, once again it is time for the "Pick a blog title by using the random feature on my MP3 player."

This time, I sort of cheated. Not really. But my MP3 player isn't really accessible right now, so I just scrolled up and down my playlist in Napster and chose a song at random.

When I was about 9, my family got a piano. We were all excited, but no one could really play. I thought I was really good and could play "Book of Mormon Stories" by playing a lot of the low notes in time to the beat. Let's just say, it was a bunch of pounding.

Back in those days, we lived in Arkansas, in a split level home. I thought we had a basement, but it wasn't really much of a basement. It was however, unfinished until the summer of 1979, when my mom and all the kids (there were four of us then) took a very long trip in our station wagon to Utah and Idaho, to visit the grandparents for about 6 weeks. My dad used that time to finish the "basement."

I tell you this story because we kept the piano in the basement. Probably so my mom wouldn't have to listen to the pounding of the keys, while her children imagined they were playing beautiful music.

We moved to El Paso the winter of 1980--just before Christmas (I think). My sister, Jennilyn, and I took piano lessons shortly after we moved there. My first piano teacher was Mena--a short little lady from the Philippines. I remember she moved across town, so we got another teacher soon after that.

I can't remember my next piano teacher's name, although she was the longest piano teacher I had. She owned a piano sales store for awhile, so we played on grand pianos for our lessons. She then closed her store and did piano lessons from someone else's piano store. There were other kids taking lessons from other people--I remember a lot of violin students, learning the Suzuki method. In the summers, Jennilyn and I rode our bikes to her house for lessons. It seemed like a very far way to ride, but I'm sure it was much less than a mile away. My mom made us promise that when we crossed busy streets that we would walk our bikes across the intersection in the cross walk. I remember we didn't do that--it was faster to ride. It seems her name was Mrs. Schultz--or something similar.

I learned to play hymns because of this teacher. She thought it was important to learn music you were familiar with, since you knew what it was supposed to sound like. It was then that I learned to play the real version of "Book of Mormon Stories." I even memorized it, and can play it from memory to this day. It's one of my favorite Primary songs. Ask any of the kids who were in Primary when I was the chorister--I get into the actions!

She also thought it was important to listen to yourself playing the piano. She suggested that we record our practice so we could play it back and hear the mistakes we made. I used my parents' black, rectangle tape recorder and recorded myself playing the piano.

At this time, my mom had Jennilyn and me practice at 6:30 and 7:00 in the MORNING! If you know me at all, you know this was torture.

But, if you know me, you know that I can be industrious. So I recorded myself playing and then played it back, at full volume, the next several days. I did this for a few weeks. Apparently, my mom never caught on, since a few years ago when I mentioned this, she told me she had no idea about my scheme.

We moved to Germany the summer of 1983. I was done with lessons--I just didn't want them and, even more, I didn't want to practice. A year later, I decided I was ready to play again, so my mom signed me up with Mrs. Hoeller.

She wasn't the nicest of ladies, but she was a pretty good teacher. She had all her students learn 10 songs, by memory, and record them at her house, and send the recording in to a competition. There is a song, "The Great Smoky Mountains," that I can still play from memory from this time.

For some reason, the next year we quit Mrs. Hoeller and got another teacher. I don't remember her name, but I remember she had her masters in Piano Performance. She expected that we perform all sorts of scales and our fingering had to be "just so." In the time that I took piano lessons from her, I don't think I ever passed a song off. I think I never even passed off the simplest C-major scale.

After that, I didn't take piano lessons again. I have had several callings at church, where I played the piano--and even organ. I have a piano at my house, but hardly ever play. I sometimes get the urge to play. I fear that I have lost a lot of my talent--not that I was ever a virtuoso, but I need to use it so I don't lose it.

So, thanks to Sarah Brightman...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's a girl to do?

I have this Friday off of work. You read that right! I don't have to work. Yippee!

Now, here is my big problem....

What should I do?

I have a ton of things on my to do list. Ok, I don't really have a to do list--it tends to get me overwhelmed if I do.

But, there are so many things I would LOVE to do Friday.

Here's a sampling:

  1. Sew--I still have to finish a couple of Christmas presents (and I mean Christmas '08).
  2. Go to the gym--I hate going, but once I'm there, I love it.
  3. Clean the house--like a deep Spring clean--there's something really nice about having a clean house. If only it would clean itself.
  4. Go shoe shopping--I really want and need a new pair of shoes. Or more.
  5. Finish my paperwork for our taxes--UGH!
  6. Spend some time with the girls--pretty much any of them.
  7. Re-decorate the house--Ok. That one isn't something I can do, but I'd love it if I could! A girl can dream!
  8. Spend the day at my in-home spa--Pedicure, hot tub, reading, lunching (I love using that verb), primping.
  9. Hours online--Let's be realistic!
So, what do you think I should do? What would you do with a day to yourself?

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Happy Birthday to Jennilyn!

On this day, thirty-seven years ago, my sister, Jennilyn was born.

Since I was still a wee thing--just twenty-one months old at the time--I don't remember much.

I remember (or remember being told) that my dad was out of town, at some training for the Air Force. We lived on Williams Air Force Base, outside Chandler, Arizona, at the time. My Grandmama came to help my mom. This was back in the olden days (almost back as far as when the pioneers lived) when fathers weren't allowed in the delivery room. So neither were Grandmamas. My Grandmama stayed with me while my mom was in the hospital. We played a very fun game called Find The Asparagus. I'm not sure why we did this, all I know is that my Grandmama "hid" an imaginary asparagus, and I looked all over the house, looking for it. I found it--behind the kitchen door. I'm sure I was pretty pleased with myself!

I don't have many other memories of this time, but here are a few childhood memories of Jennilyn:

We almost always dressed alike. People were always mistaking us for twins. We didn't really look that much alike, but I remember people always asked if we were twins.

Jennilyn was the only one in the family that ever got a two-piece bathing suit. She was two--oops! my mom says she was one. And sexy! I always held that over my mom's head.

When she was 3 and I was 5, she took ballet and I took gymnastics. I remember going to her recital, where all the little girls "danced" as if they were flowers growing. We got black leotards that we wore until we couldn't stretch them over our bodies--I think I was 11 when it wouldn't fit any more.

We played together ALL. THE. TIME. We played house, school, barbies, Primary (we even got in trouble for taking the sacrament once), Charlie's Angels (on our roller skates).

We made delicious treats. Grape jam between saltines. Strawberry jam "poi." "Zoom" tacos.

The summer she was 6 and I was 8, we had been watching Card Sharks. We liked to pretend we were on game shows, so we were playing Card Sharks one day. Jennilyn was the host and I was the contestant. She asked lots of questions, to which I had to guess the percentage of "respondents" who would would answer in the positive. Jennilyn asked, "We asked 100 married men: How many of you were bachelors before being married?" I answered: 100! Jennilyn told me I was wrong and told me it was a very low number. To which I told her, "No. All married men were bachelors before being married." Jennilyn replied that I was mistaken. I then told her that not only were all married men bachelors prior to marriage, but even our dad had been a bachelor. She told me I was very wrong and ran into the other room to tell on me. I don't know what she thought a bachelor was, but it couldn't have been good.

When we would clean our room, we were very slow. But we had a song we would hum, if we needed to speed up. We would hum loudly, and run around the room, flinging toys and clothes into their respective receptacles. I'm sure we did a horrible job, but we thought we were geniuses. I have no idea how we came up with the song we did, but here it is: The theme song from S.W.A.T.!

Happy Birthday Jennilyn! Hope this year is great!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fabulous blog I found--with a giveaway

Check out this blog. She is having a giveaway and I must win!