Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Flamingo on Marriage

We are all feeling puny at our house today. Casey is getting over his week-long chest cold. Mace is right in the middle of his. Though it's hard to say where I am in the process, I think I'm somewhere near the beginning and Joe is about a day and a half behind me. But in spite of our fight with the green gremlins, Joe made superhuman efforts today to get the lights finished on the house:

Mace desperately wanted to help, but if I showed you the picture of him halfway up the 20 foot ladder, one of you would certainly call DCF, so I have to tell you that we didn't let him help. I took this picture right before the cold front with the driving rain and 20 mile an hour winds came through.

And I took this next picture right after it came through:

Notice anything? Yep -- Joe is still up on that ladder hanging those lights. That's my man, taking one for the team. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor whiny baby, nor slippery ladder . . .

See, I was going to hang those (white) icicle lights myself, but I've tried climbing up that ladder before and I don't even get halfway up before I start shaking and crying and Joe has to rescue me, so me hanging the lights myself was out of the question. I did the girlie job of untangling the light strands and handing them to Joe and Joe acted like he actually needed me to do it for him. That's what marriage is all about, really; two people pretending like they need each other. Only in this case I really needed him to get the lights up and he didn't need me at all. So maybe that little nugget of matrimonial wisdom doesn't play out so well. No wait -- I can make this work -- I pretend I need him to pull the ticks off the dog because I'm too grossed out to do it when really --- no, that doesn't work either, cause I really am too grossed out to pull the ticks off the dog. How about this -- I pretend I really need him to wash my car because I can't get it clean like he can -- no, that doesn't work either. I mean it really doesn't work. He never washes my car even if I pretend I need him to. So perhaps we can all agree I have no real nuggets of wisdom to offer on marriage. No surprise there.

What's wrong? Oh right. No. I don't have a picture of the house all lit up and twinkly for you tonight. So sorry -- it's still raining. I might melt if I go out there in the rain to take a picture. But if it stops raining tomorrow, I promise I'll post a picture for you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Your Invitation to the Flamingo Family's 2nd Annual Christmas Party

Thanksgiving is over, which means it is time to kick the party preparations into high gear. What this means for you -- block out December 20th from 6-ish to 11-ish with a red magic marker as a day you may not book any other parties, illness, or out-of-town trips, as your charming and delightful presence is requested at my home that evening (if you cannot be charming and delightful, you should feel free to come, but please stop at the adult beverage trailer on your way in). You should also begin practicing singing any 80's song you happen to know and alert your in-laws that if they are already in town by then their presence will also be required (as they will be singing back-up for you).

What this means for me -- lots of cleaning, throwing away, touching up paint, annoying Joe with requests to fix the loose banister rail on the back steps and fix the kitchen faucet and finish the master bathroom and finish the trim. It also means transforming the outside of the house into a twinkly fairytale Christmas wonderland. As you recall from my previous post, this year's twinkly fairytale Christmas wonderland will be white lights only. We had to buy several new sets of white lights yesterday and today at Wal-Mart to replace the (trashy) colored lights that I let slip through the cracks last year. So this was as far as we got with the lights today:

I know -- I'm a little disappointed in our efforts today, too. But if it makes you feel better, that strand of lights goes all the way around the right side of the house and down the back steps, too. And note that the kids and I managed to get the mini-trees up by the front door(s). They were excellent helpers:

(No. I'm not pregnant, but thanks for asking.)

Nothwithstanding our rather dismal progress today, by the time you arrive on the 20th, I promise the house will be fully lit (no adult beverage trailer pun intended).

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Was Going to Post Last Night, But . . .

I was too full. Here are a few photos of our day yesterday:

I think Casey is still in those same clothes. We had a pants-optional Thanksgiving, so boxers were perfectly acceptable attire at the dinner table (I know -- you'll all be coming to my house next year). Can you see what Mace is clutching? He's been so obsessed with our keys lately that we had to give him his own set. I can't really explain why there is still a pack of toilet tissue sitting in the kitchen, though I can tell you that Mace is still playing with it (right this minute actually). We are definitely getting by with Christmas on the cheap for Mace this year: keys, toilet paper, toothbrushes and a haircut.

