Sunday, December 26, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Dad and I had a fantastic Christmas yesterday, and I hope you all did, too.  From what we saw driving around Heber Valley (John’s, Tom’s, and Donna’s houses) everybody got plenty of stuff.  Dad and I did, too.  Thanks for all your generosity to us.  My presents to Dad were sort of boring (tie rack, socks, bag for his tablet) but I got a rolling carry-on suitcase to take on our next sisters’ trip to Arizona.  I also got a couple of books that I read before Christmas, but I still had Dad wrap them up for me.  The best part of Christmas, though, was being with so many of you, and remembering the birth of Jesus, our redeemer.  The Christmas story never gets old.

Addie’s farewell is this morning at Nora’s church, on the corner of Main Street and 2050 North in Centerville.  Sacrament meeting starts at 9, and there’s no second meeting.  Addie will be set apart directly after, in the high council room, and  we’re all invited.  Then there will be a brunch at Nora’s house.  Of course we can inspect all their Christmas presents that might still be sitting around.  I especially want to see the hovercraft they got.  I want to try it out, too.  

Sharon’s family got over their covid in time to really enjoy Christmas.  Sharon got to take the final she missed, and she got a 90!  This has been her best semester yet.  Go, Sharon!  Who thought she would already be 3/4 finished? 

As far as I know, there isn’t going to be any regular, organized sledding party at the cabin this year.  I know we normally get together right after Christmas, but I’m having an infusion tomorrow and haven’t been in any shape to organize a party.    Donna said something about sledding on the 30th, and Nora had a sledding party with her friends already. I hope you’ll all take the chance to sled and snowshoe and enjoy the winter beauty of the cabin while you can.  We’ve had 20 good years there already, but who knows how long it will last.  Things could change quickly.  

I’m not the least bit excited about another infusion already.  My breathing is back to normal, so I’ve totally forgotten about the good effects of chemo.  Naturally I’ll go through with it, and one more after that, and then hope for two or three months of normal life again.  Thanks for all your prayers for me!

Love, Mom

Sunday, December 19, 2021


Dear Kids,

The cousins’ gift party was sure fun last night.  Dad and I were only in on part of it, but everyone was having a blast.  I wish we could have gone ice skating with you kids.  The last time I skated with you was ten years ago, and it was really fun.  Donna said all her kids were out on skates, even Tommy.  What a family!  I mean all of us!

Sharon’s family turned out to be six for six on covid, meaning they ALL had it.  But their quarantine ends tomorrow, so they can get their lives back again.  I’m glad none of them were really seriously sick.

Christmas is practically upon us!  If any of you want to come to our house on Christmas eve, we’ll be having hot chocolate and pumpkin cookies, and watching Christmas videos.  Remember how we all used to troop to Grandma Allen’s house on Christmas eve?  It helped take the bounce and wiggle out of you kids.

On Christmas day Dad and I will drive around Heber valley and see what Santa brought to you local people.  The next day, Sunday, will be Adelaide’s farewell, so we’ll be driving to Centerville for that.  The meeting is at 9 am at Nora’s church, and there will be a brunch afterwards.  Be there or be square!  BTW, Jacob’s farewell will be at 9 am on January 9.  More on that later.  

My chemo infusion was from Monday to Wednesday, and I’ve been trying to pull out of it ever since.  I always expect too much!  At least my breathing has improved a lot, which makes it all worth it.  And the nice nurses.  (I always picture Sharon attending to the patients when I go in there.)  One nurse told me that my hair color reminded her of Strawberry Shortcake pops, which she loved when she was little.  I thanked her for the compliment.

So much going on, and so much fun!  I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, December 12, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Sharon’s family has COVID!  Sharon, Seth, Matthew, and Conrad  have all tested positive, but  Charlie, and Lucy don’t have their results yet.  But they all have symptoms!  Sharon’s voice sounded gravelly when I  talked to her on the phone yesterday morning.   People in the East are very nervous about Covid, so I’m sure their quarantines will be long and miserable.  Sharon already had to miss her last ob clinical, which she was looking forward to. 

I had that vicious cold that’s going around, and now Dad has it.  He was too wretched to go anywhere yesterday, but luckily we had a 300-piece Christmas jigsaw puzzle that Sharon sent us.  We had a lot of fun working on it, mostly trading off.  (After all, you can’t both hold the box with the picture at the same time.)  When the puzzle was finished, Sonia sat on it.  She hasn’t yet started chewing it to pieces, though.  Other than that, she’s been sitting on my Messiah music.  She can always sense what’s most important to us, and that’s where she sits.  Scout is still banished to the outside, although he has his special heated condo to hang out in.  He’ll make it through the winter in plenty of comfort. 

Oh, yes, we have snow.  Lots of it.  Most of you do, too.  Finally it seems like Christmas really is coming.

So, here are the Christmas reminders:  The Messiah is at 7 tonight at Tom’s church, and there will be both a before party and an after party.  The “before” will be soup at Tom’s house at 5:30, and the “after” will be desserts.  It couldn’t be better.  

The Cousins’ Christmas party will be next Saturday, the 18th, at Nora’s house.   Ice skating will be from 12:30 to 2:30,  dinner is at  5, and presents will be at 6.  I’m sure it will be wild and crazy.

On Christmas day Dad and I will drive around Heber valley visiting your homes, and we might go all the way to Centerville.  If you kids want to have the after-Christmas sledding party on Monday, the 27th, the cabin will be open, but I’ll be in Salt Lake having an infusion.  I’m also  having an infusion tomorrow, and I’ll wear my pump until Wednesday, but life goes on.  My life, thankfully, is going on, thanks to chemo and your prayers.

Remember the missionary farewells on December 26th and January 9th.  More later.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, December 5, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I got through my chemo OK, but I’m having a hard time pulling out of it.  My arms feel like they weigh a hundred pounds and it’s hard to type.  But I’ll put down the main things.

I don’t feel up to having Sunday visitors today, but there’s the First Presidency broadcast at 6 pm for everyone to watch.  It always makes me feel like Christmas is here.

The Cousins’ Christmas Party will be Saturday the 18th at Nora’s house.  Nora realizes there are some conflicts, but there really isn’t another day that will work.  Ice skating will be from 12:30 to 2:30 (how I wish I had enough energy to skate!) and dinner will be at 5.  Presents at 6.  Be there or be square.

The Messiah is next Sunday at 7 at Tom’s church.  I’m not sure whether there will be an after party or a before party, but I’ll put it in my letter next week.  I know I’ll feel better then, and it will be a glorious evening.  There’s nothing as wonderful as singing the Hallelujah chorus.

Jacob was endowed yesterday morning in the Provo temple, and Dad was able to go.  He said it was really nice.  They had a luncheon afterwards at Julie and Spencer’s place.

Missionary farewells: Adelaide on December 26, and Jacob on January 9.  I’ll put in the times next week.

This is as much as I can type.  I love you all!

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Dear Kids,

Thanksgiving was fantastic.   Thanks to all of you who came to the cabin, and to those of you who were elsewhere–we missed you!  Thanks for the wonderful food you all fixed.  I was glad I could make my usual pumpkin and chocolate pies, and I had enough energy to get through the day.  I brought home the turkey carcass for the magpies, and within a few minutes there were about 20 gathered around, flapping and squawking.  An hour later, the turkey bones were picked clean.  The next morning a crowd of about 80 showed up at the same spot, but there was nothing left.  A neighbor dog had chewed up the bones by then, and there wasn’t even a scrap of gristle left.  Thanks, Donna, for cooking it so well.  Even the magpies couldn’t get enough.

Paul and Stefanie and their kids stayed over at our house Thursday night, and we had a lot of fun with them.  Paul had me get out our old lego collection, and he found the directions for a creature that was his.  He managed to put it together by sorting all the legos into colors and then finding the parts he needed.  Josh helped by building an airplane sort of thing.  Chloe just played with pieces. 

The next main event is probably the Messiah sing-in at Tom’s church on December 12 at 7 pm.  The after-party will be at Tom’s house, and if you want to bring something, contact Kim.  I’ve really enjoyed the Messiah practices, especially now that I know the songs better.  Handel didn’t write music for wimps.

And the cousins’ Christmas party at Nora’s will be coming up soon.  I’ll find out the date and put it in my next letter.  It’s always a wild riot, although sometime it ought to get tamer, since the little kids are growing up. 

Adelaide’s mission farewell will be the day after Christmas, December 26, at Nora’s church.  I’ll find out the exact time and put it in one of my next letters.  Jacob’s farewell will probably be on January 9.

Dad is writing out Christmas checks as I type this.   We’ll probably mail them.  Since we’re old-fashioned enough to use checks, we can also be old-fashioned enough to use the US postal system.  No venmo for us on something as sentimental as Christmas money.

Lots of love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, November 21, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m gearing up for Thanksgiving at the cabin.  It looks like we’ll have Tom’s family, Donna’s, Paul’s, and Allen later on.  Hopefully he’ll bring his kids and/or Jenn and/or her kids.  The more the merrier.   If you can’t make it to our dinner (1:00 or so) we’ll be having pie around 5.  I’m going to be making pumpkin and chocolate pie, and anybody who wants more variety can bring another kind.  I’m bringing ice cream and whipping cream, too.  I think I have almost everything assigned.  It isn’t Vanessa’s year to have dinner with us, but she and some of her family will be at the cabin Monday and Tuesday night, along with Nora and some of her family.  Donna’s family will be there Wednesday night, and I think she’ll be cooking the turkey there.  So if you want a whiff of what makes Thanksgiving great (besides being grateful for all our blessings,) the cabin will be the place to be. 

Dad and I went to the Jordan River temple with Addie (and Nora and James) yesterday, and it was a wonderful session.  Addie was really limited in who she could invite, since there were six young people being endowed, and there are still covid restrictions.  So I was very happy Dad and I could be there.  Addie is going to be a wonderful missionary.  Jacob’s endowment is coming up, too, probably with the same restrictions.  Dad and I feel like these wonderful experiences are our “payday” for working hard to raise you kids.  You’re our greatest blessings.

I saw Dr. Lewis, my oncologist, on Thursday, and together we decided that I’ll start chemo on November 30.   That way, the timing will be really good: besides having the first infusion just after Thanksgiving, I’ll be having one just after the Messiah and another one just after Christmas.  There will be one more in January, and then I’ll expect to feel good for two or three more months.  I’m actually looking forward to the chemo, since I figure it will help me breathe better, like it did last time.

I got John to take out the stitches from my toe surgery, but I still have stitches in my ear,  from a biopsy I had on Monday.  There’s some weird kind of scratchiness in there.  Luckily, the biopsy was negative, meaning there’s no malignancy, so I can just wait it out.  The stitches are really bugging me though.  They’re supposed to dissolve, but I keep tugging at them.

Sorry I’ve written so much about my health.  My difficulties seem to take over my life, sometimes.  But there are so many good things happening, I can’t complain.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 14, 2021


Dear Kids,

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, Dad and I took a short hike along the Jordanelle Trail.  We can’t hope to come up to the level of you super Grand-Canyon hikers, but we went about a mile and a half in each direction.  We’ve never seen the reservoir so low–lots of it is a gigantic mud flat.  In fact, a couple of vehicles were stuck in the mud down there, and we had fun watching people try to pull them out.  In spite of the mud, though, it’s still one of the most beautiful places on earth.  My poor toe did OK on the hike, but my hip reminded me that it had been replaced just a year ago.  I guess, when you’re old, things take a really long time to heal.

I had a CT scan on Friday, because I’m going to see Dr. Lewis this Thursday.  I’m sure he’ll have me go back on chemo, because my lung tumors are making it hard for me to breathe again. The chemo worked so well last time, I’m sure it will work again.  Thanks for all your prayers in my behalf.

Sharon has registered for her very last semester in nursing.  It seems like it’s gone by fast, but then I’m not Sharon.  Right now she’s doing a round of labor and delivery, and she’s really enjoying it.  “Especially the babies,” she says.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she went to work in that area when her schooling is over.  You should always do what you love, if you can.

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Dad will be giving each of you a check for Christmas.  I know checks are terribly antiquated, and he wanted to just do Venmo, but it seems to me that Christmas money should be special.  Venmo just automatically goes into your account, and I don’t want it to be so automatic.  If we could give you handfuls of money, I’d like that best of all.  I miss the days when we bought presents for all of you, but it just isn’t possible any more, as you know.

Tonight is the second Messiah practice.  Last week hardly anybody was there, except for Tom and myself and a handful of others.  One really loud soprano turned out to be one of Tom and Kim’s hiking friends from the Grand Canyon, and they had fun talking things over.  I really love the Messiah, and I wish I could sing really loud too, and on key, and with perfect timing.  I’ve improved a lot but I still have a long way to go.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 7, 2021

 Dear Kids,

My fingers are shaking and it’s hard to type, because I’m high on oxycontin from  my toe surgery on Friday.  But it all went very well.  My foot is still bandaged, so I don’t know if it matches my other foot now.  On Thursday I get to unwrap it and see, and have the stitches taken out.  

Tom and Kim hiked the Grand Canyon on Friday, north rim to south, and they did just fine.  Tom said the last four miles were really hard for him, but he said Kim was good all the way.  They had beautiful weather, probably in the 80's down at the bottom.  I’m glad they were all right.  I was worried because it’s so late in the year, and so dark now, and it could even have snowed on them . . . you know how moms worry about things.  Actually, I’m a little bit jealous that I couldn’t do the hike, too.  But with a chopped-off toe, it never would have worked out.

Back in September people were giving us peaches, and we got fruit flies along with them. It’s hard to get rid of those buggers!  They always seemed to hang around our sinks, so I tried spraying them with insect repellant, but it didn’t do any good at all.  When I saw a batch crawling around the drain, I figured they might be breeding down there, so I poured bleach down every drain.  That seemed to do it, except for one pesky fly, who still seemed to be hanging around.  He always kept just to the side of my vision.  Finally I realized it was just a floatie in my eye.  (If you haven’t had one yet, you aren’t old enough.)  So now I know how to get rid of fruit flies, and for the floatie, John said to just give it time.

Messiah practice starts tonight, so we won’t be having our usual Sunday night get-togethers until after December 12, which is the performance date.  Our house will be dreadfully quiet.  If you want to come over in the afternoon, we’ll be here until 5:30 each Sunday.

And yikes, Thanksgiving is in 2 1/2 weeks!  We’ll be celebrating at the cabin.  So far Tom’s and Donna’s families are on board, and I’ll probably be calling some more of you.  Nora will be hosting the Mairs, but maybe her family can make it for pie, which we’ll have about 5 pm.  The turkey dinner will be about 1 pm.  I’m excited already.

And Christmas will be coming up before we know it.  There’s no end to the excitement.

Love, Mom

Sunday, October 31, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Happy real Halloween, everybody.  I know that the trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating are over, but it’s still Oct. 31, and supposedly the spookiest day of the year.  Dad and I celebrated yesterday by burying a cat.

Yep, it was the airport cat.  John found out that it was definitely the cat that an older guy, Tom, had been feeding.  But it got very sick, so the man had it put to sleep.  Then, that same day, the man was suddenly taken to a care center, where he’s been ever since.  And the cat was left in the freezer at the airport.  John asked if we would give it a proper burial, and of course we said yes.  I have a special place out in our meadow area where Xena and another unknown cat are buried.  We dug the hole while Scout, Sonia, and Harley (the neighbors’ Alaskan husky) watched.  I took the cat out of its coffin and wrapped it in cloth, so we wouldn’t have to dig such a big hole.  We hummed “Taps” while we shoveled the dirt back in, and we put the clumps of grass back on top.  One cat well buried. 

Thanks again to John and Heather for that wonderful Super Sunday last week.  The food was great and the hot tub was a hit.  Our next Super Sunday won’t be until January, because Thanksgiving and Christmas both fall near the fourth Sunday, and besides, there’s always a lot going on.  We’ll all see each other at the cousins’ gift exchange, and probably other times, too.  

For Thanksgiving, Dad and I will be hosting at the cabin.  I’ll do the turkey, along with pumpkin and chocolate pies, and I’ll call around to see who will be joining us, and what you can bring.  So far Tom’s family has said they’ll be there.  It’s Vanessa’s family’s turn to go to the Suttons, but they’ll be at the cabin on Monday and Tuesday of that week, and I think Nora’s family (or most of them) will be there at the same time.   At any rate we’re set up to have lots of fun for both holidays.  I’ll probably be starting chemo again around the last week in November, but I’m going to try to time it so my worst days will miss Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Messiah practice starts next week, November 7, and continues every Sunday night until we put it on December 11 and 12.  That means Dad and I will be gone for six consecutive Sunday nights, so we won’t be able to have our usual wild sprees.  (Cry, cry.)  Hopefully lots of you can come to the sing-in on the 12th, and maybe we can talk Tom and Kim into hosting an after-party, like they’ve done before.  I love the Messiah for putting me in the Christmas spirit every year.  (Except last year, when it was cancelled because of covid.)

My toe amputation is next Friday.  I’m looking forward to it so I can wear ordinary shoes again.  Mostly I’ve been wearing slippers or my moon boots.  And now my feet will match each other.

Life’s good.  Love to all of you.  Mom

Sunday, October 24, 2021

 Dear Kids,

We’re looking forward to our Super Sunday get-together at John’s house this afternoon at 4 pm.  John has a new hot tub that’s filled up and warmed up and ready-to-go, and he says sitting in the hot tub isn’t breaking the Sabbath, because it’s relaxing.  Whatever.  He says any of you who want to can bring your swimsuits and try it out.  Otherwise, it will be a lot of good food and good fun, like always.  I really enjoy these Sundays at you kids’ houses.  Actually, I enjoy every Sunday, when it comes to that. 

Friday afternoon I went to the Heber airport with Dad to watch John launch his glider.  It was fun like always.  I learned how to drive a golf cart, which is pretty easy.  John didn’t have a very long flight because a cold front came through and totally killed the updrafts, so he came down after about an hour.  One thing was kind of a downer–there’s a little office with a refrigerator in the hanger where we hang out.  I just always have the habit of looking in refrigerators and freezers–you know, there might be a box of frozen ding dongs or something.  I saw there was a box in the freezer, and it looked like a bakery box, like maybe somebody’s birthday cake was in it.  So I lifted the lid, and there was a dead cat inside.  Poor kitty.  Nobody knew anything about it, but they said that Tom, the man in charge of the hanger, had been feeding a stray cat there.  Looks like it came to an untimely end.  I hope it enjoys a good burial, whenever that happens.  Hopefully sooner rather than later, so nobody else is freaked out like I was.

