Monday, October 31, 2011

Seriously Ridiculous

So, did you hear we had a little something called SNOW!! this past weekend? I don't even know where to begin.

A British co-worker of my hubs who resides in the UK will be relocating to our area in January. January! Bless them. His lovely wife has only been in the US once or twice, never for any extended period of time, and I'd never met either of them until this weekend. They were in town to do some house hunting and we had plans to meet for dinner on Saturday night.

Welcome to NJ!
Where a foot and a half of snow falls before the end of October.
Yes we had a foot and a half of snow this weekend...didn't you?

The predicted snowfall started mid morning Saturday and when I say it was snowing I mean it was SNOWING!! Those caps and exclamation points are obnoxious I know, but so was the SNOW!! It absolutely poured all the live long day and on into the night. We, along with the entire population of our little town, had popped into the brand new supermarket to pick up a few things on Saturday morning. Coincidentally the brand new supermarket just so happened to be hosting their grand opening celebration that morning too. Timing people. Snowstorms and grand openings make for quite the mix.

As we came out of the market and made our way home, literally just a few miles, hubs and I decided we best call the co-worker and his wife in their hotel and have them come on over early. They were staying about 20 minutes away, were in a rental car, not accustomed to driving on the right side of the road, and did I tell you it was SNOWING!? Hubs suggested they pack a bag. Good thinking hubs!

Their realtor had naturally cancelled the house hunt trip scheduled for Saturday...after all, she needed to be shoveling and plowing and clearing downed trees like the rest of us, so they made their way to our house and we hung out in my kitchen most of the afternoon. Every few minutes one or both of them would walk to the windows and say, "I just can't believe this."

We know.
We can hardly believe it ourselves and we live here.

I did my best to reassure the Mrs. that this was not typical weather for an October Saturday in Northern NJ and I think she mostly believed me. I did add though, that since they'll be arriving in January this is the sort of weather they'll see then. Good to know what you're getting in to, right?

Moving house is always a bit nerve wracking but moving country really amps up the fear factor. Being greeted by a foot of snow in October does not exactly help calm those fears.

We ended up venturing out to a nearby restaurant for an early dinner. Another couple who live nearby were meeting us too and we had a wonderful meal by the fireplace in a lovely local spot. Afterwards they came back to our house and spent the night since there was no way they were getting out anywhere.

We awoke Sunday morning to a crystal clear blue cloudless sky. In general the day after a storm is gorgeous and Sunday was no exception. Well, unless you count stuff like this.

Yes that is a giant tree felled by the weight of wet heavy snow. Conveniently it fell across our front walkway. And that's just one we lost or may lose. Ugh. We drove around town and the damage from this storm looks far worse than what we had during the recent hurricane. There were trees and power lines down everywhere you looked...thousands are still without power today and in fact, area schools are closed here. In October. Due to snow.

We took our guests on a little tour of the town on Sunday...can't have them thinking it's all work and no play living here, can we?

We walked out onto the boardwalk by the lake and saw that someone had gotten creative during the storm. It takes a lot of snow to make a snowman this big people!

I posted pics on my facebook and several friends have asked if its all melted today. Uh, no. It is melting but we still have plenty hanging around.

And in spite of what it looks like outside today is Halloween. That day when little munchkins don costumes and parade from house to house asking ever so sweetly for candy. We have a little problem though-

It's called a tree blocking the sidewalk to our front door.
No worries...

Hubs got a little bit creative too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photographs and Memories

I had this idea that it would be fun to put my Halloween pictures thru the years into a post on my blog. Mostly for my girls to see but also because I like to collect these kinds of memories and have them recorded somewhere. As I was scrounging around for photos I realized several things. You know I always learn things when I look thru my pictures, right? That saying, "hindsight is 20/20" never rings truer for me than when I blog about days gone by.

Digital photography is a beautiful thing. No awkward faces or bad lighting. No cluttered counters drawing your eye to the background instead of the foreground. Eyes open, clear line, smooth edges. Every event captured, tweaked, and marked in a photograph that we almost never hold in our hand.

The pictures I have from my girls growing up days are not digital. These pictures required a trip to the drug store or Fotomat to see what had been captured with a camera days, weeks, or even months earlier. These pictures were held in my hand and examined, sometimes framed but more often dropped into a shoebox or stuck into old fashioned albums that lacked photo safe paper.

When I see myself as a young mom I am catapulted back to the weary joy of those days. I hear a steady stream of giggly chatter that served as the soundtrack to our lives when small girls lived and slept and grew in our house. We didn't have a camera on us at any given moment. We missed things. Precious things that are saved only in our memory, and every now and then in a good or not-so-good photograph.

As I looked thru my photos I realized we didn't even take a picture every year on Halloween. We were most likely busy- finishing up homework, figuring out how to add a layer of warmth to a lightweight costume for trick or treating, eating our traditional pre-game meal of chili and cornbread and then afterwards dumping pillowcases or plastic pumpkins onto the family room rug to sort, trade, share, and revel in the loot. Often it would be the next day before I'd remember that I had wanted a picture.

We had our traditions, still do actually. We trekked to a local pumpkin patch and then Daddy was in charge of the carving. He would always ask, "Silly face or scary face?" and the girls always shouted for the 'scary face'. They were both little chickens and didn't really like anything too scary but on this day they wanted their Jack-o-lantern to look a bit frightening.

No carving kits, nothing to trace...just newsprint on the table and a regular old kitchen carving knife. The girls scooped out the 'guts' and watched as the face on the pumpkin took shape.

When the girls were tiny tots and we lived in North Jersey our neighborhood had big hills and lots of acreage between the driveways. Hubs put our babies in the wagon and hauled that thing up the mountain. Good thing we were young.

They didn't go to many houses but they didn't need to...just a few familiar neighbors who oohed and ahhed over their costumes and their cuteness and then home for hot cocoa and a piece of candy or two before bed. Only on Halloween.

We lived in Maryland during the elementary school years...a flat neighborhood with sidewalks and good friends.

The dads in our little cul-de-sac were in charge of trick or treating...they sometimes dressed up too and walked into neighboring subdivisions with the gaggle of kids from our court.

It was often raining and always cold.
That's part of the memory.

My girls celebrated one Halloween in England, our first year there. England couldn't quite decide if they were celebrating the holiday or not but I think in recent years its become more of a big deal. Mine were too old for trick or treating that year, but not for a party with friends.

As I look thru my pictures I realize afresh that my days as a 'young' mother are tucked snugly in the past. In 2011 I can appreciate the delete button on my digital camera.

In looking back I can also see that motherhood is full of rough edges and blurry lines. Its sometimes sloppy and almost always unscripted. Re-takes are found only in the gift of a new day, a chance to do a little better today than we did the day before. My old pictures are raw and unphotoshopped. Most of the time, so is life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

50 is Nifty-Wednesday Hodgepodge Vol guess what number

My girls would be quick to point out that using the term nifty marks you as a person of a certain age but in my defense the only time I use that word is when I'm saying Fifty is Nifty. Which isn't often.

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Volume FIFTY. Which is nifty. Okay I'll stop now and get on with the questions. Be sure to link your post and then visit around. Here are my answers to this week's questions-

1. What gives you goosebumps?

Lots of things-seeing a soldier reunited with his family, being in a large crowd while The National Anthem is sung, dental tools, a dark basement.

2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?

It's not my favorite holiday but I don't hate it either. I don't take it too seriously and my cutie pies generally viewed any opportunity to put on some sort of costume as a good day. We enjoyed talking about 'what to be', hanging out with the neighbors (the dads all banded together and walked around in a big group) and of course the best part- raiding the girls stash after they'd gone to bed. Hi girls!

3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?

For the most part I think the two go hand in hand. I don't think I can trust someone I don't respect. Trust is a step above respect in the grand scheme of things. I think there are instances where I can have respect for a person's -ability, insight, skill-but not neccessarily trust them to do the right or best thing for me (politicians anyone?) I cannot think of any instance where I would trust someone I didn't respect.

