Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Into the Woods

As badly as I'd love to see the movie Into the Woods, that's not what this post is about. This is about Forest Park. And Leo.

As you know, since we've moved to St. Louis, we have lived across the street from Forest Park. It takes less than five minutes for us to walk to one of the most picturesque locations in the city. And we have. In the last four years, we have used that park a lot. A very lot. Playgrounds, museums, picnics, lakes and the whole thing. We've used most of what the park has to offer.  

However, since Leo has been added to our family, we have discovered its wilder side. In the past, we have only used the woods as a cut-through to the zoo. That is no longer the case. In the past, we had sometimes hopped into the car to get to what we thought were the more useable parts of the park. Or we'd walk to one of the buildings. Having a dog who needs walks has led us to be more creative, and that has opened up a world we didn't realize existed. 

At least once a week since we've gotten Leo, we have followed the much less-beaten paths through the woods. We have been when it's cold, when it's muddy, when it's hot. 

No matter when we go, it's beautiful. Sometimes we have to drag Sophia off the couch to get her there. That's a fact. Another fact is that once we're there, we usually have to drag her back home. Point out growling stomachs or fingers and noses changing color from exposure. She has discovered that she loves fallen trees. She already knew that she loved mud holes and creeks.

There are many things that I love about having a dog, but this may be the very best thing so far. The woods.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to me from Sophia

I am lucky to have received some lovely and thoughtful gifts from my family already. This one is my favorite:

Merry Christmas
by Sophia Creach

I hope you have a great Christmas. The stockings are hung on the windowsill with care in hopes that  morning soon would be there. I wake in the morning and presents neatly put in rows sit there and mock me until you say GO!  I love you so much you will never know. I think this Christmas is the best but so are the rest. I think you should know I hope Christmas is great for you. For there wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t have you. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Freshly Cut

Ever since Sophia was very small, we've had artificial Christmas trees. After last Christmas, our most recent tree finally gave up the Christmas spirit and we tossed it. Sophia was determined that this year, we'd have the quintessential (she didn't use that word, although it wouldn't surprise me) Christmas experience by going to the tree farm and cutting down our celebratory evergreen.

Of course, that's what we did. In what turned out to be ill advised sentimentality, we brought Leo with us. He's just so cute, and I hate to think of him shut up in his little crate all day. He doesn't seem to mind, really, but it bothers me. He was nutso. Fortunately (?), Sophia joined him in his nutso behavior, and we all had quite the time.

Then we took one another's pictures. Because that's how we roll. Oddly, no selfies this time around.

Saturday was just gorgeous. The weather was so perfect for tree picking. And we had the window open while we decorated! Perfect, I tell you.

A real tree is exactly as I remembered it. A pain in the rear. Worth it, though. When it makes our super Christmasy girl that much happier.