Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

The Mammal and I have been having a hard time trying to figure out the Holidays -- should we go to my hometown of Pittsburgh, or his hometown of Baton Rouge? Ultimately, we've decided to spend Christmas with his family and we'll have a belated celebration with mine the following week, alternating years and Christmas locales until we decide on a different strategy. (Which had better not be next year, or my parents will kill me!)

As for Thanksgiving, we ended up deciding by not deciding, something we're both a bit notorious for doing. I had a series of unfortunately-timed Board meetings here in Washington the week and was delivering my snow-bird Gram to Florida the week after that so it made sense for me to stay put. We put off making a final decision, however, until it grew too late for me to go anywhere, and it grew increasingly expensive for Daniel to travel South. So instead of learning our lesson and commisserating over a Thanksgiving as orphans, we celebrated our procrastination with a little feast of our own. We had so much fun I wonder if I'll EVER go home for Thanksgiving again.

Mammal in Pajamas

I've Learned...One Must Drain the Turkey of Gravy

La Dulce Vida

Linus Had his Own Little Feast

Especially Thankful


Postprandial Bliss

Black Friday, Pink Chaise

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!!!

We Christmassed up the place the day after Thanksgiving but I'm just getting around to posting it now. That's because we were planning a little party. Pictures of same forthcoming!

Linus in the Afternoon

No pet ever replaces another. We knew there would never be another Tinkerbell, who was a shoulder rider, a perpetually available companion, a dog-like, loyal, and gentle soul. The Tinks was friendly to all from kittenhood to her dotage, a keen fetcher of paper-balls, sworn enemy of all cats known and unknown, a menace to the rodent world, and the best cat that ever lived.
But Linus is no slouch, either. For better or for worse, our boy is rapidly distinguishing himself as a gentleman of many pursuits...and of many personalities. (Of many teeth, too).
It's true. Our dear Linus has shown himself to have about 17 distinct personalities, most of them fairly agitated. But the remaining few personalities all share a sweet, sleepy disposition, so we love our little fellow just enough not to sell him to the gypsies.
Linus has two perfectly formed little fangs that expose themselves mainly when he is sleeping; the further back he lolls his furry little head in repose, the more visible they become. Like some kind of little fruitbat or gerbil, he seems in constant need to bite and chew in order to relieve himself of some fang-related malady or other; perhaps he is filing down his sharps. If this is true, then he is equally fond of sharpening them back up on our vulnerable exposed flesh, especially while we're sleeping. We could set our clocks to his nightly routine; each night around 3:30 in the morning he stalks us as we slumber. It's very enjoyable for everyone involved. What's not to like about the occasional puncture wound delivered like a swift death-blow through three layers of bedding?
We live in fear.
Of course, we can't really blame the boy. He's just a baby kitty! He is VERY curious. And it's clear that he is also deeply, deeply mental. In fact, he seems to think the Brookstone N.A.P. blanket that the Mammal got for Christmas last year is his mother. (And, occasionally, his wife, but I'll spare you the details on that except to say it caused us to second-guess the neuter job allegedly done at the shelter before we rescued him...)
As I type this, he is slumbering peacefully next to the Mammal, who is busying himself with yet another item on our unending list of home-improvement projects. He sleeps on chairs, on the floor, on the aforementioned "mommy blanket;" he sleeps upside-down, half way on a lap and off a lap, on a pillow, on our legs, halfway on the Mammal and halfway on me, and when he wakes up he's got a jawstretching little squeak in his yawn that fills me with the (seriously ill-advised) urge to take my chances on a little nose rubbing action.
Here is some Linus for your viewing pleasures, in all his many, kittenly glories.

Soft and Sweet

The Mommy Blanket

When the ears turn sideways, hit the deck.

Untitled from faye on Vimeo

A look at those sharp teefs in action

A still shot of those teefs.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Joshua Tree

In early November as the weather, at last, was turning cold in Washington, we spent a few days hiking Joshua Tree National park. I was there on a business trip to Palm Springs, so we only had two days to visit this lovely place before our return flight home. We split our trip in two, spending a day each in the Colorado and Mojave deserts, approaching the park from the Colorado desert end. It was hard to go home.

Trees near Lost Palms Oasis
D. Mammal with long shadow in the Colorado

Tortoise on Lost Palms Oasis trail, about 1.5 miles in

Mastodon Peak

Atop Mastodon Peak


Midday Desert Sun

Mammal, Boulders

Joshua Trees in front of Ryan Mountain with view of Saddle Rock - Mojave desert

Indian Shelter

Joshua Tree standing sentry on Ryan Mountain


Mammal atop Ryan Mountain with view of Salton Sea
San Jacinto is just visible to the left in this picture

Mojave desert from atop Ryan Mountain with Salton Sea

San Jacinto Peak

Mojave Desert approaching Colorado Desert
We'll be back!

Two Birds

One week after we adopted Linus, I had a business trip to Palm Springs. We'd planned to board our cat, Linus but since he was still adjusting to his new home, we asked my brother, Jaybird, to catsit for a week.

Jaybird (pictured in the Costa Rica teeshirt) was accompanied by his friend The Chick (pictured in the Steelers jersey) a 20-something enigma -- an accountant by trade -- who, rather predictably, drives around in an immaculate, brand new silver Cadillac sedan and, rather unpredictably, boasts a number of facial piercings and an insatiable appetite for heavy metal.

The two of them together are hilarious -- sort of like watching an old, slapstick style sitcom.

I hope they come back soon!

And of course, so does Linus.

Welcome Linus

D. Ignatious Mammal and I got a new kitty.

We'd been lurking shelters for a while, spending some time with the animals. We weren't ready, but we wanted to check them out. Until the moment we brought him home, we still didn't think we were going to get another cat just yet. But we were walking out of the tunnel of kitties one day, a little grey paw reached out and softly touched me on the arm.

We tried to resist. I didn't want a kitten and I was pretty determined to get another female cat. So we stayed away from the shelter but thought about the little fellow and wondered if anyone adopted him. About week later, we went back to see him and he was sleeping like a little baby. I whispered to him and he woke up and ambled sleepily over to us, sticking his little paw out and touching my face.

We brought him home.

A kitten, really, between 6 and 7 months old, with a long cat body and a squishy little kitten face, Linus boasts two perfectly formed little fangs that extrude happily from his lip when he's sleeping upside down, so neat and perfectly vampirous that we very nearly called him The Count.

He is heartbreakingly cute when he wants to be nice. He curled up between us that first Halloween night as we watched the beautiful Charles Shultz halloween special. In honor of the holiday, we called him Linus.

Welcome, Linus!

"The Great Pumpkin always picks the most sincere pumpkin patch to rise out of. He's just gotta pick this pumpkin patch. He's just gotta! Look around. You can see that there' not a sign of hypocrisy anywhere. Nothing but sincerity reaching out as far as the eye can see!" - Linus Van Pelt, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown