Bones, bones, bones, bones. Yummy bones, bones, bones!


Hey, guys. It’s Ben. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
So much to tell you.
Let’s start with our new student. “Lissa” is officially with us now – and she’s added a whole new dynamic to our group. She and Bella have become “fast friends” and, I swear, it’s like the ladies have taken over. Having a new student has been wonderful and I can’t wait till we eventually have the 12 – or maybe 15 students our little school needs!
Then… there’s the addition to Chad and Raef’s house. Alex had insisted their home needed a couple more bedrooms and baths, and volunteered to provide materials “left over from the Koala Cove project.” Anyway, he did a bunch of sketches and got in touch with Nathan about the job. Nathan told him they have a big project starting December 1st, and said “Why don’t we just knock out this addition right now?” So, Alex talked with Jim and they got a building permit for a “minor residential remodel – with no inspections required.” Gotta love Jim and his contacts! Nathan and his crews descended on the house and, like magic, it’s almost done. They’re artists who can do it all – carpentry, electrical, plumbing… everything. The addition is beautiful – as Alex promised – and it’ll be wonderful for them… with Lissa and Matty each having a bedroom and bathroom of their own.
We’ve talked with the grandparents – and they’re not coming for Thanksgiving. They’ve all been watching the warnings from the CDC about Holiday gatherings and don’t want to risk bringing covid into our group. We’ll do a family “Zoom” on Thursday afternoon – and plan a real “get together” at Christmastime.
Now, Some really personal stuff you may (or may not) want to read. It’s o.k.- whether you want to read this… or just look at the boners above.
It’s like this: David, Dub and I are HUGE fans of Rachael Maddow and her show on MSNBC. Recently, she had been absent from the program because she had been isolating while her partner Susan Mikula was battling coronavirus. Rachael said, “Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks. And at one point we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her. That’s why I’ve been away. She said, about Susan: “She’s the center of my life. She’s the organizing principle of my life. My relationship with Susan is the only thing at the end of the day that I would kill or die for without any hesitation.”
Which brings me to a couple of weeks ago when I dropped David off at the St Lukes emergency room – thinking they’d just check his heart arrhythmia – and we’d be headed back home before long. The next thing I knew, he had been moved to the main St. Lukes Hospital on the Plaza and was in “intensive care.” They wouldn’t let me see him for two days and I was frantic. When they finally moved him out of “intensive care” to the cardio care ward, they finally let me see him. When I saw him, he looked AWFUL. He was hooked up to a heart monitor and had an IV in each arm. He was pale and groggy and looked terrible – although he (sort of) managed a smile when he saw me. Then, of course, they escorted me out of his room and I wandered around in the parking lot for a while and then went and sat in my car and just cried for a long time – because I didn’t know if he was gonna live. And, I totally get how Rachael was feeling about Susan. And I totally understand when she said Susan was the “center of her life.” Because that’s what David is to me. He’s my life, my love, my everything. He’s the smile I wake to in the morning and my strength when things get tough. He’s the one I spend my life with – and want to grow old with – and spend forever with.
So… today… we’re thankful. David is well and things are good. We went on a long walk this afternoon with Dub and “Buzz the wonder dog” and came home and took the turkey out of the oven and made dressing… and watched Jeopardy and gave thanks.
We hope this THANKSGIVING DAY is special for you. We wish you happiness, good health, and good cheer. We love you. Ben, David and the gang.

Hairy dude in a ball cap – outdoors – by request :)

We had a comment yesterday from “bw” saying:
“Wish we had a better picture of NO 3 – maybe the furriest of the bunch.”
The picture Bill is referring to is pic #01 in this post – and indeed, we do (have more pics).
Actually, we have four sets of pics of this dude… with a total of 139 photos.
In part because I’m married to a deliciously hairy dude – and because I’m particularly fond of uncliipped, unshaved, all-natural hairy guys, I like all 139 of the pics.
Here’s a sampling, Bill. Perhaps proving sometimes wishes do come true! xoxo David

Butts. butts. butts. butts. Yummy butts. butts. butts!


Hey, guys. It’s Chad. And it’s time to bring you up-to-date on Alyssa’s adoption.
Raef and I (and our attorney) met with Ms. Evelyn and her attorney last Monday morning. It was an excellent meeting. Essentially, she said she was ready to go forward with the adoption if we were. We told her we were. She said as far as she’s concerned, the adoption will be final. She wasn’t asking for joint custody or mandatory visitations. She said she would “love to be involved in our family – in some small way – but only if Alyssa, Matty, Raef and I want her to be.” She said she hoped we might invite her to our house for a birthday party or Holiday sometime.
Her attorney told us that Ms. Evelyn had set up “irrevocable trusts” for both Alyssa and Matty “that will be sufficient to pay their education expenses through college… and provide money to get them started in life.” Raef and I were stunned – and simply said “Thank you.”
Evelyn asked us if we had discussed the adoption with Alyssa. We told her we had talked about it briefly but had told her it would all depend on the lawyers and the Court. Evelyn smiled and said “Then, I think you’d better ask her if she’d like to become part of your family.”
After the meeting, Raef and I stopped at Pandora Jewelers and bought a bracelet with four engraved charms. One each saying “Raef”, “Chad”, “Alyssa”, and “Matty”. Then, after school, the four of us got together at our house. Raef, Matty and I all got on one knee in front of Alyssa and Raef said “Alyssa, will you be my daughter?” She smiled and said “YES”! Then I said “Alyssa, will you be my daughter?” She squealed and said “YES”! Then Matty said “Alyssa, will you be my sister?” At that, a tear ran down her cheek and she said “Yes. Matty. I’ll be your sister.” It was a moment none of us will ever forget.
With our attorney at our side, we went before the Juvenile Court on Friday morning. The Judge reviewed the paperwork and asked Alyssa if she understood what adoption meant – and if she wanted to become a permanent part of our family. She said “Yes. Your honor. I want that very much.” The whole thing took about ten minutes and afterward we picked up food at “Sugar Leaf Bakery” and took it home for our first lunch together as a family.
We’ll get with David, Ben and the gang and plan a big celebration in the near future. Right now, we’re just grateful for our good fortune – and happy to be a family.
Love you guys. Chad, Raef, Matty and Alyssa.