Thursday, May 31, 2012

In my mail this morning--everything for a reason

Written by Chuck Merriman of New York
The day started out like any other day. Got up, went to work, got my paycheck, started on my way home. I was low on funds so I wanted to stop at my bank to get my check into my account. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and my bank was closed. The ATM was open, but with my luck, no pen to fill out the deposit slip. So I figured I’d stop in the convenience store to grab a coffee.
As I was pulling in, another car started to pull out, so I swerved to avoid a collision, and I hit the curb. I knew my tire was punctured, so I grabbed a coffee. I came out and just double checked my tire, and my assumption was correct. I also hadn’t noticed a spare tire in my car, as it was bought used, and couldn’t think of where they would have stuck one in an ’86 Firebird. Great! I pulled out my cell phone, and it was almost dead. I memorized a few numbers, and made a quick call to my mom, but no luck. My phone died shortly after that.
So I walked. It wasn’t that bad of an evening out, but I was on a four lane road, and I had about a 12 mile walk ahead of me. I started walking. Stopped at a few places, trying to get a hold of any one I could by pay phone, but no one picked up. I even left messages, saying that I would call back. Still no luck. With no change left, I set out again.
About a mile and a half down the road, at about exit 11, I saw ahead of me what I thought to be some landscaping fabric getting blown by the breeze. As I got closer, two little blue eyes turned to me and went “mew.” My heart melted immediately. A little ball of fluff was one the side of the road. I picked her up and I could tell she was scared and cold.
This was in late October, so it was cool, but not cold. I carried her in my hands (I could fit her in one of my hands, but I was trying to protect her and keep her warm) for about another three and a half miles with her clawing and squirming, trying to get down. I stopped in a store to grab a coffee to wake up a bit, and to get the chill off. I put her in my lunch bag so I would be able to go into the store with no problems. She meowed, and the girl behind the counter gave me a look, and I told her the story up to that point. The girl wanted to see the kitten, so I brought her out. We tried to give the kitten some milk, but with no luck. I left with my coffee and kitten, and continued on my way home.
She Didn’t Want to Be Carried Anymore
After about two hours, and about seven miles, I was tired from walking and working. The kitten was really trying to get down, I’m stressed out and having a hard time trying to hold on to the kitten. I wasn’t going to drop her off on the side of the road, so I put her in the hood of my sweatshirt. I should have done that in the first place. She passed out. I was able to walk the rest of the way with her in there. Five more miles until I was able to get to a store where I knew the people, and I was able to use the phone to get a hold of my girlfriend, and was able to get a ride home. She fell in love with the kitten also.

Our first night home - both tired after the long walk.
I get home and then realized I had another problem. I already had two other cats at home who were littermates. My male cat, Diablo Bob, was a little unsure at first, but after about 24 hours, he was fine. My female cat, Jezebel, well, she’s a LOT more territorial. She hissed and was pretty pissed off for a few weeks.
Bob and 11 (the kitten’s name due to the location where she was found) hung out for the next few weeks, and Jezebel finally came around to 11. About a month or so after I brought 11 home, Jezebel’s eyes got infected. I brought her to the vet and got some meds. While I was worrying about Jez, I didn’t realize Bob’s health (which was never the best) was taking a drastic turn for the worse. I brought all three to the vet, first check up for 11, a recheck on Jez for her eyes, and to see what could be done for Bob. 11 was fine, Jez got a refill on her meds, and the cancer in Bob had spread too far for surgery. I had to say good bye to my first cat that day.
11 had learned a lot by hanging out with Bob. Liitle things that Bob had done for years, 11 does. She runs to the door when I come home from work, follows me around and lays on my shoulders, makes sure I’m cooking the proper way and adding the right ingredients. She also sometimes gets on Jez’s last nerve just like Bob would. But Jez and 11 are getting along now, for the most part.
A Surprise Twist….

Here is 11 today
Back to the story of my walk now. I got a tire and put it on my car and brought my car home. A few weeks after, I was cleaning out my car, and found a spare tire behind the panels in the hatch. I didn’t need to walk that day in late October, but I’m so glad I did.
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Last Thursday we closed the library for a staff training day. To begin the day's activities we had invited a yoga instructor to come and put us through some poses. She is "in training" (ie, free) and was very nice. Today (exactly one week later) she was at the self-checkout station when I happened to glance up and see her. I knew I knew her from somewhere...she smiled broadly, said hello, and came towards me. I'm all smiles but panicking inside because I don't remember her name or from where I know her, until she says, "Thanks so much for letting me come and do my yoga class with your staff last week." ah hah! A good verbal clue! Still couldn't remember her name, but at least I knew how I knew her! We had a nice chat about exercising and sports for a few minutes and she was on her way, but I was reminded again of the book by Oliver Sacks, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat." I really think I must have a (albeit mild) case of this!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This morning (Sunday) I got on the computer and started looking through Pinterest, then switched to gmail, where I found an email from FamilySearch chastising me for not indexing for the past 90 days. I felt bad and did a batch from the 1940 census. After Church my visiting teachers came and gave a lesson on Good, Better, Best and the need to not waste time on unimportant things. I was glad I had stopped "pinning" and spent that time on indexing instead this morning! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers' Day Surprise

Rich and I rode the motorcycle to Rachel's at 6 p.m. Sunday night for dinner with the family. Three year old "little Chase" met me at the door with a new shirt that said, "BIG BRO" but that didn't register with me...I was escorted to the couch and handed a gift to open, as Rachel stood by the ready with a camera. Inside was a locket with a birthstone for each of my grandchildren inside it. I couldn't figure out why there were 2 blue, and Rachel said, "That's December. Chase is December 7th, and that's the OTHER December one...." I got it! and burst into tears, of course, which is what they all were waiting for to capture on camera: my emotional reaction to the news of their pregnancy!! Very exciting and a very memorable Mothers Day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Watching my 3 grandkids last weekend was such a treat! They are so fun to be around. Chase has an endearing way of asking permission for things. He'll say, "Gramma, can I have a cookie?...or, no..." or, "Gramma, can I watch a movie?...or no..." (here in the picture: "Gramma, can I take my new toothbrush to bed with me?...or no...") He is so sweet, that I invariably answer, "Yes! Of course you can!" just to see him smile. I found myself mimicking this expression today as I approached the back door of the library with a co-worker after our outreach activity. "Do you have your key with you?...or, no..." Makes me smile.


At lunchtime, Rich and I took my supervisor out to lunch at Lemon Grass in honor of her imminent retirement. I had come prepared to take home half of my Yellow Curry and I brought my own Pyrex glass dish with lid to save on styrofoam or other disposable take-out containers. I thought I might not get much to take home, as Sally kept sampling mine (so I sampled hers in equal amounts) but when she saw me pull out my container, she told me to please take her Thai fried rice home with me as well. So I did. When we got home, my daughter, Rachel stopped by with a bag of trash for our pick up tomorrow that wouldn't fit in her bin because she had filled hers with yard (read: compostable) waste. So I guess my meager efforts to conserve resources with my Pyrex doggie-bag were negated by the bag of yard clippings that went in the landfill...

I can only do so much. One baby-step at a time. I just couldn't bring myself to clean out her trash bin and bag up the yard waste and bring it to the compost container at work, since my yard composter couldn't handle that volume. Tomorrow's another day. I can try harder to save the world tomorrow.