Friday, October 31, 2014

Gotcha Day: Ruby's List of Thankfuls

Soooo, this is Ruby. Yesterday was my Gotcha Day. You know, the day I went to live with my forever family? My mom thought it would be a good opportunity for me to tell everyone how grateful I am for that, so she told asked me to write this week's Ten Things of Thankful post. Here goes:

1. I used to live with my kitty mom and brothers at a house out in the country. When I was first born, the lady that lived in the house sent a picture of me to my mom. Of course, my mom was hooked from that first picture; she just didn't know it yet. Thankful for that!

My newborn picture.

One month old.

2. There were a couple of big, dumb dogs that lived at that house. I'm thankful my kitty mom taught me and my brothers how to climb a tree, because one of them used to claim he was playing with us, then he would chase us. Not cool, buddy, but look who now lives inside a nice house full time and look who still has to hang around outside! I still used my tree climbing skills at my new home, only I climbed my mom instead of a tree; that is, until they took me to the vet one day, and I came home without claws or a kitty maker. But that's okay. I don't miss either of them.

3. When the lady took me to her work and handed me to my mom, my mom said she was going to take me home for a test drive (whatever the hell that means). I'm thankful that I passed that test! 

First night at my new home.

Could I BE any cuter?

4. My new house came with two big kitty brothers (step brothers, really, but I don't like to use labels like that). I was used to brothers, so it was kind of nice. Sort of. I also got a dad who SAID he didn't want me to stay, but he obviously didn't mean it, and a human sister who was so excited when she found out that I was staying that she cried. Cried! Real tears! There's a human brother, too, but he's only here sometimes. When he's here, he insists on carrying me around flipped over on my back, which I'm not real crazy about, but other than that, he's okay.

5. I'm thankful for my kitty brother, Fletcher. Love to annoy the crap out of play with him! When I was really little, I used to chase his tail when he was annoyed with me and was flipping it around, taunting me with it. Good times! He's also really fun to jump on and wrestle with, because he just rolls over on his back and cries for mom while I get to tackle, bite, and kick him. Well, until mom catches me. She even squirts me with water sometimes, of all the nerve!

Found out quickly not to try to sit in Fletcher's box.

6. My other kitty brother is Pete. He likes to pretend like he hates me. And I mean, REALLY hates me. Not a day goes by that he doesn't hiss, growl and call me names EVERY SINGLE TIME he sees me.  I'm thankful he's SUPER fat and can't run very fast, because one of my favorite things to do when he's being all pissy like that is to run past him, stopping briefly to biff him one with a paw as I pass. (I like to call those "drive bys.") I know, that deep down, he really loves me. Totally kidding! He REALLY DOES hate me.

7. I'm thankful those stupid puppies are gone. I don't know WHAT my mom was thinking when she brought them home, but they were nothing but trouble from the minute they walked in the door until they left a month (seemed like longer) later. They took my toys. They ate my food. They took all my mom's time and attention. THEY POOPED AND PEED ON THE FLOOR, and boy, does my mom get mad if one of us CATS do that, but they did it several times a day and STILL GOT TO LIVE HERE. Go figure.

8. Can I say again that I'm thankful the puppies are gone? There were two of them, after all.

Keeping an eye on the puppies.

9. I'm thankful for a house with lots of windows. When I'm not sleeping, playing with twist ties, wrestling with shoes, or bugging my brothers, I like to look out the windows at the squirrels and birds in the trees. I'm also a HUGE fan of the trash truck. I LOVE Tuesday mornings, when it comes up the street! As soon as I hear it coming around the corner, I'm there, baby, watching every move from my safe perch in the window.

10. I'm thankful that my mom loves animals, even stupid puppies. So she accidentally kidnapped a puppy; she MEANT well! I told her for my Gotcha Day, I really didn't want any presents (lies) and would rather give something to help pets who need a home of their very own. She not only bought a case of catfood to give to the local humane society, she got me a can of Fancy Feast! Life is good!

Not happy about the party hat...

...But he hated the hat worse than I did...

...And HE hated the hat worst of all!

It's been a good year. Sure, there was the Christmas tree incident last year, but I learned my lesson, and you won't see me climbing up there THIS year. Maybe. Yeah, probably will still do it. 

