Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beach and Vikings and Hummingbirds, Oh My!

Eagles, hummingbirds, bluejays, seagulls, ducks, Herons, crows, gold finches, seahawkes, red winged black birds, crabs, sea lions and vikings are just a few of the wild life we saw this weekend while at the beach cabin.

The only surprise were the vikings.

The tide was fairly high when we arrived. The ferry line was long---but we didn't mind. Our destination is always worth the wait. I've not been well all week and so this was just as much a time for me to rest as it was for the four of us to get away from the city and let go of the stress for a few days.

The weather cooperated, for the most part. It rained at night and gave us beautiful days. I slept a lot, or sat in a nice beach chair in the sand with a blanket and my Kindle.
I walked a bit when I felt up to it and collected some beautiful sea glass. Do you see the rose colored glass? That's a rare find. Later I also found cobalt blue and light blue, both unusual. I'd love to find some red glass some day.

Ashley walked the beach--loving the fact that numerous Gooey Ducks would squirt water up at her bare legs. Every time she squealed in delight I laughed. She's twelve....soon she'll be too cool for these things with her mom. I hold on tight to these memories.

The first night we decided to get Grub Hut for dinner (Thanks for introducing that place to us, Doug!) Here's Alli enjoying her meal with a great view.

When we were on the ferry home tonight, I could feel it. The tension coming back. The closer to traffic and people and responsibilities we got, the tighter I became.

Breathe, Pam. Breathe.

This week is going to be a killer.

As I deal with the homeless youth in our school district, and the immigrant families (I am the only one of *me* in our district) I feel as though I am the RS President for the entire place--sans excellent counselors and helpful and hard working volunteers. I'm putting on two separate events this week--one at one high school and another at the other high school. Both should have upwards of more than a hundred people coming to each event. I was laid out sick in bed the entire last week. Now you might understand the return of my tension.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fur Ball in the Sky

Sweating....
Freezing...
Sweltering...
Arctic...

Rinse, lather, repeat.

We had a death in our four footed family today. Kellogg was an aged orange tabby with little body weight when he was left to us by a neighbor that moved and didn't want to take him along.

"He's an outdoor cat, he'll never come in your house" said the man. When it got cold, I opened the back door and coaxed him inside. How could I not? Although this poor ball of fur had fur, that was about all he had. And he stank. He smelled like death, only worse.

So Old Kellogg became an indoor cat. He had a meow that sounded more like a croak crossed with a hoarse chirp. If I wasn't sure cats don't smoke I'd have pegged old Kellogg for a 3 pack a dayer.

My father alternated between yelling at the orange ball of fur to stop following him and caring for him in a very tender way. You'd have to know my father to understand. Ever since we were little, my father has been the Patron Saint of Lost or Abandoned Animals. We always took in strays--much to my mother's chagrin. Puppies and kittens were always in the house. All stray cats within a 50 mile radius knew to come to here.

Despite Kellogg's poor grooming habits, he sure knew how to eat. For a while that is. There came a time when he could no longer crunch dry food so my father began to buy special tins of wet cat food. He'd place it on a paper plate and put it in front Kellogg. Then there was a problem with that. Kellogg would take a bit, screech like a banshee and start doing a dash through the house. Dash, stop, head flipping back and forth, screech, repeat. Seems he couldn't chew and so it would get stuck and then he'd make his mad dash-thrash-screech. It sounds funny, but let me tell you the first time you see this flying ball of fur, screeching and howling and coming right at you, it gives you pause.

Scared the bajeebers outa me the first time.

So my father began to give Kellogg half a can and he spent time cutting it up and mushing so poor kitty wouldn't have any more eating issues.

Kellogg would follow my father around everywhere he went. We don't know who had Kellogg before our former neighbor, but whoever they were, they declawed the poor thing. THEN made him an outdoor cat. That ought to have meant the end of Kellogg but he survived.

A few days ago Kellogg stopped following my father around. He stopped eating and drinking. He climbed waaay back into a closet to die. Dad moved him out into a softly padded crate and we waited.

Dad dug the grave and readied the show box.

And we waited.

Today Kellogg went to his kitty litter box in the sky.

RIP Kellogg

Sweating....
Freezing...
Sweltering...
Arctic...

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ashley's First Talk in Sacrament Meeting...

When I got up yesterday morning, I knew something was a little off.

Phooey. Felt like the flu. Just a touch---maybe I was ok. I had to go to church because my Ashley Rose was giving her first ever talk in Sacrament meeting. Lance had to work so he couldn't be there. Plus, I like going to church. It fills me up for the week ahead.

Hey little nasty flu bug, you have some very poor timing.

So I went. And since Lance couldn't be there, I recorded Ashley's talk for him. I'm pretty proud of my littlest angel. I think she gave a wonderful talk for her very first time.

I'm not sure you can hear it very well---but if you want to turn it up and listen, you'll hear something sweet and precious from a twelve year old with great faith.



After she was done I made arrangements to have someone else take my Primary class and I went home, where I've been ever since.

Oh nasty flu bug. Not. A. Fan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A bit of a fright

Late last night my cell phone rang. It was Seattle calling. Literally, Seattle. No, I'm not making this up. His name is Seattle and he's a neighbor two doors down. He's lively and fun. Plus he likes to walk our dogs and he's a great chef.

The fact that he was calling me at nearly 11pm was a bit unsettling. The first thing he said was, "Is everything ok over there???" Yes, there were at least three question marks after his interrogatory plus several exclamation marks.

I told him we were fine--as far as I knew. "BUT YOU HAVE A FIRE TRUCK IN FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE!"

News of that nature is guaranteed to make you put your pants on--if you're not already wearing them. I wasn't. Wearing them I mean. It was bedtime. I threw them on and dashed up the stairs.

Ok, 'dashing' is a bit optimistic for what I actually did. It was more like lumbering up the stairs at a speed not hitherto known by my injured knee in many months. I checked the living room and no Dad. Ugh. Did he collapse outside and someone found him? I dashed--er, lumbered, out the back door and down the wheelchair ramp, barefoot across the patio and into the driveway.

Whew. There was my father, completely upright. The handsome fireman and medics were in my neighbors house. That was frightening because she'd had a knee replacement a few days earlier and my first thought was that she'd had a blood clot. She hadn't. It was her heart. She has an arrhythmia that sometimes crops up and her heart races. She's fine now. It was scary though.

Seattle was standing in our driveway and apologized for frightening me and gave me a hug. I thanked him for the adrenaline rush and told him it was fine, I didn't need to sleep anyway.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I don't like this day...

It's Mother's Day today.

Meh. I'm having one of *those* days where I feel like a failure. I didn't do this, I didn't do that, I should have done this and that wouldn't have happened, yada yada yada. I realize that there are many things I have no control over...but still.

I left sacrament meeting and went to visit my mom in her garden of stone. Her grave can been seen from where our church building is--so I generally look over in that direction each sabbath morning before going into church and mentally say good morning to my mom.

As I stood over her grave crying, I heard a car stop behind me and turn off. A car door slammed and then a gentleman was standing beside me. He handed me a red carnation and said Happy Mother's Day. I said nothing. I couldn't. He stood there in silence with me, arms folded across his chest. After a minute or so he said, "You must be a very good person to care this much." Then he patted my shoulder, got back into his car and drove away.

I placed the red carnation in the flower vase at the foot of my mother's grave, wiped my tears away and went back to church to teach my little four and five year old angels.

I really don't like Mother's Day.