Out of the blue

Out of nowhere, Steve announced he must make a trip home. Where is home? Cody. Cody… as in Wyoming. He told me he needed to meet with someone about his grandfather’s care but I’m not really sure that’s the whole story. I really think it’s more related to his emotional state at the moment. Losing Bull last week hit Steve hard and he’s realizing his grandfather is getting older too. Which leads me to believe there’s more to it than he’s letting on.

At first he wanted to go for a weekend. Oh, my gosh… airfare was outrageous! In order to get a decent deal, it would take as much time traveling as it would to drive there. And going all that way for one weekend didn’t make any sense to me. All that expense for maybe 18 hours time. He asked me if I wanted to go with him… of course I do! But I told him that if he put it off a week, maybe we could take a three-day weekend for the 4th of July. But then, who would take care of the dogs? So many things working against this idea but we finally figured out the details.

We’re going drive. We’re going to take the dogs. We’re going to leave on Wednesday and drive half-way. We’ll drive the rest of the way on Thursday and while Steve hangs out with his grandfather, I will probably hang out with Steve’s girl-relatives, Brenda and Melissa. We’ll also get to visit with some of Steve’s friends who are really nice, Tascha and Jason. The 4th of July is a big day in Cody. We’ll watch the parade, have coffee, shop, eat, and enjoy the festivities of the holiday, which probably includes fireworks… it is Wyoming, after all. Saturday, we’ll head up to Laurel and spend the day with my cousin Nikki & her family and my Aunt Dorothy. Then early, early Sunday, we’ll leave for home.

We haven’t been to Cody in a long time. I am looking forward to this road-trip. It’ll be nice to get out of town. Maybe we can hit some antique/junk/thrift stores on the way!

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Random stuff

This week flew by. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I failed my first attempt at getting a permit… better study some more so I can learn to ride my scooter… in traffic. Even more shameful, I wasted most of the beautiful weather we had this week. I did some weeding in the yard but some of the flowers I bought died before I planted them. The ivy I planted last year is thriving, however. And the little garden area outside the dining room window is lush and so pretty. I was hopeful that my allergies would be mild this year and up until now, I have had minimal symptoms… but one day above 70° and I’m all stuffed up.

Tomorrow, Steve will be taking his dog, Bull (the toy poodle) to the vet to be put down. It is going to be a sad day; he’s had that little guy for a LONG time. I’m not sure if I should go with him or not. I know he’s going to be upset and when he’s upset, he usually doesn’t want any fuss. But I want to be supportive so I’m torn. Bull had a long, happy life. In his day, he was feisty and love to chase squirrels. He was most happy as a lap dog. As he’s aged, he didn’t have a lot of patience for the other dogs in the house so we tried to give him his own space. Most of his teeth have been pulled by the vet. There are four left on one side of his mouth which makes his tongue stick out the other side. Slowly, his hearing and eyesight have deteriorated. I think he has some other problem but not sure what—he is constantly grooming himself. Doesn’t do any good though; he smells like feet. Poor little buddy has been suffering for a long time. His quality of life is poor. It’s time to let him go.

Note: I went with Steve; Bull passed peacefully this morning. Rest in peace, little buddy.

Tomorrow afternoon, my family is getting together for a pot-luck. My cousin, Kevin, and his new wife, Elena, are coming for a visit. They are both in the Air Force and he hasn’t been home for several years. We’ll get to meet Elena tomorrow and hope we don’t scare her off. The weather should be nice so the kids can play outside on the waterslide. I made a pea salad. I got the recipe from All Recipes. For some reason, when I’m cooking, I don’t usually like to taste what I’m fixing so I have no idea how good (or bad) it will be.

I was considering going to the Flourishes sale tomorrow but I have changed my mind. No one can go with me and I don’t want to go alone. Besides, I’d have to rush from the vet to Washougal to Scappoose. I think I need to hold off and go to the next sale.

I don’t think I mentioned this before: I shared my blog with a co-worker of mine. She really liked the Morpeus Box I made in Michael deMeng’s class and commissioned me to make one for her in honor of her father’s memory. She gave me some ideas and I’ve been gathering some things. It’s going to be quite eclectic but I am so excited. She wanted the piece to be bigger than the original so I bought a little box at Craft Warehouse. I found a post to use for the spinner part. I am going to try to use a different method of mounting that part. I had been searching high and low for swivel/spinner hardware but could find nothing that would work. Finally, I went to Target and found a kid’s bathroom cup holder. It was small and spun around. I bought it and dismantled it. I am going to bore a hole in the wood and then drill a hole and put it all together with a dowel. Then I’m going to mount it with that epoxy-putty stuff. I think it’ll work. If only I could find more of the swivel/spinner things… I can think of a million and one things to do with them. Anyone have any ideas about that?

I haven’t started my bird charms… I’m such a procrastinator! I have set aside Sunday to work on them though. I’m still pondering what I want to do. I was going to do one thing but now I’ve changed my mind. It’s a plus I work well under pressure! I’ll post a picture here when I’ve finished them.

I bought this really cool ceramic casting mold of little birds. Has anyone used ceramic molds for things other than ceramics? How did it work? Could you use metal clay with them? Would you just fire the whole piece, mold and all? Speaking of metal clay, has the new bronze metal clay come out yet? I heard they’re going to have copper metal clay too! How cool is that?

Oh, I almost forgot… I went to the doctor today. I asked him what he thought was going on with me a few weeks ago. Well, could have been ovulating and since my ovaries are floating around loose inside, could have felt different. Could have been muscle spasms caused by the weird position they put you in (head down/feet up) during surgery. And there was some issue with my bladder and scar tissue. Everything seems fine now and I got the green light for baths, hot tubs, and sex… yeah, like that’s a priority these days. Oh, well… just so glad to have that all behind me. Time to start saving for that breast lift. I figure by the time I have enough money put away, I’ll have lost that extra 40 pounds too. ha! 🙂

Sad follow up to a previous post

One of my mom’s sisters has been battling cancer for a while now. I never got to spend a lot of time with Aunt C but from what I know of her and the times I met her, she reminded me a lot of my Gramma. She had that grand-motherly-ness about her which seems silly because she’s younger than my mom. My mom was number 13 and Aunt C was number 15 in the line of 21. I think there was about two years between them. Aunt C is in the final stages of her life now. My mom & dad are on their way to her.

Aunt C had kids with her first husband. I know she tried but she never got to see them. My mom says they grew up believing their mom abandoned them. I know that isn’t true. And now that she’s dying, I know it would mean a lot to at least speak to them before she’s gone.

How things have changed in the past 30 years. It’s so much easier to “find” people now than it was in the 1970s. In planning a reunion, I actually found these cousins quite easily online. I tried to open communication with them. I didn’t succeed but I left the door cracked in case they changed their mind. Part of me wants to tell them they’re wrong about what their father led them to believe but I think I’ll leave it to my Aunt L. Aunt L was very close to my Aunt C. I think she was going to make her own attempt at contacting my cousins. I hope she succeeds. Life is short and precious.

Please pray for my aunt and her family.

Family stuff—kind of a rant

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for this long-winded post but I have something on my mind that needs to escape! I did my best not to disclose anyone’s identity but if any relatives reading this would like to add their perspective, I would welcome it so please add a comment.

I have volunteered to plan a family reunion. I have a huge family on my mom’s side. My grandparents, Ethel and Alfred, raised 21 kids (no multiples)—don’t you think that should be a record in the Guinness Book? Take a high level view of our family tree. I have a bazillion cousins—no lie! I know many of them but there are lots I don’t know. Since I’m one of the grandkids, I have tried to track down many of my “missing” cousins. Maybe I have a different perspective considering my mom’s in the middle of the pack so I grew up knowing a lot of my relatives. Some of the other family has been sort of disconnected… some due to distance; some—I’m assuming—by choice. The people who don’t want to be engaged with the family make me wonder why… I just don’t get it. Some of the fondest memories are hanging out with my cousins. Even after we moved to Oregon, I would ride the bus up to Seattle to visit during the summer. And my cousins would come down and wreak havoc (just kidding) on the little town of Scappoose.

Anyway, back to my point. I have become quite an e-detective and have actually tracked down quite a few people. Some haven’t responded so I have sent numerous email messages and may resort to snail-mail and picking up the phone! I guess since I love my extended family so much I can’t imagine that others would feel any differently. I got a response from one cousin a while ago. He wasn’t really a blood relative and he didn’t wish to be contacted. I wonder if he was adopted though. Okay, I can accept that since the parents were divorced and he was really a step-cousin anyway and he didn’t grow up knowing us. The other cousin was a blood relative who I remember meeting once a long, long time ago. When she was young, I think they went to live with their dad and never saw their real mom again. She sent me a note today and I was a little saddened to learn that she and her siblings had no desire be in contact. Gosh, that seems so strange to me. I got the impression that she felt she was being respectful to her immediate family by denying her bio-mom’s fam. I wanted to tell her that she shouldn’t feel that way. I didn’t. I didn’t tell her anything about her mom or her other siblings but I wanted to. It killed me not to. I wanted to tell her that her mom is battling a serious illness. I wanted to ask her what she thought was wrong with this part of her family. I wanted to say, do you think it was right that your dad kept you from knowing your mom? But I didn’t I was gracious and left the door open for her if she ever changes her mind. I didn’t give her my blog address (which I almost always put in my signature line). I told her I was glad to hear that she was happy and healthy and living a full and rewarding life. I told her I didn’t mean to invade her privacy. And I thanked her for responding. But I still don’t get it.

Our family is a bit crazy but everyone has so much value to me. I can’t imagine not knowing them. I suppose if I had grown up not knowing them, maybe I’d feel differently but I doubt it. Who wouldn’t want to learn about their heritage? It’s not like you have to start coming to every wedding and changing Christmas and Easter traditions. Who wouldn’t want to hear the family stories? Such colorful characters make the stories so entertaining (someone should write a book)! And we’re not getting any younger. I want my daughter to know where she came from. Oh, well… I will just have to accept things the way they are. I’ll let people know about the reunion. If they choose not to attend, it really, truly is their loss.

I am so looking forward to attending a family event this weekend. My uncle is getting remarried. I am so happy for him and wish him every happiness.

I am addicted to geni.com

Oh, my gosh! I have spent about 20 hours in the past two days on geni.com (short for genealogy). I have been posting all kinds of family members on my family tree (click link to see a snapshot). Considering how huge my mom’s side of the family is, this is no easy feat. My mom grew up in Montana… number 13 of 21 children. Yes, that’s right, my Catholic grandparents had twenty-one kids (that’s no typo), and NO multiples. I am planning a “cousins reunion” for 2009 (alright… aunts & uncles can come too!). I have been trying to reach many lost relatives because I think we owe it to our kids to share our heritage. And we have an abundance. Maybe we can get the Guinness World Record people to sponsor our little get together! What do you think? Wish me luck with trying to reach all those long lost cousins.

Hey, any Goulets out there?