Happily settled in at the parents' for the holidays, and since it appears the world didn't end yesterday as predicted, the Christmas prep is in full swing. There's a line of cookie tins in the pantry, along with a couple bushels of pine and cedar boughs, and filling for tourtiere cooling on the counter. We went out Thursday and hunted a tree, and the ice and snow are dripping off it in the living room, where it'll get put up and decorated tonight.
For a couple days there, I was a little worried about whether it would be a white Christmas - even yesterday's storm was half rain here - but it's been snowing most satisfactorily all day today. The big wreath Mom put on the barn/garage door is dusted, and the cardinals are coming to the bird feeders, adding a note of festive color.
And who's this helping Mom with filling the bird feeders?
The spotted dog on the left is Allie, and she's been here for a week. Someone apparently dumped her on our road about two or three weeks ago. She was living in an abandoned barn down the road, hunting mice for her living and coons for fun, when my father saw her. One of the neighbors told Dad about her (including the fact she had apparently killed four coons), but he hadn't been able to take her himself, since he already had four dogs. So Dad said hello to Allie when he passed during his run, and when he invited her, she followed him home. We won't say she's settled in perfectly yet, but she's getting there. Our big dog, Rex, is mostly ignoring her, with the occasional argument. She was a little prone to chasing cats and chickens, but that's improving. She mostly ignores the chickens now, and may be down to chasing the cats only if they run. (Thankfully. She's not fond of going up stairs, but she will if there's a cat, with the result that twice in one day we had to carry her down the shed loft stairs, because she was afraid to go down, then rescue the cat she chased up there. So far, knock wood, no injuries to anyone involved.) She's learned how to sit already, and Dad's teaching her to catch bread cubes. She looks to be at least part Australian cattle dog, and they're apparently good at playing ball and frisbee, so maybe next summer...