Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dear Kids,
          I’m picking cat fur off my laptop as I write. I keep the laptop on the table in the greenhouse, and Oreo has taken to sleeping on it, or next to it, and he always leaves me a memento of his presence. These aren’t random hairs, either–they’re whole chunks that he pulls out of his back and drops in various places. How lucky I am.
          Emma will be baptized this coming Saturday, September 1, at 10:00 am, in Tom and Kim’s church, the same building where Eli was blessed. If you’re coming into town from the north, and you turn left at Smiths (500 North), it’s the second church. There will be a get-together afterwards at Tom and Kim’s house, and you’re supposed to call Kim if you want to bring something.
          I found a small blue t-shirt in the greenhouse, nicely folded, size 3T, with Thomas the Train on the front. If any of you know who it belongs to, I’ll gladly return it to its rightful owner.
          Sharon and I had fun taking her kids to the Brigham City Temple open house last Tuesday. There were shuttle busses taking us from the old K Mart parking lot to the temple, and that bus ride was the most exciting thing for the kids. Plus the cookie and bottle of water we got at the end of the tour. But they were impressed by the temple, too. As Lucy and I were walking around the baptismal font, she kept calling out, "Look, more cows!" She stopped to admire the deer on the mural in the instruction room. The temple itself is very unique, with peach blossoms in the carpet, the wallpaper, and the upholstery. The outside walls are concrete, but they shine in the sun. (I wonder if somebody broke up their china to put in the cement?) It was a great day, and I’m glad we went.
          My cabin projects are moving forward again, after a long break for the family reunions. Our cabinets are supposed to come this Thursday! Could it really happen? Outside, I’m working on my rock wall and I finished planting lots of grass in various bare patches. What is it about wet ground and new grass that attracts animals? I don’t mean worms–I mean dogs and deer and cows. They positively tromp through it. Yesterday I found fresh moose tracks in the soft mud. They made holes about 6" deep. I hope the grass is hardy enough to fill in all the holes.
          Fall is coming! Life is good! Love, Mom

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear Kids,
          The most exciting event of my week was going to the Kamas pool with Sharon and all her kids and Anna, too. I mostly tended Anna, but sometimes I also watched Conrad while Sharon chased after Lucy. At one point, Lucy was wading in the 1' deep area, when she suddenly took off and ran toward the lap pool. Sharon screamed at her and started running to get her, holding Conrad, while the life guard sat there watching. (You’d think those teenagers could be useful once in a while!)    Lucy put one foot into the lap pool, but then, she suddenly turned and ran alongside the pool. The other life guard blew her whistle at her, which made Lucy run faster. Finally she slipped and fell, and Sharon caught up with her. Lucy wasn’t hurt, thank goodness. Sharon decided at that point that we’d had enough fun, and we packed up everybody and left.
          The family reunions are over with, and the cabin held up very well. Nobody seemed to mind that we don’t have a kitchen, and everybody seemed to have fun. I learned a lot, watching the different family groups. I wish I could have bottled up some of the excitement and saved it for the long boring days that are coming up here at the cabin, with fall and winter coming on.
          But the excitement isn’t quite over yet. Sharon and her kids are coming back here tomorrow, for one more day, and Mandy’s coming too, with her 2 1/2 boys. Then, Tuesday morning, Sharon and I are taking her kids to the Brigham City Temple open house. I had no idea you needed to get tickets, and I’m glad Sharon was on the ball. I’ve heard since of people who couldn’t get them. I’ve heard that the new temple is one-of-a-kind, and I’m excited to see it.
          I caught a cold from Dad, and naturally it has settled in my lungs. Luckily I’m all prepared with my nebulizer (like a smoking machine) and plenty of albuterol. Dad said he was having lung trouble, too, so I let him smoke a joint. I think he just wanted to experience it for himself. Anyway, I don’t expect the kind of trouble I had last time my lungs were infected. Just to help things out, there was a huge fire yesterday off Highway 40, so intense that they closed the highway between Heber and the Park City turnoff. Both Donna and Allen called to warn me about it, but of course we had plenty of smoke at the cabin, and we could see where it was coming from. Allen said, "Where’re you going to run to now?" I thought of driving to the high Uintahs, but the smoke thinned out later, and I think the fire is out now.
          Life is so much fun! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dear Kids,
          The family reunion at Bear Lake was a blast, wasn’t it? Thanks so much, Al and Missy! Everything fit into place so well! The food was good and the activities were fun. I know it isn’t easy to plan such a big event for so many people, so thanks again! We’re already looking forward to next year. Vanessa was talking to Monica about the Sawtooth Mountains and the Windrivers, so maybe we’ll be camping again!
