Lani's household consists of Steve, the long-suffering coding genius and computer security guru; Jim, Lani's tall, red-headed and handsome son, currently finishing his second year of college; Hunter, Jasmine, Himari, Chenault, the miraculous Onyx and the even more miraculous Resk, undisputed feline rulers of the house; and Jesse, the man-hating green-cheeked conure.
Ann's household consists of Don, who is not just a computer genius but a pilot, a builder, and a damn good father; their son Steve, the marathon-running, college-bound, funniest teenager I know; and wonder dog Tater.
Other family members are Laurie, Lani's beautiful daughter who teaches at elementary levels; her handsome son Alex, aka Alexander the Great; Mary and Bo, a/k/a Mom and Dad, and Bud and Ann, Steve's patient and wonderful parents.
Ahh, spring, that wonderful time of year when the grass is green, the flowers are blooming (and the black cats are eating them, at least around here), the birds are singing ... well, maybe in YOUR neck of the woods. Not in mine, that's for sure! We had actually been having a relatively dry winter here until this past week, when we got 22" in 36 hours.
It's really rather nice looking out and seeing white again, but shoveling and snow blowing it out? Not so much fun.
It's been a LONG time since I blogged, and I'm sorry! During that time many things have happened, among them:
Steve got laid off from his job (yes, the job we moved out to Colorado for) as the company he worked for became a victim of the economy;
I took on two jobs while he job-hunted, because both of us decided we really wanted to stay here;
We lost our Pip, and both of us have grieved tremendously over that;
We celebrated our first Christmas on the mountain;
Steve found a new job which is a good one but requires him to travel a lot (a LOT!);
I took Nephew Steve to visit colleges in Montana (what a GREAT trip, and I hope he fully realizes that Aunt Lani is coming to visit since he chose such a great school to attend); and
I made the mistake of taking Steve with me when I went to buy cat food. Oops! We came home with not only cat food but a new cat. Meet Himari:
We were worried about how the other cats would get along with her, but we shouldn't have -- she charmed them all. Most charmed is Onyx; the two of them are inseparable.
Steve's travel means I'm home by myself -- well, by myself with the kitties and Jesse -- a lot. Himari likes Jesse too, and oddly Jesse doesn't mind her in the least.
I'm not lonely though; even aside from cats and bird, Baby the fox likes to swing by and say hi as shown in the picture Ann posted, and the outdoor birds are a constant source of entertainment for the cats and for me as well.
Let's see, what else. Knitting, not so much what with the two jobs and four cats and all, but I've quit one of the jobs and picked up the needles again. I'm on the toe of sock #2 of my back-to-knitting pair, and I have projects lined up for the next few ... weeks? months? years, to be honest, but who's counting? And I swear I'll do better about keeping up with the blog again, even if it's only posting a picture once a week. I swear!
Steve is The Marathon Man. He ran his second marathon today in Virginia Beach, and beat his last time by 7 minutes, so this is his new personal record. He says he feels better after the race than he did last time.
Next up is a half marathon in a few weeks, his third marathon in 2 months, and then we'll see what the summer brings.
Last weekend I was in Florida for a long awaited weekend with the girls. It was a group of 8 women, and we rented a house on Anna Maria Island for a Thursday through Sunday escape from the icy winter that has gripped Chicago this year. We had a blast, and I took my new camera and had lots of fun taking pictures with my new camera. The difference in the pictures is incredible - I just can't believe how much difference it makes!
This is Egmont Key, which is an island in the mouth of Tampa Bay. 25 years ago, I was sailing to Egmont Key on the weekends, anchoring on the bay side, and walking around the island in the mornings when I had it all to myself. This picture was taken from the south shore of the bay, and it looks just like I remembered it.
And this is the group of us on the beach, obviously enjoying ourselves. It was a blast!