Our cabin projects have almost come to a halt, but I’m still hoping to finish re-doing the fire pit.  We needed one more load of road base, so we decided to try out the Francis Pit, which is close by, on the way to the cabin.  We drove in the entrance, and nobody was around.  Finally we came across one guy driving a caterpillar.   He was moving sand from one spot to another, and the scoop on his cat was bigger than our truck.  Dad stopped him and told him we wanted a yard of road base, so he dumped it in, and the truck sank way down on its axles.  But we knew the truck could handle it.   Dad asked where we should pay for it, and he just waved us away.  So we took it to the cabin and shoveled it in around the pit.  Now we’re ready to compact it, if we can borrow the compactor from Donna’s office. 

I’m going to have the pinkie on my right foot amputated, just like on my left foot.  It has exactly the same problem.  If they leave me a stub, my feet will match.  And then I can wear my ordinary shoes again, and not just my big clompers.

Life is good!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 17, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Dad had a great time on his short trip to San Diego.  He flew down there last Tuesday afternoon, and then he and John drove John’s car back on Wednesday.  It’s a long drive, from San Diego to here, and they started later in the morning, but they sped along pretty well, and Dad was home about 11 pm.  Both our cats really missed him, because he gives Sonia treats and he brushes Scout–things I don’t do.  They were at loose ends while he was gone, and glad to have him back.  I was glad to have him back, too.  This house is awfully quiet when you rattle around in it alone.

Tom did some detective work to find out where the new Heber temple is going to be.  He studied the tax records for Heber valley and discovered that the church’s holding company owns a 20-acre property at Mill Road (1200 East) and 1500 South.  He even showed it to us on Google Earth.  It’s agricultural now.  He says there’s enough room for a temple and a stake center, and they can share the parking lot.  Tom said that in elders’ quorum somebody asked where they thought the new temple would be, and he told them, and everybody laughed.  I think Tom’s going to have the last laugh, but we’ll wait and see.

Church is definitely different in this part of the world, although the Gospel is always true.  I especially notice that in the stories people tell in their testimonies, like one man saying the friendships in our ward are as strong as baling wire.  (You know, the wire they use to bale hay.)  Last Sunday one of our counselors was talking about bringing his cows down from the mountain, getting them ready to go to their winter pasture. He said they have a path they can follow, or they can follow the fence, but they tend to stray away.  He said we’re like the cows, not always wanting to stay on the path.  Good analogy–but this isn’t something we ever would have heard back in West Valley.

Sharon’s doing really well in her nursing program.  I talked to her about it a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her about a test I knew she was going to take.  She came out near the top of the class.  Go, Sharon!  I’m proud that she’s doing so well.

Next Sunday afternoon is super Sunday at John’s house.  We’ll meet at 4 pm instead of our usual 3 pm time, and as always, you can bring whatever you like.  I’m really looking forward to it.

What a terrific family we have!  Love, Mom

Sunday, October 10, 2021

 Dear Kids,

It’s getting colder and colder.  The nighttime low is forecasted to be down to 18 in a couple of days, and it’s supposed to snow on Tuesday.  We turned off our sprinklers last week, and Dad blew out the lines with John’s compressor.  He and Donna did her yard, too.  So we’re all ready for winter.  Scout is getting ready, too, by eating all the time.  I’ll soon need a forklift to carry him.  Sonia plans to stay petite, and keep inside.  Scout doesn’t have that choice, of course, because he’s an outside fellow.  So he needs to get fat.  We haven’t seen anything of our old friend the raccoon, or any of his fellow creatures.  Just the neighbor cat, who comes in at night and eats anything left in the cat bowl.  She’s gearing up for winter, too.

John’s family drove to San Diego for fall break, and Heather and the kids are going to fly back on Wednesday.  John’s going to drive their car home, and since he needed company, and a fellow driver, he invited Dad to come and drive home with him.  Of course Dad is up for that!  He’s flying down there Tuesday afternoon and staying over just one night.  I’m sure they’ll have a good time driving and talking.  And me–I’ll be home alone for a day and a half.  That’s OK.  I have my memories of Arizona to console me.  I’m not surprised our ancestors left freezing-cold Idaho and drove their wagons to beautiful Arizona.  Most of the year it’s just like heaven there, and they can forget the 115-degree days they had during the summer.

This Wednesday it’s my turn to give an ancestor story at DUP.  I think I’ll talk about Willis Coplan.  He’s the one who was involved in the “black beans of death” incident.  He and a bunch of others were taken captive by the Mexicans, and instead of shooting them all, the Mexicans decided on one out of ten.  So they filled a jar with 10 percent black beans and the rest white, and each prisoner had to draw one out.  All the men who drew black beans were shot, and the rest of them were let go.  Naturally our guy wasn’t shot, or we wouldn’t be exactly who we are (since he wasn’t married yet.  At least not to our ancestor lady.)  This story ought to make my fellow DUP’ers sit up and listen.  

Two weeks from today is Super Sunday at John’s, at 4 pm this time.  Make sure it’s on your calendar!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 3, 2021

 Dear Kids,

My sisters and I had a wonderful time at Bonnie’s Arizona house.  We flew down there Thursday afternoon and came back yesterday.  It was fun to leave from the dinky Provo airport and fly into the Mesa airport, which is only slightly bigger.  Bonnie’s house is only about 10 minutes away from there, and needless to say, it’s gorgeous.  There’s a pool and a guest house and an outdoor kitchen and a putting green and a sports court and so much more!  We felt very glamorous, just staying there.  Oh, yes, and Ty Detmer lives around the corner.  He and his family aren’t there during the hottest part of the summer, but they had come back–I saw their garbage cans were out.  Bonnie says they’re really nice, and Ty will let you take a picture with him.  I walked past their house on both my early morning walks, but I didn’t see anybody.  No matter; my sisters and I had a great time talking and eating and driving around.  I hope we can do it again.

Dad and I finally caught the raccoon!  It was our fifth night trying.  We kept both our cats in for the night and set the trap with dry cat food.  About two in the morning I went down to check, and there was the neighbors’ cat, yowling to be let out.  So we released her and reset the trap.  About six am we checked again, and there was the raccoon in the trap, looking angry and confused.  We loaded the trap in the back of the truck and drove him about 15 miles up the canyon.  It’s supposed to be illegal to transport a raccoon, but I don’t care.  We weren’t about to shoot him. When we found the right spot we  took out the trap and put it down and released him.  He took off like a shot!  I didn’t know raccoons could run so fast!  I hope we’re done with the raccoon problem, and Dad returned the trap to his cowboy friend, but we know what to do now, if we need it again.

Sterling flew off to Honduras Monday night, but I haven’t heard anything about his arrival.  I’m sure he’s doing fine, and he’ll be a great missionary.  Adelaide’s farewell is December 26, the day after Christmas.

Thanks to Paul and Stefanie for hosting Super Sunday last week.  It was lots of fun!  Next time we’ll meet at John’s house, on October 24.   Mark the date!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, September 26, 2021

 Dear Kids,

We’re looking forward to seeing lots of you at Super Sunday this afternoon, at 3pm.  Paul and Stefanie are in charge, and the location is Chelsie Meadows Park, 1401 N. 2575 West in Layton.  The weather should be perfect, and the food will be spectacular, as always.  Remember, it’s totally potluck–whatever you want to bring.  I’m totally expecting that one of these times we’ll have all deserts or all chips, but it hasn’t happened so far.  I’m pretty sure we’ll never have all vegetables or all green salads.  

More adventures with the raccoon.  People have been telling us that raccoons can carry rabies, and they can kill cats and small dogs and chickens, so we decided to catch him and relocate him far away.  Easier said than done.  Dad borrowed a trap from one of his cowboy friends, and we were sure we’d catch the critter our first night.  I googled what to use for bait, and the most popular was marshmallows, because cats and dogs don’t like them, but raccoons do.  So we tossed three marshmallows into the trap and set it.  Next morning the marshmallows were gone, but the trap hadn’t gone off.  Dad reported this to his cowboy friend, Mike, who said you have to use wire to fasten down the bait, so the raccoon can’t just grab it and go.  So we strung four marshmallows on a piece of wire and fastened it inside the trap, in the back.  That was Friday night.  Saturday morning the marshmallows were totally untouched but the raccoon had eaten all the cat food in the kitty dish.  We didn’t set the trap at all last night, because today is Sunday and we didn’t want to do anything cruel or illegal on the sabbath.  But tonight we’ll try again.  We’ll get him sooner or later!  

Thursday afternoon I’m flying to Arizona with my sisters, and we’ll be spending two days at Bonnie and Curt’s house in Gilbert.  At least I think it’s Gilbert.  One of those towns near Mesa.  Whatever we do will be fun.  There’s a pool, and we’ll probably eat out and shop and watch movies.  Total girl stuff.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it.  (Brownie points if you can remember where that phrase came from.) Lots of love,


Sunday, September 19, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Who’s not excited about Jacob’s mission call to Alabama!  He’ll be the fourth from our family to go there, after Vanessa, Trent, and Bevan.  They can all tell you it’s a totally different

culture and language, only you don’t learn the language in the MTC.  It’s totally on-the-job.  Jacob says it’s good he’s not going until January because John’s office has to find and train someone to replace him.  All my friends who go to Ackerson Eyecare have been telling me about that nice young grandson of ours who helped them choose frames, or dispensed their glasses, or whatever else he does.  Everyone will miss him when he goes.

