Friday, June 19, 2009

Survivors at the Summit 2009

Hello, all-

Social worker soap box time!

Well, actually, proud daughter-in-law time first.

Patrick's mother died in October of 2002 after battling colon cancer for more than 18 months. A model of strength, integrity, intelligence, and humor, Nancy was well-rounded, well-spoken, and well-read. She was patient, supportive, and unwavering in her faith. Nearly 7 years later, she is still the rock of our family.

I don't have a mother-in-law for borrowing recipes or planning holidays or to snuggle our little Floyd when she gets here. I wish I did. I miss her. I miss her purple toenail polish and motion sickness and sausage jokes. I miss her because my husband misses her. I am grateful for her life and her legacy. My heart thanks her often for the wonderful son she left to become my sweetheart. I hope to return the favor by raising her oldest granddaughter in a way that will make her proud.

(It is my other hope that she is preparing Floyd with tips for swindling her daddy, and loading her with a list of good literature to tackle once she gets here.)

Now it's social worker time.

In her memory, our family will be proudly participating in the Survivors at the Summit event with the Cancer Wellness House on August 8. The Cancer Wellness House is a fantastic non-profit organization supporting cancer patients and their families in the Salt Lake area, and we are excited to join them for breakfast and a hike (or tram ride for non-hikers like me and Floyd.)

We will be honored to place a tribute flag in memory of Patrick's mom and Floyd's Grandma Nancy. We will also be remembering Grandma Eva, who lived happily to the age of 93 after conquering breast cancer decades before.

Want to help?

The Cancer Wellness House gratefully accepts donations of any amount. You can contribute online or through our team! Please let me know if you are interested in helping out.

Do you have a loved one who has battled cancer? Purchase a tribute flag to be placed at the top of Hidden Peak, even if you can't make it to the festivities yourself.

Or, best of all...

Come join us! Saturday, August 8, 2009.
Hike the hike, ride the tram, eat the pancakes, and support our family and everyone who has been touched by cancer.

Because cancer sucks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MSG: Open Letters re: Curbing Debacle

Dear Neighbor:

It has come to my attention (repeatedly) that perhaps my dog's occasional bark is upsetting to you. It's true; she does bark from time to time when the Arby's dumpster behind our house is emptied. You'll remember, of course, that she is a dog and that the dumpster is full of roast beef.

But, no matter. By way of masking the offending noise, you'll note that Daddy

and Paddy

will be making use of a jack hammer. During a thunderstorm.

Best regards,
The (rather noisy) person who lives next door to you.

Dear Former Owners of our Home:

Were you aware that decorative yard curbing is not, in fact, part of the weight-bearing foundation for the Empire State Building? Though I am admittedly not a construction worker, I hardly feel an 18 inch footing of solid concrete was necessary.
In addition, had you considered that even if you had planned on adding the Empire State building to the foundation, perhaps random scrap metal need not have been used as an anchor?

What's done is done, however, and you'll be happy to note that we safely recovered the following from their concrete tombs in our front yard:

Bent metal pieces

A small saw bladeA large saw blade

Metal tool handlesRailroad spikes
PVC pipe circa Korean War era
A crowbar

Somewhat more concerningly, a stripper pole
(or fence post)

You're welcome.
With deepest gratitude,
The New Homeowners-turned-excavators

P.S. Many thanks to Husband, Papanwa, and MJ for completing the historic dig.
And in a monsoon, no less! Bravo!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dear Pregnant Ladies everywhere,

Eat your red meat. I know, I know- the thought of swallowing one more bite of hamburger makes you want to die a little. Your stomach is rolling around just thinking about it, and not because of the fetus in there. Trust me, I know.

But guess what. Iron supplements are WORSE.

Best wishes,
Floyd's mama

Monday, June 1, 2009

The wise man built his house upon a rock.

The next time I decide on a neat little home improvement project for my 1950's era house, please, please remind me to just leave well enough alone.

After being gifted some beautiful free grass from Jessica, we decided to reclaim some of the over-sized planter space once occupied by huge juniper bushes on behalf of our lawn. All it would require, I naively assumed, was tearing up some cement curbing and laying the pretty new sod.

And thus was discovered the seemingly thin slice of cement determined to remain in place in our front yard until the end of time.

I'm not exaggerating. Paddy, Brian,and Kimmi attacked the curbing with sledge hammers, shovels, pick axes, and pent up fury for several hours. Little Floyd-child prevents me from swinging a sledge hammer or moving sod, to my chagrin/relief.

(Let's be honest. I couldn't swing a sledge hammer effectively before Floyd, either.)

The occasional chunk flew off and hit one of us in the eye, but other than that...

The hammers swung down and the blisters rose up, and the cement in the ground stood still.

Basically, we only succeeded in making it too ugly to leave it this way. Our new goal is to simply keep the new grass alive somehow until Papanwa, a.k.a Man-of-Many-Muscles-and-Ridiculous-Brute-Strength, returns from his Alaskan cruise to solve all of our problems. Unless, of course, any of you are eager to come smash some un-smashable concrete. Seriously.