Wednesday, July 20

Back to a Full House

With 13 dogs tromping around, the middle of the yard is not a very safe place to be.
Won’t move over for the Couch Queen? Fine! I’ll just sit on you.
No sooner had Kris taken a seat on the couch when Max jumped up and wanted to snuggle. Not to be outdone, Stanley jumped up and went straight to sleep. Sabrina looks for a spot on the couch.
Ava snuggling with the gorilla.
Eleven of the thirteen. Clockwise from bottom left is Beth, Jaime (with Thundershirt), Parker, Stanley, Sabrina, Strut, Stella (being spooned by the gorilla), Jasmine, Vegas (who I kept calling Elvis), Max (who is bigger than Stanley, but fit in the small bed), and Ava. Gracie and Sandy, the two fawn girls were upstairs with me directing the shot.
We actually had two short-tailers with us. Both Sandy and Max. Max is proud to be different. They both give a shout-out to Beryl.
What’s the hot accessory this year for the summer? Thundershirts. Jaime and Parker are sporting the belted cow look. Ava likes the solid colors.
We got a couple of mini-couch beds from Costco. The kids, especially Beth, like the bolstered beds. Parker looks on at Stella’s inability to properly use the bed.
Yes, Kat. You are doing it properly.
We threw one of the beds on the landing, intending to take it upstairs. Gertie, who is a little shy, thought it was the perfect spot to hang out.
This past week was Beth’s thirteen and half birthday. We figure at this age, we’ll start celebrating twice a year.
Today is actually Stanley’s 9th birthday. He was much darker when we first got him. He’s such a sweet boy.  He is king of the sovereign nation of 'Weluvustan'.
The weather was beautiful for a few days before this crazy heat wave hit. We enjoyed actually being about to sit out on the deck with the kids. Front to back is Stella, Nelly, Lotta, Kat, Stanley, Jaime, and Parker.
New boarders Kat and Lotta. I do believe I said in a previous post something about no new boarders. The sisters are both very sweet girls.
Beth loves to play ‘hall monitor’. Stella is wondering if she can pass without arousing the wrath of the ‘troll’.
A parting shot of the landing to the basement. That’s over 300 lbs of dog food, and 432 ft of bully sticks. If we’re ever quarantined to the house, at least the kids can eat and have treats.

Tuesday, July 12

40th in Chicago

We recently went to Chicago to celebrate a friend’s big 40th. Mainly the same crew of guys I used to work with that showed up to my 40th in Vegas. We came from all corners of the U.S. and converged on Chicago for a weekend. We left the kids in their usual position.
As we settled into the hotel room, Kris admired the sign across the street.
You know you’ve left suburbia if there is a food truck around. Sweet Ride doles out desserts.
After getting ourselves oriented, we headed to the Navy Pier for food and drink. We sipped on Goose Island brew while waiting for a late lunch. We went out later with a group of the guys for Giordano’s deep dish, but I forgot to take my camera. Dang good pizza. Yum!
A cute candid shot of baby in a Bubba bucket. I’m sure that pic will come out when she starts dating.
Kris’ iPhone battery was low. As we headed for the pier, she laughed at me for taking the charger. Jokes on her as they sat us down at the only table in the place that had access to an outlet. Back to playing Words with Friends.
We were able to meet up with Amanda, of Greyhound Fairytales. Here’s to hoping she and Kenney, and Blue and Ana, make it back to Richmond next year. We took a nice stroll along Lake Michigan heading toward Millennium Park. Amanda and Kris cross the squiggly walkway to the park.
Oh, there they are.
We were thinking of stopping at the Taste of Chicago, but one look at the squirming mass of humanity changed our minds.
Had to have a shot at the Big Bean, aka Cloud Gate.
On our walk back, we came across a Bike Polo tournament. We ended up watching several games. Didn’t seem like too many rules, except if you put your foot down, you have to ring a bell next to the referee tent before going back into play.
A whistle starts each game with players streaking toward the ball in the middle.
It’s good to wear helmet and pads. Game On!
We met everyone at the Haymarket Pub and Brewery to celebrate Shane’s 40th. Even though they brewed their own beer, and even had guest taps of craft brews. Some guys just wanted beer in a can. I even had a PBR myself.
A couple of beers, and Jody, Amy, and Dave were feeling much better.
Dave with the birthday boy, Shane. They hadn’t seen each other in close to a decade. Wearing gag t-shirts that Jody bought us, citing a tradition from my wedding in Vegas.
After filling on beer and grub, we headed out for more libation. A group shot before heading out. Some of the other t-shirts were: I Pull Out, My Poor Liver, I Just Sharted, I’m Considered Huge in Japan, and mine was I Love Cats - I Just Can’t Eat a Whole One. I had to correct Jody that Koreans don’t eat cats, we eat dogs. Don’t tell my kids :)
We ended up at another bar downtown. A shot of the original crew from my Visible Genetics days. A dozen years later, and we still get together for drinks.
A parting shot with Quentin, Rhonda, and Kirk, before closing down the bar and heading back to the hotel. Between the sunburn from the bike polo, and having a few drinks, Kris is quite red.  Kirk, thanks for introducing Kris to Oban Scotch Whisky :)