Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dear Kids,
          Most of you have heard that Paul has a new job, and a good one! He’ll be working in Ogden, designing railroads. (Sort of like Sim City). It’s a perfect place for Paul and Stefanie to live, in between Logan and the Heber-Kamas area, with Nora and Allen on the way. Paul is going to start the job in about a week, and he’ll probably be living temporarily somewhere in the Ogden area while Stefanie finishes up things in St. George. Then they’ll move. I had thought they would be in St. George for a long time, and that Dad and I would visit them during the winter, but they’re thrilled to be moving closer to both their families. Besides that, Paul will be doing something he’ll really enjoy.
          We had new carpet laid–again. This time it was the right carpet, but of course there were some minor problems. The job isn’t finished, because the carpet layer said it was so thick and stiff that it was hard to lay, and his only assistant was his son, who was just starting out. So they didn’t finish it yesterday, and they’ll have to come back. Besides that, there was barely enough carpet, and they had to put seams in odd places. One of them, on the stair landing, really looks bad, and that will have to be fixed. They’ll probably have to order another piece of carpet for that, and it will probably take three or four weeks, but eventually it will all look good.
           Now that it’s stopped raining, it’s really beautiful here–velvety green on the hillsides, and a darker green down along the river. Dad and I have been working outside as much as possible. Dad has still been digging out cottonwood roots, which were spread out everywhere, just beneath the surface. We started calling them Moby Dick’s skeleton. But I think Dad finally got every single rib. I’ve been planting trees and shrubs, but we still aren’t ready for grass.
          Spring is wonderful! Oh, is it summer now? We’re always behind, up here.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dear Kids,
          It’s unbelievable, the rain we’ve had here! And all over Utah too, I guess. Every day the clouds build up, nice and dark, and then it usually pours. People aren’t talking about the drought any more, but they aren’t complaining about the rain, either. Real Utahns are always glad for rain. 
            Our landscaping is still moving ahead. I haven’t been able to put in sprinklers and spread topsoil, like I wanted to, but in any weather, you can always move rocks. I’m making a new pile along Hilltop Road, and I’ve put out my sign that says "Free Rocks." They always get taken. Dad is still excavating the cottonwood roots, and he’s pulled out some gigantic chunks. Oreo is still supervising. He walks by on his elegant white paws, noting how dirty we are.
           Our home improvements inside are still at a dead standstill. Wards Carpet is supposed to have ordered our new carpet, and it was supposed to come in more than a week ago, but we haven’t heard from them. I ordered some new obscure windows from Home Depot, but I don’t have any confidence in the guy who did the ordering. He waited several days to call back and ask for our Home Depot credit card number. He said nothing could happen without that. And he wasn’t sure he could get us what we wanted. At least we have our gigantic yard to keep us busy. And the people who walk by always comment on our work.
          It’s my turn to teach Relief Society today. I keep trying different ways to make my lessons understandable to both sides of the room–the Spanish-only and the English-only sisters. Luckily I do the 4th Sunday Conference talk lessons, so the ladies always have a lot to say. If I can only understand them. When I prepare my lessons, I use Google Translate a lot. Tom put it on my tablet, and it has really helped me.
          I hope you’re all having a great Memorial Day weekend. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of you at the barbecue at the cabin tomorrow.
          Love, Mom

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dear Kids,
          Thanks so much for all the Mothers Day gifts and phone calls and visits! I had a wonderful day. All your gifts were very well thought-out, and I now have a nice pile of very dark chocolate to last me for several weeks.
          I was checking our e-mail and facebook to see if Katie Brooke had her baby yet, (she did) and I saw a note from Renae that Mark and Tamri had their baby 8 hours later. I don’t know how many great-grandchildren that would be for Grandma and Grandpa Allen, but I’m sure it’s well over 100. Barbara is keeping the list now.
          I’ve been busy digging sprinkler trenches in our yard. John says he’s never seen such neat work. He says I don’t dig dirt–I sculpt it. Oreo supervises my work closely. He patrols the trenches every day, and sometimes he’ll leave a dead mouse alongside of one. I guess he thinks I need a snack to keep me going. Dad started digging out some of the cottonwood roots out along Hilltop road. They’re mixed in with some very big rocks, and there’s no way our friend with her tractor could smooth them out. We’re planning to have her come as soon as it dries out, to level out the rest of our yard. So much fun! 
           Memorial Day is a week from tomorrow. Do we want to have a barbecue at the cabin? We could also celebrate Dad’s birthday, and Dallin’s. Let me know what you want to do!
          Lots of love to everybody! Mom

