Sunday, October 25, 2020

 Dear Kids,

Yesterday I met up with my sisters and my cousin, Colleen, in Midway.  We wandered through All the Stuff in the Barn, and almost everybody bought something.  Then we drove over to Heber and had lunch at the Wasatch Back Grill.  I wasn’t the only person bringing my own food–Barbara is on a special diet, too.  We pulled tables together so we had room for everybody, and we talked and talked and talked.  I learned lots of new things, but the most fascinating is something I can’t put in my letter.  You’ll have to ask me.  

Last Sunday night Nora texted me that Carolyn Barney had died.  She heard it from Annice.  The funeral was Monday morning, and it was too late for us to plan to go, but I enjoyed reading her obituary.  Nora texted me the link, but you can get there by just googling Carolyn Reed Barney and obituary.  There’s a really cute wedding picture of her.  Thinking about Carolyn brought back lots of memories for me.  I’m glad she’s in a better place now, and that she’s healthy again.  She must feel great!

Adelaide reports that she’s doing well at Snow.  One of her roommates has a dog, who shares a room with her.  (With the roommate, not Addie.)  The roommate even pays double rent!  I asked Addie if the dog ever had accidents, and she didn’t know, but they were having a room inspection coming up.  Then they’d find out.  I had a lot of interesting roommates in college, but I never had a dog.  If I’d had anything, it would have been a nice domestic house cat. 

A storm is blowing in, and it’s supposed to start snowing.  And it’s going to be COLD:  6̊ tonight.  (At least that’s above zero, not below.)  I hope it warms up again and we have a few more good days before winter, because Dad and I have been going gung ho on the outside part of the bunkhouse.  We’ve repaired the skirting around the bottom, and we’re hoping to get the 2x4's around the windows and door, like we have on the cabin.  Then we’ll be all ready for siding in the spring.  During the cold months I’m going to do the bunkhouse floor, probably with laminate.  And then I’ll close off the areas under the beds.  It will all be comfy and cozy and ready for guests.

Here’s hoping you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it.  Mom

Saturday, October 17, 2020

 Dear Kids,

Monica has kittens!  She sent us a video of them fighting.  One of them is a grey tabby, sort of like Scout, and the other is black and white, sort of like Sonia, but they’re both boys.  Or, at least they have boy names: Burt Reynolds and Harold.   The video made me wish Scout and Sonia were kittens again.  They were so cute when they were little, and now they’re just ordinary cats.  Except that they still go on rampages.  Scout was chasing Sonia a couple of mornings ago. It would start with Scout pretending to scratch his claws on the top of the couch, and Sonia would crouch.  Then they were off running, skidding across the dining room table, and leaping over the sofas.  I don’t know what set them off.  Finally I tossed them both outside.

Our ward is meeting every Sunday now, but just for sacrament meeting.  And it’s short–under an hour.  But it seems to take up most of the morning, getting ready, getting there, getting home again, changing clothes. . . .  I like going back to church and seeing our ward people again, but I really miss those long slow Sundays, and having the sacrament at home.  But life has to get back to normal. 

I’ve joined the Francis Camp of the DUP, mostly because all my favorite ladies are in it.  We meet once a month and people share pioneer stories.  The first meeting was great, because we met outside, and most of us didn’t wear masks.  But now we’re meeting in the “social hall” at the city park, and it’s cold in there.   And we’re back with the masks.  And I fell asleep.  I hope I didn’t snore.  I hope the future meetings will be better.

My mouth is full of canker sores, and I hate it.  It’s a side effect of chemo, which I haven’t had for months, but the canker sores are still with me.  Also the nausea, here and there.  Also, my eyelashes keep falling out, but at least they grow back.  Anyway, about the canker sores–there’s a gel called Kanka that I get from Amazon, and it numbs my mouth really well, but not for long. I also have a special mouthwash  made of lidocaine, maalox, and  benadryl.  It helps a little bit, too.  The best help would be if I could quit eating dark chocolate, but I can’t give it up.

Funny how so many of our problems are caused by ourselves.  Oh, well.  Life is good.

