Archives for the month of: November, 2013
thea and knox

Thea and Knox, a puppy who will be trained as a guide dog

Our granddaughter Thea, 15, lives in Salt Lake City. More than a year ago she began looking into raising a puppy that, when old enough, would be trained to be a guide dog for the blind. Last summer Knox came to live with her and she has been caring for him and teaching him. He goes to school with her and the school actually has a special class where students learn about caring for the puppies and providing early training, so she gets credit for this activity.   There are 30 puppies in her school.

Seneca loves cats and after learning about Thea’s experience and possibly the fact that we care for foster children, gave Seneca the idea of fostering a kitten for the local humane society. We checked on-line and learned that they do have such a program and downloaded an application. There was no age restriction for applicants. We agreed that there were some behaviors Seneca needed to get under control before we could be sure she would be responsible enough to care for a foster kitten. We made a chart and she worked very hard and finally we all felt she was ready.

Kit and shoe

On Friday afternoon two weeks ago, we went to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society with her application. They chatted with her and showed her the cats and kittens currently available for adoption but they said it was not likely they would need her to foster a kitten until spring, which is their busy time.

kit sen green

Seneca loves cats and kittens

Seneca was disappointed not to get a kitten to take home and she asked each day if there had been a phone call. I reminded her that it was not yet spring. However, on Tuesday I got a call saying that there was a litter of older kittens needing socialization, and asking if Seneca be interested. I was sure she would be and said we would be by the following day after school.

Kit and Seneca with two

She can cuddle more than one at a time

Kit and Raven

Raven helps too

When we arrived with our traveling kennel, we learned that they expected us to take all five, they don’t like to separate a litter until they are ready to be adopted. What could I say, I have the same philosophy regarding siblings placed for adoption, they all need to go to the same family.
We had to change plans, with so many kittens, they stay in our mud room rather than a little wire pen we had planned to use. They seemed happy, ate well and began purring when picked up. Seneca has been very responsible about caring for them, even spending weekend nights sleeping on the floor in the mud room to be near them.

We were told that the kittens would be with us for a couple of weeks, then wewould need to return them to the Humane Society to be adopted. How will Seneca feel when it is time to say good-bye? She has had practice doing that with the many temporary foster children that have passed through our house. I think she will be sad but will look forward to fostering another kitten in the spring.

kit sen holding new

Happy girl, happy kittens

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>mushsroom purple cub

mushroom red 3

Ocean Shores, where we spend many weekends,   has a damp and cool climate, perfect for a variety of mushrooms.  I really know nothing about mushrooms and wouldn’t consider eating more than one or two varieties that I have known for many years, but I do enjoy hunting for them, they can be beautiful.

Last Sunday I took a walk at one of my favorite mushroom sites and these are examples if  what I found.

As I said I know nothing about these except that they are beautiful and interesting.  Raven and I found a colorfully illustrated mushroom book in the library but we could not positively identify any of them.

So, I will continue to visit this area in the fall and if you are  a person who knows mushrooms and you get to Ocean Shores in the fall, I’d be glad to show you my spot, in exchange for information about these little beauties.

mushroom baked potato mushroom bear paw mushroom brown pillow mushroom cup 4t mushroom cup mushroom elf flat mushroom elf mature mushroom elf mushroom orange spotted mushroom orange with red center mushroom purple center mushroom red mushroom toasted marshmallow mushroom umbrella Mushrooms flat and brown

Candy treats

Treats for the Veterans

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Ted had some things he needed to do so when volunteers were needed to help prepare and serve dinner to the Lower Elwha Klallam Veterans, Seneca, Raven and I said we could do it.  I asked what time we would be needed and was a bit surprised to hear that work would start at 8:30 AM.    We were there though, and not the first to arrive.

The week before the kids had been talking about veterans at the Lower Elwha Klallam After School Program.  They had learned to say “Thank you for your service” in the Klallam language and had made cards for tribal veterans.  So, helping fix a special dinner for them sounded kind of like fun.

