Sunday, December 27, 2009

So Much for the Happiest Season of All

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I loved how, generally, the world was blanketed in white, drowning out all the drab colors brought on by the cold, and also the drowning out of all the noise. It's peaceful. I also always loved all the twinkling lights on display, no matter if they were carefully designed or just thrown up pell-mell, I loved all of it.

I also liked the general feeling of good cheer and peace that seems to permeate everyone which I always liked to believe was brought on by the rumination over the Birth of the Savior Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. That maybe, those who claim to have nothing to do with God or religion, actually take a moment to realize what the Season, and really life is all about.

Christmas has always been going to Temple Square to see the light displays and the beautiful life-size Nativity, having the Slack Family Christmas Party, going to my brother Paul's house on Christmas Eve to celebrate with his in-laws and then having a HUGE Christmas breakfast at my parent's house Christmas morning consisting of sausage casserole, abelskievers (spherical pancakes), and bacon, and orange juice, unwrapping presents and having the thrill of seeing someone who I bought a gift for unwrap it, and then laying around all day and maybe going to a movie that evening. It's also been going to church and hearing the choirs sing and then having the testimonies borne of the Savior's birth. It's just been great.

This year seemed like Christmas never even happened. Because of my new schedule at my job that I detest, I haven't been to Church in over four months. I haven't had any semblance of feeling any of God's love because I get to hear morons day in and day out complaining about their bills, their service or what have you, and tell me how horrible the company is that I work for. I also had to work not only Christmas Eve, but on Christmas Day!!! What in the hell is wrong with people??!! Granted, I only had to work four hours, but just working one minute on Christmas is a travesty. And that four hours came right at the time Christmas breakfast is meaning I missed out on most of breakfast and ALL of the gift opening.

Because I've been so depressed about my job I haven't felt like doing anything Christmasy. I never went to Temple Square, never went and saw all the lights, was pissed off because the lights I did hang on my own house looked terrible because of the way the new roof was put on. Granted, I did get to enjoy the Slack Family Christmas party and the party at Paul's house, but I just didn't seem as excited. I miss it.

So I'm saying this right now: I will NOT ever work on Christmas again...EVER!!! There is no reason for it! In fact, I will find employment that will be shut down Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and will not require me to be there on Sundays. I don't care what people say about church, how it's man made and boring and blah, blah, blah. It's what you make of it. That is where God wants you to be one day out of the week so that you can think on spiritual things with your fellow man instead of the constant crap going on day in and day out. True, I've complained about getting ready to go to Church, but once I'm there, with rare exception (I refer to the day crazy homeless guy got up in testimony meeting speaking of killing cats), I love it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Grandpa Slack

"E Potz!!"

That is something my Grandpa Slack would often say just to be silly. I have been thinking of him often lately as I am currently in possession of his history that he wrote that comprises THREE 3-ring binders! Now, that is impressive even for long hand but keep in mind that my Grandpa typed on an old type-writer all the pages with the last binder holding pages with type on both sides!

The marvelous thing about Grandpa is that he hadn't always kept a journal. He began writing it while recovering from having his one lung removed in 1975. He had the most intricate and detailed memory his whole life and so it was quite easy for him to relate of his early boyhood, his meeting Grandma and starting a family and everything up to that point, after which he pretty much wrote two to three times a week until the month before his death. And it was fitting that the last entry in his journal was about the night of his and Grandma's 50th Anniversary Celebration, which was a good time had by all.

Grandpa didn't provide many details as far as feelings and that goes, however he went into intricate detail when describing his massive garden that was envied by all the neighbors and whenever he built something he described the exact length and precise size of nails or screws he used. But when he did describe his feelings they were sweet. Almost every wedding anniversary, he would always say if he had to do it all over again he would've chosen the same sweet beautiful woman. He also always went on about how much he loved his children. And I don't know if it's because she's my mother, but it seemed he always described how Beverly brought sunshine into any room she was in and how she made him so happy. Other times that would elicit feelings from him were when he would describe the symphonies and concertos that he loved to listen to. He played the French Horn in the BYU orchestra, which is where he met my Grandma (she played violin), and most of his entries about when he would listen to music on his massive record collection or when he would see a relative playing an instrument would thrill him to tears.

Also in reading his journal, I've realized just how spiritually great he was too. It was so wonderful reading of how when he was being introduced to give a talk one Sunday in the last years of his life, the person introducing him said, "Brother Slack keeps all of the commandments." I have never heard a truer statement. I never heard, nor read, of my Grandpa speaking ill of anyone, even if they hadn't treated him well at all, he never swore, and he always had that glow of someone great, a glow you could only have by following in the Lord's footsteps.

Grandpa also had a quirky sense of humor which I briefly mentioned at the first, but he was always up for a good natured laugh. I believe it was the day before his death, my mom and my brother, Paul, and my aunt Carol were visiting him at home and he was telling us about how he and his brother Lawrence had this language they made up. He would speak it and it was hysterical.

All of this has reminded me of how much I have been blessed with to have been related to him and only hope that I can be remembered as fondly when my time comes. I have taken a page from my Grandpa (and not his journal's) and have kept a journal off and on over the years since I was 13. I hope that my progenitors get as much a great feeling reading those as I have had reading his.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What a Difference the Day Makes

This week I've begun my new shift at work and it's been the GREATEST spirit lifter! As you all know, I've not been too kind in speaking of my job and it's because I feel like I've been trapped and left for dead working with customers that, for the most part, resemble nothing close to civilized human beings. That and the fact that my shift started at 2:30 PM and dragged on through the evening until 11 PM, Sunday - Thursday. It's been horrible to say the least.

My family has Family Dinner every other Sunday and I've missed them pretty much since the middle of summer. That has been the worst part of my previous shift. The other part is that the days that I would work I'd wake up around 10:30 - 11 AM and stew over the fact that soon I would have to be at work and then I'd be at work just dreading every minute. I would never see any of my friends or family, and if I did, it would have to be carefully choreographed because I had so little time on Friday and Saturday to fit everyone in. Not to mention I had to quit going to the Ward I was going to, that I was teaching in and loved, to do this crap.

The other horrible part was my supervisor, a red-headed bearded fellow with the manic energy of a fly on crack. I believe I tune into other people's energies and his was too much to handle even in the first moments of meeting him. He seemed to always be on the look out for failure and wouldn't keep eye contact when you would speak with him. Needless to say, he made me nervous.

But now, on to New Shift!

New Shift is 7:30 AM - 4:15 PM Thur - Mon with a new supervisor!! I thought I would dread changing my sleep schedule considering I am NOT a morning person, but it's been a blessing because I don't even really gain consciousness until about 10:30 AM. Before then, I'm on auto-pilot so by the time I've fully realized where I am and what I'm doing, I've all ready been at work for three hours! To be able to leave work in daylight has made me tingle all over with excitement knowing that I'll be able to see my friends and family, the latter especially on those every-other-Sundays. My new supervisor has a calm, sweet energy that is a complete 180 from Old Supervisor. She knows how to get the job done and wants to help us get the job done and so far, knock on wood, it's been pleasant.

