Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dear Kids,
          We’ve had the most wonderful snowstorms lately! It must be an el nio pattern, which Tom predicted a while ago. About every five days it snows, and we’ve been getting 3 or 4 inches at a time (much better than out usual dusting!). We had a great storm yesterday, while John was over at the cabin with his scouts, sledding. When they were ready to leave for home, a truck with a trailer was jack-knifed on the icy road and they couldn’t get down. Just what you can expect from a cabin expedition!
          Our basement is coming along so well that we’re ready for sheetrock! John gave us the name of the man who did his basement, and we got him to come and measure ours. We haven’t got his estimate yet, but he said he could start next week. It will be magical to have it all done in three or four days, instead of 15 years, like our basement in West Valley. I finished the walk-in closet that I was working on, and we filled it with stuff, including all the Halloween costumes. They had been in drawers, totes, boxes–all over the place. Now they’re together again. If you have any of my costumes, or any of yours that you want to store here, bring them over! 
           I’ve had a lot of pain in my right hand recently, at the base of my thumb, and I can’t even play ragtime anymore! So I decided to have a cortisone shot. Nobody told me how incredibly painful that would be! The doctor had to wiggle the needle around a lot before it would even get down in between the bones, but that wasn’t so bad. Later, after we left his office, and the anesthetic wore off, I could really feel it! We had some errands, and then the piano class at the Lighthouse Church, and I couldn’t stand the pain, so I took 6 ibuprofin tablets. After an hour I couldn’t tell any difference, so I took 3 more. I was OK (sort of) for the class, but when it was over, I took 5 more. Not smart. Of course I was sick that night, but it turned out that I had a flu bug. Lots of fun. But I’m OK now. Dad was a great help to me.
          Life is good again! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dear Kids,
          My life is perfect. I had gotten really low on my supply of Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie (yes, I went through everything you kids gave me for Christmas) and I hadn’t found any coupons or good deals anywhere. I decided to google it, and naturally Amazon was at the top of the list. You can get four bags of the little wrapped squares for a really good price, and if you subscribe for monthly delivery, you get a deal that’s even better! Of course I subscribed. My chocolate will be delivered on the 2nd of every month, and if I only had a personal servant to unwrap it and put it in my mouth . . . oh, wait–Dad can do that! My life is perfect.
          Except for the weir rabbits. I thought the Rabbit-be-Gone would do the trick, but they came back. They acted like it was a garnish on their salad. And they’re still coming. On Thursday Dad and I were eating lunch at the Heber Senior Center, and there were three single older men at our table. I asked if any of them knew of a cure for rabbits. One man said, "Eat them." I asked him if we should shoot them or trap them. He said, "Either." I asked him if snowshoe rabbits tasted good, and he said, "They’re all good. Snowshoe. Cottontail. Jackrabbit. They all taste good." Maybe we can get Al to come over and trap a few. He could cook up a stew and we could have a big family dinner.
          It’s great having Allen around. Yesterday he dropped by with Carson and Ellie, and he had a loaf of fresh homemade bread for us. You know, if all the rest of you could find excuses to move to this wonderful area, my life would be really, really perfect.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dear Kids,
          We’re looking forward to Drew’s baby blessing this morning. Sacrament meeting is at 9:00, and the address of the church is 250 E. 200 South in Midway. You might need to consult your GPS’s, because you have to wind around to get there. We’ll have the brunch at John’s house after the block–sometime just after noon. I’m bringing the cinnamon rolls, which are thick with frosting! The rest of the menu will be superb, too.
         I was so annoyed by the weir rabbits tearing up our lawn that I went to Home Depot and bought some Rabbit-be-Gone. Its active ingredients are cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and putrescent whole egg solids. Dad and I both thought it smelled pretty good. I spread it liberally over the rabbits’ favorite area, and after the next snowstorm, I looked for tracks. You could see that just one rabbit had come, poked around a little, and left again, heading towards our trees. There’s enough Rabbit-be-Gone for several more applications. Lots of those rabbits live around the cabin (somebody said they’re snowshoe rabbits) and Allen says he wants to try trapping one. He wants to figure out how to skin it and cook it. Al is truly becoming the mountain man!
          Dad and I are still busy working in the basement. Dad has been wiring temporary light fixtures into each ceiling box, trying them out, and then moving them to another spot. We want to make sure every single thing works, before the rest of the basement is sheetrocked. I’ve nearly finished the walk-in closet, and I’ll have Dad paint it on Monday. It will be good to have a place for my Halloween costumes again. 
            Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Oops, here's my letter from last week.  Somehow it didn't get uploaded:
Dear Kids,
          Just when we thought the holiday parties were over, John and Heather surprised us by planning a New Year’s eve party! And what a party! There was a whole ham dinner! John shot off fireworks! There was ice cream! The teenagers went off to a dance! And all that happened before 8:30 pm, when Dad and I went home to go to bed. I never heard the real New Year come in. My favorite celebration is to go to bed early and start the new year off feeling really good.
          Drew’s baby blessing will be two weeks from today, on the 17th, at Donna’s church, 250 E. 200 South in Midway. It sounds easy to find, but it isn’t, because you have to wind around, so use your GPS’s. Sacrament meeting starts at 9:00 am. There will be a brunch afterwards at John’s house. I know the menu will include cinnamon rolls, because I’m bringing them. I’ve perfected my recipe: equal parts of cinnamon roll and frosting. Be there or be square. Oh, yes, and Sharon’s coming! She’s tired of missing the family events, so she found a red-eye special and she’s coming alone. We’ll be so happy to see her! She’ll only be in Utah for 28 hours, so we won’t be able to plan any other fun get-togethers.
          Dad had his Alzheimers testing last Wednesday, and we have an appointment with the doctor this week to talk about the results. It should be interesting. Dad said the tests were really hard. I guess they make them harder and harder until you can’t figure them out any more, to test your limits. I thought it was really gutsy of him to go through with it. 
      It’s still been really cold here. It was -10 on New Years morning. But it was even colder in Heber, -18, I think. I never knew Heber was colder than Kamas Valley, but they’ve been out-doing us this year. Maybe they’re in some kind of a sink down there. Life is good, and the fun continues. Love, Mom

And here's my current letter:
Dear Kids,
          The weir rabbits have been digging up our lawn! There’s a spot on the south side close to the house where it’s warmer, and the snow has mostly melted, and they come there to feed. And burrow. Actually, the deer started it, by pawing away the snow there, but the rabbits have taken over. They’re big and white and mean. Donna says we should poison them, but I can’t do it. Our cats won’t take them on. Too bad we don’t have a big dog.
          Dad and I went hiking at the Jordanelle on Friday. There was new snow on the trail, but it was pretty easy to get through, even without snowshoes. Dad wore his new winter hiking boots, which some of you went in on for Christmas. Thanks! They’re really working for him. And we had a great hike: blue sky, bright snow, green junipers–there isn’t a better spot in the whole world. In the summer that trail is usually too hot, but in the winter it’s perfect.
          Remember Drew’s blessing next week! All the info is in my letter from last week. And on the invitations Donna sent out. What a cute picture of Drew! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone who can come, especially Sharon!
         Since it’s January, we’ve plunged into our biggest home-improvement project: the basement.. Dad has been wiring lights and switches, so we can make sure they work before we sheetrock. I’ve been finishing the big walk-in closet, so we can stash things in there while we work on the rest of the rooms. I forgot how exhilarating it is to spread joint compound. The rest of it is fun, too.
          Love to all, Mom