Category Archives: Life as a human

Make room in the litter box!

Not long ago I lost two of the dearest loves of my life. Chloe and Esau. They were my baby cats.

Esau and Chloe were inseparable. I was lucky if they made room for me in bed.

Esau and Chloe were inseparable. I was lucky if they made room for me in bed.

Esau, a Maine coon, was our firstborn. John and I got him right after we were married. He was a social cat, craving attention. Whenever we traveled, or were gone for many hours, he’d get sick. So, at the age of four, we adopted him a sister: Chloe.

Chloe was a feisty tuxedo. Her full name was Chloe Squeaky Purrbody. You could have long conversations with that cat.

Those cats were in my face 24/7. I could not even shower alone. Esau loved being steamed and Chloe loved being with him. Their lives and mine were so entwined.

Chloe passed away about a week before Christmas this year. She was only 12.

No matter what I was doing, Chloe had to be ON it.

No matter what I was doing, Chloe had to be ON it.

Esau joined her in February. He was 17.

Grief hit me in ways I never imagined.

When we moved into our new home, my husband decided it was time for a kitten.

I hedged, claiming we should wait until we were unpacked and organized. I wasn’t sure if I could do it again. I’d loved so deeply and lost so hard, I wanted to just keep the pets we had and get on with life.

Last nigh,t my friend who was my neighbor at the KOA, texted me saying she trapped two tiny, starving kittens   under her rig. Two. Not one. I knew deep down they needed to be together. I asked if I could go see them.

Seeing how scared and traumatized they were, I could not walk away. Someone needed to love them. That person being me. I brought them home.

I’ve only adopted shelter cats. They are already socialized and up to date on shots etc. Wild

New babies huddled in the crate, wondering if I was going to eat them.

New babies huddled in the crate, wondering if I was going to eat them.

kittens are out of my experience.

Pushing through the front door, I shielded them from Psycho Dog and put the carrier in our bedroom. John, curious, pulled the cardboard box out. The tiniest kitten erupted out of the box and shot across the room to hide under the bed table. John crawled on the floor, trying to grab the kitten. We tore our bedroom apart trying to capture that little black ball of fur.

Finally he grabbed it, but like a wet bar of soap it shot out of his hand, into the air, and skidded under another piece of furniture.

My gut clenched. What was I getting into? How in the world could these hellions become snuggle pusses?

When John got a hold of the kitten, it screamed and hissed and squealed as if its limbs were being torn off.

Great. Can’t even touch the things! I doubted my decision to bring them home.

Today I took them to the vet. Found out the fluffy one is a boy and the teeny one is the girl. She only weighs one pound. Vet figures they are about 5 weeks old and healthy.

In the office, I learned how to grab them by the scruff. When I did that, it was like someone hit an off switch. Each kitten went from hissing to flaccid. I was then able to hold each one. And when I did… they melted against me. I even got each one to purr!

It’s going to be a long road to gain their trust and to make them feel safe, but I know it will be worth it.

I said I’d never have three cats again.

Oh well.

Time to make room in the litter box!

 

Wanna seal a deck?

Trillions of those stick things in the railing made me crazier than I already am!

Trillions of those stick things in the railing made me crazier than I already am! This is just the back deck! It’s big. Very. Big.

Holy cow.

Seriously.

Who knew sealing the back deck and front porch would take FOUR FULL DAYS?

I’ve painted a lot of things in my life. Rooms. Ceilings. Porches. Exteriors of homes… it takes time. It’s tedious and your feet end up with ladder rung imprints for about two weeks.

But sealing raw wood on a deck and porch?

First off, there’s those little one inch wide stick

Front porch with a gazillion more stick things. I won't talk about the battle with the lawn sprinklers.

Front porch with a gazillion more stick things. I won’t talk about the battle with the lawn sprinklers.

things that are part of the railing. There are MILLIONS of them. Each one has FOUR sides. Two sides are between two other stick thing-a-ma-bobs. Which means you have to torque your wrist at some weird alien angle to get the stain on.

