Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dear Kids,
         More crazy weather!  Yesterday we had rain, hail, snow, and sunshine, all within an hour, and then the cycle kept repeating itself.   Bevan ran the Ogden marathon, and it was snowing at the starting line.  Springtime in the Rockies!
         But summer is just around the corner, starting with Memorial Day a week from tomorrow.  It’s Dad’s and Dallin’s birthday, too, so Donna and I are planning a barbecue for that evening, 5:00 pm, at John’s house.  First we thought about having it here at our place, but I wanted to go someplace different for a change.  Since the cabin is still out of commission, I thought of John’s house next.  It’s such a total party place!  And we’re meeting in the evening because his family is doing yard work that day.  If anybody wants to come early, you can help haul rocks.  Dad and I will be early for sure!  And if you want to contribute to the dinner, you could bring a salad, potato chips, etc.  Maybe you could text Donna or me saying what you’ll be bringing.  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.  Our family get-togethers are always great events.
         About the cabin: the good news is that the contractor has started working on it.  He worked one day.  Then he needed to pull off the damaged part of the roof,  but a big storm was on the way, so he decided to wait for better weather.  Right now the forecast is for rain or snow practically every day for at least another week.  Maybe longer.  But someday the cabin will be done, and then we can have parties and barbecues there again. 
         Dad and I have been listening to the audiobook of Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale, and we came to the part where Khan Tegas tosses a cat into the tower for the two ladies holed up in there.  It’s “a yearling cat, long and lean, pale gray with green eyes.”  Hey, that’s Scout!  (He’s no longer built like a boxcar.)  The ladies named him “My Lord,” so that’s what I call Scout now, when he behaves himself.  He smiles at me condescendingly.
         Life is good!  I love you all!  Mom                                   

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Dear Kids,
         Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful daughters and daughters-in-law of mine!  I’m so proud of you all.  I know raising a family is hard, but there’s nothing more important you’ll ever do.  And besides, you and your husbands are raising such perfect grandchildren for us! And thanks to all of you for the Mothers Day presents.  They’ve been been spread out over several days, and it’s been lots of fun.  Wonderful things have been coming in the mail, besides Donna coming by to plant flowers, and Paul and Stefanie coming by to visit, and Al and Carson dropping in, and Nora coming Saturday morning to go hiking with me. And speaking of hiking . . . .
         My leg is doing better.  It still hurts like crazy, but I’m able to block out the pain and do practically everything I want to do.  Our hike at the Jordanelle was only about three miles round trip, and I used my cane, but it was perfect weather and we had a great time talking and enjoying the beautiful scenery.  Nora said she was inspired by the fact that I’m always saying in my letters that if anyone wants to go hiking, please come by!  So if anybody else wants to hike, I’m up for it now, even though it couldn’t be anything long or strenuous. 
         Our cats are endlessly entertaining.  Tina was eating a dollop of pudding that Dad gave her, and Scout came by and pushed her away and started eating it.  She whacked him in the head with her paw, but he just kept eating, looking sideways at her.  She tried to side-bump him but he didn’t budge.  Usually Tina gets the best of everybody, but Scout won that time.  The two of them are exactly the same size now (although Scout’s four feet long when he stretches out on our bed ) and we can only tell them apart by their color.  Tina’s more brown.  Miss black and white, Sonia, doesn’t get into trouble as much as the other two, but sometimes she’ll start a fight by bumping past Scout.  So he starts chasing her, and the fight is on.  When they all run down the hall together, it sounds like a herd of elephants. 
         The work on our cabin is supposed to start tomorrow morning, and continue non-stop until it’s done. I’m cautiously hopeful.  It will be so much fun having cabin parties again! I’ll keep you posted. 
         Lots of love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Dear Kids,
         On March 17 I wrote, “We might have had our last snowstorm of the year.”  How crazy was that?  That was almost two months ago, and we’ve had at least one snowstorm per week since then.  It started snowing Tuesday afternoon while Anna was here for her piano lesson, and all the boys’ jackets were out in their car.  (Bevan always brings the boys along.  They chase the cats and eat oreos, and we all have a good time.)  So, did those boys care?  Not at all.  They ran out in it.  It was actually a beautiful storm, with big white flakes, which would have been lovely in December or January.  It put down a couple of inches, which melted the next morning.
