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Saturday, October 14, 2017


Fires, BBQs and Babies Oh My!

I suppose it would have been much better to have led with the "baby" both in importance and alphabetically sound technicalities, but Fire seems to draw attention, no?

Our nephew Lucas and his wife Viola had a baby boy on the 6th-healthy, 8 lbs 5 oz and according to his Facebook posts-dad says he's quite a "pooper".  I know TMI, but that's new parenthood and most of us have been there-reveling in the slightest thing our offspring accomplish.  LOL

Then Steve's sister and brother-in-law, who live in the thick of Santa Rosa where all the fires in Northern California are taking place, have been put on alert and are literally living out of suitcases.
My sister-in-law said that she's pretending that she's on a very, very bad vacation.  Plus, her mother was evacuated from her apartment and has been staying with them.  Not much fun there.

So far though, the neighborhoods around them are burned to the ground but their little nook is okay.

I know I'm late for my usual Friday post, but it's been a rather busy week.  Steve had the last three days off and we had the boys in the afternoon, errands to run and two dogs that were in desperate need of bathing.  For some reason, Sunshine loves to sit in the dirt and sun herself.  That also happens to be their "potty", so she was number 1 to be put into the sink-ew!  Lucky wasn't too bad, but since we're now in the fall weather and have dipped clear down to the low 90's-I figured we'd better get this chore done before it gets any cooler.  (Don't hate me because I live near the face of the sun)

The real big deal though-our 10 year old BBQ pretty much died and we had to replace it.  We use that particular piece of equipment about 4-6 times a week.  Only time we don't grill is when it's raining, which it doesn't do much in these parts.  This year's monsoon season gave us only 3 minor storms.

So Thursday we looked on line and decided it was the choice of 2.  Went to Home Depot and looked at them in person and chose the one that fit our needs and budget best.  Adam helped carry it out to the yard from the truck Steve rented.  Then Steve spent the rest of that day and the next converting it from propane to natural gas.  It really shouldn't have been that hard to do-but I really think the manufacturers like to make people feel frustrated.  Either way, I had to break down and use the indoor grill pan for our steaks the first night.  Our ovens are on the fritz and the repairman won't have the parts for those until Tuesday.  Thank goodness for our home warranty!  The top (main) oven has a bum sensor which makes it get hotter after being off for an hour and then beep incessantly for the hour after!  The bottom one, due to the top one works, but is burning things and smells like popcorn.

This morning, all three grandsons wanted me to go to their opening soccer games.  The older boys, Dylan and Aidan, are on the same team and started at 8.  I told Sarah that I was lucky if I could get my body to bend by 8 these days (remember I haven't had any RA drugs since mid-June), but I said I'd do my best to be there by 8:30.  Then Jackson was having his first game ever at 9-2 field over.

Older boys did really well and had a tied score.  Jackson was so excited-until he saw the crowd of people!  Adam went on the field with him and said to have fun.  Nope, wasn't happening.  He got an attack of the "shys" and started crying, Adam carried him off the field.  We all sat there.  His cousins offered to hold his hand and go on the field with him-NO!  Coach just said "Let me know Bud and I'll put you in."

Adam finally used bribery-"If you play Jackson, we'll get a donut after the game."  That seemed to work!  He went out there, smile on his little face-got the ball and in 30 seconds he had assisted the team's first goal.  Then he put his head down and cried back to Adam's lap!

At that point, Adam told him that if he wasn't playing that he was going to have to leave for work, that his boss only approved his being late so he could watch him play.  Jackson wasn't moved, "Okay daddy, bye-have a nice day.  See you later!"

With that said, the rest of the family also left mom, Bryce and Jackson on the field.

It happens.  Stage fright doesn't have to be on an actual stage!  Next week will hopefully be much better.

For the most part, I'm impressed that he was able to make those 30 seconds count!

Friday, October 13, 2017


Bryce and Grandma

With a Little Help from Mom, Bryce was able to come sit with Grandma.  

Jackson and Papa

Jackson wanted us to come down and listen to him add.  He does a very good job!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Picture Perfect Firesky

Friday, October 06, 2017


Playing Chess

The boys give playing this gentleman's game a whole new meaning.  

World is Weary

This past week has been quite a tragic eye-opener, no?

I'm, of course, talking about Las Vegas and the debacle that is now known around the world.  We all hear the stories of loss, panic, terror and grief-to say "it's awful" is a total understatement and yet, there's not really any stronger language that fits.

My sister, Felicia and our niece Morgan along with their friend Cherokee were there.  Went for a girls' weekend of music and fun.  Instead, they got to be part of something they never imagined.

Fortunately, they were about 10' from the stage when "all hell broke loose" and the three of them went for cover under the stage.  They were physically unhurt-but emotionally that's another story.

Felicia commended Hooter's for getting them into a hotel room sometime after 4 a.m.. The area was in total lockdown and they weren't allowed to go back to their original hotel.  Their phones were almost dead from letting everyone know they weren't part of the casualties.  Both my sister and niece had just completed their First Aid/CPR course and let the first responders know in case they'd like a couple of extra hands.

As they finally got into the elevator, there was another concert-goer there with the telltale wristband that all attended received, he said, "These wristbands mean we're all connected for life".

Probably.  How sad.

They finally got a flight out of Vegas late that night.  John Wayne airport/Southwest Airlines greeted all the passengers with numerous signs telling them they were glad they came home and that they supported and loved them all.  Says something about both, no?

First thing my sister did was call their HMO to set up some counseling.  Per the office-so many others had called in that they were bringing in extra trauma counselors as well as getting them in that morning.

Obviously questions still abound on the typical news questions about this horrible crazy person, but honestly, judging from how his brother looked, he and we will never know how a seemingly "normal guy" turned into this monster without anyone noticing-including his girlfriend.

Lately, this world has been turning in a completely different axis than what it should.  It's all terrible.
I hope we can do more of the good and helpful and change back to a less violent world before there's not one left.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Someone has a tummy ache

Poor baby.

Friday, September 29, 2017


Time Flies

As you can tell from the photo of Pepper, he's no longer the 1 pound kitten with the deformed front paws that Sunshine #1 fell in love with and adopted as her own baby.  It's so hard to believe he's now 14!

Unless he sits a certain way, no one notices his slight imperfection and now HE is the one who has taken the lead of adopting not one, but two dogs!  He loves those two-teases them like any big brother does and hates when they go outside for even the slightest bit of time.

As soon as we come in from what I now call a "walk", he's right at the door meowing at them and smelling who they've been around.

He can no longer do "the bedtime roll", too much for his joints I'm imagining.  The "roll" is when he sits on my chest, bonks my forehead and literally rolls into my armpit and falls asleep for the night.  These days, he takes quite a bit of time lowering his body into the same area, sighs audibly and then it's lights out.

Other than that, our old guy leaps over safety gates, jumps up to his food bowl and sits at the table while we eat.  He runs after the girls and swats them from his two favorite hiding places-the inside of our reclining La-Z-Boy sofa and from underneath one of the dining room chairs that are formally dressed.  He is picky about his food and knows how to get exactly what he wants by staring at me from the kitchen and then looking down at his bowl.

Pepper is what a cat should be:  loving, independent, cuddly and playful.  Sometimes, he's all of these at the same time!

A friend who saw the photo below asked if he was really as long as he looked or was it just the angle I snapped the picture at?  I assured her that he is the personification of "a long drink of water"!  He's 7 lbs, 9 oz and when he stands up on his hind legs to get my attention he literally hits my waist.

Granted I'm only 5'1", but that a tad over a 30" reach!

My deepest hope is that next year at this time I can say that he's now 15 and doing the same things he can do now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Happy 14th Dear Pepper!

Our regal boy has now been with us 14 years.

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