Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Calendar Girl

Laura made a 2008 calendar for all of our friends, featuring photographs of yours truly. If you would like one, you can download it from here.

Happy Holidays

Yule Greeting

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More Feasting

This weekend our friend Cheryl came to visit us, so Laura cooked feast for the fourth time this month! She says I have to walk more now to make up for all of the food she has been eating! I don't so much mind when it's snowy though. I love to play in the snow. Today is nice because it is sunny and warm out but there is still lots of snow on the ground. Laura and I even played catch with snowballs. (I like to catch them in my mouth and eat them!)

I decided to let the squirrels feast this weekend too.

Fun in the snow December 2007

Normally I chase them out of our yard -- we put up these feeders for the birds, not those rascally squirrels! -- but squirrels need to eat too and it might be difficult for them to find food elsewhere with so much snow on everything. (Besides, we do have plenty of food to spare with all of the cooking Laura has been doing!)

Now this is SNOW!

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Fun in the snow December 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007



It snowed again last night! The grass was still sticking up through the snow this morning, but there was enough of that wonderful white goodness for some fun dogbogganning!

Two nights ago when we went for our walk, it was raining! I didn't mind because I knew the rain would make Laura happy. Plus, we had a big party weekend this past weekend. Laura cooked feast three days in a row so we had to do some extra hiking to burn off all of those calories!

I was a bit sad on the weekend because my friend Claire didn't come to any of our parties and Claire is my most favourite person (next to Laura) and I thought I might get to see her because usually she does come to our parties. When our friend Loretta visited us, however, she let me sit on her lap, so then I was happy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Invasion of the Bed Snatchers

Laura is finished her 50K. Finished. Yet she's still writing! She says National Novel Writing Month isn't over yet, so she needs to keep going. Plus, the story isn't finished yet.

I've tried to be supportive. I've tried to be understanding. But this is getting to be a bit much. She's even bringing that blasted machine into the bed with us now!

Invasion of the Bed Snatchers

How is a puppy supposed to sleep with that monster in the bed?

Invasion of the Bed Snatchers

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Confessions of a Wrimo Widow -- Week One

Here we are. One week into November. Laura is well ahead of her required word count and yet still she sits at her computer all day, pounding away on those keys. She would have more time to play with me if she truly wrote with the wild abandon that one is supposed to use for National Novel Writing Month, but you know Laura. She wants to write something that's actually good.

So I try to be patient. I sleep lots. This I don't mind, so long as I can sleep beside Laura. Sometimes she goes to the library to write, however, and that makes me sad. Most of the time she is still home, working on her computer, just like any other day, however. The biggest changes have been to our schedule.

For some reason, Laura believes that getting out of bed at an obscene hour of the morning is key to one's novelling success. (I don't mind that she wants to go to bed early as well, but I ask you: Is there really ever any reason to get out of bed before noon?)

I wasn't so sure about this whole getting up before the sun gig. The first time Laura did it, I thought she was joking and just stayed in bed. The next day, however, I thought I should follow her and make sure she was okay.

It turns out, she was only going into the living room, where she rolled out her nice red mat. I know what those thin mats are for. I've been camping before. I picked a good spot beside Laura and settled right back down to sleep.

Helping Laura do Yoga

Laura was more restless than I, unfortunately. How's a princess supposed to get her beauty sleep with all of these crazy calisthenics going on overhead?

Helping Laura do Yoga

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick or Treat

National Novel Writing Month is less than two days away.

If you, like me, are concerned that you may lose the attentions of your very best friend in the whole wide world as she embarks on her own crazy quest to complete a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, I have an idea which may help you:

Earlier this month, I blogged about my plan to avoid going for walks by making sure I come home from each one good and dirty. I've been implementing that plan with limited success so far (my Mum really doesn't want me to go for walks anymore, but Laura isn't deterred), but I think I may have hit upon an even better use for the good old fashioned roll in the mud.

Now, for this plan to work, you have to find something to roll in that is really smelly -- and I mean SMELLY. And you have to roll in it good. A little sniff at the offering left by a neighbourhood friend might not be good enough for this tactic to work. You need to find something that smells really strong and you have to roll your whole body in it. Make sure to get lots of that smell behind your ears, on your face, on your belly, and in the nice thick long hairs of your back.

I found a suitable spot on my neighbours' lawn this morning, and I made good use of it while Laura was collecting the gift I had left for her on our own lawn. By the time Laura was ready to go back inside, I was covered from nose to tail in this wonderful stinky goodness.

Whatever this stuff was, I managed to get it matted nice and thickly into my hair. A little scrub with a wet nap was not enough to do away with the smell, so Laura had to mix up a pail of nice warm soapy water and take me back outside for a shampoo!

