Thursday, December 31, 2009

Miikka's Christmas Camp, part 2

While at Christmas Camp, Miikka got to sleep on a real bed - at home, that position is saved for the cats. He was certainly spoiled!

And he got to help open presents. Although I wasn't there, I can imagine that he like the unwrapping even more than the presents themselves. Such a cutie!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Miikka's Christmas Camp, part 1

Percy, Betty and Miikka relaxing

There will be some pictures from Christmas later this week, but I have to get them off the camera first, and who knows when I will get around to that. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of Miikka. While we headed off to Bellevue for Christmas, Miikka headed over to Grannie Betty and Grannie Beverly's house for a week of Christmas camp. There he joined Auntie Jesse and Uncle Percy as the omega dog, and learned how to live in a pack.

Jesse deigns to let Miikka join her on the backyard watch committee.

He fit right in, wiggling his way into everyone's hearts, and eating all the old toys.

Miikka and Percy waiting for treats. "If we stare at them long enough, we are sure to get something!"

Tomorrow, more pictures from Camp Betty and Beverly.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!

My life, at the moment, is a strange mixture of idleness, anticipation, and busy-ness. Apart from some Christmas shopping, nothing much bloggable has happened in the last week, and nothing much is likely to happen for the rest of the week. Next week, we head to Bellevue for the holiday, so I very much doubt I will be blogging then either. So, if you are going to be in Bellevue or thereabouts, and want to get together (and I actually know you), drop me a line. Otherwise, I will see you after Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Decorations at the Capitol

Last Wednesday, it was too cold, wet and windy to go for my normal lunchtime walk, so I took the camera and myself over to the Capitol building to get into the Christmas spirit.

The whole building is decorated with greens and shiny glass balls.

I think I have almost identical pictures from last year...but I am not decorating our house, since we will be going to Bellevue in a week, so tough bunnies!

The weather here has certainly been cold enough to make it feel like Christmas is coming. There is a (small) chance of snow for tomorrow. I bet it is just sleet or ice. That's how it is here in Arkansas.

But, we have a nice warm house, and animals to sit on our laps and keep us warm, should the power go out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Full Moon

First try, a little shaky
There was a full moon last week, and since it was a mostly cloudless night, it lit up the backyard like a lamp. When I took Miikka outside I noticed how cool it looked, peeking through the trees, and decided to try out the nightshot feature on our digital camera.

The first few shots were a bit too blurry and shaky, but once I steadied the camera on the deck railing, the picture turned out pretty neat. There will be a blue moon this month, so maybe I will have another chance to get some pictures - using my tripod instead of the deck...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pottery for Christmas

I had to use the flash for this picture, so the color is washed out. It is much richer in person.

I have always liked looking at pottery at arts and crafts fairs. Partially, I am sure this is genetic - my mother always looks at pottery, and often buys a set of dishes to use for a few years, before moving on to something else. Anyway, I have been waiting for years to have a house so I could justify buying my own pottery (it always seemed like a luxury when we were in apartments, and planning to move again soon). This weekend was the Arkansas Craft Guild's annual Christmas show, and I finally got my pottery. This is my Christmas present - four plates and two mugs from Mudpuppy Pottery.

I don't really care if my dishes all have the same pattern - in fact, I sort of prefer that they don't. The plan is to keep growing the collection through birthday and Christmas gifts, until we have a full set of various dishes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We went hiking

Taking a short break - we did hike, honestly!
The day after Thanksgiving means that it is time to shop, for some people. For us, it is time to go for a hike. We have been able to do this just about every year since we have been married. This year, we decided to visit Hilary Hollow, a stretch of the Ouachita trail only about 30-40 minutes away from home.

It was about a 6-mile hike, so not too long, and it was fairly easy. The weather was perfect - sunny and a bit warm, but not so warm that you got too sweaty. The leaves have all fallen off the trees, and we rustled for most of the hike, as we walked on the trail. We could see down into the hollow very well, and see the streams and hillsides.

It was a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving hikes, and we look forward to going back in the spring, to see what it looks like with leaves and wildflowers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pet picture interlude

Today is a cold, rainy day here in Arkansas, so I am going to try to perk it up with some pictures of Miikka and the kitties. (I have had a suggestion that I change the blog to nothing but pictures of Miikka...I am not willing to go that far, but hopefully, Greg, this will satisfy you for a day or two.)

We have a kitty infestation on our bed these days. It is remarkable to us, considering that Cleo wouldn't let the other cats in the bedroom when they first joined the household.

Cleo peers out from her hiding place behind the pillows at Oliver, who is doing nothing wrong, as usual. Poor Oliver - everyone likes to try to beat him up.

One of the rare occasions that Miikka is not trying to chase Oliver up a wall.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Day!

We are unpacked, but could still use some new furniture - especially chairs.

This year we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new house. We invited Amber and Vincent, Vincent's mother Kay - who was visiting from out of town, and their two dogs - Colette and Brook, over for dinner. They have just moved into a new house themselves, and are still unpacking, and looking for kitchen utensils. I went to Pier 1 the previous weekend and bought all new table linens and a set of candle holders. Of course, I was looking for very specific candle holders, and was happy to find them . . . then I couldn't find the candles that were supposed to go in them. I don't know if they are a victim of the moving gremlins, or if they are just hiding, but whatever the cause, there were no candles on the table. It was OK. There really wasn't any room, once the food started coming.

Our turkey came from our online farmer's market. It was raised less than 100 miles away from us, on real grass, and I bet it was smart enough to get out of the rain. And it tasted really good. All the food was really good. Kay brought her sweet potato casserole. Amber made stuffing and brought Brussels sprouts, which we quickly sauteed. We provided the turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and pie. I made the rolls and pie on Wednesday night, which kept me up late, but were totally worth it.

Kay, Amber, Vincent and Colette (Colette is the curly-haired one).

After dinner, we all adjourned to the living room to rest up in preparation for pie.

Miikka tries to show Brook that he is scary. I don't think he was very convincing.

This was Miikka's favorite part of the evening. He and Brook spent time wrestling and chewing on each other, crashing into the legs of us innocent bystanders, and the table. They had a great time, and so did we.