Looking forward to 2003
year started out on a negative note when I was laid off the last week
Coldwater Creek. I did take some time to regroup and hit the
trying to catch up on my homemaking duties that had been somewhat
we made it to a cat show and went looking for property in Western WA in
our continuing search for a way to move "back home". We looked at
a place in Montesano that our friends, Judy and Sherry had told us
and made inquiries about some others. The place in Montesano was
a house with 2 bedrooms downstairs, a hugh walk in closet, hot tub, 2
plus attached garage and solarium; AND, upstairs ... was an apartment
a 2nd kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a medium sized walk in closet, &
room. There was also a duplex (with garage) and between the two
an oriental style garden with pond and waterfall. It would have
a great place for us, and mom (if she decided to take the apartment
and had income to boot!
1) Wahadi shortly after
arriving, 2) the area near
Watamu where Wahadi's father was found at about 2-2.5 mos, and 3) a map
of the coast of Kenya of Mida Creek near where most Sokokes have been
March, was a
busy month. We were excited to receive our first Sokoke straight
(almost) from Kenya. On the trip to pick her up at SeaTac, we
in to see mom, made a side trip to make an offer on the place in
(near the coast), did a cat show in Olympia (showed our newly received
Sokoke (Wahadi), and then ... our trusty Toyota truck broke down all on
the same trip! We ended up renting a U-Haul truck & trailer
carry home our truck. The Toyota dealership wanted $2400 to fix
and stated it could have even gone higher! It didn't get fixed until
but it cost us a LOT less (even adding in the cost of the U-Haul.)
Leaving Olympia w/ our
pick up loaded behind an empty
After we returned home, we learned that the owners of the property had
accepted a cash offer from someone else.L
Later in March,
Ken landed in the ER and was diagnosed with Emphysema (complicated at
time with a virus). Ken quit smoking and I breathed a sigh of
The spring & summer
just flew as we "worked" most of the week-ends at a local Swap-meet,
Craft Fair, and "organized" Garage Sale. We sold a lot of the
we had left from the catalog business (we'd gotten into about 3 years
my photographs, some collectibles and antiques, and I got some custom
card orders. It wasn't a lot but every little bit helps. We
also brought our Sokoke, Lizi, a few times to educate the public about
the Sokokes and their plight, as well as some of our retired Bengal
were placed after visits to the bazaar. We really needed to get
numbers down and retired more of our adults than usual. We were
preparing for the hoped for move.
June was very
exciting as we welcomed our first litter of Sokokes since April of
Wahadi and Densi presented us with 4 wonderful babies (though we lost
One girl, who went to Bellingham, and two boys who we still have.
They were wonderful! I kept wondering what their life would have
been like born under a gnarl of roots or some hollow in Watamu.
so enjoyed them!
In July, Ken
went to work driving for a local cab company and he is still driving
them. It started with him only working as the relief driver, two
12 hour day shifts and two 12 hour night shifts; now he's driving 5
shifts. We started talking to Judy and Sherri about buying their
house. They have property they are going to retire to in Ethel
Hwy. 12 just off of I-5). We were really excited about buying
place. It is all one level, 3 bedrooms, living-dining room,
enclosed porch, garage, and a "mother-in-law" rental house in the
Well, after some thought they decided they weren't sure about selling
we tabled the plans.
Wahadi's babies and
Claire with her babies.
and I had planned on a trip together to the show in Centralia; but, at
the last minute, he wasn't able to go and I went alone. I had
planned on visiting with a friend from the old neighborhood; but, we
quite "hook up" that trip, having to settle for a visit on the
I brought home a beautiful rosetted mink girl, Fancy, who we are very
about. Lizi, our Sokoke from our first litter, went on an
to represent her breed to the board of The International Cat
to apply for recognition, and then stayed in Montana to visit Lynn's
It was our last try to get her pregnant. We were hopeful when she
returned home but no babies resulted.
In September I
thought I'd found a job at Fred Meyer's but that fell
Ken did manage to get a little time off and we headed over for
cat show and our awards banquet. We drove from Judy &
in Woodland to Battleground and spent a lovely visit with Sandy &
Sorlie. The Sorlie's had lived next door when my brothers & I
were growing up. It was a wonderful visit! Gerry is still
full time and Sandy recently retired from teaching (boy did that make
feel really old!) Sandy has a lovely log home (we were jealous!)
and Gerry lives there in Battleground with her and commutes to
We plan on return visit as soon.
Sandy, me, and Gerry in
front of our motor home.
Our trip and been on again off again so we had not "warned" Mom we were
coming for fear of disappointing her, so when we dropped in it was a
surprise. (I'm not sure she's forgiven us yet.) On this
we delivered our Sokoke girl to her new owner and recieved the 2nd new
girl, Mariposa, toward our improvement goals for 2004. On the
our second litter of babies arrived to our mink Bengal girl,
Only two litters this year but both were such nice quality and fat,
unemployment benefits ran out (not the nicest birthday gift!) because I
was still looking and unemployed. We missed my high school class'
collective 60th birthday get together in Las Vegas (but I'm sure they
had too much fun to miss us). Ken started smoking again, but now
that he's quit once for this long, the next time will be a liitle
I DID get hired at Michael's (only for the Christmas season) but that
still much to be thankful for. We had a very white Thanksgiving
shared our day with friends from our apartment building. As a
grandma, I get to brag that my granddaughter, Chantal, is just
up modeling school after earning a scholarship out of 2400 girls!
I can't wait to see her photos!
Chantal taken at the Wolf
education center &
gift shop on I-95 (N Idaho).
us with some surprising developments. We've put our apartment
up for sale and will put our house up for sale in 2004. We are
ahead with plans to buy the house in Woodland from Judy and Sherri who
are definitely moving up to Ethel. I have no plans to physically
move until the weather clears and the roads are improved, but as soon
that happens and the "paper work is complete", we'll be back in
December also finds me working on closing my first Real Estate Note
When the first one is under my belt, the next one will be easier.
(The next one will probably be the simultaneous closing with Judy &
Sherri and the private investor who buys their note.) We did an
relaxed Christmas. It was just Ken and I (Stevie joined us later
for awhile). I did cook but kept it simple and used several
instead of all homemade to allow me time to enjoy the holiday,
So, we had dinner and a movie (Seabiscuit). It was wonderful.
to 2004 . . .
January 7, 8,
& 9 we will be visiting mom and delivering 2 kittens (1 to a new
owner & 1 as a trade for a new stud with a fabulous
We'll be coming on Ken's two nights off so he only has to take off one
night. Now that we've streamlined our cat population for the move
and only added a few select kitties to bring up our quality, we're
at a great new year for our cattery.
Spring we hope
to be moved (or moving) into our new house and getting this one ready
the market. It will be so nice to be closer to Mom, my boys, Mike
& Dave and their families, as well as our friends. We've
you all so much! It will also be much better for me, as the
are really getting to be too much.
definitely plan on some kind of family get together. So, lets
making plans. Whose house? Or which park? What date?
year I plan to be with family and everyone will be invited to our place
for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.
For now, until we see you in person, have a wonderful holiday, stay
and happy and a very Merry Ho, Ho from Ken (and me).
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