Monday, August 28, 2017

Rachel's THREE

 I think the pictures of our weekend with Rachel are posted in reverse order, but that's okay. We went to SLC Friday after work, got there late , late , late (after 11 pm), celebrated Rachel' birthday all day long! One Mommy and Daddy present, a trip to the bounce house, a family dinner and Party in the back yard Saturday evening.  Perfect weather, perfect fun!
 Rachel and I played with some of her playdough Saturday night before bed. I was way more tired than she was after that long day--SHE got to have a nap! Ha. Grandma's are not too old to have naps, I have found. 😩
Can you tell what we created?

 Visiting after dinner jn the backmyard. Nick grilled burgers and hot dogs, and there was a nice variety of fruits and veggies and salads, plus chips and drinks. Cookies and cupcakes rounded out the menu. Sesame Street theme was really cute. And so was our sweet Rachel.
 And Logan's pretty cute, too . (I guess my baby-all- grown-up Nicky is pretty cute, too!)

 Elmo cupcakes! Kaylee made these. Aren't they darling?

 At the "High Jump" bounce house play area. It was fun to chase the kiddos around. The goal was to tire Rachel out so she would have a nap before tbe 6 pm  party. It worked. We went after lunch and stayed about an hour, she slept for two and we (well, Kaylee) had time to bathe Rachel before guests arrived.

 Rachel is showing me the stickers she got in with her birthday card from Great -Grandma and Grandpa Autrey.
 In the van, on our way to "High Jump" in the afternoon on Saturday.

 Ooening up the first present of the day. Toy Ice cream parlor with magnetic scooper and ice cream. Fun!
 Just chillin out on the back deck in the morning, playing in the sandbox.

 Oh yes. Photos are not only backwards, but also all mixed up. Oh well. At least I took some!
 Bounce house

 Backyard gathering.
 Logan and cousins.

 Rachel posing with her gift pile on the deck. I think she was a little excited--but one of her little christensen cousins was even MORE excited . Ha.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Sweet Ride

Once upon a time (sometime earlier this month), I went on a bike ride on my way home from work to return a book to the public library across town and had some bicycle mechanical difficulties on the way home. And I had to walk home. Mike didn't answer his phone. Eric didn't answer his phone.  Ugh. So I walked from about 200 north, 300 west all the way home.  But I'm a big girl and it didn't kill me.

I parked the bike in the garage and kind of forgot to tell any one about my bike woes since I think we all had things going on that night or something. But when I went into the garage to get on my bike to go to work the following day--whoops!  There was my broken bike! So I plopped it upside down right in front of the back door so anyone coming or going had to pay attention and move it to get in to get in or out of the house. Or trip and fall over it. Or, rather, so they would be reminded to put it in the truck and take it to the Bike Shop for repairs. The rear tire was kind of wiggly, rubbing the frame weird, and had some strange wearing on the side walls. I drove the car to work. (Did I mention we have a new car?) It is easy to drive during the month of August after all the summer sessions are over because nobody is around on campus and there's plenty of parking.

Mike took my broken bike to the shop for me on that Thursday, sweet guy that he his. (Did I mention he does dishes, too?) I drove the car on Thursday and got a ride from Mike on Friday. The bike shop called me Friday morning to say it was fixed. I walked up there on my lunch break to pick it up, paid for my new tire. I hopped on, left the shop, and got to the light just one building away from the bike shop (200  South and Main Street), went to cross the street and had the same problem!  The rear tire was rubbing and crooked. Again. I walked it back into the shop and said, "I think I broke my bike."  He determined that I must have a broken axle.  So I left it there with him and then kind of waffled about walking back, being late, calling the office....he offered me a loaner bike until he could get it done--probably before closing. So I took him up on it. 

That's the bike (above). Cute, huh? He adjusted the seat and sent me on my way. I got to the intersection and went to stop at MAIN STREET.  Busy Main street at the noon hour and --  it's a cruiser and there are NO HAND BRAKES. Yikes!  I had a split second or two of pure panic as I headed closer and closer to the busy intersection with my fingers grabbing desperately for hand brakes that were not there--anywhere!!!....How Am I Going To Stop This Thing!?!?!?!?!? Then the brain clicked in and said, "Back pedal with your feet, stupid!" So I did and stopped before I hit traffic. Literally.

