Saturday, November 27, 2010

What We've Been Up To....

Sorry for taking a break from the blog, but we've been zipping through life at a fast pace lately. We just returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving week with my family in Raleigh, NC. This meant flying with Frasier - a firecracker 19-month-year-old. Luckily, the Dogtor is not just a dog whisperer - he's a baby whisperer, too.

Today, on the flight home, Fray plucked the safety manual from the seat back pocket and proclaimed Wheeeeeee! at the picture of the people headed down the safety slide. Wheee indeed.

We returned home to snow and to dogs and cats marinating by the blazing woodstove. (See upside down Betsy Spaniel above).

With the weather getting colder, and the book becoming a reality (thank you, Scribner!), I have the urge to WORK. But tomorrow is about making wreaths with friends and putting up lights...and, of course, listening to a little Holiday Wham!

And maybe a little work.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dog Hygiene

Yesterday - with the almost warm sun shining down on us - the Dogtor and I got out the Zoom Groom (good for beagle hair), the Furminator (good for all hair), the nail clippers, and flea and tick preventative.

We aren't regular dog bathers - they have to really roll in something green and dead or absolutely noxious to earn a wash. But before we all get trapped inside for the winter, it's a good idea to make sure everyone is reasonably well kept.

Jack - aka Monsieur Scooty Beags - is Captain Pitiful during dog hygiene runs. He's a total wimp about getting his nails cut, but he lingers around the scene before it's his turn because he knows there are treats involved. He can't help himself. The other dogs run and hide and cower, but he cowers at close range, ready to earn his just reward.

One-eyed Kitteh Pi likes getting groomed - who knew? He stretched out like any good cat-dog and let the Dogtor Furminate him. One more reason to love the latest rescue.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend in Review

1. I don't care what the calendars say - it's winter. Monday morning we woke up to high winds and the dubious "wintry mix" - or, to a Southerner calling it like she sees it - aggressive ice pellets.

Suddenly, carrying a toddler across the driveway to the car becomes a dangerous mission. I start planning ways to fall (backward, not forward). I curse the number of bags I seem to need to drive Frasier from Point A to Point B.

The dogs cower in the garage, begging to be let in - they haven't acclimated to the weather change yet. Neither have I. Checking the weather in the mornings is not an option.

2. Frasier looks awfully cute in her winter gear.

3. Frasier's favorite word from the weekend: SPICY! (spi-sscthey). It applies to everything, apparently even Mama's chocolate chip banana bread.

4. Friday night, the Dogtor took me on a Real Date to Hattie's in Saratoga - a charming place with tea, pies, fried chicken, and gourmet mac and cheese, which the Dogtor ordered. It was smoky, rich, and baked to a buttery crunch on top.

Hattie's is one of my Happy Places. As in, I take my time eating, because I don't want to leave. I love the gingham tablecloths, the happy buzz, the cheap lights, the old photographs.

5. I'm officially slipping into the winter day routine: I wear elastic waistband pants with warm boots and a fleece (one of the major perks of living in Vermont - super casual winters). I make hot tea and schlep it across the driveway to my cold office in the old vet clinic, where I am surrounded by outdated books on goat husbandry and labels that say scary things like "Fecalyzer." I flip on the space heater, and a purring impaired one-eyed cat hops in my lap and wheeze-purrs happily.

Work is done, wintry mix slapping against the windows.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ploughshares Posts and a New Story

For those of you following - and my gratitude if you are - there are a few new Ploughshares posts up, and a story:

"Anger Management" features UFC fighter Kimbo Slice and Sven Birkerts in the same essay - that's gotta be a first.


Photo Source

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Sugared Up Dose of Fall Cuteness

This is one of my obsessed-with-my-own-offspring moments. Frasier, a giant pile of maple leaves, and a wicked cute pink bear hat with ears. She's like a pokemon character or something. I love the unbridled face plant and slow, methodical rolling...the girl has technique.

I like how the beagle scoots across the scene. God knows what kind of "treasures" are underneath those leaves. The beauty of a four dog household...

The Busy Spider

One of Frasier's favorite books is Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider. The book is a good fit for the Bergman mode of life...a life constant projects.

As I sit in my office - a one-eyed white cat on my lap, down jacket on, space heater going, trying to bang out an article - I find myself distracted by what is legitimately a Very Busy Spider.

The spider has been inhabiting the space between my office window panes for weeks now. This morning I decided her web was sagging. Sure enough, by 10 she had started rebuilding. An hour later and she's still going. She started by cleaning house - breaking the saggy threads and balling them up. She used the ball to re-center her web. She's a crafty weaver. I can't stop watching her efficient little tugs and punches.

I'm trying not to worry about the lady bug, who, from what I can see, is the only potential prey between the panes this morning.

In other news, I will be adding to my list of projects. Yesterday I was elected to serve as a Justice of the Peace for the town of Shaftsbury. I'm excited and ready to join couples of any kind; that's the beauty of Vermont. And the tax review part - well - that's not as romantic, but I'm ready. Here's to an even busier mode of being.