New Year... New look

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Dearest Jennie- finding the words

(part of my writing project- finding the workds
December 28, 1921
Dearest Jen,

Ruth turned four today.  I wish you could have been here to see her.  She is absolutely precious. I often tell her stories about you.  She reminds me so much of you, but she definitely has Ed's eyes.  I wish you were here.  Mother came for the birthday cake.  We all miss you so much.

I am trying not be be so stern with your little ones.  I am afraid it is embedded in my nature.  Leo is great with them both- so loving. 

I haven't heard from Ed, but he sent Ruthie daffodils. 

I often feel your presence near the children especially at night.  I feel like you come to them in their dreams.

I am doing so hard to be a good mom to them.

xo, baby sister,


Wednesday Write....

Inspired by the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine 1881-1901, Arizona Territories, "These is my Words"

Dear Lord,
I am afraid I have become proud and  haughty and  caught up in all the fame of my recent cougar kill.  I pray thou will curb my cantankerous spirit, my swift tongue, and my worldly ways.  Lest I forget again to keep your day holy and not kill-

I think of my cousin Jimmy who lost his leg the day after Christmas.  Perhaps, I too should take up jumping box cars on the rail.  He died with his leg on.  I wonder if the doc had taken the leg if Jimmy would've lived.  I wonder if Jimmy ever killed a cougar?

My mama says her daddy rode the range with lipstick on to keep his lips from burning.  He wasn't much of a church going man, not sure he ever kept the Sabbath day.

Then there was Thomas X. and all his little 'uns.  They says my grandma Jennie was his favorite.  Maybe hers name was the only one he could done remember-she being the baby of them 21- can't blame him.   He must not have thought so highly when I pulled that trigger on the Lord's day he being bishop them 47 years and all.

But Lord, I sure did have me some fun- a grand adventure if I may say so, but I have taken your scolding to heart--- I am hoping never to commit them two sins again.



Weekend Wonderful- Cougar Hunt 2018

 Saturday, the snow finally fell in our sleepy southern Utah town.  I had been waiting anxiously  for fluffy flakes to fall from the sky, but was almost resigned that it may never happen. While most residents were praying for snow to head off spring drought conditions, I knew that in order for my cougar hunt to start we needed fresh snow for tracking cougars.
 We got the call from our hunting guide, Jeremy, just as I was getting ready for my early morning meetings.  Thankfully, I was prepared in case this might happen.  With my camo near by, I switched gears and dressed in my Sitka apparel joined by my Rigby and our two sons Stockton (17) and Maleck (9).  We loaded up in the Toyota.  I clutched my  Howa 243 hardly believing this was finally happening.
 We were bundled up and ready to face the early morning cold.  We met our guides Jeremy and Jimmy and their half dozen hounds not six miles from our home.  We quickly became acquainted and learned that we weren't strangers after all.  Jeremy knew my brothers well and was also the cousin of Robb Bulloch, my brother Chris's best friend.   Jeremy released the hounds as we trudged up the hill. 

 The hounds were Outfitted with GPS trackers, so our guides were able to locate their hunting dogs quickly and identify their location.  A sudden rushing of yelps alerted us that they had "one" treed. 
 Carrying my gun I followed Jeremy, our guide close behind.  The hunt was in full swing.  Climbing across the saddle of the mountain and down a ravine, I met the  piercing eyes of my  proud and beautiful opponent.  I was staring down the eyes of a dangerous predator who was about to become my prey.

 Jeremy and Jimmy chained their hounds up,  so they could identify the "cougar parts."  It was definitely a Tom.  Thinking the hunt was coming to a quick close, I got in ready position- shooting sticks and all.  Being left eye dominant make things a bit tricky as I have to shoot left handed, but I zeroed in on  the kill using the scope of my Howa.  But Jeremy and Jimmy had a different plan in mind.  I guess they wanted to give us the best ride at this here, "Disneyland."