Here is a photo of Big Bird before he went into the oven, while he was coming to room temperature. He's still in the brine and very happy -- it reminded him of when he was in the egg as a wee bird. My solemn promise to you -- I'll never cook a turkey again without brining it. It was so very yummy. So were all of these tasty dishes:

From left to right: fresh corn with wild rice, butternut squash puree, mashed potatoes, whiskey-glazed carrots (y'all were still wondering what I used the whiskey for, weren't you? I also used it in the whiskey cream sauce for the pumpkin cake and as a cleansing agent for the keyboard of my laptop (oops!)). And I know you are waiting for a picture of Big Bird, all brown and plump and lucious and ready to eat -- and I know you Thanksgiving purists will look down on me for not having carved Big Bird at the table, but short of having three ovens, it will always be a challenge for me to get everything hot and to the table at the same time, so Big Bird was carved up about an hour earlier. Look at that -- I even polished up the silver to use!

I have to go now, because I only have an hour or so before the light sabers at Wal-Mart aren't $10 anymore. Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Frolicking Flamingo is about to arrive not having showered -- govern yourself accordingly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T Minus 1 and Counting

Today was the day before Thanksgiving, so there was lots to do. I made mashed potatoes, bought whiskey, made a pumpkin cake, and brined a turkey. I've never brined a turkey before, but this is how it starts:

It ended with a turkey, the brining solution, a gallon of icewater, and 6 cups of apple cider in a big plastic bag, sitting in the fridge. But what happened in the middle is the part you should be glad you missed. In spite of the fact that I had taken the turkey out of the freezer on Monday and moved it to the refrigerator, the turkey was still mostly frozen. The brining directions tell you to remove the bag of giblets from one end of the turkey, and the bag with the neck in it from the other end. Well if the darn bird is still frozen he doesn't want to give up his giblets or his neck and in this case, the neck wasn't actually in a bag, it was frozen to the inside cavity of the bird. I ran the bird under water to loosen up the bag of giblets and finally managed to work it out of the beast, but it took me a while to realize that the foot-long round disgusting thing inside the bird was actualy the neck and that I had to get it out. So I ran the water through the cavity for several minutes with my arm in the bird up to my elbow trying to get a good enough grip on the neck to pull it out. As I was doing this, I kept thinking about what a turkey neck looks like when it is still on a living turkey and not chopped off the body (and headless) and stuck to the inside of itself (yes Winnie, it would have been worse if it had still had its head). I was thoroughly grossing myself out thinking about how I was yanking on an actual turkey neck when the neck came loose with a suuuuuuuck-POP (why was there suction? why?) and I was standing there holding the neck with no turkey attached. Aack. I was so traumatized I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of the turkey sitting in the bag so that you could see that I really was channeling the Pioneer Woman today.

But I did take a picture of Mace playing with his Pop-Pop:

Apparently, Mace had gotten tired of pushing the dump truck around and around and around the house and decided to sit in it instead. What happened next is anybody's guess -- though I think tomorrow morning I will try to nail down whether Mace approached Pop-Pop with the broom and the idea or whether Pop-Pop wanted to push and just happened to have a broom in his hand (YaYa will tell you that this is unlikely).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Butternut Squash

If you had sent me to the store a week ago and asked me to pick up some butternut squash for you, I would have said, "How many jars?" Because prior to a week ago, I thought butternut squash was just a name for a way Gerber made baby food. But now, thanks to that Pioneer Woman I'm always talking about, I realize that a butternut squash is, well, an actual squash and it looks like a butternut. Okay, I don't know what a butternut looks like, but if I was going to draw what I thought a butternut looked like, it would look like a butternut squash. And I cooked one yesterday (per the Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule that I am following to a "T" -- except that I did all the Tuesday things on Monday because I had a hearing today). It was very simple, since all I had to do was cut it in half and put the two pieces face down (come to think of it, it was really more "flat side" down, not "face" down because certainly a butternut squash's face wouldn't be on its inside) in the pan, pour some water in it, and then cook it for twice as long as the Pioneer Woman told me to.

