Melanie bought a new car. And I use the term "new" loosely. It is older than she is, by a longshot. She bought a 25 year old Blazer with her own hard-earned money. Paid in Full!Suzanne and I went bowling last week. I haven't done that in years. We just stopped by and bowled 2 games. I was impressed that our scores were over 100! How can you not love rental bowling shoes. And they even had a vending machine to get socks. They weren't new socks. They were rental socks, folded and for sale in the vending machine. A weird, yet ingenious, vending machine usage.There has been a lot of car repair going on the last couple of months:This is partly because of acquiring a 25 year old car and trying to get it up to par. But also because we all drive old cars. The kids have had to buy their own cars and as you can guess, that means they are not driving fresh off the factory floor models. We do a lot of work to keep them running, with a complicated system of trading cars when one or more is out of commission (and when I say "we" do a lot of work on the cars, I clearly don't mean "me") This picture features Dave working solo, which he is wonderful to help the girls with the mechanics of their cars, but he has taught them well. Rachel is good to come home, jack up her car and change the brakes, replace a bumper, fix a broken mechanical piece of a window, etc. She is very handy with the wrenches.
I came in the other day to find Melanie and her friend eating lunch in the living room and watching "Clifford, the Big Red Dog". I'm not sure what that was all about. Some things I just don't question.
Melanie and I tied a quilt on General Conference weekend. Although she has a nice comforter for her bed, she still often reached for her pink ballerina blanket that we made together when she was in 2nd or 3rd grade. While I don't have anything against pink ballerinas, this particular quilt was faded beyond recognition and was shredded and worn from many years of use. I spent the evening last night doing Brady's taxes. He worked for just a few days in 2010 before he left on his mission. He didn't owe anything so I didn't worry about taking care of them in April. We was due a whopping $6 return. If it had been a credit card, or a business that owed him money, I would have let it go. But somehow, I feel a great need to not let the IRS keep our money. So I spent a larger than prudent amount of time last night filling out the paperwork to get him his $6 back (minus the cost of a postage stamp, he nets $5.56!)
Dave is on his way back from a tractor show across the country. He recently restored one of his tractors to its original splendor. His tractor was intact one Saturday morning, and by the end of the day it was in a hundred pieces around the carport. He was swimming in a sea of orange. He went through every piece of engine, and sanded and repainted every piece of the body until it was glossy and shiny. The collectors of this particular tractor, the Allis Chalmers Model G, get together in Alabama every year, so Dave decided to meet up with them and swap tractor stories for a few days. The long road trip didn't sound very exciting to me, but he loves to drive and I think he needed a few days away to relax and get his mind off the stresses of business and life.
He has a very mechanical mind. He can take apart anything and remember how it goes back together. When I use the hose attachment on my vacuum, I can hardly remember how it goes back when I'm done. Once Brady and Dave were rebuilding the engine on the van. The engine was taken apart piece by piece. Hundreds of car parts were laying all over the carport floor. Dave had gone inside for a minute, and our Bishop walked up the driveway and saw Brady (a young teenager then) amongst all the car parts and said - "Does your Dad know you did that?"
I ran a tiller across a section of our back yard today. We've got a spot of our back yard that has always been a little high, so when the irrigation comes in, it doesn't get much water. I'm determined to even out our yard. We also have a trench across another part of our yard from a water line repair last year. It has settled and needs to be filled. Twenty minutes into my project this morning, I am realizing I may be able to rip up the back yard, but I'm not sure I have the skill set to make it as level as I envision. We have a neighbor across the street that has a velvet smooth lawn. I may have to ask for advice. Only time will tell whether I can improve the yard, or make it considerably worse.