Welcome to our Blog!!

The title of our blog is a bit different, but for this oft-moved family we feel like our less travelled roads have in fact made all the difference. Enjoy. The picture up top was taken by us on one of our trips to Central Park.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Brooklyn Girl

Okay-I am new to this blog thing but I thought I would give it a try. I am feeling old today. I am not sure if this feeling was brought on by Remington’s mission call, Richard starting junior high or going to a brunch this morning and realizing that I don’t know very many of ladies at church who have young children. The fact of the matter is I am not even 40 yet and having felt young for so long-the last 20 years-I think age is now catching up with me.

We had some church families and neighbors over for a Labor Day BBQ on Monday. Towards the end of the evening I was standing in the kitchen with 2 friends from church and 2 neighbors. My next door neighbor said to her next door neighbor, “Have you ever seen the picture of Stephanie and Sid in the front room?” “NO-let me go get it.” (It’s the picture of us at Curt’s wedding) She brought it into the kitchen and said, “Stephanie-you look like a Brooklyn Girl in this picture.” “Louise,” I said, “What is a Brooklyn girl?” “A Brooklyn girl is a girl who is fashionable, like a model.” Wow! I was flattered-I have always loved that picture. Then she said, “It doesn’t look anything like you now.” Thanks! She didn’t mean it like it sounded I know. Let’s face the facts. That was 20 years ago and since then I have had 4 children, moved about 10 times and weigh a lot more. Oh well that’s life. I am still young even though my kids are getting older.

Yesterday we opened Remington’s mission call. By the time 6:00 finally rolled around a myriad of emotions were rolling about in my head and stomach. It seems like the call took a while to reach our house, even compared with other calls to this area. That really added to the suspense. Plus watching it sit on the counter all day while we stared at it hoping it would magically speak and tell us of the call destination. I held it many different way and never once saw anything but white paper. I turned and twisted it several times but couldn’t see anything-not that I really wanted to anyway but I did it just the same. Then I suppose the normal anxieties appeared. What if he goes somewhere that he doesn’t want to? What if he isn’t excited about where he is called to? What if he goes somewhere war torn and dangerous? I knew I was not really worried about these questions but they did pop into my head once or twice during the day. My friend Annette who works with me at the FHC told me that you wonder and try to predict where they will go and then the call comes and you say, “of course, that makes so much sense.” That’s exactly how I felt-had I ever thought about Sacramento California? No?! Is he excited and thrilled to be going there? YES!!! It makes perfect sense-I can’t tell you why-it just does. I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest when he opened it and started to read. Remington Riggs Bassett you have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to labor in the California-Sacramento mission. Well of course he is-where else would be right for Remington? It was so thrilling.

As I lay in bed last night pondering the days events I felt like a firefly, glowing and flitting around. I couldn’t sleep and I needed to sleep. Remington had his call. He was going into the MTC in November and that couldn’t be more perfect. School was starting for the kids the next day. This was not our first school year so there would not be tears, lunch periods spent alone, confusion on school policies, and all the other things that come with starting at new schools. Finally sleep came and all too soon the alarm went off. I gave myself a big “beginning of the school year gift” and didn’t exercise but got up and showered and dressed for a busy day. I took the kids to school-all seemed excited. Richard torpedoed from the car like nothing you have ever seen. No more baby school for him as he said in the car last week. He was on to big and better things. Redford is never really excited about school but he seemed okay even thought he had a headache most of yesterday. Brittany had a big smile on her face, a cute new shirt and of course her cute self. Me? I usually feel sorry for myself on the first day of school, after all, it’s when I lose control and have to give my kids up to school work and the demands that follow. Usually it’s a “drag yourself up off the ground” and “put everything back together kind of day.” But, it couldn’t be. I had a breakfast to go to and now I am at the family history center. So, instead of feeling sorry for myself and feeling old-I didn’t-maybe I will do that tomorrow or maybe I won’t. It’s taken me years, since Richard started school full time, that’s 6 years ago, to come to understand the whole empty nest during the day thing. I still have a lot to do and kids at home but during the day they are gone and I miss them. But there is still much work to be done. The hard part about being a mother of young children is that you get used to it and then they get older. A mother spends so much time caring for small children, trying to accomplish so many things with children under foot that it takes up ones life. Now sometimes I look around at a quiet house and wonder where everybody is. Sometimes I sit in sacrament meeting with just one kid. It’s kind of strange. I know people at church who don’t know me wonder who I am, am I married, do I have kids? Yes to all! I am just at a new stage in life. Sometimes I don’t like it and long for the kids to be little again or to have someone around during the day. Sometimes it doesn’t like me, like when I seem to be doing something all day long when it doesn’t seem like I did anything. But I love my life and have definitely learned to roll with the punches so onto many more exciting things. Maybe the kids are older and need a different kind of attention, maybe I am getting older, maybe I have to get used to being alone during the day, maybe I can’t get as much done alone all day as I used to do at home with 4 little kids needing attention but oh well. You live and learn! I love my life and without question, I wouldn’t want anyone else’s life but my own.

