Wednesday, August 24, 2011


. I am so glad I won tickets and that I got to go! It was pretty darn amazing! So on Weds last week I left work at 1:30! The concert was at 7:30 but I didn’t want to take any chances with traffic etc. On my way home from Ventura I stopped in Moorpark and got Carla from work. (She carpools with her husband) and we came to my house. I changed into some jeans and touched up my make-up and hair. We chatted for a few with my folks and hit the road! We drove down to the Staples Center and found a Taco Bell nearby to get some dinner. After we finished eating we headed to the Center. We paid for parking and walked across the street. Once there none of the doors were open yet. We waited about a half an hour. Got inside around 6:30 and hit the bathroom, after the bathroom we paid $4 for bottled water so that we would have it and I hit the souvenir stand. I bought the “program” ( if you can really call it that, it’s mostly all pictures, and the last page is about his charity) and a hat. Then we went to our seats.

We didn’t have to wait too long before the opening act came out. His name was Elew. He is a solo artist. A pianist. He was a little eccentric but very good! He did not have a bench or any type of seat. He stood or kneeled for all the stuff he played, but he stood in weird stances! A couple of times while playing he stood and had his left arm in the piano playing directly on the strings and the right arm on the keys! Sometimes when he was playing he would jerk his head back and just leave it like that. But it was weird because he was standing kinda like in a lunge workout position, with the forward leg on the pedals and than was looking up! Odd character! But like I said, very talented. He played for half an hour and then was done. He had introduced himself and one song, but the rest of the 30 min he just played. Than there was 30 min for a set change. Mostly removing the piano and bringing in the chairs etc for the mini band Josh had.

So than around 8:30 there was a violinist and a few other “band” people on stage and they started playing some music…. Than JOSH came out! But he came almost from by where Carla and I were sitting! He ran onto this smaller stage that was set up close to where we were! Of course not expecting that I couldn’t get any clear pictures since I was already focused on the main stage! I started a video. He sat down at the piano and played/sang his song “Changing Colors” (which was one I downloaded the weekend before, so I am glad I did) but of course the piano was facing the other direction so the video is the back of his head. Then he walked around a chatted a bit, I had no idea he was so funny! He made a comment about how we paid a lot of money for the concert and he was going to work his a$$ off to make it worthwhile for us” Than told the people near the stage to be careful it was going to start falling on them. He talked about being born and raised in LA… etc than sang some more. After 2 or 3 songs he went to the main stage.

Than he was talking about how they rehearsed in a small studio in LA somewhere and how at the Staples Center it was so much more “technical” because now they had stairs for the stage. So he told us how his security team doesn’t like stairs because they are G.A.P.S (gaps) Groping & Access Points. He than put his hand up like he was a security guy talking through his mini microphone to the other security guys and said something like: “we have a gap at staircase #3, pregnant lady with a homemade quilt, she is going to smother him with love” OMG he was sooo funny! At one point he walked down the other aisle and was talking to this 10 year old girl and when he went back to talk to her again later she hid from him. He talked about how that side of the stage the crowd was much more touchy-feely than the side we were on (he said they were more the handshake type crowd) and how it was “a whole different type of “meet” (meat) on that side.”

He sang some more…. Before the show they had a text # up on the screens where you could text Josh a question to be answered during the show. So when he got to the questions he said that his crew looks at them ahead of time not him so that it is more exciting for his answers. The first question he got asked was something like “if you could leave something on the moon for others to find, what would it be?” and he said he would want to sing a high note into a jar and bury it in the sand (he acted it out too) but that he hoped it wouldn’t be found by some elderly couple and give them heart attacks (again acting it out) and then he apologized to the elderly couple for finding his high note.

The next ? he got was “what was his favorite Yo Momma joke?” He said that ? was going to force him to isolate/lose 90% of his audience/fans from the crowd. He said he didn’t want to offend anyone’s “momma” in the crowd and he could just see the tabloids now. How it would go on and on about him offending people’s momma’s! He kept going on… finally he said “yo momma so stupid when she heard it was chili outside she grabbed a bowl”

The 3rd card/? He got said Josh!!!! He commented on how the !’s definitely caught the crews attn. It said she had just graduated with a musical arts degree and could she sing on stage with him. He asked if she could “bring it?” She said yes, He came downstage grabbed her hand and ran her to the center stage (he commented about how the security team would hate having to chase him there) They got up on stage and he asked what she wanted to sing and she said she hadn’t really thought about it. He asked her if she minored in “awkward silence” He offered her his water bottle and she took it. Than he asked what she sang (soprano) and he found someone near the stage with a birthday and they sang happy birthday. She sang solo the beginning and he joined in later toward the end. They did blend together really well. Then she was kind of standing there after and he told her she could return to her seat if she wanted. She did, than he made a comment about how thirsty he was and how he wished he had some water or something ;-) He also commented on her height and how he was “singing into her bosom” and put his hand up like she was there still and sang “best duet everrrrr” He sang a couple more songs there on the center stage again and of course when he was facing my direction I was changing out my memory card so I couldn’t get any decent shots! UGH Josh, so uncooperative! Eventually he went back to the main stage again.