Super Sunday will be next week in Layton, with Paul and Stefanie hosting.  Paul says it will probably be at a park, so I’ll put the address in my letter next week.  Super Sunday rocks!  It’s sure been fun since we started this tradition.

Does anybody want a raccoon?  Come and get her!  She hangs out in our garage in the early morning, and Scout seems to be afraid of her. Well, she’s bigger!  There was a morning last week when he didn’t come for his cat food at all, and we really worried about him, but that fat ambling raccoon was queen of the garage.  Sonia doesn’t seem to mind her, but she mostly hangs out on the back deck, when she’s outside.  

I had a good visit with my oncologist, Dr. Lewis, on Wednesday.  I had him pull up my scans, and we saw that my tumors shrank about 20% from this last round of treatments.  I was hoping he’d have a better plan for my future chemo, (better than the NP) because I sure don’t want to have it all the time!  So he suggested a routine of two months on and two months off.  He even gave me a medical paper to read that showed people with my strain of cancer actually live longer on the on-again, off-again routine.  I’ll go for that!  My next chemo will probably start late in November, about Thanksgiving time, so I might not be able to host it this year.  When the time gets closer I’ll let you all know for sure.  

Friday afternoon I went to the Heber airport with Dad and John to watch them put the glider together and get John launched.  That sure is a fun place to hang out!  Glider people are sort of a club–they all know each other and help with each others’ launches.  It’s fun to sit in the hanger and talk to them.  A lot of mini jets were taking off and landing, but they’re so dang loud!  I was glad I’m partly deaf.

It’s all good!  Love, Mom 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Dallin’s baptism yesterday was wonderful, and so was the after-party at Hamlet Park.  The weather was perfect, and the food was terrific.  Best of all, it was great to see so many of you there.  Oh, yes, and the campfire last Sunday night was practically perfect, too.  I think Dad and I might make it an annual tradition for Labor Day weekend.  It was easy to plan for, too–lotsa hot dogs and marshmallows and graham crackers and little Hershey bars.  As I was watching the last of the hot dogs being pushed onto a roasting fork, I commented to John that it was amazing the food worked out just right.  He said, “What do you mean?  We’ve just been eating until all the food is gone!”

Our next Super Sunday will be two weeks from today, on the 26th, probably at Paul and Stefanie’s house.  I’ll let you know for sure next week, but put it on your calendars and plan on having lots more fun.

I asked our neighbors if they happened to own a raccoon, and found out they used to have two of them, but one escaped several months ago.  Humm.  It’s a female, and she’s very “naughty.”  Well, I think I know where she’s getting her food now.  My current project is mounting the cat food feeder high on the wall of the garage, out of her range.  I’ll set the timer to go off two or three times during the day, and the food will run out of the dispenser, down a downspout, and into the bowl.  That way Scout and Sonia can have plenty to eat before their friend shows up to knock over the bowl and finish off the food.  At least I hope it works.

My newest medical problem is another toe--the pinkie on my right foot.  I’m having it looked at this week, and if there’s any trouble with bone spurs, it’s coming off!  Then my two feet will match, and I’ll only have six toenails to cut instead of seven.  My feet will be symmetrical.

And my cancer is still leaving me up in the air.  I had a long talk with the NP that works with Dr. Lewis, and we went over all the numbers from my blood test, and I learned all about my hemoglobin and platelets and markers and liver and immune system, but I realized afterwards we never did figure out exactly how much my tumors had shrunk.  That should have been my number one question.  And then he said something disturbing: since the chemo has worked so well, maybe I want to continue treatment?  I nearly flipped.  Chemo is a means to an end, and I only got through it by visualizing my great life in the months ahead.   I can’t just keep having chemo!  I need to work in the yard and finish the fire pit at the cabin and go hiking.  Anyway, I’m going to make an appointment with Dr. Lewis and have him pull up my scans and ask him about my future.  Hopefully he’ll have a better outlook for me. 

Love to all, and I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful fall weather. 


Sunday, September 5, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Don’t forget our campfire dinner tonight at 5 pm at our fire pit.  You don’t need to bring anything but yourselves.  The weather should be perfect, and now that it’s getting dark earlier, it’ll be more fun than in the middle of the summer when the sun never seems to go down.  We’ll be roasting hot dogs and making s’mores.  I’ve debated whether we should use plates or just eat with our hands, and since the whole menu is finger-ready, I think we should just eat by hand.  You can pretend you’re at a baseball game.  It doesn’t make sense to use plates since we don’t have any place to put them down while we eat, except on our laps, and that doesn’t work very well for younger kids.  So let’s try this!  If it doesn’t work, we’ll try something different next time.

Jacob’s “mission papers” are almost ready to go in!  He’s only lacking the appointment with his stake president, and that’s happening a week for today.  Then the button will be pushed, and we can start counting down to the exciting moment when he gets his call.  I’m excited already. 

The neighborhood raccoon is still eating Scout’s food, but I don’t really mind since I accidentally bought a jumbo bag of the wrong kind.  I usually buy a green bag that’s labeled “seafood platter,” or something like that, but I accidentally got the sack that’s almost the same color, but it’s “chicken and green peas.”  Our cats hate it.  So every evening I fill up the garage cat bowl with this stuff, and the next morning it’s tipped over, empty.  When I run out of it, I’ll get serious about mounting the cat food dispenser on the wall.  Or, if Scout gets too hungry in between, he can fight off the raccoon.  Or maybe he’s over at the Butlers eating the raccoon’s food.  It’s all good.

The play yard at the cabin is finally finished, since Paul helped Dad heave up the roof yesterday.  Most of the little kids tried it out at Super Sunday last week, (by the way, thanks to Donna and Bevan for hosting it) and everything seemed to work OK.  We could still buy a spider web swing to trade off with the baby swing, but it would mean switching them back and forth, which might not be very convenient.  Let me know if you think it would be a good thing to try.  Also, maybe you can have your kids thank Dad for putting it together.  It was quite a project, and in some places it was pretty tricky, but he was up for it.  

   I had my cat scan Friday at the Park City hospital, and Tuesday I’ll meet with my doctor and see how all that chemo affected my tumors.  It has to have done something, for all the discomfort I’ve experienced, but the bottom line is that I can breathe now, which makes it all worthwhile.  I can even blow up balloons!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 29, 2021

 Dear Kids,

We’re really looking forward to Super Sunday this afternoon at the cabin at 3pm.  Donna and Bevan are in charge, and the food will be stupendous, like always.  Totally unpredictable, but stupendous.  The new play yard is totally put together, except for the roof over the clubhouse, so kids will be able to try out the swings (including the baby swing) and the slide.  If anybody has extra energy and muscle, they can help Dad heave up the roof.  It’s been anchored down with the anchors Lifetime provided, but we’ll have to watch kids swinging to see if we need more to keep it from tipping over.

We’re tentatively planning a campfire here at our house a week from tonight, and we’ll roast hot dogs and make smores.  It’s Labor Day weekend, so we’ve gotta celebrate.  It all depends on the weather and the wind, however, so I’ll let you know for sure in my letter next Sunday. 

I’ve finally finished round 4 of my chemo, so I can start feeling better now.  Every round brings some new symptom, and this time my fingers swelled up and the skin started peeling off.  It’s called Hand-Foot syndrome, only I wasn’t lucky enough to have it on my feet.  The treatment is that you rub your hands with “Udderly smooth creme,” which comes in a container decorated like a cow.  You also wear nitrile gloves most of the time.  It’s already working on my hands, so they’re not as scary as before.  Next Friday I’m having another CT scan which will show how much my tumors have shrunk.  I know they have, because I’m breathing so well now.  Even the smoke from the California fires isn’t making me gasp.

We’ve been putting Scout’s dry cat foot in the garage recently, since he’s been banished from the house, and he has an eating partner now–the raccoon–who eats way more than an average cat.  We’re going to try to mount one of our automatic superfeeders high on the garage wall, and have it go off two or three times a day, with a pre-apportioned amount of food.  If Scout can learn the times, he can beat the raccoon.  If the raccoon turns out to be smarter, Scout will have to catch more mice for his protein.  Dad thinks the raccoon lives up the street at our neighbors,’ the Butlers, so we might try talking to them about keeping their pet caged up.  Or not.  It is what it is.

I spent some birthday money on new toys: an 8' stepladder and a tree lopper that has a mini chainsaw up on the end.  You use it to trim trees way up high, and since our trees are getting taller, I have plans for it.  Right now my arms are too weak to use it, but it’ll be fun down the road.  Onward and upward.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 22, 2021


Dear Kids,

Sterling gave a wonderful talk in the Suttons’ sacrament meeting last Sunday.  He’s way prepared to be a good missionary.  On Monday morning he started home MTC, learning Spanish and how to be a missionary.  I’m sure he’s working really hard.  Rumor has it that Vanessa wants him to be sent to Texas, but I really hope he actually goes to Honduras.  I noticed, in the Spanish branches I’ve served in, that the most dedicated members seemed to come from a little pocket around Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.  I think they’re really descended from Father Lehi down there, and I hope Sterling is able to teach some of them.  But it will be a wonderful experience for him, wherever he goes.

Upcoming events: Super Sunday will be next week, the 29th, at the cabin, at our usual time, 3 pm.  Donna and Bevan are in charge, so you can contact one of them if you have any questions.  I had hoped the swingset/slide would be done by then, but Dad has been stopped by the rain. There have been three or four inches at the cabin, just in the last few days, even more than here at our house.  And I understand Salt Lake has been absolutely drenched.  Couldn’t be better.  Anyway, back to Super Sunday–Be There or Be Square!

