Month: October 2009

  • What a couple of days!

    On Wednesday night - blessedly, after Bridgette was asleep! - Jasmine started having her kittens.  Here she is giving birth to her first one:

    The miracle of life has its messy moments:

    Jasmine, examining her baby:

    I regret to report the next two kittens were stillborn, which made us all very sad.  What worried us was that Jasmine was clearly still pregnant.  The next morning  -  after causing Jessica and Brianna a sleepless night due to the surviving kitten's mewling and Jasmine's meowing (Jasmine hauled the kitten to the small closet in their room)  -  I stuffed the two of them (Jasmine and her kitten, not Jessica and Brianna) into a pet carrier and took them to the vet.  Later that morning there came the call saying Jasmine needed to be either euthanized or be essentially spayed, because were are at least two dead kittens in her.  Easy choice!  Do the surgery.

    Later that afternoon came yet another call, this time an excited vet employee exclaiming she had "awesome" news:  there were three kittens born alive!  The vet was stunned to discover this, and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on them (which I rather hate thinking about) to get them going.  How he knew those three had a chance while the fourth one didn't, I don't know.  That's why he's the vet and I'm not, presumably.

    Anyway, we wound up with four kittens...three white with black areas on their heads, and one black:

    Brianna insists on keeping the black one, while I want the one born first, as I saw it born and held it almost immediately afterward (we'd thought it was stillborn, too, then it surprised us by moving while Jasmine licked it).

    It's awkward, that Jasmine is determined to keep the kittens in that closet in Jessica and the girls' room, as a rowdy two-year-old is scarcely suitable company for them.  Last night I kept them in my room so they could sleep, meaning I had no sleep at all until nearly 7:30, when I grumpily handed them over to Jess.  Jasmine was dogged in her persistence about trying to take various kittens to Jessica's room, while I was just as dogged about hauling them back.  That was one of the most exhausting nights I've ever spent.

    Maybe tomorrow I'll go look at them; today I've felt I had quite enough of them overnight.

    This afternoon Bridgette had been pulling towels out of some shelves in the hall, and climbing onto the middle shelf.  I didn't object to the towels being pulled out, but did object rather strenuously to her being on that shelf, so wound up having to pull her out of it, over her vociferous, furious wails.  Being crabby due to the lack of sleep (to be fair, I slept this morning for a few hours), I gave her a swat on her diapered bottom.  Mercy Maud, what a flood of tears that elicited:

    She stood sobbing with her hands over her eyes for at least two minutes, the little Drama Queen.

    This evening we went to the Halloween party up at the club, where we were delighted to find Elaine and her family.  Elaine made Meredith's costume, and Margaret was a star, wasn't that clever?

    Jessica and I aren't made of such creative stuff, instead simply purchasing the girls' costumes (Brianna's a cat, while Bridgette's a fairy, though the cool evening necessitated the latter forgoing her wings for a jacket).  Here's Kirsten with Bridgette:

    Kirsten told her sisters she's dressed as an annoyed teenager.  Good costume.

    I'll get a decent photo of Brianna tomorrow night. What is frustrating is that I left early, then Brianna was chosen to go on stage during the magic show but no one took pictures.  Boo. 

    It's about time for me to turn in, leaving Jessica, Kirsten, Dmitry and Zhenya watching some scary movie.  Ugh. 

  • On the current events front...

    ....don't you know those pilots are mortified who had to finally admit to having been on their laptops while in the cockpit of whichever Northwest flight it was, lost track of time, and that's why they overshot their destination by 150 miles? 

    From now on I want to hear the pilots on any flight I'm on periodically assuring the passengers that they're still awake and paying attention. 

  • What a busy weekend! Though not quite as busy as it should have been.

    On Saturday morning I went to the Christ Chapel Christmas Cantata "retreat" (i.e. a long rehearsal when the various sections break up and practice their respective parts, plus eat lunch), then that afternoon Jessica, Zhenya, the poppets and I drove south to Mainstay Farm for one of its annual October "pumpkin days." 

    The first thing one comes upon is the hay bale area.  Both girls and Jessica enthusiastically joined the others who were jumping and leaping around it; here's Jessica tossing hay at Brianna:

    Zhenya and I were far too dignified for such shenanigans, of course.

    Being "pumpkin days" there were pumpkins aplenty:

    There were some plug-ugly pumpkins, and that's a fact.  Brianna was most disappointed when Gran resolutely refused to purchase a pumpkin, despite her wiles:

    To be honest, I'd found the tiny pumpkins cute but couldn't find prices for them, and the line at the gift shop counter was long.  This is one of my favorite photos, taken of Bridgette and Zhenya:

    There was face-painting, which I balked at when told it was $6 and one needed a coupon, purchased from that same counter.  BION, a nice man had a kid who refused to have his face painted after all, so he generously gave the ticket to Brianna.  It took a long wait (only one girl was on face-painting duty at a time), but eventually it was her turn:

    A butterfly!  At least it didn't as long as the popular Spiderman, which really took forever as it covered the whole face.  Frankly, six bucks seems out of line for face painting, though considering the line, many people are willing to pay it.

    That evening was the 1969 senior class of Nolan Catholic High School's 40th reunion, held at La Playa Maya in the Stockyards.  Great turnout, considering the small size of the class!  (At the time, Nolan was much smaller; I seem to recall there were not quite 100 seniors that year.)  Mom, guess who came all the way from Boston?


    Yup, Laura Snakard!  When I began Nolan in my sophomore year, she was the only one I knew.  ;^)

    Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I much enjoyed meeting up with those I knew back then.  Nikki Massey (as she was then) did a stellar job chasing as many people down as she could and getting them to come.  She even had commemorative mugs for us (a nice touch, I thought).

    On Sunday afternoon we had intended to go to the Boo at the Zoo!, but shortly before we were to leave both girls showed up with temperatures, and Bridgette had been complaining about her stomach earlier.  I went completely brain-dead and totally forgot to call Alex, who had driven back from Houston with his family, dropped his mother-in-law off in Farmer's Branch, got the girls in costume, and rushed to Fort Worth's zoo.  To find none of us there. 

    Very embarrassing, it was.  Why I didn't immediately call him, I can't think.  He'd have already been almost here, but at least it'd have been ME calling HIM, instead of HIM calling ME, wondering where we were.  He and Beth kindly drove over, staying outside due to the sickies in the house, so we could admire the girls in their costumes:

    Isn't Hannah the darlingest little Japanese girl you ever saw?    She'd been reluctant to wear the kimono until a friend gave her the chopsticks to put in her hair.  And here's Faith in her pirate outfit, held by Alex:

    Most of the time, of course, she refuses to wear the cap.  Why don't little girls like to wear hats, caps, and scarves?  They look so cute! 

    Today was supposed to be Bridgette's first day at the McKinney Memorial Bible Church's preschool (Monday and Wednesday), but she was still running a bit of a fever, and Brianna as well, so no one went anywhere.  Well, I took Bridgette with me to SuperTarget to get her our of Jessica's hair for a little bit, then ran a couple of errands, but that's about it. 
    Hope they girls get well ASAP, seeing as how Halloween is this weekend!  Bridgette's too young to care, but Brianna's not, and having been unable to go to Boo at the Zoo! yesterday, is bound and determined to wear her costume and do some serious trick-or-treating on Saturday. 

  • I love Friday evenings. Again.

    Friday evenings were Don's and my favorite evening of the week.  He was off for the weekend, and the next two days were ahead of us.  Bliss!

    As y'all can imagine, after his death Friday afternoons and evenings became my least favorite, most dreaded time of the week.

    As time has passed though, and fall has come around again, I've discovered my pleasure in Friday evenings rekindled.  Friday evening is back porch night, with a fire in the chimenea (sp?), often able to hear the band playing at Farrington Field (though not tonight), surfing on the web, reading books, thumbing through magazines, occasionally watching a movie on the portable DVD, etc.  Bundled up against the chill, enjoying the fire, and happy as a clam. 

    Praise God for His abundant mercies! 

  • These things are mere bagatelles, I try to remind myself.

    Totally unimportant in light of eternity.  Compared to what others go through, little pinpricks.

    It really isn't anything huge.  There have been a couple of wrinkles with regard to the new, the van won't fit if the hall is built (I kept wondering about that), so the doorway will be on the wall next to the window.  It's necessitated a good deal more electrical work, seeing as how there was a plug and a phone line there.  The loss of the little hallway is a pity, but I don't want to part with my van in favor of getting a smaller car that would fit. 

    The sheetrock and insulation is up, so this is out-of-date, but here's a photo of Jessica pointing to the new room, with Bridgette looking on:

    A window has been put in the wall facing out, BTW, to facilitate a hasty departure in the event of a fire or something.

    Second, it's been raining virtually all day, at times quite hard, and to our dismay the carpet in the master bedroom is soaked along the outside wall.  It's done this before - many years ago - and we thought it was fixed.  Guess not.  There's also water half-way into the new room, meaning there's a big problem with drainage on that side.  Don wrestled with that over and over throughout the years.  Now it's raising its head again!  Argh!  Kenny's thinking a trench needs to be dug, with maybe some pipe to drain off rain water.  He'll look at it tomorrow morning.

    The cats drive me absolutely bonkers but they do provide a great deal of amusement.  The other night Magellan and Dracula were outside with me on the back porch and their attention was certainly caught by something; you never saw such intense regard as the two of them were showing for whatever was out there:

    The pair of them sat like that for several minutes, utterly enthralled.  Never could see anything to warrant such dedicated attention.  Here's a photo of Simba and, I'm pretty sure, Sarah, in one of the kitchen windows:

    If anyone has any suggestions as to how to keep cats off kitchen counters, I'd love to hear them.  Picking them up and forcefully dumping them on the floor has zip effect, particularly on those two. 

    Bridgette kept Jessica up a good deal of last night, and late this afternoon I found the two of them dead to the world in the living room:

    Last night at my small group one of the women mentioned the preschool at McKinney Bible Church, and this morning I emailed them, asking if there was room for Bridgette.  The lady in charge of it called after a little bit, Jessica and I  - along with the prospective "student" -  hurried over to look at it, and Bridgette's set to start on Monday!  She had to be pried away from where some children her age were playing.  The woman who gave us the tour said our timing was perfect, as a spot had just come open when my email arrived!

    It's the LORD's timing, of course. 

    Dmitry took his English TAKS test yesterday, the math test today, and has the science test tomorrow.  I've been praying fervently for the LORD to somehow manage to let Dmitry pass those bothersome tests, never mind by how tiny a margin.

    Tomorrow night I'm going with Elaine and Beth (with two now-extra tickets, as Dmitry and Carolyn aren't going after all) to the Nokia theater to see Third Day!  They're one of my favorite contemporary Christian musical groups.  Should be fun (assuming the rain stops). 

  • BTW, what do y'all think about the Balloon Boy incident?

    If that was actually a hoax dreamed up by his parents, I'm gonna be mad enough to spit.  It was horrifying when the little boy was said to be in that contraption, especially when someone reporting seeing something fall out of it.

    The notion of a child being in it then falling was enough to make me ill.  Stormed heaven on his behalf, begging that he be brought home in safety.

    Well, you can't say that prayer wasn't answered in the positive, though not as expected.   

    If it's reliably demonstrated the whole thing was a publicity stunt, not only should the parents be liable for every single dollar spent on that wild goose chase, but charges ought to be filed, and a case could be made they're unfit parents, to boot.

    Even if it wasn't a hoax it still seems to me they ought to pay for the chase.  That's their kid and they're responsible for his actions.  Sheesh. 

  • It took a bit but I finally got the photos of Cole's party off the camera.

    It's battery was low so wound up mostly using my cell's camera, but I did take some.  These are my favorites of them!

    Bridgette with her Uncle Alex.    And Cole with my nephew, Justin (his daddy):

    Three of my favorite guys:

    On the never ending project front, I was struck by a flash of brilliance the other evening!  I'd been sitting on the back porch and mulling What To Do about Jessica and the girls' sleep problem.  Bridgette is finding it hard to settle down to sleep, which makes it hard for Brianna to sleep, which makes it hard for Jessica to sleep.  We need more room, but how??? 

    Ha.  Got it!  Kenny's building a room off of the master bedroom, taking up part of the garage.  Fine, so I'll have a one-car garage (with my car in it...sorry, children) and a storage area instead of a two car garage.  It's actually going to be a reasonably sized room; maybe 9 by 11 or so?  If you look closely you can make out the lines on the garage floor:

    The door into it will be on the right side (as one enters the bedroom), adjacent to the closet door.  Kenny pointed out this way the wall area where Brianna's bed is won't be broken up, and one often doesn't put major furniture where a closet door opens, anyway.  There'll be a short hall then the room itself.  It may sound odd, but it won't be.  Right now there's discussion as to which girl will be in there.

    I'm wildly excited about the new room!  It's going to be magnificently useful over the years. 

    And maybe one of my kind readers will be able to help me with this puzzle.  Remember the to-do I had trying to find curtains for the kitchen?  Guess what I found tucked away, purchased off eBay who-knows-how-long-ago?

    Right.  Lace wisteria "shades", as the description written on the packing slip said.  Trouble is, I haven't a clue how to work them.  They aren't visible in the photo but there are clear plastic rings on them....two vertical rows, I think of three rings each.  There are also two small packages of additional rings.  Am I supposed to get a ribbon and thread it through them to draw up the curtains?  It's frustrating the dickens out of me. 

    If I can just figure out how to get them gathered up, they'll be perfect!  But so far the curtains are beating me like a filthy rug.  It's embarrassing.