So last week I used 40 of my hard-earned annual leave hours to fly up to Portland. I had originally planned on simply visiting my mom and brother (it was his birthday on the 19th – happy birthday, Paul!), his wife, and new daughter Adelaide. However, additional vacation duties also included helping my mom pack up her house, clean it, and drive back down to Escondido for her move back down to SoCal. I still had a good time though, even though Mom’s cat, Leo, had to be put down the morning I arrived in Oregon. Leo will definitely be missed, although I don’t think we could have fit him into the car for the long trip south considering that the parrot and dog took up the majority of the available space.Other activities involved visiting two (!) REI stores, walking around Lacamas Park in Camas, initiating a corruptive influence on my beautiful and awesome niece (I bought that ABCD onsie for her when she was only a fetus!), celebrating Paul’s 33rd birthday at Deschutes Brewery in downtown Portland, and spending the better portion of a day walking around the Pearl district.
Lacamas Park in Camas
Corruption Phase 1 Initiated
Packing for the trip home…
The drive back down to Escondido was fairly uneventful, and let me tell you that the landscape only gets MORE BEAUTIFUL as you travel south, leaving the lush green fresh scenery of Washington and Oregon for the shriveled brown smog-laiden traffic-scape of our urban coastal community. Sigh. And, to make things even better, Michael (Mom’s parrot, severe macaw, actually) took the opportunity to fly away the evening of our arrival home. She went missing for two days, but Mom miraculously recovered her after plying her with wheat thins, peanuts, and a squeaky ball. I’m thinking that with this experience, Mom now has the know-how for earning supplemental income recovering rogue feathered pets.
Then it was back to work on Monday…it will only take another five months of work to gain those 40 hours of annual leave back, so I’d better get on that I guess.
She’s got a new dog! Yesterday, Mom went to Petco to buy her cat some stuff and came home with a new dog (which indeed is not the “cat stuff” she originally intended to buy). His name used to be Poncho, but Mom is renaming him Bailey. He’s two years old, some sort of border collie mix (I think maybe with Australian sheep dog or something), and seems to be fairly well trained and obedient. A bit goofy, too.
Of course, Leo (Mom’s cat) can’t stand him, and Michael (Mom’s parrot) has already crafted a handful of plans resulting in Bailey’s demise (which mostly involve a lot of pecking and biting). I introduced Teddy Bear to Bailey in neutral territory – the grass island on Fairway Park – and things seemed to go pretty well – Teddy growled, they sniffed each others’ butts, and then ignored each other. However, when Mom brought Bailey into my place, Teddy went ballistic and ran out from under the bed, barking, and charged Bailey. Zoe, my cat, puffed out immensely. Ok, so we have some territory issues, but that’s ok. Things will work out well between the two of them, I think!
Mom seems to be very excited with her new companion, and I hope it works for her. Her house is now officially a menagerie of animals (all of whom hate each other), and if Teddy and I ever stay with her again it’s going to result in some real chaos. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we have to!