Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sola Turns Two Today

The Birthday Girl

This evening we celebrated Sola's second birthday. That's right - Tater Tot is the big two on Christmas eve. Our celebration included fluffernutters with the crusts removed, a new stuffed animal toy, and a lovely new collar for Sola.

We fondly recalled our frightening jouney to get Sola; mountain biking, porch roof base jumping, food stalking, eaten walls, ruined carpets, mud baths, yard monster attacks, and more.

We feel love, joy, happiness.

We love you Tater-Tot.
Love you to pieces.

Nigel: May I administer the birthday spanking?
Sola: In your dreams chicken-legs.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Autumn Takes a Bow

Sola dreams of snow.

Winter has set in, the world around us submerged in a frigid ocean of snow and ice. Typical seasonal transitions do not take place in Vermont. Instead, a week of warm sunny days is erased in a flash, replaced with bitter winds and plummeting temperatures. The sun is suddenly distant, the power of its warming rays weakened.

This does not sit well with me. Having lived in numerous parts of the country (all of them South of Vermont) I know what four equal seasons feel like. Vermonters are shorted, experiencing just three seasons, the longest of the three being winter. Cold, hard, dark winter.

Nigel hates winter. Sola loves it. When the garage door opens and the cold hits us, Nigel & Sola demonstrate diametrically opposing reactions. Nigel looks at me and mutters something about Jack Frost and his mother's chosen occupation, which involves the exchange of money for sexual favors.

Sola springs to life, energized by the cold. Having been born and raised in a cold climate, Sola seems to favor winter above all other seasons. She dances through the snow, twisting, turning, diving in. She jumps over snowbanks, weaves through the trees, a powdery smile on her face. She emerges from the field in front of our house completely dusted in snow, looking much like Marion Barry on payday. She watches Nigel tapdance on the basketball court as I coax him toward the yard.

Waxing reminiscent.

This is not an easy task. Nigel has chosen to hold back a few times, acting like he does not need to use "the facilites", only to surprise us with a warm brownie pile in the house an hour later. I remember this as I push and pull him to the yard, begging him to take care of business. If he does oblige me, an interesting ritual ensues. Nigel stops to drop off his passengers, balancing on three (or sometimes just two) legs, wavering, teeth clacking. He looks pissed, even more so when he loses his balance and plants a foot in the stinkbomb he's just left. When he finishes I grab his leg and try to wipe his foot clean for him. He sighs, nonplussed.

Nigel: I hate cold paws, but I would not warm mine this way were my balance better.

Author: We hurry back to the garage, Sola thrilled, Nigel miffed, another winter bathroom trip survived. Before another layer of snow hides the evidence of our journey I look out over the yard, glad to be warm in the house, chuckling at the lone brown pawprint trail that weaves to the house from the arctic landscape surrounding us.

Sola: You're a real charmer Nigel.
Nigel: Come here and let me pat you on the head.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hide the Women, Children and Gourds.

You may need to look away.

Sola did a bad thing. Surprise! Be aware that Mrs. Author takes her holiday decorations seriously. Holiday floormats, seasonal candles and all form of holiday decorations are prepared just so. Mrs. Author takes pride in her decorating as well she should.

Sola cares not for such things. I imagine that Sola opens her eyes with just a few thoughts each morning: eat, drink, be merry. To Sola the world is a giant toybox, like Christmas every day. As we have learned, pumpkins are toys.

We walked out of the garage, all four of us, headed out for a drive. Nigel went about his business as Mrs. Author and I loaded our goods in the truck. A blood-curdling scream broke the silence. As I spun around to investigate the cause of the commotion I watched Sola fly across the yard, victim clenched firmly in her jaws. A cloud of Ravens darkened the sky as she tossed her victim to and fro, breaking the stem clean off of it. Mrs. Author watched silently, her mouth agape. Nigel napped. I swore loudy at Sola, begging her to stop. She ignored me.

Once a dog tastes pumpkin it's all over. Or something like that. Sola refused to drop the pumpkin for some time, just enough to test our patience. We laughed aloud as Nigel observed her, amused and bewildered. She rolled, kicked punched and pushed the pumpkin across the yard to me, hoping I would throw it. When she knew I would not she simply picked it up and ran in circles with it.

As quickly as it began it ended, Sola's curiousity satisfied. The hapless pumpkin was tossed aside as we jumped in the truck and sped off in search of autumn adventures. Sola had reminded us that simple pleasures abound. And that it was well after Thanksgiving, time to ditch the pumpkins and make room for Mrs. Author's Chistmas floormats...

Nigel: Cold blooded!
Sola: need neck brace...