(Making it hard to maintain the weight loss I started in Italy...sigh.)
Clint and I arrived up there on Wednesday evening, and the rest of the gang (sister + her brood, and 3 aunts/uncles + dog) came on Thanksgiving Day. There was quite a lot going on up there this time...
Sophia and Charlotte were in fine form - both with their quick mouths. The former was entertaining us with her retorts and the latter was keeping us on our toes with her regurgitation skills. I don't think Mom & Dad figured they'd have to worry about stains on their brand-new carpet...but, such as things are, little Charlotte has QUITE the "reflux" capacitator!
But, you just learn (or, sometimes, have to be violently reminded) to put down a big baby blanket and have PLENTY of burp rags on hand :) She's so darn perfect of a baby there has to be SOMETHING 'normal' about her!
Dad & Clint bonded by acting as mechanics to my car...trying to figure out why on earth there would be oil getting into my radiator. My poor little Honda Accord has passed its 10-year mark (in fact, we're marching towards 11!) and things have been slowly declining.
Mom wanted help with getting their Christmas tree, so she, Sophia and I bundled up and headed out to a cut-your-own lot in search of "the perfect Christmas tree." Sophia's words, not mine. Of course, it's a lot with very pretty trees, but they're also small - some of them QUITE diminuitive, as Sophia found out! I always say you can't take home the first one that catches your eye...but wouldn't you know, after marking it and moving on to look at everything else, we ended up getting it after all.
The dogs got plenty of exercise, too...they went from hyper-activity on Wednesday night to needing a quick cat-nap (or, dog-nap, as it were) during the afternoon to keep going through 'til bedtime. The old cliché still rings true - A tired dog is a good dog! Of course, having a couple of "new" dogs in the mix certainly helped. My aunt & uncle brought their extremely bouncy/hyper/energetic German short-haired pointer up, plus the neighbors' dog - a 9-month-old black lab - decided to visit a few times and give Zada a run for her money.
We had some good hikes out in the backwoods...lots of snuffling of scents, chasing of sticks, and tongues lolling. Oh, and the dogs had fun, too :) We only had one near-incident where the 2 "nose" dogs (Tesa & Zada) flushed a couple of deer and gave chase for a few bounds before I - thankfully - recalled them. Thank goodness for dog obedience classes!
Of course, it wasn't until the last day that Zada finally realized the lake was frozen, thus offered a whole new avenue of adventure...we'll see if she remembers right away when we head back up the next 2 weekends.
Speaking of Zada, I had quite the hard time relinquishing my spot as "First Master" this weekend. For some reason or other, Zada was entirely focused on Clint. On our walks, she was still well aware of where I was, but if he left the house (we stayed at the neighbors'), she was VERY intent on where he was. In fact, she even missed breakfast one morning because he left for the gym and she wouldn't stop staring out the screen door. So much for shepherds being one-person dogs!!
I feel so betrayed :)And, last but certainly not least - Clint bought got a "new" vehicle! Evidently my sister was in the market for a new (2008) half-ton Ford pick-em-up truck, so instead of trading in her Durango (2003, purchased new in 2004) she sold it to Clint for a good price. Now at least between the 2 of us we have one rock solid car. It's pretty sweet - tow package, hitch (you know, for all the stuff we haul around), remote start, 4WD, power seats, nice stereo...it's a winner!