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dear Kids,
          Happy Mothers Day to all my beautiful daughters and daughters-in-law! I appreciate the great work you’re doing in having children and raising them. Nothing in this life will bring you more happiness!
          We’ve enjoyed having rain and snow over the last few days. I don’t enjoy the dark dreary skies, but I’m glad to know we won’t have a terrible drought this summer.
          If you haven’t seen John’s new Porsche, you’ll hear it coming. I guess the engine has to rumble so you’ll know how powerful it is. John and Dad went joyriding up the Mirror Lake highway, so Dad could see and feel it for himself. I had sent them to Food Town for a bag of cat food, which barely fit in the trunk. (You don’t buy a Porsche for its trunk size.) John says the car was a bargain, and the fulfillment of a 9-year dream. I asked him if he now has everything he wants, and he said "yes."
          Can I stand to write about our latest home improvement disaster? I ordered windows for our stairwell, and I chose a particular pattern of obscure glass. It’s called "glue chip." We had a call that the windows had come in, and so we drove to Salt Lake to pick them up. The nice lady asked us to pay the balance, and I told her we needed to see the windows first. Of course they had put in the wrong glass! They said that was what the manufacturer was calling "glue chip." It was a pattern of little vines. After we argued for a while, we asked for our money back. Now I have to find another glass place and try again.
          Dad and I have been listening to "Gone With the Wind" in the car. I had forgotten how good that book is! It’s 41 discs long, so it will last us for a few more trips to Salt Lake. Evidently the southern lingo is stirring up old language patterns for Dad. He was bringing in a broken bag of laundry soap, and he said, "I daresn’t put it down in here!" Of course he heard all that growing up! I forget about his Virginia roots.
          Life is good! Love, Mom

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dear Kids,
          News flash! Donna and Bevan are having a baby in November! I had a feeling there was at least one more on the way! The baby is due November 20, half way between Bevan’s birthday and Anna’s. It’s also Allen’s birthday and Bonnie’s. (In a big family, you have to double up and even triple-up on the birthdays.)
          Things are going pretty well with Dad. He had his catheter out on Monday, which gives him a lot more freedom, but it has caused him a lot of pain. Tuesday I was so distraught about him that I drank poison. No, I drank Roundup, which isn’t really a poison, according to Donna. But I didn’t know that. And I didn’t drink it on purpose. It was mixed with water in a jug, sitting next to my water bottle on the porch. I was hot and distracted and listening to "Anna Karenina," and I grabbed it and took a big gulp without thinking. I had another gulp in my mouth when I realized what it was, and I spit it out. I called 911 to get poison control, and while they were connecting me up, they said they were sending the ambulance just for a precaution. The nice man at poison control said it wouldn’t kill me, but it might cause stomach cramps and vomiting. I was supposed to drink 8 oz of water and wait. The nice Summit County paramedics showed up and took my vital signs, and chatted for a while. They said our yard was looking good. I told them I was dizzy and the side of my face was numb, but that didn’t matter. My vitals were OK. Later I had all the symptoms that poison control said I could expect, but it all turned out OK. Dad started feeling a little better, too, and since then, he has improved a little each day. Now he’s back to driving to the fitness center every morning, and then hanging out with the old guys in the deli at Food Town. 
           We enjoyed the shower for Stefanie at Nora’s house yesterday, and we missed those of you who couldn’t be there. The food was great, and the games (provided by Donna) were good, too. Thanks, Nora and Donna! After the shower, Dad and I went to the Centerville DI, probably the best DI anywhere. Nora and Kim and all their kids showed up there a while later! Who knew that the after-party would be at the DI?? We all found good stuff. 
           I love you all! Mom