Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Epic Road Trip: Hustle East and actually we’re home

Okay. So after we left Billings, MT we really booked the heck across the country. We drove from Billings to Richardton, ND where we spent one night at Assumption Abbey. Assumption is a men’s Benedictine community whose main industry is hospitality. They have a large guest house that used to be the dormitory for the school that closed back in the ’60’s. They rent rooms to groups and families at a very reasonable rate, plus then you can go to the liturgies which are always a breath of fresh air after you’ve been busy at life. We had a nice little stay with the monks.

Then we hustled to St. Joseph, MN just outside of St. Cloud. We spent one night there catching up with a couple friends we haven’t seen in a long time. It was great to hang out and chat with them.

Then we tried to leave St. Cloud, which was really difficult because all the on/off ramps to the interstate were closed for road construction. We ended up following a lengthy detour and getting on the interstate in Clearwater, a detour that added 30 or 40 minutes to our trip. But we were fortunate to buzz through Minneapolis when we did because as soon as we left apparently they got a Happy May Day snowstorm and the highways were closed because of all the snow fall. Ah, Minnesota.

We drove to Milwaukee and had a little time to visit with some more friends who live in a really cute neighborhood about three blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan. We were able to take a walk to the lake and stand on a hill, gazing at the vast ruffling waters. Then when we got tired of leaning against the bitter gusting wind, we went back to our friends’ house. It was a great little visit.

Then yesterday we drove from Milwaukee to Toledo, OH where we have some relatives. We were able to fairly breeze through Chicago, which was unexpected and very pleasant. We bought an I-Pass thingy for the Illinois tollways which made it super easy to get through the city. The I-Pass works everywhere EZ-Pass is accepted, which means it will work on the Ohio Turnpike. We will be using the turnpike a lot to get between my parents’ house and all my relatives in Toledo. Plus we have friends in Chicago and Pittsburgh, so we can use it to visit them, too. It was a good purchase. Anyway, we spent last night with some of my wonderful relatives, and we made the final short journey home this morning.

Maybe you are sensing that we’ve been pretty much either driving or sleeping this past week. Actually, I’m glad we did the trip this way, because we never had to drive an unreasonable length of time in one day. We got a few hours of decompression time in the evenings with our friends, then we were off the next morning, bright and early. Stephen did just marvelous in the car the whole trip. I think if we had had longer driving days it would not have gone so smoothly. As it was, he was able to mostly entertain himself with toys and playing silly games with whoever was in the front passenger seat. He took some naps and ate some snacks and looked out the window. I would do this again, but I will say I am very glad to have reached our final destination.

It doesn’t feel final for me yet. I still kind of think we’ll have to be up and on the way again in the morning. As soon as I can get a domestic routine going the better. I need to start cooking and doing some housework and I’ll settle in fine. Our U-boxes are being delivered on Tuesday and we’ll really get to start moving in. It will be an adventure to move back in with my parents and we’ll have to get used to living together. I think it will go okay; the animals are going to have the hardest time living together! They’ve been growling and scrabbling at each other a fair amount, trying to suss out a pecking order. Hopefully they get it worked out soon. They’ve come pretty far already since my cat arrived two weeks ago, but things are still a little testy. I’m hoping we can smuggle our cat into our bedroom tonight so we can sleep with our kitty again. I really missed our kitty Sashimi!

Now that we’ve made it home, I should be able to post every day again. Stay tuned for my riveting updates on moving in to my parents’ house and trying to apply for Medicaid with only approximately 8 weeks to go on the pregnancy. And I will be keeping you posted on the status of our little one. My first appointment with my new doc is Monday. Please keep praying! Especially for her to stay in her hot tub as long as possible so I have time to get on Medicaid!

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Seven Quick Takes Friday: April 12

Quick Takes are being hosted by Grace over at Camp Patton this week since Jennifer just had a baby!

100_15761. Today while Jeremy was out riding his motorcycle around town, he found a crazy house. This house looks like it’s straight out of Star Wars or something. I said, “I expected Luke Skywalker to walk out at any moment. You know, before he was a Jedi. When he was just a sand farmer.” Jeremy said, “I think he was a moisture farmer.” Whatever, this house looks like a space station. It doesn’t look anything like the other houses in the neighborhood or even in the whole city.


2. Stephen is obsessed with motorcycles. Pretty much the highlight of his day is when he gets to see Jeremy ride out on his bike. Stephen makes a “bzzzz” sound with his lips and waves his finger around in a circle any time someone says the word “motorcycle,” or if he’s just thinking of motorcycles, or if he hears a sound that is like a motorcycle. His favorite thing to do is read Jeremy’s motorcycle owners handbook and look at the pictures and say “bzzzz” and wave his finger around. Sometimes when he wakes up in the morning, the first thing I hear over the monitor is “bzzzz. Da-Da. Da-Da. bzzzzz.” It’s pretty much the cutest, and it almost makes me not mind that I’m hearing this little gem before 6 in the morning.

3. Speaking of motorcycles, we took a sock monkey with us as Stephen’s toy in the car this evening, and Jeremy and Stephen thought it would be fun for the monkey to ride the motorcycle. “bzzzz. bzzzzz.” (waves his finger).100_1567

4. There are lilac bushes right by my apartment building! I had no idea those bushes were lilac since we didn’t move here until after the flowers were done and then it was winter. But this week the flowers came in, and they are just now starting to get really fragrant. I love lilacs. They’re one of my favorite flowers along with daffodils and sunflowers.

5. I heard from my friend in St. Cloud. Apparently she was just very very busy and didn’t have a chance to write back before now. I hope she’s not too embarrassed that I called her out on my blog… At least she’s still fairly anonymous to all y’all.

6. We spent a good portion of the afternoon cleaning the apartment a bit. We figure it won’t be so hard to clean after we move out if we do a little pre-cleaning now. We did the bathrooms and started to wash the insides of the windows. We also plan to dust and wipe the kitchen surfaces and vacuum a couple more times before we get down and dirty right at the end. We’ll do a nice, thorough clean after we get all our stuff moved out. One of our friends here generously offered to come over and help us, and she’s a professional! So it shouldn’t be too painful.

7. Jeremy took Sashimi the Cat for a “fit to fly” physical this morning to prepare for his cross-country plane flight to Ohio next weekend. The vet said Sashimi is actually probably a Ragdoll breed cat, not the Chocolate-Point Himalayan we had thought before. He has the exact coloring of the “Mitted” Point Ragdoll. And his temperament, coat quality, and personality are all in line with a Ragdoll’s specifications. That’s pretty exciting for me. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always liked the sound of a Ragdoll cat and wished I could have one. And here, these past couple years we’ve actually had one! Sashimi is actually on the small side for Ragdoll, weighing only 10 or 11 pounds. Also I think he might be bulimic, which is not generally common for Ragdolls (or any breed). He throws up after eating all. the. time. I had to clean up four puke piles today. That is more than usual and I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe it’s a flare-up of his bulimia. It comes in spurts. Heh. Heh heh. I think you know what I mean.

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New Page and Frenemies Update

I just have time for a quick update tonight. I added a new recipes page that I will update and add to as time goes on. Keep an eye on that if you are into recipes as much as I am!

Also, my mom has reminded me that I am leaving my blog readers with the impression that Stephen and Quinn the dog are not getting along. Well the quick version of the story is that now they are getting along. You know, just so long as there is no prolonged face licking or loud barking involved. It freaks out the dog. That was a joke. Laugh with me. Ha ha. Ha ha.

My strategy was: I sat Stephen down to play with legos and made Quinn lay nearby. After a while Stephen became less cautious and now they’re cool. I think Quinn also needed to get used to a shorty being in the house too. Stephen will even pet the dog, and earlier today he was brushing the dog with the pet hair brush. He also treated me to a little grooming and did his own hair while he was at it.

And one more quick thing before I sign off for an early bedtime: Stephen is actually nearly 3 feet tall, not the 2 feet that I had previously stated. That is all.

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So Stephen and I are in Ohio now. I was really excited to come visit my parents for a lot of reasons, but I only want to write about one of them today. The last time we came to visit my family in Ohio, we brought our dog, Quinn, with us to stay and live with my parents. Quinn had been living with us in Billings, MT but for one reason or another, I decided that he was no longer welcome in our home. We had the dog before we had Stephen, and when we brought the baby home we had some problems that I just could not learn to live with. Quinn is big and noisy and he would stomp around and wake up Stephen from napping. Or Quinn would try to get between me and Stephen because he was jealous or territorial or who knows what. I kept getting mad at the dog, and my confessor told me to avoid near occasions of sin, and since the dog inspired Anger, I decided the dog had to go. Anyway, that’s the background. When we came to Ohio back in May, Quinn stayed behind and Stephen continued to mature in a now dog-free house. Stephen was about 12 months old when Quinn left us, and now he’s 21 months.

