Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dear Kids,
          It snows, and it blows away. And it snows again. And blows away again. This is shaping up like last year. But it’s OK. We won’t have to shovel much. And if we want to play in the snow, the cabin is only 5 minutes away.
          Things are shaping up nicely for Thanksgiving. Dad and I bought our turkey at Winco last Wednesday, where it was 57 cents a pound, if you spend $50 on other groceries. That’s easy these days. Let’s see . . . a 10-pound chub of hamburger for $30. Three bricks of cheese, $20 more. You’re there. I bought lard for the pie crusts, and pumpkin, and bread for the stuffing. It’s all pretty easy, after so many years of doing Thanksgiving.
          John is getting ready to lay some tile in his basement, so Dad and I went there on Friday to take our wet saw and dish out advice. We were astounded that all the rooms are sheetrocked. I think it happened in just a couple of days, because John hired people to do it. How’s that? You can hire people? We’ve been following Tom’s basement project for several months now, and we admired his great sheetrocking job, and I was all excited to do our own basement. I still am, but maybe we’re getting too old to hoist up sheetrock. It’s been more than 30 years since I did any of that.
          Three weeks till the Messiah. I’ve been trying to learn the "Amen" chorus, since we didn’t do it last year. It’s impossible. Handel should have quit while he was ahead.
          I’m doing sharing time in Primary today, the one about forgiveness where you tie a bag of rocks to somebody’s ankle and have them walk around like that. It’s supposed to represent carrying grudges. Luckily we have plenty of rocks, and I gathered up some outside yesterday morning before it started snowing. I have two small bags, so I can use two kids for that. It makes me wonder why any of us carry around our bags of rocks. Maybe I’ll try to drop some of mine, now that we’re celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas.
          I love you all! Mom

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I always eat our meals upstairs, at the library table, where we can look out at the field across the street, and down into the Provo River valley. Right now there’s a little bit of snow and a lot of brown dirt and trees. A deer just ran by, all by herself. She must have been looking for the herd. A couple of nights ago they were all out there, 15 or so, when Dad and I got home from Salt Lake. One of our neighbors is absolutely obsessed with deer, and he’s always out driving around at night, looking for them, shining his headlights on them when he sees them. There was a big buck one night, just standing out there, letting everybody admire him. Mostly it’s the silly little does, though.
          Thanksgiving is practically upon us, so it’s time to look ahead to Christmas. Here’s what we have on the docket so far: 
          1. Dec. 13 and 14, a Saturday and Sunday night, Dad and Tom and I will be in the Messiah in Heber. Saturday night it’s held in the Timpanogos Valley Theater, and last year there were refreshments afterwards. Sunday night it’s in Tom’s church, and we might have an after-party somewhere, if any of you want to come.
          2. Monday, December 22, tentatively, is the cousins’ gift party at Nora’s house. More details will be forthcoming.
          3. Wednesday, the 24th, Sharon and Seth will be hosting a Christmas Eve supper at our house. Afterwards we’ll hike Memorial Hill in Midway, and then have hot chocolate at Donna’s house. She might even make cinnamon rolls.
          4. Christmas Day . . . I don’t have a plan yet. Does anybody want to host a Christmas Dinner that other people can go in on? If no one else wants to, I will, here at our house.
          5. Friday, December 26, will be the sledding party at the cabin. I’ll probably make sloppy jo’s, and you can bring your leftover Christmas goodies and whatever else you want people to eat up.
          So that’s the schedule so far. It will all be lots of fun.
          Last night Dad and I went with John and Heather to watch Julie in "The King and I" at Wasatch High. Julie was a servant girl, so she just stood there, except for the scene where they’re all down praying to Buddah. It was a very good production. After all the years of watching you kids in musicals, we’re now excited to watch all the grandkids. (We already saw Ellie in "Sussical," a couple of years back.) Life gets better and better!
          Love, Mom

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear Kids,
          We’re still having nice weather here! Friday afternoon Dad and I drove down to Rock Cliff, the nature preserve where Nora did her triathalon in 2008. The nature center was closed, but what I really wanted was to find the trail that we’d seen so often from the highway. It’s there, and it has a name: the Jordanelle Perimeter Trail. It takes off from the parking lot and goes for 13 miles around the reservoir, ending over at Keatley. Dad and I set off hiking, and we were the only people on the trail. The sun was warm and the sky was blue and the water was sparkly. What are the chances you can do a hike like that in this area, almost the middle of November! We only went about two and a half miles, because it was late in the afternoon and we hadn’t brought any water. But next time we plan to go farther. By the way, it would make a nice family home evening hike for anybody in the area. On our way back, we finally ran into somebody, and it was Phares Gines, from our ward. Dad wondered what were the chances of running into a ward member there, and I said probably 100%, especially since we were still in our ward boundaries.
          We’re still working on our playground, way longer than we expected to. On Monday we put together our swing set, the one from the back yard of our house on Stillwater. Then Dad put together the airplane teeter-totter. (Like the one John has.) It matches our swing set! Dad assembled it on the driveway, and then we managed to carry it out to the playground and set it down there. I wish we could keep going, and put down our railroad ties and install the sand digger, but we’re supposed to have snow on Monday, and much colder temperatures after that. So our long pleasant fall weather is finally going to end.
          Last night Dad and I went to a baptism in the Spanish branch. It was sort of a last-minute thing, but very nice, anyway. It was a man, his wife, and their 8-year-old son. After the baptism I had to give a little speech welcoming the boy to primary. Then of course there was food! Lots of it! They don’t do it at home, like we do, but there in the Church. It’s lots of fun.
          Two and a half weeks till Thanksgiving! If I haven’t called you yet, I will. Or you can call me.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Winter keeps knocking at the door, but it hasn’t crept in yet. My phone tells me that it’s supposed to start snowing at 9am MDT, but there’s no MDT anywhere, because we went off daylight saving time at 2 am. So maybe winter is locked in the twilight zone, like MDT. We’ll find out at 9 am.
          Since we bought our Sienna almost four years ago, we’ve been annoyed by its constant honking. Every time you turn off the engine, it honks. When you lock the door, another honk. When you unlock it, another honk. If you look at it wrong, the burglar alarm goes off, and there’s no end to the honking. We finally decided we’d had enough, and we took it to the Toyota dealer to deal with it. A special automotive security system had been installed "aftermarket," and for a price, they were willing to take it out. We agreed, gladly. They pulled out a box that had innumerable wires dangling from it, and they charged us $120.00. It was worth every penny. Dad kept the box. If any of you want it for your Siennas, you’re welcome to it.
          I learned something interesting driving home from Food Town yesterday. How do you haul away a dead cow? (I’m sure Seth knows this.) You scoop up the cow with the bucket of your tractor, and then you drive it over to your pickup and dump it in. I don’t know where you take it from there. I’ll have to ask Seth. I’m sure there are places where they take dead cows.
          Three and a half weeks until Thanksgiving! Everybody who wants to come to the cabin is welcome. I’ll probably call each of you and find out your plans when the time gets closer, and make food assignments. I know for sure that I’ll be making the turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pies. 
          I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom