Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dear Kids,
      Our house is finally full of people again. Well, not as full as it was in the old days, but we have Donna, Sharon, Seth, and Charlie. Besides Dad and myself and Reggie and the two cats. So there’s plenty going on again. Donna starts her job back at Deer Valley tomorrow (where she’ll see Bevan every day!) and Sharon and Seth and Charlie flew in this afternoon. Donna and I picked them up at the airport, and they were exclaiming how warm it is here! (It was 33°. Monica, we all want to come to Tucson!) This evening, everybody’s going to bed early. The Thackers are still on Michigan time, and Dad is asleep on the couch (Webelo scouts today) and I’m just getting over an intestinal upset. I think it was food poisoning, from our Study Group Christmas dinner Sunday night. We all came from great distances, and the food sat out for a long time before we ate. So Monday morning I had terrible cramps, nausea, diarrhea, the whole bit, and it was violent. But in 12 hours it was over. And my sinus infection came back, so I had to start another round of antibiotics. And my back is improving, but it sure is hard to throw up when your back hurts. So I was really hating life yesterday, but today it’s all good.
      Vanessa and Trent came to town last weekend, for a Jazz game and the Cousins’ Christmas party, and it was really fun to see them, and Sarah (who’s just a little toodle bug) and Sterling. Vanessa had an ultrasound, and it looks like she’s going to have a girl! (She says the baby wasn’t very cooperative, but they’re 90% sure.) Vanessa is still swimming, and she finally learned how to do a flip turn, just like they do when they race. Another lady showed her how. She’s amazed, after 6 years of swimming, she finally learned how to do it.
      Heather had a lump removed from her shoulder, and it turned out to be more extensive than they thought. They kept pumping local anesthetic into her, until, according to John, it was about four times the normal amount. So she was pretty sick from the anesthetic, when I talked to her the next day. She had another lump taken out five years ago, when they were in Ephraim. They always send the lumps to be biopsied, but she says there’s practically no chance it could be malignant. We hope she recovers soon!
      Donna, always the adventuress, has been riding her bike around Logan in this sub-zero weather. (I had really started enjoying my bike, but when the show fell, the bike went into the shed). But here’s Donna riding her bike around when any normal person would be bundled up in several layers of coats, and bumming rides from roommates. She’s lost eight pounds. Her roommates are all trying to lose weight, but the aren’t willing to use the “Donna method.”
      Last Friday morning I drove to the cabin, for the first time in two weeks, but I couldn’t get up the hill. It was barely above zero, so I should have been able to zip right up, but I guess the front tires are really worn. Normally I wouldn’t mind walking up, but I had a whole carfull of stuff–blankets, Walmart sacks, 2X4's, hampers full of clean sheets. Luckily, Vaughan Stanley was right behind me, the bodyguard, the guardian angel of Woodland Hills Drive. He hauled me and all my stuff up the hill. He said to get Blizzac tires for my car. They’re made of soft rubber that really grips the snow. So Dad called around the next day. They’re very expensive, but I’m going for it.
      Then, when I got into the cabin, I could tell it was lots colder than normal. I guess that’s because Dad and I hadn’t sealed up the outside opening to the crawl space. It’s sort of like leaving a window open. In the downstairs bathroom, the water in the toilet was frozen solid. Some of the water lines were frozen, too. I put a heater under the house and sealed up the crawl space, and after several hours, I had water again in most of the lines. It didn’t like any of them had burst, fortunately, but I never did get water into the little bathroom. This weekend Dad and I are going back to put heat tape on the water lines. It only gets that cold once or twice in the winter, but we’ve got to be better prepared.
      I’m looking forward to Christmas. Paul, it’ll be great to talk to you!
      Love, Mom