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