Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brown Absorbs Heat

Warm summer days are coming, and while Vladi seems
oblivious to the heat, Tanji and Uschi burn up if they stay in
the sunshine too long.  Luckily our brown Bengals are smart
enough to hug the edge of shady spots.

The tip of Tanji's tail is in the sun, but he's distracted by the
birds flying overhead.

Uschi is just out of reach of the dappled light,
waiting for a vole to jump in his mouth.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Squished Catnip

All three boys have a serious catnip problem.  No matter where we
hide the plants, they end up getting shredded.  This time the pots
were hidden in the reeds by the pond, but within about 15 minutes,
Uschi is lying on them.

This is making the fish look delicious, so Uschi gets carried back
home for munchies and a nap.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vladi's Garden Window

 Someone has been nibbling on the plants we are growing for class
(probably our doe with the rapidly expanding belly),
so the pots are now sitting in Vladi's window.

He seems to be enjoying the company.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Music Box

What did we get, Vladi? 

Its a music box from a former student that plays Beethoven's
Für Elise.  Vladi is mesmerized by the moving elements.

Tanji watches closely too.

Uschi seems a little less thrilled.

 This isn't going to keep playing, is it?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sign of Japan

On the boys' walk today we were daydreaming of summer travel,
and when we started talking about climbing Mt. Fuji in August, 
a little cicada joined us, climbing up my leg.  We don't have a
have a lot of cicadas here, its a sign Japan is in our future.

In Japan cicadas ("semi") and their love songs are a rite of summer,
their yearly return symbolizing reincarnation and evanescence.

We've felt drawn to Japan, even to naming our second son (Tanjiro),
and former ratties (Zenkoji, Nagano, Hakuba, and Lizuna Kogan).

We kind of have to visit Japan someday :)

For now our little cicada is safely nestled on an Asian pear tree,
with Uschi patrolling the perimeter (background right).

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Sprinkles

Mmmm, what's a summer birthday week without
a little jazzed-up strawberry shortcake?

Cake, custard, BIG strawberries, frosting, and a bit of sprinkles.
You can't help but make yummy noises, which means
someone is bound to show up for his share. 

 Vladi's fangs may look a little scary,
but he's always careful to just lick.

 High-speed licking has left a sprinkling of icing on his nose.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Make a Wish

Make a wish, take a deep breath...

...its birthday time again!

No Vladi, not you, this time its Mark's turn.

Around here birthdays are multi-day occasions.

With plenty of cake.

Day #1: Dinner, a movie (Puss in Boots, of course),
and entertainment. A fun evening!

 Day #2: Loaded up the cooler for a short trip to work...

...then home to "walk" the boys.

Uschi's birthday gift for his Dad.

After the boys went back inside,
a bit of mowing to keep the trails open.

Tanji took the opportunity to cuddle his Dad's clothes.
Too cute!

A traditional birthday lunch of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy,
green beans, and cranberry sauce. 

The boys slept through lunch, but wait until dessert...

Chocolate caramel cake!

Better feed the beast first.

Vladi gets frosting before anyone else.

 Uschi has found a present to open.

A little "light" reading about the answers to life and all that.

 Really its just boils down to petting Uschi as much as possible.

Off to take a walk, and then on to Birthday, Day #3.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cat-Free Coast

We live about an hour from the coast, but don't usually visit that often
except when we have class field trips or visiting family.

A fun trip for two was long overdue.
The boys had to stay home; car trips and novelty are not their thing.

We stayed at the the Elizabeth Street Inn in Newport
for the first time: oceanfront view, fireplace, pool/jacuzzi,
breakfast buffet, night-time cookies... awesome!

An extra bonus, we could just catch a peek of the car
from the big (and fun) balcony.
Oh, and we could also see the Yaquina Head lighthouse :)

With an early check-in, we started with a feast of pasta salad,
 chips and onion dip, cookies, wine and port (comfy couch too).

Usually we would scurry to the beach and back to the room,
but this time we decided to visit historic Nye beach...

Next to the hotel is a small and beautifully done park
commemorating Lincoln County soldiers and their families.

An obelisk decorated with a heron stands in tribute.

Walking from the park, the library, performing arts center,
and boardwalks of shops are all within a few blocks.
There are several spas and bookstores (perfect for a retreat),
and a special shout out to Queen of Hearts lingerie (beautiful things!).

Quirky and charming coastal architecture is everywhere.

After a swim (heated pool, the ocean is really cold), we returned
to the boardwalk for dinner at Cafe Mundo.  Delicious drinks,
tempeh, and a troupe of Shakespearean actors performing
Trolius and Cressida.

 Even this one day feels like a huge vacation.

Hopefully it won't be too long before we're back at the coast.