Sunday, January 29, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Thanks to Nora for that wonderful Super Sunday last week.  I love all our get-togethers and each of you has done such a great job hosting!  Our next Super Sunday will be February 26 at Tom’s house, and our next book club will be here on February 12.  We’re reading Because of Winn Dixie, and it’s a great little book.  I’ve read it twice already.

I just talked to John, and I asked him how Jacob’s doing.  Evidently Jacob has settled in very well and he’s deep into the work.  They’re teaching a reality TV star named Cambo who has a lot of unwholesome habits to get over.  He tells his wife to hide the bad stuff when he comes into the house.  I googled “Cambo reality tv” and found out that he lives in the backwoods of Alabama along the Coosa River.  Evidently he shoots his shotgun, swims in the river, and does other woodsy things.  Go, Cambo!  Go, Jacob!

Have you guys heard about Nora’s new business?  She shops for people at Costco, and they venmo the money to her.  What’s in it for Nora?  The Rewards.  I had her buy me four bags of Utah Truffles, because Vanessa told me they’re only available around Christmas.  I wanted to stock up before they run out, and it freaks me out to go into Costco myself.  The noise is too loud, now that I have hearing aids.

We’re still dealing with the deep snow here.  Our back deck is completely snowed under, and since Sonia always went under there to do her thing, that explains why she started using the brown carpet.  We solved the problem by setting up a litter box in the garage.  (I took out the one we used to have because they weren’t using it.)   Now, with the new accommodations, she hasn’t had a single accident.  We just needed to use our brains instead of screaming at her all the time.  The snow will probably be with us a while longer, since we get an inch or two every day.  Actually, I kind of like it.  

I have to start chemo again in two more weeks, so my vacation is almost over.  I’ve been frustrated because the kinds of things I really like to do aren’t possible in the dead of winter.  I can’t work in the yard or go hiking, or even work on finishing the walls in the garage, since it’s so cold out there.  So I might as well get back to chemo.  I’m starting to have trouble breathing again, so I’m actually looking forward to it.

I appreciate all of you so much!  Dad and I are very blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Love, Mom

Sunday, January 22, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Yay, it’s Super Sunday today!  We’ll meet at Nora’s house at 4 pm, if you can make it.  If you can’t make it on time, come anyway when you can.  Donna’s ward doesn’t get out until 3:30, so they’ll be a little late.  They have four wards in their building, so their late schedule is really late.

Our next book club will be February 12, and we’re reading Because of Winn Dixie.  I thought I’d just start it, and before I knew it I was done.  It’s that kind of a book.  I’m sure I’ll be reading it at least one more time before we meet.  And if you get a chance to watch the movie, it follows the book really closely.

Dad and I went to the Provo Temple Friday afternoon, and for the first time I had made an appointment on line.  It all worked out so smoothly I was amazed!  No wondering if we were going to get into the session!  And besides that, we got to go in first.  Last time we went Dad ended up being the last person on the last row.  Friday he was the second person on the first row.  Needless to say we’ll be making appointments from now on.  Lots of people are going to the Provo Temple these days, probably because they’re going to be tearing it down pretty soon and re-building it.  Yeah, I know it looks like a birthday cake, but I love it because Dad and I were married there.  I’m sure the new one will be beautiful.  The Heber Temple isn’t even started yet, so it will probably be four years or so until it’s open.  The Taylorsville Temple is coming right along–maybe we can start going there.  It’s right at the intersection of 47th South and I-215, so it will be easy to get to.

Sonia’s behaving herself better these days, probably because we set up a litter box for her in the garage.  She used to always go under the back deck, but I noticed it’s all snowed in and no cat could get under there.  No wonder she was pooping on the brown carpet.  It was partly my fault.  These cats must get frustrated when we humans don’t see things their way.  

Vanessa’s family stayed over here Friday night because they were going skiing at Deer Valley yesterday.  (Cousins’ day.)  It’s always fun to see them!  Sonia usually makes herself scarce when we have company, but she remembered that Vanessa’s family really admires her, so she put herself right in the middle of everything.  She had plenty of admiration.

I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, January 15, 2023

 Dear Kids,

This morning Dad and I are driving to Layton to Paul and Stefanie’s ward to hear them talk in church.  Hopefully the Riebens will be there too.  It’s supposed to snow, but only 1-3 inches, which is nothing compared to what we’ve had.  There’s still about a foot and a half on the ground, and even more at the cabin.  Dad and Donna and Bevan have worked really hard to clear the cabin driveway and the two decks.  Thank goodness they’ve got a really super snowblower to work with.  (John just bought the same kind.  He clears the driveways of a couple of widows he knows, and naturally he uses the new family trailer to transport his new snowblower.)  Anyway, we’ve still got a lot of snow.

  Our friends the Garcias from Phoenix were here yesterday, and we’d promised their kids (Carson and Natalie) some great sledding at the cabin.  They’re here in Utah for the kids to learn to ski, which they’re doing today and tomorrow, but first they had to enjoy that great Utah sport, sledding.  Donna and Bevan and their kids were already at the cabin, and the boys had tracked out some new sledding runs in all the deep snow, but I finally got them to use the regular run, where they could come all the way from the top without crashing.  I tried to walk out there, but I kept breaking through the snow, and when my foot got stuck, I had to have Dad pull me out.  The kids could just walk right over the top of it!  Anyway, Carson and Natalie (and their Dad, too) had some really good sledding, while the rest of us sat in the greenhouse and watched.  Oh, yes, and Donna and Dad were still blowing snow!

Super Sunday will be next week, the 22nd, at Nora’s house, at 4 pm.  We’ll have the same plan as always–bring whatever you want, and we’ll put it all together.  We’ve still never had a Sunday with all desserts!  Or all salads or all main dishes, so it’s working really well.  Thanks in advance, Nora!

Our family book club last Sunday night went really well.  Everybody sat still for about 15 minutes, which must have been a record.  Our next book club will be February 12 and we’re reading Because of Winn Dixie.  I’m glad Nora chose it, because it’s one of my all-time favorite books.  If you get a chance to watch the movie, it follows the book almost exactly.  Both of them are great.

Dad walked into our little bathroom and came across something really odd: Sonia was using the sink as if it were a toilet.  When she was done he washed out the sink, but she was already off doing her own thing.  Later she pooped on the brown carpet, and I screamed at her and threw her out.  She says she’s tired of all the snow and wants human privileges.  I say she can hang out in the garage with Scout.

I hope you’re all doing great.  Love, Mom

Sunday, January 8, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Jacob is in Gadsden, Alabama.  He arrived safe and sound.

We’re going ahead with book club this evening, 5:00 at our house.  I’ve baked some really gooey brownies for dessert.  I can’t think what connection they have with Fantastic Mr. Fox, except that they’re brown, and foxes are, too.  Since I chose the book, it’s my turn to ask the questions, and I have some little goodie packets for kids who know the answers.  Don’t worry–we’ll rig it so everybody can give a right answer, even Tyler.

Super Sunday will be two weeks from today, January 22, at Nora’s house.  She’s up for it, in spite of hosting that big Christmas party.  When we went to her house on Tuesday (so she could cut Dad’s hair) I saw it penciled on her calendar.  On with the fun!

Any other news around here has to do with the big storm we had, starting New Year’s Eve.  By morning we had more than a foot of new snow, and it kept snowing until Tuesday.  There never were big flakes of snow, but it was just really constant.  We ended up with more than two feet, and you can bet Dad was busy with the snow blower.  What is it with guys and snowblowers?  Donna said if Bevan had a guardian angel animal, it would be a snow blower.  Anyway, Dad spent a couple of days keeping up with the snow.  When he was working on the back deck, where the cats hang out trying to get in, Scout helped him by digging the snow with his front paws.  Smart kitty, that one!  

Yesterday morning Dad met Donna’s family at the cabin to clear the snow off the front deck.  Since the cabin always gets more snow than we do, it was about three feet deep.  Dad used his ramps to get the snow blower up the stairs, and they ended up shooting the snow about 25 feet in the air.  They worked for a couple of hours and got most of it.   Well, the little kids didn’t help much, but Dallin ran the snowblower down the driveway for a little while.  

Since it’s been so cold, I haven’t had any outside projects, or inside, either, except for reading books and writing book reviews for Goodreads.  I’ve been working at this for nearly ten years now, and my goal is to write 1,000 reviews.  Right now I’m at 948, so you can see I’m only 52 shy of my goal.  I don’t know what I should do to celebrate when I get there, but I need to start planning.

I’m so proud of all you kids and what you do!  I’ve gotta be the happiest grandma around.

Love, Mom

Sunday, January 1, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Happy New Year, wonderful children and grandchildren of mine!  Let’s hope 2023 is a good one for everyone.  Whatever problems you suffered in 2022, let’s hope they leave and don’t come back.  I think it’s wonderful to start a new year.

Next Sunday is already the second one of the month, which means it would be book club.  Maybe we should put it off one more week so everybody can finish recovering from Christmas.  That would put book club on January 15 and then  Super Sunday would be the  29th.  I’ll call around and find out what everybody wants to do, and let you know.  I have a copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox if anybody wants to borrow it, but I’m sure the libraries all have copies.  You can probably read it in one sitting.  The illustrations are all really clever.

Yesterday afternoon Dad and I went to a New Years party with my brothers and sisters, at Andy’s house in Orem.  The party ran from 1 to 4 in the afternoon.  That shows how old we’re getting.  Our first New Years party went until midnight, and then we started quitting at 10 pm.  And now it’s 4 pm, so everybody could get home before dark.  Pathetic!  But it was fun to talk to my brothers and sisters, like always.  Everybody was there except for Katie and Ben.  Mark and Kate came, which was the first time I’ve seen them since Kate’s cardiac arrest and coma a year ago.  She has made remarkable progress and is able to carry on a thoughtful conversation now.  Oh, Barbara wasn’t there either, because she was sick.  She’s moving out of her senior apartment and buying a house in Pleasant Grove, so she’ll have a more normal life. (Neighbors who aren’t all old people.) Rylee and her fiance, and Tyson, too, are all going to live in the basement.  What else?  Charley came by Uber, because he can’t drive.  He has seizures and falls, so his life is really precarious, but we’re all grateful he’s still with us.  Richard and Jeanne are here from Canada, and it was nice to see them.  We didn’t have a real meal, just Christmas leftovers, but we were all able to stuff ourselves.

I had a CT scan last Tuesday and then on Thursday we met with my oncologist.  The news was pretty good.  My tumors had grown about 20% after my chemo in the summer, and now they’ve shrunk the same 20%.  Best of all, they’re showing “cavitation,” or holes, where the avastin has been attacking them.  I know my good fortune is due to all your prayers for me, and I thank you for it.

Lots of love, Mom