Retirement plans

Josh bought a French coffee press yesterday with some of his birthday money. He made coffee this morning and added some vanilla ice cream. This is the conversation we had:

“Look at that. I heated it up [ice cream] and it’s frothy.”

“Umm…it’s good.”

“Yeah. I’m quite the barista now.”

“Oh. Is this for me? I didn’t realize you made me a cup too. Thanks!”

“I can’t wait to get old and do nothing but this every day, and take a walk and have a bowel movement.”


Ol’ Rafter

We’ve been dogsitting a 10-year-old Lab/Golden Retriever this weekend named Rafter. From what Elise told me, Maly was sitting at the office window for the better part of Friday afternoon, waiting for Rocio to drop Rafter off. I got home from work around 7 p.m. and was quickly and excitedly greeted by the dog. He’s been nothing short of a good ol’ dog since he’s been with us. He reminds me of the days as a boy growing up with dogs around.

This morning we all took him for a walk to Starbuck’s. Everyone took the trek well, despite the cold weather. There was plenty of sniffing and peeing along the way, and the dog stopped to pee every once in a while, too. I think he takes well to our house as well. I find the humor in him walking through the kitchen and, with his tail wagging, knocking the drawings off of the refrigerator. Maly has come to terms with Rafter’s going home tomorrow. After she went to bed tonight, he followed me around the house — from the kitchen to the living room. Back to the kitchen and then to the office. When I’d park at my desk in the office, Rafter would park at the doorway, quietly waiting to follow me wherever I might go next.

He’s been a good companion to have around the house, even if it’s just for the weekend. I’m thinking come Monday, Maly’s going to ask, “Daddy, when can we have a doggy like Rafter?”

“Whenever you learn to sell live felines on eBay, Sugar.”

From the mouths of babes

Maly ran outside to the backyard yesterday afternoon. I went outside to see what she was doing. I caught her with a hand trowel digging in the dirt where we buried our dead fish last Oct.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Trying to dig up Willie. I want to see him.”
“Maly, don’t dig Willie up. He’s not alive anymore.”
“And he has skeleton bones now?”
“Yes. That’s correct. He’s a skeleton now.”
“Why is he a skeleton?” Of course I did what every loving intelligent parent would do. I sat Maly down, handed her my computer and told her to google the word decomposition. ;-)
“Mommy, do we die too?”
“Yes, Sweetie.”
“Where do we go after we die?” Gulp…and there’s one of the questions you know your child will one day ask, but for some reason that day just seems to come so soon. I sat her down next to me on the top step of the deck. I told her about heaven (which she’s already heard us talk about) and getting to be with God. I told her that being in heaven would mean being happy all of the time. I also told her she’d get to be with Mary and Jesus. She seemed satiated by my explanation. We sat on the deck for a while and watched the wind blowing through the trees.

Lat night while I was preparing dinner, Maly turned to Josh and said, “Daddy, when we die we go to heaven and we get to be with Mary.”
Then she turned to me and said, “Mommy, do we see in heaven?”
“Yes, Maly. I think we do see in heaven.”
Long pause
“Let’s have a conversation here.”

Umm…I thought that’s what we were doing. Kids say the darndest things.

Midwestern prophecy

“Would YOU want to move back to Iowa?”

“Maybe under certain circumstances.”

“Like global warming?”

“Like if you died.”


Garage rock

One of the personal highlights of this Christmas for yours truly was receiving a rock tumbler from my in-laws. Yes, I’m excited about a rock tumbler. I’m excited because it means a new tradition for Maly and me. Elise’s maternal grandfather spent years and years collecting and polishing rocks. And hundreds of these polished rocks live in a large bowl at the Boeckman house. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet Grandpa Thurston and hear some of the stories of where some of those rocks were found. Maly loves to play with those rocks when we visit Boppa and Gran. She likes to look at all of them and pick out the ones that she finds prettiest. So, over the past year or so, when we find a cool rock, we pick it up and keep it. And we put them in the porcelain turtle that Maly painted for me in Cabo for Father’s Day.

So I finally got a rock tumbler. On Saturday evening, Maly and I went for a walk around the block. We “borrowed” a couple rocks from a neighbor’s xeriscaped yard to add to our collection. I told Maly that once this set is polished, we’d have to return the rocks to the owners. I’m hoping they’ll let us keep a couple because we picked out a couple really cool purple rocks.

I’m hoping this will mean a new tradition for Maly and me, where we can go on deliberate or accidental rock hunts and be able to remember where we found our jewels years later.

Bohemian rock tumbler mufflerLast night we took the rocks we’ve collected, plus half the bag of “sample rocks” that came with the tumbler, and started our first batch of rocks to polish. The whole process takes about a month, the current, first round lasting 4 days with coarse grit and water. The tumbler is working loudly in the garage as I type this. This afternoon we (neighbors included) unanimously decided that the tumbler is a little too loud, so I built an insulated box to muffle the racket.

I’m looking forward to the finished product, plus lots of rocks hunts in the future, and hopefully a huge collection of polished jewels and memories.