Brooklyn Girl

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MRI ay ay ay...

Have you had one of these things (an MRI that is)? Talk about a rotten experience. The total opposite of the CT scan which was a non event. You wait to go in this tube…then they have you lay down as they wrap your head up with vinyl pillows, enclose it with a cage and make you stay absolutely frozen for 35 minutes…then as you are in this tube as a frozen mummy these bizarre noises start going off with these odyssey banging sounds lake jack hammers gone wild. After this is completed and your head is numb with stillness they then pull you out and give you a 6-minute shot in your arm and cram you back in the tube for another 25 minutes. WOW…I mean WHOA…I'm glad that bad boy is over. No news on my smell and taste until the results come back from the MRI and I am not expecting much then. I have an appointment in November to see a specialist in Philly. **update...MRI tests back...clear...so we wait.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Life stinks? Lucky!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I thought I would document some interesting feelings that for me are totally new. Warning, this note is not intending to draw out feelings of sympathy or sadness. I couldn’t be happier with my life in almost every way. I just want or need to put this to paper today because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Remember Monk who had a hyper sensitive smeller when the trash collectors went on strike. He couldn’t get settled until things were back to normal and the city’s trash was removed. He would even go outside of his normal m.o. to solve the problem. He hated trash, and most particularly other people’s trash, but because he needed things to smell normal he willed himself into walking up and down streets on a mission to collect every one’s trash. Why? So that things went back to the way they were. Monk and I now share this same mission.

Two weeks ago last Monday I lost my ability to smell and taste. Talk about strange. Why? Not sure. The internet chat rooms are filled with answers, yet I don’t have a clue. When people hear about my new found condition, they have a lot of ideas of what it could be. Here are the top four that have landed in my mind….tumor, undetectable sinus infection, Lyme disease, or an unknown viral infection. At this point I haven’t ruled out anything. I have been to specialists and have knocked out a few exploratory “could be’s”, but nothing of substance yet. When I return home in a week and ½ I will have a CT scan which may give me the answer…or maybe it won’t. All I know is that life has changed in a subtle yet powerful way. Don’t misread this. After calibrating out life’s oddities and challenges/disappointments, my life is still very much like that of Mary Poppin’s life…practically perfect in every way.

Here are a few of those subtle changes….
- I can’t tell if my breath smells anymore. Being sensitive to this I find myself putting more breath fresheners in my mouth just in case. Gum doesn’t get old anymore. Cool.

- I can’t join the after meal compliments. You know them well, “that meal was wonderful”, “those rolls were incredible”, “I loved that recipe”. No more. I can’t tell anyone honestly if their food tasted good or not. When I want to thank someone for cooking something for me I can only say, thanks for making something that feels differently in my mouth. “Whoa, that steak looks great.” These work. I haven’t been put in this position yet, but I will test my whole don’t tell social white lies policy as time goes on. Especially to my wife who cooks so well.

