Sunday, July 24, 2005

Dear Kids,
     Dad and I have finished another strenuous week at the cabin, and we nailed up a lot more siding. You can see how the cabin looks now, at (Except that you can’t see the sides and the back, yet.) We had pretty good wood, except that we’re moving really slowly. When Tom and I first started the project, we were putting up 40 logs a day, but now it’s down to about 18. (10, on our worst day.) A log is 12 feet long, but usually it gets cut up in several pieces, especially when you’re working on obscure little corners, or the inside of the greenhouse, way up. It’s especially fun when you have to climb up two layers of scaffolding, and you discover your piece is cut wrong. I did some shortcuts while we were working on the front–I just climbed the stairs inside, and handed the pieces out the window to Dad. He spent most of his time balanced on a narrow plank that ran from one set of scaffolding to the other one. I heard him tell somebody that he was “30 feet up,” and he was surprised when I told him it was only 12. He said it felt like 100. At least it seems like it, when the wind rocks the plank, and you can’t find a place to hold on. As we’ve been working, I’ve heard cars slowing down as they go by our house, and at first I’d always think it was somebody turning into our driveway to visit us. Then I realized people are slowing down to look. Maybe they’re waiting for one of us to fall.
     Tom and Kim are coming back to the cabin tonight, for the July 24th holiday. Tom just can’t stay away from the project. Sharon and Seth are there right now, too, and Sharon pointed out that Charlie is crawling! We’re having a barbecue tomorrow, whoever’s going to be there. At least it probably won’t be as hot as last week.
     Dad and I went to my 40th high school reunion Friday night. I was surprised to see all these old people! I thought everybody would look the same as in 1965! As usual, all the “beautiful people” were congregated together. None of my friends were there, since we were all nerds, and don’t have the best memories of high school. But it was still fun. I was the only one who still knew the words to our school song, “Roar for Orem High.” A group of the “beautiful people” were trying to sing it, and I was coaching them. Some things never change. Gary Herbert, who is lieutenant governor of Utah, was there, and he brought greetings from Governor Huntsman. He was also a mover and a shaker back in high school.
     Speaking of movers and shakers, Donna ran into Elder Richard G. Scott, hiking on a trail in the Tetons. She asked him what he was doing there, and he said, “Same thing you’re doing!” She was surprised to see him wearing a denim shirt. Here, she’s lived in Salt Lake all her life, and never meets a general authority until she’s hiking in the Tetons. Here’s something else that’s funny–at the Mural Room, they heard there would be a lot of Mormons coming to the lodge for church on the 24th. So they assumed everybody would come in for breakfast beforehand. They expected to be really busy! But of course, they weren’t. Donna told them, “Mormons don’t usually eat out on Sunday.” But they’ll probably forget by next year.
     Dad and I have a new e-mail address: But I think we’re still getting mail at both addresses now.
     I wish I had more news, but I’ve been really isolated. I love you all!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dear Kids,
      I’ve been isolated at the cabin all week, but it was lots of fun, because Tom and his family were there. We tackled the big load of log siding in the garage, and after 4 days, it was all on the cabin.

     If you go to, click on the photo gallery, then on cabin work, and then on slideshow, you can actually watch the siding moving up the front of the cabin. Very cool. Tom did that. We put up a pretty good amount of siding on the back, and on the east side, too. Working on the east side was hard, because the old siding is completely decroded (Napoleon Dynamite’s word) and we had to chip off lots of it. Besides that, lots of the logs were curved or twisted, from sitting in the garage for more than a week. But we forced most of them into shape. It was hard, but lots of fun. Tomorrow morning, Dad and I are going to pick up a new load (but not as much this time,) and if everything goes well, we can put it up by next Thursday or Friday. I don’t know after that. We’ll have to see how much enthusiasm we still have for the project.
      While I was at the cabin, I talked to Dave Matheny, and besides finding out that he really did marry his Brazilian girlfriend (Tatiani, who is an architecht and works in Park City) I found out what finally happened to the pheasant. Dave did him in. It was the same day it was attacking me, and I walked over to see if Dave had had any trouble with it. He hadn’t, and I told him if he wanted to do something to it, that would be fine with me. He said he liked to eat pheasant, but he never could bring himself to kill it. Well, later that day, it attacked Dave, and wouldn’t leave him alone. So he strangled it. He said, “It wasn’t pretty, but it needed to be done. I took care of it.” Go, Dave Matheny. He’s a great neighbor. I forgot to ask him if he ate it for dinner.
      It was really hot at the cabin, like it was everywhere last week. Kim and Bentley and Emma mostly stayed inside. Kim did the dishes, fed us, and picked up after us, which was wonderful. Bentley watched “Follow Me, Boys,” about 30 times. Each time it ended, he wanted to start it over again. Tom got aggravated, but I reminded him that he used to watch “Ghostbusters” every day. He said, “Yes, but it was the only movie we had.”
      The 24th of July is a week from today, but I the official holiday is the next day, Monday, the 25th. Sharon and Seth are going to be at the cabin. Nora and James, too, and hopefully Amber. Anybody else want to come for a barbecue? We won’t make you wrestle logs, unless you want to. Just bring your own meat and fixins, and maybe a salad or veggies or chips. We’ll put it all together. I hope it won’t be so hot.
      Dad went to visit Grandma and Grandpa on Wednesday, in place of me, and Jane was there. Brendan had just gone into the MTC. Dad fixed Grandpa’s printer, which needed some adjusting. Grandpa reported that Ramona had killed a bird, and he gave Chuck a feather. He was surprised that she could do it, with no claws, but Chuck explained how cats can compensate. I know Xena’s killed both birds and mice, without claws. I think they learn to bite and kill, in one leap. Too bad we can’t ask them how it’s done.
     I love you all! Mom

