Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dear Kids,
         First off, Anna’s baptism will be next Saturday morning (December 1) at 10:30 am at Donna’s church in Midway.  The address is 250 East 200 South.  (It’s the same building where Dallin, Drew, and Tommy have all been blessed.)  The after-party will be at John’s house, and if you want to help with the food, call Donna for an assignment.  This will be one more great family event, followed the next Saturday (December 8) by Isaac’s baptism at Nora’s church.  I’ll have details on that in my next letter.
         Our Thanksgiving was a blast, and for those of you who went elsewhere, I hope you had a great time, too.  This is the first Thanksgiving that we’ve eaten at our house, and not at the cabin, which is totally emptied out, with no utilities, and cold as a refrigerator.  Vanessa’s family normally stays there, but they stayed at our house instead.  That was really fun, and I appreciated Vanessa’s help in planning where to seat everybody for Thanksgiving dinner.  I had thought some people could sit at the table, and the rest could just hold plates on their laps, but Vanessa was adamant that everybody needed a place to sit at a table, just like at Grandma Allen’s.  So she pushed the sofas and coffee table to the side of the room, and turned the dining table 90 degrees, and made room for two banquet tables from the cabin. That made places for 24, and since we were expecting 25, it worked out fine.  The food was fabulous, since everybody made their specialty, and Donna did the turkey.  (I knew it would max me out just making the pies.)  Thanks to everybody who helped out!  It was a wonderful day.
         The only mishap came in the evening; Nora lost her car key when she and Donna and Vanessa were over at the cabin hiking the loop.  It was hopeless, since the key had obviously fallen into the snow, but they searched in the dark anyway, with their headlamps.  Finally they had to give up.  Nora and James drove our car home, and Nora brought it back the next morning, after stopping off at the outlet stores.
         Vanessa’s family was here for two days and three nights, and her kids held Scout and Sonia nearly nonstop.  So now we have two very spoiled young kitties who don’t know what to do with themselves if they aren’t being held.  They mostly fight with each other, and when they’re inside, they rip away at the carpet.  Naturally I toss them out immediately.  Tina doesn’t run from them any more.  She just growls at Scout, and he growls back, and they take swipes at each other.  Sonia keeps her distance, with her back up and her tail puffed.  It’s very entertaining.
         Dad and I will be sending out Christmas money this week.  Everybody seems to like my new plan, so I don’t even have to feel guilty for not shopping.
         Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dear Kids,
         I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving, even though it won’t be at the cabin.  We can easily accommodate everybody here at our house.  And for those of you who are going somewhere else, I hope you have a great time, too.  If I haven’t told everybody, we’ll be eating about 1 pm.  Then we’ll have pie and other desserts about 5. That leaves time for us to let our dinner settle, and also a nice window of opportunity for Vanessa and the other hardy souls to hike the big loop.  I wish I could hike it myself.  Can’t you just see me with my cane, hobbling along, trying to keep up?  Well, there will be other years for me, hopefully better years.
         Speaking of the cabin, all the furniture is out, and everything is off the walls.  Dad brought home some of the nick-knacks, and also the sheets, towels, mattress covers, blankets, and pillow cases for me to wash.  He said he was afraid they would use some perfumy detergent, and I would just have to wash them all over again.  Good thinking!  So I’ve been doing massive amounts of laundry.  Some of the bedding has such a strong smoke smell that I have to wash it twice.  I’ve already used up a gallon of bleach!  Our furniture has supposedly been taken to a facility where they fumigate it with ozone to get the smoke smell out.  I hope it works.  This week they’re supposed to start tearing sheet rock off the walls, but nothing happens on schedule with this crew.  Dad goes over there practically every day to supervise, and I suspect he’s been helping them, too.
         I’m still having quite a struggle with my “post-herpetic neuralgia.” (after-shingles nerve pain.)  I can’t take the hard drugs, just Tramadol, which is better than nothing, but not by much.  Last spring, after my cancer surgery, my colon doctor let me take 2 tablets every four hours, and that went on for several weeks.  But I tried to get our family doctor to prescribe the same amount, and he said it was over the legal limit.  He said lots of doctors don’t even know the limits, or care.  I wish he didn’t know or care.  So then I asked him about medical marijuana.  He said Utah hasn’t worked out the details yet, and there aren’t any standards for how much “hemp” is in it.  He said it might be a good option for down the road.  For me, “down the road” means the 3-hour drive through Vernal to the Colorado border, where there’s a dispensary in the tiny town of Dinosaur.  It’s a great temptation, and one of these days Dad and I might make the trip.
