Saturday, October 15, 2011

I hate that cat!

Here's why- among other reasons. Last Sunday I came home from church and there were bird feathers ALL over my closet. I cleverly deduce that there has got to be a dead bird SOMEWHERE in there, (no shizzz, Sherlock...ya think?) but I can't find it. Stewart and I tear everything out of the closet- no small feat -and we couldn't find it. I am chucking shoes and pants and hiking equipment left right and center, all the while cringing because at any minute I am going to find that little beat up body and I just KNOW it's going to fall on me or touch me-SHUDDER! SO we figured maybe she ate it. Don't know why I thought that because she never eats them, just leaves them for us to dispose of. So we ignore it. I vacuumed up the feathers, put everything back and went about my business- knowing full well that at some point I am going to smell dead bird. The next day the cat is making a horrible sound. Kind of guttural and growly. And the day after that she can't meow at all- which is actually kind of nice, because she meows like she is being strangled and it's loud and annoying and wakes me up 2-3 times a night. Maybe she really did eat that bird and now it's lodged in here throat! BWAHHAH serves her right. It's not all bad, mind you. She just kind of squeaks or has that growly sound, which is actually quite funny. She sounds kind of like the girl in the Exorcist- I know that cat is possessed but now she even sounds like she is. It's a little scary.
So last night I walk in my room and I smell this dead smell, and I know there has GOT to be a dead bird in there- We again took EVERYTHING out of the closet and still we couldn't find it. GAHHH! The guy is at our house putting in carpet. I wonder could it be a glue smell? Nice try- it's not glue, dang it, and I know it. Maybe it's my hiking boots. That is a good possibility. They do get a good work out. I bravely stick my nose in my boots. CH#@UZ**SUSH! nope- not them- they stink but it's not the same stink. I throw all my shoes out of the closet. (seriously would you ever wear all these shoes...EVER???)

SIDE NOTE: Why do we keep every pair of shoes we've ever owned? Because our feet never gain weight or sag or get wobbly bits like the rest of us. They just hang out down there always being the same and shoes are easy to buy because you don't look fat in shoes, right? Think about it.

So yes, now all the shoes are all over the bedroom and I can't smell the smell in the closet as much-That should have been my clue- but no- I still think that tiny corps is in there, but can I find it? NO sir. I look into ever single shoe! No bird. I can't smell it now, so again I ignore it but for good measure, I douse the entire closet and it's contents with fabreeze. Now it smells like dead bird and purfume...really strong perfume. I am now thinking at some point this dead bird will become a skeleton and then it won't stink and my life will go on as before, ignorance is bliss and all.... SHUDDER! But I have to go help put stuff back in the newly carpeted rooms, so I leave the graveyard for now, in the hopes that it will just magically disappear.

Stewart came downstairs about an hour later and shoves my running shoe under my nose and says is this what you smelled? I am thinking "Well dang, you dolt, it's a running shoe. Of course it's not going to smell like roses!" GAG- it's the dead bird! Shoved right down low in the toe so I couldn't see it. Stewart wants to know why I didn't check ALL the shoes, and I said I did! I looked into every blessed one of them. BUT I was most certainly NOT going to shove my hand down into all those dark dank shoes with the knowledge my hand was going to light upon a dead, smelly, squishy bird.
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE! Have you ever felt a dead, lifeless anything? I don't know what it is but touching lifelessness is not something I relish. Once my old boyfriend had some huge geese he had shot and for some unknown reason I picked one up by the throat. I pride myself on not being a screaming girl. I dropped that bird so fast and yup- I screamed. Oh the shame. I will never forget how it felt. Soft but lifeless and limp and not at all what I expected..(not sure just what I expected) but ever since then touching something dead is not a pleasant experience.

My running shoe is now out in the garage, minus one bird, but not allowed back in the house. I don't quite know what to do with it. Right this very minute I am thinking about the horror that might have ins-sued should I have attempted to put that shoe on my unsuspecting foot. OH MY GOSH!!!! pfff - I don't love running, who needs running? I really do hate that cat!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

living wills and living eulogies!

