Wow - this Summer just seemed warp speed! I can't remember the exact order of some events, but I'll try to recap them anyhow :)
In August I had the idea to have campers at our house. Whenever I have moved somewhere I have often camped until I could find a place to live. When I moved to Asheville, I camped at the downtown hostel and got to use their kitchen and bathroom. That was such a great resource to have, I wanted to share with others! I have such a nice level yard, and close to downtown, so I put an ad on Craigslist that folks could tent camp or camp in a small vehicle for a very inexpensive daily fee or in trade for help around the house or childcare. I had LOADS of responses - much more than I expected. It was great to have so many I had the opportunity to really weed through them all :)
Then I got an email from a family who had just moved here from New York and were camping in a pop-up camper while looking for a house. They homeschooled and had boys the same ages as Clay & Reed. They came that night and ended up staying 2 weeks - it was the MOST fun! Then when they left, I chose a young couple who was also moving here, they were from Philidelphia, and also really great! Both groups did work around the house, fixing things, as well as traded for childcare (so great to have a break!). I decided to put the house on the market after that couple stayed, so didn't have anymore guests, but am SO glad we did it - we made great friends, and hopefully we'll get to do it again in another house!
All the kids playing with paint one warm day~
Around that same time we started having campers (I think this was August), we decided to foster a pregnant cat. Our beloved Spotty & Ace wandered off one day and never returned :( But through a great cat rescue organization, we found Roselia. Right after the last campers left (beginning of September), she had her kittens. There were 6, and 2 died within the first few days. The other 4 are strong and healthy! As of this writing, they are 8 weeks old. We'll send the mother cat back for adoption as soon as she weans (probably very soon!), and keep the kittens until they're old enough for adoption (and spaying/neutering), which will be in about another month. They are SO fun, we all just love to watch them and play with them, but I'll be glad not to have to clean their messes anymore :)
Clay with his favorite (the one he named Quigon) and Reed covered in kittens!
To make all this more complicated - the kittens were born on the first Saturday in September... on the previous Thursday, my Dad died. it was a quick and peaceful death, and I got to talk to him on the phone just minutes before he passed. We're so grateful we got to go visit him earlier in the Summer!! We went down to Jacksonville a week later for his memorial service - it was HUGE! He was such an influence in the running community - there were over 300 people there. There were stories about him in the newpaper and on the news - if I can figure out how to upload the video, I will :)
So, my Dad died on Thursday, and then I had our dog Scarlet put down on Friday (this was already scheduled, not spur of the moment). She was 15 and it was just her time, she was terribly uncomfortable and had lost much control over her body. So, I was very glad to have the birth of the kittens the next day on Saturday! Felt good to have a little bit of new life after all the death.
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