Sunday, October 29, 2017

Farewell my Quincy Pants

My dad once told me, our pets give us thousands of the happiest days of our lives...and one of the worst.  Today was one of the worst for me. Today, I said goodbye to Quincy Pants. 

Quincy was 13 years old.  If you knew him, or even follow my blog, you knew that he drew the short straw in life.  Rarely could that poor dog catch a break. 

He was allergic to human dander, so he was ALWAYS itchy.  Even after a routine of allergy shots and a lifetime of prednisone to ease his symptoms.  Then, he developed cataracts and after a few years was completely blind.  Then went his hearing.   

But, he was always still happy, smiley Quincy Pants.  He was the first to greet me at the door, bouncing all over the place and shaking that stump despite his old age and arthritis.  He was always there to snuggle with me during the most trying times of my life and just when I needed a pooch to pet.  He was always there.

Now he's not.  And, it hurts. 

You may wonder what happened?  Well, it all started after his surgery.  I look back and I wonder if I should have made this decision then.  The surgery was pretty traumatic for him.  He lost a step or two after that.  We could still enjoy snuggle time.  But, the giddiness was lost.  The "morning make outs" ended.  Those morning when I would just pet the heck out of him and he would love up every moment of it.  He didn't like that, anymore. 

He stopped going up to Desmond's room where his favorite bed in the world (the Ultimate Sack) was.  The half body shake I would get when I got home lessened to just the stump. 

Then, one day, he had what we thought might have been a seizure.  I wasn't there for it.  My in-laws saw it and described it.  He went to the vet and, hundreds of dollars of tests later, they had nothing.  Today, I kinda wonder if that was actually a stroke.

It was the move that really sent him into a rapid downward spiral.  Everything he knew was different.  He was losing his way around the old place, too.  But, now...everything was wrong for him.  We tried helping him explore.  We even set him up in his own corner of the house with his bed and the old couch for him to lay on.  Close to the action where he could do his thing (which is usually simply sleeping) while we did ours (cook dinner, feed the baby, whatever).  Then we would bring him to the living room and let him rest on the couch. 

But, these last days, he couldn't rest.  He couldn't sit still.  He would walk in circles, over and over and over.  He would walk in circles so much and so fast that he would get dizzy and fall over...then he would get up and continue to walk in circles.  We tried to put him in his favorite spots.  He would get up and, if we weren't right next to him, fall off the couch or the bed and then keep walking in circles.  He stopped eating and drinking.  Just circles. 

Today, I took him to the vet clinic...the one where my cousin Kelley works.  Kelley was there for us.  She did the procedure herself.  I was with him when he passed on, off to torment his sisters who went before him.

I miss him, terribly.  It's still the first day, but I keep thinking I hear him.  I know it will pass.  In the meantime, I will remember what a great little puppy pants he was for 13 years.  Thanks for thousands of happy days, Mr. Pants.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

This baby has a clear favorite person

Owen has picked a favorite person in the whole wide world.

It's not his mom.

It's not his dad.

Not Quincy or Grandma or Grandpa or any of his teachers.

It's his big bro.

Here's an example of how happy Desmond makes his little bro.

Baby giggles from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Farewell to our Junction Home

So...we've recently made a pretty big (HUGE) move in our lives.  We have purchased a new house! 

I will post pics of the new place soon (hopefully).  We are fully moved in.  With the exception of some remaining unpacked boxes, we are officially living at the new place.

And, with that, we are in the process of saying goodbye to our old home.  Our little Junction home in West Seattle.  It's very bittersweet.  While we weren't there long, it was our first home as a family.  Kim became a Pankow while we lived in this house.  Opie was born.  We made a ton of memories here. 

We moved into the house in September of 2014.  Kim and I were dating and had gotten engaged earlier that year.  Desmond was in Kindergarten.  Opie was a twinkle in our eyes.  It started out as a rental.  The lease on the place I was renting was coming up and I needed a new place.  Kim owned her own home, but moving in there wasn't really an option as it was far away from Desmond's school.  So, we started looking. 

Rentals in Seattle are not cheap.  Finding a nice place with room for 2 adults and one kid (not to mention a guest room for Grandmas), in a decent location, at a price we wanted was not easy.  We came really really close to renting one place with an AMAZING yard and a SPECTACULAR view of the Puget Sound.  We were one pen stroke away from signing a lease when the fact that it was only 2 bedroom (1 if you didn't count the room that didn't have a closet) and really really dinky made us wise up. 

Our home kinda fell into our lap.  Kim was talking to a friend of hers who had another friend who had a brother.  This brother owned a house.  He and his family lived in the house until his job required him to move to California.  Since then, they had been renting out their house.  The previous tenants had jumped ship and they were looking for new ones.

The rent was affordable and the location was amazing.  Central West Seattle near the Junction (essentially, West Seattle's "main street).  

We rented this home for a year.  During that time, we got married and started talking about purchasing a home.  Home prices were on the rise, but not so much that they were not affordable to us (yet).  Around this time, our landlords called us to ask if we wanted to renew our lease.  We mentioned that we had started thinking about buying.  What a coincidence...they had started thinking about selling! 

It worked out very nicely!  They offered us a great price (one where they made money but we weren't priced out) and we did everything without much hassle.  We were homeowners for the first time as a family!  Yay, us!!!

Well, Desmond got bigger, Owen decided to be born, and the Junction started to grow rapidly in population.  2 years after buying our house (3 years after moving in) we were wondering if we should branch out.  Find something a bit bigger in a neighborhood that's not so crazy. 

Here's the hard part...the Seattle market is currently the fastest growing housing market in the US.  This was both good and bad for us. 

Bad because, in order to find a good house for us, we needed to look outside of Seattle.  I don't mind leaving the city.  Taxes are high and I think Seattle politicians (and most voters) are dumb.  The problem with this is...we love Desmond's school (in Seattle), we don't want to be too far from Desmond's mom (who lives in Seattle) and our commutes are already long (to Seattle...and Bellevue for Kim).  As I said, I'll talk about the new place in the future, but we are no longer Seattleites.  We now live in Burien. 

Now, let's talk about the good part. 

In 2 years, we installed 2nd bathroom and re-fenced the entire backyard.  We also replaced some appliances, but I don't think that impacted much.  With those additions and the huge growth in Seattle, our house was appraising at $200k more than what we bought it for!  Holy CRAP! 

Now, we did things a little backwards.  Our agent was so confident that we would sell our house, that we used this equity to take out a home equity loan to use as our down payment on the new house.  Therefore, you can imagine our stress as we waited for a buyer.  We were looking at potentially having to pay 2 mortgages and a home equity loan payment at the same time.  This right after Kim spent 4 months on unpaid maternity leave.  Not ideal. 

We put the house on the market for a week and were set to review offers on a Wednesday.  Come Tuesday night...nothing.  There were some people that had expressed interest.  But, so offers.  I didn't sleep much that night.

But, our agent was right.  Come Wednesday morning, we had 2 offers!  Apparently a third person was interested, but did the math and decided that she couldn't afford the payments.  But it turns out that 2 offers was enough.  They competed with each other enough to bump the price up $45k over our list price.  So, if you're doing the 2 years, we made $230k.  Minus the cost of the bathroom and the fence.  But, still...a significant profit!  It is a GREAT time to be a homeowner in Seattle. 

(I apologize if this is braggy...but, I figure it's all pretty public.  All you have to do is pull up Zillow in a few weeks.)

Now, before you get too excited, we have to pay back that home equity loan, plus agent fees and money to other folks it's owed to (stagers, repairman, credit cards that we had to use while we were broke during this process, etc).  So, the money we are actually pocketing is not as great as it originally appears.'s still pretty great. 

Anyway, it's a very happy time for us, but we will miss our old house.  It gave us a home for 3 great years.  Now, it will be home to another family.  I hope they enjoy the plums, Horatio the Squirrel, the new bathroom, Happy Hour at Shadowland, songs emanating from Jeffrey's living room, the kids up the street passing by on their bikes, Ercolini Park, Fairy Land (if they can find it), and the general warmth that comes from the home.  A place that has seen so many families come and go and has kept them all sheltered and warm. 

Thank you 4456! 

I can't NOT chime in on this Supreme Court thing

So, it's no secret on this page that I am rapidly pro-life.  I don't beat around the bush on this topic.  But, what you may not know...