         Have a great Thanksgiving week, everybody!  Lots of love, Mom 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dear Kids,
         Luke’s baptism in Pocatello yesterday was a great event, like all baptisms.  The most memorable moment, however, was when Sterling was just lifting Luke up out of the water, and Dallin blurted out “I don’t want to get baptized!”  Hey, this is the kid who wanted to be baptized in the river!  He sure changed his mind fast!  But he’ll be fine when his turn comes. When I was six and Katie was seven, Grandpa Allen took us both to see a baptism.  I was terrified at the sight.  But when I turned eight, it was fine.
         Anna’s baptism is still on for December 1st, but Isaac’s has been changed to December 8th, so it won’t be on the day of our family Christmas party, after all.  There will be more details coming on both of those.  I’m just glad we can celebrate these wonderful events, not to mention the wonderful food we always have, and all the fun of visiting with everybody.
         Our kittens have grown so fast, they now qualify as junior cats. And cute as they are, they’re definitely alley cats.  Their back legs are longer than their front legs, all the better for climbing up people’s pants or jumping up on the table.  They also climb into the dishwasher while I’m trying to load it, so they can lick food scraps off the plates and utensils.  Can you imagine a purebred Siamese or Persian cat doing that? Never!  They harass Tina whenever they can, and she yowls and hisses at them, and then runs away.  But she has reclaimed her favorite spot in the garage, so that’s a sign of hope.
         I had planned to sing in the Messiah, and I wrote in here that we wouldn’t be home the next few Sunday nights, but we’ll be here after all.  I just don’t feel good enough to sing.  Besides, I walk with a cane now (I was falling down too much) so it would be awkward to get up and down the steps.  And people would feel sorry for me, and I don’t want that.  It’s funny–last year I bailed out of the Messiah because I’d just had the first skin cancer surgery on my forehead.  That was the beginning of my year of misery.  I hope I’m not headed into another one.  Please keep up your prayers for me, and your kids’s prayers, too! I really appreciate it.
         Love, Mom

Sunday, November 4, 2018

P.S. to my letter below: The address 2281 East Terry Street might not be accurate.  It’s the same building as all the other Sutton baptisms, at the corner of Princeton and Terry Streets.  You can see the building from the interstate.  My program shows the address as 42 Princeton Street. 
Dear Kids,
         First off, Luke’s baptism will be next Saturday morning at 10 am at Trent and Vanessa’s church in Pocatello.  The address is 2281 East Terry Street..  I know it’s short notice, and everybody’s really busy, but at least some of us will be able to go.  Dad and I haven’t been to Idaho since the eclipse, so we’re looking forward to the trip.  Nora’s family might be going the night before.
         Then, on Saturday, December 1st, Anna and Isaac will both be baptized in Midway.  I don’t know if Donna’s church is the stake center–probably not, so I’ll let you all know which church when it gets closer.  I know for sure it won’t be in the Provo River.  Dallin already has plans for his baptism, and he insists it’s going to be in the river.  Too bad his birthday is during the peak runoff season. 
         Our cats are keeping us well entertained.  Tina still hates the kittens, but that doesn’t bother them at all.  Scout likes to chase her.  She always yowls when she sees him, probably in terror.  Then she takes off, with Scout close behind, and Sonia running after them.  When Dad feeds Tina her special meals, I have to keep the kittens away.  On Sunday nights John usually brings the fire kittens, and they romp around the family room with Scout and Sonia.  Tina sits at the back door and glares and hisses at them all through the glass.  She’s very brave when there’s a door between them.
         Some of you have been asking about any progress on repairing the cabin.  So far, nothing has happened.  A disaster crew was supposed to have cleaned up the debris by now, but it hasn’t happened.  An electrician was supposed to check the wires and make sure they’re all snubbed off.  That hasn’t happened either.  An engineer is supposed to come and check the rafters, and he hasn’t been there.  I’m expecting the rebuilding project to take a long time and be very frustrating. If anything goes smoothly, I’ll be very surprised.
         Come to think of it, hardly anything ever goes smoothly.  But we learn a lot from our troubles.  It’s called life.
         Lots of love, Mom