          Our cabin has also been filled with activity! The Thackers were here last week, and Dave Michelson’s family was here from here from Wednesday night until Saturday noon. I can tell you, the Michelsons really know how to have fun! Day or night, they’re up for it! Friday night at 9:30, in a pouring rainstorm, they all left for Kamas for the "Under the Moon" 5k. (Dad and I were sedately crawling into bed.) They even took some of the kids! Randy was 2nd in his age group, and a nephew was 4th in his. At 12:30 they were home again, and they built a fire in the fire pit and partied most of the night. They also had a lot of fun on the Yerf Dog, until Dad, who was home in West Valley, got a call from Vaughn Stanley, who said the Yerf Dog was speeding, spinning, and doing donuts. I have no idea how the Yerf Dog could do a donut, but I passed on the complaint when that particular group got back. They didn’t even drive it again, even though they had bought four gallons of gas for it when they went into town.
          The Bentleys’ family reunion starts this afternoon at the cabin, and I’m sure they’ll also have lots of fun. The cabin is up for it!
          Dad brought Xena back to the cabin Friday night. I figured it was easier for him to bring one cat than two, and she could ride in the rigid, non-collapsible carrier. Dad survived the trip OK. Meanwhile, I’d been working on installing a pet door for the greenhouse. Until now, I’ve just propped the window open, but then the rain blew in. So now I have this deluxe pet door installed, but it’s a little smaller than the one at home. Xena can get through OK, at least from the inside to the ouside, because there’s a ledge inside, but from the outside to the inside it’s a 18" jump up from the ground. So Dad got a step stool and put it under the window for her. I would rather have had her jump, to trim down that fat body of hers, but Dad didn’t want her to suffer the least little bit.
          It’s been a week and a half since my birthday, but I still want to thank all of you for the great presents and chocolate and gift cards you gave me. Now that I live at the cabin, I don’t have my stock of thank you cards on hand, but I want you all to know I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
          Life is good! Love, Mom

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dear Kids,
          It’s Sunday morning again, and I’m sitting in the greenhouse typing my letter, again. What could be more normal, right? Wrong. We were supposed to be home in West Valley this morning, because the Thacker reunion is going on at the cabin right now. I thought it might be a good idea to spend two weeks at home (minus the three days at Bear Lake) and see how well I could breathe, now that my lungs seem to be doing better. That way, the people having family reunions here could have the cabin to themselves. Good idea, right? No, baaaad idea! The air in Salt Lake was murky, and by the third day, the pressure was building up in my lungs. Good thing I have a nebulizer there, because I needed it. Finally Dad and I packed up and came back here to the cabin. The Thackers were very gracious, and let us barge in on their fun. It was all so well organized! (Sharon was in charge, and she delegated, she said.) They’d had morning hikes, a program, olympics, a treasure hunt, and swimming at the Kamas pool, and while we were here in the afternoon they did a craft, a fish pond, and Yerf Dog rides. I just sat and enjoyed breathing the clean air. It was a good experiment, trying to spend two weeks at home. It just didn’t work. If I had any doubts that we need to sell our house, I have my answer now. We’ll keep it until Dad retires next May, and then it goes on the market!
          We left Xena and Oreo back at the house, because we took off in such a hurry. Besides, they don’t travel well. Xena yowls the whole time, while Oreo hisses at her. And Xena can’t even travel an hour without pooping in her carrier. When we bring them back to the cabin, it will be their last ride. They’ll be here for good! By the way, we had to buy a second cat carrier, so I thought I’d try a collapsible mesh one from Walmart. It was designed by an idiot! Of course the cat will claw and rip at the mesh, and the whole thing will collapse on her. Add some smelly cat poop, and you have a real mess. Nuff said.
          Last night I Sharon sat down with me and planned out every day of the rest of their visit. (They’re driving our car, so we needed to coordinate.) It’s funny that the cabin is her base of operations, instead of the house in West Valley, but she likes it way better here! They’re escaping from the notorious D.C. heat, so why should they suffer in the Salt Lake heat? It’s actually cold here, in the early morning. She couldn’t even remember the last time she was cold.
          Dad and I are looking forward to the drive to Bear Lake this afternoon. We’ll bring plenty of firewood! There will be plenty of fun, and plenty of food. See you all there! (Except for poor Paul, of course.)
          Lots of love, Mom