Monday, December 31, 2012

Something Smells In Here...

I have oft been accused of owning an all too sensitive nose.  Growing up, I tried to become obsolete on refrigerator cleaning day.  "Have Julie smell this.  Julie, has this gone bad yet?"  In college, I stopped drinking the milk because, too many times, the dorm cafeteria's massive crate-contained two percent went warm and stale.
Once, I made my husband put his shoes outside the trailer during a camping trip so I could sleep without smelling their sweat.  I always know when he's been working construction on a farm; I have to wash his clothes twice on those occasions to get rid of the manure scent.
Old ladies with too much cologne are terrible to sit beside in closed quarters.  Doing a Master's soil science thesis on swine manure management, where we had to hand collect and apply the manure by bucketfuls on the field?  Pure torture for this nose.
Recently, before our vicar came over for dinner, I smelled a horrible rotten odor on our main floor.  In terror, I paced the rooms, trying to identify the source.  It wasn't the bathroom--my son had just cleaned it and the plumbing was working fine.  It wasn't my husband's hats or coveralls.  It wasn't my son's shoes--I put them in the wash just in case.  The dishes were clean, kitty litter scooped.  I was frantic and embarrassed: what if vicar comes, and we still haven't found where the smell is coming from?  I hastily sprayed fabric freshener around to no avail.
Finally, as my husband came in from work, the culprit was found: potatoes gone rotten.  Having an ultra-sensitive nose can be a curse and a blessing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

In the event of the death of a friend’s son

Oh, Chris
how much pain and relief you must feel
so close to Christmastide.
your Cole smiles on you
sees clearly now
and plays with the angels
But here your heart hurts
and in the season of a boy’s birth
there is an emptiness within your home.
I can’t fathom losing my son
and only Joseph can equal your grief
as his adoptive son died on a cross.
I pray for acceptance
and healing
with the knowledge of your son
at so small an age
touching oh so many lives.

for Cole & Chris Christensen
Julie Soaring Eagle Paschold

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Textured Meows have personality

Anyone who doesn't believe that individual cats have their own personalities has never owned multiple cats.  Our family has recently added a fifth kitten to the mix of our already diverse group, so I'm not as sure about Zorra's personality has I am the other four.  I was thinking the other day how our cats are as different as fibers in fabrics.  Jolie is as familiar as cotton.  Wunder is as soft as silk.  Surprise is luxuriant as cashmere (and as beautiful).  Fizzgig is as warm as wool.  Our new Zorra is our puffy marshmallow satin. 

Jolie is the eldest, a twelve year old grey tiger cat.  She has a strange attraction towards vinyl and plastic things---lick, lick, lick.  We have called her "Little Mama" for helping us raise three of the other four cats.  When sleeping, she loves to curl up into a perfect circle, with head upside down.  She has a radar for when I'm feeling especially low, and decides to place a paw on my leg or simply lay on my chest to comfort me.  She is our cream and smoke with key lime pie colored eyes.

Wunder, a German word for miracle, is a big black ten year old diva.  She loves to talk to and meet people in a one-on-one basis, but isn't much for loud noises or crowds (how could she then be the center of attention????!)  My husband rescued her from one of his job sites.  At only two weeks old, she fit in the palm of my hand and had to be bottle fed.  This lady isn't little now--just weighed in at 17 pounds (and that's after losing 1 1/2!!!).  For now, she doesn't get along with new cats (especially Surprise), so she has her own domain in our family room. 

Our Fluffy Floofins--Surprise, or Sir Prize, is truly a bbbbbbbeautiful animal.  I am convinced he comes from a mixture of a fox, squirrel, puppy, and lion, and I have a goal of training him to drape across my shoulders in collar fashion just to be able to show him off more.  This cream and orange long hair cat has a strange habit of obsessing over strings and chewing shoes--just ask my daughter where her cute black sandals went!!!  He has made fast friends with kitten Zorra and is like a brother to Fizzgig.  When we first got him, he'd readily jump in the shower with any of us--for now he's happy waiting on the rim of the bathtub. 

Fizzgig, named after a favorite puppet in the movie "The Dark Crystal", is truly a mama's boy.  He doesn't like strangers and would rather follow whoever wakes up first in the morning for a lovey rub-down.  Don't pick this little guy up, but when he decides on his own, he's quite the warm friend on bed or recliner.  He has had the thickest tail ever since he joined us at 5 weeks (certainly not the fluffy kind like Zorra or Surprise).  He blends in well with our hardwood floors, and I've often compared his color to a deep butterscotch pudding.  After a party, we have to play "Find the Fizzgig" in one of his favorite hiding places.  And boy is he good at hiding!!!

Our newest addition, Zorra, was rescued this summer from alongside a highway.  She was little, alone, and had a small tail.  Now she's blossomed into a pretty black and white and grey princess with half a moustache, goatee, her own mask/hat and cape--and don't forget the huge grey tail!!!! Because of her resemblance to the hero Zorro (but alas she's a she), we named her Zorra.  I love finding her double-colored extra fuzzy paws slipping or sunning everywhere we go--including the bathroom sink (brush your teeth and paws, everyone)!!!

We love our "pookies", our "farkelkookins", and any other silly little kittie names we come up with to explain the therapeutic aspects of the five furry members of our family. 

Julie Mama the Mad Catter
Soaring Eagle

Monday, September 24, 2012

Birthing a bathroom remodel...

My first blog on what will probably be a medley of subjects, everything from motherhood to marriage to unexpected happenings in life to morality to cooking to creating to reading to health.

First, in the past ten months, I have been awaiting a full remodeling of our only full bathroom.  No, the contractor isn't messing up and hasn't quit...he's my hubby, who works overtime as a carpenter (slash do whatever his boss says to fix or build whatever is needed) and then needs to come home and do more of the same.  Reminscences of a cobbler and his children having no shoes. 

My daughter and I planned the color scheme years ago, and the project went from a simple plumbing redo (IS there such a thing as a simple plumbing job?) to a complete, I do not enjoy waterfalls of toilet water in my dining room. 

Now, I chastise my hubby and complain that I've been able to grow a human being in less time than he has had to finish this bathroom--and believe me, I've been quite grumpy about it.  There's only so long I can shower in a basement stall created out of pvc, plastic shower curtains, and a cheap board.  I will report that, as of a couple weeks ago, we were able to poo, lave, and shower in the same room--toilet, sink, and tub are functional--though the toilet handle falls off, no woodwork is finished, and some areas of the wall need to be "unlumped".  Painting isn't finished yet, so our neat trio of lime, lemon, and orange is merely insanely bright lime green walls and an orange bath mat. 

But complain as I do, it can't be as bad as in our other house, when my hubby was (finally) finishing our entryway (because we had to put it on the market in order to move...).  He fondly put up the drywall, splayed mud on the cracks, and proceeded to sand the drywall mud with items still in the entryway--including my wedding dress!!! (though it WAS boxed and packaged already....)

I am absolutely ecstatic that I can shower and pee on the same floor level that I sleep and dress--but am looking more forward to when this project is completed--when I can work my painting magic on the walls--
and my hubby can then work on the peeling dining room ceiling that has been discolored all the six years of us living there.
Oh, and did I mention the plaster crumbling from behind the unfinished tile backsplash of the kitchen? 
Or the open spots in our kitchen cupboards where errant pasta pieces and small kittens are lost?

I used to have a sign joking about "This house isn't under construction, kids just live here" but in all honesty, it isn't that kids live in our house that makes it so "undone" so to say.  It's because (God bless him) my hubby lives here!!!