Sunday, November 29, 2009

Juicy Details

One of the first projects on our home when we moved in four years ago was making the sump pump under the house operable. The pump had been replaced as part of the home purchase, but the knucklehead who installed it must have had too much to drink before or during the installation.

For those of you who don't know, a sump is a low spot or hole where water collects where a pump is placed to remove the water when it reaches a certain level.

The work I did involved digging a whole in wet clay under the house where the crawlspace is less than four feet tall. Imagine trying to use a shovel in those conditions! The hole was dug, a large plastic pot with holes in the bottom placed in it and surrounded with gravel. The sump pump was placed in the pot making sure the float switch could move up and down without catching, the previous failure. To this day operation of the pump has been very good. During one big storm the pump was removing at least 100 gallons of water a day from under our house!

Tonight I went under the house to retrieve the Christmas tree. The pump is immediately next to the crawlspace access, so I reassess it's condition every time I go down there. Anyway, I was surprised when I looked inside the sump pot to see an enormous Jerusalem cricket, drowned, floating on the surface of the water. I thought you all would like to know about that...

Ruth put up the Christmas tree tonight! We will decorate it tomorrow for family home evening.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Jase: Over a month ago our ward organist broke her finger. I'm the only other person in the ward who is known to play the piano. So I've been playing in Sacrament and in Primary for the last five or six weeks. She and I have had a standing arrangement before where I would play in Primary for her every third Sunday. Thankfully, she is playing the organ in Sacrament meeting again. However, piano keys are much harder to hit than organ keys so I will keep playing the piano until she is ready.

I love playing the piano for the Primary children. Part of that comes from enjoying the poetry and gospel truths taught so simply by the songs, and part because they can be encouraged so easily to participate with enthusiasm. Its impossible to enjoy it to the fullest as the pianist but its fun to be involved with them.

I find it amusing that I was "bribed" into taking piano lessons, only continued lessons so I could be "better"(which I am not nor ever was) than a brother or sister, and now cheerfully (usually) agree whenever my skills are requested.

Playing in Sacrament and Primary and having six young children makes church a lot of work. It is difficult to listen to any part of a talk for more than 30 seconds with a two-year-old that won't stay still. And the hymns are supposed to be uplifting and inspiring. But when you are having difficulty playing a song, you can't pay any attention to the words. A few of the hymns I know well enough that I can sing while I play, and I can actually let my mind wander away from the song while playing. I suppose I need to devote more time to practicing so that music at church is edifying whether I am playing or someone else.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Cause, Not a Business!

For those of you who blog, and have not utilized the "Monetize" tab on your dashboard or post creation screen, blogging is about connecting with the people that mean the most to you who happen to be out of touch when you wish they weren't. Or its about voicing your opinion because this environment gives you complete control over your little corner of the blogosphere. Hence the title of this post.

This post's title comes from an advertisement over the radio in Lake and Mendocino counties promoting a certain "collective" and its wares. I've never heard ads like these in the Sacramento area. So its entertaining, disturbing, discouraging, and incredulous all at the same time, to hear marijuana edibles, drinkables, topical solutions, and even dope-laced-ice cream being peddled over the open air waves like Happy Meals or weekend Home Depot sales.

The ads are not just from one "collective". I have noted at least three different vendors of wacky tobaccy who buy radio air time. The fact that one of these uses the phrase "Medical Marijuana is a cause, not a business" as part of their ad is amazing, since they pay to broadcast those words to generate revenue for their business. I don't wonder how their cause is doing; this time of year business is booming for them, which is probably why I am hearing more ads lately, despite the fact that my car radio only works one minute for every ten!