This is a long one- written mostly for my own posterity and benefit. Proceed with caution: (Picture the school teacher in the Peanuts cartoon. wha WHAAH blah blah wha whaaaa wha!) Here I have been nagging Paige to get blogging and I notice quite sheepishly that she blogged 2 weeks ago and I hadn't blogged for 3 weeks...hhhmmmm-
Well I went to Utah last week to visit my parents. Might I just say here that someone took the Salt Lake City that I grew up in and replaced it with a bunch of crazed money grabbers! Recession? What recession? Apparently nobody in the state of Utah has heard you shouldn't live beyond your means...could be why Utah has the highest debt per ca pita in the USA, and I have heard tell they are the biggest consumers of Prozac. umm hummm. Can you say keeping up with the Jones'? I know I shouldn't judge or paint the entire town with the same brush but it's a crazy place these days. Just my gut reaction and I am sticking to it.
I did have such a great time with my Sister in Law, Cathy. Just talking (and yes, just the a tiniest bit of gossip) for hours and going to lunch and long walks was a slice of heaven- with just a bit of mischievous hell mixed in for good measure. I miss my brothers and sister in laws. It was amazing to see a good part of my nieces and nephews, all grown up and being parents to fun and rambunctious little kids. I AM MISSING THIS PART OF MY LIFE- PEOPLE!!! I visited with Melissa and Harper. Melissa and Keller are in the final weeks of adopting a baby. My fingers are crossed for them! We even tied a quilt one night. I got to see Megan and Shawn and Megan's new baby, Evangeline. What a cute little thing!! We had a dinner at Scott and Caths with Ian and Gracie, Joe, Lindsay, Indie and Isaiah. I had never met Joe or Indie so that was a treat.
I also went to dinner with some of my best friends from...I was going to say High School but we went to kindergarten through high school together and we have been fast friends all these years. Lots of laughs and some tears as well, because just two days before our date, Kris buried her Mother. Rest in peace, Louise.
This brings me to the reason I went to Utah. My parents. As I have gotten kids and grand kids and moved 12 hours away, and lets face it, become totally absorbed in my own life's challenges, I have neglected my parents. That is not something I am happy to admit to, but it's true. I feel bad about it. I need to repent and be better. Especially because it's a known fact that 85 and 83 year olds don't live forever- maybe not even for another year. As we sat and talked about Kris's Mom and the struggles with being the "sandwich" generation, Kris mentioned she had no regrets. I realized that this could be me next and I think I most definitely would have one regret. I have not been a very good daughter. I have not spent near enough time with my parents and they are aging and struggling and I don't know what to do about it. How can I help when I am so far away? What will I do when they can't take care of themselves? How do you take care of parents and work and take care of your family too? It's a dilemma to be sure. One I haven't done well with so I tend to put it out of my mind.
My Mom and I talked until 3 in the morning one night- about life and death and living wills and all that kind of scary stuff nobody likes to think about. As Kris read us her Mothers eulogy, I started to think, why do we wait until a person is dead to say all those nice things? We want living wills don't we? - so I am going to do a living eulogy! I know- it's a contradiction, but just go with me here. This week I will living eulogize my Mom- If I did both parents- it would be too long so I will split them into two blogs...
Ella Joyce Andrus Davis- that's my mom- See mom-look at how impressive all those names are. Look how many names YOU got! sigh.

My Mom is an amazing example of someone who serves others. I do not remember many times my Mom taking time just for herself. I am sure somewhere in her life she did, but in my mind all I see is Mom working. She cooked and cleaned, canned food, laundered and ironed and made my clothes. She served in the church and I think the one and only thing she did for herself was go bowling and even then I thought she did it to win turkeys for our thanksgiving dinners. I learned to work by watching her. I learned to serve in the church by watching her. I learned that when you say you'll do something you do it and you do it well. You never just not show up!
My Mom thinks of her husbands need before her own. I should have learned this from her but it doesn't stick all the time.

I got my sense of humor from her and my love of animals. I loved watching how my mom doted on our dogs. I get the feeling they were her one indulgence, as she didn't have many of those.
My mom is honest. She tells it like it is, but she tells it with some humor. But she doesn't take guff, except from Dad. Dad can get away with guff. I watch her swallow words I would have said and marvel at her patience and compassion. She doesn't believe in doing for another what they could and should do for themselves, but she is very giving when a person is in need.
I never heard my mom cuss. Hells bells or bat out of hell doesn't count. I do remember those once in a while. I did hear one cuss- once and only once- and I mention it because it was a one time never to be repeated or forgotten, mark this on your calendar thing, and to me that is a miracle. She was a new Relief Society President in a ward that had just been formed from 2 other wards. It was tough! She worked like mad to try and pull those women together. She had worked for hours making 3x5 cards of every woman in the ward- with all their info- phone numbers, birthdays, kids, husband, jobs, everything about that person she needed to know at a glance. Very organized and efficient which are 2 other qualities she sports.
Well she and I were coming home from church and it had been raining. She went to get out of the car and in trying to avoid the mud and water in the gutter, she knocked the card box into the gutter and all the cards fell into the mud and rainwater. She said the S word. I distinctly heard her say it and I remember it like it was yesterday because she NEVER said it and has never said it since. That was the day I realized my mother was a human being. Up until then she was Saint Joyce and to my knowledge had never done anything wrong. I seriously never saw or heard my mom do something she shouldn't do or say. I honestly was most shocked that she even knew that word.