4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.

This time of year I'd definitely say apples-picked from the orchard and eaten on the spot, simmered all day in the crockpot into a wonderful homemade sauce, sliced in pies, cakes, tarts and dumplings, dipped into caramely goodness and even pressed into cider. Yum!

and voila....

5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)

There isn't much in our little town which I suppose is part of its charm but also a teensy bit annoying at times. You can't have it both ways I guess. I like the fact that I have to go one town over to get to a Walmart or Target. They are close but not too close. I do love the downtown in collegetown where Daughter2 lives-its just the right mix of nature, boutiques, and fine dining so I know it can be done and done well. I guess that's what I'd really like to see in our town- a plan.

6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?

The refills to my tooth whitening kit. The dentist recommended I keep it there and I always do what the dentist says.

7. Are you at all superstitious?

I don't think so. Definitely not in the black cat or broken mirror kind of way.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I hosted book club at my house on Monday night and made a few things I'd seen on Pinterest. If you're not on Pinterest you should check it out. So many fun, clever, delicious ideas out there. I set out this bowl of 'acorns' and they were a hit...

I used the mini nutter butter cookies for the top and attached it to the Hershey's kiss with a dab of peanut butter. I think they're so cute as a little something extra for a fall get together and who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 50

Clearly I am off my blogging game this week. It just now dawned on me that today is not Monday. It's Tuesday.

Okay, now that we've cleared that up, here it is-Volume 50. Wait, what? We've been at the Hodgepodge for almost one full year. Yay us! And I know first hand that 50 is fabulous so come join the party. Here are the questions which you should answer on your own blog or fb page. Hop back over here tomorrow (Wednesday) to link your answers and see what the neighbors are saying.

1. What gives you goosebumps?

2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?

3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?

4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.

5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)

6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?

7. Are you at all superstitious?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finding Gold in the Weekend

Hey, guess what?
We were at home this weekend.
And by home I mean we weren't sitting around doing nothing but we were also not standing in a queue at the airport or packing and lugging suitcases or stripping down for security.


Hubs was at the airport. He'd been in Delhi all last week and his flight touched down in the US of A at the delightful hour of 4:25 am. Of course to him that felt like 2 PM so we did what we always do when he gets back from one of these upside down business trips-we went out to breakfast. Its possible we also went out to lunch later that same day but who's counting. He always has stories to tell when he's been to India, some interesting and some sad, so we spent the day catching up and running errands. And eating out obviously. He wanted some regular American beef for dinner so we grilled steaks and caught up on the DVR. Riveting stuff, isn't it? I've written an entire paragraph on our weekend eating habits.

Hubs finds it amusing that he travels half way round the world but I'm the one who kind of collapses when he gets home. In my defense I do not sleep well when he's in these places, so as soon as he's safely home I let my adrenaline crash.

Saturday it was off to the races. We were guests of someone business related (I don't know-I just go along for the fun day out) and they have a lovely tent at this event which raises money for a local hospital. The weather was very fall like with alternating sun and clouds and I was glad I wore my down vest.

(oh good, she's moved from discussing her dining habits to weather talk)

This horse race goes all the way back to 1870 and is host to the Breeder's Cup, the most prestigious race in American steeplechasing. I don't follow horse racing but I do read a lot of Dick Francis novels which are set in that venue so I think that counts. Do you think they saw this back in 1870?

Let me just say for record that he was not with us. Also, the rules clearly stated no pets but somehow this girl managed to sneak in a chicken.

Whyyyy? As you can see, the event attracts a wide ranging crowd. We were up on the hill above the chickens and the superheroes-

There was plenty of wonderful food and pretty table decorations-

I loved the centerpieces and they would be easy to recreate-

There were no Marvel Comic characters in our tent but we did spend a lot of time talking to some British guests which was fun. Will we ever lose that sense of feeling an immediate connection to every Brit we meet? These boys (they were men, but they were young men) had spent a lot of time in our little village, primarily in the pub there but still, it was fun talking about our mutual love of their homeland.

