Sunday, May 29, 2016

Dear Kids,
          We have carpet in our basement! It’s a miracle. We’d been put off for so long, I was afraid it would be a fight to get our money back, and then we’d have to go looking somewhere else, and wait, and wait. But I had a message on my phone Monday morning that the carpet was "in," and it would be installed the next day. And the installers actually showed up (although they were 3 hours late) and they did a good job. Now our house has that nice "new carpet" smell, and I’m having fun moving our stuff from the garage to the basement. It’s almost like having a new house. 
          The birthday party for Dad and Dallin on Friday night was a wild blast. 32 people were here. It was fun having so many of you come! Thank goodness the weather was nice and we could spread outside! Thanks to Donna for providing the cake, and to everyone else who showed up on such a busy night. Thanks for being such a big, wonderful family. I thank the Lord every day for all of you.
          One of our big adventures this week was getting a mattress set for the new queen bed in our basement. We borrowed John’s Costco card and drove to Orem in the truck. Dad was worried that it wasn’t our card, but we had no problem buying the mattress and foundation. They whisked us through. And we loaded the pieces on the truck, but we didn’t tie them down, because I thought such a heavy mattress couldn’t go anywhere. It didn’t–until we were driving around Deer Creek Reservoir, and a crosswind sent both pieces sailing. Luckily, it was a construction area, and they landed in the dirt on the side of the road, not in the reservoir, and not in the windshield of an oncoming car. We pulled over, backed up to where they’d landed, and loaded them back on, with the help of a Good Samaritan couple who stopped behind us. And we secured them with the cargo net. When we got home we discovered that two corners of the foundation were smashed, but we repaired them. We were just grateful it hadn’t been worse. 
          So much fun! There’s a new adventure every day. Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dear Kids,
         First off, let me remind you all of the birthday party for Dad and Dallin this coming Friday night. It’ll be at our house at 6:30 pm, cake and ice cream, and presents. If you want to go in on Dad’s present, let me know, so I can put your name on the card. I hope the weather will be good enough for the kids to run around outside. The long-range forecast shows only a 50% chance of rain that day. All this rain has made everything beautifully green, but the Provo River is raging, and the flood plain down by the Jordanelle is definitely flooded.
           Most of you have probably heard that Paul is out job-hunting again. He was laid off last week. It hadn’t been a perfect fit, Paul and his boss, so whatever he finds will probably be a step up, but I’m sure he and Stefanie could use your prayers at this stressful time. Dad and I visited them (and Josh!) last Sunday for dinner, and Stefanie’s parents were there too, so we had a great time talking and eating. We didn’t know it, but there was a fatal rollover on Harrison Blvd, just a couple of blocks away, while we were having dinner. We didn’t hear any sirens. (Maybe they don’t use sirens in Ogden, where there’s always a lot going on anyway.) But when Dad and I were driving out, Harrison was blocked off with police cars and yellow tape. There was a car smashed into a tree on the other side of the road, and on our side, the sidewalk was blocked off with a sheet hung up. I guess that’s where the body was. It was very sobering.
           Some of you probably went to Maddie James’s wedding reception Friday night. By then Dad and I were back home. (My lungs don’t like us to stay in that valley very long.) But we really enjoyed the sealing in the new Provo Temple. Maddie didn’t have any grandmothers there, so Bonnie had Katie sit in the grandma’s place, next to her. It was very nice. Afterward there was a luncheon at the golf clubhouse by Bonnie’s house, and we had a good time talking with my brothers and sisters that were there. Of course Maddie looked beautiful! And Jantzen is very handsome. And everyone in both families is good-looking too. A photographer’s dream!
         The horses are back in their pasture behind our house! They were very excited to come home, kicking their heels and running around. I’m happy too.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I have been busy with yard projects all week. Dad has been mowing and trimming. (Did you know a weed whacker could shoot a pebble through a basement window?) We planted four new trees, and Dad made cages for them. I’ve been digging out rocks in the strip along Hilltop Road, and raking out the dirt. I’m spreading bark over the sand in the playground, which has been a disaster anyway, since it blows away, and gets tracked into the house. (I’m making a wall around the sand digger, and leaving the sand in there, since you can’t dig bark very well.) I’ll be running out of bark pretty soon, but it’s easy to get more from Thompson Logging. They’re just down the hill. 
          Dad’s birthday (and Dallin’s) is a week from Friday. We’re planning a combined birthday party that evening at either Donna’s house or ours–I’m not sure yet. It’ll be at 6:30 pm, probably just cake and ice cream, and presents. If you want to go in on the 2-terabyte hard drive for Dad, just let me know. I’ll have more details next week.
          It’s less than five weeks until Sharon’s family comes, and our basement should be totally finished by then, even the bathroom, except that we might not have carpet. What’s with this area? In our old house, I just ordered carpet, and it came, and they installed it. Since we’ve moved here, it’s been nothing but trouble. Now our "carpet man" is putting us off, telling us each week that it’s finally being made, and he’ll have it on Monday, and it will be installed Friday. He has told us the same thing four weeks in a row. I think he’s running his business in the red, waiting for some new customer to make a deposit, so he can buy ours. I hope we won’t be out our $2,000 deposit. I hope there won’t be a big fight to get it back. What I really hope is that the carpet will be installed. He’s a nice guy, in Tom’s ward–just probably not a good businessman.
          We used to have DVD’s of the Merlin series. Did we lend them to one of you? I only liked season one, because it got violent after that, but I’d like to watch the first few episodes again.
           Love to all, Mom