Mace kept himself busy with his new best friend while I was dealing with Sir Butternut.

That R2 is a real charmer. I think he's going to give Goggin a run for his money.

R2 is so much more lovable than that cold unfeeling Goggin. R2 at least makes reciprocating chirps and beeps when you kiss him. But back to Sir Butternut:

There he is with his insides all scraped out -- which really wasn't easy, let me tell you -- it reminded me of trying to scrape wallpaper applied in 1976 off of a bathroom wall in 2000. So on Thursday, I will pull the butternut squash puree out of the freezer, heat it up and serve it up with the Turkey. Mace really liked it, so I know at least one person will eat it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Weekend Update

This week has been unseasonably cold for Florida. Too cold for me, really -- took me back to my life's detour at The Fashion Bug in Nampa, Idaho, where on many a winter morning, I pulled on gloves, scarf, ear warmer thingy, two pairs of socks, boots, coat with the hood, and then remembered I had forgotten to put on those wonderful silk long johns my aunt sent me before I moved to Idaho, so I had to undress and start over; and then I drove to work, got out of the car and made the loooooong trek across the shopping center parking lot to open the store in that cutting, murderous wind that smelled like sugar beets. Okay -- it wasn't really that cold here -- but when I wake up expecting 66 degree weather and it's 44 degrees outside, it's all relative.

The point is that it was perfect weather for a bonfire this weekend, so we went to one hosted by some friends of ours from church. We provided the wood (remember those dead oak trees Joe and Mike cut down last weekend? -- well here they are):

It was a doozy of a bonfire. The bonfire attendees participated in the customary bonfire activities -- wienie roasting, marshmallow toasting, kum-bah-yah singing (well, only the one guy). The only downside to a huge bonfire is this:

Look how far away those poor marshmallow toasters had to sit from the fire. Eventually, the few souls who braved the coals with their coat hangers did it from a fully reclining position, on their bellies. Everyone else toasted their marshmallows Casey-style by toasting them for 6 seconds or less, declaring them perfect, and eating them straight off the stick.

Sweet Kari stayed home with our boys, so Joe and I got to sit in one place without moving for something like three hours straight. Dez was so happy for us, she sat in one place without moving, too:

I know what you're thinking -- you're thinking that I was taking this picture from a fully reclining position while holding the camera with one hand and a coat hanger with the other -- and while that would explain why the picture appears to have been taken by a leprechaun somewhere in the vicinity of Joe's feet, I was the one who sat in the beach chair -- for three hours, without moving. It was fantastic.

Check out Joe's jacket -- he calls it "vintage Tommy Hilfiger" -- which is a euphemism for "the jean jacket my wife bought me 15 years ago when we were dating that refuses to wear out so I insist is still in style by calling it 'vintage'." We're going to save it for Casey to wear.

Today we played a little soccer in the front yard. Or at least, Casey, Joe and I played soccer. Mace played a game with his imaginary friend, the Cone Gremlin, who charged a toll of one cone for each trip across the field:

The Cone Gremlin is satisfied [burp].

Friday, November 21, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

Casey, Mace and I spent the better part of the afternoon today at Rolly Pollies. Casey is a regular there and is under the mistaken impression that he owns it. I usually drop him off for his classes or open gym (and then go across the street to the Starbucks at Super Target), but I've been getting reports from the folks who work there that sometimes Casey and a friend of his are "a little rough" with each other.

[Note: For those of you who do not have children in the 3 to 7 age range anymore, when an employee or, even worse, owner, of a children's recreation facility -- i.e., someone who makes their living by you paying them money so that your child can play there every week for a set amount of time -- tells you that your child is "a little rough," it actually means that your child is beating the crud out of some other kid and/or vice versa. When you come in after the play period is over, and the employees are averting their eyes, but the owner is making a beeline for you to tell you that your child was "a little rough" with someone else, you need to be looking around to see who has a bloody nose or is missing chunks of hair.]

But I digress (sort of).

I decided to stay at open gym with Casey today so that I could observe how he plays with the friend. I observed that Casey tends to commandeer all the good play equipment for himself and his friend:

Just moments after snapping this picture, Casey and his friend started fighting over whether that big blue mat in the foreground was a wall (and had to remain standing up) or a bridge (and had to lay flat). The friend kept knocking the wall/bridge down ("IT'S A BRIDGE!") and Casey kept standing it up ("IT'S A WALL!!"). I intervened just before it came to actual blows, so Casey was standing on this side of the blue mat and the friend was up on top of the octagonal mat while I leaned in to say something to Casey (something very wise and motherly like, "stop yelling this instant or we're going home") when the whole thing came toppling over, pushing Casey into me, causing him to hit his cheek on my engagment ring. He fell apart and started crying like he had been stabbed in the eyeball. Finally I realized that he wasn't hurt (at all), and he was crying because his friend had destroyed the fort.

Apparently when I'm not there to head these things off, Casey and his friend each dissolve into tears and start shoving the other around over disagreements like these, which happen every 8 minutes. They seem to be a toxic mix as friends go, yet always want to play with each other. It's weird. So now I either have to always be at Rolly Pollies with Casey or we're picking out a new activity. Joe's leaning toward martial arts, but I'm thinking fencing -- he's very good with a light saber:

Mace had a great time at Rolly Pollies. He found a ball and did not let go of it for the full hour and a half that we were there:

Are noticing what I'm noticing about this picture? I can tell it's bothering you, but you don't want to say anything. You don't notice? Here I'll give you another hint:

I'll bet it's really bugging you in this one, too. It's killing me. Perhaps you're just being nice and refusing to see it. Let's just put it all out there:

Hmm. Can you guess what I want for Christmas?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Hope Springs Eternal B & B

You might think that this photo illustrates yet another dangerous mode of transportation for Mace. But if you think that, you've got another think coming (see, that's how that expression goes, people -- it's not, "If you think that, then you've got another thing coming"). You are probably focused on the adorable wee one being pushed around the porch on a hand truck by a father who thinks it's great fun to put his kids on dangerous things with wheels just to terrify their mother. But what you should be focusing on is that plant hanging above the bannister. I have been trying to resurrect that plant for a year and it refuses to fully participate in my rehabilitation program. It just won't engage. I have fertilized it, watered it, cut it back, frozen it (during that one night last winter), stopped watering it (when the automatic watering system somehow got unplugged) and moved it into the sun, out of the sun, into the sun, out of the sun. But I think it's time to let it go.

So this photo actually represents my misplaced hopes for running a bed and breakfast someday. It was going to be called the "Hope Springs Eternal Bed and Breakfast" and all the rooms were going to be named after quilting block patterns ("Winding Ways," "Jack in the Pulpit," "Castle Wall," "Double Wedding Ring" -- you get the idea -- wouldn't that be quaint?). But, as everyone knows, if you can't keep plants alive, even with an automatic watering system, you are not destined for B & B greatness, no matter how great your grits casserole is (and mine is darn good).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Reading Post

You are viewing the moment that my five year old caught reading fever. It happened today in the car, on the way home from school. He pulled his library book out of his backpack, started looking at it, and then started giggling. Though he has been reading signs to us for a few months, it takes prodding and persuasion (i.e. bribes) to get him to read books to us. Until today, when he read books to us, he was reading only words that happened to be next to each other; he wasn't reading stories and loving the characters and wondering what was going to happen next. Today I thought he was just looking at the pictures and giggling because they were funny, but all of a sudden he says, "Mom. Listen to this -- this is funny . . ." and proceeds to read a line to me out of the book (and it was funny). He read the book, to himself, occasionally asking me to help him sound words out, the entire time that it took us to get home. He has known for some time that books are interesting to listen to (I have read the entire Narnia series to him at least three times already), but now he knows that books are interesting to read and he has the power to open up the book himself. I loved this moment.

