Monday, November 12, 2012

Job Over!

For those of you who know the "new" job that I recently accepted (that I had really been doing for 10+ years as a volunteer), the last four months have been TERRIBLE with figuring out that I had no support to do what I was hired to do and that it therefore was not going to work.  About a month ago, Greg and I decided that I shouldn't fight a losing battle anymore, and I submitted my resignation.  The relief has been tremendous.  We are sleeping better, singing more silly songs around the house, and enjoying life much more.  I am straightening up things for my team so they will be stable after I'm gone, and I expect to be finished before the end of the year.  So if you have checked back and wondered, "Where are the cute photos and videos of those adorable kittens?!" . . . well, hopefully you have an answer.  I was too overwhelmed with figuring out my job and trying to function to organize anything.  But I'm now feeling more like myself than I have for a long time - hooray!

Allistair and Stephen are now almost seven months old.  They are the most LOVING and people-centric cats I have ever known.  I guess that's what comes from being stolen sneakily away from their mother and being snuggled every day afterwards ad nauseum.  Greg was just wondering today if we "socialized" them a little too much.  Not possible!  

So here are some adorable pictures. Videos are being edited and will be posted soon.

They love each other and snuggle frequently.

Allistair's cute widdle facey . . . 

This is my sweet girl, Juildeen.  Allistair took to her right away.  He crawled up in her lap and settled in.  She said, "Cute little kitten."  (She has Autism, but she talks a LOT now and expresses herself better all the time.  I'm very proud of her!)

Stephen is like a model with his lovely high cheekbones!

I was glad to see that Allistair covering up his boy bits!

When we try to put clean sheets on the bed, Allistair hurls himself into the middle of everything.  We have to stop and cuddle him, which disturbs his hunting process.

Since most of you who follow this blog are my family members and friends, I thought I would include this funny picture of Juildeen.  We hang on on Tuesdays, and last time we made ginger snaps.  We practice measuring things and following directions and motor skills.  I was very impressed.  She decided that ginger snaps taste like Christmas.  Smiling AND looking at the camera is a bit much for her still, but I like the silly smile.  

More snuggling . . . 

Allistair in zonko-land (asleep):

This one's a little dark, but it's hilarious, so I had to include it.  I cut some holes in a cardboard box and sat around trying to see what the kittens would do.  Allistair was the funniest, because he tried to get out through the very small holes.

Stephen ready to eat birdies: "Now if it weren't for the screen, I could EAT some!"

Look at his lovely long eyebrow whiskers!

Stephen loves to sit in the trash basket and observe the world going by.

Here's another Allistair-in-a-box picture!

Arms hangin' off the edge . . . 

Tongue out (I LOVE tongue-out kitten pictures!)

This is a happy kitten!

Hope you are well, and thanks for taking a peek at the babies!

For those of you who are my friends and family members, or those of you who are just interested in more of my daily life, you're in luck!  I am going to add events and every-day occurrences to this blog.  Perhaps my new soon-to-be-born niece can check in as she's growing up and get to know me and Uncle Greg a little, since I don't make it up to frosty Minnesota more than a couple of times per year.

Each October, my best friend (other than Greg), Cindy, and I go for a day trip up to Flagstaff and take a long hike.  Last year we hiked inside an old volcano caldera.  There was even SNOW!!!  (We don't see that a lot, living in the Arizona desert, so it was very exciting.  Here are pictures).

Towering aspens

Cindy in the snow . . . 

A beautiful not-quite-frozen stream trickling through the pine trees

You can see why we were keen to go back!

This year, we tried to get to the same trail head, but there had been a wildfire in the area, and there was a lot of ash and rubble that had gone all over the road.  My little Nissan Cube got stuck.  In fact, at one point, I was trying to drive out of a rut backwards down a steep hill with a very scary drop-off on one side.  Thanks to Jesus, some stud-muffiny young whippersnappers (brothers and twins) were coming down the hill and guided me slowly out of the rut and then took over in manly fashion turning my little vehicle around for me so I could drive forwards down the hill.  We decided a different hike would be better.

We went across the highway to Sunset Crater park.  There isn't a lot of hiking - it's more a place for less mobile people (or people with little kids) to drive to a scenic overlook, ooo and aaah, take pictures, then get back in the car.  But we found a road that went up a mountain to a ranger station perched on top of the ridge  overlooking the painted desert, so we tramped up there as far as we could.

Me in a cave formed by the lava when the mountain erupted.

As we climbed the mountain across from Sunset Crater, we could see the crater.  It's black all around for miles because of all the ash that blew out.  The eruption was something like 12,000 years ago, so it's been a while.

There's a little update on my October birthday hike.  Not what I expected (85 degrees instead of snow, and I definitely wasn't dressed for it!), but it was still beautiful and calming to crunch up a mountain and back down again, to say nothing of the beautiful views.  

The Earth is a wonderful creation!

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