Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ninja and Me . . .

Last fall, this adorable creature became part of our family.

For a long time, we refused to get another cat.  Not after what happened to the last one.

I don't think you can really blame us . . .

We once had the most beautful little white fluffy cat named Snowball.  We got her from a little girl at a soccer practice at the neighboring grade school playground who, as often happens, had a box of kittens that she needed to give away.  The kids and I were one of the first people to see them, so we got the pick of the litter.  She was a sweet little outdoor cat, and the kids really loved her.

Early one morning I went out to take a bike ride.  We live on the corner of a fairly busy rural intersection.   As I turned the corner, there on the road was our precious kitty.  It looked like she had just been hit.  I braked and swerved and bumped across our garden area on my bike, as that was the shortest route to the front door.  I ran in and burst out "Snowball has been hit by a car!  She's on the road!"  All I could think is that we couldn't just leave her there, that we needed to take care of her poor little lifeless body.

Just a few moments later, Mark and I were back out there to retrieve her.  But someone had beat us to her.  A white pickup truck was pulled off to the side of the road, and we saw a man throw a shovel into the back.  He had already scooped up Snowball, and before we could react, he jumped into his truck and drove away.  We HOPE that it was animal control, but this is north Idaho, right?  Any sort of crazy could have picked her up.  She would have been beautiful stuffed - if you like that sort of thing.    I wish I could say I am joking, but there are people out there that would do something like that . . . sick . . .

So, ever since then, and this was about 9 years ago, we decided that IF we ever had a cat again, it would have to be an indoor cat.  And since we have had several bad experiences with cats peeing all over everything in our garage (the neighbor's cats-they've since moved away)  that seemed very unlikely to happen. 

But,  you already know how this story ends.   We did get another kitty.  There is something about little boys and (not so little) girls who ask, to the point of pleading, for a pet kitty.

So one day, Mark was at our friend's house, and they had kittens, and he came in the door with the cutest little furball tucked inside of his jacket.  Usually I could resist any kitten, but \she just jumped out of his coat and stole my heart.  She just seemed to fit right in.  And it was immediately evident that she was very well trained in matters of the litter box.    (At first we thought she was a "he", because that's what we were told and didn't think we needed to double-check, and so the kids named "him" Ninja because of the way that kitty leaped off the sofa and did a backflip-twist in midair and landed on her feet.  But the name stuck.)
But I still kinda kept my distance.  The trauma of Snowball, along with several childhood cats that were also killed by cars had everything to do with it.  But one night, a little over a month ago,  I was awakened by a crash, and a loud "meow."   I looked everywhere for Ninja, but couldn't find her any where.  Turns out that it must have been a neighbor's cat outside our window that I heard, because Ninja turned up the next morning, safe and sound.  But I was so glad to see her, that I let down my guard and held her and snuggled her.   She was my little buddy, and from that point on I would pick her up and snuggle her just like the kids do.

About a month ago, I started getting slightly itchy eyes.  Then one morning I woke up with a bad rash on my eyelids.  It felt like they'd been scratched and they stung.   I thought that maybe my makeup or mascara had gotten contaminated somehow, so I threw them out.   My eyes got better after a day or two.  Then, same thing happened again, only my eyelids also swelled up.  Red swollen eyelids, so lovely.   I bought a different brand of makeup.  That had to be it.    But it happened again.  And again.  Finally, I realized what I had been pushing from my mind.  The problems with my eyes cooincided with times a day or two after I had held and petted and scratched Ninja behind the ears, the way kitties like.

So our beloved Ninja is still well loved by me, but from afar.  The kids can play with her, but  I can only watch while they bond - and I love that.   But no more holding her for me.  So, the wall that protects my heart is present once again.  
I am just glad that her presence in the house doesn't bother me. 

It's hard to get attached to a friend, or a pet, only to have that friendship challenged by time or distance (or allergies).  It's something that we all have experienced ourselves, in one way or another.    But what is the lesson here that I need to learn this time?  I am still trying to figure that one out . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

These Stories Make ME Feel Smart!

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house.
To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a
sign on it saying: 'Free to good home. You want it, you take it.'
For three days the fridge sat there without anyone looking twice.
He eventually decided that people were too mistrustful of this deal.
So he changed the sign to read: 'Fridge for sale $50.'

The next day someone stole it!


I stopped at Mc Dona ld's and ordered some fries.
The girl behind the counter said "would you like some fries with that?"
*One day I was walking down the beach with
some friends when someone shouted....
"Look at that dead bird!"
Someone looked up at the sky and said..."where?"

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because
he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning.

She asked, "Does the sun rise in the north?"

My brother explained that the sun rises in the east and has for sometime. She shook her head and said,
"Oh, I don't keep up with all that stuff......"


My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard an admin girl talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the beach.

She drove down in a convertible, but said she "didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving."


My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car which is designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped.
She keeps it in the car trunk.


I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain.

My friend said, 'Ouch! The chain must rip out every time she turns her head!"

I had to explain that a person's nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned....

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area and.went to the lost luggage office and reported the loss.

The woman there smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and said I was in good hands.
"Now," she asked me,
"Has your plane arrived yet?"...

(I work with professionals like this.)

While working at a pizza parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6. He thought about it for some time then said 
"Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 pieces."

And last, but not least:

Dumb as a box of Rocks

A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function where Nancy Pelosi happened to appear. Ms Pelosi took the opportunity to schmooze the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease.

"Would you mind telling me, Doctor," she asked, "how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?"

"Nothing is easier,"  he replied. "You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track."

"What sort of question?" asked Pelosi.
Well, you might ask, "Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?''

Pelosi thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, "You wouldn't happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don't know much about history.."

TRUE STORY: (or so it said in the email...)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Fix

There recently was an article in the St. Petersburg Fl. Times. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on: "How Would You Fix the Economy?"   
I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestions for fixing America's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN car.  Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of Congress pay their taxes...

Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!

Of course, this would have to be INSTEAD of another stimulus package -
 uhhh, I mean the Jobs Bill,
and also not flushing - uhhh, I mean, spending
 the rest of the previous stimulus package(s). 

  (photos courtesy of Google Images)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chad's Home!

We had quite the day yesterday, in anticipation of Chad's arrival home.

Got up and got busy with last minute cleaning and getting his room ready. We were expecting to leave the house for the airport by about 4 pm. At 1:30 or so, we got a call from my hubby's brother. He had gotten a call from his son, James, who was traveling back with Chad from Chile. (They were called to the same mission, left the same day, and so were coming home together.)

They said that they had missed their flight.

And the next flight wasn't for 6 and a half more hours.

So, instead of coming in at 6 pm, they would be arriving at 12:30.

Yep, in the middle of the night.

So the rest of the afternoon I fussed and fidgeted around the house, but not getting much of anything done. When the boys got home from school, of course they were completely ready to go, and were soooo bummed that they had to wait. Every 15 minutes or more, and I'm not even kidding, Tanner asked me if it was midnight yet.

Finally I got Tanner amd Isaac to settle down a little bit, and we all tried to take a nap.

At 10:45, with a little detour to the grocery store to get Chad a goodie bag, we were headed off!

We got there about 30 minutes before his flight came in

Kayla, being silly for the camera

This is the moment!  
It was sooo good to give him the biggest hug ever!

(The jiggling at the beginning of the video?  That was me, pushing Noelle, the designated videographer, out of the way so I could get to my boy!!)

Family photo.

First time we've all been together in two years,
and two and a half years since we've had a family photo together.
(the "Uncle" on the poster was there at the insistance of Evalie, Chad's little neice.  But due to the late hour, and the littlest ones were at home tucked in bed, safe in the care of their other parent) 

We checked with Chad, and he said that he was more hungry than tired. So, instead of the awesome array of food at the Old Country Buffet, we all had breakfast at Denneys.
At 2 in the am.

Good times

Chad, his normal, silly, goofy self.

It was so nice to get up this morning and see his stuff here.
(These photos were taken with my camera phone. Sorry. 
The chip for my camera broke, but thankfully AFter I had downloaded all the photos from the homecoming.
That Was a Blessing!)

The biggest blessing is having my son home, now a young man instead of a boy.
We are blessed to have a young man who loves the Gospel, his family, and the people he served.
I love Chad!
His whole family loves him, too.
But I'm the mom, and you know what that kind of bond is like...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thinking of Haiti: "Am I Prepared?"

In my husband's current capacity as an LDS bishop, he occasionally has the opportunity to speak with some of the Bretheren in Salt Lake. 
Recently he has been in contact with one of the Brethren who, among many other responsibilities,  is in charge of making sure that items donated to the Church make it to their destinations.  In wake of the Haitian Earthquake, a lot of those items are being sent to Haiti. 

This wonderful and faithful man was chatting with my husband about conditions there in Haiti:  the devestation of a staggering amount of homes and buildings and almost every temporal possession; the hunger, the injuries, and the loss of loved ones.   

In the Porta-a-Prince area of Haiti, there are 9 LDS chapels.

Every Single Chapel is still standing.

Every Single Chapel is in very good condition.   Only one crack in one wall of one chapel has been reported.

Every Single Chapel is being used, filled to capacity, by displaced citizens of the area.

The blessings that our Heavenly Father pours out in these times of need is astounding.  These buildings  were built to the earthquake standards of more developed countries, and now the Haitian people in dire need are able to benefit from those strong and stable walls.  From those preparations that took place in advance of disaster.  

For me, it is a testament that we all need to make sure the foundations of our family's are strong and true, and that we are prepared to withstand the buffetting of disaster and evil.  That we are prepared temporally and spiritually. 

We have a long way to go to get there, but I have redoubled my desire and we are ramping up our efforts be more prepared.   And I hope that all of you are also feeling the urgent need to get prepared, too.  

Every day I need to ask myself,  "what can I do TODAY to get more prepared?" - for any kind of disaster.

photos courtesy of Dennis Yancy, via Jenny Rider

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Medical Symbol

To prepare for the new healthcare reform package, we felt it necessary to develop a new medical symbol that truly depicts the Health Care Plan you will be getting.

(This wasn't my invention.  A witty friend emailed this to me)

This made me scream out loud in laughter . . . hysterical laughter-

I was listening to the radio in my car the other day, and I heard a clip from a recent speech Obama gave (he always has a recent speech) at a Virtual Town Hall meeting.   He (Bho) said that an 'Independent" watchdog group of some sort had rated his presidency as the "most transparent Government ever . . . " .  What?! 
The only transparent thing about his presidency is how transparent his lies are  .  .  .  his excuses . . .

See for yourself:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And the Winner Is...

It was SOOO hard to pick the winner of the book "Confessions of a Slacker Mom".    Each comment/entry had a valid reason that I should pick it.  I even considered resorting to the Random Number Chooser thingy, but since I said I would personally choose the best answer, that's what I will do. . .

And so the winner is . . .

No, I really can't decide!  I'm so so sorry, but there were just too many great answers, and this is really the only way to be fair!   Just know that each and every person that commented deserved to win.   And so thank you for all the fun stuff that we all got to read here.

So the random number interger picks:

Comment #3
Which happens to be:
Erin, from

Congrats, Erin!