Okay, so the point of all this. I was excited for Stephen to meet Quinn again and play with the dog since he has so much fun with Sashimi at home. I thought the dog would probably not run away from Stephen like the cat does, and they would get to have some real fun! Well, it turns out Stephen runs away from the dog! He sees the dog from afar and thinks he is great, but if Quinn comes close Stephen wigs out. Like, screaming, crying, horrible running away wigs out. He giggles at how silly the dog is over there, but if the dog comes over here to be silly, it is the end of the world.

Here is proof that they used to get along great.

I guess when you’re as young as Stephen, 9 months of absence makes a huge difference and he forgot all about what it is like to live with Quinn. This development in the Stephen/Quinn relationship is making my visit so far really a drag. I have to pretty much carry Stephen all over the house to keep him up above dog level. And close the door to whatever room we’re in to keep Quinn out. It’s sad because I want to be with the dog and now I have to be mean to him! It’s not his fault he’s a big, goofy, 75 pound dog that scares the crap out of a 2 foot tall toddler! Not to mention my nerves are already on their last short lengths because we all know baby screams–even the justified ones–are very trying.

I’m hoping when Stephen wakes up from his nap today we can have some structured together time with him and Quinn and make the dog less terrifying. Though, Quinn did cause quite a big of trauma in the pre-nap warm up period so I’m not extremely hopeful. If they can’t work it out, it’s going to be a very long week.

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Sashimi the Cat

We acquired Sashimi the Cat back in November 2011. He has an interested story. At the time I was working as a parish music director at a church in Billings, MT. One day I showed up at the office and the other office ladies told me there was a cat in the women’s restroom in the back of church. So I went in because I can’t resist a kittykitty and there was this cat. He was straggly and shy but warmed up to people very well, and I could tell he was beautiful underneath the weather-worn exterior. He had magically appeared in the church parking lot a couple weeks prior and just that morning had finally allowed the pastor to scoop him up and take him inside. Well, little did this cat know that Jeremy and I had been talking about getting a cat to grace our home, and since I had pretty much fallen in love with this cuddly cutiehead, I called Jeremy right away and he arranged to come take a look. So we came back to the office later that evening and Jeremy loved him too! The nice office lady said if we wanted to take the cat, we should just do it–you know, before anyone else decided to take him! So we did! The next day Jeremy took him to the vet to determine age, sex, and general healthiness and found out for sure that the cat is a neutered male, now approximately four or five years old, with fairly decent health. We named him Sashimi because we are terribly clever and witty.

Well, it didn’t take long to figure out the possible reason Sashimi’s former owners had abandoned him a church parking lot. Sashimi is very sensitive and he has a delicate stomach. There was a period of time when I kept a cat puke clean up kit on my bedside table at night, if you take my meaning. And one time Jeremy had a very close call involving his face and a retching kitty. After a vet visit or two, we got special sensitive kitty food and the problem cleared up. Now he only pukes about once a week, unless the food is getting to the bottom of the bag, then he pukes pretty much every time he eats some food. Sigh…it’s a hazard I guess we are willing to live with.

But he really is a wonderful kitty. He is the snuggliest, wuggliest, prettiest, kittiest kitty I have ever owned. His fur is majestic and magnificent. He takes what we call “fur days” where he lays around for 12 hours straight. We call them fur days because his fur is so majestic that he needs to take a day off of doing other cat stuff to just focus on growing fur. He sleeps with us every night, either on my feet or above my head on the pillow. That took a little getting used to when we first brought Sashimi home, but now we love it! He is not stingy with purring. He even kind of plays with Stephen, if Stephen doesn’t act too wild and pull Sashimi’s tail or run too fast or pet his fur too hard. Okay, maybe he doesn’t really play with Stephen. Actually, he has been taking many more fur days now that Stephen is super active and has decided that Sashimi is his number one amigo…

So, that is Sashimi the Cat. I hope you enjoyed meeting him. Tell me about your wonderful pet friends!

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