Monday, December 5, 2016

My Belle

We knew for a long time that this day was coming.

She was almost 19 years old.

That's like 90 in cat years.

Over the past several months, she has been getting a little older and a little slower every day. But for as old as she was, she was doing pretty darn good. Still eating good, enjoying a nap in the sunshine, and the occasional scratch behind the ears.  She couldn't see too well, couldn't hear too well, and couldn't move too well, but she seemed happy enough.

Then, about a week ago, she stopped eating. Almost overnight it seemed, her weight dropped drastically. She wasn't very big to begin with, and by this past weekend, she was pathetically skinny. You could feel the ridges and grooves on her bones through her fur. Her fur became matted and rough when she stopped grooming. Her eyes, nose and  mouth became infected and oozy.

Of course she began her downward spiral on a Friday.  All weekend long, I kept hoping that somehow she would rally and have a miraculous healing.  But then I would remind myself that she was 18 years old.  Even if she rallied, she was still at the end of her nine lives. We tried to coax a little milk and water into her, but she really was having none of that.

By this morning, she made it pretty clear that she was ready to  move on to her next big adventure. She couldn't walk, couldn't even hold her head  up very well, and she kept turning and moving as if she just couldn't get comfortable.  Just before I left for work, I laid down on the floor next to her and petted her head. She seemed to enjoy in and relax a little, so I kept petting her, and tried to have a little farewell moment with her, telling her what a good kitty she was, and how much we would miss her. I got rather teary eye and tender hearted,  thinking of saying goodbye to my old kitty. Suddenly, she sat up, and smacked me in the face with her paw, as if to say, "Oh, shut up already and lets get on with it." She never was a cuddly sentimental sort, which is one of the things I liked most about her.

She chose to spend part of her last morning on earth in the shower. She always did love the bathroom. She loved to get in the shower after Dan got out in the mornings and slurp up the water left on the shower door and floor. She also used to love to sit on the edge of the bath tub while I was bathing, and would watch, fascinated by all that water.

She didn't hardly make a peep on the way to the vet, and in the office while we waited. She probably was feeling awful by this time, but she was very sweet and cuddly.

We brought her home to bury her in our back yard. Duncan said the sweetest prayer for her that had me crying and laughing hysterically all at once. He said, "We are thankful we could be here together to experience the loss of our beloved pet, mother, and sister...."  that boy can be very eloquent when the need arises.

So, happy trails Belle. you kept us company for more than 18 years, and you were a patient and entertaining housemate for all that time. You put up with two younger brother cats who tormented you like any younger brothers would, you shared your kittens with Maggie, and reigned with grace over Piper. I'll mss sharing my bath with  you.

To Thine Own Elf Be True

Audrey's musical was this past weekend, and it was amazing, incredible, adorable, funny, jolly, inspiring, and delightful.

We were all shocked at Audrey's singing abilities. I mean, I knew she could sing, I just didn't know she could sing like that. I guess my first hint should have been back in the spring, when she auditioned for and got a lead in the school musical.  She did so great, both singing and acting, and we were all just busting our buttons with pride over this talented, smart, kind girl.

Just a few of her adoring fans that came to the show.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Thanksgiving in the OC

We left bright and early, as in 4:50 a.m. bright and early, the day before Thanksgiving. It was our first road trip in the Pilot, and even minus Will, it was a little crammed. Mini vans are definitely better designed for family travel.

We stopped for gas in Fillmore, but there was nothing picture worthy there. It was just cold.

We stopped again in Vegas and Olivia spotted a unicorn statue, which was picture worthy for sure, even though the people at the casino looked at us like we were crazy.

Then we stopped in Barstow.

This was the sign on the way into the food court.  Any normal person would look at that sign and think, oh, it says ENTRANCE, but it's missing the N, right?

I looked at it and thought, "Entra Ce..... that must be Spanish for "enter here".

Audrey managed to write a novel on the way.  That is her lap top and she was writing as we moved along. Where does that girl come from anyway?

 We pulled into to Costa Mesa around 6, checked in at the hotel and spent some time hanging out at Alisa and Erwann/s and getting ready for the next day.

Thanksgiving Days we have found, are best spent at the beach.

And this is my kind of Thanksgiving turkey.

Corn dogs, frozen bananas and cotton candy for Thanksgiving. Yum.

Eventually though, we had to conform to tradition and head on in to cook. Fortunately, the November sun sets early in California. Otherwise, we may not have been able to tear ourselves away.

Audrey got some practice in the art of coffee bean grinding.

Duncan got in some practice taking over Alisa's bed.

And Dan was apparently not a happy turkey carver.

Birds of paradise blooming in November. I love Southern California.

These lovely ladies are some of Alisa's students that she invited over. Two from China and two from Japan. They were so nice and such good sports about sharing this weird American holiday with our weird American family.

After they left, we realized we didn't get a group shot, so  we hurried and took a picture of who was remaining and between the two, you get the full picture. It was also Alexis' first Thanksgiving.

Friday was another 80 degree day, so we spent time at the pool and the beach, this time Laguna. I fogot what a perfect beach Laguna is.  We stayed til after sunset and got some great shots of the sun slipping below the ocean.

Alisa' lemon tree has lemons on it!

We also stopped by this little Marine mammal rescue center. They rescue baby sea lions and seals and rehab them when they get sick. Then they return most of them to the ocean. The ones that they can't release back they find homes at zoos for.

That is the jaw bone of a whale. Crazy big.

Saturday it rained. We went to the mall, had lunch and got rained out. Went back to Alisa's for hot chcolate then decided to go see Fantastic Beasts. Just as we were stepping out of the covered parking to go into the theater, it started to POUR rain. It felt like we were standing under a water fall. By the time we got to the theater, we were completely soaked through. I spent the entire movie trying to dry my socks out. It was memorable to say the least. 

Then we all froze the rest of the night.

Before we knew it, we were back home in the cold and snow of Utah, and back to regular life.

Now I am freaking out about getting somethimg mailed off to Will for Christmas. I should have started weeks ago.

It's hard to believe he has been gone five weeks already. It is flying by and dragging at the same time.
Next Tuesday, he gets thrown out in the mission field and the real fun will start.