Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maine, Again

One of Owen’s favorite vacation activities was helping Granny and Grandfather pick blueberries and blackberries in their garden.  (He is still learning how to talk, of course, and so picking blueberries and blackberries became picking boobies and blackbabies.  Oh dear.)  Anyway, he really liked the concept of picking food that he could pop in his mouth as well as place in his green bucket.  The blueberries he tended to take a tentative bite from and then hand the rest to me, but he quite enjoyed the blackberries.  Here he is picking berries in a hat borrowed from Granny:

He also helped pick cucumbers and squash and carrots, and was often redirected out of a post-nap tantrum by watering the tomatoes.  Or watering the moss on the front flagstones:

He enjoyed saying hello to my parents dog, Nellie, with a “Hi, Lellie!  Good girl, Lellie!”

Here's Nellie crammed where my feet were trying to be
on the long drive home:

And here's Nellie ignoring Dorothy and Plum in our home
after the journey:

Here is Owen cleaning the bathroom sink:

And stopping to admire himself in the mirror:

I’d have to say that a highlight of Owen’s trip seemed to be when one night Pa dropped a fork on the ground as he was clearing the table.  For reasons unknown, this made a BIG impression on Owen, and for the rest of the week he would hit his hand to his head and say, “Oh no! Pa dropped his fork on the ground!”  (I think this kind of incident OCD must be a 2 year-old trait?  For all this past weekend Owen told me over and over about how “Nanny had apple in her mouth” when he tried to give her a bite of his lunch.)  We are wondering if when he sees my father again at Christmas, whether or not he will bring up the Great Fork Spill of Summer ‘14.  I’m guessing yes, yes he will.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


We spent the last two weeks of August visiting my parents in Maine, and enjoyed every minute of it (except maybe for an hour or two of tantrum Owen had in the car on the way back).  Maine is beautiful, and both Sean and I would love to figure out a way we could live there permanently (so far we have come up with winning the lottery…but it hasn’t come to fruition yet.  I’ll keep you posted!)

It was sunny every day we were there, and warm enough so that we went to the beach about ten days in a row.  Owen, ever the cautious child, was not sure what to make of the ocean at first.  On our first visit, he gripped on to the sand with all ten toes and stayed in place as the tide came in around him, so that eventually he was in up to his waist, even though he had not moved his feet a centimeter.  During that time, however, he had a great time splashing himself with his shovel and chortling an enthusiastic and repeated wo-ho!, which amused other beach-goers.

Not the beach.  I didn't bring my phone to the beach because of how one of us tended to throw sand everywhere.  But this is an inlet where we went a few times so that Owen could wade and throw a few rocks:

He loved running back and forth from our beach chairs to the water, and loved even more throwing stones into the water – an activity he also did at rivers and bays and inlets (his arm improved, too, from practically hitting himself in the foot with the stone to getting it a few feet away from where he was standing).  I also got him to happily come in the water with me and “swim” on his stomach while kicking his feet.  Finally, he was allowed – nay encouraged – to kick!  Mind blown.  And of course he liked making sandcastles and digging watery holes, and following seagulls, etc.

Pemaquid River.  Sure it looks pretty, and it was all fun and games 
until we got attacked by a leech!

Lest you think that Owen’s vacation was all fun and games, however, here he is being put to work by his Granny and Grandfather (whose names he shortened to Ghee and Pa).  Vacuuming with Granny!:

Helping Grandfather weed!:

Wanting to help Grandfather on his tractor wearing, as he put it “Pa’s hat”:

Sean taught Owen the fun to be had in rolling on the grass, and although I would never partake myself, I did stand by nightly while he did his post-dinner rolling, and was able to get a few pictures:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dorothy's Other Knee

Poor Dorothy injured her other back knee on Friday, and we are all feeling rather glum about it.  When Susan informed us that Dorothy was limping again, I figured she had re-injured her back right knee, but when I tried to help her over to her dinner dish that night, I realized it was the back left that she was holding up.

Luckily, our vet has late hours on Friday and we were able to get an appointment with the doctor who had treated Dorothy’s right knee.  It seems that she tore her left knee, after over-using it while the right one was healing.  She was more or less on bedrest all weekend and we are taking her leashed into the front yard to do her business, instead of letting her out by herself in the back.

It is all rather discouraging:  first, I feel sorry for Dorothy, a dog who loves to run and jump and wrestle.  But I also worry about the cyclical nature of the injuries – it seems to me that she could easily keep damaging the knee which is hurt the less at the time, and where does it end?  At the moment she is on an anti-inflammatory medicine and we are taking her for laser treatments, which are not cheap.  There’s a surgery that could be done, but outrageous cost aside ($5,000), she could have the surgery, recover, and then tear the knee again while barking at the mailman, so it doesn’t seem like the way to go, even if we could afford it.

Dorothy is thin and fit for a bulldogge, and is only 3 ½, so these ailments are surprising.  Ah well!  At the moment we are taking it one day at a time and seeing how the recovery goes.  I plan to perhaps call and ask the doctor a few more questions too, like can a dog wear a knee brace?  Should she not go up and down the stairs or onto her sleeping couch?

Poor Dorothy!

Feeling sorry for herself in her new bed:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goldfinches! Hummingbirds!

I’ve been continuing my feeding of the birds by putting out safflower seed daily.  This has caused the grackles and starlings to leave our yard, since they don’t like the safflower.  Doves are also not supposed to like it, but our homegrown flock of the fighting pinheads have learned how to snarf it down; oh well.  We mainly have house finches, cardinals, chickadees and titmice, and sparrows of course.  We also have some Carolina wrens, and our two catbirds are back, although I don’t ever see them eating seed. 

In our front yard we have finches in one birdhouse and a tiny bird in the other, which I have finally identified as a house wren.  The two alleged house wrens are really teeny-tiny—much smaller than the finches and very slender, not rounded like a chickadee.  They also are not very shy and will fly in and out of the house and alight on nearby branches when we are out gardening in the front yard.

We put up our hummingbird feeder a month ago but hadn’t seen any there until recently.  I’ve seen a female a few times now—a small brown hummingbird getting nectar from the feeder.

Owen likes to come out with me in the morning and add birdseed to the feeder.  He will look up in the sky and say, “Birds! Time to eat!” (which is really more like, Bur! Ime Eat!).  And he will help me put seed in the feeder, although it is sometimes hard to get him to go back inside when the mosquitoes find us.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cats In Weird Places

We have an Ikea circus tent that is usually in our attic, but that was brought downstairs for a play session not too long ago, and of course, Plum had to try it out:

Posy eats her meals in the sunporch, so that Plum – who is always convinced that we are feeding Posy lobster and filet mignon, while he gets a half can of cold catfood – won’t push her out of the way and start eating what she was served.  I often will forget to let Posy out of the sunporch immediately afterwards, and the other day when I went to do so after thirty minutes or so had passed, I spotted this:

Yes, Posy had decided she would try out Owen’s little cart.  Go figure.  If it is there, then a cat will sit in or on it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Redhead On Film

I just thought I would document this phenomenon on my blog.  Owen at this point basically has brown hair (like me, and like Sean when he had hair), with red and blond glints.  This picture depicts Owen’s hair as we generally see it:

But if he is at all in the sunlight, his hair looks like this:

Red, no?!  Maybe this means he will become a redhead?  Or perhaps he carries the gene and we eventually will have redheaded grandchildren.  I can hope.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's Posy Again, Bitches!

I’m sure you are all wondering what Posy is up to these days.  And if Posy could talk, she would say something about how that is for her to know and for you not to find out.  And add to that a bitches.  Here she is being an ice cream nudge.  Seriously, it is impossible to enjoy ice cream in our house without Posy climbing the eater like a tree to get to the treat:

And here is Posy enjoying looking out the window from a temporarily well-positioned shelf:

I noticed the other day that Posy had a lot of scabs on her neck.  At first I thought it might be from Plum, who will occasionally bully poor Posy.  But he generally leaves her alone, and new scabs were appearing daily.  I googled “indoor cat has scabs on neck” and got pages and pages of hits.  Apparently this is a thing?  But not something to worry much about, as long as the scabs don’t get infected.  They can be a passing allergy or an allergic reaction from over-grooming, which Posy definitely does.  I’m keeping a calm eye on the situation, and giving her lots of neck scritches, which she loves.

(Updated to add:  I remembered after I wrote the above entry that we had gotten a bag of kitten kibble by mistake and had decided to mix it in with their regular kibble.  It occurred to me that she was probably having a reaction to the kitten food, so she is back to eating just the normal food -- for now, at least.  Their normal dry kibble, Nutro Max, is no longer being carried at the pet stores nearby, so I'm going to have to find another kind that they both like.  Nutro has another line, which is perhaps replacing the old, but it seems rather overly healthy for my two finicky cats, since all the flavors are brown rice and something...).