- Yes, I still do want to eat. That may be an understatement. I now crave eating. Not eating just anything necessarily but eating different types of things. I can’t shake the hope that the next bite will drive some inner sensation that says, heh, that was good. Haven’t really found anything yet. I did enjoy a pasta salad my boss’s wife made me the other day. I also enjoy carbonated drinks more than flat drinks and I had some watermelon my wonderful wife cut up for me the other day that as fairly pleasing. I’ve had sour gummy worms, spicy salsa, tart candies of all types, horse radish, and hot bean dip. All in an effort to taste something new...something pleasing…something satisfying…something at all. While I vaguely feel hungry, I still feel strong urges to eat. Lesson one in over eaters anonymous group therapy I’m sure. My feelings of denial get the better of me. This has got to change. The next thing I eat will definitely spark something. It has to. It has for 42 years. Surly it doesn’t change in one moment.

- By the way, I now hate water. I feel my clothes tightening up, but no guilt for having eaten too much. Not good.

- Kitchen, bathroom, garage, and car smells are gone, all gone. Scary to think it could be a gas leak or smoke and I would be the last to know if something was wrong…maybe literally. Do I have body odor right now? Don’t ask me. The expression ‘this smells fishy’ has new meaning for me.

- Food carries with it absolutely no satisfaction. Talk about depressing. Did you know that your ability to smell and taste has a lot to do with your ability to feel full when you are eating. True. I have no idea if I have eaten too much or not. I eat out of habit and I suffer the consequences if I eat something I shouldn’t. Especially something really hot. Can’t feel it going in, but it still does damage inside.

- I don’t feel guilty about eating because I can’t really feel what I have eaten anyway. Sure with time it gets down there in the gut and something sends the message, “heh, easy up there, knock it off.” Unfortunately it is too late.

- I can’t smell if things are rotten or not. The other day I started into my new found love, watermelon, when Stephanie stopped me because it was apparently rotten. Could have fooled me. It is at those times I really feel a bit vulnerable.

So my mission is to make things normal again. That may mean going back to the way things were or it may mean that the way I feel right now becomes normal.

These are a few of the observations I wanted to get down on paper. I do hope there is relief in sight, but for now I consider myself blessed just to be able to reason these changes out in my mind and still keep all the wonderfully great things about my life.

Until the next update…love ya.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

My sister-in-law's i.d. theft

How small is this world? Last Sunday I was visiting my brother-in-law Freddy’s ward while travelling through Houston. I initiated a conversation with a bro. Dayhuff in his ward because I knew he was the Houston Temple recorder. I wanted to tell him of a story my mom had told me about the power of a temple recorder (versus the lack of power of a temple presidency). In the course of conversation he let me know all the family ties he had with me…like the fact he worked with my sister Jill and Kyle in the temple, served with my brother Bret in Paraguay, and knew my nephew Ben while serving in Houston. The best connect for me though was the one of my sister-in-law Wendy.

When bro. Dayhuff was going to BYU he worked at the church office building as a janitor. As janitors are prone to do (so I’m told) they started comparing and rating the beauty of the girls that would proudly adorn the various offices occupied by those working in the building. Each night there would be a conversation among the cleaning crew as to whether their floor (e.g., 1st floor, 4th floor, etc.) had the girl to rate in the competition. A year later he made a great mental connect while serving on his mission in Paraguay. He told of a time on his mission when missionaries were chatting about their “women” back home (as they are prone to do - so they say), when bro. Dayhuff noticed that Elder Bassett’s girlfriend looked very familiar. Then it hit him…this was Ned Winder’s daughter who was on his top 2 list of prettiest girls on all floors. Bret had her! WOW. He thought more of my bro from that day henceforth.....I had to share...l

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Finally...the braces come off!

Miss, Missy Girl, Britty, Britty K, Brittany Kathleen, however you know her and love her... she is no longer a brace-face! She can now eat an apple without cutting it up. She got her braces off on Monday and we are all so excited for her!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Miracles on 34th Street (well, close…34 Oakley Ave)

Two quick tender mercies that I wanted to share…

1) A week ago I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Literally. Ever had that happen before? Talk about really weird. Never had the feeling and if I get it back I know I will never take it for granted again. Nothing you eat yields any satisfaction whatsoever and you feel a little apart from the world because you can’t smell anything. When you eat, you never know when you are full because you can’t properly gauge what is going down. That’s my excuse anyway. In any event, last Sunday our stake presidency was fasting for something and it happened to be a fairly long day as we had some training with Clayton Christiansen (daytime Harvard MBA professor, all other times AASeventy) until later in the afternoon. As we broke our fast, President Carmack offered us some cookies his kind wife had kindly made. As I bit into the cookie, for the next 20 seconds, my taste miraculously came back to me and I thoroughly enjoyed breaking my fast with that scrumptious bite of a chocolate chip cookie. After I downed that first bite and reveled in the brief savor I was allowed to experience it immediately shut down and I have been again without smell and taste ever since. It was incredible. Someone knows what’s going on up there and that was a quick, teaser reminder of that fact. Really cool experience. Now to find my senses.

2) I had been searching for days around the house for my misplaced SecureID from work (the passcode that allows you to access your work server). It was driving me nuts. I finally resorted to paying the boys to find it. When bribery that didn’t work, I got desperate. I was looking in the most obscure places. I got down on my knees and started to look in the shoe bin to see if by chance it had fallen out of my bag and in a shoe. I looked in each shoe - but nothing. It was then that Redford walked in, saw me kneeling on the floor and asked what I was doing. When I told him, he laughed and asked if I had tried praying yet. I actually was about to when he walked in, so I confirmed that this was my plan and that I was going to do it right then. So I moved out of the way of the neighbors sight, closed my eyes and was just about to utter a vocal prayer when I looked straight down and in the heal of one of my shoes was the SecureID. Talk about super freaky weird. What a tender mercy of enormous proportion. I know coincidences happen, etc. but this was real. I knew it and the kids knew it and now you know…the rest of the story.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Those little Rascals

One of the unique experiences you get when you work in NYC and walk through tourist traps is that you get to see different things almost every day. Aside from the people or advertisements you train your eyes to “not see” there are often a number of celebs that cross your path along the way. Most of whom I could care less to see; however, I do marvel at the throngs of people trying to get a glimpse of these celebs. Most of them it seems are tourists from Oklahoma or Texas. I’ve concluded that Oklahomans and Texans love to be near a camera. Hm.

Anyway, so last month I had a series of citings so to speak. First I nearly bumped into Cristiana Aguilera who was getting out of her limo. The funny side to this story was that I happened to be in the right place at the right time and I nearly bumped into her. There were hundreds of people waiting to see her, and so for a moment I was a celeb by association as she got out of her car. I just waved to my screaming fan base. I got between her and her body guards which was funny. Anyway, then the next week I passed John McCain after just giving one of his ‘I am the next president’ speeches, which was followed-up by Obama the next day. The following week I walked right by Kenny Chesney who was about to sing in the Rock Center plaza. Mind you, I didn’t go there to see these people, they came to me…so to speak.

So that brings me to this morning. For once, someone I really wanted to see was actually scheduled to be there on the Today Show …unfortunately when I passed by they were not really there. Hundreds of people surrounded Rockefeller Center Plaza, waiting for the arrival of none other than Rascal Flatts (Heh, Rascal Flatts are cool). Question: How does one know if Rascal Flatts is about to show up at an event like this? Easy….just ask an Oklahoman or Texan in the crowd…or every other person. You could also look for their names on the signs they had carefully prepared for such and event. As a side, the people holding these signs usually have big hair and sometimes tears of elation -- dead giveaway. But that’s beside the point.

So, I wait there for about as long as I can stand (5 minutes) and I was outta there. Course I walked out the VIP exit because I had a business bag and clothes and I acted like I knew what I was doing -- works every time. So if any of you non-Oklahomans or non-Texans happened to see the Today Show today with Rascal Flatts, you sadly didn’t see me. Let me know how it went and if you could see over the big hair fan base.