Friday, September 29, 2017


The final leg of the Trefethen trip from their move from California to Ohio ended last night.  Robert sat on Hank's very old chair (which he left here), reading and waiting for their arrival.

Lucky for the Trefethens the 6 days of 90+ degree temperatures (first time ever in  Cleveland history in September) has ended and the breeze was brisk and welcoming.

 It was great to see the boys pile out the car and give us hugs and race around.  Sleep time was difficult after a week on the road, stops and starts, and too excited to really sleep but it worked.

This morning we introduced everyone to cooking and eating in the basement. While Henry volunteered to do the breakfast dishes in the auxiliary tub (which was a perfect height for him). Robert and Hank's dad, Andy and I worked to rearrange the small area Robert and I needed to a bigger area for the 8 of us.
 How tall Henry has grown. What a great boy, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kitchen continues

This kitchen rehab has been head-shakingly crazy.  I think it was on Wednesday, Sept 13 that Robert said he was going to Avon Lake to get some soil.  I took that time to call Lowe's and everyone else to AGAIN tell them how incredible awful this whole event has been.  Unbeknownst to me Robert got his soil but he also stopped in at Lowe's to talk to Erica and "rip her a new one" so to speak.  Let me tell you, that got things moving.  Suddenly everyone was showing up.   When we weren't getting notified about who was coming and doing what and when, now we were, either by phone or text, as it should have been all along.

The electrician came back. When he was here before he totally changed the plan of the outlets and even tho I said I'd pay him to add an outlet to inside the pantry (which by the way was his suggestion) and he agreed, when he left on that day without doing it he said, "Nah, I'm not going to."  Well all that got fixed in a fat hurry. The plug which should have been under the window but was off to the side and up high was repositioned.  The one outlet is now IN the pantry as asked for and we won't be paying him anything extra.  Him nor Lowe's.

Then along comes MY GUY.  Leo will be finishing our kitchen. He's worked so hard, even arriving at 8am and working well into the afternoons. His work is so precise and perfect and straight.  I really ike him. But I am really loving our new kitchen.  Still a ways to go but today the floor was installed.  Here are some pictures to update things...some might be repeats but who cares.

 The new pipes were finally installed..the leak from the old ones is gone.  Lights went in.
 This is where the old desk and intercom used to hand out.  I may miss the desk but certainly not the clutter.  The electric is in place for the under cabinet lightings and well as outlets
 I took this picture outside when the boxes were beginning to be opened so I so could send them to the kids to enjoy.  Perhaps they would prefer to see the finished kitchen but I think it's more fun to see things as they go. So far they have been fine with my texts and excited, too.
 Leo is amazing at dry wall, and plastering.  Robert went in to watch him a couple of times.
 The cabinets needed to go in before the man could come and measure for the counters. This was done on Saturday, September 23.  Lowe's is asking them to hurry up their timeframe so we don't have to wait 3-4 weeks. Hopefully in 2.  Everyone who has come to work on something this past week have all commented on how amazing these cabinets are, better than the ones these workers have installed in their own homes.  Leo called me in to see the silverware drawer.  AMAZING.

This is the floor. It's a floating laminate floor and looks really great against the cabinets.

I can hardly breathe at time.  I walk in and attempt to imagine where we will be putting everything once the kitchen is fully complete.  Having the cabinet to the left of the fridge dedicated only to spices is going to such a help when I cook and I do have a lot of spices.  The cupboards over the fridge are pretty high and pretty deep. My guess things up there will only be used occasionally or perhaps only the holiday things can go up there.  Most definitely we will need a step stool or ladder to get into that area but who cares!  It'll be reachable.

We are so blessed and I am so grateful.

Perhaps I should add this here:

On August 29, the Women's Association of the Lorain County Historical Society took a tour of the Spirit of '76  Museum in Wellington, OH.  We've been past it often and I just thought it was a small storefront that just honor's Archibald's painting.  On no!  It was 3 floors (with elevator) of wonderful things.

We had eaten at the Eagle's club and were a bit early for our appointed time for the tour so we looked around at shops near by.  Earlene called to us to come and see the shop she had by a reclamation artist.  All the ladies are kind and appreciate my baking and exclamed this was something I must have.  And I had to agree. For my new kitchen.  This was once a window turned sideways.  The left half was removed and pieces were placed as backdrop and an vintage rolling pin and a real branch from an apple tree (dried) was placed there.  The right side had the glass in it with a backing that holds the pretzels which have been dipped 3 times in eurothane varnish and called to try overnight between dippings.  Then the wording was put on in vinyl.  It was a pricy piece but I just didn't care.  This was purchased when the kitchen rehab had virtually come to a standstill and we both were totally exasperated.  This hanging just gives me hope.  I cannot wait to get back to baking.

But for now we cook and eat in the basement.  There is an auxiliary tub down there for washing dishes.  I've added the toaster, the small fridge from the garage, the electric skillet, the slow cooker, and a microwave.  Odds and ends of dishes and pans and all the food is down there except what's int he fridge upstairs and/or freezers.  It's getting a little old and we are eating out way too often but I think we both do not care for basement cooking/eating.  But the end is in sight.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Second Harvest

The stake and bishop's storehouse had more money to give to the associated food banks and so Lorain's Second Harvest got 46 cases of brown sugar for the holidays.  Robert said our little Prius could fit that amount and it did...but just!  As it was I had to sit with a case under my feet and another on my lap but the people at Second Harvest were very happy to get this bounty.  This was taken outside their facility on Baumhart Road.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lorain County Reads

This event is held in the fall and is well attended.  This year's 'local' author was Lisa Black and she was outstanding.  I really enjoyed her  more than the author from last year.

On the way in, we walked in with a man who was all excited because there were appetizers.  But he told us about the center pieces on the tables, folded paper books, and showed me around at several.  Then he spotted one he had done which took well over 3 hours to fold.  I am sure it took a lot more than 3 hours.  I chose to sit in front of this book because it appeared to be 4 people holding up their arms in the familiar O-H-I-O formation.  I knew the books would be given away and I hoped to win one...THIS one...and I did!  A star was placed on some of the chairs and luckily my chair had the star!

Naturally I wanted Jordan and Hillary to have it if they wanted and I was grateful they did. So I have mailed it to them.

 This is what Jordan posted on FB:  "I always loved getting lost in a good book."  It looks great in black/white,  doesn't it?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Patsy and a Rock

Took Patsy to see her psychiatrist and we found a painted rock.  Took this picture and have rehid the rock in Oberlin, outside Lorenzo's Pizza.

I had taken a class at the Domonkas Library about rock painting and have painted a few just to say I did.  It was fun. I am not very good at remembering to hide them. So the rock I found above was the first one I've found.  I joined the NEOhio Rock painters with the hashtag:  #gremhogrocks.  A couple have been found and rehid...after being posted on FB.  Here are a few of mine.  The one that says "And thus we see" were painted by Robert and he delivered one to each of his Seminary students as an intro to the Book of Mormon tis  year.

Dawn paints really lovely ones, Mandellas, and she was kind enough to hide 4 in our backyard garden. I am keeping these!  I painted one for Denver Voss who is serving in Anchorage Alaska from our ward. It has the outline of Alaska with an angel of Moronia.  Denver got it and will rehide it when he finds just the right place.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


This was a lovely weekend.  Last year I wasn't able to attend Dawn's Ukulele group fest and promised I would do so this year. And so I did, even tho it fell on Stake Conference Weekend but if Families are supposed to come first then this once we should be honoring and supporting the activity that provides a lot of enjoyment and positive reinforcement for Dawn.

We drove up Friday night so we were able to see Connor on his 18th birthday.  And Robert assisted Ken the next day in giving Connor an 18th birthday blessing.  Connor is a senior this year and will have to make a decision about college or a mission by next summer.  He's so handsome and quiet and very smart.  He got a 33 composite score on his ACT (and I believe 36 is the highest).

We didn't see much of Adelle but she's as lovely as ever.  She shared some nail polish with me since Robert was in the car, ready to go before I had finished my nails. She has a boyfriend now and that takes her time, as it should.

The WTUG (Waterford Township Ukulele Group) Uke Fest was held in a Community of Christ church and the people in the group were amazing and so friend.  I went to a couple of the classes, enjoyed each the lunch and treats that were for sale and looked over the silent auction items, all of which benefited the church which has a huge outreach program. This small group really does know how to serve the less fortunate.
Evan went for the day and helped with the audio visual needs as well as gaining service hours he needs for high school.  What? Evan is in High School!?  Amazing. He's such a dear kid and so much fu to be around.

Dawn's WTUG performed first. They were so much fun.  At one point they had red noses on. Dawn had given hers to the church's bishop's husband.

The headliners were this husband and wife team and they were sensational.  The Fabulous Heftones I think

The final group was called the N-Dog Band.  Most of these men if not all are in the WTUG

We did start for home and saw this lovely sunset..the cutest sun that looked like it was smiling on us with a huge smile.

Whenever my kitchen gets finished and the house has been returned to organized state,  I intend to really practice more on my ukulele.  I'd like to be able to play like Dawn does.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Kitchen almost at a standstill

Wednesday was a horrible day.  AGAIN, no workers showed up and my mild-manner, never angry husband reached the end of his ease.  He became the rarely seen silent, fuming, and CRAZY man.  I thought he went off to get soil but he went into Lowe's and had his say, then he started calling everyone concerned.  It all got noticed and action.

I took phone calls filled with apologies to which I responded the same way as I did to my old kids. DO NOT APOLOGIZE, DO NOT SAY "I'M SORRY".  I DON'T TRUST YOU AND TO MAKE THIS RIGHT GET THE WORKERS HERE AND MOVE THIS REHAB ALONG.

Yesterday we had 3 workers who worked 9 hours and got a lot accomplished.  Not since day 1,  have we had any worker her for much more then 3 hours.  Usually less IF at all.  I realize that there can be delays but I also know that with today's technology, there is no reason the the lack of communication.

But yesterday a lot was accomplished.  "Our" man has met us...he's the one who will work on the walls, the floor and the base cabinets.  Altho we are far behind the schedule given us, this at least bodes better for the future. There's still hope.  Here's a pano pix from the sink area to the new fridge area.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Nephi and Family

Seminary is not such a drudge when Robert is the teacher.  I promise.

The class began with the singing of Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me.

 His plan had been to take the kids to the shore with a boat. First he worked on using Jordan's inflatable raft but it didn't seem to want to hold air for long (gotta get that fixed). Then he went over to our neighbors last night and they were going to loan the kids their canoe or kayak and 4 life preservers.  All night I was awakened by dreams of kids drowning.  Not sure it had anything to do with premonitions or just too much Hurricane Irma watching but I worried.  But then again, I worry.  Turns out Robert had the same feelings.  So as luck would have it, the kids crossed the street to the Belangers but the 'ship' and 'preservers' were not where they were (hopefully they were not stolen).

So the lesson continued on to the beach (our beach, naturally) and in near dark to begin with the lesson continued (yes they jumped ahead but with fall coming on and Irma probably going to shed her rain, it was the best day to do so).  I don't know what was covered as I stood back with Br. Thompason.

The first week the kids wrote Seminary Haikus concerning their testimonies of the restored gospel/Seminary/gospel/whatever.  These were sealed up in a bottle marked Eastside Seminary.  As the class departed, Tiara asked to add another page.  Hers read something along the lines of "Do you want a free Book of Mormon?  see"  Clever girl!  She also was the one who wanted to build a fire on the boat so they could roast hot dogs. Yes, Robert has a class of pyromaniacs!

It was actually rather fun to see the kids walk along Lake Road and down the path to the beach and see them stand, silhouetted against the near light sky.

Because Noah is class president as well as having a marvelous pitching arm, he hurled the bottle far into the lake...and boy did he hurl it!  Now wonder he's wanted for the baseball team.

As the sun arose over Lake Erie and we  could begin to see things, it was time to imagine how terrifying it must have been for Nephi and family to even contemplate such a trip, and that after the ship had been built. But as Robert taught before leaving the house, the architect of this plan...the family, the ship, the voyage, the Gospel...was Heavenly Father.  All it would take would be obedience.  And FAITH.  As I looked at the back of these fine kids who get up each weekday morning to be here at 6am for a religion class, I know these are the kids who, if they remain faithful and obedient, will direct and lead the world.

And when the class was over, Josh sat in the not-inflated 'ship'.  He's are all the kids.

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