My Mum doesn't let me use her bathroom, which worked out to my advantage this morning. Laura scrubbed my whole coat down, gave me a nice belly rub and a strong butt scratching, then, while she was wringing out the sponge she had been using, I took the opportunity to roll in the grass right beside where Laura had been washing my hair. All sorts of lovely stuff from our lawn stuck to my wet fur -- and Laura had to give me another shampoo all over again!

I figure, all told, I had Laura's undivided attention for at least half an hour!
NaNoWriMo, you won't whip me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

She's At It Again

Laura has started yet another blog!

SL Wrimos Team Blog

This one doesn't even have a title yet! In fact, I'm supposed to ask you all to go there and vote on what you want the title to be. There's not much time left to vote and the four proposed titles for the blog are all still running pretty much neck and neck! (Laura might end up needing to give it four names at this rate!)

Here's a little backgrounder: The blog is a group story being written by members of the SL Wrimos group which takes place entirely within the virtual world of Second Life. It's a bit of crazy fun about avatars in the metaverse, and you can have a say in what their adventures are called.

I just hope Laura will still have some time to play with me with all of this writing she is doing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Music

Last weekend Laura went away for FOUR DAYS!

That was a long time for Laura to be gone, and I was very sad.

Missing Laura

Then Laura came back home... and I was very tired!

Laura had been to a folk music conference from which she brought home a new CD and she said we had to dance to EVERY SONG because she had promised Tannis that we would.

I'm not sure why Laura's promise obligated me, but I did try my best. I twirled around the kitchen with Laura, and I practiced my yoga, and I let Laura use my rib cage as a drum.

I really like the new slow mix of "My Body Moves" (Laura, of course, likes the fast version), but some of these musicians write dangerous songs. Tannis' new CD, for instance, has a song on it called "My Bike". Laura has one of those scary contraptions out in the garage and, listening to Tannis' song, Laura decided she should get one of those trailers for little people and hitch it to the back of her bike and make me ride in it!

"Then we could ride all over the county!" Laura said.

Don't these musicians know how suggestible Laura is? One song and Laura is full of crazy ideas. And she'll do it too! She'll put me in one of those little tents and drag me around behind that scary contraption of hers goodness knows where! Laura has an unhealthy lack of appreciation for laying about in bed all day.

Take this new CD for instance: Laura danced to EVERY SONG on it! Every song. It's 12 minutes longer than Tannis' last CD but Laura still danced for the whole thing.

I think maybe Laura was trying to prove to herself that she's not OLD because she went to this conference where people party and there is cool music until 4:00 a.m. every night -- and lots of performers who Laura knows and loves were there performing in these late night gigs -- and Laura left at 11:30 every night and went back to our friend Pam's house and slept!

Well, I'm not worried about that. I like my beauty sleep and I'm not afraid to admit it. I like Tannis' music, but I'm glad there was a safe place I could lie down and listen to it nice and quietly while Laura was spinning around.


Laura is too tall to dance under here!

Laura is too tall to dance under here!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm a Wrimo Widow

National Novel Writing Month is still 27 days away and already I'm a Wrimo Widow!

Have you been keeping up with Laura's blog? She's posting daily now -- all about her crazy plan to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days! She went down to the local library today to find out if she'd be able to work on her novel there next month, and she's set up a new group within Second Life for SL Wrimos. Worst of all, have you read this post? She claims she is going to start hiking 4 miles a day again in November! Somehow she thinks this will be necessary to her success at writing a novel in a month, and you know what Laura's hiking 4 miles per day will mean: It will mean that she intends for me to go with her!

I showed her what I thought of that plan last night by making her chase me twice to get me to put my collar on for our walk. Laura was undeterred, however, I think I may have hit upon a new tactic:

We went to the park for our walk, as per usual, and I found a nice fresh spot on the grass to roll in. I mean really fresh. It was warm and steamy and smelled super. I rolled and I rolled. I rubbed all over both sides of my head and neck on that spot.

Laura was not impressed.

When we got back home, Laura scrubbed my whole body down with one of those stinky cloths. She even scrubbed inside my ears! That was not nice. The upside, however, is that my Mum was even less impressed than Laura. If I can find a nice fresh spot again tonight and bring some more of that wonderful smelly goodness into the house, my Mum might declare that I'm no longer ALLOWED to go for walks with Laura!

It's worth a try.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tyrcuill Butterflies

Yesterday, no one would play with me.

No One Will Play With Me

Laura was busy at her computer all day and most of the afternoon, setting up the Raindancing Dragons blog. My Mum went out shopping and my Dad went out to shoot photographs. Then, after dinner, Laura and my Dad went outside to juice apples for their next batch of cider. Laura had said that I could help them, but then my Mum wouldn't let me. She made me come inside but then she wouldn't play with me either. She just sat down and watched television.

The only good part about yesterday was that I got to sleep lots and, when Laura brought the apple juice inside, our kitchen smelled yummy.

Our yard smelled yummy too from all of those nice apples. Some pulp got left behind on the lawn and this morning our yard was full of butterflies attracted to all of that appley goodness.

Laura and I saw a beautiful Mourning Cloak and an Eastern Comma. Then Laura and our Dad and I went back outside with our cameras. Laura saw a Red Admiral and a Painted Lady, but they didn't have time to have their photographs taken today. The Eastern Commas, however, were eager for a photo shoot. (Or perhaps just too interested in the apple pulp to bother about moving out of the way of whatever was going on around them!)

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma

Look carefully. This is another picture of an Eastern Comma.

Eastern Comma

When their wings are folded up, they are camouflaged really well. If you blink, you may not be able to find a resting Comma again until it spreads its wings and shows you its bright topside once more.

That little silver hook-shaped mark on the underside of its wing is how the Eastern Comma gets its name.

I sat outside with my Dad for a long time and helped to watch for butterflies

Butterfly Watcher

but our Mourning Cloak never returned.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Childhood Haunts

Yesterday, Laura and I returned to our childhood home to visit our friend Cheryl.

I had not seen Cheryl in many years, because she had been living in British Columbia and that is too far away for even a Super Camper like me to hike! Yesterday was also my first time returning to my old home town since Ashton and my Mum and Dad and I moved away three years ago. We live pretty far away now too, but yesterday Laura had to drive our Mum and Dad to a wedding that was almost all the way there, so we decided to drive on a bit further and visit Cheryl.

When we arrived at Cheryl's house, the first thing Laura and Cheryl wanted to do was go hiking. (Laura's friends seem to do a lot of that sort of thing. Laura's friend Tracy even competed in a marathon recently. That's over 42 kilometres! Whatever has become of good, wholesome appreciation for rest and relaxation?)

Cheryl took us out to Hilton Falls, which is where she likes to hike. The forest there is pretty, but the falls weren't exactly falling while we were there. There was just a dry riverbed, then a steep drop into another dry river bed. I took the opportunity to lie down and rest while Laura and Cheryl discussed seasonal vs. long-term changes to the local water table.

After Hilton Falls, we went back to Cheryl's house for dinner. Then it was time to pick up our Mum and Dad and head on home. Laura has been at her computer all day today, busy setting up yet another blog and I have been taking the opportunity to rest up in bed. (It is hard work, sleeping in the car for such a long ride!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Rondeau Adventures

Last Thursday, Laura and I took my Dad to Rondeau to introduce him to all of our butterfly friends. He brought along his big camera, which can take better photographs than the little point-and-shoot Laura and I had along on our camping trip. All of the monarchs had left, however. We went right to the south point of the peninsula and only saw one monarch and one red admiral. Several white cabbages and clouded sulfers were still flitting about -- Laura even saw a bright orange clouded sulfer -- but no one would pose for a photograph.

We showed my Dad the Marsh Trail too. Still no butterflies, but Laura got some beautiful shots of the sunset.

Marsh Trail Sunset

Rondeau Bay Sunset - soft

Rondeau Bay Sunset

Rondeau Bay Sunset

We also took some photographs of Laura doing yoga

NaNoWriMo Sun Salutation - Asana 12

Laura designed a whole sequence of asanas as part of a big November project for which she is gearing up. I think she will be telling you more about that in her own blog next week.

Yep, that's correct. For all of you fans of Laura the Rainbow Dragon out there, Laura has promised to start using her very own blog and posting regularly, beginning October 1. Until then, you'll need to keep checking in with me to find out what she's been up to and the Polyphagous Dragon to find out what she's been eating.

I am a Super Camper!

Super Camper Award

My friend Laura gave me this award because I was such a Super Camper on my very first camping trip!

I had a good time camping with Laura -- especially the parts where I got to rest nice and quietly while Laura took photographs of butterflies and deer -- but I was glad to get back home again too and sleep in our nice big bed. Laura, on the other hand, is already surfing through the Ontario Parks web site, scouting out where we can go next.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 5 - Breaking Camp

I took one last luxurious roll in the grass of Willow Glade, then we headed back to Oak Grove to pack up camp.

Laura is an expert camper and can tear down camp all by herself when she needs to, but today I was there to help by doing the very important job of supervising. (I am such a super camper!)

