Sunday, December 7, 2008

Moving On

For those of you who follow my blog that do not know about my second hospitalization here goes:

Two days after I came home from my 6 day stay after the surgery I ended up with my head in a trash can throwing up blood and blood clots. Tony rushed me to the emergency room and after diagnosis I was treated via a nasal gastric tube to lavage my stomach of the blood and clots and was place in the Critical Care Unit for two days. After that I was put back into a regular room and was watched over like a hawk. I had developed two internal abcesses, one was on the back of my pelvic wall and the other a little higher up. The docs decided to put me on fast acting anti-biotics, they worked. But after not eating/drinking anything for 10 days I was left very weak and pitiful, I could barely walk. Consequently I have had a really rough recovery. In the beginning (after my second discharge) I had a nurse coming twice a day, then after a week once a day, and now only every other day. And as soon as I have no more drainage then I will be back on my own and very happy about it thank you!

I'm so glad to be in the middle of my recuperation. It means I don't have to be at the beginning of it. I'm much stronger and not so depressed for the inability to do things for myself. Tomorrow Tony goes back to work and leaves me home to fend for myself. I can do it, but I cannot do anything but make my meals, use the bathroom and the computer. I can open the door for my nurse and I can set everything up for him/her to re-pack my incision before he/she comes.

I can use my scooter to get around downstairs to decorate for Christmas in a limited way. As Neil A. Maxwell said, I cannot afford to visit the saloon of self-pity! I can listen to talks on BYU that are uplifting and spiritual, I can read or play my video games and I can finish my 'Twilight' book series. I do not feel sorry for myself, yet I am getting antsy about doing more in the house. I have been cooking with the aid of my kitchen high stool which hasn't been too confining, except I cannot cook/bake anything too complicated because I cannot go back and forth from the pantry to the kitchen.

I cannot thank God enough for allowing to get better so I can soon be doing all the very mundane things in life that most of us take for granted. So I vow to be good and not push myself too far. I want to be all better by Christmas so I can spend it happily with family and friends.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


It's been a week ago yesterday I went into the hospital to have hernia surgery. Something that was supposed to be fairly routine ended up being my worst nightmare.

Yeah, yeah, I know - my labor pains were worse than yours. That's not what this is all about though.

When the surgeon proceeded with the laser surgery he found he could not finish without opening me up incisionally. The first hernia surgery I had was the cause of all my problems. Wire mesh had been inserted to prevent another hernia in that particular area of my abdomen, but the mesh had wrapped and twisted itself around a large portion of my small bowel and had strangulated. Now I know why I suffered such excruciating pain when I would have an episode. To make a long story short - the surgeon ended up having to re-sect my small bowel after removing 5 inches of it.

The next day found me in bed packed in ice because I was spiking a fever of more than 102. I spend the next three days packed in ice, sweating profusely. I had nothing to eat or drink for five days and was watched over by a wonderful cadre of nurses and aids. I remained on a morphine drip for six days and when I finally woke up on Tuesday morning I realized I had not been okay. The surgeon told me he was so very, very worried about me. I was so messed-up I didn't even realize why the nurses kept packing me with ice. The worst of it for me was in the middle of the night when I would start perspiring so badly my sheets and gown would have to be replaced, and then again each morning.

I am so grateful to God for His kindesses to me and for allowing me to come back to the living all in one piece,and for the prayers of my family and friends, but most especially for my dear husband who has watched over me with unceasing love and kind attention.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Family Stuff

So far this month has been uneventful, thank goodness!

Last month I was terribly ill, Miguel was a victim of his company's downsizing and became one of the many unemployed, Ramona and Dan were dealing with a severely unruly teen, Julia Ann was a lady-in-waiting and my head was spinning.

Now, Julia Ann has a darling little boy, Eli Anndrew, Miguel is teaching in a music school in Santa Monica, CA, I am still ill and am scheduled for surgery on November 7th. Thanksgiving is coming up (at Ramona's again this year) and Christmas is around the corner! Yikes! Where did the year go?

But I guess the BIG NEWS of the year will be the fact that we are back in contact with Audrey and her children and grandchildren and our great-grandchildren! Hallelujah! Forget the past I say and let's move on. Enough already. I still don't know why Audrey just walked away from the family - we didn't do a thing that I recall to precipitate her decision. At least we don't have to deal with anything like that.

We are happy to note that by the end of November we will be the proud great-grandparents of eight (8)! Yay!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Fall to all out there in cyberland, and may you enjoy your family more in the coming months than you have for a long time. I know we will.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I'm so fed up with the Dodgers pooping out this late in post-season! Just Get 'er Done!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

!Home Sweet Home!

We've been home a whole week today and I finally feel back. Tony and I have scrubbed and sterilized the kitchen/pantry, and I've gotten a little cleaning done on the second floor. Basically it's as though we just moved in. Everything is still in boxes, etc.

We also had to buy and install a new stove in the apartment kitchen because the production company dropped the old one and broke the electronic ignition in it, along with the bottom back step of the back porch - which they replaced. But I couldn't prove they broke the stove so we were out $400.00... ouch! They also had to replace a mattress for one of the beds in the guest bedroom. I'm just glad to be home.

Miguel and Greg took such good care of us at their home, it was truly amazing. I only cooked twice in the whole five weeks we were there. I have really learned to appreciate our home and our comforts from this experience, and to never, never trust a production company when the people say they will take excellent care of our home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vargas Family Values

Gettin' Antsy!

