Monday, December 12, 2011

Books For Gabriel

So I had an amazing experience the other day. I was procrastinating doing something, I forget what, so I checked my Facebook like I am prone to do when I am procrastinating. My friend Jenny from Burley had posted a link to a book drive her friend is doing. I thought that was interesting so I clicked on the link, and read the story about a little boy named Gabriel. My heart broke as I read about how at 17 months old, this beautiful little boy just quit breathing and after a few days in the hospital, passed from this life into the next, to the sorrow of his loving parents and siblings. The story written by his mother Amy is so touching. I just can not even imagine going through something like that.

As Gabe's third birthday approaches, Amy is gathering books to donate to kids in hospitals in memory of her little boy. As I sat at the computer with tears streaming down my face, I remembered that I had just cleaned out my kids' book collection and I had a box of books that I was going to put in storage for a while. I was so excited to think I could donate them and maybe help someone just a little. I sent Amy a message and got her address, and then loaded the kids in the car and drove to her house in Saratoga Springs. Amy was so kind and grateful, and I felt so good to be able to help in some small way.

I have decided to try to collect as many books as possible and deliver them to her the week before Christmas, so I am asking that if you have any books that you would consider donating, please let me know and I will be glad to come and pick them up, or you can drop them off at my house. Hospitals love getting books for kids up to age 18, from baby board books to chapter books, to young adult books. They are such a comfort to families who are in the hospital for extended or unexpected stays. Please read Amy's blog post here and let me know if you would like to help (there is also a link on the blog to donate money for books if you are unable to donate actual books). It is a wonderful way to extend service that will truly make a difference, especially at this time of year. I would like to deliver the books this Saturday. You can email me at or call or text me at 801-592-1531. Thanks!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh, my life...

So I know you are jealous that I am married to a hunter and my life is non-stop, constant excitement. Seriously. There is never a dull moment. Take Monday night, for example. I didn't really have anything planned for Family Home Evening. I mean, I was planning to have it, but that's about as far as I was with it. So when Jason's mom called in the afternoon and said she had a raccoon in a trap that needed to be shot, well hey, there's FHE right there.

After dinner we loaded up the kids and the bows and arrows and headed to Grandma's. I thought a gun would be easier than bows and arrows, but Jason informed me that it is illegal to shoot a gun within city limits. Also, I should add that my mother in law called the fish and game to see what to do with the little critter and they said NOT to let it go, that raccoons are nuisances and need to be... done away with. Well, the job proved to be a little harder than originally planned. Apparently raccoons are kind of like cockroaches and they just refuse to die. I was inside trying to block out any mental images of what was going on outside when the boys came in with the news that well, the raccoon was still holding on, but they were working on it. Finally Jason came in and said the job was done. I will spare you any further detail. Okay, well, I thought, that was bad but now we can move on. Wrong! Jason had the awesome idea of taking the raccoon home so he could skin it for the boys. We watched Where the Red Fern Grows recently as a family, which turned out to be a horrible idea since the whole thing is about catching raccoons and turning them into coon skin caps. So yeah, we should do that! Just because Billy did in the backwoods of the Ozarks 100 years ago. Sweet. As a result, the raccoon came home with us in a garbage bag in the back of the van. I was not okay with that. It didn't matter.

I was hoping Jason would forget about his little "project" and end up disposing of the remains after a few days. Wrong again. I returned home from running errands on Tuesday afternoon to find the VERY disturbing image of a creature with its back legs tied to a rope, tied to the RAILING of the garage steps and my husband sitting right exactly where I park the van, just skinning away. When he saw me, he yelled, "Don't look!" but it was too late. Fortunately for you, I don't have the words to describe a skinned raccoon. "Horrific" is a start, but just imagine a shaved cat, but about 5 times bigger, hanging from its feet while your six-year-old watches in fascination and, well, there was some blood involved. I'm sorry to have to tell you that, but I'm the one who has to STEP in it every time I step out of my vehicle now. I do actually step around it, but it isn't easy, and it provokes very negative thoughts in my mind about raccoons and hunting in general.

I'm sorry if you were hoping that was the end of the story. So was I, but it's not. The raccoon skin made its home on the back of Jason's 4-wheeler in the garage for a few days. It was there the last time I saw it and tried not to make eye contact with it. Then last night I went down to the basement deep freeze to get a bag of chicken. There was a Kohl's bag with a suspicious lump in it inside the freezer. I thought, hmmm, must be some deer meat that Jason's dad brought him from their hunt last week or something (forgetting that Jason's dad isn't HOME yet from the hunt last week). Later I mentioned it to Jason and he said, "Oh yeah, I put the raccoon hide in the downstairs freezer so it doesn't rot". Well, if that isn't just great news. I just touched a dead raccoon in a Kohl's bag. Why was I born? What am I supposed to learn from this? I'm trying to be a better person, honestly I am, but I just don't understand why these kind of experiences are necessary for me in the eternal scheme of things. I guess I still have a lot to learn. I just wish I could learn it all in a very sanitary, death-free, non-redneck sort of way.