Sunday, October 30, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Aaron had his appendix out on Wednesday afternoon.  He hadn’t been in pain very long, and they diagnosed it right away by testing his white blood cells.  The surgery went well, and they sent him home a couple of hours later.  Dad and I went to visit him on Thursday, and he was hobbling around, holding an ice pack to his stomach.  He showed us his incisions–three tiny ones with staples that were going to dissolve.  No stitches to remove!  Appendectomies sure have changed from the days Nora and Sharon and Allen had them.

I hope you all have a fun Halloween tomorrow.  I won’t, because I have to start chemo again.  I don’t mind, though, because my tumors have been growing and I’m having trouble breathing again.  I always look forward to the first couple of infusions because they help my breathing so much, but then, after that, I have a lot to complain about.  Overall, though, I’m glad for the chemo, and it’s definitely lengthening my life.

I just finished reading “Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing” for our book club in two more weeks.  I’m definitely one of the few people who’s never read it before.  Judy Blume?  Everybody loves her.  I thought the book was pretty silly, though, but I know the kids will love it. 

And the next thing coming up after book club will be Thanksgiving, on November 24.  Dad and I will be fixing dinner at the cabin.  I’ll do the turkey and gravy and pumpkin pies.  If you want to join us, let me know, and we’ll decide what you should bring.  It will be one of my off-weeks from chemo, so I should feel OK. 

I colored my hair bright red for Halloween, so I should get a few stares in church today.  One of my friends, Lois, who has beautiful silver hair, was asking me about making her hair purple.  I loaned her my purple dye, and it turned out fabulous.  She ought to get a few stares in church today, too.

Yesterday I went on a short hike up the Rocky Top trail, but it was cold and muddy, and I couldn’t breathe very well.  That’s probably a good way to end the hiking season, so I won’t be yearning to be out on a trail somewhere.  Oh, well, Dad and I had some great hikes!

Love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, October 23, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Super Sunday is today at John’s house at 4 pm.  If you read his text, you know his grill is out of commission but his hot tub is ready to go.  Bring whatever food you want.  We still have never had a dinner with all desserts.  (Or what if we had a dinner that was all vegetables–can you imagine?)  Today will be our last Super Sunday until January, because of Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.  

But we can continue on with book club.  Thanks, Nora, for last week’s discussion of “Toys Go Out.”  Our next book is “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume, chosen by Kim, and we’ll be discussing it on November 13.  

Tonight is the first Messiah practice, continuing on through December 11, when we’ll put it on in Tom’s church.  Our Sunday evenings during that time should be about the same, though.  When Dad and I skip out to go to the practices, the party can continue on without us.  

On Tuesday afternoon Dad and I had a wonderful hike on the Shingle Creek trail up on Mirror Lake highway.  The weather was gorgeous, and the fall colors were fabulous: green pines, yellow aspens, blue sky, and a few reds here and there.  We had a feeling it might be our last hike for the year, or at least the last one with bright autumn colors.  Our first winter snowstorm hit yesterday afternoon, and it probably hit at some of your houses, too.  Winter comes whether you’re ready or not, but at least our sprinklers are blown out.  (Thanks, Bevan, for bringing the compressor!)  Otherwise, the preparation for winter is all mental.  I imagine myself in the bean bag chair by the window of the landing, with a good book in my lap.  I can sure handle that!

My visit to the wound clinic last Monday went really well.  When I showed them my new injury (on my arm) they pulled out some goopy gauze, laid a piece across it, and bandaged it.  Since then it’s been itching a little bit, which is a good sign.  Dad has to change the gauze and the bandages every two days, but he’s getting to be a pro at wound care.  My other wound, in that most delicate of spots, is still giving me trouble, but Dr. Moffit said he has many more tricks in his bag.  I hope one of them will finally work.

I hope you’re all doing great and loving life!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 16, 2022

 Dear Kids,

I’m typing with my right arm raised up because of the pain from my scrape last week.  

Because I’ve been on chemo, wounds don’t heal, so every day it feels like I just injured it.  It looks the same too.  I’m not worried, though, because tomorrow is my regular day to go to the wound clinic, and now I’ve got two things for them to work on.  

And this afternoon is book club, 5pm at our house, be there or be square.  We’re talking about Toys Go Out, and Nora will be leading the discussion.  By the way, this is our seventh book.  Who’d think we would have gone through so many already! Tom’s family will be choosing our book for November, so we can start in on it when they let us know.  I absolutely love book club!  It has worked out even better than I expected it to.

And next Sunday, the 23rd, is Super Sunday at John’s house.  The weather should still be nice, so we can run around on his new lawn in back.  The fun will start at 4 pm, and the food is always good.  Bring whatever you want, unless you hear differently.

