Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Kids,
      I just swept up Christmas–so sad! Our beautiful tree had dried out, so I had to undecorate it and pull it out the front door. Of course it left a track of pine needles and little pieces of branches, so I just swept them up. While I was at it, I put away a the cat nativity and some of my other decorations. Last year I left everything up until March (except the tree) but this year it seems like we’ve had enough Christams. But it was wonderful while it lasted.
      Our Christmas music open house on the 22nd was a grand success. Probably the highlight of the performances was Spencer Fulton playing “We Three Kings” on a trumpet, with Jeffrey accompanying him on a drum. Everything else was great, too–singers, guitars, and lots of piano playing. We probably had 35 or 40 people in the house at once, but it held up OK.
      Paul came home Christmas Eve and helped us celebrate (although we didn’t hike Ensign Peak), but he had to be back at work Christmas morning, so Dad and I volunteered to drive him to Deer Valley. (It didn’t seem like the magical Sable could make it through a blizzard, with its summer tires.) We left at 5:30 am, and it was a very exciting trip. After that Dad and I drove to Heber, still in a blizzard, and at times we could barely tell where the road was. We were glad to get there! We spent most of the day with John’s family, and enjoyed their Christmas toys. (Dad and John took a drive to see John’s best new toy, but they wouldn’t tell me what it was. You can guess.) Later in the afternoon, when the storm let up a little, Dad and I drove up to the cabin. We had Christmas dinner that night with Donna and Bevan and Paul, when they got off work, and then the first sledding party was on Friday. Nora’s family came, and also John’s. The hill was great, with all that snow! Even Elouise Curtis’s grandkids were out there! Saturday was our second sledding party, with Dad’s cousins, Nora’s family still, and Allen and Missy and their kids. I fixed the same soup both days, and we had lots of other good food. And good fun. Dad’s cousins didn’t go sledding, but the rest of us had already been down the hill lots of times.
      Last night was Grandma and Grandpa’s 65th wedding anniversary, so my brothers and sisters met them at Thanksgiving Point, where we had dinner at the Harvest Room. You know how hilarious my brothers and sisters are! Rich and Jeanne were there, but not the other out-of-staters. Charlie and Andy and Richard are planning a bike ride from St. George to Logan in the summer of 2010. Richard says he needs that much time to get in shape. (He’s lost at least 50 pounds, and he rides his bike all the time, and he needs to get in better shape?) I told them to count me in, but I’ll be almost 63 by then. Maybe it’s wishful thinking.
      I hope you all have a happy new year! Love, Mom

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dear Kids,
      I’m sorry to report that Rat Cat died yesterday, on the floor in the kitty room. We knew he was ailing, and on Sunday Donna and Bevan pointed out how bony he was. By Monday he wasn’t eating or drinking, and he just sat on a plastic stool in the kitty room, with his fur puffed out and his eyes dilated. Now and then he yowled. I don’t know if he was seeing demons from one side of the great beyond, or angels from the other side. Maybe they were both calling to him. Anyway, we didn’t consider vet care, because he’s nearly twelve years old, and he never was a quality cat. I told him to “go towards the light.” He finally did. Dad dug a grave out in the garden, in the snow (it looked like a pioneer scene) and I carried him out in a size 14 shoe box. Now he’s at peace alongside so many other good cats we’ve had. Kara McGettigan is all ready for me to get another new kitten, but I told her that Oreo is all the cat I can handle now.
      My most exciting activity this week was getting a root canal. No kidding, I was counting down the days. My tooth was still hurting from a crown prep the week before, and it was getting more intense every day. Finally Dr. Condie agreed, but he couldn’t work me in for two more days. So all I did was take pain pills and wait. When I finally went in, they asked me if I wanted nitrous oxide to relax me. I said, “What for?” They said it would make me less nervous. I said I wasn’t nervous at all. I was excited. I couldn’t wait. I told them to bring it on. Now, of course, I’m still taking pain pills, but it’s getting a little better every day. I have a whole new life ahead of me, without tooth pain. I have resolved to eat less sugar and have dental check-ups more often.
      While I was in pain, I didn’t do much about getting ready for Christmas. Fortunately Donna and Bevan bought a tree and put it up on Monday. Remember how I always used to get you kids to put up the tree? I still like it when someone else does it. Then I can just sit down and smell that beautiful pine smell. Nothing else means Christmas like the smell of a real Christmas tree.
      Don’t forget my Christmas music open house, Monday night, if you want to come, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. And Christmas Eve, if you want to hike Ensign Peak, let me know. And the sledding party is still on for the day after Christmas. What a great time of the year!
      Love, Mom

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dear Kids,
      “. . . Outside the snow is falling . . .” Boy, is it ever falling! This is the blizzard we’ve been waiting for. I hope it drops a ton of snow in the mountains.
      Right now it’s a cozy Saturday morning, and Dad is replacing the sink in the downstairs bathroom–you know how corroded and scary-looking it’s been. Oreo is curled up in the basket chair. We still can’t figure out why he gets to come in–he just does. Paul is still asleep. He came home from Logan yesterday, and he’ll be home for a couple of days before he starts working at Deer Valley. I’m wandering from one task to another. I’ve been taking heavy drugs because I had a crown prep last Monday morning, and I think Dr. Condie drilled right into the nerve. He has supplied me with plenty of lortab, however, and I also have some tylenol with codeine that we brought home from Canada last spring. You take a couple of those and a couple of aspirins at the same time, and they work sort of like the old percodan that you can’t get any more. The lortab works great, too. I hope I’ll start feeling OK pretty soon. It’s not Dr. Condie’s fault, because I waited way too long between dental checkups, and I had some decay underneath an old crown. Bad combination.
      Donna was here on Monday and Tuesday taking her licensing test again. I sure hope she passed, but she won’t know for 8-12 weeks. What a racket! If you flunk, you have to pay a lot of money to even look at the test you took, and many more hundreds of dollars to take it all over again. So obviously they make it as hard as possible, and hardly anybody passes. But Donna has a great attitude. She’s willing to do whatever it takes. While she was here, she cooked up some pheasant that her boss, Dave, had shot. She fried it up like chicken nuggets, and Dad said it was really good. I was too sick to taste it. Oreo ate the leftovers, and everybody was happy.
      Donna’s back working at Deer Valley again for the winter. She and Bevan don’t have dental insurance, but she wanted me to ask Dr. Condie if he would trade four all-day passes for two checkups and cleanings. So I asked him, and he said, “I think I could go for that!” He skis with his three kids, and they’ve never been to Deer Valley before. He was pretty excited. I’ve never heard of anybody trading ski passes for dental work, but he thought it was a great idea.
      Gotta go. I love you all. Mom

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Who would’ve thought we’d have gas at $1.49 a gallon (Holiday Sinclair,) or that I would be riding my bike to the library in December! Life is full of wonders. We’re all hoping for snow, of course–it’s pretty weird to have green grass outside when Christmas is coming up.
      So, speaking of Christmas, here’s a rundown of some upcoming family events:
      1. Sunday the 12th I’ll be cooking Sunday dinner. We’ll be eating at 5:00. Let me know if you want to come.
      2. The kids’ gift exchange is at Nora’s on Friday night, December 19th. The exchange list is on Kim’s blog.
      3. My Christmas music open house will be on the 22nd, the Monday night before Christmas, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Everybody is invited. It would be cool if you could sing something or play the piano or do anything else musical. Even if you don’t want to perform, you’re invited anyway. There will be punch and cookies.
      4. Does anybody want to hike Ensign Peak on Christmas Eve? I’d really like to do it, and I can probably get Dad to come, so if anybody else joins us, it will be even more fun. We can drive past the Christmas lights on Temple Square.
      5. The day after Christmas Dad and I will be at the cabin for our sledding party. I think Dad’s cousins will probably come. They’re always good for fun conversation and craziness. Come if you can, but if you’re too worn out from Christmas, that’s OK too.
      I can’t think of anything else, but I’m sure there’s more.
      Did anybody leave a dark blue wool coat in our closet? It’s Old Navy brand, medium long, with a plaid lining and a hood. Let me know if it’s yours. I’m getting into that “January cleaning-out throwing-away” mood already.
      We’re looking forward to seeing almost everybody at the upcoming events. If we don’t see you, I’ll be thinking about you anyway.
      Love, Mom