Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yes dear, that's just what we need...another Dog!

When it comes time for the Father's Day Report Card on which your children evaluate your parenting skills, I have trouble getting a passing score. For some reason they have always thought I was a terrible poppa, perhaps because my initial response to most requests was always "NO!". It didn't matter that I carefully considered and pondered their pleas, and could always give them a logical rationale ('Cause I said so; or, I'm the Daddy - that's why!). This was especially true when they asked about bringing pets home.

Of course, I was always completely fair and impartial in my decisions. For instance, I agreed when they asked about bringing home several young rabbits they had been offered. When they looked at me suspiciously and asked why I said yes, I described in detail how yummy & tender little rabbits could be when properly stewed or fricasseed. Or when a newborn goat was offered by a neighbor, I immediately volunteered the name of "Cabrito". These tactics worked well until the kids got a little older and eventually saw through my smokescreen. They learned the Daddy would be gruff and growl about taking animals into our home, but if they could ever slip them inside and get me to pick them up and cuddle them, I would melt and they could have whatever they wanted.

None learned this lesson better than my Lovely Bride, who surprised me with numerous critters over the years. Yesterday afternoon she struck again. We had been relatively stable with a Yellow Lab, a Beagle, and four cats, one of which is expecting. I was still at work when she called to announce she was at the back door, and would I come and let her in, please. I opened the door to find her holding a tiny ball of black and tan wearing a blue bandanna. She sat it down in the grass, and revealed the tiniest puppy imaginable. A 2 month old chihuahua, it was the product of a short haired mother and a long haired father, so nobody is sure what it will look like when grown. She just looks scruffy for now.

The LB got her home without mishap, and began the process of introducing the little interloper to the other residents of Naruna. The cats ignored her for the most part, while the dogs acted more interested, but not totally convinced. It made for an awkward evening and all finally fell asleep.

This morning I arose early in response to persistent crying and whining, which the LB managed to sleep through. All three puppies and I were out in the back forty as the sun started to peep over the mesquite trees on the horizon, and all the tentativeness of the previous night was gone. The baby romped along after the big guys, exploring her new world. They both seemed to accept that she was now a part of their lives, and tried to adjust as best they could. The Lab has only stepped on her a couple of times and the baby is learning to be careful. She has been stealing their toys, napping hidden in piles of dirty clothes, and generally being under foot all day.

The big question today has become what to call the little rascal. So far, several names have been proposed. Lola, Ruby, & Dory are all being considered, although I'm kinda partial to "dawg".

Monday evening: Her name is Ruby Jean!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting our Grandkid fix

Well, we arrived in the Land of Lincoln, even though it seemed to take forever. Got away late for a variety of reasons, and ended up spending our first night in Ardmore, Oklahoma. As far as Oklahoma goes, it wasn't a bad spot, but I had really wanted to be farther along when we stopped. We had to stop for a late breakfast at a Waffle House(It's a family thing) in Norman, and didn't make it to Peoria until around 10pm.
Once we arrived, the grand party was on. It seemed that every kid and parent had a drippy nose or nasty sounding cough. By Tuesday, Boppa had come down with the crud, and didn't get out of the house on Wednesday. Nonna was dispatched to the local Wally World for a variety-pack of drugs to stave off the worst of the symptoms(She really does take care of me).
Too quickly, it is time to start for home. Tomorrow we embark on our return journey, trying to find a new and different route across middle America.

Friday, April 3, 2009


The LB and I are almost ready to hit the road and head off to see the grand girls up in Peoria. We are tidying up things at work today and will get away sometime this afternoon. The bad news is that it is a two day drive for us old folks and that is a long time to wait to see those cute little girls. The good news is this gives us two days of being together, free from interruptions, and able to catch up on all that subtle emotional stuff that sometimes gets bypassed in the day-to-day bustle of working.
Our plan is pretty simple...get to Peoria the quickest way possible. Fortunately, there are a number of options which let us see different scenery while still making good time. Our first milestone is getting out of Texas. For those who are used to some of the miniscule northeastern states(they would be called counties here) this may not sound like much. However, we live close to the center of Texas, and it is a 5 hour run to the border at Interstate speeds. After that, we set out across the Red River and plunge into foreign lands. Where we stop...who knows!?!