Thursday, December 15, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Whether we realize it or not
Every man, woman, child
The poor, the sick, the afflicted
The wise, the blessed, the successful
The wicked, the proud, the ignorant
The peaceful, the merry, the giving
The slothful, the melancholy, the angry
The loving, the willing, the wealthy
Any soul that has breathed this earth's sweet air
Is a debt of gratitude
To Him we owe
If a man could see what is potentially his
He would gladly suffer the worst this world has to offer
This wonderful plan
Has only our eternal happiness in mind
The good, the bad, the indifferent
Is a gift from God
Saturday, November 19, 2005
I ran outside to behold a black spot in the lawn. I knew it was him and I knew he was dead. He looked like a dirty, black dishrag lying in the grass. As I approached him, I looked for signs of life. There weren’t any, no noticeable chest movements, nothing. When I got up to him, he was wet head to toe and had by then frozen. I put my hand on him - cold as ice. I picked up his body by the knap of the neck to examine him before taking him to his "final resting place" - the trash can. I looked at his face - his eyes were half open along with his mouth and his tongue was hanging slightly out - and thought to myself, "I hate looking at lifeless faces."
Just then, he whimpered and cried a little. "He's alive!" I cried to mom as I bolted toward the house; he started screaming a horrible scream by then. We both ran inside with him. Mom grabbed a towel and we wrapped him in it. I started vigorously rubbing him - he would scream with pain every now and then and then return to a seemingly lifeless state. We warmed my rice-packs in the microwave. Kathleen then put him under her shirt to try to get him warm. In the five minutes it took for the rice-packs to heat up, her chest was as if she were holding an ice pack against her. We got the rice-packs ready and then pulled him out from under her shirt and put him under mine. I then put the rice-packs on top of him.
In a matter of ten minutes, he had the rice-packs cold - I mean cold. I put them back in the microwave to warm them again. Up to this point, he would start wailing an ear piercing cry but for a moment, and then return to a state of labored breathing and limpness. After about ten or fifteen more minutes, he started shivering and crying a little less often. Mom back came in the house at about and we put 45cc of warm saline under his skin. He was very slowly, but surely "coming back to life". We also put an electric heating pad under him, on top of my skin. About five minutes later, mom had me get her stethoscope and she listened to his heart and lungs. His heart was 120bpm (normal for a kitten is about 160bpm), but he had stopped skipping beats and they were strong beats. His left lung sounded clear but his right was crackly – he was lying on his right side when I found him. He was still limper than a rag-doll and a little touch and go.
By 1:30, he was starting to try to crawl out of his blankets and heating pads and lose the look of shock in his eyes (glazed over, partly opened). At , he climbed down from the couch and drank quite a bit of formula and water. We took him to the vet a little after to get some antibiotics to prevent pneumonia. He has slept most of the day – understandable – and is still not walking very well, but he is alive, eating, drinking and going potty. I think he’s going to make it.
His life is small and insignificant in the “great scheme.” We would have been just fine with the loss of this cat, but, for some reason, God touched this little creature and let him live. This brought great joy into this house today. Mom and I both feel like we were a part of a miracle. I felt peace, joy and love knowing that brief sadness I would have felt was spared because I am a child of God. I know that He hurts when we do and pains to see His children suffer – even if but a little. I truly feel that we were blessed to be reminded of His great mercy and love.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
On Monday's "Staff Training Day," I was with the bus drivers all day going to their trainings. The last part of the day we all loaded onto a bus to practice/brush up on techniques learned that day in a big, empty parking lot. I didn't think that I was allowed to get behind the wheel. Then the transportation specialist said, "Cerra, it's your turn."
I was excited. The first thing we did was pick a reference point from a given distance and then move the bus and stop that distance from something using your reference point. I was right on. Which wasn't very exciting because it's a fairly easy task, once you know the concept.
After that, we practiced the serpentine course. That is a line of cones that are 3-6 feet longer than the bus you are driving and you slalom the cones and get as close as you can to them without knocking them over.
You go through the course backwards and forwards. Surprisingly enough, the course in reverse is much easier than forward.
We use small buses at our school, but the distance between the wheels are pretty close comparing the overall length of the two. The tailswing on the bigger buses is greater though.
Anyway, I got to try this course too. I didn't knock over a single cone nor have to change directions to make it. I did it both in reverse and going forward. I had a lot of coaching, but it was still a great learning experience.
It was my first time behind the wheel of a bus. It was super fun! Soon I will make you all call me "Bus Driver Cerra" like the children will.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I convinced my work to sign up for a corporate membership with a local gym a couple of months ago. It drastically reduces the monthly fees for the employees. I am only paying $15/month for 24 hour access.
I want to start going every day before work, but even if I miss a morning, I can go at lunch or after work that day. They have locations in Weiser and Ontario (where I live and where I work). I am going to get into great shape! YAY!
Monday, October 31, 2005
Saturday was packed. We worked on the goat/horse shed ALL day - we didn't even stop to eat. When night fell we went to Sizzler to celebrate Kathleen's new job, gorged ourselves on the all-you-can-eat buffet and then went to bed.
Sunday morning we went to church - Dillon stayed home sick (I think it was the buffet). After church I was so excited to start carving pumpkins. I kept trying to sell the idea to Dillon and Kathleen to do it with me, but they weren't buying it. So I set out to carve alone. I laid out two trash bags on the kitchen floor, put Napoleon Dynamite in the DVD player and stabbed my first pumpkin. I didn't even have it all the way hollowed out when Kathleen asked me to go with her to deliver 10 chickens to the Winegars - a great family in the ward. I went with. Their two kids love me and the third is beginning to (he's only 8 months old). Orin (the six year old boy) asked his mom, "Can we go over to Cerra's house?" Afton (the eight year old girl) thought that was a great idea too. After a bit of convincing from them, she relented.
We brought the two kids back home with us while John, Deana and Lee (dad, mom and baby Winegar) went home teaching. We went out to the goats and watched Orin ride the yearling billy. It was so cute. He's so stumpy and stout. He's literally a "goat roper".
After that we came in and started carving pumpkins. The kids didn't know they were going to get to do that. They were so excited. Even Dillon couldn't resist the fun and drew a "scary face" on one of the pumpkins for me to carve out.
Before they left, the kids asked if the could come over trick-or-treating the following night - you need to make prior arrangements out in the country before go or you won't get any candy. So I went to the dollar store on my way home from work and bought a couple of candy bars. I bought some extras just in case, but they were our only two. Afton was a fairy princess (my all time favorite costume growing up - I think I sported my wings made out of panty hose and wire coat hangers and my flyswatter wand at least three years. Aftie's costume was a lot better than mine ever was - she was precious looking. Orin was Davie Crockett. I guess he was Santa last year. What a funny kid! They came in and let me take pictures of them - too cute!!!
All in all it was a quiet Halloween. I enjoyed myself thoroughly though - I carved pumpkins, drank apple juice and hung out with two really fun kids...Did I mention that I carved pumpkins? Well, I did! I wonder if there's a future in it for me... Talk about a dream job!!!
Friday, October 28, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Even Winslow can't resist them.
We brought them outside today to play - they still live in the garage. They loved it. It was a nice, warm, sunshiny day. They met the chickens for the first time too. They thought it was great fun to chase the chickens...until they got pecked a couple of times.
We've become kind of lazy in our names for this batch. The back and white ones are "Cowboy" and "Cowgirl" - pretty boring. And the three black ones are Balooju (Baloo Junior), Baloojutu (Baloo Junior II) and Fooju (Footie Junior). Baloo and Footie were two cats from the previous litter. I think the novelty of kittens is wearing thin...
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
This year it was Kathleen, Megan (her daughter), Susanne (her best friend from California) and me who went. It was a great time. We all wore tiaras and sashes - being the princesses that we are. My sash said "Miss Taken"on it. I was going to be "Miss Demeanor" but they wanted me to be "Miss Taken" because I am so recently married. I really liked the idea of the whole thing being an ode to Dillon on my part, so I changed my mind. Kathleen was "Miss Behavin'", Susanne was "Miss Chief" and Megan was "Miss Chievous".
We had a great time. I was going to run, but got a cold the Wednesday before and was still sick for the race. They ran a block with me at the beginning to make me feel good. Every year the give out t-shirts when you sign up. The logos on them are different each time, but they all say "5k stroll, walk and run" on the bottom. Two years ago I circled stroll on the t-shirt I got - because we strolled. Last year I circled walk. This year I wanted to circle run, but didn't run. Susanne said that I had better circle it because we ran (the block), but I think I'll hold out until next year when I run the whole thing.
Here is 20 minutes of video of the event. I didn't see us on there, so that made the footage rather dull to me. It gives you an idea of what it is like though.
We are always recruiting more people participate with us too. So if you are going to be around next year, you should! (Sorry Paul, you have to be a girl!) I tried to talk Kathleen (Hawkins) in to taking her new knee out for a spin...maybe next year.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
I went out to her corral and haltered her. I brought her out to the lawn and Kathleen held her while I used a chair to get on her. At first, I was just sitting on her while Kathleen held her and she ate grass. Then Kathleen used part of the long lead rope to give me some reins. I controlled her a little and then let her chill and then did it again. All while Kathleen had a hold of her just in case.
We walked around the side of the house to the front. Just as we stopped, Max (the best dog in the world) jumped out of the creek. Starberry spooked and took a big, fast side-step. It was just like a magician pulling a table cloth out from under a bunch of china. I landed with one foot perfectly on the ground and the other still on Star. The reaction seemed so delayed from all of us. I kept my foot on her a while longer and then took it to join the other. I felt the the look of shock on my face and saw it on Kathleen's. We both started laughing hysterically in relief. We hunched over each other's shoulders laughing away. Then Kathleen pulled her head up and said, like an 'oh, yeah,' "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I landed on my FEET!" I said, still cracking up. Then we both we went back to laughing.
The last (and only) two times I had ever fallen off a horse before ended pretty badly. This one was so crazy! It happened so quickly, and we were both so grateful that no one was hurt. Star seemed to share our 'what the crap just happened?' feelings. I don't think she found it as funny as we did though.
Kathleen grabbed my leg and boosted me back on Starberry's back. We walked around a little longer, and then I got off. We brushed her, loved her, let her eat greens and then put her away.
As we speak, I am talking to my agent about stunt work for the future. ;-) Seriously though, I feel very blessed for how that potentially disastrous event turned out.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
All along my run, there was even more scurrying in the bushes along side of the road than usual. I heard a screech owl a couple of times.
Nearing the place where I turn around to go home, I saw "the biggest ass dog" I had ever seen! It was a deer. It looked like a HUGE, scary, hungry wolf for a few seconds though. I got a good blast of endorphins from thinking it was. After I realized it was a deer, I got excited in a different way. I awe in the sight wildlife.
I LOVE to see wild animals free - even if they are just skunks and deer. I could watch them for hours if they'd let me - it's true, ask Dillon.
It's tempting to make a habit out of going running later... I probably won't though; just in case it isn't a deer next time.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I had six weeks off of work in June and July - the school closes in the summer. That was a needed break. I feel like I got a lot done.
We built a goat loafing shed - well, started to anyway. Nolan came up for a weekend with his girlfriend, Heather, and we dug holes and cemented the posts in the ground. It's coming along slowly, but surely. The young and old men from our ward came out for two nights and finished a section of the roof and put up a fence in no time at all. It was great. Kathleen and I have been working throughout the summer on it. The billy goat loves it!
I chopped my hair off. One day in April I went in to a beauty parlor and had it whacked. I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It was fun. I have never had my hair this short and I like it a lot. I am growing it out a little (probably to my jaw line) for Dillon's sake. I think he misses my long hair.
We had three - yes I said three - batches of kittens this summer. What a mess!!!! There were - and still are - cats everywhere! We had 7 to start out and added 12 kittens over the summer. We are now down to a mere *sarcasm* 14 cats total. People! I cannot stress this enough - have your pets spayed or neutered!
I took up running - it's really kind of a waddling; most runners would be insulted that I call what I do running :-) - about 5 months ago. I like it a lot. I have never been a good runner, but I have noticed huge improvements. When I started - this is really sad - I couldn't even run a full 1/2 mile without stopping and walking. Now I am running 3.1 miles in a little over 30 minutes, - this is really good for me - and I run the whole way. Sometimes Kathleen will ride the bike with me while I run. It's nice; it keeps my mind off of how much my legs hurt or how tired I am. My resting heart rate is now down to below 60bpm, so I am getting in shape.
We planted a garden. I am just barely getting to enjoy the fruits of my labor with the strawberries. The chickens devoured them the second they turned red, but I have since learned to enjoy pinkish-white strawberries. They are still better than store bought like that. We got a tons of yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers. Kathleen makes a killer vegi dish with the squash and zucchini. Mmmmmmmmm. We are anxiously awaiting the corn. It's almost "done" - as Dillon would say. The tomatoes and beans didn't turn out so well - actually, they didn't turn out at all. I think the beans were under watered and the tomatoes were over watered. Who knows?... We have some little pumpkins too. That should be fun for Halloween.
Paul (my brother), Doug (my dad), Kathleen (my step-mom) and I went to the "2nd Biannual Craven Family Reunion" up above Hailey, ID. It was a lot of fun. The campground was really nice. There were deer that would come and hang out. They only required a distance of 30 feet or so from people. It was neat. We went on a 2-4 hour hike (depending on who you were and who you got separated with). Paul and I got separated together. We had a lot of fun - I did anyway. Paul wore nylon basketball shorts and was covered in stickers! We had to stop every ten minutes to pull them off because they were poking him so bad. Then in a matter of seconds, it seemed, he was covered again. It was funny - to me... Towards the end of the hike he said, "The searing pain has turned into a numb, tingling sensation." Those stickers were everywhere! It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with my brother in the mountains. The camp had a horse shoe throwing court(?) (is that the right word?) equipped with horse shoes and posts to throw them on. We also had a boulder throwing contest. This rock weighed like 40lbs at least. I am pretty sure I won... Mine went like 5 whole feet! It was a good time. We were only there for a day, a night and a day, but in that time I got to meet people that were related to me that I didn't even know existed.
Kathleen just got back from SLC visiting Nolan and her brother Alan and his family. She came back with the cake top from our wedding. It was such a fun surprise. Ana Maria - Alan's wife - had saved it for an entire year + in her freezer so that we could eat it on our anniversary. It was so neat! I made Dillon reminisce about our last year together and our wedding before he could take a bite. It still tasted delicious! That's how good Carol is! Her cakes, even at a year old, are divine!
I am back to work and am sorry to see the summer end, but I will just complain until the next one starts. :-D
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Early Sunday morning, we were awakened by the sound of the five kittens Dweezle had given birth to while we slept. Great, more cats... anyone need a mouser? I wasn't feeling well and reluctantly stayed home while Cerra went to Boise to attend church with Doug Craven's (Cerra's dad) family. The reason for attending church in Boise was a farewell for Devan, Doug's step-son, who is going on a LDS mission to Singapore. Coincidentally, Linda Panike was born and raised in Singapore, and it's likely that Devan will meet some of her family and friends there. I spent Sunday recovering from a long week, and my dear wife was home by 6:00.
Monday and Tuesday were pretty uneventful work days. The only thing of note was Mom's safe return from her trip to Utah yesterday evening. Cerra picked her up at the airport, and it sounds like she had a really fun time with Nolan, Alan, Ani, all the kids and the kids' kids.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I absolutely love the color combination of yellow and blue - if you couldn't tell. I especially like that combination when it's a brilliant yellow sunflower in front of a bright blue sky... mmmmm preeeeeettttttyyy. Notice the picture of the three wild sunflowers on the top right. I really like how this picture turned out with all three in the picture at different focal points. I think it has a cool effect.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Seriously though, this animal is incredible. Her name is Star. She came with that name and it's perfect. She looks like a fairly tale story when she runs. Her tail streams behind her like a proudly soaring flag while her strong neck stands erect. She whinnies to me whenever she sees me. We run around the corral together, and she shakes her head in excitement as she follows me.
I have never met a horse I have liked so much - most of them have been geldings though (neutered, male horses - for you city folk), and we all know boys are harder to deal with.
When I first saw her, I wasn't all that impressed; she was cute but nothing to right home about. Now I think she is the most gorgeous horse to walk the Earth, so I think her personality has a lot to do with it.
She is a three year old appaloosa and mustang (they think) mix. She was an accident. The people who had her before said that her mother escaped, came back and then 11 months later she came along. She is green broke (just barely trained to ride) but very malleable - she aims to please.
She is supposed to be pregnant now and due to foal in April. Her stallion is a beautiful black one. He's impressive without getting to know his personality.
We share apples and hang out together. I love this horse!!!!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
Fortunately, we're slated to spend some time next Saturday boating with the Panike family, some good friends from church. In the mean time, I'm hoping that next week proves to be productive. Productivity always relieves stress and makes me feel better.