Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane

When I was a kid we always had pets. Usually a cat and a dog at the least. When I turned 11 I got my first horse and I have had them up until a couple of years ago and my Mom still has two. She still has 1 cat but has upped the ante with 4 dogs. I have just the one dog, Roxy.

One of my favorite childhood pets was Zeke. I remember being at my cousin, Mindy's, house when my Mom showed up with this little tiny ball of black and white kitten. She and her friend, Janis, had been out and about, stopped at a pet store and could not resist his wiley ways. Mindy and I had the most fun that day playing with that kitten out in the grass. He was so little, the well groomed lawn was as tall as he was! Somehow, I came up with the name Zeke and it stuck.

Now, kittens are wild, but this guy was even more so than the average kitty. And to make matters worse, I tormented him - holding him when he wanted down, playing rough with him, etc. Don't worry...he got me back! I still have scars from when he would "catch" my hand. I used to sit on the living room floor and run my hand back and forth and he would chase it for as long as I was game. When he "caught" me, he was determined to kill me - or at least my hand!

During this time I had a German Shepherd puppy named Meggie. She was big and gangly and just loved to play. Naturally, we were concerned that she would hurt Zeke, but there was no need to fear. He could really hold his own! Meggie would lay on the floor with Zeke on his back between her front paws and his front paws wrapped around her muzzle. Her tail would just wag and wag. My favorite was when Meggie would bite his teeny tiny little head and he would just lay there. I use the word "bite" loosely too, because he could have backed out of her mouth at any time but often would just happily lay there with his head in her mouth! I blame it on the table legs he repeatedly ran into.

Speaking of Zeke and table legs...My Mom had one of those not so sturdy three legged tables covered in a floor length table cloth. Mom has been collecting swans for as long as I can remember and has many that are antique. Well, Zeke loved the thrill of an ambush and under this particular table was one of his favorite hiding spots. He would lie under there and wait 'til someone would walk past the table and then POUNCE! Sometimes his aim was dead on and you wanted to sling him across the room (he did nothing gently and always had his claws out!). Other times, he completely missed. Many of the times when he would miss it was because he would leave his white tipped front paws sticking out from his "hiding" place. It's pretty hard to be ambushed when you can see your attacker from a mile away! One night, though, Zeke not only missed Mom on her way by, but instead knocked head long into one of the table legs. That flimsy table couldn't stand up against his 20+ pounds and it tipped over, sending one of Mom's antique swans flying for the brick around the fireplace. You should have heard her yell at him! I sat on the couch laughing hysterically. Luckily, both cat and swan survived the "attack"!

In spite of all the "torture" I put Zeke through, he was undeniably MY cat. Why he picked me, God only knows, but he did. In the summer he would be gone for days at a time hunting gophers and then he would come home, hang out inside for half a day and be gone again. During high school, I went up north to train horses. The first 2 summers I only spent 2 weeks up there. He forgave me for that. The following summer, I was gone for the whole season. When I came home for a couple of days to visit, Zeke was nowhere. I figured he was hunting and would be home the next day. He would often wait a day to come home when called during a hunt. Well, two more days went by and I didn't see even a hint of Zeke and it was time for me to go back to work. I was sure he was ticked off that I had left him for so long and I felt badly that I didn't get to see him. When I came home at the end of the summer, I went to the back door and called him. I didn't expect to see him until at least the next day. Fifteen minutes later, he was at the back door begging to come in! See, I'm pretty sure that he thought I left him again because he didn't come home when I called him.

Animals come and go from our lives. They all leave a mark, but some leave an impression and Zeke was definitely one of them!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Kylee...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Kyleeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to you!

Yes, that's right. There is a birthday in the house today. My sweet Kylee turns 8 years old today!

I'm always amazed at the number of years that have passed since that crazy day 8 years ago when the doctor told me that we would have to deliver my baby 3 months early. I thought he was nuts! I just didn't feel well, Kylee was fine...silly doctor!

It was about this time that day (8:30), which happened to be a Saturday, that I was just arriving at St. Vincent's hospital via airplane. Two hours later my little tiny Kylee was born at a whopping 1 pound 10.5 ounces and 13.5 inches long! It was a stormy day and Kylee's dad had not been allowed to fly over with us. He made it just in time for her delivery. My mom made it about two hours later.

She was, and still is, simply my little miracle!

We love you Kylee! Happy Birthday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Saddest Eyes

Since we have been home we have spent every weekend driving the hour to my mom's house. There are about a thousand reasons why. One is that she has our Roxy whom I miss like crazy and want to see as much as I possibly can. Another is that she is my Mom and the girls' "Nana" and we just love to be with her. We have also been helping Mom prepare for the sale of my Grandma's house and posessions. So, when we go we are very busy but also very blessed.

It seems utterly ridiculous to me that I can't get out of my mind the look of absolute betrayal on Roxy's face Saturday evening as we left to return to Butte. Mom had scooped her off the floor because it is impossible for me to walk out the door without Roxy glued to my heel. She refuses to be left! So, Saturday, after hugs and kisses all around, it was time to go home. Roxy just sat there in my mom's arms with the saddest and most worried look on her face. She knew I was leaving her - again. It absolutely broke my heart! It is like leaving behind a child every week.

