Now This is God's Country!

We decided to go ahead and move up to Utah regardless.  Our son  had purchased a home in the area but was staying in Florida for a year with his job, so his house was there for us to use, so use it we did.  It took a 24 ft U-haul, two trips, to get us up there.  One for our household stuff and the other for my wedding stuff and our storage.  The kids helped move us.

We put everything in his garage except what I would need to barely survive and I lived in his walk out basement. We left Hemet on April 1st...does that date ring a bell?  hahahaha.......Raymond stayed in Hemet, house sitting where ever he could and then a family took him in and he stayed with them almost two years before he got his transfer. Now who could find a better friend than that?

Raymond came up as often as he could but it was quite a trip and it turned out to be a long weekend every 6 to 8 weeks.  He was with me the first three weeks up here so that we could find a house.  We finally found the perfect one.  How did we know it was perfect?  I had dreamt about it twice even before we made the move up here.  The purchase price, what it looked like, and what was in it.  We finally were able to move in on June 19th and we were finally HOME!

It has felt like home every single day we have lived here.  I don't think a day goes by that when I drive into the drive way I don't say a "thank you God for my home."

We purchased the home with the three acres that went with it but we ended up by  having to replace the roof, the coal furnace, the stove, etc. so we ended up by selling off the back acre and a half.  We had enough money, we thought, for everything we would need but with Raymond still living in Hemet, they made us take a mortgage making this our so-called second home.  The points that we had to pay took almost all of our down payment that we had.  We never did figure out how a 1977 Chevy Sports Van could be called a home! But this was our new home so we did what we had to in order to really have it be ours.

The neighbors were great and our neighbor across the street, used his horse trailer to get my stuff moved in when it had to be put into storage about 20 miles north of us.  When Raymond finally arrived and the neighbors had a surprise party for him, complete with a wonderful cake.   I had made a huge sign, that hung from what I call our click and pull clothes line, to welcome him and to let everyone know he was coming to stay.

I didn't even count the number of clothes pins to keep it all up there! 
That's the "barn" just underneath the word here.

Life has been good to us.....we love our land and Raymond has planted over 150 trees on it.  We have, what we call, four different sections.  The part where the home is, the area around the falling down barn behind the house;  (we won't take the barn down as we love the look of it); the front pasture area and our grove behind it. 

Raymond figuring out the mower.  He is down in the pasture before we
moved the fence line and established the grove.  

This was the lower part of our acreage.  The red roof is on the chicken coop. We
used to rent the land for horses but when one bit Raymond, that took
care of that!  The tree just above my head is the apricot tree and the pole to 
the right, is the end part of the clip and pull clothes line! Boy, does it all
look different now!

We use our front pasture as a parking area when we have social gatherings in the grove.  We have had luau's, wedding receptions, scout camp outs, and neighborhood parties and even water balloon fights.  Everything is fenced and cross fenced with gates galore.  Raymond keeps all of it mowed with a riding mower and it looks wonderful.  Our trees are at least 50 ft tall in just a little over 6 years.  We planted hybrid poplars in a double row around the perimeter of the grove and a special place was made in one of the corners by the chicken coop where we have a double hammock and a hammock swing in the warm months.  There isn't anything quite as nice as taking a nap down there with a nice breeze blowing and the birds singing while laying in a hammock.  We also have a wonderful fire ring in the grove.

The "grove" about 6 years ago.  Here are two of my Sunday School class 
kids while they were having a water balloon fight in the grove.


The grove as it is today.  


This used to be what the front pasture looked like with a little of the grove showing.  This is from standing up on the driveway by the house, looking west. The tree in the middle is the apple, 
the plum is directly behind and the apricot is to the right by the pole.  The other fruit trees 
that we have planted are between the apple tree and the grove area. The cement building is 
what used to be a chicken coop. 



This is the view now. We have added a pear, prune, and a walnut. Our peach tree
didn't make it so we are going to try again next year.
The light brown part really is some dirt that was just moved over the area for more
parking as it never got any of the irrigation water and was always dead looking. It's on this 
side of the irrigation ditch that runs along the top of the front pasture parking area. 
If the apple tree looks a little different, the right side of it was taken down by a 
lightening strike right after the top picture was taken. Aren't the vines on the coop



Raymond planted trees along the irrigation ditch that winds to the right and 
goes along the fence line.  We planted trees there so that we can have a shady 
spot to enjoy the sounds of the water running over the rocks. The big trees in the 
back are locust trees. The bigger tree on the right is on the grove side of the ditch 
and that little tiny thing is a Blue Spruce.  It'll grow someday!!  hahaha


A son-in-law in the hammock area. it's right behind the corner of the chicken
coop where the vines are and the trees start.