Hubs needed a bit of a low key day on Sunday and what a gorgeous fall day it turned out to be-

We took the little red car for a spin and enjoyed feeling the sunshine on our faces and the seeing the view from atop New Jersey's highest point.

We came home and relaxed on the patio (finally) and even had a fire in the outdoor firepit where this deliciousness happened-

That's hubs marshmallow...he has no patience for a lot of things but he could sit all day and roast a marshmallow to perfection. I have patience for most things but managed to burn two right off the bat with my impatience. He was nice and shared.

And what would your week be without a picture of my hillside?

The sunlight sparkled thru the leaves yesterday and made for a most peaceful and perfect late autumn afternoon. How can you not love the fall?

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keep Calm and Hodgepodge On-Vol 49

Welcome to the Wednesday glad you joined us for another week of random. If this is your first time here feel free to play along. Here are my answers to this week's questions-

1. How do you typically react in a sudden, extreme, pressure-filled crisis? Would we want you nearby in an emergency?

If I'm the adult or designated person in charge then I'm generally good in a crisis or emergency. Once the heat of the moment has passed I might dissolve into a puddle, but in the moment I'm good. I have no real medical training so I'm not that useful from a first aid standpoint, but I can organize, bring the calm and/or bark orders, and rally the troops for evacuation if need be.

2. Caramel apple-caramel sundae-caramel corn-caramel macchiato...of the four, which caramel treat would you choose?

Another food choice question, another dilemma. Sigh. I will make my decision by process of elimination. I haven't eaten a caramel apple in years mostly because my teeth are not as tough as they used to be and its not worth a trip to the dentist. In general, I'm not a fan of flavored coffees so I'll pass on the macchiato. I'm going with the caramel corn. Popcorn makes my top ten list of favorite foods and adding sugary syrupy goodness to it is never a bad thing.

3. Is there such a thing as destiny? Explain.

If we're defining destiny as the predetermined or inevitable course of events in a life, then I'd probably say no. I mean we're all destined to die one day but I think in any given day or moment we can change the way we live and thus alter the course of our future. We were created as complex beings with hearts and souls and brains, and while I believe God is sovereign over all things I also believe He gave us a free will to accept or reject Him, to choose what path we walk in this world. Is this question controversial because that is most definitely not my aim. I think I will enjoy reading what others say here. Maybe the problem is that I'm not quite sure how to define the word destiny. I like to skip merrily thru life wearing my rose colored glasses.

4. What's your favorite piece of furniture? I'm referring to something currently in your possession as opposed to something on your wish list.

Probably one of my couches as they both make for excellent napping.

5. Wednesday night marks the start of the 2011 Baseball World Series. Did you know? Do you care? Will you be watching? Ever been to a professional baseball game? If you're not an American do you find the title 'World Series' annoying or amusing?

Oh America, I do love you so. This question makes me smile though, because a Dutch friend recently posted something on facebook about her team winning the Baseball World Championships and I am reminded once again that this world is a great big beautiful place.

I like baseball and I've been to a number of professional games. I always root for the Phillies, but sadly the Phils are not in the World Series this year. I have no real ties to either team playing so Go Cardinals. I always choose a team to root for and my hubs is a bit of a Cardinal fan so Cardinals it is.

6. One sound that takes me back to my childhood is ____________.

a lawn mower cutting grass

If I hear that sound thru an open window so much the better...something about it whisks me right back to the carefree barefoot days of long ago childhood summers.

7. On average, once you've linked your hodgepodge post to mine how many other participant blogs do you visit? Do you ever come back to the Hodgepodge later in the day or even the day after to read posts?

Most weeks I make an attempt to read all the HP posts. I figure since I'm the hostess it's only polite. It may take me most of the week to get to them, but I try.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

You will be happy/disappointed/relieved/indifferent to learn that I did not have to report for jury duty this week. I was instructed to call in or check their online site both Sunday and Monday evenings. On Sunday evening the instructions said-'No need to report.' Monday evening the instructions again said-'No need to report' and then added-'Your service is concluded.' My service? I never left my house.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

If you're looking for this week's Wed. Hodgepodge questions you'll find them here.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not do something.

