Sunday, December 17, 2006

I love a happy ending

Yesterday morning I realized I hadn't seen my Zori cat for more than a day.  I was worried because the new kitty is very aggressive toward her and I thought she may have decided to leave home. She has the ability to come and go through the doggy door but she doesn't spend much time outdoors during the winter accept near the door on our back patio.  The yard is fully fenced and she is somewhat lame from her two broken legs so I had no expectation that she would leave the yard. 
When I realized I hadn't seen her for over a day we had 3 or 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground and the only prints in the snow were the dog's. I went outside and called for her and looked under the evergreen trees in our yard, but she was no where to be found.  My heart was breaking.  There is only one little place she could have made it through the fence but that was into backyard neighbor's yard and that was just out of the question. They have a young boxer dog who would never allow a cat into their yard!
I could see no reason to go door to door looking for her because she is a shy cat and wouldn't let anyone approach her. My heart was breaking and all I could do about it was cry.  My daughter had a different opinion and was anry with me which hurt even more.  
I was getting ready to go out this morning and thought I would take another look outside. We have about 8 to 12 inches of snow now and I considered she could have gotten hurt and gone under the "in-ground" trampoline for shelter. If she was hurt maybe she couldn't get out.  The snow completely blanketed it and maybe that prevented me from hearing her. 
I walked across the patio to the edge of the snow and called for her. Then I listened. I called again and listened again and then I heard a very very faint cry.  I thought at first I imagined it but I walked into the snow toward the trampoline and called again. Again I heard a faint cry and I called once more. This time the cry was louder and definitely my cat. I cannot even describe how I felt. If you are owned by an animal you know they are family and hearing her cry was like hearing a ghost come back to life by that point.
I knew the cry was not coming from under the trampoline but from our neighbor's yard.  If she was in that yard and still alive, that was a miracle in my book. I ran to the spot in the fence that I could imagine she might go through and called her some more. She was definitely in another yard and her call was strong, but where she was I had no idea. This area is where two neighbors' properties come together at my cyclone fence, like a T intersection where my basketball pad ends. The neighbor with the dog has no fence, but his next door neighbor has a wood fence which prevented my seeing into his yard.  It appeared that part of his fence was leaning over enough that Zori could have entered his yard through the dog's yard.  I could hear her crying but couldn't see her or identify exactly where the cry was coming from. 
Enter my white knight in less than shining armour..... 
Mark trudged through the snow with a ladder and climbed the fence jumping into the neighbor's yard.  He walked a little way into their yard and determined that Zori was in their shed.  He opened the shed and found her - HOORAY!!  As I said, she is a shy cat and it took a little for him to get to her, but he finally came to the fence with her and passed her through to me.  She was warm and dry despite our weather, but very anxious.  When I got to the door she pushed off me and ran to hide.  I was just extremely happy because my baby was back home, safe and warm, where she belongs. 
I had some errands to run but when I got back we spent some time bonding - her purring and me rubbing her furry soft belly - and all is right again in my world.  She's been keeping an eye on me the rest of the afternoon, as if I was the one that was missing.  We've kept Tony in the basement, he's sleeping peacefully on Alyssa's bed, so Zori can have some peace.  I am so so happy to have her back home!!!!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Spankity Spank-Spank-Spank!

