Thursday, September 22, 2016

101+ Words for a Dead Cat

When I was a kid, my dad had a book 101 Uses for a Dead Cat that I found amusing. I'd probably still find it funny, except for last Saturday, when we found that Servo had gone to make his kitty Maker. Under the couch. He'd been sick for a while, skinnier than was good for him, in fact, on Friday, I petted him and thought him frighteningly skinny. He vomited later that evening and Jim and I discussed taking him to the vet on Monday to have him put to sleep. He vomited nearly every day for the last several weeks. He didn't seem in pain, but what do I know? Servo would just hide after he vomited, which I attributed to not liking our reaction to his vomiting. He didn't refuse food, but judging by his weight loss, he was not getting any of the nutrients into his system, but probably vomiting the food back up. Sigh. 

My tribute to Servo: You have been a good kitty. You were good around new people in the house, in fact, I'd say you were curious about them and liked to hang out where the people were. You certainly liked to hang around me, especially while I was working. You'd sit facing the door, and I attributed this to protecting me from anything that could come through the door. You were vocal about food and frequently the kids were woken up by your mewling for food at 6 a.m. (although not this past summer). Your cyst was gross, but it will be a part of what we remember about you. I enjoyed showing off your skill at catching cat treats to friends. You and Magic were very good at it, Magic still is, by the way, but I think he's kind of baffled as to why you haven't been there trying to catch treats with him. He's been searching the house for your and complaining about your absence. I've tried to explain it to him but he doesn't get it--he seems upset that you've left him. You two have never been apart. Your eyes were intelligent. Visitors claimed you were a beautiful cat, I'm glad you didn't let it get to your head. I'm glad I took the time to give you a good head scratch on Friday and that my last words to you weren't a result of exasperation. I miss you, but not the near-constant fur clumps you left behind everywhere you sat. Still, you were a pretty, grey kitty.

The last picture I took of Servo. Both he and Magic decided to sit on my arm. 

Servo sitting in his spot in the living room. Right in the middle of the room. 

He liked to be around us while we watched TV at night.

Just look at that face!

Hayley and Servo, probably nanoseconds before he bolted, since he never liked being held.

He liked to escape outside. He was not supposed to be an outdoor cat.
Both cats like sleeping on Matt

Last Halloween. Look at that fluff!


Wearing the shirt I made for him after his cyst removal

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A year of lasts

The baby of the family is a senior now. When I started this blog, he was a chubby-faced 9 year old in whatever grade 9 year olds are in--third? So now he's a senior, last one at home. The day after Labor day was our last day of the first day of public school. Last Friday was the last first football game any of our kids would march in. Pretty much anything related to school will be a last time. It's ok with me, but I can't help thinking all those years of raising naughty, loud, disobedient, and yet hilarious children went by pretty quickly.

Matt's last first marching band performance in pictures:
You have no idea which one he is, do you?

He's not on the ladder, directing. Think short, with a bunching of extra pant around his feet. 

It's obvious in this picture which one is  Matt.

Always making sure he's heard by the audience.
Jim and I were at the game and I was taking pictures right and left, hoping that one of them would have Matt in it, since at first I couldn't tell which one he was. Jim eventually suggested that we look for the one with sideburns and it worked. With Matt's dark hair, we could pick out (even sitting in the stands) his longish facial hair and correctly identify our offspring in a mass of uniformed and hatted trombone players. Sideburns--they do serve a purpose.

By the way, Prior Lake played Minnetonka (my alma mater) and I couldn't decided who I was rooting for. I ended up cheering for the good plays on either side. We left at halftime, since I don't really care that much about football. Tonka eventually won. Go Skippers!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota!

I have loved Weird Al's music since I was in high school (a long time ago). For a long time I had only one cassette tape of his music, and wasn't exposed to his other albums, so when the UHF album was released, even though I'd actually seen the movie, I was unaware that the song "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" existed, until Jim and I went to a Weird All concert in late 1996. Of course Weird played a Minnesota song in Minnesota.

Ever since then, I have wanted to see the twine ball. And have been too lazy to do so, even though it is LESS THAN TWO HOURS from my house.

Thanks to Katie, (child numero uno), who suggested a fangirl trip to the twine ball, I have now seen it. Katie's mother-in-law, who lives close by, also wanted to see this product of one man's obsession with baling twine.

So we packed up Katie's kids and drove on Friday. We sang the Weird Al song on our way. We missed the last turn, had to turn around, and then, THERE IT WAS, right there on the side of the road in Darwin, MN, big as life. I didn't get a picture of the whole pavilion, As you can see, the ball is protected by glass so I could not lick the twine ball (darn).

Funny to me story: Emma (baby in picture beneath) had a major blowout soon after we got there and Katie had to strip her down. She didn't bring a spare outfit, but the souvenir shop had a pink onesie in Emma's size! So that was Emma's souvenir, which she was able to wear right away so she wasn't naked. La La (the other grandma) got Jackson a t-shirt, which he refused to wear that day, but I saw pictures from the next day and he was wearing it.

Jackson and I had our souvenir picture taken

Of course the rules are laughable 101 years later. I can't imagine a single woman teacher being told she couldn't hang out at Cherry Berry.

I have a thing for water towers and there was one right there at the Twine Ball site. The flags hang on the pavilion for the Twine Ball.

The actual Twine Ball. I couldn't get the whole ball in one picture without the reflection of the glass being really annoying.

Bucket list item checked off. 

Also the guy at the souvenir shop was very knowledgeable. He told us some stories from the history of Darwin, and was very personable. He was a guy who loved his town. There was a little museum attached to the souvenir shop and if I had ever had ancestors who lived in Darwin, I would have been in history heaven. Jackson enjoyed the doghouse, the model house, train, grain elevator, and church, and the old-timey school desks. He didn't want to leave. I could have stayed there longer as well. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gone to Korea

Joke told 'round the table recently:

Parent: What did you learn about in school today?

Child: Gone to Korea.

Parent: ??? What class was this in?

Child: Health class.

Think about it...

Anyway, we have a real live Gone to Korea child in our family, although right now, she's Gone to Canada and won't Gone to Korea for a few more hours.

Hayley started talking about studying abroad a year ago, pretty much since she got dropped off at BYU and started taking Korean. She's done all the work to make it happen. Applying to the program, applying for grants/scholarships, getting passport, getting visa, filling out all the paperworks that aren't applications, calling the bank, getting shots, amassing $$ to fund herself (working 2 jobs over the summer), buying plane tickets, getting a shuttle from airport to housing, and who knows what else (since she did it herself). Pretty much the only thing Jim helped her with (I'm no help) was assisting with printing her boarding passes.

And the time has come, the time is now, Hayley A Evans, will you please go now? (reference anyone? I'm pretty sure Jenni would recognize it)

She left yesterday, got to Vancouver, slept in the airport on her suitcase, and is now waiting to board the flight to Seoul.

I have butterflies, but I'm also excited for her. What fun! I hope she has much success and good times! Go Hayley!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How can a week go by so fast?

OJ was here this past week. He and a roommate drove out from Idaho and they spent the week here knocking about Minnesota, seeing sites, enjoying being on vacation from school and work. But between everyone else's work schedules, it was tough to get everyone together in one place (including Katie). Hayley and Paul quit their jobs (because they both go back to school in a couple of days) but we never did get EVERYONE together in one place. The closest we got was all five of the children and two grandchildren and me at my mother's house. Jim and Christian were not there. Alas. I did manage to get some pictures though, which will have to suffice.

my mother, my children, my grandchilden, and the bonus kid

a four generation picture with my mom. FINALLY.

Cutest boy in the room. Sorry OJ, P, M, and bonus kid.

Cutest girl in the room. Sorry Mom, K, H and me.

Gigi and great granddaughter. She loves the babies!
 We'll try again for full family participation, although who knows when that will be. Christmastime, maybe? Hayley leaves for South Korea on Monday, Paul leaves for Utah on Wednesday, and OJ left for Idaho a couple hours ago.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Know your poisons

Had I seen this plant underneath my techny arborvitae by the corner of my garage earlier this spring, I would have tried yanking it out with my bare hands. 
That would have been a bad thing. The only reason I didn't is because I saw a new sign at our local park warning park users of poison ivy plants (the sign is planted right in the middle of many square feet of poison ivy plants right there 8 " from a heavily used path). Since I never really knew what poison ivy looked like (I'm not a boy so I was never in boy scouts to learn this kind of useful information. If I were a leader of young ladies, I would plan boy scout type activities. I like the merit badge system of learning and the real world topics), I stopped to take a look and find out. Huh, I said to myself, that is what poison ivy looks like. Unremarkable and kind of bland. I kinda wanted to touch it but so far I have managed to leave it alone.

And not many weeks later, I spotted poison ivy plants in my yard. I was saved the itchiness and blisters, thanks to the sign in the park.

And it's not just one little plant under the arborvitae; there are more under the lilacs and I'm quite peeved. Who put them there? Poison ivy does NOT belong in suburban yards!

I'll have to plan my attack for later in the year when I can wear long sleeves and gloves without being too hot. I will get rid of this nuisance, just like I have been slowly eradicating the creeping charlie from the spot it has claimed in my grass (an all summer long project, and one that will probably be a life-long battle, as long as we live in the house).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Paul turns 22

He knew what his birthday present was because of the cake. He asked for Chuck DVDs and I couldn't help myself decorating the cake with reference to the show, which we all LOVED.

Love fondant for decorating (for eating, not so much). The H22BD stands for Happy 22nd birthday, in case you were to lazy to think about it. The freehanded letters and circles look better from a distance, but even close up, they taste good.

What Chuck does when he sees something that has a file in the Intersect.

The code word for "clear out, a disaster is imminent" at the Buy More

The organizations responsible for the Intersect

The Intersect
It was a tasty cake. But then cake is always tasty, unless it's carrot cake, which is a MUFFIN, and we don't eat MUFFINS on special occasions, do we? We eat CAKE.

Anyway, Paul is 22, which is a long way from how old he was when I started this blog. A picture of Paul at the beginning of the blog can be found here back in 2008, which was 8 years ago, so Paul was 14.