Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Sammie

I was hoping with all of my heart that we were through huge transitions and events in our world for a while but life apparently has had different plans.

Last Friday, we said goodbye to our dear, sweet Sammie.  While she only lived with us for five years, she immediately became a part of our family.  We took her in after our elderly neighbors at our old house passed away and jokingly called her our 12 year old kitten because, unbeknownst to me, Brent was planning on welcoming a kitten into our home around that same time.  She was part of our world for many huge moments - preparing for a baby, life with a newborn-turned-toddler, and moving into a new house.  With each of those changes, she took it all in stride.  I truly have never met such a laid-back, easy-going cat.  I admired her for her constant calm demeanor.
About a year ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatitis which we learned to manage with quick reaction time, meds, and fluids.  Over the past year, she had many crashes but she was always able to pull herself out of them with our help.  This last one was different.  I knew she was getting close months ago; I could tell by her coat and she had lost her hearing some time ago.  To our knowledge, she was at least 17 years old and even two weeks ago, I caught her playing like she would when we first got her.  I think if she'd had her way, she'll still be around, but her body just wouldn't allow it.

We made the decision to take her in, which I haven't had to do in over a decade.  While it's something I wish nobody ever had to deal with, it's part of having pets sometimes.  I cried buckets that day, along with our torrential rains, but knew it was right.  It will always be hard for me to think about though, as evidenced through my current stream of tears.

Sammie was an absolute delight to share our lives with.  I wish we'd known her sooner.  I'll never forget the first day I saw her.  Hap, our wonderful neighbor, was tending to the rose garden he kept for his wife, Helen.  Beside him as he worked was the most beautiful fluffy kitty I'd ever seen.  As he'd move to the next plant, she'd move along with him.  An occasional back pat here and there was their only form of communication from my view but they needed nothing else.   I'd love to be able to tell them both how much peace that scene still gives me.

While we reflect on the passing of Sammie, we've found ourselves dealing with more kitty crisis.  Our kitten Opal has just had a tough time all around and just within the past 24 hours, her back legs have given out.  We're working to figure out what exactly is happening and how we can make her better.  She's in good spirits and in good hands so for now, we wait.  If you're the type to send out good vibes and the like, we're in the market for all you can spare.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Gathering

Regardless of how crazy our worlds may get, our lives still move on and people still age.  Even those little people that feel like they were born just yesterday.  Last week, Rio turned two.  Sane people who had just moved probably wouldn't have opted to invite over a ton of people but, as we all know, we're not that sane so decided to throw a party and invite the masses.
Even though we invited a crap-ton of people, we kept things mega simple.  And it helped that only a small portion of the crap-ton of people we invited actually came, making survival that much easier.  We opted for a late afternoon fiesta so the kid could get her nap in (which, of course, she played and sang through) but since I pay no mind to football, I didn't even realize I was scheduling right in the middle of game time.  Football played while presents were opened and a few hours later after the game was over, wave two of guests showed up just in time to welcome the evening.   To those who joined us, thank you SO much for making it such a fantastic time.
For actual party business, I did very little.  I took the '1' banner that I made last year and updated it for this year's birthday.  After unpacking the banner and realizing that this party would be super low maintenance, I made the decision to have this banner be a recurring decoration for Rio's birthdays to come.  Literally an hour before the party, I unpicked the '1', quickly eyeballed a '2' about the same size as the previous number, cut it out, and sewed it on.  I foresee one day putting together the 1 and 2 to create a 12, when that day comes too soon.  This was the extent of our decorations.
For grub, I went along the same lines as last year's build-your-own-grilled-cheese theme.  This year, it was build-your-own-personal-pan-pizza!  I thought it up last minute, bought everything even more last minute, and crossed my fingers it would all work out...and it did, even better than I expected!  I already knew I wouldn't be making my own dough (who has time for that business?!) and thought that these sandwich rounds would hopefully suffice.  As luck would have it, they were perfect AND they were on sale!  Score!  We used those for our crust, had all of the stereotypical toppings for pizza, and encouraged everyone to build their own pizza on a cookie sheet.  After that, we popped them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees and, voila, personal pan pizzas!  We will DEF be doing this again, with crazier ingredients and suggested combinations.  
This particular gathering officially made this new house feel like a home.  For the first time in weeks, I kicked my heels up and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out at the new abode, dreaming of what it will become in the coming years.  I mean, if we love here this much already, just think how it will evolve even more to truly be our home.  Sitting outside, watching friends play hilarious rounds of basketball and shooting the shit was pure perfection. 
The night was so wonderful that several of us decided that it had to continue the next morning so we planned a brunch for the next day.  After a very filling and delicious brunch turned lunch and some frisbee out back, I bid adieu and took a nap while the kid slumbered as well.  Lord only knows when the last time that happened was.  After awakening, our family of three said goodbye to the sky while doing some hammock lounging, tree scouting, and lazy memory making.  I think we're going to like this place.  I think the memories will be plentiful and profound.  I think we'll have many wonderful birthday parties here.
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