Karen's Keepers

Karen's Keepers

Sunday, October 9, 2016

2016 Family Reunion

This weekend Randy and I drove down to California for a quick family reunion with my siblings. We decided to rent a car since my Blazer has over 280,000 miles on it, and Randy says that he doesn't work on broken down cars anymore!

Friday morning we drove to the new Payson temple and did a session. We aren't supposed to really have 'favorites' - as long as we do the work - but I think I have a new favorite temple. It. Was. Beautiful.!!

Then we drove to Mesquite, Nevada, and met our nephew David (Randy's sister Anna Fern's son) and his wife Dee for dinner. It was nice to catch up with them.

The we headed down to Henderson, Nevada (south Las Vegas) to stay at my sister Becky's house. My brother Derek, his wife Rita, and my sister Connie were already there. (They live in Orem).

The next morning we drove a little less than 4 hours to the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Riverside, California, where my parents are buried. Terry and his wife Becky, Wendy my sister, and Dave my sister Becky's husband, met us there. It was really pretty good that we all arrived within 10 minutes of each other since we were coming from 4 different directions with most driving several hours!

There was a goose there that was checking himself out in the reflection of Dave's car! We didn't get too close to him since they tend to be pretty aggressive.

We all drove around to where my dad and mom are buried and took some pictures there.

We had a picnic at a park and Wendy's children and grandson joined us (Whitney, her husband Bryce, and son Nolan; Dustin; and Courtney). We ate lunch and then Whitney opened gifts for her new baby girl (Gwendolyn) that gets here in 2 weeks.

After hours of talking, catching up, and reminiscing, several of Wendy's kids went to work, and the rest of us went to dinner and talked some more. Derek, Rita, Connie, Randy and I drove back to Becky and Dave's and spent the night at their place. The next morning we attended Sacrament Meeting before heading towards home.

On the way back we took a picture by the sign for "Valley of Fire". I've never been there, but in high school we used to pass that sign on our way from San Diego to Utah and we would say the name of that place in a weird voice and laugh and laugh - you kinda' had to be there...

We also drove up to the temple they are building in Cedar City and snapped a picture - it will have a beautiful view of the valley!

It was a quick, long, getaway - but it was great! It was fun to be together with all my brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2016 Road Trip with my daughter and some grandkids

I got to travel with my daughter, Ingrid and her kids down to Georgia. She will be visiting her mother-in-law and some of her husband Jeff’s siblings, nieces and nephews, etc. Jeff is flying there tonight, they will be there a few days, and they will all drive back together. This is a little wrap-up of our travels.

On Wednesday morning, June 22, Ingrid, Kalvin, Talynn, Artisan, Draven and I left for Colorado. The trip was uneventful and we arrived in the late afternoon and were able to spend the next 2 nights at Brian & Davina’s (Jeff’s sister) beautiful condo.

The next day Davina was off from work so we spent several hours with her at the pool in the morning.

The kids had a nap with Davina where Talynn was able to wear a mask over her eyes! She loved it. 

That evening we went to a near-by park and the kids played for awhile.

Friday, June 24, we drove to Topeka, Kansas.

Ingrid had a couple of photo shoots set up for that evening. We were able to stay Saturday and Sunday with Amy (Ingrid’s cousin) & Chris Hough and their daughter, Tenley.

Chris is a firefighter, so they were able to get a tour of the fire station from him on Saturday.

I went to Laura Thomason’s (our former Bishop’s wife) for lunch and was also able to see her husband, Dave, Mary Erwin, and Linda Eldridge. It was so fun to sit and chat with them for awhile! That evening I went and got ice cream with Lee Benson, his wife Karen, and Phyllis Weeks - I worked with them at Washburn Endowment Association when we lived in Topeka. It was so good to see them.

Then on Sunday, June 26, we attended the 9am church session and saw lots more of our friends - more than 30 of them. It was wonderful!! We ate the lunch that Amy had packed for us, then went to Randy’s younger brother’s house (Dan & Audrey), and visited with them for awhile. One of the 2 evenings, (can’t remember which!) we took the kids to a park again near Amy’s house and let them burn off some energy there.

Monday, we hit the road again, and headed toward Nashville. At one of the stops, we took some pictures behind super hero cutouts - I think we had done that on a trip when our kids were young…

We drove through a lot of fog during the morning,
but finally arrived at an old house that friends of ours use for a wedding ceremony and picture taking venue. They had an upstairs loft there where we stayed for the night. It was good to see Heather and Tiffany and meet their children.

They fixed us a yummy spaghetti dinner and after visiting for a while longer and then baths, we settled down to bed.

The next morning we headed down to Atlanta, and drove past the town on our way to the airport.

Ingrid dropped me off there at the airport, and after about 1 ½ hours of flight delays, I flew home to Salt Lake City. I was so glad that I could travel with Ingrid and kids and see lots of old friends along the way. 

Tuesday evening, Heidi picked me up because Randy was having Meniere’s issues. He had felt an attack coming on Monday night, stayed home from work Tuesday, was dizzy and throwing up by Tuesday evening and into early Wednesday morning. He stayed home from work on Wednesday, and was feeling better, but still weak by tonight. He's not sure if he's on the verge of another attack, or not. His Meniere's episodes have been different lately. I, on the other hand, caught a bug on the trip and had a sore throat on Monday, coughing and ear aches on Tuesday, and by the time I got home on Tuesday night couldn’t utter a sound because of hoarseness! I didn’t go to work today, and it seems to have gotten a little better - at least I can make a sound when I talk.

It was our 37th wedding anniversary last night, so Happy Anniversary to us! If we feel alright, we are attending a play about Mark Twain, “Big River” on Friday night. It should be fun.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Everything That Was Old Is New Again

Wow - my last post was in January. Obviously, a lot has happened, but I will just touch on a few things. I got my real estate license and put our house on the market. It sold in less than 2 days! We had to come down from our asking price a little, which is expected, because they wanted to put a new roof on the house. So, we had to find a house to move into. It was really nice that I had my real estate license, because I could make appointments to see houses, and we didn't have to have anyone take us through - just me. We found a house that we thought would work for us, but the owner was going through bankruptcy so we weren't sure when we would be able to move in. Papers had to be signed by a judge, and it just depended on when it crossed his desk. So, we moved in with Ingrid and Jeff and family. It was almost an hour drive for Randy and I to get to work, so we hoped it wouldn't last long - hopefully only a few weeks. It ended up being about 2 months - but we survived! While we were staying with them, Randy had a safety conference in Nashville and I decided to go along so I could see old friends while he was in meetings. I took a few pictures of the houses that we used to live in:
 This is the first house we lived in there - we were here more than 7 years.

 We rented this house for about 6 months in between the other 2 houses.
 We spent our last 3 years in Nashville in this house.

It was so fun to see old friends, see the houses we lived in, the church buildings that we attended, the schools that our children attended, see a lot of sites, and drive the roads that we used to drive. Then we flew back.

Finally - we were able to move into our new (to us!!) home. Here are some before and after pictures.

 We put on a new roof, painted the upper siding, painted the foundation, took out 3 bushes in the front, took out the pavers by the front porch and added 2 small trees, stepping stones and mulch.

In the back we cleared out all the weeds from the flowerbeds, trimmed the rose bushes and straightened things up. There are some strawberry plants around the rose bushes that we will let grow - hopefully we'll get a lot in the spring.

On the west side there were 4 small bushes and one great big bush that we took out. Then we could see graffiti from long ago on the fence, so we touched up the paint where that was and where it was faded or peeling off. We'll plant tomatoes and radishes in the planter in the spring.

We painted the entryway. The door on the right goes into the garage.

In the living room we painted and replaced the carpeting - we couldn't get the pet smell out of the old carpet! :)

 Originally the kitchen was pink, so we painted it green and recovered the cushions on the bar chairs that they left. We painted the wall with the refrigerator beige (it was off white).

We painted the dining room.

The extra bedroom (that they used as an office and left a desk, an end table and an old loveseat) we turned into our guest bedroom.

We painted the upstairs bathroom.

The master bedroom has a small room that I use as an office (with a walk-in closet) and the door by the bed goes to a deck and stairs to the backyard.

We put our exercise equipment and books downstairs. We have a utility room that is big enough to have as our storage room that we use for food storage. And Randy has his music studio down there. We also have a bathroom that I haven't done anything with yet.

And finally, the bedroom downstairs was painted and we have Randy's extra sculptures down there along with all his sculpture equipment.

I love this house. The rooms are mostly larger than in our last house and there's only 2 levels, so my knees are happy! We put a new air conditioner, water heater and furnace in since the old system just wasn't making it. It is the perfect size for us and the yard is smaller than at our last house - so I can still do yardwork, but it doesn't take me as long. The neighborhood is pretty quiet and the people around here and in our ward at church are wonderful.