the opossum story, pt. 1

Okay, okay. I wasn't going to write about this on my blog because it still gives me goosebumps, but too many people asked about it/made threatening demands. I give you...

The Night of the Opossum, Part I
a short thriller by Rachel C. Parton

It was a warm Monday night in July in metro Detroit. Douglas and Rachel Parton had arrived home from a mission trip to Jamaica the night before, and they were still elated and starry-eyed with fond memories of the trip. Rachel had spent all day Monday unpacking and doing laundry, while Doug had returned to work. As the clock struck midnight, the two were exhausted and greatly anticipating the soft cradle of a pillow around their tired little noggins.

However, as Doug entered the bedroom, something seemed amiss. The closet door was open, as laundry had been sorted throughout the day, and from the corner of his eye, Doug saw something move.

"Rachel - don't come in here," he called loudly, in a voice that immediately caused Rachel to freeze.

"What is it?" she asked timidly.

"... I don't know," Doug responded. At this, Rachel curled up into a little ball on the chair in which she was sitting. However, she wouldn't be able to sit still for long, because Doug continued, "Bring me a golf club."

Moments later, the door slammed. There was banging, and then the door opened, Doug ran out and slammed the door behind him quickly. Eyes wide, Rachel again questioned, "What is it?!"

"You don't want to know," Doug protested.

"Just tell me!" Rachel insisted.

Doug paused, then said disgustedly, "It's a possum." 

"WE ARE GETTING OUT OF HERE." Rachel immediately headed for the computer and began Googling critter control services and hotels simultaneously. Doug decided not to try to kill the opossum, because he "didn't want to get blood everywhere." So he got on his cell phone, trying to reach their landlord. This continued for about half an hour, until Doug was finally able to get ahold of a critter control company that was open 24-7. In the meantime, their upstairs neighbor, who was in the process of moving out due to a supposed mite infestation, got wind of the situation and came downstairs to join in the excitement. She was eager to see the intruder. 

The critter control guy finally arrived around 12:45am. Rachel cowered in the office, refusing to look at the offending opossum, while Doug got the camera to take pictures for evidence, and the upstairs neighbor kept rattling on about how opossums "have six babies - there must be tons of them!" 

To be continued...


fighting sleep

The first week that we had Zooey, my friend Sara & I wanted to go to Borders, but Doug wasn't home to watch the puppy. Zoo was really tired, so we decided to put her in the cage until she fell asleep then sneak out. Well, she must have known our plan, so she was really fighting sleep & kept dozing off while she was sitting up, resulting in her sleep-nodding and tipping over. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the camera until she was almost totally out of it...


wny weekend

So last weekend...

We drove through the States since we had Zooey with us - we didn't want to deal with any potential issues at the borders. That added 2 delightful hours to our trip. Sigh. We got in at 12:30am Friday night/Saturday morning. 

We had a blast watching Zooey & Elly get to know one another. They were pretty much a constant blur.

I don't think Robert had his shirt on the whole time we were home...

It was hilarious - Zooey would attack Elly, then run & scoot under the table so Elly couldn't get her. Elly would stand and wait for Zooey to emerge, get bored, turn around around to leave... and Zooey would zoom out again and start nipping her.

Funniest. Picture. Ever.

That afternoon, Victoria & Jeremy came over and we picked peaches (not too many were ripe, sadly) and had a picnic at the pond. Mookey and Elly and Zooey were quite entertaining.

That evening, we celebrated Jayne's 12th birthday. Look at her short hair! She had it chopped that morning for Locks of Love.


Sunday morning we said our goodbyes - Mom & Dad took Ethan to Grove City College, and Doug & I headed back to Michigan. Wait, can I just re-visit that thought? Ethan is in COLLEGE. When did that happen? ... I must be getting old.

The weekend flew by (since we were really only there on Saturday!), but it was wonderful. I love my family so much.


bit by bit

We are almost entirely moved in! We still have some random things at the old apartment, and we need to clean it & "check out" ... and then there's the whole unpacking process, but nevertheless - I am sitting at an organized desk in a new office in a new house. Wow, that was quite the run-on sentence.

Anyway - I just want to send a HUGE thank you to Sara & Dave, Debbie & Kress and Ellie for helping with the move - and also to Vanessa, who puppysat this afternoon while we moved. We have been blessed with some seriously amazing friends.

So, hang in there, oh devoted readers - pictures will be coming. And an update on our weekend at home. 

Until then - check it out! Doug and I are famous. We went to the Leadership Summit put on by Willow Creek and telecasted to several satellite areas. It was an awesome experience - so many excellent, inspiring speakers who are excited about changing the world. 

One of the speakers was from Detroit - Harvey Carey. Doug & I went to visit his church, Citadel of Faith, with Dave & Sara one Sunday and it was awesome. Anyway - each speaker at the Summit had an intro video, and we made the video! Watch the video and find us!


more bragging...

Sorry, but I have to talk about my puppy more.

Zooey is seriously a perfect puppy! The indoor peeing is minimal. She cries at night, but that's to be expected. She doesn't seem to like baths, but doesn't squirm too much. She loves snuggling. She loves chewing, but is usually content with her toys (except when we go outside and she tries to eat everything in sight). She has her occasional nipping fits, but calms down pretty quickly when we tell her "no" and give her something else to chew on.

Zooey makes us laugh so much. She stalks her toys and pounces on them like a kitten. When she walks, her little butt shakes all over the place. She sleeps in the funniest positions. She follows us all over and flops on the floor by our feet wherever we stop.

She loves going on walks. We take her on at least 5 a day! She walks surprisingly well on her leash - there is some pulling in opposite directions and stopping to try to eat rocks/cigarette butts/wrappers, but for the most part, she just trots alongside us. Yesterday I walked her to downtown Plymouth right when Doug got out of work to surprise him (& he had a surprise planned too - he arrived at his car with a bouquet of flowers!).

She's pretty adventurous - always friendly and eager to meet people and dogs when we're out & about... even if the older dogs seem a little leery of her.

I could go on & on & on, but we've got to get back to our afternoon regiment...



CDC is going to be featured on NBC's Nightly News tonight - Friday, August 21st.
Tune in at 6:30pm!
Just kidding. I don't know when it will ever be on...


blogging buddy

Zooey usually likes to stay within five feet of us, so this is her um, blog spot (ugh, pun...) :


our new housemate

Internet, meet Zooey ("zoo-ee"). She's an 8-week old Weimaraner. She came all the way from Kansas to live with us in Michigan. Hobbies include: sleeping, eating, peeing, pooping, chasing, gnawing & snuggling. Her name is from a J.D. Salinger novel, Franny & Zooey. We originally liked the name "Zoey", but didn't want her name to be too... human-ish? She is the most perfect little thing in the world!


gift of the spirit?

So, as it turns out, I'm prophetic. 

The other day I asked Doug to email the place where we're getting our puppy & find out what time they'll be here on Sunday (THIS SUNDAY. OUR PUPPY IS ARRIVING THIS SUNDAY.). 

Then, last night I had a dream (not so much in the Martin Luther King, Jr. sense). In said dream, Doug received an email back from the guy saying: "I will be arriving at 6am on Sunday morning because I have to drive to Oregon afterward." Random!

Then Doug got a real email from the guy today saying: "I will be arriving around 6 or 7am on Sunday morning because I have lots of miles to drive afterward." WHOA. Like I said, turns out I'm sweet/a prophet. 

But, seriously, Internet - our puppy is coming SUNDAY!!!!!!! 


keep on truckin!

A news bit about the Peaches & Green produce truck.

I'm off to my friend's lake house for a mini vacation today & tomorrow.


mr. popper's penguins

I'm slowly packing for our move on August 25th. This morning I was going through some old boxes, and I found one of my notebooks from college. I tend to be quite a doodler, and while flipping through the pages, I stumbled across this poem that I wrote in Fall 2005 [in the middle of a lecture] about one of my favorite childhood books. 

Mr. Popper was an eccentric bloke
Prone to lose thought before he spoke.
On a whim he wrote late one night
To an explorer and one day, to his delight,
Arrived on his porch an odd-looking box
Which, when opened, nearly knocked off his socks.
To his surprise what did he see
But a little penguin, cute as can be!


laura 2010

On Monday I did my first senior portrait session! One of the girls in our youth group asked me to take her senior pics & I jumped at the opportunity. Literally. 

This is Laura. 

She is gorgeous & incredibly photogenic. 

& a super sweet girl.

& she loves Jesus.

& I want her to marry Ethan.

Except she has a boyfriend... 

We had such a fun day just walking all over & taking so many pics! I gave her a cd of my favorites today (I narrowed it down to 72...) and she loved them. Yay!
I'm really pumped because another girl in our youth group asked me to do some of her senior pics too! 

If you know anything about photography, can you give me some constructive feedback on these pictures?


weekend visitors!

This past weekend, Lyndsay & Andy came to visit. We had an awesome time with them! Our weekend consisted of...

-Lynz & Andy got here just before 8 & we enjoyed a late dinner, introducing them to the delight of Hungry Howie's pizza.
-We walked to downtown Plymouth for ice cream.
-Andy & Lynz taught us three new awesome games! My favorite was Ruckus - if you have never played this game, go out & buy it now. It's worth it for the illustrations on the cards alone.
-Lynz & Andy also introduced us to Oram's Donuts - oh sweet bliss. Marla's picture made me drool, but didn't adequately portray the SIZE of these donuts!! Sweet, sugary bliss!

-We had pancake breakfast, of course.
-We drove to Canton (& I gave a running tour on the way) to play beach volleyball with our friends Katy & Andrew. While we were waiting for them to arrive, the four of us tried to play beach badminton. It was really windy. It was ridiculous. But awesome. When Katy & Andrew got there, we played 3 games of volleyball. We girls lost each time, but our scores got dramatically closer each time. Which explains why the boys chickened out of a 4th game.
-After volleyball, we drove by the house where Doug grew up, then went home to grill hotdogs.
-After lunch, we drove to downtown Detroit to give another tour. As we were driving around downtown, I realized that other than Tigers games, I had never walked around downtown (a shameful admission on my part), so we parked and walked around. There was some festival going on, which I just googled and discovered was the "Ribs & Soul Festival" - sweet! 
-We arrived home and got Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner - yum. 
-We spent the rest of the evening playing games and eating Oreo milkshakes. 

-I had to get up early and go teach Sunday School.
-When I got home, we had sweet rolls for breakfast and played some more games.
-Our friends Dave, Sara & Brittany had really wanted to meet Andy and Lyndsay, so they came over for lunch. We grilled burgers & hotdogs and had a little picnic outside. We were entertained for quite some time watching a squirrel sniff around a trap (set by our landlord), trying to get the nuts inside. I wish I had a video.
-And then, always the sad part of the weekend, Lynz & Andy had to pack up and head back to Beaver Falls. 

We had such a fun time with you two! Thanks for braving the opossums & visiting us. We can't wait to return the favor!



Read through this article about abandoned Detroit schools & look through the images.