Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I've been putting this off for three months now. (Procrastination? Who me? Oh, what a surprise.)

I can't believe it's been three months, almost to the day.

Exactly three months ago tonight, we were having one of the best pre-wakes a dog has ever had. Many of Kai's friends stopped by to give him a hug, feed him a treat, sit by him with love, and just smile with him. He was ecstatic.

What a long way he had come.

When we first got Kai, he was completely distrustful of anyone and everyone, even us. He jumped a 6-foot fence two days after getting fixed, just to get away from us. But he didn't run too far, and maybe he'd already learned to like us enough that he wasn't too unwilling to come home with us. Or maybe it was the food we were bribing him with.

That was the day we started to learn that he really didn't like being alone. Even though he was scared of us, he was more scared of being alone, where loud noises could occur at any time and make him practically jump out of his skin. So we brought him inside and sat with him and pet him and cooed at him and did all the things we never thought we'd do for a dog, just to get him to love us ... or at least to trust us.

But he wasn't just a dog, was he? As many new pet owners before and since have learned, those four-legged beasts become a part of the family as soon as we set eyes on them. And they become embedded in our heart faster than seems possible. Mark and I knew Kai was "ours" from the first second we met him. It just took him a while to figure out that we were completely his. But not too long of a while.

In fact, in just a month, Kai was going on walks with us off leash, playing "whack-a-gopher" in the fields, chasing ducks down the creek, and prancing along the trails as if he were born to it. Which he was, actually. He had just had the bad luck of having that natural exuberance frightened, and perhaps beaten, out of him for his first 18 months of life.

But for his next 10.5 years of life, he grew back into his natural state. Sure, he was still petrified of loud sounds -- fireworks, cars bottoming out on the road, thunder, a knife whacking a little too hard on the cutting board. And he still barked at strangers. But he was no vicious attack dog (unless you happened to be the poor Fed Ex guy ... sorry about your pants, sir). And all he wanted was love and attention and as much food as we were willing to dole out to him.

Our friends who knew him so well in Colorado wouldn't have recognized the social pooch he had become here in Boise. He no longer hid upstairs in a corner when we had friends over. In fact, he usually sat himself on his bed right next to the table, reveling (as much as Kai could revel) in the good times .... and in any food that "dropped" his way.

And that's why his last few days on this Earth were just so right (or as right as they could be). He was surrounded by love and food and friends and laughter and more food ... right until his last peaceful breath.

We miss you, Kai. We miss your scaredy-cat-ness. We miss your hunting of night creatures in the yard. We miss your abhorrence of cuddling with us (unless we were on a road trip). We miss having you chase after us on our cruisers. We miss the sound of your nails on the floor. We miss your many episodes of "squeak-i-cide." We miss you chasing planes across the backyard. We miss you jumping up on us when we walk in the door. We miss your fascination with the pond. We miss feeding you the tops of green peppers and tomatoes when we cook. We miss watching you "hunt grass" on the river bank. We miss having you on our road trips. We miss your love of the indestructible squeaky toy. We miss how rockin' you looked in your winter raincoat.

We miss your handsome face.

Rest in peace, Kai-Bo-Licious! I will see you in my dreams!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Yes, we have been seriously missing in action for quite a while. I have not been in the blog-updating mood. It's not that nothing happened over the past many months, I just wasn't feeling witty and creative and write-y (not that my writing is all that witty or creative). Since our fabulous trip to Morocco/Spain/Portugal (just writing that makes me want to go back), we have been keeping ourselves busy.

Mark got home long enough to unpack and repack, before heading off to Costa Rica for a week. As soon as he returned from that mini-adventure, he started an even bigger adventure, working as the Warehouse Operations Manager (aka the Director of GSD ... which stands for Get "Stuff" Done [I'm keeping this rated G]) for Spidertech Kinesiology Tape. If your wondering what that all means, just know that it's magic tape that makes your aches and pains go away. (Sorry to confuse you with all my high-tech scientific talk!) If you want to know more about it, ask my dad. He loves it. Or you could ask Mark, as he would be able to explain it more professionally than I apparently can.

Our summer was filled with barbecues, hikes, bikes, and even a raft trip or two ... and for me, a too-quick, but very fun, trip back to New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts to see the family (during the big hurricane, of course).

Then in the fall, it was back to Costa Rica for what had to be one of the most difficult-to-put-on World Rafting Championships ever. I won't bore you with the details, but the "highlights" include two weeks of soggy, ant-infested tents, mildewy laundry, monster-sized moths and bugs in the bathrooms, cold showers, slippery-slope hikes down to the river, and a bunch of unappreciative athletes (not all of them, but the vocal minority were really annoying). But we survived, and now, after 10-plus years, Mark is officially retired from the International Rafting Federation. And it is their very serious loss.

Thanksgiving, my folks came out for a fabulous visit. We ate delicious food, tasted some incredible local wines, and had lots of laughs. I wish they (and the rest of our families) lived closer, so we could spend more quality time like that together.

Winter was very mild here. We did make it up to Sun Valley for a yurt trip for our 10-year (holy cow!) anniversary. But other than that, we've been hanging out in Boise, working on the house and having fun with friends.

No photos of the yurt trip. The camera was kaput, and our phone batteries died due to the cold. The few photos I did have (courtesy of our good friend Daphne Muehle, who just moved to Idaho), I proceeded to delete from my computer ... along with ALL of the rest of my photos. Oops!

Now spring is coming fast, and the rivers are rising. We already have two river trips planned for the summer, and possibly even a trip at the end of this month (brrrr!!). We also hope to get out to the East Coast and then to Australia. Unfortunately, this real job gig of Mark's is getting in the way of our usual fun travel times. It's tough being a grown-up!

We hope all is well with all of you and that we get to see a bunch of you sometime this year (come visit! Boise is wonderful!). And maybe we'll even write again sooner rather than later with another update (lucky you!).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Technical Details (and a few more photos)

Oops, I didn't make it clear that if you click on each photo in the previous post, it will take you to our Picasa albums.

And now a few of the photos I took with my phone's camera (with the Retro Camera app). Our camera died our second-to-last day of our trip, though it put up a valiant fight for its life to the end. I pulled out my camera phone every now and then, tho it didn't have a flash, so sometimes the photos are even more retro looking than usual.

Drop Box

(I have no idea how to change the title of the album, and I'm too lazy to move the last two photos of the album to their "proper" place.)