Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I hope you’re all having a wonderful Easter today! We missed Nora’s family for our traditional Easter egg hunt yesterday, and I especially missed that Nora usually plans it. But it was baby Josh’s first Easter, and we had to have the hunt anyway. So we did it here at our house! There were just Donna’s kids, and Eli and Abi, and Josh, and Bentley supervising, but we had fun anyway. It was cold outside, but that didn’t stop anybody. Later on, Donna and Stefanie and I went to the women’s broadcast at our stake center, and the guys babysat at home. 
           Dad and I are speaking in church this morning. It’s an awesome responsibility, to speak on Easter Sunday, and I hope we can say the right things. I’ll be really happy when we’re done. And next weekend, of course, is conference. I’ll be hosting the Saturday night soup dinner at 5 pm, here at our house, before the Priesthood session. We’ll have ice cream here afterwards. Sunday lots of us will be watching conference at the cabin, and Donna mentioned that "the girls" would do Sunday dinner.
          Last Tuesday I had my tests at LDS hospital–the esophageal manometry and an esophagram. The first was the worst. They run a tube in your nose and down your throat, and you have to make a series of swallows to move it down. The other test was basically x-rays–they give you a drink that looks like wet plaster, and you chug it down, along with other concoctions, while they rotate you on a table and take pictures. I’m not at all sure that either test showed what’s wrong, though, because both the technicians told me the results looked good. Luckily, I’m seeing the doctor on Thursday. (I complained so loudly that they finally got me scheduled.) I’m hoping he can figure out what’s going on.
         Otherwise, I’m happy that it’s spring, and that it’s Easter. Love to you all!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Dad has completely finished painting our basement. Now he’s installing switches, plugs, light fixtures, and smoke detectors. Meanwhile, I finished repairing the wall we had to cut out last week when I drilled into a water line. (I’m almost back to where I was a week ago!) But I’ve been doing other things, too. More tile. Doors. Moldings. This part of the project doesn’t seem to go very fast, but I’m hurrying, because as soon as it gets a little warmer, I’ll be out working in the yard. It’s calling to me. 
          Two weeks ago I had an endoscopy of my esophagus, and this week I’ll be having an esophagram (where you drink barium and they x-ray it going down) and also an esophageal manometry, where they test how well the muscles of your esophagus are working. I’m still having the same trouble: I eat or drink something, and swallow, but then nothing happens. Even pepsi, which sizzles, but doesn’t go anywhere. I’m frustrated with the doctor who’s doing the tests, because it’s impossible to schedule a follow-up visit with him at his office. He’s too busy, but not too busy to come to the hospital and do the testing. Medicare has its quirks. 
           Meanwhile, I think I’ve caught one of the viruses going around, and I have a sore throat and bronchitis. So imagine having both your windpipe and your esophagus hurting at the same time. Plus your chest, and your stomach. It can only get better. No way could it be worse. 
           After three Saturdays in a row watching children’s theater productions (Wizard of Oz, Dear Edwina, and The Sound of Music) Dad and I went to the Hale Center theater in Orem yesterday to see "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Of course it was a fabulous production. And as many times as we’ve seen it, I never get tired of the music. Dad either, who was toe-tapping the whole time. At the end, I cried when Joseph was reunited with his father. I never really felt that part before. I noticed several of the people in the cast were crying, too.
          Speaking of Dads, I called John’s house a couple of days ago, and I thought it was Grandpa Allen answering the phone. It sounded just like him! I was speechless. It was only John, who is getting to sound like his grandfather. I never realized that before.
          Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I buried a cat, but it wasn’t Oreo. There hasn’t been any sign of him. Since he disappeared, though, we’ve looked closely at every dead cat on the side of the road. There was one down by the saw mill that caught our eye, and we went back to have another look. It was gray, not black and white, so we drove on. Two days later it was still there, and I couldn’t stand the fact that it wasn’t getting a decent burial. I was thinking about Oreo lying in a ditch somewhere. So we came back with a shovel, and took it home, and I dug a grave out by the playground. I didn’t have a size 14 shoe box for a coffin, and I didn’t play taps on the accordion, but at least it had a had a decent burial. I hope somebody does the same for Oreo if they find him.
           Friday I was putting up shelves in our new storage room downstairs, drilling holes into the wall on the other side of the bathroom. I was trying to only hit the studs, not the water lines. (The new plastic pex is a lot easier to drill into than the old copper pipes.) I thought I had done really well, but a couple of hours later I went back to admire my work and I noticed water on the floor. Dad cut out a large area of sheetrock and we found the leak. I remembered the same thing had happened to John, installing a swing in Julie’s room. So we called Dr. Ackerson. He came with his tool box, (in his Porsche, for extra speed) and he fixed it in about a minute. If he ever gets tired of being an eye doctor, he could make good money as a plumber.
           Pagie and Adelaide were onstage in "Sound of Music" yesterday, at the Spotlight Theater in Centerville. (It’s in a strip mall, next to the D.I.) It was lots of fun! Pagie and Addie were nuns, townspeople, party patrons, etc. There were lots of mishaps that made it even more entertaining. Liesel started coughing, and then disappeared from the show. A few scenes later a different Liesel appeared. At one point there was a loud pop, and the microphones went dead for a minute. Low budget kids’ productions are our new favorite entertainment. Watching the kids themselves have so much fun is the best part!
          Easter is in just two weeks, but I haven’t heard of any plan for an Easter Saturday picnic. Sometimes Nora plans it, but they’ll be in Maryland visiting Sharon. Maybe we can put something together anyway. I’ll ask around.
          Meanwhile, I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dear Kids,
          The big event of the week, of course, was Bentley’s helicopter ride to PCMC early Monday morning. Dad and I didn’t know anything was going on until Allen walked into our bedroom about 1 am and told us Bentley was being life-flighted. (Our phones were off, so Tom had called him.) Luckily Allen, the cop, was very cool, and told us all what to do. I babysat the house and kids in Heber. Allen drove Tom to the hospital in Salt Lake (probably driving about 100, since they got there when the helicopter was landing.) (Kim was on the helicopter with Bentley.) Dad drove Tom’s car to Salt Lake and came back with Allen. It all worked out very smoothly. About 3 am Allen called me and said that Bentley had been stabilized, which was a huge relief. It turns out he’d had an ordinary cold virus along with a secondary bacterial infection (one of the staph family) and it all blew up very quickly. We’re very grateful for competent medical people and the blessings of the Lord. Bentley is making a terrific recovery. He came home from the hospital after only three days, and now he’s up and around a little bit. He only regrets that he doesn’t remember the helicopter ride.
          Other news . . . is there any other news, really? Oh, yes, of course, Macie’s wonderful baptism Friday night in Pocatello. Her cousin McKenna was being baptized, too, along with a Polynesian boy in their ward, so the chapel was filled. There was a great after-party at Vanessa’s, and Dad and I slept over, and drove home yesterday morning. In the afternoon we went to Emma’s production of "Dear Edwina" at the Timpanogos Valley Theater. We liked it a lot. Dad and I have become total theater patrons. Last week it was Wizard of Oz, yesterday Emma’s production, next Saturday Nora’s girls are onstage in Centerville, and the Saturday after we’re going to "Joseph" at the Hale Center Theater in Orem. What a life!
          Oh, and besides, I had a "scope" of my esophagus on Friday at LDS hospital. When I eat, I can swallow OK, but the food doesn’t seem to go down any time soon. Water "sticks" too, and even pepsi. Very weird. The camera showed that my esophagus is nice and healthy and pink, and nothing is obviously wrong. They did a biopsy, but they don’t expect it to show anything. I think an x-ray is next. I hope they can figure out what’s going on.
          Meanwhile, life is good. I love you all. Mom