Monday, August 29, 2005

Dear Kids,
      I haven’t written in almost two weeks, because we still don’t have our computer back. So I tap out things on the laptop, but it’s a pain. Meanwhile, everybody in the family has been doing interesting and unusual things. Monica and Ramona have gone off to Tucson, and everything seems to be fine there. (There are plenty of trees with birds in them for Ramona to watch.) Donna came home from the Tetons (with Bevan, surprise, surprise) and moved all her stuff to Logan, and started school today. She’s living in a 50's style house with interesting roommates, including a Spanish-speaking older lady. Seth and Sharon arrived safely in Ann Arbor, but I haven’t talked to them much. Their phone is always busy when I call, so they must have plenty going on. Nora has started up her preschool, and she has also enrolled Addie in a “Joy School.” If you want to know more about joy schools, ask Nora, or Kim, whose Mom did one for her years ago. It’s sort of a parents’ co-op. Speaking of Kim, she had all four wisdom teeth out, but she looks pretty good again–just a little swelling still, when she and Tom were here last weekend for his 10-year high school reunion. (The reunion was too expensive, so Tom and his friends met at Rodozio Grill and had their own fun.)(It ended up costing almost as much, however, but they didn’t much care, it was so much fun to boycott the real thing.) Tom tells us that Emma has a heart murmur, and she has to see a specialist as soon as possible, which turns out to be in November. Don’t you love our health care system? Well, it’s probably better than most other places. Paul, you can probably tell us stories about Canadian health care, when you come home. Which will probably be June 2nd. Paul wrote that in an e-mail to Donna. Why she needed to know is a whole ‘nother story.
      Last time I talked to Vanessa, they had several loads of boulders in their yard, and Trent had borrowed a skidloader to make a retaining wall out of them. Now that sounds like a fun project to me! Maybe someday Trent can show me how to do it. I’ve never driven construction equipment, not even a bobcat.
     Last week when I went to the cabin, I saw that the door from the garage to the kitchen had been left open, and I heard rustling inside. I thought there might be an intruder, and I was really scared, but when I stepped into the kitchen, I noticed that all the chocolate graham crackers I made last time, a whole batch of them, had been eaten. The lid was on the floor. I heard scurrying in the pantry, and when I walked in there, I saw a little furry tail disappear down that hole that goes through the floor. It was a squirrel, and it had burrowed through a whole package of napkins and shredded two boxes of bran flakes, for nesting materials. I put a can of paint over the hole, but I didn’t know there was another squirrel still in the cabin. By the next morning, he had chewed into the banana I left on the counter, and he was shredding paper off the sheetrock on the wall. I swept it up. But later there was a new pile, and also wood chips that he had chewed off the corner of the door. So I finally got out the rat poison. He took one cube down to his nest. Poor squirrels. I hate to kill little creatures, but now I have to repair the walls and the door.
      I also killed 283 hornets in one day. I put out a bowl of chicken water for the cats, and the hornets swarmed into it and drowned themselves. I kept skimming off the dead ones and counting them. I know, sick. But I was curious how many you could kill with one bowl of chicken water. Interesting.
      I can see I’ve written more about squirrels and hornets than family members. I’ll do better next time.
      Lots of love, Mom.