Thursday, January 19, 2012

A most unusual pet....

Meet Kitty:
Most of our pets/animals/livestock have names and not generic names.  But, well, Kitty is a different thing.  Or, um, animal.

We have lots of stories about how animals came to live at our house.  Kitty also has a story.  Most of our cats were born here, or came here as kittens.  Well, Kitty is something else.

Literally.  Apparently, we had visited our vet to have one of our roaming tomcats neutered and given his shots.  His bummer luck that he showed up the night before payday.  He generally would spend a week at our house, then a week at a neighbor's and then a week at another's.  We knew this because we saw him there, in their houses or barns.  Well, one of our goals is to all our barn kitties fixed over this year.  And Beethoven showed up the night before payday!  We let him in the house and called our country vet first thing in the morning.  Yep, he had time for a neuter and shots that morning, come on in.  We had to take advantage of when Beethoven showed up!!!  No problem.

Well, less than two weeks later, an unknown car pulled into the driveway.  And out came a neighbor we didn't know (yet).  She lived almost a mile down the road and wanted to talk to us.  Uh, oh, what did one of our kids do, what animal of ours got loose, etc?  No, turns out this cat had been dumped at her house and her dogs were trying to eat it.  It was obviously a house cat that had been dumped and wasn't doing well in the wild.  Well, she had been at our country vet and he mentioned us.  I really, really want to know why.  Are we the only rural people who get their cats fixed?  Maybe.  But Beethoven has been our kitty for four years!  We didn't know if he would stick around more, but hopefully he would be in fewer fights and get hurt less as he was quite a scrapper!

Anyway, this lady had not only stopped in, but the cat was in the back of her car.  Yeah, I am the biggest softie in the world!  How could you not look at this cat and say, yeah, she can be a barn cat here?

So, we took her into the house so we could assess her health and personality and to hopefully get her to identify with our place so she would stay by here.

Well, it was shortly before Steve and I were to go to Ethiopia for court for Azeb and Kahsu.  I just couldn't bring myself to try to explain this to my already stressed out husband.  Honestly, my intent was that this cat would fit in with our barn cats and be just fine.

Well, the girls took her up to their room and locked her in.  Please, please, don't let Dad know until we can let her outside, especially now with all that is going on!

Turns out, Kitty is not at all an outside cat!  Not at all!  But she is a great inside cat.  And all CAT.  You know what I mean.  She is affectionate and purring when she wants attention, and the rest of the time, she is just a cat.  Doing her own thing.  She likes to hang out where she hangs out, she likes to only sleep at my feet when she feels cold, she is present but only on her own terms.  She is all cat.

Well, needless to say, Murphy's Law came to pass at our house.  Of course, she was doing really well in the girls room - using the litter box, behaving with other animals and all.  And then, the morning Steve and I are leaving for Ethiopia, as we are about to walk out the door with our suitcases, who appears, but Kitty, sitting on the bottom step of our stairway to upstairs (and the kids' rooms) as pretty as you please.  Just contentedly sitting on the last step, just like she had done it every day of her life.  As my husband looked down at the cat, and then looked at me and the kids, and asked, "And who is this?", all I could do is put my hand over my face and say, "Oh, yeah, we were going to tell you about her after we got back from Ethiopia.".  Literally, five more minutes, maybe even three and we would have had a very different scenario. Thankfully, God's grace intervened, and Steve simply decided to not deal with it.  Thankfully.  Oh, yeah, by the way....

So, anyway...  Kitty is all cat.  That is why she has been named Kitty.  All of our other animals have creative names.  Even the stupid chickens (though not as many as used to!).  I had a cat named Kitty when I was a kid - I named her when I was three, so I claim that as my excuse.  And our Kitty now has that name simply because that is the only way to explain her.  She is all cat in all senses of the word.  She loves us when she wants to, puts up with us the rest of the time and is part of the crew when she wants to be.  Mostly she loves to watch.  Today she was watching a mouse in the laundry room.  At least now we know there is/was a mouse in the laundry room.  Hopefully no more since we locked Kitty in there and several mousetraps around the washer and dryer.  So, she did serve a purpose besides looking decorative!  At least she uses the litterbox consistently, is generally pleasant and cuddles once in a while.  What more is there to being a cat?

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!


I am sitting here, the news on in the background, warm kitties by my feet, and kids still sleeping.  Hubby is on his way to work at the Packer game for the 4H club horse project.  He loves it.  It is SO not me!  I have been checking in on friends on facebook, doing some reading of good blogs and thinking about the upcoming year.

I am not real big on resolutions.  Most of my resolutions are things that I have been working on anyway, so it seems silly.  Some of what I would list are obvious.  Getting our little girls safely home, homeschooling my kids, raising them to be responsible adults, raising them in faith, continuing to grow my own faith, organizing my home, decluttering, and enjoying life on the farm.  I am puttering with two of our young horses, beginning some simple training with them.  I even got a horse halter lesson yesterday!  I want to see that we can all make a difference in the world.  Small or big, it changes over time, and it ALL matters.

I would say that I am always on the outlook for organizational strategies - face it - there are ten of us in the home and I dearly love books.  Real life gets really busy, and some things fall by the wayside.  Keeping life simple makes it much easier to manage.

I also want to be writing more.  I keep working on it.  I live my life around our home.  We have seasons where I have worked out of the house at some points - to achieve a goal, but I am fully based at home at this point.  We have again restructured, and I will only work on weekends when hubby is totally home.  It is where our hearts are.  God has laid this journey before us, and we will walk it gladly.

We are paring things down - we were blessed with a flat screen TV (and the kids with a PS3 from their  FAVORITE aunt) so we have a 32 inch tv to go, and we had a 19 inch left over from our fundraising rummage sale - so if you want one, I would so gladly get it out - any funds go into our flight fund for our next trip to Ethiopia!  And we also have a gorgeous cherry entertainment center - a corner center, double top doors and storage below - that needs to go (the new TV doesn't fit and dear hubby is going to build us a smaller one that will fit the new tv).  I will be posting it on craigslist and all as we declutter.

God has been very clear with us "use what you have" and that He will provide for further needs.  We for years saved clothes many sizes ahead for the kids - we don't anymore - except maybe some things for the little girls!  God has always provided right when we needed it!  Either we found great sales, our favorite thrift shop was a great source, we found a treasure trove rummage sale-ing or we were blessed with hand me downs - always so much nicer than we would ever expect or dream of (it got my kids to love American Eagle and Aeropostle).  We have never been low.  The provision - either the funds we need or a surprise blessing has always been there - and yes, we do budget for it!  (But you can't really budget for all five boys outgrowing something all at the same time!  They do pass things down, but many things simply just get worn out from the heavy use of boys!)

I am also working on cooking more - not in quantity, that is the usual, but in the last year, the kids have been cooking quite a bit, which is great, but I want to have freezer meals ahead, and to cook because I love it.  Actually, I love hearing my kids enjoying something I made for them.  Sourdough bread, friendship breads, and whatever else I can learn about.  There are so many things to do health wise that just everyone should be doing, but it takes time.

And I look forward to seeing my kids minds and knowledge expand!  Homeschooling lets me walk this road with them, and to alter it as each may or may not need a somewhat different path.  I keep looking into virtual school, but I just don't see that it has the flexibility to meet our needs in life.  Our life is very eclectic.  Each kid has very eclectic needs.  So, being able to modify it as we go, well, that is a huge benefit to it.  I don't know how to try to make a public school person understand it.  So, we are still doing it the way we have, which is structured and unstructured, active and interesting.  I am glad that one of my goals for last year was accomplished - the kids are reading more!  We have a schedule where they are reading a book a week and doing a book report (way to make them accountable).  If they choose a more challenging book, or longer book, then we can adjust the due date for something reasonable - but it is also about teaching them time management, setting goals and completing a longer term task.  Anyway, that is a big deal for us!

Well, I may ramble some days about the progresses we make in life.  One thing I want to do is read a challenging book myself each month - I read a ton, but quite often it is more fluff stuff for entertainment.  I am half way through Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis, and it is wonderful.  I borrowed it, but will have to buy it as it will be required reading for my kids!  We need to always keep ourselves challenged and reminded of what is really important in life, what God has called us to.  How we live out our faith, our devotion to God.

Well, I had better get the kids moving, start our New Years morning celebrations and chores.  And then I get the Ethiopian food started simmering!!!!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!!  Injera, misir wat, doro wat.  And veggies!!!!  Whoo-hoo!!!!  Laundry to go, doing chores through a snowstorm and wind.  LOL!  Life on the farm!  We bedded down the animals tight knowing that this was coming, but I am not looking forward to going outside!!!  Brrrr!!!!!!  And I ripped my last pair of flannel lined jeans!  Drat!  I am going to try to figure out how to repair and patch, but it won't be pretty - not like it matters!!!  Oh, yes, and sewing with my girls!  Lots going on!

Happy New Year!  May God bless you and your family richly!

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11