We were put right to work making salad, washing the tomatoes, mixing various types of lettuce and adding pecans and raspberries, this was to be no everyday salad!

Making Salad

Our first job was to prepare the salads

Next we went to where Arlene (Pebbles) the leader of the singing and drumming group was making fry bread.  I asked if I could try doing it, and I quickly learned that the dough is very sticky.  I made several attempts and each one improved!

Merrily sticky--

Sticky fry bread dough

keep trying

Second try was better

Fry bread cooking

Fry bread cooking

fry bread expert 2

The fry break expert!

Then I helped inspect and cut up new potatoes and by then Seneca and Raven were outside playing. I chopped a heap of garlic for elk stew and I can smell those garlic fumes. Elk stew and barbecue pork were being prepared by others.

elk stew

Checking the elk stew-

The kids helped load food into the vans as the meal was to be served at newly dedicated Veteran’s Center, a few miles away.   It was all set out and ready to be served before the appointed hour of 2:00.  Many veteran’s were in inform.  There were a few speeches and prayers, then the special meal was enjoyed by about 75 people. The members of the singing and drumming group including Seneca and Raven, sang a few songs including Prayer Song, Wind that Holds the Families Together , and the Help Song.

coming through line

Veterans lining up

more in line

Lots of food

finally helpers get to eat

Finally Seneca and Raven got to eat

This experience gave us all a new appreciation of the contribution of Veterans.

Arlene had given me the extra fry bread dough in a gallon bag and I was going to try cooking some at home.  When we got to the car after the dinner we saw that the dough had outgrown the bag and was spreading over the seat of the car.  The kids found this quite amusing!

popped out of bag

The dough “grew.”

Klallam sign

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Worn old passport

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Picture page, old passport–have I aged in 10 years?,

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My passport expired a few months ago. It is a fat one, I had to have pages added to it twice so there would be space for each entry and departure stamp. I really don’t want to replace it. I have my passport number memorized for one thing. Easy, since I have had to write it on so many forms. (But don’t ask me my social security number.)
I have logged over 2 million miles on United Airlines and of course have used other airlines as well. Nearly 40 years of adoption work involved five or six international trips each year and when I left my job at Adoption Advocates International two years ago, I didn’t have a strong desire to travel again.
For one thing, airline travel is not as much fun as it used to be. I had enough of crowds, long lines, limited luggage allowance (I like to travel with my slippers and pillow) extra charges for many things, and of course security checks.
Ted and I made one memorable trip to Ireland a year ago because he had frequent flyer miles that were about to expire. I have special customer status with United Airline and one of the perks is that my miles don’t expire. I always get to board first and have priority seating. They take very good care of me if my flights are delayed or cancelled, providing meals and hotel. And there is a special phone line for Platinum level customers, I never have to wait to talk with a customer service person. My baggage has special tags and generally comes off first. And I get to check an extra piece of luggage without charge.
Still, when my passport expired last winter, I didn’t plan to renew it. I have been almost everywhere I want to go. Stamps in this passport include Ethiopia, Australia, Thailand Kenya, Ghana, India, China, Germany, Korea, Japan, Fiji, Samoa, and I have traveled in South and Central America as well. I do love traveling with Seneca and Raven, but the schools are not enthusiastic about us taking them on extended trips during the school year.

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Visa for India

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Entry stamps for Korea, Japan, and Thailand

But Ted kept telling me to do it, he reminded me that I should be prepared, in case an opportunity should come along. I do have a brother who lives in Thailand and I’d like to visit him. I found myself looking at travel magazines at the doctor’s office. There are a few places I’d like to see or see again.
And so I am completing the forms. Ted took a passport photo of me, and with the new photo publishing program I printed it right here. So, I will send off my worn old passport, the new one will be thin and empty, but who knows what stamps it will contain when it expires.
I haven’t seen the Pyramids except from the air. I haven’t seen the Amazon or Antarctica. The Galapagos Islands could be added to my list and maybe Scandinavia. I have a special friend in Northern India I would like to visit and then there are the three grandchildren on the East Coast.  Well, we will see.