Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I have settled back into our non-vacation at-home lifestyle again. Right now Dad is fixing the dryer, and I’ve been chasing that wretched little cat Oreo, trying to lock him up in his little cage. He’s at that unpleasant in-between stage where it’s all about fighting and biting. Kara tells me he’s not a kitten any more, but a young cat. We need to get him vaccinated so I can toss him outside with the other cats. He’s already had a lot of boxing matches with Xena, through the patio door. That’s with the door closed. They fight anyway. Such tough kitties.
      My sister Barbara has changed her wedding date to Saturday, June 28th. It’ll be at 11:00 am in Nancy’s back yard. She’s not sending out formal announcements, so consider yourselves invited.
      Sunday, June 8th, I’ll be fixing Sunday dinner. We’ll eat about 4:30 pm. Let me know if you want to come.
      Jake and Dierdre are expecting twins! It used to be a secret, but now Dierdre has posted the ultrasound pix on her blog. I forgot when the due date is.
      Oreo just showed up here at the computer, and now he’s biting my fingers as I’m trying to type. Remember when Tom was a little kid, and he asked, “What are cats for?” I wish I knew.
      Last time I wrote about Paul, he had been transferred from Jacksonville, Florida, to Ft. Lauderdale. Now he’s in Wilmington, North Carolina, soon to be transferred to Fayetteville. He has put lots of miles on the Sable and has spent $600 on gas. Go, Paul. He keeps getting transferred because the sales reps aren’t selling enough to keep the installers (like Paul) busy. There’s more crime in Fayetteville, however, so let’s hope the grass is greener there.
      Last Sunday, in church, Bishop Little announced that next week there will be a special meeting of four wards (5th, 6th, 8th, and 16th) where they’ll slice us apart and put us back together into just three wards. So of course now everybody’s speculating where the new boundaries will be. And crying. There’s probably no chance that McGettigans will be in our new ward. Or Ricketts, or Kilburns, or anybody from that neighborhood. We think they’ll be sliced off and added to 8th ward. All the bishoprics will be changed. I probably won’t be playing the organ any more. But I’m sure they’ll keep me in nursery, wherever we end up. We’re speculating that our neighborhood will be put back together. It’s been 29 years since they sliced us apart. There are some great people over there. I just wish we didn’t have to lose any of the old-timers.
      Ah, life goes on. I love you all. Mom

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I are having a great time on our vacation. Saturday morning we left Great Falls, Montana, and drove up along the east side of Glacier, and who knew it would be an Indian reservation! In the town of Browning we saw a Subway, and it was lunchtime, and we were hungry, so we decided to take our chances. Even through the glass door was cracked, even though it was STILL LOCKED! They unlocked it for us, but we should have worried, being the only customers so far that day. Their toaster oven didn’t work, or their microwave, either, and their meats looked like they had been sitting out for a very long time. But we were hungry, so we ordered anyway. And took our food and ran. We drove to a wide spot in the road that was littered with beer bottles, and we ate our food. And waited to get sick. But we didn’t. Miraculously! We crossed the border into Canada, and drove to Cardston, so we could go to the temple. It’s one-of-a-kind! Lots of dark wood inside, very different. Of course we enjoyed it a lot. And then later we drove on the Calgary, where we’ve been having a great time at Rich and Jeanne’s house.
      Sunday morning we went to Church, which is pretty much the same everywhere, except that Richard is the 1st counselor, and he was conducting. Then, after dinner, we took Jack (their Jack Russell terrier, he looks like “Wishbone”) to the dog park! As soon as Richard let him loose off his leash, he shot off like a bullet, running wide circles around us. The rest of the dogs were walking sedately by their owners, but Jack went crashing through them. He hates wiener dogs, and he knocks them over. We walked 2½ miles, and Jack probably ran 20. When we got home, we all had long naps. Even Jack.
