Friday, November 26, 2010

This is crazy….

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It’s bad enough that we actually went shopping this early, but I somehow set my alarm wrong.  I was afraid to go back to sleep so 3:15 am I am drinking coffee & making my list. 

Kim and I shopped and Dan drove.  We actually did get some shopping done at Eddie Bauer (40% off everything in the store) and Home Depot (98 cent poinsettias).  Kim wanted something in Target, we walked in and turned around and walked out.  The lines to check out were over half way back through the store. 

It was fun, an adventure.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Skye the Boxer

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Those of you who follow my blog know about Skye. I am sad to write that she died Monday, November 22. In a little over a month, she would have been 12 years old. Here is her final post.

Skye came to us sometime in May or June of 1999. Kim and Marc had her first. They already had one boxer, Belle, a refined, well behaved and beautiful dog. Along came Skye, ornery, head strong and happy as a lark. Also, on May 23, along came Aaron so two boxers and a baby were too much. We happily took Skye.

She immediately took over our hearts and home. Lucy, our Beagle, took to her immediately also. Lucy taught Skye how to flush out the rabbits. Most summer evenings we knew where they were because we could hear Lucy on the scent of a rabbit. We began to wonder if it was a game when the rabbits figured out neither of those soft-hearted dogs would ever hurt them.

After Lucy hunted her last rabbit, Skye became much more attentive to us. In fact, she was by our side whenever we were outside and knew where we were inside—a true companion. She did have her quirks.  She had some kind of crazy reaction to being penned up. One time she got left in the house by mistake. There are still places on woodwork where we can see her reaction to that. Thunder and gun shots were another problem. As she grew older, that even got worse. Remember, only a couple months ago we left and a thunder storm came in? She got frightened and took off, only saved by a observant neighbor.

Skye had the best sense of humor of any dog we have ever known. She delighted in making us laugh and knew just how to do it. She could “talk” her way into anything she wanted, including playing with her squeaky newspaper or doughnut and getting a treat. If the doorbell rang, she would be the first there to happily greet our guests. I am not sure I have ever heard her growl. Maybe when she was younger, Dan could get her worked up over seeing something move outside the window.

She had a couple close calls. Once we saw a coyote chasing her across the pasture. The kids yelled and waved their arms and the coyote turned around. Another time she acquired some kind of blood disorder that required a life or death decision. We said save her, paid the exorbitant bill and she lived another seven healthy years.

At the end, she had several problems. Her hips had become so painful that she required a pain pill each day. She also had an issue in her lungs that made it very difficult to breathe. It was her time. We said our goodbyes.

It was difficult to lose Skye. But thinking back over the years, we are so glad we had her as a part of our lives. She helped with the empty nest. And, of course, always made us have at least one big healthy laugh per day. She was a good girl.

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On being a mail carrier

I’ve been retired a year and a half now, but I will never forget the best parts of my 30 year job of delivering mail.  The first episode of this 60-minute segment of This American Life is about a city carrier who saved a person’s life.  As the story points out, this is not unusual and, although I never saved a person’s life, I called 911 about suspected activities at homes or a concerned neighbor when mail piled up in the mailbox of an older customer.

The part of this story that really made me miss my job is how the carrier knew his customers.  That part is so true.  There also was a trust there that, although we knew more about people than most such as their address and condition of their mailbox, it was not a topic of conversation with anyone.

I only listened to the first two segments right now.  The second about the blind man walking a child is excellent also.  I think I will download this as a podcast and listen on my  mp3 player while cleaning for the holidays.  But if you only have seven minutes, listen to the first part about mail carriers. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Topeka Youth Debut Orchestra

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Aaron is a member of the Topeka Youth Debut Orchestra, the beginning group of the Topeka Youth Orchestra.  We are proud of him.  He is the only bass player chosen which puts a lot of responsibility on his shoulders.

This is the last song played.  I missed recording Ode to Joy, more of a Holiday selection.  This is Cabbage Countdown by Phillips  To get the best sound, I probably should have been a little further back from the stage. Also, you might want to move down the volume in the lower right hand corner.