Friday, May 29, 2009


There are a few snakes around here. The other day on my walk I almost stepped on one that was crossing the road. Last fall I found 2 of them in my garage. It really concerned me as I knew they were heading for a winter nest and I sure didn't want that to be in my garage, house, foundation, or anywhere close to me. I knew some people years ago that had a snake infestation in their house. I thought it was a fluke and not very common, but then I read in the local paper about 2 other houses with the same problem. Then a couple of years ago my neice and her family moved into an old farm house. They also are besot with snakes. She finds them everywhere. She could pull open a drawer to get some silverware and there would be a snake.

I really don't like snakes. They scare me everytime I see one, and it doesn't matter their size or "harmless" ness.

So you can imagine my level of anxiety when I watched as a large lime green colored snake slithered its way toward my front porch. I watched helplessly as it disappeared underneath it. As I was standing there wondering what to do I noticed the grass movement. There was another snake coming. This one was a lot smaller, and brown, but it too slid its elongated body under my front steps. I was starting to panic when I saw 2 or 3 more coming. I ran in the house to warn everyone to stay away from the front porch until we figured out what to do. One of my daughters immediately left the room. In no time flat she was back.......with the largest rattler I had ever seen. She deftly held it, and started taunting one of the other kids with it. I was scared to death and screamed at her to take it outside. She confidently kept holding the snake. I was screaming at her trying to make her see reason and take the snake out, but she continued on.

And then I woke up.

I hate dreams like that. But I'm sure glad it was one. I think there's a message there for me. I'm pretty sure I know what it is. That daughter has a monumental decision to make today. She can't listen to me. She needs to make up her own mind.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Don't Know Whether She's Happy or Embarrassed

My daughter's neighbor has a long haired cat.
It gets mighty hot here in the summer. After all, we are in a desert.
The neighbor is trying to keep her poor kitty cool, so she gave her a hair cut,
a lion cut.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Graduation and other family pictures

Andy graduated from high school on Thursday. He surprised us all when he was given the honors cords. We're pretty proud of him.

David and Emily stayed with us for a couple of days before they went home. Nathan was fascinated with the horses in our back yard and kept wanting to go back to see them. Whenever we took him back there, though, he leaned as far away as he could. I think they were a little more intimidating than he thought they would be.

We gathered in Lisa and Tyler's back yard to celebrate Mike's mother's birthday. We took a group picture before the cake and ice cream.

David and Andy showing a little brotherly love....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Fam

I was looking at some old family pictures and found this one. It's one of my favorites. It's a bit outdated now. The baby in Emily's arms was just a couple of weeks old then. He's 2 1/2 now and she and David have another baby boy who is 4 months old. Time flies.
Back row, left to right: Andy (graduating next week from high school), Joni (RN who is trying to decide whether or not to go to the law school she was accepted at), Abby (photo major, smart and funny girl) Bottom row: Lisa (professor, private music teacher, and doctoral student), me (Geology department office gopher), Mike (7th grade teacher, Youth community service coordinator and overseer, and city recreation gopher), Emily (teacher, flutist, mom of the 2 cutest kids ever born on the planet), Nathan (now a 2-year old cutie pie) and David (finishing up an EdU grad degree and dad of the 2 cutest kids ever born on the planet).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just Look Around

I've been feeling down in the dumps a bit lately. Nothing serious, just kind of feeling "out of sync". The last 24 hours has slapped me in the face really hard, though.

Last night Joni and Abby were both gone. Abby was at work and Joni was at the school. About 9:30 pm we heard a knock on the door. I looked out the window and saw a sheriff's truck parked in the driveway. My heart just sank. After locking up Oscar so he wouldn't attack the sheriff I opened the door. After asking him what I could do for him he asked if my husband was home. He was, so I went to get him, thinking the whole time that I did not want to hear what that sheriff had to say. When Mike came to the door the sheriff asked him if he was Mike Mitchell. He said yes. Then the sheriff pulled out a paycheck notification and handed it to him saying it was found down at the corner gas station. Mike thanked him and I wanted to go let Oscar loose so he could bite him for scaring me so badly.

I'm so thankful all my kids are safe and healthy.

Three days ago a 21 year old young man that we know just suddenly died with a seperated aorta. Last night a 19 year old was playing softball with his friends and climbed the home run fence to retrieve a ball. He touched a power line and was electricuted. You just never know when things are going to change, so for right now I am very grateful all my kids are alive and well.

Tonight after work I went to Walmart. When I was in the checkout line I happened to notice the people in front of me. The man, about 24, we've known for probably 15 years. He had brain cancer as a baby and had a big chunk of it removed. He gets along, but struggles a great deal. There is both mental and physical impairment.

I was curious about the young lady with him. I could tell she was an aide of some kind. She reminded him to pick up his change and the bags, and was very patient with him. Suddenly I realized that I knew her! She had changed drastically. She was also about 24. In high school she was vivacious and outgoing, with wholesome "girl-next-door" charm and friendliness. Her voice was beautiful and she often performed solos with the select choirs. Today, though, she looked haggard and mousy. Her blemished splotchy face and stringy drab hair was such a change that at first I wondered if it was indeed her. My heart went out to her. Our eyes met and I smiled a hello. Her eyes were infinitely sad. All the spark seemed to be gone.

I wasn't surprised. A few months back we heard that her husband was put on trial and convicted. He is now a registered sex offender.

Literally 20 minutes later I was in the grocery store picking up a few additional items and then went to the check out line. Someone got in line behind me. I had to do a double take. She had put on quite a bit of weight since I'd last seen her, but I knew this woman also. She and I took a pottery class last summer, and she also was in a geology class right after. My heart broke for her, too. It hasn't been but a couple of months since her husband was arrested for beating their baby. We talked for a couple of minutes about classes and school, and then I looked her in the eye and asked, "are you okay?" She started to tear up and shook her head yes. I didn't want to be the one to start a break-down right there in the checkout line, so I just said, "I hope you are." She sadly nodded her head.

When I start to feel the blues and that life just isn't handing me a very fun basket I need to remember today.

Things aren't that bad at all.

In fact, there pretty darn great.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thinking about Dad

A time to celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of a new life. New things to experience. It's a happy time with the gathering of family, friends, eating things that aren't necessarily good for you - just good.

I've been thinking about my Dad a lot in the last couple of weeks. How, just one year ago he was told there was nothing else to be done and that Hospice would be called in. How he got out of bed long enough to play one last game of Zilch with Abby and Joni and I, and how we all kept purposely losing so he could win. How just a week before the end we wheelchaired him from his bedroom to the tv room and all watched Quigley Down Under, and how much he seemed to enjoy it.

and then on May 12th of last year he died.

I think maybe the day you die here on Earth is just another birthday. Dad was born into a new life. New things to experience. A happy time for him with the gathering of family, friends and maybe eating some very good things that can't be bad for you anymore. Maybe in remembrance of my Dad's second birthday I will go make a cake. A birthday cake.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Peek a Boo

"I can see you, but you can't see me.."