      Monday was a holiday, Victoria Day, and Richard was off work, so we drove up to Banff. All I can say is, it’s the Canadian Rockies. Lots of snow, and spectacular high peaks. In the town of Canmore, (it's like Park City) we walked through a condo project that Richard’s company is building. Farther up, in the park, we went to the old castle-like hotel, Banff Springs. It looks like Hogwarts. We ate lunch in a medieval-looking room, with big windows overlooking the river. Later, we walked down to the falls. And it rained on us. After all, it’s springtime in the Rockies. We drove to Lake Louise, and it was still mostly frozen over, but we wandered through the hotel. There were people from all over the world, and lots of orientals wearing face masks. It’s a strange sight. Richard says Banff has probably the cleanest air in the world.
      Back in Calgary, Richard took us to see a condo tower they’re building. Only now it’s just a hole in the ground. It was 70 feet down, till they started filling it in with parking levels. It’s going to go up 27 stories. You can see Richard’s company does things in a big way. He's the senior vice president there.
      What else? Yesterday afternoon Richard took Dad and me on a bike ride along the river. It goes for miles, but we only did 12. I rode Jeanne’s road bike. OK, I’m converted. I wanted to go back today, but it’s raining and blowing.
      We’ve eaten lots of great meals, slept a lot, taken lots of walks, and ridden lots of miles. We're heading home tomorrow.       Love, Mom

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dear Kids,
      I’m writing from a motel in Great Falls, Montana, because Dad and I are on our way to Canada! We left home yesterday morning, after taking the bird to Nora’s house and the kitten to McGettigans, and leaving food and water for our two big fat cats, to fend for themselves. We drove to Pocatello and visited with Vanessa and the kids, and had a delicious lunch there. Then we drove up through Idaho Falls into southern Montana. We weren’t much impressed with the scenery until we got to Butte, but from there up through the mountains to Great Falls, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Yep, “A River Runs Through It.” This morning we’re going up past Glacier (where we’re bound to see more gorgeous scenery,) to Cardston, where we’ll be going to the temple, and then driving on up to Calgary, where Rich and Jeanne live.
      Meanwhile, back home . . . oh, yeah, Paul called last Sunday, to wish me a happy Mothers Day, and boy have things changed for him! He’s been sent down to Ft. Lauderdale, because they simply didn’t have many installs in Jacksonville. At least five of their salesmen were fired, and two more just left in the middle of the night, and drove straight to the airport. So Paul and another guy, John, drove down to Ft. Lauderdale, where they’ve had more work. At least, that was the situation last week. Paul says that while he’s so far south anyway, he wants to drive the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West, like Dad and I did last fall. I totally recommend that drive! Especially the 7-Mile Bridge!
      Let’s see, what else is going on at home? At the Cabin, it’s open season on the Magpies! They’ve driven off the other birds, and they fly into the garage and rip open the garbage. They even flew into Kim’s car, when she left the door open for a minute, and tore into some crackers. They’ve gotta go! Dad located his air rifle, that he used as a kid 50 years ago, (still in perfect working order!) and Tom’s looking on the internet for ammunition. When he finds it, look out magpies! If anybody else wants to get in on the fun, it’s OK with me!
      Dad and I are taking off from this motel in just a little while. When we get into Canada, we’re going to be turning off our cell phones, because the roaming cost is 40 cents a minute. If you really, really need to get a hold of us, you can call Rich and Jeanne’s house at 403 695 0370. We hope there are no serious emergencies while we’re gone! We should be home again late Friday night, the 23rd.
      Lots of love, Mom

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dear Kids,
      We have a new kitten! Kara and I picked him out on Tuesday. His name is Oreo, because he’s black and white, and you can see him in the cat gallery at the bottom of He’s not a “shelter cat,” because there wasn’t much of a selection there. I had written down a couple of addresses from the ads in, so we found one nearby, in Magna. There were four kittens up for grabs, and Kara chose the one she liked best. We have no regrets. You’re all invited to come and see him, while he’s still little and cute. Kara comes every day.
      My sister Barbara is getting married on June 21st, to her long-time boyfriend J.J. Schulter (pronounced Shoe-ler.) Her bishop is going to marry them, but she doesn’t know yet where it will be. She says it will be low-key and casual, “come if you want but no big deal.” She doesn’t think she can even talk him out of wearing levis.
      Paul is doing OK in Florida. He and his friends were delayed a little bit, moving into their apartment, because of lice. The place had to be de-loused, so they hung out with some of the other guys. I haven’t heard much about his installing job, yet. Five of the salesmen were fired just before they got there, because of “bad things,” so hopefully there will be enough new salesmen to keep the installers busy. If not, Paul always has the option to go out and sell. They get $400 a pop.
      In my last letter, I said John’s birthday is July 28th. How could I be so flaky? I ought to know he was born July 27th, because it was one of the greatest days of my life.
      July 28th is my sister Katie’s birthday, and it was a very big deal when we were young. By the way, I’ve been sorting through Grandma’s pictures, and I just did 1954. There’s one picture of me as a geeky 7-year-old, in my glasses, playing chess, with a cat slung over my shoulder. What could have been more prophetic?
      Dad and I are driving to Canada next Friday, May 17th, to visit Richard and Jeanne and Megan. Too bad Grandma and Grandpa can’t come with us, as we originally planned, but it would be too long for them. We’ll be gone about a week. I know it’s probably cold up there, but it will be a great vacation. I’ll post some pictures on our website after we get back.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Paul took off for Florida this morning, in the magical Sable, driving together with a couple of other guys in their cars. I’m sure he’ll have a great summer. I’m sure it will be warm in Jacksonville. Around here, it will always be winter. How stupid were we all, to take off our Blizzak tires? Tom and his family drove over Parley’s Summit in a snowstorm yesterday afternoon. I drove to Orem in a snowstorm this morning. It will never warm up.
      Well, at least it was nice last Friday afternoon, for our bike ride on Antelope Island. It wasn’t warm, of course, maybe in the fifties, but Al declared that it was perfect bike riding weather. There were just five of us: Dad and myself, Donna and Bevan, and Allen. We saw several buffalo, and one really mean looking guy decided to race us. He was maybe 50 yards off the road, running alongside us, and then he cut over onto the road and stopped in front of us. There was a car stopped by then, taking pictures of him, so we rode gingerly around. We saw antelope, too, and a couple of coyotes. All in all, it was a great ride. We rode the 11 miles down to the Garr Ranch, and then we started back, but the sun was going down by then, and a couple of us were pretty tired, so Al and Bevan rode back to get the truck. I think they raced each other. It was a great sight, seeing that truck coming to get us. Sort of like the handcart pioneers sighting the rescue company. Well, maybe not that bad. Next year we’re going to do the ride on a Saturday, which might be easier if some of the rest of you want to come. Anybody who doesn’t want to ride can hang out at the picnic area. It could be lots of fun.
      Monica called a couple of days ago to let us know how things are going for her. She’s having injections of Avonex, a MS medication, but there were delays because her company changed insurance. She says Ramona is as bad as ever. She’s been shaved for the summer, and that seems to unleash the wild animal in her. She dumped out all the catnip and romped around in it.
      When I visited with Grandma today, she was talking about having a family reunion this summer. It won’t be the week after our reunion, like I told some of you, because Katie’s family has a conflict. Instead, it will probably be Saturday, August 9th. Ours, of course, is going to be Monday, July 28th (John’s Birthday!) at Lava Hot Springs. The Saturday before that, Vanessa and Monica are going to be in the Spudman Triathalon in Burley. So we have all that to look forward to!
      I’m cooking dinner this Sunday, the 4th. We’ll be eating about 4:30. Let me know if you plan to be there!
      Lots of love, Mom