Thursday, April 25, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Jackals With Forks

There are things in life that cannot be unseen.  Car accidents.  Kevin Ware's leg.  Cher.  These moments are forever burned upon the iris and the impression leaves one with a squeamish worry about the potential for this situation playing out on them.  On Friday we went out to dinner at the Claim Jumper.  Genevieve had been battling some sort of bug for a few days and had thrown up enough, that meals weren't being pressed upon her.  She finally seemed back to her normal self so a dinner out seemed an order.  As soon as we sat in the booth, however, Genevieve began working herself into a frenzy ("I can't eat anything cause my tummy will get full and I'll throw up again), to the point that she actually did puke up about a quarts worth of strawberries and bananas from lunch time.  Fortunately Gina had a dog bag in her purse from Prince Charming and caught it all just as our waiter walked up to take the drink order.  "I'll come back," he said as he kept on walking.  She laid down on her death bed the booth seat for the rest of dinner.  That is until dessert found it's way to our table.  My favorite: the mint and chip mud pie.  A mountain of ice cream formed into an Oreo pie crust with thick hot fudge and whip cream on top.  You ever stand out in the desert at night and hear a lone coyote howl?  If you do, don't stand in one place.  That's a cry to the rest of the pack that something delicious has been found.  If you stay long enough, you may realize it was you.  The "mmmmm" from Arianna and Rosaline and the clink of  fork being raised was enough to stir the final member of their pack and they descended upon this hill of goodness like a wall of locusts on a lonely desert oasis.  I had only enough time to plunge my fork into the center of the pie and hold it in place while the carnivores (icecreamacors?) devoured around it like piranha stripping the meat off a bone.  So much for the patriarch getting first choice.  I was relegated to licking the plate, eyes alert, quietly looking up, under the brow; watching the chocolate covered mouths that surrounded me lick at their chops, ready to bolt should they choose to attack once again.  It was terrifying.  I only hope that one day they don't acquire a taste for Daddy.  There won't even be enough time to scream.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Princesses Get Their Prince

Just cause Dad has to stay home doesn't mean he doesn't get to do something fun!  A few weeks ago we decided to go check out a littler of Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer pups.  Gina and I have been talking for a long time (before we even found the house) about adding a second dog to the mix.  Karma is the best dog ever. .... but she's kind of a sissy la-la.  We wanted a bigger dog that would take on more of the natural protector role (we've got a serious "neighbor issue" that I don't want to get into) that Karma just didn't feel comfortable doing.  At the same time we needed something that we knew would be good around the girls.  Now, we had an incident with a Rhodesian a while back.  Up at our cabin we were out on a walk when Karma was attacked by a Rhodesian who had been out front playing with his family.  She ended up ok, a little soar but not stitches or broken bones; it was more of a jarring emotional experience.  At the time I was pretty hot under the collar.  I was more upset about this family letting such a large dog play out front with out a leash.  In truth, I can see where the dog came from: they (and as he say it, he) had a two year old nearby that he saw himself as protecting.  Karma posed a threat, he did his job.  Later that day I saw the family (neighbors) leave with the child in the car seat, dog in the seat right next to him happily liking the little boys face.  So clearly they're good with kids (and protecting kids) but also clearly we need to keep him on a tight leash. ... literally.  All in all we've done extensive homework on the breed, met the mom (who was very nice and never showed any aggression while we were with her puppies) and I feel very confident that this will make a good addition to our household.  Anyway, we saw the pups, and we found one we really were drawn too, so we put a down payment to hold him.  As we drove home we talked about what kinds of names might be good for a boy dog to have.  The first (and most enthusiastic) was Prince Charming.  Eh. .... I'm not quite on board with that one.  Let's try more.  Silence.  Gina floated some options, I floated some options.  Nothing was sticking.  Finally I said "His name is not going to be Prince Charming, we need to think of something else."  They paused for a moment, then Arianna screamed "How about Cinderella?!" Prince Charming it is!  Well last night, the breeder called to say the puppies were ready to be picked up.  A week early.  Nothing for me to do with the noise makers out of the house this week, so I headed off to pick him up.  We had some male bonding time and he is every bit as sweet as we anticipated.  I think we'll keep him ;). So, some day in the near future, when Charming manages to escape, I'll be going door to door asking my neighbors if they've seen my Prince Charming.  Fantastic.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Single Light in the Upstairs Window

We had a really nice Easter yesterday (round one of two as Orthodox Easter comes next month).  Stayed up late making baskets that were thoroughly appreciated and then got up early to hide the eggs (fully convincing the girls that Karma had just chased the Easter Bunny over the hill as they came down stairs).  We then tromped over to my moms house where 9 grand kids (and 2 honorary grand kids - our friend was down from Nor Cal with her son and daughter who stayed the weekend with us then joined in the festivities) were greeted with a sea of eggs covering the front lawn.  It was, all in all, a very nice day.  Afterwards Gina and the girls headed up to the Ventura County coast with Hayley to spend  a few days relaxing at the beach.  Karma and I headed home.  When we bought the house it was so joyous to hear the walls echoing (still have limited furniture for such a big place) with laughter and screaming and fighting.  But as incredible as that much sound is, it's equally as deafening in it's silence.  I didn't even remember to turn the lights on until well after 8; even then it was lone kitchen light or side lamp near the bed.  At first I was able to keep busy with task - got a new table saw last weekend so I broke it in finishing the hardwood in the casita.  But by sundown the wind kicked up and I was relegated to indoor activities.  With out bath time or stories; with out dinner and the subsequent clean up; with out fights to mitigate and bellies to blow on, the air in my lungs seemed wasted; useless.  I paced from room to room, looking for something to do other then veg on the couch.  Finally I yielded around 9, did some sit ups and went to bed.  Falling a sleep is difficult in that much silence.  I woke around 1 AM and noticed light (with no hallway night lights on, it gets pretty dark) coming from the girls room.  In a panic I leapt from bed and rushed through their door.  It was the street lights.  Streaming in through rarely open blinds.  Just  another reminder that I was alone in a great big house.  Puts in perspective how much your family becomes you.  With out them around, you're really just a shell.