summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

san francisco ....

We went into the city today, and it wasn't totally foggy! We decided not to park and explore the Golden Gate Bridge, there is so much traffic, and we had already walked several blocks, stopping for an iced coffee from Blue Bottle, yummers. We really just wanted to get back to the house, and back into the pool...

So, we did! We had started the day like this:
Oh heavenly yum.

Then we went to the city...then to California Pizza for lunch...garlic chicken pizza, Buffalo cauliflower appetizer, and a lemon/blueberry cooler to drink...but the best part was the warm crusty bread with olive oil to dip it in...bread, which I try to avoid...:)

Back to the house to swim...ahh...where else would you want to be when it's 105 degrees out?

After we started getting prune-y, we decided to go to the outlet mall. I got a few gifts for a few kids at home, and bought Sonja sneakers, jeans, and a few shirts for going back to school. I suppose when you're the 13th child in a family of 16 kids, it's probably nice to be the only child for a few days, and get a little bit spoiled. I know I have totally enjoyed spending so much time with Miss Sonja K.

Here she is in Sprouts:

(grocery store nerd)

(We went there after the outlet mall to get chicken wings (to cook!), asparagus, and french fries.) We ate outside under the stars, with torches and solar lights and candles, in our bathing suits, after swimming and hot tub soaking.

While I have enjoyed this vacation immensely, I regret that I missed out on a very special birthday party, for one Miss Lydia Eleanor...
Lydia with Mali, her mama, my seventh child:)

It's hard also that Paul's mom is back in the hospital. The family keeps me updated on her, and is visiting her, but I feel guilty not being there, especially for Paul. Tomorrow is our last full day here, then on Wednesday, we head home.

Monday, August 28, 2017

sizzling vacation!!!!

This was the actual reading in the car today when we were heading On the highway, it actually rose to 110!

In the the air conditioning.

This is Lily the Labrador. She likes to fetch tennis balls from the pool. She also likes to shake off all over everyone. She finds sticks and tree branches and drags them down from the hill. Trouble is her middle name.

Sonja had a really bad headache last night, she couldn't even sleep. She took some different things for it today, and finally felt better this afternoon. We spent a while in the pool, then had Riley's specialty for dinner: Chili Verde, made with tomatillos. After dinner, we started in on another Monopoly game, we played until almost midnight last night. Then we decided to go in the hot tub under the stars, and in the pool too. Ahh, so refreshing, and fun. We packed up the game after that, because tomorrow we have big plans to sight see...Sonja K. can't come all the way out here and not see the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city of San Francisco!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

oh joy, and california sunshine and wow, we made it!

Sonja K. and I, we are good travel buddies. She's a good sport, and I don't like to stress out about anything beyond my control, so we make the most of things, together, and have a really good time. Our first flight was delayed, so Aaron texted me and mentioned that it makes it stressful because we have to be concerned with making the connecting flight, and if we didn't, try to fly into Oakland instead of San Jose, ect. Well. I told him we actually we're even concerned about it, until he mentioned it, ha.

We didn't have much time, and when our delayed flight landed, the pilot announced that anyone with a connection should exit the plane first, but ha, you know how THAT went. Most people on planes want to exit the plane, and so they get off, row by row, having to retrieve their luggage from the overhead bins, taking forever and a day, and I had to pee, thanks to the large iced coffee I had enjoyed in the airport.

We didn't have time to spare, so we couldn't go looking for something to we went to a small kiosk where Sonja picked out a sandwich. Imagine my thrill and delight when it rang up for $11.99. I also chose something to eat, a pretzel with cheddar cheese baked on it. Nutritionally devoid, but um, can you say, mmm mmm good? I usually don't even like cheese, but this pretzel looked good. Was it worth $3.75 plus tax? Probably.

On this cross country flight from New York City, 5 hours and 45 minutes long, we were in the middle and window seat, with a strange man in the aisle seat. He was just strange. He ate a banana, and he listened to music so loud it escaped his earbuds. He only got up a few times, and I used the opportunity to get up then too. If I were on the aisle, I would totally be one of those annoying aisle walkers, at least getting up every hour. On jetBlue, they serve the snacks one time, then tell you they are free, and you can help yourself. Well. Duh. Free snacks? I haunt that place. I am not eating tons of snacks at this time of my life, but I AM partial to PopChips, and no, I don't get paid for saying so. And lots of little bottles of water are good so we don't get headaches.

Anyway. We made it across the country, me binge watching HDTV, I want to go home and start all over again. At the very least, I have been inspired to actually do something about my old oak kitchen cabinets, ha. The "after" houses are always clean and spotless, so maybe I could at least start there...

When the plane landed, earlier than expected, there was an issue with being in the way of another plane, so we had to have a "tug" hitched to us, and drag us backwards. I don't know why, no one understood what was going on, so the flight attendant cleared it all up for us by saying, "What this means is that you all stay in your seats with your seatbelts fastened." Um, that's what it means? Anyway, it took sooooo long, and I had to of course pee again, and I wanted to stand up, and the t.v.s weren't working any more so I couldn't covet any more renovations, and Sonja had a headache, but she still laughed with me at the girl talking really loudly on her phone. It WAS funny, this girl, or woman, she was probably thirty, was yakking about sitting there on the effing plane, as if there weren't children there who could hear her swearing, then saying, and I kid you not, "Well, it's Trump's America, what do you expect?". As if. I mean, blame him for what you will, but for the plane sitting on the runway? Then she was complaining about it all, and I said way too loudly, "Oh wah." Several people turned around and I tried my best blank face, but Sonja and I started laughing, and darn it if I almost started an airplane rumble. oops.

Ah well. We had some nice sleep, and it's sunny out there. The good thing about traveling west is that you get three extra hours of sleep in the morning without being thought of as a lazy guest. I mean, seven a.m. feels like sleeping until ten at home! And that feels great, even if I went to bed well after midnight.

The internet here is fast and furious, and yes, I brought my laptop, so I'll be writing as we, I think I am being introduced to the world's best donuts...I'll try to take pics.:)

Friday, August 25, 2017

leaving on a jet plane....

We have our boarding passes on my phone, and are all packed. I remembered my bathing suit, and hopefully my phone charger will make it into my purse before we leave. The temperature tomorrow: 100 degrees. And sunny. Sunny every day. And guess what...they have a pool and a hot tub in the back yard. I don't need to do any sight-seeing, no sir, just plant me in their back yard. But Sonja wants to see the Pacific ocean and some redwood trees and perhaps the Golden Gate bridge.

Paul's mom is doing a little bit better. And I'll say this: seeing Paul with her is a beautiful thing, he's so gentle and patient with her. Visiting the nursing home is an adventure in itself. We were there at dinner time the other night, Evelyn and Suzanne and Sonja, and I. The old people were very friendly and talkative, and one old man told us this: "When I was growing up, with three brothers and a sister, my mother taught us all how to cook. She said boys had to learn too, because when they grow up, if their wives get sick, they won't starve." ha. I told my girls that if they ever start feeling sorry for themselves, just go and visit some of these old people at the nursing home, and they'll forget their troubles in no time.

We had a huge family dinner last evening...pulled pork, corn on the cob, fries with cheese and jalapenos, tossed salad. And for dessert, brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough baked on top, and lots of chunks of a large Hershey bar on top.

Oh, lots of stuff is going on...sweet Lydia turned two yesterday and is having a birthday party on Saturday, which, wah, I am going to miss. I got her some gifts though, and the kids will go and give them to her.

Lots of stuff is going on, and I am leaving. I am glad to go, it will be relaxing and fun, but part of me is always sad to leave the rest of the family. These days it IS easy to keep in touch, so it's not like I won't know what's going on at home. I'm sure I'll probably be even more in touch than I want to be, ha, they'll be interrupting my relaxation by the pool to ask if we have any more barbecue sauce, or to report that someone yelled at someone, or is hogging the washing machine.

The house will run fine without me, in fact, with the amazing older kids that I have, the younger ones will be fine. And Paul takes pretty good care of them too, ha.

I am bringing my laptop, so if anything adventurous happens, I'll be sure to report it.:)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

sunshine and puppy dogs...

This is where I am headed tomorrow...and in case this was too good to be true, I checked another site...

Ah, sunshine...and they have a pool...and puppy dogs. :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

endless summer....

When I was a kid, summer went on forever. I remember when I started to be conscious of which day of the week it was during the summertime, which was the beginning of being grown up.

Now, try as I may, I know what day it is. I try not to know the date, because it's alarming how much of our sweet summertime has already passed into memories. The END OF AUGUST, that could be the name of a sad book, right?

This fine morning, I was already awake when two puppy dogs nosed their way into my room, and climbed into bed with me. They cannot get close enough, they snuffle and wag and fill the room with joy. I shooed them out, let them outside, and ah, the day begins...a phone call from Sonja's doctor's office, rescheduling her post- knee-surgery appointment yet again. The receptionist apologized up and down, and I told her it's fine, it comes with the territory, there are emergency surgeries, and things change, she said, "So many people yell at me, and I tell them that I'm just the messenger..." This receptionist is very nice, we came at the wrong time for our last appointment, a glitch/miscommunication between Sonja and I, oops, and she fit us in without being rude about it. And I feel her pain, it's like working at the amphitheater, and getting so much flack for the high prices. Yes, I am aware that five dollars for a bottle of water is highway robbery. I do know that twelve dollars for a can of beer (25 ounces, so it's really like two beers, but still), is outrageous. But sir, I only work here. So back down, and do not yell at me. It gets old sometimes, taking the rudeness and still being nice, because, the customer is always right. But one thing I have learned, is the receptionist is right: don't shoot the messenger.

Today, I am going to visit Grandma. She's not doing very well, and it breaks my heart. We're also going to Sonja's appointment, and to get a few things for a family dinner on Thursday...

Sonja and I are leaving on Friday for California!!!

But first, I need to say this: my eleventh child turned 18. Evelyn Joy, whom I sometimes call, "Eleven", is now an adult, she is going into her senior year of high school.

Miss Evelyn, older sister to Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille...she'll be taking over next week when Sonja and I are in California...she spent the several weeks out there, and it's so nice to have her home again. Evelyn, aka "Bev", or "Miss Bev", is something else, a force to be reckoned with, a strong personality. She's one of those rare ones who knows how to do things without a hundred instructions. So she has to work on being patient with the rest of us. She's smart and funny and when she's on board with something, it gets done, and it's fun. We celebrated her 18th birthday at our friend's pool, while trying not to look at the eclipse.

After going to visit Paul's mom with Emily and Mariel, we had ice cream cake (Thank you Emily and Mariel!!!), and sang the happy birthday song. I had left them my credit card and let them order pizza and wings for dinner, and it was like it was MY birthday...spending the day in the pool in the warm sunshine, the strange eclipse sunshine (it was a 68% eclipse here), then not having to make dinner... I had taken Ev shopping earlier, in the morning before we went to our friend's house, and got her a new bathing suit.

And heck, while I'm sitting here with a second cup of coffee, in the quiet of a house filled with sleeping children and teenagers, and a few older than that too, along with snoring happy puppies, already fed and played with...I'll tell you a story. Never mind....they're all waking up. They stay up way too late at night, summer is grand.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

what could be better.....?

Than a Saturday morning in the summertime...?
And, kittens! Can you believe that I was absolutely correct in predicting seven kittens? They're so lively and cute already. I took a few pictures, but our internet is so slow it's going backwards, so I cannot even post them.

Also...summertime...Ben and Ashley and Anya came for dinner last night, Mariel came over, Margaret, and we had little Davian and his baby sister Anne for the afternoon.(and can I just mention how absolutely adorable they are? Davian's mama bought him a surprise, something he as been asking for...a planner! ha, what five year old wants...a planner? He is just precious.)..then their mama and daddy came to get them, and Grace stayed, to play Monopoly with Sonja and Suzanne. Emily stopped in after work, too. We had steak kabobs, and marinated chicken kabobs, some summer veggies grilled, a salad.

Paul's mom is in an old-folks home for rehab, just to get her more functioning before she goes back home. I will go see her tomorrow, because I have to work at the amphitheater tonight with Sam, Evelyn, and Suzanne. Any prayers for her would be appreciated, I love her so much and it's hard to see her struggle with expressing herself.

Mariel and I are talking about going to Ireland in October. Tickets straight to Dublin are really reasonable from a small New York Airport, direct flights, round trip for under $300. We really really really want to go. It would just be a short trip, but oh my goodness, how much fun would that be...? And, anyone read this who live in Ireland who have any tips or comments, or ha, invitations to visit you?

Realistically, this is not top ten on our financial priority list, which includes the rest of the windows being replaced, and a new furnace, a new pool motor, and ect.

But. Life is short, right?

Next Friday, Sonja and I are going on a little adventure, flying to California for five days! much going on right now....bye for now.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

summer morning....

Life isn't always fun. The other night we found out that Paul's mom had gone into the E.R., and was being admitted to the hospital. Paul and I went up and spent some time with her, along with other family members...and left when she was all tucked into her own room. I visited yesterday morning, then Paul was there in the afternoon while I headed to the Amphitheater to work a concert, with Mariel, Sam, Evelyn, and Suzanne. Abigail took the three younger kids for a visit last night, and saw Ben and Ashley and Anya there.

I hope Grandm makes a full recovery. She's been so strong and independent, she's so smart and opinionated and caring...she's also a rememberer of birthdays, she's thoughtful and giving. She will be 88 years old next week, but she's still as sharp as a tack. She still lives on her own, drives, takes care of herself. So it's been beyond difficult to see her, sick.

With all the nurses in the family, and a cousin med student, there's input and speculation, but also a good support system, and people who love her who can help make informed decisions.

The one thing that has become so clear: Grandma has so many fans! So many who love her so dearly!

So my days pass by seems by the time we get things in order around here and decide what to do with the day, it's half gone. Evelyn is home from California, Sonja surprised her by chalk painting the bunk beds in their room, from ugly old 30 year old wood finish, to a nice gray.

Samuel signed up for the Army Reserves, six years of one weekend a month service, along with a two week stint each summer, and of course the ever possible threat of being deployed. But there are benefits too, healthcare and further training (he's changing his M.O. from just Infantry to some sort of civilian/Army liason officer). But the good thing is, he got free t-shirts, shh, 17 of them! One for almost all of us, ha, because yes, mom wants one too!

You know what? My whole life feels like the children's book, "A Cow In The House"'s a story about an old woman, who is trying to roll out noodles in her kitchen...but her kitchen is just too small! So small! The whole house is too small! She starts fussing and fretting, so her husband goes and asks Grandpa Wiseman what to do...and is told to bring a chicken into the house...then a goat...then the pig! and finally, the cow. The house gets REALLY small. Then the wiseman tells the old man to start taking the animals out, one by one...then finally, even with just the cow in the house, the house feels bigger! Then...the cow goes back outside, and that house is huge!

Having eight kids in the house seems like just a few chickens, and ha, maybe the pig.

It's still busy sometimes. Today, Camille is getting her wish to go to the library. Then later, Mariel and I are picking up Paul's truck keys from a lady in town...the keys story is a good one:
Joseph took some of the boys to the canal, and oops, he dropped the keys into the water! Down the stream the went, swirling in the current...he had to a ride back here to the house to get the second set of keys (Paul is just NUTS about always knowing where BOTH sets of keys are, and ha, yeah, one is usually in one of my pockets or in the deep recesses of my purse). Anyway. A few days later, Mariel sees on Facebook this set of lost keys...and is certain they belong to Dad, not knowing the story of Joseph losing them. She called me, I told her story, she contacts co-worker who posted story...turns out a small boy found them while fishing in a creek a ways away from where they were dropped. Anyway, we are going to pick them up today, and believe me, we will be bearing a gift card, for their kindness in looking for the owner:)

Well, kids are up and talking and I can not write right now...

Monday, August 14, 2017

dog days of summer....

These two...lazy as the day is long...although Sunny still has crazy energy sometimes...this very morning she has destroyed one plastic bag, a scrubby sponge, and has chewed off the plastic tabs attached to the Melissa and Doug's shopping cart, eaten half a bowl of kitten chow, and is now playing tag with that kitten...Suzanne's kitten, you know, the one she said she'd keep in her room?
Kitten and Sunny are besties. Sunny plays so gently with that kitty. They run around the house, and the kitten is one thing, but Sunny is the bull in the china shop...kitty goes behind the couch no problem, so Sunny tries it too. Kitty jumps up to the window sill, Sunny almost topples the lamp in her hot pursuit. It's way too much fun. But Suzanne is giving the kitty away tomorrow, to a lady who works for a vet office and is looking for a small orange and white kitty. But, shh, our other kitty is having kittens...again...she's a kitty making machine, and yes, we are going to get her spayed...I am going to make an appointment as soon as this new litter is born...

But enough about the animals, except to mention this: Suri seems really sad. She's down in the dumps. Sunny is young and dumb and life is fun and there's stuff to chew on and chase, but Suri misses Duke. We've all noticed her gloominess. Poor girl. I miss Duke too, much more than I thought I would, and that sounds mean, but honestly: I thought there would be more relief...relief from seeing him suffering as he heaved himself up to follow me a measly three or four feet away, just to lie down again...relief from seeing the look on his face, and me knowing how numbered his days were...but instead of relief, there is just sadness, a huge sadness, and having the other two doggies helps...but I still miss him like crazy. When I find myself looking for him on the couch...holding the door open because he was always dead last coming up the deck steps...then realizing he's gone, and having that punched in the gut feeling. The fact that he was "only a dog" hasn't made any difference to my heart.

We had a busy weekend here...I worked at the Ampitheater on Saturday night for the Luke Bryan concert. The music: meh. I'm not a huge fan. It all sounded the same, and his voice is just so-so. It was crazy busy though, and our prices are high, which isn't our fault, we just work there...but it gets tiring, hearing the complaints. I know, five bucks for a bottle of water is crazy, but do you really need to decorate your disdain with the "F" word? One guy asked Paul how he could sleep at night. "Just fine", he said.

Yesterday was Fix The Leaky Washing Machine Day. It took the better part of the day...Paul watched videos and did it himself. He had to remove the dryer from on top, and to have room for that, bring half the stuff from the laundry room out here to the living room, after I had already swept and cleaned up...but I did sort some things and match some socks. He got it all fixed up, and we put in the trial load...and yay, it works! It didn't leak!

I made pasta salad, and some chocolate chip cookies, then put together some chicken kabobs...just marinated chicken (Italian dressing and lots of Jamaican Jerk seasoning), made some potatoes, Paul cut up summer squash, onions, and green peppers and grilled that was a nice summery meal, eaten outside with Mariel here, and Margaret and Adrian, and Mali and Lydia.

Today is a nice day, sunny and pleasant, with the morning cicadas making their high pitched sounds. Apparently in New York state, we have annual cicadas, named, ha, Dog Day Cicadas. They make their shrill noises in...the dog days of summer.

We live near a tiny little regional airport, and today is a nice calm clear day for the small planes to fly, so they are buzzing overhead too. The birds are singing, the dogs are snoring...ah, summertime. Today, we are going over to our friends' house to swim in their inground pool...the kids love the diving board. I love talking to our friends, and cooling off, and who doesn't like sunshine on their skin? It's what I dream about all winter! We have to leave soon to pick up the little girls' friend Amanda. Then pack up our lunches and get moving. :)

Tomorrow, Evelyn is coming home from California, so airport trip for me.!!! a few weeks: I am going to California with Sonja!!!!!! Warmth and sunshine...and redwood trees, the Pacific Ocean, seeing Aaron and Riley...yay!!!!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

sad sad day....

Sam feels really bad...Duke was his friend.

Jonny too...he was with me when we went to pick Duke up, back four summers ago...Duke jumped right into the van, hopped onto that back seat next to Jon, and Jon called him, "Friend".

Paul was in Germany when we got Duke. I found him on to good home, it said. He was lovely, so I called. Yes, they said, he's excellent with kids. He's friendly and good, but they had moved into a small apartment from their big farm, and weren't allowed to keep him. He was seven then, and already a bit hobbly. The owner told us, as we stood in the doorway of that small apartment, that three people had already come to see him and declined to take him, because he was too old. Well, that sold me immediately.

So we took him, his bling chain collar, his sturdy orange leash, his next dose of K-9 Advantage, and the rest of his 20 pound bag of Old Roy. We took him home. Paul called that evening, and asked, "What's new?" "A chocolate Lab!", I said.

After he settled in, and fathered one puppy, after which we got Suri spayed (the puppy didn't make it, but that's a whole 'nother story)...Duke belonged here. Suri wouldn't go outside without him, he wouldn't go outside without her. They would stand there on the deck and wait for each other. They barked at company together, and they shared the couch. They were companions and friends. Then we got Sunny last summer, just a wee baby pup, because Duke's days were numbered...but he lived and lived, with us watching and speculating and knowing, his time was running out.

It was pretty clear lately that he was seriously ready to go...his muscle mass was dwindling, he was barely eating, getting thinner and more wobbly....

So today we brought him to the vet. He settled right down on the green blanket on the floor, and that was the end of his story. Mostly. Can I tell the rest? Is it okay? Okay. So Duke was kind of an old man of a dog. He had this disgusting habit of clearing his throat, kind of gag-like coughing. It was so loud and gross, and we would all be like, "Duke, yuck!". Anyway, the vet explained that after he passed away, his body would perhaps give some involuntary shudders, ect. So he died...the vet checked for a heartbeat, and gently told us that he was gone. Then he did that yucky barfy sounding throat clearing thing. Once. Twice. We left that room, and walked through the waiting room crying our eyes out, Sonja and I...then we laughed our heads off at Duke being so rude, even in death. It was comic relief. We kept laughing about it, and kept crying for him. Off and on, all day.

I am sad. I am really sad. I have his collar here. I am thankful we have Little Miss Sunshine, so Suri doesn't worry about where Duke is.

We did go to the beach...we sat in the sun, we talked about things, we talked about Duke....and life goes on.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

sunshine and puppydogs...

And going out and about with teenagers...

Suzanne, me, friend Irene, and Sonja...

Sonja had to go to the doctor for her post surgery check up, and she's doing fine. She is clear to go to Washington D.C. with some of the girls for some sightseeing this weekend. She just has to rest, elevate, and ice the knee if it swells. But overall, she is doing well, she has good range of motion, and minimal pain.

We went to Marshall's after the appointment, and dang it, we found too much good stuff. Clearance stuff...our receipt was full of $2, $3, and $4 items. I also bought a really pretty throw rug for the living room. They don't look nice for long, with all the dogs and the general traffic through here, but a new rug always brightens things up.

Then to Walmart...for shaving cream and laundry starch to augment the little girls' latest obsession: making the perfect slime. We also needed doggy chow and kitty food, milk, and apparently several other things that jumped right into the cart.

Home...ah, home. Suzanne and Camille helped me make kabobs from the beef I had marinating...I cubed it all up, cut up zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onions, green pepper, a few sweet potatoes, and tossed it all in olive oil and rosemary, some salt and pepper...we made piles of skewers, then I grilled them. We also had seasoned potato chunks, which we ended up microwaving...they went well with the kabobs, which were SO GOOD. And so easy, just grab a few, and sit out on the deck for a lovely summer dinner.

Today, little Miss Lydia Eleanor is coming over with Mali, for a visit. Maybe Miss Anya Jade with join with her mama Ashley. I cleaned out and filled both little pools this morning, one on the deck, and one in the yard...I had to get up and get going this morning because Sam had to bring his car in for inspection and needed a ride home.

Tomorrow...tomorrow is Duke's goodbye day. I am trying to just be normal...and not fall apart. It's sad, but for Duke's not so sad, because he.doesn't.know. He has no idea. Part of me feels like a huge trickster, like, "Okay Duke, let's go bye-bye!", and he's going to be happy just to be going in the van, even though he'll need a boost to get in. He'll thump his tail, because he is like that. Happy with just anything. And I'll feel super guilty and like a horrible person. And it'll be sad. Really really sad. But it's time. It seems like once we were all on the same page here about it, and I made that phone call, he really declined, almost like he might suspect something. He ate not a bite of his breakfast yesterday, then no dinner either. He had some treats, but no kibble. Then this morning, I thought he'd be hungry, but no sir, he ate one bite and that was it. I bring his bowl to him where he lies, he hasn't been able to actually stand up and eat a meal in a while. He is mostly lying on the couch these days, although he'll still follow me around sometimes, which breaks my heart, because he lies down, then I move, he gets up so painfully slow it hurts my heart, and lies down again near me. He did this while we cleaned up under the deck yesterday. But mostly he just sleeps. At night, he has been sleeping in Sam's room. Bless Sam's heart, he lets these dogs sleep with him, all three of them. They give him very little room in his bed, ha. Sam is going to be having a rough time too. But we know it's time.

And is it horrible that we plan to go to the beach, after the vet? It's going to be 82 degrees and sunny. And I'm going to feel like a horrible person.

Monday, August 7, 2017

to everything there is a season...

A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die...(Ecclesiastes 3)

Duke is heading to the rainbow the bunny fields, heaven for doggies...where he can run all he wants, where his hind legs will no longer be wasted away, where his arthritic front legs won't collapse from under him.

He can't hear us ask him who's a good dog.

He has gotten more lame lately, has fallen a few times on the deck steps.

He is going on a one way trip to the vet on Thursday. Sam says we are going to look at chocolate lab puppies on Friday. He already announced it to the kids. But they don't remember that we got Miss Sunny to make up for the loss of Duke...last summer! Duke has had many calls from the governor, we just keep putting it off. But then we all realize this: it isn't about us. The poor boy is struggling too much, and the righteous thing, the humane thing, the loving to say goodbye. So this morning I finally made that phone call...and he is going bye-bye on Thursday.

I think we'll plan a fun last day for him.

Other happenings...a few of the girls are going on a trip to Washington D.C. this weekend.

We just got back from an amazing week spent in our camper at our church Fellowship Week.

Sebastian and Linnea, my niece's twins, are here while their brother hopefully gets the cast removed from his broken arm (trampoline).

I promised Camille a trip to the library, but shh, she may forget and continue to read, "Little House On The Prairie". She reads for at least an hour a night, in bed.

Suzanne brought home a kitten a few weeks ago, an orange and white little devil who thinks he is one of the dogs. He is sweet and purry and rambunctious and likes to walk across the kitchen table, sampling things.

Here is a pic Suzanne took of me holding my niece Katie's little girl, Anne Beatrice...(Davian's little sister)

(I had rocked her to sleep...)

It's fantastic to have Ben and Ashley and Anya nearby. I have to get used to that little voice saying, "Grandma, Grandma...!" It's music, it truly is.

Lydia was at our camper for one of the days...she's darling.

Camille helped me make French toast and sausage this morning.

Our swimming pool is a goner this year...from crystal clear to murky green...Paul is ordering a new motor for the filter...but all these sunny warm days, and dang it, no pool.

The kids are playing Mario Kart.

We had fresh sweet corn for dinner last night...I love summer. Our own garden hasn't yielded much, but I bought green peppers, cucumbers, peaches, and a huge tomato from a farm stand yesterday...and the corn.

Anyway...the summer days are lovely...even though my heart is sad about Duke...