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We have a feral mama cat who hangs around the Garden Center.

Because we feed her.

And talk to her.

She won’t let us touch her or get closer to her than a few feet.

But she seems to like our company enough to skulk around making demands and sleeping in sunny spots in the greenhouse.

She had a batch of kittens a few months ago.

She hid them in the sale barn which is located behind the Garden Center.

The guys at the sale barn also look out for mama kitty.

Between the sale barn guys and the Garden Center girls, mama kitty has a pretty plush life for a wild cat.

When the kittens got old enough, Darla went out with a big box and brought them into the green house.

We offered kittens to several customers as they shopped for plants, but there were no takers.

Although how you could resist them is beyond me.

Eventually, all but two of them were claimed and taken into good homes.

I took the remaining two kittens to a local vet where we were assured they would easily find placements for them.

So mama kitty is kind of lost and alone right now.

She spent her first few days of freedom anxiously searching the Garden Center for her babies.

I felt for her.

It must be awful hard to lose six of your young all on the same day.

There are plans in the works to try and catch her and get her fixed.

But if we are forced to deal with another batch of her babies…

Somehow I think we will manage.

For my grandmother Lela’s ninetieth birthday, all four of her kids including my dad, took her to Los Angeles to see The Price is Right.

Together with all the other people who had tickets to see the show the same day, they stood in line for six hours.  Everyone chatted and got to know each other during those six hours so that by the end of the ordeal, everyone in line to see the taping of the show that day knew it was my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday.

So when she got called up….

Say it with me everyone!


Everyone in the audience was very happy for my grandmother.

She got multiple high fives from audience members all around her.

Everyone in her family was very excited too.

There was much cheering and clapping and this went on for quite some time because it takes a while for a ninety year old to get down to contestant’s row.

Here’s my ninety year old grandmother on contestant’s row.

Did I seriously just type that?

Grandma had to make a bid on the price of a year long subscription to Sirius Radio.

Here are all the bids.

Guess who was the closest!

That’s right!!!!


Once again, my grandma had to take a journey.

She had to get from contestant’s row up onto that stage!

It took her a while….

They broke for a commercial…

But my grandma made it!

And she fell into Drew Carey’s arms!

The entire audience… and I am not even kidding you… was shouting my grandmother’s name.


She turned around and waved them along.

And then they announced the prize that my grandmother would be playing for…


Just what every ninety year old woman wishes for!

A row of prices was set up and Lela had to decide as each price was uncovered if it was the closest to the cost of the truck without going over.

My grandma looked out to her family for support.

They told her to keep going.

Keep going!

Keep going!

My grandmother kept going.

She kept going!

She kept GOING!

But she didn’t go far enough!

Grandma did not win that truck.

But that is okay.

Because my grandma was still going to get a chance to spin the wheel and be a contestant on the SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN!

Never in my life did I think that I would be writing the words “my grandma” and “SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN” in the same sentence.

And just as a personal aside, I think SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN is one of the finer phrases in the English language and should be used far more than it currently is.

And here’s my grandma getting ready to spin that wheel!

Well… she spun that wheel with a little help from Drew Carey!

She got 55 cents on her first spin.

The goal is to get as close to a dollar as you can without going over and to also beat out the other two players who are also spinning the wheel.

Am I seriously explaining The Price is Right?

My Grandma opted to spin again.

She got 50 cents the second time around.  She went over by five cents.  She did not get a chance at the Showcase Showdown!


I even think Drew Carey was disappointed!

Oh well!

At least she got to be a contestant!

At ninety years old!

How awesome is that?

Converting to the Sax

April 5th, 2012

My youngest son will start school band next year. He really wants to play the saxophone, but I really want him to play the trumpet. His brother Drew plays the trumpet and between the two of us, we have been tag teaming Jack to give up his mellow, mournful saxophone dreams and switch over to the brighter happier notes of brass. Sadly, we weren’t making much progress. Jack is a stubborn little stick. So naturally I did what every parent does in times of trial. I turned to YouTube. Surely I thought if I played some excellent videos of trumpet solos up against some videos of bleak, moody saxophone videos, Jack would come to see that saxophones are not nearly as fun as trumpets and he would go along with his mother and do what she wants him to do.

That was my first mistake.

After watching the following video, I have been officially converted to the saxophone. These guys are having way too much fun.

Evidently, the video happened under completely random circumstances. A girl is walking down a NY street with some friends. She passes two guys who are holding saxophones. She asks them to play her a tune. They comply.