Another moment I loved today -- walking into the breakfast nook and seeing this:

Mace was apparently doing a little Christmas shopping today.

Here, however, is a moment I did not love:

I will admit, though, that I didn't hate this moment, until he went back into the cabinet for the box of Cheerios while I was still cleaning up the Potato Buds. All this boy is getting for Christmas is a haircut.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Now you may be one of those Floridians who pines for colder weather when the holidays roll around, wishing it was cold enough to snuggle up in front of a fire with the tree all lit up (in a monochromatic lighting scheme, of course), the snowflakes drifting sweetly down onto a white lawn outside (like ashes from a burning stump). You might long for snowmen, scarves and mittens, hot cocoa with marshmallows. Florida winters are okay come January, but for you, Christmas should be cold, with snow. People should be shopping for gifts at great risk to their personal safety, navigating black ice on the roads, risking frostbite to get the last Skydiving Triple Lindy Elmo doll.

But if you didn't live in Florida, you would miss that certain something that Florida brings to the holiday season. You would miss palm trees wrapped in white lights and flamingos with little Santa hats. You would miss mannequins dressed as angels chained to flagpoles:

See, in Florida, this is a perfectly acceptable Christmas decoration. It embodies the Florida approach to holidays in general -- fun and festive with a slightly trashy edge. What, you don't think this is trashy? Well I admit she's not decked out in three different colors and styles of lights, but:

She sure enough ain't wearing a bra.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here are some things we did this weekend (and by "we" I mostly mean "Joe"):

Friday evening, we built a gigantic fire in the backyard to burn out a stump. And that's not snow you are seeing floating so softly down from the sky -- it's the still-glowing ash that has floated up off the dead branches Joe tossed onto the top of the fire, only to rain down upon his unsuspecting toddler's head:

Actually, the Mt. St. Helen's ash storm didn't bother Mace, who stayed on the porch yelling, "Goggin! Goggin!" That's Mace-speak for tractor -- Dad had the tractor parked right behind the fire. So I'm not sure if Mace was trying to keep Goggin from getting burned up and was warning everyone, or if he just loved seeing Goggin in the romantic glow of the firelight. He really loves that tractor.

Immediately after Joe started the raging inferno in the backyard, he left for setup at church, so we carefully monitored it (by promptly forgetting about it) until after Mace went to bed. Then Casey decided he wanted to roast marshmallows:

I'm not sure why Casey even bothers with the roasting part -- it's like he thinks I won't let him eat marshmallows unless he pretends to roast them (like they're raw meat or something). He smushes the marshmallows onto the stick and then holds the stick over the coals for about 6 seconds (or less) and then crams them into his mouth.

While we were outside roasting marshmallows, Joe called us from church and said that the space shuttle had just taken off and if we would look in the sky, just below the moon, we would be able to see the shuttle going up.


So Casey and I got all excited and looked around for the moon -- there it is through the trees. Do you see the shuttle? No? Me neither. Apparently we started cutting down those trees one day too late.

On Saturday, our friend Mike came over to help Joe cut down a couple of dead oak trees in our yard.

Mike was on Goggin. Mace was not happy. Do you see those green shoes right beside Mace? Those are Casey's old Crocs that Mace digs out of Casey's closet every time he's in Casey's room and then shuffles around in them. This weekend, Mace shuffled around in them all day, Saturday and Sunday. He took them off here because they were hindering his ability to climb through those slats on the porch and body slam Mike off Goggin. And yes, pants are optional in our family on the weekend -- while I am a stickler for cutesiness and proper shoes for church, once we are home, the pants come off and the crocs are acceptable once again.

