Monday, September 29, 2008

The Late Paul Newman...

Legacy - noun. Something immaterial, as a style or philosophy, that is passed from one generation to another.

I just watched the most awesome tribute to the late Paul Newman on tv. It was an old interview with him and his wife Joanne Woodward. What a wonderful love story they had with over 50 years of marriage.

After the interview, the anchors talked about Paul Newman's charity work, especially The Hole In The Wall Camp, which Newman started for sick children. What an awesome man he was. While he made tons of great movies, was absolutely gorgeous, was a race car driver and political activist, and had a great life, his true legacy will be his camp and other charities he so deeply cared about.

I've always had a dream that if I were wealthy, I'd buy a bunch of property where I could take injured and unwanted wildlife and domestic animals. I'd have bunkhouses where underprivleged, sick, and at-risk kids could come and stay (all at different times) and learn to take care of them. I've had it all pictured in my mind for years. Maybe someday.

I think about death fairly often - I suppose it's normal after having cancer twice - but I'm not terribly normal so maybe not. But, that makes me think about what people would say about me if I died. Would I have made a difference somehow, somewhere? I hope so. I don't know why this is so important to me, but it has been for many years - even before I had cancer.

I hope if nothing else, I'll leave a legacy of kindness and compassion with my kids. Really, nothing else is important in life. If you have those two things it will usually get you where you need to go.

God Speed, Paul Newman. You definately made a difference in this world...

"We all leave footprints in the sand, the question is, will we be a big heel, or a great soul." - source unknown

I Have A Helper!

These are my 3 sweet girls. Lisa, Sarah, and Jacki. Sarah is my sweet niece and she and her 3-year-old son Payton are staying with us for a few weeks until she finds an apartment. They're very easy to have here. Payton is such a cute and sweet boy. Friday night he was pretending to be a dog and made me throw the puppie's toys for him so he could fetch them - and he actually carried the puppies toys back to me in his mouth - dog germs!

I came home from werkin' at the Merc last night and Sarah had done all the dishes, folded my laundry, and cleaned the kitchen! I love her!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PeTA People, Move Along - There's Nothing To See Here...

Adam got his first antelope today. One shot - just like it should be.
Adam and Ival.
The trip was even more special because Uncle Joe went along.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things About Me...

My sister Kate did a blog post with the above title. She had to "tag" 5 people and um, I was one. So, here's 6 unremarkable facts about me that you'll probably find well, unremarkable...

1. I wear nothing but jeans, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Ask Kate, I wore them to her wedding. Really, how boring is that.

2. I don't cry. Well, maybe once every 5 years or so. I rarely cry when I'm sad - what's the point? I used to cry if I got really mad, but there again - what's the point? (I actually think this may be some kind of mental disorder...)

3. I'm not very social. I don't like to "visit" - I don't know how. If I've got something to say, I'll call you on the phone. I'd rather not sit for an hour over coffee and try to think of something wonderful to say. (Another mental disorder?)

4. I'm not terribly sympathetic if someone has done something stupid. If you want sympathy, you might want to find someone else to talk to. (Oh Lord, I think I'm seeing a pattern here - I'm going to check myself in as soon as I finish this post...)

5. I love kids and old people. Kids are just starting out in life and so sincere and real while old people are toward the end of their lives, and so sincere and real! (Ok, I think this may be a little more normal, yet unremarkable)

6. I feel like I had one of the best childhoods anyone could ask for. I grew up loving nature and wildlife, had a wonderful family, my brother taught me how to hunt and fish, and our backyard was thousands of acres of forest where I spent hours exploring and discovering how great life was. (Ok, ok, I'm think I'm back to normal, yet still unremarkable...)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Evidently, I Need To Double My Dose Of Happy Pills...

After all, I've CHOSEN to live with Elmer Fudd for the last 22 years. I shouldn't expect a lady's man like, say, Mel Gibson.

This post is the final post of the dreaded skunk story. This skunk, has gotten into our hen house and killed all but one of our wonderful chickens. We found him out there in the middle of the night several times and Elmer and Adam tried shooting him with the pellet gun (only after my INSTANCE that Elmer not use the machine gun or bazooka at those hours). But, that old skunk had some tough hide and obviously a lot of chutzpa as he kept returning for more.

So, Elmer tried snaring him with no luck. Finally, he decided to use a leg trap. I hated that thought but it seemed to only way to get rid of him.

Yesterday morning, Elmer came into the house proudly proclaiming he had caught the marauder. So, being an actual hour of the day when people were awake and wouldn't think we were suddenly having drive-by shootings in wonderful Hidden Springs, I allowed him to use the .22 to put the skunk out of his misery. Elmer had to get to work so the skunk stayed in the henhouse.

When Elmer got home, I asked him to take the skunk away - it smelled bad, but he informed me that Adam wanted to be home for the event, so we waited until 7:00 so Elmer Jr. could join in the joyous event of removing the dead skunk.

Here's Elmer Jr. He's holding his breath in preparation of removing the body... I'm so darned proud.

Ok, he's REALLY going in, just one more big breath...He was so excited to particiapte he didn't even change from his work clothes. I think they may have to go in the trash. The dogs were excited to see what had been smelling so bad all day. But what a monster!
Yes sir, we've got us a trophy...

So really, what was so bad about that? Well, I'm fixin' to tell ya...

After holding my breath and taking the above pictures, I went back in the house and worked on some laundry. After about 15 minutes, I realized the two Elmers hadn't come back inside, and the house was being permeated by skunk smell. OH DEAR GOD.

I stepped into the garage and was greeted by an stench I had NEVER before smelled, and we grew up in Garden Valley where we woke to the smell of skunk many, many, many mornings. The conversation went something like this except I have cleaned up some of the foul language that flew out of my mouth - and I DO MEAN it was flying!

"IVAL, what are you doing?" I can't see him, but I know it's not good. I creep around the side of the truck and see him kneeling on the ground. "I thought you were going to haul that skunk away!"

Elmer Jr. proudly proclaims, "That was a NICE skunk! We're skinning him."

"OH NO YOU'RE NOT! Get that skunk out of here right now! The neighbors are going to be so mad. You've stunk up the whole niehgborhood. Why does it smell like that? That's not regular skunk smell, that's ten times as bad. What is that? If you skin that skunk you're going to cut those smell glands."

Proudly, Elmer Jr. proclaims, "Yep, he did."

"What the hell? It smells so bad out here that none of the neighbors can be outside. WHAT were you thinking? I swear to God that's got to be the stupedist thing you've ever done! Stop what you're doing and get that damn skunk out of here."

All the while, the only thing Elmer has said (although the words were flying out of my mouth so fast he probably didn't have a chance to say anything) was "Oh, it's not that bad."

Just then, a neighbor wandered over and said, "You know, you're not real popular in the neighborhood right now." So I started in with her as well, the words flying out of my mouth faster than I've ever talked "I TOLD him that! Stupid! That was just a stupid thing for him to do! I'm so sorry! He's going to load that skunk in the truck right now and take it out of here! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!.."

So, Elmer and Jr. loaded the skunk up and took him down the hill. The house stinks, the neighborhood stinks, the whole situation stinks. In fact, I was just out in the front yard with the puppy and two neighbor ladies walked by.

"We heard the skunk story from last night."

Oh dear God, the neighbors all know.

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that, his days of hunting in the yard are over." I hung my head and slithered into the house.

I'm glad hunting season is here so he can get out and actually kill something that I don't have to be a part of. His friends, Pat and Nate, are in HUGE trouble for teaching him how to trap...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Is It Wrong For Me To Blog About My Sister's Wedding Before She Does???

She's on her way home on the plane and um, well, I took all these pictures off my camera, and um, I just thought I should share...

Tim, Jake and Heather

Our three beautiful girls. Lisa, Sarah, and Jacki...
The dreaded "Martha Stewart Pom Poms"...

This is David's brother Steve. He's a stand up comedian in Boston and he performed the ceremony.

I have to say, I've never been to a wedding quite like this. They didn't have the "traditional" ceremony. Since they're both "older" and they've both been married before, Steve thought it only wise to not make them promise anything - instead, they had vows where they had to say "I'll try".

Such as:

"David, will you try to remember not to use the kitchen table as a dirty sock hamper?'

David - "I'll try."

"Kate, will you try to remember that just because there's checks left in the checkbook, that it doesn't mean you have unlimited funds ?"

"I'll try"

And then there was something about musicals and Westside Story being "the bomb" over The Sound of Music, where Kate refused to even "try" but instead said she'd "give it some thought." (although that did NOT sound sincere)

It was very funny.

And I loved Steve's shirt, made me feel young again...

David's family is Jewish. But instead of the traditional "stomping of the glass", Steve thought since were were in IDEEHO, and in a barn, it was much more fitting to have the "stomping of the Bud Lite can".

The happy family. You can tell Anna is glad to have David as a permanent part of her life.

The cake...

Kate and her college friends - those girls are WILD when they get together! The girls in our family...

We all love David and we're glad to have him as the newest addition to our family. And thanks David, for making my sister so happy...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Should Never Forget...

Good will forever prevail over evil...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Don't Often Write A Serious Post...

but I'm going to indulge you with one now.

My sister wrote a post the other day commenting (ok, chuckling) about the fact that a woman, who had been drinking, evidently passed out on some railroad tracks and was struck by a train. (YA THINK?) "Anonymous" commented that she was going to quit reading Kate's blog because that was so distasteful. Well, so be it in my opinion.

As a human being who has lost a parent to murder, I've discovered that much of life, no matter how distasteful, has to be laughed at. The way I've survived the last 25 years since dad was killed is to find things to laugh at. In fact, I think it's how we all survive (except mom). If it doesn't kill you, it's probably, eventually going to be funny. My tag line on my blog is "Eat one live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day." I don't literally mean to eat a toad, I mean, look at life every day thinking about the worst thing that's happened to you. Then, think about how if that's the worst thing that happens that day, be grateful!

We tend to go through life thinking how awful it is. If you look at other people, there's always someone worse off - and I don't mean people who get drunk then fall asleep on train tracks. I mean people who have to live at the hospital because their child has cancer, or families who have a child who has been kidnapped and don't know where they are, or if they're alive or dead. THAT is stuff I can, and do, feel true sorrow for. I'm VERY glad that the woman on the train tracks wasn't killed, and hopefully, she learned a valuable lesson. But, ya know what? I can almost guarantee you, that if she DOES learn something from the event, that in a few years SHE'LL be laughing about it and the fact that she survived and will NEVER do that again.

As Dr. Phil would say "So how's that workin' for ya?" Well, to be real honest, it's workin' just fine. So Kate, continue to laugh, enjoy life, and if something tickles your funny bone, write about it. Life is too short. We all know that our family (except mom) has an odd sense of humor. But, we (especially mom) also have huge hearts. We will and have, done anything to help someone in need.
Life is good!

Puss N' Boots - The Sissy Sister

For some reason, my youngest sister Kate seems to challenge me to a duel about once a year and it always seems to some about when there's a wedding planned. This time, it's HER wedding.

We've been discussing what to name our niece Lisa's baby - like it's up to us. But I'll be darned if Kate didn't post the following:

"Do you want to fight? You want a piece of me? Huh? Do ya?"
September 9, 2008 11:39 AM

And the year before that, on the date of Linda's wedding, this is what happened:

In reading Linda's blog "What doesn't kill us will make us stronger," she stated her "fear" of youngest sister Kate. Now Kate talks big, but she's rather a sissy - unless you get her talking about politics, religion, anonymous comments on her blog, head lice, the overly-friendly checker at Albertsons, her boss, her co-workers, her neighbor Ted, or her ex-husband's new girlfriend. But other than that, she is definitely a sissy - and I told her so. So the sissy-sister has challenged me to a duel - at sunrise on September 15 - the morning of Linda's wedding - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon. She has said she shall go by the name "Puss-n-Boots" (see, even the name she picked out is sissy...) I accept your challenge Kate, and I shall be known as "Twisted Sister" or "Nasty Nancy the Dueling Nazi" - I haven't decided yet. But leave your cotton candy at home - for we shall leg wrestle - on the beach at Rockaway, Oregon - at sunrise - on the day of Linda's wedding - September 15. And I shall kick your sorry butt...

So, Kate, we shall meet at the monkey bars at the Hidden Springs Charter School, on the morning of September 13 - at dawn (or maybe around 9am) - the morning of your wedding. We will chicken fight with our legs until one of us drops. And again, I shall kick your sorry butt...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This n' That...

It was a busy summer - a good one. Here's a few shots of what's been happening over the last several weeks.

Heather and Grace came up for a last swim at the pool for the season... Heather is such a good mommy!

Grace is getting so good in the pool!

Ival went scouting for antelope. Adam drew a permit this year.
We got a last few pictures of Rosie. She was still holding her tail high and able to chase the ball for a few minutes before she got too tired. We sure miss her.

Adam has always wanted a small dog. He desperately wanted a poodle, but as hard as it was on him to lose Rosie, I just couldn't bring myself to allow a poodle into the house. So, we compromised and got a Bischon/Spaniel mix. Her name is Zulu. He loves her and so do we. The big dogs love her too.
These mix dogs used to be called "mutts" and you could get them free. Now they're called "designer" dogs and cost $250.00

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm Going Back To Work!

The Merc has been sold to a couple from here at Hidden Springs. I think they're going to do a great job and want to return it to the way it used to be. Residents can sell their "wares" in there, people will feel welcome again, and it going back to home style food and fun. Taco Tuesdays, game nights, they're even going to rent the Merc for less than we pay for the barn now. The changes are really good for the community and I'm excited to be a part of it.

Yep, I'm going to be working at the Merc. I have to admit, I think it will be really fun. Since I love football, they've scheduled me for Monday nights and Sundays to cover the games. I think I'll be working 3 or 4 days a week. I told them that I can't work on days that BSU plays - mom and I have a date to watch those games together at her house.

Like most everyone else in the US, the economy has taken a toll on us. I'm just glad that if I have to work, it's doing something fun. They scheduled the four "seniors" (that's all 4 of us over the age of 18) to go in for orientation today, but they made us work! We scrubbed all the wooden chairs and tables (if I'd wanted to be doing that I would have done it at home!), all the outside tables and chairs, ALL the woodwork inside (and there's a ton of it!). I feel really fortunate, I really enjoy the other three "seniors" and I think we'll make a great team.