Once everything was packed up, I enjoyed my last camp meal (yummy duck kibble - another gift from my fans at Home County) and laid down to rest while we waited for our Mum to come and take us home.

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 5 - Time to Go

Today we are going home.

Today we are having a truly lazy day.
(Laura says it wouldn't be a lazy day if we had been REAL camping.)

This morning Laura and I ate a cold breakfast, then set off for a very short walk. There was a tiny piece of Manning Road and Rondeau Avenue we had not hiked yet which we needed to get in before going home. Then we went to Willow Glade to sit by the water and enjoy our last few hours of camp.

Resting in Willow Glade

The bay is calm this morning, the sky is clear, and the geese are noisy.

Blue Skies

Laura took some photographs of a Great Blue Heron we saw standing in the shallow water.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Here he is again, with a friend:

Great Blue and Friend

Then our camera said, "Change the battery pack," and turned itself off.

It must be time to go home!

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 4 - Last Night

Laura made the biggest campfire of our whole trip tonight. The winds had died down so she easily got the fire going with only one match and she burned up all the rest of our wood.

"There is something about the last campfire," Laura says.

All of our other fires Laura has put out as soon as she finished cooking over them, but tonight's fire she built up good and hot. Then she cooked herself a yummy dinner of onions and sausage and garlic and potato and parsnips. Then she cleaned up and battened down camp for the night by the fire light. Then she sat down by the fire and watched it slowly die down to embers, lying back to gaze up at the stars. (It was our first cloudless night and, even with all of the lights from Lakeshore Road and the camp buildings and other campers using artificial lights in their camps, there were still far more stars out than we could ever see in London.)

Me, I went to bed straight after dinner and fell asleep to the singing of the crickets and the frogs and the calling of the geese and the occasional loon. I needed my beauty sleep after all of our camping adventures!

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 4 - Willow Glade

Before returning to Oak Grove, Laura and I walked all the way around the outside of the campground and we stopped at Willow Glade on Rondeau Bay to sit by the water for a bit there.

Willow Glade

Willow Glade isn't a swimming area, so I was allowed to go there. Plus, it is nice and close to our camp, in a pretty, sheltered spot, and, best of all: there are no flies!

The sun was getting low in the sky and Laura enjoyed watching its reflection on the water.

Willow Glade Sunset

Willow Glade Sunset

Willow Glade Sunset

Willow Glade Sunset

Then we returned to camp for dinner.

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 4 - Flies!

Finally the deer finished her lunch and moved on and so did we.

We covered a stretch of Harrison Trail to get to the group camping area. It would be a pretty nice place to camp if you were willing to pay over $40 per night for your site. Secluded in the middle of the peninsula, the group camping area was quiet and sheltered from all sources of artificial light. You would need to trek all of your water into the sight, however.

We heard lots of songbirds on Harrison Trail and saw a cardinal, a blue jay, a sparrow, and some squirrels. At the Visitor Centre we saw a dove, a cute little chipmunk and a couple of people with a little dog. On the homeward bound stretch of Harrison Trail, we saw a whole flock of sparrows nesting in a field of tall blue grass.

Finally, we made it to the dog beach -- and the place was swarming with flies.

Nasty, yucky flies everywhere. Laura tried swatting them and I tried eating them, but there were far too many. We tried moving around the beach to get away from them, but it was no use. Those horrid flies followed us wherever we went and some of them even bit me! That wasn't very nice.

I felt badly because I knew Laura really wanted to be by the water but I just couldn't stand it on the beach with all of those flies, so we set off for Oak Grove. Before I leave our story of the dog beach behind, however, I have a word for all of you doubters and naysayers:


Yes I went into the water. I went in and got all four paws wet right over the tops of my toes!

I got all four paws wet!

So there!

Kendal's First Camping Adventure - Day 4 - Celebrity Cervidae

We walked the long way to the dog beach today because Laura wanted to check out the group camping sites. Good thing that we chose the route that we did because, on our way down Rondeau Road, we saw a deer!


She was right on the side of the road, grazing.

Laura and I approached very slowly and quietly so that the deer wouldn't be frightened of us. The deer watched us cautiously but stood her ground.


Our camera only has a 3x optical zoom, but we were just about getting close enough to take some nice photographs -- when a park ranger came barrelling down the road in one of their big trucks! Of course, the deer disappeared into the woods.

Laura and I thought that was the last we would see of her but, as we approached the spot where she had left the road, we saw her in the underbrush, slowly making her way back towards us.

Laura and I sat down to wait, and we were so good and so quiet that that deer wasn't afraid of us at all. She came to within three metres of where we were sitting and allowed Laura to take many photographs!




If you ask me, I think that deer was enjoying all of the attention!