Sunday, February 24, 2019

Dear Kids,
         Compared with the excitement of last week (Tom and Kim’s new baby on the way) things are dull again.  It’s still cold, down around zero every night.  The snow is still deep.  The deer still walk past our windows.  The herd has grown larger, from five, starting out, to ten now.  It takes Tina longer to glare at each one of them, but she won’t slack off.    Over at our cabin . . . nothing has been done yet.  It’s still sitting there, quiet and desolate.   On Monday Bevan cleared the driveway there with the new track snowblower.  He said it’s really fun to operate.  Meanwhile, Dad keeps our driveway clear with the snowblower here.  All those years we didn’t have one, I thought it was only about saving a little bit of work.  I didn’t realize what a great toy it is.  If we get even an inch of new snow, Dad’s out there running the snowblower.
         Here’s a bit of good news:  Adelaide will be working at Oakcrest this summer, on the kitchen staff.  Her camp name will be “Lemonade.”  Where has the time gone?  It seems only a few years ago that Nora was Oskaloosa.  Anyway, we’re really happy for Adelaide, and we know she’ll have a wonderful summer.
         My cousins Colleen works at the Provo Temple on Fridays, and that’s the day Dad and I usually go, sometimes with John and Heather.  Colleen was one of the “little kids” when I was growing up; she’s probably six or seven years younger than I am.  And I’ve always thought of temple workers as “old people,” way, way older than I am.  But we usually see Colleen there, when we go.  And last Friday, she actually did one of the ordinances for me.  What a great feeling, knowing one of my relatives is helping with ordinances! I never thought that would happen.
         Spring is coming up, sometime.  The snow will melt sometime.  My leg will stop hurting sometime.  But every day is good, and I love you all.  Mom

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dear Kids,
         Finally, there’s news!  There’s excitement!  Another baby boy Ackerson is on the way, thanks to Tom and Kim, again.  Tom sent us a text of the ultrasound a couple of days ago, which was the first we’d heard about it.  I think they kept their secret pretty well.  Their due date is July 18.  And this will be how many boys in a row?  It’s odd–when Lucy was born in January of 2010, the girls were ahead by four, 13 to 9.   But since then, our only girl grandchild has been Anna, compared with twelve boys. (Counting Barbarossa.  I’m calling the new baby that.  It’s such a great name, and they didn’t even use it on Blake.)  So, we really could use some girls!  But all these wonderful grandchildren are blessings from Heavenly Father, and I’m grateful for them all, girls and boys.
         Compared to that, nothing else is news.  It still snows every couple of days. We always have about a foot on the ground, since it packs down.  The deer still come strolling by, looking in our windows.  Our yard is their preferred route into the neighborhood, and I think somebody farther in must be feeding them, since they don’t exactly look skinny.  The cats don’t like them one little bit, but there isn’t much they can do.
         If John has shingles, is isn’t very severe.  He feels a stabbing pain in his leg now and then, but otherwise he feels fine.  Lucky!  I’m still dealing with my pain.  And walking with my cane, which I really like.  There are all kinds of things you can do if you happen to have a cane with you.  You can use it to pull a cat out from under the bed.  You can beat off a vicious dog, if you need to. You can point to things with it.  You can break up patches of ice on the driveway.  In all the old movies, every gentleman  had a top hat and cane.  We were just watching one where the hero used his cane to grab the villain by the arm, to make him pay a waitress her back wages.  So canes are pretty handy.
         Boy, gas has sure gotten cheap!  In West Valley, at the Rainbow station, it’s $1.85 a gallon if you use your Sinclair card.  It makes me want to go for a road trip, if I only felt better!
         But life is good.  With such a wonderful family as ours, I have nothing to complain about.
         Love, Mom

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Dear Kids,
         We still haven’t had any real excitement here.  That’s probably good.  Our daily happenings are pretty much the same: watching it snow outside, watching our crazy kitties, and watching the deer watch us (they really do look in our windows).   Dad gets out the snow blower every couple of days and has a great time tooling around the driveway with it.
         Friday night Vanessa’s family stayed over.  They were here for their annual ski adventure, and I’m sure it was great.  Yesterday morning they met up at Deer Valley with Nora and some of her kids, Tom and some of his kids, and Donna with Anna.  At least there was plenty of snow!  I’ve heard that the snowpack is normal for the year.  That’s funny, because it’s always either above normal, in which case they warn us of flooding, or below normal, when they warn us of drought.  But normal?  That almost never happens.
         So it’s  been nice having regular snowstorms every three or four days.  Last Sunday afternoon Nora was here with her kids, and she made biscuits.  (Her family’s biscuits are right up there with Donna’s and Vanessa’s rolls.)  When they came out of the oven, we ate them with butter and honey, and watched it snow outside.  It was one of those perfect scenes that you could put on a calendar.  Tom’s family came later and Tom roasted a pork loin on a cutting board on the counter-top, using a propane torch.  All the kids were standing around agog.  I told him he should put himself on you-tube, and he said that’s where he learned how to do it: on you-tube.  I’m sure the pork loin tasted fabulous, but I didn’t eat any.  I can’t eat any kind of meat without getting terrible stomach cramps.  That goes for fruits and vegetables, too.  But life is still good.  There are lots of good breads and rolls and biscuits out there, and no end of fabulous cheeses.
         John thinks he might have shingles.  We haven’t talked to him since Thursday, but he had all the symptoms–just no rash.  It’s weird, because his pain is exactly where mine is, in the left thigh.  I haven’t heard of anybody else having it there.  Anyway, if it really is shingles, I hope he has a light case.  If it turns out to be bad, I have an extra cane I can lend him.
         And life is still good.  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Dear Kids,
         I have even less news to report this week than usual, because I’ve been down in bed since Thursday with a stomach virus.  I’m hoping to finally be able to eat today. I haven’t really been hungry, but food always tastes so good to me, and there isn’t much else going on in my life.  While I’ve been sick, the kitties have spent lots of time on our bed keeping me company.  Mostly Sonia, I guess, but Scout has put in some time.  Tina’s been very deficient in that regard–she has never  cuddled up with humans. We do see signs that she’s becoming a real cat, however–a couple of days ago I caught her in a real fight with Scout, both of them rolling on the floor like one big ball of striped fur, rabbit kicking, biting, head grabbing, the whole business.  But Tina walked away in disgust when she saw me watching.  As far as we know, this was her first real true cat fight,  so Scout is having a good effect on her.
         We’ve had some activity on the cabin reconstruction;  well, not any actual work, but signs that it might happen someday.  I was talking to Rob Sorensen, our insurance agent, about one of the financial transactions, and while I had him on the phone, I said we were also concerned about how slowly Servicemaster seems to work.  They’ve been been working on Donna’s bathroom for several months now, and I told him that at that same rate, it would take about five years to reconstruct our cabin.  Rob said he’d look into it.  I guess he did, because that afternoon we got a call from the Servicemaster guy (Scott Lewis) saying he wanted us to meet with himself and the general contractor who’s in charge of the reconstruction.  We met them at the cabin on Wednesday morning, where it was about zero degrees.  We walked around inside and outside, looking at the damage, and the contractor told us how he’ll go about fixing everything.  He seems really competent, and he’s obviously had a lot of experience.  But when Dad asked when the work would actually start, Scott said they had a lot of projects going, and they weren’t exactly sure.  He also mentioned that it could take a long time to get the materials, maybe up to three months.  That wasn’t very encouraging.  But at least they know we expect it to be done sometime.
         It just started snowing outside.  I hope we get a lot!  Our old snow was mostly packed down and melted.
         I hope you’re all well and happy.  Love, Mom