I practiced braking all the way back to the library. I mean, there IS a big down hill just before the campus driveway I needed to turn into. It would not have been good to miss my turn. ha.  But I made it, and even got it all done on my lunch hour. And I made it back to pick up my own bike just before he closed at 5:30.  Except I left my bike lock on the loaner and had go ride back up there yet another day and retrieve it.

But my bike is fixed, the new tire works well, the axle is replaced and I'm good to go.  But not good enough to ride 60 K up and over a big mountain on a dirt road, thank you very much.  Just toodleing around town is good enough for me.  As long as the axle doesn't BRAKE. pun intended ;-)

Elko, NV and Jonathan's Baptism day


August 5 was Jonathan's baptism day in Elko.  Mike and I and his Mom drove up there on Friday afternoon (I think we left around 1-ish) and we got to Gail and Seth's house, ate dinner with them, visited a bit. Nick and Kaylee and their kids were there, too (though you would never know it by the photos below!).  Gail fed everyone dinner, but in shifts, because Seth's parents were there, too.  We all stayed in Elko at a hotel.
 Saturday after his baptism, we had  a lovely dinner at a local park. Some of those pictures were on Facebook. Perhaps I can steal some of those and put them here.  Nick and Kaylee left for Salt Lake after the luncheon at the park. So did Seth's family. We stayed.  Gail, Caroline and I went to the Elko Women's Expo for a bit, then later we went swimming at the hotel pool with the kids. Seth just watched, but Mike came swimming with us all. It was fun.

 Below: Playing with a paper punch and-- what else would one play with at Gail's house??---
PAPER! ha.

 We picked up Chinese food after swimming and headed back out to the Owens' house to eat and play games.  But, you know, swimming makes you tired. I was tired. We left kind of early to go back to our hotel.  Church was fairly early and we stayed only for sacrament meeting, then left for home.

 FOUR Generations!

 Just some pretty clouds.
 This photo below was one I almost deleted. BUT, when you zoom in really close, because of the sunlight at that moment, we could actually SEE our new Cedar City temple!!  So exciting. We are so happy to have a temple in our town. Mike and I have been invited to sing in a choir for the dedication, so we will get to be INSIDE of the temple for the dedication!!  We've been assigned the 1 pm session and I'm thrilled.  We had just sort of assumed that we'd go to our own Stake Center for the dedication since there's not room for everyone, even with having three separate sessions.  Maybe we could have gotten tickets for a room inside.  But we get to be actually IN side, Inside for some of it, at least. I've watched other temple dedications when they have been broadcast to our stake center, and the choir just files in, sings, then goes out of the room, so we'll be somewhere close by. Cool. Music is it to be memorized. (!)

August 19. Fire Road

This is what I left behind on a Saturday morning.  Well, MOST mornings my kitchen looks like this, actually. I don't care for dishes much. But Mike does them often.
We left them behind in the morning of the 19th to go and help with the mountain bike race called "Fire Road".  60 or 100 KM of MOUNTAIN biking. Yikes. You should see how steep those hills are. I would absolutely die.  We have to have our truck in four wheel drive to get up it! Amazing athletes.
There they go!
There were some helpers on ATV's, too. We had nice chats with them between bike racers.
Our aid station was the first, after about 12 miles of biking.  We provided (well, the race organizers provided it....we just served it!) water and energy drink and some snacks if they they wanted. Some just pedaled on past!

The guy in the yellow and red stood there long enough for at least two people to go past him. But he was getting a refill. Many of the ones who went past us had camelback water containers.
All the men there (except for Mike) were ex-Navy sailors.
Our crew. Lovely view, isn't it?
And the clouds were just so nice an puffy on our drive up there.  Lovely day.
I have a good friend, Athena, who is a beekeeper in New Hampshire. (She's the reason I get to travel to Istanbul next month for a week.)  She refers to her hives as "her girls."  Now I do, too. Well, I don't have HIVES, but we have so many bees out in our raspberry patch. It's just lovely. We're growing a really good crop this season. I'm excited to have the berries ripen.
One night last week at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, on a night I was a volunteer Usher, there was some rain. So much rain that they didn't do the greenshow before the show.  But this was a portion of the absolutely vibrant and gorgeous rainbow that followed.  Spectacular. And the show went on!