Got room in your heart for an animal who needs a home? Think about adopting a shelter animal. Or one whose kitty mom got knocked up and needs her babies to find good homes. Then SPAY OR NEUTER those furballs!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

I May Or May Not Be A Dog Napper

I sort of kidnapped a puppy this weekend.

Saturday evening, Emma and I were in the front yard, taking pictures of her in her Pig in a Blanket costume, when a black lab-ish puppy wandered down the street and over to us. She was leggy, about four or five months old, and wearing a pink Martha Stewart collar (no joke) with no tags. She was friendly, but a little apprehensive, and also seemed to have kennel cough.

My little pig in a blanket wanted to keep it until we found the owner.

Two sets of puppy dog eyes working on me.

My neighbor from up the street came by about that time, being walked by her two basset hounds. We asked her if she recognized the pup (as we learned during our summer puppy fostering adventure that dog owners in the neighborhood all know each other), but she didn't. The pup decided to follow her up the street, her dogs were going ape shit over the whole thing, so Emma gave ME puppy dog eyes and followed the parade up the street, returning a short time later with the puppy on a leash. She carried the pup (as she refused to walk on her own) into our fenced backyard before leaving for her party. 

I gave the pup a bowl of water and some EXPENSIVE cat food (which she turned her nose up at), then went up the street to talk to my neighbor, who was then visiting with ANOTHER dog owning neighbor. No one had ever seen the dog before. I put the pup's picture on Facebook, on my wall and also on the humane society's wall. No one came forward saying they knew where the dog belonged.

I kind of forgot about the puppy in our backyard until morning, but when we checked on her, she was still a little skittish, still coughing, but had eaten the cat food and drank some water. My daughter tossed a tennis ball for her, and she not only ran after it, she brought it back for more. Over and over. Obviously, someone had taught her how to fetch; she was somebody's baby! I went to the store and bought some puppy food.

Fetch in the backyard.

When the humane society opened at 1:00 on Sunday, Emma and I loaded her in the car. She trembled and wheezed all the way there. We took her inside to see if she had been microchipped, and miracle of miracles, she not only had been, she had also been adopted from that very humane society, as they make a small, green tattoo on females near their incision from their spaying (I neither know, nor WANT to know, what they tattoo on males). They looked her up on their computer, called the phone number, left a message with my phone number, and told us we could either leave her there or take her home with us. We opted to take her home and wait for the owner to (hopefully) call. 

As we were getting in the car in the parking lot, my cell phone rang.

"I got a message from the humane society that you found my puppy?"


I told the woman we were just leaving the humane society and would be home in five minutes.

"Where did you find her?" she asked. I told her the name of our street.

"I live right by there," she said. "Which house do you live in?"

I described our house. Two story Tudor. White--

"With green trim? Red Cross truck in the driveway?"

Ummm. Yess....

"I live across the street from you, in the corner house."


We kidnapped the neighbor's dog.

In all fairness, (a) they keep to themselves pretty much; (b) have only had the dog since mid-September; (c) we didn't even KNOW they have had a dog since mid-September; (d) the pup wandered over to our house from the entirely opposite end of the street from where she lived; and (e) SHE WASN'T WEARING ANY TAGS AND THEIR YARD ISN'T FENCED.

The owner was waiting outside her house when we pulled in the driveway. The puppy (Lilly, we now know) greeted her non-chalantly and wandered across the street to her own yard. The neighbor said Lilly liked to chase the cat and probably went down the alley and got lost. They noticed she was missing about fifteen minutes after we had kidnapped her locked her inside our backyard. 

Emma and I walked into the house and told my husband the story.

"So, you went from being heroes to being kidnappers thisfast?"


Emma, sitting on a kitchen stool, said, "We totally kidnapped her."


No good deed goes unpunished.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's Still Fall And I'm Still Happy About That

It's a little warmer outside than I'd actually like it to be (way more like early summer than mid-fall), but in January or February, I'll be dreaming about days like this, so I'll take it and hush my mouth. Let's see, what else am I thankful for this week?

1. My pre-k class got to go to the pumpkin patch on Monday. We were scheduled to go two weeks ago, but a near monsoon canceled that and this was our make-up date. It was simply gorgeous at Fredrickson Farms, and just cool enough for a light jacket. Farmer Tami didn't disappoint with her entertaining lesson on pumpkins and pumpkin farming (she begins to get a little slap-happy towards the end of the season, having given the spiel so many times for so many school groups).

That pumpkin weighs considerably
more than Farmer Tami does.

Look how nicely they are sitting!

Teacher selfie.

2. I was helping my class climb up onto the wagon for the hayride and readying them for a picture of both pre-k classes when one of my boys called out from the front of the wagon, "Miss Dyanne, I need to blow my nose." As I asked him if it could wait just a minute, he walked toward me, leaning slightly forward, (strong stomach warning here) a river of snot hanging down from his nose. One of the other teachers handed me tissues, but as I started to wipe his nose, he sneezed again. And again. And again. And again. Poor guy, the hay was really getting to him, but after about 8 sneezes, he was all sneezed out. I got his face and jacket cleaned up (sorry, but I SAID "strong stomach warning"), and we were able to continue with the hayride and pumpkin picking. I'll bet you're wondering about the thankful here, aren't you? Here it is: IT WASN'T BARF!

My class (and assistant, Miss Melissa) in the back row.

3. Emma got to suit up and sit the bench for the varsity volleyball team at District play. As expected, neither she nor the other three sophomores got to play a lick, but they got their names called when the teams were introduced, which was good enough for them. Emma was called first each night, because (a) they announce the non-starters first and (b) she has the lowest number, being the smallest one on the team (the jerseys are numbered and go in order of smallest jersey to largest jersey). 

Woo hoo, #4!

4. While in the audience at the volleyball game, I was reminded of the importance of looking at the back of your head in the mirror, especially when trying out a new 'do. I'm thankful I learned that from my mother, who always checks her hair before leaving the house.

Check the mirror, ladies.

5. This one is especially for Sandy Ramsey, who lives in Florida and has lovely, hot weather year 'round, but who also doesn't get to experience the changing leaves like those of us in the states that get winter. I'm very thankful for hard maples, because they have the BEST color of all the trees, and my neighborhood has lots of them!

6. Our bedroom windows have been open all week, day and night, and Ruby has enjoyed getting up-close with nature, but not so close that it can grab her. Squirrel action in the trees just outside this window had her mesmerized.

7. Our football team got to play in the District tournament, and we went to Springfield to watch them. Kickapoo High School has the worst visitor section I've ever seen (and with our years and years of youth cheerleading, I've been in a LOT of high school football stadiums). No speakers. The bleachers sat behind and BELOW the edge of the track, so the team, standing on the sidelines, was taller than we were in the bleachers. Extra bleachers brought in completely blocked what little view was left when they filled up with people. We lost, 35-21. But as I knew Emma would ditch me to sit with her friends, I am thankful that I was able to talk the College Boy into coming to the game with us (the least he could do after I fed him dinner). I had an enjoyable three hours with him, listening to him talk about his classes.

8. No school on Friday. No school this Monday, either. Can you say "four day weekend"?

9. My  husband and I walked today on the Frisco Greenway trail, part of the Rails to Trails program. We had never walked there before, and it was hotter than we realized it was going to be today, but when we got to the trail, we saw it was beautifully shady. See?

Oooo! Shade!

As we kept walking, however, we quickly ran out of shade. We soldiered on, though, sure we would run into shade again. Wrong. It was sun, sun, sunny all the way, but it was still very pretty. We walked all the way to the trail head and turned around and walked back, for a total of about 3 and a half miles. Maybe 4. 

When I took this picture, my husband said,
Try one and see if they're poisonous." He really
is trying to kill me, isn't he?!

10. Emma is at a Halloween party tonight, so I will be waiting up until she comes home. I'm thankful she has friends I can trust that will drive her to events like this, so I don't have to go traipsing across town late at night to get her.

Pig in a blanket. Get it?

How's your week been? How are  your thankfuls adding up? Husband tried to kill you but failed? Find yourself thankful for snot, because it's better than barf? Link up below and share all.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

What I Did On Saturday, Told Mostly In Pictures

When my dad closed his farm supply store in the late summer of 2011, he was left with a really big, really empty building (that is for sale, along with the warehouse next door, if you're interested in a building or two in Nevada, MO). Recently, an auctioneer in town approached him about using the building to hold a big auction. There was one big estate, plus a few smaller ones, making for a tremendous amount of furniture and household goods and plain ol' junk. There was so much of it, in fact, that they couldn't get through all of it in the one day allotted for the auction and had to schedule a second day, which was this past weekend.

I wasn't at the first auction, but my husband and I drove up to look at everything, at which time I found these two items among all the other stuff:

My 10-speed bicycle and my baby crib. To add insult to
injury, my mom thought it was my BROTHER'S bicycle.
He also reminded me that it was his crib FIRST.

Yes, my parents put them in the auction. When I let out a howl, they told me I was welcome to take them home with me and store them there, so I shut my pie hole.

I found an awesome table that would be for sale. My dad said he would try to get it for me and asked me what it was worth to me.

"A ten-speed bike and a baby crib," I answered.

The second day of the auction was this past Saturday. My husband, daughter and I drove up for it. Even though there was less stuff than at the previous sale, there was still a LOT of inventory


A chair made from horns. I kid you not.

Prince Albert in a can....

Beethoven. The one thing my mom wanted.

Found my old boyfriend, Shaun Cassidy.

Yes, it's a ping pong paddle. Yes, it's Richard Nixon.

Classic nativity: Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, and the
Four Victorian Carolers

My parents.

Either Old Order Mennonite or Amish. Not sure
as both live in the area.

A white guy dressed like a black rapper.

Well, it ain't New York City 'round here.

There was a funky chair that I really wanted. It was old and hand made and oddly shaped and upholstered in hideous harvest gold velvet. My husband hated it, but I loved it, and my mom said she would get it for me. I was a little worried about how much it would go for, because you never know at an auction if someone else might have fallen in love with something you want until it's time to bid on it. Lucky for me (and my mom), there was only one other bidder, who dropped out quickly, and we got the chair for $7.50 (which my husband says was overpriced). 

I was carrying my chair to the back of the store building to lock it in a back room when a woman called out as I walked by, "That's a cute chair!"

I stopped and said, "Isn't it? I love it!"

Then she sucker punched me.

"Did you buy it for your grandkids to sit on?"


I stomped off with my chair. Grandkids! Old witch.

Grandkids, indeed!

At the end of the auction, we all had a few treasures. My dad, for instance, bought an electric typewriter, but no one can figure out why.

My mom got her Beethoven bust:

My mom, daughter, and I got some fun costume jewelry.

And I got the little table I liked and my awesome chair.

And at the end of the day, everyone went home with their new things.  The end.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Great Hair Days and Other Thankfuls

It is incredibly, amazingly, beautiful outside today, a glorious fall afternoon. I'm looking out as I write at the flaming red maple tree in my front yard while the sun streams in through the window showing all the cat nose prints on the glass. How can you NOT be thankful on a day like this? Here are ten ways I'M thankful:

1. You may remember an earlier blog post where I told about my daughter losing her position on the volleyball team (even after being told she had done nothing wrong) to an older girl who was moved down to JV from Varsity. She still plays, but only subs in for two rotations. She's been upset the entire time, but that girl has taken it like a champ and not shown it at practice or at games, always bringing her game face. The season ended last night with a big win for JV, and just when we thought our season was over, Emma was asked by the Varsity coach to dress out when the Varsity team plays in Districts next week. It was a badly needed boost in confidence for her, although she is pretty unlikely actually to play during the game. If she doesn't get to play, then, by golly, she'll be the prettiest bench sitter there! 

2. I'm doing my best to get the antibiotics down Fletcher after his diagnosis of possible pancreatitis. I won't say it's going WELL, but, thankfully, SOME of the medicine is getting into his belly. The first time I tried, I did the surprise grab-him-with-one-hand-and-squirt-the-medicine-in-his-mouth-with-the-other tactic, which was pretty much a failure. He deflected a lot of it and it landed on the floor, where Ruby promptly licked it up. The next time, I had Emma hold him while I squirted it in his mouth, at which time he literally FOAMED AT THE MOUTH to get rid of it. It was time to get the big guns out, then, so I now give him a little spoonful of (expensive) canned food, squirt the medicine on top, and then goober it around with a spoon before giving him the food. He has fallen for it every time but once, when he refused to eat the food. It was back to Emma holding him while I squirted the medicine in his mouth (and may I add here that the amount of medicine is no more than 1/4 of a teaspoon and it's CHICKEN FLAVORED).This time, he not only foamed at the mouth but also walked across the tile floor and ralphed on the rug. I guess I'm getting enough of it into him, because not only has he not thrown up anywhere this week (that I can find...), his belly hair is growing back, because he isn't licking it any more. 

The day I foolishly gave each kitty a spoonful of canned food.

3. Emma agreed to give Fletcher his medicine the other night when I was just too darn tired to go downstairs and do it, in exchange for me buying her a container of cotton candy-flavored ice cream. Deal!

4. I received the most adorable drawing from a preschooler. She is in the primary class next door to me on the days I teach pre-k, and she is absolutely darling! She brought me this picture that she drew of us (and bear in mind she is only 3 years old and has used remarkable detail):

5. Did you know I have a chicken? Well, sort of. My amazing friend Zoe at Rewritten had a chicken catastrophe (or maybe a foxtastrophe is more like it) and lost some of her chickens. A neighbor kindly gave her some chicks to make up for her loss, and it made me think of the story of my great aunt Daisy, who once had a pet chicken. Zoe wanted to name a chick the same name as Daisy's chicken, but no one in my family knew what the chicken's name was (it's only been 100 years since the pet chicken days). Instead, Zoe named it Daisy Dillon, after my great aunt AND after me. She sends me pictures and updates on Daisy. Last weekend, however, Daisy almost met her end. A fox got in the chicken yard and was after her and a rooster. As Zoe put it, Daisy didn't have to outrun the fox; she only had to outrun the rooster, which she did. So while the demise of the rooster is sad, I am thankful my Daisy can outrun a stupid boy and will continue on her way to being a productive chicken.

Daisy Dillon, eating bugs and stuff.

6. My car has a little problem with burning oil, especially when you first start the car. You know how the Wicked Witch of the West always enters and exits in a cloud of smoke? Yeah, that's me in my car. We fill it with oil and check the gas these days, so my husband did just that before I drove the two plus hours to Emma's last volleyball game last night. I was on the edge of town, where the speed limit increases to 45 mph shortly before the entrance ramp to the highway, when I noticed the hood of the car was bouncing up and down. Quickly pulling into a gravel parking lot, I jumped out of the car in my sock feet (I had pulled off my boots for the drive) and found the hood was not latched. I'm thankful I noticed it before I got on the highway, because at 70 mph, it might have flown up. If it was my husband's attempt to kill me, then I'm thankful I have been tipped off and will know not to eat any mushrooms he tries to serve me....

7. During circle time yesterday in my primary class (3 year olds), I let each of them tell me something. One talked about a car he had seen on the way to school, one told me a story about her brother. And one girl said, "I have on underwear!" Yeah, thankful for that.

8. I've had a burning question about milk trucks for the past few months, and I finally got my answer! At one of the volleyball games this week, the grandparents of a girl on the freshman team came to watch them play, and the grandfather had on a Mid-American Dairy cap, and as he was leaving the gym after the game, I leaped out of the stands and chased him down to ask him whether butter forms in milk tanker trunks as they go from dairy farm to dairy farm and then to the dairy to process the milk. I thought maybe all that sloshing of non-homogenized milk would mean the truck was acting like a giant churn as it rolled along, but he told me the milk was too cold for that to happen. Kind of disappointing, because I was really imagining chunks of butter floating around in there, but at least I have an answer.

9. Great hair days. The humidity is at just the right level this time of year to get great curls with little frizz. A little mousse, a little blow dry, BAM! Hair done. 

10. Sonic drinks. I've been thankful before for Sonic happy hour, with half price drinks from 4-6 pm every day (EVERY DAY!), but they also have half price large drinks in the mornings before 10 am. This didn't matter to me so much before, but now that the new high school is open, I drive right by a Sonic every morning. And since I am boycotting the convenience store nearest my house because it was sold to Casey's General Stores and their prices went up and the quality of the drinks went down, a little stop at Sonic a couple of mornings a week ($1.07 with tax) makes my morning, especially when coupled with a good hair day. I'm unstoppable on days like that! 

Shhh! Don't wake her up!

What are you thankful for this week? How's your hair? Wearing underwear? Get a great mystery solved for you? Link up below. You won't be sorry!

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