Sunday, June 18, 2017

From Marissa on FB to Robert


When I close my eyes, I can see him there-his hair a little fuller, a little blacker. The twinkle in his eyes remains the same as he urges me along the length of the pool, showing me how to trust myself in the water. 
I close my eyes and it's 1980-something and my dad is patient in the garden as I eat all his cherry tomatoes. "I planted those just for you," he tells me, and I believe in my heart that of my four siblings, it's me he loves best. I'm sure we all felt that way. 
I can close my eyes and can see all these memories of my dad-from cold nights sitting next to him in the garage as he frankensteins one old car into another, to reading the Lorax to him as he dozes off, exhausted from work at the steel mill, to the week after I gave birth to my second son. Bedridden, I peek out my window and he is there, cutting my grass, showing up with barrels of compost for our garden, because that's the kind of guy he is. 
I look back on my life of memories with this man, and they are all good, warm memories. 
I open my eyes and my own children are perched expectantly at the edge of the pool. There's so much I learned from him that I want to lock away in them, where it's safe, where it can live on for that much longer. My dad is a special man. Many people can say how great their dad is, and that's fine. But my dad truly is an exceptional human, and an exceptional father. My life stays grounded by a small handful of things, and my father is one of them. I am in debt to this man who lives his life with such grace, compassion, service, kindness, and humor. I am also in debt to my beautiful mother, for being in the right place at the right time and choosing my dad. 
I see so much beauty in this life. I see so much joy. I see so much hope because my dad taught me to. He is a rock. 
I love you, daddy. Happy Father's Day. (Mom-could you make sure dad sees this?)

Friday, June 16, 2017


A Mormon at the Watergate Trials: Apostle Reflects on Lessons Learned

Elder Christofferson speaks to Oxford students, faculty and academics

“I had what you would call a ‘ringside’ seat at the Watergate trials,” recalled Elder Christofferson, who was the law clerk to presiding Judge John Sirica in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., in the early 1970s. “On one occasion the judge said to me, ‘I hope you appreciate this. Not many law clerks get an experience like this.’ And then he paused and said, ‘I guess not many judges do either.’”
The Watergate scandal, named after a building complex in the nation’s capital, led to the resignation of United States President Richard Nixon in 1974, after the president and his attorney general, legal counsel and closest aides were implicated in efforts to cover up a break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate offices. Members of the president’s reelection committee had devised a plan to illegally enter the offices at the Watergate complex to plant listening devices.
“Judge John Sirica and I listened to the subpoenaed audio tapes from the White House meetings that demonstrated clearly the complicity of President Nixon in the effort to cover up who was responsible for the break-in at the Watergate,” Elder Christofferson explained. Copies of the relevant portions of the tapes were then handed over to the special prosecutor and grand jury.
Judge Sirica rejected the president’s claim of executive privilege to withhold the White House tapes.
“He took that decision with great trepidation,” Elder Christofferson said. “I was proud of him for his integrity and commitment to follow his conscience. “Watergate was a scandal’s scandal, so prominent that almost every other scandal in the United States since then has had ‘gate’ attached to its name to give it added gravitas,” he stated.

Lessons of Conscience
“In my view, conscience is a defining personal imperative that stirs deep in the soul of each person,” the Latter-day Saint apostle told the Oxford gathering.
Elder Christofferson believes President Nixon had “many points along the way” that he could have stopped the cover-up “with an awakened conscience.” Instead, he said the president got deeper into the cover-up conspiracy. 
“Conscience should never be a cloak to hide hurtful behavior or an excuse to gain privilege,” Elder Christofferson said. “When we deploy our beliefs in this way, fellow citizens see through the agenda.”
Elder Christofferson said clerking during Watergate provided an education that guides him to this day.

“Putting one’s integrity on hold, even for seemingly small acts in seemingly small matters, places one in danger of losing the benefit and protection of conscience altogether,” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Elder Christofferson offered the audience a practical suggestion on how to strengthen conscience. “A life devoted to service to others allows conscience to flourish. Service provides a natural barrier against the ills that flow in the wake of self-will and self-interest,” he said.
“A weak conscience, and certainly a numbed conscience, opens the door for ‘Watergates,’ be they large or small, collective or personal — disasters that can hurt and destroy both the guilty and the innocent,” said the senior Church leader.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Superficial Spreading Melanoma

Yep...this is what Robert has.  He had surgery on  May 26 to remove this 'thing' and it was sent to the lab.  He just thought it was an age spot.  Two labs were sent the biopsy and today he met with the doctor and was given this diagnosis.

So on June 27, he will undergo another surgery, this time removing a larger area.  Then he will get an oncologist.

This doesn't make me happy.  I know it could be way worse but this is worse than it is.  It's not what I wanted for him.  Not my Robert.  He's way too good for this.  But I realize that's subjective.  And who am I to say who can and cannot have cancer.  I couldn't with my mom.  Why would I think I could with Robert.

Cara reminded me that she has melanoma, in her scalp and all she needed was a cream and then once a year is scanned for more.  She seems fine with this...I am not fine with this.

Pam says Suzanne Kamms has it in her head/neck and didn't have chemo/radiation/didn't lose her hair.  So maybe....

Now comes the need to truly have faith and rely on Heavenly Father.

But I am not happy.    I am scared.  I just want to throw up.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Elder Cody Kennedy is one month away from returning

Cody was brought in from the outer islands to spend the last 4 weeks of his mission.  He is due home on July 11 in the morning.  See the mat in his hand? That's his bed!  The shell necklace is something each arriving passenger to a larger airport are presented with by the islanders.  

I cannot believe his 2 years are up but then's been a long 2 years since I last saw him.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

New Kitchen

For some time now I've been discussing the state of our kitchen here and how it would be good to rehap it.  Robert agreed and this has been finalized.

Here's  basically what it looks like now:

Let me remind myself about this kitchen. When we lived at 809 we HAD to redo the kitchen...the cupboards were cheap pressed boards and they were falling apart.  We did ours and then mom did hers.  At the time I was really miffed that she had done her kitchen to look exactly like ours.  the same cupboards, etc.  She said when I mentioned it to her, "Well, I changed the handles."  As if that made it different.  Very soon after she had her kitchen done, Patsy and Johnny came to visit. First to mom's house and then to ours. She took one look at our kitchen and said, "Oh my, you have the same kitchen as your mom."  That really burned my biscuits..."No I had mine done first!"

Then eventually mom and Bopapa died and we took possession of this house because it was 2008.  No houses were selling anywhere.  There was about 25 house along Lake Road in Sheffield Lake alone for sale...for months/years.  We didn't want to have renters in this home so we moved up, rented our beloved 809 til someone bought it (altho that purchase went to the bank and squatters lived there but finally someone bought it for a great price, lived in it, rehabbed it amazingly, and then sold it to a delightful young couple who hope to raise a family there as we did. They are doing great job on the gardens outside as well!)

But when we moved up here, I very quickly realized why my mom copied our 809 kitchen. She had always intended or hoped we would take it over (yes, she left it to us. We sold 809 so I could buy my sister's part of the house...didn't want any bad blood. Debi had already stopped talking to me for 4 years between the two deaths because she was so upset at mother's handwritten instructions at the end of the Living Trust.  She got over that when she got the money).  So my mom made the kitchen to look the way I had wanted 809 so I'd feel at home.  Not that I didn't.  I just miss my mom so much.

So we've lived here for 9 years.  The peninsula part (who knew it was called a peninsula but it makes sense when I look at it) has cupboards over top.  Mom and Bonpapa were both short and they didn't hit their heads.  Robert on the other hand has made divots  in his head more than a couple of times.

Plus, it is the only room in the house that is honey oak.  The rest of the home is basically maple.  And for me, that was an irritant.  Except for my asymmetrical hairdo, I tend to have to have eveness all around me.  So that's the plan.  The kitchen will have wood cupboards and drawers in maple made in Amish country. The floor will be a warmer shade and of laminate..NOT HARD WOOD.  I'm not going to spazz out everytime I drop food or water on it. The counter tops will be a white Quartz with an amazing backsplash that looks like leaves.  The footprint will be different and I dumped the desk which just seems to be a magnet for junk and paper. Funny how I thought I wanted a desk in the kitchen til I had one.

We bough all new appliances in the past 8 months or so  Consequently they won't need to be changed out.

Here's the designer's idea which I loved the minute she showed it to us...altho it was the 4th design she offered.

 Love having the stove on the same wall as the fridge with counter space on either side.  The cabinets on the left of the fridge are only 5" deep, perfect for spices and away from the heat of the oven.
I'm not sure Jordan was in agreement with the sink being at an angle and not directly in front of the window. He might be correct for resale value but for me this is perfect.  This allows the splashes to not end up on the window. The pantry is on the left of that unit.  Look at the counter space.

Even though the kitchen is still the same size, we supposedly are giving it the appearance of being larger.  The light fixtures which hand down will be removed and 9 canned LED lights will be installed, giving a lot more light and will all be on dimmers.  There is a cupboard to the right of the dishwasher which will hold 2 garbage cans....garbage and recycle.  No more silver trash can in the walkway.  Robert also decided he wanted the quietest of garbage disposals. It's not something he ever wanted so I only got one when we took over 3830.  And I like it.

So, look forward a month or so and check out the finished kitchen...altho I might add the pictures to the end of this entry when it's all completed.

I'm excited.  I am worried.  I am thrilled.  I just wonder why people don't do this and enjoy living in it more often than I've seen. Most people I know redo their rooms in order to sell, or the kids redo it when the old folks have to be taken care of in their homes or a nursing home or they've died.  Me? I wanna enjoy my kitchen. And so I shall.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Miss June Rauscher

My June has graduated from Wellington High  School with an honor's diploma.  We were invited to her graduation party and it was so wonderful to be with her and her extended family....most of whom knew us from when I was the babysitter.  My heart still gets pinched when I think how badly I wished she could be mine, how I wished her life could have been different.  It should have been so different.  But her family have always credited her time with me for giving her a love of reading and education...something they all say she would not have gotten from anyone else.

 Isn't she just so lovely...and cute...and sweet...and doesn't drink or smoke!  Thank heavens.

 Big brother Tim Robert, June, Big Sister Janine ?  I recognized Tim but Janine just blew me away.
 Tim is just so funny.  Robert told him to pose like Jocelyn does...and so he did.  Back when Penny, their mom, first attempted suicide, Tim is the one who brought June to me in the morning and told me not to give her to anyone else.  He played football for Brookside so I told him to go to his practice and I would wait with June til he got done. Then I got on the phone and called her Uncle Brad and alerted him that something was up.  Brad called everyone til he got the info and called me back with the facts.  Since Tiger and Penny were not married, Tim would not be allowed to continue to live in Tiger's house so I called the principal and said if he needed some place to live, we had room.  I just wanted to wrap up this young man and protect him too...but he ended up living out his senior year with a friend.
 Here's Tiger and me and Robert...and below, Tiger's with his daughter.
 Here are the remaining Rauscher siblings...Tiger, Brad, and Jan (who has provided home for June all these years after she left Brad and Linda's home.

 Here are all the Rauscher's and their spouses/partners/kids.  It was a lovely party.
The hardest part is seeing Brad.  Brad has non-small cell lung cancer.  He's gone through Cleveland Clinic and NIH...and there's nothing left for him but death.  He's such a good man and so wants to live for his only granddaughter.  But that's not going to be the case.

June is headed to Kent State University. I am so grateful she will be getting away from this county and will see what's what.

How I love June. I hope I can keep in contact with her forever.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Seminary Graduation


 I hate meetings.  I mean I really hate meetings.  Particularly meetings that go over 1 hour.  NO MEETING EVER NEEDS TO GO BEYOND 1 HOUR other than contract/union negotiations.  I had a stake meeting Tuesday (for JustServe) that went over 90 minutes and that was cuz the woman in charge enjoyed hearing herself talk.  I gather these monthly meetings always go this way.  For me from now on, 1 hour and I’m out of there!

Robert always goes everywhere with me or for me so tonight was the  Seminary graduation night and since he’s still Seminary teacher, he had to go. And cuz I love him I went with him.  He looked at the program and he asks, “this is going to last 3 hours, do you want to go home?”  I looked at the program and shuttered but I agreed to stay.  I tried to meditate and zone out but that never seems to work at a church meeting.  We got through the blah blah blah.  The Stake YW president got up to spotlight the girls who received their Young Womanhood award…more blah blah blah..AND THEN..THEN…THEN the lesson came.

She talked of another girl who was receiving the award tonight.  A young woman who walked into the stake center ahead of us as we walked into the meeting. She was dressed in jeans and an orange tee shirt.  I thought…wow…that’s very odd.  But we were all told of a young woman who was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old. Everyone figured she would not be able to get this award because she is non verbal and all of life is pretty difficult for her. As the mom brought her up to the front to join all the other YW award earners, she was the same girl in jeans and orange tee.

BUT she did…She received her award tonight thanks to her family, leaders and a slew of YW.  And each of these helpers was asked to stand as their names were read.  Each girl took on a value and very slowly, methodically, worked with the girl with her special needs til she managed to accomplish the goal and this included the main projects.  Can you imagine the service? The Work?  The love?  and for someone who doesn’t cry much, I could feel tears welling up.

This was incredible. 

My new calling is ward rep for JustServe and I am still fearful that I will get our ward hooked up with an organization and none of our people will serve. But tonight…there was a glimmer of hope.

And HOPE is actually a verb….It requires action.  And on my own part as well.

I record it here on my blog so I can always read it and remember that in one of our wards, the girls and some adults worked extra hard in order to help someone else less fortunate achieve this award.

I wish for myself a whole barrel of HOPE.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Calling...JustServe Ward Rep

Another new calling...and not one that will take much time other than the once a month meeting at the stake center where a few of the people seems to like to hear themselves talk holy.  Me?  I just like to talk and be opinionated. They should have known this.

I am to pick 1 place that our ward members could serve/help out in.  I find this so odd...having to tell people, encourage people to serve.  Why don't they just figure it out?  Is it just cuz Gladys was my mom...and she set the example?  I have no clue.  But then again, my friendships and activities in various groups are not centered in the church but in the community.  So my friends and connections are wide ranging.

I attended the meeting last night and was thanked for my opinions...haha...but I assured them I have many.  But the funnest moment was when this guy walked in and HE WAS HANK PERSONIFIED...IN SO MANY WAYS.  He came in wearing camo shorts, tee shirts, sweatshirt jacket, a baseball cap and tennies.  And he had Hank's coloring and even a rather lovely thick but well trimmed!  And he had the same notions as hank has had.  And his mannerisms were the same.  I immediately felt connected to him.

Tobin sat away from the High Council table but then joined us.  I think he joined us when he figured I might have been not like the rest of the holy rollers.  Then when he'd say something, he'd look at me. Once he gave me a thumbs up when he made a statement as if he was looking at me for agreement.

IT WAS FUN!  I wish he was in my ward...I'd love to get to know him.

I am hoping our ward leadership agrees that we can serve Blessing House...the place were we had the tea fundraiser Saturday.  This is a great place run by Sister Mary and some great women.

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