Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sugar shack

They haven't started cooking the sap yet. Above is a photo of the different grades of sap, so beautiful, like bottles of amber.

We love to sip a bit from the buckets, cold watery sweetness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Road Trip with Cookie

We drove a couple hours to visit my sister and make some pretzels We all wanted her dog meet Miss Cookie while she is still a young and submissive puppy.

Cookie napping.
Some knicknames:
Cook cook
Miss Cookie.
Her full name, because none of us could agree:

Mississippi Cookie Chocolate Chi Chi Potter

Romping after a long car ride

Miss Georgia,

She and Cookie both have the sweetest tiniest teeth..

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sugaring time

What a shock!
The NMH students were out hanging buckets!
I can't believe it's time!

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Spring is coming!

Friday, February 18, 2011



G at the dentist

She actually wore her shower cap for the first half of the visit.

Midnight Full Moon Walk

One of my very favorite books in the world is Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, who lives and writes prolifically in a nearby town.

Last year I wanted to take Lily on our own Owl Moon walk. February is a good time to lure the owls to fly out and be spotted because it's their mating season, so they are curious and maybe foolish. Lily and I practiced our owl calls and got all excited, but it didn't work out. Somehow the entire month of February was snowy or freezing or I was working too many days in a row whenever it was nice.

This year I put it on my calender for January and I started keeping an eye out for a good night.

I wanted a fullish moon.

It had to be clear.

I wanted it warm (above 32 degrees)

Neither of us could be sick.

I couldn't be working at 6:30 am the next morning.

It was starting to seem like it might not happen. We both had colds and stomach bugs and it was FREEZING most of January.

Then, last night I realized it was warm (32 degrees), It was clear with a lovely whisp of clouds flitting across the sky, the moon was full and gorgeous, we were both healthy, and my teaching job had a vacation so I wasn't get up at 5am.

The night had come!

I told Lily and she got whispery and excited because we didn't want to tell Georgia. She would have had trouble sleeping and been jealous but she actually doesn't like to be outside at night. I told Lily I would wake her when the time was right.

Then I got really sleepy and watched 30 Rock with Rob and dozed in front of the fire and worried that Cookie would bark when I left and dozed more uncomfortably with a bad pillow and hoped that when I went to look at the sky that it would be cloudy (I know! What a putz! But I was cold and tired and had no idea how it would all go.)

But I rallied when the moon was beautiful and the night was still a balmy 31 degrees.

I woke up Lily who mumbled "Just give me five more minutes..." but I jostled her until she woke up and we dressed in front of the fire.

We got out and the moon was perfect.

We crunched down the street, leaving Cookie in her crate, hoping she wouldn't bark and yip the whole time we were gone.

The moon was so bright, we had clear shadows moving along beside us. Lily was very chatty in a delirious sleepy sort of way. I tried to gently shush her and notice the night, but she was half asleep and probably a bit nervous.

We walked on bright moonlit snow paths into the golf course and walked to the base of a large tree.

We were getting chilly. We nestled our backs against the tree and I started hooting,

"Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" (I didn't really say those words, the phrase just helps you remember the cadence)

(Here's what I was trying to sound like.)

Then we waited in the quiet.

Then I hooted again

Then quiet.

Then Lily hooted.

And we waited.

We heard some whining crying sounds in the valley below.


First one then another then we couldn't keep track. Was it 5 or 7? Where were they?

High, wild, squealing and connecting in the night.

They still sounded far away, but I did have that feeling of, "We can just run to the car. Oh right, we don't have the car."

Lily said, "I'm cold."

The calls got louder and maybe a bit closer so we turned toward home.

Exciting to know there are wild wiry creatures out there howling at the moon.

It was so sweet to enter the warm house and go to bed in front of the fire. (Rob was downstairs because Cookie had yipped and cried when we left.)

Happy Full Moon

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Cookie Love

Sleeping with the girls by the fire..

Meeting the neighbor pugs. First she got bowled over by the three of them on one leash! Then she held her own when they came to play individually.

More snuggle time. She plays and takes good walks but then she sleeps.

Hmmm. Someone drank alot of my Jasmine tea! And someone's snout is dripping. Something I didn't predict which will complicate my - wandering around all day trying to drink the same cup of tea and leaving it everywhere - routine.

A sweet pair.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oh, Cookie can bark

She didn't make a peep until we put her in the crate by our bed so we could all go to sleep.
She was like a car alarm: whine, bark, whine louder, yip, hoowwwwl. Start again.
Until she passed out for a serene 40 minutes. I thought we were done, but Oh no.

After the second round and it was only 10:30pm (we had all gone to bed early because we were so very tired after or dog-acquiring adventure) Rob escaped upstairs.

Cookie and I were up much of the night.
I saw the stars many times as they moved across the sky.
She peed twice outside, which was good, but for the number of times I went outside with her in the cold moonlit night it didn't seem like enough.
But the sun rose and the cavalry came
and I took a three hour nap.

Hopefully better tonight....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cookie's home!!

Lily painted a big welcome card in art class this week.

We headed to Connecticut at 10:30am and it took two hours of driving.
So Excited!!!
We got lost and even though we had 40 minutes before the rig with the dogs arrived; we still got really anxious as we drove over and under the big highways until FINALLY we found the right Petsmart parking lot where we parked, peed and bought a leash and collar.

Then Rob spotted the truck on time at 1:30 and we went to meet it!

Here comes Cookie!
So Adorable!!

Looking pretty nervous...

She was shivering with cold and fear. Once she settled on Lily's lap she calmed down and her ears started to perk up a bit.

Then she curled up between them.
She is probably really tired, having been in a barking dog trailer for 30 hours!

Sleeping soundly.

Frisky and silly in the snow with Lily. She liked to dance around on the snowbanks, but got chilly again.

Inside to snuggle up

Then a warm bath, which she tolerated astonishingly well.

and a good dry-off.

Welcome Cookie.
We are so glad to have you here!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Warm day

Tessa on her garage "nest"

The other girls came up to see where she's been spending all her time (and getting plumper!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snowy night leaving work

and look who was there to greet us as we emerged into the snow!

She was very friendly and did lots of purring and rubbing up against legs.

Certainly a sign of good luck on this mid winter night.

Just me, the snow plows and salt trucks on the road at 1am.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Walking Tessa home

at the end of a busy day in the driveway.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lovely paperwhites

blooming from my party...
Lovely little faces.