Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I drove down to Nora’s on Friday, so Dad could have a haircut, and so I could see their newly-framed basement. It looks really good! Scott Treu and Dad did a great job! And the floor plan is brilliant. Besides a big family room, there’s a mother-in-law apartment for people who want to stay over! What could be better! The rough plumbing has already been done, by James with a jackhammer, and a professional plumber. The HFAC guy has already been there. I was totally impressed. Meanwhile, Tom is still going full steam on his basement. We haven’t been there in the last couple of weeks, but we’ve seen pictures of his sheetrocking. Donna, too, is deep into projects. She’s working on the doors in their master bedroom. On Thursday, we took her some joint compound. Everybody is into such great projects! And me? I’m moving the last of the boxes out of our garage. But it’s very tedious. They’re all boxes of desperation, and I have to look at every single thing in every box and decide what to do with it. Not fun. I’m missing the excitement we had last winter when we, too, were working on our basement. Too bad we don’t have anything exciting this year. I’m looking forward to spring, whenever it comes. I want to go out and dig in the yard again.
          I’m racking my brain for news. Nothing. Conference weekend and Easter are still too far away to worry about. I got a play mouse for Tina and rubbed it with catnip. She likes to toss it around. She still freaks out over my long skinny balloons.
           Christmas is still 10 months away, but I ought to mention now that I’m going to have a $5.00 bill for each child (or grownup) who can recite "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." You can do it individually or in a group. Those of you who are far away can skype it. I got the idea last Christmas when I heard Bentley recite it all, while he was unwrapping a present and reading the directions. (Go, Bentley!) Abi was mouthing it along with him. So, if anybody is bored with winter and can’t find anything interesting to do, you can start in on the Grinch.
         Life is good. We all ought to be "doin’ great and lovin’ it."
         Love, Mom

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dear Kids,
          Allen and Carson and Ellie stayed over here Friday night, because Tom and his ward’s scouts were at the cabin. So, what did we do here for excitement? Ellie practiced on the Clavinova, with headphones. Allen practiced on the grand. (I really enjoyed his songs!) Carson went to bed early. So did I. So did Dad. (He was worn out from working on Nora’s basement, helping Scott Treu with the framing.) None of us partied, but it was nice having a full house–well, not like we used to have, but at least one person per bedroom.
           I’ve known for a long time that I’m losing my hearing, so I went to a clinic in Park City to be evaluated. They’d send out a flyer in the mail, with the promise of a gift card to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory if I came in for an evaluation. So of course I went. They tested me, and found out that I hear pretty well in the lower frequencies, but my hearing loss is "severe" in the higher tones. They fitted me up with hearing aids that are really high tech, which they programmed remotely from their computer. It was strange to hear so much, all at once. I wore them OK on the drive home, and it was strange to hear raindrops pattering on the windshield of the car. When I walked around the house, I could hear my hair swishing on the sensors on the tops of my ears. I figured that might be a problem. But then I tried playing the piano. I heard all kinds of tones! When I played the notes singly, I discovered that the hearing aids were "singing along," with strange buzzing tones, which were not the same tones I was playing. Weird! I put them on Dad, and he heard the same thing. And Allen. I figured three of us hearing the same thing was a pretty good test. So those particular hearing aids aren’t going to work for me. And I’m not sure there’s anything better out there. But it was a free trial, and I still have the gift card to redeem.
          My Senior Citizen piano classes in Heber have really taken off. What’s the magic of Heber Valley? Everybody who doesn’t already play the piano wants to learn! In West Valley, at the Harmon Center, I never had more than four students at a time, with at least two of them deadbeats. Now I have ten, and a waiting list! And nearly all of these seniors are conscientious and dedicated! It’s lots of fun teaching them. I always look forward to Thursday mornings!
          I mentioned that I’ve been using long twisty balloons to keep Tina off my face, when we’re watching TV at night. She got more and more courageous about batting at them with her paws, and finally, she bit one. You could hear the bang all through the house. It sent her under the bed. I look forward to lots more fun with those balloons.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dear Kids,
          Put this on your calendars: Saturday, March 25, for a family get-together. Monica, Neil, and Jackson will be here in town! It’s their spring break, and they’ll be camping in southern Utah (best time of the year to be down there!) but on that Saturday, they’ll be here in town. We’re not sure yet where the party will be, probably either at the cabin or at John’s house, but I’ll let you know for sure when it gets closer. We’re all looking forward to seeing them again!
         My best new purchase has been a pack of twisty balloons and a balloon pump. Why? I can use those long skinny balloons to keep Tina off my face while we’re watching TV at night. She hates them! I only have to jab one at her, and she jumps to the foot of our bed. I’ve used them for a couple of weeks now (Paige gave me my first one, a long skinny flower she’d made) and it’s nice not having cat fur in my eyes and nose. Tina’s gotten brave enough to paw at the balloons, though. Wait till she bites into one! She’ll have a big surprise.
          Vanessa and her kids stayed over at our house Friday night, because they were going skiing yesterday at Deer Valley. It was fun having them here! They’re so pleasant and well behaved! (But of course all our grandkids are exceptional!) I admire Vanessa for getting all that gear together: clothes, kids, ski equipment. She said whenever she’s getting ready for something like that, she thinks it’s too much trouble, and it isn’t going to be worth it, but it always is. 
           Four of my sisters, Jane, Nancy, Barbara, and Bonnie, came here to our house yesterday so we could go out to lunch together. Barbara and Bonnie hadn’t ever been to our house before, so I had fun showing them around. Bonnie says we have a "million dollar view." We went to lunch at Hi Mountain Drug, and Barbara said that’s the best hamburger she’s ever eaten. Jane had a salad, and took most of it home in a doggie bag. She’s lost 52 pounds since her surgery, and she’s doing really well now. We heard Scott has lost 80 pounds! Hooray for them both! I’m proud of their courage.
            Since Katie couldn’t be at our lunch yesterday, we’re planning a sisters’ trip to Boise in May, to visit her for a couple of days. I’m so looking forward to that!
          Life is wonderful. I love you all! Mom