          But maybe we’re having spring. Dad mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time, and I pruned some bushes.  Behind us, in the pasture, the horses have lots of green grass to eat now.  Some of the trees around here are starting to get leaves.  Maybe tonight it will be warm enough for all of us to go out and play on our playground.  Each week I tell our guests, “Maybe next week. . . “   Well, Maybe tonight . . . .
         I still keep our younger cats in at night, so they won’t be a temptation for predators, but they play outside a lot during the day.  Scout and Sonia are always eating grass.  Why would that be?  Maybe they need the vitamins.  Maybe they’ve watched the horses do it.  I can’t figure them out at all.  Tina likes to play with them, and there’s lots of racing and chasing.  I dug sprinkler trenches on the north side last fall, and the cats use them to hide from each other.  But nobody has gone under the neighbors’ fence to visit Harley, the Alaskan Husky. I’m sure he would gladly play with them!  Tina showed Scout how to go under the back fence into the horse pasture, and they did some exploring, maybe looking for mice.  They didn’t go near the horses, though.
         Nothing else is going on here.  I was just looking at our calendar to see what I could write about, and it’s all doctor visits.  Dermatologist, oncologist, proctologist, dentist, family doctor . . . that’s about it.  I’d really like to know what’s going on in my lung, but I have to be patient for several more weeks.  When I find out something, I’ll write about it.  Meanwhile, every day is a treat.
          Life is good!   Love, Mom

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Dear Kids,
         I went on a very short, very glorious hike down at the Jordanelle reservoir yesterday morning.  It was the first time I’ve been there in more than a year.  The sky was blue, the junipers were green, and the water was clear.  I used my cane, but lots of hikers use walking sticks, so I didn’t feel odd.  I’m planning lots of hikes, as my leg gets stronger.  Someday I might even hike without the cane.  Maybe I won’t even take it to church.  I tried packing it away altogether, but I stumbled a couple of times, so I got it out again.  At least I’m improving, even if it’s slow.
         Anna has been taking piano lessons from me for several weeks, and she’s moving along really well.  Donna practices with her at home, which makes a huge difference.  It’s fun to have her playing Hokey Pokey and London Bridge and Can Can, and all the old goldies.  She’s the only child I’m teaching right now; all the rest of my students are senior citizens.  One man from West Valley, Claren Palmer, comes to our house, but I teach the rest of them at the senior center.  It’s one of the highlights of my week.  They all take it very seriously, and they even thank me.  It pumps me up for the rest of my week.
         Friday afternoon Dad and I met up with John, and then we went to the Provo Temple together.  (That’s one place where I’m glad to use a cane.  You get very special treatment!)  After the temple session, we went to the Orem Costco.  Following John through Costco is like following a tornado.  He grabs things and throws them in his cart (2 carts that time) while he’s practically running down the aisles, almost like those shoppers who win shopping sprees.  They try to see how much they can spend in just a few minutes.  John takes a little longer, but not by much.  It isn’t worth his time unless he spends at least $500.  I asked him what his all-time spending record was, and he said probably $1,000, all in one cart.  Dad and I together spent $23, on a jar of macadamia nut clusters and a brick of white cheddar cheese.   Dad and I have a membership at Sams, where things are cheaper, but John told me that the average Sams club shopper has an annual income of only $44,000, compared to $78,000 for a Costco shopper.  I still feel more comfortable with those low income people.   You can take us out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of us.
         Spring is really here, and I hope you’re all enjoying it like we are! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Dear Kids,
         I hope you’re all having a wonderful Easter morning!  We’re looking forward to church, and to getting together at Nora’s house for the Easter egg hunt and picnic this afternoon.  I know we usually do all that on Saturday, but Nora had to reschedule because McKay was sick.  It’s always great to get together, whenever it happens to work out.
         We had a couple of warm, sunny days this week, and people everywhere seemed happier.  Our cats are happier too, because they’ve been spending more time outside.  Scout has learned to chase birds, mostly little ones.  He hasn’t caught any yet.  Jacob bragged that his cat Adeline had brought home her first dead bird.  Go, Adeline.  I hope our cats stick with chasing them only.  Sonia had a little adventure over in our neighbor’s yard, the yard where Harley the Siberian husky lives.  She got in under their gate and was wandering around their trailers, very proud of herself.  Then the little girl who lives there decided to catch her, and Sonia forgot how to get out.  She ran for the corner by our yard  and couldn’t get through. She was doing flips and back flips in her panic, and trying to jump over, but it was too high.  Thank goodness it was only the little girl and not Harley.  (Although the dad insists that Harley would never hurt a cat.  He only likes to chase them.)  Anyway, Sonia wasn’t as bad off as she thought, and we opened the gate and coaxed her back into our yard, where she bolted for the garage door.  I hope she learns to stay closer to home.
         I know I’ve mentioned to some of you that there’s a spot on my lung. I had a cat scan last week that showed that it’s grown, but it’s still only a centimeter across.  My oncologist says it’s still  too small to biopsy safely (the needle might hit something else), and he doesn’t want to start any chemo or radiation until he knows exactly what it is.  So he wants to wait and just watch it.  I remember that after I had the colon cancer, they said they needed to check the lower part of my lung, because colon cancer  likes to spread there.  But the spot didn’t show up for another six months.  Maybe it started with one cell that got away. Who knows?  I feel like my life is in the Lord’s hands, and I’ll live as long as He wants me to.  Maybe the spot will miraculously disappear.  That happens sometimes.  I’ll keep you posted. Naturally I still need your prayers.
         Thank you all for being so wonderful and supportive!  Love, Mom

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Dear Kids,
         We have a plan for Easter Saturday!  The party will be at Nora’s house, and we’ll have the Easter egg hunt at 2 pm.  Bring about as many eggs as your kids will collect–somebody suggested a dozen per kid. We’ll have the hunt at that wonderful park across from Nora’s house.  Then we’ll eat after that.  You can call or text Nora for a food assignment.  I’m really looking forward to all the fun.  And seeing green grass and tulips in Nora’s neighborhood.  It’s still winter here.  It snows almost every day, but it usually melts that same day.  At least we won’t have to worry about a drought this year.  The snowpack in the mountains is about 150 percent of normal.
         Yesterday while I was using my computer the mouse suddenly stopped working, and then the keyboard.  I called Tom and asked if he could come by and check things out. When he came, he brought another computer that has the same hardware as mine.  The school district is always throwing them away, and Tom rescues some of them.  He says he has “homed” quite a few of them, which means that he’s found them new homes.  Anyway, instead of spending hours trying to find the problem with my computer, he just pulled out the hard drive and put it in the computer he brought.  That only took about five minutes.  He said it’s way easier than trouble shooting.  Go, Tom!  It’s great to have so many specialists in our family.
         Our kitties are still keeping us entertained.  Sonia has become obsessed with cords.  I was trying to use my hand mixer in the kitchen, and I had it plugged into the side of the island.   She kept grabbing the cord and trying to pull everything down.  When I was talking to Katie on my phone, I had it plugged in because it was almost dead.  Sonia kept biting the cord and unplugging it for me.  I finally threw her into the bunkbed room so I could talk in peace.  She bites the shoelaces in Dad’s shoes, and especially the long ones in his winter boots.  When I sew she jumps up on the table and tries to pull the thread out of the sewing machine.  I hope she grows out of this phase, because she’s really a nuisance right now.  Scout lives to fight with Tina.  They go at it as often as they can.  There’s always lots of cat fur for Dad to vacuum up.
         Lots of love to everybody!  Mom

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dear Kids,
         The conference sessions yesterday were wonderful, but there weren’t any earth-shaking announcements.   Maybe there will be some today, when the prophet speaks.  Or maybe he’ll just give his usual wonderful talk.   Maybe all the rumors were just rumors.  It’s all good.  I love conference weekend!
         Our bread and soup party last night was a blast, although we didn’t have as many people as usual.  Half of Tom’s family was sick, and Nora’s family was just getting home from their trip.  But I hope all the travelers had a good time.  I saw the picture of Paige with her broken arm (and a cute little frown on her face,) but hopefully that was the worst thing that happened to anybody.
         Our cabin joists were delivered a couple of weeks ago, (ahead of schedule!) but needless to say, nobody has hit the ground running yet.  The same restoration company has been working on Donna’s bathroom for months, and they finally finished it, which was a miracle.  At the rate it took them to do that little job, our cabin will be done in, say, five years or so.  If we’re lucky, it might be sooner.
         Easter is coming up in just two weeks, and we don’t have a plan yet, but I’ll talk to Nora today, along with the other people that will be here for lunch.  We’ll hammer out something, and I’ll write the details next week.
         I’m barely using my cane at all these days, and  I’m finally starting to feel a lot better.  My leg still hurts, but I don’t have that general sick feeling I’ve had all these months.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  I know Heavenly Father has been listening.
         Love to everybody, Mom