My oldest son, Bill, texted me that they were going to celebrate grandson, Mason’s fifteenth birthday on last Saturday. We’ve been having cold and snow and were expecting the roads to be snow-covered and icy. Fortunately, they were not. We were so happy to be able to go! When we arrived, we found out Bill had given us, and all the rest of my side of the family, the wrong day! Boy was he in the doghouse! Poor Kelly had nothing ready at all. But we’ve all been very good at making do. Bill ran to the Duquette Store for frozen pizzas and Kelly and Ava made cupcakes. Despite the wrong day, we all had a nice time visiting and wishing Mason a very happy birthday. Ava brought Whinny out so we could see her and jealous dog, Buddy, kept close watch on “his” girl the whole time.

Ava and Whinny out for a walk.

On Monday, the dealer where Will’s truck was being repaired, called to say it was ready to go home. So, Will and I dropped what we were doing and drove straight to Hibbing Chrysler to pick up that big red pickup, we’ve dubbed Chippewa Clifford — Will’s baby. Luckily, the bill was much less than we’d been quoted. A large part of that was Will getting busy online and finding much cheaper parts than available through Chrysler. (A good thing to remember!) He cut off several thousand dollars by finding the parts himself. And that’s not a small thing, for sure.

Will is so happy to have his “Chippewa Clifford” home again.

When I was looking through my photos on my phone, I ran across the picture I took of our rescue cat, Buffy, the day Will picked her out of the ditch, starving and cold. That was a little over a year ago and the difference is almost shocking. She looked like a white rat! I’m so glad we found her. Such a good kitty. And she even gets along with Mittens now. Not best friends, you understand, but they tolerate each other.

Buffy, a year ago. Doesn’t she look like a white rat?
Buffy now. What a good life she has.

— Jackie


  1. Buffy has turned into a good looking cat. She was sure fortunate that Will found her. I guess Mason had a surprise birthday!

    • His “real” birthday was earlier in the week. But the family can only get together on weekends, due to work schedules. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be Sunday, not Saturday. Oh well, things happen….
      We’re so happy Will saw her in that dark, wet, cold ditch. And we cringe to think of what would have happened to her if he hadn’t spotted her.

  2. Glad you got to go to the birthday party even it it was the wrong day. It will make a lovely memory a good bit of teasing for Bill. Our temps here have been moderate lately and I am thankful. With the price of fuel I will take all the warmth I can get. Mittens sure has grown and looks very happy. Sure glad you and Will took her in. Prayers for a safe healthy week.

    • Thanks Marilyn. It dropped to -18 last night. But today, it was up in the (barely) 20’s. We are always glad to get over another cold snap!

  3. Bill’s truck looks to be in excellent shape for a “northern” vehicle. Long live Her Buffyness, she landed in a very good home. Been almost a year since we took in Newbie #1. He’s, ahem, put on a bit of weight, the boy loves to eat. I too have been feeding another “unhomed” cat – he’s been in the area since May. I really don’t have good shelter, two others in the area do. I’d pitch in for food (and neutering) if he decided to call either of the other two places home.
    Hope Bill didn’t have to bunk with Buddy lol.. sounds like all went with the flow instead nose(s) getting out of joint.

    • Will drove all the way to very northern North Dakota to get his truck. They don’t use calcium chloride on the roads, so the vehicles stay rust free. Around here, a vehicle five years old already has quite a bit of rust. Yuck!
      Bill got through the screw-up in pretty good shape. He didn’t even have to spend the night with Buddy!

  4. We have had buckets of rain for four days and the weather forecast is predicting another week of rain fall. We have been in a moderate drought this summer so we needed the rain; but, goodness gracious, now it is soggy here. We will have a “Tender Tennessee Christmas” for sure; but, our bad snow comes in February. In the meantime, I would just like to see the sun for a couple of hours. It is a dark gray cloud season right now; but with our Christmas tree and fireplace, it is still a happy season. Happy birthday Mason. Hope you have many, many more.

    • Thank you J H. I know how depressing it is when you have days of dark, cloudy, wet weather. That was our fall. The sun makes everything seem more cheerful. I’m sure you enjoy your Christmas tree and fireplace. Our tree is still out on the front porch so the dogs don’t pee on it.

  5. That is an awesome truck!! Bet it’s nice.

    Now that was truly a surprise birthday party!!! But I bet you all had fun anyway!!!

    I hope your garden seed catalog comes quickly! I would love to have a small garden this year. Last year I had both parents die and I couldn’t walk well due to my back. So I’m ready to try!

    I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!

    • Will is in love with Chippewa Clifford, his truck baby. It is a nice truck and (hopefully) will last us for years and years.
      We did enjoy Mason’s birthday party, even though it was the wrong day. Any time family gets together, it’s very nice!

  6. I like the truck. Repairs are usually very expensive and seem to be needed at the worst time. I see you are snow covered. Here in Southern Wisconsin we’re awaiting for colder weather and snow. I too have adopted an outdoor cat and feed it daily at the barn. Sometimes family gatherings when unplanned can be the most fun. Good idea to find cheaper parts and I’ll keep this in my dealings. Stay warm.

    • The initial quote was over $7,000!! Will nearly fainted at that. Then he got on the computer and was able to order the transfer case for thousands less. And he found a drive shaft locally, at a car parts store for less than $500. So after buying the parts, the bill was only $2,130! Still expensive, but MUCH better.

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