Monday, November 30, 2009

Cutest Upset

This fuzzy little kitten is curled up at my feet as I write. Trevor found him at a photo shoot and said I should get him because he looks like our 12 year old cat, Ed (I mean, King Edward)...who we don't know how much longer we will have.

So here this kitten is, as cute and good as a kitten could be, really. I thought his good behavior would wear off as he got more comfortable with the dog and the now, very grouchy cat. But he has been good and accident free from day one.

Edward does not see the value in any of this. He's delivered many paw bats and blows to put this threat in its place, which should be in the woods if he had anything to say about it. The kitten is not detered though, he still persues Ed's approval, approaching him playfully or following him in constant observation of how big cats do what they do. His punished persistence is admirable and at the same time, a bit heartbreaking.

Sometimes the kitten will be sitting three feet away or so and Ed will charge over and bat him a time or two. The kitten just closes his eyes and braces himself. Minutes later he follows Ed like nothing ever happened.

Today Ed watched him try to acsend the couch where Ed was perched and gave him a "you fool" sort of look. I have to say, I think he's warming up.

I have to look at this from Ed's perspective. After all, we did crown him as King Edward. He's ruled the place for 12 years. The dog, five times his size, fears him. Ed had a really good gig going and now a mini-me shows up completely unexpected. I mean, certainly Ed had some expectations, as much as a cat could, I imagine. Dreams, if you will, and we made a train wreck of them.

This little blog story has got me to thinking more than some others. I have had many expectations in life, haven't you? I just wanted and expected a few things to go a certain way. When they didn't or don't I get to being pretty grouchy myself. I have to remind myself that life is pretty wide open and limitless, or at least it can be if I work with what I've got and hold fast to my dreams. I need to be more like the kitten, expecting the best, exploring my world in amazement, living in punished persistence sometimes, and curling up at the Master's feet.

The better of the two above photos was taken by Trevor Lee,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Improvement Obsession

I've been ridiculously obsessed with home improvement projects lately.

The beginning of the holiday season and my love of decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving really motivated me to speed up the home stretch, not to mention how good it feels to see a room transformed. Five rooms have been completed and I think I'm addicted.

Most recent in my two month fix-it stint was the back room. This is the catch all room- laundry, shoes, dog food, and dirt storage (that was kind of a joke).

We stacked the washer and dryer, did you know that you can do this with most front load models? It's great. Saves room, looks kinda cool, and when they are both in use and get to spinning at the same time it's interesting (Yeah, maybe I have more fix-it work to do...).

Dave and Mitch got the machines stacked up and they worked fine. Then with Dave and Dexter's help I got to work on a cabinet/sink/counter addition along the same wall. This required that I buy a longer dryer cord than the manufacturer makes. No problem, the people at Menards and Home Depot (note the multiple store list) were very helpful. I've wired in a do-it-yourself plug and cord before, this would be no problem.

Well, since I'm writing about it you probably figured out by now that it was a problem.

The first attempt at flipping the breaker back on gave me a "Pop. Click."


Try again, check the wires, had them flipped. And again no dryer.

Three tries. Each time perched on the new counter top, reaching, looking in a mirror, straining to see and work in the little half hidden space on the back of the dryer (the stacked set had already been put next to the wall and it seemed silly to move them for such an easy repair).

In the midst of this my husband was trying to help me troubleshoot the problem. He suggested a few people who I should call but I didn't want to bother anyone.

Then, we both suddenly smelled something really bad. "What's a skunk." We opened the back door to find Zoey happy as can be while she smelled as bad as she ever has. It was horribly strong.

From my counter top perch, now breathing through my mouth. I was trying to figure out the dryer in extreme frustration. I happened to look over to the bathroom where I saw the toilet overflowing.

Sure, it's funny now.

The next day Trevor was kind enough to make a trip to the launder mat for me. Meanwhile In a conversation with my brother, Ray, about Thanksgiving I mentioned my fix-it projects, and the dryer issue. In less than 10 minutes he told me what he thought my problem was (he's way better at these things than I am!). In another 10 minutes the dryer was working.

WHY didn't I think to call someone wiser BEFORE I got to the frustration and failure stage?

Made me think of how many times I do this with God. He knows what I need and has given me a lot of resources to help me. I just don't ask or look in the places He gives me. He doesn't even consider me a bother. Hmmm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doggy Diaper

Our dog has a problem, and a trail of blood on the carpet later it become our problem. Please don't tell her I told you, but Zoey is in heat. She seems pretty embarrassed by this ordinary situation that can't feel so ordinary for her.
In order for Zoey to be in the house doggy diaper shopping was in order. I found pet products I never knew existed at StuffMart. "They don't have her size. I'll have to go to the actual pet store," I told my husband, Dave, as we happened to pass one another in the parking lot.
Once at MegaPetMart, I experienced new-product-awareness-overload....whoa. Glassy eyed, I found them next to the Wee Pads (at my house we call these newspapers, but I admit they looked a lot nicer in that package). They wanted over $20 for 12 doggy diapers. I think the look on my face is what they call sticker shock.
I quick called Dave, still at StuffMart, and asked he and Mitch to get a package of large baby diapers. "Thirty-five pounds and up," Mitch read from a label, "is that good? It's the biggest they have." I guess there aren't many 50 pound toddlers in diapers now are there?
There were 36 in a package for less than $9 so...we'd make it work. Cut a whole for the tail (perfect placement took only 4 diapers to perfect) and add duct tape to keep it on. We've SO solved our problem.
But one look at Zoey and you don't feel like you've totally solved things. Her long eyes beg you to take off the restraining contraption. Her teeth rip it off with no begging whatsoever when you're not looking. She is sad.
I think that Zoey thinks this is how life will be for her from now on.t is grim. This is what her face tells me.
Little does she know that this too will pass and things will be brighter just around the corner. All the Young Life kids were at our house tonight and Zoey is so happy again, she loves people. See Zoey, things are getting better already.
I could stand to remember that myself. When I'm in the duck-taped diapers of life (please, it's an analogy, work with me here) feeling confused and embarrassed, things will get better.