After lots of chainsaw revving, sweat, and other activities only a man can really describe and having to do with tractor throttling, etc., the tree conceded with a whimper.

Can you hear them? The men are "Grrrrrrr"-ing.

Saturday night, however, was the highlight of the weekend (for me, anyway). Mike came back for dinner and our friend Dez came too. I made a boatload of spicy shrimp and we ate on the porch and had a great time:

Look at that shrimp, people. It was deeeeeelicious and if you want the recipe (be forewarned, it involves worcestershire sauce and no less than 2 sticks of butter), you can find it at I made three pounds' worth and we ate it all (to be fair, I was having to literally shove the last few shrimp into Joe and Mike's mouths just to be able to say we ate it all). Casey and Mace are sitting at the table behind Mike and they're eating gruel while we eat yummy delectable shrimp because that's just the kind of mom I am.

We concluded the evening with a rousing game of Singstar (kind of like Karaoke) for 2 hours. "Game" is probably not the right word -- Dez and I let Joe and Mike have the microphones for no more than 3 songs and then had to yank the mikes away to let our own diva selves shine for the rest of the night.

Tomorrow maybe I will try to explain the picture below, but in the meantime, maybe you can ponder what Joe and Mike were trying to accomplish (the first one to figure it out will get a prize --here's a hint about the prize, it will be pink and shaped like a bird):

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Spirit of the Season

What is wrong with this picture?

We need to talk about this now, before we drag out the boxes and boxes of lights and decorations and start hanging things.

I appreciate all Christmas decorating styles. I do. I like those plastic Santas and reindeer that perch on roofs with no chimneys, even though there is no point in Santa landing on a roof with no chimney. (In real life, he lands in the yard and slips in through the bathroom window, of course.) I am even okay with those gi-normous blow-up snowmen, even in Florida. It lacks verisimilitude, but I have a live and let live attitude when it comes to Christmas decorations -- in other people's yards.

I love lights -- the twinkly little kind that look like stars when you squint. When I was a young teenager, I strung white twinkle lights around my bedroom and turned them on at night because, you know, they look like stars when you squint. So during the Christmas season, I'm usually the one who makes everyone pile into the car to drive around all night looking at lights.


I am not a fan of mixing colors and sizes of lights. And when I say I'm not a fan, I mean I really hate it. If you are going to use red lights, then only use red lights. Don't be mixing in the blues and the whites and the random other assortment of colors in there. It's trashy. There. I said it. Trashy.

See we were doing okay last year when we started with the nice white icicle lights and the pretty white lights on the porch Christmas tree. And I held my tongue to preserve family harmony when someone said we were putting blue lights around the front door. I thought to myself, "Well, if I can contain the blue lights to just around the door, maybe I can live with that to save my marriage." But when the red lights came out of the shopping bag to be strung up on the front steps, I nearly fainted. I was mortified. And during the four weeks or so that those lights were up, every time I drove into the driveway, I was sooooo embarrassed. I even had to endure a Christmas party with many, many people in attendance who assumed I selected, or at the very least approved, the trashy assortment of lights. It was almost more than I could bear. And I refuse to do it this year.

If blue lights go up around the door, they will magically be white by the following morning. If someone pulls red lights out of a shopping bag and says, "Hey -- these will look great hanging along the roof!" -- the red lights will accidently be crushed beneath the wheels of Mace's toddler car.

I'm taking a stand this year. It doesn't matter to me if the lights are white, blue, red, salmon, peach, or lime green, so long as all the lights are white, blue, red, salmon, peach, or lime green. Join me in the mono-chromatic Christmas light movement. It's the classy choice (and when the lights are all the same color, they look a lot more like stars when you squint).

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Mrs. Kensington (or "Kensie," as she was usually called), pictured above, is missing and presumed dead. We're not sure what happened, but we're pretty sure the details of her demise are not for the squeamish, so I won't share any of our theories with you. This blog entry is in memory of the shivery little dog with the lolling tongue.

