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Athena

In October of 2015 the time came to put down our 14 year old German Shepherd, Keyara. Being a stay at home dad (and before that, mostly part time at the library), I’d spent more time with her than anyone else in the family. It isn’t an exaggeration to say I was closer to that dog than most humans. Making the decision to euthanize her was difficult and the actual act was heartbreaking. I still tear up looking at this picture, taken during her last few hours.

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I think of her every day, along with her adopted sister, Sage (who died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 9).

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I had determined I would not be ready to adopt another dog for several years, maybe never. My heart hurt too much, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever be over the loss of both my beautiful girls.

Things change and time makes some wounds easier to deal with.

Last Friday, after likely not enough thought or conversation, we took the plunge and adopted another beautiful German Shepherd Puppy.

This is Athena.IMG_9216

She is 11 weeks old, loves to test my patience by chewing on everything in sight, eating pill bugs (rolly-polly, potato bugs) by the dozens, munching on bark mulch faster than I can get it out of her mouth, biting my toes, spilling her water bowl each time I fill it. And we won’t mention bedtime or crate training…

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She is also absolutely adorable. And while I have moments of absolute terror at what we’ve done, hours of depression brought on by too much thinking, I already love her deeply. She makes me laugh with her silly prancing, her determination to get her own way, and the sweet kisses she offers me each day.

She already knows her name, how to sit. We are working on *leave it* (silly bark mulch), and will get to *stay* next week. athena

I know I shouldn’t let her on the bed, but I’m gonna anyway. IMG_9252.JPG

As you might expect, taking care of her requites almost all my time and effort. She has so much to learn, and everything is new to her. My writing has been put on hold, along with almost everything else. That will change as the weeks roll by, and soon enough our routines will be established, and she will not demand as much attention. But for now, I will be mostly absent from Social Media. That will likely be great news to some of you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a puppy to smother with affections.

 

 

 

Missed IWSG 

I am vacationing in the inland northwest and was unable to find time to compose an IWSG post for July. I will be returning on Friday and plan to comment on the usual blogs. 

I’m having a grand time, in case you were wondering.  Here are some photos, just because. 

Local Hang Out

A (mostly) Wordless Wednesday post.

Had some fun at my favorite bookstore today. The Printed Garden is such a fantastic place. I cannot say if Foot Solutions is also as great, but I’m betting no.

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It is always good to spend an hour (or more) talking with store owner, Aaron Cance about books, or listening to good music (or both, always both). I feel quite fortunate to have a place like this in my community, a store run by someone who is passionate about books, someone who creates a welcoming environment for all sorts of ideas, gatherings, conversations. Local people, you need to check it out. For the rest of you saps, there is online shopping for you (or a visit to Salt Lake, if you wanna hang with me).

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I’ve spend a good deal of money on signed books from the glass cases. IMG_8961

There are lots of fun books for kids and teens as well.

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Plus, you can take cool, artsy photos like this one (courtesy of the bookstore owner).IMG_6207

Admit it, you totally want to come hang out with me and buy books at this store.

A Small Contribution

Yesterday, I was fortunate to enjoy having breakfast with a very good friend. She doesn’t like eggs, but I am willing to look past that. I don’t see her as often as I’d like, which is mostly my fault. I need to do better. We worked at the library together.  We did good things. I love the library. I love librarians. They are among the best people.

I also made plans to meet up with another library friend in the early afternoon. We both share a love for a certain band.  They performed in Salt Lake this past weekend. I got to attend. He didn’t. His young son, also loves this band. I had acquired a clever poster of the band members, and thought his son would enjoy it. It gave me a good reason to get out of the house, go to the main library, which is a place that still means the world to me.

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I worked at the Salt Lake City Public Library for a decade. It was a career I sort of stumbled into, not realizing how much I’d love it, or how deeply the philosophies of librarianship would penetrate my personal, emotional, intellectual life. I made the best of friends, shared hours of conversations and debates with like minded individuals.  The best part was the reference work. Finding the correct information from the best possible resources, seeing someone light up with excitement, was very rewarding. It was important work, it had infinite integrity. I like to think I made a difference in a small way in people’s lives.

I miss it more than I’d like to admit.

Memory Shmemory

A *mostly* Wordless Wednesday post today.

I’ve been thinking about our old house lately. It has only been 3 1/2 years since we moved from the city to the suburbs, but in many ways it feels much more time has passed. While I am grateful for where I currently live, I miss certain things about our former residence. (mostly the yard). Looking through the images of the interior (I took most of the following pictures the day after we moved out), I am surprised at how small it looks now.

Anyway, here are some pictures.

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Below-The family, one week before the move.

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Garden boxes.

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Basketball court and mountain view. I miss both…

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Swell parties were held in this fine kitchen

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This room, long, narrow.

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First weekend in the new place.

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Through the Years

It has been a while since I’ve talked about my boys. In the summer of 2007, Dylan and Destry were placed with us through the foster care system. They’d just had their 7th birthday. Nine months later, we officially adopted them into our family.

They are juniors at Herriman High School now. I feel the way most parents do- One day they were little boys, and the next day they’d become young men. I am grateful for the good people they are, regardless of the strange parenting they receive. They both have huge hearts.

What follows is a year by year photo essay, starting with their first weekend in our home up to last Friday, when they attended a school dance.

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August 2007-Onion Days Parade and picnic, Payson Utah. Seven years old and not quite sure what to think of their current situation. They did get some swell MetLife swag.

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Summer 2008- We went to Liberty Park in Salt Lake City for a play-date with some friends. We arrived early (or were the friends late?). Here, Destry (left) and Dylan (right) ponder the pros and cons of swinging.

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On the year anniversary of their adoption, we took them to Timpanogos Cave. Dylan is on the left.

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October 2010- Halloween morning in our kitchen (our Sugarhouse, Utah home). I’m not sure what Dylan is supposed to be, but I’m assuming Destry is dressed as a tourist.

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June 2011 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. One of our favorite places to vacation. I like to make the boys stand next to random statues (I have quite the collection). It likely makes me a bad parent (joking), but they are always good sports about it. Well, they used to be.

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Outside Smith and Edwards Country Store in Ogden, Spring 2012- A bad hair period? Perhaps, but we’ve always let them wear whatever clothes they liked and have their hair as long, short, sloppy as they wanted.

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Cancun, Mexico Spring 2013- We’d been at the resort less than five hours and both of them already had their summer tans going. Cancun is both boys favorite vacation destination. img_3787

October, 2014. Back in Cancun. Both boys look much older than the previous Spring. Here, they are posing with a kid from England they met while swimming about. They were inseparable for five days. I’m not sure they’ve spoken since.

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The lads and me, Fall 2015 in our South Jordan, Utah kitchen. Dylan is sporting the rhino look, while Destry and I model a less severe style.

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Track season, Spring 2016. Orem, Utah at Grandma Kempton’s house. While this photo is clearly posed, I am stunned at the difference 8 months can make. These are no longer boys, but young men.

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Outside our South Jordan, Utah home- Last weekend, February, 2017. They had a grand time at the dance, and by all accounts, were perfect gentlemen.

It is funny, I feel I haven’t aged all that much. Yet somehow, in what feels very much like overnight, my family has changed from this-

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To this-DSC_0092.JPG

It may have happened quickly, but if I stop and think, the years, events, vacations, good and bad days are floating about for me to remember. I am grateful for each and every day being their father. I’m a lucky guy.

IWSG-September

Hey friends and family! I’ve just returned from a fun filled weekend at America’s first national park (Yellowstone for those not in the know). I’ve been going to this wonderful freak of nature since I was a young lad, but had not visited in over a decade. It was like reuniting with an absent friend. We were a bit uncomfortable with each other at first, but after a few hours, it was like we’d never separated. I have photos galore to share, but will save them for a different post.

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and that means the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is gathering for our monthly blog hop. If you don’t know who we are and what we do, go here http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

Sign up, blog up, share your stories.

We are a supportive, clever, funny, attractive bunch of writers with hopes and fears, insecurities, failures and successes, just like the rest of you who haven’t joined yet. Quit wallowing in your own misery and let us wallow with you.

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On the writing front, I finally submitted the poetry chapbook. As I expected, the moment I clicked send, I was certain there were millions of typos, or worse, I’d sent the wrong document. I quadruple checked. It is the right document. I’m not yet ready to check for typos.

But I’ve talked about this contest already. It’s time for a new (old) topic. I’ve made an executive decision considering NaNoWriMo. I’ve unofficially competed for the last three years, making my word count goal twice (the third book didn’t reach 50,000 words), and because of that, I’ve debated actually entering this November. It seems that having a concrete month, clear word count goal has been essential to my completing projects. The hard part- November is an awful busy month to be writing every day. I struggle to write around my birthday, my sisters birthday, and Thanksgiving. Last year, I was in NYC the first week and never really caught up. I still want to write the first 50,000 words in 30 days, just not those 30 days.

Looking ahead, October is a really great month for writing. I have fewer commitments. The weather is nicer. Days are a bit longer. Kids are in school more of the days. Yeah, this seems like a winning scenario.

For the novel writing readers of this blog- I’m curious as to your writing schedule. Have you competed in NaNo? What sorts of goals do you set for yourselves?

For the rest of you schmucks- Thanks for reading and leave a nice comment below about how wonderful you find me and how grateful you are that we are friends.

I couldn’t resist sharing at least one Yellowstone picture. Gosh we are cute.

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