Sunday, February 28, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to our Super Sunday potluck at Nora’s this afternoon.  We start at 3 pm, and you can bring whatever you want.  One of these times we might get all desserts!

More medical news:  (I really plan to write a letter sometime with nothing medical.  Just not yet.)  I went to my podiatrist to see what he could do about my little toe hurting so much.  I said, “Whatever it takes!  The pain has to go!  I don’t care if you amputate it!”  Then I laughed.  But he didn’t laugh.  He said, “We could do that.”  He took an x-ray that showed my toe has bone spurs growing out the side. In fact, the bone sort of looks like a salamander.  So it never was the toenail after all.  Long story short: I’m having the amputation this Friday.  Dr. Dickerson will leave a little stub at the base and pull a flap of skin over it.  My feet are ugly anyway, so it doesn’t matter.  He said we don’t even need that 5th toe.  It’s extra.  When we’re at Bear Lake this summer I’ll go barefoot in the sand and you can all see it.  

Bentley’s last letter (almost a week ago) said things were still crazy there in Texas.  They didn’t have water for the most part of a week, because they had a pipe break in their ceiling, but they got water for their toilet from a pool in the back.  He wrote, “Texas was basically taken back to the 1800's for a few days.”  He said it was cool to see people coming together to help each other out.  Naturally their work didn’t slow down.  Missionaries can find the good in any situation!

It’s still cold here; it was below zero last night.  Kitties aren’t liking it much.  Scout usually goes out in the snow, but Sonia sticks her nose towards the door, and then backs off.  She sits with dignity until we close the door again, and then goes off for her day’s activities inside.  I do the same.  When spring comes and my toe doesn’t hurt any more, I’ll think about going out.

I love you all!  Life is good!  Mom

Sunday, February 21, 2021

 Dear Kids,

A week from today it’s Super Sunday at Nora’s house at 3 pm.  Bring whatever potluck item you like, and plan on having a blast.  I hope this will be the first of many Super Sundays at your houses, at least those of you who can accommodate a crowd.  And we’ll go to Al’s sometime during the summer, when we can meet outside, but of course we won’t be swimming in the pool there.  At any rate I’m eager to go somewhere–anywhere!   It seems like Dad and I never get out unless we’re going to Walmart or our medical appointments.  This week I have a podiatry appointment to (hopefully) get my little toe taken care of.  It hurts so much I can only wear socks, or my gigantic  steel-toe boots.  Oh, yes, and snow boots on Sunday.  I had the toenail taken off of that toe, thinking it would stop hurting, but it didn’t work.  Wish me luck.

Bentley’s most recent letter (5 days ago) mentioned the cold and snow in Texas.  It got down to 7 degrees and the pipe from their well froze, so they didn’t have water.  They had 4 inches of snow, too, which is unheard-of for that area.  The missionaries had to stay in their apartments for three days because of the bad roads, (and bad Texas drivers, Bentley says) but we know the work goes on anyway.  Go, Bentley!  BTW, if you want to get Bentley’s weekly letters, contact Kim.

Sharon is finally being a real nurse, working in a hospital this semester.  She gets to assess patients and listen to hearts and lungs.  It’s her first real nursing work outside of practicing on her own family.  The hospital is named Holy Cross, which is sort of funny, since Sharon and most of the rest of you were born at Holy Cross in Salt Lake.

A young couple we all know went out looking at rings.  I’m guessing there will be an exciting announcement pretty soon.  Hooray for young love!

Scout is in disgrace for peeing in the basement bathtub. I noticed a funny smell in that bathroom and looked further.  It was easy to clean up because I washed it all down the drain.  Meanwhile he’s banned from the basement, and I keep the doors to everything closed down there.  How do I know it wasn’t Sonia?  Because she would never do anything so uncouth.  She’s much too elegant for that type of behavior.  Besides, I’ve found Scout’s grey fur on the guest beds, and I’ve seen him prowling around down there.  Bad cat!

Life is good.  Winter is cold.  Spring will come.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, February 14, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Dad and I have been VACCINATED!  On Tuesday, after all the scheduling hassle, we received a call from the Summit County health department saying we could come in the next day, if we wanted too.  Yeah, and VAMS had scheduled Dad five weeks away!  We drove to the film studio,  at the junction of Highway 40 and the Park City turnoff.  It was really cool–we got to drive right into the building, inside a huge garage, and we didn’t even get out of the car.  They swarmed all over us, got our insurance and i.d., swabbed us down, and vaccinated us, all in about 2 minutes.  We were really impressed with how efficient they are.  Afterwards we had to wait 15 minutes in a parking spot outside, to make sure we didn’t have any bad effects, and then we drove off home.  Oh, yeah, and we’re scheduled to come back March 10 for our second dose.  It’s the Moderna vaccine, and you have to wait four weeks.  Evidently all the 70+ seniors in the county are being called,  because the government scheduling site is so deficient.  I’m glad they’ve figured out a better way!

Most of you have probably heard that Aunt Jeanne has a cancerous lump in her breast.  She’s scheduled to have it taken out later this month, and she might have to have radiation, too.  They caught it early, so we hope there won’t be any serious complications.  You’ll want to remember her in your prayers.  

And my medical problems go on and on.  I’ve had a pain in the side of my face for three or four weeks, and I didn’t know if it was a sinus infection or TMJ or mouth sores.  Last Sunday morning the crown on my 1st bicuspid fell out.  It turns out the roots were infected, which pushed the tooth in and out until it gave way.  Dr. Condie had to extract the rest of it, so it really hurts now.  He put in a temporary bridge, and I’ll get a permanent one in six weeks, after it all heals.  Hey, it’s only money.  And pain.  The story of my life.

Along with lots of fun.  Our next Super Sunday potluck will be at Nora’s on February 28.  Normally it would have been at John’s, but Heather’s not up for it yet.  She never got rid of the pain from her disc surgery, probably because they injured her esophagus, and she’s still dealing with that.  Dang medical stuff!  One of these days I’ll write a letter with no medical news at all.  I can’t wait.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Valentines Day!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, February 7, 2021

 Dear Kids, 

Last week I threw out the idea of rotating houses for our “Super Sunday” potluck each month.  Everybody I talked to was in favor of it!  It will make our get-togethers more interesting, and start a good tradition.  Almost everybody agreed that the fourth Sunday of the month would work out OK, and we can rotate houses according to age.  Dad and I have had our turn, so then John, then Nora, and then Tom.  I wish we could all drive to Pocatello to meet at Vanessa’s, but that’s probably a little bit far.  Allen said we could have a poolside Sunday party at his place, if it were during the summer.  I said that sounded great.  Then he said, “Well, is it OK with you, then, if we swim on Sunday?” or something like that.  Of course it’s not OK with me.  Allen knows that.  (Remember all the hassle with Paxmans’ pool and their Sunday invitations?) Anyway, I think it would be fun to meet at Al’s in the summer, outside, wherever.   When it’s your turn, don’t think you have to fix a main dish.  Let’s be totally potluck.  It’ll be more relaxed that way.  Our next Super Sunday would be February 28, and John said we could probably meet at his house.  Heather’s supposed to be vaccinated by then, and she’ll be more comfortable with visitors.  If that doesn’t work out, Nora is glad to be the February hostess. I’ll let you know.

Speaking of vaccinations, Dad and I have gone through plenty of hassle trying to get scheduled.  I had an email a few days ago that said I could schedule, because I’m in a priority group, but it wasn’t clear how to do it.  I made a lot of phone calls and talked to a lot of people who didn’t know much.  One lady admitted that Summit County is a big mess.  The email I got was from VAMS, a government vaccination outfit, which is really screwy.  John said Wasatch County dropped VAMS and they just call people to schedule them.  After a lot of aggravation I went back over the email and found a link to something else.  It was to create a profile, which was incredibly complicated.  Then it finally let me schedule, but that wasn’t very clear, either.  It said there was no place within 100 miles where I could go, but within 50 miles I could go to the film studio.  Hello?  Long story short, I’m scheduled for my first vaccination on February 26.  Hopefully Dad won’t be too far behind me.  

Scout has figured out how to get into the cupboards in our bedroom, but he can’t get out again, so he bangs and clatters in there until we open the door.  Funny thing is, it’s hard to get in.  He has to lie on his back and pull open a door and slide in.  (These are the lower cupboards.) To get out, he would only have to throw his bulk against the door, but he never thinks of that.  I’ll be glad when spring comes and he can go outside mousing again.  It’s tiresome having him inside.

It’s tiresome having me inside.  Unfortunately, spring is a long way off.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 31, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to the potluck at our house this afternoon, and to celebrating Allen’s promotion.  I’m especially glad  Vanessa’s family is coming.  Hooray for long, boring Sunday afternoons!  That’s what’s bringing them here. They’re planning to come once a month for a family potluck, and I’m delighted.  Here’s another idea: what if we rotated among houses, at least among Nora’s and John’s and Tom’s and ours–the bigger places.  (Obviously not Allen’s condo.)  Or would that make things too complicated, and make the whole thing crash?  I don’t want that to happen at all.  You can all let me know what you think when you come.

My brother Charley called me a couple of days ago, and we had a great talk.  His health is a lot better now, in spite of all those blood clots he had a couple of years ago.  It’s miraculous that all my brothers and sisters are still alive, and I hope that continues for a long time.   I especially don’t want to be the one to bail first, and I hope the Lord spares my life for many more years.  Charley mentioned that his grandson Sam and his wife are expecting a baby, so that will make him a great grandfather.  I can hardly believe it–my little brother!  

Dad and I still don’t have any idea when we might be vaccinated for Covid, and we haven’t heard anything from the Summit County health department.  Wasatch County is vaccinating from the top down, oldest people first.  One of my piano ladies is in her 80's, and she was vaccinated last week.  After she gets her second vaccination next month, she’s going to start coming to my house for piano lessons, since who knows when the Senior Center will open again.  One of my other ladies will start coming in April.  I’ll be glad to have more students again, since it gives shape to my life.  I have lots of other interesting things to do, but nothing is more satisfying for me than teaching piano.  I don’t charge anybody anymore.  The time they spend practicing is my payment. 

Dad’s been working on my smaller Clavinova, since five of the black keys were drooping.  We thought it needed new keys, and they’re impossible to find, but luckily it was just a matter of new springs, which I have, and cleaning out the crud that’s fallen down in between.  Dad talked to one technician who said I should just buy a new Clavinova, but none of the new ones have that stereo feature that makes them sound so good.  If I could find one whose sound I liked, I’d buy it in a minute.  It’s hard to imagine both my Clavinovas are going on 33 years old.  (Like the song says, “I don’t remember growing older; when did they?)   That smaller one traveled a lot with you different kids–it even went to Ohio.   It’s in the hall closet on our top floor so I can practice in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  The bigger one’s in the basement, and I use it for Anna’s lessons when she comes.

Life is good.  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, January 24, 2021

 Dear Kids,

SNOW!  We have SNOW!  True, it’s only four or five inches, but it’s the best we’ve had since October.  It came just in time for the cousins’ ski day at Deer Valley yesterday, courtesy of Donna and Bevan’s passes.  Vanessa brought all her kids Friday night, and they stayed over at our house.  It’s always fun when they come..  And I’m always impressed to see them pack up all their gear the next morning.  All the kids take care of their own stuff, fill their own water bottles, and pack their own bags.  It makes me wish that I could ski, and take off with them.  I hope everybody had a safe and a fun day.  I haven’t heard of any disasters, so it must have gone fine.  

Maybe I can’t ski, but I walked all the way to the mailboxes and back yesterday morning.  It’s about half a mile round trip.  No cane, no trekking poles–just me and my new hip.  I was very proud, although my hip hurt a lot when I got home.  Not to worry–Dr. Wooten said I can’t hurt the hip by overdoing it, even though it can hurt me.  

Dad and I were hoping to get vaccinated for covid, but although we signed up the first day we could, we both got messages that there won’t be any openings for at least two more weeks.  Well, I’m glad so many other seniors are getting vaccinated.  If the death rate goes down, maybe we can all take off the dang masks.

Allen is doing way better now, recovering from his surgery.  He went back to work on Tuesday, and surprisingly, on that very day, he felt a hundred percent better.  He doesn’t take any pain meds now, not even Tylanol.  I’m really happy for him, and I still can’t forget the disaster that happened to me 36 years ago.  It led to so many other things, including my cancer.  So I’m thrilled with Allen’s progress.  By the way, Allen is being promoted to lieutenant TODAY!  The current lieutenant won’t be retiring for another week, but Allen says they have a ton of work, so neither of them will be able to sit around. 

Dad got to do a welfare assignment at the bakery on Welfare Square.  Our lives are so slow-moving that it was a very big deal for him.  I haven’t been anywhere interesting for a really long time, but hopefully that will change.  Sharon’s family got home from Puerto Rico OK and Vanessa and Trent got home from Hawaii, but we haven’t come home from anything.  Lots of other people are in the same boat, though, so I won’t complain.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 17, 2021

UPDATE!       UPDATE!      UPDATE!

My covid test was negative.  I'm very happy about it!