Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Now we have five animals that have adopted us.

Three cocker spaniels. Mohawk, Ladybug, and Zelda.

Ladybug, Zelda and Mohawk
And two cats.


And Putter

Up until about a year ago we had another cat. Lady Tiara Rex (TeesaButts)

To keep peace, we gated off the house.

Dogs got the kitchen and tv rooms.

Cats got the bedrooms and living room.

But humans getting from one area of the house to another met an obstacle course  which required the opening and closing of gates along the route. Getting laundry from the bedroom to the badly placed laundry room was a true act of athleticism. I got very good at the one handed balance and toss. 

So, new house. Smaller house.

Cats only get one room.

They are not happy after the first two days.

They have 4 climbing trees, lots of food and water, hidy-holes to disappear into and a window with a screen and real sunlight.

But they were unhappy.

The dogs were equally unhappy.

My computer and desk were in with the cats.

And the dogs wanted visitation. With me. Not the cats.

So, the gate came down and we prepared for Armageddon.

At the very least we expected howls and screeches from the cats and barking and whining from the canine camp. 

It didn't happen.

Ladybug sniffed around. Mohawk stuck his nose up to try and figure how food smells could come from on top of a table. And Zelda tried licking the floor.

Ladybug examining the cat tree hole

 The cats never moved.

Putter stared.

Putter during dog invasion
And Diamond watched from her stealth position.

Stealth cat
Now you will note in Putter's picture there are litter boxes on a table. This is to prevent dog snacking.

It ruins their appetites and mine.

In Diamond's picture, you will note the presence of food bowls. This was the source that Mohawk could not find.

Clever mommy, wouldn't you say?

To date there have been no skirmishes. No loud noises. No flying fur.

But the cats refuse to come out of the room until the dogs are safely tucked away for the night.

That will change, I am sure.

It wasn't East v. West but it sure was close.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Just thought I would give a glimpse of our backyard going into sundown.

After a highly stressful day in the trenches of justice, I get to come home to this.

the backyard
 Not too shabby, as my mother used to say.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blast from the Past

Her name is Janey.

I have known her since I was born. She was Dan's age and hung around with him at Camp Nelson.

Her mom was one of my mom's best friends.

I have pictures of her mom with my mom and my aunt when they were teenagers.

And I hadn't heard from her (or she from me) in years.

It turns out that a couple of weeks ago, she sold a house for a client. (She is a realtor) And as a thank you the client took her and her sister Julie out to dinner. The client is elderly and had sold the family home so his daughter was with him.

As they talk over dinner, the daughter asks if they had ever heard of Camp Nelson. DUH??
Then the daughter tells of all the times that they went to her mother's cousin's cabin there. It was on a cul-de sac and had a soda spring nearby.

So Janey asks if they know anyone by the name of Gisvold.

Well, she is talking to the descendants of my grandmother's cousin. And neither knew that before the sale of the home!

So today, Janey calls me. She tracked me down even though I don't use my maiden name much anymore.

An hour later, I hang up the phone, awash is fabulous memories and a strong reminder of how wonderful Janey is.

Six degrees of separation.

But here it was even less.

So now I will catch up with my relatives.

It is amazing to me that the little town of Lindsay (and the littler town of Strathmore) can reach across thousands of miles and many decades to bring people together.

It is just sooooo cool!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Moving, Motions and Mohawk

OK. I am tired.

Dead tired.

Friday we began THE MOVE.

We took a little of this and a little of that so that the people that were moving us (my very, very dear friends, their kids, grandkids and great grand kids) wouldn't break them. (Good friends, not professional movers)

Saturday dawns and I am up and we get the dogs in the spouse's car along with all their accoutrements. (Dogs have lots of accoutrements) and he takes off for the new house.

Cats are in their carriers. Not happy at all. But safe.

Then we get the truck. Twenty six feet of truck.

Then we need another truck. Fourteen feet of another truck.

Then we need a trailer.

Where did I get all this CRAP!

And I have been throwing out stuff for a month. And I still have all this CRAP!

Up the mountain we go.

And 8 hours after we started it is off the trucks (and trailer) and my new home is full of CRAP!

TV guy is running around. Internet guy is running around. Thank god the phone just needed to be plugged in.

And the dogs are scared and the cats are in their room all freaked out.

And I have to go to work on Monday and tell the world why I can't go to trial on Tuesday! SO I am doing a motion.

Then everyone leaves. The house is quiet.

But Mohawk has trouble breathing all night. And I am up with him.

In the morning,  Mohawk gets really red eyes and gets really weak and won't walk.

I figure his heart is giving out. He is shaking. I wrap him in a blanket and head to the emergency ER that I saw when we were scoping out our new town.

They ex ray him and want to do an ultra sound. They take blood. He is a little anemic. They tell me to call in a few hours.

Then they get him stable and say to come get him. They have an emergency surgery and can't do the ultrasound until Monday. At noon.

Have I mentioned that I am trying to work, too?

Mo comes home. He is walking slow. He eats like there is no tomorrow.

Then he sits next to me and goes to sleep.

And I can't wake him.

He is breathing but he is non-responsive.

I figure we are losing him. He is 15 years old.

So I am up most of the night checking him. He lays next to me in bed and I have my hand on his chest. And he is breathing.

Until 2am.

And he wakes up. Shakes himself off. And lets me know that he has to go outside.

At 2am. On a freezing night on the mountain. And I can't find my clothes.

We go outside and he does his business.

We go back to bed. And he falls into a natural sleep.

Go for the ultrasound today and they can find nothing wrong.

He is still tired ( they had to sedate him for the ultra sound). But he is eating and responding and being Mohawk.

God, moving SUCKS!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

She is Something

She did it.

And she did it with flare, style and grace.

Oh, throw in a few ounces of guts and perseverance.

Plain doggedness. 

And then she gives her Valedictorian speech.

Now I KNOW that THE KID will come up with a twist to keep everyone's attention. She is really good at that.

But MR. ROGERS as graduation inspiration?

She can be quirky.

But the speech went like this(in part):

" When I thought about what brought us each to this particular point in time, I thought of Mr. Rogers who said........"Well, what is essential about you? And who are those who have helped you become the person that you are? Anyone who has ever graduated from a college, anyone who has ever been able to sustain a good work, has had at least one person and often many who have believed in him or her. We just don't get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others.".....

Think about that and what it means to you. Who do you have to thank? We each have at least one person that invested in us and in our success. People that helped us choose our path and helped us walk that path, people who made us who we are. Maybe you came to Abraham Lincoln University because someone told you that you couldn't do it.
Personally, I blame my mom for my presence here today."

(At this point, tears are streaming down my face and I am sort of choking!)

So she keeps going......

"My mom is a lawyer, She didn't want to be a lawyer, but she was a single mother and felt that going to law school provided her with the best chance of making a living and a life....for me."

(FULL waterworks and Melodie is sniffling, too)

"So she went to law school when I was about 11 years old and I went with her. I attended her classes, went to the law library, and spent a lot of time waiting in the school's cafeteria. She was so busy with study groups and multiple jobs that "tag team babysitting" was invented. One of Mom's friends would babysit me for as long as their schedule allowed, , at which point another friend would take over as babysitter. I went everywhere they did. (I got to go to bars!) It was great fun.
I know those three years were hard work for my mom and her classmates. But I got to see law school: the students freaking out and running out of lectures, the study groups, and the parties after they'd gotten through their finals. Mom graduated, and

(at this point she chokes up and I just lose it)

26 years ago I walked with her across the stage when she received her diploma."

I was trying to film all of this on my camera. But my sniffles and shaking hands made it kind of, well, not good.

So I leave you with these photos, taken with a very full heart.

receiving the Scholarship Award
Giving her speech
Waiting to start
If this child is indicative of our next generation of leaders, then, I think, we will do just fine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Pride Runneth Over

 I went to the dress rehearsal for the Vocal Arts concert tonight. I had to see the show in rehearsal as I would be a bit busy this weekend. THE KID (as brother Dan called her) is graduating from law school.
Well, the ceremony is this weekend. She finished the program last August. 
And this week, she sat for the Bar Exam.
She was under strict instructions not to talk to me during the three days of the exam. I couldn't trust myself to not tell her what to do or ask her questions about it. Both are VERY bad during that marathon.  
So for three days I have heard nothing except a text each evening that said "I'm alive". Nothing else.
And today, on the last day I wanted to know how she was. But I knew better than to call.
 So I texted and told her she could call if she felt like it. 
And this is what came back. A post to my facebook wall.
"I'm posting this here because I know that my mom has kept people in the loop and those people may be curious. Please note, however, that we speak of these things here, and then we never speak of them again.

I have taken the bar exam. All three days. I have completed 18 hours of testing. We are taught to "be a sheep" because we don't want our answers to stand out. We are also taught that the exam is an endurance test. What we are not told is that the exam is so tiring *because* we are trying to be sheep. Have you ever spent an hour trying to determine how a sheep would answer a corporations question? I have.

I also wasn't warned that I would take a three day test in full allergy/asthma mode. I have a lovely hotel room with a very comfy bed. But I am allergic to down. There is down bedding everywhere. Not just the comforter, but all of the pillows. So I've "slept" without both and wheezed all night. For three nights.

So, that is the bar exam. An exam marked by sheep-like thoughts and duck-filled rooms.

I ask one thing. It's a big thing. PLEASE don't ask me how I did. I won't know until mid-May, and I'm not sure I want to know even then. Thanks!"
 I get it. It will be some time before her brain activates again.
I will talk to her tomorrow.

And I will watch her graduate from law school 26 years after she crossed the stage with me when I graduated. 
My pride runneth over.