A Good Time Was Had By All

Saturday Hubby and I decided we really needed to get away from the fray, so we took off for a day together, just the two of us to get our batteries recharged.  Although we had a blueprint for the day, we ended up doing something totally different.  As hubby explained, this is what retirement will be like – doing what you want when you want to!  All I can say is, I'm ready.  And in that vein, I'm happy to report that the ad for my replacement went in the newspaper this week.  Here's praying for some really viable candidates.

Our first stop yesterday was Washington Park in Anacortes.  There is a winding 2-mile loop with some really breathtaking views:



I think next year we're going to have to take a picnic lunch and Maggie and spend some time there.  Next stop was some furniture shopping.  Our old and battered recliners with the puppy chew marks really needed to go, and since I don't need room for a lap dog anymore (sigh), we decided the time was ripe.  We looked at the Ekornes chairs from Norway.  After wiping up the drool, we gave some serious consideration, but were put off by the exorbitant price.  They were indeed about the most comfortable chairs we've ever sat in, but some serious saving would be in order.  We decided to check a few more places and lo and behold, found some Action recliners that were quite similar and about half the price.  They are every bit as comfortable and while probably not as high quality, suit us just fine.  The style we got is similar to the one in the link, but just a little different.

Mei-Mei had her first dental visit this week.  She did pretty well for a two-year-old, although she kept saying, "I'm done, I'm done".



This afternoon is rather quiet.  Ben & Abby are off doing house related paperwork (they've found a house, but the deal is not final yet), Hubby is off picking up our new chairs and Mei-Mei is napping.  I gave Isobel two small skeins of yarn and a feather duster and she's been happily entertaining herself for an hour, humming and singing!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts about Kirby.  I'm sure you'll understand if I don't reply individually to each one.  We're so grateful that we had almost 16 wonderful years with him.  I remember the day he came to live with us – Valentine's Day 1994.  I had just come home from a quilting class and Ben met me at the car.  He said I needed to come in and sit down.  Of course, I knew then something was up.  Bill came into the house wearing his leather jacket.  He reached inside and drew this little ball of fluff out of his inside pocket.  He said, "This is Tyler and every time you look at him I want you to remember how much I love you!"  After a few days it became obvious that he was not a Tyler, but a Kirby.  For the last 15+ years, Kirby has indeed reminded me of my husband's love for me.  Not a bad job for a little dog!

Goodnight Sweet Prince



January 1994 – September 2009

As we feared, Kirby's injury was just too much for a 15-year old dog to tolerate.  By today it was obvious that he was greatly stressed.  The eye was not healing and he was essentially blind and deaf.  It became obvious also that he was in pain.  At 3:30 p.m. he slipped away peacefully.  We will miss you, Kirby.

Kirby was the dog you never heard about on the blog because he didn't actually "do" anything.  His mission in life, which he took very seriously, was to cuddle beside me in my chair.  I chuckle to think how much of Kirby has been stitched into every sweater, sock, shawl and quilt that I have made in the last 15 years.  I'm happy to know he is at peace.  He gave us many, many good years of love and affection.

Out With the Old

No, I'm not getting rid of hubby; I think I'll keep him for another year or two.  However, we did get rid of a family member who's been with us 32 years!  We decided the time was right to replace our washing machine.  We bought our Sears Kenmore way back in 1977 and it was still chugging along.  But with laundry going almost 24-7 and a recent open house by our local electricity utility, along with rebates, we decided a more energy efficient appliance was in order.  Little did we know that it would also serve as a built-in babysitter.  Isobel brought over her stool and drink and spent at least a half an hour watching the laundry go round and round:


Of course, Grandpa was pretty interested as well:


My initial impression of the new washie is quite positive.  It is SO quiet.  The loudest sound it makes is when the water drains.  And I know it will be kinder to our septic system.

As expected, not too much knitting news to report.  I did start on a Wonderful Wallaby for Isobel, but have made limited progress.  I'm up to the underarms and have started one sleeve. 


The lack of fall weather has seemed to make its necessity not quite so urgent.  The first day of fall is expected to be up in the 80's!

Yesterday we celebrated Mei-Mei's second birthday:


She spent all day going around singing "Happy Birthday".  Definitely one of her favorite songs.  Last week hubby and I took the girls out to lunch with some friends.  Hubby gave Mei-Mei a square of jello on a fork.  She looked at it and exclaimed, "Birthday cake", and proceeded to sing Happy Birthday, charming everyone in sight. 

In not so happy news we had a little bit of a traumatic incident a couple of days ago.  The girls and I were eating popcorn and tossing bits to the dogs.  We've done this ever since Maggie was a puppy with no problems.  Unfortunately Maggie and Kirby went for the same piece of popcorn at the same time and a tussel ensued.  It only lasted 5 seconds, but when it was over, Kirby's eye was dislodged from the socket!  Eewwww!  The vet was able to replace the eye in the socket and stitched the eyelid shut.  In two weeks we'll go back to have the stitches removed and see if the eye is viable.  Kirby seems to be doing ok and has started eating and drinking well, but he definitely is having mobility problems.  He was already about half blind (and deaf) and this does nothing to improve the situation.

I'm kicking myself because I feel I should have known better.  Maggie has always had food issues with other dogs.  A human can go up to her and take her food away, but she viciously guards her food against other dogs.  The one exception has been popcorn time when she's always seemed perfectly happy to share with Kirby.  I'm trying hard to not be mad at Maggie because I know she was just being a dog and essentially wasn't out to inflict any real harm.  She just caught Kirby in exactly the wrong way.  Any advice out there from more experienced dog people? 

Happy Chaos

Time for blogging has definitely been in short supply lately.  Chaos reigns at our house, but it is a happy chaos.  Adding two adults, a four-year-old, a two-year-old and two more dogs to the household has definitely thrown routine out the window.  Fortunately the weather has been beautiful and we have all spent a lot of time outside.  The girls (and dogs) love the backyard:


We've been quite pleased that the dogs have gotten along so well.  Both Maggie and Pistage (their Lhasa Apso) are a little on the strong-willed side.  But once they got it sorted out (Maggie is the top dog, but defers toys to Pistage), all was well.  There has been a lot of general gaiety and laughter:


Some quiet, pensive moments:


And time for reading:


Yes, Daddy – another one!  When we got to the part where the Poky Little Puppy eats all the chocolate custard, Mei-Mei said, "His mommy needs to buy him some more!"  Later on, in the car she started reciting the book – by heart!!

There has been a general fascination with the doggie door:



And, lest one thinks it has been all fun and games, there has been some time out:


Mei-Mei has definite ideas about how the world should work and when it doesn't work her way, is not above letting her displeasure be known!

Isobel is much quieter and introspective.  It's easy not to give her her full share of attention because she is so quiet and undemanding.  She will sit for hours playing by herself, especially when it means holding a long-suffering dog captive:


Despite it all, Maggie absolutely adores both of the girls and collapses exhausted at the end of the day!

Today I had the girls on my own most of the day while Ben and Abby went house hunting.  They were absolute angels.  We played at home and then down at the beach park for a couple of hours.  We joined Grandpa and some friends for lunch and they were amazed at how polite and well-behaved the girls were.  They just went down for the night with no complaints at all – two very tired little girls.  Grandpa and Nana are currently collapsed themselves in their recliners!

I leave you with one very happy Nana: