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An Update on 2008

I realized that I don't talk much about our pets, other than the dogs. I mean, really, look at the last two posts. Losing Matteo was horribly traumatic, especially for Melissa because she had picked him up off the street more than ten years earlier. Matteo had been part of Melissa's family since before she even met me. That didn't mean that I didn't bond with him, though. We had our moments.

Eisenhower was part of my family before I met Melissa. Only by a few months, but history is history, right? And yes, he was named after that Eisenhower.

Happy Bearded Dragon

I picked out Ike when he was only eight weeks old. That was four and half years ago. He was one of two bearded dragons I brought home that day. Of course, Eisenhower was trouble from the get-go. I stored him in a cardboard box on the drive home, only to arrive home without him in the box. I had to look high and low for him in the cab of my truck, only to discover him hiding under the driver's side seat. Who knows how long he had been there.

In the last four and a half years, I have tried a few times to take a good picture of him. This is one Melissa took, and I think it's great. Not only can you see him clearly, as well as his coat, but you can see one of the crickets he has made into a pet until he gets hungry again. Most literature on raising beardies recommends that you remove any crickets uneaten after about five minutes, but Ike befriends them.

Speaking of great pictures taken by Melissa, here's one from our last trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Happy Jellyfish

I thought the jellyfish exhibit was supposed to be temporary, but it seems to have become part of the permanent display. There are so many beautiful photo backdrops, but I think the silhouette aspect here is very striking. It doesn't even matter to me that it's slightly out of focus.

In the last post, I mentioned that Stella likes, no loves playing with toys. The way she plays is to grab a toy, move to an open area, and shake vigorously. If her shaking leads to a flying toy, she is more than happy to track it down and repeat.

Happy Stella

She isn't, however, limited to playing with one toy at a time. As you can see in this picture, Stella can play with three or four toys at the same time. Many times, she can be holding one toy in her mouth while trying to pick up another one. Luckily, this hasn't caused any choking problems, but it's still funny to watch. Can you spot the seven and a half toys in this picture?

This year, when it neared the end-of-year holidays, Melissa and I decided to stay home. It wasn't totally set in stone, but we were sure enough that we decided to break out some of the holiday traditions that we had skipped in the past, including the gingerbread house.

Happy Gingerbread

This may be considered some sort of gingerbread mansion, it was so immense. It took so long to build that we didn't even take pictures for a week after we started. I'm not really that familiar with etiquette for gingerbread building, so immediately after this picture was taken, I broke off a piece of roof and feasted. The only thing not edible was the foil on the snowmen, Santa, and Mrs. Claus.

Happy Clauses

They didn't last long, either.

One thing that Melissa and I had wanted to do for years (four, to be precise) was decorate a Christmas tree. Melissa has a treasure trove of gorgeous glass ornaments from Murano. Well, this year was the year for finally getting a chance to show them off. Not to anyone in particular, but mostly so that I could see them.

Happy Decorating

I didn't have enough foresight to turn off the lights and get a picture in the proper setting, but then you couldn't have seen the ornaments, anyway. I wanted to leave the tree up until March, but in about the middle of January, there were more needles on the floor than on the tree. As you can imagine, that was a lot of needles because we bought the needle-est tree we could find. It was quite an ordeal to get it out of the house, too, especially when I tipped over the base (still stuck to the tree. Don't ever call me a great planner!) and spilled around three gallons of water on the carpet near the door. Next year, I should know better.

Happy Luigi

Luigi decided that the velvet treeskirt was more comfortable than his bed and spent a lot of time under the tree. Luckily, neither of the dogs we interested in playing with the ornaments, even the low hangers. It may have taken a small miracle for Stella to show that kind of restraint, but that also may have been what I asked Santa to bring me for Christmas.

I think that about wraps up 2008, but I wrote about pets again.

Posted by dennis @ 12:35 PM
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