The hammock area sans the leaves. Good thing the leaves cover
things up in the summer as it is in dire need of something!  Maybe
I can get Surprise by Design, or one of those other programs to come
and give it a face lift as we sure don't know what to do with it!


Still in the hammock with his son in the hammock swing.

This is the gate area into the grove and the spot on the right of
the picture is where the hammocks are. The grass looks dead in
this picture but only because it was during mid day.

See, it really is green. This was taken Easter day
2003 to show what the area looks like without all the
leaves out.


Our corner where the two streets meet and yes, we are on a slight hill.
Sure love my trees! The front door is near where you see that blob of 
green on the left!  hehee  

This is the front of the house from just outside of the gate area on the highway.
The side walk runs to the point where the two streets meet on the corner.  No one
ever uses it!  <smile> The front door is just to the right of that window on
the right.  You can see part of the bay window here.

We lovingly call it our "Grandpa-Grandma home!" It is tiny, but not space wise as the rooms are large but we only have two bedrooms and one bath. We have about 1327 sq. ft. on top and the basement has 1232 as there isn't anything under the back porch area. A kitchen big enough for a table that we can seat 12 around and our living room. There is an unfinished bedroom down in the basement with a door; a storage room with a door;  the pantry with a door and the coal room with a door.  The rest of it is all open, (if you don't count all of my STUFF all over the place) and all unfinished. Yes, we do have coal in the coal room......I call it my emergency heat as our fireplace has a coal grate in it if the time comes we need to use it for that.

In the plans eventually, is that the top third of the grove will be a wooded area with paths and little nooks, shrubs, bushes and perennials while the rest of it is kept open for the social stuff.  We have planted about three ever green trees with one of them already about 10 ft tall.  A hard wood tree that I think the name is a hackberry nut tree! We have a small fire ring but it will be much bigger this year and a natural spring is bubbling its way up, so it will be dug so that we can enjoy it too. We had a spring but it went with the area of pasture that we had sold so it is wonderful that we will finally have one! Someday we really want to put bushes and shrubs between the trees surrounding the grove for more privacy.  An area that wouldn't need a whole lot of upkeep but would be a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the grove.  The hammock area is targeted too, for doing something nice there.

We have an irrigation ditch that runs catawampus through the top 1/3 of the property and ends up along the side of the front pasture.  What a neat sound to hear it go over the rocks and ripple its way down the ditch!  We have planted some evergreen trees along its banks and have the poplars along the high bank up near the house area.

 Three of our grandchildren are playing in the irrigation ditch behind the barn.  They block it off and it floods the little hill along side of it and use it as a slip 'n slide and have paper cup races!  

The barn area is just for looks and we have planted some vines over it, not only for esthetic value, but in hopes it will help keep everything UP! The old wood gate is pushed back and just sits there a little crooked and old looking and I love it. The barn was mainly used for milking cows as it still has three stanchions in it and the cement ramp that the cows walked down after being milked. There is part of an old stone wall where the foundation was for the original cabin about 20 feet behind the barn  and we have planted privet hedges along it and the fence to the side, to make it a private spot for sun bathing. I guess I need to get out the camera as the barn is about all that I have left that I don't have a photo of in these pages.  The grove is all completely in shade by about 4 in the afternoon but during the rest of the time there is enough shade for just about anything a person would want to do well, all except the fire ring! 

New info:   Looks like we will have the time as Raymond made the decision in January 2003 that he will be retiring as of April 1st.  He has been sick since the first of December and it doesn't look like he will be able to go back to work soon, even if he wanted to.  Now if we both can just get well enough to work on our dreams! Kinda like the old saying of "you got the money honey, we've got the time!!  Keeping up 1 1/2 mowed and weeded acres takes a lot of time and energy so we are grateful that Raymond has the riding mower. <smile>

Talking about the fire ring, here is what it looks like.

Our granddaughter, Melanie, is sitting on the log and that
is her very first fire that she made completely on her own.
She is terrific and fast learner.


This is the old barn gate that makes the area around the barn separated from the rest of
the pasture/grove area.  We basically have five areas:  house, front pasture, grove, barn
and behind the house.....that part has had nothing d
one to it in all the years we have
lived here and it looks it but we have spent our time and energy's working on the
grove and pasture areas as that is where people come to enjoy themselves.
This show a little of what the cow milking barn looks.  It's the
only way I can get a picture of it as any other time, there are
too many leaves around it to show it. You can seen the side of
our garage on the right.

This is a side view of the barn.  That crooked gate would be
behind the metal gate post on the left down a ways.

