Friday, June 29, 2007

Dear Kids,
      It’s one big party at the cabin these days. Kim and the kids have moved in full-time, and the fun never stops. Somebody’s always bringing home ice cream. There are trips back and forth to the swimming pool. Nobody ever goes to bed at night. I ought to know, because I’m practically there full-time too, until the wedding. I’m still mixing up cement and mortar, and raking rocks and dirt. My rock wall is almost done, and I’m making a little patio on the west side of the greenhouse. The yard doesn’t have that “finished” look yet, but every day it’s looking a little better. Bentley is my little companion. He follows me around, quoting from Charlotte’s Web. It’s always the same lines: “The rat is desperate! The rat is trapped! The rat needs to stop calling himself ‘the rat.’” Bentley is way more entertaining than my audiobooks.
      Paul gave his 2-week notice at his job. He’s finally had enough. A couple of days ago, a 150-lb. hammer fell from three feet up and barely missed his head. It grazed his shoulder and his leg as it fell. He was lucky. But he had already given his notice before that happened. Yesterday, his “driller,” Dean, heard about it. He was really ticked off. He said, “Paul, Winston Churchill always said, ‘Never give up!’ Think about it, Paul. Never give up!” Fortunately, Paul is wise enough to know when it’s time to give up. He may go back to a glass company he worked at for SOS–at least it would be inside.
      Donna and Bevan are house sitting at her boss’s place this week. He was delighted to find house sitters that wouldn’t be drinking his wine, and he’s given them gift certificate to some nice eating places. Their main responsibility is taking care of the dogs. Donna has lots more phone calls at work, too, since she’s the head honcho while the boss is out of town.
      Last Saturday Andy showed up at the cabin. He had taken Renae to teach a quilting class in Midway, and he was heading up to the Uintas when he remembered we were close by. So he stopped in and talked for a while. He has a new truck that he’s very proud of. It’s a Dodge Dakota with a quad cab, and he demonstrated how the back doors open all the way, and the back seats fold up to make more room for stuff. He says his truck is way more sensible than my brother Ben’s, because it’s not a “monster.” He said it drives like a mini van.
      Dad and I have a new Sunday night habit: riding our bikes around the neighborhood. Now that the new homes are built in Dorothy Grant’s field, you can ride all around our ward without going out onto 40th West. And other people seem to be out on bikes, too. Last Sunday night we were toodling down Sugar Beet Drive when Lonnie and Gail Yeaman went sailing by on their bikes. Lonnie called out his home teaching report to Chuck as he rode by. Hey, they report home teaching by e-mail and phone and fax, and now it’s cool to do it by bike.
      We’re really looking forward to the wedding next weekend. I’m anxious to see everybody, and it’ll be fun to hang out with Neil’s family and friends, too. Till then, we’re “doin’ great and lovin’ it.”
      Love, Mom

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I had a wonderful time at Lake Powell. Blue sky. White clouds. Red rock. Clear water. Not very hot. In fact, the water was so cool that Dad and I hardly ever jumped in. I like lake water when it’s about 98.6°, and this water was about 25° cooler than that. But we still had lots of fun. We climbed Hole-in-the-Rock, rode up the San Juan River, went to church in Ticaboo, talked a lot to the Ulriches and the Smiths, and ate a lot of good food. There were giant ravens that swooped over our houseboat, and their wings sounded like helicopter blades. We climbed on the rocks and watched several great sunsets. At night, we slept on the top deck under a million stars. My souvenirs are a piece of driftwood, a raven feather, and lots of colored rocks.
      On our way home, we stopped in Price to get gas at the Mavrick. I told Dad that if we stayed in Price longer than 20 minutes, we would see either the Larsens, the Bentleys, or Brad King. Turned out it was Brad King, with his wife, at the Chinese Buffet, where we ate dinner. He said to say Hi to all of you.
      After we got home, we both swayed back and forth when we walked, from the rocking of the houseboat. We had 568 unread e-mails. Sunday night, Dad and Paul were both pumping up their bike tires, to get to work on Monday morning. It seemed pathetic, after the grand vehicles we’d ridden in all week. But we’re glad to be back to our real lives. I’ve already been back at the cabin, raking rocks and mixing cement.
