Monday, December 11, 2017

Broken Hearts

This morning our best friend was put to sleep. Linda and I have been a mess since last Friday night when we heard the sad news. As you may have known, we chose to give Kobi to Linda’s sister and her family about eight months ago. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make. After laying out all the pros and cons, we decided, for Kobi’s well-being, that he should have a home where there was not only constant love but a life without the one thing he was afraid of most, travel. I explained all this in a past post so I will not go into that decision any further.

Kobi’s new home was wonderful! Everyone fell in love with him and he was so happy. Our hearts mended and we accepted his being gone. A few months ago Diane, Al Dee, Kenyon, Alaina, and Kobi came for a visit. Everyone was well and it was so good to see Kobi. When the weekend ended we sat down and told everyone how happy we were that this all worked out. We had noticed that Kobi looked very happy but that he had lost a little weight. Diane and Al Dee noted this and said that they would watch him.

Once back in Eugene all was well. Kobi visited the vet and had some blood tests and they weighed him. Yes, he had lost some weight; they figured it had to do with all the life changes. Everyone began watching him and they changed his diet to a higher calorie diet.
Recently Kobi started not wanting to go for his daily walks. This was strange. He never was a big eater, but his walks were so important to him. Diane and Al Dee called and we talked; something was not right.

On Friday, they took Kobi in and he had some tests and an ultrasound. That evening we got the news that Kobi had a cancerous tumor on his intestinal track. It was not good. The vet observed Kobi and told Al Dee that they could see that Kobi was in pain and was having trouble breathing. Everyone was devastated.

We got the bad news Friday night just before dinner. I talked to Al Dee and told him that we would support them in any decision they made. The cancer was very bad. Surgery would cost thousands of dollars with no guarantees. They called Sunday morning and said that Kobi would be put to sleep at 9:30 am Monday morning. They had to tell the kids but would do so on Sunday, giving them time to say good-bye and get their heads around what was happening.

Today Al Dee and Kenyon took Kobi to the Vet. Kenyon was very strong and helped Al Dee through the process. Kobi went to sleep and is no longer in pain. We are once again heartbroken.

Al Dee and Kenyon took Kobi up to a beautiful spot on a hill overlooking Drain OR. They buried him where he could look out over the valley. He was the best dog ever!

Al Dee and Kenyon place Kobi is a small grave, on a hill overlooking the valley outside of Drain OR. The sent us these photos of his resting spot, we will visit him come this spring.

"Kobi's final resting spot. The tree marks his location in the rock alcove there. Likely a maple tree. He has one of his towels, his squirrel, and a few treats with him, Rough day." 
- Al Dee

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hockey Fans

Today we drove to our local ice hockey rink and watched Zane Edwards play a game. Hockey is a sport that Linda and I have watched, but are not what you would call knowledgeable fans. The fact is, this game was our first venture into the world of youth hockey and we had a great time.

When we arrived at the rink Zane and Ryan were in the locker room and Holly and Anika had yet to arrive. We wandered around watching the end of the previous game. Within minutes Holly and Anika arrived and the education into youth hockey life began. We found seats out near the ice under the heat machine. Heat machine seats are very coveted. The rink is very cold and there are extremely limited seats under the heat machine.

The players entered the ice and started their warm-ups. The age group was made up of 8 to 10-year-olds. Zane is 10, but this is his first year on skates. As you might have guessed, the player's skills covered a wide range. I had to laugh because no matter what the skill level the players knew all the little things that the pros do while on the ice. Most notably, they all slapped their sticks on the ice telling everyone that they are ready for the puck. Even if they are on defense, they call for the puck by slapping their sticks to the ice.

The game began. Zane started playing the defenceman position. The whole game was so fun to watch. Players followed the puck and swarmed the boards. The puck slid around the ice and every once in a while would go in the direction that it was hit. Players followed, randomly falling down and always flailing with their sticks.

Away from the puck, you could see the players hitting the ice with their stick calling for the puck. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, they would slip and fall down. Immediately after hitting the ice, they would pop back up no worse for wear.

The swarming continued for three periods. Zane's team scored four goals and their opponents scored two. The goalie for the opponents was very fun to watch. He really liked to fall down on his knee pads protecting his goal. He did this all the time, even when the puck was on the opposite end of the rink.  On one occasion, he went down into the perfect goalie position on the right side of the net but the puck was on the left side. Zane's team scored. The goalie stood back up, shrugged and grabbed his water bottle, not a bit concerned about the goal. 

During a hard fought period, one player was smashed into the boards. As the player laid on the ice in pain and the officials came to their side, all the other players took a knee and watched. It looked so cool to see all players watching the officials and coaches assess the player's condition. The player was fine, and when they finally got up, all the players, while still kneeling, smacked the ice with their sticks showing appreciation to the injured player. It was the cutest moment of the game.

We had a really good time. We hope to get to watch more of Zane's games. Thanks so much to the Edwards clan for including us. Congratulations on the big win. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Over the last few weeks, there have been reports of moose wandering our neighborhood. Each morning when Linda goes out to run I say something like "Be careful out there and don't go chasing the moose!"

This morning Linda came running back into the house and said "MOOSE!"

Now, for my birthday Linda gave me a new camera. This camera was a replacement for the one I dipped in the ocean when I was sailing with John Karpenko down in Mexico. The last few weeks I have been studying the camera, reading how to be a better photographer, and working to learn what this new technology can do.

Every day I go online and read articles from well-known photographers. These articles explain principals that I need to follow to create the best photos possible.

When Linda yelled "MOOSE!", everything I have been reading left my mind as I grabbed my camera and ran out the door.

First I used the wrong setting on the camera. Actually, it was the right setting. I just used it all wrong. After I changed settings to the one I was more comfortable with, AUTO, I was ready to shoot photos, but the moose was through posing and decided to move off. At this point, I got a couple good close up shots and then a vehicle drove by spooking my model.  Oh, the perils of the amateur photographer.

I walked back into the house grabbed my coffee and looked at the pictures I did get.