The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fixing up: Flowers, Firepits, and Flagstone

Last Fall I developed three new flower beds, transplanting day lilies, columbine, yarrow, marigold maximus, Russian sage, and zebra grass.  I also planted about 100 bulbs in those areas east and south of the garage and along the east fence line. They are beautiful this spring, and almost everything lived through the winter, even the plants I bought in October from Four Corners Nursery. I got them for 75% off: peonies, herbs, succulents, and clemantis.

 Last year Anthony cleaned out the Choke cherry trees, so that section looks better too.  The pansies did beautifully as well, blooming in the late fall and again this spring.  I need to remember to do that in the future! The evergreens I had buried didn't root, (as seen next to garage) so I pulled those out this week and transplanted forsythia there.   Steve had trimmed back the lilacs severely so it was easier to side the garage, but they are leafing out well, and we'll have beautiful bushes by next year again.

 I moved several heavy cement dividers to edge the south bed, and then Steve helped me haul rock from the reservoir to line the other two beds.
Our next project was deciding how to develop and design the area south of our new patio, with an area for a fire pit and horse shoes. (Deciding is no small task for us!)

First Steve trimmed back the Rose of Sharon, and built a new set of stairs, and then put in a raised planter where he hopes to raise some tomatoes on trellises. This also entailed downsizing the original terraced planter beds he built some years ago, and attaching a new side wall and removing the irrigation pipes.  We planted our early crops there this year: radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale, and some herbs.

Steve leveled the ground, which sloped quite a bit, and then we used a hose to outline the edge, though I think this hose is watering strawberries!

 I was able to find a pallet of flagstone (via Blanding's 24/7 FB garage sale) out at Bert Jackson's, so that became the backbone for our pathway across the top of the garden.  I finally convinced Steve to use gravel around it, though that wasn't his preference.  It was a major breakthrough when he ordered a whole truckload of gravel and had it delivered to our barnyard.  That was a great birthday present.  I was so excited when it came, I could hardly sleep that night, anticipating all the fun of putting it in.

We bought bricks from Tri-Hurst for .62 cents each.  Steve leveled the walk way, and put the edging down, meandering it across the top of the new strawberry and raspberry patch.  Once he had the edging in, I put down the heavy gauge plastic, and we placed the flagstone.  Then we began hauling gravel.  This shows phase #1.

When we took the old green pickup out to Jacksons to get the rocks, we got it all loaded, and then it wouldn't start, so Brother Pincock was kind enough to tow us home, and there the green mean machine sat for two weeks, until we learned our lesson, and then one day it started up just fine, and Steve moved it back into the barn yard!
We were thankful again for the riding lawmower/tractor the kids got Steve when he retired, as he used it and a little dump trailer to haul the heavy rocks, as well as the gravel to our work site.

Next we tackled the fire pit.  We moved in the benches to help us decide the right distance for placement.  We got long joined bricks for the framework around the metal pit.  (We also keep one in it when not in use, so it doesn't blow away!  Hope we don't ever have a tornado, and end up with a brick in our window!)  This section took longer to do, as we had to experiment with laying the flagstone in some sort of a pattern, with the larger pieces by the benches.  These pieces were dang heavy and it took both of us to lift and  position them

I don't know how many loads of gravel we shoveled, but we had 4 cubic yards of gravel delivered, and only have about a wheelbarrow load left.  That was our weight lifting exercise for a week!

 Dad bought over 125 bricks and used all but four on the edging. 
This is how the first two-thirds looked when we got the first big section done.  I really love it, especially when I think about how trashy that corner has looked for three decades.

The last part entailed wrapping around the apple tree, and the long walk way to the chicken coop.  I'm glad we did that too, as it looks much more finished and clean.  I think we can better irrigate the apple tree too, as we've never gotten a good crop off of it.  We put porous netting under the gravel there instead of the heavy gauge plastic.  (We did get a much better crop this fall because of the increased water.)

 Another decorative garage sale find with a little water fountain.

One of our neighbor's cats posed by the lilacs, which have been so beautiful this spring. 

Love our flowering crab apple. How can a person be crabby with that in their yard?

Double Tulips!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


We were told about a month before the CEU gradutation which was the end of April, that the student council had selected us to receive the student service award, for our years of helping CEU students over the past 15 or so years.  So we showed up to graduation, sat with Merry Shumway on the front row, and after their introduction, we went up to receive, it and everyone looked around not knowing what to do.  Evidently no one ordered what ever the award was supposed to be.  But we did get our photo taken, so here's the anit-climatic event.  Merry received an award for service to education.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Best Birthday Present Ever

Two of our daughter-in-laws (Amy and Bev) pulled together one of the best birthday presents ever, when they went in cahoots with Steve and absconded with my e-mail addresses, asking friends to write a memory they had with me. 

    It was a most wonderful surprise, and evoked both tears and laughter as I read it.  I have truly been blessed with so many wonderful friends over the years, and then when you add to that mix, the eternal, constant love of family, and relatives, it made for a wonderful book to read, and re-read. 

Thank you to everyone who participated.  There were over 80 letters, and I loved everyone of them.
 Here are some of the grandkid's letters and drawings.

And some of the letters from special friends.

Anthony Passes the Bar and Nails first job!

   Though it seems somewhat backward in chronology, Anthony successfully passed the law bar exam in Utah, on his first try even before he officially graduated from Law School.
   We found out April 14 and celebrated via phone.  What a terrific accomplishment, and how great it was to have that pressure lifted from his shoulders.  We are so proud of him, and thankful for his good wife, who shooed him off to SLC for 6 weeks to take a prepatory class for the exam.  Her Uncle Parke donated his condo to the cause, and after that it was just study, study, study.
    Anthony only took one real break when he flew to Mesa when we went down to help Ashley clean out their home, prior to moving back to Mountain Home..

Once Anthony knew he passed the bar, he recontacted the Duschene County Attorney's office and let them know he was now "legal" as a lawyer, hoping there might be an opening there.  Because he had worked there his first summer as an intern, he had prior experience and connections with them.  They told him there was a slight chance they might be able to get the County Commissioners to let them hire another attorney.  Fortunately, the commission met to review the 2012 budget the following Monday, and they were able to present a proposal to hire Anthony on tract for the rest of the year.  It was approved on April 23, and he now has a job! A double blessing this month for them and everyone who has been praying for them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We take the "I Do" Challenge

Steve and I were one out of four couples honored by USU during National Marriage Week.  This group was honored for taking the USU Marriage Challenge, and  completing  five activities during the month of March. 

Steve and Janet Wilcox, USU Extension Agent Lou Mueller, Megan and Bill Sivert, Patty and Bruce Lyman (not pictured—Lee and Krista Chadwick)

Some of the things we've done since January include talking more together each day.  I made a conscious effort to get to bed by 11, so we can have prayers together.  I'm a night owl at heart, but having prayers together both night and morning helps everything go better.  We also share more of the house work and cooking chores together as we both usually have lots of extra "other" projects to do.  This has really helped out.  Steve has been more willing change things, and go along with plans, even when he doesn't always agree.  We've learned how to compromise more.  He has been thoughtful and generous remembering special occassions and also more generous towards others, which makes me happy.
I make more of an effort to tell my husband how thankful I am for how hard he works and helps me around the house. I've learned to put the remote on pause, when he comes in and has things to tell me!