Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Kids,
          First off, I just received a giant bag of styrofoam beans (they look more like peas) in the mail from Amazon. So many of the grandkids have bean bag chairs now, and they tend to go flat, so they can just bring them to our house, and we’ll fill them up. There’s a special technique where you don’t get the beans stuck all over your hands and face. We learned the hard way.
          Winter? Summer? What’s going on here? It’s 13 degrees this morning. We’ve had three or four good snowstorms over the last couple of days, but then the sun comes out and it all melts. The deer are confused, too. They don’t know where to graze. They came into our yard to a couple of nights ago, looking for tender shoots among our dirt and rocks. I was worried about them congregating so close to Hilltop Road, where the cars come zooming by (when they come, which isn’t often) and I didn’t want anybody hit. So I went out to the back porch and turned on the light, and whistled a couple of times. 28 ears went up immediately, and they seemed to understand. They trotted back across the road (no cars, fortunately) and down their hill. I’ve been hiking in their habitat, so I know where they live, now.
          I received my official Senior Adventure Pass in the mail–the pass that lets you into all the state parks for free. On Monday we went back to the Jordanelle Perimeter Trail with Donna and Bevan and their kids, and we had a nice hike. Yesterday Dad and I went hiking there again, although there were a few snow flurries. I can see that it’s a great trail for any time of the year! Come and hike with us any time. We can also get you into the other state parks for free, if you ride in our car. (Up to 8 people at a time.)

John helped us finish stringing the wire in our basement, and now we’re waiting for the plumber (another "trade" who has worked for John.) I walk down into our basement and marvel at how much has been done in so little time–weeks instead of years. Life is good!
          I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Kids,
          I keep hoping to invite everybody for a Sunday dinner sometime soon, but we’ll probably have to wait until April. Our cabinet problem isn’t straightened out yet, but we’re going ahead with our office counter tops, and after those are installed we can move our computer stuff out of the toy room and have access to the toy closet again. Without toys, and without a yard for kids to play in, I’ve been hesitant to invite grandkids, except for our Sunday night Zorro parties. But eventually, we’ll have a hospitable house again.
          By the way, Easter and Conference weekend are one and the same this year. (That seems to happen about once every five years.) So I’ll be fixing dinner at the cabin on Easter Sunday, and we can also watch conference. Does anybody want to host a Easter Egg hunt at their house on the day before? Or should we have it at the cabin that Saturday? Let me know what you want to do!
          Because we’re enjoying such an early spring, I’ve been out exploring the hillsides and pastures around here. My first day out, I climbed the barbed wire fence across Hilltop Road and walked down the hillside, looking for a way to get over to the canal. There were too many fences! They look rickety, but the farmers keep that barbed wire stretched really tight! I ended up down at the bottom in a thicket of cockle burrs, and I had a tough time getting back up the hill. When I got home I had burrs all through my clothes, and Dad had to pick them out of my hair. I felt like a stray cat. The next day I took off again, trying another route to the canal. After climbing three fences and ignoring barking dogs, I made it to the canal, but there was no good way across. And to avoid the dogs and fences, I walked all the way up to Lambert Lane and home again. Finally, the third day, I found a route down the hill and back up again, but it’s not a very good hike. It’s too steep with too many rocks. So yesterday, Dad and I drove over to the Jordanelle perimeter trail, which is always a good hike. In fact, when we got home I went online and bought the Senior Adventure pass, which gets you into every state park for free. (We were having to pay $4.00 a pop for driving into the Jordanelle Park.) I’m looking forward to a lot of great summer hikes. (Including hikes at the cabin, of course.)
          If you want to join any of our hikes, we’d love to have you. Life is good again! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We sure enjoyed Aubrey’s baptism yesterday! We also enjoyed the after-party at John’s house. The food was good, and it was fun seeing people, especially Doug and Anita and their family. It was fun wandering around John’s house. His finished basement is a wonder to everybody! There’s room for any number of people now!
          And our basement project is moving ahead! We totally finished the heat ducts, and now we’re wiring. John came and helped Dad yesterday afternoon, and they really moved fast. One thing that is not moving fast, however, is our cabinet project upstairs. We finally got our trim pieces, after waiting a month, and the installer came back and did a nice job putting in the bathroom vanity and finishing the office. I was delighted. I went to Chris and Dicks and arranged for the counter tops. Then, at home, I decided to move around the drawers in the bathroom vanity cabinet, to find the arrangement where they would line up evenly. After trying every possibility, I realized there was no way. Most of the drawer fronts were put on unevenly. And this one deficient cabinet had cost us over $1200 dollars! I went to Home Depot and said that they needed to come and get it, and get us a good one, or refund our money. The "adjustment" lady said we had to take a picture of it and send it to the cabinet company so they could decide if they should replace it. I told her absolutely not. We paid our money to Home Depot, and they were responsible for the cabinet. They’re looking into it. I suspended my order with Chris and Dick’s, and now there’s no timetable for finishing the project. Needless to say, I’m very discouraged.
          But other things are going well. Nora brought her kids to the Lighthouse piano class on Wednesday, and two ladies came from my Harman Center class, and we had 20 people there, plus our five teachers. It was bedlam, but lots of fun. I’m hoping we can give everybody more attention next time. We were just trying to decide where to put everybody! But it worked.
          I hope all your lives are smoother than mine has been. I love you all! Mom

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We had some snow here, but it mostly melted, and we’re back to mud and rocks. And a little ice here and there. The deer have decided that winter isn’t going to come at all, and they’re back grazing in our area. There was a herd of 14 in the field across the street, a couple of nights ago. I guess we’ll give up on winter, too, and plan for spring.
          On Wednesday, I cleaned out my stuff at the Harman center and said goodbye to everybody. It was really hard. In chess club, they had a little farewell party for us, with homemade cinnamon rolls from one of the wives. Jerry Davis, who’s taking over as chief, wrote us a really nice thank-you letter. I will miss those guys! My piano students took it OK, and at least two of them are coming over to the class at the Lighthouse Church. They said that after they’ve worked so hard, they can’t quit now. Nora’s kids might also be joining our class there, which will be delightful. Nora might even help us teach! Like the mother abbess told Julie Andrews in Sound of Music, when the Lord closes a door, he always opens a window.
          My piano class at the senior center in Heber is really doing well! I have seven ladies now, spread out over two hours. The ladies in my 10:00 class stay more than an hour, and some of my 11:00 ladies come early, so there’s a bunch of them in there together. They talk and laugh and entertain each other. One of my ladies, Annie, said she used to watch TV a lot, but now she plays the piano instead. I can tell by the progress she’s making! We’re going to be taking turns playing background music during lunch on Thursdays. I took my turn last week, and I’ll line up the rest of them when they’re ready.
          Life is good! I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom