Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer's here! Joy to the Northern Hemisphere!

Hi everyone, how goes it? I'm sitting at home, marvelling at how lazy I am :-) again.

For those who don't know I jut got back from New Zealand last week... it was my sister Karyn's 40th B'day (ooops sorry 23rd B'day) and if anyone deserved a (I hope) neat surprise this year she certainly did. So without telling anyone (except Gav) I jumped on a plane and surprised her by being in her office when she unlocked her door! Actually it truly was a really neat moment - then we proceeded to agree to never surprise each other again - we were even LOL. Mum and Dad were also unaware and got quite the surprise later that day when they showed up to go out for dinner and I was making a cuppa in the kitchen.

So to get the burning question answered for all, how is everyone doing back home... We're still a long way away from really well - after all its only been 4-5 months since we were done with the hospital. But certainly considering everything, pretty darn good with definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Mum is struggling as her colostomy has herniated so she calls it her "third boob" and is pretty much in constant pain. So she is waiting for a surgery date come the end of this month / early July to try reversing it again (putting her back to the beginning again for another 8 weeks). Dad's hand is responding to being used and a little therapy which is awesome - totally a 'if you don't use it you'll lose' it kinda thing. Walking and moving around brilliantly. But also has a lot of issues with aches and pains... Emotionally - I think we've hit the hard part, the realization that this really really really sucks, life will never be the same, plans we've made over the years maybe affected, we're not as young as we used to be, and this is gonna take a lot longer to play out than we really realise is making day to day a struggle; despite the facade of normality. Also the severity of their injuries that night and lack of oxygen/blood to ones brain can leave some subtle changes to memory, personalities, mental function that sort of thing - so we'll see......

It's true - life will never be the same for all of us and those around us because of the accident - but then who the hell would want life to be the same always anyway. At the end of the day - yes its constantly in the back of our minds, yes it influences the things we do and choose from here on in. But all of those are choices and we can choose at some point for that to be a positive influence or choose the darker route. You know life is a struggle - but life only gives us as much as you can handle - if we choose to make good choices. Regrets, grudges, sour feelings, we all have them - and we've all have our hand in creating them. I guess its whether or not we choose to let them run our lives or run our lives despite them. Someone has to be the person who takes the first step to keeping connected... and the only person you have any control over is yourself... Choose whats important - not what is the easiest....

As I just read; don't strive to be perfect, you'll always fail - strive to be good... remembering you'll fail at that too - but most of the times you can and will succeed!!!

Enough already... so I was sitting watching TV last night after it got dark and I noticed something out the window that bought a smile to my face... Fireflies; this is my cue that summer is here and it will be warm from here on in! Yipeee. When I got back from NZ last week I marvelled at how much the gardens had grown and the colours that abounded. This is the first year that the entire development has been completed with grass and flower beds - and it looks fantastic. Spring bulbs are blooming, trees are covered in leaves, the Goldfinches are bright bright gold (they go grey in the winter), and my new garden down the back fence is coming away! We had our first "Drinks in the Driveway" event with the neighbours - impromptu beers with lawn chairs in someones drive... happens all summer long.... fun! Looking good.

(Mingo stalking chipmunks that have a burrow under the rock.... he sits there literally for hours)

I came home to a bit of a lack of work; which means I've got to spend some time on the free medical clinic I help manage here in town which has been good. It's been running a year now and we're slowly getting more and more organised.

We see about 30 odd folks a "clinic" so it keeps us busy as it's only on Saturdays for 4 hours! I totally love it - it's a chance to really help folks without the politics of having a boss. We actually get to be real and honest with patients - rather than feeding them a line of B.S. - which means we can really really affect some change in folks lives rather than just enable them to do nothing! Then its also the kind of place where the volunteers have a similar outlook on life as you do - so we work really well together. Love it - did I mention that???? :-)

So despite the above - did I mention that I'm really lazy. So I haven't even unpacked my small suitcase from last week yet! Sad huh! Actually doing the web site is 'preventing' me from doing the washing that I need to get done... Pathetic huh! I have however managed to finish two books. The jet lag is still kicking my butt as well. Find myself staying up all night till 3-4am and not getting out of bed until 1-2pm which makes for a wasted day to say the least. Gavin's off the next 4 days so hopefully he'll help me get back in time. I need to get more active and not be so lazy... sad and pathetic.

So whats coming up this week - who knows. Might try and talk Gavin into going and doing a overnight stay somewhere - just the two of us... a B&B somewhere in the countryside. It's suppose to rain next two days so we'll see. I'm sure Gavin may have some trout fishing plans hidden in the back of his mind that I don't know about :-) I guess I might need to find another book :-(

Well until then - I hope this finds everyone well. It seem like a bunch of our cousins are procreating (either just given birth or announced impending events)... so Gav and I wish them all well from Reno Nevada to Wellington to New Zealand and quite a few spots in between. Remember to post pics somewhere online!

Also keep Mum in your prayers as she gets ready for the next round of surgery - we're all very confident in regards to the surgeon but as one could imagine very nervous about the event in general... it will be hard to back at square one yet again, Mums quite scared. Also my Iowa Dad has been messing around with an irregular heart beat last few months and will be having a visit with the Cath lab on the 22nd for a procedure to try and stop it as the medications haven't worked - so keep him in mind as well. Continues prayers for my Iowa Aunty Karen with her continued breast cancer treatments, my cousin Andrews little girls kidney issues, Jessica's asthma and my laziness!!! And I'm sure Ive forgotten folks - as I always do....

Also to those whom I didn't get to catch up with in NZ last week. My intentions were there - but time once again slipped away... I'm sorry.....

So there it goes - another mindless garbled entry in the life of Nicky... enjoy!

Hugs to everyone, Love Nic and Gav

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And a Happy New Year ... Easter 'and all that jazz'

Wow, "He has risen"....... wow, very cool yes :-)

Who the heck can believe Easter has been and gone!!! Please tell me it's not April already. I'm so ready for some warmer weather . I've been baby-sitting a cough/cold this season for 6 weeks now and am on rounds two of antibiotics; I am so so so ready for the sun!

Ahhhhh, deep breath time. Sorry Ive neglected the updates recently. It's certainly taken quiet a while to kinda get back into the flow of things.

Mum and Dad are doing really well. For those who haven't heard any updates except via this web site. The year continued to get complicated. Mum had her surgery to reverse the colostomy - however, she ended up with a leak and infection and then had to have it put back again. So after a long recovery and wound infections etc... she's doing really well again with the hopes to try again in July or August. Dad's left hand continued to deteriorate through the weeks with no assistance from NZ's healthcare system - finally after weeks of begging and yelling he is now getting physo 2-3 times a week and has at least halted the detoriation and hopefully will regain some strenght and use of over the many months to come (really a 2 year recovery before we'll know how much use he gets back). However at this time - life finds them well enough to take a weeks vacation with some friends to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands to lay by the sea and enjoy the pampering. Yes, Nicky is nervous they're going but in the end Nicky needs to get over it!!! They'll be ok....... (oh boy - thats hard). Mum got out the hospital the day before we left - so its hard for me to picture them as 'able' I guess....

As for Gavin and I - we ended our NZ trip with a stunning week in Fiji diving multiple times a day. It was truly incredible. I have 300 underwater photos to share but I'll put just a couple on the web site. The adventure also included two dives during a sharp feeding... so that was pretty exciting - you were literally able to reach out and touch the bull, black/white/silver tip and nurse sharks.... and I managed my goal which was to see a turtle and spend time swimming with and watching him go about his (or her) thing! The colours again were fab... we learnt alot!

And so we returned to little ole Rockford... the weather left alot to be desired but it looks like its going to start warming up her next week.

Not long after we returned our nephew in Iowa's high school basketball team made it through to the State competition in Des Moines which we got to go to. And - because it was broadcasted live on a radio station that also had live streaming online Mum and Dad in NZ also listened to it with us. What a blast - out of 3oo teams, 12 get to go to State... we lost but we had the biggest attendance out of all the teams over the last 6 years that the commentator could remember and we screamed and cheered our team all the way and then some. Man it was quite the night - cant wait to do it again next year - Go Hawks!!!!!!!

And so life continues...

I interviewed today (sort of...) with a old co-worker for a full time job at another local ED. The manager had worked for me when I was organizing the medical clinic for the arriving planes from New Orleans back during Katrina. So it wasn't much of a formal interview to say the least. More of a - "why are you taking up my time can you start today? Oh and we're going out for drinks tonight - wanna come?" So there you go... so we'll see, haven't' made up my mind yet - see what their $$$ offer is before I sign the dotted line :-) Im pretty much working agency nursing at little country ED's which is quiet and not very challenging at all. So my critical skills are suffering somewhat - I tried to take blood from a patients artery yesterday and missed twice which is very unlike me - so it got me thinking (bad thing....) - oh well. Personally I blamed it on my thumb....

Thumb you say, thats right havent told you that story yet :-) Well, another story for my list of stupid things Ive done to myself... I was working at a Free Medical Clinic for the Uninsured that I manage after working a night shift - so no sleep (one must always have excuses for dumb behaviour). Anyway I needed to dispose of some out of date meds - one of which was called a Epi Pen. Which is a prepackaged injection of Adrenaline that you can self inject into your thigh if your having a really really bad allergic reaction to something at home. To cut a long story short... I managed to shot it into my left thumb instead of the chair I was aiming for - oooops. So, one of the side effects of adrenaline is that it constricts all the blood vessels in your tissue thus cutting off the oxygen supply to the area - which in this case was my thumb. Initially it was quite funny and worth a good laugh, 5-6 hours later it hurt like hell and required narcotics to keep me from chopping it off (lack of oxygen to tissue hurts really really really badly) and at this point it's now numb and will be for a week to 10 days. Thankfully it now has blood flow back to it and so it will no longer turn black and fall off - which is very positive. So now Im a semi-invalid; left handed with no functioning aposable thumb. Which places me in the ape category sort of!!!!!!! Way to go Nic - still, hell of a funny heheheheheheh...

Well and here I sit. I just finished ordering a bunch of plants off the internet for my back garden. So that will give me something to do come the next few weeks. A little more primping and preening and it will hopefully be pretty and not need a lot of attention in the future. Thats my plan anyway. A little shopping tomorrow along with the washing and all will be well in paradise right!

So I hope this finds everyone well and happy. Hopefully I will get to this thing a little more often than I have been. Hugs to everyone and for those waiting for warmer weather I hope its here real soon!!!

Love Always, Nicky and Gavin

Check out the dive photos and turtle movie....

This believe it or not is the same fish in both photos, it got mad and turned yellow!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Xmas - at last for all

Merry Christmas!
And a happy New Year!

The end of 2008 the Bennett clan time to pause and reflect (briefly but deeply) on a what will be a turbulent end-of-year. This is actually the end of our first full year in our new home, which many have seen. We feel so blessed to finally have a place of our own…

However this letter comes to you all while Nicky and Gavin share life on two separate continents. October 29th was definitely the worst day in a long while. We received an early morning phone call that Nicky’s parents Heather and Colin had been involved in a car crash back in New Zealand. When Nicky asked the inevitable question “are they ok?” her knees crumpled as her sister simply said “No” they were both critical and may not survive. They were also on their way directly from the Emergency Dept to surgery. Nicky flew out four hours later (Gavin followed a few days later just for 6 days while they were still critical). Fortunately they are both ‘on the mend’, albeit slowly. At this time Heather is home with Nicky and her sister Karyn’s family and is due for further surgery to reverse a colostomy come late January and Colin is still in hospital learning to walk again after multiple fractures especially his pelvis. Their friends were driving when they crossed into the path of a semi truck with a double trailer. Their friend’s wife sadly was killed… The outpouring of love and support from across the globe has been amazing, and is deeply appreciated. For those who weren’t aware of the going’s on – feel free to email us as Nicky has directed our emails to go to her in NZ… (and for those I forgot to contact, I’m sorry life got very confusing and still hasn’t calmed down yet).

And so the year went. Nicky will be in NZ until February 2009; Gavin will return there in January for 5 weeks. This was originally planned some months ago as vacation time down under, but now most likely will be filled with activities somewhat closer to home. And a week in Fiji suba diving - yipeeee.

Please continue to keep the whole family in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you so much for all you have done for us so far. As someone close and special said to us just before Nicky boarded a plane; don’t loose faith “miracles happen”. Certainly the miracle of Xmas will again remind this family of how true that is.

A few silver linings however, Nicky finds herself basking in the warm weather of a NZ summer for a start :-) And Gavin gets to go skiing without listening to Nicky go "again"!!!

So there it is... and another year comes to a close. Hope this finds everyone with a smile upon there faces despite the turmoils of the world. Hugs all round......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Im sorry.....

We'll folks it's not Spring any more... somehow Summer completely zipped by without me noticing as well and here it is Fall already! I'm truly sad and pathetic at keeping this up to date - so here's my feeble apology...

OK enough with the self loathing and negative crap....

Wow, Gavin and I have been a little busy... Actually so much
has been going on really. It started with the event of the year "A Wedding". Our oldest Iowa nephew and his High School Sweetheart finally tied the knot and were married in June. What can I say Nicky loves a wedding - the bride was drop dead gorgeous and I cried through the whole thing! One of the most fun parts was that it was the first wedding for ALL the nieces and nephews at an age they could all remember so they got to see their Aunts/Uncles/parents and Grands all getting 'down' at the reception, kicking off their shoes and having a good ole' time. Which was either fun, memorable or just incredibly embarrassing for them. It took a while to finally get them all up and dancing with us - but we finally succeeded after the lure of cute older girls in bridesmaid dresses finally enticed the teenage boys to let loose! It was truly a fabulous event to remember...

Then continuing with the wedding theme - not long after, we had the privilege of celebrating Ed and Marilyn Vogels (Iowa Mom and Dad) 50th wedding anniversary in August. I don't know about anyone else - but I have a hard time thinking that those many years have gone by... It seems so surreal when you think about it all. We celebrated the weekend by a fun trip to Des Moines, IA taking in a dinner at a Japanese restaurant, the musical Grease, swimming in the pool and throwing various soaking wet toys at each other. Time is so relative these days, I'm not sure if it makes me think of the time gone by or the time to come... probably best not to dwell on either huh... :-)

A week after we had the first of many visitors this summer... Matthew (our nephew that lives in NYC) and his Mum (not my sister for those who don't know the story) came to stay for a few days. Had a great visit and managed to put a face to the name of someone we had heard about via Matthew and had a little contact with over the years.

Then after they left Gavin and I managed to complete our diving training at last and are now Certified Open Water Divers. Had to complete our open water dives at a local Spring/Quarry with our dive instructor... not exactly tropical by any stretch of the imagination - but a means to an end! Though neither of us will ever dive there again; uck... mud, smelly, poor visibility. Think it took a week to wash it all out of my hair!

The next few weeks was a mix of work and sleep punctuated by some oral surgery for both Gavin and Nicky!!! Then before we knew it September was here. The big item on Nicky's To Do List was finishing up the garden across the back fence. I finally decided to hire a "Husband for the Day" and so talked a good friend of mines hubby to come play with me... We got hold of a tiller and finally dug the garden over, added some peat, covered it with weed cloth and bark. At last I had a garden that looked good and wouldn't grow weeds / need a lot of up keep!!!! The best part was I made money on the deal as the guy who helped me worked without a tee shirt so I sold tickets to the neighbour ladies to come watch him!!! Good deal all round I'd say :-) LOLOLOLOL.

Mid September found us celebrating Jacqui's (Gavin's sister) 40th B'day. So we bordered a plane to NYC for some fun and relaxation. Three of Gavin's cousins (and a boyfriend) from NZ also came over to celebrate with us so along with some friends and Matthew we all climbed on to the train and headed out to the coast for a few days on the beach on Fire Island. Had a great time, great company... Cooked out on the BBQ every night, champagne breakfasts on the deck, relaxing walks down the beach (even down the whole nude gay section - go for it Kapiti), and stunning sunsets. Who could ask for more - a great break from the city!!!

We made it back into the city and did a little of the tourist type stuff. Had dinner at Nelson Blues and NZ bar/restaurant which was fun. Had Corn fritters with my dinner though they were good - not a touch on Mum's!!! It was decorated really nicely - not over the top at all - very tasteful. I did my best to blend in with the decor with my choice of shirts as you can see!!

Another NYC highlight was catching up with one of the AFS students that I had meet back in 1984 who now lives in NYC with his American wife. Mauricio - originally from Ecuador. We managed a evening out together, relived stories and memories. I swear it was catching up with an old family friend - like no time had passed us by at all. Was definitely a precious and special moment for me. Looking forward now to them coming to stay with us maybe in December for a few days. Awesome!!!

After Jacqui's we've then had visitors in between the whole work/sleep cycle thing. One of Gavin's cousins Sheryl and her boyfriend Tony (who just for the record we totally approve of!!!) came to stay for a few. Once again we played tourist (something we never grow old of by the way) and explored the country side enjoying each other's company. Not sure why but we seemed to spend a lot of time shopping for socks and underwear for Tony hmmmmmm????

Then two weeks after they left, my sisters husband from NZ Clinton (Matthews Dad) came to visit as well. Really it was the first time we had spent any time with Clinton as they met after we left NZ and when were home there's usually kids and family around - so it was wonderful to be totally selfish and have him to ourselves. Gavin and him have so much in common - its great to listen to them talk music etc... I some times feel bad that our choices keep them apart from each other as I think they would be great 'brothers' if we were in NZ... After a day of wandering around Chicago we ended the evening at a real Chicago Blues Club (Buddy Guy's Legends) listening to a guy and his guitar do his thing... wonderful end to a great visit. Must admit I even got a little teary eyed when we left him at the bus station. As you can see from the photo the two boys got quite close :-) heheheheh.

And so here we are - waiting for winter to land on us. The fall colours are peaking and the weather is requiring of us jackets and jersey's. I planted a bunch of Day Lillies that Iowa Mom and Dad bought up the other day (they came up to meet Clinton)- so I'm totally excited for spring to come to see what colours from home I have. Of course in between times for those who don't know we will be home in NZ come Jan/Feb. Can't wait - get to watch David go to school for the first time, enjoy the sun, catch up with everyone, have combined Xmas and b'day parties and maybe jump out of plane with Karyn!!!! Yipeeee.

So there you have it - a quick and condensed version of Summer in Rockford! I will try to be better at doing this... really I will..... really......

So that's about it... I do have a couple of little prayer requests I wanted to add on for a few folks who could use some support right now...

Tonya (Leuck) and Todd's little girl was recently diagnosed with Insulin dep. Diabetes and is learning to cope with this scary hiccup in life; my AFS Bus Mom's little grandson is amidst the treatment for leukemia a tough tough road and my cousin/flowergirl Jessica is currently in hospital in NZ after another life threatening acute asthma attack that has left her on a ventilator again. So please think of them for me from time to time...

So there goes it for today... As usual I hope this finds everyone well and in great spirits. And I hope you enjoy the pic's.

Until next time, hugs Nicky and Gavin xoxoxoxox

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring a time of change

Ahhhh - spring is here, our newly planted tulips and daffodils flowered this last couple of weeks, its warm enough to drink the glass of wine on the deck with socks on vs in front of the fireplace. Life is comfy!!!

And life goes on, with a few changes... first of all Gavin's Uncle Arthur (for those who know) - his Dad's only brother died this week. He was a very ill man, plagued with many serious complaints; but non-the-less ALWAYS welcoming to us both with a huge smile on his face and a warm hug. He was however, the last of the Bennett clan and the only connection to his Dad side of the family - but because of old hurts and estranged relationships Gavin will never really get to know his past. It saddens us both that families would make that choice to hold on to such pain and let it rule the future; but we can only pray that Bob (Gav's Dad), Arthur and their parents are now all sitting somewhere playing cards and enjoying a cup of tea together while their Mum dotes on "all her boys". (Below: Arthur, Gavin and Bob on our wedding day)

We had another new visitor to our back yard this week as well... all of a sudden Mija (tabby cat) jumped up off my lap and bounded towards the window exclaiming "Look Mum, look Dad a raccoon" - well ok she didn't really talk but she did definitely 'bound' quite beautifully! Gavin had bought a new bag of bird feed that had nuts and berries mixed in it (great idea Bennett) and so the local raccoon's had sniffed it out and were making a play for the feeder, unfortunately quite successfully. So today's job is to work out how to minimize the bird feed thieving! Once again you'll see how fabulous an animal they are, seems to be a common theme - but check out the tail - stunning!!! He was quite friendly - I went outside to have "a few words" with the darling and it didn't at all phase him. In fact for the most part he'd look at me and then got back to what he was doing. Cheeky little beggar!!!! Oh well.... :-)

Next piece of news I guess is Nicky quit her job this week also.... had enough of hospital politics and decided to do agency nursing for a bit.... this is were a private temp agency sends you out on various ER/A&E jobs to various hospitals around the area depending on the hospitals needs. Looks like I'll also try my hand at night shift and see how that goes as well. Time will tell I guess.

Just for the record - this is a picture of the cats bounding to the window to seethe raccoon - as you can tell it was all a little to much for them in the end.......

Gavin's dusting off his fishing gear and road/mountain bikes; he's been out fishing once so far in Southern Wisconsin for the ole' trout. Believe it was a successful 'hunt', catch and release weekend. But then of course I never even get to see pictures (let alone the actual fish) so not to sure how much of it I believe LOL. Had a good time though - so there you go!!!

Looking forward to June, we have our first Iowa nephew/niece wedding June 26.... interesting experience I might add. Ben (eldest son of eldest Iowa AFS brother) is marrying the most wonderful person in the world (eh Simon!) Breanne. The really weird thing is - Ben was BORN when I was living in Iowa as an AFS exchange student - which means I have watched an entire generation been born, grow up and marry next month. Which in my calculations (and keep in mind my Dad was my Math mentor/teacher - so my calculations must be right or my Dad taught me wrong - which is absolutely impossible - as he knows about everything including golf) is bloody well impossible as that would make me older' :-( So, I'm still trying to process this whole thing - I think because Gav and I don't have kids (despite the cats) we get to see these events unfold with a bang rather than having the chance to build up to them like parents who live continually over the years with the whipper-snappers. Which may actually make it more traumatic for the Aunt/Uncle when you think about it. A little PTSD, pre event-traumatic-stress-disorder! Maybe that's why relatives tend to drink at weddings - I don't know, open for discussion....... (good grief).

Gavin and I found our first Geocache (see last entry) the other day. Another way that I know were getting along in years - I swear it took us 2 months to work out how to use the stupid GPS machine/thing. But we got is sussed and took off in to the wild blue yonder (just across the road really in to the park). We found our way to the GPS co-ordinates and began our search through the rough terrain and trees... we searched for hours (ok minutes) and couldn't find a bloody thing. After about 30minutes we kinda gave up, I leaned up against a tree that had fallen down looked down at my feet ready to admit defeat. And you guessed it - there it was! So we drug out the plastic container hoping to find our first million left by some philanthropist; signed our name in the book, high five'd each other and happily went on our way no richer than when we left. Good fun though! LOL.

Wow, this is turning into a long post... I guess I should do it more often. We'll I had one more thing to mention. I just had to post this last picture for the world to see cause I told Simon I would and then he whinnnnnned "noooooooo Aunt Nicky donnnnnn't" So in my warped mind I'm actually teaching Simon an important lesson in life - never tell some one they can't do something cause then they'll do it to spite you - and never let anyone take naked pics of you - cause they will end up on the world wide web (heheheheheheh). Last but not least - any type of publicity makes ya popular. So how could I not! But also because Im a kind hearted person - a slipped in another 'bathroom pic' so they didn't feel like I was just picking on them (Im gonna be in trouble). What a brilliant way to end!

Take care ya all, hugs Nic and Gav!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The End of Winter

Finally there seems to be light or at least sun at the end of the tunnell. Looks like we had our last dusting of snow yesturday and by today 2:30 its all melted away to leave the brown/green grass - so bring on the spring! Gavin and I have a few days off together and are looking forward to dragging out our togs and finally completing our scuba diving course/certification together this weekend at the local dive shop/pool!!!

We also got our new toy in the mail yesturday and are going to try our hand at Geocaching which entails walking around the country side looking for small hidden containers with lists of names and possibly treats/treasures left by others with the aid of a hand held GPS machine that works off longitude and latitude co-ordinates. Apparently the co-ordinates get you within about 20ft of the hidden container and then you have to search for it from there.... sounds like a bit of fun. Go to for interest sake if you want to learn more.... apparently there hidden all around the world... theres even some hidden in Foxton!

We also thought you'd be interested to see whats been sitting outside our living room window recently... we were watching TV the other evening as the sun was going down when some movement caught our eye to look and find a new friend - who turns out has been sleeping under our neighbours patio off and on while there out of town for the winter... for those who think they left their dog behind you'd be wrong. It's actually a real live wild coyote (not like the cartoon you can see). Can't believe he was happy just to sit there like that... the population has been increasing here in town recently... so there you go. He (or she I guess) was just beautiful, I wish I could have got a photo of how wonderful his tail was - it was quite brushy. Very pretty animal... Gavin wont let me feed him though :-( However when the cats miss behave I do threaten to feed them to him. However according to Animal Control they're not really intersted in cats thankgoodness.

I also thought I'd post a pic of Gav and his Mum and sister as we got sent such I nice one and so many of you have met the Dunn's but not the rest of the Bennett's - so here it is, it was taken when they all came to visit in Sept 2007 over in the State Park across the road from home here!

We'll thats about all the rambling for now. Thanks to everyone by the way for keeping my family in your prayers/hearts while Dad has his little hiccup with his health again - all is well with him now. And also for continued prayers for the NIU folks...

Hugs to everyone, Love and GB; Nicky, Gavin and the Cats!!!