 And they delivered.  With their dogs chained, the Cougar slipped from the top of the tree and was on the run.  Our guides quickly let their hounds loose and the hunt was on again.  That meant back up the steep mountain.  Thankfully, I was outfitted in my Keen Snowboots and had my trusty hiking sticks.  I was off and soon joined Jimmy and the hounds at the base of the tree, I could have reached out and touched the cougar's tail if I had wanted.
 I got my  shot off at a less than desirable very short range.  Looking through the scope, all I saw was cougar hair and pulled back on the trigger and released.  Shocking me almost senseless, the Cougar fell from the tree.  In a matter of seconds, he was on his way a second time.  "Holy Crap, " I thought, "had I missed him?" 
 Jimmy yelled at me to go with Jeremy and make sure I had my gun. Not wanting the hounds to get in brawl with an injured cougar, Jeremy stayed with them.

 Soon enough, we found blood.  Thankfully, I had hit him after all.  We followed the blood trail and then all of the sudden heard one solitary bark.  Rocky had some how gotten away from Jeremy and was hot on this cat's trail.  We followed his loud bark and the blood trail stopped when we met up with the hound.  It was Rocky, the hound to my rescue with the cougar "treed" once again.  
 My three boys were right  at my heels just as Jimmy told me to take a shot, Rigby was right there to assist me.  I was ready to put this predator to bed.  With one shot and then one more, the cougar was down.  I received shouts of congratulations from my boys and a great big hug from my Rigby.  Jeremy joined us and gave me a firm congratulatory hand shake.  I had done it.  
 Maleck who had recently bagged a nice elk in Arizona smiled at me and said, "mom, you are the first one in the family to kill a predator , well done!"
 I held up the cougar for photos.  This Tom wasn't light.  In that position he was as big as I was.  Looking over his teeth, Jeremy determined this Tom must be 2-3 years old. He was a beautiful creature.  I patted his fur and thought for a moment, "I done broke two commandments today, Thou shalt keep the Sabbath Day Holy, and Thou Shalt not Kill."   
 Maleck interrupted my thoughts, "Mom, did you know a cougar kills a deer every nine days?"  I shrugged my shoulders happily, "Happy to help out your odds for a good hunt this fall, Maleck."

 I grew up with four brothers and I am in the trenches of raising four sons.  "If you can't beat them, join them."  What a great morning.  Maleck and I treked our way back to the truck.  I pulled the "girl" card and let my Rigby and Stockton, pull the cougar out.

 What a great day, and one more adventure to add to my New Year!
Thanks Rigby for this one of a kind Christmas gift.  Most guys give their girls diamonds, not you... you gave me an adventure, a memory, and your smile of admiration.  I will take that over a diamond any day!


Friday... Faces- mystery letter

Christopher Weaver was born  the son of  a shoemaker.  He was born on the brink of the Industrial revolution in England on December 23, 1842. Earlier that year his parents James and Elizabeth met Mormon Missionaries in the streets on High Street who preached the restored gospel led by a living prophet.  They accepted that truth the very day they heard it in March 1842. Their son, David was born two days before Christmas and his given name Christopher reflects his parents' love of the Savior and the gospel.

 Christopher joined the first generation to be born into the church. The Weaver family embarked upon their journey to join the Saints in Zion from the Liverpool Docks on April 29th 1865 boarding the ship, the Bell Wood.  Christopher was 23 years old and aboard the ship was 11 year old Ellen Jackson  who would one day become his wife. Christopher watched Ellen grow up leaving behind pigtails and pinafores. They were married on October 21, 1872 in Nebraska City. In 1874 the young couple made their home in Lost Creek for two years before joining their family in Layton, Utah on Easy Street.  Their children grew and married and had children of their own.  Christopher's many talents brought prosperity and growth to their family farm.  Ellen welcomed everyone with her beautiful flowers daffodils, lilacs and peonies in the spring and roses, pansies and hollyhocks in the summer.  Her  delicious cooking drew her family near.  Ellen and Christopher led exemplary lives with testimonies that continue to influence the lives of their posterity.  