Then he was asking for a couple in the audience who had been married longer than 15 years. He found a couple who had been married 44 years and invited them to the stage. Than found a single girl (wish it had been me) and took her up on stage. Asked the crew for the inflatable couches from backstage and poured the couple wine, he asked the guy what the secret to 44 years of marriage is and the guy said “ask her” and Josh said “ I think that’s the answer” He than gave the girl milk (even though she said she was 21, he sang to her she was getting milk anyway because “that would be career endingggg” if she wasn’t 21” than found some single guy to sit with the girl, he got milk too… and sang “Broken Vow” (which if you don’t know, and can’t tell from the title is a cheating/break up song) than said that was rude of himself and sang one of the Italian love songs. Than they went back to their seats.
After nearly 2 hours like that (singing, cracking jokes, and at one point introducing his band, etc) he finished and walked backstage. Than came back out in a different shirt (he just took off his jacket), he came out and was talking about Neil Diamond and sang the song “Play Me” (a Neil Diamond song) and than talked about how one of his most popular songs he didn’t have a gospel choir with him to sing along and so we would have to sing, and he closed with “Raise Me Up” He had performed for 2 hours!

We got home around midnight! I was pretty tired the next day at work… but it was totally worth it! I can’t wait until I know he is coming to town again (or somewhere I can get to, to see him ) because next time I am totally buying tickets and making sure I am in the floor seats near an isle so I can maybe talk to him, get more attn or something!






Sunday, August 21, 2011

We Don't Throw Jesus....

 So today at church I was sitting behind a cute young couple and their cute little baby Tessa. I think Tessa is about 7month old..?.... She is darling! She is just big enough that they don't bring her in with her car-seat anymore but not big enough to stand on her own yet without holding onto something or someone. Anyway during sacrament at one point she was standing in between her mom and dad and was facing back towards me. I was smiling at her etc, and had my scriptures on my lap. She was reaching out like she wanted them. So I looked in the back where I had some pass-along cards and gave her one with the Savior on it. She was all smiles and showed her mom and dad and was looking at it. She was kinda folding it and I whispered to her mom "she is going to fold him and put Him in her pocket to always have" At one point she had kinda sat down and Jesus fell thru the back of the seat so I picked him up and gave him back to Tessa. Than she was standing again, lifted her arm and threw the card toward me. I reached down and picked it up and as I was getting it I heard her dad whisper "Tessa, we don't throw Jesus" It made me smile! I gave her back the card and I think her mom gave her a book, I am not sure what has happened with Jesus since....

I know that I love having Jesus "in my pocket" at all times! I love knowing that no matter where I am or what I am doing I can reach out to my Savior! He is always with me as long as I am willing to look for Him. He will never desert me, although I need to be careful to avoid doing things and going places He doesn't want to do/be! Life is good!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


   So years ago when I was still working as an EMT on the ambulance I had several regular partners. I bacame good friends with many of them. One of my former partners Tim and I were both really good at playing S-A-B. We started making our own rules etc to make it more challenging. One for instance was that if someone was in the back with a patient the drive couldn't call any because it wasn't fair to the attending. (except from the back window you could frequently see some coming from behind that the driver didn't see yet... but still it was a rule) and I can't remember the other ones. Anyway than one day we were talking and came up with an additional challenge for S-A-B. since we would frequently be calling the same ones at the same time.... 

So most people know and play S-A-B where when you call one you have to say it's color to get the credit for it... so one day we decided instead of calling the color you would have to say S-A-B and another item that is the same color as the S-A-B you were calling. For example:

S-A-B -- Sky (for a blue one)
S-A-B -- Grass (for a green one)
S-A-B -- Blood (for a red one)

You probably get the idea now.... so it definitely brought a whole new level of fun to the game. Now on the spot you couldn't just call a S-A-B because you would have to think of something else too at the same time. Or we would think of something we could say if we saw a specific color one, like I would be thinking, "if i see a yellow one I can say sunflower" but than all I would see are black ones.  Well one day I was playing this version of S-A-B and I am not sure if it was with Tim or someone else but I saw a Best Buy "Geek Squad" beetle. I said "SLUG A BUG POLICE CAR" (I had thought of it early and was excited that I could finally use it) 

Well yesterday (or very recently) my sister posted this on her facebook:

Elijah called a slug-a-bug police car yesterday. It was the Best Buy Geek Squad bug. Too funny.
 So clearly Elijah likes Tim and my version of the game much better than the original! Isn't it funny how random it is that he said that? It completely immediately brought me back to the days on the ambulance when I read it! Anyway he is such a great kid! I love my nephews so much! i can't wait to see them! They have been gone since Mon but I haven't seen them since last Fri! Tomorrow my whole family will all be meeting up in Yosemite for a couple days of camping! Going to be fun! 
Here is another funny comment Denise posted this week from Elijah:
While driving a little farther up the street to get my 4 year old nephew Elijah to sleep he throws his voice and says "Donna (her name is grandma to him) Elijah's out". I laughed so hard I cried.

My nephews are the greatest!  I try to write down the things they say on my blog so they can be remembered for years to come! I don't write nearly as many as I can or should but it's fun when I do!  It's like they always say Kids say the darndest things!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Ok so tonight I was at a friends house for a scripture study group. Afterwards I was there still haning out and chatting etc. We were having fun and I remembered this poem. i have loved it since I first heard it but it had been awhile and since I periodically scroll through my old blogs I decided to post it for future remberings again! I also learned as I looked it up that the version I know/knew is a condensed version of a longer poem, so I am going to post both....

The Parable of Responsibility

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody were members of a group.
There was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it.
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody would have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Anybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody, blamed Somebody, when Nobody did, what Anybody could have done.

Unknown author of condensed version of Charles Osgood’s – A Poem About Responsibility.

There was a most important job that needed to be done,

And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
Is who exactly will it be who'll carry out the task?

Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.

It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognised that anybody could,
Everybody took for granted that somebody would.

But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.

When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.

Somebody should have done the job
And Everybody should have,
But in the end Nobody did
What Anybody could have.

Charles Osgood

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dangerous waters

Ok so my sister Denise took our nephews to Disneyland the other day... she posted this today on her FB status about Isaiah:

Denise Slensker

At Disneyland on the Jungle Cruise my nephew (age 3) sees my arm resting on the ledge of the boat next to the water, but not hanging over. He pulls it all the way back into the boat. I put it back, he pulls it back in about 5 times. I asked him why he was pulling it back in..... "the crocodiles bite" he says... Awh he loves me and does not want me hurt
Isn't that the cutest? He is such a doll! I love my nephews so much!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pimp my chair!

Ok so as most of you know, I have had several knee surgeries. I have thus needed a wheelchair for my many Disneyland trips as well as the occasional other event, (street fairs, zoo etc, basically anything requiring a lot of walking) and so I was blessed to have been given one from a friend. She had it from before her mom had passed away a few years back. When her mom was sick her dad had bought it used from a medical rental place and than she gave it to me. Here is a picture; (Note the stylish purple accent tape that doubles as a securing device for the arm pad)

So I have been using this chair for awhile now. For awhile I also had on hand a borrowed Rascal electric scooter from my grandma. It was my stylish ride for sure. it was nice because than I didn't have to rely on friends for my "power" to get around the park (or other locations) So since I have had to return the power chair i've been periodically checking on craigslist to see if someone happens to be selling one for cheap. Oftentimes people think it would be too expensive to replace the batteries etc and so they mark em cheap. The batteries cost around $200 for the pair depending on the size you need. (I know because I had to replace the batteries in my grandma's in order to use it) one day recently I found a post for a wheelchair that said $15 and it was in Oxnard. So I emailed in response to the ad and said that I work in Ventura and would come get it anytime if they had it avail. I even mentioned when I would be in the area etc. I didn't hear back for a couple days and thought to myself "how rude that they didn't even bother to tell me if they sold it to someone else" Than that night on my way home from work I got a call. They had posted it than went out of town and didn't check emails untill that day. (oops sorry for the false judgement) I was the first email he had received (and I had actually sent 2, although I am not sure when he got the 2nd in the list)   So we made arrangements for me to go over the next day after work. In the 1 picture in the post the wheelchair looked like it was newer and possibly in better condition than the red one I was currently using so for $15 I figured I ought to check it out.