I'm still missing Church, which makes me sad. And the customers are still crazy as an outhouse rat, but having a better energy around me, and being able to just be at work and not have to think about it before I actually go, is going to help me handle their crazy much better...and my crazy too:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

40 Years of Sunny Days

On November 10th one of my all time favorite TV shows celebrated it's 40th anniversary, and no, it's not Bewitched, it was Sesame Street. I don't think any show has been more influential on myself or my family than this show. It seemed to be always entertaining and quite funny, even now. And I'm speaking more about the earlier years than what has happened with the Street now, all though I do recognize it's doing a lot of good. But those earlier years seemed to have a magic all their own. I once asked my mom when I was younger why was there Sesame Street and she told me it's so you can watch it when you're bored. Which I did for many years until I realized I could count in Spanish:)

In honor of Sesame Street's 40th I wanted to share 6 favorite moments via video clips. I chose 6 because that's how old Big Bird always is and 10 is just too many:)

I remember this one so much from being really little because I had a huge fascination with Grandfather clocks when I was little. To see this one destroyed was morbidly fascinating! I even had a large Lego like set that I would build a clock with and then destroy but always have the two parts of the outercase of the clock left standing like this one did:)

This one represents the brilliance of Jim Henson for me. It's so basic, from the rhyming, to the set, to the puppets,
but so wild and awesome and just plain hilarious!

Cookie Monster was always one of my favorites because he was blue and a monster and he loved cookies.

This one is so precious!! I just want to give that little girl, Joey, a big hug. When I was little I was totally blown
away that not only when they spoke the letters did they appear but when she threw in Cookie Monster, he
appeared as a letter!

This song has to be one of THE coolest songs! And I loved that all these famous people were in it, including the Simpsons!

Cookie Monster kills me with his trying to be polite but also not understanding that not everywhere would have cookies!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Jesus, Tell Me What's Up With That?!

The other night my friend Michelle found out that a good friend of hers had committed suicide. It was really sad and it brought up a lot of questions like suicide always does. We were discussing the whys and hows of life and death, particularly what happens to someone when they commit suicide on the other side of the veil.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure, though I believe it's really not up to us to decide, it's just up to us to know, that we have no business committing suicide.

That got us to thinking about what we would ask God about if we had the chance. That is something I've thought about often because I've got a TON of questions!

The way I imagine it though is that we will get a time for questions right after the Judgement takes place, our own Personal Priesthood Interview, if you will, with Jesus Christ. After we've reviewed my life, everything has been weighted and decided, I think Jesus would say, "Now, what questions do you have for me?"

Mine are, as follows:

1. Why is that some people die young and way before their time and yet others *cough, Grandma Pierce, cough* live years and years in sickness and loneliness?

2. Can I see what would've happened in certain circumstances had I made a different choice? Quite frankly I think the answer to this would be "no" because I think seeing the outcome of most things would be too painful and regretful.

3. May I see my father's life from his birth to pretty much when I was born? That one is important to me because I don't feel that I know why my father is the way he is, though I definitely know why my mother is the way she is. Her sisters have always said that our household was just like theirs growing up plus all of them talk about their lives so much I pretty much know it anyway.

3.a. and b. In addition to my dad's life, I would like to see my Grandma and Grandpa Pierce's life.

4. Please tell me the purpose of dinosaurs...leftovers from other worlds used to create the Earth, practice for future animals, what?

5. How did John F. Kennedy really die?

6. How do the gays work into all this? It's quite plain in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin yet it seems like not many people believe that. And I know quite a few homosexuals that are very great people whom I love dearly. What's going to happen to them?

7. What happened to my kitties Kizsha and Snowy?

8. Are there certain people that truly share a flow of thought constantly though they have no contact with each other?

9. What really happened during the Salem Witchcraft trials? Was it all just a horrible game or was the devil and his minions really rampant in that area? And why?

10. Were some people just born attracting all the great things and others born repelling all great things? What for? And if not, why does it seem like that?

I'm sure I have million others but I really want to know the answers to those.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hopping My Broom to Reno!

Right now I am in the midst of packing for what once was my Annual Trip to Reno for Halloween. Because of money I haven't been able to go the past two years which has been VERY depressing. I'm SO excited that I'm going this year!

Why so excited, Dave?

Well, let me tell you. The reason it's Reno is because my dear friend Andrea lives there. Actually, she lives in Sparks, a suburb of Reno, but nobody ever knows where Sparks is. She lives there with her husband and two boys, Cody and Zack. Andrea loves Halloween as much as I do, if not more. Andrea also loves Bewitched but I'm gonna say not as much as I do, but she loves it enough to care to post on Bewitched boards, which is how we met way back in 1999. Oh wow! I just realized that's 10 years ago! HOLY COW! Anyway....

In 2000 some of us on the Bewitched board decided to have a get together to meet face to face. Andrea wanted to host it in Reno since she was the only one with kids and couldn't get away. The get together was set for August. I had never seen a picture of Andrea before so I didn't have any idea who to look for when I got to the hotel where she was going to meet us to take us out to her house. However, when I saw her shiny eyes and red hair I knew immediately it was her. She hadn't seen a pic of me before either but she said she knew immediately who I was and this was before I ever had a Bewitched shirt. We all had a great time and she said that I must come back in October for her Halloween party that she throws every year. I accepted and so Heather and I did go back that October.

I was blown away by how much all of her friends went all out on their costumes! Even more so by all the decorating she does. It was just like in the movies where there are tons of people with awesome costumes, games and tons of dancing. In fact that night Andrea and I danced from about 7 PM to 2 AM with maybe a bathroom break. We were both so tired and crippled from dancing but we had so much fun! And so every year after (with the exception of one where she was mad at her friends and decided not to throw it) I've been.

Aside from the awesome party, I just love hanging out with Andrea and her family. I feel as though I've known them my whole life. They are part of my family and I definitely feel a part of theirs. Our friend Jone also joins us and I would be remiss in not mentioning that I also get to see her as she flies in for it too. Jone and I have always been room buddies on our get togethers.

But the past two years, money has been tight so I couldn't justify going and it was really depressing.

So tomorrow I will be flying to Reno for five days/four nights and I can't wait!


So Maybe "Deplore" Was a Bit Much...

I have to say that when I last blogged I was in a frightful mood. What you saw there was the equivalent of an emotional HUGE zit that popped - satisfying, yet disgusting. It was the culmination of many days of frustration and just over all raw nerves.

The following day I was shown how to do something at work that I hadn't been doing because I felt there wasn't an effective way to do it. This is because I had either been misinformed or misunderstood. I choose to believe the former as there were several others in my training class who believed as I did. Now that I know how to do the particular task, which leads to more money for me and happiness for my customers, my mood has improved considerably! Do not take this change in mood for my actually liking my position, cause I don't. However it is much easier to deal with.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I DEPLORE my job!

There is no other word for it...well, yes, there are, like "detest", "loathe", and the not-so-violent "hate". Honestly, I cannot remember the last time that I hated a job as much as I hate this one. Actually, yes, I can...when I worked at McDonald's when I was younger, but since then, this one takes the cake.

I work for a major telecommunications company known world wide. I will say that I love the company, I like what they stand for, and they do have great benefits. However, all of that is being over shadowed by my current position as a customer service representative. Of the five days a week I go there 4 1/2 of them are absolutely awful. There always seems to be that 1/2 day that comes where people are pleasant and things just go right which gets me thinking, "You know? Maybe you really don't hate this job." But then it delves right back in to days like this. I spend most of my nights having panic attacks about what I should do about my job and if I'm going to last there and that's just not right. I HATE every minute that I'm there and I hate the hours leading up to all those minutes. I work an evening shift so my sleep schedule is all messed up. I get up around 11 - 11:30 AM every day and for the couple hours before I go to work all I think about is how much I would rather be hit by a train.

Today I went to lunch with a good friend (who incidentally is not enjoying her job either) and I told her that I've decided I'm going to write down everything that happens that leads me down Crazy Town Lane. And I did...I only wrote down the first HOUR of things that absolutely drive me nuts and lead me to believe that I MUST find other employment. Here is the list:

1. 2:30 - 11 PM shift, working on Sundays.
2. First call of the day: I was told that I'm the reason that companies outsource their work to other countries because I'm so incompetent. And when I responded to her that I didn't appreciate her talking to me like that she asked for a supervisor. Keep in mind, I am NEVER to respond to customers berating comments. I'm supposed to move on.
3. When trying to find a supervisor there were none on the floor so I had to call the Escalated Calls team, which looks bad on my stats, and though she was very kind and understanding told me that she couldn't help this customer with what her original reason for calling was, that a supervisor should take this kind of call.
4. A customer's phone has been breaking down the past couple months. He is eligible in two weeks to upgrade to a new phone with a discount in addition to the all ready discounted prices. When I ask my supervisor who had just returned from wherever he was, he said it was too bad, he'd only approve the all ready discounted prices but not the huge additional discount. He'd have to wait the two weeks.
5. Tried helping aforementioned customer troubleshoot his newest problem which was that the ringer had stopped working. One of the troubleshooting steps is to take the battery out. After we did that found that because of one of his previous problems with his on/off button no longer working his phone no longer will turn back on.
6. Tried using the application on the computer to call a customer back as it looks better on my stats rather than the buttons on my phone and ended up getting another phone call, delaying my call to the customer who I had just told I was going to call right back.
7. Received an email saying a meeting was cancelled meaning more time taking phone calls.
8. Supervisor comes around after said email was sent saying to log out to the meeting and he disappears like earlier. So we sit around wondering if we're supposed to go to a meeting and end up taking calls again but it has now ruined our availability stats as well as our schedule adherence stats.
9. Late for another meeting because of problems mentioned in #5 and #6.
10. Customer calls because his bill was sent to some stranger's address who opened his bill and called him to tell him about it. When looking at the comments on his account found that a request for the change had come in on a remittance slip. He said he had no idea what that address was and hadn't moved so why would he do that? He was concerned about security and when I ask a supervisor (who wasn't mine because of course he isn't at his desk) she tells me, "He made the request because there's the remittance slip." I advise her he didn't and she just looks at me blankly and says, "He did. It doesn't matter what he's telling you." So I have to go back and tell him that I honestly don't know how that happened but it looks like he requested it.

That was all within an hour period. And, truly, you multiply that by eight, which gives you a day in my work life. Is it any wonder I hate my job?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who Once Was Lost... is found via Facebook!

The "Who" to whom I am referring is quite possibly my Uncle John, my mom's youngest sibling and Snoop Dogg look-a-like (white edition, of course). We have not seen nor really heard from John in about 10 years and if you know my mom and her family, this is HIGHLY unusual! You see, throughout the course of John's life he made some very bad choices leading him on a very rocky path which was lined by monetary loans from my Grandparents. When my Grandma passed away in 1999 (Grandpa having died in 1994) my Aunt Irene was left as executor of the estate because of her aptitude in finance. She discovered that Grandpa had written receipts, some of which were signed by John, of how much the loans were and when he would pay them back. However, he never did. He had borrowed upwards of $40,000.00 with no attempt to pay back. Irene held a family council with my mom and the rest of the siblings to discuss the impending inheritance all of them were to get. She brought up the fact that John had borrowed all this money and the fact he had never made any retribution. It is true the rest of them borrowed money from time to time but it was always rendered back. So it was unanimously decided that John had all ready received his inheritance and that he would not have to pay back to the estate.

This did not sit well with John's wife at all and in fact she wrote a nasty letter to Irene accusing her and the rest of the siblings of malice. And that was it. We never heard John's feelings on the subject and any phone calls or letters to him have gone unanswered.

Keep in mind my mother was like his second mother. There is 20 years difference in their ages and when John was little their father had to have massive surgery in Denver leaving my mom to take care of her brothers and sisters. I remember John telling me when I was younger that he thought of my mom as his mom more than his own mother. For John to cut off contact with my mother has been devastating to her. But that's the weird thing...we all think that it's not so much that John has cut off contact so much as it is that Kimberly has all control of that household. My mom has sent them birthday cards and Christmas cards every year and she'll call him on his birthday but her attempts are never acknowledged.

A couple years ago I found John's son Stephan on My Space. I didn't really know him that well but I thought it would be a good "in" to see how his dad is doing and possibly get him to call my mom. But Stephan was very evasive when asked about his father.

Just tonight, as I was looking over my cousin Greg's Facebook, I noticed that he recently became friends with Kimberly!! Greg and John were best friends growing up as they were the same age and John hasn't even tried to contact Greg. So this was a shock! Of course, Kimberly's profile is set to "private" however she does have an old photo of her and John. I also noticed that Kimberly has posted comments on Greg's Facebook that make it seem like nothing is wrong.

Maybe so much time has passed that she's not bitter anymore and hopefully this will be the "in" that my mom and her family so desperately want so that they can re-kindle their relationship with their long lost brother. I certainly hope so!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

God Loves Even the Pizza Girl

Yesterday I had a hankerin' for Little Squeezers (that's what I call it) $5.00 Pizza! Pizza! so I rolled on into the establishment located in what is considered the ghetto part of town. As I was entering I was first thinking, "I can't wait to eat some pizza! I'm SOOO hungry!" and the second was, "Look at these people working here! I'm glad I'm not one of them."

Yes, it turns out I have a shallow side and I can be judgmental. But I just looked at them having their kinda greasy hair and their seeming lack of hope cooking up my pizza and taking my five bucks. The cashier was a middle aged woman and I kind of had pity for her working in Ghetto Squeezers and for the possible fact that being the cashier in Ghetto Squeezers is her lot in life, when out of nowhere I heard/felt, "You know, she is one of my daughters and I love her more than you can fathom. And the same goes for the rest of her co-workers... and you."

Keep in mind, I haven't done anything more spiritual than watch an hour of General Conference in the past two months because of my work schedule and quite frankly I've been feeling further from God than ever, though I do pray every day. For me to have that prompting, something which I haven't experienced in a long time was overwhelming to me in the fact that I kind of felt since I've forgotten God in the past little while he may have forgotten me. How silly is that?!

I almost started crying there at Little Squeezers and thankfully they are good workers so our transaction time was quite minimal thus allowing me to leave with my composure in tact.

But it is true. I know that God loves me more than I can fathom and that he loves all of my brothers and sisters here on Earth even if I don't know why. And I hope that you all know this too and keep it mind. Though we may get bogged down in the crap at work, the crap at home, and the crap in the world, one thing remains, and that is God loves us!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

End of an Era

Four years ago one of my wishes came true in having Bewitched FINALLY arrive on DVD! Which meant every episode, un-edited and crystal clear in both picture and sound (mostly). My friend Sharon decided to pull an Oprah and created "Bewitched Club", just like book club except we wouldn't be reading, we'd be watching! And what we'd be watching is one episode, three times a week (Tuesday - Thursday) and discussing what we had watched. She wanted to be able to watch the series in order as though she were watching it for the first time and wanted to hear what other fans thought. I thought it was a great idea and so I joined along with a few of our other Bewitched friends. Keep in mind, none of us live in the same state or even country, so this was all done through e-mail. We began at the end of summer 2005, just after the First Season had been released.

It was great! I loved hearing what others thought, especially Sharon, because she is so funny and has a way of relating her thoughts in a very entertaining way. Plus there were certain things that would be brought up that I hadn't noticed before or behind-the-scenes info that I didn't know. And sometimes I would know things that they didn't know.

It took us some time to get through the First Season as it has a staggering 36 episodes!! Normally shows today only have about 24 so it took about three or four months just to get through the First Season and by that time the Second Season had been released and it was 38 episodes! Each season through the Fourth would be released about every three months until the Fifth and then it was almost a year.

Over the course of time, pretty much all the other participants fell to the wayside leaving just Sharon and I to discuss, which was fine by me, because most of the time the others simply said, "I love this episode!" or "I hate this episode!" but wouldn't elaborate on what exactly they loved/hated about it.

One of the things I looked forward to most was when we arrived at the Switching of the Durwoods, Dick York for Dick Sargent, because for as long as I've known Sharon, I've also known she cannot STAND Dick Sargent. I couldn't wait to hear her scathing remarks about him. As it turns out though, she grew to appreciate him and when the last season came out most of her scathing remarks were directed, and not without good cause, towards Elizabeth Montgomery who seemingly was not into the part at all anymore.

Well, anyway just this past summer the Eighth and Final Season was released and just yesterday we watched the last of the 254 episodes and now I'm sad:( No more Bewitched Club! It was like mini-Christmas waiting for a season to be released and even more so to wonder what Sharon would think of the episodes. Sharon and I have a joke about us sharing One Brain because most likely one of us will send the other an email about something that the other sends about the same time and on the same subject (not necessarily Bewitched). But it was surprising how many times we totally disagreed on the brilliance or horribleness of an episode. But even if we did, it was still fun discussing.

Sharon and I are in a "mourning" about no more Bewitched Club but I suppose we'll get over it. Maybe we'll start I Dream of Jeannie Club!

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Quarter Century Sister

Tomorrow my sister, the only sister I have and youngest sibling, Heather, is turning 25 years old! Want to know what I think of that?


I was just about to turn eight years old when she was born. It seemed the whole world was in awe that my parents, after three boys, finally received a little girl. I even remember Great Great Grandma Blackburn, who was around 101 years old, saying she couldn't believe that my dad was finally going to get a baby girl. It was also a miracle that another baby was born as my parents had been trying for another baby for over two years and it seemed that another wouldn't ever happen.

Our house was crazy town forever what with the entire neighborhood over constantly to see the beautiful new girl. I also thought I was never going to be able to hold her.

Heather was seriously so cute! She had the prettiest blue eyes and a cherub face. It also seemed she was very smart because she started speaking in full sentences when she was just under two years old. She was also very girly and had to have everything purple or pink. She even had what she called her "sexy suit" which was a black and purple pin-striped jump suit with a plastic purple belt and poofy sleeves. And she called it her "sexy suit" at just two! Very smart and funny!

I always used to read to her, mainly the Little House on the Prairie books, and think that had a huge part in her love of literature and writing. It made me sad when she grew older and didn't want me to read to her anymore.

One of my favorite memories was the night before we went to Disneyland for the first time as a family when I was 10 and she was 2, she was laying in bed with me as we were trying to fall asleep and I would ask her, "Are we going to see Mickey Mouse?" And her little voice responding, "Yes." "Are we going to see Winnie Ah Pooh (that's what she called him)?" "Yes" and going through a whole list of characters until she fell asleep.

Heather has always had a marvelous sense of humor and a very contagious laugh. If you ever think something may not be remotely funny, just watch with her.

She's also been my traveling buddy when I would go on my "Bewitched" vacations, specifically to Reno to visit our friend, Andrea, for Halloween. We always had fun singing along to the tapes/CDs we brought or laughing our fool heads off at the sign for Pioche, which Heather pronounced (with a whole lot of phlegm) "PEE-auggh!!" LOLOLOLOL

Anyway, I just thought I'd post some memories of my sister. I can't believe she's not a little girl anymore.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Update on Grandma

The day after I posted last I went to visit Grandma who had somewhat come out of her coma. She looked terrible! Which is to be expected when 1) you're close to 90, 2) you've just experienced a heart attack and 3) a stroke. But still, it was shocking.

I held her hand and told her I was there and she said "That's nice." I stupidly asked her how she was feeling, cause what else are you supposed to say, and she groggily replied, "I'm fine. Don't you worry." And then she fell back into her coma/sleep.

Since then she's been talking about how she forgot to make dinner for her mother, who's been long dead and the other day my cousins went to visit her and I guess she wasn't conscious at the time they arrived so they came back later and told her they were sorry they missed her before. She said, "It's OK. Grandpa told me you stopped by." Keep in mind Grandpa left this world in November 1991. So the veil is quite thin.

The doctor said that he gave her a week, and that was last week. I was very glad to have seen her and been given the chance one more time to tell her that I loved her.

It's been quite stressful, though, thinking that every phone call is going to be "the One". Especially at work, and you see that someone in your family has called multiple times in a short span, only to find out they just had something else to say but were hoping to catch me on break. Not to mention trying to stifle the emotions so you can function somewhat normally at work only to have all those efforts shattered when a customer, in response to "How are you doing this evening?" say, "Not very well, my mom just died." Luckily, she had a sense of humor and knew the awkwardness of the predicament she just put me in. Unfortunately though, her mother's situation was quite similar to Grandma's, and therefore I had a little breakdown at's so embarrassing.

I just wish Grandma could leave right this minute. But I'm thinking she's being stubborn and that's why her mother and my Grandpa have been hanging around. I believe that one person comes to escort you beyond the veil and for some reason Grandma's being stubborn about it necessitating two people. We'll know it's really bad if she starts mentioning her father or any of her mostly deceased siblings.

But all kidding aside, please pray that she'll be released from her body so that she can finally have peace, and also that me and my family can have some peace.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why won't the last grain fall?

I'm speaking specifically about the grain of sand in the proverbial hourglass that belongs to my Grandma Pierce who is currently in a coma after suffering a heart attack and stroke a couple days ago.

Grandma has not had the greatest of years in the past couple. She is nearing 90 years old and essentially gave up on taking care of herself necessitating putting her in assisted living. But when she became violent with the nurses she had to be moved to the most depressing of rest homes. But, really, are there any rest homes that aren't depressing? Anyhow she just sits/lays there in the rest home, day in and day out, waiting for someone to come visit and crying, justifiably so, when visitors have to leave. Her memory is shot so sometimes she doesn't recall the visit anyway. And she has been without Grandpa for almost 18's time for her to leave.

Yet, she keeps hanging on for some reason and it's been really difficult to function normally knowing that she is in the state she is in and that is, being physically here, but that's it. Right now I feel it's futile to go see her (she does live a little over 120 miles away) because she may not know that I'm even there. Not to mention I was there in the room when my Grandma Slack passed and I do not wish to have the experience again.

Little things are setting off my tears, like a simple song on the radio, someone asking me how I am or how she is, or just some random thought of her.

Grandma and I have a very close relationship. I lived with her for about a year when I went to college and got to know her very well. She isn't the easiest person to get along with, but she still had great moments, and I love her. She was always very kind and nice to me, even when we would have arguments. But I think that's why we got along so good, is that we could argue but knew that we still loved each other.

Grandma also played a very special part in my mission. She wrote quite often and there was one day where she provided great comfort. I was horribly ill with a high fever and a headache that I thought was going to destroy me. In fact, I was in and out of consciousness all day. When I finally came to in the evening I was still feeling bad and couldn't get out of bed. I was quite homesick and was wishing I could speak to someone in my family. Nobody in my family had my phone number because on the mission you're only to communicate through letters and speak to your family on Mother's Day and Christmas. While I was laying in bed trying to rest the phone rang and my companion answered it. I was quite shocked when I heard him say, "No ma'am, you've reached the wrong number. There is no Pamela Reddington here." Pamela is my cousin from the Pierce side who at the time was living in a neighboring state. I immediately told him to hand me the phone and when I asked who was calling, it was Grandma Pierce! She was quite surprised to have reached me, but no more surprised than I was! I told her I was so glad she called, even if it was by mistake, and we chatted awhile and it made me feel much better.

I hate to think of her in the position she's in now and wish that God would just release her from her body. She's told me countless times she's ready to move on, so why doesn't it happen?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time keeps on slipping...

In the past two days I've had major moments of "time realization" that I am not too happy about, quite frankly. And it's because I hate that time is moving so fast and I seem to have jumped off the train, and I'm really struggling to get back on. That probably makes no sense, but to me it does, and it's my blog!:)

Anyway, August 11th was the 10 year anniversary of the random tornado touching down in downtown Salt Lake City. A DECADE has passed since then! In my mind, it seemed like that happened maybe just a couple years ago.

Then, even more rattling is the fact that yesterday (August 12th) marked the 11 year anniversary of my returning from my mission. I hate thinking about that because when I was on my mission I had my life planned out to where by now I would've been married with at least three children and not working at a customer service/phone job. My mission self would be disappointed in now self.

The worst "time realization" rattler occurred earlier this evening. That is when my sister showed me pictures of these kids I used to babysit, though I erroneously just used the term "kids". When I babysat the Clark family there were four children, the youngest being a baby boy named Jonathan. I remember that before they moved there was another baby born when Jonathan was about two and it was a little girl, who I saw once. From then, until now, I've seen the two oldest children, girls, and marveled at how they've grown and then got depressed when both of them got married. Depressed on account of I should've been married way before they were. Anyway, the pictures my sister showed me were of the younger girls' wedding which included a picture of Jonathan who is now almost out of high school!!! WHAT THE.....??!!! When I think of Jonathan, I think of the little baby, who when he barely learned to walk, would bring me all his toys, and who had difficulty learning to talk. Now he's practically an adult!

It's me all those events like babysitting those children, my mission and the tornado, all seem like things in the very recent past, but apparently I'm mistaken. I guess I need to hop on a horse and try to catch up with the train before I'm lost forever.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Troubling Thought addendum

So Dad came home from work just after I finished the last post. I asked him what he thought about the kidney transplant and he says he's all for it. I said I didn't agree because I feel he's too sick and he, of course, says, "I'm not too sick. What would make you say that?"


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Troubling Thought

As you may know, my father is in horrible kidney's at about 13% function. He isn't in great health whatsoever, though he does work. But by work I mean, he's a wheel-chair pusher at the airport and very rarely does he actually DO something because I'm sure people are wondering why they aren't pushing him. And when he's not at work he's laying on his bed.

Also, he has started dialysis. He had been working towards getting a kidney transplant but the only donors were my mom and my brother, Pibby, and us kids certainly didn't want our mom to do it and Pibby didn't want to either knowing that Dad wasn't taking care of the kidneys he currently has, why should he give up his for Dad not to take care of that one either? Not to mention when Dad had his gall bladder removed a couple years ago, a minor outpatient surgery, it turned into a major inpatient hospital stay because he's just so weak he couldn't take it. Of course, a kidney transplant is much more serious so we've kinda been thinking that were he to do it he'd most likely pass away. And some of the doctors have agreed with us.

During the past couple years my dad's appearance has drastically changed because of being sick. He's very gaunt and looks really tired whereas he used to have a glow about him and was very healthy looking. A little while ago I found a video from Christmas 2007 where he was on it and I showed it to him thinking maybe it would kick start him into realizing he needs to watch his diet and do some exercise. Unbelievably, my frail, zombie-looking dad told me, "Well, I look TERRIBLE there! And I definitely feel better now than I did then."


So you can see he doesn't have a realistic view of what is going on.

I said all that, to say this: today my mom received a call while Dad was at work from the kidney donation center saying that my dad's name had come up on a list to receive a cadaver kidney. My mom told the center that she didn't think he'd be healthy enough to go through with that but that they would need to talk to him. I think my dad will approve and go through with the surgery and that scares me. I know I should have more faith but I know he wouldn't make it through. He's only 67 and I think that's WAY too young to go even though many have and will die at younger ages. I want at least another 15 years.

So I hope my dad really thinks about it and makes a good decision. And when I say that I mean maybe he knows if he gets a transplant he'll do better...

I guess I'm rambling now but I'm just very upset about this whole situation and how it's not only affecting me, but Mom as well and the whole family.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dream Weekend with a New Friend

This weekend has seemed like a dream. First of all, Bewitched Season 8 (the final season) arrived on DVD which I thought would NEVER happen! But after four years I now have all 254 episodes in their unedited form* in crystal clear clarity and sound!

So I decided I would do something fun and host a DVD viewing party.

Well, back up....

...a couple months ago I became friends with this woman named Dayna who had heard the Morning Zoo always talking about me and she realized that we worked together so she hit me up on Facebook. We didn't work the same shift so I had only seen her in person like once or twice and only for a couple minutes. She found out I love Bewitched and told me she did too, that she watches it all the time and she really wanted to see my memorabilia collection in person.

That has NEVER happened. Ever! Especially not from someone who isn't on a Bewitched fan site. So I told Dayna that I would set up a time for her to come over and decided that with the release of Season 8, that would be perfect. She could come over, I'd invite other friends and we'd watch a couple episodes, visit, play games and just have fun.

Well, my idea sounded good on paper but I was shocked by how many people, ALL of them to be exact, said "no" to my invitation. For some reason Bewitched has this stigma that apparently I am not aware of that invokes anger and apathy in everyone. I couldn't believe that not a one of my friends said they wanted to come, and in fact, the day of the party one of them, apparently forgetting that I had invited her, had the chutzpa to invite me to a gathering at her house. I thought simply doing something different and at a different venue (my house, cause nobody ever comes over here) would be fun, but apparently only Dayna and I shared that thought.

A couple hours before the party was to start, Dayna offered that since nobody else was going to come, what about coming over to her house with SURROUND SOUND and a 52" plasma screen TV to watch Bewitched and then we could swim in her pool! Well, how could I refuse?! For one, I'm operating on a mid 90s 32" tube TV that has faint wavy lines, no surround sound and definitely no pool and it's been in the 100s around here. So I said sure and told her I'd bring the snacks and drinks.

I brought my binder full of 8 x 10 Bewitched photos since Dayna was going to miss out on seeing my collection and she was very glad I did. She said she loves looking at still photos from TV shows. See, Dayna used to work in Hollywood as a script continuity supervisor and so she gets as excited about Hollywood stuff as I do. I also decided that maybe she'd want to watch other episodes of Bewitched so I just brought the other seasons too. She was very glad that I did and so was her 7-year old daughter who was so excited that I came. The first thing she said was that she and her mother always watch Bewitched when it's on TV. Another magical thing was that Dayna resembles Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha) and Erin Murphy (Tabitha). She told me when she was little that she very much looked like Tabitha.

