Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This past week had a few busy and fun times, also some not so fun and difficult times so all in all I guess you could say it was a pretty good week.

I decided I will likely feel the way I do until the day I die, so rather than sit back in my very comfortable chair and try to enjoy being an invalid, I decided it was time to take life seriously and llive it to the fullest. Oh my, what a difference my life is going to be. The first thing I decided is that I need to get started on an exercise program, even though it is just a tad too early to turn on the pool heater. It will, however, be getting turned on in a couple of days so we will be able to add our pool aerobics to the exercise program.

Until then, my first attempt, now that my sweet husband has really got our garage cleaned out, is to put my garage gym into action. I have been walking on the treadmill for a total of 10 minutes per day and riding my stationary bike for 15 minutes, making a total of at least 25 minutes of good exercise. Ouch!! Yes, it is hard for me and I have had to work up to this much. It is almost laughable to one who used to walk at least 30 minutes on the treadmill and that long on the bike besides doing 40 minutes of pool aerobics. But, hopefully I will work up to that again. Or, maybe not quite that much, but at least I will keep trying.

The second thing I have made myself do is to take back the cleaning of my kitchen. I still haven't quite taken back all of the cooking, but hope to accomplish this too, in time. It is a challenge but at least I am trying.

Dick and I also discussed making a bucket list and then trying to go to some of the places that we would like to do before one of us dies. I think he is finally becoming aware of the fact that at our stage of the the game, one can never be sure of anything as far as life expanse is concerned. It is actually going to be quite fun writing down and planning how we can do at least some of the things on our list. It is going to be a very busy and exciting summer and fall if we can do all of the things on our list and if we find we can't do all of the things we are planning, at least we will have fun doing the things we can do and the rest can come later.

Having explained our new plan for life, I will go back and talk about our interesting week. I went to church Sunday and truly enjoyed it as I had missed going four Sundays in a row. Then last night we went to see "The Four Freshman" at the McCallum Theater here in Palm Desert. I hope that most of you remember the Four Freshman. That group has continued to perform and record since they started in college when they lived in Indiana and let me tell you, I have always enjoyed hearing them. There have always been changes in the group and this last year we lost the last two of our original members. They were the last of the original group. Down the years, the members have changed, but I have always enjoyed them, but the group that is now together is the VERY BEST of all the goups and even the last of the original group admitted that these four guys are the best ever. They, of course, are younger. Some in their forties and some in their thirties. Two of each, I think. This particular group has been together for ten years and the oldest one in the group has been with them for 20 years. They just have the greatest sound and of course, like the originals all play more than one intrument except for Bob, the drummer and oldest member. He ONLY plays the drum, but he has the most beautiful voice and sings quite a few solo parts.

We are members of the Four Freshman Society, which is a very dedicated and loyal fan club. We have always regretted that all of the conventions, which are held once a year, have been so very far away, so when we heard that this year's convention would be in Reno, Nevada, we quickly made reservations and it will be so fun for us to attend that three day affair. We will be staying at the hotel at Harrah's, which is one of the larger casino hotels in Reno. I can hardly wait!! We always go to all of the concerts they give in this area. They appear each year in Newport Beach too and we have gone to those also for the past few years. I could go on and on about this wonderful group but I think from just these past few paragraphs, you must realize that we are both a bit "nutty" about these guys. We have every album they have recorded plus the one DVD they made, and are looking forward to the new album that will be coming out this summer. I guess I don't need to go on and on about them anymore, but I think you get the idea. I would love to know if any of you have heard this marvelous group lately? If not, you are missing something wonderful. After, or maybe before, the convention, we will go to Lake Tahoe to visit our son and his wonderful family. They are only a 45 minute drive from Reno so we will have a double good time.

I guess I am still on a "high" from the show last night. They were so well received by the audience and we all hated for the evening to end. We had one couple that also loves them go with us last night and it was just the perfect evening. All four of us hated to see the show end, even if they did play three encores. They go with us each time they appear at the McCallum and I just hope they will be back here next year.

I wish I had some pictures I could post but I don't think even Dick knows how to download the ones we can access on the internet. You'll just have to go to their site if you want to hear more about them.

