Archive for the ‘Attila’ Category

Almost naptime

Almost naptime

Here are Attila and (new puppy) Zhora resting on Jessi’s furniture, most likely waiting on me to leave them alone so they can get some very important napping done.

We drove up to Virginia over the weekend to see one of our three favourite people who reside there, sister Jess (although I’m the only one allowed to call her “sister.”)

She lives in the tiniest of towns and even if I hadn’t been all headachy for most of the trip, we didn’t go out and DO a whole lot. Not that we are “doing” kind of people; our plans for tonight include ordering in our favourite Mexican food and making margaritas while we watch X-Files. (What? Nerds? …..alright…maybe)

And it was a ton of fun seeing Zhora run around and play with Jessi’s wonderful dog, Lizzy. Unfortunately there are no adorable pictures of dogs playing as they move too damn fast.

Then we came home and spent some time with the other two people we love in Virginia who had each came to Tennessee separately for weddings of their own friends.

Happy dogs saying hello

Happy dogs saying hello


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Poor Attila got a summer haircut today. He probably feels better, but I doubt he’ll tell me.

He lost so much fur!!

He lost so much fur!!

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Ben's skull sculpture is used every season to house our favourite holiday treat.

The holidays are most definitely here. And we’ve officially bought our first tree together. Due to my awful allergies, we can’t have a real one (although I’ve bought a huge real wreath for our front door so Ben can get that sweet pine smell he loves so much).
We’ve had a Christmas tree before, but it was a hand-me-down from Oma when we first moved into this house over three years ago.

Goodbye to our first tree together

From the right, in silver says, “from Oma 2007;” next in Oma’s handwriting in red, “6FT Give Away Tree Good;” and then lastly the note I taped on as we dropped in off at AO (Appalachian Outreach), “In good condition; all parts/pieces/instructions are included. An old but loved tree. Happy Holidays.” We dropped off the tree on our way to some stores and by the time we passed by it again, someone had already taken it. I hope it’s found a good home.

Although, if we’re going to be honest about the situation, it should be told that we pulled out Oma’s old tree; set it up and complained a lot about how scrawny and old it was; started putting lights on; argued about putting the lights on the tree in a way to best hide all those cords [impossible in such an old, sparse tree]; and finally deciding to just go and buy a pre-lit tree so we will never have to argue about lights again. Sometimes money can buy happiness.

We bought our new tree (“Boston Pine”) and brought it home and set it up. And let me tell you-although folding down and spreading the branches is a bit tedious, it is LOADS better than individual branches plus lights. LOADS, I tell you.

Ahh, the peace of a pre-lit tree.

Also, one of our favourite mentions in the holiday season is the papasan chair must be moved out of the corner to make way for the tree. This chair is mainly used by Attila for daytime napping. And he is NEVER happy when his chair must be moved to make way for the tree; really, he gets visibly upset.

Papasan sitting near hallway, whilst we set up the tree. A possessive dog desperately hanging on to his favourite nap site.

So we decorated the tree as best we could; it’s half a foot bigger than the last tree and definitely much fuller, so our ornaments are a bit more spread out than normal. We’ve bought a tacky ornament every season we’ve been together and sometime in the next week we’ll go out and buy our ninth ornament. Nine. As Oma says, “Gut Lord.”

Silly Rock Star with our fancy new tree.

And it looks good, I’m really liking our new tree quite a bit. Even Attila begrudgingly approves, once he found out we were going to try and figure out a way to make room for his beloved papasan this year.

On his cushion under the tree--just not the same as his chair.

I hope you’ve got some lovely holiday decorations that bring a smile to your face.

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Although technically we’re not done with summer yet and we’ve still got some major events coming up in the next two weeks (a birthday party; a bachelor party; a wedding), I just cannot handle how absent I’ve been from my blog. So, to recap in a few images, this has been our summer. (I should also note that Ben’s swirling venture has picked up considerably, and a good portion of this summer as been spent with guitars as a whole and in pieces laying about/dangling down our entire house–fortunately we’ve moved all his music-ish/guitarish things into his new blog and I won’t have to reiterate it here.) We’ve been:

:painting lots of furniture…

now it's black and in the music room/library

:doing a lot of organizing, clearing out, cleaning up…

what you're missing are the five other stacks around/behind the coffee table


If you can get Ollie to sit still, he still looks a bit crazy...

:having Ben’s birthday parties…

well into the night for us

Boston Cream Pie cupcakes over homemade vanilla ice cream

:taking walks at the lake…

and don't forget the Sonic slushies!!!

:going camping with my family…

Those are two outdoorsy kids if I ever saw some!

We make the best camping food ever! EVER!!!

...to be fair, I'm pretty sure princess here was chewing on a stick

Ollie gets all kinds of filthy when he camps

My research-loving, librarian-in-training sister figured out that this is actually an elm sawfly or Cimbex americanadoes. There's a link to it in the comments section. (Thanks, Jess!)

:taking baths…

cleanliness is very important here

:going to the beach with my family (including Sister! YAY!!!)…

PALE PEOPLE!! PALE PEOPLE!!! (it's much better in a doomish sort of voice)

basically this is all I did for seven days; it was blissful


–and whilst we were at the beach, my poor berated mother forced everyone into a black and white portrait session; and while I think the best family image is only adequate, I really love the more individual shots:

My parents may be the cutest couple I've ever met--they're celebrating their 30th anniversary in September this year.

To my mother's constant chagrin, we cannot help being goofy.

caught in a moment of sweetness

My sister, the most adorable woman on the earth.

The motivation behind the entire photoshoot. Please note the underlying sense of aching hunger within each person.

It’s been a great summer and it’s not quite over yet!

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***(this is an old post from my old anonymous blog–but it’s a good introduction to ole Chubbers)***

Also known as our sweet little dog, aka Ol Wheezy, aka Chubbers, aka our pygmy Bear, aka house pig, aka Little Bitch, aka Unser Kleiner Shrekhund, otherwise known as Attila.

Attila came into my life by pure happenstance, also by a mother who could not knowingly leave a tiny four-week old 1/2 chihuahua 1/2 poodle mix with a family that would most certainly destroy it within two months (and if they didn’t, the busy highway feet from their front stoop most surely would have).

I came home one day (not too long after moving back from new york) to find my mother sitting on a chair, saying, “well, I’ve either done a very wonderful thing or a really terrible thing…either way, you’ve got a dog now b/c [my father] will kill me if I bring a new dog into this house.”

The next day she and I went to pick up this adorable little puppy dog. This tiny black bundle of fur fit snuggly into the palm of my hand (literally) and I lost my heart to him. All sorts of motherly-type instincts kicked in while caring for this too-small to be believed puppy. Of course, with good comes bad, and I spent several months not going too far from home and countless times cleaning up my puppy’s waste, and all the little things he’d chew on, and listening for him to see if he was either A: using the bathroom somewhere in the house or B: chewing up something he shouldn’t be. (Needless to say, all the bad re-confirmed my decision to [hopefully] remain childless.)

Attila remained nameless for a few weeks while I tried to come up with something clever that suited his personality. One night I took him to a bonfire-gathering my friends were having to celebrate their graduation/going away from our tiny close-minded town and one of them picked him up after hearing me tell about how this five pound dog is somehow managing to knock over his gate in the hallway and said, “well, you’re just like Attila-the-Hun is all!” And preceded to inform me that the all-conquering Hun was a fairly small-sized man. (I want to say around 4’5” but it could be 5’2”….I don’t remember anymore) and the name stuck to my sweet and yet very destructive puppy-dog.

Attila is a wonderful little doggy. He’s really not all the bright, but he’s so sweet, it makes up for it. The dog has no concept of stranger, it’s simply “FRIEND!!!” or “POTENTIAL FRIEND!!!” he even likes most other dogs too, but if there’s too many of them he’ll go far away from the rough play and just watch them (to be fair, most of my friend’s dogs are larger-sized breeds) and occasionally run into the fray to chase and be chased and then run back to his little spot and continue watching.

He’s traveled from my parent’s house to the shitty apartment complex I lived in while I finished college, back to my parent’s house, and now to mine and Ben’s current rental house. He such a great little dog that wants nothing more than to have his belly rubbed all day long. His favourite words are, “want a bellyrub?” (and he’ll fall onto his back and spread his legs, the little whore) and “alright, let’s get a treat!” (to which, he’ll make a beeline for the kitchen and sit in front of the shelf where he knows his treats are kept).

I could write so much on my little Attila, how his fur grows out until he’s just this black cottonball that runs around my house, or how he loves to “talk” to us in the morning, or how whenever he’s playing “rope” he’ll growl as he pulls. . . . .so much about mein klein Shrekhund, but I must quit here for now.