This is the area behind the barn.  You can see where the
irrigation ditch runs. and the trees along the highway.

Now, for the inside of our home.......

This view is from the living room looking into the kitchen area.  Under that slip cover over the couch is a 1940's green frieze, double seated couch, in wonderful condition!  The shine on the wall is the glass in the hanging shelf that Bishop Roger's gave us. It is full of memory things.  <smile>  You can see the reflection of the glass blocks that are in the small entry way that is by the front door


This was recently (3/2002) taken just as the morning sun was coming up and was streaming through those glass blocks by the front door. We had the old 1940's couch recovered and fixed.  I wanted the same type of green frieze material that was on it so Phil looked for over three weeks and found us this.  The picture doesn't do it justice! We told Phil that we wanted a, "fat person and flop and plops" couch and one that was high enough so that I could get out of it. The is the best piece of furniture in the whole house!

This is what the fabric looks like.


This was taken over 8 years ago and since then I have replaced the drapes with (believe it or not) pink cotton Priscilla's and white window shades.  I love my bay window but you can't see much of it here.



I can't believe how much this shot, with the priscilla curtains, look
like the room did years ago!  I keep changing the furniture around almost
on a regular basis. The TV had been on an entertainment center that our
son had made when he was in junior high school, but I wanted a more uncluttered
look so I put it down stairs. The empty space on the left is now filled with the
toy trunk and the dress-up trunk with a bird cage on the
top.  After looking at the picture, I guess I should have moved the Kleenex box!  hahaha

New info:  Hang in there for yet another shot of this room in the future as I have been watching
way too many, "Surprise by Design", "While You're Away" and "Trading Spaces"
TV programs.  The pink curtains are coming down, the wall is being repainted
(picked up the spackle this week) and as I think of them, other things will be done.
Plus that I am tired of pink.  I have always had fall colors in my homes, but this
house just didn't look like those colors.  I hope I have the energy to redo the kitchen
as it is in a sad state of affairs. After two different "painting contractors" messed it
up royally, (water base paint over oil base without washing it down or any prep work)
it all needs to be scrubbed down, scraped down and repainted correctly.
Figured I might as well put some of my new ideas from those TV shows into play
here!  hehee

I do love my rounded doorways!  The bunny in the back ground is a vacuum cleaner cover that our daughter  gave us.  Old homes don't have the storage that the homes do nowadays. The closet with the mirror on the front, is my "stationary store" hahaha, where we keep all of our office supplies, etc. One of our son-in-laws put floor to ceiling shelving in for us. You can see the glass blocks for the window here also.

This is the fireplace that can't be used as it needs to have a
gas insert put in.  When they put in the gas furnace, they attached the
air pipe through the chimney so if you burn anything in the fireplace
it goes right down into the furnace motor.  We almost lost the furnace
after we had burned some of those pressed logs as it really clogged
up the workings.  So no more wonderful fire in the fireplace unless
it is gas.

This is part of the spare bedroom.  The doll with the pink dress on the table is from our friend, Jeanne.  It's name is Isabel Jane!  I have since given one of our granddaughters the dressing table. This room and the master bedroom are about the only two rooms in the house that are complete as far as redoing over.


Another view of the same bedroom.  My oldest daughter made me the quilt for Mother's Day one year and I built the bedroom around it.  We had to use window boxes to hang the curtains and shades from as we couldn't attach them to the older style molding around the windows. You can't see the carpet, but it is sea foam green. After looking at this picture, that hamper is gone!


As you can tell, I am always changing this around as look
where Isabel Jane is now!  <smile>  I am a lousy picture
taker as you can see me and the flash in the mirror of the
antique chest of drawers. My computer screen and keyboard are on a 
huge newspaper office desk, a filing cabinet holds the computer, and a
 removable shelf unit that sits at the back of the desk,  holds the printer,
 light and scanner all along that right wall between the closet door and the 
bedroom door. Really crowded in there but a whole 
lot better than in the living room.

Whenever we have company spend the night, we give them the big bed and we take the
crowded room!  <smile>

This is the "master" bedroom....which is really funny as it is only large
enough for the king size bed and a chest of drawers put kitty corner
about 4 feet from the bottom of the bed along the wall with the closet
door.  Nothing else except a small bed side table behind that door 
with a lamp and a clock!  This is the quilt that Kathy made for Raymond,







This is part of the kitchen.  The window showing through the arched doorway, is the bay window in the living room. Having the original chairs recovered for the table set is also on the "list".  The table is one of those 1940's chrome set with a gray top and the chairs that match are done in yellow. The padded parts really need to be redone and then we will have matching chairs again and a neat kitchen set.

Standing by that archway into the living room and aiming the other way, shows the back door that goes out to the sunroom/back porch.  I will get a picture of that and post it here.  Don't you just love my arched doorways!  I do!!


The outside door into the back porch is on the right
and the kitchen door is on the left.  We had to make
it a porch as the electric meter is there and the cost to have
it moved outside was beyond imagination!!  So this is just a
back porch.

Going around the right from the door. The room is
about 8x12.

The rest of that side.  Just past the 1940's G.E.
fridge is the door to the laundry room.  This
fridge works better than the ice maker in the kitchen!
How many people have a hard wood ceiling in a porch?
Someday I will get the window boxes painted and up that
go over the windows. There is a shelf along the entire top
that will be a place for some old pots and pans.


This is the kitchen door side of the porch.  There
is a coat tree in the corner on the left side of the rattan

Almost Retirement Time

You can't believe how neat it is to have what we have in the way of our home and land; Raymond with a good job at a Post Office. Life is indeed good.  We still have our ups and downs like everyone else and our share of problems though, and some things have really been hard,  but we have much more good going on than bad and who in the world wants to read about bad?  <smile> Just a few things about the past ten years that we have been here: within 6 months I was working for the Chamber of Commerce as it's Executive Director; was the Sec-Treasurer for a short time for the Executive Board of Utah State Chambers of Commerce but I retired from active working life about five years ago. I try to do volunteer work when I can and I am at the present, one of the lucky people who will be volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympics here in Utah.  Raymond went with me when I did a seven day stint up at Soldier Hollow for the IPC Nordic  World Cup Test Events for the  Paralympics in the Biathlon and Cross Country skiing. He now has volunteered also!  See the section on the Olympics.
Olympic Index

What a special joy to be where I could talk with the visitors from 19 different countries!  I was in the Sports Information Center where all the action was. The other volunteers that I worked with and the athletes was such a wonderful experience and everyone was so gracious that I can hardly wait until next year to do it again.

I skirt the serving tables for wedding receptions as my gift every once in a while (I sold everything but the table clothes, skirting, etc.) and some of festivities are in our grove; I helped for a while, as a grandma, in one of the schools in their Special Ed class; but most of my time is spent doing genealogy on the computer.  I teach a Family History class and I am currently on a two year mission one day a week at our local Family History Center.  I am actively involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution and am one of 12 ladies that monitor the DAR/SAR and Revolutionary War message boards on the internet as a VIS (Volunteer Information Specialist)      I am just beginning a two month stint being on the Editorial Committee for Daily Herald newspaper. So idle I'm not and don't ever want to be either.

Well, that's my life up to this point. Thanks for sticking with this and reading it all.  As you can tell, I have been one blessed person and I have literally been, "the jack of all trades but master of none!" Physical problems have not escaped me, but I overcome a lot of them by keeping busy and trying to share those God given talents that I have with othersI  Yes, I truly have been blessed. 

Well, I am back and it is the beginning of 2003 already!  I just added some more up-to-date info in this part of my life story further back up this section. As of April 1st, we are amongst the retired folks.  We had a wonderful time up at Soldier Hollow for the Olympics and Paralympics...the trees in the grove have really grown.....the grandkids have grown...we have gotten grayer and what else is new? hehee  

I have cut out most of my volunteer work at this point, had a great time on the Editorial Committee for the paper, and I am no longer monitoring the web for the DAR.  I got really burned out after 6 years of it. I still dabble with genealogy and in fact, I just helped the scouts earn their genealogy badge. I was released from the Family History Center and life has taken on a whole different aspect. 

The world is in a mess, our utilities here are going crazy due to some mistakes along the way so we are beginning to wonder if retirement will really be a pleasant decision.  I guess we will be soon learning how to cope on a fixed income like a whole bunch of folks are already doing.  But this is all called LIFE.  We will make it, things will happen and we will  adjust as does most everyone.  It is really nice to have Raymond home in the evenings as it was hard being alone.   It hasn't been bad adjusting as I thought it would be....being together 24 hours a day.   

He's been sick enough to where he doesn't go nor do much, so we aren't really into any honey do's, nor anything strenuous. He was having some breathing problems so ended up in the hospital for 8 days and then recuperating for another 4 months.  Just really enjoying having each other close by. He has also cooked some great meals which he hardly ever did.  I like that part. I just wish he wouldn't worry so about how to keep things going outside when spring comes and how to start, much less finish, plans that we have had for the grove.  We will just take it as it comes and go from there and if it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done, huh!

I will add more info and hopefully some pictures with my digital camera Raymond gave me for the last Mother's Day and then the dock for it this past Christmas.  Love that camera!!