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Dear Kids,
         I hope all you daughters of mine, and daughters-in-law, are having a great mother’s day! I sure miss my mom this time of the year. She loved May! It was mother’s day, and her birthday, and the world looked beautiful, too. 
          We still don’t have carpet in our basement, but we have a toilet! John and Dad installed it yesterday. I was surprised to see that it doesn’t have a handle, just a two-sided button on top, where you can choose either one flush or two. I hope the grandchildren won’t be too confused. I hope I won’t be too confused. We still need to put in the sink and the shower head, but those shouldn’t be confusing.
          We’ve enjoyed having Allen’s family visit our ward for the last couple of months, but now his schedule has changed again, and they won’t be coming now. But it was nice while it lasted. They fit into our ward very nicely. Allen was playing the piano in priesthood meeting. Carson passed the sacrament to us last week. Ellie bore her testimony. They always came to our house for lunch after the block. We’ll miss them. But of course we still see Allen a lot. I wish he could settle here permanently.
          Does anybody want to go in on a birthday present for Dad? It’s a 2 terabyte external hard drive for his computer. Do you know how big 2 terabyte is? It’s two million gig. That’s two billion meg. Two trillion bytes. When we got our first computer 25 years ago, it had a 40 mg hard drive, and that was a big deal. We paid an extra $100 to have 2 mg of memory instead of just 1. Now we don’t even worry about memory, and the hard drives are enormous. Anyway, if you want to go in on the present for Dad, let me know.
           The horses that lived behind us haven’t come back, but the owner has been repairing the fence and fertilizing and irrigating, so he probably hasn’t sold the property. Two sandhill cranes were out there yesterday, picking around in the grass. I tried to scare them into taking off, because they look so beautiful when they take to the air, but they just ignored me. I guess they’re used to humans now. They used to be pretty wild.
          Love to all, Mom

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Our basement is ready for carpet, but we’re not sure when that’s going to happen. Dan Sluga, of Wasatch Back Carpet, (who’s in Tom’s ward and stands next to him in choir) is supposed to have it ready to go, but he’s known to drag his heels, which seems to be happening now. No matter–I still have a few odds and ends to finish. Our only deadline is to have everything done by the time Sharon’s family comes in June. While we’re waiting for the carpet, we’ll invite John over for a plumbing party. He’s the king of toilet installations.
            It’s been snowing nearly every day, but it always melts in a couple of hours. We had a break yesterday, so Dad mowed the lawn and I sprayed a section of weeds out in back. For once, the horses were not watching me over the fence. They’ve been moved to another pasture in our neighborhood, and I’m worried that the property has been sold. The fence is broken down in a couple of places, so maybe the owner is just waiting to have it fixed, but my worst nightmare would be to have houses built there. I love looking out at that pasture!
          Tom always brings his portable internet hotspot when his family visits on Sunday nights, and I download library books and surf the net while it’s here. He forgot and left it behind last Sunday night, so we had lightening-fast internet until we took it back on Thursday. I’m sorry to say how many hours I wasted online. People laugh at us for not having high-speed internet, but I do a lot more useful things without it. Our basement wouldn’t be done, that’s for sure. 
          I’m racking my brains for any news, but I can’t think of any. I hope you all have your calendars marked for our Ackerson family reunion July 7-9, and for the Allen family reunion on August 6. Summer’s coming fast, although it’s still winter here. Spring? We had that last year.   
          Lots of love, Mom