Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I’ve been looking at pictures of kittens on and the humane society and animal shelter web pages, but I haven’t seen anything promising yet. There are plenty of haggard older cats that need homes, but we’ve had those long enough. Xena’s sixteen now, and quite the old lady. She yowls at us every time we come into the garage. Maybe she’s saying she needs friends, or maybe she’s only complaining about her age. We can’t tell.
          On Monday I hiked on the Jordanelle perimeter trail with Allen, and we went all the way to the point, (11 miles round trip), which was a big deal for me, but not for Al, because he’d gone 20 miles the week before. He’s getting in shape for the long summer hikes he’s planning. He’s going to do the Highline Trail in the Uintas with Carson, and the Grand Canyon in the fall. He’s got a lot of great gear now, some of which gets delivered to our house, if the UPS and FedEx guys are too lazy to take it up to the cabin. I’m envious of the gear, and of his adventure plans.
          Yesterday afternoon Dad and I went to another Saturday afternoon musical: we watched Ellie in "Aristocats." It’s really a great show! Ellie played the part of "Madame," the owner of Duchess and her kittens. There was a lot of singing and dancing, and some very cute costumes. Remember, if any of your kids are in any theater productions, invite us! I love them all!
          I’ve been taking the medications for my esophagus, and I think it’s getting a little better. At least I’ve stopped losing weight. I’m hoping to eat more normally sometime in the future. If I could eat ice cream again, I think my life would be perfect. 
          We were really enjoying spring, but then winter came back. It was snowing yesterday afternoon. I’d like to be out working in the yard, but there’s still plenty to do in the basement. Life is full of fun projects!
          Love to all! Mom

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I’m still plugging away in the basement, finishing the moldings. They’re taking me forever. Dad has been installing the doorknobs, which is a tricky business, besides pulling off the pieces of molding that I’ve done wrong, and pulling out the nails, so I can try again. Good thing I’m using paintable molding. I’ve had to patch lots of holes. 
          The highlight of my week was meeting with my brothers and sisters at Bonnie’s house to plan the big Allen family reunion. Basically it’s going to be like the others, probably at the same park, but with more planned activities, especially games. Charley’s in charge, but he gave us all assignments. It will be on August 6th. (And don’t forget our own Ackerson reunion at Mantua campground on July 7-9.) While we were at Bonnie’s house, Morgan opened his mission call, with all his friends there. He’s going to the Texas Houston South mission, leaving July 27. It’s amazing that such young kids are going on missions! Charley’s two grandsons, Sam and Scott, have their calls. I think Sam is going to Ecuador, and Scott is going to my old mission, Germany Frankfurt. Whoa. 
          Katie’s been here from Boise for a few days, for the planning meeting, and for the bridal shower for Maddie. She and Jane and I went to lunch on Thursday, at the Wasatch Back Grill in Heber, by John’s office. Then we came here to our house, and watched the horses. It was snowing, and the horses ran around a little bit, which delighted Katie. By the way, Those horses have gotten really lazy! Last Sunday, while Allen and his kids were here, Ellie and I took some pieces of apples out to them. They wouldn’t even come! They have feed buckets over by their barn, which are probably full of treats. 
           Allen and his kids have been coming to our ward for the last few weeks, which has been really fun. Ellie went to Young Women for the first time last week, since she had just barely turned 12. She said people are really welcoming here, but she misses her friends in her home ward. Allen’s schedule will be changing the first of May, so they won’t be here on Sundays any more, and we’ll really miss them.
          I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying life! Love, Mom

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dear Kids,
          The highlight of my week was a hike along the Jordanelle perimeter trail with Allen on Monday. I know I wasn’t up to speed, but he patiently walked at my pace. It was cool and pleasant. We went about four and a half miles before we turned back. We didn’t see much wildlife, except for deer carcasses and rabbit remains. Mostly the feet. Allen said that’s why a rabbit’s foot is lucky–it’s the only part that doesn’t get eaten.
          The rest of my week has been totally working in the basement. I’m madly trying to finish because our carpet should be here in a couple of days, and also so I can get outside and work in the yard. Now that the weather is nicer, I’m dying to rake rocks and spread more bark and plant more grass. And get more trees. I won’t let myself look at anything yet in the tree section of Home Depot. It would be too hard to walk away from them.
          Our big old Knabe piano took another trip this week–from Dave Michelson’s rental house on Longleaf Drive, (which he sold), to Donna’s house in Midway. I’m sure it won’t be there permanently, because Donna’s thinking of something different for her permanent piano, but it can stay there until either Sharon or Allen claims it. This is its fifth home since I bought it in 1983. Meanwhile, the bigger Clavinova came from Donna’s house back here. It has moved even more times. And the little Clavinova, which is also here, has lived in innumerable apartments and dorm rooms, besides taking a trip to Ohio while John and Heather lived there. Even my big piano is now at its third residence. Who knew pianos could travel so much?
         Thursday night, my brother Charley is having a siblings get-together to have us help him plan the summer reunion. (It’s scheduled for August 6th). I’m looking forward to seeing lots of my brothers and sisters, and especially Katie, who will be here. She’s coming to our house after that for a day or two, to visit. We'll probably spend  most of our time watching the horses. 
         I hope you’re all doing great! Dad and I are, too. Love, Mom

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dear Kids,
          We had a great time with those of you who came to our soup dinner last night, and we sent off the guys to the priesthood session thinking we’d be alone for a couple of hours. But they were home again in record time! Shortest priesthood session ever! They said President Monson barely started his talk, and then he was done. But they said it was really good. Anyway, we all dove into the ice cream and made quick work of it. We’re looking forward to the conference sessions today and having dinner with lots of you at the cabin. And welcoming Nora’s family home from their trip. It seems like they've been gone forever.
          After weeks of moseying along in our basement, I’ve finally speeded up, because now we have a deadline. Dan Sluga, the carpet guy, who’s known for dragging his heels and not showing up, has already come to our house, measured, collected a deposit, and ordered our carpet. It’s supposed to be here in a week. So I’m working every spare minute on tile, grout, and molding. The doors were a nightmare, but they’re done. Dad has totally finished the lights, switches, and outlets, so he’s done. Will it really be finished? It’s hard to imagine, since we’ve been working on it so long. 
          I had an appointment with my GI doctor on Thursday morning, and I was hoping he could identify what’s wrong with me. He did. What a surprise. He said all the tests show I have eosinophilic esophagitis (impossible to pronounce) which means that there are white blood cells in the lining of your esophagus that get inflamed. There are also I washboard-like ridges, and a place where the muscles don’t work very well (a dysmotility.) I looked all this up on the internet, and the treatments are all experimental, but my doctor said he’s had good success with oral steroids. You spray Flovent on the roof of your mouth and wash it down with a tiny bit of water, and it’s supposed to land in your esophagus and heal it. I hope it works. At least it’s a big relief knowing what’s wrong. The condition is often associated with food allergies, and the doctor mentioned testing, but I said I didn’t want to go there. I’ll just take the treatment.
          Spring is here and life is good. I love you all! Mom