Sunday, November 7, 2010


The other night, Penn arrived at my birthday dinner fairly bursting with excitement to give me my birthday present, and who could blame him? I love my new Chicken (uh, yeah, it looks like a rooster, but Penn tells me his name is Chicken), and I took quite a number of portraits of him with my new camera. So count yourselves lucky I'm only posting one. But come on, he's fabulous, no?

For a while last year, our group of friends celebrated so many birthdays at our house that every time Penn came over, he would ask, "Amy, do you have cake?" Here, he had just asked me whether we were going to eat the cake, or just look at it, and I was confirming for him that we were just going to look at it. I like a three-year-old who laughs at my dumb jokes.

Here, having discovered with relief that I really was joking, Penn hurries to consume his cake before I can change my mind. (Credit for both these photos goes to our wonderful friend Kathryn.) (And can we talk about his awesome robot t-shirt? Not as awesome as Robot Penn, but pretty darn awesome.)

On Friday, Brian and I took the dogs on a little overnight trip to Truckee, California, and we stopped for doggie swimming at Martis Creek Lake. Tigger loves to swim, while Annie...prefers to linger at the edge of the water, hoping she won't get too wet and that Tigger will soon bring the ball back into stealing range.

While we were there, Brian got some terrific shots of the Spiced Pumpkin Sweater in action. (There you go, Lis!)

And then we went on to Truckee, a town I'd never really been to before, but which is lovely and low-key this time of year when the ski season hasn't yet begun. And the Cedar House Sport Hotel is highly recommended if you're traveling with a dog. Technically, you can only have one dog with you, but they very, very kindly made an exception for our two, because it's off season and we asked nicely. And everyone there is incredibly nice, including Baxter, the resident pooch. Our dogs were welcomed with a bowl for eating and drinking, plus a bed for each of them, on top of each of which sat a gift bag of freshly baked, organic doggie cookies and a fresh tennis ball (plus several discreetly rolled plastic bags with which to clean up the inevitable).

Actually, Truckee is possibly the most dog-friendly town I've ever been to--every business we went into had a dog! And there were tons of dogs just out and about, having adventures with their people. As they should. It was lovely. And besides that, Truckee is absolutely beautiful this time of year. This shot of the Truckee River was taken from the bridge in the center of town. Aspen trees, people--like as if we're really in the mountains of the American West or something!

Truckee is at about 5900 feet above sea level, way higher up than Davis, which is at something more like 59 feet or so above sea level. This means that a mere two hours from our home, everything about the weather and growing seasons is different, which is still mind-blowing for a girl from the East coast. There were several apple trees just hanging out in people's yards, dropping windfall apples among the leaves. And perhaps waiting for someone to turn the fruit into harder-than-rock apple products. Or not.


  1. Wow, Truckee. Worst name ever for a town that actually sounds... really nice. xox

    p.s. That sweater is awesome in action! It's more like a spiced-pumpkin cloak than I'd originally realized.

  2. Perfect birthday and agree the sweater looks even cooler on you -- I didn't realize how long it was. Gorgeous.

    Thanks for bringing back good memories of Truckee (vacations long ago). I never thought about the name! I bet there's some crazy gold miner story behind it.