When I found out the builder didn’t seal the wooden structures and that I had to do it, I thought, eh, I could knock out the back deck in an afternoon and the entire front porch in a half day.

Bwahahaha!

Who was I fooling? I hallucinated I lived on Planet Home Depot!

Hey, did you know wood is thirsty? It sucks up that oil-based sealant like a dehydrated camel with a bad case of here-jeebies.

I dipped my brush, skimmed off the excess, then pulled the brush over the wood surface.  One trillionth of an inch into said brush pull, the sealant disappeared!! Brush dry! Wood looked like it never met my brush.

After a while, I slinged and slopped that oily stuff all over those stick things. (My husband, who is an architect, has a special name for them, but they are evil and don’t deserve such a fancy sounding name.)

Not only was wood finally covered in sealant, but I was as well.

It didn’t smell all that great.

Neither did I.

So… six hours later… I was only 3/4 of the way done with the railing on the big deck. That does NOT include the stairs.

Sore, slimy and somewhat defeated, I stared at the deck as the coolness of the Wyoming evening crept in gumming up my stain. I wanted to cry. How many days was this gonna take?

Four full days later I was done. My dog is lucky to be alive.

So is everyone else in my house.

But it’s done.

I think my family owes me. Like, a really nice dinner out? Maybe a trip up to the Winchester Steak House in Buffalo?

What do you think?

Mom, that’s not a car, it’s a boat!

I crashed my 2013 Nissan Rouge a few weeks ago. While it’s being repaired, I am grateful a couple from church  loaned me a car to use during the weeks mine is in the shop. What did they loan me?

A Lincoln Town Car! Circa 1991!

The Poly Shiner which cruises the streets of Casper like a mattress on wheels.

The Poly Shiner which cruises the streets of Casper like a mattress on wheels.

I tell ya, they don’t make cars like that anymore.

And roadways, driveways and parking lots are not designed to accommodate such vehicles of luxury and… length.

What’s it like driving a 1991 Town Car in 2015?

Imagine driving a mattress down the highway. That’s right… a mattress! Take the thickest, comfiest mattress known to man, add wheels, power steering and brakes. Bumps? What are those? Curbs? What? Where? Did I really run over a moose?

Didn’t feel a thing.

Seriously, it’s one big squishy ride unlike any modern car I’ve ever ridden in.

The Town Car came to me while we still lived at the KOA. My neighbor walked around her camper and eyed the car. She smiled. “You know, that thing is about three quarters the length of my rig!”

Sure enough it was. In fact, it was several feet longer than the GMC Yukon she just bought to pull her rig-which she and her family live in full time.

I slowed down to a stop at a red light. The front of the Town Car even with the SUV in the next lane. Let’s say I was seated where the cargo area of that thing was. I couldn’t wave at the driver if I wanted to. However, I could get away with picking my nose if I wanted to. I didn’t. Ew.

I wonder how many Smart Cars could fit inside the Lincoln?

The trunk is so huge, you could fit a small village inside… think how many bodies it can hide? That is, if I was a murderer…

Which I am not!

My son, Kyle,  decided the car needed a name. “Mom, that’s the Poly Shiner.” He hopped off the bottom step of the motor home, backpack slapping his spine.

“The what?”

“The Poly Shiner. Like, it’s what a pirate would name his ship. And that car is as big as a ship. We can be pirates and raid. You know, like for treasure and stuff?”

Suuurrrrreee. That car is so ubiquitous…

A week ago, I went to Vitamin Cottage to get some groceries. There was only one spot available. The trunk end of the Poly Shiner stuck out into the drive lane of the parking lot, I had the nose over the concrete thingy at the front end as far as I could go without putting the car through the building. Pulling out was an adventure. I had SUVs on either side of me. Large ones. The width of the drive lane in which I needed to back out was half of the length of the Shiner. It took me ten minutes of creeping forward, adjusting a hair, pulling back until I could get that thing out.

