Monday, December 19, 2011

Sous Chef, Revisited

Last night Charissa and I were baking, and just as I got my yummy pumpkin-oat-nut muffins in the oven, I realized--oops--not enough flour left for Charissa to make her World's Best dark-chocolate-mint-chip cookies.  Rats -- time for a trip to the corner store.  Grabbing our coats, we dashed out the door.  This should've been just a quick trip, but you know how it get to the store and, wandering down the aisles in quest of flour, you see just the perfect gift for this person...something else you'd forgotten you needed...and on and on.  Perhaps there is no such thing as a quick trip to the store, especially at Christmas!

Only as we were checking out, which was rather too late, did it occur to us that the muffins were probably going to be wayyy overdone (read: torched) by the time we got back.  The timer I'd set only beeps once -- no second chances.  Sure, Tim was home, but he'd be the first to tell you he's not known for his kitchen skills. Plus, if he'd been in another room, he probably wouldn't have even heard it go off.  I hadn't thought to call him, and now there was no real point.  Bemoaning our muffin losses, we headed back.

Walking in, though, a delicious (as opposed to burnt) smell greeted us, and we saw two dozen beautiful muffins happily cooling on the counter. 

"Oh my goodness, Tim, you did take them out!  I thought you wouldn't hear the timer!"

"Um, yeah, I guess I must've heard it, but it didn't really register that it was your kitchen timer until Alfie ran over to the stove and barked..."  Apparently Alfie, who does rather have a way of insisting, made it quite clear that this was Something Important and Tim should Do Something

Good Dog.

Alfie sits proudly gazing off to the distance
Saving the world, one muffin at a time.
Will accept medals of honor, treats, and tummy rubs...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh What Fun

This year, decorating for Christmas felt extra-special: due to our move, it had actually been two years since we'd gotten out all the Christmas things.  Everything old was new again, and we found some things we'd forgotten we had!

Like these curious little musical toys:

a small, brightly-painted music box in the shape of a whirling carnival ride; the tiny people in it are dressed in Victorian style

same as above, only this is a little ferris wheel

...when you wind them up, the little rides start spinning, and they play Christmas music.  Okay, cute.  But Alfie found them totally amazing

He carefully watched us wind one of them, tilting his head first to the right, then to the left...when the music started to play he was surprised and very excited.  We set it down where he could see it and it seemed as if he wanted to play it himself, first flipping the toy over with his paw, then nibbling at the key to try to get it to work! This went on for quite a while, until I fear the tiny Victorian people on the ride were getting a great deal more excitement than they bargained for. We laughed til we cried, then I finally thought to take a little video before we had to take the toy away:

Enjoy your Christmas season -- in the midst of it all, Alfie reminds you: don't forget to let go, play, and have some fun!  

Alfie's all cuddled up in Charissa's lap as she sits in a recliner
...and take time to snuggle with someone you love...