Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ATV on Skyline Drive

Cole is handing me the map just in case I get lost.
Rick is sneaking a taste of his favorite beverage.
And Cole loves me.

And were all wearing our helmets just in case you were wondering.
And on our ride last week (when all of the rest of the world was going back to school)
I noticed that there was that feel in the air that made me realize that fall is just around the corner.

on my night stand...

The Hunger GamesCatching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

I am doing something totally out of the ordinary for me. I am reading these books for the second time. Well, at least the first two in anticipation of the recent release of the third book. I really like Suzanne Collins' writing style. It flows so well and it makes it easy to read/hard to put down!! I am trying to get to the 3rd one soon so that I can chit chat about it with everyone else that has already read them.
I am letting Summer read them. I was wondering about that when I read them the first time. But Summer is enjoying them and wants to be Katniss for Halloween.
And we are trying to convince Rick to read them, too! We'll see how that goes. (I conveniently placed the first one on his nightstand yesterday so that it will be ready when he needs a new book to read.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I learned from Hurricane Katrina

I just couldn't let this 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina pass without noting it in some way.
So, just a few of my thoughts...
This is the view from our front yard at about the quietest time of the day.
The eye of the hurricane was passing just to the North & West of us.
(Lucky for us, that is the side you want to be on in a hurricane.)
We had been sitting at the kitchen table coloring in the dark, when we heard a big rumble.
We looked out the window to find that our BBQ gas grill was tumbling across the patio and down the backyard.
Since the grill was to be our means of cooking for the next few days,
Rick and I grabbed some rain gear and headed out to retrieve the grill.
I also grabbed the camera just to document the experience.
I figured that I was already wet, why not spend a few more seconds recording the days events.
It's a little hard to tell in the above picture but the really tall trees would bend over so that they were almost touching the houses when the wind caught them just right.
This was a barometer that we had in our house for a couple of years.
It never moved off of the 30 mark more than just one or two tenths.
So, we knew that when the barometric pressure kept dropping and dropping we were in for a big storm.

Below are some pictures taken near the coast.
The picture below is where the road used to cross Bay St. Louis.

The photo above is interesting.
You can see the concrete slab where the home used to be located.
Now, all that is left is the Rolls Royce and the FEMA trailer.

This photo was pretty typical of the ones along the MS and LA coast.
You can see how the water washed right through the house exposing the bedroom and the closet. Everything was left as a big muddy mess.
Also, on the left you can see the big red X that they would put on the homes.
Each quadrant would have a symbol or a number.
One of the numbers was to indicate how many bodies were in the home that still needed to be removed.
The above photo is what was left of the brand new Hard Rock Casino which was to open the following weekend--Labor Day Weekend.
About the only thing left was the giant iconic guitar.
A photo of the freeway from Jackson down to the coast.
This was taken days maybe even weeks after the Hurricane.
It looked like this for a very long time. Once roads were made passable, it didn't really matter what they looked like because there was no place to haul all of the trash and debris.

Some Thoughts...
I still remember going to Sam's Club about 15 hours before the hurricane made landfall.
the shelves were EMPTY.
People were hauling TP and water bottles out of the warehouse on those long bed carts.
Rick and I looked at each other and wondered if we should be doing the same.
We didn't because we had followed the counsel of our leaders and we had plenty of TP and water.
Our biggest concern was a generator and batteries for our flashlights.

About the generator...
We could not find a generator anywhere in the city.
Rick got up at 5 am on Monday morning and called a small, local lumber store.
They were not open for several more hours, but they were at the lumber yard tying down loads of lumber in preparation for the storm.
Rick asked if they had a generator and they said that there was one left.
He asked if they would hold it for him and they said no, they had to sell it on a first come/first serve basis.
Rick jumped in the car and drove 20 minutes to find that he was the first one there.
The other interesting thing was that it was the end of the month.
Medical residents do not make very much money. At all.
But, we happened to have the same amount of money left in our checking account as was the price of the generator.
And generators ain't cheap!!
All I can say is that good thing we paid our tithing that month.
Otherwise, I cannot figure out any other way that we had that much money left over at the end of the month.

As Rick was securing a generator for us, I was busy doing laundry as this would be the last chance to have clean clothes for quite some time. They had warned us that we would probably lose power at about noon. It was actually at 10 am when the lights flickered and went out--just as I was pulling the last batch of clothes from the dryer.

I remember how quiet it was once the power went out, before the winds really hit.
Then, it was just so noisy.
The wind was so loud, I thought it was going to blow our house away.
I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
We had to keep the window open just a bit because it was so hot inside the house and it helped with the pressure from the wind.

