Category Archives: pets

Fedoralady’s Monday Meanderings: Thorin et al

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I am sharing a variety of things I found on FB and some of my own stuff today. I hope you enjoy! I just love this piece of artwork. It could be Richard on set or a younger, more carefree Thorin. Great job, Evank7!

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If you aren’t familiar with Grumpy Cat, he’s (she’s?) something of an internet phenom. That face! But even GC is being won over by the delicious Thorin–well, sort of.

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I find Smaug Cat both beautiful and fearsome!!

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Someone found these two images on fanpop. I then enlarged them and did a bit of tweaking. Me like–hope you do, too.

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Nothing like  Thorin when he’s truly p—ed off and not gonna take it anymore. Forbidding and still beautiful. BeFunky_untitled-4-copy.jpg

Now, must do some video critiquing for spouse and then on to playing in photo editing with more scanned images. Such fun!

Friday Diary on a Saturday: Canines, cotton barns, porches and–have you ever seen one of these?

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Friday was another beautiful if chilly day here in Lower Alabama. Our guests were still with us, as you can see.  They seem quite at home.

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Puppy continued to share those looks. Geez, they don’t call them “puppy dog eyes” for nothing, do they? Time for our walkies, boys (and girl)!

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The new grass, kelly green, that has sprouted in the recent rains, heralds the coming spring. That old barn, once used to store cotton from my grandfather’s vast fields, later to store wood shavings for the family’s poultry houses, is now a sort of large-scale dog house for the family canines. Weather-proof, it shields from rain and wind and provides a cozy bed courtesy of those same shavings.  Puppy just had to explore!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the brick front porch of the old farmhouse, which will be 75 years old in 2014. The house was built in the late 30s following a fire that destroyed the rambling two-story Victorian in which my daddy’s large family had grown up.  The fire (of mysterious origins. Arson was suspected but never proven) also took one of several barns and a shed with vehicles. My dad was in his teens when all this happened. A fear of fire never left him.

Even though the family was downsizing (most of the ten living children now adults and on their own) my grandfather still took the blueprints for the new house and had all the rooms enlarged and extra closets added–the Victorian house possessing a distinct lack of said conveniences.  And while the new farmhouse lacked the elegant wrap-around veranda of its predecessor, it did have three porches, one of them accessible from two of the house’s bedrooms (including my own).

Later, my father built a rather rustic wooden back porch. What it lacked in eye candy appeal,  it made up for in convenience. It was a perfect place for shelling peas and beans from the garden, dressing chickens from the poultry houses, and enjoying homemade ice cream and salted slices of watermelons plucked from the big deep freeze.

When my mother was still alive, our dogs used to enjoy commuting between the two houses, spending some time lounging on the cool bricks of the front porch on hot summer days.  My parents had a small ceiling fan installed years earlier to make it more comfortable for humans and canines alike.

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Rascal (he of the soulful cinnamon brown eyes) still enjoys stretching out on the farmhouse’s brick porch.

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I used to stretch out on this very–pillar?–what do you call the porch portions flanking the steps?–as a girl on summer Saturdays.  Armed with a Popeye fruit-flavored frozen treat and a good book, I would let the sun dry my freshly shampooed waist-length tresses.  My lips turned some peculiar shades of orange or purple as I lost myself in an engaging story . . .

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Elvis–who ain’t nothing but a hound dog. Well, one-quarter bloodhound and who knows what else! 😉

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As I said, it was another beautiful day!

But here’s the thing I am wondering if you’ve ever seen before . . .

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Yep, a genuine outhouse. This is located behind the chicken coop, the one where my grandmother once collected eggs ( I have her basket atop my kitchen cabinets). The coop is now the storage shed for the riding lawnmower.

I have no idea how far back this outhouse dates, but judging by the concrete pad for it and the toilet itself, it’s a more upscale 20th century form of privy.  The chicken coop is adjacent to what is known as the cook’s house or little house, so I am guessing it was built in the 2os or 30s when that house was constructed (a bathroom was added to a side porch at some point).

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For a short time after their marriage, my parents lived in the little house, which is built shotgun style, each room backing onto another. If you shot a gun through the front door, it would go straight through into the back door (or wall, in this case).  Meanwhile, back to the privy!

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The seat bears a plate stating it’s “odorless” and was manufactured in Andalusia, Ala. I didn’t lift the seat to test things out.

And yes, the farmhouse where I grew up had indoor plumbing, although my mom always wished for a second bathroom, what with three girls and periodic guests. 😉

Oh, Mama and her son are ready to move on!

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Blue Skies, Spectacular Sunsets, Sweet Canines. Life is (mostly) good.

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Either someone has played a nasty trick on me and hidden a large quantity of Limburger cheese somewhere in the vicinity, or something has turned up its toes in the crawl space under the house.  I’ve a raspberry Renuzit which is supposed to neutralize odors and freshen the air right beside me. I think I need a couple more.  Ah, well.

Nonetheless, it’s been a beautiful day. No rain, the sky the most amazingly vibrant shade of blue with shifting white clouds. The winds were high, as if March had arrived a little early.  And our guests were still here. And with hearty appetites!

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After  chowing down heartily (with Elvis being far too stroppy about having to share) Mama Dawg and her little boy decided to accompany me on a walk. The next thing I knew, Elvis had joined us, with Rascal quickly bringing up the rear. I kept a close eye on the smallest member of our group, and when I heard a car coming, raised a warning hand as if to say, “Slow. Puppy Crossing.”

The wind was colder than I realized and I should have worn a jacket, but it felt so bracing. Just to get out of the house! And the dogs seemed to enjoy our ramble together. When the puppy took off into the brambles along the road side, I called to him and he gave me a look over his shoulder.

“Oh, excuse me. You need to do your business,” I murmured with a nod.

We cavorted a bit in the yard upon our return. Mama Dawg likes to play (and how those dark eyes sparkle when she does!) and the other dogs are still being a tad stand-offish. And then everyone seems ready for a nap–at least all the canines do . . . this one had to get his beauty sleep.

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I went back and spent some time on the computer, visiting with the cats so they wouldn’t feel neglected. They do worry about me spending too much time with those inferior creatures.

When I later check on those canines, my little friend is ready to romp a bit with his Uncle Rascal. Rascal is even-tempered and handsome and puppies are always drawn to him.  Our bachelor dog is never quite sure what to think of it all.

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As night drew near, I put out more food and took note of a marvelous sunset. Time to grab the camera again.

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And then I turned around and found this little fellow watching me, as if to say,”Why are you taking pictures of the sky when you could be taking my photograph?”

And so I did.

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A poem by Francesco Marciuliano (author of  “I Could Pee on This & Other Poems by Cats”).  I dedicate this post to Leigh and Lucky, aka the Pirate King and to all the feline lovers out there. If only I had this much energy!

HOLY (censored), THAT BALL CAN BOUNCE!

GET THE (deleted) OUT OF HERE, THIS STRING IS GREAT!Cute-Kitten-kittens-16096139-1280-800

SON OF A (removed), I CAN RUN SO FAST!

NO (banned) WAY, I JUST BROKE THAT PLATE!

WHAT THE (edited), DID YOU SEE ME JUMP?!

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WELL (forbidden) ME, I’M CAUGHT IN A JAR.

MOTHER (bleep), I SHOWED THAT LAMP!

OH (cut) NO, THERE GOES YOUR GUITAR!

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UN-(denied)-BELIEVABLE, I CAN CLIMB YOUR LEGS!

NO (blocked) LIE, I CAN DISTRESS YOUR FLOOR!

FOR (erased) SAKES, ISN’T MY LIFE GRAND?!

SO (censored) SAD I’M A KITTEN FOR JUST SIX MONTHS MORE!

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Because it’s so funny and so true.

Catnap, anyone??

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My kitties had no trouble taking a nap this afternoon. Not that they have much trouble taking naps any old time.  Right now I’ve got Callie between the laptop and my chest. Hope she’s more comfy than I am. 😉  You will notice a couple of characters decided to snooze with them . . . on the unfolded laundry on bed. Well, a little cat hair hasn’t killed me yet!

 

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As a new year approaches . . .

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New Year‘s Eve is almost here in LA, and it’s already arrived for some of you. And I am hoping you all have a wonderful beginning to the new year, and a wonderful year to come.

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Party animals that we aren’t, we plan a quiet one here, probably cuddled together, watching the countdown on TV. When we were growing up, Sister S and I used to pilfer a little of our dad’s Christmas libations to celebrate the New Year (Mogen David kosher wine, concord grape, was the drink of choice for this Southern Baptist, who largely limited his imbibing to a little Christmas cheer and a cold beer or two during haybaling season each summer).

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We’d pour it in a couple of our parents’ crystal champagne glasses and feel terribly elegant and slightly wicked. When the clock struck twelve, S and I would toast one another and clink our glasses together ever so carefully, just to hear that lovely ring.

Many people here in the South believe you have to start the new year off with the right foods. Traditionally, black-eyed peas and howl jowls (aka pork cheek) are believed to bring you good luck in the year to come. Add in some type of greens–collard greens the most typical choice–for prosperity. It IS the color of money here in the U.S. And you’ll likely want to add some cornbread. Not for good luck or riches. Just because peas practically demand it. 😀

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Left: A sign sighted in North Carolina. Right: A plate promising prosperity and luck in the new year, with black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens.

I have a confession to make. I don’t really like black-eyed peas all that much. No, I don’t have to turn in my official GRITS (Girl Raised in the South) card. I love peas–I just prefer a different variety. Mama and Daddy raised pink-eyed purple-hulled peas every year in our garden, and these, firmer and slightly sweeter than the black-eyed variety, were, and are, my field peas of choice. Are these peas and ham or bacon any more or less lucky than their black-eyed, hog-jowled counterparts? I don’t know. I just prefer the way they taste.

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Above, the afore-mentioned purple-hulled peas, the photo courtesy of Alabama’s own Auburn University. NOT the school I support. 😉

Anyway, this year will soon be gone into the annals of history. Christmas is over and Santa is back at home, resting up after his oh-so-busy night. And he, like many of us, has a few companions who enjoy cuddling with him. I don’t think it’s too late to share this charming image with you:

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Christmas Greetings from our Furry Friends

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BeFunky_Impressionist_2christalliebrown  Pictured above is our beautiful, sweet and slightly skittish Calico, Callie. She showed up at our house one day several years ago,  a half-feral kitten, hungry but not very trusting of humans. Over time we gained that trust. Today,  she is one very contented and affectionate (if slightly nervous) house cat–currently snuggled up next to her mom, purring softly.

All our pets over the years have been rescue animals, either adopted from an animal shelter or taken in as strays. May I encourage anyone considering adding a pet to their home in 2013 to consider finding a “fur-ever friend” through a shelter or rescue group.  There are rescue groups devoted to certain breeds, so if a Bassett Hound or  a French Poodle is your preference,  there’s likely a pure-bred friend out there waiting for you if you are willing to go to a bit of time and trouble to adopt.

And trust me–blended friends like Elvis, the hounddog mix seen below, make great pets, too. And please spay and neuter your cats and dogs to help fight against pet overpopulation problems in our country!

(PS Our German Sheperd (Alsatian) mix Rascal was too busy trying to greet his mom with kisses to pose for a photo . . .)

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Yes, we occasionally do get snow in LA. This was shot in February 2010. Our three dogs at the time had never before seen the white stuff.

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Thumper Cat, the three-legged, roly-poly tuxedo cat with a Hitler mustache is grateful for photo editing. No being forced by Mom to wear a miniature Santa hat! Thumper nearly lost her life as a tiny kitten after being mauled by a dog. She lost that leg, but not her spirit. We’ve had her now for close to 12 years. From our furry family members to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a 2013 full of hope, joy and love.

It’s the cat’s pajamas, too.

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Thumper seems to really like my new pajamas, too. She climbed up on my outstretched legs and made herself at home whilst I tapped away on the computer. I happened to have the camera within reach.  Eventually I had to move–my leg was asleep, even if the rest of me wasn’t–but she had a good long nap in a bed of roses, one might say.

My bedjacket arrived today! It’s lovely, a true “classic red” (the color listed online) in person  rather than the raspberryish tone it had in the photo, and it harmonizes beautifully with the pajamas. The velour gives it a rich look and it’s not heavy or bulky–just right for keeping away a chill.  I am going to see a stage production  of A Christmas Carol at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery Saturday (this will be the fourth or fifth time, I think) and was just saying to Benny I have to figure out what I am going to wear. He smiled and gave a nod towards my bedjacket and waggled his brows.

I chuckled. “Well, with a pair of black dress pants and some jewelry, yeah, it could work.”

“Hmmmmm. I’m thinking now that I should get a smoking jacket,” he said with a definite twinkle in his blue eyes.

I laughed. “Oh, yes. And a pipe. You wouldn’t have to actually smoke it. Oh, and a snifter of brandy . . .”

Wouldn’t he be handsome? 😉

Ouchies lead to another Cuteness Overload . . .

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I managed to injure the middle finger of my right hand in another of those freakish accidents that happens to me–not broken, thank goodness, just very sore–and I need to let it rest a bit.  So responding to the comments will have to wait.  Hopefully it will be better tomorrow. In the meantime . . .

Our sweet Beau disappeared a while back, *sob* but here he is as the cutest part-bloodhound pup you’ve ever seen, enjoying the water in the whiskey barrel planter, accompanied by his brother Elvis. They always seem to prefer water from here much more than they do their water bowls. Dogs!

OK. I am prejudiced. But isn’t our Callie just gorgeous here?

Oh, those wide eyes. What a sweetie!

Elvis on that other southern icon–my late daddy’s old pickup truck.

I’ll be back tomorrow to catch up with you all. Nighty-night!

Cats! Armitage & Otherwise

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Ah, I would recognize those thighs anywhere, methinks.

Such a cute and charming feline!

Callie said Thumper had gotten quite enough blog space of late, and so I thought better share some artwork featuring our own butterscotch, cream and chocolate confection of a kitty.

OT: Meet Hannah

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She’s a shy, sweet little girl with big, earnest brown eyes and silky hair. You could say she’s my great-niece of sorts.

Meet Hannah T., former homeless stray taken in by my sister’s kind-hearted stepson, now living happily with her “grandparents,” dividing her time between the house in Foley and the Orange Beach condo. She was curled up on the bed with my sis, and looked so adorable I could not resist taking her photograph. This was the best of the bunch.  My sister will tell you she is a great blessing.  And I think Hannah is blessed to have such a loving, caring home.  Truly, a win-win situation.

Bittersweet

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It’s almost Friday, which means Guyday here–and I have some goodies set aside for all of you Guy lovers to enjoy tomorrow.  He’s already extending an invitation to you all:

It’s been kind of an odd week here chez fedoralady. Weather-wise, it’s been glorious–highs in the low 80s with clear skies and relatively low humidity, dropping off into the low 60s, even into the 50s, at night; balmy weather allowing us to take a break from running the A/C.  It’s warming back up–as I have said, summer can arrive early and stick around late here in LA–but I’ve enjoyed this taste of autumn with nights cool enough to snuggle beneath the covers.

However,  as expected, it’s been taking a toll on my sinuses/allergies. I have woken up  completely stopped up on one side of my head, off and on coughing and sneezing, and weepy, itchy, gloopy eyes.  Remember I said I had a love/hate relationship with the seasonal changes in spring and fall? This is why.  So I am a bit more tired than usual this week and energy is always a precious commodity for me.

This week also marked the 1,000th post on my blog. I have appreciated all the lovely, sweet, funny comments left at that post so very much. I think they came at a time I really needed them. A few days ago I had the one-year anniversary of losing my job. I just had to file a claim for a new benefit year with the unemployment office. I don’t know what the future holds for me in terms of employment. In twelve days I will turn another year older.

Let’s say I have bittersweet feelings right now.

Poor Benny had an awful dream night before last “and the worst night’s sleep I have had in a while.” He dreamed we were living in a different house and had a bunch of calico kittens. Only they kept falling through a hole in the floor of this house and rattlesnakes were killing the kitties. He was trying desperately to save them but to no avail.  My husband is a strong man who’s not afraid to be gentle and I could tell this hurt his heart.

Of course, we have a good idea why he had such a dream–we’ve had all these rattlers this summer, we have lost two of our  four cats in a span of six months, and we are a bit anxious about the health of our remaining cats, one of whom is our beloved calico Callie.  We were talking about a small donation we’d made to help combat feline cancer, which took the life of his brother’s own lovely Callie Cat–and we both ended up with tears in our eyes.  And then we laughed through our tears, because we are a pair of sentimental saps, and we love each other for it.

He’s such a good, good man.  I am quite fond of good men with humor and heart and intelligence and a naughty side.

Both of these men have an amazing capacity to cheer me up when I am down and make me laugh when no one and nothing else can. I am very blessed, whatever the future may hold.

Storm clouds at Ladywriter’s: Thorin vs. Guy

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Forget Black Sky. There were storm clouds a-plenty at Ladywriter’s house. Thorin Thursday had a collision with Guyday Friday, as it were.

“Thorin, Thorin, Thorin. Is that all the fangurlz want to talk about?” Guy was grumbling beneath his breath, a long-haired pussycat tucked beneath his arm as he absently stroked her soft brown and cream fur.

“When will we get to see Thorin? Is it December yet? OMG, he’s so HOT.”

The Dark Knight tossed back his dark locks as he mimicked those annoying Thorin fans in a high-pitched, breathless tone.

Since he was his CReAtor’s er—CreAtion, Sir Guy managed the imitation of a female’s voice extremely well. It just looked rather ridiculous coming out of the mouth of a strapping fellow with an excess of stubble on his jaw.

Guy rolled his kohl-rimmed eyes and gave a distinctly disdainful (but nonetheless manly) sniff.

Now this damned book is out. Did I ever get an—an annual?  No.”

“I know, Gizzy. It’s most distressing,” said the kitty, who was, as you might have guessed, the So Not Dead Puddie.

“After all, you were here first.” She gave her own disdainful sniff with her dainty pink nose. “I know how I felt when Mother and Father started bringing in those other cats . . . why did they need anyone other than ME?”

Guy gave another stallion-like toss of his dark mane. “Exactly.” He sighed. “You and I understand one another so well, Puddiekins . . .”

“You should not forget that today is, actually, my day at the blog,” a deep, booming, authoritative voice said.

Guy stiffened. Puddie gasped. Could it be—

It was. A bearded figure, short and stocky but nonetheless regal, entered the room, clasping an extremely large and shiny sword at his side. Flicking back his long, lustrous locks—yes, even longer and more abundant than Sir Guy’s—he fixed his piercing gaze upon the knight and cat.

“Thorin Oakenshield,” he announced with a small bow to the cat. “I do not believe we have met before, my lady. You have recently joined this company?” (He had briefly met Sir Guy, Dear Reader, on an earlier visit.)

Puddie gave a small nod of acknowledgement. “Indeed—having joined the ranks of the So Not Dead.”

“Ah.” Thorin said. “I cannot yet claim membership in that particular group.”

Guy, whose eyes had been transfixed by the sight of Thorin’s very large, gleaming, lethal-looking sword, lifted his chin and looked down his handsome aquiline nose at the dwarf king.

“It is a very exclusive club. Membership is earned—the hard way.”  Guy and Puddie looked at each other and gave a wistful joint sigh.

Thorin drew himself to his full height of (roughly) five feet, two inches, give or take a half-inch, and cleared his throat.

“I have no difficulty dealing with that which is hard, painful or dangerous, of taking on the most harrowing of challenges.  I am of the finest dwarven stock, after all.  The heir of Durin, uncrowned king under–”

Guy’s eyes quickly began to glaze over. “Yeah, yeah—I’ve heard it all, Oakenshield.”  He eyed Thorin’s blade once more.

“Nice weapon,” the Dark Knight said.  “Looks as if you spend a lot of time polishing it,” he added with a smirk.

Thorin’s mouth curled into what might have been deemed a smug smile.

“It looks as if your weapon is—non-existent?”

Guy’s face took on a thunderous appearance. “It just so happens I have an extremely large and shiny sword with a magnificent jeweled hilt.”

Thorin tilted his head, blinking slowly. “Oh, really? Where is it?”

Ah. The very question Guy did not wish to answer. Because, of course, Ladywriter had removed it once again just in case Guy got a bit—carried away. Which was horribly unfair.  What was a self-respecting dark knight to do?

“It is out—being sharpened. And—polished.”  Puddie suddenly piped up in her breathy southern accent.

Guy flashed his gleaming white teeth at Thorin as he gave the cat a small squeeze of thanks. “Yes. Exactly so.” He expelled a breath and raised a single dark brow. “We shall have to compare our weapons—later.”

Thorin gave a conciliatory nod. “Agreed. I must take leave now as it is, after all, Thorin Thursday and I do believe Ladywriter has more fanart of me to post? And I must see more of this annual . . . I bid you both farewell.”

And with a majestic air, Thorin turned on his booted heel and strode away, every inch the uncrowned king.

Puddie gave a small sigh. “He really does have the most amazing hair. I wonder how much time he requires for grooming every day?”

Guy sneered. “Pretty boy. Dwarfy pretty boy.”

Puddie glanced up at him. “But—you are the one wearing eyeliner, Gizzy. And—if I am not mistaken—a touch of eyeshadow, too?”

He sniffed. “But it just makes me look more magnificently virile and sexy.” His brow furrowed slightly. “Doesn’t it?”

Puddie smiled and butted her head against the Medieval Menace’s side.

“Of course it does, Gizzy. And now—some Blue Bell ice cream?”

Guy nodded. “Excellent idea. I could murder a bowl. It’s been, what?—two hours since I last ate . . .”

He flicked back his mane, his head held high. After all, he’d had the lustrous mane first. And the total glamour look. AND the big, shiny sword–

Somehow, Puddie suspected this wouldn’t be the last near-skirmish between her beloved Gizzy and the new Alpha male in town.

That little braid of Thorin’s really was most fetching . . .