Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Number One Bunny

The bunny trail was sporting a new member this Easter - Big Jesse Bunny!  The day before Easter we took Mandy's gift of a new pink, round bunny and hopped on over to our former home teacher's back yard (Ed McDonald).  His daughter Alisha was there and acted as hostess for the Holladay 27th Ward Primary Easter Egg Hunt.  Jeff had agreed to the Primary's special request that he be the Easter Bunny for the event.  You know, I thought Jeff looked really good in white fuzz, but Barkley freaked out when he saw him until he took the giant bunny head off.  However when the little kids started to arrive it was back on with the ever-so-hot fuzzy bunny cranium.  The Bunny went armed with gold chocolate coins which he kept finding behind the ears of all the little children who dutifully swore to him that they had washed their ears just that very morning,  Then in true Easter Bunny fashion, he gave the gold coins to the children.  Glen and Dianne Park were there with their ever-growing troupe of lovely grandchildren.  And who should show up with her lovely little daughter, but Julee Moake. who tended our kids so much when they were little, she gets partial credit for raising them.  She of course said they were the best kids ever.  It's my opinion that our kids were extra lucky to have the Easter bunny for their Dad.

Austrian Mission Reunion

April means General Conference and a visit from the Wondras!  Somehow Jeff was selected to be in charge of his Austrian Mission Reunion this year. He went all out and planned a German food buffet at our house that included Nurimberger bratwurst, rotkohl, sauerkraut, hot potato salad, and apple strudel for dessert.  People were so excited to have great food along with conversation.  However the two highlights of the evening were 1) the attendance of Jeff's wonderful mission president, Arthur Watkins, who is now in his eighties.  2) Johann and Ursula Wondra spoke and gave us all an update about the Church in Europe in general and Austria specifically.  People were so enchanted by all this that they didn't go home until after 11:00pm.  Who stays at their missionary reunion till 11:00pm?  I ask you?!  All credit to Jeff and James Bond - Nobody Does It Better!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Seven in One Blow

March 24th was Barkley's appointment for tightrope surgery with Dr. Mark Albrecht in Bozeman, Montana.  I twisted Amanda's arm and she agreed to make the 7 hour (each way) drive with me and Barkley.  We borrowed Clark's Explorer so we could put Barkley's new temperpedic bed in the back and still keep him close to us.  (Side note, Amanda has been known to push Barkley off and sleep on his new bed herself!)  
We had been invited to be the guests of Barkley's first parents, Butch and Christie Leone (his breeder).  They hadn't seen Barkley in three years and very generously offered to give us a place to stay while Barkley was there for his surgery.  Butch and Christie are the proud owners of no less than 7 Bernese Mountain dogs!  Among them were Breezy (Barkley's Mom), America (1st batch of puppies), Blush (2nd batch of puppies and Barkley's little sister), Chazz (3rd batch of puppies), Digby, the naughty Bernese Mountain Dog and my personal favorite, Beau the 10 year old,  and Belle the old lady of the group.  They all look remarkably like Barkley with one major exception - they are little, mini, Mountain Dogs (the size they're supposed to be) and Barkley is HUGE!  They all weigh the recommended 90 to 110 pounds.  Barkley is 146 and stands about six inches taller than any of them.  When we arrived Christie was out the door to greet us and Barkley.  She introduced him to the front and then the backyard.  Then we went inside where we saw one of the most memorable sites I've ever seen.  Behind a little white gate at the top of the basement stairs were seven Bernese Mountain Dog faces eyeing us with excited wonder and eagerly anticipating an audience.  One by one Christie let each dog come out and meet Barkley.  Then that dog went outside and another one got to come for the meet and greet.  When each had had a turn the whole kit and kaboodle came back in and it was pretty amazing to be around that much Mountain Dog.  They were all wonderful and well behaved and eager for our attention.  Digby tried to take off with my purse which led to the telling of Digby stories.  When Butch gives the dogs each a new wonderful bone, Digby steals them away and buries them in his own personal spot for safe keeping.  Our second night Digby came and pushed and prodded his way onto my lap where he was content to stay as long as I was petting him.  When I stopped he went over and did the same thing to Amanda.  Barkley's surgery went well and we made it home after detouring over to the freeway when the Island Park Road was closed due to snow.  The Leone's were wonderful to us and to Barkley and it was delightful staying with them and their wonderful brood of love-filled Mountain Dogs. The pictures are of:
The whole Mountain Dog family Barkley with his little sister Blush
Big Barkley and little Blush
Barkley & his little mom, Breezy
The Greeters

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Mardi Party

Star Date - March 20, 2009
Captain's Log - The whole crew except Dr. McCoy (Clark, who stayed home and cared for the Cannon creatures and performed at a paying concert with his band) assembled themselves at the foot of volcanic Mount Ranier for the marriage ritual of Rob and Deb Snyder.  We were overcome by the forest atmosphere swathed in seemingly ever-present rain.  Who could help but equate this setting to that of the book, "Twilight"?  Amanda and I ended up making a 44 mile round trip into town to find a copy of the just-released Twilight DVD to bring back to the little "Forest House" where we stayed.  But the focus of the weekend celebration was a "Mardi Gras" wedding.  The afternoon nuptials were followed by the entire wedding party gathering to Alexander's Inn restaurant where everyone selected their favorite mask and the party began.  It included a lovely prime rib or salmon dinner during which we learned that the U of U had lost their first game in the NCAA tournament.  But our spirits were undampened as we ascended upstairs to dance the night away.  Rick was especially good at dancing the night away in Energizer-bunny fashion.  Many of us pooped out after a few hours but Rick kept right on dancing.  Instead of a cake, we were offered a buffet of cupcakes.  Two people won prizes for choosing the cupcake that had Rob or Deb's name on the bottom.  Carole caught Deb's bridal bouquet.  About 9:00 pm the nearby media room was adorned with more buffet snacks for the late-night revelers.  It was truly marvelous.  
We ventured into Mount Ranier National Park twice and had snowball fights.  We were lucky enough to see the volcano's peak come out of the clouds for a few moments - a sight that we were told many visitors never see.  
A special highlight for me was the rehearsal dinner when Deb presented Rob with a groom's cake decorated with an air-brushed top depicting the four captains from the Star Trek series.  Underneath their pictures were the words, "Rob and Deb, Live Long and Prosper".  Noting the need for good communication, each guest was given a Star Trek communicator which we all wore.  On the back was inscribed the "star date" of their marriage.  She had champagne goblets inscribed for them with "Live Long and Prosper".  I can't think of a better wish for a couple as they embark on a marriage.  So we thank you, Rob and Deb for inviting us all and with our hearty congratulations send our "Spockiavelian" wish for your happiness - may you both "Live Long and Prosper"