Sunday, August 21, 2016

Life Lately: "They're Back!", "Jackson", and "Floods"

I thought I would do a lifestyle post this Sunday because there is a lot of Johnson family news to share.

First of all the biggest kids are back in the Midwest again!  If you remember THIS POST  written almost exactly one year ago, all three of my children moved to Florida.  Well, they are back!

 My son-in-law was working as a Latin teacher in Florida, but was offered a school administration position in Wheaton, Illinois so they moved back.  It obviously is a much better paying job, and he has room for advancement. 

 Ashley was happy to be closer to family and friends again, and she immediately re-connected with all her music contacts in the area and got a great music teaching position at a music school, plus she is substitute teaching at Jason's school as well.  At the moment she is performing only in her church groups as she is busy trying to get settled  with her new teaching jobs.

Jordan was very unhappy about leaving Florida and returning to the Midwest, but he didn't want to live without family nearby.  He was involved with two professional bands in Florida, and neither one of them wanted to see him go.  He loved the tropical weather, his friends, and his church, so the move has been very hard on him.  But, he always struggled finding work in Florida.  Even though he was a paid musician, like most professionals musicians, he still needed a part time job to make ends meet.  He had several temporary jobs in Florida, plus a regular teaching gig, but he never could find anything permanent.  Since moving back to the Midwest, he found a high paying part time retail job almost immediately and has had several interviews for a drum teaching position.  Like Ashley, he is performing at his church, but he has also hooked up with other like-minded Christian musicians in the area to form a  Christian metal band.  He hasn't sought out any professional work in the area yet. 

When people find out my kids returned to the Midwest they usually say "Oh,  you must be so happy to have them nearby again!".  And my response is usually "No, I liked them in Florida."  It's been hard for me to watch my son have to give up a place he loved so much.  And it's hard for me to lose my 'winter home'.  But I know Ashley and Jason consider Wheaton their home, so I will try and be happy for them and pray that Jordan will soon be able to call it home as well.

Now, onto some more light-hearted new kitty JACKSON!  If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat (see my contact/follow page for links), you've probably already seen all these photos, because that's where I share my cutie pie!

I tell you, if I had known how much joy and love a sweet little kitty would have brought into my life, I would have gotten one sooner!  If you read THIS POST, I first introduced Jackson  there and talked about his adoption and homecoming.  Here's what this sweetie has been up to since then:

Like most cats, Jackson loves to sit in things, like my kitchen dishes:

The bathroom vanity bowl.

Or snuggled up next to his favorite stuffed teddy bear in a basket.

He loves to play with all the pretty trinkets in my new Beauty Room, and his pretty grey fur coordinates with the colors of the room too!

He loves to snuggle with little stuffed toys.  But don't let those innocent eyes fool you, He also likes to attack them, bite them, claw them, and drag them around the house like they are his prey.

He's always getting into mischief, like knocking over flower vases.  It's like having a two year old in the house again.  He is constantly knocking things to the floor to watch them fall down.  I've been getting quite the ab workout from repeatedly bending over to pick things up!

I also have to watch my every move when I'm in the kitchen.  He loves people food and it did not take him very long to figure out that the refrigerator is where it is kept.  He jumps into the fridge every time I open it.  He is so fast, one time I never even saw him jump in for I turned my back.  Thank goodness I heard him meowing and got him out in time.

He loves to watch the wildlife out the window.  We have plenty of birds, squirrels, wood chucks, and other neighborhood cats for him to see.  We even managed to put a bird feeder right next to the window which provides hours of entertainment for him.

He loves our daily routine, and one of his favorite parts of our day is "Making the Bed".  He knows exactly what time of day I do this and he runs up the stairs with great anticipation of this event.  He loves to jump on the bed and have me pile the sheets and blankets on top of him and say "Peek-a-Boo!" when he climbs out from under them.  Then when the bed is made, he scrambles down in-between the foot board and the mattress, and sticks his head up and I say "Peek-a-boo!" again and he gets all excited.  Is he just too cute or what?

Jackson follows me everywhere...the bathroom, the kitchen, my craft room....wherever I am, he is.  And when it's nap time, if my lap is available, he's snoozing away!  Here he is sleeping on my lap with his belly up.  Isn't he just a doll?

And if you notice more typos than usual on my blog posts, this is why:

Jackson is usually ready for a nap about an hour after I get up, and he doesn't let a computer get in the way of him and my cozy tummy.

Now enough cuteness overload and onto something more serious.  Even though Louisiana has been dominating the news with their flooding catastrophe (and rightly so),  Wisconsin has also had their share of flash floods this summer.  First a huge portion of Northern Wisconsin was destroyed by flash flooding in July, and then this past week the county I live in received six inches of rain in a very small amount of time resulting in flash floods.  Roads were impassable due to rising waters, bridges were out due to erosion, debris from raging waters piled up on roads and yards, and low-lying areas turned into lakes.

This is what my back yard looked like.  My house was unaffected because it is built high on a hill.  My entire yard is built on a steep slope, and we have a fence bordering our property.  On the other side of this fence is a waterfall and a creek.  The creek turned into a raging river and eventually spilled over it's banks forming a lake.

Here is a short video showing the flooding in action.

The only damage to our property was this portion of one of our gardens.  The flooding knocked down the fence and created a hole about eight feet wide and six feet deep.  My husband and I rescued the plants from this hole, but the hole itself will remain unfixed for now.

And here is a much longer video (over 12 minutes) of the aftermath of the waterfall and surrounding property after the flood was over.  My husband took this video on an old digital camera so the quality is poor.

It's been over a week since this major flood and even though clean up has begun, you can still see the damage everywhere you look.  And unfortunately, we've had a lot more rain since then and some areas experienced a second flooding.  I even heard on the local news last night to "avoid traveling in Buffalo County if you can".  Ouch!  That isn't good for tourism.

And that is, in a nutshell, My Life Lately.  Of course, there is so much more I haven't shared because this post would go on forever if I did, but these are some of the highlights (or low lights considering the flooding).

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. Jackson is just the cutest!

    I can see that it was nice to have a place/reason to visit Florida, but I'm sure it'll be very nice for everyone to be closer to each other once everyone is settled in.

    I'm so sorry about the flooding everywhere. If the rain could just be distributed - it's so heartbreaking to see all the devastation and heartbreak caused by the floods and here were are in California with the ongoing drought...

    Have a nice Sunday!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    1. Your so right Andrea, I wish we could redistribute the rain. We have gotten so much rain this year, it would be wonderful if we could share it!

  2. Your kitty is so cute! Showed the photos to the kids they both said they want him although we already have two :-) Cats really are like 2 year olds that never grow up. My cat Thomas currently drives me crazy as he is meowing every night at 3am for no reason!!! But he is too cute to get too upset about it.
    Congrats to your son-in-law on his wonderful new job. I am sure it was great visiting your kids in Florida, but I think in the long run they all will be happier closer to home, especially once they have their own kids! I say that because I know how hard it is living far away from home.
    Sorry about the rain damage! Glad your house was unaffected! I am pretty sure it's because of this line of storms we had to cancel our hiking by Devil's Lake, it wasn't supposed to storm until evening when we were there, but it surprised us first thing in the morning. Will try following you on snapchat, but I don't know much about it, only got the account because the kids wanted snapchat :-)

    1. Thanks Ellie! That's so funny that your kids want my kitty; I can't blame them though, he is a cutie. Devils Lake is my absolute favorite Wisconsin State Park. I love their hiking trails and their beach. That's a shame the rain ruined your plans. Have you been there before? If not, you need to go back, and let me know when your going cause Todd and I would love to hike with you guys!

  3. Kittens are so entertaining! I never had cats until I moved to New Zealand and we adopted two older cats that are good company and a bit of entertainment, too!

    1. Thank you! I couldn't agree more. He makes me laugh all day long!

  4. Oh, Amy, how scary to have all of that flooding so close to home. Y'all take care now.

    Glad your boy is near family again, but maybe he can get some seasonal gigs here in Florida. Sweet kitten!
    Thanks for joining us on The Maple Hill Hop!

    1. Thanks Daisy, I know my son would love any excuse to visit Florida again!


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