Sunday, January 14, 2007

December 25, 2006

As you may have heard, Denver had a heck of a snow storm last week. Roxborough received over 3 feet of snow, and some of the wind drifts were 6 feet. The whole town shut down, and we didn’t leave the house for 3 days, but had power, heat, and plenty of food, so it was like a vacation. Hannah went to work Wednesday morning, but decided to leave around 10:00 before the roads got too bad. When she got home, she had a movie, treats, and told me that we were going sledding. I told her that just because it was a snow day for her, I had to work (I had my laptop). The good news about technology is that I can work from home, and the bad news about technology is that I can work from home. It’s a mixed blessing.

By Saturday enough of the roads had been plowed that we could make it to the state park just up from our house, so we decided to go cross country skiing. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the snow was light powder – perfect conditions. The park was closed, which was great because we didn’t have to pay, so we skied in. The road to the park is about 3 ½ miles, and has great scenery. It’s almost better then the park. When we got to the park, we decided to do some exploring, and ended up having to make a choice of backtracking or going through a gully of scrub oak. We knew the scrub oak patch would stink to go through, but it was a long way to backtrack so we decided to go through. We found a dry stream bed that had slightly less trees in it and followed it down. The trees were so thick that we had to take off our skis and the snow was up to our waist. I slipped on a covered rock, and banged up my knee. I had a brief thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the main trail, but Hannah broke trail and we made it out in about 35 minutes. When we got home my knee had swollen up so bad it looked like I had an orange under my skin, and now it’s starting bruise nicely.

We went to church on Sunday, and Hannah gave a wonderful talk about the importance of receiving, and showing our appreciation for the gift of the atonement. She also sang in the choir.

That night we cooked a ham, made cheese mash potatoes, salad, rolls, and cherry cheese cake for desert. After the feast, we opened our presents, and being stuffed played “fat dog” (lay on the floor).

A few weeks ago Hannah asked me what I wanted to do for Christmas. This was our first Christmas without family, so we wanted to establish some traditions. I told her I didn’t have any ideas, and she asked me if I wanted to go downhill skiing.

When I worked at Brighton, I would volunteer to work on Christmas. I didn’t have any family in town, so I figured I’d let someone else spend it with their family. Christmas day was a great day to work… My boss would let me take a few runs before we opened, and everyone was in a great mood. I always wanted to go skiing with my family on Christmas, but because Hannah’s not a big downhill skier, I never thought we’d do it. The one condition that Hannah placed on the skiing adventure was that I couldn’t be too bossy.

Christmas morning we got up at 6:00 and drove to the Loveland Ski Area. It’s more of a local resort, so we didn’t think it would be as crowed as some of the destination areas. Another bonus is that they have an entire section of beginner / intermediate runs separate form the rest of the area. We had a wonderful day. I think this tradition may stick.

That evening we went and saw the new James Bond movie and ate all of our Christmas candy.

Hannah speaking…Christmas was wonderful this year even though we did not get to spend it with other family members. Because I was preparing for a talk the weeks leading up to Christmas I made an extra effort to reflect upon why I really should celebrate the season. Christmas is about celebrating our Savior and receiving our King. I didn’t make treats or buy lots of stuff but I was happy. I was happy with the blessings I do have because of the Birth of Christ… life, the Gospel, eternal families, the Comforter, an eternal perspective….life is wonderful.

And now your moment of ZEN.........(I was Santa again this year)

December 15, 2006

Last week stunk. Our cat Max had been fighting a cold for a few weeks. He seemed to get better, but then he would relapse and get sick again. We took him to the vet twice, but were unsatisfied with her diagnosis – “Max is in perfect health.” Hannah found a cat specialist in Castle Rock, 30 minutes south of us, and she took him there.

Once there, she explained the history and the vet noticed that Max’s coat looked unkempt. He decided to run some tests, and found that he had the virus called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). FIP is extremely rare, and only 1% of cats are diagnosed with it. He told us that there was no cure, and that Max would appear to get better, and then get worse – never fully recovering and steadily going down hill. The decision was made to put him down.

The morning we were scheduled to put him down, Max was feeling better and purred when we picked him up. It sounds dramatic, but it was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do in my life. I bawled like a baby. The last time I cried that hard I was a child. I really bonded with that cat. On Sundays when I’d take a nap, he would jump on the bed and sit two inches from my face staring at me until would lift up the blanket and he’d crawl in. If I rolled on his legs, he wouldn’t make a sound, just kick his way out, and then go back to sleep.

Hannah and I decided that we needed another cat right away, so we went to the pound and picked up a 15 pound black male. He’s very mellow, likes Sally (our other cat), and sleeps all day….he’s perfect. We tossed around several names, and landed on Pete…I think. For fun I’ll list a few of the names we tried on:

  1. Berry White: Named after the R&B singer. Berry White was a ladies man, and had a deep baritone voice. When Pete was at the pound he was in a room with all females, and he would let them lay on him, and has a deep rumbling purr, but his meow is a soprano.
  2. John Coffee: Named after the black guy in the movie “The Green Mile.”
  3. Puddy: Named after David Puddy on Seinfield
  4. Molasses (Mo for short): Black Strap Molasses??? Slower than molasses??? I don’t know it just seemed to kind of fit.
  5. Mouse Face: From the side he looks like a mouse.
  6. Chief Meow Meow. This was Hannah’s first choice but Eric rejected it.

What ever we end up calling him, we’re glad to have another cat.