Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Meet Loki!

Loki when he could fit into a tiny bed.
Probably should have made these introductions earlier in the year, but this is Loki.  He is our dog.  He is a black lab/German pointer mix.  We also think that he might have some Greyhound in him too.  Not sure.  Loki has been featured in some other blog posts, but I thought it might be nice to actually make introductions.

One of Mike's co workers were finding good homes for them when his dogs had puppies.  I will be the first to admit, I was NOT interested in getting a dog!  I am not a dog person.  I am a cat person.  I also got all the cat hair out of my house years ago when we were having twins and found a good home for our cat before we forgot to feed him in the chaos of three small kids.  Who wants hair back in the house when you have managed to get rid of all of it?  NOT ME!!

Well, I lost the battle.  All three kids wanted a dog and the fourth kid (Mike) really wanted one!!  We went to check out the puppies and had every intention of getting one of the two chocolate puppies.  This little black one with three white speckled feet, walked up to me.  ME!  I picked him up and held him for a long time.  The kids were immediately smitten with him and we decided to forgo the chocolate ones and "tagged" the black one with the three speckled feet as ours.

Loki and the little puppy brothers and sisters.  Loki is the one at the top left with the little white feet.

Emily didn't want to hold Loki by herself.  So Mike held him and she put her hands under Mike's.  Crazy.  We had him for two weeks before she held him when he came home.  :)

Lydia and baby Loki.  They loved it when they could hold him.  He's too big to hold now.
Loki's dad is on the left and Loki's mom on the right.

The parents were both about the same size.  Neither of them really big dogs so we felt pretty save in having a medium sized dog.  Boy, were we wrong!!  Our dog with the speckled feet, who had parents that were medium dogs, is 32" tall and about 70 - 75 lbs.  Considerably bigger than we thought he would end up being!  He also does not realize how big he actually is so running into things or smacking things off of tables, with his tail, is commonplace.

He turned a year old on September 27 and I have to admit, he has grown on me.  I am quite fond of him even though he is much more hassle than a cat would ever be and he is so much bigger than a cat would be.  He does enjoy going outside and running and walking where my cats would always go outside and suction themselves to the ground.  So this is fun.  However, cats don't typically chew up paper that they find on the floor or steal cupcakes, that are cooling, from the countertop--but he is pretty fun anyway.

He does want to be a lapdog and just can't be.

Loki sleeping with Mike
Loki worked better as a lapdog several months ago.
Loki sleeping on Ryan

This past weekend, we went to see one of Loki's brothers.  Two of Mike's co-workers got the two chocolate ones.  One of them is named Hunter and we went to Hunter's house this weekend as his parents have a new baby.  We could not get Loki and Hunter to sit still long enough to get a good picture, but Lydia took a movie of them and we were able to get a nice screenshot from the movie.  Loki is taller and thinner and Hunter is shorter and thicker.

They played and played together for a long time.  I do wonder if they remembered each other.  :)

Passing the Sticks

I know that I have mentioned my Uncle Bill.  He is my mother's younger brother and the glue that holds our extended family together.  (Pretty sure I have an "Uncle Bill" label on the right side of the blog you can click on.)  From as far back as I can remember, my Uncle played drums in a cover band.  His band, Avalanche, tried very hard to make it big, but it never panned out.  I can remember going to see their band play in nightclubs from quite a young age.  It's kind of funny, when you think about it, that our parents took us to these night clubs when we were young--but the only thing I remember seeing there was my Uncle playing the drums.  No scarring here.  :)

He and his wife decided, many years ago, that the road life was no longer one that worked for their future.  He then went into law enforcement and is now a Major over a jail in the southern part of Virginia.  Even after he "came off the road" his band played at local nightclubs and we went to see them in areas around Roanoke and Lynchburg for a couple of years.  He retired his drums to his church and played during church services for a while.  During Ryan's first year playing the drums, we took him down to Uncle Bill's church and they played together.  This was HUGE for me!!  Seeing my son play music with the best musician I have ever known was pretty awesome!  Uncle Bill borrowed a small drum set from a friend and they played together.

Here is the You Tube movie from that great day!

We are now almost 2 years later and Ryan's experience level has increased, but Uncle Bill's need for his drums has dropped off.  He is no longer playing drums in church and at first decided he was going to sell them.  He told us this summer that he decided that rather than sell them, he thought he would give them to Ryan since he seemed to be one that was going to stick with drums and continue playing.  Upon hearing this, I started to cry.  The drums probably mean more to me than they do Ryan--from a sentimental standpoint anyway.  Ryan DOES love having them!  He plays them often.  They are different than the drums he plays in band, but they are good to practice for when he is part of a famous singers band one day.  ;)  Or my dream job for him--having a job on Dancing with the Stars by playing music for the dancers!!  Assuming that show is on for years to come.  He really should graduate from college first.  :)

So, Uncle Bill packed up his drums (or they may have already been packed up) and he and my Aunt brought them to our house this past summer.  They brought them the day before Ryan left for camp.  That was hard for him as he wanted to stay and play them.  :)  Here are Ryan and Uncle Bill and Mike setting them up.

Once they were set up, I kept trying to get Ryan to play and copy what Uncle Bill was doing.  He was having no part of it while people were there.  Uncle Bill said he was like that when he first started playing--not wanting to play in front of people.

Once we all left the basement, he played and played all evening.  And has been playing ever since.  Uncle Bill encouraged him to listen to songs and then practice playing what he hears in his headphones.  He has started doing that a little bit.  It is really great hearing him play songs that you can identify and know what he is playing!!  In band, I am not always familiar with the songs they play.  My lack of musical know how.  :)

Thank you Uncle Bill!  These drums are so special!! I hear my son playing them in our basement and can remember going to my Grandmas house and hearing my Uncle playing them (well, a different set of drums back then) in her basement.  And being afraid to go down there.  :)  I hope Ryan continues drumming for years and can make a career out of this!  Both of his band directors have indicated that this can happen for him as he is quite talented.  Hope he sticks with it and keeps learning!!!