Seems I have been spanked.  It used to be called 'tagged' but I guess spanked is more..... um, descriptive?  In any case, I have been called upon to expand information in the following areas....
NAME:  Betsy Ann.  Yep, it's really Betsy.  Don't call me Elizabeth because it's not my name and I will not be impressed that you know that Betsy is a nickname for Elizabeth.
CHILDHOOD AMBITION:  To live to adulthood. Now that I have done that, I am still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
FONDEST MEMORY:  This is a tough one since I have such a poor memory.  I guess I have to say it's the collective memories of camping and backpacking with my Mom as a child.  I love the smell of a campfire and the sounds of the night in the woods. 
SOUNDTRACK:  About Last Night.  Very very old Demi Moore movie.
RETREAT:  A small resort on the Washington coast called Ironsprings.  We stayed there when I was a child and I went back a couple times as an adult.  I LOVE it!!
WILDEST DREAM:  To just take off and explore the world without any worries.  I'd start with Australia.
PROUDEST MOMENT:  Each time I gave birth to my daughters, and every time I look at them.  They are my pride and joy.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE:  Surviving the year I allowed my daughter to stay in Seattle to finish high school.
ALARM CLOCK:  My cell phone is my alarm clock and the rise and shine time changes by whatever my schedule is for that day.
PERFECT DAY:  Every day that I wake up.
LAST PURCHASE:  Iced Venti Sugar Free Vanilla Non-Fat Latte.
FAVORITE MOVIE:  It's a Wonderful Life
INSPIRATION:  My mom.  She has shown me that although life can be tough and unfair, you can always get good things from it.
MY LIFE:  A beautiful, incredible gift from God. 
MY CARD:  Ace of Hearts. Only I know.
Okay, I gave up spanking when my kids got too big for it.... so no one is being spanked by me... unless you're kinky...
(from my former MySpace blog)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Could it be...... a BLOG??!!??

Hehehe... are you blown away, or what??  LOL
It's been a while since I have written anything. A little because I have been busy and a little because I haven't felt I have anything to say.  But I have been dwelling a little bit on the hospital stay my Mom recently had and a couple of 'things' about it. 
I had been away for a little R&R for three days and while I was gone she had begun to fall ill. My first full day home she was very sick and couldn't keep anything down all day. We finally took her to the ER to be checked out. 
Just to set the scene a little more completely, we are talking about an 85 year old woman who barely eats on a good day. She was throwing up about every 30-90 minutes and getting very dehydrated and definitely felt as bad as she looked.  My mind set was along the lines of this possibly being her time. I was very stressed and teary and fortunately had "My Harriett" who had agreed to accompany us to the ER... and hold my hand so to speak. 
We spent four hours in ER before Mom was finally admitted to the hospital. They poked her until her arms were purple (common with dehydration), took x-rays, blood, and anything they could extract and put in lots of fluids. All the while she was on a small bed in a cubby hole of the ER and just wanting to go back home. 
Then it came - my 'sign' that Mom was going to make it through. She looked up at the IV through half mast eyes between moans and asked, "Do I have to wait for all that to drip into me before I can leave?"  I assured her that the fluid would all have to flow into her at which she said, "Squeeze it!"
"Squeeze it?" I asked.
"Yes. Squeeze it so I can go home." 
I knew Mom would live. My other sign was when she was wheeled back from radiology and told me to "sit up."  Only my mom!
During the months of packing and planning our move to Utah, 18 months ago, I had my doubts that she would live long enough to make the move with us. Now I think she's going to outlive us all. 
Just in case you are curious, she had a severe bladder infection which traveled into her one only partially functioning kidney, and caused all the problems.  She spent three days in the hospital and then returned home to us. Her first full day in the hospital was absolutely incredible. I went to visit her that afternoon after work and she was so lucid. She remembered exactly what they did to her that day and told me everything. She even wanted her pharmaceutical book so she could look up the antibiotic they gave her. The next day she kept asking me why I put her in the hospital and now she doesn't even remember being there. How I miss that first day!

Monday, October 9, 2006

Day One

First of all my dogs are barking.... LOUDLY!!  A nice warm foot bath sounds oh-so good right now!
I went to the first day of my new job today not even knowing how long I would be working or what my employment status was.  My final interview was last Thursday and the last time the manager asked me if I had any questions, I said, "Yes, just one. Will you give me a job and hire me?" I think she was a little taken aback, but she said, "Yes, come in at 9:30 Monday morning...." I was interviewing for any and all positions and any and all hours - I truely didn't care, I just wanted to go back to work and introduce something new to my life. 
The day started with me filling out all the usual new hire paperwork and the manager let me know that when she put me on the schedule for the next three weeks I was at 40 hours... so I guess I am full time.  Woot Woot!!
I am supposing I should probably back up a bit and tell you where I am working and how this all came about.
My daughter and her friend were checking out potential jobs a few weeks ago and in the course noticed that Barnes & Noble had applications on a table near the entrance.  It's always been a joke in our family that we'd all love to work there but they'd have to attach a GPS device to us because we'd surely get "lost" in the books, never to be seen again. So, hearing that they were hiring I decided I must apply.
I got an interview with one of the assistant managers right away and he said he'd pass the application on to the manager. Then I got a call for a second interview which turned out to be with another assistant manager. She also said she would forward the application on. That was about the time I was heading to Seattle so I told her what days I would be out of town. When I got back I called and the Manager was now out of town so it seemed to take forever to get that 3rd interview. Finally, third interview happened and job secured.
During the last interview the manager told me that I would be training as a cashier for a couple-three weeks before learning anything else, since they wanted solid training at the register. The customer service desk, which would be next, was so information intensive that I would need to learn much more about the store, company and product before learning that area. So today I go to work at the register and had a blast checking out customers until lunch time.
After my lunch break I was passed on to another employee at the customer service desk to be given a store tour.
Since the CS desk is so busy, I never got the entire tour and really only learned the areas in which we went to retrieve books for customers. Within an hour I was answering the phone at the CS desk, looking up books, finding them on the floor for customers in store or on the phone, ordering books, etc. So much for holding back training in that area. But I LOVE it!!  There are so many books I must read.... ack!!!  When will I ever have time!
So yes, my little doggies are barking. They are just not used to an entire day of being stood on. But let me tell you they are happy dogs!!  I can't wait to go back tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A day in the life....

Bailey's bed is behind our love seat and in front of the piano. Sometimes Bailey gets herself wrapped up in the piano and bench legs...
So you might notice that she is resting her front legs on her bed although most of her body is on the carpet.  Is it because Zori is on the bed?
Nope, it was a good guess, but this time it was not Zori...
Our newest family member who is yet to be named.... uh - this just in...
drum roll please......
Tony The Tiger!!
As you can see, Bailey is quite taken with him.  Zori has yet to meet him... I'll let you know later how that one goes! 

