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Justice [Feb. 4th, 2008|08:31 pm]
We share a driveway with our neighbor to the south. In the four years that he's lived there, he had one son mow the lawn once, the other son laid sod in the front yard, and neither he, nor his sons, have ever once shoveled the walk in front of their house, the walk to the porch, or any part of the shared driveway. This year, Bruce decided that with his bad back, shoveling the long driveway was too much. He shovels the walk, but we both have 4WD, so the driveway isn't an issue.
This morning, Bruce cam home from work to find our neighbor stuck in the driveway in his little car. Bruce drove around the block, by which time the neighbor was able to escape the grasp of said driveway. Tonight, said neighbor came home, and it took him at least ten minutes to rock back and forth 'til he got out of the ruts, and into his parking space, straight, without sliding into his back door.
I laugh inside. Hopefully, he'll realize there is merit to shoveling ones' drive, mowing ones' lawn. and taking ones' garbage can to the curb, now that his sons have moved out.

I HATE the snow!
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T-shirt job [Jan. 27th, 2008|10:52 pm]
Last night was the annual chili cook off here in town. We did the shirts, again. It's our one steady job. 40 shirts, once a year. This year, the towns' resident artist was out of town for a funeral, and we had to do our own artwork. No biggie. We've done it before. This year we decided to get creative and we got some clip art programs for the computer. Surprise of all surprises, there was not a single chili pot. So we went with a cow. She looked very happy to give her life for our chili. We did yellow on black, reading the sixth annual, and the pic of the happy cow.
Maybe I'll learn how to use Corel Draw before next year so I don't have to rely on other people.
Used a new capillary film. Not to bad. A lot less expensive. We'll probably stick with this one.
I printed a shirt for me, one for Bruce, and one for Chance, all in the name of "checking the position of the template". Chance got tan, Bruce got blue, I got long sleeved. I love the perks. Plus we got one for entering a pot of chili. Didn't win. Didn't even place. But there's always next year.

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Raccoons [Aug. 7th, 2007|09:35 pm]
[Current Location |Zach's room]
[Current Mood |predatorypredatory]
[Current Music |Mummy Returns on tv]

We have raccoons. They are cute, but destructive, and vicious. Last year we set a trap, but only managed to get two babies. The mama took her other babes and left. She came back this year. They knock the bricks out of the chimney, eat the cat food, and our little dog fights them.
Last night, they came down off the roof early. Chance tried yelling at them to scare them. It didn't work, so we sent the dog out there. Heard all sorts of nasty growling, barking, snarling, and finally the dog started yelping. There was still growling and snarling, so I went ot "save" my little dog. The kids were yelling, Bruce was trying to get to the gun, I opened the door to find a baby, a large baby, by the box the cat sleeps in. He was growling, so I grabbed the nearest weapon, a wooden sword, and started waving it and whacking the box. That baby turned on me. Needless to say, I closed the door. We finally got the rifle, but they were gone. The dog's foot was bleeding, the cats were scared. The one outside was IN the BOX where the major part of the dog-mama fight, (and baby-me fight) took place. He was terrified. The other cats, Katy made sure it was over and came in, Liam made sure the dog was ok and went to the neighbor's. Grizzly stayed in the box until morning, when he was very needy of attention.
Tonight, we HAVE the gun. We set the trap, and the beasts (Katy, Liam, and Doodles) are in. Grizzly was fed earlier, so no vagrant cat food is loitering on the porch.
Tomorrow, the dog, if not all the beasts, get their rabies boosters.

Let the saga continue.
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Good Cat [Jul. 9th, 2007|09:29 pm]
[Current Location |basement]
[Current Mood |impressedimpressed]
[Current Music |kids fighting]

We have this old grizzled tom cat who showed up about four or five years ago. He was a sorry sight and camped out in our garage. We, being suckers for cats, fed him, and made sure there was fresh water in the summer. Well, about a year and a half ago, he decided we could pet him. Now he is the most affectionate cat I've ever known. He lets Chance cart him around like a sack of potatoes, or a baby, or lay on him. He just purrs and rubs against us. He's an excellent cat for a handicapped child.

On the fourth of July, we came home late from the relatives' to find our neighbors lighting fireworks in the street. Chance picked up the cat and stood on the sidewalk watching the fireworks. That idiot cat sat there in his arms, paws on Chance's shoulder, as if he were watching tv.

I don't know who licked out more. The cat for finding such suckers as us, or us for getting such a tolerant cat as Grizzly.

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new job [May. 27th, 2007|06:34 pm]
[Current Location |basement]
[Current Mood |complacentcomplacent]
[Current Music |kids playing]

I've been at the new job for nearly three months. I get my insurance and all that good stuff then. It has been, and will continue to be a learning experience. They do things differently at this place than at my last job. I did just about everything in the same department, and then some at my last job, and here, it seems I know so little. It is frustrating. A lot of it I do know, but their method is foreign to me. On the bright side, it is three miles from my home, not eighteen, and I start at 7, not 6. I get an hour and a half more sleep than I used to.
We're taking Chance to a neurologist and doing neurofeedback. They say it could help. I don't know. He fights it every time we go. Until they find the right direction to go, we either deal with him being more volatile, or he's goofy and out of control. They say he should soon qualify for state assistance, which will help a lot, but I won't hold my breath.
Bruce is enjoying his new job and sees a lot of growth on the horizon there. And the business is picking up a little. If we can stand the gas prices, we should have a profitable summer, or at least break even.
We have two new babies due early this summer, and another due in December. That will be fun.
Not much else. Life is boring or hectic, and neither makes for a good blog.

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My dad [Jan. 8th, 2007|05:52 pm]
[Current Mood |melancholymelancholy]

My dad was always a very strong man. He grew up on a farm and being strong of body and strong of character were natural bi-products of that environment. He was small in stature, so his physical strength was surprising to many who dealt with him away from the farm. Three and a half years ago, he had a heart attack. By the time he decided something was wrong and went to the doctor, they figure he'd been having the heart attack for about two months. The doctor asked if his chest hurt. He said, no. The next doctor asked if his chest hurt. Again, no. About the third doctor, and the third "no", my mom said he has a high threshold for pain. So the doc asks if his chest felt strange. "yes". He had seven bypasses. He never really regained his strength. He seemed to get better, but not up to par. Not where he thought he should be. Finally, he just started getting tired all the time. He would just sleep. The doc told him he needed to build his strength, that if he didn't, anything could take him. A cold, the flu, anything. So he walked, and he went up and down the stairs. He was still as strong of will as ever. Then he got a bad pain in his back. Pain meds helped a bit. But the meds and the pain really took their toll. the day after Christmas, the pain was too intense for a man who never noticed pain before, and my mom took him to the hospital. He had a staph infection in his blood, among other things. His body started to shut down. Saturday morning he was beyond the pain, and he died. I was there. This man who had been so strong all my life, looked so frail and tired. I miss him, but I can't stand the thought, even now, of him living like that for any longer than he did. A week and was enough.
So many people commented they didn't realize he was sick. Really, he wasn't. Not until the last 5-6 weeks. And it wasn't until the last week that he was so sick. I guess he figured once you buy your ticket, you might as well get on the bus. He was a man of action.
He was a man who would decide to do something, and he would do it. If he didn't know how to do it, he would figure it out.
He was a man of learning. He taught for 37 years. Three years he taught vocational agriculture, the rest of his career he taught seminary for the LDS church. He taught the 9th graders. Most people thought Seminary was an easy class, and a lot of the teachers taught, but didn't ask much of the students. My dad figured the gospel was important. It was as important as anything else you would learn in school, so why not work just as hard at it. So he took students in their first year so they wouldn't expect to skate through. His students had homework, and had to study, and they learned more from him than any other teacher, and they loved him. I saw this when he taught in Louisiana. And I saw what a good teacher he was when he filled in for the sunday school teacher who was unable to attend that week, and he taught us so much, in such a short amount of time. And we didn't just hear it, we learned it.
He was an educated man. He had enough hours for a doctorate, but because he hated bereaucracy, he never got his Masters. He loved learning, and teaching, and the gospel and the scriptures, and his family, and nature. He was quite the gardener. Many an hour I spent picking fruit in the orchard, or beans, or carrots, or berries, or tomatoes, or peas, or weeding the flower bed. His brother pointed out that at eighty, my dad took out a cherry tree. Not because he was bored. Because the tree was ill and dying, and it was a matter of safety, and a matter of health for the other cherry tree.
He loved to fish and hike and camp, and passed that love of nature to his children. He hated hypocrisy, and passed that on to his children, as well. He stood for what was right. Sometimes in the face of great opposition. He was also forgiving, and understanding, and gentle.
He loved to play games. He was smart and enjoyed games that took some brains. Many a night we'd spend playing cards at the kitchen table, or in the camper. And his love of logic puzzles and brain games found its way into many family parties, and was also passed to at least a few of his children.
My dad knew everything. A lot of things he learned because he had to. He didn't make a lot of money, but we didn't know that as kids, because we had what we needed and a lot of what we wanted, because my dad learned hoe to do things himself instead of hiring someone else to do it. He built his house, raised or hunted his food, fixed things. If I had a question about building something, or fixing something, or growing something, my dad knew the answer. If I, or my husband, had a question about the gospel, my dad knew the answer. Who will I ask now?
When Chance first started having his problems, and no one else could get anything through to him, and he couldn't seem to learn anything, or remember anything, my dad could teach him. My dad could take him into the garden and teach him about the garden, and Chance could learn. He could calm down, and remember. And Riley is so like him. Always wants to be outside, no matter the weather. And always into some mischief.
It has been only a little more than a week since his passing, but already I miss him. I miss his sense of humor, his vast knowledge, his interest and understanding for my life. I miss him, I miss him.
How sad I am at his passing, yet, truly, how much sadder the world that they will never really know him.
He was, and is my dad.
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Perfect Hair Guy [Oct. 14th, 2006|02:17 am]
[Current Location |basement]
[Current Mood |sillysilly]
[Current Music |none]

I work in a cabinet shop. It's pretty dirty. One day I noticed a guy working in shipping. He'd pull a pallet of cabinets this way, tote another one that way. Back and forth, all day. No biggie. that's his job. But his hair, it was like, immaculate. He's wearing overalls, T-shirt, tennis shoes. But his hair looked like he should be wearing a suit and selling cars. His hair was always in place. Weird.
Then, at the company party, Bruce sees him and says,"look at that guy. His hair's perfect." I told him it was always like that.
To go on.... He gets transferred to a different department and I have occasion to talk with him. We get along pretty well. The only way I can tell Bruce who this guy is that I'm talking to is to tell him it's Perfect Hair Guy. So that becomes his name. I call him that. When I refer to him as that, other people know exactly who I'm talking about.
His real name is Greg. He didn't like being called Perfect Hair Guy, so I started calling him Partially Hydrogenated Greg. (same initials) He like that better.
There is a point to this. One day, I said, "Hey, Perfect Hair Guy..." He interrupts with, "How do you know?" I said I didn't want to know about hair I couldn't see. He says,"It may a few cow licks, maybe a bald spot.." I asked if he was sporting a comb-over. The thought! A pubic comb-over. PCO.
Great name for a band.
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Chance Goes To School [Sep. 23rd, 2006|10:35 am]
[Current Location |home office]
[Current Mood |gratefulgrateful]
[Current Music |my kids fighting]

Chance started his new school on the 11th. Well, they had an open house for it on the 11th. It still wasn't ready, so they started the 12th. It was nice to see other parents reacting to their kids the same way we react to Chance. Sometimes you think you're such a bad parent for losing patience, or yelling at him. But some of these teachers have kids like this of their own, and they do the same thing.
It's a charter school for kids with a disorder on the autistic spectrum who don't fit into any of the classifications the school districts have. They aren't severe enough for the Carmen Pingree school, and the behaviorally disturbed classes are full of defiant bullies who target kids like Chance, making their school experience painful for all. These kids can't settle sown enough, or shut out extraneous stimuli well enough for the Aspergers classes, and they aren't stupid, so resource classes are a waste of time and effort for everyone. This school is a real blessing.
HOWEVER.....the second day i picked him up from school, I looked at the hallway full of kids like Chance and thought, "Is this really a good idea to get 200 kids like Chance in the same place at the same time?" So far, he's learning things we have tried for 3 years to teach him. He used to hit kids with chairs when he got angry at school. With fear of being sued looming over our heads we tried to tell how bad and wrong it is to hit kids with chairs. His first day at Spectrum Academy, a kid threw a desk at him. He ducked and the kid got in trouble. Bruce and I laughed. "Welcome to being with you" we told him. Each day holds a lesson for Chance in what it's like to be around him.

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Jackson Hole [Aug. 20th, 2006|08:50 pm]
I was afraid we wouldn't get everything done in time, but we did. We got the catmasters finished, 4 drums assembled, about 3 dozen pair of bones cut and sanded, and 6 kilted hat & glasses racks painted and kilted. We got the artwork and shirts done, too. Those were the biggies. We added 3 new designs this year. One of them we sold out of and took orders,(pre-paid, we pay shipping). We took the castle up and assembled it in front of our booth. It drew the kids. Riley spent a good portion of his day standing in the watch tower with his foot up on the wall, in a "Captain Morgan" pose. He said he was trying to get more kids to the castle. What a goon. I think several different ladies took his picture.

Over all, the trip was a success. The band took first in both contests, the boys didn't kill each other on the 5 hour drive, and we made about $100 more this year than last.

Now to recover, unpack, do laundry, go to work/school, and fill those orders. Fun fun fun.
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blessings [Aug. 6th, 2006|01:41 pm]
[Current Mood |gratefulgrateful]

My son has come home from the residential treatment center where he has been living for the last five months. He was supposed to go into a group home, but there are some problems with the insurance for that, so he is home with us. He is better than he was before he went in. But his little brother is being difficult. He's been almost an only child for five months, and it's hard transition to having a brother who takes a lot of time and energy. The other night, Riley, the younger one, turned on the hose, made mud, washed a good portion of the raised area of our yard down onto the lawn, and I was ready to kill him. I made him stay outside until I could deal with him without hurting him. The next day, we were cleaning the tv room, which Riley had messed up, and I was all over him. I was angry and tired and frustrated over the mess caused by disobedience. Things in our home were not happy.
In the after noon, we went on a trip with my parents to central Utah to see a pageant. My nephew came along and entertained the boys. We all had a good time. I even stopped yelling at the boys and laughed a little.
The pageant ended around 10:30 pm and we started the three hour drive home. My father had bypass surgery 3 years ago and, being now 84, hasn't quite recovered. He gets tired easily and it had been a long drive down and a long pageant. Now he was trying to drive home. He has always been independent, and stubborn. My husband was in the front with him, ans realized he was going to have keep my dad focused for three hours. My dad was starting to get drifty, and my husband silently praying for something to cause my dad to stop in Price for the night. He knew my dad was too stubborn and proud to take a suggestion like that from anyone, wanting to prove he was still capable of doing it all. And as my husband prayed, there was a loud noise coming from the car. It sounded like a flat tire. There had been no jerking or pulling to indicate the tire had blown. We pulled off to the side of the road, and the front left tire was flat. We set about changing the tire, to discover there was no spare.
Central Utah is populated sparsely, with little towns few and far between. It was dark and late, around 11:00, and we were close enough to a town to see the lights, but that was about it. There was a deputy across the highway dealing a drunk driver, so as cars came over the hill toward us, they slowed down due to the flashing lights on the deputy's car. The drunk was belligerent enough that the deputy was there until about five minuted before the tow truck got there.
We called AAA, who pays the first five miles of a tow. They asked our location, which we didn't know. But my husband noticed across the highway a road. He walked over and got the address form the street sign. We were 4 miles out of town. The tow was covered. The motel the driver took us to was full, so he and the night clerk called all over town until they found the only hotel with a vacancy. In the morning we were rested, had a new tire, and were on our way.
The blessings: A break for us and the kids; The tire that went flat so smoothly we didn't feel it; No spare; the deputy across the highway and behind us with his flashing lights on for most of our ordeal; the road sign with our location on it; our AAA membership; Our new cell phone because the old one wouldn't hold a charge; a driver who got out of bed to tow us and who found us the only vacancy in town; being only 3-4 miles out of town so we didn't have to pay for the tow. These may seem small or like coincidences, but totaled, they are a miracle that probably saved our lives.
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