Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I have practically finished our first window well. It looks very sturdy, but it’ll look much better when it’s plastered over. We’re also getting ready to start our sprinkler system. Donna is helping us plan it out, and she went with Dad to Home Depot yesterday to buy parts. One thing they brought home was a giant drill bit to use with the hammer drill, since we need to put a hole through our basement wall. That will be for the water line going out. None of this is making our house or yard look any better, at least not yet. I’m still staring out the window at the same rocks as always, minus the ones Al’s scout troop gathered up, plus a few new ones that we’ve dug up. Oh, well. Our whole (future) neighborhood is torn up, and the house next door is still under construction. If we had a nicely landscaped yard, it would look out of place.
          Some of you have probably heard that Stefanie has been having headaches and double vision. She had a MRI on Tuesday, and Paul texted me some information about what they found. I couldn’t understand the medical mumbo jumbo, but evidently there’s a kind of blockage of the cerebral spinal fluid, a possible Chiari I malformation, which is pretty rare. It’s not a tumor. Stefanie made an appointment with a neurologist, but he couldn’t work her in until June, although she’s on the cancellation list. Long story short–we’ll all need to keep her in our prayers.
          The first Sunday in May is coming up next week, so I’ll be cooking Sunday dinner. We’ll eat around 4:00, or whenever you can get here. Let me know if you’re coming, OK? Any food preferences? John used to always ask for fat pizza. I’m not even sure I remember how to make it now. There never was a recipe.
          Our piano class at the Lighthouse Church is still crazy. Two weeks ago we set up for 20 people, and we only had seven. So last week we set up for only sixteen, and every spot was taken. Hopefully things will settle down pretty soon, and we’ll have a good idea what to expect each week. My piano class at the Heber Senior Center is already filled up. I can only handle four people, at least until Donna can come and help me, which probably won’t be until the end of the summer. She’s working full time now that Bevan is off. She has a new boss who’s actually organized. It makes her job lots easier.
          Life is good! Life is busy! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Kids,
          The Easter bunny was very good to us. Dad and I found dove chocolate, iced cookies, and a milk chocolate Peter Rabbit on our table this morning.
           We really enjoyed the Easter picnic at Nora’s house yesterday! I was so intrigued by the hiking trail across the street that I couldn’t even wait until after the Easter egg hunt to go climb up it! So Dad and I missed watching the kids find their eggs, although we did look down on them from the top of the hill. (We figured that mob of kids had to be ours!) Later I climbed back up the trail with Nora. With moving in and having a baby and all the rest, she hadn’t been up it since her birthday last fall. It seems to me that life is practically perfect if you have a mountain to climb right by your house. That’s what I miss about not living at the cabin, although Dad and I still drive over there a couple of times a week to go hiking, and make sure mice and raccoons haven’t broken in.
          I’m looking forward to the Easter program in Church this morning. Since I started going to the Spanish branch here, I really have to pay attention to what’s being said, or I don’t understand much. So I get more out of the meeting. How’s that? You understand more when you understand less? Somehow it works.
          On Friday, Dad and I poured the cement footing for our first window well. We had borrowed Jim Curtis’s cement mixer, but there wasn’t room for it (and us, too) in the window well, and if we used it up top, we had no good way to get the cement down to where we needed it. So we’re mixing the cement in the bowl part of our wheelbarrow. It’s Dad’s job to get the cement bags down to me and open them up, and my job to mix it (the easy part) and shovel it into the forms. In less than two hours, we did 14 bags of cement! Of course they were 60 pound bags, not 80. We know our limitations! Yesterday we brought home a load of concrete blocks from Home Depot, and hopefully we’ll start laying them tomorrow. How could I be so excited about doing the same project I did 35 years ago?
          Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dear Kids,
          There’s snow on the ground, but we’re looking forward to Easter next weekend. The Easter egg hunt and picnic will be at Nora’s house, starting at noon. We’ll eat first, at the house, and then hunt eggs in the park. (After the Easter bunny leaves the eggs in the park, we’ll have to station somebody there to guard them until the kids come over. We always used to do that at Grandma Allen’s Easter picnics.) Donna will call you about food assignments, and you’re all supposed to bring eggs for the hunt, approximately 10 per each of your children, according to Donna. I’m glad we’re doing this! When you kids were little, we always loved going to the Allen Easter picnic, and now we’re doing the same thing. I have such great pictures of you kids and your Easter baskets!
          Dad and I finished excavating our window wells and now we have big piles of dirt and rocks around our house. It looks worse than before, but at least it looks like something is being done. Dad took off the old window wells and we put them out in front for people to pick up. I’ve been smoothing out the dirt in the bottom of the holes and watering it down. We were planning to use decorative retaining wall block, but the ones we like are so heavy and so expensive that I’ve had second thoughts. Now we’re planning to make the same kind of concrete block window wells we had at our old house, with a row of decorative block on top. It will be a lot cheaper and easier. The concrete blocks only weigh 35 pounds each, not 67. Trouble is, I’m more than twice as old as I was before. We have Jim Curtis’s cement mixer, so I won’t have to mix the cement for the footings in the wheelbarrow (some of you kids used to watch me do that), and I have Dad to help me now. It should go OK.
          Just because Dad and I don’t have enough to do, I started a piano class at the Heber senior center. We meet Thursday mornings at 11, just before lunch and our chess club. It’s exactly the same schedule as Wednesdays in Salt Lake. I had two people for my first class last Thursday, but there will probably be more when the word gets out. At least it’s fun and rewarding. Now there are three piano classes and two chess clubs we’re in charge of.
          We hope to see lot of you on Saturday at Nora’s house! Lots of love, Mom