Friday, September 29, 2006

Margarita Badonkadonk

The time has come to tell my side of the story...
For weeks and weeks Kim and Justin and I have planned our meeting, our get together, our PJ/Margarita party.  The day finally came, and unforunately, left again....  it was all too fleeting, too fast and tons of fun!
Kim & Justin
Both Justin and Kim have already blogged about our meeting and now it's my turn. What can I possibly add to it?  I guess I'll just have to dig up some stuff that they neglected to mention and share the sordid details...If I can think of any!!
Justin mentioned preparing dinner for me... a lovely meal of steak, rice, and asparagus. He told me the next morning that he forgot to serve dessert... an incredible looking delicacy from a local market.  And by blog, I later learned that he also neglected to serve the mozzarella/tomato/balsamic vinegar dish... why do I mention this?  Because I LOVE tomatos and balsamic vinegar and..... despite eating about 6 or 7 spears, I HATE asparagus. Sorry Justin....
Mapquest directions to Justin's house SUCK!  I am not sure where Kim's directions came from but they seemed even worse than mine.  At least mine, when I was on the wrong road, could be re-deciphered to get me there anyway.  Kim's directions told her to take turns off the road the house was on to get to lord only knows where. Thank goodness I answered my phone and got her to Justin's house or she'd still be wandering around Renton and Justin and I would be staring at each other silently daring the other one to speak.
Kim did come prepared with her 10 rules for partying with my Mom... We required Gary to sign two copies... one for each of our daughters...
Gary reading the rules of the party....
The stun gun was not an urban myth....
Kelly is the most incredibly golden retriever ever. He is soft and silky and super sweet, except when defending his peanut butter bone.  Justin never EVER lets him eat people food and Kim fed him plenty of tostito chips... bad Kim!!!  Okay, I admit that I fed him some, too.... it may actually have been my idea to feed him corn chips... Nevertheless, he will chase his ball and other toys tirelessly.  Justin has some cruel ideas of doggy fun, however, tossing the toys over the side of the deck and making Kelly run down the stairs, root around for the toy, and then climb all the way back up the stairs. 
Tostitos, YUM!
Eat a few Tostitos and pay for it on the "Stair Master"....
My party treat bags did include socks for all.  Simply because, prior to the big event, my youngest daughter advised me that the definition of an orgy is "any three people in one room not wearing socks."  Therefore, to appease my daughter I made sure we all had socks to wear.  Never mind if we were not wearing a single other stitch of clothing, we did haved socks on our feets!!
If you've read Justin's "Kelly" blogs, you'll understand "Kelly's G"
Many photographs framed on Justin's walls are his own pieces. He is an incredible photographer.  My favorite photo, however, was not one of his own taking, but rather one of him as the subject matter.  It was in Kelly's bathroom and was a simple photo of Justin in a bathtub... very Johnny Depp. Hubba hubba!!
Kim is an absolutely delightful woman and like she mentioned, I felt like I had known her for a long long time the moment I met her.  She's easy to talk to and has a great sense of humor.  Both Justin and Kim mentioned in their blogs that smoke breaks on the deck were frequent but smoking not mandatory.  Being a non-smoker of many many years I decided I definitely wanted to partake in a smoke. I "borrowed" one from Kim since her brand was menthol and Justin's was not.  Neither one of them smoke "lights" which I would have preferred. Now, being a smoker in the past, just puffing on the silly thing wasn't an option, no... it's quite ingrained, even after all these years, to inhale... so inhale I did. Bad mistake.  I don't think we'd had too many margarita's by that time, but dang if I didn't get all dizzy!!  I had to sit on the steps with my head between my knees!!  I don't think there is a lot of danger that I will ever take up smoking again.
There is one last thing I am curious about... Justin made the first pitcher of margaritas and they were quite good.  However, they were mixed to be served on the rocks.  That is exactly how Kim like her margaritas and I was quite happy with them that way (Justin had some incredible "special" margarita salt.... yummy!) but I can't for the life of me figure out just why Justin bought a blender... 
Despite Justin's erogenous zone blog, Kim and I were quite safe the entire visit.....
I suppose there are other mysteries yet to come to surface... Kim, Justin, thank you both for so much fun!!
Next party is in Utah.... Spring 2007?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Baby, you are the world