Well, seems it was my time to be laid up for a while.  I had been having chest pains for about 4 months and was being treated for an enflamed esophagus and getting ready to have a scope done of the area.  Raymond and I both had a follow up visit to the pulmonary specialist who had also put me on the c-pap machine for sleep apnea.  I told him about my chest and wouldn't you know it, the next thing I knew I was having a Thallium stress test, going up to ICU and then into surgery.  I had four stents put in the right side of my heart but they didn't want to do the other side just yet.  After two days and two nights in ICU I went home.  I couldn't believe how wonderful it felt to have oxygen going into my blood and system!  I felt better than I had for 30 years at least!  It didn't last too long as I went back via ambulance in a little over three weeks and had the left side done.  They ran into some problems on that side too so it wasn't completely finished but all the bad ucky stuff was taken care of.  Just have had a hard time mentally through all of this second part so I don't really know if I still feel better or not!  <smile>

Hopefully this will be the last update on my health.  I ended up by going down to So. California to Loma Linda Medical Center for a "second opinion" and ended up by having yet another surgery.  While down there I couldn't believe how wonderful I felt and the conclusion from doctors and others who have had my experiences, all came up with the same solution or let's say, opinion of why. Now that my heart is giving me oxygen it became a concern that I still seemed to have problems breathing up here. Seems like the entire time I have lived in Utah I never have really felt very well and had hardly, if any, energy.  Would you believe the altitude?  It is almost 5,000 feet where we live and my body has been used to almost sea level my entire life.  I guess I am one of whose weird ones that it bothers.

We have decided that we still want to stay in Utah as we love so many things.  It is amazing, the older you get and the more that you have to deal with your health, the more forgiving you get on what your surrounds have to be. 

THIS IS JANUARY OF  2007, I haven't been around very much as lots of things have happened. I guess that our wanderlust feelings are no more as we are still in our original home.   No matter what we try we can't seem to leave so we finally saw the "writing on the wall" so to speak and figured out that for one reason or another, we are meant to stay here so stay here we will.

As far as our health, it is about the same with the exception of Raymond as he has had do deal with bouts of cellulites, congestive heart failure and being put on a by-pap machine at night with oxygen 24 hours a day. I went to SLC up to the University hospital for another decision on my health  I was put on some meds that I take every six hours that, I feel, have literally given me my life back.  It is a form of nitro and it opens up the arteries and makes them softer and more pliable. Seems to work for me and my cholesterol stays around 170 so I am not complaining.

The only bad thing is that Raymond has the beginnings of dementia and it isn't any fun for either of us. He is still able to drive at this time so we are hoping that he has hit a plateau and will stay there for a long time.  Enough of this sick business as we have had many, many blessings in our lives and we want to share those.

We are in the process of having a screened in front porch put on, landscaping the entire yards around the house and changing the entire appearance of it.  We will have a water feature in the front and a fire feature in the patio in the back and of course TREES.  A deck will be built so that I can handle the stairs a little better at the back door and changing the entrance to the front of the house which will be through the front porch.  An archway with a double gate will be coming off the street side of the house instead of the corner of the Highway and street which no one ever used anyway.  A nice bridge of sorts will go up to the front porch door to go over the stream of the water feature.  Nothing will be straight as I like zig zaggy and curves!

This is "what" the house looked like from the highway before we made a complete mess of things.

The house with all the green stuff pulled out but still with the highway trees.

The porch as it was a few weeks ago but it now has the fish scale shingles on it but without the stuff around it.  Still without screens. Also without the highway trees and the street trees. Looks awful but just wait!

Well, do you like the end results?  The white vinyl fence runs along the inside of the chain link one and the back corner of the front porch is what shows here.  Don't you just love it!

This is the bridge that goes over the water that flows into the small pond.  I needed a ramp for the wheel chair but I didn't want the looks of it so we put in the bridge..  That way we didn't have to use the standards set for a ramp  Hooray! This is the front entrance to the screened in porch which is now the front entry way.

This is the back deck by the back door.  It still needed the lattice work around the bottom but it is finished now.  Steps I can navigate are wonderful!


I had been keeping the state road department from taking the trees down for almost 16 years.  I guess they didn't want to hassle with a grandma who said she would chain herself to the trees and call the tv, radio and newspapers.  But with the porch going up and the trees in horrid shape after not having anything done to them at all in the way of trimming for all those years, we were afraid that during one of Utah's famous mini bursts, that we would end up with trees on our porch.  I called the state highway department and told them I would let them take them down.  In less than two weeks they were here and cut down, took it all away and cleaned up the area;  the 54 trees were gone in only three days.