As Dayna had a 5 disc DVD changer, we selected 5 DVDs from different seasons deciding that we'd try to watch 5 episodes. I chose my favorite episode "Allergic to Macedonian Dodo Birds", Dayna said she wanted to watch any of the episodes where they go on vacation so we put in the disc with the Salem episodes and Hailey (her daughter) wanted to see the Loch Ness Monster episode, which happens to be from the Eighth Season and a disc with some Tabitha episodes (cause Hailey likes her).

Now keep in mind, I kept thinking, "Is this really happening?! Am I really talking to someone here in my hometown that actually WANTS to watch Bewitched with me?" All of the time I get rolled-eyes and patronizing comments but Dayna and Hailey were so excited! And so we began with my favorite episode and munched on 'pean-pean butter' (that's how Mayson says 'peanut butter') M&Ms, Tomato-Basil Wheat Thins and sipped on Diet Coke and Root Beer.

Watching Bewitched on a big screen was phenomenal! I'm so sad now that I don't have a huge TV:( We went into watching "The Salem Saga" where Samantha and Durwood fly to Salem and get harrassed by a hexed bedwarmer at the House of Seven Gables, part one of two.

We decided to swim and it was glorious being in that cool water amid the horrible heat. The sun was going down and the thin clouds were beautiful in the sky. We even saw a huge flock of geese flying south for the....summer? They were quite low. It was so nice visiting out in the pool, especially when Dayna sent Hailey in so we could have some grown-up chat.

After we got out we watched part two, "Samantha's Hot Bedwarmer" and then "Samantha and the Loch Ness Monster" and decided to call it a night.

Dayna said we must do that often, as she totally loved it. I did too! And what is strange is all though we've just met we feel as though we've known each other forever.

As much as I was annoyed by my friends brushing me off, it was satisfying knowing they missed out on a really relaxing fun night and the opportunity to meet such a great new person!

*There are a couple episodes from Seasons One and Three that have a few scenes edited, but it's no biggie.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

An apology, 20 years later...

...the most amazing thing happened this weekend which I never thought would, and that is an apology for an event that took place in Junior High which drastically altered my life, an event to which I pinpoint almost everything wrong with me. I'm in awe of this apology not only because it happened, but by how much it made me feel better.

Growing up my best friend was Jessica Fitton. She lived down the road and we were together so much that we were referred to by everyone in the neighborhood as Mr. and Mrs. Pierce. We always worked out having our classes together and I really loved her. She was my best friend. Well, in 8th grade she began hanging out with these snobby girls, particularly Brigette Nielsen who didn't like me and didn't treat me well at all, which was weird, because everybody liked me. One day, as I was going to the table at lunch to sit with Jessica, I could see that Brigette was whispering to Jessica and it was about me as they were both focused on me. When I sat down, I tried to make small talk and then Jessica spoke up and said, "David, you can't sit with us anymore." I asked why not and she said, "Because you're a boy and I'm a girl and we just can't be friends."

Needless to say that obliterated me.

It hurt more than anything that has ever happened before or really since. To me, it felt like she was saying I was totally worthless and not even good enough for anybody and I suppose I harbored that feeling causing me to eat myself into comfort and my "husky" size not to mention I didn't want to ever feel like that again at the hand of some girl that I loved, which means I've tried my hardest not to fall in love with someone because I knew what they were capable of, and that came true with Rachel...but anyway....I still went to school with Jessica through high school and it was horrible seeing her there because I just felt so stupid and I really missed her. We've seen each other occasionally over the years and we've been cordial and all, but I've always had hurt when I've seen her.

I've always thought she never gave it a single thought until this weekend when on Facebook I posted a message asking people to name a memory they had of me. She replied with the following:

So many memories! Probably the most memorable was when I would steal my dad's cowboy books and come down and read the sex scenes to you and Paul! Also, in Jr. High when I thought I was too cool to hang out with you, little did I know that you were too cool for me! Sorry about that, I was jerk!

I was floored!! Her apology came out of nowhere! I take this to mean that her actions have been gnawing on her ever since then and it's taken 20 years for her to actually say she was sorry! I honestly was so taken back. It makes me feel better to hear it. True, I still wish it had never happened, but kids are dumb and I'm very glad she apologized. Now I can save all that money on therapy that I was going to have to do:)

Monday, June 29, 2009


Apparently my house has been designated for the summer rally for all earwigs! WHY???!!!

I went to mow the lawn this evening and when I moved the mower about 29,374,239,742 of the little creepies skittered out and all over the place...and it's only been a week since I mowed!!

So then I brush up against the neighbor's overgrown shrubbery and two drop to the ground and just as I'm typing here there are two that are crawling down my wall!! WHY??!!

I really want to know what purpose earwigs serve in the grand scheme of things. They are disgusting little creatures and I wish they'd go away!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Day of Death and Faith

There must've been something in the air today, or maybe the veil was thin, but whatever it was three great people left today.

The first I heard about was Farrah Fawcett, she of Charlie's Angels fame. She was afflicted with anal cancer and has struggled the past couple years. She was very beautiful and in recent times I've heard that it wasn't just because of her outward appearance. Apparently she was very giving in nature and did a lot of things through her life for others in need that never went mentioned, until now. My only connection with Farrah, other than the fact that I was born the year Charlie's Angels premiered, is that she was on I Dream of Jeannie twice as Major Healey's girlfriend.

The next person I heard to finish their Earthly mission was quite shocking and that was the King of Pop, Michael Jackson! Only 50 years old and was in the midst of preparing for his last concert. Now granted, Michael was very strange, and possibly even creepy, but there is no denying that he left a legacy of music, dance and performing that may never be topped. All though I was only about 6 or 7 when "Thriller" was released, I remember it quite well. My aunt Evelyn had the record and I would listen to it at her house with her kids and we would dance and dance. I remember seeing the music video of the title track and being scared spitless but also quite intrigued at the pure magic of the moves. That Easter my brother got the tape and we listened to it so much I'm sure it broke. We LOVED Michael Jackson! Everyone did and so it was very hard to hear of his death.

But the one that had the most effect on me was one that most likely won't hit the news and that is of 6 year old Sadie Huish. She is the niece of one of my good friend's and only just last year was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. Her parents decided to blog about their daughter and her struggles with this puzzling and frustrating illness. I became aware of Sadie's struggle when there was a piece about her meeting with President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and it was then that I looked up her blog. The faith and perseverance of Sadie and her parents was remarkable! I couldn't believe that through something so terrible they still had happy moments and kept believing. I suppose I can believe it because that's all one can do, is just know that Jesus is there to support, that these trials are for our good and that a greater life than we could dream of is waiting for us at the end. And now Sadie has returned to her Father-in-Heaven leaving the rest of us to strive to bring our faith to even a fraction of what hers was.

I'm sad, but comforted, knowing that all three people, though not in their bodies for the time being, are still around and do not have to suffer any longer. They are with loved ones and are more happy now than ever before.

But hopefully Death has had his fill for some time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My happy place?

So it turns out that my happy place is the sound of a train blowing it's horn! I didn't know this until yesterday and I'll explain why.

There is a train track that runs near my brother's house and while I was there playing Nertz (family favorite card game) we heard the train signaling that it was approaching. It doesn't seem like I've heard that sound in quite some time, like a REALLY long time! But it has always reminded me of being down to Grandma Pierce's house or over at my cousin's house sleeping over when I was younger. Those were great times even though we were in Wellington, a small sleepy town in central Eastern Utah where there is nothing to do but listen to trains and sleep over. I remember hearing the trains and wondering where they were going to. I also always thought of how it's quite possible that the same bellowing sound of the train was something that was heard over a 100 years ago and that it's something that hasn't ever changed and in fact, was somewhat of a link to the past.

Anyway, when I heard it yesterday I immediately felt that sense of peace and happiness that I had when I was younger and there wasn't really much to worry about except when the next round of fun was going to come around.

It was even sweeter still that when I got home yesterday that I heard the train again on the tracks that run about two miles from my house as though it were saying, "Those were good times and you know? There are still more to be had."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Age of Technology

Today I went to tour the new facilities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints History Museum. I had a two-fold reason: 1) I really wanted to see what kind of stuff they have in the archives and 2) my brother Pibby works there so I wanted to see where he worked.

It was a very interesting tour, the most fascinating part for me being the archival of audio recordings. The demonstrator at that point of the tour works in that department and showed us how he can take a horrible, crackly old recording and make it sound brand new! It was awesome! He also showed us how in the late 19th to early 20th century there was a device used to make recordings on wire. Did you know this? I certainly didn't. On a thin wire like what you would fish with, maybe a bit thicker, people back in the day would make recordings! I didn't have a chance to ask Demonstrator how this was possible because there were too many people there. I am going to research though cause that's crazy!

Anyway, he played a couple examples of recordings he had of various Prophets of the Church, the earliest being from Wilford Woodruff in, I believe, 1897 that was recorded onto a wax cylinder. He also played the testimony of President Gordon B Hinckley's father that was from a wire recording and he most definitely was in that same time period as Wilford Woodruff. The marvelous part about it was hearing the testimony of these individuals, far removed from my time, but with the same testimony that I have, and that was that God lives and that his Son, Jesus Christ, is the Savior of the World.

The recordings played were no more than 20 seconds long, if that, but it made me marvel at how these men used these crude recording devices to share what they know to be true and how I have such an array of easy ways to share my testimony in a crystal clear fashion, whether by a digital recording, whether audio or visual or both, or simply typing it out.

So, like those men of yesteryear I'm going to share in about 20 seconds, really less, what I know to be true. I want all two readers of my blog to know that I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he is my Savior and yours. I also know that Joseph Smith, Jr restored the Church of Jesus Christ to the Earth and that in addition to the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon witnesses of the divinity of Jesus. In His Name, amen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why am I not allowed to be me?

Recently I've signed up to have Facebook updates sent via text. It's been both a blessing and a curse because sometimes I can't read all of what was said until I get home from work. Today was such an instance.

As you all know (or may not) I LOVE Bewitched, the 60s TV series about a witch and her dumb mortal husband. I've loved it ever since I can remember and in the past decade started collecting memorabilia from the show. I like seeing stuff that is from the show.

It makes me happy.

I also like knowing that I have that stuff.

It makes me happy.

I've seen countless programs over the years where people have various collections of stuff like Star Trek memorabilia, Wizard of Oz memorabilia, Elvis memorabilia, etc.

As far as I can tell, it makes them happy.

And I always wanted to have my own collection of stuff, and finally I got it in my Bewitched collection, which like I said before...

...makes me happy.

Why then must I endure the CONSTANT belittling and rolling of eyes from 99.9% of everyone I know, particularly those that claim they love me and enjoy me? What does my collecting stuff have to do with their happiness or their general contentment with life? NOTHING! You would think by my having a collection of stuff that I literally told all of them, "Hey, you look like a moron for associating with me. Please tell me and make me feel that way."

To get back to the Facebook, I get this message that my brother Paul has posted a message about a picture of my Bewitched collection in which he says, "You are LAME. You're going to have every old lady in the valley wanting to see your collection."

That is Paul's attempt at being funny. What's not so funny is the fact that a couple of my friends, who happen to be women, some younger than me, also posted on that picture meaning they will get the message too.

I honestly am not upset about him saying I'm lame...that's just another day in my life. What I am upset with is the fact that he's making me and him (because he is my brother) look like an idiot by referring to my lady friends as "old".

Therefore, in the heat of the moment, I busted this out on him: "I cannot believe how stupid you can be. You are just proving the theory that Pibby, Heather and I have that you are getting stupider the older you get caused by your alcoholism...not to mention the fact you just called my friends old...that's perfect!"

So of course that got sent to him and all my friends.

When I calmed down, I realized I shouldn't have said it so I deleted both his and my post. 

The moral of the story is: I'm tired of feeling like the biggest joke anyone as ever met. I cannot believe that people can be so rude and mean thinking it's all in fun and teasing. Weaker people than I would kill themselves for the treatment I receive at the mouths of my so-called "loved" ones. And that says a lot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Come What May, and Love It

Yesterday I taught the Elder's Quorum at Church. My lesson was based on the last talk given by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at last October's General Conference, the whole of which you can read here.

This was one of the talks I really enjoyed from conference and remembered and so I was pleased when it was the one chosen for me to give the lesson on. The only thing is, as far as scriptural references, it's very sparse which made preparing the lesson quite difficult.

The title of the talk comes from something Elder Wirthlin's mother told him when he felt times were tough. It reminded me very much of something Maxwell Smart would say on Get Smart after the Chief had just told him that his newest mission would put him in all sorts of harm, that he may not make it out alive or physically well. Maxwell would respond to the Chief's warning with "And loving it!"

So the beginning of my lesson included that humorous bit as well as the next part as Elder Wirthlin shared four lessons he had learned in helping him to "love it". They are:

  1. Learn to laugh.
  2. Seek for the eternal.
  3. The Principle of Compensation.
  4. Trust in the Father and the Son.
The humor of my lesson was lengthened when talking about learning to laugh. I shared some experiences from my mission where I felt that the Lord was showing me his sense of humor and the other Elders in my class shared their laughter filled experiences.

Next, the tone of the class became somewhat more serious when talking about seeking for the eternal. I emphasized how the Lord had told the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. in prison, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

The mood of the class was still a bit jovial because of some clowns in the class, but I felt that was OK. At least my lesson wasn't boring.

Well, then the biggest curve-ball ever thrown in Elders Quorum History happened.

I got to the Principle of Compensation which essentially is that that which the Lord takes away will be returned to us 100-fold, maybe not in this life, but it will be returned. A new Elder in the ward, a man who I think is too old to be there (the age limit is 45 years), who looked rather distinguished with his gray perfectly quaffed hair raised his hand. He said he had a question about that principle and it was this: he had recently lost his wife because she had taken her own life and he had lost his job. How was the Principle of Compensation going to work for him?


I honestly told him I didn't know, but I felt that his compensation, particularly where his wife was concerned, most likely wouldn't be seen until after this life. It was then that thankfully the other Elders came to my aide and shared with him their thoughts. They mainly said that because his wife had made the decisions that she had, it shouldn't prevent him from carrying on, that yes, he should be sad, but all in all, he has his own salvation to think of and he should do everything to trust in the Lord that things would go for his good.

I was glad that was said because the last lesson was "Trust in the Father and the Son". Elder Wirthlin put it so well when he said, "The Lord Jesus Christ is our parnter, helper and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in."

"He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong."

It seemed to me that the answers of the Elders and this statement seemed to calm this new guy.

I was very glad that to have had that opportunity as it showed me that things in my life really are nowhere as bad as they could be.

And really, it is better to just face any obstacle with the attitude that it's all for my learning and betterment, so I should just love it!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Free at last!

I have a two fold purpose for titling this the way I did, but it all happened in the same week.