      On Sunday we went to the missionary farewells for David Tregaskis and Austin James. Then we visited both houses afterwards, and I think we saw almost all of my family, in one place or the other. Grandma and Grandpa were at both, with Barbara as their chauffeur. I got to talk to Suzy and Whitney. Max has long blonde hair now, and it’s wavy.
      There was a police shooting in Centerville last Sunday morning, the only one they’ve ever had. It was a drug house, although the neighbors they interviewed on the news said “They were such nice people!” Allen was sitting outside in his cop car, filling out a report, when it happened. He said he didn’t even hear the shots. You can look it up on or It happened on the 10th, but the news stories were on the 11th.
      There’s a phone at the cabin now. If you want to surprise Tom and Kim, you can call them on it. Nobody ever does, except for telemarketers. The number is 435 783 6239.
      You know those Texas muffin tins, that make really big muffins? Some of you have them now. Monica gave me some for Christmas. I finally bought the muffin papers that fit in them, at Orson Gigi, but it was a sleeve of 500. So if any of you need the papers, make sure you get them from me. It’s fun to make the giant muffins, and of course you can make giant cupcakes, too.
      We’re looking forward to seeing everybody at the wedding. It’s coming up fast. In the Deseret News this morning, there was a news story about all the people getting married on 07-07-07, for good luck. It’ll be a great day.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dear Kids,
      I’ve just been online, checking the 10-day forecast for Lake Powell. Middle eighties, that’s all. But it’s lots better than here. I think it maybe got up to 50 today. Maybe not. The snowline on the mountain is down to about 5,000 feet. But then, it’s springtime in the Rockies. Of course I drove home from the cabin in a snowstorm yesterday, at least over Parleys, where it was a combination of snow, sleet, hail, and wind. Lovely.
      But Dad and I are leaving for Lake Powell Saturday morning, for a week of relaxing and water skiing and just loafing. It isn’t our whole study group any more, just Ulriches, Smiths, us, and maybe Laura’s sister. But we’ll have fun. How could we not have fun? And Paul will take care of the cats and the bird and the mail here at home.
      Speaking of Paul, he’s about had enough of his job as an assistant driller. It isn’t the hard work, but the driller that’s getting on his nerves. This guy sounds really nice to me, but he says things like, “Now Paul, you don’t have your hard hat on. What would happen if something fell on you right now?” So Paul has considered not working there any more. He'd like to transfer to a different part of the company, or else he’ll find a new job. Sounds OK to me.
      LeAnn Parker came by to deliver my Avon order yesterday, and I asked how their wedding plans are coming along. (Shaylynn is getting married in August.) She spends most of her time in the back yard raking rocks and hauling dirt. Humm–sounds like me! She wants to get their back yard finished before the wedding, and build a deck, too. I wish I had time to help her, but I’m busy raking rocks and hauling dirt at the cabin. Let’s hope we both finish in time!
      Speaking of the cabin, I checked on the baby robins in their nest up in the roof of the playhouse. They already have feathers! They just sit with their beaks upward, staring. Tom took a picture, and I hope he’ll upload it into his latest photo gallery. I thought the wind Tuesday night might blow them down, but it didn’t. I guess robins know where to build.
      I’m still excited about everybody’s blogs. I discovered I can pick and choose from your pictures, and save them in high resolution. They print up really nicely! I’m going to use them in my photo albums, because when our family gets together, I get too distracted to even pick up the camera. Tom’s galleries are a great resource, too!
      I visited Grandma and Grandpa today, and they’re doing fine. Grandpa was having lots of trouble with his asthma, because of the cold weather, and he has to use his “breathalizier” every four hours or so. It pumps steam into his lungs, and helps clear them out. Grandma and I went to Walmart, and she bought yarn for new afghans. She needs to make at least three more (for Melissa, Rylee, and Katie Brooke) before she retires from knitting.
      I won’t be uploading a letter next week, because I doubt we’ll have wireless internet on the houseboat. But I’ll be thinking of you all! Love, Mom