We knew things were bad, maybe even worse than the news had prepared us for.
Our school bus driver called on Sunday evening to warn all of the children on his route that he would not be around to pick them up for school in the morning.
That was the hardest part--trying to keep things "normal" when school has been canceled, we have no power, and our home is about to be blown away.
It made me realize how dependent we and our children are on video games (electricity) to be entertained.
We had to restort to coloring, painting, playing card games and board games and just plain talking to one another.

After the first day, people ventured out to assess the damages.
One of the biggest problems was that with all of the millions of tall trees in MS, roads were virtually impassable. Power lines were down. People were commanded to stay home.
Plus, we had. no. gas.
gas lines were as long as city blocks.
If you could get gas, you were limited to 5 gallons.

One good thing that we experienced is that people came out of their homes and talked.
to each other.
It was weird.
and good.

Because we had a generator, some of our neighbors brought their food to our house.
We kept the fridge on during the day and the freezer on during the night.
The only thing you could hear for days was the hum of the few generators in the neighborhood.
We would open the fridge just once or twice and grab the food that we were going to eat or prepare.
Andy and Nickey come to our house to eat dinner with us.
We would cook extra and take it across the street to Damon and Georgeanna.
We ate their food that we stored in our fridge and cooked on our grill.
It was nice to get to know people during this experience that brought us all together.
I was just sad that it took something so huge to force us to get to know one another.

Schools were closed for weeks. There were 2 reasons:
schools were being used as shelters
there was so much rotten food that had spoiled while the power was out that they were not allowed to hold school until the power had been on long enough for them to clear out and clean up the lunch rooms.
Basically when school started again, it was like starting over for the year.
School children lost as much as 2 months of instruction. Maybe more for the children who were shuffled from school to school white their home and schools were rebuilt or they were able to relocated permanently.

The city of Jackson was without power for a week or more.
Rick was working about 18 hours a day for the first couple of weeks.
So many people would show up at the ER simply because of the heat or the lack of water.
(Jackson was on a boil order because their pumps weren't pumping because they didn't have power. Problem was, people couldn't boil for the very same reason--no power)
The air was so stagnant for that first week after the storm.
No breeze. No electricity. Humidity. Uncertainty.
So many people would show up at the ER for some relief. However, the temperature in the Emergency Department hovered at 90 or higher for several days.

I still tear up when I think of our experience with Hurricane Katrina.
I think of the Blackstock family from the coast who relocated to our city.
They lost everything except the clothes on their backs.
We gave them a bunch of our clothes.
I was pregnant so I passed on all of the clothes I couldn't wear--which was most of them.
Sister Blackstock was about 6 inches taller than me.
Rick gave away about half of his clothes.
And Brother Blackstock was about a foot shorter than Rick.

I think of how many lives were changed because of that storm.
I think of how many people died.
how many people lost their homes. their livelihoods.

The biggest lessons that I learned were
1. people are more important than things
2. if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. (D&C 38:30)
it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
3. we ended up with a generator, because we paid our tithing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hobble Creek 1/2

I knew there was going to be a problem when I awoke at 4 am and checked the weather and the temperature read:
70 degrees
at 4 am!!!

me and rick at the starting line (that was the last I saw of Rick)

Sadie joined me at mile 8 near the Golf Course and kept me from running straight home once we got out of the canyon

doesn't Sadie look like she's a foot taller than me in this shot?
(she is)

Rick took these last couple of pictures of me at the end. He was so awesome--after he finished the 13.1 miles, he turned around and walked back to the 12 mile marker and ran the last mile with me. (Otherwise, I probably would have walked)
It was so blasted hot.
Bless their hearts--there were some people in a Mapleton neighborhood that we ran through who were out spraying people as they ran down the street.
I think I will bake them cookies one of these days.

If I didn't know better, I would think that the reason it is called "Hobble Creek" 1/2 marathon might have something to do with the way that I was walking for the 2 days following.
But, I am proud to say that my time was exactly 20 minutes faster than the 1/2 marathon that I did last spring.
(gosh--I wonder what would have happened had I trained seriously for this race???)
I think that Sadie and Rick were instrumental in keeping me running those last few miles so I owe a big thanks to them for keeping me running and improving my time.
Glad it's over--when is the next one?

The Gifford House

My Aunt Shirley is the Executive Secretary of the Capitol Reef Natural History Association. Several years ago there was an old house just outside of the area where the Capitol Reef Visitors Center is located. It was originally an old pioneer house….(read more about it here)

The original home was built in 1908 by Calvin Pendleton. His and his family occupied the house for eight years. The second residents of the home were the Jorgen Jorgenson family who lived there from 1916 to 1928. Jorsenson sold the homestead to his son-in-law, Dewey Gifford in 1928. The Gifford family occupied the home for 41 years (1928 to 1969).

The National Park Services was using this small pioneer home for storage. A few years ago the Park Services decided that they no longer needed the room for storage and made plans to tear down the small structure.