Again, this has been a pretty rambling post but just had to get out what has been on my mind this past week. Hope you all had as good a one as we did. We are looking forward to having Matt, Sue's oldest son, Jeremiah, Carli and Bryce, over this Saturday to visit. Unfortuantely for us, Heather has a photo shoot, so won't be able to come. We wanted them to come as Matt likes to get all of the rest of our tangerines from the tops of our tree as they love to squeeze them for the great juice. They will also have fun swimming in the nice warm pool as it should be perfect by Saturday. They have pools in their complex that are a lot larger, but for some reason I think they enjoy Grandma and Grandpa's small pool. They all swim pretty well too and get around in ours just fine. Will try to get some pictures of them so that I can post them next Tuesday. Hope nothing happens to keep them from coming. We don't get nearly as much company as we would like. So, if any of you are in the area, here's an open invitation.....................

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Granddaughter Karin

Time once again to write something wonderful about a grandchild. This month I have picked Sue's only daughter, Karin. But before I go into this post, I must pause for a minute and tell you what has happened to drive me almost crazy. I discovered that all of my comments have been going to everyone's spam box, so they are not appearing on the the posts. Fortunately they are going to email, so most everyone has been able to read them on gmail. Since I know absolutely nothing about a spam box, I learned how to get to mine from Sue. I do hope that all of you have been reading my comments on the email, but it would be so nice if you could just go to your spam box and put them back on the blog. I almost had a panic attack last night. Dick finally made me go to sleep, but I couldn't get to sleep until after 3:00a.m. Dick let me sleep in this morning until 10:00a.m. so I do feel much better but am hoping that somehow this will all go away.

Now on to the good part:

Karin is the most loving, sweet, caring person I have ever known. She is always cheerful and charming. It is such a pleasure to be around her. If you are ever in a bad mood, Karin is the one to be around as she can change that mood almost instantly.

In a way, it's a wonder that she has such a great personality. She could drive anyone nutty when she was growing up. When she was a small child, she was into everything and she would also eat anything, including all the things in the cupboards that tasted awful........cleaning supplies, etc. Anything that was liquid was in her seemingly scope of delightful drinks. Sue finally found a huge fence that was like an oversized play pen only it covered most of the living room floor. We could finally relax when she was in there and fortunately, she didn't seem to mind being there. One day Sue went into the kitchen and found her up on top of the refrigerator. I can hear Sue even now talking to her very soothingly as she slowly made her way to rescue her. You can be sure she grabbed her immediately. She was barely walking at that time, but she certainly was a great climber.

As she grew older, she actually wasn't that much of a problem, and her sweet personality really started to come out. This is one hard working girl, I can tell you. She has overcome so many problems in her life and and worked so hard to be the independant woman she has now become. Early on she started working with children, in pre schools, and later in child care centers. She has always loved children and especially babies. I am not quite sure what it is with Karin, but babies are never afraid of her. She can pick a strange little baby up who doesn't want to leave her mommy and can quiet that child so quickly. Children of all ages are drawn to her.

That is why it was so interesting that she changed her profession. It happened that one of Dave's very best friends needed a girl to assist in his office. Karin applied for the job and he hired her on the spot. She now works in his back office. He sold his business to a woman podiatrist and Karin is still working there. She absolutely loves her job and also cares very much for her new boss. They go exercising together every morning.

She also fell in love with a great guy that all the families loves. His name is Bob. They were married in the Oakland Temple and we were fortunate to be there for that great event.

I am so looking forward to seeing her again. They live fairly near Sue, so she is lucky because she gets to see her daughter quite frequently. Sometimes she and Bob are able to come here on Memorial Day for her families "golf week" It started out to be the whole week, then went to five days, and now it seems like it is just a long weekend. We really do love having them here and we also get to celebrate Sue's birthday at the same time. The guys have so much fun playing golf early every morning at a different course each day. I do hope Karin and Bob will be able to come this time, but if they can't we will see them in July at Sue's family reunion at Newport Beach. We do look forward to that time of the year so we can see them and often we get to see other members of my family. Sue's siblings all try to make an appearance so you know how I love that!!

Dick helped me transfer some picture's of her:

Karin and Bob at the Marina in Newport Beach. What a beautiful day for some walking about.

