Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Farewell, Maggie

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

Today we lost a member of our family: Maggie.

Maggie was originally called “Sylvia” at her previous owner’s house.  Her previous owners moved away and left her in a pile of trash. That’s where we found her in 2005 and made her part of our family. Shortly after we took her, she had a litter of kittens.

Soccer Weekend: Cumming

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

This weekend, Mackenzie played in a soccer tournament at Sawnee Mountain Park in Cumming.  Our home base was Alpharetta, which has lots of places to eat and lots of things to do.

The soccer tournament did not go well because we were mismatched against some powerhouse teams. But during the downtime, we made the most of our time there.

Rilianne went to Build-a-Bear Workshop and made a new friend.

Then, we spent time at one of the nicest playgrounds in Georgia.

Hilton Head Island Trip June 2019

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Yesterday morning, we woke up at 4:00 AM and drove over to Hilton Head.  We arrived just after 8:00 and enjoyed a full day at the beach. We stayed the night and enjoyed another perfect day today.  Here are a few photos.  I’m sad that we won’t be back again until next May.

Macon Christmas Lights

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

This evening, we went to Macon to see the Christmas lights on Poplar street. We chose tonight because they had live reindeer!  We took a potential future daughter-in-law with us so if you see an unfamiliar face in the photos below, that’s why. It’s hard to believe Tristan is at the dating stage.

Farewell Snickers

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Last night, I said one of the hardest goodbyes. My 14 year old cat Snickers crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Shortly after Kimberlie and I were married, we wanted to get a cat. But, Kimberlie heard horror stories about how a cat might try to get milk from a sleeping baby’s mouth and suffocate them in the process. So, we decided to wait until Tristan was at least six months old.  In August, 2004, we decided to look for a kitten. I found a listing for free kittens and called the lady and we headed over to her house.  There was a litter of several kittens who had been born on July 4. Kimberlie bonded with one in particular and we took him home and named him Smickers.

Kimberlie may have picked him out, but he instantly became my cat. He never left my side.  For 14 years, he has watched me shower and then batted at (or chewed) my shoestrings every morning as I put on my shoes.  We haven’t been able to leave food on the counter because he considered it free game. Whenever I would cook bacon, I would have to hide the plate of bacon on top of the refrigerator.  Every evening when I watched the news, he would lay on my chest. Every night, he would sleep by my side.

One of his favorite things to do was go outside on the screened porch or even roam around the backyard as we swam.  He would eat up the weeds and then puke them out all over the floor.

Back in March, I had one of the scariest moments of my life. We were scrambling to get Mackenzie to a soccer game in Savannah. We were gone for about 15 hours and when we got home, I wasn’t welcomed by the cat who always welcomed me. I became concerned and we tore the house apart looking for him. It became apparent that he had gotten outside that morning as we were loading the car. I was heartbroken. While the rest of the family went outside to search, I jumped on Facebook and posted a help message to the neighborhood facebook. Someone responded quickly that they saw some boys tormenting an orange cat at the corner a few hours earlier and he ran into the rose bushes. I ran down to the corner, even through it was pitch dark and found him scared to death under those roses.  I was so happy to have him home.

A couple of months ago, we noticed he wasn’t grooming as well as he normally did. He usually took great pride in his appearance. Later, he started to lose weight. After we noticed a little foaming at the mouth, we took him to the vet and they thought it might be an auto-immune disease causing sores in his mouth. They gave him some shots and we hoped things would be fine.  Two weeks ago, when things had not improved, we returned to the vet. He had lost about 2/3 of his weight. They sedated him and looked into his mouth and realized there was a large tumor growing on the back of his tongue. There was nothing they could do but put him on pallative care to keep him comfortable. we fed him liquid food but even that was a challenge for him. Over the weekend he stopped eating and drinking and I spent as much time with him as possible, knowing each cuddle could be my last.  Yesterday, when I got home from work, it was apparent that the end was near. I was able to hold him one more time. About 30 minutes after being home, he crossed over the rainbow bridge with Kimberlie and I by his side.

I know things will get easier, but there is a huge void in my both my heart and my life.  Snickers was the most loyal friend I ever had.  He’s been with me longer than both of my daughters. I love that stupid cat.

Kimberlie, Snickers, and Tristan 12 years apart.

He was part of every birthday:

Rilianne especially loved him since they were almost the same size.

Picking Strawberries

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

This morning, we took the kids out to Elliott Farms in Lizella to pick strawberries.

Rilianne is at the perfect age for this kind of stuff. She LOVES animals and she LOVES strawberries!

Did I mention that we also LOVE fresh strawberry ice cream?

We took home over 3 pounds of fresh strawberries, which were mostly gone an hour later.

2017 Disney Cruise: Grand Cayman Islands

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

I believe my family has discovered one of our favorite locations in the caribbean — the Grand Cayman Islands.  This place is beyond beautiful. The water is so shallow that the cruise ships park about a half mile from shore and tender ships take you the rest of the way.

Rilianne loved the tender boat ride:

It is interesting how random animals walk around the islands in the caribbean. In Jamaica, there were goats. In the Cayman Islands, there were chickens.

A view of the cruise ships from the island.

After shopping and exploring the island a little, we boarded a bus to take us to our excursion — a catamaran ride Stingray City.

The catamaran ride was awesome. We made friends with others on the boat.

At Stingray City, we found the biggest stingrays I have ever seen. I didn’t even know they grew that large!  You could hold them, kiss them, pet them, take photos, etc. It was amazing and definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

After departing Stingray City, we rode over to a reef where we snorkeled. The snorkeling was amazing as well!

One the way back, the captain let Tristan drive for a bit. He loved it!

While the baby slept, Mackenzie got to drive too!

On the way back to the tender boats, I snapped this picture of the Cayman Island’s version of a yield sign.

Sonic Dog

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

We stopped by Sonic this afternoon to grab Kimberlie a treat on her 34TH BIRTHDAY!

While there, a random jeep with a huge dog pulled beside us. The dog was as big as that dog from The Sandlot. Rilianne got so excited that we had to get out of the car and see the dog. The owners were very nice and let her pet the giant dog.

2017 Hilton Head Island Trip 2

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

We returned to Hilton Head this weekend for a quick getaway.

We were welcomed to the beach by these beautiful funnels over the ocean. Not the most ideal weather, but a rainy beach is better than no beach at all!

Of course, no trip to Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort is complete without seeing Shadow!

Nature Around the House

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Spring has sprung at our house and nature is everywhere. Here are some pictures I took in our front yard over the last few days:

And here are some from the backyard: