Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dear Kids,
      I didn’t write a letter last week because Thanksgiving wiped everything out of my mind. (I even forgot about my piano students Wednesday afternoon, which I’ve never done before.) But it was great to see everybody during the holiday! Except for Sharon and Seth and Charlie, who will be here soon. (Dec. 14th.) And Monica and Neil. They went camping in the savannah for Thanksgiving, like they did last year. I asked Monica if she wants Tucson to be their permanent home, and she said she would really rather be closer to the snow, and the skiing. Still, 80° in November sounds pretty good to me.
      But we’ve got snow here now, and that’s great, too. A couple of weeks ago, Tom got blizzak tires on his car, and then he predicted we wouldn’t have snow for a long time. But Monday evening a snowstorm hit Heber really hard, and he drove to the cabin in the middle of it. He passed a car off the road, on its side, but otherwise, there wasn’t any traffic, except for him. His car cruised right up the hills to the cabin, no problem. So now he’s agreeing with me, Blizzak tires are worth what you pay for them.
      And speaking of shelling out money, we got a great big snowblower for the cabin. (John did the shopping for us. He got one for himself, too.) Bevan is already a pro at using snowblowers, from his job at Deer Valley, and everybody else is learning. It’s supposed to be lots of fun, shooting a long jet of snow into the air, but I’ll probably never get a chance at it.
      I don’t need to write anything about Thanksgiving, because you can read it all on Nora’s blog: (, or on Missy’s blog: ( Missy also has a great slide show of Thanksgiving, and some new family pictures of them all. If you want to know about Sharon and Seth’s Thanksgiving in Michigan, well, guess what? Sharon has a blog, now, too! The address is: She put up some great pictures! I love blogs! How about the rest of you getting on the bandwagon??
      If you happen to be listening to the radio in Heber, on their local country station, you might hear an ad for Ackerson Eyecare! As if John didn’t have the market completely sewn up, he’s now into radio ads. Supposedly, you get to hear about the different kinds of contact lenses. But considering it’s a country station, he could also have mentioned his guns, his dogs, his truck, and his lovely wife Heather. (Oh, I forgot, country music is all about love gone wrong. John doesn’t qualify.)
      Kim might have their baby any day now. Her doctor is willing to start her labor this Friday (Dec. 1) so Tom will be there, but she hasn’t decided yet. I’m sure she’ll keep us posted.
      I know there’s lots more news, but I can’t think what it is. So I’ll mail off this letter, and then I’ll remember everything.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dear Kids,
      I just got back from the dentist, and my mouth is numb. So I can’t eat. Besides that, my Dell DJ is dead (won’t charge) and the Windstar still isn’t running like it should. So I’m stuck at home with nothing interesting to do. But there are fun things coming up. Tomorrow I’m driving Grandma and Grandpa to Vernal for Jamie Quinn’s wedding. Grandma has been doing a lot better lately, and she thinks she can make it. (We’re taking their car.) We have reservations at the Dinosaur Inn for Friday night, and we’re coming back Saturday morning. The weather is supposed to be nice! So at least I can look forward to that.
      I’m also looking forward to Thanksgiving. Who wouldn’t? There’s 8" of snow at the cabin. Maybe we can go sledding!
      And I’m also looking forward to next October, when Dad and I are going camping in the Florida Keys. Dad got his vacation week already: October 1-6. Anybody want to come along? Nora said they’re really tempted. The weather is in the 80's in the daytime and 70's at night.
      Donna had her invitations printed, and they look really nice. Tom took the picture, of course, and the writing is printed on one side of the picture, with Donna and Bevan on the other side, hugging each other, looking cute. Donna has decided to hand-address the envelopes, because that’s what’s Beverly Hawkins is doing. The Etiquette books say that’s what you’re supposed to do, but we’re spoiled, with the computer age, where we can print out labels so easily. However, Donna is going by the book. She’s getting Amy to help her, and she says they’ll have a good “bonding session.” Meanwhile, Bevan has moved into the cabin. I haven’t heard whether he and Tom have put up a satellite dish yet, or ordered ESPN. He was promoted at Deer Valley: now he’s a Mountain Supervisor.
      I’ve been cleaning out cupboards and shelves, and I’ve found three (3) graduation gowns, two hats, a couple of tassles, and several sets of honor cords. I know last time we needed the gowns, we only found one, but they’re all here now. So Paul, Donna, anybody else graduating, any friends–we’re all set for next spring.
      Has anybody been wondering what happened to Miss Strassburg? Vanessa saw her on TV. Actually, it was a satellite broadcast from the conference center. They’ve been having these stake conferences for about 80 stakes at a time, and you meet in your own meetinghouse and watch it on the screen. We had one a couple of months ago. (It sounded great in Spanish. I used the headphones.) Anyway, Vanessa and Trent’s stake was having one, and when they stood up to sing the congregational hymn, at half time, there was Miss Strassburg leading the music. Vanessa got pretty excited, and Trent didn’t know what all the fuss was about. But who in our family wouldn’t get excited to see Miss Strassburg again! I think she’s back downtown, at Eagle Gate, where she lived before.
      Paul came home for the weekend, and it was nice to have him around again. He did his laundry, lounged around, went to Church with us, ate Sunday dinner with us, all the usual college-kid stuff. But he knew better than to try to study. He said Tom told him not to even bother bringing books home, because you won’t open them, anyway, and you might forget them when it’s time to go back. It happened to Tom.
      The cats are getting thick fur. It’s going to be a snowy winter!
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Dear Kids,
      I’m baking cookies for my fall piano recital, which is on Saturday. It’s such a tradition! I’m sort of nostalgic when I think of how we used to have a whole van full of kids, going to the recital, and now it’s just Dad and myself. But still fun. The Fultons and McGettigans all take piano from me now, and they seem like our kids. We just have to share them with their real parents.
      Two letters ago, when I painstakingly listed all the new family members and their numbers, I left off Tom and Kim’s new daughter, due December 8th. I had all my info scribbled on an envelope, and I had made a lot of changes, and somehow I just overlooked her. So sorry!!! To think I would leave off one of my own grandchildren!
      Last Friday night Dad and I went to the Hale Center Theater to see “Man of LaMancha” with the McGettigans. (They always have free tickets, because of all the productions their kids are in.) We were just sitting down when somebody called to us from a couple of rows behind, and it was Michael Allen, with his girlfriend, Kylee. There was another couple with them, too. We talked for a few minutes, and then the play started. The next morning, at the bridal shower, I was telling Nancy about the performance, and Renae said that she and Andy were there, too! On the same aisle, but farther back, on the other side. I don’t know how we missed them. So, were any of you there, too? I wouldn’t be surprised. By the way, it was a fabulous performance. Cliff Cole, who posed for the Joseph Smith paintings you see everywhere, played the part of Don Quixote. (We also saw him play the pirate king in “Pirates of Penzance,” a few years ago. He’s one of their regulars.)
      Dad had a great time fixing the Windstar, and it’s up and running again. (He even talked about my “freeway incident” in testimony meeting on Sunday.) He found lots to do, and it took about three days. But he was having so much fun, I didn’t want to rush him. I just rode my bike everywhere. He was so psyched up after that, he went out and bought a new timing belt for the truck. He said it’s lots cheaper than paying for a tow truck. If it were me, of course, I wouldn’t do anything until I had to. But then, I don’t like fixing cars.
      Allen and Missy already RSVP’d for Thanksgiving, and got their food assignment, so I reserved them a room. Does anybody else want to make a reservation? I’m sure it will be fun, whether we have a lot of people or just a few. I’m planning to bake the pies at the cabin the night before. There’s nothing like the smell of pumpkin pies baking! It’s almost as good as Thanksgiving itself.
      Dad and I were election workers on Tuesday, at the Redwood Multipurpose center. We had to be there at 5:30 am to set up the voting machines, and we weren’t done until 9 that night, but the day went really fast. I was surprised. You know the strange people that sit at their tables, eating sandwiches and drinking their drinks, and looking up your name in the polling book? That was me, and a couple of other quirky ladies. Dad roamed around showing people where to go, helping with the machines, filling in for whoever needed a break. We never had long lines of people, but it wasn’t slow, either. Just a steady stream of good citizens coming to vote. Working in that part of town, I thought we’d see a lot of weirdos, but there weren’t too many. Our boss was Laura Searle (now Laura Shepherd,) who started taking piano from me when she was seven. Who would think she’d end up being our boss? We had a lot of fun gossiping about people in the 16th Ward.
      Last Friday Donna and Bevan helped me rake leaves and till them into the garden. We’re going to have the best dirt next year! I can’t wait.
      Love, Mom

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Dear Kids,
      I’m stuck home today without a car, because the Windstar died on the interstate yesterday. I was toodling merrily down towards Orem, near Lehi Roller Mills, when I heard a thunking sound inside. But it only lasted a few seconds. No matter. But when I got off the interstate in Orem, I discovered I didn’t have any power steering. I called Dad on my cell, and he said just to be careful. So I drove to Grandma and Grandpa’s, where we had a great visit. (News: Michael Allen has a serious girlfriend, the girl who came with him to Grandpa’s birthday party. Richard flew here from Canada to check her out, and they approve.) So, we had a great time, but when I left for home, I smelled a burning-rubber sort of smell in the car. Then, on the interstate, I saw that the rpm indicator had dropped to zero, and the car started bucking. I called Dad, and while I was talking to him, the speedometer dropped to zero. Dad told me to get off to the side of the road as soon as possible, which I did. Just as I was slowing down on the shoulder, the car totally died. So I called a tow truck, and had it bring us back home. Me and the car. Now it’s sitting sadly in the carport, where Dad has been working on it. First he showed me the shredded timing belt. Several other things went wrong, too–sort of a chain reaction. But he thinks he can get it going again. I hope so! I’ve had so much fun in that car, I can’t stand to give it up. (The car, of course. I won’t give up the fun.)
      Dad and I had a lot of fun on Halloween. There weren’t very many trick-or-treaters, (the only really big group was the 20 Polynesians from across the street), but we got to see Nora and James’s kids, because they came over here early in their costumes. (We also got to see Carson and Ellie on Sunday, in their costumes). Which reminds me, I really would like some pictures of your kids in their Halloween costumes, either real pictures, or a disk, or e-mailed ones. Actually, any recent pictures would be great. I’m finally getting back into doing my photo albums, and I hope to be caught up pretty soon.
      Thanksgiving is coming up, three weeks from today. Last year I didn’t cook dinner at the cabin, and we just met there for pie in the evening, so I presume some of you are “on” for this year? Let me know. I’ll gladly cook a turkey and pies, and make the gravy, if anybody wants to volunteer for potatoes, salads, rolls, or anything else. Let me know, and also, if you want to reserve a room for any of the nights. I think Dad and I will be there for the whole weekend. Who could believe that it’s time to be thinking about Thanksgiving already?
      I talked Nora into starting a blog. You can see it at Right now she just has one picture up, and one entry, but it’s a start. Missy had a long entry last week. I had fun reading it all.
      I can’t think of any real news. Oh, well, I wrote a lot last week.
      Love, Mom