Whenever I go out ministering, my ladies always ask how I’m doing, so this week I told everybody about my scraped arm and our adventurous hike up Rocky Top.  Two of my ladies are old timers, and they both said the same thing: “There’s rattlesnakes up there.”  (One of them added the information that when Francis was settled, it was all sagebrush and rattlers.)  Dad also heard about the rattlesnakes from his friends at the coffee club.  So, was that going to scare us away from our new favorite hike?  Not at all.  We were back on the trail yesterday, but we only went half way.  And I listened for rattling and hissing, but I didn’t hear a thing.  We watched the bushes beside the trail, too.  If it were a real danger, it ought to be posted on the billboard at the bottom, where it shows the map.  So I don’t think we have much to worry about.  We’re not going to let rumors keep us home.  Besides, I only have two more weeks before I start chemo again, and I have to get in as much fun as possible.

Thursday night we went to Provo for the wedding reception of Ben Findlay and his new bride, Skye.  All of Nancy’s family was there, and it was fun to see them.  The reception was in a barn-like building by the train tracks, so Dad and I drove over to the transportation hub and waited for the frontrunner train to come in.  When it did, at least a hundred people got off.  We were amazed.  It was a beautiful evening, and not even dark yet.  There won’t be many more of those!

Love to all of you!  Mom

Sunday, October 9, 2022


Dear Kids,

As you saw from the pictures Al posted, we made it all the way up Rocky Top yesterday.  And just as I thought, you can look down on our house.  In fact, you look down on the whole Kamas valley.  It was only Dad, myself, Al, and Tom that did the hike.  And going up, we had a glorious time.  Coming down was something different.  I tripped on a rock and fell on my arm, skinning one spot totally.  It was a bloody mess.  Al bandaged it for me then and there, and when I got home I cleaned it and cut off the loose skin and wrapped it in gauze and tape.  Then, back on the trail, Dad was having a tough time coming down.  His back hurt, so he had to take it really slowly.  Tom had already gone on ahead to get home for Eli’s football game, and I was hustling ahead because of my arm, so we were all spread out.  But it was glorious weather and couldn’t have been more beautiful.  If any of you want to hike it any time, let us know.

I had a wonderful time in Arizona with my sisters.  What did we do?  Eat and talk.  Bonnie’s house there is too beautiful for words.  It was hot during the day, but perfect at night.  When I woke up both nights at midnight, I went outside and walked around the pool barefoot.  What else? We drove to the Mesa cemetery and looked at ancestors’ headstones, and we also tried to work a 1,000 piece puzzle, but it was too hard.  It didn’t even matter.  It was just fun being with my sisters. 

Scout was missing the whole time I was gone, but he showed up again yesterday morning.  We wonder if he has a second family and they kept him in.  He’s such a fine cat, who could resist him? 

Next Sunday is book club, and if you haven’t read Toys Go Out, there’s still plenty of time because it’s so short.  I’ve started keeping a list of what we’ve read, and it’s getting long!  So we’ll meet next Sunday, the 16th, here, at 5 pm, and there will be refreshments.  Be there or be square.

And the following Sunday, the 23rd, we’ll have Super Sunday at John’s.  Bring whatever you want.  It’s always fun.  

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, October 2, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Our bread and soup party last night was a blast, not to mention the good we got out of conference.  Oh, yes, and the raccoon–he made things very lively, until his owner came and got him.  (And kissed him.)  Thank you all for everything you brought, including your wonderful children.  I know kids don’t always (or ever) get much out of conference, but I think our example sets them in the right way.  I hope you all enjoy the rest of conference today, and that it will be a good sabbath day for all of you.  

This coming Saturday, October 8, Allen and Dad and I are going to hike the Rocky Top trail to the very top, where we should be able to look out over our house.  If any of you want to join us, we’re meeting at the little parking lot just off Highway 32, (after it crosses the river, if you’re coming from Heber) at 8 am.  It’s at the entrance to Rock Cliff State Park, but you don’t have to pay anything to park there.  The trail head is maybe a hundred yards from there.  If you have any questions, call or text me.  

On Wednesday I’m flying to Arizona with my sisters, and we’re staying at Bonnie’s house until Friday afternoon.  I’m pretty sure we’re just going to talk and eat and watch movies, but it will be a great retreat.  Bonnie’s incredibly generous with her house, and she’s even paying for our plane tickets.  Have we got it made or what?

Our friends the Garcias were here visiting from Phoenix, and we had a good time with them on Friday.  Their kids, Natalie and Carson (ages 12 and 10) are honorary grandkids of ours.  We went to the cabin and they had fun driving the Yerf Dog.  Dad has put a 2-gallon gas tank on it (taken from an old lawn mower) and it can go for miles now.  

Upcoming events: Book Club October 16, and we’ll be discussing Toys Go Out.  Our next Super Sunday will be October 23 at John’s.  We can run around on his new lawn and break it in.  Oh, here’s a great event that most of you know about already: Sharon and Matthew will be here for the BYU-Dixie game on Nov. 19.  I know a lot of you are already planning on going to the game, and I’m sure you’ll all have a great time.

So many people!  So much fun!  Love, Mom