Friday, March 31, 2017

Cousin Time

My cousin, Kathy Nuttall (center), was in town this week. She must have decided the weather would be nice enough for a trip to Utah! They've been spoiled living in California for the past two years!

She invited us to meet her at Chuck-a-Rama, which was a great excuse to go to our favorite buffet!

In addition to Kathy and Larry, we also got to see Arlene and Michael, as well as Suzanne and Marcus. It was a fun visit.

Annette and Kent tried not to tell us how much they enjoyed Israel and Jordan, the trip we had to cancel because of my illness.

It is truly one of the blessings of living in Utah, being able to spend time with family!

Cooking in the New Kitchen

We had our first meal in the new kitchen yesterday! It was so nice!

We had a taco bar with Brittany, John and the girls. Although the kitchen is new, I stuck with what I know for the cooking!

After dinner Ed tamed the wild beast. (He put Clementine to sleep in his arms!)

Mabel and I had fun playing with an orange spoon!

In the evening we dropped by for Provo's 168th birthday party. It was a bit of a bust, as it rained all day. And, sadly, NONE of the food trucks was serving dessert!

We did manage to eke out a little fun by taking Mabel in the bouncy castle. She loved it, and was not happy when we finally dragged her out!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Walk and work

It was pretty cool out this morning, but we enjoyed hiking up the Hamongogs behind Alpine Cove. The view towards our house was spectacular!

Then we came home and started working on the house.  Our army of electricians got enough finished yesterday, that the kitchen should be functional. Despite a long punch list of items to be done, I started bringing up the dishes and filling the new shelves and drawers.  We can't wait to use our new kitchen!

Ed is working hard on the laundry room. He took out the Corian countertop and the drawers. He installed new taller drawers and is ready to reinstall the countertop! He's a pretty handy man!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lunch and a Movie with the Nuttalls

We enjoyed an in-law lunch today with the Nuttalls. We ate salads at Mad Greens beforehand. It was a much healthier choice than our usual movie popcorn!

Afterwards we went to the theater to see A United Kingdom, a movie about Botswana and the king of Botswana's choice to marry a white woman from England. We knew some of the story, as we had visited Botswana in 2008, but we learned much more of the history of Bechuanaland's road to independence today.

It was fun seeing it with Ellis and Marti who spent a year and a half in Cameroon as missionaries. They are very different countries, but both in Africa.

After watching the films I understand better why Mma Ramotswe (of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective books) had such a high respect for Seretse Khama!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Daily Walk in Lambert Park

With the rain last night, everything looked magical in Lambert Park this morning. The streams are full of water and the leaves are starting to bud out!

Ed felt like he was King of the World when we reached to top of Spring trail!

I love the bridges over the creek on the Rodeo Down path!

We finished up at Lambert Ruin, because I want my walks to look as mysterious as my niece, Nichole Van, who is spending 6 months in Scotland with her family! It's no Baird's castle, but has a nice view of Loch Utah from it's front door!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Laundry Room Remodel

The trickle down effect of the new kitchen, is that we would like to use two of the sets of drawers from the kitchen to raise the counter to a height where I could actually fold close on it.

This means taking off the wallpaper sooner than I had planned. We used a steamer and I took off every square inch of that wallpaper! It was a terrible job!

We are painting the room a very pretty color called chai from Home Depot. We have the left side done, so whenever our contractor is ready they can take out the two small sets of drawers on the right, and raise the counter. Then we'll finish painting the right side!

It was also invigorating to clean under the washer and dryer! It feels good to be dust bunny free!

Alpine North Stake Humanitarian Day

Thursday I went to the Alpine North Stake Center and volunteered for their humongous humanitarian project. I enjoyed stuffing bears with Marilyn and having time to just visit!

The bears were just a fraction of the items them made, including quilts, dolls, pillows and collecting items to set up entire apartments for people. It is an amazing undertaking!

Ed stayed home and supervised the kitchen work. We had the gas put in, as well as the cabinets finished. The backsplash is finally done, as well.

Now just the oven, electrical, pendant lights, chandelier, molding, and finishing the floor,,, Not to mention the return of the cabinet maker as soon as some of the panels come in!

We stopped by after nap time to see Brittany and the girls. They really wanted to go bar stool shopping with us. We didn't find any bar stools, but we found a nice bear at RC Willeys!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Walking in Cow Country

Ed and I took a different turn on Tuesday for our walk, and stopped to look at the cows. The little calf came to say hi to me and lick my hand. But then Mama came over to tell me to get lost. I wasn't going to argue with anyone who had horns like that!

It is fun to see the trees are starting to blossom out! Here's hope that spring is here to stay!

Coda is really happy to be walking regularly again, as are Ed and I. It was a long, cold winter, and we're not just talking about weather!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Therapy--Not for the Faint-Hearted!

Five months since I broke my wrist, and I'm still seeing the therapist once a week. I've regained a lot of wrist movement, but my fingers are still stiff. Steve smashes them down and causes me a lot of pain every week!

The good news is, I can play the banjo again, although it is still hard to do pull-offs or big chords.

Ed went to therapy with me today and Ed and I sang "I've Endured" for the office! We felt like it was a fitting song after all we've been through in the past 6 months!

Here's a video of our singing!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Hike at Little Mill

This afternoon we went up American Fork Canyon with Brittany, John and the girls and hiked at Little Mill. It was a lovely 2 mile round trip, and the weather was great.

Despite a week of 70 degree weather since I was last here, about 25 percent of the path was still covered in packed snow!

Nobody slipped and fell on any babies, though! We had a little picnic dinner by the river when we finished our hike! There's a lot of hiking in the canyon, so it's nice we got an early start on summer to explore some of it!

Nature Center in Alpine

Ed and I went to a meeting this morning to talk about creating a Nature Center for the City of Alpine. We stopped by afterwards to visit the Alpine Arboretum at Peterson Park. It was developed about 10 years ago, and is mostly a park with a number of trees planted in it.

There is a derelict milking shed on the property.

There is also a lovely covered bridge and a short walking path.

Afterwards we came home and communed with nature over lunch. It was a beautiful day, marred only by a visit from a nasty wasp! (The ugly underbelly of nature!)

We've started working on developing a website for the Alpine Nature Center, as there would probably not be a physical presence in town for a long time. We're temporarily hosting it at  Maybe you'd like to visit it and give us suggestions for what you think should be on the site!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Paul Ream Wilderness Park

Yesterday afternoon Ed and I joined Brittany and the girls at Paul Ream Wilderness Park in Provo.

Mabel really loved watching the ducks!

Ed really loved showing Mabel the ducks!

Even the little stream had ducks in it, where you could see them up close and personal!

What Wilderness park would be complete without a playset? We had fun going down the slide with Mabel.

She's a big girl now and likes climbing up the stairs by herself.

It seemed a little dangerous for such a little girl, but we went along with it, as she was so proud of herself!

 Unfortunately, going down the slide wasn't always as smooth as it might have been!

Brittany even rode down the slide with Clementine strapped to her chest!

We plumb wore ourselves out and stopped for dinner at the Black Bear Diner on the way home. It has a nice atmosphere and gigantic portions! Happily, we had enough left for lunch today!

Kitchen Progress

The plumber and the cabinet installer both came yesterday. We now have sinks and faucets in our new kitchen, as well as an ice maker in the fridge!

Still to come: oven, gas for cooktop, crown molding on the right, backsplash...

Will it EVER be done?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Home Teaching on the Veranda

We enjoyed our home teaching visit on our front porch yesterday! The weather might have hit 70 degrees and we're loving it. The weather is great, the company lively, and the view of the valley (not included) fantastic.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Morning Walk

We're trying to get back into the habit of walking everyday, after a long, cold winter. Sorry to hear about the snow back in Maryland yesterday!

We're enjoying weather in the 60's! We like to think smugly that we're done with snow for the season!

It's fun to walk by the stream in the winter when there's water in it. They shut off the water flow for pressurized irrigation in the summer!

Soon all this will be green and beautiful!

A Walk to the Parkers

Ed and I stopped by at the Parkers yesterday to help them update their computer. It was Ed's second Apple tweaking in one week! He might eventually learn more than he wanted to about the Apple operating system!

They offered us a ride home, but we wanted some extra steps, so walked up the hill in the dark! Despite the absence of moonlight, we made it safely up the hill with only a few stops to catch our breath. The problem with living at the top of the mountain is that it's always uphill going home!