Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm Larry Sagers daughter. . .

I used the tag line because my sister had a song she made up and sings, which doesn't sound at all the same when typed out, but the lyrics are, "I'm Larry Sagers daughter, da, dah, duh, da, da dah. . ." See what I mean?

Larry Sagers is my dad. He passed away three weeks ago. When he first called and told me he was going in for exploratory surgery in his lungs, I cried myself to sleep because even then, I knew it was cancer. My family has a long history of it. Since that time he lived for 18 months more, a year more than he was given. There were many, many, many nights thereafter that I grieved. Some nights it was insomnia. Others found me lying in bed, tears dripping into my ears as I tried to cry silently so as not to wake my spouse.
A few months ago, my husband and I put in an edited for content movie called Black Book, which I had confused with Little Black Book; huge difference. In Black Book, the main character is a Jewish woman who, after her family is killed in front of her, begins working with the underground as a spy. Toward the end of the movie after many more people she loves are killed, she finds herself in the office of a doctor, who breaks the news to her that yet another loved one has been killed. She goes into hysterics. The scene terrified me, not because of all the killings and finding out that her trusted doctor friend was a traitor, but because a very logical part of me was worried that when my dad's last moments came, that was how I would react and that was how I would grieve and that I might never again appreciate the beautiful things of this life.
His death has had quite the opposite effect on me. I miss him. We went to the place where he worked up until his death the other day and visited a dinosaur museum. There was a new exhibit open. For a few seconds I couldn't wait to tell him about it because he would have loved it; especially the part where most of his grand kids were there that day. It is impossible to not feel a loss, yet the thing that has amazed me has been the accompanying peace. I know there are many out there that have prayed for me and my family. People who don't share a common religion. People who have never met me and some who never personally met my dad. I can only say it is working. There have been very few other times in my life when I have felt such a calming influence and a peace.
From those comments, some readers may think, "Well that is heartless!" Let me assure you I shed more than my fair share of tears and continue to have moments in which grief washes over me. I am very much a daddy's girl. He was my solice through most of my adolescent years before I realized what an amazing mother I have. I am just grateful to a Heavenly Father that knew how hard the deat of a father would be and He created the comforting spirit of the Holy Ghost so that sadness would not overwhelm me and be all that I would know.
The Tooele Transcript Bulletin, Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune, and KSL news all ran articles on him that were so comforting to read. There were many other media venues who mentioned his life and his passing. I've loved looking at the pictures associated with each column because he looks so happy and so healthy.  It has been a remarkable tribute to read through comments posted in response to newspaper articles about him and through social media. . My favorite has to be the user who wrote in something about how he and his wife so loved Larry that they named their turtle after him.
His friend and KSL Greenhouse co-host, Tim Hughes, put together a memorial greenhouse that was broadcast the Saturday after his death. I cried through most of it, especially when I heard the sound of my dad's voice, but what a thoughtful tribute!
One of my favorite things and one of the most memorable things about his professional career was his tie collection. He had a tie to represent the content of each of the classes he taught as well as many others just for fun. On his passing, my sister and sister-in-law and I took about 2/3 of his "fun" ties and made these tie wreaths.

My favorite is that Larry the Cucumber is on the wreath next to his Utah State Extension tie. Fitting, right? (You have to look closely).

There are many other thoughts I've had about his life, his passing and how remarkable it was to have been born his daughter, but those thoughts I do not wish to make public. Instead I will finish by saying that he gained a lot of prestige in his professional career. He was known and respected by many. He earned a great many local and national awards and recognitions. And yet, all that pales in comparison to his greatest role, that of being my dad.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tom and Hen 4x4 turkeys

I should begin by saying this wasn't my idea. It was done for an activity at church, but I'm pretty sure the idea didn't come from the girl who was in charge either. Like most things, I'm sure someone thought of it, someone else copied it, and no one recalls exactly from whence it came.

The original design, or at least the design on display was made from a 2x4, a paint stirring stick  and tongue depressors. If you type in 2x4 turkey, you'll get quite a few hits on it and can design your own from what you see. There are step-by-step tutorials on many of those sites, but I'm pretty sure. . . well that wasn't a kind way to phrase it, so I'll finish by saying most people could figure out how do do it by looking at the finished product.

My daughter made the nearsighted turkey and my niece made the one with the sparkley pink eyes. See how creative one can be by adapting a basic design?

I used a 4x4 because it is common knowledge that no one wants an emaciated turkey; plus I had scrap 4x4's.

Also I used mini wooden spoons because they were more feather shaped. I might go back in and add some more to make a fuller tail, but I don't hate it as is. Additionally I painted the back sides of the "feathers" because if I want to use it for a centerpiece it needs to have a more finished look. Also I covered the back end and tail feathers with scrapbook paper for the same reason.

Since I had the space, I used mod-podge on the sides to fasten on decorative paper. That was more my brother's idea, but I liked it, so I added it. If using it for a centerpiece you could also put thankfully minded quotes on the side or names to make place cards for the formal dinner I'm sure most people enjoy on a family-filled holiday.Lastly, and probably most importantly, I added the feet. Turkeys in this day and age are so large with breast meat they cannot breed naturally. That may seem like a random comment, but the 4x4 turkey is much more like the turkey bread for Thanksgiving dinner and while ordinarily you might think the feet would be on the legs underneath, I imagine this to be a strain on its joints, so the feet are out in front as it lazily squats on the ground. 
To my knowledge, the turkey hen does not have nearly as full of a tail as the tom, but in this case the only gender distinctions I made were the placement of the bow, the eyelashes, the gobbler, and the hen is covered in glittery mod-podge while the tom has a matte finish.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Beowulf: Lego Version

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Warning . . . your common sense could be in jepordy

Usually I have my deepest thoughts in the bathroom. Sometimes they come in the shower, sometimes as I'm brushing my teeth, (often the most profound come as I am brushing my teeth in the shower), and sometimes as I am taking care of business so to speak.

The other night as I was brushing my teeth, deep in thought, waiting for inspiration, I noticed this.

(I added the scissors for emphasis. We don't actually keep our scissors on the back splash. Staring at the picture I realize they could use replacing or else we will need updated tetanus shots)

At first glance I thought it humorous, funny enough that I giggled to myself about it even after I had gone to bed. (I'm sure my spouse who gets up at 4:30 a.m. appreciates it when I giggle to myself. . . not as much as he'd appreciate a good guffaw. . . but more than a titter).

As the hours grew later and I continued to think about it, I realized that what I was seeing was not a comedy at all, but a tragedy. I've read Shakespeare and Steinbeck and they pale in comparison. How have we as a society evolved into a species that needs little tags attached to the power cord of the Norelco shaver in order to practice common sense? What next?

A few thoughts crossed my mind and it will surprise me not at all if in the very near future we see these safety tags on commonly used products.

(Would this one be attached to the outlet or the fork? Maybe both?)

I am awaiting the call by manufacturers for me to jump on board with their design team to mass produce these safety tags. (Although, due to costs associated with color printing, the green on the ipod and blue of th toilet water might have to be grey) Pshaw! Who said you need computer graphics?