August and June

It’s hard to believe August is almost over. Once again, the summer has flown by. Much has happened in the past two weeks, and I’ll bring you up to speed, starting yesterday and working my way backwards.

School started yesterday. Hannah is now a high school freshman (eek!) and Mary’s in the fifth grade down at Norway. This is the first time we’ve not had a child at Atkins Elementary. That will make scheduling doctor and dentist appointments more difficult, but I’m sure we can manage.

Saturday the 16th was the Chilla Family Reunion. I got to see alot of relatives that I rarely see, mostly in the cousin category. My sister and brother-in-law made it up (it’s a long drive for them) which was way cool because I don’t get to see my sis nearly as much as I’d like to. For that matter, I don’t get to see all of my family as often as I’d like. But I’m going to remedy that around Christmastime. More on that later. Anyway, the reunion was wonderfully fun, and of course there was lots and lots of great food. When the Chilla’s get together, there’s always lots and lots of great food. It’s a given.

Thursday and Friday (the 14th & 15th) I took vacation from work. Friday was a travel day, but Thursday Carl and I took the girls to Lost Island Waterpark in Waterloo. What a blast! The girls really enjoyed themselves, and Carl and I got to relax a little. The girls (especially Mary) loved the slide where it drops you into a bowl-like structure, and you swirl around inside the bowl a couple times, then you drop onto another slide that takes you to the end pool. I don’t remember what the park’s name for the slide was, but the girls called it the Toilet Slide because that’s pretty much how it works. Whoever designed that slide had waaaaaay too much time on their hands.

Tuesday and Wednesday (the 12th and 13th) I had the house to myself because Carl took the girls to Des Moines. He’d taken the whole week off, but since I only had two days’ worth of vacation they had to go without me. They went to the State Fair and Living History Farm on Tuesday, and Adventureland on Wednesday. They stayed at a hotel that had three swimming pools, so the girls got to spend alot of time in the water. They had a fun and relaxing time, which ended abruptly when they got home.

Which brings me to June. On Tuesday, we found a little grey calico kitten in the parking lot at work. She was obviously a stray (although she was used to being around people) and my heart went out to her immediately because she looked just like Juniper, a cat we’d had on our farm when I was about Mary’s age. Poor Juniper died of a foot infection after one of the inbred brats from town shot her through the foot with a B-B gun. So naturally I didn’t use any logic but immediately decided to take her to my vet, who happens to have an office about 1/4 of a block from my workplace. I dropped her off there and asked them if they could look the kitten over and do whatever was necessary so that I could take her home after work. They treated her for every parasite a stray could have, plus they vaccinated her, so she was set and ready for me at 5:00. They told me to keep her separated from our other cats for a few days, then they asked me what her name was. It’s CaliJune – Cali for calico and June for Juniper. I couldn’t bring myself to tell Carl about this on Tuesday night when he called. I didn’t want him stressing out about it while he was supposed to be having fun on Wednesday. But when they got home that evening, I told them I had a little surprise for them, and introduced them to the cat. Mary loved her immediately, and hailed me as a hero for rescuing her. Hannah was indifferent. Carl was furious – he didn’t just blow a fuse, he blew out the entire fuse box. He growled and pouted about it for a couple days, then told me he didn’t like it but she could stay. He’s softened up to the point now that he’ll actually talk to her like he talks to the other cats, so I guess she’s growing on him.

That pretty much summarizes August. For all you curious readers I hope to have pictures of CaliJune that I can post here soon. Otherwise you’ll just have to come and visit to see what she looks like.

Ooh! That reminds me. I was going to tell y’all about Christmas. Well, I managed to talk my family into gathering at a cabin in the Wisconsin Dells for three nights, two full days and two half days over the holidays. I reserved a five bedroom, 3200 square foot cabin in a waterpark resort. Come Thanksgiving time all of us girls will get together via e-mail or phone and figure out who gets what meal on what day, and who’s bringing what desserts and snacks (a must-have at Christmas). Some of the family is looking into going skiing for a day, and the rest of us will hang out, relax and take the kids to the waterpark. Best of all, I’ve asked everyone to bring their instruments so we can play together. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. Food, fun, and music – the best Christmas gift anyone could ask for.

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