My mom drives me nuts. There, I said it. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the perfect daughter who took her elderly mother into her home and lovingly cares for her. No.  Sometimes I can barely talk to her.
I am going to refer to a song by Brad Paisley, The World. The chorus of the song goes like this:
To the world
You may be just another girl
But to me
Baby, you are the world
It's very sweet in the context of the song. But in real life it sucks. I am the third and last child my parents had. The first two are boys and Mom really wanted a girl. I am that girl. From the moment I was born I began being "everything." What made it bad, however, was my dad dying at a young age and my mother never remarrying. All through growing up I felt it was my responsibility to make her happy, especially at holidays and gift giving times. I let her down once when I was very young and never let that happen again. I learned that lesson quickly. Even as an adult, I go out of my way to make sure she had enough presents under the tree, etc. (quantity, not quality). My husband disagrees with me doing this, but he understands it's something I feel I have to do. And the holidays are always a bit embarrassing because she lavishes everything (junk) on me and basically ignores her grandkids, my daughters!
Fast forward to the present. Harriett takes on the majority of Mom's daily care. They sort of maintain a love/hate relationship. Harriett teases me about Mom's adoring stares and her need to ask me, no one else, for anything she needs. I am her "everything." Now she has begun whining about my trip. "You can't go to Seattle for a week! Who will take care of me?" Gah!!  The same person who takes care of you every single day!!  She makes this and similar comments often throughout the day. I get so close to losing my temper with her, but it would be awful to do that. However, I do get very short with her and tend to avoid her when possible (hence No. 2 on my Life List).
This got me to thinking about being 'everything' to someone. It's a HUGE job and not really very much fun!  I think it's something that young girls sometimes fall into when they experience their "first love." Boys too, occasionally, but I think it's more common for girls. The 'need' to be with their boyfriend that, in their minds, should supersede all other activities that their boyfriend may want to participate in... like shooting baskets with his friends, going to the races, going camping, working on cars, basically everything. And if the boyfriend does give up some or all of those activities, it's not enough. He needs to fall all over the girl, make her feel special, keep her entertained, and be everything that all the other people in her life used to be for her. One person replacing many many many people. Hm....sounds a little obsessive and sick, doesn't it? 
There is another word for this, usually reserved for older more mature (?)people... it's called stalking. Yep, someone decides that another person is the perfect person who can fulfil their every need. The person, who by virtue of being with them, will cancel out all need for other people to exist. And if that person disagrees, then they need to be followed, harassed, "data inventoried" and possibly even hurt. 
I am glad it's only my mom and even happier that she is basically disabled!  

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Multi-racial and extended families

Originally published on MySpace, Aug 29, 2006

Current mood:happy

"Friends are family we choose for ourselves"

I am starting this blog with that quote because it's the God honest truth for our family. I have blogged about my family before, but it's time to revisit the subject as I have many new friends and you all know how much I like to talk about myself and my family.... (can't believe the smiley worked!!)

We have a diverse family here in our Utah home. My husband and I have two daughters, one of which currently lives at home with us and attends high school. Our other daughter remained in Seattle when we moved and fnished her final year of high school. She will be moving here the end of September - Woot Woot!!! (happy dance happy dance!)

When we decided to move to Utah we had to make a decision as to what would be best for my (then 84 years old) mother. She was living in assisted living apartments at that time and was just getting to the point that she needed more assistance than that particular complex offered. If we moved her to another area complex in Washington she would not have had much company as I had already moved her nearly 100 miles away from the town she'd lived in for years. She had the choice to stay there, but there was never really a question of her not moving with us.

The plan was to find another assisted living complex here in Utah that would provide a greater level of assistance. Once we got here and realized that she could adequately navigate our new home, we decided to keep her with us. Bless my husband and kids as it is a decision that affects all of us. And God , while you are blessing them, please give me another dose of parental patience!!!

My husband moved to Utah three months prior to the rest of the family. While we were trying to sell our Seattle home and pack and discard, we were also concerned with the welfare of a very dear friend of ours, Harriett. Harriett was the infant care giver when my children were in daycare. She was literally the first person they bonded with outside of our own relatives. She became and remains a close friend, family member, and second mom to my daughters. And just to relate this to the multi-racial title, Harriett is African American.

Harriett had lost her job around Thanksgiving the fall before we moved. She lived on her savings through that period of time. Although we encouraged her to seek unemployment assistance and offered to help her obtain it, she always refused. That is the kind of woman she is. I was nervous when it came to telling her we were moving, but it wasn't until much later I realized how much it affected her. From the very git-go we invited her to move with us.

In May 2005, when I returned to Seattle from a Utah house hunting trip Harriett was one of the first people to call me. She asked me if we found a house this time and I responded, "Yes. Are you coming with us?" You could have pushed me over with a feather when she said, "Yes."

So, along with a dog, a cat, and later a bunny, that is an introduction to the members of our household, the people I call my family. It's great when you have loved ones to watch your back!

- Mark - Betsy - Alyssa - Krissy - G'ma - Harriett