Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Paul arrived home last Thursday night with a kitten that turned out to be ORANGE!! And I tended him until Tuesday night, when Paul’s manager finally arrived in town. Mostly the kitten stayed in the basement, so he wasn’t ripping our couch and carpets and curtains, and sometimes I took my laptop downstairs to use so he wouldn’t be alone (yowling in the stairwell.) The kitten showed his appreciation by killing my mouse–the mouse I used with the laptop. He bit through the cord and it suddenly stopped functioning. So I wasn’t too sorry when the little brat was finally picked up. Although he was pretty cute. Mostly when he was asleep.
      Paul was only home for a day or so, and now he’s back in Logan, and school has started. I guess all the grandchildren are in school now, too. Where did the summer go?
      If you read Sharon’s blog, you know she had another ultrasound, and little baby Thacker is definitely a girl!! I wonder if she’ll look like Sharon? And if you read Donna’s blog, you know that she PASSED her test! (The last part of the LARE). We’re really happy for her. Now she’ll be able to stamp construction documents with her official seal. Go, Donna! I’ll have to pull out the tattered plans I used for the Ag shed and have her stamp them.
      There’s a pillow at the cabin with a pink pillowcase, or pink roses on it. Did somebody leave it there after the family reunion? If nobody claims it, we’ll just add it to the collection. Also, has anybody seen my carpet cleaner? I can’t even remember the last time I used it, so it’s probably been gone for a while. Should I buy another one? Or just get new carpet! That’s lots more fun!
      I know there’s more news, but I can’t think of anything.
Love to all of you, Mom

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Paul is on his way home, and he should arrive here tonight. He has a small traveling companion, a kitten named Simba. But Oreo and Xena don’t need to worry, because the kitten won’t be staying here; he belongs to Paul’s manager, who paid him good money to bring it to Utah. Paul and the kitten have visited in Boston and Ann Arbor along the way, not to mention other stops to get the kitten to eat and drink, and to change the litter box. I’m anxious to see this important little creature, and to see Paul, too. He should have lots of good stories to tell.
      Other news: I’ve bailed out of the Great Utah Ride. I loved the original idea, riding to Kanab in a group, averaging about 15 mph, stopping at motels along the way–at least I think that was the original idea. But it’s morphed into a stage race, with different sections in different places, including a side trip to St. George, because Andy and Charlie have connections there. Besides, I haven’t trained as hard as I’d hoped to, while Andy and Richard have upped the ante and are planning to go faster. Andy let me know that if I couldn’t keep up I had to have my own support vehicle, and of course it would have been Dad, but I just couldn’t see riding alone through various parts of Utah with Dad creeping along in the truck. So I’ve bailed out. But I still enjoy my long morning bike rides. And I still like the idea of riding to Kanab–sometime.
      I ordered the metal roofing for the ag shed, and Dad will be picking it up today, I hope. It cost less than a fourth of the estimate I got for having the whole job done. I think we can put it up just fine.
      I was ready to ditch my Palm Pilot and move into the 21st century, with some clever gadget like Tom uses, because my Palm (probably the 3rd or 4th one I’ve had) was eating batteries, and it had spider veins on the screen. But then I discovered that it could take NIMH batteries, which recharge just fine. And then I found a brand new Palm Pilot at the DI for $1.50. So I’m trucking along just fine now. And why not? I ride a battered mountain bike from the 90's. I drive a minivan with 253,000 miles on it. Why shouldn’t I keep using a Palm?
      Life is good! I love you all. Mom

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Summer is definitely winding down. The wind is blowing hot today, but it’s supposed to be cold tomorrow morning. In Halifax, Paul is packing up for his trip home. He’ll be leaving Monday morning, making stops in Boston and Ann Arbor on the way.
      The ag shed at the cabin is still in need of a metal roof. I was determined that we wouldn’t do it ourselves, and I was sure we could find some out-of-work roofer who would be eager to take it on, but it hasn’t happened. Evidently it’s too small and too out-of-the-way. So now I’m checking suppliers of metal roofing. I think I’ve envisioned a way we can do it without falling off. Besides, how would we feel if we watched somebody else do it, and we slapped our foreheads and said “Duh, we could have done that!” So this evening, when we’re at the cabin, I’m going to get the exact measurements and then order the metal. Wish us luck.
      We’re looking forward to the dedication of the Oquirrh Temple next week, not just because it will be a great spiritual experience, but because the Jordan River Temple is so crowded now. Dad and I went last night with his High Priests’ group, and the parking lot was filled. People were streaming in and out. There was a Japanese man named Kozo with us–he lives at Shari Fonoti’s house and is here for a few months learning English. He said it was like a department store. Well, President Hinckley said it was the busiest temple in the church, when he announced the Draper and the Oquirrh temples. He said, “We build them where we need them.” So we’re proud of that. But mostly, Dad and I go to the Salt Lake Temple early on Friday afternoons. You never have to wait.
      I’m still having fun attending the Spanish branch. Last week Janice Peterson didn’t show up, so I got to play the organ. I’m sure its pipes were manufactured in heaven. (Funny how I never appreciated it when we had church in that building!) After the meeting, about ten people told me “gracias” and one lady hugged me. During the four years I played the organ in our own building, only a couple of people ever thanked me, and certainly nobody ever hugged me! So I’m loving it. But I’m getting some flak from people in our own ward. You wouldn’t think it mattered, where I go to church. It’s all the same gospel.
      Hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dear Kids,
      It was so hot and windy yesterday, when I got home from visiting in Orem our power was out and it was 88 degrees in the hallway. So I cancelled my piano lessons (couldn’t turn on the piano downstairs, too hot upstairs) and hung out in the basement until the power came back on. This morning, the temperature had dropped 40 degrees, and I had a very nice bike ride. So what is it, summer or an early fall?
      The family reunion last weekend was wonderful! Thanks to all of you for all you did. It was definately the best birthday party I ever had. Thanks for all the presents and gift cards. Donna and Bevan gave us tickets to the Deer Valley concert that night, where the Utah Symphony was playing the 1812 Overture, complete with black powder cannons. We had to wait through a long series of songs and jokes by a woman with an electric harp, and we got an eyefull of the crazy wine-and-cheesers, but when the overture finally started, it was terrific. We were standing at the top of the hill and we could see the cannons firing. For Dad, that’s unbeatable classical music.
      Paul has hit his 180! For those of you who don’t know the significance, it’s the number of installs he has to do in a summer to get all his rent reimbursed. In fact, he was just doing #180 last night when we called him, with questions about his textbooks we’re selling. Paul is also psyched about the drive home in a couple of weeks. We’re anxious to see him. Oh, by the way, he is becoming famous for baking Ninomo bars. It’s a brownie mix they sell in Canada, and they sound like Monopoly Bars, but easier to make. He baked them for a linger longer, and they were gone almost immediately. He says he’s bringing home about ten boxes of the mix, if he can get them. Let’s see, what will he say at the border? “I have ten boxes of Ninomo mix.” I guess they’ve heard everything.
      I won’t be cooking Sunday dinner again until the second Sunday in September, the 13th. Life has been too hectic. Too much fun. I’m trying to finish the book of ancestor stories on Grandma Allen’s side, and get back in shape for the Great Utah Ride, and plant grass in the back yard, and finish the agriculture shed at the cabin, and get my piano students back on track. It’s all fun.
      Lots of love, Mom