Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October Suprise!

The weather here is perfect, the flowers are still blooming and the air is still. I can't believe it is October already--I see no real signs of it yet, however I haven't been to the mountains lately, so I have no idea what is really going on there.

Bruce and I just spent 4 days in St. George and Cedar City, Utah on our yearly trek to the Shakespeare festival and the Tuachan theater. We saw the best production of Les Miserables ever--a perfect night in the outdoor amphitheater among the red rocks. We have seen the play 3 times now and this was my ever favorite production. We saw Julius Ceasar, set in modern days where the men wore Armani suits. It was about what happened just before the fall of the Roman Empire and it felt a lot like what our government is going through right now. Power is a scarry thing!

We saw Gaslight, an old play that was also an old movie made in the 30's or 40's. It was good, however it was 3 hours long. Moonlight and Magnolias was my favorite of the 3 and was just hillarious. It is about the writing of the script for the movie Gone With the Wind. The year is 1939, but the humor is about 2005 the year it was written. You really must have seen the movie before seeing the play or you won't understand it all. One of the festival directors gave a synopsis of the play out on the theater grounds just before the play, and there were only a few people who hadn't seen the movie or read the book. They were all under 25. Reading the book, or at least seeing the movie should be on anyone's "bucket list". The plays are part of the fall season that will run thru the end of October, so anyone who has the time, it is well worth the drive. You will be surprised how much Cedar City has grown. There are even choices of resturants, even a Costa Vida. Yum!

A few weeks ago, I sprained my ankle and have been using the wheelchair more, so it will heal. Bruce helped me get around all weekend, and the chair broke on Thursday night. We went to the DI and found an ancient, ugly but usable transfer chair for $25.00 to use the next day. My ingenious husband then went to Walmart and bought Duck Tape, not duct tape, but Duck Tape. After an hour of trials, he was able to tape some pieces together which miracluously held the wheelchair together and after a 3 days it is still holding. And we all know that is saying a lot!! We donated the transfer back to the DI the next day. Bruce even wrote a letter to the Duck Tape company to enter a contest that was advertised on the wrapper. After looking it up on the web, he found out the contest was over in December 2007! He sent it in anyway, he was so proud. Me too.

Well, that is our weekend. And my favorite meal was at a little cafe called the Anasazi Inn outside of Kayenta AZ. I had a bowl of corn chowder with Navajo fry bread. We stopped there going each way. Don't miss it when you are going to Lake Powell from the East. It is worth the stop. I bet even Rachel Ray would love it.

"All's well that ends well"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

His Star Birthday!

Spencer W. Buchanan was born 27 years ago today on February 27th, 1981! Thus it is his star birthday. I know he has a very busy day today working for and 6 hours of class until 9:00 tonight, so here's wishing him at least a moment to celebrate with Kari and Savannah. I know he plans on skiing on Thursday with his 2 girls to celebrate too. Have fun Big Guy.

I remember the night Spencer was born, very well. It was about 6:00 PM and I had made spaghetti for dinner, and was waiting for our neighbor to leave so we could eat. I had a terrible back ache and just wanted to get it over with so I could clean up and sit down! Our neighbor, Mr. Berg was telling us how good our big bright yellow flowered sofa was because it was a Sherrill. He was a salesman for Ikards furniture, and he would know right? And as a side note, I had a hard time getting rid of that couch, even though after 20 years it had red pencil marks all over the cushions and wasn't comfortable anymore, just because of Mr. Berg's comment.

Anyway, we finally had dinner and I was sitting in the recliner holding Bevan and reading him stories and trying to get rid of my horrific backache. It just wasn't getting better! Argh!
After quite awhile I realized that I might just be in labor and it was byetheway, February 26th, his due day, so it was just possible I could be having a baby. I had never had back labor before and didn't know what it felt like or what to expect. So Dad and I got ready and hit the road to the Memorial General Hospital in Las Cruces, New Mexico once again.

I think we got there about 9:00 and Spencer was born just after midnight on the 27th. I couldn't believe it, I actually had a baby on his due date, almost!!! For some reason, we already had his name picked out and I don't remember if we had a girl's name ready or not. Spencer W. Kimball was the prophet then and we all loved him. Bruce and I thought we liked the name of Spencer and hadn't it heard it much yet!! And we added Wahl, which was Nona's maiden name to keep the W. He was the biggest baby I had and weighed in at 10 pounds and 4 oz. He was so cute of course, but the noisiest baby in the nursery. Being that big, he was hungry right from the get go.

Spencer's Dad and siblings loved him so, and I don't remember anyone being disappointed that there was another boy in the house. Spencer didn't sleep much, though and it was hard to leave for any length of time while I did any errands or anything else for that matter. I was in the Relief Society presidency at the time, and had to leave Spencer in other women's hands while I conducted or gave a lesson. Marilyn Haycock said when she first met Spencer that he reminded her of her son Doug, and that she would watch him for me. Then she would leave the room and walk around the church with him for the whole hour. She was exhaused! He never stopped moving unless the one holding him was moving.

The Animas Valley Mall was new in the summer of 1981, and I was so grateful. Since it was so very hot most of the summer in Las Cruces, it wasn't pleasant to use a stroller during the day or even evenings, for that matter. When the mall opened I was first in line with my stroller full of Spencer and my others in tow. Window shopping became a wonderful pastime for me and a rewarding way to keep Spencer happy. I loved that mall.

Spencer, from the start always seem to want to stand. He never cuddled as a baby, and by 8 & 1/2 months started to walk. He had just given up nursing and didn't even want a bottle. Just give me OJ in a cup Momma, I think he must have said. So there he was all independent and not needing me so much. That is unless I left the house. As the years went by, he became very tender and always had to kiss Bruce and I when we left the house for anything!

He seem to always want to accompany me to the grocery store, and I obliged, leaving the others home with the girls in charge. He was also the one who wanted to be right next to his Dad when he was on the roof of the house making any repairs. It's no wonder, that Spencer knew the names of all Dad's tools before his older brother's did. Once a neighbor came to borrow an awl for making holes in leather, and Dad wasn't home. So Ryan, who answered the door said, I'll get Spencer he'll know what and where it is. And he did.

Spencer has a very big heart, and is good to all of his family and a great friend for life. He forgives and forgets, and never gives up on his dreams or on people.

He never gave up when he wanted to be a ski instructor at Park City even though he was only 18 and the odds were against him. He has always loved skiing and has made it an art His Dad says he is a beautiful skier and he loves to watch him come down a mountain. He is a very patient teacher on the slopes. His 2 year old Savannah can testify to that, as well as Kari.

He is also the family computer guru. He does magic helping me and his siblings from afar with computer snafus. How does he do it? I'll never know. I wouldn't be blogging if he hadn't set me up. He gives me so much confidence in what I am able to do.

Spencer can crochet and is very fast. He learned that skill from a nearly blind woman while on his mission in Orlando. He even tried to teach me, and was very patient, though I couldn't seem to do it unless he was by my side. He crocheted me a pair of booties to wear over my big bledsoe boot and surgical shoe. They are really pretty.

So now in the Spring of 2008, Spencer is working to support his family and going to school to get his degree as a photographer at the University of Utah. He already does awesome photos, and knows more than anyone I know about cameras. He listens to podcasts about camera parts while he is driving long distances. How exciting is that?

He is married to a terrific girl, Kari, and they are very supportive to one another.

So Happy B-Day Spencer W. We love you very much!


Saturday, February 09, 2008

24 years ago!

Twenty four years ago tonight, on a not-so cold winter night I gave birth to my youngest son in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was due to come on the 7th so he was due to arrive almost any time. However, with my record of having babies at least 2 weeks after the due date, I wasn't even thinking it was time. Even though I was having contractions, they weren't too bad, and Kristi needed a pair of shoes. So I took her to the mall around 6:00 PM or so to help her find some. I was never one who wanted to spend a lot of time in a labor room laboring. We went home and had dinner, which I probably made. ( we didn't eat out much in those days). It seems like we got to the hospital during the during either a great BYU or New Mexico State basketball game with UTEP. I hadn't ever had a TV in a labor room before, and Bruce and I were really enjoying the game.

I was ready to have that baby right after we got there, but had to wait for Dr. Lopez to get there. It seems like he was still putting on his shoes when he came in to the room. Off I went to delivery and the rest is now history.

We didn't even think we would have a fourth boy, so we had a couple of girl names picked out--Brittany, Michaela and Brandy (my mom's neighbor said, "you wouldn't name her after a liquor would you). Anyway, we had no boys' name in mind.
So Bruce left the hospital sometime after 1:00 in the morning and we were both so tired, we said we would discuss it in the morning. He woke up at least the girls just enough to tell them that we had another boy. He said they just rolled over and said, "Oh". Well, I didn't sleep much and the name Adam came to my mind. I loved it, and then thought of my Grandpa Houston's middle name of Cooper ( which was his mother's maiden name). I was so excited that I never gave it another thought, and could hardly wait until morning to tell Bruce. I think he was surprised that he had no real choice in the matter, but then I wouldn't have been me if I had let him have a say. Actually, we had always decided together our children's names. I remember Heather calling me from the Junior high to tell me that she didn't like it, and offered Brett or something like that as an alternative.

