Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Patriotic Tree 2017

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Cam and I thought we'd blog a bit more about our Patriotic Tree today!  We showed it to you briefly the other day, and we've all (Cam and I and our great-brother and great-sisters) have posted about it in years past.  It's our favorite tree!  Let's get to it!

"How's this pose, Mom?"
"Hey ... isn't this a 'no Santa hats zone'?"
"Perfect, Cam.  And no, but nice try, Mags."

OK.  So ... you all know Mom is a proud Army wife and Army brat, right?  Both our dad and her dad were in the Army for many years!  Anyway, back in the mid-1800s, that could have been before Mom's time, but I'm not quite sure, the Army wives out here on the frontier didn't have many things they could decorate their tree with!  One of their customs was to loop  pretty ribbons through the shanks of the brass buttons the men wore on their uniforms and tie them to their Christmas trees!!  (I'm assuming this would be spare buttons, or they would have had some mighty cold soldiers, what with how the wind comes ripping down the prairie and all ... but I digress!). Mom loves that tradition and continues it today!

Here is one of Dad's old uniform buttons:


And here's one of Mom's dad's buttons - from the uniform he wore as a West Point cadet!


Mighty special, both of them!

"I love these ornaments!  And the whole tree!  ... and the treats Mom is holding ..."
"Me, too.  My hat's slipping.  Isn't that a cryin' shame?"

One year, Mom made a bunch of these ornaments:

Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) tree ornament

They are made from one of Dad's old uniforms, some twine, and batting that looks like SNOW!  Those ornaments represent all of our men and women serving in our nation's military, stationed all over the world.

"We ❤❤ the members of our military!!"
"AMEN, Cam.  AMEN!"

Oh. Right.  Hat fell off there at the end.  Too bad, huh?  Yeah.  I wore it as a bandana.  Good enough, right?!?

We hope you enjoyed hearing a bit more about our Patriotic Tree!  Please remember to say a prayer for those serving in our nation's military -- especially those who are overseas at Christmas!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, December 15, 2017

Not Falling For It!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam!  So there we were the other afternoon, heading down Hudson Trail on a lovely walk, when ...

"Cam!  I think something's up there!"
"Really?  What?  Bunny?  Squirrel?  Puppy?!?!"

We went a little further, then ...

"Right.  Nice try, Maggie."

Does she think I'm really going to fall for that one?


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Afternoon Window Shopping

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  The other afternoon, Cam and I thought Mom and Dad needed a little break, so we took them on a nice walk up to our shopping center to do a little window shopping.  I found one place that had some mighty interesting windows!

"I think these ones look mighty interesting!"
"Me, too!"

We decided to check them out!

"Hey!  There are Siberians in there!"
"Oh, my!"
"This bi-eyed one looks especially fun!"
"She looks like a bit of a handful to me ..."
"There's a very pretty brown eyed Sibe in there, too, Cam!"
"She looks like she's smiling at us!"

Before too long, Mom and Dad said we needed to head home!  We thought maybe our new friends would join us.

"C'mon, friends!"
"I wonder if they'll follow us home!?!"

They only went as far as the corner of the building - but maybe they'll be there next time we do some window shopping!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Porch Posing Outtakes

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  You know ... that super-cooperative Siberian?  Yep.  That one.  Anyway, for some reason, Mom has a collection of what she calls "outtakes" from when Cam and I were porch-posing in our Santa hats.  I thought I'd post them, along with some quick captions.  Ready?  Let's take a look!

We started with the hats as bandanas - paired with our really cool sunglasses.

"I wonder if any of the neighbors can see us?"
"Do you have treats, Mom?"
"They'll never recognize us in our sunglasses anyway."
"Mine are slipping."
"Man!  I think Aspen's looking out the window!"
"Oh.  I'm going to do a super-pose then!"

Have I mentioned a family with a Siberian named Aspen moved in across the street?  I like him!  A lot!

Unfortunately, at that point, Mom decided we should wear the hats as hats.

"No, I will not look at you, Mom!  Aspen might see me!"
"I don't like wearing the glasses and the hat at the same time."

Mom let Cam ditch the glasses.  I wanted to stay incognito.

"OK, wait.  This is a good one, isn't it?"
"Hi, Mom!"
"Perfect, Cam!  Maggie?  Maggie?"

Who was it who decided models should actually look at the camera?  Isn't it more interesting if they don't?  It makes you wonder what we're looking at - right?  There's a story there!

"Fine.  'Lose the glasses, Maggie.'  Whatever."
"Umm... I have a slight problem here."

The balls on the end of those hats can be tricky!

"Here, CamCam.  Let me help."
"Thanks, Maggie."
"Can we wrap this up, Mom?"
"How's this?"
"Maggie, please try not to look so sad!"

She's the one who puts a hat on me, takes away my really cool sunglasses, then tells me not to look so sad?!?  Seriously?    What with Santa watching and all, I gave it a shot.

"Ho Ho Ho, Mom."
"Ho Ho Ho!!!"

Yeah. Too bad she didn't get the trees in that last shot, huh?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Decor, Part II

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam, back with more of our Christmas Decor!  Yesterday, we showed you where our "memories" tree is -- that tree has an eclectic collection of all kinds of ornaments on it!  It has old ornaments from when Mom and Dad were first married, ornaments from friends, ornaments with special memories behind them.  Today, we'll show you a couple more!

First up, the tree with the German angels on it!

"How's this, Mom?"
"Yeah, how's this, Mom?"
"Umm ... Maggie?  Are you supposed to be up there?"

That tree has all wooden ornaments, mostly from Germany, one or two from Belgium, and a couple Nativity scene ornaments from Israel. They're all very special!

In case Maggie was blocking anything ...

"I was OK the first time, though - right?"
"Fine.  Is this better?"

Mom made the quilts on the wall when she and Dad lived at Fort Riley, Kansas, in Montgomery, Alabama, and in Seoul, Korea. They bought the Nutcracker guy in Germany, when they lived in Belgium. Maggie and I are fascinated with his hat and beard!

I like to lay by the fireplace (without a fire, of course) and take it all in.

"Ooh, very festi-zzzz..."

Or take a nap. One of the two.

You can sort of see the fireplace mantle - it has a pottery Nativity scene from Belgium and all kinds of angels from all over the world!

"At least there are no hats!"
"Don't even mention them, Maggie!"

We'll do close-ups of everything eventually.

To the right on that photo above, you can see another tree - our Patriotic tree! We honor all those men and women serving in our nation's military, remembering them at Christmas and always!

Me and Mags with the Patriotic tree!

Mom took more pix of us there yesterday; it's our favorite tree! More to come on that one!

That's enough for today ...

Mags and me - being perfect angels!

More to come!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Decor, Part I

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  Maggie and I worked really hard helping Mom deck the halls here at Ao4 Headquarters, getting it all set for Christmas!  We thought we'd start showing you some of the festive things!

Dad helped Mom carry a bunch of storage boxes down from the upstairs. We thought we should help, too.

"Watch your step!"
"No, it's no trouble.  We'll come up and help."

We may have run up and down the steps a few times.  Just to help.

After everything was brought down to the main level, Maggie helped go through some of the ornament boxes.

"Uh oh."

Maggie has a thing for Sock Monkey.  Unfortunately for her, Mom has just the deterrent:

"Look!  It's the Maggie Motion Monitor!"
"Not the ol' triple M!"

You can read up on the MMM at this link.  But to sum up, as the saying goes, "Every time a bell rings, a Siberian is too close to the Christmas tree!"

"Don't worry, Mom.  I'll keep an eye on her.  I mean, she's FOUR now!"
"How come Sock Monkey is so high up on the tree?"

Mom also got out our wood resin Saint Nicolas and Santa statues.  Our grandmother painted them many years ago!

"I like these!"
"I always thought St. Nick and Santa were much bigger than this."

Mom put them up on a shelf in the breakfast room eventually, but wanted us to pose with them first.  She asked us to do a "down"; Maggie was getting bored, but I obliged:

"How's this, Mom?"
"Perfect, Cam!  Wait.  Where is Magg--"
"RATS!  Next time, Sock Monkey!  Next time!"

Hmm.  Maybe it's a good thing Mom put the triple M on the tree after all!