First of all, about 18 months ago when I was at the DAMN dentist getting a root canal on the far back upper molar, he mentioned that the barrier betwixt (I like that word) my nasal passages and the tooth root was quite thin. So as he has all sorts of metal miscellania up in my mouth he tells me that he's going to pour some sort of bleach up in there, after he had drilled it out. So he proceeds to pour it in and as he does so I can feel it literally pouring up into my nose. Of course, I can't say anything cause my mouth is pried open. Well, right after that I developed the most marvelous of sinus infections, particularly in my right side. I told Dentist that I felt he had caused it but he denied it though he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic.

It didn't work.

So I've been living with the most irritating, hurty sinus infection, not being able to breathe right out of my right side, until this past week when I somehow contracted strep throat and had to go on an antibiotic for that. Well, what do you know, it has COMPLETELY obliterated the sinus infection! I LOVE BREATHING!!

The second part of my freeness is that I finally paid my brother off for last year's Hawaii trip. I could've paid him off earlier, but as he's such an ass sometimes I felt I would just prolong it, which I shouldn't have because it really did weigh on me.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2008 was GREAT!

If you've read some earlier posts, particularly the one about 2007, you'll know that I was not a happy camper when I wrote that...and for good reason: 2007 SUCKED! To quote the Simpsons, it was the suckiest suck that ever sucked! However, 2008 was not, thank you, God!

Here, for your perusal, and for my own records, is a listing of what happened in 2008. Like the 2007 recap the good stuff will be in GREEN and the bad stuff in RED.

  • Elizabeth Montgomery FINALLY received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend, but still cool.
  • The STUPID dentist advised me that for all the other work I needed, it would be an additional $4,000!!! This is on top of the $8,000 he's all ready charged! I agreed to it not knowing what else to do, so I'm royally screwed.
  • A friend reveals that she's pregnant. Not just that but by the brother of an infamous person in Utah. I find it hard to believe.
  • Tried out one of the Why-The-Hell-Aren't-You-Married-Yet wards and came home horribly depressed because it felt like an exclusive club, even though the Sacrament Meeting was really good.
  • My dad expressed, in words, his love for my mom totally catching her off guard as he usually doesn't verbalize it.
  • Dad had a hernia operation and was in and out of the hospital for about a week because he's so sick with diabetes.
  • I received a book called "Cinema Salem" by Peter Mac about the filmatic history of Salem. There is pic of me in it with the rest of the Bewitched group from our convention in Salem in 2006.
  • President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, passed away. It was sad, but a blessing for him that he could be reunited with his wife who had passed away a couple years earlier.
  • Paula Abdul released "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow", her first single in 13 years! And it is AWESOME!!
  • Dad, Pibby, Jenny and I attended President Hinckley's funeral at the Conference Center. it was a very good funeral and I was so blessed to have been at it.
  • Thomas S. Monson was announced as the next President of the Church. I love and admire him!
  • I attended the Parley's 7th Ward for the first time, and I really liked it.
  • One of Pibby's friends threw him a Bachelor Party that was seriously so lame!! But we turned it into a fun night by going to the hookah bar.
  • Pibby and Jenny got married on March 15. I was really happy and really sad that day.
  • Mayson turned two. He had two birthday parties, one at my mom's house and one at his house.
  • Everyone in my house got sick with sore throat and a terrible cough. My mom even lost her voice.
  • In preparation for receiving new carpet, Heather and I pulled up the old carpet and during the process I rubbed my eyes causing HORRIBLE pink eye!! The doctor said he hadn't seen such a severe case and I was off work for three days, hardly able to see.
  • I won a collection of 12 photos from Bewitched on eBay for only $12.00. Turns out they are RARE! So rare in fact, that the Bewitched Collector, my friend Mark, hadn't ever seen any of them before!
  • My entire family (minus Pibby and Jenny who all ready went for their honeymoon) went to Oahu for a week with Jody's parents and her sister Jaycie's husband and child. It was SOOOO much fun!! I LOVE HAWAII!!!!
  • Started listening to 97.1 ZHT's Morning Zoo. They make me happy.

  • The computer bit the dust for about a week and it was shear torture, though by the end of it I kind of didn't want it back because I actually had to think of stuff to do to bide my time.
  • The Sixth Season of "Bewitched" was released on DVD. It's the first with the second Darrin and it was awesome to see the episodes in their entirety. Gave me a whole new appreciation for Dick Sargent.
  • Went to my cousin Tracey's graduation from Walla Walla University with my parents. He received his Master's Degree in Psychology.
  • Attended the "Bewitched" FanFare in Burbank, CA. It was awesome! I met William Asher (the director and Liz Montgomery's husband at the time), Billie Hayes (she was a wicked witch on "Bewitched"), Heather Woodruff Perry (Darrin's secretary) and Steve Franken (frequent guest star on "Bewitched"), plus I won a replica diamond heart necklace like Samantha wore AND the Holy Grail of "Bewitched" collecting, the 1965 Ideal Samantha doll in a reproduction box!

  • Joined Facebook and I cannot believe how many long lost friends I'm reconnecting with. It's awesome!
  • Went on the Morning Zoo's show with my "Bewitched" collectibles and had a lot of fun being on the radio.

  • The Slack Family Bear Lake outing was fun and peaceful. Bear Lake is essentially like Hawaii, but less green.

  • Met Cindy HOT Crawford at RC Willey's where she was schlepping her new furniture line. She's awesome!
  • Jenny's car got stolen the night of Heather's birthday.
  • My friend that I mentioned claimed she was pregnant in January really was pregnant gave birth to the sweetest baby boy. I need to give people more credit I guess.
  • Taught Priesthood for the very first time in Parley's 7th. It was scary but everyone seemed to really enjoy me as the teacher.

  • It was announced that amongst a handful of new temples, there would be one built in Rome, Italy, the Catholic capital of the world!! AWESOME!!!!
  • Turned 32:( I hung out at the radio station again and celebrated at Pizza Factory with all my favorite people.
  • I had to bow out of Halloween in Reno for the second time in a row cause I'm so poor. It was really depressing but...
  • ...I did go to a Halloween party with a really cute girl from work. I was Dr. Bombay and I really liked my costume.
  • Mayson has started speaking in full sentences which is cool, but sad, cause he's growing up so fast!

  • For the first time ever, I voted for the Democrat candidate for President, Barack Obama, who won. Watching his victory speech was so powerful! I felt like it was one of the most important moments in U.S. History.
  • I won the Harpies Bizarre Halloween decorating contest by default of me being the only entrant! LOL I won a 60s Samantha Halloween costume in the box.
  • I reconnected with my good friends Ian and Mackenize and went to dinner with them. It was so nice to see them and know that we're still friends even if we don't ever see each other. I also got to meet their son Jack who bears my last name as his middle name in honor of me playing Cupid for his parents. He's an awesome kid!
  • I met CNN's Anderson Cooper at a lecture he was giving. He's awesome!
  • Spoke in Sacrament Meeting for the first time in four years. I really enjoy speaking.
  • Watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in it's entirety for the first time ever. It was a great start to an awesome Thanksgiving over at the Wilde's.

  • I put up outside lights for the first time ever on my parent's house.
  • The Annual Slack Family Christmas Party was so awesome this year! It hasn't been so great the past couple years, but this year the magic was recaptured, probably on account of Mr. and Mrs. Claus making a return and watching Mayson interact with them.
  • My siblings and I bought Mom a new kitchen table that's really nice for Christmas. She loved it!
  • Christmas, of course, was really great.