Friday, September 9, 2011

The Grey Elf

"They are called the Sindar, the Grey-elves of Beleriand...they became the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth."  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion.

For our first anniversary, Mr. Einstein and I celebrated at his parents' lake cabin.  Our family and friends joined us for the weekend, and we boated and played and talked and ate.  After evening fell, the neighbor's great brute of a dog ran by growling and barking in the middle of the night, chasing...something.  The next day, we discovered what.

There were three of them, all grey, all with yellow eyes.  All abandoned.  The kittens were very affectionate, very hungry, and very well-behaved.

My brother-in-law took one, the biggest one, a female.  Mr. Einstein and I took the other two--one boy, one girl--with the intention of dropping them off at an animal shelter.

They never made it to the shelter.

We kept them too long, fell in love with them, and bonded with them.  So, we took them both home.

The girl we called Melody.  She "sang" the entire four hour drive home.

The boy we called Sindar.  He looked like one of Tolkien's grey elves with his pointy ears, sleek grey fur, and big yellow eyes.

We have had both of them ten years now.  Through one move, three kids, and numerous neighborhood building projects, they have been here with us.

Until yesterday morning.

I let Sindar out two nights ago, as per usual.  He's a moose of a cat, but a true fraidy cat.  He loves the outdoors, but will only stay out at night for a few hours, and never during the day.

The next morning, I asked Mr. Einstein if he had let the cat in that night.  Sindar eventually comes scratching at the door, usually around midnight.  But, not that night.

That night, we slept.

And Sindar died.

Somehow.  We don't know how.  We found him in the middle of the road early yesterday morning, cold and stiff.  There were no marks on his body, no blood, but we're assuming a car hit him.

It breaks my heart to know he died alone.  To think he suffered and I didn't know.

And I know he's "just a cat," but he was my cat, our cat.  And now he's gone.

Rest in peace, Sindar.  We miss you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Sometimes happiness consists of a stick,

some string, a wall hook, some seaweed,

and a grandpa.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Remember this?

Well, we finally did it, cashed it in, took a trip, and celebrated our anniversary in style.

My in-laws very graciously came to spend the weekend with our kids two weeks ago, and Mr. Einstein and I took off.  Alone.  Just the two of us.  *bliss*

Our gift certificate allowed us one night of accommodations, but we wanted to make a weekend of it.  The Resort is a wee bit expensive, so we spent the first night at The Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

It's a completely remodeled hotel in downtown Spokane, and only one word can be used to describe it: luxurious.

Our room was small, but well-appointed.  They even have their own exclusive line of mattresses made for the hotel.  Everything was white and black and gilt and fluffy and expensive.

We lounged around for awhile and went downstairs for a cocktail (I seriously can't believe I just typed that.  A cocktail.  Me?)  where I had my first-ever martini, key lime.  Yum!

Then we went across the street to The Davenport Tower for dinner and, again, Yum!

Of course, I didn't take any pictures there.  It just felt too touristy to do something like that amid all that luxury.  I felt enough out of place as it was!

The next day, we headed on over to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

While we were waiting for our river cruise to begin, we saw (unexpectedly) the hydroplane races!  Growing up in Seattle, we watched the hydroplanes on television every year during Seafair, so it was really cool to see them in person, and from so close!  Oh Boy! Oberto was always my sister's and my favorite, so I snapped a few shots of it, just for her.


Our St. Joe River cruise was hot and breezy, and about 2+ hours too long.  We were on the cruise for 6 hours total, and while it was nice, the scenery rarely changed and there were no extra seats up on the second level.  Fortunately, we had a nice spot at a table next to an open window.  We played cribbage and read and played around on the iPad.  It was all stuff we would have just done in the hotel room, so it was nice to get a chance to at least get some fresh air.

Our room was a "lakeside" room, but it mostly overlooked an outdoor dining area and the marina.  This is the entrance/exit of the marina from our room at night:

The Davenport was definitely my favorite of the entire trip, but I'm really glad Mr. Einstein won that gift package!  The resort was an experience we might never have had otherwise.  The whole weekend was something that we definitely needed, just the two of us.

Camping Adventures

We had talked off and on all summer about maybe going camping, but Mr. Einstein didn't think it was fair to the wildlife for M to be in their territory.

At the end of July, however, some friends of ours asked us if we wanted to go, and we said yes.

So, we frantically searched online for a campground that still had available campsites and discovered Alta Lake.

Alta Lake at sunrise. Yes, I said sunrise.

We snagged the last two. And even better, they were side by side, set apart from the rest of the campground!

Technically my sister's tent.

The five big kids spend their time playing in the "woods," getting as filthy as possible, swinging, and playing in the water.

We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Made hobo dinners and drank instant coffee.

We talked and talked and talked.
Saw the stars.
Battled yellow jackets (oh, the yellow jackets!).
We swam in the lake, froze in the mornings, and sweated in the afternoons.

I cannot wait to do this again next summer!