June 2014

Apparently we are now cat owners. I’ve never liked cats… in fact I may have never really liked people who like cats – I’ve always been more of a dog person. Our dog, however, is almost 15 years old and we’re not sure how much longer we’ll be dog owners. Plus, I have to admit that having an outside cat to keep all the critters under control around the house wouldn’t be a terrible thing.

This cat showed up one day as we were having lunch on the porch. I tried to scare him away, but he actually walked toward me. Later, as I was doing some work outside, he was right underneath me the entire time. He’s really more like a dog than our actual dog. It’s been a week now and he is still hanging around (plus he has a name) so I guess he’s ours. About the name – Olivia made a comment that I finally had another boy around the house and he loves to follow me around, so she named him “Jason Junior”. I shortened that to JJ – I’m still not really a cat person.


Check out this video for an introduction to JJ by our correspondent, Amelia.


A few years ago, we had to come up with Olivia’s Native American name for school. I named her Smiles-With-Freckles. It seemed fitting and stuck. Olivia also made sure to tell the other students that she was part Native American – I’m sure nobody believed her. I think I am something like 1/32 Native American, but the German ancestry seemed to win out for most of my DNA. On the other side, my wife is Scandinavian, so Olivia looks about as Native American as an albino squirrel… technically, I guess those are Native American.

Despite her paleness, Olivia’s Native American spirit has begun to emerge. Both of the girls spent last week in Tennessee at Nana and Granddaddy’s. They got to spend a lot of time with Aunt Amy and her boys, Blake and Matthew. They are older than the girls and were able to teach them a few things. I’m not sure what all the girls learned during the week, but I do know that Olivia tried to shoot a frog with a BB gun.

Being an over-the-top animal lover, Olivia shooting at any living creature is like Gandhi getting into a barroom brawl. The funny thing is that she had no regrets. In fact, she asked me if we could go shooting. She later asked me if I would take her hunting. The idea of her sitting still and quiet for hours is laughable, but I appreciate her enthusiasm.

Where did this killer instinct come from? I can only attribute it to the hunter spirit living deep within her… or an older, male cousin who showed her that shooting stuff is pretty fun. As for Amelia, she said that she wasn’t old enough to shoot a BB gun yet (must be all of those episodes of A Christmas Story), but have no fear – if there is a warrior in our household, it is definitely Amelia.