Yesterday after school and snack and homework, while I was finishing up some final dinner tasks, Kat took her gigantic box of sidewalk chalk onto the patio and drew a picture of Holly the Elf.
Sometime during the night, Holly drew a picture in return...
...and hung around (no pun intended) to admire their handiwork in the light of day.
Kat loved the unexpected addition to her sidewalk masterpiece. Holly seemed to enjoy it, too. We're hoping he sticks around long enough for him to pose with Kat this afternoon. You just never know with elves. They come and go in a mysterious sort of way. I'll update with another picture if we're able to capture a moment of the two of them together.
"Because kisses and Katie start with K," read Holly's note...including a festive little basket of red, green, and silver chocolate "kisses." Darn Elf! There's no way my eight year old can eat allllllll those chocolate kisses. Someone is going to have to help her!!! (wink wink, nudge nudge).
Kat thought Holly was a little too high off the ground, so she put her ladybug pillow underneath him. Just in case.
Thanks for the Christmas treats, Holly! We'll savor every last one.
November disappeared in a heartbeat. I have no idea where it has gone, but it's gone. I cooked, but I didn't photograph, with the exception of a couple fall-inspired treats. Click on the links to read more about these seasonal goodies.
Holly returned this morning to ring in the holiday season. It must have been quite a bit of work, but he managed to bring out a small Christmas tree we brought from my mom's when I sold her house. She always used to put it out for Kat when we arrived for our annual winter visit.
Holly continued the tradition this year!
Welcome back, Holly! Looking forward to all your elf adventures.
We spent last Saturday touring the Roosevelt Neighborhood in downtown Phoenix: a neighborhood formerly known as a "suburb" of Phoenix, which is hard to believe considering the density of today's population and the amount of urban sprawl. Of the nearly 4 million people who live in Maricopa County, about 1.5 million of them live in Phoenix. The Roosevelt Neighborhood is no longer a suburb. It's more like the epicenter.
One of the houses on the tour was a 1907 brick bungalow owned by the girlfriend of a friend of ours. Over the last couple of years she has painstakingly tried to restore a lot of the original charm of the house, while adding modern convenience. It's an adorable place. She has a huge expanse of wall in her kitchen where she has hung a vintage school room chalk board. It's perfect. Quirky.
While over the butcher block island she hung a period light fixture she found in a local antique shop. It all just works in a wonderfully eclectic sort of way.
Although we were a little disappointed with the tour - not that many homes, several commercial spaces, and a couple condos, it was fun to see how people have either maintained the history, or completely destroyed it, as one of the commercial spaces had done.
Fortunately, most residents have made some attempt to bring back the old glory days of a neighborhood which, in the not too distant past, had become overrun with drug and gang activity. We're hoping more residents participate next year and open their homes for the rest of us who live in the sprawl of a relatively un-charming suburban setting.
Due to low residential participation, I'm not sure the tour was worth the price: $15 for adults, $7 for kids, but we'd definitely do it again if more homes were on the tour. There was a corresponding street fair going on that day, which provided an added attraction if you're into tents of worthless stuff and food trucks. Either way, it was a day out with family and friends...which more than makes up for what might have been lacking. For more information on this and other historic Phoenix neighborhoods, click here.
If you could talk, you could tell us your story. What happened to your other family? What did you see on the streets? What did you experience? Were you hungry? Cold? Tired? Fearful?
In your life before Boxer Luv Rescue, did someone hurt you? What made you feel so insecure?
If you could understand, you would know we love you. We tried our best to protect you. We would never have hurt you. We tried to show you in every way you didn't ever have to worry about being scared or hungry or lonely, again.
We would always have been there to offer love and hugs and belly rubs. A tennis ball. A chicken nub! A place to call home. We found you the best and most compassionate trainers in the Valley to help you work through your fear and insecurity with other dogs.
Sadly, on Sunday morning we had to let you go. Back to Boxer Luv Rescue. Back to foster. You tried. I know you did. But the story you could never tell us reared it's ugly head. Not toward other dogs, this time, but toward me. It was terribly scary. There were many, many tears shed afterwards, and I know you knew. You knew you had done something very wrong. We all knew you couldn't stay given the risk you might intentionally or accidentally hurt Kat.
We loved you with big, open hearts, but we had to let you go.
We will never forget you, Jags. You were a part of our family and our history and our hearts. We'll always carry you with us. Our hope is Boxer Luv can get you fixed up right before you're placed in another home. We want to see you succeed. We wish it had been with us. If you could talk, I bet you would tell us that was your wish, too.
With love (and belly rubs) from The Valley of the Sun.