Mom is a true worker bee. Even if she did sit down to watch TV, she was sewing, darning(who does that?) knitting or crocheting. Never just sitting. I NEVER saw my mom sick in bed. NEVER! Not once. I remember thinking my mom had some kind of super human body because she never got sick. I know now that she probably did get sick but she just worked through it.
I did not learn how to play from my mom. I learned that from Dad. I will write Dads living eulogy next week so stay tuned! Not that he didn't work!!! Quite the contrary. But he knew how to play too. Sometimes I think Mom didn't play enough.

Mom taught the boys in scouts for years. She was the president of all the organizations in the church except Young Woman's. She didn't have much use for silly girls.Good thing she only got one. She was a counselor more times than I can count and a teacher many times over. She also served 3 missions with my Dad for the church. And she still teaches today.
I tell you this next tid bit because it is the only time I saw my mom REALLY let here hair down.
Our ward went to Bear Lake to waterski for a week every year. It was the highlight of the year and is to this day one of the highlights of my life. One year the kids started a small but respectable water fight. Soon the adults joined in and not soon after that, we kids got out of it and sat back and watched these adults who we respected and awed because they were the spiritual leaders and men and women who ran the church and our world, and they were saints one and all. They went INSANE!!! They were running around drenching everyone in site. No one was immune. People would drive up the beach and park and get out of their car and splat- instant baptism. I had never seen any of these adults act like that. And then there was my mild mother, for all intents and purposes, in an outer body experience because that was NOT my mom. She was now in a frenzied pack of women who were formerly our primary and young women leaders but now turned into demented water witches drooling and chanting... ALL MUST BE WET!!! Jim Lindsley had tried to escape them by running into a trailer and locking the door. The witches grabbed a kid- Jane Shields I think it was, and made her crawl through an outside storage door that was 12 inches wide. They just kept shoving poor Jane in that tiny hole, hoping she would unlock the door for them. Jim knew it was only a matter of time before he got wet, so he ran out of the trailer and jumped in the lake before the banshees could get to him. Well they were not happy with that. That was too easy for him. So my mom went into the trailer, got an armload of Jim's clothes, ran to the lake and she and the rest of the harpies proceeded to stomp all of his clothes into the water. I remember thinking who took my mom and replaced her with this thing? It was beautiful, wonderful, and glorious. I truly did not know she had that in her. I wish I could have seen more of that!

Words that I would use to describe mom are wise, practical, efficient, giving, organized, confident, compassionate, humble, independent, humorous, thoughtful, devoted, spiritual, strong, sensible, smart, down to earth, thrifty, honest. She is not worldly, self absorbed or selfish, mean, spiteful, frivolous, flighty or insensitive.

She lives by these adages: use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, give a man a fish you feed him for the night, teach a man to fish you feed him for his life, give a mouse a cookie...hhhmmm... She does not like being taken advantage of and she never takes advantage of anyone else. She is not one to ask for help- even now at 83. She is not someone who spends time or money on herself much. Most things she buys or does are for someone else.

Mom has many talents. I told someone once she could embroider, cross stitch, knit, crochet or sew a dump truck if she had to. She even made all the drapes for our house. Not just little toppers- full length huge hummers! Crazy says I!!! She is a good cook. Except Dad makes her cook meat until it is a hockey puck, but she is just cooking it like he likes it. WELL DONE. She keeps a spotless house, for the most part she kept spotless kids, taught us right from wrong in no uncertain terms, takes on any church job and does it well, never complains unless she feels someone isn't pulling their weight and then she shows them by example or teaches them how to do it right. Mom has a knack of saying what needs to be said. She doesn't skirt around the subject or think she needs to sugar coat things. But sometimes she doesn't say how she really is- if you ask her how she is she will always say oh I'm fine- even though she isn't. She just doesn't feel the need to put her burden on anyone else. That may change...but I doubt it.

Mom was a good daughter. I should have learned that lesson better from her. She spent time with her parents and was very much in their lives weekly if not daily. She made sure they were always taken care of in their later years.

She took people into our home and made them welcome and if they had the time she fed them. She would stay up at night and talk to us after our activities. She was always home when we came home form school. I can only count on one hand the times she wasn't there and those times she was helping someone else out. She disciplined us with fairness and consistency, dang it. What she said she meant and you knew it.

I do know that when my mom does graduate from this life to the next, she will be welcomed as a valiant servant and she will calmly and efficiently go right to work doing what she has always done and knows best. Serving others.

I wish my mom could have had more fun in her life. I wish she hadn't worked so hard, but that is what she just did and her example has helped me in my life. I wish that she wasn't burdened with aging, and I wish I was closer so I could help her more. I wish I was more like her. And I wish for her a quick and painless graduation day. What ever comes though I know she will try to do it without much fuss or burden to others.
I love you Mom.