Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Still Here

I am still here ... just not very productive in the blog world.  But life has marched on regardless ... and here is a summary of me running to catching up to it. 


A sad event.  Although I don’t own a dog, I have been an active participant and “grandma" to my children’s dogs.  The 3 dogs shown in this picture grabbed my heart for the whole of their lives just as securely as if they lived with me full time.  From left to right: Meathead, Milo, and Grimace in much younger days.

Meathead and Grimace passed away many years ago taking pieces of my heart with them.  Milo died last weekend at the age of 11 after a long struggle with pneumonia.  He was the last of this trio to leave us and my heart aches for him so much.  I hate that he is gone.  As searingly painful it is to let them go ... and to stand with them as their heart stops and they take their last breath ... it is a final loving gift of comfort for them surrounded by "their people” in those last moments.  This was my daughter’s first experience with euthanasia.  So the pain was particularly intense for me watching her part from her most beloved best friend, Milo. 

You lived a long life fully devoted to my daughter who is now missing you terribly. 

Your grandma is missing another part of her heart.

Rest In Peace my sweet boy. 


Aja continues to surprise us.  This past May she passed her one year anniversary with us.  Just when I think she has reached her full level of comfort with us, she moves forward another step.  I don’t think people realize (or in some cases accept) the amount of time that is needed for an adult pet adoption. 

If she is looking a little chubby in that picture - it is because she has gained some weight.  When she came she was a gaunt 7.8 pounds.  I suspect she didn’t eat much during those 2 weeks at the shelter.  At her last check up she was over 10 pounds.  She loves her meal times.  And we carefully cater to her likes and dislikes.

Here are her ‘achievements' since I last wrote (No photographic proof, of course.  She avoids any documentation that she is evolving.  She would loose her “cat credentials” if she allowed pictures of her exploits.🤣)

  • Jumps on the bathroom counter top. Seriously, I didn’t think she could jump at all - she did it so seldom. Now she leaps up like it is no big deal!  How she disguises her abilities!! 
  • Jumps up on the bed when my husband and I are both on it - big WOW!
  • Lays beside my husband when he is lying on the bed - not for a long time and not all that frequently - but Aja is all about baby steps.  My husband was so stunned when she did this the first time, he didn’t want to move - or even breathe, fearing he would scare her off.  She was definitely “testing” the waters.  Always testing!
  • Roams the condo many times a day.  A bit skittish when she does it, but is learning to be daring!
  • Has picked a living room window to watch the world from that is not in the bedroom. That would be her “chubby” picture above.
We are really happy she is our “special girl."


We have finally reached the point of normalcy in grand daughter visitation.    What an amazing little person she is becoming.  

Although she is not vaccinated yet, being only 3 years old, everyone around her is vaccinated so the circle of protection is safe for all.

Her use of language continues to astound me.  Such sentence structure and complexity of thought coming from that little mind!  Of course, now that she can parrot back everything she hears, adult speech has to be carefully monitored.  No “f” bombs - as my son recently discovered!  😂 All words are fair game in the mind of a 3 year old.  

Knitting /Crochet

For me, this is the Year of the Blanket apparently!  No pictures yet but soon. I am working on two afghans now, and one or two more are waiting in the wings to be started.  And ironically they are ALL crochet!!  I also want to knit a sweater for my grand daughter.  She has finally reached the age where she won’t outgrow a handmade item in 3 months.

In other areas ...

As I grieve the passing of Milo, my normal reaction is to clean, declutter, re-organize. Basically just keep moving.  Action and distraction lifts me out of obsessing out of my sadness for a time.  Sitting still and thinking about the loss makes the whole grieving process so intense.  Walking would do the same thing, but the heat outside right now would sap my strength, so staying busy inside air conditioning is the next best thing.

Yesterday I vacuumed and steamed cleaned the carpets.  It is a job that takes hours because I also try to move things to reach areas that normally don’t get cleaned.  As much as I would like to replace this 18+ year old wall-to-wall carpeting, it cleans up beautifully when it has been steamed cleaned. It is just a lot of work to do it.  Next up - the pantry and the fridge.  Both need attention.  

And in my walking around I routinely simplify the spaces and surfaces in my condo.  After years of having tons of bricka-a-bracka all over every surface, I now find peace in cleared spaces.  As it turns out, it also helps my blind husband who would find maneuvering around “stuff” very difficult.

We also did a few big things this year.  This winter we replaced all the windows.  Part of that process was stripping them of the double hung drapes the previous owner had installed.  I am not fond of curtains or drapes but I kept them for 4+ years while doing other big improvements.  I am very pleased with the blinds we installed this spring.  They are the traditional size - not mini - and they are white with gray highlights similar to the markings of wood.  My carpet is gray so it works well.  They have a nice header and are complete as they are without the trappings of additional drapery.  Simple clean lines.

This coming August we will be in this condo for 5 years.  The list of condo improvements seems enormous when looking back.  New windows and window treatments throughout, new kitchen appliances, a new bathroom toilet in the guest bath, a new garbage disposal, 3 new lights/ceiling fan combinations, a new screen door for the deck, a new deck light, 3 new10-year smoke alarms, and a new air conditioner.  With each change this condo feels more like my space and less like someone else’s space I am visiting - a feeling that still haunts me at times.  

Next year we will probably tackle the flooring.  And there are other items that need a more current update. But I may change my mind on all these future changes.  They will be expensive and very disruptive.  When I was 30 or 40, or even 50, I could anticipate staying put in a home and enjoying the improvements for another 20 years or so.  Now, at 74, our future is harder to predict. We may have reached the point that condo improvements would not be a good use of money or time. Time marches on.

If I could just slow down that marching of time ... or even just roll it back a bit so I could give that dear dear grand dog Milo - one more hug.

That’s all for now.  Hope it isn’t months before I write again. Thanks for stopping by.



Leigh said...

What a wonderful update! I've been wondering how you are doing. That is such a heartbreak about Milo. And such pleasing news about Aja. Esk is a real beauty!

Becki said...

I keep looking to see if you've written anything recently, and I was excited to see you'd posted and came in here eager to see what you've been up to. I'm so sorry for the loss of Milo. I can feel your heart break through the words on the screen.

Esk is beautiful. How wonderful that you can spend regular time with her again. And the update on Aja was welcomed, too. You've got a lot going on. You comments about cleaning and clearing space is thought provoking. You know I'm on that journey too. Glad to see you back, Elaine. No pressure, but I hope it isn't so long 'till the next update. :)

Marie Smith said...

It is good to see you again. So much news!

I am sorry about Milo. We have a grand-dog and can’t bear to think of losing her. She is eleven now too.

We are looking at our home the same way. We have spent lots of money on it already and the kitchen needs work. Will we do it? How much longer will we be here? Tough decisions.

You little cutie is growing so quickly and is gorgeous. How wonderful you can spend time with her again!

De-cluttering is a thing for me too. Wish my husband felt the same.

Take care!

Cynthia said...

It was nice to hear from you. I am sorry about your grand dog. Pets are so precious and it seems like their lives never last long enough. It is wonderful that you get to spend time with your darling granddaughter once again. Those young years are so fun. And more good news — the progress your cat has made in learning to trust and love his new family. Sounds like a pretty good summer so far.

Leftycrafter said...

So nice to have an update from you. I am sad for you and your daughter in the loss of Milo. I have an aging dog and know my time with her is limited. But yet, I try and enjoy every moment and snuggle I can with her knowing someday she will no longer be with me.

Aja has made such huge progress in the past year. She is very lucky to have you as her keepers. You have been most patient with her.

Esk is so cute. She seems to have grown so much since last you posted about her. It is noce you now get to visit with her again.

Your decisions about upgrades to your place is similar to what we are debating about. We have decided to do some upgrades but not as many as originally planned. Just enough to make the place saleable when we no longer have need for it.

happyone said...

So nice to get this update from you! :)
Sorry about Milo - it is so sad to say good-by to such a loyal pet.
Your granddaughter is getting so big. They grow up so fast. One of our granddaughters (David's daughter) graduated High School this year. She lives in Hawaii and we got to watch on line. :)

Michelle said...

A double heartbreak – your own and seeing your daughter suffer. Nothing hurts the same as losing a dog; I think it's the unconditional love they give like no other creature, even humans. Big hugs; I'm glad Aja is warming up and Esk can be around to fill a bit of the void.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about the dogs. We have been there! If age is the main factor and your health is currently pretty good and you can afford it, I say go for the flooring. Our 70's are not as old as they used to be and even 10 years of pleasure is worth it when it covers such a large surface. My husband and I moved into a retirement condo two years ago and have loved and gotten great pleasure in even those two years from our new large kitchen floor (as well as other improvements.) He was 77 at the time and I was your age now. I think the only real issue here is affordability. No one wants to go into debt at our age. So I can see why that issue may be a struggle. But not your current age. Just make sure you get a good installer. You don't want to waste your money.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

This update was nice, except for the sad news of Milo's passing, and as former pet owners we have also been there. Now, we just enjoy our grand puppy Lola who lives with her family in PA. Nice to see and read about Aja (love the name, favorite Steely Dan song). You granddaughter is a real cutie and glad you are able to visit with her safely. Home improvements are always ongoing and having returned from a week-long stay in RI where husband helped with daughter's house re-wiring, it affirms our decision to continue with apt living as our lease renewal approaches in Aug.

A :-) said...

I'm so sorry for your loss of Milo. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet - both for your daughter and for you. :-( I'm glad that Aja is bring you some joy in the midst of the sorrow.

Your granddaughter is just darling. I'm so glad you are getting to spend time with her again.

Love the shutters. I have them on nearly all the windows in this house. They are old, but wood. I would prefer plantation shutters, but that's something for whoever comes after me in this house, I think, so I get what you're saying about making decisions on major upgrades.