Jumat, 30 Januari 2009

Harmony's Way to Happiness

Pretty "zen" sounding if I do say so myself. The pooch is outside bringing the big stick to the door as a gift, perhaps a peace offering of some sort, or pre-payment for some mischievous deed she'll perform later in the day.

There are times when she lives up to her full name - Harmony Victoria. She delights us with occasional sweetness shown to her playmates; certainly when she is serving as "Donation Dog" for APL she fools everyone into thinking she's a stellar ambassador, always on her best behavior. The Victoria is because she is part pit bulldog and is my own nose-thumbing gesture towards vicious Michael Vick, whose own experience with the law took place around the time Harmony arrived at our home.

But today, her name takes on new applications! The State of Illinois has a victory in the governmental systems and a new governor because the systems worked. No doubt there is cheering up and down and across the State. Once again there will be an opportunity for harmonious living and working.

And, that's nothing to shake a stick at.

Kamis, 29 Januari 2009

Snowy Day

SNOWY DAY is the title of a children's book - by Ezra somebody...award winner. The title is the only thing the book and the blog post have in common!

But I have stayed inside most of the day, sorting items for the March APL Upscale Sale. It's best to get an early start or I'll miss the event altogether. Sorting includes going through the end of the photo boxes my mother had stored, bless her heart. Where did she keep all this STUFF?

Needless to say, amidst the tossing of her 8th grade spelling bee award, her English themes from high school, the sample of my dad's baby hair, their honeymoon pictures and post cards, I have been down memory lane.

It occurs to me that my parents really are gone. I can't ask any questions again about who is who or where something was taken or what is the story behind this or that thing. Hmmm. It's been a month since my mom died and what is said about losing someone is true - after everything settles down the loss becomes real for those left behind. Ed and I still think we should figure out who is going to visit her on what days!

Just the same it is fun to go through these items one last time. As I sort I am tossing and selecting those which need to be sent to relatives. I thought I'd sent all I had once but alas, such is not the case. So there's a second mailing to go out someday soon. I take a break now and then to pick STUFF that can go into the sale. Some of the old frames, a plate picked up while on vacation. The curling iron that was heated on the gas stove stays. So does the key to the old house. So do some treasured photos. So do the echoing laughs and other memories.

At my grandmother's 80th birthday party - just about the whole family on my dad's side was there. I was almost 8 or 9 I think.

My favorite cousins on my mom's side were these two guys who clearly had some mixed ideas about what we were playing...was it Cowboys and Indians and one thought Cowboys meant football Cowboys? Who knows. I just went along with it...not so much anymore though!

Kamis, 22 Januari 2009

Beagle Love Connection


San Diego: a beagle love connection is happening between Abba and Jazz. The house will soon be full of puppies again.
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Travels With Audrey

"Where or where has my little dog gone or where or where can she be?"

Yes, a song from long ago bears those words but alas, there is an answer to this question. The little dog, named Audrey, is in Arizona. She wasn't and isn't "my" dog so there is that issue settled.

However, I did drive her to Winslow, Arizona (surely, ANOTHER SONG!) so she could become a part of a new family there. This was a 40 hour round trip for me. We had a great time going out! She slept for awhile at first then tore up a toy but then grew interested in the car and motion and what was going on outside. So she joined me in the driver's seat. As she is a petite Beagle, space was not a concern for us.

Since we left late on Saturday we stayed over in Big Cabin, OK. Don't you just want to go there knowing its name? We were greeted by wonderful Super 8 clerks because that motel allowed pets. Audrey played on the bed, getting some exercise, and then she snoozed in the crate.

The next day we were up, walked and on the road early. She grew bored with ripping up her toys so chose to help me again. This time she unlocked the rear window locks control on the driver's armrest and then proceeded to open all the windows at once. We were in a state with a 75 mph speed limit and doing every bit of it.
Nothing and no one left the car, fortunately! But it was an unnecessary thrill for me.

There were a few places Audrey sensed she needed to sniff out so we made some stops along the way but there was no dallying for she was to meet her new people that night. We had miles to go before we rested...

Of course, I lost a credit card. Getting off and on and off and on the OK toll road and paying each time I did gave me ample opportunity to drop papers, money, keys, you name it. But I dropped a credit card the first night out. A call home had the process in motion to cancel the card at 11:30 p.m. I could sleep.

Drop it, I did. A serious search of all luggage items and the car revealed nothing. Two days later, of course, on my return trip, I see the card in question stuck under the edge of the floor mat in the back seat area of the driver's side. That's OK. I didn't need it anyway.