So Adam Cooper it was, and he became adored by all of his brothers and sisters. Heather was going to early- morning Seminary then, so she was always up early to get ready. She would give Adam his first bottle of the day and change him and put him back in his crib, so I could get an extra hour of sleep.

Adam was always an alert boy and wanted to be outside investigating, so he wanted to come and go with his brothers. He was always very industrious and had a couple of little money making businesses. It wasn't enough to paint rocks for "pets", but he painted bloody eyeballs on them and sold them to the neighbors for 50 cents to 1.00. We didn't know anything about it until the Dalleys told us they were regularly buying eyeball rocks from Adam.

One stake conference Sunday after church, Bruce and I were taking a nap. Adam was outside with all of his Golden Books laid out on the lawn by the curb. He was stopping people to buy some of his books. We also knew nothing about that until a couple of days later that we saw his picture in the paper which called attention to the fact of what he was doing. It was something like " On Sunday, Adam Buchanan sold books in his front yard". I think Bruce and I were more worried that the bishop would see what we let our son do on the sabbath more than that he could have easily kidnapped!!

After having 3 other sons begging for dogs for a pet, it was Adam that we gave in to. We just knew that it would finally. So we got Andy, a chow from the pound for his birthday. Andy was about 1 1/2 years old and trained. We all gave it a good go at it, but poor Andy wasn't really a family dog. He wouldn't sit when prompted or fetch or run with the boys. He only seemed happy on the carpet in the house, and refused to go in his new doghouse, and chose the cold snowy backyard instead. Bevan was the best to him, taking him for daily walks at night after a day of work. So after a go of it for 6 weeks, Andy went back to the pound. Dad wouldn't take him back so I took Adam and Spencer with me and took Andy back. So I still have the reputation of not letting my children have dogs. I love dogs, but want them to live somewhere else.

Well, I digress from talking about Adam. He has always loved the outdoors and whether someone went with him or not, nothing stopped him from trying new things and doing the things he enjoyed. He never spent much time trying to impress girls how cool he was or did things to show off for their attention. If he wanted to do that he would have joined the soccer team, or other sports. He pursued camping, backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, biking, skiing, snowshoeing. He, like his brothers, is a very good skier, and has a great appreciation for the environment around us.

There is so much more to write about you, including that you are married to a very wonderful and understanding girl, Lisa, and have a darling daughter, Ryan Paige. But I will save that for another day.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to YOU!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Carry On"

President Gordon B. Hinckley died last night on January 27th, 2008 about 7:00 PM. Bruce and I were at home in the study when Adam called about 8:00 PM to give us the news. In the age of computers, cell phones and text messages, I'm certain that thousands, if not millions, of people received the news in a very short period of time.

In his first news interview as Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Hinckley was asked what his focus would be. He answered, "Carry
In his first address in general conference on April 2, 1995, He told the members:

  • It is time to be strong
  • Move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning the breadth and the importance of our mission.
  • It is time to do what's right regardless of the consequences that may follow.
  • It is time to be found keeping the commandments.
And I am certain today that he would tell us again to "Carry On". He was a wonderful, sweet, loving, kind and funny man. I will miss him. His death brings to mind the times when I have heard of the death of a prophet, and it always deeply affected me, and I used to think no one could take their place. But they do, and shortly we see how the Lord chooses the very best and well prepared for their calling.

May the Lord bless the Hinckley family, and I smile every time I think of the reunion he had last night with his bride of 67 years, Marjorie Pay. I would love to have been there to witness that. I will miss him so!

May the 12 Apostles also be blessed during this difficult time.

Carry On.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Kristi!!

Today is the 37th birthday of Kristi Brooke Cutler. This is what I remember about
her growing up:

1.Kristi was born on January 8th 1971 in the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman Montana.She weighed in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. and was born early in the morning. The doctor who delivered her, Dr. Sipple, was dressed in ski clothes because he was taking his family skiing that day.