I went to meet the guy (I can't remember his name now, I think it may have been David so I'll just call him that) So I went to David's house after work. The wheelchair was out front. on the phone he had told me it was a little rusty because his kids had played with it and left it outside. It was dirty but didn't actually look that bad. It did look really small so I sat in it to make sure my big ol booty would fit and it does. He said he wasn't sure where the foot rests were but I didn't mind. I gave him the cash, put it in my car and drove home. That night after I got home I used a small can of Clorox disinfectant that I had and sprayed the entire thing down. The seat and back padding, the wheels, brakes handles etc. Everything. After all I don't know what it may have been exposed to when he used it for his mother (I think that's why he said he had it) This is what the chair looked like at the time I purchased it:

So after I had gotten home I decided to do a little research to see how much my chair was worth. David had told me that after he had already posted his ad he saw some people selling the same chair for close to $400. He said that he hadn't realized it was worth that much more ( I wouldn't have paid that much personally for it, partially bc I don't have that much, plus even if I did I had a usable wheelchair already, in fact I probably wouldn't have even looked at that ad) He even said to me that if I didn't need it, or it didn't work out or something I could sell it for more and make a profit off of it. (funny that he would say that, I think a lot of people pick up and get stuff from the "free" postings and immediately post and sell them for profit) Anyway I looked up the model #, it is an Invacare 9000sl  and if you look here on the Invacare site Invacare you see that through them directly you pay $925 for the chair! Oh my gosh did I get a bargain! Not only that but on their site you don't even get the legrests! Maybe that's why David didn't have them! (By the way I have since done some research and for about $30-$40 I can get some leg-rests I just havent ordered any yet) Which even buying those I still got a heck of a deal. But like he said used from most sites I was seeing more like $225 ish for them.

So I was looking at it and was thinking how it's all black, and basically looks like a lot of other wheelchairs. When you get off a ride at Disneyland it's going to look just like some of the other chairs there. I knew it still needed to be cleaned up. I knew I had a secret "rust removing weapon" that I had used with success on my bike. I was thinking about my options and decided to do some painting. I decided I would in essence "Pimp my Wheelchair" I am sure you have seen or at least heard of the show "pimp my ride" where they take a beat up vehicle and give it a make over. They clean it up, give it boosts, fix any technical or mechanical issues and give it a complete upgrade, So I was thinking how I could upgrade my wheelchair and make it look different from the rest. The wheels! That was the key. So one night I was at Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) and was looking at the spray paints. My favorite colors are purple and blue. I saw some colors I liked but most were kind of darker colors which I knew may just blend in against the black. Than I saw a color called "watermelon" it was a pink color that I really liked. Look on this page in the box under "summer" here: watermelon I knew it would be the contrast I was looking for against the black and was going to buy it. Than I noticed some spray paints that said "for plastics" and I looked at the regular paint cans they said they spray wood, metal, yada yada, and more... but even in the fine print on the back it never specified plastic. So I didn't buy anything that night. The "for plastics" colors were few and far between and mostly dark. unless I wanted yellow. I guess it would've given me a contrast! I decided I needed to check in to the "plastics" colors at Home Depot or another specialized store.

I also in the meanwhile spoke to my co-workers, I learned that if I didn't want to purchase a "for plastics" spray paint I would need to purchase a plastic primer spray paint. They said the "for plastics" cans had some sort of different chemical composition so that the paint will stick and not flake off. With the primer than the paint will stick to that. So I made a trip to home depot. They had "for plastics" colors in hot pink, hot yellow hot green etc. I decided again that although I wanted contrast I didn't want to stand out tht much! I got a paint primer and was looking at colors. I was looking and there was a purple plum like color I liked, and a blue than I saw a color that kinda caught my eye. I looked and it was called "Lagoon". The home Depot sells "Rustoleum" brand paints. So I has not only more options than Wally World but the colors were completely different. I didn't see one similar to my Watermelon color I liked :-( The purple I liked was kinda light colored and I wasn't sure. I kept going back to the Lagoon. I was talking to my mom on the phone and explaining to her about it and she said "if you like it get it" I was still hesitant. Than she said "ok do this: get the color the 2nd shelf down 3rd from left" that was a black or really dark color and wouldn't work, but it was right above the Lagoon. I told her that it was a dark color but the Lagoon I was looking at was 3rd and 3rd shelves! She said "that's what I was going to say but changed it to 2nd". So I bought the Lagoon!

So here were my new supplies: the Bar Keepers Friend being my secret rust removal weapon! In fact just to be funny since I don't drink I thought about naming this post "Bar Keepers Friend" since I don't drink. But the focus of the blog is the chair not the cleaning supplies I used. And here are some more "before" pictures of the chair and it's stages of being cleaned etc:

I did start by obviously removing the wheels, than the seat and backing. While doing this I realized that this is a model of wheelchair where the arm rests flip up/back so that it is easier to transfer patients/people to/from the chair. Those were always nicer as an EMT because if the patient was sitting on a sheet you could slide them right over instead of having to either lift them over the arm rest or from each side transfer the patient towards their feet and over or however onto your gurney etc. Anyway it's a nice feature! I also noticed the handles on the back for your "pusher" are adjustable! You can move them up or down to I guess help based on their height. I don't know where it is set versus how much it goes in either direction, I left it where it is. But now I know if needed i can move them! So than I also realized (as shown in a picture above) that instead of having to completely tape off the rubber on the wheel I was able to pop it off the rim! Sweet! Especially since the painters tape didn't like sticking much to the rubber and it was a pain trying to round it to match the rim! I cleaned them first and got all the dirt out of the small edges of the "spokes" etc and let them dry. The next thing I had to consider was whether or not to paint the ring that as the person in the chair you use to wheel yourself around. I was looking at it and it is bolted on at regular intervals to the rim and I decided it was going to be more of a hassle to remove and replace it than to just spray it. (now I kinda wonder if I should've taken the trouble, I will explain why later)  so I obviously started with the paint primer... here are some more pictures of cleaning and primeing:
So than obviously I had to paint both sides of the wheels. I wiped down the seat and back for the chairs. they are made with that fabric that is thick kinda canvas like but kind of like what you find on outdoor furniture. Anyway its not soft like cotton clothing but its not rough either. It is very durable. I thought about busting out the sewing machine and making covers for them, but decided that might be going a little overboard. ;-) Besides I can still do that later. I may do something for the back that I can slip over and snap on or something that way it is removable for washing etc.  So than once the primer was dried for both sides, or at least dry enough to paint some color, that's what I did:


But I must warn you, those pictures are not very accurate. They make the color look too blue. It is actually kind of a dark teal color. You can kind of see it better from the Rustoleum website here: Rustoleum Lagoon or on this picture from my phone

So than I left those to dry. Later as it got darker and the wind started to pick up I brought them inside to finish overnight. The next morning instead of leaving it all in pieces I had to put it all back together. Easier than it sounds let me tell ya! The rubber wheels popped right off the frame with a little single flick of the flatheaded screwdriver. But it was a heck of a time putting them back on! As I tried to stretch it around it would pop off the other side. So finally I did part of it than zip-tied it in place so I could keep working it. But I was still having trouble getting it back on. Finally I put the wheel on my legs, and with my feet pulled on the rim and with both hands stretched the tire until it basically popped on, but it was difficult because I was trying not to smash my fingers in between in the meantime. So a few times it seemed once I almost had it I messed it up because of my fingers. Need less to say I eventually got them both back on. but not without some battle wounds :-( My arms were so sore the next day because of the muscles used for the pulling. Also the zip-ties kinda scraped the paint where they were used and rubbed the rim. It may not have happened if there had not been as much mositure in the air when I did it and/or if they had more time to dry, But the spots were fairly small. I mostly kind of touched them up with a similar colored Sharpie, that at first seemed really closely to match but ended up not really being a close match afterall! Plus a few spots mostly on the "push yourself around" ring thingy there were some spots the paint ended up a little heavy and so there are basically like "drops" of paint in those spots, so because those also take more time to dry some got messed up and show little white spots (the primer) So that is why I was saying maybe I should've removed the ring and left it black. Plus I wonder how it would look if I had. I have thought about using a fleece, leather (or fake) or other fabric that won't fray and wrapping it kind of like you would a steering wheel. but I haven't decided yet. But that would possibly also make it more comfortable when pushing yourself (myself) If I do that I will either pick a black or if its a fabric a fun fabric that coordinates. I think the leather or "pleather" (pretend-leather as I like to call fake leather products) would probably be best if I use anything since it won't get all dirty and if it gets wets etc it won't be as bad.

One last thing that I did was spray the small plastic knobs that cover the bolts for the wheels with just the primer. So that instead of black they are white in the center of the wheels. As I put the chair back together despite its slight paint mis-haps and mistakes I love the way it turned out! I think it looks incredible! Defintitely worth the time and effort and approx $15 I spent in paint, cleaners and brushes for the details of the cleaning. So for about $30 I ended up with this:

Funny thing is after I was all done my mom said: you didn't paint the small wheels!  Oops.. I didn't even think about that! But I like the way it turned out, and I didn't have any extra paint anyway so i am not going to worry about it! I think the small wheels might be overkill anyway! 

And since this post is sooooo loooooonnnnngggg  here is a quick before after photo line-up so you don't have to scroll to compare: