Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Last Friday morning I had a wonderful bike ride with Nora and Vanessa. I’d been hoping there was some way they could ride on the Jordan River Parkway with me, and it just magically worked out. Vanessa and Trent had come to town so Trent could buy a mountain bike off, and Nora has gotten hooked on her new road bike. Vanessa said they were staying overnight at Nora’s so they could do a bike ride the next morning, and I talked them into coming with me. They were wonderfully patient with my slow pace, and we had a great ride. I was so anxious to show them the baby ducks (or maybe they’re geese,) but when we got to that part of the trail, the ducks were sitting in the path, glaring at us, and I realized they weren’t really cute any more. I said, “But you should have seen them when they were tiny!” Now they’re gangly adolescents with attitude. Oh well, the ride was fun. We went about 20 miles. It would have been farther but Nora and Vanessa had to get back home to their kids. Trent was alone with all 8 of them because James was gone on a Super Adventure with the Young Men.
      If anybody needs Paul’s address in Nova Scotia, he just e-mailed it to me. It’s Paul Ackerson, APX ALARM, #609 610 Regency Park Drive, Halifax NS, B3S 0C2. Now that I don’t send letters any more, I hardly notice if I don’t have somebody’s address.
      Dad and I are heading to the cabin this afternoon to help Tom and Kim move. I had wanted to bring the new waterslide I bought, to entertain the kids during the move, but instead, I’m returning it to Sams Club. All the reviews that have come out on have been negative. Everybody says the two short slides are too steep, and kids hurt their bottoms when they land in the pool. Oh, well. Maybe they’ll re-design it and market it again next year. It would have been so much fun!
      Dad and I are doing great these days without TV. Gloria Longhurst asked me how it was working out, and I was glad to tell her it was fine. Dad watches the TV at UTA every afternoon when he gets off work, instead of coming home and turning it on. Here at home, the only thing our TV gets is an analog program on the Channel 5 frequency that tells you how to switch to digital. Needless to say, Dad has watched it a lot of times.
      We’ll be at the cabin most of next week, building the bunkhouse. Or starting to build it. I’m figuring things out one step at a time. If anybody wants to do something for the 4th of July, let us know. A barbecue, maybe? It’s a Saturday, so we’ll be headed for home in the evening. We’d be glad to come to any of your houses for fireworks. Or you can bring them to the cabin. Let me know.
      Lotsa love, Mom

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Since Fathers Day is this coming Sunday, Dad and I will be driving to Orem about 5:30 pm to visit Grandpa Allen. If you want to visit Dad there, (and Grandpa, too!) you can just meet up with us. Or, we’ll be at our house earlier in the afternoon, from about 2:00 pm, when we get out of Church, until we leave for Orem, so if you want to call Dad or visit at our house, feel free.
      Dad and I finally made it to one of Carson’s baseball games (machine pitch, Pinto League) on Wednesday night, and were we ever glad! It was the very last game of the playoffs, and Carson’s team was ahead when we got there. (Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Carson hit his triple.) Carson’s team is the Cincinnati Reds, and of course they wear red shirts. They’re also pretty good! They held off the other team and won the championship! Carson got a nice little trophy, and then we just sat on the grass and hung out for a while. You’ve gotta love these long summer evenings. Especially when it isn’t raining.
      Dad had an unpleasant surprise at work today. One of the UTA dispatchers called him and said they needed information about his drivers license renewal, which should have happened on (or before) his birthday. What a shock, for a UTA bus driver to realize he’s driving with an expired license! They could’ve probably even put him in jail! What they did was have a big laugh, and Dad went right to the Drivers License office when his shift ended. He had to answer 20 questions about school bus driving, pay $56.00, and have his picture taken. Luckily it wasn’t any worse than that. Usually you get a letter in the mail several weeks ahead of time, but they must have forgotten him this time around.
      There was a strange small black and white bird walking up the side of our cherry tree this morning. Walking? I swear he was walking. I think it was a baby magpie. There’s been a magpie couple swooping in and out of the tree for a while, terrorizing our cats, but I didn’t know they had hatched any babies. Too bad for them. Baby robins are cute (ask Nora) and baby kingbirds, too, but I don’t feel any love for baby magpies. I hope they disappear quietly, so Dad won’t have to borrow back the pellet rifle from the cabin.
      “The Ackerson Kids Grow Up,” which is making all you famous, is now listed on Goodreads, since 3 people have reviewed it. (Sharon, Rachel DeBuck, and one of Sharon’s friends, Andrea). One of Rachel’s friends marked it as “to read.” Who would’ve thought? By the way, if you sign on to Goodreads, do a search for Barak Obama and see what his favorite books are. It’s pretty funny. (Nobody thinks it’s the real Barak Obama.) Here’s the link:
      Lotsa love, Mom

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I’m having a TV-Signals-Going-Off-The-Air party for myself this morning. Yep, it’s the day they promised us, ending the analog signals, after putting it off for so long. So today I’m watching each station go off the air. Channel 7 went off at 10 am, and I watched the picture turn from clear to fuzz. Channel 13 goes off at noon, and the rest of them at 1pm. I’m loving it. The media has used words like “unprepared,”“unready,” and “in danger” to describe people like me, but the only danger is to themselves, if too many of us enjoy life without TV.
      We’ve had a ton of rain here! Who would believe, monsoon season in June! I had been working in the back yard, trying to get it re-planted with grass, but now it’s just a morass of mud. I keep promising grandkids that they can play out there soon, but of course they prefer the dirt and mud, anyway. Which reminds me, I’m cooking Sunday dinner day-after-tomorrow, so let me know if you want to come. 5:00 pm.
      Donna was here Tuesday, taking the very last part of her landscape-licensing exam. She was showing me the passing statistics online, and it’s sometimes as high as 75%, or as low as 28%, depending on how the test was written that time around. No wonder people have to take it over and over again, if they happen to catch the harder versions! Let’s hope this test was the lucky one for Donna.
      I’m really enjoying sacrament meeting in the Spanish branch. Last week they had a baby blessing! (The baby might have been the only legal hispanic there!) The organ is great–it’s a real pipe organ! In fact, I actually got to play it, on Wednesday, for Franz Nelson’s funeral. (Yep, he died at age 80, mostly from the effects of Alzheimers.) There’s no comparison between that lovely pipe organ and the wretched thing in our own building. The only organist in the Spanish branch is Janice Peterson, from 8th Ward. She’s borrowed. Maybe they could borrow me, too, since I’ll be there every week. I can hope.
      Lots of love, Mom

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Nora and I saw a terrific water slide in Sam’s Club this morning. I might buy it for the family reunion. You know how we’re having a sleepover at the cabin Friday night (the 31st) for anyone who wants to pitch a tent? What if we set up the waterslide that afternoon, and we can have a water party, to get our family reunion off to a fun start. I’ll provide dinner, if you let me know that you’ll be there. It sounds fun. And then we’ll still have all day Saturday to swim at the fitness center in Kamas, and go to Park City and play. Hey, it’s less than 2 months off!
      Carson and Ellie are here today. Missy is in Michigan visiting Tara, so I agreed to have a turn watching them. They came last night, and we hung out in the back yard, and I felt bad that it’s still all dirt. (I haven’t replanted it yet.) Do you think Carson and Ellie minded? They were shoveling and digging and raking dirt, and having a great time. I forgot kids love dirt more than anything else. You can finish your whole yard, but if there’s one patch of dirt, that’s their favorite place.
      Last time I talked to Paul, he said it was a pretty good week–13 installs. A couple of their sales reps had gone home, and now if a few of the installers go home, too, Paul should have a ton of work.
      I’ve been complaining to some of you about the organ in our church, which they put in brand new about a year ago. It sounds to me like fingernails on a chalk board, but nobody else seems to mind it. After listening to it for a year (I quit playing it after only one week) I was desperate. So now I go to sacrament meeting in the Spanish branch at the Lighthouse Church, and it’s lots of fun. It starts late and ends early. I can understand almost everything. Their organ sounds good. Everybody’s friendly. Vanessa, remember Joey Anderson? (Of course you do.) Her mom is in the branch, because she’s married to a hispanic now. She has a daughter Ashley, who’s Monica’s age, I think, and somebody Sharon’s age. Anyway, the mom is named Pam, and she remembered some of you. She said I would really enjoy the rest of the meetings, but I had to get back to our ward for Nursery and Relief Society. I could easily be convinced to switch over totally, though.
      I’ll be fixing Sunday dinner on June 14th at 5:00. Let me know if you want to come!
      Lots of love, Mom