A photo of my daughter’s pug who was used in social media marketing for her college swim team. The swimmers on the sports marketing team posed Waffles around the pool wearing goggles, on the blocks and lifeguard stand.
As I think about Thanksgiving, it dawned on me that our last two pets, Olive and Waffles, were adopted Thanksgiving weekend. What a joy they’ve brought to our family.
My son left for college in 2011 and my daughter and I visited the animal shelter in Palm Springs looking at kittens. It was right before Thanksgiving that Olive came home with us. Because my son is allergic to cats we waited until he moved away to college to adopt Olive. We kept Olive hidden in our daughter’s bedroom for the four-day weekend and didn’t think my son would have any reaction from his room down the hall.
Olive’s baby picture taken around Thanksgiving.
Everything went smoothly. I cooked dinner for my kids, husband and dad. I remember a wonderful weekend spending time with family walking downtown and playing in the park.
Then my son called to let me know he was back at school safely. While we talked on the phone, the kitty snuck out the door into the backyard.
“Quick, get the kitty!” I yelled to my daughter.
“WHAT?!” my son said. “I knew it! I knew there was a cat in the house. I had allergies all weekend.”
Today, he can visit our home in Arizona with Olive inside, and doesn’t seem to suffer. I’ve installed an air filter in the casita and the new house doesn’t have the same issues as our 1930s Palm Springs house did for allergies like mold and a grassy back yard.
Then came Waffles. It was my husband’s idea to adopt Waffles as a companion dog for our daughter. She came home from college for Thanksgiving weekend, along with our son, and met Waffles for the first time.
I cooked for our family, my college roommate, who was visiting from Seattle with her mom and brother. Plus a former coworker of mine — and dad of course. Waffles was a hit with everyone — except Olive. I remember my college roommate’s brother thanking me over and over for a home-cooked Thanksgiving. They had planned to eat in their hotel restaurant.
Waffles was beyond cute and so tiny!
Pretty kitty Olive as a grown up.
Waffles as a middle-aged man, snaggle teeth and gray hairs.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with family, friends and your furry friends.
What is it about Thanksgiving and adopting our pets? I’m thinking our prior two, Sherman and Angus joined us in the fall as well.
Here’s the thing that happens when we have guests. Olive’s world turns upside down.
First, her litter box is moved from the casita bathroom along with her food and water bowl. They end up in our bathroom in the Master bedroom. She knows that something is up.
So she disappears, showing her displeasure. Why should we turn her life upside down when everything is exactly how she likes it? Why do we let people into our house when she’s a fraidy cat?
Because maybe our house guests down’t want to share a bathroom with a cat.
She’ll disappear for hours at a time. I look under beds, in closets and then I find her in my closet. Sometimes, it’s only a little paw or a hint of a tail that shows. But today I saw this. She was giving me a look. I have no clue how she gets up to the top of my closet. My daughter is convinced she she powers up “Beam me up Scotty” style.
The only time Olive shows more displeasure is when the suitcase comes out.
Do your pets feel change in the air? What triggers them?
Dinner at sunset after our exciting drive to Mexico. We decided to eat at Wrecked at the Reef, where some tables are on the sand with perfect sunset views. It’s very Americanized, has a huge indoor sports bar, corn hole and live bands. We prefer the quiet tables next to the sea.
One of my favorite things about Puerto Penasco is the food. They have fresh seafood, since it’s a fishing village, and the prices are outstanding.
Coconut shrimp at Wrecked on the Reef. My husband and I shared this along with a shrimp cocktail, American style.
On our first trip to Puerto Penasco, we asked our Arizona realtor for places to eat. He gave us a list, but said his family of four kids and wife liked Pollo Lucas the best. At first, I was skeptical of char-broiled chicken, rice and beans. What could be so exciting about that? Well, it’s now our go to place and favorite, too.
Prices are in pesos. For under $20 we ordered a whole chicken, rice, beans, salsa and the most delicious flour tortillas I’ve ever had. We got about four meals out of this, eating in the restaurant and taking the rest back to the condo.
I’ve posted about Pollo Lucas several times before. But it’s so good it deserves another round of applause and attention.
The works at Pollo Lucas. I LOVE the Mexican Coca Cola but I’m glad we don’t have it here!
The restaurant was empty when we arrived. Sometimes we have to wait for a seat. It’s open air with a thatched roof. It comes complete with cats who are very well behaved.
I wrote this when we dropped our daughter off at college several years ago. Now that she’s living in the adult world — I still miss these things about her. We were lucky to have her sheltering in place with us for a couple of months. That was one of the good things that happened in 2020 — not COVID-19 and being locked down — but getting the chance to spend time together.
We took our daughter to college two weeks ago. She looks really happy in the photos posted on FB and Instagram. She’s made new friends, is enjoying her team and coaches — and likes her classes.
My life is busy with new and old projects. But, I notice a quiet, a sort of waiting sense, that I didn’t feel before. It’s the little things about her that I miss.
I miss her cracking my back. She would give me a hug, tell me to relax and say, “One, two..” and lift me up in the air before she said three. The result was cracking, popping relief.
I miss her making me laugh. Kat is funny. I love her little half smile when she knows she’s especially clever. And the crinkles around her eyes when she laughs out loud.
