Friday, July 25, 2008

Frozen Faces

The cock crew and these grandchildren's faces now remain in this contorted shape.  The other picture is the way they used to look.  I love them even in all their ugliness.

Samantha "piggy-faced" Plummer

I don't know if any of you noticed, but Samantha has let herself go.  This is the same girl who photographers used to stop in Central Park and ask if they could take her picture.  She was such a beauty.  But now it seems her features have grown--dare I say it--porcine.  And her body is more swine than slim.  Is that an actual point on her head or is she wearing a snow cone?  Bless her heart.  Be kind to her.  Compliment her on how good she looks in pink!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I think Dede had the discussion about whether to get an expensive haircut or just go to Supercuts.  I admit that the best haircut I ever had was at Figaro's on 9th South, but was it worth $50 a month?  Maybe.  We were making more money then.  But now that we're reduced to a fixed income, my vote goes to Supercuts.  Thirteen bucks for a decent haircut and only eight dollars to have my eyebrows waxed.  Can't beat those numbers.

I watched MEAN GIRLS with the teenaged grandkids last night.  It was so much better than I expected.  Tina Fey wrote the screenplay and played the school teacher, and Tina Fey is hot especially since 30 ROCK has won all the awards for comedy in the last couple of years beating out even my favorite, THE OFFICE.

It was fun last night, guys.  Always good to see Charles unveil his stomach and lecture us on the etiquette of going to the toilet.  Loved the smores.  Thank you Sam and Sarah.  I love you all

Monday, July 21, 2008

Professional swimmers wear goggles

I'm a swimmer and I wear goggles.  I'm not ashamed of it.  Goggles make you look cool and, also, they keep the water out of your eyes, and, also, they allow you to keep your eyes open, so you can follow the line in the middle of the lane and not bump into the lane dividers and look like a dufus.  I swim to keep fit.  My body is toned and tight.  I am a sixty-five year old marvel, an example of what the human spirit can overcome.  Mind over body.

I love America.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's five o'clock in the morning

Tom and I are both awake and on our computers.  I think I've been awake all night.  It's the curse of aging.  Can't sleep, can't poop, can't think without taking some pill.  The question is would I rather be toilet training a toddler as Sarah is doing?  Would I rather spend the day with eight cub scouts as Erica did or packing my family up for a trip cross country as Dede has had to do?  No.  

Haven't lost any weight this week.  Discouraging.  Two trips to Chick Filet didn't help.  (Can't think of how to spell that!)  I'm amazed at how little I can eat to be thinner.  Dieting is more difficult than writing a book, and losing weight may be more satisfying than anything I can think of.  Makes me feel like a goddess.

We cleaned up Saturday with Harrison's help.  We use his young legs to carry things from the basement to the second floor and vice versa.  He lifts things and carries empty boxes out to the garage.  The result is we now have a "media room," which to my mind is any room in your house that doesn't have windows.  Sounds much better than "basement."  I love having the space we have after downsizing for so many years.  I love having the two offices AND a guest room.  Palatial.  Most of all, I love the front porch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I have a cold

Monday night I was knocked down by a cold.  I'd had a small sore throat and thought I had non-hodgkins lymphoma.  Of course.  When I put my ear to the ground and hear hoofbeats, I think "zebra."  I was supposed to go to the temple with Pam, my visiting teacher, at ten in the morning on Tuesday, and I got up to do that, and realized I was not fit to be around other people:  sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, cough and intense sluggishness.  For once, I did not let my guilt drive me to go, and called her to say I was ill.  Then I went back to bed and read one of the books Tom had checked out of the library on Monday:  HEAD CASE: HOW I ALMOST LOST MY MIND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND MY BRAIN by Dennis Cass.  Tom and his best friend, Al the neurologist, are exchanging e-mails about logic vs. intuition.  Al doesn't believe in anything that can't be scientifically proven.  This raises a lot of questions about the brain and Tom is willing to ask them.  Tom would like to write a book with Al.  Al is mostly dancing around the idea, but he does this in such a funny style, that THAT might be a book in itself.  Anyway, HEAD CASE was a fine read because it was written by a journalist and not a scientist.
Today I read half a book, THE MIND'S PAST by Michael S. Gazzaniga, who is a distinguished professor of cognitive neuroscience at Dartmouth.  It is also a pretty good read, although his use of adjectives is disruptive sometimes.  I'm especially interested in what he has to say about memory.   He says that "starting in childhood and going up to our forties, our brains are cooking up untrue stories about our past."   He has this wonderful quote from Bernard Malamud'a DUBIN'S LIVES:  "There is no life that can be recaptured wholly, as it was.  Which is to say that all biography is ultimately fiction.  What does that tell you about the nature of life, and does one really want to know?"