After daughter2 and I had finished at the mall on Friday afternoon, we decided to stop at our local Christian book store so I could pick up some cards. As we stood in the check out line waiting to pay, a display just behind us caught our attention. Sitting on the table was an ordinary water bottle.

Or maybe not so ordinary.

The water inside was dirty. Daughter2 picked up the bottle for a closer look. "Is this what they drink, Mom?" "Is it?"

There in a display rack, placed neatly beside the dirty water, were the faces. You know the ones I mean.

Faces of children who live in communities where life's most basic and essential ingredient, clean water, may not exist. Children who are hungry. Children whose mothers somehow eke out a living but not enough of one to properly feed or clothe their babies. Children who live in villages and countries and continents ravaged by disease half a world away. Children whose eyes stare back at you from their picture on a sponsor card. Children who live in poverty so extreme it cannot be fully imagined from the comfort of a suburban shopping center on a sunny autumn afternoon.

Can we walk away from this display?
Can we leave them sitting on a shelf in a bookstore?
I can't.

And I know for certain my idealistic, compassionate, full of hope, 21 year old daughter can't either. I could almost hear the wheels turning as she calculated the cost. She has a weekly babysitting job in college town and as we stood in front of that store display on Friday afternoon she made a resolution. She would sponsor a child.

Hubs and I already sponsor a child...this is not something new in our home, but as I stand in this store I am suddenly weighed down by the sheer number of children who need help. And hope.

I resolve too. Hubs isn't there in the store with us but he gets this. He has a heart for children and we are able. But how do we choose? How do you say, this one and not that one. My heart hurts. I glance over at my daughter who in that moment, seems wiser than her years. A picture of her happy laughing baby self dances through my head. She lifts her face to mine and we share a look. We are thinking the same we would like to snatch up all the cards in the store and make them ours.

We go back to the faces. The store manager tells us we can also look thru a data base if we have a particular country in mind. We say no thank you....we want one from the table with the dirty water. World Vision has partnered with this particular chain of stores in an attempt to find sponsors for children who may be rotated out of the program unless someone steps forward. We want one of those.

Daughter2 finally makes her selection. A little girl with big dark eyes from a village in Lesotho. Can we even find Lesotho on a map? We'll learn.

I break with tradition. Hubs and I have supported children thru World Vision for many years. Always girls until today. Today an eight year old boy whose eyes look into mine from across the page is the one I choose. His home is a village in India, a country whose poverty my husband has seen first hand. I choose him.

We turn our backs to the display as we complete our paperwork. It's easier not to look at the faces left waiting beside the dirty water.

Saturday evening we trek back to the store. Daughter1 is now in town and she's heard from her sister about the children in the store. My tender hearted first born girl needs to see the pictures and the dirty water too. She is full of resolve. She selects a boy from Kenya whose biography tells us that he has no parents. He has a sponsor now.

We cannot take them all I tell my daughters with the teary eyes and the aching hearts. But we can take these three.

Resolution. A firm decision to do or not do something.

For more information or to sponsor a child please visit World Vision online. This post is part of today's One Word blog carnival...visit Peter Pollack's blog to read more posts on this week's word-resolution.

Questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 49

Here ya go...the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Come back tomorrow to link answers and see what your friends and neighbors have to say. Enjoy your day!

1. How do you typically react in a sudden, extreme, pressure-filled crisis? Would we want you nearby in an emergency?

2. Caramel apple-caramel sundae-caramel corn-caramel macchiato...of the four, which carmel treat would you choose?

3. Is there such a thing as destiny? Explain.

4. What's your favorite piece of furniture? I'm referring to something currently in your possession as opposed to something on your wish list.

5. Wednesday night marks the start of the 2011 Baseball World Series. Did you know? Do you care? Will you be watching? Ever been to a professional baseball game? If you're not an American do you find the title 'World Series' annoying or amusing?

