Found a quiet moment this morning as the niece had to get a quick orthodontist visit. The teenage braces have wiggled loose and need an adjustment. Currently, there's a brand-new kitten curled up behind my back in the computer chair. He arrived yesterday afternoon after a visit to the ASPCA in search of a lost cat that escaped from mom and dad's house in a bold move I first used almost thirty years ago. That is, wait for an open door when nobody is looking and run like hell. The cat belonged to the niece, as does the brand new kitten, so clearly she has moved on from this crushing blow. I have to admit, although teh kittehs are not my first choice of pets, this 2 month old boy is pretty cute. Typically, he loves me. As I have always said, I'm aces with kids and animals, it's the damn adults I can't abide.
Much high drama has broken out in my ancestral homeland, as the niece and her dad have taken their ongoing discord to a whole new level. She has temporarily decamped for grandma and grandpa's house while phone calls are made, State Troopers have been called in, counselors are summoned, and everyone takes a week or so to calm down and decide how to get this kid out of high school and in to college without ending up pregnant or a drug addict. During one discussion I did in fact offer to take her in. I was already on the verge of becoming a foster dad to a troubled stranger, so my own niece didn't seem so crazy. But of course, I totally knew grandma and grandpa would sooner die than agree to a separation that far. I thought it needed to be offered anyway.
My brother's 50th birthday celebration was a low-key affair, dinner at a nice (for real!) restaurant, a little ice cream cake and some well-wishes. I finished the night by pointing at him and laughing while quietly and cruelly observing: