Thursday, July 31, 2008

After I move to Oregon

we lived somewhere that didn't have 6 months of winter and almost undriveable roads.......
I didn't know just about every one in town and if I didn't worry about looking like the town joke.......
I didn't have to wear a skirt to work most days......
I was 20-30 years younger I would definitely be tooling around town on one of these!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Folk Dance Parade

Every year our town hosts an Internation Folk Dance Festival. They bring in dance teams from all over the world. Each team must have their own live musicians to provide the music. They always start the festival with a street parade so that we can all get a glimpse of the teams. This parade was last evening. The weather wasn't even too bad. It was a lot of fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Music Musing

Sometimes when I play the piano this happens to me too.......

Thursday, July 24, 2008

......and then there were 3........

A reposting from my old space:

I was in the third grade the first time I saved an animal. One of my school friends took us to her house during the lunch break and showed us the puppies. Her mother said, “if we can’t find homes for them today I’m going to take them to the pound.” My tender heart compelled me to immediately phone my mother and launch into a pleading frenzy. I took a very grateful puppy home with me on the school bus that day.

My next opportunity came almost 40 years later. At that time we had 1 dog and 1 cat. One day I went with my husband to Rigby (a small town 12 mile away), to water a garden that he was in charge of. This garden was nestled between a freeway, a highway, and a tire store. There, in the middle of the pumpkins, was the scrawniest kitten I’d ever seen. It ran right up to us meowing very hungrily. I couldn’t see how it would survive if we left it. It would have to cross a very busy road to get anywhere. We now had 1 dog and 2 cats.

The family next door went out of town for 2 weeks at Christmas. “Could we take care of their 3 dogs while they were gone?” Sure. We showered them with love and attention, maybe a little too much. When the family returned their small Shitzu would run over to our house every chance he got. He would bark or scratch to be let in. How could I say no? Soon he was at our house as much as he was at home. Then our neighbors started to build a new house. They were gone a lot and the dogs were neglected. My tender heart did what it had to. We now basically had 4 dogs and 2 cats.

The neighbor’s house was finished in a year. They took their two small dogs with them and left the huge white husky dog in the kennel with the grandparents next door. It howled hungrily and I would take it water and food. I couldn’t leave him in a pen so filthy. I dragged over a shovel from home and did what I could. My kids and I would walk him when the neighbors were gone, the only time he ever got out of his pen. He’s still there. My heart hurts for him every time I take my own dog on a walk. He sees us and starts to howl.

Last spring another neighbor had a family crisis and moved. They left large opened bags of cat food on the floor and the back window of the house open. After about a month some very hungry cats found their way down to my house. I bought cheap cat food and left it in the garage where it disappeared. The calico cat was noticeably pregnant.

I put an ad in the paper, “Free Cats”. A very nice lady showed up from the next town over and took home the biggest, oldest, tamest cat. We cried a little, he was such a nice cat, but we were glad he was going to such a great family. Two days later he was back on our porch. I guess he was just too old to learn any new tricks. We are giving him a nice retirement home.

The Calico had five beautiful, calendar-picture-quality kittens. We now had 1 dog, 1 foster dog, and 9 cats.

Has it been a bad thing? Not necessarily. My kids have learned compassion and caring. They are more sensitive to other’s needs. They, too, are tender-hearted.

And now this last winter our old loveable grandpa cat, Mr. Burns, went out one day and never returned. Last week our fluffy grey, Sammy, did the same thing. We are down to 1 dog and 2 cats. The house seems almost empty.

A Lament

Years ago we bought a camp trailer so we could camp
but we had no way to pull it
so we didn't go

The camp trailer deteriorated and we got rid of it.

Then we bought an Explorer
but we have no camp trailer
and gas is so expensive
so we don't go.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Memory Tag - Wanna Play?

Step 1: As a comment on my blog, leave a memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew/know me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

Step 2: Re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory for you. It's actually pretty fun to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one for you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments!

Childhood dream being realized........

As a child, I would stand in open-mouthed awe at a skill I noticed other people seemed to easily possess. This awesome talent had the ability to bring an entire crowd silent as they turned as one to look at the one doing it.

Oh how I longed to learn this great feat!

Is there anything more thrilling, able to raise the hair on the necks of listeners, or as LOUD as the piercing siren whistle produced by placing your fingers in your mouth?

Every time I heard someone call the attention of the crowd by using "the whistle" I would search that person out and grill them on the methodology.
"How do you do it?"
"Where do you put your fingers?"
"How do you blow?"

Then I would go home and practice. I tried tensing up my tongue and letting it go flacid. I tried keeping my fingers far apart and practically touching, far down my throat so that I would gag and barely inside the line of teeth.

All that I accomplished was jaw spasms, slobbery hands, and drool dripping down to my elbows.

I just couldn't get the hang of it.

Time passed. A LOT of time passed.

As a 50 year old grandmother, I spent yesterday working in the yard. Our weather was decidedly "Oregon-like". I loved the overcast, cooler temps and spent a good 3 hours hoeing and raking and digging in my yard. Then I went on my usual 2 mile walk. When I finished, my muscles were sore. I soaked in a tub of hot water letting it work it's magic on me.

And for some reason, I thought again about whistling with my fingers. On a whim I tried it. A thin whistle issued forth from my lips.

Did I really do it? I tried again. Another whistle, a little more piercing this time, sounded. I heard Oscar running up the stairs outside my bathroom.

Had I just summoned him with my high pitched, dog-like whistle?

Had I finally done it?

I knew I was still in the beginning stages of achieving the full-blown piercing scream that I have so long admired, but at least I had finally made a sound!

This morning I tried again. Once again Oscar came running.

If I never progress beyond this stage, at least I've found a new way to call my dog.

But I have every confidence that I will be blasting like a referee's whistle in no time. I've finally caught on. I just need to fine tune a little. Then I'll work on doing the same thing WITHOUT using my fingers. (True screech-whistle masters can do it.)

It's always good to have goals, don't you think?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Way to go, Joni!

Joni graduated with her nursing degree today. Her nurses pinning was last night. Here are some pictures from the pinning.

Here she is with her best buds from the program, Heidi, Jared, Joni, and Carly.
More friends. I had to put this one in so you could see the faces that go with the next shot.

They were all told to wear white, the traditional color of nurses.

Here's a shot of Mike and my mom waiting for the ceremony to start.

This little guy is the son of one of Joni's classmates. He was trying on his dad's nursing badge and gloves. I just had to get a shot of him, he was so cute.

Here's a picture of Joni sitting on the stand with some of the nursing faculty. She graduated with the top GPA for her class and so was on the program. Her friends were very surprised when it said she was Suma Cum Laude on the program. She never told anyone what her test scores were.
Joni being pinned........

with one of her favorite nursing instructors, Sister Barnhill.

At graduation tonight, in her cap and gown.

Receiving her diploma.

.....and with her dad after the graduation was over.

I'm so happy you reached this goal in your life. You always do your very best and I know you'll be one of the best nurses wherever you are. Congratulations!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Old Digs

If you want to see my Spaces blog, you can click Here.

When the cat's away.........

I usually hate any reference to mice. ewwww, just typing the word gives me the heebie-jeebies.
But I just had to put on the pics of Abby and I (the mice) and the shenanigans we got up to in Lisa and Tyler's (the cat) house when they were out of town. They asked me to go water their plants and to leave the water on the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes. Okay, sure. No problem. While we were waiting we went in the house to water the plants there.
Abby got an idea.
She really really wanted to try on Lisa's wedding dress.
So she did.
And I had my camera.
So we recorded the event.

She had a great time with the veil............

.......props, like this apple (do I sense a Snow White wannabe)...........

......a baby chick (don't know what the reference is here).......
........and accessorizing with a cool lavender ribbon.

Abby said, "Mom you have to put these pictures on your blog!" I told her no way!!!
I didn't want Lisa to find out what we'd been up to.

Then, about a week later we were driving in the car. Lisa was with us. I was telling her about something, (can't remember what it was now), and I said, "look at my camera, I've got pictures of it."


Pretty soon I hear this from the back seat, "What is Abby doing in my wedding dress?"

Big Oops!

Sorry Lisa. But since the cat is now out of the bag (you know, that same cat that is back from being away so we could play) I decided I would post these after all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Typical Day in the Mitchell Household

From Midnight to Midnight…..
12:30-1:00 am - I retire for the night.
3:30-4:00 am – Abby gets up and goes to her 4:00 am job.
4:00-4:30 am – Andy comes home from his night park watering job and goes to bed.
5:00-5:30 am- Joni gets up and leaves by 5:20 to make her hospital shift by 6:00.
6:30-7:00 am – Abby comes home from her early job, let’s the dog into my bedroom and goes back to bed.
8:00-8:30 am – Mike gets up and goes to work
8:30-9:00 am – Oscar licks my face and wakes me up. I get up and get ready for work.
10:00 am – I go to work. Abby gets up for the second time.
11:00 am – Abby goes to her second job.
12:00 noon – Andy gets up.
2:00 pm – Abby gets off work.
3:00 pm – I get off work.
4:00-5:00 pm – Joni comes home from the hospital.
6:00-8:30 pm – Joni goes to her second job, Abby goes to her 3rd job, and Andy goes to his second job all babysitting soccer games keeping parents, kids and refs in line. I work on the yard, art, writing, pottery, or whatever else. I’m the lazy one in the family.
9:00 – 10:00 pm – Mike comes home from work. Andy leaves for work. Abby goes to bed.
11:00 pm – Mike and Joni go to bed.
………and it starts all over again.
No one could ever accuse the Mitchells with being a lazy bunch. Except, maybe, me.

Looking for a rock to hide under........

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything. For a while I just had no desire. I didn’t want to write anything depressing, or negative. A lot of things in my family’s life were falling apart. I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it all. Writing about it would require thinking about it, and I was doing my best to think positive, energetic, life-affirming thoughts.
Then a few interesting things happened and my mom or my daughter would say, “You should blog about that”. It kind of got me thinking that maybe I should.
So, here goes the first story. Actually this is the latest story. This happened to me yesterday.
A student came in to my office and asked me how to access one of the network drives. I told her it was not a problem! “Let’s go into the computer lab and I’ll show you how to do it.” She informed me she had class in a couple of minutes but could come back after it let out. “Great! I’ll see you in an hour.”
You would think I could remember longer than 60 minutes, but apparently not.
I look up from my desk to see a young lady standing there expectantly looking at me. I said, “Hi, can I help you?” She kind of looked at me funny, said yes, and then kept looking at me. Suddenly I realized it was that same girl who needed to get on one of the network drives.
“Okay, let’s go into the computer lab. You log on and then I’ll show you what to do.” While she was logging on I walked a few steps away to check the network address and then walked back.
Pointing to the screen I said, “Okay, click the start button and then go to My Computers”. She looked up at me curiously and said, “will this get me to Google Earth?”
Now after clicking My Computer you click Tools and Map Network drive.”
She obediently did everything I asked.
“Now in this box you need to type this.”
As she was typing I happened to look up and met the gaze of the girl in the next row. She was looking at me like I had green horns or something.
Suddenly it dawned on me.
I was helping the wrong girl!
Apparently I can’t remember longer than 2 minutes either.
After expressing extreme embarrassment and apologizing to the poor girl who just wanted to get on Google Earth and complete her assignment, and begging her to “please forget the last 3 minutes of my life.” I turned my attention back to the right student.
I know she thinks I’m an idiot, and after that little experience I would have to agree with her.