Catching Up
Filling in the gap from July 2006-October 2009

2006 2006
2009 2007
12/30/04 2008
12/30/04 2009
July-December 2006

July 2006 saw the beginning of my sabbatical.  I found it absolutely necessary to withdraw from writing at the Clarion Call.  I have a synopsis of what occurred in my life to cause this here.  Since I gave you a rundown on the things happening in my life each week in the weekly Bible studies I wanted to fill in the three year gap.  Here's the highlights.

We got a notice from code enforcement
 about a building on our property that was not to code.  Uh oh!

My husband built our barn right on the property line.  There is supposed to be a five foot setback.  Why did he do that?  I have no idea.  Whenever we build anything it is always to code.

We don't get permits for sheds and barns and such, but they are to code.  Let me rephrase that, they have always been to code up until the barn.

Actually, there was probably only one other way the barn could have been situated in order for us to get the boat into it and that would have been parallel with the back of the house out in the middle of the yard.  It would have taken a lot of grading, but it might have been feasible.

I just have to say that I wasn't involved in the planning for the barn, just the decision to decorate the side to look like a town.

Anyway, we discussed it and I told my husband that, if we had to move the barn it couldn't be moved.  We would just have to disassemble it.  I told my husband that, should that happen I wanted to sell the house and move to another area where people didn't bother us.

I knew who called code enforcement, it was my wacky neighbor.  By wacky, I mean possibly bi-polar.  Over the years she has threatened to beat me up (I was hanging clothes at the time.  I must have been making too much noise or something.), has told me to keep my dogs away from our fence, cursed at me, and more.

She has also almost starved multiple pets to death, cancelled her trash pick up and either burned it in the fireplace and/or piled it in the back yard, harassed my children, and more.

I was all set to put our house on the market when the officer came to inspect our barn.  He didn't care if it was on the property line.  That wasn't what the complaint had been.  The complainant had said someone was living in the barn.  He just wanted to make sure nobody was living in there.

Whew!  That was close!

I made a few trips to visit my husband's parents that year.  I went to help them.  They live in kind of an isolated area near Clearlake, CA.

We went to the Colorado River in August for vacation.  Here are a few interesting pictures from that vacation:

This is my son's dog, Rusty.  He kept almost falling asleep while standing in the water so I put my Elmo inflatable around his neck to keep his face out of the water.


This seaplane landed on the river and tied up in the inlet next to our boat.

I had another crazy experience with a company.  Why is it I can't get places of business to honor what they say?  Maybe I look like a sucker.

I went in to Richardson's RV in Riverside, CA to have some work done on our refrigerator.  We kept having problems with it ever since we bought the camper.

While I was there I asked them how much they'd charge to remove the old caulking from the roof of the camper and re-caulk it.  The price sounded decent so I told them to go ahead and do it.

When I got the camper home and examined the job they did I found where they had just painted sticky goo over the old caulking.  They hadn't even covered all the areas where there was old caulking.  I could have done that myself and saved a bunch of money!!  I had specifically asked to have the old caulking removed!!  As far as I was concerned, it was the removal of the old caulking that I was paying them for!

When I called to complain they offered to finish the job of covering the old caulking.  I wanted my money back, but they only gave me a small amount of credit. 

The next time we went camping I found out they had sealed my vents shut with the sticky goo.  I had to climb up on the roof and cut the vents open!  Gee whiz!  How dumb was that?  Naturally that was the last time I went there!

My husband coached football at a small Christian school for two years starting in 2006.  The head coach from Rubidoux retired from teaching, went to coach at the Christian school, and asked my husband to come help him.

My husband found it to be very different.  The kids were nicer, but he had freshman on his varsity team because the school was so small.  My husband calls freshmen "lizards" because they are always scurrying around.
I decided to start my own web design business.  I enjoyed doing the pages here at the Clarion Call and have fun coming up with graphics using text and pictures I've taken.  I figured it would be a good idea to get paid for something I love to do.

I don't do real fancy stuff.  I only have so much room available in my head for information.  I just stick with the simple things.  You can see the clients I already have at Kay's Heavenly Web Design.

Our tax lady said everyone should have a home-based business because it helps a lot at tax time.

 In February my husband and I went to a supposedly four star restaurant named Duane's at the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA for our anniversary.  We had been there before and it had been very nice.

Well, this time we must have worn our invisibility clothing.  The service was awful.  We were waving our hands trying to get someone's attention and everyone just kept passing by our table.  We were not in a corner, either.  We were out in the center.

I actually went and grabbed a coffee pot off a serving table to keep it on our table so my husband could get a refill on his coffee.  It was made more terrible by the large amount of money we had to pay for such poor service and not-so-great food.

We even spoke to the maître d' on the way out.  He just looked at us like we were, well... invisible.

I wrote a letter to the establishment and ended up talking to the head guy.  He sent us free certificates for their Sunday brunch at another restaurant there at the Mission Inn. 

Since those, too, were expensive it might have made up for our unsatisfactory dinner except for one thing.  The service there was terrible.  We had to get up and go find someone to come serve us!!  So, guess where we won't ever go to eat again!

My son, J.J., came to visit me in April.

We all went to San Diego and toured an aircraft carrier.  It was fun because my son, Jeremy, told us about his time aboard an aircraft carrier when he was in the Navy.  The really interesting thing was the ship that Jeremy was on, the USS Independence, was the aircraft carrier that was built to replace the USS Midway, the one we toured.

Jeremy, Casey, J.J.
My sons in San Diego
Jeremy, Casey, J.J.

Here's a picture of all of us.

I also went up to visit my husband's parents during April. J.J. scheduled his visit so we both were in the airport at the same time so we got to sit and chat while waiting for our flights.

While I was gone my cat, Reeboks, got worse.  He had been diagnosed with kidney failure and I had a feeling he wouldn't last much longer.  My husband had to take him to the vet to have him put to sleep.

I had decided I didn't want any more cats.  I was just tired of having unhealthy cats.

My first cat was a tiny kitten that had lost its mother.  My mom was babysitting for me and I had shut the kitten in the bathroom because my mom wasn't fond of cats.  My son went in there to play with her and left the toilet seat open.  When I got home later I found the kitten drowned in the toilet.

My mom felt bad about it and got me another kitten from the pound.  I had that cat for about a month and found it dead one day when I got home from work.  I have no idea what was wrong.  It hadn't acted sick.

So, my mom got me a brother and sister kitten duo.  Those two were older kittens and they tore my house apart.  I only had them about a week and they tore my drapes and furniture, ran across my shelves breaking things, and just creating havoc.  I ended up giving them away.  I told my mom, "Thanks, but no thanks."

My neighbor found a gray Siamese kitten in her yard and I took it.  That kitten lasted about five years.  Cindy (short for Cinderella) was really sweet.  When my second son was small she stayed away from him because she didn't like to have him pull on her ears and tail.  When he was in his playpen and started crying she would go into the playpen and lie down in front of him.  He would stop crying when she did that.  She would stay there a short while and let him tug and pull on her.  Then she would leave.

When we moved she ran out through a screen I didn't know was torn about the second day we lived there and she never came back.  All my cats have been indoor cats.

My next cat came home in an unusual fashion.  My son knew I was sad about losing Cindy.  He rode his skateboard the mile to the grocery store one hot summer day.  At the grocery store some people were giving away kittens.  My son took one.

Halfway home the kitten was scratching him so he found a plastic bag and put the kitten in it to carry it the rest of the way home.

When he let the kitten out of the bag it was soaking wet with sweat and was panting.  I was upset that he got me a plain, gray kitten.  Cindy had been Siamese and I wanted another one of the same.  I didn't want to upset my son so I went into the garage for a minute to compose myself.

When I came back in the house my husband blocked my way.  The kitten had passed out and they thought it had died.  Well, the kitten survived it's plastic bag journey.  We let our youngest son name him.

Booger Soup (that's right, the kitten was named Booger Soup) stayed with us for about six years.  During that six years my husband brought Reeboks home as a kitten.  He knew I had wanted another Siamese and some friends had found a Siamese kitten wandering the streets.

Shortly after Reeboks came someone visiting our home thought it was OK to let Booger Soup outside.  Usually if he got out without us knowing he hung around the house but this time he disappeared and never came back.

Reeboks is the only cat I've ever had for a long time.  Yet, when he wasn't very old we found out he had heart problems.

Bug came to us as a kitten but ended up dying a premature death.

Two months after Reeboks was gone I realized that I really missed having a cat in the house.  So I was slowly deciding whether or not it was worth the gamble.  I just wanted to have a healthy cat but, as you can see, my cat history was poor.

In June my son, Casey, got up one Sunday morning and came outside to where I was working in the yard.  He told me he didn't want me to be mad at him.  Uh oh, that didn't sound good.

He told me that he had a kitten in his room.  He had been at a party the night before and a kitten had come up to him and climbed in his lap.  He knew that I wasn't ready for another cat so he was going to put the kitten back down when he left.

The kitten was so small he was afraid it would be in danger so he brought it home.  Well, that's how Rudi (short for Rudolf Valentino) came to us.  Rudi and his friends, that is.

When I took him to the vet the next day I found out he had ear mites, fleas, and worms.  He recovered nicely as you can see on my pet photo page.

He has been a big blessing to me.  Occasionally he would want to lay in my lap when I was working at the computer.  The only way he could lay and be comfortable while I was typing was to lay on his back with his head cradled in my arm like a baby.  He always followed me around.  When I would go outside he would sit by the window and cry.

In May I had a week-long fever.  In the evenings it was worse and went as high as 106.  I thought anything above 104 was bad.  My doctor wasn't concerned.  He put me on an antibiotic and sent me home.  I went to urgent care a couple of nights later when it went up again and they changed my antibiotic.

During that week my back began to hurt.  I had to go out and buy one of those memory foam pads that goes on top of your mattress.  It helped me to sleep.

Later on in the year my back began to hurt really bad.  It was diagnosed as degenerative disc disease due to arthritis.  I had noticed that my back began to be more troublesome as the years went by.  When I would bend over to do something I couldn't stand back upright without bracing myself on my knees or leaning against something.  It hurt to pull myself upright without help.

It just seems weird that it got real bad faster after I had that fever.  I wonder what it was.  When I would tell my doctors that it got worse during that week they just shrugged like it didn't have anything to do with it.


We got another notice from code enforcement in May.  This time we supposedly had a substandard mobile home on our property.

I called the officer and told him that we didn't have anything that even resembled a mobile home on our property.  He never even came out to look.  He probably looked up who filed the complaint and it was probably the same neighbor who filed a false report before about someone living in our barn.

During the summer I built an entire town with the help of a friend.  That's right, a town!  It has a railroad depot, dentist/barber, assay office, bank, outhouse, church, school, and a gold mine that includes miner's shacks!  Seriously!

I've got pictures to prove it in the photo album.  Go take a look!  See!  I built a town!

It's on the opposite side of the yard from our barn.  I was looking at the wooden fence we had over there and was trying to figure out what type of landscaping to put there.  During the summer the area in front of the fence looked hot and uncomfortable.  There was an area of dirt in front of the fence where our trees used to be before the high winds blew them over in 1996.

We had a bunch of scrap wood left over from putting the facade on our barn.  I mentioned to our friend that had helped us build the barn how clever it would be to build a miniature town along the fence.

He got all excited about it.  He likes working with his hands and I think it sounded like fun to build some buildings without having to worry about codes and such.  He thought about it a little and then told me he'd be over the next week to help me build it!

Whoa!  I wasn't prepared to start on it right away!!  It took us about 1 1/2 weeks to build it.  It was fun.  I learned a lot about building techniques and power saws and such.

I still want to do more "decorating" like painting the church a whitewash and a few other things.

October of 2007 brought big fires in the mountains northeast of us.  Around here we get the strong winds from the north called Santanas or Santa Anas.  Lately arsonists have been setting fires when those winds blow.

Up in the mountains there are a lot of dead pine trees because of drought conditions weakening the trees so bark beetles can feast on them and kill them.  So, it doesn't take much to create a wildfire condition.

A lot of people lost homes up there.  It was awful.

There's an awful lot of evil people around, aren't there??  Thank God we can rest in God.  Here's a scripture that has ministered to me and given me a great deal of peace:
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them"
Ps 34:7

The wind brought down two of our 50' cottonwood trees.  One tree lost it's entire top half and the other lost half of the top half.  Here's some pictures.

The really cool thing is God convinced our insurance company to make our lives easier.  I was ready for a fight.  I had receipts and estimates of value I had put together.  The adjuster came out and didn't even want to look at all my paperwork.  He just authorized payment.

Then, a supervisor came out a couple of days later to find out if we were happy with our settlement.  He looked at the damage and asked about our wooden fence.  It had some wind damage that we were planning on fixing ourselves.  He threw in some more money for us!  Wow!  What a blessing!

We decided to give our dining room a face lift.  Our friend (the one who helped us build the barn and town) and my husband built a wall of storage.  It came out really nice.

We didn't lose any room for the table because we had a large piece of furniture in there to start.  We moved that down to our "saloon".

Here's some before and after pictures.

My back began to give me more and more trouble.  In March my doctor sent me to physical therapy.  It helped at first, but my back went from just hurting to having severe muscle spasms.  When I was doing my exercises my back would spasm so I quit doing them.

The spasms felt like I was sticking my finger in a light socket.  The spasms began to get longer and longer until they sometimes were 10 seconds long.  There were certain things that I did that caused them so I tried to avoid those movements.

However, they progressively got so bad that they came no matter what I was doing.  One night I must have had at least a hundred spasms.  I got them lying down, standing up, walking, and sitting.  I had to tell myself to keep on doing whatever I was doing no matter what.

My brain wanted my body to collapse to the floor when I was walking or standing.  I knew that I would be unable to get back up if that happened.  So, if I was walking I just told myself, "Keep walking, keep walking, keep walking...."

One time I was in the back yard sitting on the grass brushing my dog, Moo Moo.  When I went to stand up my back began to spasm.  I ended up on my hands and knees in the middle of the yard unable to move.  I just couldn't force myself to fight through the pain and stand up.

Thank God it was a weekend and my husband was home.  I couldn't yell for help because the force of yelling brought on waves of spasms.  He ended up coming to look for me and helped me up.

I had gone for an MRI and the results were phrased as, "I don't know why you are experiencing such pain."  The thing is, I have a high pain threshold.  The doctors seemed to think I was faking it or something.  I think I finally convinced my orthopedist that I was serious when I told her I'd rather be in labor because it hurt less.

She scheduled me for some "pain blocker" shots that contain pain medicine and cortisone.  I got a series of three shots in my back.  Wow!  The first shot cut the muscle spasms out.  My back still hurt, but I could deal with the back pain.  It was the spasms I couldn't handle.  The second two shots didn't make much more of a difference, but I felt 3,000% better!

The bad thing is, it took me almost seven months to get the shots from the time I first went to the doctor about my back pain.

Our probably bi-polar wacky neighbor moved out.  She had a for sale sign in her yard for a couple of years.  We figured she was probably just teasing us.

We had put up a dividing fence in the front yard.  I bugged and bugged my husband to put it up in place of the chain link fence that we had before.

One day I was here in my office (a front bedroom) and thought I heard someone calling my name from outside my window.  I looked out and saw my neighbor leaning over the chain link fence.  I opened the window and asked if she was calling me.  She just said some nasty things and I closed the window.  She continued to stare in the window and point at me.

She also yelled at us when we were in the front yard.  Once she threatened to call the animal control on my son because his dog was sitting in his car without a leash on.

So, finally my husband put up a six foot tall wooden fence.  We didn't know that she was in negotiations to sell her house at the time.  The man who bought it came over after he moved in and told my husband that the fence was ugly.  Charlie told him that it looked good from our side.

We talked with the neighbor over the months and discussed the possibility of cutting it down in size and wrapping the boards on his side to make his side look nicer.  I'm glad we didn't.  They ended up walking away from their house and leaving it to the bank.

 In February my stove died.  I did some research at Consumer Reports and found a Frigidaire range that fit my price range and was highly rated.

My husband and I went to Sears to get it.  One week after I got it I noticed a problem.  The burner grates were leaving rust on the cooktop.  The bottoms of the grates were not coated with porcelain.

I found the Frigidaire web site and found in their FAQ's a response regarding rusting grates:
"The bottom surfaces on cast iron grates are often unfinished to allow the gases that are present in iron to escape during the manufacturing process."

What???  The next time you are around appliances start picking up the grates and looking at the bottoms.  Frigidaire is the only one who can't manage to coat the bottoms.  I even contacted a porcelain place and found out that there is something called "off-gassing" that takes place, but you can manage to entirely coat something in porcelain.  It may take a second coating, but it can be done.

Ahhh, I get it.... it costs more money to coat it completely.

I tried and tried to get some resolution out of Frigidaire but all they could do was send me more rusting grates and tell me, "coat the grates in cooking oil and bake them at 450° for 30 minutes EVERY time I wash them".

I took a brand-new grate, wet the bottom, set it on a paper towel, and waited thirty minutes.  Poof!  Rust!

The Frigidaire manual that came with the range has two very odd things in it:

1. It touts the grates as dishwasher safe!
It excludes rust in the warranty.  (Hmmmm…. I wonder why!)

I tried to give Frigidaire every opportunity to fix the problem but they wouldn't.  Sears came to my rescue, took back the defective range without charging a restocking fee, and sold me a Kenmore range.

I wrote the details of my trials with Frigidaire here.

 When we were at Sears buying my gas range I looked at the refrigerators.  I fell in love with one that had the freezer on the bottom.  Since I use the refrigerator part 50 times more than the freezer it makes way more sense to have the refrigerator on the top.

With the back problems that have developed it made sense for me to not have to bend over as much.  My husband, bless his pea-pickin' heart, told me to go ahead and buy it.

I love it!  It has made my life so much easier!  I'm not going to push the brand because the one I got has a very strange knocking noise when it cools.

When it was new I had the repair tech come out because of it.  The knocking noise is like someone is inside the back of the refrigerator trying to get out.  I can often hear it all the way to the other end of my house.

The tech called me before he arrived and asked me if I was talking about a "scratching noise".  I told him it wasn't scratching, it was knocking.

When he got here he turned it off, let it warm up a little, and turned it back on.  KNOCK KNOCK went my fridge.

"That's the knocking noise," I said.  "That's a scratching noise," sez he.  "No," I said, "it sounds like this."  I knocked on the side of the fridge.

The technician scratched on the side of my fridge and told me that was the sound I was hearing (a scratching) and it was normal.  Hmmmm..... a half-deaf technician.  How lovely!

So, I won't give you the brand name because I don't know if my fridge is supposed to make that noise.  So far I've had no problems with it, other than the knocking noise sometimes startles me into thinking someone else is in the house.

 In April I went to stay with my parents-in-law for a month.  My mother-in-law had her knee replaced.  My father-in-law is not well so I had to take care of both of them.  It was hard to be away from home for a month, but nobody else in the family was able to go there for that long.

 My son, Jeremy, moved to Phoenix in April.  I hate it when my kids leave.  It tears my heart out.  This time it was twice as hard.  He took his dog, Rusty, with him.  I lost two "kids" at the same time!

I now have my own private space in the house where I can have as much pink as I want.  It's my closet!

I had a small walk-in closet.  My husband had made me some shelves to put in there, but I came up with a new idea.  My husband and our friend built shelves all across the back wall of it and a high shelf all the way around three sides of the top.

I painted the whole thing a light green (that goes with the green in our bedroom) and gave it sponged-on pinkish mauve.  I bought pretty photo boxes for my shoes and things. 

I put a small chandelier-type light fixture in there.  I had to learn to remember it was there so I didn't whack it every time I lifted my arms up.

I found a cute little bench seat that was upholstered in the colors I had chosen.  So, now I have my own private space even though it is only a tiny closet.  LOL!

After June's sweepers we didn't join another bowling league.  We figured that we could save money by bowling on our own and we could go by ourselves to Laughlin and not have to be dictated by when the sweepers were.

We ended up donating much of our fees in winnings to other people.  We would be ahead by not joining a league.  Maybe we will join another in the future, but we shall see.

In August we went to a different campground along the Colorado River.  It was above a diversion dam from where we had always gone before and the water was very different.

The bottom of the river was covered in rock instead of sand.  So, if the water level dropped you wouldn't hit a sand bar, you'd hit a rock bed!

I only went out in the boat once because my back was hurting.  I didn't get the shots in my back until the end of the year.  I spent a lot of time just sitting or lying down in the camper.  It wasn't a fun vacation for me.
While we were on vacation we had a disaster at home.  Our freezer door opened by itself and all our meat thawed.  At first I thought we didn't shut the door properly but it happened twice.  We had almost half a beef in there as well as miscellaneous other meats.  I figure it was around $1,000 worth of meat.

I fought with GE over it.  They kept telling me they didn't know what was wrong with my freezer yet they wouldn't replace it.  They told me it was fixed.  Hmmmm.... you don't know what it is yet you fixed it.

If you want to read my fight with GE it's here.  It's pretty long, but interesting.  I'm amazed at how many crazy things happen to me.

Once again, it was the store where I purchased the appliance that came to the rescue.  This time it was Home Depot.  I'm finding out that the stores appreciate it when you bring in all your correspondence showing how hard you fought with the manufacturer to resolve the issue.
My husband, Charlie, joined the Guns and Garters Old West Reenactors group.  Our friends were in the group and invited him to come be a "moving prop".  He agreed to it because we got to camp for free at Calico Ghost Town as part of the performers.

A clothing store with period-correct clothing for the 1970's was going out of business so I got him some clothes to wear for cheap.

He never was a moving prop.  They threw lines at him at the first practice and he ended up being more than just a prop.

He mumbled and grumbled about it but he kept going to the practices and the performances.  He began talking about getting his own gun.  He started interacting with the audience.  When we would go places and he was in costume he would say, "Howdy!" to the people he would pass.

So, when he mumbled and grumbled I just let him know he was a phony baloney and he really loved it.  He doesn't complain any more.

I'm their official photographer and webmaster.  Most of the photos on their web site are ones I took.
In October I had scar tissue removed off the bottom of my foot.  I had a Plantar's Wart removed about ten years ago and the scar tissue had formed an uncomfortable lump.

I was on crutches for a couple of weeks.  That was fun.  NOT!  A couple of things came up that I ended up going to that were not easy to do on crutches.

The Guns and Garters group did a shotgun wedding and I took pictures.  It was at a venue that required a lot of walking.  Hippity hop, hippity hop....

Then we went to Oktoberfest in Big Bear, CA.  The tables were very close together and required some tricky maneuvering on my part.

My husband and son, Casey, participated in the log sawing contest.  They did great!  They SMOKED the competition.

They were invited back for the finals which consisted of all the winners from each night throughout October.  We went back for the finals and they took third place.  It was fun!
Charlie and Casey
The neighbors that bought the house next door to us from the wacky woman I had told you about before moved out.  They walked away from their house and let the bank have it.  There are an awful lot of people around here that are doing that.

One morning I saw a local guy that collects junk to support his drug habit taking things out of the house.  I called the sheriff to report it.  An hour later I got a call from a deputy who wanted to know if the guy was still there.  I looked out the window and he was driving away.  The deputy told me to call back if the guy came back.

The ridiculous thing is I knew where the guy lived.  They weren't interested in pursuing it.

The next morning he came back to steal more stuff.  I called the sheriff again.  I watched as furniture my neighbor had left behind until he got a truck to pick it up was put in the thief's truck.  He was taking wiring and more out of the house as well. 

Two hours later, way after the thief had left, the sheriff drove by.  He called me and said to call if the guy came back.  That's just great.  Why bother?

I found out later that the sheriffs had been trying to catch that guy because he had done it to other houses.  I wrote a letter to the captain and I guess he chewed out the deputies.  One of them came by my house as a sort of apology and pretended to take a more detailed report.  Yeah, right.  What good did that do three weeks later?

Now the house stands vacant and stripped.  Who is going to want it now??
My oldest son got me the main thing I wanted for Christmas.  It's a 300,000 volt extendable stun gun.  I've had lots of trouble with loose dogs when I take my dogs out for walks.  Some of the dogs have tried to attack us.

So, now when we go out we carry our stun gun.  When it is extended it makes a loud noise which startles dogs and when I hit the trigger it makes a loud crackling noise.  I doubt if I'll ever end up touching any dogs with it.  The noise alone should do the trick.  That is all it has taken so far.

I wonder what it feels like when it touches you?  Notice I said YOU and not ME?
January-October 2009

For our anniversary in February we bought a Wii video game console with the balance board and fitness program.  What a hoot!  It is so much fun!

I began doing the workouts and it gave me the incentive to also go out in the garage and use our treadmill, exercise bike, and other equipment.  I was taking the dogs for walks.  I began losing weight and felt great.

On our weekly game night we sometimes played Wii games.  One that made us laugh so hard our sides hurt was Raving Rabbids.  It's a lot of fun!

After my mom died I got depressed and lost my will to exercise.

I had been working on trying to get medical help for my mother for over five years.  I can't give you a lot of details right now because I have had to retain an attorney to help me and I can't show my hand right now.

I had gathered enough facts regarding her health that would enable me to file for conservatorship.  I was afraid she would die from neglect if I didn't forcibly get her to doctors.

On March 27th I got a call from my attorney.  He got a call telling him that my mom had died on March 14th!!!!!  Two of my three brothers decided not to tell me and my third brother.  We found out Mom had died TWO WEEKS later!

I can't fill you in on any details yet but I sure could use prayer regarding the issues surrounding this.  I just want to see the guilty be punished.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I knew that my cat, Rudi, needed to have a companion so he wouldn't be so dependent on me.  I knew that I would lose some closeness with him when he had a baby sister (I have had enough male pets, I wanted a girl!) to play with.

In May I went to the Humane Society and picked out Princess.  She was simply adorable.  She was so sweet and loving!

I named her Princess Kathryn after my mother.  Rudi hissed at her the first few days but ended up loving on her.  She loved to snuggle with him and snuggle with me.

We only had her a few months when everything went bad.  You can read about it here.  We lost Princess when she was only six months old.  It was awful!

It helps to think of her cuddling with my mom giving her tiny kitty kisses on her nose like she used to do for me.  (What?  You think animals don't go to heaven?  Are you sure?  Go read this.)

Rudi looked all over the house for her.  It made me cry all over again to watch him.  Every noise he heard he thought it was her and went looking.  He kept looking in all the places she used to sleep.

I ended up getting another kitten sooner than I would have for myself so Rudi could have another baby sister.

I found Precious on Craig's list.  She turned out to be not so healthy when I first took her to a vet.  It cost over $200 for her first visit.  Now she's healthy and happy.  It took me about a week to stop comparing her to Princess.

I was afraid she wouldn't be a lover like Princess was, but she sure is close to it.  I just pray that she and Rudi live long, happy, healthy lives.

My husband turned 60 in June and I threw him a surprise party.  I had thrown him a surprise party when he was 30 and swore to myself I'd never do another.

When we got home from dinner for his 30th there wasn't one person there at the party except his brother and sister, who had been there when we left for dinner!

The party ended up being a hit because a bunch of people showed up later, but the surprise was on me.

This time everyone came early and it was a huge success!  He was totally surprised!

In August we went to Lake Powell with our neighbors.  We had never gone camping with them before.  It was a lot of fun!

Lake Powell is beautiful.  The bad thing was the campground was expensive and we were a mile from the water.  I wouldn't mind going back there.  There are a lot of areas to explore, but it takes a lot of boat gas to do it!

My health isn't quite as good as before.  It's harder for me to grip things as my thumbs ache more and are losing some strength.

I had been on hormone replacement therapy for many years and my new doctor wanted me to go off of them.  It turns out my old doctor shouldn't have put me on them so soon.

So now I am contributing to global warming.  I don't have hot flashes or night sweats.  I have day and night heat alerts that go on and on and on.  Even my fingers and toes sweat.  It's a whole lot of fun.  I've tried the herbal supplements and they don't help.  It was pretty miserable during the summer.  Maybe we can turn the heat lower in the winter or even off altogether!

That's about all I can remember.  You try to remember things you did the last three years!  It's not easy.

Anyway, I missed fellowshipping with you and I'm glad to be back!!  Real glad!!

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