Sunday, July 26, 2020

Dear Kids,
        I know you’re all gearing up for the reunion, starting Thursday night.  I’m sure Tom will be getting out the schedule right away.  I see he’s been contacting everybody about the tubes and rafts for the river, so we know he’s up to his ears in planning.  I’m sure this reunion will be at least as much fun as all the others have been. Go, Ackersons!
        I had another cat scan on Tuesday, and on Thursday I saw my oncologist, the very devoted Dr. Lewis.  He showed me that my tumors are nearly the size they were last year when I started chemo, but they’re growing so slowly (he called them “indolent”) that the chemo wouldn’t be very effective yet.  I told him Dr. Wooten was hesitant to do my hip replacement, for fear of blood clots, but Dr. Lewis said my risk is really low.  He seemed eager for a reason to put off the chemo.  (Plus, he said, my three toenails that have been removed can have more time to heal.) So he’s contacting Dr. Wooten to tell him to go ahead.  And most of my serious yard and cabin projects are at a point where I can leave them for a while.  My main cabin goal for the year has been to do the siding on the bunk house, but when I checked at Home Depot, they had absolutely nothing I could use.  Donna says they’re sold out of practically everything, because of the virus.  People are at home instead of at work, and they’re doing their projects.  So I might have to put off the bunk house for still one more year.  I’ve been re-doing the rock wall around the moose, and if I’d let let go even one more year, it would have disintegrated into a pile of rocks and I would have had to carry them back down to the river.
        Bentley has started doing the MTC at home, in his bedroom, in front of a screen.  He has the normal missionary schedule: get up early, exercise, companion study (he’s in a threesome) and then two blocks of classes, from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 2:30 to 5:30.  Evenings he’s on his own.  I think he must be really blessed, and all the other missionaries too!  I never could have sat in front of a screen all day.  I thought it was really confining even to be in a classroom all that time!  Anyway, I’m sure Bentley can use your prayers, and he’ll get through it just fine.  He’ll be going to Ft. Worth, Texas, until the Philippines are ready for him, but he’s still learning Cebuano at home.  I had him say a couple of lines for me last Sunday.  It sounds like a cross between Spanish and Chinese. 
        McGettigans came by on the 24th and we went to see the Kamas Fiesta Days, but it was a bust.  So we drove up the Mirror Lake Highway, to Trial Lake and then to Mirror Lake.  It was wall-to-wall people, but still beautiful.  We always have fun with McGettigans.  It doesn’t matter where we go or what we do; we mostly talk.
        Last night Scout was out until 4:30 am, and I was the one to let him in.  Dad was sleeping peacefully.  Normally Scout yowls under the window and Dad gets up to let him in.  It’s worse than having a teenager.  But not expensive, like John’s cat.  Blue’s $4,000 vet bill is our benchmark now, because almost anything we want to buy costs less than that.  Aaron says it’s the same for them, too.
        Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Dear Kids,
        I assume everybody got Tom’s text message about Bentley speaking in Church this afternoon: 1pm, Tom’s ward, wear a mask, food afterwards.  Dad and I will be there.  We’re going to our own sacrament meeting this morning, because I’m playing the organ, and Dad couldn’t be kept back by wild horses. 
        I assume, too, you’ve heard about John’s cat, Blue, and his accident.  He was evidently hit by a car on the road behind their house, and he lay in the weeds for more than a day before Heather found him.  If he’d had internal injuries, he probably would have died.  As it was, his pelvis was broken, and he had extensive surgery to put it back together.  Of course the cost was shocking, but then, Blue is a unique cat.   Dad and I went to visit him Wednesday evening, and he was very calm.  We stroked his head and talked to him about how wonderful he is.  I’m sure he’ll make a good recovery.  John is going to start keeping his cats in the garage overnight, since that’s when all the accidents seem to happen.  We’ve been keeping Scout and Sonia in at night for quite a while now.  Cars, predators, everything is more dangerous for a cat at night.
        My left toe, where I had the toenail taken off, was still hurting after a month, so I went back to the podiatrist.  Besides, I wanted another toenail off, the pinkie one on the same foot.  I didn’t watch, but Dad said he just pulled it off.  And he did some cutting on my big toe.  So now my foot hurts even more, but I’m hoping it will be pain free in just a few more days.  I’m taking an antibiotic, soaking the foot twice a day, using neosporin, and keeping it bandaged.  I hope all that improves my luck.
        Dad and I have been busy at the cabin, still.  The rock wall around the moose has been falling apart for the last couple of  years, and I’m trying to put it back together.  If you’re there at the cabin, don’t let your kids play around it, OK?  It wasn’t kids that broke it up in the first place–it must have been bad mortar.  But it’s in really unstable shape right now. 
        Charlie and Matthew and Lucy are here!  We picked them up at Nora’s on Tuesday, and that evening we drove over Wolf Creek pass to Hanna, where we gave them over to Grandma and Grandpa Thacker.  I hope they have fun at the farm.  Maybe they’ll do some good work, too! 
        Lots going on!  What a family!  Lots of love, Mom

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Next Sunday our ward is starting up again, but since Dad and I are over 65 (and I have cancer) we’ve been encouraged not to come.  Dad says he’s going, however.  He can’t miss out on anything.  The bishop asked him to pick out songs for the meeting, but we aren’t going to be singing them.  There was some idea that maybe we would just listen to the music and read the words.  Maybe I’ll go along with Dad because I’m so curious about what’s going on.
        Last Sunday Bevan was showing me that Tommy knows lots of animal sounds.  “What does the cat say?”  Tommy said “meow!”  “What does the cow say?”  Tommy said, “ Mooo!”  And so on.  Then Bevan said, “What does Grandma say?”  Tommy said, “Nooo no, no!”
        Among my various cabin projects, I’ve been cleaning stuff out of the garage. In some places, I’m almost down to the wall.  I’ve stashed pieces of wood and other building materials, and odd pieces of trex, and other useless things.  I uncovered a pair of skis, probably cross country.  I’ll put them in the greenhouse.  There’s a queen sized bed frame, which looks pretty nice.  Does it belong to any of you?  If it doesn’t have an owner I’ll send it to the DI, so if anybody owns it, or needs it, let me know.
        I don’t have any new health worries, and my injured hip doesn’t seem any worse.  Maybe it will get better by itself.  A week from Tuesday I’ll be having another CT scan, and then I’ll visit with Dr. Lewis two days after that.  If my lung tumors have kept growing at the same rate, I’ll probably go back on chemo again, but I know I can handle it.  I sure appreciate all your prayers!
        Our family reunion is coming up fast!  Tom seems to be on top of everything, and I’m sure he’ll be posting the schedule pretty soon.  Because of the shape I’m in, and because Dad doesn’t like the water all that much, we’ll mostly be observers, but at our age, that’s the most fun of all. 
        Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Dear Kids,
        Dad and I just got home from spending the night in Centerville. We shot off fireworks with Nora’s family, which is becoming a tradition with us, and then we stayed over because it was so late, and drove home early this morning.  I hope you all had a great Fourth of July!  I appreciate our country’s freedom more every year, and I’m grateful to live in such a wonderful country. 
       We left our kitties alone overnight, which I hate to do, but we left the mudroom door open so they could come in and out of the house through the garage, as they chose.  Sonia greeted us as soon as we got home, but Scout is probably well into his day of hunting.  Sonia hunts too, but I don’t know if she has ever caught anything.  They were both staking out a mouse hole (I assume) one morning last week, when I was working out near the pasture.  They were sitting on both sides of a tall bull thistle, just waiting, except when Sonia tried to dig down to the mice.  I can just imagine a terrified mouse family, looking up at those two evil faces.  It’s totally different from the mouse’s point of view.
        We had another dose of winter early in the week, and Tuesday morning Dad got a plaintive call from Julie.  She and some friends were out camping, and they woke up with two inches of snow on their tent.  She wondered if they all could go to the cabin to hang out for a while.  Of course Dad said yes.  We didn’t know the power was out there. A couple of days later, though, when we went there to work, Dad noticed the circuit breaker at the top of the power pole had been tripped.  When the power company came, they said that sometimes chipmunks get up there, and when they fry themselves, it trips the circuit.  So sad.
        Friday afternoon Dad and I went hiking on the Shingle Creek trail, about ten miles up the Mirror Lake highway.  It was gorgeous, and the air smelled of pines and spruces.  I figured I’d be OK, hiking with my trekking poles, and we only went a mile or two up the trail.  But on the way home I realized that my left hip, my good one, was hurting a lot.  In fact it felt just as bad as my right hip did last year when it cracked.  And it still hurts a lot.  I’ll probably be paying a high price for that beautiful hike.  If I decide to have a hip replacement, I can probably choose either one now.
        Did I lend my copy of the book Cold Comfort Farm to any of you?  Dad and I were watching the movie, and then I went looking for the book, and I couldn’t find it. 
        But life is marvelous.  I love you all!  Mom