Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy News from the Week

We were having lunch with Danica, Jensen, and Lily yesterday. Or should I say that the three adults had lunch while the kids played on the crawly toys, fought over French fries, and spilled cup after cup of water on our lunch. Anyway Danica asked about the highlights of the week and there were three I would like to report.

#1. Mom came home after two weeks of travel and training and I picked her up at the airport on Monday night. I didn’t realize how much I missed her and how empty the house was without her. Yes – Austin and I had run out of leftovers and groceries, but even more I missed her buoyant personality, creative ideas and companionship. I surprised myself by twisting her ear with meaningless stories from my day’s activities and wanted to hear all about the silly little things from her day. I realize how important it is to have someone that will listen to you and for you to love enough to listen to them. I love having her back.

#2. I’ve had a client for about 5 years now that is an ornery, cantankerous, old crusty dude that challenges me on everything. He lives in Golden and refuses to come to my office, so I have to drive to him. He doesn’t have email so I have to snail mail him everything special. He doesn’t attend the client appreciation dinners so he wants me to take him to lunch mono-e-mono. Every quarter I have to prepare a detail report justifying my advice and fees. He doesn’t like Scott and so I have to deal with all of his issues. But he has a good amount invested with us and so I smile and drive. Well he nominated me for the “Top Client Satisfaction Rep” of Denver from the prestigious local magazine “Denver 5280”.

I found out this week that I had won and will be published in the magazine as one of the top Reps in Denver valued with Top Tier Client Satisfaction…..You know Golden isn’t all that far away and every person is important, besides one of the sales to him paid for Tiana’s wedding.

#3. I was working on a financial plan for one of the client’s I have inherited from Dennis Graves. She is a sweet widow lady who has very little understanding about financial things. She recently lost a lawsuit against her and had to pay nearly $200,000. We had to take some major withdrawals from her IRA to pay the bill. She had $337,000 in one account and we could take only 5% from that one which was $16,890 dollars. That all happened in January. When I got her 1st qtr. statement she only had $190,000. She was missing $150,000. What had happened is that the 5% withdrawal maximum was $16,889.99 and the withdrawal was rounded up and took one more penny than was allowed. That one penny extra above the allowed limit caused everything to be reset and she lost nearly $150,000. I felt sick, how could this happen??? Well after battling with the insurance company and talking to a supervisor we got it fixed and the money was restored to her account. There is balance in the force and hope for the future.

I hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I wouldn’t give for a camera….....

Please remind me that it is mid April and we are suppose to be out riding bikes and planting the garden instead this past Saturday found me donning a heavy winter coat, gloves, and a ski hat to fight the late spring blizzard that has descended upon Denver. The weather fooled everyone this year and we had days in Jan and Feb in the 70’s reaching as high as 76 with no snow and then comes late March and April. We had 18 inches of the heaviest wet snow I’d ever seen. Even the mighty Blue Spruce in our front yard was big time drooping with the weight of the 2 day snow storm. We shoveled 4 times over the 2 days to be able to access the street. And the melting snow today (temperature about 55) has flooded the roads with a gross dirty slushee mess. The elders found a purple toboggan in the garage and were sliding down the sidewalk by the vegetable garden until one fell on the hidden brick retaining wall and hurt his side. And I didn’t have a camera to record the bizarre blizzard…….

It has been a rough two weeks. Mom was in Florida for a weeks training in her new home care business, then I left for Utah hours before she return home. I spent the last weekend there conducting business and visiting family. I visited happy newlyweds, played a little racquetball, had a fantastic Easter meal with Bryce and Marcia, enjoyed a cultural experience attending the Portuguese ward, and played with ever exuberant Sam and Lucas. And I didn’t have a camera to record any of the happy happenings…….

Then this week Tracy was in Maryland visiting with Celeste after she gave birth to Cid Hunter Baillio our latest family addition. She has described all the pleasant sunshine, beautiful countryside, and of course a hansom new grandson. And the mystery of the camera has been solved; if you check out mom’s blog you will see lots of fun pictures taken with my Christmas present……a camera.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Strawberries and Sharks

Conference was great as usual, and they mentioned that we shouldn’t spend too much time blogging so I’m trying to be quick.
Mom and I discovered why small children are given to the young and foolish. On Friday we babysat for Danica and took Jensen and Lily to a wedding reception (Austin’s ex girlfriend Amber and she married an elder from Austin’s mission) at the new Merkling home in Perry Park. Beautiful home, tons of people, and of course a large basement with a huge spread of food. To keep Jensen and Lily busy while we waited in line mom gave Jensen several chocolate dipped strawberries. It was a panic to try and go through the food line with 2 little kids, they were grabbing at things and mom and I were trying to balance plates of their food and our food in a very crowded room. We successfully sat down with enough supplies to keep kids and grandparents happy when Jensen jumped down off of a lap and raced back to the strawberry table. He wanted to give back the strawberries he ate and promptly threw up all that chocolate and berries right back onto the serving table. Mom hustled them into a bathroom for me to watch while she cleaned up the mess. Jensen was released from the bathroom and promptly went back over to the desert table and reached over and squeezed and crushed all the little white wedding cake slices within his arms length. It was time to leave the party. All the way home Jensen sang “Strawberries go out my mouth”. I’m glad I’m just a grandparent.
I got freaked out at the aquarium this weekend. I’ve been diving for almost two years now and only had the opportunity to dive in the big shark tank once. So when I saw an opening for this Saturday I canceled everything a signed up – I dove the big tank, WOW!!! It was freaky right from the start. I was feeding the small fish with lots of little chunks of squid and two pesky turtles kept coming around and snatching the food. These are big turtles and flip and push with their flippers. There is very little peripheral vision in a diving mask and so I would just feel a big push on my back or leg or head from these stupid turtle. You have to be careful of their beaks because they can hurt. That was bad enough, but then the Leopard Shark came over to join in and they have teeth. So I’m in this space about the size of my SUV with two huge hungry turtles and a massive 6 ft. shark – their hungry and I’m got the food. I survived but to relax I swam down in the trench by the big sharks but not where they swim. It was magnificent to watch then glide along all stomach, muscle, and teeth. As I turned to go back to the protected part the granddaddy, big mean, razor toothed, 8 ft. Sand Tiger shark had chosen the same path and we almost bumped noses. We came within 6 inches of each other. You have never seen anyone with full scuba gear swim backwards faster. That freaked me out. I’ve never been so close with something that would consider me dinner. I loved it.
It was also a weird week for memories. My old college roommate Doug Rosborough contacted me through Facebook and he and I are going to do some business together. Then on Tues I got a call from a girl I had known from the 8th grade through graduating from high school and it was such a fun conversation about old friends. Then on Friday an old missionary companion found me on Facebook and we talked forever about Samoa and what has happened to us since the mission. I think I spent more of this week thinking about 30 – 40 years ago then I did about the current day. It was a nice break.