|For anyone who wants to know, this is my favorite photo from the whole trip.|
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
After she'd had some time to get used to the idea, she had no problem heading to the water's edge--but only if there were something worthwhile there, like intriguing shells or skittering sanderlings. Otherwise, the dry sand was her preferred environment. You'd never know she's got lab in her!
Regardless, you know I had to stop and snap a few photos of Rosie's first beachwalk.
Then, of course, I got distracted by the beach itself.
|Did you notice Rosie's tail?|
There are tons of dead trees waiting to become driftwood...
...shadows and sand...
...and some surprisingly sensuous curves!
I love the equilibrium of the branches and exposed roots of this tree.
There's a very different environment back from the beach, one of live oaks draped with Spanish moss. It's much more pleasant at 60 degrees than at 90 degrees and 98% gnat swarms.
Unfortunately for you, it's difficult to capture the effects of the light coming through the moss-draped limbs. It's much less glare-y in person All these are straight-out-of-camera, since I'm on my folks' computer; if I have time when I get home I might try to adjust the contrast.
And then just before we turned down the street into my parents' neighborhood, a bonus shot!
We are in a butterfly migration zone (betcha didn't know there was such a thing, did you? Except Rebecca, of course.) Normally you can see tons of butterflies coming through in March and November. This seems very late to be seeing so many. Climate change? Anyway, I don't know what kind of butterfly this is, but I can tell you it's sitting on a lantana flower.
Hope you all are enjoying a calm, stress-free weekend before the holidays wash over us.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
So what's been going on in Flartopia? Hmmm...
I did some holiday baking last weekend--snickerdoodles and chocolate cherry kisses (cherry-infused shortbread cookies with a chocolate kiss in the middle). Since we certainly don't need three or four dozen cookies in a house with two people (and a snack-stealing dog), I brought them in to the office as a Christmas gift for everyone. They were definitely appreciated! And there were even a few left to take home to Miss Chef.
There are two positions opening up in our small ~30 person office, so half the office seems to be applying for one or the other. While this kind of change-up is always stressful for me, I've found it rather entertaining to watch the heads-together whispered conversations in the corners of our cubicle farm. And yes, I've been participating in some of them myself. Hey, why should I miss out on all the fun!
Tuesday morning Miss Chef called me at work in a state of nervousness over Rosie. Miss Chef had gone to the gym, and on her return found Rosie limping rather severely. She could tell the dog had been up on the guest room bed, so we suppose she jumped down in a panic when Miss Chef came in, somehow landing wrong. Miss Chef wrapped the joint (rear knee), but had to leave for work. She's never really lived with a dog before, so she wasn't sure how bad an injury this might be or how to handle it.
To make a long story short, Rosie is fine. After talking to our vet, and having a neighbor check on her, I came home to find her not limping at all, except for the first few steps after her potty squat. She's not a terribly active dog anyway, so I just avoided her usual walks until Friday, to let her rest. Today she seems sound as ever. The vet even called back the next day to check on her--how awesome is that?
The other half of the story is that on the previous day, Rosie had eaten two boxes of Kraft mac 'n' cheese! I had bought six of them to send to my brother's family in London--we had taken some over during our visit in June, and the kids snarfed them up in about two days. Anyway, I had foolishly left these gifts in a box at dog level, and Rosie took full advantage.
The first problem was that we found the remnants of two boxes--eaten--and a third one stuffed into the couch for safekeeping. (It cracks us both up when she does that!) There were two more left in the box...which leaves a last one unaccounted for. We still haven't found it!
The second problem was that we knew this carb overload would cause Rosie massive digestive issues--as it turned out, on the same day she hurt her leg. Poor thing, what a bad day she had!
Having learned from experience, I made sure to prepare the area where Rosie has "accidented" before (dog towels laid over cut-open garbage bags). After arriving home on Tuesday and reassuring myself that Rosie's leg was ok, I went in to find three messy accidents, each one neatly deposited right on target.