No one could get around me.

By the time I extracted the car from it’s space, traffic was backed up onto the road for at least a block as cars waited to get into the parking lot.

Talk about embarrassing. Casper is a small city. A very small city.

At least no one got a ding or scratch. Go me!

I haven’t been back since.

And then there’s the power steering! I could turn that car with my nose hairs, that steering is so silky sensitive. When I drive my husband’s Juke, I feel like I have hang on the steering wheel with all my weight to turn the car, and it’s the size of a VW bug! Not to mention I weigh as much as a VW bug…

They just don’t make cars like that any more.

And they sure don’t make roads and parking lots to accommodate.

Which makes driving it a high sea adventure!

The jury is still out on conducting raids. Not sure what I’d raid for. Chickens? I’ve always wanted some.

Oh, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the comments to work on this blog. Believe me I tried. But alas, WordPress refuses to cooperate. So comment on social media and share with friends!

Firey Wyoming Sunset

The lack of imagination. Can it destroy freedom?

I have a theory.

I know, dangerous, right?

Anyway, when I took my dog for his morning constitutional, I got to thinking. Is it possible the lack of imagination among the masses could bring about the downfall of our free country as we know it?

I’m sure you’re wondering where the heck that came from, or who thinks like that?

Well, I do.

Ever since I was a small child, I imagined. I imagined all day long and all night long. I imagined I was a doctor. That my bike was a horse. I imagined the woods surrounding my college were actually in Siberia. I imagined characters and a plot to fill a novel.

Imagining is inherent to me. Like breathing. I think of Craig’s List and imagine a gazillion ways a serial killer can use that site to lure prey.

I lie in an MRI machine and imagine a rogue technician using the scanner as a murder weapon.
And then I hear colleagues in education lament the lack of imagination in today’s school kids.

I see adults’ inabilities to spend 30 seconds away from their portable device.

Look around you. our culture is dependent on something else to occupy their minds. They cannot imagine.

Or, few can.

Which bring me back to my theory.

It takes imagination to see where current events in the United States are taking us. In most cases, the circumstances do not prompt the pain and discomfort brought about by the long-term effects of varying decisions, so one must sit back and imagine how things could go.

And that takes time.

And for some, effort.

Is it possible that so many are caught up in the comfort of the moment they fail to imagine what could happen? Or just don’t care? Or have a “well, that won’t affect me” type of attitude?

Does it take imagination to look at history and see how dictators and tyrants rose to power and extrapolate that into the political decisions of today?

My theory is that the lack of imagination is one of the contributing factors to the crumbling state of our nation.

If you don’t think it is so, are you free to express an opinion that is contrary to the Popular Opinion of The Day?

Imagine if things flipped and The Other Side was in power. And took your voice away…

Can you?

Does it change your perspective just a little?

Imagine.

My Wild Wyoming Adventure

A lot has happened since the last post.

The contract mentioned for the house in the previous post was salvaged. Those buyers got their dream home.

And we get to build ours!

Okay, so not exactly a dream home, but it is new and will not be held together with duct tape.

I’m gonna skip the verbiage and let my pictures speak for themselves. You can follow the adventure on Facebook with the #MyWildWyomingAdventure.

We are living in a Class C RV that a dear friend is letting us use.

Following home. Leaving Denver behind.

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Our home until mid-September

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The Bar Nunn KOA is where it’s at!

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The strawberry moon rises over the long grass prairie in Bar Nunn.

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Building a house is fun! We love to go see the progress every few days.

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Carson is having a blast becoming WyoDog.

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Voices of the past whisper in my head. Countless stories beg to be told. I may cross over to the dark side and write some historical fiction!

I am excited about this new life. I am loving my new state. And will be catching up on the author part of my life now that we are “settled” in for a while.