This bothered my Aunt. She hated to see the historic home torn down.

It was on a trip home from Historic Williamsburg that she felt inspired to save the Gifford House. Upon her return home, Shirley approached some National Park officials who just happened to be at Capitol Reef. They were indifferent as to the fate of the Gifford House. She was told that she would have to put together a proposal as to what she planned to make of the little structure. So, she put together a plan and the right people were at the right place at the right time for the proposal to be approved. Next, was putting the plan into place and making the Gifford House a historical site within the park that would preserve the Mormon History of the area. My Aunt was instrumental making the Gifford House happen. One thing that was a necessary part of the plan was that the Gifford House would be able to fund itself. In other words, they had to figure out a way to make enough money to keep the Gifford House staffed and taken care of without any money from the National Park.

The first year, the Gifford House barely produced $20,000 in revenue—not really enough to keep the Gifford House open. However, after just a few years, the projected income for 2010 will be over $300,000.

Shirley approached me a few years ago to make aprons to sell in the Gifford House. So, I spent one winter sewing one of a kind aprons to sell in the gift area. There is still one of my aprons on display with some of the other artifacts.

Another thing that Shirley did was to contract with a new restaurant that had opened recently in the town of Torrey to make pies. The owners of the Café Diablo, (which has been featured in magazines such as Sunset) agreed to make small, personal pies to sell in the Gifford House. In the beginning, the contract was for about 2 dozen pies per day. Now, they supply up to 10 to 12 dozen pies to sell each day.

the gang sampling some personal pies just outside the Gifford House, July 2010

Also for sale in the Gifford House are things like jams, jellies, cookbooks, bread, muffins, rolling pins, homemade soap, and other fun things.

On display in the Gifford House are pieces of original pioneer furniture, a bed with an old quilt, a baby cradle, linens, kitchen tools, rugs, and other period items from the area.

I think that it is pretty cool that one person can have an idea and set to work to make it happen. I am proud of my Aunt for her work in preserving this piece of Mormon History for others to see and learn from.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Old House...Scofield Style Part 2

Here are some view of the other 2 rooms in the house that we have been working on.
This room with the dark paneling and "green" carpet is the living room. It was very gross.
We vacuumed and vacuumed and still could not get the soot and hair off the carpet.
I know, GROSS.
When we pulled up the carpet, we would pull up a section and then vacuum and then pull some more.
Once the carpet was up, we used this room to store the supplies for the kitchen remodel. You can see the tools, sheetrock, water heater and flooring supplies.
What a mess!

Then we got the room cleaned out once that the kitchen was a bit organized. You can see how they had a rug on the floor at one point and then just painted around the edges of the rug out to the walls. Nice. The wood floor was cool, but not cool enough to refinish and leave bare, soooo
We put down some carpet. It's almost the same color as the wood floor underneath!


The pictures above and below show the state of the bedroom in the midst of the cleaning out process. It was amazing the amount of stuff that was stuffed in this room.
(the lucky person whose name that I get for Christmas will be getting the wolf blanket that is hanging on the wall!!)

Once we got the furniture and other various items out of the room, we also tore up the carpet in this room. We noticed that there was a wood floor under the carpet, however, the boards were running diagonally. Cool. Then as we got the carpet up a little further we realized that there was this cool piece of floral linoleum nailed to the center of the floor. We took a vote and decided that the flooring could stay. Until the next day when we started walking on the vintage linoleum and it started to crumble. We took another quick vote and started tearing up the beautiful vintage linoleum. Piece by tiny piece. We got smart and opened a window and it went straight out the window.

We had to pull about about four million nails and then scrub and scrub the wood floor.
You can kind of tell that board are running diagonally. Pretty cool. I cleaned the floor with this cleaner 4 times. We'll see how it looks when it is clean and dry.
And if you think the work is done and this will be a nice relaxing place to visit one last time before fall sets in...

There is a ton of work left.
Watch for the final AFTER shots to come soon.
(after the rest of the work is done--at least for this summer)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zenos Hill (part 2)

Remember a few weeks ago when Rick met a lady at work who knew his Great Great Grandfather, Zenos Hill? (read here)
Wellllll, one day last week Rick met someone else who knew Zenos. This was an older gentleman who was also from Fountain Green. So, Rick asked the same questions and Low and Behold, this man knew Zenos. Well, he knew OF Zenos. He would have been about 3 or 4 when Zenos died. But, still.
Small World.
Rick thinks that Grandpa Zenos is trying to tell him something. He just hasn't figured it out yet.

What do you think it could be?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sheep Wagon

Norman Adelbert Robison
born 18 September, 1908
died 17 July, 1965

My grandpa Robison was a farmer and a sheep herder.
This is a picture of his sheep wagon which he built himself.
Cole standing in front of the original Robison sheep wagon, July 2010

here is the story told by my uncle Don who lives in Torrey, UT where we stayed last month for our Robison Family Reunion at Capitol Reef/Boulder Mountain.

