I’m not a complete idiot !???

Notes from Alexis: Computers are frustrating the heck out of her, gardens are coming in abundance, and life in general is tending to put her in a huff!

April 18,1985

Dearest Lex,

Well, this has been the most frustrating week. I finally got WordStar down, and started working on Datastar and Reportstar. Datastar is the database software, and Reportstar is the program to turn the data into some kind of readable or usable report.

I started off fine and finally figured out some of Datastar. I’m telling you those manuals are the shits. The worst kind of writing imaginable. I had to have four of them arranged there in front of me, and would pick up a word here and a word there, until a little bit of the picture would come through.

The thing is, I was trying to do the simplest thing possible, and the only reason I have persevered is because I could see that I could use it with my writing. Writing by the way, has gone to pot, while all of this was going on. Well, I did get the data entered and actually printed out, but not the way I wanted it, and I came just an ace of getting discouraged.

I decided to write you a letter and use the good old Wordstar, just to prove to myself that I’m not a complete idiot, and believe me there have been moments when I came up for air, that I wouldn’t have bet against it. I will just have to rewrite the manuals so that they are organized into some kind of sense, I guess. Boy, does it make me feel good to get that off my chest. Maybe Mount St. Helens felt better, too?

So how do you feel and how are you getting along? Dad took this week off and we were planning on coming up, but he felt so bad the first few days, that he needed the rest, and now it has clouded up and they are predicting snow. He isn’t very anxious to drive the pass in a snowstorm, so guess we won’t make it this time. The best plan would probably be to come up on some weekend anyway, I suppose. Needless to say, I am sorry, as I had hoped to get a visit. We are looking forward to you all coming down in June, though.

Dad took the loom down and I got one last horrendous headache from it. It was covered with dust and fuzz, and all of that swirling around in the air, really laid me out. The front room looks so big without the loom that I feel strange in it. In time, I am sure I will get used to it, but for now I wander around lost in there.

I cleaned the rug and washed the front windows, and it is clean for now. I suppose it will all be a mess by the time you come down, so just take my word for it.

You will notice that this letter is on the ‘El cheapo’ paper and that is going to be S.O.P. from now on. I will reserve the good paper for the books, but look at it this way, I can write longer letters for less postage.

P. thinks (hopes?) she is pregnant. I have nothing to say. Dad and P., too, for that matter, think that Little J. will be less spoiled if there is another child; but I can’t figure out how they think that will happen. They spoil him, and then they will have to un-spoil him, which they aren’t going to do, so how do they think he will get un-spoiled? They came out Sunday and I got fearsomely tired of them all. They would play with him and get him all excited, and then fuss at him because he was such a nuisance, you can’t have it both ways! But of the three, P. irritated me the most. She would yell at him or swat at him, and then turn around and give him what he wanted. Screech!

I have begun to think about ‘Frameworks’ again (the needlepoint show), and it has finally gotten through my little weavily brain that I am never going to hang that show. I may not even ever get it finished. Very probably won’t, eh? So what do I ‘do with it’? Do I try to give it to somebody who will finish it, or dump it, or what? I need some input (that is computer talk, (and if you think input/output is a simple concept, think again) from you. So do some serious thinking and don’t throw it back to me. See, I am grouchy. I don’t accept failure easily, and I am perilously close to having to admit defeat with that damned ReportStar and it tends to color my thinking.

Other than that, I am fine. Dad is beginning to get rested up, and is a little easier to live with. He tends to sullen up, as my grandmother used to say, when he gets to feeling bad, but then don’t we all? I am more vocal is all. I stomp around and swear, and he grits his teeth and bears it, which is almost unbearable for the rest of us. (I’m laughing)

I see by my counter that I only have three more lines on this page, (whoops went over), so I guess you get a four page letter, and I just might as well keep on writing, since I have all this empty space.

The other day, seven deer came and munched around for a while, then lay down out back of the sheep shed, and chewed their cud as if they were at home. Why such a thing would give us so much pleasure is a mystery to me, but it did. I don’t suppose many people have that happen in their yards. We started out with one squirrel and I saw two the other day. Two squirrels seen, means fifty or a hundred unseen, I suspect. The thing is, they dig holes all over the place as bad as the pocket gophers, but there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it, but enjoy them.

I have a recipe for dandelion buds and leeks, so I am waiting impatiently tor the dandelions to come out. Also, I want to juice some of them. I guess we will have to juice lettuce, as we have a bale of it in the greenhouse. Dad plans to plant alfalfa on the far side of the raspberries. That piece of land is so bad, and we could use the feed for the four lambs we are getting in a week from L. R., in exchange for the spinning picker. Before Dad took time off he went out and put in the new fence between us and J’s. He plans to move the other two fences, one of these days, when he has time and energy.

I wish he had that boat finished. He keeps faunching around about it, and he needs it to mess around on the river, but I am not going to help. The fumes make me too sick.

Well, will close for now and write more later.