I miss her cleaning out my wallet and organizing it for me. She’d say, “Mom your purse is a gateway to hoarding.”
I miss her walking through the kitchen door after her morning workout asking me to make her eggs. I don’t have anyone to make eggs for right now — except my husband and me — and we rarely eat them.
I miss her cat Olive walking on the skinny end of her four poster bed while she watched Netflix on my laptop.
I miss when she was very young and called yellow “lallo.” And when we’d go to the beach and she’d strip naked as soon as her suit got wet. I used to bring a bag full of swimsuits for her.
I miss going to the pool and watching practice, chatting with the other swim parents. That was a luxury that I took for granted.
Yes, I miss her and I hope she knows how much I love her.
What are the little things you miss the most about your kids who have left home — or friends you no longer see very often?
Olive got into my suitcase while I was unpacking and began scratching and biting it. I got her message loud and clear.
After a week home, I’m starting to feel settled. It’s been a super busy week, filled with long to do lists. What is helping me avoid gripping anxiety is morning walks, a few swims at the YMCA and having Olive fall asleep on my lap.
I read an article about cancer the other day in the Wall Street Journal. I learned something new that I feel is valuable to share. Cancer runs in families.
The article was called “Cancer Runs in Families. Too Few Are Getting Tested.”
“I had no idea that this was possible for me,” said Ungerleider, 43, an internal medicine doctor and founder of End Well, a nonprofit focused on end-of-life care.
Doctors are recommending genetic tests to more cancer patients and their families. Testing costs have dropped, and the results are helping doctors choose newer targeted drugs and encourage relatives to confront their own cancer risk.
“We can test you for dozens of genes at the same time, and it’s going to influence your treatment,” said Dr. Jewel Samadder, co-leader of the Office of Precision Medicine at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in Phoenix.
I’ve had cancer on my mind, obviously after my future DIL was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer and has undergone successful surgery. What this article told me is all too clear. In my DIL’s family several of her sisters were diagnosed and treated for cancer in their 20s and 30s.
I think it would be wise if you have had family members with cancer, to get tested, too.
Here’s more from the article:
Some 10% of cancers are associated with genetic inheritance, including the BRCA mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer risk in the 1990s.BRCA mutations have since been linked to other cancers, and dozens more gene variations have been shown to raise cancer risks.
Doctors have broadened guidelines for who should get tested, including all patients with ovarian, metastatic prostate and pancreatic cancer and some with colorectal and breast. Some are pushing for universal testing after some studies showed that around half of genetic cancer links are missed under standard testing guidance.
Olive in Palm Springs, hanging out by our pool, enjoying indoor/outdoor life.
Life is full of change. Look at Olive, our 11-year-old cat, who was able to roam free in Palm Springs since kittenhood and now is captive inside our house.
I was worried about how she would adjust. But with only two escapes outside in two-and-a-half years and frantic rushes back inside the house, I’d say she likes it inside. My daughter said that maybe she was always meant to be an indoor cat.
Olive’s baby picture when we first brought her home from the animal shelter.
I think Olive sensed danger when she escaped to our wild nature-filled yard.
This past weekend, I was taking out recycling. We have an enclosure for our trash and recycling bins with walls and a gate. When I opened the gate, I came eyeball to eyeball within inches of another cat who was standing on the wall.
I didn’t have my phone with me so no picture, but it was a teenage bobcat with blackish spots on a dark blonde coat. I turned and ran and glanced back to see the bobcat hightailing in the opposite direction. I looked at our video from the night before and found a few seconds of a bobcat walking by. But I’m afraid I’ve scared off the cat for the near future.
This is a photo taken by my SIL of our regular bobcat visitor. I think the one I saw a few days ago might be one of her kits.
“Change is the only constant in life.
Ones ability to adapt to those changes
will determine your success in life.”
Here’s a video of Olive’s new indoor life. She seems to enjoy it!
What are your thoughts about change and life? What major changes are you going through now or have in the past?
View of the fire in North Scottsdale from our backyard Tuesday night.
We came back from our swim Tuesday afternoon and I smelled smoke. An hour later plumes of smoke were in the air. It looked too close for comfort. Called the Diamond Fire, I was getting notifications on my iphone of a fire that started at 5:15 p.m. and roughly 1,000 people had been evacuated.
From what I could tell it was 20 miles away from us. We weren’t in any danger but I decided to pack things in case we were told to evacuate.
What did I pack? Paperwork like the title to our house, some cash, cat food, cat carrier, my flute, music, underwear, socks, tennis shoes and a few shorts and t-shirts. My husband hosed down our pergola, which is the wooden structure in our back yard over the pool bar.
As we texted neighbors, we discovered we weren’t in any danger, but I realized I do need to organize a “Go Kit” in case of emergency.
I saw this on Twitter from the Scottsdale Fire Department. It’s a good reminder:
Today, I’m going to scan our important documents, so I’ll have them on my laptop — and I’m going to back them up. Then I’m going to put together a more organized Go Kit than the one I threw together last evening.
Living in So Cal for decades, I had an earthquake kit. Now I need a “Go Kit” in case of fire or floods.
What type of preparedness plans or kits do you have? What type of emergencies affect your area?