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Well, so much for blogging-about-our-life, eh? Our holiday season was so full jam-packed with events, that that hasn’t really been any time to sit down and talk write about it.
Thanksgiving we spent with my lovely sister in Boston. We flew in early Tuesday morning and left on Saturday morning with only the smallest of hiccups; considering we were traveling during the busiest season, we’re pretty happy about it. Ben, however managed to claim Boston security attention which resulted in a full search (which was pretty funny, retrospectively).
Jess ran us ragged running around Boston, and I finally have realized what my parent’s were talking about whenever they would visit me in nyc–city people walk FAST. But she took us to see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and we went ice skating in Frog Pond–it was Ben’s very first time EVER on ice skates–he did very well. Didn’t fall down once. And Jess invited a few of her lovely Bostonian friends over for Thanksgiving dinner of Roasted Duck with Orange and Tea sauce and others contributed wine, sweet potato casserole, and a variety of other goodness. We had a whole lot of fun and really enjoyed getting to see her again.
In Boston we watched the best (and possibly only) Thanksgiving movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and began a Christmas movie marathon with (the original) Miracle on 34th Street and Elf. Back in TN, this was continued with Home Alone 1 & 2, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases (pretty cute), How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Claus Movie, and Love Actually (one of the best movies ever, regardless of holiday)–there were many more but I believe the gist has been had.
One of my favourite family traditions is a cookie bake-off my mom hosts about a week before Christmas–friends and family are invited over to bake about 3 dozen cookies and everyone swaps off so there is a wide variety to take home. Since I had to work this year, I made (the best oatmeal-raisin cookies ever!!) my dough the night before and just scooped and baked at the party; Ben’s cookie of the season were some delicious lemon coolers.
One of my mother’s favourite event is on the evening of the first advent Sunday, her church has a “Hanging of the Green” service, sort of a decorate-the-church Christmas-type service, and I have the misfortune of being attached to Ben who also loves the hanging of the green–he says he just really likes all the singing. But afterward the family tree is decorated and Mom got to put Santa (our tree topper) on the tree this year.
Jess was greatly missed at the decorating, and we participated with her thanks to the ingenuity of Skype.

Christmas is always an EVENT with my family, and Ben, bless his heart, has come to love it as well. Christmas Eve dinner at my parent’s house celebrates the German side, Christmas breakfast also at my parent’s house for friends and family, Christmas lunch at my paternal grandparent’s house and then Christmas dinner at Ben’s mother’s house. Needles to say, one has to properly prepare for a marathon eating event such as this. By the time Christmas night comes around all we can manage to do is roll over on the couch and maybe scratch poor neglected Attila’s fat belly with one or two fingers.
Highlighted gifts this year: For Kate: a gorgeous amber moon necklace and The Big Ass Book of Crafts from Ben, her Nana’s set of green dishes (!!!), and from her parent’s THE DREAM–a huge green leather purse, beautiful. For Ben: A Canjo (although Ben’s is made from a Spam can), speakers for his iPOD and a nice houndstooth scarf from Kate’s parent’s, some pretty earrings and a new copper water bottle, and the REAL Indian Jones movies in a box set from Kate.
We try to make as many gifts as possible for our friends/family. Not only is it more economical on our dry wallets, but it also sends out something more personal as we do our best to create something unique to each person. This year, I embroidered towels and made some magnets for our loved ones. Ben drew several people an image of something they loved, and he also did a bit of painting of various objects as well.
Also, of note, my burly father bought my mother the sweetest fluffiest little puppy for Christmas, the poor thing was bought in NC, then kept at our house for 2.5 days then shuffled to Jessi’s loft in our parent’s backyard for the evening of the 24th, and finally found it’s home with mom later that night.
Ollie is a Cavapoo (not a “real” breed), a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (mom’s absolute favourite dog) and a Bichon Frise (to ensure non-shredding). He’s sweet and very puppylike right now, and Attila is slowing warming up to him, although Lizzy’s already decided it’s a live toy of her very own.
New Year’s Eve has never been a big holiday for us, we prefer to stay home and perhaps some of our lower-key friends drop by. This year we had dinner at the always fantastic El Sazon, and with sister and a few good friends. And, since we’ve still never hooked up a television, we streamed the ball dropping in Times Square thanks to JustinTV.

So all-in-all a very eventful but happy holiday season at the Petler Inn.


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Attila didn’t know what to think…but homemade peppermint hot chocolate always makes things better.

This stuff is too cold and wet for play.

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