August, 2005 to Page 2

Milestones & Mom

Peter had a nearly perfect 50th birthday. He hasn't been able to play much golf this summer, but took a day off, played 9 holes with Billy in the morning, then 18 later with me, Kurt and Billy. That round was at a scenic new course, Highfields in Grafton. Beautiful weather and a good time with the guys. After, we all went to dinner at Alicante. I'd been wanting to get Kurt there for awhile. It's quite strange to think of my little brother (known for his buttered-noodle breakfasts) as an expert on Italian food, but that's what he's become as a salesman for Cento. So he appreciated the menu choices and asked for a pasta upgrade (to linguine) on his selection. (I followed his lead.) It was a nice day.

Celebrating Peter's 50th.

Peter with his parents, Mom and Peek.

Highfields is aptly named.

Mom arrived later than usual this summer, because she'd been summoned to pet-sit for Krisanne during her trip. And, after years of driving up from Florida and amazing one and all with her stamina and independence, she relented this year and flew up. We were glad she decided to take it easier finally ... but she still has more energy than all of us. On the way home from the airport we stopped for dinner on Federal Hill where we've become regulars this summer.

Tony is jealous of Stinky's deck time

Federal Hill yet again.

Family Stuff

My in-laws invited Mom, Peter and me to dinner. The event: Janina was cooking again! She's had many health problems and hadn't been up to making meals for a long time. But now, feeling better, the urge and instinct (second nature to her) was back. Pork chops, spiked (with sour cream) mashed potatoes, and "have more, Carole!" — it was nice to see Janina back in fighting form.

We haven't seen much of Tina & the kids — they've had a busy summer and so have we. But Tina drove out to bring Mom back from their house to ours, along with Erin & Joe (Kelsey was babysitting). We hung out by the lake on a cloudy, muggy afternoon, then got ice cream down the road. We also went over to the park: Joe is full of energy and always has his gear on hand for basketball, baseball & football. I tossed the football around with him and really enjoyed it — it had been awhile. Such a nice diversion and mood-lifter on a mundane weekday!

That Stinky ...

I've gotten into the routine of sitting on the deck with Stinky on nice evenings. I'll read a book, he'll be on the table, pacing around then settling down and enjoying the fresh air. He knows he'll get to come outside if he stays on the table. He'll calmly watch the ducks on the lawn and the birds at the feeder. "You're such a good boy", I tell him as he lies next to me companionably.

Well, I got used to him chilling and was shocked, shocked! when he suddenly turned into a predator before my eyes. One evening, a chipmunk popped up onto the deck and Stinky was off the table like a shot and had that chippy in a split second. I didn't know our big lug could move that fast!

I grabbed him by the scruff and tried desperately to get him to release the terrified critter. But 'ole Lockjaw was not about to let go. "At long last," he thought, "I'm an outdoor cat again ... and I still got it!"

We tussled for what seemed like minutes, as Mom watched the life-and-death drama. Finally, Stinky let go and I heaved him inside. I thought the chipmunk was a goner ... he was motionless on the deck. Not knowing what to do, Mom tossed out a newspaper so I could move him. Lo and behold, the noise startled him and he ran off at a tilt. I guess they shut down and play dead when attacked ... as pesty as they are it was awful seeing the cute thing hurt. Now, how to handle the reawakened, blood-thirsty Stink ...

Stinky, before the incident.

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