Another upcoming event is Dallin’s baptism, scheduled for Saturday, September 11.  (Abi’s birthday, by the way.)  I’ll have more details next week.  

And looking way down the road, Dad and I will be having our 50th wedding anniversary next June 2nd, 2022.  We’re going to reserve the clubhouse at Francis Park (actually an oversized shack) and possibly have Bambam barbeque again.  It’s a Thursday night.  If you have a calendar for next year, you can put it down.

Al came by Friday afternoon on his way to a backpacking adventure on the Shingle Creek Trail.  He had Artemis with him.  Artemis???   She’s Jenny’s dog.  She’s part pit bull and seems to hate cats.  She was lunging at Sonia, barking, and Sonia stood just inside our front door, holding her ground and hissing.  Allen had Artemis firmly on a leash, however, so the situation didn’t escalate.  Finally he secured her back inside his car.  He showed me some little hiking shoes he’d bought for the dog, so her paws wouldn’t get all cut up on the trail.  He had put them on her at home and they practiced hiking around, to get her used to them.  Honestly, and I thought we over-indulged our cats!  Anyway, I hope they’re having a safe hike and haven’t been too drenched by the rain. 

I’m having my final infusion Tuesday afternoon, lasting until Thursday, and then I expect to be well for a long time.  Please keep praying for me!

\ Lots of love, Mom

Saturday, August 14, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m uploading my Mom letter a day early because we’re going to Pocatello later this afternoon.  It’s Sterlings farewell tomorrow morning at 9, as everybody knows, and we’re looking forward to it.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Addie’s mission call: Manchester, England, December 27.  We’re so excited for her!  We’ve heard she’ll be doing Home MTC, unless things change before then.  At any rate, we’re sure she’ll have a wonderful experience.

Once more, I’ve got to thank all of you that helped put on our Ackerson luncheon last Saturday afternoon, before Julie’s wedding.  When have we ever had such fabulous food?  Thanks, thanks, thanks, to everyone who helped to plan it and pick up the food and serve it and clean up.  It truly was a wonderful day, and the luncheon made it even better. 

Our next Super Sunday will be the 29th, with Donna and Bevan in charge.  I’m not sure yet where it’s going to be, but I’ll put that in my letter next week.  It’s the fifth Sunday, not the fourth, like we usually do, but we’ve had so much family togetherness that it seemed like a good idea to move it back.  Not that we can get together too much, but it’s nice to be able to spread it out.  

We were sorry to say goodbye to Sharon and her kids.  It always seems like they go home too soon!  We drove them to Centerville Tuesday morning, and then Sharon went with me to the  Cancer Center to start my infusion.  With all the medical gear beeping and chirping around us, and the nurses with their rolling computer carts and IV tubing, she was like a little girl staring at Christmas toys.  She has definitely found the right vocation!  I introduced her to everybody as my daughter who’s in nursing school at the University of Maryland, and they all showed her what they were doing.  I learned a lot, too!  My infusion itself was wretched, like always, but the worst day was yesterday, and I’m slowly improving now.  And then there’s only one more round, and hopefully I’ll feel good for another year.  At least I can breathe now!

Love to all of you!  Mom

Sunday, August 8, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Whoa, what a party!  I’m talking about Julie’s wedding, and our luncheon, and the reception at that wonderful house in their ward.  We devoured a lot of food and visited with a lot of people and overall felt very happy.  Trouble is, this wedding sets a very high bar for all our other grandkids, when it’s their turn.  But of course the important part is just that they’re married now, and I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful life together.

Here’s something cool from a letter Chandra Garcia wrote to me when they got home to Arizona: “We heard one of your kids interviewed on our last day in SLC.  Natalie was bored and started fooling around with my mom’s radio.  Suddenly she was shouting, “Lieutenant Allen Ackerson, Lieutenant Allen Ackerson!”  Could it be?  The officer was recounting a hit and run accident in a Target parking lot.  When he described the injuries as “a human crayon of abrasions (meaning the color red) I just knew Lieutenant Allen Ackerson had to be one of yours.”  Well, of course Allen is one of ours!  Al, your fame has spread far and wide!  BTW, the all-knowing Natalie Garcia not only knows all you kids’ names, but she has a cat named Nora.   And she named that cat before she even knew about our family! 

We’ve really been enjoying having Sharon and Lucy and Conrad here again for the last few days.  Too bad their visit has to end so soon.  Tuesday we’re driving them to Centerville, and Wednesday they fly home.  Seth and Charlie and Matthew left on the same schedule last week.  They got home just fine, and Seth reported that both Charlie and Matthew connected with the friends practically the moment they hit the ground.  Poor Maryland teenagers, being deprived of Charlie and Matthew for nearly four weeks! 

I’ll be starting another infusion on Tuesday, and  Sharon will be coming to my appointments with me.  She did an oncology rotation during the last school year, so she knows all about my routine.  Normally Dad comes with me, but this time we’ll leave him in Centerville getting a haircut from Nora.  Life is good!  By the way, I’ve only had two out of four infusions, but my breathing is so much better than before that there’s no comparison.  Thanks so much for all your prayers!

Lots of love, Mom

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


The wedding is almost here!   Crazy how fast kids grow up.  To help things flow, there are 4 parking groups for the family reception starting at 6:30 this Saturday.  If you could figure out which one your family falls into and park accordingly, it will help us use the limited parking well.  There will be ushers starting at 6:00 to help you know where each parking lot is located.  Just let them know which lot you need.  
Information from Heather about the wedding:

We are excited to see you all!! Thank you ahead of time for all your willingness to help!  I will reach out to you individually for specifics for those that let John know your family is available (Nora, Vanessa, Donna, Tom).  If others want to help, let me know and you’ll get an assignment;).  Remember family photos start at 6:30.  Thank you! 


1.Extended family staying through clean up - park behind house in the lower barn lot and on the driveway behind the house. The driveway can fill all the way up, but we cannot leave until every one parked in this area leaves because it is to narrow.
2. Older extended family not staying through clean up - park in upper barn lot and take shuttle car
3. Younger extended family not staying through clean up, but leaving around 7:30 - park in the field lot (need to be leaving around 7:30)
4. Extended family staying past 7:30 but not through clean up - park on the road.  Take the shuttle if you would like.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

 Dear Kids,

It was wonderful seeing so many of you at Bear Lake yesterday.  We missed Bentley and the ones in John’s family who were sick, but it was still a great crowd.  Dad and I had a nice drive up there in the morning, but we left again for home while most of you were still at Minnetonka Cave.  Still, we enjoyed all the fun we could get in on. Thanks to Al for his great planning, and to everyone who fixed such good food.  Too bad we couldn’t get in on the whole thing!  I had just come off my second infusion of chemo, so we weren’t up for camping, but we enjoyed it while we were there. 

Julie and Spencer seemed pretty excited for their wedding this coming Saturday.  When I asked them about it, they just looked at each other and grinned.  Make sure you plan on our famiy dinner at the cabin that afternoon at 3:00.  We’ll have Bam Bam barbeque and Costco chocolate cake, plus other menu items!  Be there or be square!  There will still be plenty of time for us all to drive to Heber to get in the family pictures, starting at 6:30.  The address for the pictures and the reception is 250 South 3600 East in Heber.  It will be a great evening!

On Monday, my pen pal Chandra Graham Garcia and her family came by for a visit.  They’re from Phoenix, and they were here visiting family in Salt Lake.  They were enchanted by our cats, especially Scout, who let them brush him while he stretched out and smiled.  We went to lunch at the Food Town deli, and then we drove them over to the cabin, and then played in the river while Dad and Jon Garcia changed a flat tire we got on the Sienna.   The two Garcia kids, Carson and Natalie, are my honorary grandkids, and Chandra played with John and Nora when she was 4.  How life changes!  Oh, by the way, Natalie has read The Ackerson Kids Grow Up at least twice, and she can recite the names of you original nine kids in order. 

Adelaide is expecting her mission call this coming Wednesday, while their family is at Lagoon.  Will she announce it at their pavilion?  We’re all taking bets as to where she’ll go. 

So much fun!  Lots of love, Mom  

Sunday, July 25, 2021

 Dear Kids,

By now Allen has given all of you your food assignments for the reunion, and last time I talked with him he was working out the final plans for Saturday.  Minnetonka cave is definitely on the schedule, for those of you who want to go.  It’s about an hour’s drive from Bear Lake.  I’m definitely not going because there are 85 steps to climb, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it, just after my second chemo infusion (which goes this Tuesday to Thursday.) So while some of you are going to the cave, Dad and I will be hanging around the camp site, or maybe we’ll drive down to Laketown with anybody who wants to go look around.  I think I remember a park there, and a funky old-time store.  But that was a long time ago.  Back to the cave–you can plan on that, at least.  And as Allen said in his text to you all, it’s not feasible to do Bloomington Lake the same day, because that’s also an hour away.  And then there’s also the possibility of go-carts, but Allen said he’d kept trying to call them to make a reservation, or see when their open-time was, but he couldn’t get them.  Maybe it’s settled by now.  At least we’ll have a lot of fun, whatever we do.

We’ve really enjoyed having Sharon and the younger kids here, but now they’ve moved on to the Thacker reunion.  As you know, it’s been very hot and dry here.  But one of the nights during Sharon’s visit there was a small rainstorm.  She sat on the front porch just enjoying the MOISTURE! she said.  It felt like home to her.

I think I’ve talked to everybody about our plan to have an Ackerson family dinner the afternoon of Julie’s wedding.  It’s at the cabin at 3pm, and all the food will come from Costco, so nobody has to cook.  Of course we wish everybody could be with Julie and Spencer at their luncheon, but there are so dang many of us, plus Heather’s family, plus Spencer’s, on both sides, with an extra generation thrown in.  I understand totally.  We’ll be thinking of them.  I guess they’re getting pretty excited by now.

Jana McGettigan came to visit Wednesday morning, and she was here overnight.  I was having murderous cramps that day, and she’s always pretty tired because of a chemo pill she’s taking now, so we just watched movies and talked.  We’re both in the same boat.  Thursday, after my piano class in Heber, we drove around and she took pictures.  She wanted to find some ducks on a pond, so we drove over to Wasatch Mountain State Park.  She took lots of pictures of the two white ducks, but they acted pretty spoiled.  The brown ducks wanted to be in her pictures too, and came swimming over.  (Or they just wanted food.)  It was lots of fun.

Life is fun.  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, July 18, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I wore my chemo pump from Tuesday to Thursday, and then Friday was my “bad” day, but it could have been worse.  Lots worse.  Thanks for all your prayers for me.  And the prayers of your kids.  (Donna heard Dallin pray “Bless Grandma Christy that she can breathe and that her toe will grow back.”) I’ll have three more rounds of chemo, one every two weeks, and then hopefully my tumors will have shrunk and I’ll be able to breathe better.  

Yesterday we drove to Mirror Lake with Sharon and her kids because Donna’s and Nora’s families were camping there.  We were only there for the afternoon and evening, but that included hiking around the lake, kayaking, tinfoil dinners, and lots of noise and mayhem.  In fact, when we were first driving around looking for the campsite, we finally saw a group of small boys swinging sticks, and we knew we were there.  But it was so much fun!  And what a gorgeous spot.  Thanks, Donna, for planning so far in advance.  You have to reserve those campsites on New Years Day.

And then, of course, Bear Lake is coming up.  I talked to Al a few days ago and he said he was working out the details, so you should get your food assignments pretty soon.  I think we’ll be doing our usual schedule: Friday at the lake, and then Saturday activities here and there around the area.  Dad and I will only be there Saturday, since I’ll be having chemo again that week.  

We’re enjoying having Sharon and Lucy and Conrad here for a few days.  On Friday Conrad went to the Heber airport with Dad to help John put his glider together and then launch it.  Conrad said it was awesome.  Friday night Sharon went to Food Town to get things for her tinfoil dinners and she ran into Nora!  Nora’s family was on the way to Mirror Lake then, and Nora was shopping for the same things.  Small world!

I hope you’re all lovin’ these long summer days.  Life is good!  Mom

Sunday, July 11, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Sharon’s here!  And all her kids, too.  Charlie and Matthew are out at the farm, and Sharon and Lucy and Conrad are at Nora’s house.  They’ll be here at our house tonight, for our usual Sunday get-together, and they need to pick up the mini van the Thackers left here for them. Oh, yeah, Seth isn’t here yet.  He’s coming later–in a couple of weeks, I think.

Speaking of Sunday get-togethers, Donna convinced me to cancel super Sunday for this month, since it’s just four days before our family reunion starts.  And of course Donna’s right.  So she and Bevan will be in charge of August’s super Sunday, on August 22.  And the family reunion is getting close–just 2 1/2 weeks away.  I’m sure Al will be getting the information out pretty soon.  Bear Lake, here we come!

I saw my oncologist, Dr. Lewis, on Thursday, and he went over all my recent tests with me, and we looked at my last scan.  Unlike I thought, radiation isn’t an option, since the biggest tumor is really close to my heart, and they don’t want to accidentally radiate that vital organ!  (Radiation isn’t an exact science.  It doesn’t always end up exactly where it’s supposed to.)  Anyway, he made a decision that surprised me.  I’m going to have chemo again.  Even though my tumors are growing slowly, it will probably shrink them, and I should be able to breathe better.  Of course I agreed.  Whatever!  I’m elated that I might feel better pretty soon.  The chemo starts Tuesday, and I’ll have infusions every other week for four rounds.  That means I’ll have it just before the family reunion, and my worst day is always Friday, but we should be able to drive up Saturday and spend most of the day with you guys.  Tom will bring Dad’s truck the first day, Thursday afternoon, with the firewood, mattresses, paper products, etc., so all that will be there for you.  I had already considered coming just one day anyway, because I’ve felt so wretched, so this will be no different for Dad and me. 

Paul has a new job!  (Again.  Go, Paul.)  He’s going to work for a company that made him an offer once before, when he took the job he’s just now quitting.  Hopefully he’ll be doing real engineering now, not report writing. Paul was really proactive, called them up and said he was looking again, and could he come work in their office for just one day and see how they liked him, and how he liked them.  Or something like that.  I’m glad he’s so on-the-ball.  We’re really happy for him.  

Dad has been putting together the new swingset at the cabin.  We go over there three or four mornings a week, before it gets hot, and he works on it for a couple of hours.  He said it’s like a giant erector set.  And the direction booklet really is the size of a telephone directory.  You have to do each step in exactly the right order, so we can’t have a big assembly party and work together and get it all done in one day.  Like demolishing the old one.  Now that was a fun project.

What a family!  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, July 4, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I hope you’re all having a happy “real” 4th of July.  I know most of the fireworks were last night or are going to be tomorrow night, but at least we can all sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in church today.  At least I hope everybody sings it.  As for fireworks–we’re probably going to pass this year.  I usually buy ariels and we shoot them off at the church below Nora’s house, but Dad and I have been out and about so much this week that I haven’t been in the mood to go “over the hill” again.  I bought a small carton of ariels at Winco, but while I was thinking of shooting them off at home, I found a notice from Francis City.  All fireworks are banned, and if you violate the edict, you’re subject to a class B misdemeanor under Utah law, or by a term of imprisonment up to six months, or by both.  Nuff said.

We sure enjoyed super Sunday last week, at the park in Centerville, hosted by Allen.  He and Jen had been in Texas for a couple of days, and they left to come home that morning.  I’m glad their flight wasn’t cancelled!  Anyway, the party was lots of fun.  Our next official get-together will be July 25, hosted by Donna and Bevan.  At first Donna mentioned hosting it at the cabin, but then she re-considered and said maybe a park.  We’ll let you know when it gets closer.  

I’m still gasping for breath.  I had a stress test-echocardiogram on Monday, where they fastened all kinds of things on me and then put me on a treadmill to pump up my heart rate.  I was worried I couldn’t do it, but they were very easy on me.  Besides, since I never exercise, it was easy to get my heart rate up.  Then, when my heart was really pounding, they had me lie down on a table, and they ran their scanners around to look at every part of my heart.  It all looked pretty good, they said.  On Friday I saw my pulmonologist, and he said he’s finished looking at my lungs.  There’s nothing wrong that could be causing my breathing trouble, except for the cancer.  So now I go back to my oncologist, and he will probably send me to radiation.  At least I think that’s the plan.  Like I keep saying, I really appreciate your prayers.  I think the Lord is going to spare my life for a few more years.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to our Super Sunday dinner this afternoon.  If you still need the address, it’s 850 East 550 South in Centerville.  It starts at 3:00, and Al is in charge.  Bring whatever you like, and prepare to have fun.  It won’t be terribly hot, since is predicting 86 degrees for Centerville at 3pm.  Hey, it could be a lot worse. 

We had a super rainstorm on Thursday, and some of you probably had it, too.  I wanted to kneel down in it and kiss the ground, like the pioneers do in one of the church movies.  Funny thing was, it never showed up in the long-range forecast–it just appeared.  Looks like the Lord heard my prayers, and the prayers of all the farmers, too.  It would be great if there could be another storm soon, to help end the drought.  The Jordanelle is depressingly low, and I’m sure the other reservoirs are hurting, too.

My brother Charley is doing really well.  He never did have to go to rehab; they just sent him home from the hospital, where he’s recuperating.  We hope he’ll recover completely, and there’s a good chance he will.  Thanks for your prayers in his behalf.

Dad and I were invited to Paul’s house yesterday afternoon for a barbeque with the Riebens, so we took the truck, and we stopped at the Lifetime store in North Salt Lake on our way and bought the new play yard for the cabin.  It’s in a big crate that practically fills the back of Dad’s truck.  They loaded it with a forklift, but to take it out, we’ll have to dismember the crate and hand down the pieces.  I’m excited to have Dad put it together.  

I’m still gasping for breath.  My pen pal Chandra in Phoenix sent me a hand-held fan that you hold right in front of your face, and it helps, somehow.  There’s no medical reason–it just does.  Anyway, my echocardiagram is tomorrow, and my appointment with the pulmonologist is Friday.  There’s no relief for the short term, but at least I’m “on the path,” as Sharon put it.   Thanks for your prayers for me, and the prayers of your kids, too.  I know they help.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Dear Kids,

Just a reminder about super Sunday next week, 3pm, at the park in Centerville located at 850 East 550 South.  Allen will provide the drinks and everybody will provide the fun. And the food.  See you there!

And happy Fathers Day to all our wonderful sons and sons-in-law.  We really appreciate the wonderful way you take care of your families and set such a good example for them.  Dad seems to be having a good Fathers Day.  For a present I gave him a new bar for his chain saw.

My brother Charley had a seizure last Wednesday night and is in the IHC hospital in Murray, the “Death Star.”  It could have been caused by his forgetting to take his medication, but they’ve done all kinds of tests to rule out other things.  He’s going to be transferred to St. Marks rehab next week, according to Andy.  I’m praying really hard for him, and I hope he pulls through without permanent damage.  He’s been living on borrowed time for three or four years now, and I hope he can borrow plenty more.

I saw the pulmonologist on Friday, and it was very discouraging, but I expected that.  The nurses gave me the breathing test where you breathe into a tube and then blow it out hard, and they kept wanting me to do it over and over, to get consistent results.  I finally told them I couldn’t do it any more. Then I met the doctor and he was very nice.  He says he has to rule out every possible thing before he assumes it’s just my cancer doing what cancer does.  He ruled out asthma right away, which I could have told him.  The funny thing is that my oxygen is always around 98 or 99 percent, which is excellent, but why am I always gasping for air?  I’ll be having  an echocardiogram on the 28th, to rule out heart trouble, and then I’ll see the doctor again July 2.  That adds two more weeks of waiting.  I guess I can stand it, but it’s really hard.  I just get through every day, one at a time.

The farmers here are really concerned about the drought.  One of Dad’s friends at the coffee club told him he has 6 more days of watering, and then he’s going to cut his hay and be finished for the summer.  Usually they hope for at least 2 cuttings.  When you live in the city a drought only means you’re supposed to “slow the flow,” but farmers lose thousands of dollars.  It was a little cloudy yesterday morning, and while Dad and I were working at the cabin about six drops of rain fell, but that doesn’t help much.  I pray every day for rain.  When I say my prayers, the Lord knows what to expect–I want help with my lungs, and I want the drought to end.  I hope He’s not getting tired of me.

I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, June 13, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m already looking forward to the next Super Sunday, two weeks from today, and Allen will be the host.  We’ll be meeting at a park in Centerville, and the address 850 East 550 South.  Allen warned that it might be “toasty,” but I reminded him that we’re all tough.  Besides, I’m sure there are trees we can sit under.  This will be our normal pot-luck format, meaning you bring whatever you want, but I’ll see if Al can provide the drinks, since we won’t have a kitchen sink with water nearby.  

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Adelaide had finished her mission application process (or that it was a rumor) but I was wrong.  She’s in the middle of the process now.  Last Sunday she had her patriarchal blessing, and she still needs her medical and dental checkups.  Then her “papers” can go in.  It will be exciting to see where she gets called.  We hope she’ll be able to do a face-to-face MTC, but it she has to do it at home, that’ll work too.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Provo temple with Julie because she was being endowed.  It was just us, Spencer’s parents, John and Heather, and Prices.  We were the whole session!  It was really nice, but I’ll be glad when the temples are open for big groups again.

It froze here a couple of nights ago, and when I went out ministering to my ladies the next day, they complained about losing tomatoes, petunias, etc.  I don’t know why anybody tries to grow flowers and tomatoes around here.  I thought it was a relief to leave Salt Lake and have a good reason not to grow a garden!

My breathing is still really bad, but I have an appointment with a pulmonologist this Friday.  He’s supposed to rule out anything besides cancer that could be giving me trouble.  The last resort, according to my oncologist, will be radiation, and I think he means the entire area of my lungs, not just the lymph node in the middle.  They always try to tell you as little as possible, in order not to scare you, but I would rather know everything.  Then I can face it.  I’m really confident that I’ll live several more years, whatever happens.  My patriarchal blessing talks about my days being “lengthened” to “fill my mission with joy and satisfaction.”  And I think being here for you kids and grandkids is part of my mission, so I think the Lord will preserve my life.

Lots of love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, June 6, 2021

 Dear Kids,

The best news of the week is that Seth is going to be a counselor in their bishopric.  I don’t know if it’s first or second–Sharon didn’t say.  We’ll be watching their meeting on zoom later this morning, and then we’ll know.  Jerry and Juanita and Lucinda flew to Maryland so Jerry can ordain Seth a high priest.  I know he’ll do a wonderful job in this calling, because of his great spirit and his compassion for people.  We’re really proud of him.

And Bentley is a trainer!  I’m sure he’ll be great at this.  He and his new trainee are working hard and teaching people and having wonderful time.  Go, Bentley!

I’m still having a lot of trouble breathing, and various things are being ruled out, but I don’t have any answers yet.  It’s not asthma, because the nebulizer didn’t do diddily, and after that I had to take a course of prednisone that didn’t help, either.  They sent the CT scan to my radiation doctor, and he said he doesn’t see anything suspicious in the lymph node in my chest, so I won’t be having radiation.  That’s great news, but why can’t I breathe?  I’m just gasping all the time.  They’re trying to get me in to a pulmonologist who specializes in lung cancer, but their main guy is booked out really far, and they haven’t been able to contact their other one.  I know there are people worse off than me, but I wish I could jump to the head of the line.  Meanwhile, I really appreciate your prayers.

Friday afternoon I went to the Heber airport with Dad, where he helped John put his glider together, and helped him take off.  Meanwhile there were Laer jets coming and going, and small planes, and an old world war II plane flown by a couple of old coots who looked like something from “Secondhand Lions.”  It was all very entertaining, and helped me forget about my bad breathing.  I just hung out in the hanger and read for a couple of hours.  

Now that the old swingset at the cabin has been demolished, we need to go get the new one.  Dad will have to put it together himself, since the directions are the size of a telephone book, and you have to go step by step.  Too bad it can’t be a group project.  I’m also re-doing the fire pit, and Dad and Donna got the watering system going.  There are always wonderful projects at the cabin, and it’s cooler there, now that we’re in this heat wave. 

I love you all and hope that summer is off to a great start for all of you.  Love, Mom

Sunday, May 30, 2021

 Dear Kids,

What a great time we all had yesterday, celebrating Dad’s and Dallin’s birthdays, and the 20th anniversary of moving into the cabin, and demolishing the old swingset, all at the same time.  Thanks to all of you who brought food, and especially to Donna, who bought the meat and did the barbequing.  Our get-togethers just keep getting bigger and better.  Thanks to all of you who helped with the demolition.  Dad and I will be getting the new playset from the Lifetime store in another week or so, and Dad will put it together.  It has to be done slowly and carefully, and the directions are about the length of a large telephone directory.  But Dad’s good at that sort of thing.

Thursday we drove to Pocatello for Sterling’s graduation, and we had a great time.  There were no masks and no social distancing, except for the graduates down on the floor of the arena.  It’s crazy, because the graduates lined up and walked in right next to each other, but then their chairs were 6 feet apart.  I’ll be glad when all the hypocrisy and double standards are over with.  Anyway, the graduation was great, and it lasted barely an hour.  The talks were very short and the graduates clipped right through.  Sterling had super high honors, or whatever they called it: A gpa higher than 4.0 with at least 3 AP classes.  We were very proud of him.  After missing all the graduations last year, which were crazy because of covid, it was fun to do something totally normal.  

Rumors I’ve heard: Dallin’s baptism had been postponed.  Adelaide has finished her mission application process, (in the old days we called it turning in the papers, but there’s no paper any more), and sometime soon she ought to have her mission call.  Charlie Thacker went on his first date.  The Provo MTC is opening sometime in July.  All the temples will open in July, too.  Yeah, these are rumors.  I think they’re all true.

I had a good visit with my oncologist on Monday, sooner than I was supposed to, but I’ve been having lots of trouble breathing.  In my mind I imagined the tumors in my lungs had grown really large and were cutting off my air. It turns out that was wrong–my main tumor had only grown l mm in five months, which is wonderfully slow.  But why can’t I breathe?  Dr. Lewis suspected asthma, and sentenced me to using my nebulizer 4 times a day with stronger juice.  I’ve been doing that since Monday, and it hasn’t helped very much.  One other possibility is that there’s a lymph node near the sternum, and my cancer might be affecting it.  If so, I might have to have radiation again, which doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Whatever it is, I sure appreciate all your faith and prayers.  I know I’m going to live much longer than I would otherwise.

Lots of love to everybody!  Mom

Sunday, May 23, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you this afternoon for Super Sunday here at out house.  The fun starts at 3:00 (or sooner) and you can bring whatever you want in the way of food.  If the menu is lopsided, at least none of us will suffer malnutrition from just one meal.  

And this coming Saturday, the 29th, we’ll have the birthday party for Dad and Dallin at the cabin.  Donna and I will call around among you to see who’s coming and make food assignments.  Let’s plan on eating about 1 in the afternoon, and we’ll demolish the decroded playset after that.  I’m going to re-do the firepit soon, so I might have some of you stacking bricks, too.  If you want to go in on a birthday present for Dad, contact me.  I bought it already. 

And then Dallin’s baptism will be the following Saturday, June 5, at Donna and Bevan’s church.  Dallin was having a little trouble committing himself, and I remembered that he was pretty excited when Lucy was baptized in the river.  So I thought if I suggested the river, he would be more excited about the whole deal.  Instead, he was terrified, but when Bevan reminded him that he could be baptized in a nice calm font with warm water, he agreed to it immediately.  So my suggestion helped, but not like I thought.  I’m not sure what time the baptism’s going to be, but I’ll put it in my letter next week.

Last Tuesday when Dad and I were down in West Valley we drove by our old house on Stillwater, and yes, they’ve painted it white.  It looks really different.  I rang the doorbell and a nice young lady invited us in and let us look around.  What memories!  But they’ve changed so much!  There’s laminate on the living room floor, and all the kitchen cabinets are painted white.  The tower is being taken down.  (I don’t mind.  It was getting dangerous.)  I guess the Guatemalans that bought the house from us ran it into the ground, so this young couple bought it as a fixer-upper.  I’m glad we never saw it at its worst.

Our yard here is finally looking better, more like springtime, and we’ve let the meadow grass grow tall.  The horses stick their necks under the fence and try to get it, because their own pasture is nibbled down to the ground.  Sonia and Scout creep through this jungle, and when they meet up, they leap into the air, and Scout chases Sonia across the yard.  Donna tells us that tall meadow grass is prime breeding ground for voles, but that’s ok–more protein for the cats.  

Love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, May 16, 2021

 Dear Kids,

First off, about the next super Sunday–it’s going to be here at our house a week from today.  Yeah, I know we were all expecting to go to Allen’s place, but it turns out he’s in charge of a policemen’s barbecue the same afternoon, and he can’t be in two places at once.  So he’ll take his turn on June 27, and then Donna’s in charge at the cabin on July 25.  All clear?  I know we keep changing things around, but the important thing is that we enjoy being together and eating good food.  So, our house, next Sunday afternoon, 3 pm.  Bring whatever you like.  It’ll be great.

And then, a week from Saturday, we’ll have a demolition party at the cabin to take apart the rotting playset.  Also we’ll celebrate Dad’s and Dallin’s birthdays, and also the 20th birthday party of the cabin.  It’s hard to believe we’ve owned the place that long, but we’ve sure had fun there.  

Julie’s wedding is going to be August 7 at 1:30 pm in the Jordan River Temple with the reception that night at John’s house.  Somehow I thought I’d already put that information in one of my letters, but I see I haven’t.  You’ll all be getting official announcements when it gets closer.  Sharon’s excited that it’s during the time she’ll be here.  I’m excited to have such an important event coming up.  I know John’s family has plenty to do getting ready for it, but I’m sure it will all come off OK.

Last Saturday night Dad and I went to Elise Fulton’s wedding reception in Salt Lake, and we saw a lot of our old ward members there.  Someone told us our house on Stillwater has changed hands again, and that it’s a young couple with a baby.  And they’ve painted the house white!  Dad and I are going to drive by Tuesday when we’re down there.  I can’t imagine, but supposedly it looks really good.

I have quite the reputation among the old ladies around here.  We were at DUP last Wednesday afternoon, and they started talking about all the surgeries they’ve had lately.  Somebody said, “Christy Ackerson had a hip replacement AND  a toe ammputation.”  Somebody else said, “Yes, and she probably did it herself!”  Next toe, maybe I will try it myself.  What will it take?  A Black and Decker saber saw?  Just kidding.

I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 9, 2021


Dear Kids,

OK, so I got it wrong last week.  Bentley did not get a mission call to Honduras.  It was Sterling.  We all knew that, but thanks to all of you who corrected me.  It was a good reminder not to write my Mom letter late at night.  Sometimes I write it late on Saturday night so I can upload it first thing Sunday morning, without having to think.  But I guess there’s no substitute for real thinking.  

Congratulations to James for finishing his degree!  (I can’t remember the exact name of it, so you’ll have to ask him.) He finished his last final a week ago Monday.  It’s been a long haul for him, and we’re very proud of what he’s accomplished.  Congratulations to Sharon for nearly finishing her first year of nursing school, except for the finals.  I’m sure she’ll do really well on those.  Congratulations to Sterling for his upcoming graduation from Century High School.  Congratulations to Addie and Julie and everybody else who’s finishing another school year, along with all the high school and junior high and middle school and elementary school students.  We’re really grateful for your opportunities for a good education.  

Paul and Stefanie and Josh and Chloe were here Friday night and part of Saturday, and we really had fun.  Stefanie needed to have John look at her eyes Saturday morning, not late in the day, like the last time she visited his office.  So this worked out really well for all of us.  I had fun watching Josh play on our playground.  Now that we’re looking to replace the swingset at the cabin, I’m paying more attention to how kids play.  Wednesday night Dad and I and all of Donna’s family went to the Lifetime store in Orem, where they have all their playsets set up outside.  My plan was to watch the kids play, and see what they came back to after they had seen everything.  Only it didn’t work that way, because they just kept running from one thing to another.  Finally they started throwing the bark at each other, which is what kids seem to like the best.  The salesgirl said it didn’t matter what we bought.  Kids like everything.  Only Donna and I agreed the one called “Adventure Clubhouse” would work the best at the cabin.  You can see it on the Lifetime web site.  We’re going to add a baby swing and probably the spider web swing to what it comes with.

Dad and I have done several hikes on the Jordanelle Perimeter trail.  It’s part of my plan for rehabilitating my hip, and it’s lots of fun, too.  Each time, we go 100 paces farther than the time before, and we mark our spot with a big root.  We’re only 1 1/4 miles along the trail, so if you do the math you can see it’s going to take us a long time to get to the end.  (13 miles.)  But I really enjoy being out under the blue sky and white clouds, with the beautiful blue water of the Jordanelle.  It’s very quiet and the air is crystal clear.  That’s how I imagine heaven.

Except that all of you will be there, so it won’t be very quiet, but lots of fun.

Love, Mom

Saturday, May 1, 2021


Dear Kids,

The biggest news of the week, of course, was Bentley’s mission call to Honduras.  His departure date is August 17, but we haven’t heard if he’ll do the MTC at home, or face to face.  He might have to spend some time in the USA before he actually goes south, according to his letter.  I know he’ll have a wonderful mission, wherever he serves.  Bentley just passed the nine-month mark for his mission, and they had a baptism.  I’m sure Bentley feels like Texas is the best possible place to serve, unless he actually goes to the Philippines, and then that will be the best place.  Funny how that works out!

We sure enjoyed Super Sunday at John’s house last week.  (We’ve been requested not to call it “super spreader Sunday” any more, and I can certainly respect that.  Anyway, practically everybody has either had covid, or been vaccinated, or both, or they’re kids, so we really aren’t spreading anything.) Anyway, it was great at John’s.  Our next big Sunday event will be at Allen’s place on May 23.  We don’t know if it will be on the grounds of Allen’s condo, or at a park, but I’ll let you know in my letter.  When it’s Donna’s turn, the end of June, they’re probably going to have it at the cabin.  Cut loose!  Be creative!  With this family there’s no stopping the fun.  Oh, yes, and I hope you marked your calendars for Saturday, May 29, the birthday party for Dad and Dallin, and the playset demolition project.  I’ll have more details about that later, too.

While we were at John’s, I talked to Julie and Spencer about their wedding plans.  They’re going to Costa Rica for their honeymoon!  I guess everything is super cheap there.  Spencer said when he heard it would only be $6 a day for a rental car he thought it was a scam, but it was for real!  I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful time.  Meanwhile, John is laying out big bucks to have his yard ready in time for the reception, and I’m sure it will look beautiful.

I hope you’re all enjoying this gorgeous springtime.  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, April 25, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to Super Sunday at John’s house this afternoon.  The fun starts at 4:00pm.  It sounds like John’s fridge is broken, but I’m sure we’ll still have a good time.  There’s no stopping the fun with this crowd.

I just read a great news update on there’s going to be a spring storm starting tonight that will bring up to an inch of rain into northern Utah and a foot of snow in the mountains.  I know it’s been a long winter, and we’ve had a lot of storms, but they’ve been puny.  The farmers are worried about water, and at Dad’s coffee club (held in the deli of Food Town every morning) they were saying they might not even get one crop of hay this year.  So it looks like some of them have been doing some praying.  Let’s hope the storm hits hard, and then we’ll really be ready for spring after that.  Dad and I have been going to the cabin once or twice a week to work on projects, but it’s all inside stuff.  Still too cold outside.

Speaking of which, we’ve decided to demolish the play structure in back of the cabin.  The wood is all decroded and the shingles are mostly off and the whole thing leans.  Trying to repair it would cost more than it’s worth, so it’s coming down, and we’re going to put up the same tower-slide-swingset combo we have in our back yard here at the house.  It’s Lifetime brand, and it will definitely last longer than that thin wood.  So there’s going to be a combination birthday party for Dad and Dallin, along with a demolition party at the cabin on Saturday, May 29.  Oh, yes, and it will be the 20-year anniversary of when we moved our stuff into the cabin.  We have a lot to celebrate.  So, put May 29 on your calendars.  It’s Memorial Day weekend, but Saturday’s going to work out better than Monday.

Scout is not getting used to being an outside cat.  He sits at the back door and meows until we give in to his sorry face.  We have to set the timer and babysit him while he’s in, so he can’t misbehave. Dad and I take turns watching him, and after 20 minutes we toss him out again.  I know we haven’t been very diligent babysitters, (speaking of grandchildren) so we’re making up for it now.

I have red splotches on my face because Dr. Engen burned off some pre-cancerous places.  Hey, cancer loves me!  These aren’t the kind of cancers that kill you, though.  They’re just carcinomas. Dr. Engen says it’s better to burn them off now than cut them off later, and he knows what he’s talking about. 

Life is great, isn’t it?  I love you all!  Mom