Other than that, the trip was uneventful and long. I missed taking the photos I wanted to take because the sun had set when I got to a particularly desirable place. I ended up staying in Winslow at LaPasado which was grand but they put me in the John Wayne room which was not what I ever would ask for; he was out for the evening so that was fine - just a small 8 1/2 x 11 glossy indicated it was his room. Side tripped over to one of the ruins/wash areas which is considered a federal/national treasure and there I saw shards of Native American pottery, footprints and droppings of some really big animals that made me wonder how nuts I was to be out there early in the morning with no other humans around for miles.

A crazy trip? Yes. I love driving. I listened to 3 books and all were very good choices. I missed the inauguration although I tried desperately to get to Joplin, MO and a friend's house in time. But I heard it on the radio. And, I am totally behind the presidential notion of service to others. Thus the trip...not so crazy after all.

Rabu, 21 Januari 2009

Sabtu, 17 Januari 2009


Pre-winter my husband was coerced into writing out the instructions for starting the generator and I took reference photos for the document. How organized is that? I do think if we lost power long enough, in this cold, that I'd dress all the pets in kids' clothes, claim they are an ugly bunch of children, and check us into a big hotel. We'd need two rooms as the cats and dogs aren't fond of each other.

But for now I am looking at the word "generator" itself. Think how it can be re-employed.

Generat - just as in generation. Makes me want to use it as a reflection of "people of a certain age". So I'll work on that. But also, as a noun, it implies action. So, wouldn't it be great on a business card?

We had a friend who just had her name and the word "Actress" on her card. Susie from New York, who we met in Montana and later saw on TV while sitting in our Illinois living room.

But, how about it, Kate Hein, Generator? On the back (because I believe both sides should be used) could be a listing of things generated. Generator is too good a word to let it rest 99.8% of the time, hoping that you'll never need to use it in a sentence, such as "Honey, there's no power; start the generator."

Just knowing that a generator produces power makes me want to use the word. Add to it that generals are achievers and that generalists are usually those who oversee things and there's additional appeal.

So maybe...it works?

I do have a backup word though and it is one I made up. Years ago I offered it to another friend who was starting a business and it never quite fit into the direction taken so I have re-claimed it. It's a word you have to look at twice (maybe). Having made up the word I had to define it. "Eclectician" is a person who dabbles in lots of different things, one who tests new ideas, a acceptor of challenges, a participant in life.

Therefore, I acknowledge myself as Kate Hein, Eclectician and Generator.

2009 - the year to get things done!

Kamis, 15 Januari 2009

Abba's Traveling About

Today, Abba is off to Lesley's house. She'll spend a few days at Lesley's and then she's off to California to meet a VERY SPECIAL beagle friend.

Selasa, 13 Januari 2009

How's Your Week Been?

We have a "wellness" program going on at church but before it was birthed I knew I needed to get a grasp on my own wellness - starting with the physical. This week brought a visit to my regular dentist as a follow up to discovering an bump inside my mouth and the consequential week of antibiotics which meant no wine. The bump hadn't gone down enough to make him happy (is that what this was about?)so he arranged to send me packing to a pal of his two blocks away.

Since I couldn't get in to see this new guy, whose name turns out to be Dr. Hurt - could I make this up? - until today, I chose yesterday to go from the dentist to the lab and have the overdue blood drawn for a regular review of whatever they look at when blood is being checked.

I haven't ever, no ever, done a regular review of my blood because I hate needles and it's always optional. This was a self-administered big-girl challenge. Just drop in and get blood drawn - ha! Funny thing was I asked if they'd type my blood as I haven't a clue about that either. That question came out AFTER I explained I'm a fainting wimp. The receptionist informed me that if the doctor ordered blood type they'd do it but only then so the way to get it is to go donate blood. ARE YOU KIDDING? I explained to her that I am more trouble than it is worth and I would live without knowing my blood type at this point.

Amazing, isn't it? What's even better is that I did ask to lay down for this traumatic experience. Nothing hurt. Nothing. All those years of queasiness, nearly throwing up at the sight of a needle, running from the doctor...did that as a CHILD...over. The tech was excellent. I almost broke into my nurse practitioner's office to tell her what and how I did and ask for a sucker. Instead I went out and walked 3 dogs a mile each at the shelter.

Move on to today. I'm seeing Dr. Hurt on the 13th. Even though it's not Friday I'm not happy about this. We meet. He has the advantage as I'm already in the chair and he's hovering. He looks at the xray; he looks in my mouth; he confirms what I know.
Then he explains I should have "root canal therapy" - WHAT? Therapy. How about "a root canal"? Squirm, I did...offer delays and excuses, I did. Clearly not any good enough for he could not be budged so I said, "OK. Go for it." I'm all about the "never did this before" experience.

He loaded my mouth with appliances and started engines which made noises to drive dogs wild. He was handed cotton pallets, tools of varying sizes that were then flung over his shoulder. I peeked a couple of times when I smelled fire. The smoke coming from my mouth made me close my eyes. He scraped. He carried on face to face conversations with his parents who stopped by because his mom hurt her finger. He pushed. He pounded. He must have done a lot of things I couldn't describe here. He finished. He told me to follow up with my regular dentist and get a crown put on the tooth ASAP.
It is 7 hours later and there hasn't been a sign of soreness or pain other than in the checkbook. Hmmm. Later this week is the mammogram (now there's a test I can take easily enough). I think I'll give myself gold stars on the physical part of the wellness chart for this week.

How will I ever fit in the spiritual, social, vocational aspects of this wellness program? But, I am catching UP and that is what 2009 is for me!

Minggu, 11 Januari 2009

Another day with no points :>( for Bob

This weekend, we attended dog shows at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Bob only needed two points to finish. He got one point the first day, but the next two days, no luck. Of course, we thought he was the best looking dog out there.

Sabtu, 10 Januari 2009

No points for Bob today :<( at the show

Catching UP

First of all - to the right is the reading list from 2008 and ratings, with a single + meaning you can skip the book entirely. Keep in mind I cannot be nailed down as to a particular type of reading or book so you are taking your own chances if you pick one I do like!

Next, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Can we all do our best to make this a great one, PLEASE? It's going to take every one of us getting up and starting the day off with positive thoughts to turn things around. You know as well as I do that the news people are anxious to bring the hammer down on the globe. We cannot undo what has happened in the last couple of decades but we can change our priorities and our thinking. Deciding to be a better person and make wiser decisions beats slugging along same-o, same-o, right? I'm in for catching UP; how about you?

We put my mom next to my dad yesterday. Now I'm the only person living who dwelt in the home my grandfather built. Hmmm. Funny what new facts fill one's head. It was a c-o-l-d day, having snowed early and more to come later. I quoted Anne Tyler's THE CLOCK WINDER and then blew some bubbles over her.

Then in a way that no one other than God could, we had an assignment to complete - getting Lazlo adopted! We met a couple who had expressed an interest in him. They came down from Racine, we went up from here, met in the church parking lot. Everyone loved everyone. He's settled into his new home now.

We even had time to do a couple of other things. We visited the house I grew up in - that the aforementioned grandfather built. It got small over the years. What used to be huge rooms with imposing distances from one end of a hallway to another turned out to be ho-hum. It's a business establishment now and I relayed some information about it to the current owners. Also promised to look for photos and came across one already. Even in the picture it appears massive. Maybe our memories of our childhood homes are what make the structures vast!

We visited Geneva, only a couple of extra miles to go. There's new construction going on, some already completed. We appreciate the older buildings. After all, a strip mall is a strip mall regardless of whether you use cheap or expensive construction. We were pleased to seem some familiar business and buildings firmly rooted!

Then it was time for the drive. Other than going farther west than ever before going south - it was uneventful. The change in route meant fewer stop lights and less traffic as well as more trees!

Jumat, 02 Januari 2009

Are we doomed?

When I was a kid January 2nd meant bundling up to go outside or just plain staying inside. Today it's mild enough that all our dogs are outside for most of the day and we feel overdressed if we have on our coats. Global warming or just a shifting of seasons...hard to say.

Last night's radio broadcast has us re-thinking what we listen to at night. Truth is, the radio is "on" but we don't stay up and listen all night long, just hear it when someone rolls over or a critter moves and we get nudged. Don't tell me your pets don't sleep with you - I know better!

Anyway, as it turns out this year may be very unusual. Apparently the United will be removed from the United States of America and we'll be 6 regions, each specializing in regional production of raw or finished items. That means we in the Midwest get all the corn and soybeans, I guess. But, having surveyed this area I know that there are lots of odds and ends industries here too. And, we do have Caterpillar. So, fresh veggies and fruits will have to be imported from CA and Mexico. I know Mexico is not a state but it seems to be an important importer.

In addition to the separation of states we can all look forward to a civil war. Just in time for Abe Lincoln's 200th birthday which will be celebrated hugely in Springpatch (Springfield), even though he was born in KY. Hopefully our governor's "issues" won't cast a dark shadow on those events and perhaps the civil war organizers can hold off a bit to allow one last blow-out.

The chit-chatters did have a glimmer of hope for us to hang onto if we want to live through this. That is - learn some sort of "fix it" trade. Apparently they have determined that anyone who knows how to fix a bike or repair an appliance or re-invent a use for something that is irreparable will be kings and queens. I don't think that blogging counts.

But then, I doubt that being a naysayer on the radio does either.