Sunday, June 28, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Yesterday I had an all-day retreat with my five sisters, and it was a blast.  We ate out twice, partly worked a puzzle, and drove to the lot in Orem where Andy and Renae are going to build their new house.   Then we went to  an antiques mall in Springville, and later, back at Bonnie’s house, we took apart Grandma Allen’s scrapbooks, so we could divide out the pictures and give them to individual people.   That sounds like a depressing activity, but it was really pretty fun, because the pictures gave us lots of memories to talk about.  I was hoping to hear some good gossip to bring home, and I finally suggested that we go around the room, and everybody tell one scandalous story about their family.  Everybody said they didn’t have any scandals going on, and we don’t have any either, so that didn’t work out.  And there isn’t even any ordinary news.  No babies on the way (unless we don’t know) and no marriages planned.  There are six unmarried boys and two girls among the cousins, which isn’t much, any more.
        On Thursday evening Jana McGettigan came, and she stayed two nights.  On Friday morning we drove drove up to the top of Wolf Creek pass and out along the sheep camp road.  I knew there would be lots of different kinds of wildflowers that Jana could photograph, and the scenery is really spectacular this time of the year.  By the way, Jana won three categories (including the grand prize) in a recent Lehi City photo contest, and she won $400.  Go, Jana!  She really takes great pictures.   Friday afternoon we watched movies and gossiped.  Still no scandals to report!  Or marriages, or new babies.  The world has practically ground to a stop, probably because of the virus.
        My left toe, where I had the toenail removed, was still infected after a week, so now I’m on Septra.  And it still hurts!  I can’t wear any of my regular shoes, and my toes are too ugly for sandals.  Among my sisters, they all had really nice toenails, and they were all wearing cute sandals.  I envied them all.
        I’ve been planting more grass in the yard–regular lawn grass behind the house, out to my edging, and “meadow” beyond that, out to the playground.  With this nice hot weather it should germinate pretty fast.  I’m afraid I planted my front grass too early, and it was too cold for too long.  But I haven’t given up on it yet.
        Love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Happy Fathers Day to all you fine sons and sons-in-law of ours!  I appreciate the good examples you’re setting for your families, and all you do for them.  The world absolutely needs good dads!
        I thought my life would be practically perfect now that the DI’s have opened up again, and since we were in Centerville Tuesday, that was the perfect place to start.  Hey, everybody knows the Centerville DI is the best!  When we got there, I really needed to use the restroom, but when I went to that corner of the store, there were shopping baskets piled up against the entrance, and a sign that said, “For your protection, these restrooms have been closed.” I know a lot of  people go crazy trying to protect themselves and others from Covid 19, but I can’t imagine how not letting people relieve themselves is any kind of protection.  Meanwhile, Dad sat down on one of the couches to wait while I shopped, and he was immediately told to get up.  They wouldn’t even let him sit on a chair!  Needless to say, we weren’t in there very long.  Oh, well, I’m sure things will get better.
        That same day, I had an appointment with a podiatrist to see about my big toenails, which are full of fungus.  The one on the right was even loose, and tipped to the side.  The nice podiatrist just lifted it off with a mini pry bar.  He had more trouble with the left one, though, and really had to tug.  Luckily he had deadened my foot.  It’s been really hurting since then, and now it’s infected.  I soak it three times a day in epsom salt, and that seems to be helping a little bit.  I have to spend a lot of time with my foot up, and about all I can do is read and watch movies.  Not such a bad life! 
        Dad’s been having his health problems, too!  On Friday he felt some pain near his heart, the same place he had it when they ended up putting in the two stents, five years ago.  He called his doctor, and they told him to go to the Park City ER, since it was nearest.   He was there about 4 hours, and they did every possible test.  Luckily, everything looks fine.  I’m sure glad we have health insurance!  Now that we’re old, we use lots of it. 
        This was going to be our year to have the Allen family reunion at Riverwoods park, but Bonnie and Barbara have cancelled it because of the virus.  Not to worry, they said; we’ll have it next summer.  Everybody feels like you can’t be too careful.  Except me.  (And a few of you guys, too.)  Well, eventually things will all get back to normal. 
        Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Dear Kids,
        We really enjoyed Eli’s baptism yesterday, and then Bentley’s ordination after that.  What a wonderful family we have!  And this evening at 5:00 is Chloe’s baby blessing.  We’re really looking forward to that, too.  There’s a potluck dinner afterwards.  It’s a good thing it was postponed from last Sunday, because the weather was totally crazy!  We had more than two inches of rain here, and it snowed, besides.  It might not have been so wild at Paul’s house, but this afternoon will definitely be better. Oh, yeah, we had more snow Monday morning, and it stayed on the ground until mid-afternoon. Dad says one guy at his coffee club, an old-timer, claims that he’s seen snow every single month here.  I’ve never known it to snow in July, but then, I’m not an old timer yet.
        After the baptism yesterday, and the luncheon, eight granddaughters showed up here to do hair color.  Anna had two or three inches along her ends done in blue, and Meg had her whole head done in purple!  I didn’t have a hand in it, because they like to work on each other, but I had fun watching.  Both Meg and Anna left with their heads swathed in plastic bags, to keep the color from getting on anything.  Later last night Meg sent me a picture of her finished hair, and it’s really cool.  I’ll be seeing Anna later today.   I put some blue in Stuart’s very short hair last Sunday, and it looks really classy.
        My new grass seed is taking forever to sprout!  Maybe the snow and freezing weather have slowed it down.  You can see tiny shafts of green here and there, but I was hoping for much more by now.  Meanwhile, the robins are still pulling out worms.  There are six of them now.  Our kitties keep stalking them, but the robins are too smart.
        And the magpies are constant guests.  There’s a spot way out in back where I sometimes put out scraps for them, because I like to watch them fight each other for whatever there is.  (It’s mostly food from our Sunday visitors, since I mainly live on biscuits and cheese.)  Last Sunday Donna had a chicken carcass and some bones, so I put them out, and pretty soon the magpies showed up.  And two calico pigs!  I mean, we’ve had deer and foxes and goats and great horned owls, but pigs?  They were snorting and grunting over the chicken bones, until a guy in a SUV showed up.  He had to park clear out on the road, and walk in, and carry them out, one at a time, back to his car.  We were all watching from the glass door.  And these calico pigs were the ugliest things I’ve ever seen!  But he carried them as tenderly as if they were babies.  Maybe they’re his babies. I’m still getting used to the lifestyle here.
        But it’s  so much fun!  We’re never bored.  Lots of love, Mom 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Eli’s baptism will be next Saturday, June 13, at 11:00 am at Tom’s stake center, 521 Est 500 North, in Heber.  There will be a lunch afterwards at Tom’s house, and you can call Kim for a food assignment.
        And, of course, Chloe’s baby blessing has been moved to next Sunday, June 14, at 5pm, at Paul’s house.  That’s because of today’s weather forecast. I don’t know how it’s been at your houses, but yesterday we had about an inch of rain in just a few minutes. It looked like a movie scene of a hurricane.  The far back part of our yard looked like a lake, but where I’ve planted the new grass, it was just fine.   The ground has been so wet that a couple of robins have been pulling out worms like crazy.  At first I thought they were eating our seeds, but when I look closely, I can see the worms in their beaks.  The robins run lickety-split across the lawn, stop on a dime, and pull up a worm.  I don’t know how they do it.  Our kitties have been trying to stalk them, but the robins are too fast.
        Last Tuesday was our 48th wedding anniversary, and we celebrated with three doctor appointments.  It was OK, because we don’t eat out, and I think the movie theaters are still closed, and we don’t travel.  So we saw doctors.  First was orthopedics, for Dad’s hip, where he’s had a little pain, and my hip, where I’ve got the stress fracture.  We had X-rays, and Dad’s hip is OK.  Mine has a torn labrum, besides the fracture.  I asked Dr. Wooten what he could do, and he really hesitated.  If he does a hip replacement it will take away my pain, but if anything goes wrong, it could be curtains for me.  Cancer patients get blood clots really easily, and just one could kill me.  Since my life is pretty good anyway, and it might not last long, he encouraged me to just stick it out.  But on the other hand, if I’m going to live several more years . . . . You can see it’s a hard decision for me.  At least I won’t have anything done until the end of the summer, so I’ll have as much time as possible for my yard and cabin projects.  After that I’ll think about it again.
        Our second doctor visit was routine–just a medication check with Dr. Newbold, our primary care guy.  He’s always good to talk to.  Then, we went over to the cancer center so I could get my port flushed out.  If you’re not having chemo for a few weeks, they flush it with heparin, to keep it clear.
        You can see our lives haven’t been very exciting.  But we have all you kids, and your spouses, and your wonderful children, so we don’t need anything else.
        Lots of love, Mom