Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I had a moose-moving party on Friday. It was only the two of us, but we managed to move Mr. Moose out to the front of the cabin, onto the rock island that I built. He looked so gigantic, standing up on that hill, that I wondered if he was maybe too big. He was supposed to be a yard decoration, but he’s a landmark, instead. People can say, "I live two houses down from the moose," or, "If you see the moose, you’ve gone too far." For us, it will be easy now, letting people know where we live. "Just look for the moose." Anyway, he’s big. To soften the effect, I’ve been planting trees and shrubs around him, as per the design Donna made me. Two of the aspens came from Tom’s front yard, along with a pine tree (that may or may not survive.) Dad and I have spent a couple of days working with Donna on Tom’s sprinkler system, so we’ve had a lot of fun digging and hauling rocks. (Donna is hauling her own load right now, so we’ve tried to do as much of the lifting as possible.) Tom has been a total fireball, getting off work early, digging like a demon, and gluing pipe like a maniac. Bevan has been there helping, too. Hey, everybody, about a year from now, I want the same work party happening in our yard on Scenic Heights Road. Only we’ll have even more rocks than Tom, if that’s possible.
          Besides lots of rocks, our new house now has a complete roof and heat ducts. Dad and I walk through it every evening after the workmen have left. While they were framing, I noticed that an important doorway had been left out, and there was just a wall instead. Naturally I called the supervisor right away. It was easy for them to change it the next day, but it would have been more complicated later. So we check everything every day.
          Dad and I are looking forward to his birthday party tomorrow. The barbecue is all ready to be fired up! I have lots of hamburgers and hot dogs ready to cook. The weather is supposed to be great. Life is good!
          Lots of love, Mom

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I are hanging out in Heber today. Dad is at Tom’s house, helping trench the front yard for sprinklers. Tom and Donna and Bevan are all working on it, too. I thought I was going to be helping, but the trencher was putting out a lot of exhaust, so I had to leave. I went to Walmart, and then to John’s office, and now I’m at his house. Heather is down the street helping clean up their Young Women’s garage sale, which we donated lots of stuff to. In fact, Dad and I went by the garage sale early this morning, to see how things were going. It was weird to see my clothes hanging up. I saw my dress from John’s wedding, along with my dress from Vanessa’s wedding, along with lots of other stuff from our house, which we didn’t need. Everything that wasn’t sold is being donated to the thrift store by John’s office, and I hope it all gets sold and used eventually.
          In the same vein, I have to mention driving by our West Valley house last week. Actually, we were out on 4100 South, driving past. I looked over towards our backyard, and I saw lots of chairs on the deck and a picnic table on the grass. It felt indescribably good, knowing other people were really enjoying our house. We certainly hadn’t been using it for picnics and barbecues.
          Our birthday party for Dad is just a week from Monday, on Memorial Day. I hope lots of you can come! We’ll probably eat around 2:00 in the afternoon, or later, if some of you can’t come till later. Dad and I will provide hamburgers and hot dogs, and a drink. If any of you can bring chips or salads or desserts, let me know. We’ll have fun breaking in the new barbecue. I’m sure it will enjoy many fine parties.
          While you’re at the cabin for the barbecue, if anybody wants to drive over to our new house and walk through it, this is the perfect time. Most of the framing will be done by then. Since they started framing last Tuesday, Dad and I have gone there every day at 6:00, after the framers have gone home. We have lots of fun walking around inside. Out the back windows, you can see a cool horse farm. Out the side, you can see our church steeple. Out the other side is a picture perfect view of the mountains and the river bottom and Victory Ranch. I’m very excited to live there!
          Heather and Julie just came home from the garage sale. Julie is wearing one of my old sweaters, and it looks really good on her. Aubrey showed me that she got a ceramic cat, which used to be in our house. It’s all good!
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Kids,
           You know it’s spring here at the cabin because the magpies are swooping around looking for good nesting spots. Two very silly ones decided to build in the pine tree by the back door. I don’t think they’re the same ones who tried it last year–if so, they don’t have the intelligence that Tom claims they have. Anyway, in just a couple of days, their nest was nearly done. Then I climbed up a ladder with a crow bar and destroyed it. It wasn’t easy, because they use thick twigs and weave them together, plastering everything with mud. They mix in a few rocks, too, so it’s really heavy duty. But I brought it all down with the crow bar, and Dad burned their twigs in the stove. Then they came back to the tree and hopped around among the branches for a while. Finally they flew off. It’s OK with me if they build someplace else. I’m not as hostile towards magpies as I used to be. They didn’t choose to be born magpies.
          Two weeks from tomorrow is Memorial Day AND Dad’s birthday! We’ll have a barbecue at the cabin, and we’ll probably eat about 2:00 in the afternoon. We have to try out the new barbecue you all gave us for Christmas! Dad put it together several weeks ago, but we haven’t really cooked on it yet. I’ll probably make hamburger patties, or you can bring your own meat if you want something fancier.
          Our house on Scenic Heights Road now has a foundation! I wish the grandkids could have been there last Tuesday when the cement trucks and the pump truck were working there. The chute arches way up in the air, and they move it to where they’re pumping next. The next day, they took the forms off the foundation, and now they’ve already done the sub-plumbing, water line, and electrical. They’re supposed to start framing this Thursday. That’s the best part of all.
          On Friday, Dad and I went to Heber for Grandparents’ day at JR Smith Elementary. Both Emma and Aaron invited us! We got to hang out with the Bentleys, eat school lunch, do a little school work, walk around the playground, and watch a program. I wish we were closer to all of you, but it sure is nice having three families in Heber Valley! Life is good!
          Love, Monm

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dear Kids,
          We had a lot of fun at Paul’s graduation Friday. Dad and I drove to Logan with Donna, Bevan, Anna, and Paige (to entertain Anna). The most fun was standing outside the Spectrum and watching the graduates walk down the sidewalk. Paul stood out, of course. If the graduates were really smart, they would peel off before they got inside, and go to their various parties, because the ceremony was very dull. When the masters degrees were done, we thought we were home free, but then they started the PhD’s, and they were taking half a minute per person! I decided that Anna needed to run around outside, so she and Paige and I made our exit. Outside, Anna decided that the cemetery was the best place to play, and she went in through a break in the fence. In a few minutes she was crying, so we went in and found her with blood on her face. I took her back inside to the first aid station, where they cleaned it off and showed us she had a puncture wound that needed stitches. (She probably fell against one of those sharp headstones.) All six of us gladly left to find the instacare. It took more than an hour for the stitches, but Dad and Paige and I watched the movie "Up" in the waiting room. It was definitely more interesting than watching PhD’s get hooded.
          Later we had a picnic at Merlin Olsen Park with Stefanie’s family, and the little girls played. That was probably the best part of the day.
          Back here at the cabin, things are always fun. We had a raccoon in the greenhouse (he probably came in through the kitty door) and he ripped open a cardboard box with dried beans and macaroni in it. He made a total mess of the greenhouse. I think he’s the one who destroyed Oreo’s cat feeder, not Oreo and Tomcat. The wrong people always get the blame!
           Over on Scenic Heights Road, our hole in the ground now has footings! The big dirt hills around the hole are still the biggest excitement, however. When we tended Nora’s kids on Tuesday, the highlight of their day was climbing all four hills. (Even Isaac.)
          Hopefully some of you will want to come to a Memorial Day picnic here. It’s a double holiday, because it’s also Dad’s birthday! We’ll have to have an extra big party!
      Lots of love, Mom