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I have had a wild week. Last Sunday morning we left home for Brigham City, with a car full of stuff to take to the cabin afterwards. We were going to Russell and Kristen’s baby blessing. Although they are now living in California, where Russell works for Intel, they were here in Utah on vacation, and Kristen’s (rich) family was here, too, so it all worked out. And Dad was on vacation, and we have church callings that don’t keep us home every Sunday, and I always like the food that Renae fixes, so we were eager to go. We had Reggie with us, too, because he had to come to the cabin with us. (Nobody at home to fill his seed cup and play with him every day.) We dropped him by Andy’s house before church, because we didn’t want him to cook in the car, and nobody was there. But we heard that Andrea came in later and was practically hysterical when she heard the sounds of a bird in the house. But it was OK when she saw that he was in his cage. (Later he got into Andrea’s hair, because it’s like Nora’s.) After Church (a very nice meeting!) I hung Reggie’s cage outside under a tree, and whenever little kids were crying, I took them over to meet him. Later I moved him into the kitchen, where he soon had about 8 kids standing around, wanting to play with him. For Reggie, it was old home week, just like Miss Nora’s preschool. He loves an audience! They played with him, and he did his tricks, and their parents were very happy to have them entertained for a couple of hours. Go, Reggie!
      Sunday night Dad and I drove to the cabin, where Sharon and Seth and their friends were still hanging out. We all had fun together, and they all left Monday morning. Dad and I stayed, and Tuesday morning, our logs were delivered. The uprights for the corners looked fine. They were long timbers, 8" in diameter, and some of them were 18' long! We had also asked for some siding to be delivered, banded, and we were going to wait and cut the bands when we were ready to use it. Well, it turned out, they had no way to get the siding off their truck, except to unband it and stack it in our garage by hand. I was so mad. Who knows how bent and twisted it’s going to be when Tom and I start working with it tomorrow. But our immediate worry was getting the timbers up onto the corners of the cabin. The 8' and 9' ones were OK, but for the 18-footers, Dad had to use rope and his logging knots from Webelos, and we had to screw an eye-screw up under the eaves, and feed the rope through, to hoist up the logs. The neighbors, of course, thought we were crazy. It took all 3 days to get them done, but we did it. They look really cool. I’ve never been so tired in my life.
      We came home late Thursday night, and Friday morning we left for Boise, for Carly’s wedding. It was held at the “old penitentiary,” a historic prison up in the foothills, but there are historical homes on the property, and this was the “bishop’s house.” (Not LDS, but Episcopal) We could have toured the prison and seen the gallows, but it was too late by then. Well, the wedding was practically underway. Carly looked beautiful, in a traditional dress and veil, and the groom had on a tux, and so did their bulldog. The wedding was out in the garden, and they had brought in a bagpiper to walk ahead of Carly, playing bagpipe tunes. Bruce McCarty escorted Carly, and the groom, Levi, was waiting under a flowered arch, along with the LDS bishop who was going to marry them. It was really nice! I even cried! I think this will be a great step forward for Carly, and her new husband seems like a great guy. She said no alcohol was going to be served at her wedding, which really disappointed Levi’s side of the family, but the die-hards brought their own bottles. Later, the little grandkids (Athena, Cassidy, Ryan) picked up the empties on trays, and looked like regular barmaids. But it was all good. There was lots of food, and it was delicious. What could be more fun? At least with a non-Mormon wedding, there are always going to be surprises. Grandma and Grandpa came, and Bonnie and Curt, and Mark and Heather, and of course all of Katie’s family. It was a great party.
      Saturday night, after we came home, Amber dropped by. She’s quitting her job 2 weeks before she moves to Buffalo, so she’s going to spend part of that time at our cabin, helping us with the siding. Yay! She’s going to Washington to visit Theresa and her family, too, and hopefully be there for the birth of Theresa’s #7. She confirmed that Ginny is here in town, and in fact, Amber helped drive her here. Ginni’s current assignment is helping patrons with genealogy in the Joseph Smith building. Amber has been going out with a 21-year-old, who she says is really nice. She’s been attending a BYU ward–what can you expect? Anyway, she’s leaving town. (Those Ackerson girls, with their hearts of stone.)
      We received a wedding announcement, addressed to the “CEU Ackersons,” from Laurie Jean Saunders and Adam David Hebdon. Anybody? Let me know if you want me to send it on to you. They’re getting married Friday, July 22, in the Ogden temple, and there’s also a reception that night in Ogden. 2 days earlier, on the 20th, there’s a picnic open house in Paradise, which is in Cache Valley, south of Hyrum. Whoever this pertains to, let me know if you need more info.
      What a great family we have! I love you all!