Karin with her siblings at Newport Beach, from left, Todd, Matt, Karin and Ryan smiling big.

One of my favorite pictures of Karin relaxing on the rocks at Newport Beach, on a warm day.

Karin seems to enjoy talking to someone special. I'm not quite sure where this was taken.

Karin and Bob on their wedding day taken on the ground of the beautiful Oakland Temple

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raising Children, a Family Affair

Tonight I am going to go with Dick to the church because while they are in their meetings, I will be with the R.S. sisters who are having a special celebration of the Birthday of Relief Society. We will be having a really nice dinner and talks, plus a demonstration of something to do with color and personality given by one of my best friends, Lee Child. I have heard her do this before and it is really fun and entertaining, so even though I am not feeling much like going out, I'm just going to do it as I wouldn't want to miss all the fun and socializing. I have been away from the scene way too long as it is. I wasn't able to go to church for the last four weeks!! I'm beginning to think people might feel like I'm apostatizing or something.

We are also going over to another friends for dinner on Saturday evening. She corns her own beef for corned beef and cabbage. We have been going there for Saint Patricks day for years and even though she isn't feeling so great, she is doing it again this year. Just goes to show that if you make up your mind to do something, even though you feel lousy, you can usually do it. She wouldn't even let me bring dessert, which I offered to do. She'll do the whole thing by herself. I think she is a great example to me, because if she can do it, I can do it.

My daughter, Sue, just called and she is doing the program for her ward on Easter Sunday. I would absolutely love to be there for it. She is writing the program and using some of her poems and she called me to get my input about having a violin accompaniment along with the piano for a new song she found on the internet that sounds absolutlely beautiful. The soloist is very good.

She also heard a duet (The Prayer, which I truly love too) at the wedding ring ceremony that Dave conducted for some newly weds. and she is having the two of them do it for Easter Sunday also. I haven't even said anything to Dick about it, but oh, how I would love to go. There is nothing more I love than to go to a beautiful musical program and Sue's ward has so many of those.

Well, I still haven't even started the subject I had chosen to write about today. I was reading Sue's blog today and I got the idea as she had guest written on one of her bloggers blog and it was about rearing children and mom's making a special time for themselves just for them. It is a wonderful concept and I got to thinking about how very fortunate I was to have had my children spaced the way they were. It certainly wasn't planned. Quite the opposite. I had dispaired of ever having children and I so wanted to have a large family. We were married almost six years before I had a very spiritual experience. We were living in Wilshire Ward in Los Angeles and we were walking down the hall when our Stake Patriarch who lived in our ward, told me he had a special blessing he wanted to give me. We followed him into one of the rooms and he gave me the most beautiful blessing, assuring me that we would have children both by adoption and conception. I was stunned and so thrilled, because we had been trying for so long to adopt a child and we had our names on lots of lists, but so far, nothing. It wasn't long after that that my father in law's girl friend (yes, he was one of those men that always had a girl friend on the side and my mother in law chose to just live with it) but anyway, she had a girl friend who had come to live with her so that she could have her child adopted through the same Catholic agency that she had used for her first pregnancy. That poor girl lived for years with this same man whose wife wouldn't give him a divorce as she was a strict Catholic. My father in law met her at his girl friends house and when he heard what she was planning to do, he told her that she just couldn't do that as his son and his daughter in law needed to have this baby. To make that long story short, he actually talked her into it, so she went to my doctor for her delivery and we paid for all her expenses. I was always so afraid that she would change her mind, but she didn't and we took our little Nancy home from the hospital when she was three days old. Let me tell you, there is no difference in the love you feel for an adopted child from the ones you have the hard way. We hadn't bought one single thing for her in the time we knew we were going to get her until she was born, because I was so afraid she would change her mind. We had to buy something to take her home in and when we got her, we stopped and bought a crib and things we would absolutely need to take her home. She went on that shopping trip with us and was as good as gold all the time. Needless to say, we were one happy couple and we so thrilled to tell our dear President Norberg about his first part of the blessing coming true. Then when she was eight months old, I got pregnant. I was so surprised, I just couldn't believe it. All went well with the pregnancy and Sue was born just 9 months later. They are just 17 months apart. Of course, Pres. Norberg was the first to know. He wasn't even surprised. I was sure this was all I would have and I was. satisfied with that. Then six years later we had Nikki. She was a true surprise and Jayne and Rich were born after Nikki, just two years apart.

It was really so easy for me. Most people were so surprised that our children were so good. We would take them out to dinner every week, even when they were really small, and people would come up to us and tell us that they had been really concerned that their meal would be hopelessly interrupted by unruly childen and ours were so good. They never ever got out of their seats and they were quiet the whole time. Why? Because if they were not, their dad would take them out and give them a spanking and they knew what they would be in for if they didn't behave. He was a pretty hard taskmaster, but they learned to obey. The same thing would happen in church. They never made a peep or the same thing would happen. They wouldn't be taken out to let run around and play. Oh no, they got the same spanking. He did not believe in sparing the rod. It used to bother me a lot, but fortunately the kids seemed to thrive and they didn't hate him for it. They actually loved him and respected him a lot and he also gave them a lot of love. But the thing that REALLY made it easy for me was that they were spaced so that Nancy and Sue each took one child under her wing and did everything for her. Nancy took care of Jayne, Sue cared for Nikki and I managed the baby, Rich. So it was relatively easy for us to get ourselves and our special child ready for church and they would sit with their big sisters and I would take care of the baby and all went well for us. I had plenty of time to do my practicing on my violin and almost everything we did was as a family. Still, the older girls did get to have plenty of friends and activities as I was always ready to take over the three whenever they were away. It really did work for us. I would never have made it if it hadn't been for Nancy and Sue. They never seemed to resent their responsibilities either. I will say, we were VERY organized. And now I am going to have to get ready and go.

I left it to edit when I got home and when I did it and posted it, it didn't post. In fact it was completely gone. At least the original was still there, so I had to edit it again, really quick tonight. It is what it is so. now I will try again. Til next Tuesday then...............

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Update

Things are very quiet around here right now. Dick left for his meeting at the church and I am here sitting in the den trying to figure out if anything worth mentioning happened to me last week. Actually it has been pretty quiet around here the whole week, so needless to say it has been one that has dragged along pretty slowly.

I had almost decided to skip this weeks blog but something happened to change my mind. I read one of the blogs I follow, Tima's who lives in Africa. She posted a picture of a place where she goes shopping on the weekend. It looks to me sorta like our farmers market as it has lots of booths that sell fresh vegetables etc. She took a picture of a place where she likes to buy fresh bread. It looked so yummy that I decided to post my oatmeal recipe, hoping that she and her young son, Ethan, would make it one weekend. Ethan is a great little kid who loves to cook and bake. Tima made my Swedish pancake recipe and Ethan loves it and wants her to make it for him often, and whenever they have company. This bread recipe is so easy to make as everything goes in all at once and if you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you don't have to knead it for a long time. Even if you don't have any kind of mixer, it is very easy to make. So here it is:

Grandma Robbins Oatmeal Bread:

2 pkgs yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water, 1 cup for the yeast and 1 cup for the dough
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar in bowl that will allow for yeast to rise.
In largest bowl of mixer put flour, oatmeal and salt
Add the rest of the warm water(1 1/2 cups), yeast, honey and oil
Add dough hook and turn on mixer at #l speed until blended, or, if you don't have a mixer, just stir with a large spoon until blended.
If you use a dough hook, turn on speed to #2 and knead for 5 minutes, or if doing by hand, flour hands and knead dough for 5 minutes.
Cover with a cloth or kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, punch down and let rise once more.
Remove dough to a very lightly greased board, flour hands and knead for a couple of minutes more until all the air holes are gone. Cut into three equal pieces and mold each piece into a loaf. Turn loaf over and put into greased and lightly oiled pan that measures 4x8 inches. This will put the seam at the bottom.
Let rise for about an hour or until doubled in bulk and bake in 350 degree for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn immediately onto racks to cool.


I always grease pans first and put oil into the bottom of the greased pan, so that when I turn the loaf into it, it makes sure that there is oil on top of the loaf, which you want oiled so that it will make a nice brown crust. Also it insures that the loaf will pop right out of the pan. I also preheat the oven about 15 minutes before it's time to put the loaves in the oven.

Hope many of you will try this, and of course let me know how it turned out.