Mrs. Kensington came to us while I was in law school eight or nine years ago. We adopted her out of grocery cart in Pet Smart from a woman and her daughter who ran an Italian greyhound rescue. If you are not familiar with the breed, they look like real greyhounds, but in Mini-Me form. Full grown, they usually do not weigh more than about 10 pounds. So we adopted Kensie, who I believe was named Suzy-Q at the time (but that was a temporary name the rescue had given her). We changed her name to Mrs. Kensington (after the Austin Powers character of the same name).

Kensie came into a house where two dogs were already ruling the roost: Chance (our English Setter) and Grits (my cocker spaniel mix). Joe thought Chance needed a playmate because Grits was not really playful enough (Grits had spent his whole life thus far following me from room to room to room to room so he was tired). Joe thought Kensie would be a great playmate for Chance even though Chance was 4 or 5 times Kensie's size.

(Remind me to tell you about the time when Joe was a boy and his pet owl ate his pet mouse off his shoulder -- well never mind, that's all there really is to that story. )

The first night Kensie came home to us, she ran underneath the back porch and wouldn't come out. We eventually had to send Grits in after her. Joe spent the remainder of that evening holding her poor little shivery self, but in the end, Kensie bonded to me because she sat on my lap for hours every day while I studied (I was in law school -- lots of studying). My friends from law school remember Kensie as the skittish little dog that was either always in my lap or in my arms if I was standing up. If I wasn't holding her, she was flitting around nervously or jumping up into the chair I was in anyway. Whenever anyone tried to pet her, she started to shivering and wouldn't stop until they went away.

Kensie was the only dog I have ever seen who hit the top of her head when she sneezed. She would shake her head really fast gearing up for the sneeze and then duck her head between her legs, so that the top of her head was right above the floor. So when she finally actually sneezed, the top of her head banged the floor pretty hard. I always wanted to get that on video, but it's so hard to predict a dog sneeze in time.

Shortly after we adopted Kensie, we took her to have her teeth cleaned and the vet had to pull several of her teeth on the left side of her mouth. For dogs, if you don't have teeth, you don't have anything to hold your tongue in, so Kensie's tongue perpetually stuck out of the side of her mouth. Several years ago, the vet had to pull even more of Kensie's teeth, so her tongue stuck out even more, to the tune of an inch and a half where before it was only about half an inch.

Kensie started losing her eyesight in these last two years. For security, she would stand over the top of Grits' head whenever he was lying down. I guess she relied on him to lead the way when something exciting happened. After Grits died last year, Kensie mainly stuck to her bed by the back door, getting up to follow me around less and less in the last few months. When whe was up and around, she was more and more underfeet and running into walls and any unexpected obstacle in her usual path. I knew it was getting very close to time to let her go.

We'll miss you Kensie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Look that Moves Seamlessly from Afternoon to Evening

I promise that this is the last thing I'm going to say about my husband's passive aggressive tendency to dress my 19 month old in things I don't approve of. You will recall that in yesterday's post, I did not post a picture of the dreaded sandal/sock, jumper-flapping outfit because I did not have a picture and was glad one did not exist. Well it just so happens that today I was able to capture for posterity at least a small part of the reported fashion atrocity. This is what my son was wearing when I came home:

But let's move on to today's fashion news. For a child who refuses to keep a cap of any sort on his head, my son certainly likes to put other things on his head. Here he is trying on my older son's shorts as a headdress:

It's really not easy getting it right.

Seriously. You can't see what you're doing when you're trying to position a pair of shorts over your head correctly.

Hmm. This particular orientation of the headdress poses a threat to the safety of others (primarily the dog, who didn't see him coming).

Let's try again.

Now we're talking. It completes the ensemble -- what sandal/sock combo is complete without the headdress?

The headdress is just for daywear, actually. For evening, and maybe a night on the town, the headdress can conveniently be removed when you want to show off the green bean in your hair: