Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Are We Expecting Someone?"

I was at Marty's work a couple of weeks ago, when my eye caught a beautiful metal, fish sculpture, hanging on the wall. My husband noticed, and said, "I just sold one." I asked him how many he has sold, and he said only two. I told him that is because many people love the sculpture, but cannot justify an expensive decoration item. Like us. You should come see my frugally decorated home. :) I want one of those sculptures, but fish do not figure much into my life. :) Nor expensive decorations. :)


So, the next day, we start our morning prayers & Rosary.......and the phone rings, it is my dad, as usual. He always waits till we start our prayers or the Rosary before he calls, regardless of whatever time of day we pray. Uncanny knack. So, I put him off for twenty minutes :) and go back to prayers. But, I cannot find my Rosary. I went looking in the kitchen, and I see someone walking to the front door.........I say, "Are we expecting someone?" I did not recognize the person from the angle. I open the door, and there is Andre. The husband of my friend Debbie, who was the good friend who was there with me when I gave birth to that wee fella mentioned last week. :) And, he is the great guy who invented a way to attach swings to our swing set. (I definitely need to post about the GIANT swingset!)

In his hands, we find this:

He says it is for us.


He says it is the first of its kind. He has only made fish from these plow discsFor us, we get a bear. That so fits us! In fact, I was in the middle of reading my third book about Yellowstone (I am infatuated with the place since our visit.......I am in the middle of my fourth book right now), titled: PLEASE DO (NOT) FEED THE BEARS, about bear management at Yellowstone from the start of the NPS. Here is a view of the back side, with his signature and date:

Here is his story:

In case you cannot read it, the card states: Andre's interest in metalsmithing began in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, where he was raised, and where he trained and worked with traditional Basque craftsmen. To create his art, he recycles descarded steel and iron. Each piece of metal art is handcrafted and unique. An avid fisherman himself, some of his favorite work features trout and steelhead. Other pieces use Basque themes and symbols. Many California State Parks have benefitted from Andre's custom-forged hardware and decoration. Andre has donated his art to local organizations, including The River Center and Castle Crags State Park interpretive association.


We are in absolute awe at his generosity. I have seen his handywork at his house. He makes some pretty neat stuff. :) One thing he is "famous" for is the creation of bear-proof food lockers, at some of those CA State Parks. He just recently retired from the state park system, and with all of this time on his hands, I expect he will get to finally embark on his REAL career, ART. :).


For the curious, these sculptures are made from a plow disc. A plow disc is one of many in a line on agricultural equipment that cultivate dirt. They get worn to the point that they are no use to the farmer and then they are discarded. Then, Andre turns them into art! Here is a photo of the plow......

Thanks, Debbie for the photo! :)


Andre is going to create these sculptures for the CA State Park store at Burney Falls, and he wanted to see how a bear would look. And, he gave us the prototype, the first one ever made.

Is this cool, or what???

Thanks, friend!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Time For Another Birthday!

I remember quite well what I was doing exactly six years ago at this moment. I was in labor with the wee fella.


I had just laid my head down for a short nap, waiting for my body to declare labor. My dear friend Willa had arrived earlier that evening with her seven kids. They were there for Anne's 13th birthday party the next day. My due date was still 9 days away. We thought we could do the party without mishap. Silly us. That turned out to be such a blessing as we had not yet found anyone able to baby-sit the kids when we went to the hospital for his birth. God took care of the plans for us! How grateful I am!


Anyway..... Willa and all of the children went to bed, too. I awakened at midnight. At 12:30, it was obvious I was definitely in labor. It took half an hour to wake Marty up all of the way. Willa was sleeping, but Anne and Clare were chatting their hearts out on the bunk above Willa. I told them we were leaving for the hospital, and to pray a Rosary for us. Willa never actually woke up till morning, to find us gone........and that she was in charge of the party! :) Actually, Anne kind of ran things, with Willa at her side. It was a literature-themed birthday party. That's a surprise coming from our house. :)


So we left for the hospital about 1am........and the sweet fella was welcomed into our arms at 2:04am. All 7 pounds of him.......our biggest baby to date! :)


We brought him home in the middle of the party :) Naming him took a couple of days.......and there is a good story about that........but it will have to wait for another post.


We were hoping to spend his day at two soccer games, one for him and one for Garrett, and then head over to a pumpkin patch with our dear friends Louise, Miranda and Evan........but it is supposed to be really cold tomorrow (maybe even rain or snow 60% chance) and with his mama feeling a case of bronchitis coming on........we will delay till Sunday, as the temperature is supposed to be about ten degrees warmer, and sunny. Then, we come home for cake and ice cream. He is getting a scrapbook and supplies for his birthday......his big wish. Really! :)


In the meantime,

Happy 6th Birthday, little man!


Disneyland, September 2007



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Prayers for tomorrow please?

One of my kids is having oral surgery in the morning.........could you please pray it all goes well?

I am always nervous when my kids go under general anesthesia. Kind of creeps me out. I am glad it does not happen often. It is kind of like a faith thing, you know. You give your child to the experts (and God) and just have to let go, and let God.

Also, I seem to have come down with the family sickness.........please pray I get over it quickly, as it is a 3 hr round-trip to the oral surgeon tomorrow.....hard to do when you feel yucky.

Thanks, friends. This is our first of TWO oral surgeries in this family before the end of the, I will be back.....

Friday, October 12, 2007

OH! The Poor Deer!

So, my friend Patty and I were driving five teenagers, including Matthew, to French Creek Outdoor School, about 1.5 hours away. We were talking about hitting deer, and I told her the story of the time Marty and I were driving an all-nighter up to Idaho when Anne was only 9months old. A deer had hit the side of our Blazer and flipped in the air coming down in front of the car so we could hit it again. It was horrible.....but the most frightening part was I had just taken off my seatbelt to go back to a fussy Anne. I was leaning over the front seat like a cannon aimed at the windshield, trying to put some lullaby music on for her, when Marty yelled, "Deer!"

I looked up to see what I descibed above. The most amazing thing was: Marty never put the brake on. He just plowed throught the deer. WE KNOW it was our guardian angels watching out for head should have been in that windshield. We drove a few miles, and then pulled over. I was sobbing, thinking of my motherless child. I have been a seatbelt nut since I was 16 years old....long before it was a law. To have almost died that way, was beyond me.

I mention to Patty that we have never been hit, or been hit by one since then.........
.........less than 24 hours after our conversation....
I am out on the road early with Garrett and Anne, to take him to meet someone who is driving him up to the same camp, and her to school at the college. Matthew had to go a day earlier for training as a counselor. We are about one mile from home, when a very large doe jumps out of the brush, about five feet from our car, as I am already passing her. Her body hit the side of the car where the panel over the tire resides, and her head got whacked against the windshield. It was such a loud thump. So much muscle. Poor deer! I looked in the rearview mirror, and apparently, she bounced off of the car, and then ran off into the brush on the oppsite side of the road, where she had been intending to go. She was not even limping. That made me feel better. I pray she is okay, she was so beautiful. A fine speciman.....and probably someone's momma.
I drove up the road, pulled over and viewed the damage. So much muscle is right! And her head cracked the windshield, too. The damage is noted below in the photo. I was driving the Honda, which Marty bought for me to use whenever we could all fit, to save on gas money. I actually hardly ever drive the big car anymore. That means it should last longer....I am glad, I just LOVE my new car! I digress. I took the Honda home and exchanged it for the Yukon XL. But first, I went in to tell Marty what had he needed just one more thing added to his to-be-taken-care-of list! It just never ends! Poor guy!
He drove it for me last see how it was functioning. He says I can use it again. Now, we need to decide if we drive around a dent-up car, or put out the money to fix an old Honda. Knowing Marty, he will tolerate for only a little while, and then go get it fixed. Anne is bummed....this was to be her commuting car for school.
Now I feel kind of gun-shy, (or, is that DEER-shy?) driving my new car around, on the lookout for deer. :)

(By the way, a reader mentioned it looked like blood all over the is a reflection of my pretty Garnet Yukon XL standing near by :) )