I know that some people probably think I'm crazy to drive all that way just to see my dog, but I can't help it. She just helps me feel a little bit saner and brings some sort of balance and fullness to our life. She loves me without any reservation. She obeys better than my kids (usually). She is loyal in spite of being left every week. And the best part, as any mom can relate to, she doesn't talk back. Well, not usually anyway! And, the girls love her and she loves them. The first night we left her in Manhattan, Laynee realized that she wasn't in the car and was very nearly frantic in her search for her. She must have been sure that I lost her "Lou"! I calmed her by explaining that "Lou" (we call Roxy, Roxy Lou and Laynee can't say Roxy...) was at Nana's house. That seemed acceptable to her :~)

Anyway, I miss my dog even though I know she is being very well cared for and is in the company of all of her canine family. I can't wait to see her!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Walk Down Memory Lane

I have been inspired by my brilliant cousin, Mindy, to "walk down memory lane" every Wednesday. I have enjoyed reading her stories about the boys and today's about a very exciting horse back ride with elk! Head on over and read it because I remember her telling this story when we were just kids and her eyes just lit up remembering it.

My walk down memory lane goes back just a few years to when Kylee was about 3 or 4. We had stayed at my parent's house the night before because they were out of town and we were dog sitting. It was mid-late October and for some reason where they lived the trees always died off late and theirs were still leafed out and green while everywhere else the colors had changed and leaves had fallen. This particular night we had a very heavy, very wet, very substantial snowfall. Since the trees were still in posession of ALL of their leaves, branches were breaking like crazy. First it was just the little ones, but as I sat listening, I could hear bigger and bigger branches just snapping and falling. Kylee was terrified of all the noise, certain that a tree was going to come through the window or roof and had a terrible time sleeping. Her fear was actually very legitimate though I tried to convince her otherwise. I too struggled to sleep that night, not in fear for our safety, but concerned about damage being done to the property. Not to mention that the noise was quite hard to tune out.

When we woke the next morning, all in one piece, I did a check of the ceiling and windows. Everything seemed to be intact! It was when I went outside that I realized how great the mess was. On top of the branch laying across the roof of my car, there were big branches lying everywhere in the drive way. I was wondering how in the world I was going to get out of there to go to work. Under the big branches was a blanket of small branches literally covering the ground. It was impossible to see even one piece of the gravel beneath. Leaving Kylee inside, I began moving the biggest obstacles out of my way. As I did so, I realized that the small branches covering the driveway were SIX inches deep in most places! At that point, I just prayed to make it out of the driveway without a punctured tire!

Finally, we were ready to leave for our day. I had succeeded in calming Kylee down enough to get her to the car. She was VERY worried that more "trees" would fall on us or the car. We made it to the road without a puncture! The roads looked snow packed but I knew that once we hit the interstate, it wouldn't be too big of a concern.

Now, I should probably go into this next part saying that Kylee was just beginning to notice and understand the significance of traffic lights. She knew that if we were stopped, in what seemed to her like the middle of the road, that the light must be red and that we would have to wait for it to turn green before we could continue on.

We got maybe, and I mean MAYBE, 5 miles down the interstate before we came to an absolute standstill. This is just very rare on any street, road, highway or freeway in Montana. I figured that there must have been a wreck due to the icy roads and that we would shortly be on our way. Wrong! After about 30 minutes of trying to entertain Kylee and keep my frustration at bay, I hear from the backseat, "Mommy, when is the light going to change?" It was all that I could do not to burst out laughing.

Finally traffic began moving about 15 minutes later and we reached our destination unscathed. What Kylee had so innocently asked just made my day. It completely turned my frustration into a smile. Aren't kids great?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm baaack

Hello all! I am finally back in the blogging world. I just caught up on Mindy's blog from the last 2 weeks or so. I can't believe that it has been nearly a month since my last post. Holy cow!

Our move home was really great. The weather was good and the girls couldn't have behaved better. It was so awesome to see the beauty of Montana again. Honestly, there is nothing I have seen crossing the country twice that can compete with the glory of this state! Once we passed Billings and headed into the mountainous countryside, I was spellbound. I still can't stop looking at the gorgeous mountains that surround me. And seeing my mom again for the first time in almost six months?! That was totally cool! She and Kylee nearly needed to be pried apart they were so thrilled to see one another again.

Right now we are staying with my Aunt and Uncle. We are very blessed to have such great family that stands by us no matter what! Unfortunately, we are unable to have our little Roxy with us and we miss her fiercely. She is staying with my mom, though, so we are able to see her on weekends when we go over to Manhattan. I am helping Mom go through Gramms house so that she doesn't have to do it all by herself, so we will be there most weekends for a little while longer anyway. It is amazing all of the things I am finding out about my Gramms! She was quite a creative lady. She could even draw when the mood struck her. I had NO IDEA!

In the two weeks since we have been home, I have had 4 job interviews, 3 of which have ended in offers. I just interviewed with the hospital here on Friday and am hoping to receive an offer from them as well. That is where I would like the most to work. So, this week I will be checking into daycare and also housing around here. Wish me luck!