Positively Adorable

For all those who need more positivity on their Internets right now, I give you this positively adorable pic from the weekend. Our friends’ French Bulldog was asleep with her short little T-rex paw just hanging there, so I slipped a teddy bear under it for support.

She stayed that way for a good hour or so, sleeping like a [gassy] baby.

Thank You

The kids received a very special card in the mail today.

A family friend made a donation in Ellie the Cat’s memory to an organization that does health research for animals. When we first explained to the kids how Ellie got sick, how her immune system was attacked, they were very concerned about other pets and preventing such illnesses in the future. Needless to say, getting a card like this really means a lot to them. Continue reading

We love you, Ellie the Cat

Ellie the Cat, our sweet white calico cutie who provided much joy and laugher in our household, passed away Sept 21 after a very short illness. She was seven years old.

Born in Northern Virginia as the youngest and smallest of her litter, Ellie and her older sister Kiwi were promptly separated from their ailing mother, and were paired up with another Mama cat. Continue reading

Family Farm

Martin took Lola and Jaz with him today to visit with family who live an hour away from us. They didn’t get home until late, and Jaz was already asleep. I went to kiss him goodnight, but recoiled in horror because his face, hair, clothes, shoes…everything smelled like a horse. Continue reading

The Neighbors


We live in one of the largest, most industrial metropolitan areas in Germany.

Yet, our neighbors are cows. Honest-to-goodness bovines who moo, eat hay, and produce milk.

To be clear, our immediate neighbors are human, and they are wonderful humans. But just beyond them, just the next street over, are two barns full of dairy cows. That’s one of the things that amuses me so much about Germany, it’s ability to blend the urban and the rural in the same space. There is no suburban sprawl over here. There is city, and there is country, and in our village — like many other villages — there is a bit of both. Continue reading


Photo of Patches Der Hund from last year

I’m here scheduling a vet appointment for Patches Der Hund, and because she’s about eight years old (we got her as a rescue, so we can’t be sure), she’s considered a senior/geriatric puppy. So, she’s got more gray, a little extra weight, doesn’t like to run as fast … can’t we just call her DISTINGUISHED?

Kiwi the Cat

I’m sorry, but this laundry basket is occupied.


This is Kiwi the Cat, and not only does she randomly appear on the bottom of laundry baskets, but she also has the uncanny ability of suddenly appearing on my clean, pressed black slacks just seconds after I put them on the bed or ironing board while getting dressed for work in the mornings. Every time.

She must think she’s accessorizing for me.

The Heart of Dixie

Dixie and me in 2001
I missed the President’s State of the Union address this evening, even though walking out of my building after working late made it impossible to avoid.
Since I work just a few blocks away from the Capitol, my building was surrounded by police officers, police cars, police motorcycles, and black vehicles with tinted windows, preventing anyone from getting close, but allowing me to leave, of course.
Clearly, given this city and the constant media coverage, the SOTU address was the talk of the town.
But as I left my building and made my way home, all I was thinking about was breaking the news to my girls that our beloved Dixie was put down this afternoon.

Continue reading

Flashback Friday: Baby Panda

It’s going to be a crazy weekend at the National Zoo as the newest baby panda Bao Bao makes her debut to the public tomorrow.
All the pandamonium (yeah, I just did that) reminds me of when Tai Shun made his debut in December 2005. He was the first panda to be born and survive at the National Zoo, and everyone was so excited about it, of course.
Normally, the zoo exhibits are open to the public, but because of the huge interest, there was a lottery for free timed tickets. Fortunately, I was able to get four tickets for a viewing in mid-January 2006.  So we took Miss C, who was then only 2.5 years old, and her new friend from our neighborhood.
I remember everything about that day because it was the first time I really felt settled in our new hometown. Martin was dressed in his business clothes because that very morning was his first official day at the bank after completing his training. I was four months into my job at the Pentagon, and Miss C was doing so well in her new daycare center. I was in the midst of training for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer taking place that spring. Our house was completely unpacked and organized, and we were making friends in our neighborhood.
And best of all, we were exposing our daughter to something pretty awesome and historically significant — a baby panda, something we wouldn’t have been able to see if we lived elsewhere. Our life in our new hometown felt so promising that morning.
You can read today’s Flashback Friday post from 2006 HERE.