I used to write this quote on the board in the Memoir class:  "The aim of memoir is not to nail down facts but to gather impressions of the past."  Those are Patricia Hampl's words, not mine.  These scientific books on the brain support the idea of our memories fictionalizing our past. I suspect that the way we tell our stories shapes a meaning for our lives.  But is meaning an illusion?

I wanted to post the picture below for the 4th of July post but thought it was coming up sideways.  Wrong.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The 4th of July

I've had plenty of manicures in the last few years, but I was a virgin when it came to pedicures. This is because I was embarrassed with the idea of a stranger having to cut my toenails and scrub the dead skin off my feet.  I know I wouldn't want to do it for somebody else.   But when Erica invited me to go along with her and Anne and Chantel, it sounded like a party I wouldn't want to miss.  

 When we entered the shop, the owner, a Vietnamese woman (what is it with the Vietnamese and nail parlors?) called out "Hello Mom!" to me.  She had obviously been warned that the old lady was coming along. 

We were encouraged to have "French nails," which I don't particularly like on toenails, but I succumbed to social pressure.  My pedicurist and I had much in common:  I was a virgin having my first pedicure and she was a virgin at giving her first pedicure.  The white line was uneven and looked scalloped, although you can't tell this from the photograph.  I thought the white line made my toes look like they still needed to be trimmed.  

"Make her fix it!" Chantel said in a stage whisper.

"No, I'm Dutch and don't deserve to have it fixed," I said, and tipped the young woman my usual twenty percent, smiling like a satisfied customer.

Then I went to the store, bought some white nail polish and tried to fix the paint job, but made it worse by putting on my shoe before the paint was dry.  I tried taking it off with polish remover but it's on there like cement.   In the end, the paint job didn't matter.  I just enjoyed the company.

In the evening, we went with Sam and Sarah and the boys to watch the Bees play, followed by some terrific fireworks.  The Bees lost,  Elliot was frightened by the noise and Louis slept through the whole thing.

I'd like to bottle this summer.  It's so perfect.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oquirrh temple gets a steeple and an angel

Thursday morning I drove home from the swimming pool and saw the crane at the temple site.  The steeple was already in place.  I drove to the temple to have a look.  Nice, I thought.  Little did I know that the Angel Moroni was to follow and I went home without seeing it.  This morning in Relief Society, Pam Stewart, my visiting teacher, showed me the photos she had taken.  "I wish I had known," I said.  It seemed premature for Moroni to be placed on top.  The temple is still yellow, after all.  I'm sorry I missed it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Copier Family Reunion

My first instinct is dread when it comes to family reunions.  I felt it today.  I had a minor sore throat, a headache; my elbow hurt.  Symptoms of dread.  There's always a good possibility that none of my sons and their families will show up, and that I will be made to feel responsible for this.  "Where's your family?" aunts and sisters ask.  I don't know.  Maybe I forgot to invite them.   They are adults.  They can do what they want.  Still, I feel responsible.  I have failed somehow.

So I was relieved when the first people we saw in the parking lot were Charles and Erica and family.  I was off the hook.  I had some of my family at the Copier reunion.  And I made sure people knew.  I hauled Anne off and introduced her to the Dutch aunts.  She was very gracious and polite about it, for which I was grateful.  I also introduced Mira around when she was by my side.  

My Dutch aunts and uncles are all in their eighties except for Henny, the youngest, who turns 78 this September.  She is only twelve years older than I am.  She used to take Gerard and me to primary on the bus in Utrecht.  She would have been sixteen and seventeen.  Rietje (Marie) said Gerard was her baby.   She turned 85 last week.  I walked from the parking lot with Govert, who uses a cane.  He said he was following the prophet, meaning President Hinckley and his cane.  "He's dead," I said.  "Is that your plan?"  He laughed.  He has diabetes and has problems with the nerves in his feet.  Floris is 82 and forgetful, although he knew who I was.    They all have bad teeth.  No one trims his nose hairs. Bad hair. Bad clothes.   And yet they share an exuberance, an optimism that makes them instantly likable.  

I liked seeing my cousins Anya and Pearl as well as Toni's daughter Jill, who is moving from Nebraska to Maryland, and who was one of my students at BYU.  I met Kate Copier, Floris's daughter-in-law, who knows Brenda Zeller in my new ward.  Old connections and new connections:  I enjoyed myself.  The Copier aunts and uncles are the last ones to call me Loesje or Loes or Loesie.  I'm going to miss that when they're gone.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'd like to thank the academy--

Everyone says how easy it is to make your own blog, but I found the technical side impossible. Just the word "template" closes my throat.  If it's not made of paper and a glue stick, I can't make it. So I'd like to thank my husband, Tom Plummer, for making this blog possible.  I'd also like to thank my granddaughter, Anne, for talking us through the process on the speaker phone.  And I want to thank all you bloggers out there, who have set the example with your own, well-designed, picture-perfect and articulate blogs.  Thank you, thank you everyone.  I am truly humbled.