The following light hearted story had a frightening turn about an hour after I posted it. Tarzan began to complain that his leg hurt and when I looked at it, I found it was swollen and had two small puncture wounds which were difficult to see because his skin is so dark. When he agreed to go to the emergency room to have it looked at, I began to worry that it really was a snake bite even though he doesn't remember the snake actually making contact with his leg.

Tarzan is now in the hospital for overnight observation. I have been in critical care with him since 7:00 p.m. and it is now 4:00 a.m. We count our blessing though, he is resting fine and healing well. While we were in critical care, one man had a broken neck and pulled the tube out of his neck that was helping him breath, one was found unconscious by the canal -- he was either on drugs or someone had beat the heck out of him or both, one came in with blood pressure so high they were afraid she would go into cardiac arrest before they could get it under control, one came in with back problems and couldn't speak English. And there we were with a little old snake bite. The interesting this was that they don't see very many snake bites so as the word spread, we had doctor after doctor come in and ask us "official" questions so they could see the snake bite.

I have to say one more thing. I have never received such kind care in a hospital. We first went to the closest hospital, and they sent us to the County Hospital where Poison Control is. In the first hospital, they took us in ahead of a whole line of people because rattle snake venom can be so dangerous, they had us transferred to County Hospital where we received excellent care and everyone was so kind. I was very impressed and kept thanking people over and over again.


This is Tarzan with jig, rake, hatchet and a pulled muscle. It seems a rattlesnake nearly got him and it slithered under the woodpile. He reacted like a gazelle and got out of the way.


I kept telling him it was long gone, but he insisted on moving the wood pile in the 100 degree weather. We were both covered with sweat when he saw it quivering under the bamboo shade on the bottom of the wood pile.

Tarzan's quick hand pegged the rattler with a jig he uses when he hunts bull frogs.

I snapped another picture before we finished it off.



Tarzan cut its head off with the hatchet while I held it down with the jig.

This is its rattler. Tarzan measured the snake at 2 1/2'. It was a young one, but we understand they are the most poisonous.

Our dogs were interesting around the dead snake. Dottie has been "snake broke." She ran and hid when she got the scent. Suzie who has not been "snake broke" wanted to smell it and find out what it was. She would have been bit while Dottie would have run away if the snake had been alive. I guess we will be spending another $250 on our dogs to protect Suzie.

I have to write this or I will burst.

We have 2 rental properties. One of them is a 4 bedroom 2 bath house with a new kitchen, new floor tile, fresh paint, and new stucco on the outside and it has an Arizona Room and a sprinkling system in the back yard, oh yes, and a new air conditioner and carpet and on and on and on. Here is a picture.

We rented it less than a year ago, to tenants who were so excited to rent this house that they demanded a 3-year lease. We had to evict them this month. In February, they said they lost the rent check, so we waited for it and never got it. In April, their son stole the rent check so we told them they could make it up in May, they did not. In May they paid one month rent. In June they said they did not get their government check and his father died. In July they said they did not get their government check and their car was repossessed. We demanded rent anyway. In August, they did not pay rent but they were driving a brand new Cadillac--we had to evict them. If I am going to give away thousands of dollars, I can think of better ways to give it away.

I was going to share pictures of how filthy they were, but I would rather just clean up, replace, paint and move on.

So, here is my question...how do you develop an attitude that you can live in my house and not work and not pay rent while I work three jobs and my husband works two jobs so we can make the payment on the house you feel entitled to live in?

How do you learn to live in filth? How do you justify having animals in the house who pee wherever they want to and you never wipe it up? How do you learn to just drop trash on the carpet, smoke in bed and leave cigarette burns in the carpet? How do you stand the smell of spoiled food in the refrigerator?

Why would you yell at my husband and tell him he is a bad person when you have trashed our house, you have mooched off of us, you have lied to us, you have made bad choices and we have given you every opportunity to be responsible, while you have deceived us and taken advantage of our kindness? You must have terrible headaches and trouble sleeping.

We, on the other hand, have no problem sleeping and we have a place to sleep and everyone in our family has a place to sleep. I hope someone in that family realizes they are making bad choices and someone makes a better life for themselves rather than having generation after generation continue to be a burden on society. I hope the goodness inside any member of that family comes to the surface and they find some joy in life. At the present time, no one in that family seems to be finding any joy.

But thank goodness and the Courts system, they are gone. (Oh, yeah, they left their Rottweilers in the back yard and we had to call animal control.) Ain't life grand?

I haven't knitted for a long time. I am a crocheter. However, I saw this pattern and went crazy for it. I bought the book and some hand painted silk yarn and started knitting. It is probably the hardest pattern I have ever knit. I had to restart about six times. We were on our way to Germany when I first started and after several failed attempts, I finally went out on the patio at our friend's house in Ramstein, told everyone to leave me alone and tried it once again. After about an hour with Hans tanning, Lee napping, Rachel at school and everyone else off doing their own thing, I was able to get it going. It took me over a month to finish, and I really planned on solid blocks of color, not stripes, but the yarn was self striping and I ended up loving it. It is a shawl or neck scarf.





This picture shows the color quite well. Sorry I couldn't get the fringe to hang right. It is really beautiful.


I'm crocheting a really cute pattern right now. I am using a different kind of yarn, mine is multi colored wool/silk hand painted in shades of green, gold, and blue, but this should be pretty classy when I finish. It crosses in the back. There are several ways to wear it.


Now, all I have to do is find a model this cute when it is finished :-).










