Monday, March 22, 2010

Some images of Spring Break

This week is not looking any better than last; Anthony is out of town again this week, and the next, and the next.  At least he is home on the weekends.  Nevertheless, we did have a good break.  The kids were just thrilled for a break from school.  We planned a trip to Ft Worth on the first weekend to see friends.  Since Anthony was in Dallas the entire week before, I decided to take the Amtrak from Taylor to Ft Worth, thus avoiding the dreaded Spring Break traffic.

I love love LOVE traveling this way.  It is so civilized, especially for traveling with little kids.  Only 2 bad things about it: there is only ONE northbound train and ONE southbound train PER DAY.  And its invariably late.  Anna passed the time by, of course, reading:

And Colin quickly made a collection of iron track implements:
At long last and with much excitement, the train pulled into the station.  We heard its whistle before we saw it.  So awesome.

The kids and I had lunch in the dining car, which was such a treat -- dining on NON fast food, no worries of getting ketchup all over my car, beautiful pastoral scenery.  I actually had a spinach salad with grilled salmon.  Service was excellent.  How fun!  Eating on a train!

Anthony picked us up at the Ft Worth station, and we went to our friends' house.  They have two wee ones, and we all get along swimmingly.  We went to the Science Museum, which at first I was sad to go inside a museum on such a beautiful spring day.  But lo! they had OUTDOOR exhibits, like this popular water one:

Colin and another like-minded boy built dams, then opened the locks to let the "fish" go, over and over.  Cute panchos, eh?  These girls enjoyed it, too (Audrey, Deedra, Anna):

But their best exhibit was the Dinosaur Dig - a HUGE sand pit filled with actual dinosaur bone castings. The kids had a scraper and a paintbrush, and spent hours discovering the bones.  The docents surreptitiously covered the bones with sand using their feet when the kids moved on to the next one.  Then you'd hear again, "I found a bone!  I found a fossil!"

Plumber-butt Colin gets in the action, too.

We also went to the Butterfly Garden at the Botanical Gardens.
Colin would get his nose so close to the butterflies, so he could get a good look at the proboscis.  Anna's hair turned fairy-curly in the humid mist.

We also feasted on pizza, sushi, pancakes, and played lots of baseball and soccer.
A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Love ya, wish you were here!

The kids are on Spring Break and Anthony got called out of town.... will be back to post later!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time Warp

I saw a geriatric cat for ADR - that's "ain't doin' right."  Nonspecific decline.  On physical exam, I found she had a heart murmur, advanced periodontal disease with multiple abcessed teeth, weight loss with muscle atrophy, and poor coat quality.  She was weak and circling to the right.  I recommended a full work-up, but the owner declined due to financial limitations.  The owner decided to take her home without any treatment and just monitor.  I figured she would continue to decline, from heart disease, dental disease, and probable kidney disease and/or hyperthyroidism and/or cancer, too.

On Saturday I euthanized her.  She'd lost more weight and stopped eating.  She was covered in mats and was disoriented.  I totally agreed with the decision, but I was surprised.  It was five years since I had previously examined her, and she was now 20.

Five years ago, I would have bet large sums of money that she wouldn't have lasted another year.  I really thought she'd be back for euthanasia within a few months.  I can't believe she was able to hang on for so long.  I wonder what those five years had been like for her.  The man who brought her in was quite emotional and sad about saying goodbye to her.  He probably wished she would die on her own, but she didn't.  At the end, she looked and smelled like a kidney failure cat.   I'm really glad he brought her in for euthanasia when she stopped eating.  Untreated end-stage kidney failure is a terrible way to die.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Oscar Party

Last night I had a small Oscar party.  This is something I always wanted to do, with movie themed food, and finally got around to it when they decided to up the best picture list up to 10.  We didn't have ballots or ball gowns or anything.  It was just my family and the two girls I go to Bollywood class with on Sunday evenings, sitting in our work-out clothes, discussing designer dresses and fancy hairdos.

Here was the menu:

Hurt Locker Salsa
Precious Fruit Salad
"My Elbow Hurts" Pasta Salad from Up
District 9 Prawns
Up in the Air Airline Peanuts
Serious Man Broccoli
Blind Side Baked Beans
An Education Brie and Baguette


Na'vi Blue Martinis from Avatar!

And hey, did anyone else think that crazy montage dance of movie themes was totally mismatched?  All that seriously energetic breakdancing to this lyrical music?  Like the winning theme to Up?  Dee dee dee dee...  In dudes wearing grey pants and red sweaters, a few girls in flowing grey dresses?  Like the choregrapher was thinking, 80s flash back! and the orchestrator was thinking, Night at the Pops! and the wardrobe person thinking, West Side Story!  We laughed a lot at that one, over our blue martinis.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

How Well Do You Know The Princess Bride? Colin-ism edition

Last night we watched the beginning of the Princess Bride. Colin said, "Does it have a princess in it? Is there a prince? Is there sword fighting?" He reminded me of the young Fred Savage character.  Actually, minus the big dark hair, I think he looks like him, too.

We only watched until the part where Wesley and Buttercup roll down the hill.  This morning, the kids were discussing the movie over breakfast.

Colin said, "Play-Doh.  Soccer ball.  T-shirt."  Then I fell over laughing, realizing what he was talking about.  Its about 49 seconds into this clip:

Monday, March 01, 2010

Happy Ending

This weekend a little dog wandered up to us while we were working outside. She was obviously lost, and Anna was determined to save her. She grabbed an extra leash and got the dog, an older female rat terrier.

She had a collar with a rabies tag, but that was all. Of course the clinic that issued the tag was already closed for the weekend, so we had no other way of tracking down her owners. Anna and Colin made a small FOUND DOG sign that we hung near our mailboxes, and set up the extra kennel for our new foundling.

Anna kept the dog in her bedroom, and got up early Sunday morning to walk her outside. Later we all took her for a short walk in the neighborhood and then hung out at the park, hoping someone would recognize the dog. She didn't like to be held, but she loved following Anna around. At our house she was a polite houseguest.
Anna said a sad goodbye to her this morning, knowing she would probably be gone back to her home before she got back from school. She liked the little dog and hoped that if her family couldn't be found, that she could maybe keep her. Once Colin realized that she'd be gone, he actually burst into tears briefly before heading off to school.

A few phone calls this morning and she was returned to her family. Her name was Mattie, and she was 9 years old. She had accidentally been let out by an electrician, and she ran from him, scared. He chased her, trying to get her back, and even had animal control chase her, but no one could catch her. She ended up at our house nearly 2 miles away. They had been very worried about her all weekend but hoped she would be returned via her rabies tag or microchip. Anna relished all these details later, especially when she heard how their teenage daughter went to her room and cried when she found out Mattie had been missing overnight. Mattie greeted all of them excitedly when she got home, then slept all day. I know Anna enjoyed having a little dog to care for, but she was happy to know she helped return her to her grateful family.