Sunday, August 25, 2019

Dear Kids,
         Tyler’s baby blessing will be a week from today (September 1) at Tom’s church (the first one past the elementary school, past Smiths, as you go east on 500 North).  Sacrament meeting starts at noon. There will be food afterwards at Tom’s house, and you can contact Kim for an assignment.  I’m really looking forward to it!  The baby blessings are getting fewer and farther between, and unless somebody is planning to surprise us, the next one will be Paul and Stefanie’s baby in the spring.
         Things are sure quiet in our neighborhood, since school started this week.  I can hardly believe summer’s over already.  I know most of you parents are glad to have your kids settled back into school, except for Sharon’s kids, who don’t go back until after Labor Day.  (Of course they didn’t get out until the middle of June.)  I always liked having you kids settled into a routine again, and I always tried to organize my life better when I had more breathing room.
         Our kitties are obsessed with rolling in the dirt.  When I let them into the house, they’re so dirty they don’t even hold their tails up straight, but drag them along behind.  Then they spend hours grooming themselves.  Then they want to go back outside and roll in the dirt again.  I was wondering how they can lick up that much dirt, without it hurting them, and Dad said maybe they need it in their diets.  Maybe it cleans them out.  Come to think of it, they don’t sell Kitty Miralax, (would they call it Kittylax?) so maybe Dad’s right.
         I was just thinking about all my medical troubles, which started out two years ago.  First it was my skin cancers, and then I was barely recovered from those surgeries when they found the colon cancer.  I wasn’t even completely recovered from that when I got the shingles. And now along with the shingles pain, I have the pain in my right leg, probably from my hip.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor in two weeks, and maybe he’ll be able to help clear it up.  But I’m thinking Job was very wise when he said “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”  (Job 5:7)  But then I have plenty of blessings too, the best of which are you kids and kids-in-law and your kids, too.  I have way more blessings than troubles!
         So life is good! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Dear Kids,
         I’m finding lots of dead mice in our lawn these days.  They’re full of bite marks, and some are water-logged.  I think most of them are from Scout.  He has turned into a mouse killing machine.  Every morning, after their canned cat food, he’s frantic to get outside.  When I open the door, he bolts for the pasture.  Sonia follows him, but as far as I know, all she catches are grasshoppers.  She brings them to the back door to show us,  alive and kicking. 
         Nothing’s being done on our cabin these days.  Our contractor told Dad he had to go off and do another job for a couple of weeks.  Oh, well.  It will be finished sometime.  Tom and his kids came with us to inspect the cabin last Sunday.  Tom was very nostalgic about all the jalapeno poppers and dutch oven potatoes we’ve enjoyed there over the years.  He’s very confident that the cabin will get its magic back again, and I’m sure he’s right.  But it will take a lot of work on our part, even after the contractor is done.
         Our washing machine died, so we had to get a new one.  Donna told us about the advantages of getting it from Washing Machine Exchange in Salt Lake, but Dad said if there were two of him, and it were ten years ago, we’d do it.   As it was, we went to R.C. Willey.  I was hoping to find a simple one, say, with just a choice of  hot, warm, or cold water, and maybe three water levels.  But all the ones we saw are programmed to do the thinking for you.  You just throw in the clothes and the soap, set the dial for whatever you’re washing, and it decides the water level, how long, the temperature, etc.  It actually weighs the clothes to decide on the water level.  So far it’s working OK, but it makes the most awful sounds!  It grunts and groans and starts and stops and burps and dings.  It’s like having another person in the house.
         Stefanie had her doctor’s appointment this week to check on the new baby.  Everything’s fine, and there’s just one baby.  Some of us were hoping for twin girls, but one baby is a fabulous blessing.  Even another boy.  We love all our wonderful little blessings.  Speaking of which, Tyler’s blessing is still on for September 1.  More on that next week.
         Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Dear Kids,
         Fall is in the air!  You can feel it now.  Our summer was very short, just the month of July, but that was enough.  We’re ready to move on.  I planted grass on the north side of our house, and it should be coming up soon.  I know sod is quicker, and it looks good from the very start, but I love the excitement of watching grass come up.  Besides, planting seed is way cheaper, and you can choose the exact seed you want.  This time around I’m using half sheep fescue and half Kentucky bluegrass.
         Last Monday night we went by Tom’s house to see baby Tyler. He’s doing really well:  eating, growing, and doing the rest of what new babies do.  He’s really cute, of course.  His blessing will be Sunday, Sept. 1, at 12 noon at Tom’s church.  When it gets closer, you can call Kim for a food assignment. 
         We went by John’s house to see the sprinkler pipe he’s laid in his back yard, before he covers it up.  It looks like a vast highway system in miniature.  He used 2,500 feet of pipe, and dug out thousands and thousand of rocks.  (I didn’t think any ground could be rockier than ours, but John’s is.)  His cats are like ours, loving those trenches and running through them.  They’ll be way disappointed when John fills them in.  Those cats started out as scrubbly little kittens, almost the exact same age as ours, and they’ve grown into fine creatures.  I think Blue is my favorite, because he looks like our old cat Benson. 
         I’m walking with a cane again.  There’s a  pain in my right leg now, not the left, where I still have the shingles pain.  It started at Bear Lake, and I made that walking stick, but it only got worse when I got home.  Finally I went to see our doctor, and he said it’s really my hip.  He asked if I’d done anything unusual lately.  I told him we’d been to Bear Lake, and I’d gone on a long walk.   What I only remembered  later was shoveling that entire load of topsoil, mostly from the right.  But that was so much fun!  How could I have let anybody else do it?  So now I’m paying the price. They took an x-ray, which showed my hip was only inflamed, not worn out.  So I won’t need surgery.  The doctor prescribed a course of steroid pills, which I’m nearly done with, and nothing has improved yet.  So I might be in it for the long haul.  My poor body seems to be going from bad to worse.   
         But with such a wonderful family, I have every reason to be happy.  Nothing else means as much to me.
         Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Dear Kids,
         The best possible  news!  Most of you saw Paul’s post with the picture of Josh in his new T-shirt saying “Big Brother 2020.”  Their baby is due in March, and we hope and pray that everything will go well. This will be grandchild #36 for us.  We couldn’t be happier!
         And the fun and work and excitement of the reunion is over with, and we’re trying to get back to normal.  It’s odd how getting back to normal takes so much longer than the reunion itself lasted.  But it was great.  Thanks to Vanessa for planning it, and for the meals everybody prepared, and for your excitement and enthusiasm.  We don’t have any deadbeats in our family!  It amazes me how everybody comes through.  We missed Kim and the rest of Tom’s kids who didn’t come, but we’re grateful for the birth of little Tyler.  I’ve had a cold, and we haven’t been to see him since he was born, so I’ll have to get an update today on how he’s doing.
         We wondered if our kitties would be OK while we were gone, but naturally they did fine.  I had rigged things so they could go from the outside into the garage and into our house, so they had the complete run of things.  All three of them were in the house when we got home, and they yawned and stretched and seemed pleased that we were back, able to wait on them again.  They still had plenty of food in their two bowls (inside bowl and garage bowl) but one of them had deposited a really fat mouse into the garage bowl, on top of the dry cat food.  I guess it was supposed to serve as a snack when somebody was in the mood for a mouse. 
         I had a great birthday on Thursday.  My present from Dad (which I ordered myself) was a single-burner griddle to use on our Camp Chef stoves.  So if you’re making french toast or pancakes, you can have the big griddle totally covering one stove, and the smaller griddle covering half of the other, and still have one burner to heat things.  Camp Chef reads your mind!  One of their catalogs was packed in with the griddle, and some of their more enticing products include giant outdoor movie screens and beer can chicken holders, for “moist flavor infusion.”   Would that be against the Word of Wisdom?
         I guess our next big family event will be Tyler’s baby blessing, maybe the first Sunday in September?  When I find out the details, I’ll include them here.
         Love to all, Mom