Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From my front door

Hey, aren't my flowers just so pretty? One of my clients blessed me with several flats of flowers that she didn't have room for in her yard.It's been about a month or more since I have really shared the musings of life in my head. I had the most fabulous visit ever with my family. When I'm there, I feel like that's where I belong. It's always hard to come back.Especially since my parents took it so hard.But I feel like this is home, too! What?! Well, one of my goals is to go to Oregon more often.
I returned to an unpleasant situation at work that had to be resolved right off the bat on my first day back at BP. It did get resolved but was a taxing few days in the process. I felt like it was one of those nobody wins kind of deals.I hadn't gotten around to renewing the plates on my car before I left and Tyler and Linda got nailed for a ticket on plates that were only 2 weeks overdue-that's Zeeland PD for ya'! Trevor and Courtney broke up, after almost 5 years of dating, which is very painful for me but I realize that they are both over 18, technically adults, and that it's none of my business. I am sad about it anyway.I spent two weeks in a fog because I couldn't get my internal clock set back to eastern time.I missed a good friend's baby shower because I was so disoriented on my dates and times...basically just acted nutty like a dementia patient because of sleep deprivation. I am so glad that I got that straightened out over this weekend. I was going to resort to trying some over-the-counter sleeping pill. Those of you who know me realize what a desperate measure that would have been because I even resist Tylenol unless I have no other choice!
So, the past couple weeks I've felt like I was just putting out fires and playing catch-up. Maybe that's just the penalty for taking a vacation! I am going to work on how to minimize or avoid that altogether next time. Not sure it can be done.
On the forward movement front, I did just complete my admissions process for my Masters program at Spring Arbor. I have been having coaching sessions with Beth Dargis that have been helping tremendously. We've been focusing on making improvements to my blog. You can thank her for the addition of web albums and the slideshow feature. Our future agenda will focus on decluttering(yes, still!) and not procrastinating on projects that I NEED to finish up on(about a gazillion of those, too!).Coming soon will be my own website where I will market the Family Life Education ecourses that I have written. Also in the plus column is a renewed interest by a possible buyer for the house. Just thinking about all the changes that would spawn makes me nuts! I did ask God to handle this in His time and in His way-so if it sells for a good price, I will have to accept that this is how it's meant to be and deal. I also had a lot of trepidation around starting grad school so soon. I kept wondering if I should wait until I get a few more logs OFF the fire. Same thing, if I get accepted at SAU then I know it had to slip through God's hands to get to me. I will accept the outcome no matter which way it goes. The schedule at work and at the shelter are a bit sketchy and I am wondering if my resolve to continue having some sort of relationship with Lewis is wise, healthy for me, or even possible! It just feels like there are so many unresolved, unknown loose ends flapping in the breeze around here...
Still, I find more good than bad, more positive than negative, more reason to rejoice than reason to cry. Now that I'm back to normal, more or less, I am starting to feel motivation return. I think completion and resolution will be the theme of the next phase. I want to get moving again on my weight loss and fitness goals. I am looking at getting complete with the house. Finishing up what needs attention at school. Getting signed up for Hope for the Single Again and Beginning Experience- which are both divorce related seminars that I wasn't able to participate in last year when I went through my divorce. I am planning a lot of fun things for myself on the weekends with my singles groups. I will spend some time with Jayden and with my boys and my girlfriends. I am really getting my legs under me in a lot of different areas. As much as possible I will make peace with the unknown and even try to enjoy the adventure of it. I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

CATZ of course!

The Fantastic Four:
Here are the last four catz that you have yet to meet.
First, we have Ari which is our white and cream colored floof ball. He has the longest hair of all the catz in our family. He looks part Persian. Ari was the first born of the kittens and when he was born he looked completely white. As he has gotten older, his markings have become da
rker and more pronounced. He is white with Carmel colored spots and tail. Ari is the groomer in the bunch. He is always going around to groom his fellow catz in the community. Ari is probably the most passive of all the catz. Very laid back. He has an odd sounding meow and purr. Ari is a very affectionate cat but does not usually seek out attention. You sort of have to go to him. Very autonomous.

Then we have the final brother of the trio-Tyrone. We call him Tyrone the crack head or Tiki. He was the last kitten born and also the runt-skinniest-of the litter. Once he got up and running, he was also the most hyperactive of the three brothers and did such ridiculous things that we decided he acted like a crack head. Among his many feats...he once tried to jump through a picture window. He tried to jump up on a shelf of a corner what-not cabinet, too high up, and he missed and did a triple-gainer into the pop can bin and scared the daylights out of himself. Tyrone is also the one who can jump the highest by the french doors when jumping at the bugs through the glass that are drawn to our porch light outside. Always the first to play and the last to quit!

Mieke is the mother of Ari, Bryn and Tyrone. she is a petite little cat who came out of nowhere, pregnant, on our deck one day. I had decided that, since we had Lucy and I had just adopted Sanchez, there were enough catz in the place already. So, I was going to give her a little food and let her stay out on the deck but not come in since Lucy was still adjusting to Sanchez after being the only cat for 12 years! One day, we had a horrible thunderstorm and it poured buckets. Little Mieke had gotten much bigger and looked like she was about to pop! She was dripping, soaking wet and had the most pitiful look on her kitty face. I just couldn't stand it so I opened the door. She's been in this house ever since! I actually had people who were willing to take not only her but her kittens as well. When it came right down to it, I couldn't bear to break up her family after the kittens were born and so I kept everyone! I've never regretted it. Out of all the catz, Mieke is the shyest, most reclusive, and easiest to scare. I have noticed that she now socializes much more and goes all over the house now. For a long time, she would either stay in my room or sleep in the towel shelf of the bathroom. Mieke was a very attentive mother to the kittens and still seems to enjoy being with her kittens more so than any of the other catz. Her kittens are all much larger in size than she is! It is hard to believe those three big boys came out of this little, tiny cat!

Finally, there's Zoie. Zoie means life in Hebrew. We also call her "the bitcher" because she's the most vocal cat we have. We also call her the possum because she has gotten about as fat as she is tall and before she filled out, she was a tiny little peanut. So she sort of sways kind of funny when she walks and we all say it reminds us of a possum. Zo-Zo is another one of her names. Zoie has buggy eyes and a little heart-shaped face. Whenever you call ANY cat, Zoie comes running! She has dependency issues. Zoie wants constant petting and constant attention and she will pester you until you give it to her! She is a very loving cat and likes to crawl up on you to sleep.

Even though I love all my babies-I have told God and the universe that there's no more room at the inn~I am surrounded by love!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Goodnight or Goodmorning ?

Looks like a scene out of FROM DUSK TIL DAWN. Seen any vampires?

Depending on your perspective, I am still somewhat caught between the east coast and west coast time zones, so I go now, but I'm not really sure if it's morning or night. What do you think?

One thing I know for sure is that I'm going to need plenty of this tomorrow before I get to work!

As Babyboy says: THIS IS THE WAY I LIVE

Love to all~Lana!

Random Acts of Catness: Lucy and Bryn

In ancient times, Cats were worshiped as Gods...the cats have never forgotten this

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

Her Royal Highness Queen Lucy~A more beautiful cat has never lived!

Lucy, aka Loodie, aka THE QUEEN, is our oldest, most venerated cat. She was one of Trevor's gifts on his 5th birthday when we were living in Kentucky. Trevor is nearly 20 years old, so that puts Queen Lucy at plus 15. Lucy is allowed to sleep anywhere she chooses but her preferred spot is on the pillow above my head. I do not allow any of the other cats to push her around or show her any disrespect. When I have cereal in the morning for breakfast, she is allowed first dibs to drink the leftover milk. Lucy also has an annoying habit of pawing your head when you're trying to sleep, she sometimes chews on your hair, she head butts you to get a kiss, and she likes to give you little "love nips" on your nose-OUCH!! Lucy becomes very upset and meows loudly in a forlorn fashion if the people in the house raise their voices for any reason-especially fighting( or intense fellowship as we like to call it). She also hates whistling! Lucy has only made peace with Lewis since the divorce. Before that she couldn't stand him! Maybe she thought of him as competition? Lucy is famous for her prowess as a mouser. Of course, with 8 cats in the house, only the insane mice come anywhere near. But if they do, Lucy nails them good! Proud of her conquests, she puts the mouse where she is sure I will take notice of it. This is why I have found a mouse more than once sitting on the drain in my morning shower!

I am here to gather data about your world so that one day I can rule your silly little planet!

Bryn, aka Brindle, aka The Redhead, aka trouble, aka The Naughty one, aka Brinnie, aka alien commander, aka Foster Brooks. Bryn is named after my BFF's son. The name means great hill. I just thought it sounded cool and the spelling was neat. Bryn is one of Mieke's kittens who was born on 8/19/ 2004. Bryn has two brothers, Ari and Tyrone. It is Bryn who we suspect is an alien sent to collect data about our world for the purpose of taking over one day...He watches television. He knows how to work the printer. When all the kittens got declawed and neutered, Dr. Wilson put cones on their heads. It was Bryn who figured out how to get his off-not only that-he hid it so that we couldn't find it for about 3 days! Then, once we had put it back on him, he organized the other cats so that they would stick their paws in each others cones and lick one anther's paws in spite of the cones! Bryn is also an escape artist and will take any opportunity to sneak out of the house. Bryn has also displayed an unusual fondness for the drink-we are attributing this to the Irishness of his name! Anyhow, if you are having a beer or any kind of alcohol for that matter, Bryn will pester you until you let him get a taste. He does give a good massage, however, it is usually in the middle of the night!Bryn loves to chase birds and bugs through the window and is very fond of rolling around inside paper bags. When our little dog, Patches, who is a 12lb mini-Rat Terrier, mixes it up with Bryn, it's most likely that the dog will end up being chased by the cat! If there's trouble to be had, you can bet that Bryn will be somewhere close. He's what we call an instigator!
HEY, Does anybody out there know of a good 12-step program for wayward cats?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Blue Heaven-South Haven Revisited


South Haven holds a lot of fond memories for me and my family. My sweet friend Sandy Fowler first introduced me to this hypnotic little town in 2001. She invited me to visit her at a cottage that she had been renting the same week every summer for the past 20 years. The other cottage renters had been returning each year as well and as a result had formed a very fun and closely related community. In addition, my friend Sandy is the hostess with the mostess-she loves to entertain, to take care of people, to feed people and in general is just the most welcoming and hospitable soul I ever met! Our children, Lindsey and Tyler both went to program schools together and graduated at the same time and meantime we parents supported one another through the healing phase of creating what we hoped would be a whole and healthy family. We have remained in touch and friends since those days. Sandy and I try to meet in Grand Rapids every month for dinner at least just to stay connected since I live in Zeeland and she lives in Holt.
THE BOOBSIE TWINS: Our loosing battle against the force of gravity!

Kudos to our friend Debbie-who said the funniest comment of the evening-which we cannot repeat on this blog! Way to go, Deb. I'm still chuckling about it today!

When I stay with Sandy at the cottage we call the "tree house" because it is a little apartment on top of a house that actually does have a tree growing right next to it, we are on what we call "island time". That means no schedule and we do whatever we want whenever we want~priceless! We have spent many an hour sitting on the beach reading The Star, The National Enquirer, Globe Weekly, and other such tabloid fodder, laughing ourselves silly and discussing all the men on the beach in typical Sex and the City fashion....and oh the food! Whether we cook or go out, these girls know how to eat and are ever so passionate about our food! We have also been known to hoist a few toddies at these outings and to take long walks along the picturesque streets or along the sea wall at the south beach.

Sandy's oldest daughter Tara and her sons, Jonathan and Ethan

Gramma Sandy is a lot of fun!
In Pre-Divorce days, we used to rent a suite at the Old Harbor Inn during Harborfest which always seemed to fall on Father's Day. We used to grill out on the deck overlooking the channel and watch the Dragon Boat races and people watch. We took our crappy boat one year that didn't really run very well-it pooped out in the middle of the channel and had to be towed back! The last year we went together as a family, the boys each brought a friend with them and The Old Harbor Inn was
throwing a street party in Harbor Village. There was all kinds of food and live music and dancing. We usually turned the kids loose at Harborfest since there were things to do till late down at the waterfront. It started to get late and none of the kids had returned. I decided to sit out on the deck overlooking the party and watch people dance and listen to music until the kids returned from the carnival. I noticed one blond guy who had a swirly cowlick in the back of his head-just like Trev had-he was dancing with some lady about my age! On closer examination, OMG, it WAS Trev! I beat feet down there and summarily cut in on the dance action. The look on Trev's face was about the most hideous thing I'd seen! Glancing around I noticed another one of the boys instigating an argument with two 50-something guys at the bar and the other two milling around the crowd trawling for college age girls! Since all 4 of the guys were underage, I held an inquisition and found out that the boys had hit people up when they left for their over-21 wrist bracelets! Oey Vey! That was the last time we went to South Haven as a family! Jinx.
I still love it though. When I arrived yesterday afternoon, everyone was on the beach. So, we laid around there til late. Us grown ladies played one hilarious round of "what I would or wouldn't do for $100,000 dollars"! Scandalous! We got dressed and went to Clementine's for dinner and strolled along the waterfront. We topped the evening off with ice cream at Sherman's. Perfect.

Girls behaving badly at Clementines-YUM, gotta love those onion rings and ribs!

Visiting the Oregon Aquarium


This is my BFF, Ruth. One of the things I love most when I visit in Oregon is reconnecting with Ruth because she reminds me of my very best self. She remembers me in my "glory days". We shared a lot of experiences in our growing up years (and beyond) and I am happy to say that the loyalty and friendship has remained constant. There is something special about someone who knows pretty much everything about you and STILL likes you anyway! Both of us had the last name of Baker-so we used to try and BS people that we were sisters even though we don't look a thing alike! Some of the tamer, more printable of our escapades included mooning a group of nuns and hanging bras and underwear all over the inside of my car as we drove down the road! We used to wear peasant tops which we stuffed with pillows and wore phony wedding rings to the thrift store so we could buy sex books! We used to tell the most incredible lies to college age guys to pass for college age girls so we could get dates. We used to go to stores in the mall and take pictures of ourselves in all kinds of outfits and in the room settings of the furniture stores... I could go on and on! We have taken very different paths. Ruth got married a week after me, stayed in the same town, in the same house, with the same husband and raised and home schooled 8 children: Kelly, Sara, Christian, Kaitlin, Bryn, Drew, Evan, and Lindsey. She was an awesome teacher and raised very nice kids! That alone is an unbelievable accomplishment! I married Lewis and lived in 3 different places: Oregon, Kentucky, and Michigan. I only had the two boys-which seemed like 8 at times! I did intermittently pursue higher education and spent a lot of time working outside my home in various pursuits including EMT, office/medical records/health insurance, and my current jobs as a massage therapist and shelter advocate. Ruth has been married for 25 years. I was married 24 and got a divorce last year.I did finally manage to finish my BA. I am currently pursuing a Masters degree in counseling. Go figure, I need counseling AND I'm giving counseling...let's see how that works out~ We have both always been avid readers with a flair for the dramatic and hilarious. I dare not even recount most of our revelries but I would just say that I still feel like Ruth's parents think I'm a bad influence on their daughter even though we're both pushing 50(AMAZING)! I think they probably warn Ruth's husband to keep an eye on her when I'm in town! I can sure say that we had a lot of fun and still are!During our recent visit I found out that she has written a book and is in the process of seeking publication. I always felt she was the smarter one, so I am thrilled that she has done this and hopefully can share with the world through her writing the brilliance I have always known was there. I am so immensely proud of my dear friend Ruth. Go, Ruth, go, Ruth! I hope that she remembers me when she gets rich and famous and does guest spots on Oprah and the Today show! I'm going to ask her to autograph her book so that I can sell it on ebay if I ever get too poor! I Anyway, we're sort of a cross between Thelma and Louise and the YaYa's! I love ya', Rufus! Remember Boris and Morris? Those were our cars' names! Someday we'll raise hell together in the nursing home.Hopefully we can remember at least some of the naughty stuff we pulled "back in the day"!
Ruthie, you will always be my Best Friend Forever!

Friends and crazy cat ladies

Fun times on the Oregon Coast

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Adventures in Disneyland

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mom enjoys Father's Day!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dads out there-especially my dad, Oliver Baker, and the father of my two boys, Lewis Wiedewitsch and my own son, Tyler who is father to Jayden! God Bless all your efforts in being a father. Harder than it looks!

Jayden and his PaPa in Mickey Mouse's House

Lew and Trevor get in some trap shooting in Cali

Grandpa Baker always likes a photo op with his family...especially if it involves a hat!

Trevor and Grandpa Baker at the Oyster Bar in Portland, OR

Father's Day was wonderful. I got up and went to church...first Sunday back since the Saturday night services were cancelled. It was weird now to be back to Sunday morning but so great to see everyone I've been missing for the past 6 months! I took Tyler to the Whitecaps baseball game for his Father's Day gift and then we all called my dad, Grandpa Baker, and visited with him a little while. The boys and I also touched base with Lewis in California. Then, we took Gunther and Patches to the dog park. End of a very nice day!

I just finished reading Anne Lamott's latest book, Grace(Eventually) and in it she shares the only two bits of advice her dad ever gave her:
  1. Don't be an asshole.
  2. Feed people.
That certainly seems straightforward enough! If you can't get that, you've got a problem! Anyway, I feel that if we would all follow her dad's advice, we could greatly improve the quality of life on this planet!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Best of Midevil Times

A fabulous time was had by all the Lords and Ladies at YE OLDE MIDEVIL TIMES~The food was great: half a chicken, a huge BBQ rib, potato, bread, soup, drinks and dessert. The show was full of special effects, beautiful horses, lighting effects, and choreography. It was brilliant enough to keep Jayden enthralled right up to the end! The banter was witty and where else could you eat with your hands, bang your plates on the table and call your waitress a WENCH!

Our Hero, the Blue Knight!

Jayden keeps up with all the other Lords and Ladies at our table!

A royal party fit for a King!
Trevor dreams of becoming a knight of the round table...

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