2. We brought her home about 8:00 PM a few days later. Dad pulled our little blue Volkswagen square back as close as he could to the hospital's back door so Kristi wouldn't freeze to death while we drove home. We had her so bundled up that the nurses were laughing at us when we left. The plants died when they hit the minus 30 degree temperatures.

3. Kristi survived the drive being held in mom's arms and NO seat belts.

4. Heather met Kristi for the first time, having been unprepared for what was
coming. Heather had spent 3 days with perfect strangers, and also ate her first hard boiled egg, not knowing what to do with it. Now that was trama!

5. As a toddler, Kristi had quite an imagination, and loved to tell stories true or not. She entertained us with her act entitled "Anastasia Movie Star". Anastasia could appear at anytime usually having Heather selling tickets to her shows. We were thoroughly enthralled watching and listening to her. Why would we get a babysitter for the movies and spend the money, when we could stay home for free and see such a show?

6. As the girls got older, we found them both very creative as they put on shows with other friends who spent the night, and of course their little brothers. My favorite was the Christmas play about the "True Meaning of Christmas" which we used this year as a skit in our ward Christmas program, and the theme of the night. Thanks girls!

7. When Kristi went to preschool at NMSU, she found her first idol in Miss Parades.
It was hard for her to be away from home, but she found her first creative example

8. In kindergarten, Kristi was the teacher's favorite, and was the star angel in the Christmas play. She learned a couple of pages of lines, and knew them perfectly. She had a beautiful costume, and it was a very big deal. Bigger, maybe than Kristi was prepared for. The lights were low, and there were many parents and other students watching. She experienced her 1st real bought of stage fright. After a little cajoling from her mom and teacher, she went on, and spoke all her parts very softly, however they were perfect. She found emotions that partly defines her today. As Martha Stewart would say, "That's a Good Thing!"
Can you imaging doing a play about Christ in the school systems today? And that was in Las Cruces, New Mexico, not Utah.

9. By the first grade, Kristi did her first group project raising money for a gift for her teacher's birthday. She collected 50 cents from each student, then gave it to mom to help her shop for a gift. I'm not sure what was purchased, however Kristi arranged with the principal (on her own, mom had nothing to do with it) to get the teacher out of the room so she could get ready for the susprise party!

10. And the rest is history until age 37. Kristi is a giver and supporter for good in this world. She does her best with what God gave her, and supports and expects the best in those around her, and always will until that Perfect Day when the Lord shall come, and say GOOD JOB.

This day brings back great memories of this day for me too. I love you and am proud of all you to. Have a great day! MOM

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day Memories

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

This is a poem that my mom, Alice Houston Rasmussen memorized as a school girl, and recited it all of her life. It was the most famous poem written for World War I.
As a young girl growing up in Price, UT, we would buy paper poppies
from veterans and wear them. The money was raised for the veterans who served in the wars. We probably celebrated the day more in the 50's and 60's than we do today. May we always remember the men and women who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America.

Gratitudes on Tuesday

The house is quiet and Adam has left to go back to Salt Lake, alone. Lisa just left with her family to go to her brother Brian's place in Escrito to spend the day. I am thankful for their visit here over the weekend, and:
  • for having little Ryan running all around the house, and so quickly for a new walker. She is so happy and funny, and lovable.
  • for Adam and Lisa being so helpful and being inclusive with everyone.
  • having Brian and Rena and Lexi stay here too. They are easy to have around, and seem to feel at home.
  • we enjoyed our early Thanksgiving celebration with the Bayleys and the sharing of food and laughter.
  • I enjoyed a great visit with Lisa and Adam before he left on Tuesday.
  • I am grateful for all of our family and their good and generous hearts to those around them in all parts of the country.
  • I am thankful for the association we have had with the Erskein family and pray that they have a safe move and success while living in Utah. I will miss Brett, Adriene, Maddy, Gracie, Tate, and Lauren and the joy they brought to our lives.
  • May we all have joy in the success of others we associate with in our lives whether it be spiritually, socially or physically. Let us buoy each other up and not tear each other down. Let us support each other in kindness and love, and forgiveness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Grateful on Tuesday

I'm grateful for:
  • enough sleep to still get up at 5:30 AM
  • my feet and legs--never a day goes by that I don't thank the Lord for them
  • the ability to still drive a car
  • my great husband--and the fact that he is coming home tonight from Santa Fe and won't have to be gone all week for work. Yeah!
  • the 60 degree weather--so I can still drive around with the top down
  • Costa Vida that opened here in Farmington --because I am already addicted to their sweet pork salad
  • my family--always