(A mystery letter taped to a dusty chair- waiting for 20 years to be opened.) After Marjorie Weaver's husband (Dean Jeffs) passed away in 2013, the children and grandchildren were looking through Dean's basement. There was a chair in the corner with a dusty envelope taped to the seat. On the front of the letter in red handwriting was, "Grandfather Christopher Weaver". What was in this letter and who wrote it?! We couldn't wait to find out. This is what the letter contained:

In 1992 , Marjorie, Daughter of Ellen and Christopher penned this letter,

8 Aug. 1992  "Grandfather Christopher Weaver and Grandmother Ellen Jackson Weaver each had one of these chairs. They used them in a small room with a window on the North side of the home. Granddad built a small narrow but long table on the North side of the room and the coal shed & kindling shed were North of the home also. I had the responsibility of getting the kindling for Mother & Dad ?, Granddad Chris and Grandmother Ellen. Many, many times as I walked to the coal & kindling sheds I would see Grandad Chris & Grandmother Ellen sitting eating their evening meal - we called it supper, sitting on one of these chairs. As a child I worked hard but had rich experiences. Whoever takes this chair, love it and respect it. I am 75+ years old now. My time on earth is far spent. Let us all strive to be together in Eternity! With all my heart I love you all!!! Most sincerely Grandmother Marjorie Weaver J. The chair is now in the care of Clinton Bruce Jeffs in his home in Syracuse, UT. It's such a miracle this letter was left unread for over 20 years!"

Christopher Weaver 1842-1926 • Ellen Jackson 1854-1931 • Marjorie Weaver 1917-1998

A few years ago, I came across this quote by the prophet of my childhood, Ezra Taft Benson

"As parents and grandparents in Zion, it has been the shared hope of my wife and me that all of us will be together in the eternities—that all will be worthy, without a single empty chair."

SInce that time, I have been drawn to old chairs and now I have found my favorite- the chair of Christopher Weaver.  I am sure he would readily concur with President Benson , "No Empty Chairs."


#adventure awaits... weekend "Wanderful"

Weekend  “Wanderful”

We are 15 days into the New Year and I have already had four amazing  outdoor adventures- I am loving it.  Living in southwest Utah provides “bucketfuls” of opportunity.  I am a CC town native- this year I turn the big 44.  Rigby and I love living in this little town which now has a very big light on the hill.

In just near an hour’s time, we can be to Zion, Bryce, Snow Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Brian Head, or St. George.  We celebrated the New Year with a 4 wheeler expedition near the Glitter Mine south of St. George  I loved it. The Indian drawings were spectacular and Maleck got to dig for crystals- it was perfect.  I loved the fresh air blowing in my face and the blue sky hanging over head- so blessed to live here in the southwest.
Then just six days later, we celebrated Rigby’s birthday with our first ever mountain biking experience (both he and I got new bikes for his birthday-he is the sweetest ever).  We are hooked!  We found a great website with mountain bike trails and picked one.  The terrain differed in its difficulty.   I admit, we got off our bikes a time or two to traverse tough terrain.  But we made up for our timid stops on this 9 mile loop with lots of whooping and hollering on the slick rocks and taking the “tunnel” under I-15.  It was completely dark.  I am not sure I would have dared had it not been for the courage of Emma and Maleck.
On Saturday Rigby and I stayed local and took the “off road” trail until we hopped on the trail near Vetrans Park and then biked up to the mouth of the canyon.  The first part was pretty tough but the rest was a breeze.

We spent MLK as a family taking the bike trail Cactus Hugger.  The first part seemed all up hill and rather boring, but about four miles into it, it was  a lot of fun.  It was fun to have the whole crew with us!
So while I am seriously contemplating my New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, I am definitely adding more adventure!  I just want to get out and experience the beautiful surroundings in which I live—life is to short. I guess Thoreau said it best, “I want to live deep and suck all the marrow in life and when It comes time to die, I don’t want to discover that I have not lived.”

Happy New Year from the Team Rigby at Barnwood and Tulips- #moreadventuresin2018