I think Rosie was a little confused by my telling her she was a good girl.
This week coming up is the last of the quarter. I have a review lesson on Monday, and Wednesday is the second half of the final exam. The first half of the final was last Wednesday--the students each have an assigned time slot to sit down with me for five minutes of conversation in French. Or, more like five minutes of hemming and hawing to try to remember what "pourquoi" means. *sigh*
To finish up, I'll share with you a quote. I came across it while reading reviews on amazon.com for Jon Katz' latest book, which is about grieving for pets. (If you want to know more about Mr. Katz, visit www.bedlamfarm.com. He's a bit of a controversial figure in dog lover/rescue circles, so don't consider this a full endorsement.) Anyway, the reviewer said this came from a child, and I think it's a lovely way to think of the short time we're allowed with our pets:
'"People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Happy weekend, everybody!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Miss Chef pointed out to me earlier today that I hadn’t posted anything new since Thanksgiving. “I’ve been sick,” I told her. But the real truth is, I haven’t been inspired by anything. New new donkey sightings. Few Rosie walks. And the whole Thanksgiving holiday wiped me out, so no deep, philosophical musings.
So all you get today is what I’ve found in my camera. This first one isn’t very holiday-y at all (unless you’ve been doing some baking, in which case I say, “Send me some!”) I finally ended up with a single grocery-store egg and a single local egg in a bowl together. I don’t have to tell you which is which, do I?
That was for the buttermilk pancakes I made while my parents were visiting. That was the same day that Miss Chef and I went and bought our Christmas tree. I suppose it’s not very environmentally friendly to chop down a living tree every year, but I’m not sure which is worse, that or buying a petroleum based artificial one. Tradition wins out here.
We also bought a real wreath, which I decorated with berries from our otherwise annoying nandina plants.
After this picture, I realized that the storm door couldn’t close all the way with this fat shrub in the way. More importantly, the door hid the wreath, so now it’s strung up outside the storm door.
I had to wait until the next day for Miss Chef to help me put the lights up on the tree. My parents offered to help, but Miss Chef and I have developed a method to passing the lights back and forth around the tree. It eliminates a lot of potential fractiousness, which seems to be the theme of Christmas lights. I did allow them to help with the ornaments, though!
We went with a blue, silver and white theme this year. Looks like we could use some more blue ornaments. Not that I really want any more ornaments to lug in and out of the storage closet!
It wasn’t until yesterday that I had a chance to set up the train and Christmastown underneath the tree. Here’s a shot of Main Street, leading to the farm at the end of the block.
The old farmhouse has seen better times…I half expect Dorothy to come wandering out in a daze. Looks like Uncle Henry got himself a new truck, though.
A shot of the barnyard. The cows don’t seem to mind the caboose rolling by.
For the first time since moving in, we finally got some lights on the outside of the house! Not many, but enough to shout our defiance in the face of the longest nights of the year. Here’s to light and hope, and the cycles of life that start forever anew.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Miss Chef is trying a new approach she read about: roast for an hour breast-side down, then flip. A few more hours to go.
Afternoon…Lucille is the name the farmer gave our turkey (we ask him every year when we pick it up, and he makes up a name on the spot.) She looks beautiful, doesn’t she?
A little weight-loss routine…
…and the main course is ready.
Sides included a super-yummy cornbread stuffing with chestnuts and local sausage. That’s the green bean casserole to the left.
Our hostess made a pretty medley of roasted root vegetables.
Of course, there was a lot more…I didn’t get the two styles of mashed potatoes, or the rolls from our local bakery with herbed butter, or the sautéed shredded brussels sprouts with cranberries. Uh oh, I think I’m getting hungry again!
Good thing there was a plethora of pies to top us all off.
I hope you all had cozy, laughter-filled Thanksgivings with your loved ones. Enjoy those late-night turkey and cranberry sammidges, y’all!