Sunday, April 23, 2017


When we got Rio he was an outdoor cat. An outdoor cat who had gotten lost like 4 times in three months. His owners told us he was at Kentucky Fried Chicken for a week and they were feeding him. He also got attacked by a dog and had a $1500 vet bill. He had been through a lot in his 14 months of life before we got him.

We know what happens to outdoor cats here. Our last cat, Max, did fine outside for 3 years up here. And then one night, he left and never came home. It still makes me sad that his life ended in the jaws of a coyote. My friend has actually seen a coyote walking down our street with a cat in his mouth.

This was on my front door when I walked out this week.  It's the remnants of a bunny.  Well, his intestines and I think that pinkish thing is his kidney.  We have bunnies all over, and I think this was a baby bunny that Noah was feeding every day.  I don't have the heart to tell him. So, he keeps feeding the bunny and nobody is eating the carrots.  So, I throw them out.  And Noah feeds them again.  Anyway, you can tell this was not a basic house cat killing a bunny.  This was something savage.  Most likely a coyote....AT OUR DOOR.

So, we've kept Rio as an indoor cat. We thought he wouldn't be okay with it, but he didn't seem to mind. We used to open the window and let him sit in the windowsill, but then one time, he pounced to get a bird and fell right through the window and bent up the screen. He wonders in our garages and he's pretty happy with that.  But, there is still nothing like a fresh breeze in your face and sunshine on your body.

Then, I saw a catio on pinterest.  It's a cat patio.  Oh, this would be perfect.  I showed it to David.  He got a Kindle for Christmas and he loves Pinterest.  Next thing I know, he's pinning catio's and we have lots of ideas.

Neither one of us knew how much work this would entail.  It literally took all weekend.  We went Friday after work and got the wood.

Then, the fun began on Saturday.  We cut three sides of our screen and put some duct tape at the bottom.  This way the flies don't come in when he's out there.

Then, we cleared a 4x4 space under the window and Noah and I put down pavers.  We figured they'd be a good way to stabilize everything.  Plus, I didn't want Rio using this as a litter box since once it's enclosed, we don't have an easy way to get in there and clean it.

Noah was a good helper.

Then, David cut the wood. 

We pick up so much stuff at yard sales.  That saw, table and square were all from yard sales.

And then we got a sweet surprise!  Our peach tree finally has some peaches on it!  We planted this tree 10 years ago and nothing year after year.  We're hoping we get some peaches!

Today, we woke up and got to work again. We painted the boards.  Emily and Noah helped. This isn't Ben's thing.  We had paint left over from our house, so we had some nice expensive paint that matched the house.

And all the while, Rio watched us from the window.

Then, he was bored with us and took a nap.

Then, Noah took a nap.  It was a long process and we ran into little hitches with just about everything. Seriously, it's not a 2x4 if it measures 1 5/8 x 2 5/8.  When it comes to wood projects, you don't just round up and call it good!

We finally got all the sides and shelves up and it was time for the chicken wire.  Which, I got at a yard sale!

Emily and I had gone to the dollar store on Friday and got some toys to decorate the inside.  So, Emily put everything in there.  You know, because every cat needs a pinwheel and boa!

And we were done!  It took almost all weekend, well about 5 hours yesterday and 5 today.  But, we have a beautiful catio!  It was time to let Rio through the window and he was loving it!

We are happy he loves it.  And happy it's done!  We make a good team, David and I.  

Monday, April 17, 2017


The Easter bunny really outdid himself this year.  I try to request a little bit of candy and a little gift.  But, somehow he thought I said a bunch of candy.  I'm not sure what happened. But, I'm going to make sure he gets my memo next year.

Anyway, the kids were excited to open their stuff.  Ben and Noah got some Disney Infinity characters they wanted for their Xbox. It's nice that when one gets a gift, it's really for both of them.

Emily got a ukulele.  She's been wanting one for awhile. It's a really pretty blue color.

And Rio got a box. But because it's triangular shape from the ukulele, he can only fit in it one way as he's a little round in the buttocks.  So, am I Rio, so am I.  The struggle is real.

Then, we drove down to my Dad and Suzy's house in Phoenix for a get together with family.  She spoils the kids and got them big Easter baskets too.

Noah looking cute.

My Mom, Dad and David just chillin'.

Rosie and her family came from California. The kids all play so well together.

Sweet Chase is so cute!  

Him and Noah are almost 2 years apart and good pals.

Suzy outdid herself on the food.  Ham with all the fixins, hot dogs and hamburgers.  YUM!

These two are up to no good.

Such a sweet little family.

Then, the kids and my Dad disappeared for awhile.  I went out to look for them. The golf course was closed, so they were playing a game of spot the golf ball in the lake, fish it out and Papa gives you a quarter.  

Emily found a $4 ball, so my Dad said she gets 75 cents for that one.  The collected probably 20 balls!  Then, my Dad took them on the golf cart.  This course was closed for reseeding, so we had it to ourselves.

Then, I had some Snapchat fun with my Mom.

My beautiful Momma...

And Suzy...kiss the cook because she always cooks!

Aw...Suzy makes a cute bunny.

That's Suzy and her daughter Nikki.

Emily was making a video at the end of the night with all her stuff. Holy moly. We are going to be eating candy for months!

It was a wonderful Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Celebrations

We started the day with the annual egg hunt at our clubhouse.  The break it up into 4 age groups.  It was nice that the kids were old enough to be the in the two older age groups, so we didn't get there until an hour in. It's always so crowded in the beginning.  We got a front row parking spot and there was no wait in the balloon animal line.  It's the small things that make this Mama happy.  

Noah was up first and he was ready to get a some eggs.

I told him to look up as to not miss the two on top of his head.

They were filled with all sorts of yummy candy that was partially melted.  

Emily got a turtle bracelet.  It was so cute!

Then, everyone got a turtle bracelet.  It's better than the balloon swords that the boys get and pop within 60 seconds.  

Ben was in with Emily's age group this year.  Em is on the other end with some of her friends.

These three girlies had a great time.

They are growing up much too fast.

Here's all the turtle power.

Then, it was time to color eggs.

The kids love doing this every year.  

And here's their finished products.

Yesterday when we were out, we went by Trader Joe's for a few things and decided to grab pizza dough to make pizza.  David and I used to make calzones from this dough when we first met. But, we haven't made pizzas like this in forever.  The kids all got to roll their own and top it with cheese and pepperoni.  It was some trial and error at first.  

I figured they'd all love it just because they got to help make it.

Emily and Noah loved it. Ben, not so much.  He's picky about pizza.  But, we learned a few tricks, so next time, we'll give it another shot and think he'll love it.

Theirs all looked like the state of Texas. David and I used cast iron pans and ours looked professional.  David had olives, onions, sausage, pepperoni, bell pepper. Ours were delicious!

Noah gave it two thumbs up.  Ben wasn't crazy about the sauce, But, we learned we needed to par cook the dough for 5 minutes and then top it with stuff.  I'll try another sauce for Ben or maybe he can just have spaghetti sauce since he loves that so much.

It was another wonderful day.  Seriously, this three day weekend was one of the best ever so far.  Tomorrow, we are headed to Phoenix to spend the day with family.  Yea!