Love, Mom

Sunday, October 11, 2020

 Dear Kids,

It’s supposed to rain this morning, but up till now we’ve had the most marvelous fall weather!  So we’ve been trying to finish our summer projects.  At the cabin, I finished the stone wall around the moose, and Dad and I finished the skirting around the front deck. Now we’ve started on the bunkhouse.  Dad has been painting over that decroded waferboard, to discourage the woodpeckers from ripping it up any more, and I’ve been working on the skirting around the bottom.  Next spring we hope to finally put the siding on it.  Here at our house, I’ve been working on the edgings between the gravel parking strip and our property, and spreading more lava rock.  People who walk by every day tell me how nice it’s looking, and I eat it up.  

Then, probably the most fun project of all, was yesterday afternoon at Donna’s.  She had taken apart her front porch so we could pour a cement slab underneath, which would keep the bricks from shifting.  So we did the cement.  Dad and Donna mixed and I tamped it down and smoothed it.   Of course I couldn’t resist writing my name in it, and Donna texted me a picture later showing how Dallin had added his name underneath.  The whole project was very satisfying.  I love doing cement, because you know it’s absolutely going to stay there.

Jana McGettigan was here from Friday morning to yesterday noon, and we had a wonderful time.  Friday afternoon we drove to the Heber airport to watch John take off in his glider (with Dad holding the wing), and then we drove around looking for “fall color.”  Jana’s taking a photography class and she needed to take pictures of the autumn leaves.  We drove through Charleston and Midway, and then back up toward Kamas.  We stopped by the Provo River where it goes under Highway 32, and then we drove to the cabin.  There were gorgeous yellow trees wherever we went, and just a few red ones that hadn’t completely faded yet.  At sunset, back at our house, we sat out in the pergola while Jana took more pictures.  Oh, yes, and we watched a couple of movies, too.  We always love it when Jana comes, and the kitties expect a lot of attention from her, too.  

Sharon is moving ahead with her nursing skills.   Now she’s learned how to give shots.  (They use a dummy that feels like it has real skin.  It used to be that nursing students practiced on an orange.  Thank goodness they don’t practice on real people yet.) Anyway, when Sharon went to get a flu shot, she noticed that the nurse did everything wrong.  We know Sharon won’t ever be so careless!

Life is great.  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Dear Kids,

Our soup dinner last night was wild and crazy, like most of our get-togethers.  And lots of fun.  After we all ate, the girls and I watched the women’s session of conference on the TV by the kitchen,  while Dad and Tom and Bevan supervised the boys playing upstairs.  At one point I heard thumping and bumping and banging up there, so I climbed the stairs to  see what was going on.  Funny thing, as soon as I got up there, everything was as quiet as a mouse.  Dad and Tom and Bevan said nothing at all had been going on.  I must have been hearing things.  

I’m looking forward to the rest of conference today.  So far, I liked President Oaks’s talk the best.  Don’t you love it how plain he is?  

Five weeks in, our college kids all seem to be doing fine.  Julie is actually getting college credit for doing sound effects for video games and animations.  How cool is that!  Sharon has learned how to take “vitals,” and she’s been checked off on her skills.  So if you want your blood pressure taken for free, just wait till Sharon comes again.   I don’t know how Adelaide is doing, because I forgot to ask Nora.  I’ll give an update next week.  Jacob is doing fine with his classes.  He’s taking general stuff: psychology, humanities, even accounting.  He says when he learns accounting he can work for Heather and get paid a lot.

I thought my hip surgery was scheduled for November 30, but I wasn’t sure.  Dr. Wooten’s nurse was rude to me and she said he didn’t want to do it because I have cancer.  I told her my oncologist had communicated with him and told him it was all right.  She said she would pencil it in, but it wasn’t a sure thing.  And then she never called me back, and she didn’t return my calls.  Finally I just made an appointment to see Dr. Wooten so I could ask him myself.   It was worth the $45 co-payment to find out, because I’ve been staying off chemo to get ready for it, which is sort of a risk.  When I finally saw him in his office, he just looked on his phone and found it scheduled for November 30.  He said he’s still a little worried, and he’ll have everything in place to whip it out, and have the least possible risk to me.  Oh, yeah, I’ll have to be quarantined for three weeks afterwards, because my immune system will be compromised.  No Sunday night parties.  No Messiah in Heber.  No early Christmas parties.  But if all goes well, I’ll be able to give up my cane, and my hip will feel better.

I love you all!  Life is fantastically good.  Mom