After my grandpa died in July of 1965, the sheep wagon which he had built himself was sold to another family in Annabella. They used it for years and years. Then it sat empty in a yard in town for a while. My Uncle Don approached the owner and asked if he could buy back the sheep wagon. The owner wasn't using it anymore and thought that since it originally belonged to Norman Robison, then it would be nice to return it back to the Robison family since it was no longer being used as a sheep wagon.
I think he said that my Grandma Robison had originallyl sold it for $200 (or maybe it was $250). Uncle Don bought it back for $250. He didn't have his truck with him to take it at the time of purchase. So, he drove back down to Annabella about 5 days later and picked up the old sheep wagon. The very next day, the man that had sold him the sheep wagon died. His children told Don that it was a good thing that he had made the purchase when he did because they had grown attached to the old sheep wagon. It had been well used in their family and some had grown sentimentally attached to the old piece of junk. Had Uncle Don not purchased and picked up the old sheep wagon when he did, it would still be in Annabella.
I'm glad that Shirley and Don have the old sheep wagon on their ranch in Torrey.
And I'm glad that they preserved that little piece of history.
But, if there are any SMALLER Robison antiques that they no longer want...
send them my way!

Don Torgerson
Don't let the 4-wheeler fool you, he is a full blown cowboy.
When we arrived at their place to stay for a few days, we didn't even see Don the first couple of days--he was in Panguitch at a rodeo!
His hat and his mustache remind me of my dad.
14 years ago Don had a heart attack. He was unconscious for several weeks and eventually received a heart transplant. It has not been an easy path, but things have gone reasonably well for him. He is facing rejection and takes medication daily for that. A few months ago, the family planned a trip to Hawaii since they had never been. Don was sick for the few weeks before the trip. He was in the hospital and his doctors said that he couldn't make the trip. He decided that if he was going to die, he might as well die enjoying himself on the beach. So, as soon as he was discharged from the hospital he drove straight to the airport. It must not have been his time to go, yet. Because while they were in Hawaii, the earthquake hit and they were evacuated to higher ground because of the threat of a tsunami.

This is his wife, Shirley-- my dad's youngest sister.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This Old House...Scofield Style

I really wanted to wait and do some big reveal, but because I am running out of steam, I had to write about the progress that has been made so far so that I can muster up enough energy to finish off the summer with just a little bit more renovation and maybe this kitchen will be complete before snow falls.

This does not even begin to show the condition of this kitchen. We wore rubber gloves and face masks as we cleaned out every cupboard and drawer.
This is where the old stove pipe went into the wall for the stove. The chimney fell down off the roof in the middle of the winter. It sent all sorts of soot, ash and debris into the kitchen. Every surface was covered with a huge layer of black gook.
The kitchen was eventually gutted completely.
Old cabinets were hauled away.
Several trucks and trailers were filled with junk and taken to the dump.
Drywall was hung.
New old cabinets were brought in.

All of the cabinets were primed with a layer or two of white.
Yellow was the chosen color for the cabinets, a Finnish decorating favorite.
Painting, late into the night, as you might can tell from the dark window.
I am wearing the same shirt in every picture.
Not because the work was done in one day, but because I would finish a days work, wash the shirt and wear it again the following day.
Day after day.
First, we tried white washing this lovely shiny wooden wall.
It ended up being painted (see below).
The kids were curious as to what was below the trap door (perhaps they watch too much Scooby Doo).
So, I took the paint stick and waved it back and forth amongst all of the millions of cobwebs and bid farewell to my children and ventured down into the earth below this 111 year old house. It was creepy (too much Scooby Doo for me too).
There were bottles and bottles on the shelves and on the dirt floor.
some were filled with fruit, vegetables, and perhaps fish from an estimated 50 plus years ago.
Some bottles were broken.
There were some egg crates.
And a dynamite box.
And a campbells soup box.
The camera didn't make it down into the cellar, so use your imagination. or not.
Rick came down with me. At one point he leaned his body against a big post that we assumed was holding up the entire house. The post tumbled. It apparently wasn't making contact at the top where it should have been holding up the floor in the living room.
We quickly grabbed the flashlight and the paint stick and began whacking at cobwebs to make our way back up the ladder to safety.
Installing laminate flooring. This is the "Back Room" for those of you who are familiar with the layout.
Wall color choice:
Just in case you think Cole was missing from the action, he was not.
He was right in the middle of the action the entire time.
Installing shelves and cabinets.
Summer and Sierra installing the hinges on the cupboard doors.

previously shiny wooden wall that was white washed.
We had extra blue paint so the wall is now blue.

Stay tuned for the final results...