Saturday, August 14, 2010


An update from Penny-land.

She got a pacifier-shaped Kong a few weeks ago, which we've been stuffing with peanut butter to buy ourselves a few moments' peace. It's a hit.

Penny loves cats. Ever since the very first day I brought her home and she met my parents' cat Oliver, she has tried to make friends with every cat she encounters. (It should be noted that the friend-making meets with limited success. Ollie tolerates her, but my aunt and uncle's cat hates her with a fiery passion and tries to swipe at her when she comes too near. The neighborhood cats generally regard her with deep suspicion.)

When we came home from dinner at my parents' house earlier this week, there was a white kitten hanging around my garage. In my garage after I opened the door to park the car, in fact. Penny and I walked around the car to herd the kitty out of the garage, and she got freaked out and ran, but a few minutes later the kitty returned. Penny really, *really* wanted to be friends, so I let her go closer (on a leash so she wouldn't run after it). The kitty hissed a little, but came closer and touched noses with her. Penny and I went in the house and I set a little milk to tempt the kitten back.

I had left my kitchen door open and only the storm door shut so that Penny could look out at the kitty. When next I looked in the kitchen, the kitten was standing up on my stoop with her paws on the window, looking through the glass.

So I let her in.

And she made herself at home.

I started calling her Smudge because of the little grey blot on her head - it looks like someone got grease on their thumb and wiped it off on her. After a short visit I let her back out to hunt and I haven't seen her since. Her mama lives across the alley from me (I've seen several others of the litter running around the neighborhood). Maybe Penny can have an outdoor cat friend, so I won't have to change a litter box!

These are unrelated to the cat story, but this is what I saw when I went into my bedroom yesterday morning:

She heard me come in, so she roused herself to see what the fuss was about.

What a goober.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lest you think I fell off the face of the earth....

... some pictures of Paul's and my trip to Saranac Lake, NY, Brighton, Ontario, and Stratford, Ontario.

Penny was not excited about me going away and leaving her.
"Pleeeeeze don't pack your shower stuff! Pleeeze? Then take me with you! I could be a good loofah!"

"Fine, then. I'm just going to sit here and sulk in the bathtub. Maybe I'll just drown. Then you'll be sorry."

Our campsite in New York was at Rollins Pond about 15 miles outside Saranac Lake. We were up there for the Can-Am rugby tournament. Paul's team didn't go up to play this year, but I always like watching rugby, so we went up for the first weekend.

I apologize in advance for all the pictures of us that I took while holding the camera at arm's length. Actually, I think they're sort of hilarious, so I rescind my apology.

Paul's rugby team used to have a competition when they travelled to see who could pack the lightest. My mom got this little suitcase for Paul one of the first Christmases we were dating. I can't remember if he ever got to take it on rugby tour, but I think he'd win.

Have rugby gear, will travel.

Dinner (pre-being cooked over the campfire) the first night. Mmm... I love campfire hash.

Two of the trees just at the side of our campsite were hugging. Aww.

Hugging in front of the hugging trees.

View of the mountaintops. We were way high in the Adirondacks here driving toward Canada, and the views were absolutely spectacular. I think this was taken near Paul Smith's College ("The College of the Adirondacks"). How awesome would it be to go to school there?

Paul's the king of the hill.

On our way from Saranac to Stratford we stopped in Brighton, near Presqu'ile Provincial Park in Ontario. Paul insisted on getting up at dark-thirty in the morning to see the sun rise over Lake Ontario because he had refused to get up for the sunrise in Litchfield when we were there a few years ago. I wasn't that excited about getting out of the only bed I was going to sleep in that week (we stayed at the Apple Manor B&B in Brighton), but it was a neat morning.

Lake Ontario is colder than it looks.

The brave and intrepid voyager surveys the environs and prognosticates on the weather.

(I haven't figured out how to remove the stupid timestamps yet, but I think this is a cute picture of us anyway).
We decided to do "yoga" on the beach at sunrise, because, really, why wouldn't you?

This one's for mom: the warrior pose(ish).

Pretty, pebbly beach.
This is on the opposite side of the point from the previous pictures. The bottom was sandy there instead of rocky and the water was as still as a bathtub. It was weird to see water all the way to the horizon standing perfectly still.

We met Brian, Harold, Rhonda and Mary in Stratford Monday night. Tuesday night was our first show, and I told Paul he should wear a shirt and tie to the show. He was one of maybe three guys wearing a tie in the whole theater (and the other two were, like, 80), but he cleans up pretty nice.

Dressed up for the thee-AY-tur. We saw As You Like It, The Winter's Tale, Evita, Peter Pan, and The Tempest with Christopher Plummer as Prospero. All the shows were lovely, but Peter Pan was the clear winner for staging, technical fabulousness and general theater magic. I think The Winter's Tale was the best acted of the shows we saw, and The Tempest was another neat technical show, punctuated by moments of acting brilliance (Julyana Soelistyo as Ariel was about as ethereal and incorporeal as a human playing a spirit can be, and Bruce Dow as Trinculo the jester along with Geraint Wyn Davies as Stephano the butler added a healthy dose of levity when the show was getting a bit too somber). After The Tempest, which we saw Friday night, we got a backstage tour of the Festival Theatre, thanks to Brian's befriending Bruce a few years ago. I had been on one of the "Friends of the Festival" backstage tours years ago, but it was much more fun to be back there with someone who actually uses all the spaces he showed us. We saw everything from the fly space above the stage where the spot ops spend their time to the vomitorium below the stage where the actors make a lot of their entrances and exits. The tour was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.

We drove to St. Mary's (the next town over from Stratford heading west, out toward our campground for the week) and found our dream house. I took about a million picture of it, but I'll only inflict this one on you. The stone! The dormers! (Although I'd make the dormers in my house bigger, I think.) The covered entryway! The gingerbread!! *swoons* It was for sale, but we didn't have the nerve to call and ask how much it was. Much better to dream about it.

Our last morning in Stratford we ate at Features, the best breakfast place in town. Paul ordered the Paul Bunyan platter, naturally. Less a plate than a trough, perhaps, but it was pretty darn good. I continued my eggs benedict obsession - Features serves theirs on French toast. Mmm.

Surprisingly, considering the amount of time we spent together in the car (we figure about 24 hours total in the course of the week) and a tent, Paul and I did not kill each other. In fact, we were even sad when I had to leave New York to come home. Penny (and my parents and sister, who were watching her) was happy to have me back, though, and it's good to sleep in a bed again. All in all, a most successful vacation.