Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dear Kids,
      I’m still sick, or at least I still can’t breathe. Except at the cabin, where I feel fine. I went up there Tuesday morning and stayed until Wednesday afternoon, when I had to come home. But it’s so beautiful at the cabin this time of the year! Everything is green, and the air is so clean. Wednesday morning I went outside to work in the front yard, and it was 38°. I breathed in that clean mountain air while I raked rocks and shoveled dirt. I felt wonderful, because I could actually breathe. Now, back here in Salt Lake, I’m a miserable gasping creature, like I’ve been for the last two weeks. But I’m looking forward to going back to the cabin tomorrow afternoon. Dad and I are staying four days, for the whole Memorial Day weekend, plus Tuesday. We’re looking forward to seeing some of you on Saturday, Dad’s birthday, and maybe on Monday. Or for any part of the weekend. Grandma and Grandpa are coming Saturday afternoon, because it’s Grandma’s birthday, too. Of course it won’t be as exciting as last year, when we rolled out the dune buggy and Dad flipped his lid, but it will still be fun.
      Speaking of the dune buggy, Dad tried for months to get new ball joints from the Yerf Dog company, but they never answered their phone or their e-mails. Dad looked online, and saw several posts that said they were going out of business, but he also found a site where somebody showed how you could weld big washers onto the front “legs,” and then use normal ball joints. So he disassembled the dune buggy and bought the washers and had them welded on. I think he’s actually more excited than if he’d gone the standard route. He’s eager to put the dune buggy back together and get it running again. He’s also been putting new brakes on the truck, so his last few days have been pretty exciting.
      Donna bought a new “road bike,” which looks to me just like the old-fashioned ten-speed, but it costs ten times more. The tires are really skinny. It’s funny that we went from the thin 10-speed tires to the fat mountain bike tires, and now it’s the ultra skinny road bike tires. Oh, well. Whatever’s trendy. She took her bike to work on the express bus, and she’s going to ride it home this afternoon. What a career girl! At work, she’s working on the irrigation system for the North Davis County sewage treatment plant. They even did an on-site inspection! “Irrigation systems” are just high-tech sprinkler systems, with state-of-the art components. Here at home, I buy the 87¢ sprinkler heads from Home Depot, when my old ones get cut off by the lawn mower. Or there’s my portable sprinkler system at the cabin, made of a rubbermaid tote, a washing machine hose, valves, garden hoses, and ordinary sprinklers. It works.
      Our new cat Jasmine is still delightful. She’s obsessed with birds. She was stalking a robin the other day, and when she got within about ten feet, the bird took off and flew over her head. She leaped into the air to try to bring it down. I’ve never seen that before. Most cats give up when the bird takes off. She also eats worms in the garden.
      Nora says Ben is having trouble with crayons. When he draws something he doesn’t like, he asks Nora to “take it off.” Then he’s mad when she won’t do it. Good thing he isn’t using permanent markers yet.
      What a great family we have! Love, Mom