Two ladies in my Ward were kind enough to let me have their children for about 3 hours. We loaded children, car seats and giggles into my car and I took everyone to Sonic for a Blizzard. We bought just one and shared it. Along with a red slurpee for me. The little boys were busy eating their ice cream when one of them asked for a drink of my slurpee. I said, "I don't share my drink with anyone, not even my own grandchildren." He looked me right in the eye and said "Sister Grandberry, you should share." I promptly got straws for everyone and they shared the rest of my slurpee.



All three little boys were perfect gentlemen. They shared nicely, they cleaned up their mess. The oldest one showed the younger boys how to move the straw up and down in the slurpee to get more juice in it. What a joy. It was probably 105 degrees outside, but we were in the shade and we didn't care.

Tori called me and said, "Hi Mom, I called to tell you about my week." I settled down on the bed to listen. By the time she was through, I was standing up with every muscle in my body tense. Let me see if I can capture what happened.

First, she went in to get her hair colored and cut. In the middle of the color, her beautician got sick and someone else had to finish the job. She colored it the wrong color and gave her an awful haircut. They said they would fix it. She said she needed a couple of days to calm down and decide if she wanted them to work on it again. She went back and they fixed the color and sort of fixed the cut.

Second, she was taking her daughter to piano lessons. There was a lot of construction and had been several storms. There was a large rock in the middle of the road. She could not go left or right, so she drove right over it and it tore the transmission pan off her car. Her husband came to her rescue and they had the car towed and fixed.

Third, their dog quit eating so she took her to the vet and he said he couldn't find anything wrong with her, gave her some vitamins and some antibiotics and sent her home. A couple of days later the dog's eyes and mouth turned yellow. She rushed her to the emergency room and found she had liver damage and they had to give her a steroid shot. Hopefully, that will give her a boost and she will be okay.

Fourth, she took her youngsest son to one of those places where you can bounce on several different air inflated bouncy things and there was one of those things that looks like a man, let's see how do I describe it, it has blowers on it and it blows arms and body tubes up in the air. Well, he went over to see how it worked and lost his balance and his head went inside the hole where the arm blows out of and he couldn't catch his breath. She felt impressed to see where he was and when she got there she had a tough time pulling him out. His lips had just started to turn blue. Scary. The guy who runs the place said it had happened the week before to someone else.

An expensive and exhausting week. She is a positive woman and we got a small chuckle out of the whole experience. It is amazing what we go through sometimes and no one even knows it.

I guess by some standards I do. But, little do they know what troubles are in my life. It made me think about the things we don't know about each other. So many times things happen to people over which they have not control and they don't show on the surface.

We never know if the person we are sitting right next to:

  • is suffering a deep heartache for something over which they have no control
  • is recovering from a serious illness or injury
  • is in serious debt trouble
  • doesn't know how to read
  • is homeless
  • was an abused child
  • is being abused by a spouse
  • has a child in jail
  • just lost a loved one
  • has no food in the house
  • is about to lose their home
  • can't afford a birthday cake for their child's birthday
  • is new in town and doesn't know anyone
  • is in a great deal of physical or emotional pain
  • is suffering from depression
  • has a serious chemical imbalance
  • has no family
  • can't count change

Bet you didn't know I have gone through the awful treatment for hepatitis C, did you? I bet I don't know things about you that would make me be kinder to you, have more compassion for you.

I challenge you to assume the best of everyone. Give each other a chance, do something nice for someone you are inclined to avoid. Smile and speak to each person you meet on the street. It's a good habit and will bring smiles back to you. Then send an act of kindness to someone you do not know well and kindness will come back to you.

I did my act of kindness this morning at work, when/where did you do yours?

Sometimes...

This time IT DID. We have suffered in this 115 degree, humid, weather for 2 weeks with our air conditioner running day and night, only to cool off the house to a meazly 85 degrees. We called the air conditioning guy (Rafael) and he has been out here twice.

New duct work $1,200
New Air conditioner $4,000

Not in the budget, we decided to just have new duct work. We are fully aware that we need that done. Rafael was supposed to come yesterday, but Lee had to work and it is a two man job (somehow there is something wrong with that picture--we are paying $1,200 and Lee has to be the helper--shouldn't he get paid for that with something besides cold air?). But I digress. Lee called Rafael and asked him what he wanted to do and he said put it off until next weekend.

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH.

This was our plan in the meantime.......We would make only one room at a time receive air conditioning and we would stay in that room (or spend the whole day in the movie theater where we would have to wear a sweater). So, Lee took off all the vent covers and taped cardboard over the whole in every room but our bedroom on Friday night. We slept comfortably for the first time in 2 weeks. I even had to pull the covers up once.

Saturday morning, Lee left for work and I covered the vent in our bedroom and uncovered the vent in my office. I worked in there all day only leaving for basic necessities. I was comfortable and enjoyed my day (not to mention I got a ton of organizing done).

Saturday night, Lee came home and cooked dinner outside while I moved the vent covers so only the living room was being cooled. We enjoyed a steak and greens dinner in the living room and held vewwy, vewwy still the rest of the night so as not to generate any more heat in the house (we watched Bourne 1 and 2 in preparation for going to the theater to see 3 :-)). When we went to bed we moved the covers so only the bedroom was getting air conditioning.

In the night the cover fell off the living room and the office and yet we slept through the night comfortably. Once, I recall being semi conscious and noticing that we were sleeping comfortably. Once, I heard the cover fall off one of the vents and wondered if it would get hot again.

This morning we got up and the whole house was cool. The thermostate read 79 degrees. It is showing 80 degrees right now, but it is still comfortable at 80 degrees. I see the clock is wrong, now I'm going to have to get the book out to figure out how to reset the clock, but I will be able to find it because I spent all day yesterday organizing.

What in the world happened? It is a mystery. Maybe it is a tithing blessing. I guess we'll find out when Rafael shows up next weekend.