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Weekend Roundup

We had a pretty productive weekend, actually! Christine came up, bringing puppies and also eggs from her hens, and the old wire fencing and plastic netting on what will be the chicken yard got torn off, the chicken house got assembled, and then it got stained mahogany because it is a scientific fact that chickens prefer dark wood to the light orangey color it was originally.

See? Puppies!
Obsidian, a solid black almost-4-months-old German Shedder puppy lies on my futon, holding one end of a tuggy toy.  His sable sister Outlaw has her front end up on the futon and the other end of the tuggy toy in her mouth.  They are giving the camera a rather emo look.

That is Obsidian, aka OMG Siddy Aren’t You Just The Handsomest Boy, on the left. He is a charming lunkhead with GINORMOUS BEAR PAWS. I am so smitten. He needs to go home with someone not me. On the right is his sister Outlaw, who is a cuddly and loveable little girl who also needs to go home with someone not me. In fact she held me down and thoroughly licked my face while visiting. Twice. They’re both straight up DDR Shedders and just full of adorableness right now since they’ll be all of four months old in a couple days. Blackthorn Kennel, your purveyor of awesome puppies.

I like to call this shot “Little House in the Big Woods” because when I was a kid I had the WHOLE SET of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books.
A chicken house, about three feet across the front with nest boxes attached on the left.  It is stained a deep dark mahogany red-brown.  The front door is open, revealing a lighter orangey wood on the inside.

Isn’t it purty? The metal thing off to the left is the pan that goes underneath it (once the stain is dry). I still need to seal it, and we need to put new wire up (it is sitting in the chicken enclosure right now, but there’s only the wood framing). We are aiming for two hens next weekend, possibly Black Copper Marans from Christine, who offered us chickens as a wedding gift! I am brainstorming for names but suspect the chickens will be Heloise and Melusine. I like fancy French medieval names for chickens, you see.

Being an uncommonly responsible blogger, I have posts queued up for most of the week, so even though my school load is quite heavy due to my own procrastination, you should be entertained! There are KITTEN UPDATES. And pics of Emmaline!

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I am home! There are pictures and videos and things!

I saw lots of touristy things, and if you click on a pic you can hit up my Flickr stream and see them. This is the critters edition over here! If you’re planning to have your baby’s picture hanging on the wall be sure to let him wear newborn baby hats for a trendy-look.

My friend Liz’s spotty pointer, Squish, who wanted the ball:
Squish wants the ball.  He is a black and white spotted German Shorthair Pointer.  His mouth is open and his tongue flying, his ears doing same.  Happy dog!

Liz’s hairy pointy-eared fetchydog, Spike. Spike is a Border Collie who just survived a bout with nose cancer but is now back to catching tennis balls on the fly and he tried to maul me for a plastic soda bottle when I walked in. You can’t keep a good collie down!
Spike!  A black and white border collie runs straight toward the camera, carrying a tennis ball in his mouth.  His upper jaw is foreshortened but this doesn't stop him carrying that ball.  His ears are back for aerodynamic purposes.

Spike would like his fetchy ball thrown.  In the upper right corner, Spike looks attentively at the camera with tongue lolling, dancing from paw to paw in anticipation.  In the lower left corner, a grubby tennis ball, the object of his desire.

We stopped for lunch at a pub in West Lavington one day, and ate in the garden. While we were waiting for the food, I saw something moving on the roof:
A tile roof with a medium-steep pitch.  Up near the ridge, a German Shepherd, tan with a black saddle, trots along with very little concern.  How surreal.

The German Shedder from the last picture, only his face, neck, and front paws visible, is lying down on a flat bit of roof with his big ol front paws hanging over the edge.  Next to him is a security camera.

There were two, as it turns out!
Another section of flat roof, with TWO Shedders lying down, their paws hanging over the edge.  The dogs are nearly identical.

Swans at Malmesbury Abbey:
Four swans in a line.  The first and last are gleaming white adults.  Between them are two adorable fuzzy grey babies.

I came home last night to traditional Virginia summer heat and humidity since it’d rained in the morning, which meant the bugs and frogs were going crazy. I managed to record it; there is nothing to see here, just the sound of bugs droning and Grey Tree Frogs going Rrrrrt! Rrrrrrt!

And then last night before bed we had to pull a zillion bones and toys off the futon. I caught the end of the game on video:

Video opens with Zille, a sable German Shedder, and Tink, a fawn female Doberman, in front of the Best Mother Ever, who is wearing jeans and a pink t-shirt. The Best Mother Ever speaks in DogVoice (high-pitched and chirpy) throughout. I never record myself doing that voice.
Best Mother Ever (BME): Is this your bone?
Zille: It is my bone!
BME: Okay, you better put it over there. *points to Zille’s bed*
Zille: I’ll just put this over here in my bed. *puts bone in bed, which we can see is already inhabited by several toys and bones*
BME: Hey, Miss Zille?
Zille: Yes, Grammie?
BME: Look at this big bone! Whose bone is that?
Zille: MINE! It is my bone.
(We can see Roo at the side of the frame, leaping into my computer chair and vigorously not-clawing the back of it)
BME: Oh, that’s yours, too?
Zille: It is. I’ll just put it here in my bed.
BME: Okay, you put it over there. Is that all your bones tonight? *goes to toy box*
Tink: What are we doing here? Why are we handing the Shedder all the bones?
Roo: All your computer chair are belong to me.
BME: Do you have any more bones, Miss Zille? *gets MORE BONES*
BME: Miss Zille, is this your bone? Is that your bone, too?
Zille: Yep. My bone. Mine!
BME: OK, put it in your bed.
Me (out of frame): *jet-lagged giggling*
Zille: I’ll just put this here in my bed with the other ones for safe keeping.
BME: OK, one more. Oh! Look what I got!
Zille: Wait, what do you got? Is that a bone?
BME: Is that your bone?
BME: Ah! Oh gosh, it is. Put it in your bed.
Zille: I will just put this bone here in my bed, where it will be safe.
BME: What a good girl you are!

It’s good to be home.