Really missing home today, we only have a few days left now, so I'm hoping the MTV production is wrapping-up. I love staying with Miguel and Greg - they've been so nice to us, they hardly let me cook, and they are really good cooks. Yesterday I cleaned the stove top for them, they were amazed and I was really happy I could do something that made them happy.

I heard today that a former bishop of ours is fighting colon cancer, that saddened me greatly. I'm sorry he's had to suffer so much, life is tough enough without colon cancer!

Since we've been here Miguel was layed-off from his job and is having a difficult time finding work. We are really praying for his success in scoring in the job market.

I'm anxious to go to church this Sunday because it's my day to teach Relief Society. I love teaching and am happy to do it. It's really been hard commuting to church. This past Sunday Miguel and I went to his ward which is the Studio City Ward. They were not friendly, but I did enjoy their testimony meeting. Miguel didn't approve of the testimonies because he said it bugs him because members don't know what comprises a testimony. I know what he means, but I still enjoyed the meeting, especially having the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sabbath Day

I'm just draggin' along over here. I think I'm depressed because I know I'm homesick! I can hardly wait to go home. I think I'm definitely going to appreciate our home more from now on.

Went to the Studio City Ward Sacrameeting meeting today with Miguel. I thought it was nice, it was testimony Sunday so we heard lots of stories.

Our bath tub has been plugged up ever since we came. It's water up to your ankles when you take a shower in it. Well, yesterday Miguel's landlord came and poured some acid down it. Didn't help at all - typical male, thinks anything is better than doing the right thing, it just needs to be snaked out!

It was hot - again today, waiting for the weather to take a cool turn. I worked on my genealogy today along with watching the "House" marathon on the USA channel and playing my Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 3 video game. Got very bored. Cooked a roast with all the fixins', but we didn't eat until 9:45 PM when Tony got home from church. Sometimes I feel like a widow!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Followup

So here we are ensconced at Miguel and Greg's house. We have our own room/bathroom, a TV (with cable) and our own cell phones. I miss our home. Miguel and Greg have been so kind and gracious in making our stay comfortable. We've been here a week tomorrow and so far all is well. We share cooking/cleaning and do our own laundry.

Our meals have been very interesting because they eat no fat or carbohydrates - and we eat all that garbage! However, I have ordered a month's worth of Medi-Fast meals on the recommendation of my friend Helen Peery. She's managed to lose a great deal of weight, so it's seemed the right time to take her advice. If I can stand the food I should do just fine, otherwise it will be a real struggle!

Lauren is back at USC and I'm so glad, I've missed knowing she was here. We will be spending Labor Day with her and some friends. It should prove to be a fun day.

Miguel was let go of his position at work and is looking madly to find new work. He has so many obligations, not the least of which is his daughter, Melissa. I hope and pray for his success. This is certainly a very cruel world, thank goodness we have so little time to think about it, since we all have to immediately move on.

Tony is home for the next two days. He has had a bad cold and has not been feeling well at all. He recently had a procedure done when he gave blood, that takes his red cells and packs them to be used in critically ill patients. After the procedure he immediately felt awful - the next day he came down with a raging head cold. He cannot have that procedure done again, I guess he's finally too old. Ha!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Whirlwind Two Days!

Hello all - okay, let me give you the skinny. A few months ago I took a huge step for myself in buying a site on "IWantFilming.com". We have always worked through location companies and they take 40% of the profit - this time I brokered the shoot myself, so we get 100% of the take. I put our house on there and waited. After checking a couple of times and seeing no hits, I gave up and said to myself, "when the time comes to re-instate the site I'm cancelling." Ha! The following week (earlier this week). I got a call from an Assistant Producer for MTV, he wanted to see our home because he thought it would suit a new reality TV show they are producing. I told him to come over. He did, and while he was here he called others on the production staff and told them to come quickly, he'd found the house he wanted. Two days later I was getting so nervous because members of the staff called and told me it was a 'done deal', yet I didn't hear from the 'powers that be' until I received an e-mail this morning that had been sent in the middle of the night. The contract was approved! Yaaaaaaay! Well, today has been a whirlwind of getting so much done, packing and getting ready to move everyone out of the house. Yes, the contract is for seven weeks, so we cannot remain in the house. Tony and I are moving to Miguel and Greg's home, and Linda and children and Kirk are moving to a nearby hotel - the production company will be paying for their stay, you do not want to know the cost!! I want you to know that we will not be incommunicado, I am taking all my computers/printers over with us, and will be keeping up with all that's going on.

To end the story I want to do two things, first I want to tell you that God hears and answers prayer. The day before the Assistant Producer called to see our home I had prayed most fervently that Heavenly Father would see fit to send us a really well-paying contract. As you all know, Tony is retiring in two years and we wanted to pay-off all our debts, pay tithing and be able to remain in our home 'til we decide where to move - that is with Heavenly Father's approval - and now we can do it. So we will be able to remain in our home until the housing market moves back up and we can sell our home for what it's worth. Thank you Heavenly Father!

Here's the e-mail I received in the middle of the night from the Assistant Producer:

Hi, Susan.

I have good news! We have been given the thumbs up from the network to use your house on our show. We started the signature process with the permit office early this morning because we were afraid if we waited we would run out of time. We now are waiting for the signature results, and I'm confident that will go well. We would like to move ahead with the moving company, and we have scheduled a time of 8 am for Friday, if that is okay with you. I'd like to have someone come through the house with a video camera beforehand, as I mentioned last night, to record where all of your belongings are, and to insure they are put back exactly where they were at the end of the show. Would Thursday be a good day for this? I'd like to do it before any of the things start to get moved so if that isn't a hassle for you, it would be great. We'd also like to take some measurements of the driveway, etc, so I'd like to send one of our coordinators over there tomorrow at your convenience. What time would work for you?

We realize that moving out basically on Thursday/Friday am is a tight timeline for you, so if you aren't able to find a place that quickly, we can put you up in a hotel room for a day or two if that helps at all. How many hotel rooms would you need? I just want to make sure you are covered for what you need.

We'd love to come in and do a scout of the house on Friday as well - our key production people figuring out exactly what they want to shoot and where. They will probably be working around the moving/packing people. We'd also like to have someone from our company there supervising the packing up of your house to insure that all goes where it should to keep it safe and protected. As I mentioned on the phone last night, we are looking to move all of your things into your reading area/office area upstairs on the second floor, as well as the third floor/attic/living area. We'd like to keep things on site so we can easily put it back after we finish shooting.

Please give me a call or email me to let me know if this would work for you.
We are so excited to make this work - thanks so much!


The picture is our home - we are so grateful God directed us to live here 15 years ago, we love our home and are so happy we can now stay here until we are ready to leave, and not beforehand.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

E-Bay or Otherwise Millionaire - Ha!

Alright, here's the skinny. I was in my bathroom washing my hands, after I dried my hands I turned around and looked down and my eyes fell upon the bathmat and what did I see? This. . .

Okay, does this mean I can go on E-Bay or another web site and sell this to the highest bidder? Remember, the toast that had a likeness of the Virgin Mary in the middle? It sold for several thousand dollars. I see the form of Jesus holding a lamb - what do you see? I always lose the opportunity to make it BIG. Arggghhh. . . Grrrrrr. . . !

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Four For the Price of One

Well, today I received marvelous pictures of my new, soon-to-be great-grandson, Eli Anndrew. He's just gorgeous! None of those old ultra-sound pics, he's in color and very, very real. Just take a look at him and tell me what you think. Of course I'm his gramma, so I get to say how wonderful he is. Tee Hee! He currently weighs 5.5 lbs and will be born on August 20, 2008. What a marvelous time we live in.

If You Know and Love a Teen

I was at a wonderful birthday party last evening and ran into an old friend of mine, Joseph Larnyo. Joseph used to be a counselor to our former bishop and I have had occasion to work with him in our ward. He's a gentleman, has a beautiful wife and family, suffice it to say you would be very impressed by him. He has recently written a book for teens, which gives them the tools they need to succeed in life - couldn't I have used this when I was rearing my teens?

I am giving out his web site where you can order his book. I was so excited that he had already published it, because I'm going to give you the URL to his site to purchase his new book.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some New Stuff

Okay, you may have noticed I removed my Obama comments/picture. It is because I decided to start a new blog on my thoughts about world and national events, and other stuff that bugs me somewhat, or something about which I want to vent on. You can read this blog at:


I feel I need to keep these two blogs separated. I hope you will visit both sites often.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Mish Mosh of Thoughts

Well, the time has come in our lives to begin deciding on what we expect to do at Tony's retirement. Our retirement funds are set up and we are ready to move onto this phase of our lives. We have to decide now whether or not to sell our home. The house is now so big with everyone but Linda and the kids and Kirk still here, we hardly spend time in many of the rooms. I have volunteered to have a small wedding reception for Jenelle Clawson and her (now) fiance, Damien Howard and a few of their converts and friends from her in L.A. They will be married August 22nd in the Nauvoo Temple and then they are coming out to L.A. for a week-long honeymoon, and they will be have this mini-reception during that time. I can't wait to see the both of them. They both served here in the L.A. CA Mission. The reception will be on August 28th and will be outdoors. I think we can manage a very nice reception for them. Well, I think we're just about ready for the Pioneer Trek next week and we are anxious to go now. I hope all goes well so that others will hear about it and want to go another time - perhaps in four years.


Friday, July 11, 2008

A New Eternal Family

I am so excited to announce that Dan and Ramona will be sealed together in the Los Angeles Temple on August 2, 2008 at 3:30 PM. Afterward they are having a reception at the Westwood Ballfield, behind the Temple. We are very excited for this event. It follows on the heels of Ewa-Solange's Birthday, which is August 1, 2008. She will be 12 years old, and that's so exciting. We are so proud of Ramona and Dan and all they have accomplished in such a short time. May Heavenly Father forever bless their union to the betterment of our Eternal Family. The Vargas Family and the Chronis Family.

Los Angeles Stake Pioneer Trek

This is such a cool project. It has been set up for the youth of the stake, however there will be many adults/couples trekking too. I will be one of them, although I can't do the trek (can't walk that far) I will be driving the supplies vehicle and be in the distant background - unseeable to the trekkers. I will meet up with them every two hours for a rest stop and for meals and just before bedtime. The neat thing about this trek is that when we are finished we will show up at the Westwood Ballfield where the rest of the stake will have come to celebrate Pioneer Day. They will be there to greet us, just like the pioneers were greeted by the first parties of pioneers in 1847 in Salt Lake City. It will be a very spiritually reflective moment for all of us. I can hardly wait. We have been working on this for the past year. I personally created (with Ewa-Solange's help) the pioneer notebooks each youth will receive at the beginning of the trek. They will write their reflections of their hardships and 'aha' moments, and their testimonies. The book will be a remembrance they can always thumb through in later years to think upon their experiences on the trek. Tony has been so instrumental in all of this, along with Yvonne Bragg and so many others.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Stomach

Arggghhhh. . . ! I'm so tired of these hernias. The doc said after I had my last surgery that I have another one that's close to my navel, and that I should come to him when it starts hurting so bad I can no longer stand it. Well, I'm almost there! Yesterday's bout was just a little more than I can take. And I get so weak after I have an episode. Why didn't the doctor just take care of it when he was inside my stomach the last time? Well, enough of that. It's two weeks until we go on trek with the youth of the stake. I will be driving the supplies vehicle away from the trekkers. I won't be trekking, but I will meet up with them at the bathroom stops and for meals. I will be alone most of the time unless someone comes with me. Right now I think I'd rather be alone. I can read, or meditate or sleep or almost anthing. Well, I won't be able to use the internet. At least I don't think I can. Maybe I'll just take my laptop in case. Still waiting for money to rain from the Heavens. The attached picture is my niece, Laura Rose Lindgren. She is the daughter of my sweet brother, Matthew and his wife Kathy Lindgren. Isn't she gorgeous? All my nieces are movie star gorgeous!

Monday, July 7, 2008


I am tired tonight and still have work I should finish. Looks like it isn't going to happen right now. I have another stomach ache. Glenn Perelman is staying for the next two nights because the Blackburn's are 'tenting' their house for termites. He took dinner with us tonight, so we'll probably share our evening meal with him for the next day or so. We put him in the bedroom in the downstairs apartment, he's happy there. I have so much genealogical work to do - scanning pictures, writing stories and more, I feel totally overwhelmed. I'm preparing to go on the trek as the driver for the trekker's supplies, etc. I'm anxious to go. It's only three days, but I will be totally alone for so much of the time. Ha! What's new? I have my lesson to prepare for Sunday, and Visiting Teaching paperwork to print out, yada, yada, yada. And on it goes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Time Passes

I can't believe I've neglected writing my blog lately. Tonight I ordered pizza online from Domino's Pizza. It came in no time at all, everything was in the order and it was hot - just the way we like it. We were supposed to go to church for a combined Wilshire/Adams barbecue. I just didn't feel like going since Tony has a meeting down in Torrance tonight, and I was going to have to take nearly our whole dinner over there, umph! Plus Ewa and Elias are here for the week and they want to just play games and rest. I'm so glad the kids are here for the week. I am also very excited for Dan and Mona because they finally have set their temple sealing date; August 2, 2008, the day after Ewa's birthday! I can hardly wait for the day to come. They are so happy, and they can finally think about having a baby now. Yay! Another grandchild to spoil rotten - love those grandkids! I'm swamped right now with making the notebooks for the kids that are going on the L.A. Stake Pioneer Trek in July. They are going to work out just fine. I had a little trouble finding the right paper and picture for the cover, but all of it came together and it's done. I just have to print them all out and bind them, that is the hard part. I'm going on the trek as one of the drivers. I will follow along with them carrying foodstuffs and other things. I'm excited to get to go.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Heat

I was afraid to mention the heat wave for the last few days - bad luck you know! Tonight it has cooled of considerably and I'm at my computer enjoying the cool breeze from outdoors. Today was the Sabbath so went to church. Accompanied Ginger while she sang, "What Would I Do". My playing sucked (as usual), but she was a good sport and got through it just fine. It always makes me nervous when Aaron is sitting behind me while I play, so I was worse than usual. Argghhhh. . . ! Melissa Marquis taught the RS lesson today and it was a very good lesson about 'saving the one'. She inspired me to try a little harder in bringing folks back into the ward by Visiting Teaching as well as other methods. I will try. Going to Dr. Molthen tomorrow - Yay! I so need an adjustment. Also, Tony will be leaving for the rest of the week on Tuesday to go to Stake Girls' Camp. I will be lonely for him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Three Fun Days!

Had so much fun yesterday. After Tony got home from work we drove up to Lancaster to have dinner with Mona, Ewa and Elias. Mona made a fantastic supper of white rice, fried rice and chicken/cream chesse filled wonton, pineapple and her special wonton dipping sauce (so delish!). For dessert she had made lemon curd squares - so tart and good. Then we packed up and brought them back to L.A. to stay for a couple of days while Dan is away with his Scout Group on a camp-out. We're taking them back Wednessday night. Today we'll wing-it and decide what we want to do. Anyway Mona is sleeping in, so is Ewa. Naturally Elias is sitting in my chair playing PS3 video games. He was probably doing that since 6 AM, before Tony left for work. Ha! It's so nice to hear the children's voices in the house. This home was built for children and a large family. We're going to relish the time we have them here this week. It's so good to see my grand babies and their Mom. The missionaries are coming to supper tonight, so I need to get a menu ready. Love having them over.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quick Week, Faster Weekend!

Here it is late Saturday afternoon and I'm waiting for Linda to finish dinner. She's making a birthday dinner for Tony. Tony is 60 today! Yay! Now I'm no longer alone - in my sixties! Ha! Dan, Ramona and Zack came down and stayed overnight last night because Zack had a soccer game at The Home Depot Center early this morning. Ramona brought a lovely dessert for a pre-birthday present for her Dad. I made barbecued ribs and macaroni salad for supper. We had a great time. Everyone but myself were in bed before 11 PM. Today Tony cleaned out the kitchen/dining room area in the downstairs apartment. He also took the blinds outside and steam cleaned them, they were very dirty. He also steam cleaned the pot rack over the stove in the apartment too. He knocked off about 3:30 PM, said he was tired - do ya' think? I wrapped his present. Had to make my own wrapping paper so I did it with brown service paper and patriotic stamps all over it, since Tony's birthday is also 'Flag Day'. It turned out nicely. Then I wrapped his presents and am ready. Oh, I also ironed a white shirt for him for tomorrow (Sunday). Kirk worked on the front lawn all day. He was trimming up the edges around the grass in the yard and out along the sidewalk. It always looks so much neater afterward. I'm playing the organ for Sacrament tomorrow, so I need to hit the piano for awhile tonight. Then it starts all over again tomorrow for Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So tired of financial woes. This month is already a reminder to me that everything in life breaks. Tony is having trouble with his work car and I just don't want to shell-out the money to have it fixed. So instead we re-insured the Mustang, the worst car to have right now, with the price of gas! I knew these times were coming, but it's still all a surprise to me. Gotta' knuckle down now, no more playing around from now on. Back to tight budgeting again and using our year round Disneyland tickets! That'll be all the fun that is allowed. Still great fun though! I still love Disneyland. Pam was the first person to take me to Disneyland and I've never stopped. I had hoped that in our retirement we could travel some and take some of the grandkids with us each time. Still hoping, not sure we can do it though.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sabbath Day

I had quite a day today and I am very tired tonight, yet I don't want to go to sleep. I created and printed out - baby shower invites for the Wilshire Ward Relief Society, a lesson booklet for the Gospel Doctrine class in Adams Ward, I taught the class today, I also printed out scripture reminders for the Adams Ward Relief Society because I taught the class today, and I played the organ for Sacrament Service in Adams Ward too. Oh, and I created and printed out four (12 in all) more page covers for the LA Stake Pioneer Trek for Tony. I also am responsible for deciding on matching personal names for all our youth trekkers, and I need to have this done by this week. Well, I'm going to close this because I need to get up early tomorrow because Sister Sandra Barret (our Bishop's wife) is coming over to use my sewing machine to edge a quilt she is making for one of her sons who lives in Alaska. I've had more than a full day today.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Feeling Better

Yes, I feel a little better, but not quite. I didn't go to Dr. Molthen today. I just couldn't drive that far. My stomach still doesn't feel okay. I'm expecting to feel better this weekend, I'm going to be very busy this Sunday again. Tony's birthday is pretty soon (the 14th), so the kids and I need to get a party goin'. I cannot believe he's going to be 60! Wow! We were just kids when we got married. Time has certainly flown by. Soon we will be great-grandparents, pretty incredible.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Not Food Poisoning

Okay - turns out I had some weird kinda' flu. Several people have had it already, that I know and say they have really suffered with it. I concur. I am certainly much better today, although my stomach still hurts and so do my ribs from all the violent hurling! I'm kind of glad it was the flu because I wouldn't want to think my favorite salad poisoned me. Ha! By tomorrow I should be able to drive down to Tustin to get my treatment and get on with my week. I did get my Visiting Teaching report done today, as well as a lot of changes in the districts, plus I created a whole new district. I think that was a great deal of work for today. Tonight I just want to rest.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Food Poisoning

Yes, food poisoning. I spent the entire night suffering, then when I awakened began hurling! I was so weak I couldn't stand. I finally was able to take a shower, then went back to bed and slept until 4 PM. I do feel better, but am still very weak. I had to cancel dinner with the Elders and my appointment with Dr. Molthen, plus Tony had to be in Westwood for a 6:45 PM meeting and I had to make sure he had a shirt and dinner. He took care of everything but the shirt and made it out of here in time. I expect to feel much better tomorrow.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Walnut Baklava

This is one of my absolute favorite treats! And not too hard to make either.

4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
1 (16 ounce) package frozen
phyllo dough, thawed

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Grease a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish with some of the melted butter. Unroll phyllo dough sheets (keep dough covered with plastic wrap while assembling).
2. Place one sheet of phyllo in baking dish; brush with butter. Top with a second sheet; brush with butter. Fold short ends under to fit the dish. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup nut mixture. Repeat 18 times, layering two sheets, brushing with butter and sprinkling with nut mixture. Top with remaining dough; brush with butter. Cut into 2-in. diamonds with a sharp knife.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the syrup ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Pour over warm baklava. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Now I Understand. . .

Here are Three of my Favorite People I can't wait to see again. Grandma Lindgren, Dad and his second wife, Louise.

In this life we are literally trying to find our way HOME! Home to Heavenly Father. In my Patriarchal blessing I was told that I was given all the gifts I needed before I came to Earth to get back to Father in Heaven. Well, I've been using them - all. I've tried to use my time, talents and energy with which I have been blessed to do just that, to find my way home. Now that I'm nearing the downward spiral of Earthly years I realize just how it all worked. I also know now that I wasn't as successful sometimes as I should have been or wanted to be. Life has been difficult sometimes, but that isn't what really matters. What really matters is that I have remained faithful and have learned all I could regarding the Gospel and it's attendant ordinances. This will serve me well when I do leave here to go home. This reflection has given me much comfort. I know now that I couldn't be perfect while here, and that I will get the opportunity to become perfect in the next life. But I really believe I did my best; yes, I made lots of mistakes, but I have learned from them. I have a testimony of the reason for our existense in this life now, and for that I am so grateful.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Daily Grind

Hey! The Daily Grind, that's what I ought to name a newsletter! Ha! Well, today that's what I feel like - that I'm in the daily grind. I spent some time trying to rally my old high school companions today. They are apparently so embarrassed at how they look they won't post any photos. Argghh. . . ! We are what we are. We received our new Disneyland Annual Passes in the mail today. I can't wait to go! We haven't been for quite awhile and I miss it. I've been talking to Mona about selling off all our stuff outa' the big house to get ready to downsize. She's going to come down when Dan is on his scouting trip to help me take inventory and make lists of stuff I wanna' sell on E-Bay, etc. I also have to research burial information for Lancaster. We need to buy our spots and pay a pre-need plan so the kids don't have to do anything but show up at our funerals. It's too hard for kids to go through all that when their parents die.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life is Wonderful. . . and Short!

I'm so glad to be alive today! I feel so good since I began going to Dr. Molthen, my pain is gone and I can lie down, stand, bend and sit without pain now. If you find you need chiropractic help contact me first. I have been to chiropractors in the past and thought I'd done all I could do, and to no avail. On a previous visit I asked the doctor how long it would be before I felt really well and didn't have to visit him so often. He reminded me that I have been ill for DECADES! Somehow that just hit me between the eyes, I realized how long I've been sick and seriously I don't know how I survived and lived thus far. I have become acutely aware of my body and all it's functions, where before I was just plain numb. It is so amazing what our bodies can endure in this life. I believe if we were adjusted after we exit our mother's womb we would not have to suffer so much. I absolutely recommend this method of chiropractic to everyone. It is non-manipulative, there's no pain when you are adjusted and the feeling of well-being is enhanced by a real physical change. It's not crunching your spine or twisting your head un-neccesarily at all. I am 63 years of age and knew that somewhere in the world the Lord had the answer for me. That answer came through genealogy of all things. A cousin of mine, Betty Wontorek, contacted me and we met and compared notes, but more than that we became friends and began talking about arthritis because both of us suffer from it. She began to tell me about Dr. Molthern and convinced me very quickly that I needed to go to him. So I did. I was truly on the edge of never being able to walk again. After my first adjustment I have not used my cane once. I haven't used my scooter in the house or elsewhere. I can't wait until I'm well enough to go to Disneyland again without having to rent a scooter! I owe my life to Betty, literally! And I thank God for sending her to me at this most crucial time in my life.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In Memorium

My dear friend Chris passed away this week from ALS/Lou Gherig's Disease.

She has always been very dear to me and I will miss her terribly in this life.

"'Til We Meet Again" Chris.

Christine Effie Marriott, age 53, passed away Wednesday, May 21, 2008, in Centerville Utah.
She was born on July 1, 1954, in Provo, Utah, the daughter of Dean and Lanette Robison. Married Robert A. Marriott January 4, 1979 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. She was an active member all her life holding many positions, but the ones she enjoyed most were those serving in Young Women's organization. Her greatest joy was that of Mother, Wife, and love for her fellow man.
Survived by her Husband Robert, son Justin, daughter Sagan, her mother Lanette, sister LaDean, and brother Gary, along with many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at the LDS Church located at 1298 North 400 West, Centerville, Utah, at 11:00 am with a viewing from 9:45 am to 10:45 am., under the direction of Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary.
Grave dedication will be held at Orem Cemetery, 1520 North 800 East, Orem, Utah, at 2:30 pm.
Thank you does not express the gratitude to those at LA Freightliner, her friends, countless Church members, Care Givers, and especially family whose devotion, service, and love for Christine provided comfort and joy through her struggle with ALS.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Working on Genealogy

Well, here I am for a few minutes before I have to do something else. I am getting out my old, and I mean old - photos and creating albums with them. Hopefully I may have them finished in a few months. They are of my Kirkpatrick ancestors and I don't want to lose the pictures, but it's very hard work. But, onward and upward. I had to have another adjustment yesterday, today I had my massage. I feel better but my left back is bothering me again. I'm sure it's the weather. I have to win this battle! I want to go on the trek with Tony and the kids from the LA Stake. I'm adding a picture to this note to see what I'm working with, even some are tintypes. Very interesting.

James Francis "Frank" and Frances "Fannie" Ligon Kirkpatrick and Family - Early 1900's

Sunday, May 18, 2008

URLs I Love





Family Search

Favorite Chicken/Turkey Salad


1/2 cup mayonnaise (use Best Foods -absolutely not Miracle Whip!)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey -- chopped
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup Thompson seedless grapes -- halved
1/4 cup almond slivers (cashews are also delicious)


Blend mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder. Mix into remaining ingredients.

Chill at least one hour before serving.
Serving Ideas : Serve on whole leaves of Romaine lettuce.
Serving Size : 4
Preparation Time :0:20

I served this at Elisa's wedding supper at her request.

Obregon Family Members

Tony's grandfather, Hilario Obregon with his sister, Luz Obregon Hernandez and her son, Ernesto Hernandez.

Wayne and Charla Sant

Our dear friends, Wayne and Charla Sant enjoying their granddaughter at their home in Richland, WA.

Busy Day

It's late now and I want to get a small blog up for the day - you see, I'm trying to remain faithful to it. Today was really busy and I didn't sleep well last night because of the excessive heat. I played the organ for Sacrament then taught Gospel Doctrine and played the piano for Relief Society. I haven't taught Gospel Doctrine for years, so this was different. However, it was with one exception the best calling I've ever had in the church - being Relief Society President was the BEST! I still miss it and it's been years since I was released. I'm looking forward to a rather busy week again, doctor appointment, make a lot of calls, especially to a woman who's investigating the church. Pay some urgent bills and try to survive until payday - again. Well, I'm tired so I am going to close. Hopefully I can add more to this the rest of the week.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Miguel's Car Accident

Miguel called me on Tuesday morning of this week to say he'd been rear-ended by a driver while on the 101 Fwy. He had a lot of rear-end damage and was having trouble with his head/neck already. He stayed home the rest of the day instead of going to work. Next day he got a rental car and put his car in the shop. Friday he called to say his head/neck and legs are really bothering him, I advised him to see the doc - he said he had no time because of what he was doing at work - a huge deadline. His car sustained more than $4300.00 damage, so you know he took a pretty hard hit. The trunk lid had to be replaced, the bumper and lots of other necessary stuff. He has an Altima, so you know it would be expensive to repair it. However, I am most worried about his health. I know how serious back/neck/leg injuries are, maybe right now he can endure it, but later on he will have far worse symptoms. Car accidents are not to be taken lightly, even if there is no blood/flesh damage.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Really Quiet House

Linda and the kids are gone to Disneyland for the weekend so today it is very quiet here. I've been updating pictures and such on my web site, not really working today. This weekend is going to be very busy, on Sunday morning I'm playing the organ for Sacrament Service, after that - teaching Gospel Doctrine (the Adult Scripture Class), then I go to Relief Society to play the music and coordinate Visiting Teaching. I'm way behind in getting prepped for all this, so I feel lazy and guilty. Guess I'd better get with it, huh? Perhaps this is why I needed a quiet house this weekend. Also, today (Friday) I was to have met with the Missionaries for the Adams Ward at an investigator's home for lesson #2, but the lady, Margarite called the Missionaries to tell them she was still at the doctor's office and would have to re-schedule with us. The Missionaries then asked if I would look for Margarite on Sunday and see that she is fellowshipped. WOW! Hope I can do all that! Ha! By the way - it's 95 degrees F. here today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Behold Your Little Ones

I love this painting and always imagine myself as one of these children.

Vacation What?

I've been so busy all week because Tony's been home on vacation. Usually I just do what I wanna' do, but we like to go places together. We had dinner at In n' Out this afternoon, then we came home and watched "Lord of the Rings, Return of the King", and then watched the Dodger game, and then watched the Lakers. Lots of tube viewing today. But that's okay, we practically never watch T.V, especially together. Today was Tony's last day of vacation, so he's back to work tomorrow. I have so many things to get done that take quite a bit of time - looking forward to the peace and quiet. Also, Linda and the kids are going to Disneyland for the weekend, so it will be especially quiet here this weekend. Yay!

However, Tony was able to paint all the woodwork in the breakfast room and re-painted the blue-bedroom as well as the woodwork in there too. He was sick with a really bad cold the first four days he was home, so he was disappointed he wasn't able to complete all his projects during this time. The purpose of his vacation was to do all the work he hasn't been able to complete. He also planted our veggie garden and cleaned out and trimmed the entire herb garden. He did lots of work!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Birthday Party

Today Tony and I drove up to Lancaster and spent the afternoon with Ramona and her family. It was her birthday today, so we took all the fixin's to make enchiladas, and tacos. We all had a great time cooking and visiting with the grandchildren, and helping them with their homework. It was great.

When we left Ramona's to come home I said to Tony, "We brought so much up with us and hardly anything came back with us." He answered me, "Oh yes we brought plenty back with us - good memories."

He's right. I love being with my kids and grandkids, there's just nothing like it in the whole wide world.

I'm feeling so much better, I can't wait to go to my third appointment with Dr. Molthen tomorrow. I'm anxious to tell him of my improvement!

We were going to stop at Disneyland on the way home, but the Elders (missionaries) called just as we got home. They asked if I can meet them at an investigator's home tomorrow at 2 PM, so nix on Disneyland. Darn. Oh well, I love sitting through the missionary lessons with investigators, it's really spiritual and fulfilling. But I did want to go to Disneyland too. Oh well, next time.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Maybe I'm Getting the Hang of This - Ha!

Today was very busy. I played the organ for the funeral of Aretha Johnson, who was a beautiful woman from our ward. She suffered a stroke in the past few months and never awakened from it. I also accompanied Doris Russell Lett as she sang, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow." She sang it beautifully. I didn't go to the internment, which was as Inglewood Cemetery, instead I stayed in the kitchen and visited with all the sisters from Relief Society who were preparing the repast. I left shortly before the family returned because I suddenly felt so tired. I came home and ate lunch, visited with Tony for awhile then went upstairs and took not one, but two naps. I am going back to the chiropracter tomorrow morning and I expect I will be tired when I get home, hence more naps. I felt really good today. So much improved from my previous condition, and I am anxious to get another adjustment to feel even better.

Easy Crochet Patterns

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Health Issues

I went to my new chiropractor yesterday and so far, so good. No pain at all. I've had some stiffness because of the change in the weather, but it's right in the middle of my back, not where I've had the pain before. I am frankly very encouraged. I go back on Friday to see if my neck is holding the adjustment and to get another adjustment. This treatment is so radical to me since their is no manipulation of my spine at all. It's so hard to believe it works, but it does.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm so tired of always having to worry about money! Always the bills coming in and the money going out. I want to gain complete control over our money and never listen to the Gods of Greed again!

It's so difficult to live with so much stress over money all the time. We're about ready to retire and I can hardly wait! Keeping up this big house has become such a burden. I used to look at it as a wonderful investment, now it's just weighing us down. We need to sell and move into a little apartment until we decide where to retire, and leave this "woman killer" for good and all. Even when we sell our home we are not leaving Los Angeles until Tony completes his calling and the Lord says he wants someone else to fill his shoes. He loves his calling so much that he cannot bear the thought of being released just to move. We will just find a small place to live until we are finished here and then move on, probably to Lancaster, CA where Mona and the kids are. It's so expensive to live in L.A. now.

I Have Great Ideas

Today is "rest" day for me, since Sunday is always a whirlwind and merry-go-round day.

I'm checking out what crafts I need to complete so I can pick-up others on the side that are just waiting for me to get started. Oh yes, I have great ideas - but will I ever finish? Hmmm. . .

I am excited for tomorrow. I'm going to a new doctor who is reputed to be one of the best chiropracters in the U.S., and who specializes in my health issues.

I am picking up my cousin on the way to the doctor and afterward we are going to lunch before I go back home. So it should be a really good day for me.

Tony is at home today with a very bad cold. I hope he gets well right away because he will be on a working vacation for the next week beginning on Wednesday. There are some important things that need to be taken care of around the house that require more than a weekend. I hate to see him be sick his whole time off from work.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Apron Cookbook Craft - My Design

Open each of the attached files (one at a time!).

Copy and paste them into your word processor (I use Lotus WordPro or Microsoft Works) any good word processor will work.

In your word processor, open a new page and cut and paste each picture onto separate page(s) , making sure the front and back covers are exactly the same size, (the recipe card fits inside the large squares of the front/back covers.)

You will need to cut/past and print-out several copies of the recipe card picture(obviously - to use for your recipes.)

Hand write or "cut/paste" your own recipes onto the recipe card(s), or paste your own recipe cards onto the "recipe card" template provided here.

Print on card stock quality paper (this makes it sturdy). I also laminate my pages and covers, however, if you don't have access to a laminator just be certain you use good quality paper and try not to spill anything on the pages/covers.

Finally, bind the pages and front/back covers together. I use the "Rollabind" system, but if you don't have that - a good hole punching apparatus will work, just make certain the holes are evenly punched-out.

Your completed project should look like the picture located in the "Review" files on the front page, which was entitled "Apron Cookbook".

Olive Garden Capellini Primavera Recipe

Now here's some good Italian food - try it, it's great! You all know how I love to cook, okay and eat.

1/4 pound Butter
1 1/2 cup Onion -- chop
3/4 cup Carrots -- julienne
12 ounces Broccoli florets (1" pieces)
8 ounces Mushrooms -- sliced
1 1/4 cup Yellow squash (sliced thin/halved)
1 teaspoon Garlic -- minced
1 1/2 cup Water
1 tablespoon Beef bouillon granules
1/4 cup Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 1/4 cup Crushed tomatoes in puree
1 tablespoon Fresh parsley -- chop fine
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Rosemary -- ground
1/8 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound Fresh angel hair pasta -- cooked and drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots and broccoli for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, squash and garlic and saute for 2 minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients, stir well and bring to a simmer.

You can buy real capellini at Smart & Final.

Number Of Servings:4

I've Been Thinking . . .

Well, here I am again. See, I don't like keeping a journal. In fact I quit doing it several years ago when my life went South and I didn't want my children/grand children to ever read what I was thinking at the time. Then I got out of the habit and quit doing it altogether. Now I have to get used to it again. And this is so public. Oh, I'll manage okay.

I've been cruising Facebook checking out the pictures of the Wilshire Ward on the site, "Wilshire Ward". It's interesting to see all the people I've known for so many years. I miss so many of them too.

Had a pretty good day at church. I taught the High Priests how to register with the new.familysearch.org. It went very well and the brethren seemed to have a great time working with the computers. A couple of them had never used a computer either, so it was really new to them.

I also screwed-up the sister who was going to present me as the spot-lighted sister for the Relief Society today. I forgot I was teaching the High Priests Group and couldn't attend Relief Society. Thankfully she wants to do it next Sunday on Mother's Day. Which is fine with me. I used to get embarrassed about things like this, but now I take it all in stride. I am happy to be honored and to share my life with the other sisters.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Blog For Life

Being in the Vargas Family has some rather stiff requirements. You must be bull-headed, socially inept, messy, a day-dreamer, musical - to some degree or another, a voracious reader, love movies - especially 'oldies', generous, loving, charitable, and crazy about children! Of course, not necessarily in that order. All our family members have met and in many cases, exceeded these requirements!

We love the Lord and our Father-in-Heaven, the Temple and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The women of this clan adore Relief Society, and the men love their women. The children are all artistic, musical, sweet, friendly, generous, and adorable. We have the best of everything in our family, along with lots of trials and tribulations and spiritual ups and downs. But we move forward at a steady pace looking toward that chosen goal - that of being an Eternal Family, with no one missing. May God always bless us in our quest.

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