6. A sound that takes me back to my childhood is____________.

7. On average, once you've linked your hodgepodge post to mine how many other participant blogs do you visit? Do you ever come back to the Hodgepodge later in the day or even the day after to read posts?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happiness is a warm puppy

It seems like every Monday I sit down to write a recap of our weekend and I'm struck by the same thought...."its over? already?" Both girls were home this past weekend and while there was much to-ing and fro-ing from the airport and train station and more airport and then back again to the train station, we did manage to squeeze in lots of fun.

Any weekend where I get to see these two faces at the breakfast counter is a good one. Where I can call up the stairs and say, "Girls, shake a leg, we're ready to go." Where I can hear them giggling together as they get ready in front of the bathroom mirror. All good.

Daughter2 arrived home Thursday afternoon (I guess I won't mention the delay, ahem) and we made a little side trek to my favorite mall on the way to the house. We were going right by so it only made sense. I'm pretty sure this child was born talking and we talked our way thru a lovely lunch at Legal Seafood and then afterwards, all the way thru Nordstroms shoe department because mama needs a new pair of wellies. I love all the patterns and funky colors but in the end I went with tried and true navy blue because they go with everything and have I told you how much it has rained here this year? I wear my wellies a.lot.

We had our traditional 'Daughter2 is in the house welcome home dinner' which is always chicken divan, her favorite. The three of us spent the evening playing cards and watching TV all curled up on the couch together which is my favorite. Friday
morning afternoon daughter2 and I wandered thru our nearby mall and she bought some jeans and a super cute hat for colder days.

Wish I looked this adorable in a hat.

We wanted to have a fire out back Friday night but the pesky weather forced us to go to Plan B which meant we all trekked out to the train station to collect Daughter1 followed by a stop at The Cheesecake Factory for a late dinner. Plan B was not without its velvet cheesecake anyone? The four of us having dinner all together makes my heart so happy.

Saturday dawned with sunshine and blue skies and trees of golden gold. This is my favorite corner of our back hillside which I photograph almost daily in the autumn. The leaves are not quite as vibrant this year as they have been in the past I'm sure due to all the rain, but they're pretty nonetheless.

We drove out to a nearby apple orchard and spent the day playing under the ever changing October sky. The farmer carts you out to the top of the tree line in a wagon and then you pick your way down through the orchard at your leisure.

You're given a grabber tool when you set out and it sure comes in handy. The best apples are always up high, right.

There may be other ways to grab the red ones out of reach.

She is her father's daughter. Just sayin'.
Speaking of the hubs-

He gave us a lesson in juggling.

He is a man of many talents.

We took our time, stretched the minutes into hours, squeezed every ounce of goodness that we could, out of the day.

Of course an outing with Daughter2 is never complete until there is an 'it could only happen to her' injury. She came out of the trees and we all said, 'You're bleeding-what happened?" No idea.

That tiny little scratch turned into a golf ball sized knot on her head by early evening. We think it was a tree branch but honestly incidents like this one happened to her on a regular basis when she was a
teenager child toddler and I kinda thought by the time she was 21 I would no longer be worrying about freak mishaps. Silly me. I warned her there would be a close up on the blog today.

It's a good thing she's so irresistible because I do hold her mostly responsible for any gray hair I may have. She is also her father's daughter. I thought about inserting a bad pun know, something like-'the apple doesn't fall far from the tree'...but I won't.

There is something about a fall day spent out of doors that stirs up all sorts of feelings in me. Its a little bit of sadness mixed with a little bit of hope. Does anyone know what I mean?

When we'd had our fill of apples-

(yes, of course we had to taste them) we headed home where hubs grilled hotdogs for a late lunch.

Daughter2 and I had made our favorite blue cheese slaw the day before to go with and we relaxed on the patio til it was time for this-

Hubs ride to the airport arrived around 6 and he was off to Delhi. And of course on Sunday both girls had to be returned to their respective states so I did the airport-train station loop once more and may I just say dropping off daughters is not nearly as much fun as picking them up.

Do you remember the old Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy would push his nose up against Lucy's cheek and the caption below said Happiness is a warm puppy?

Well I for one am thankful for mine, underbite and all. She greets me when I walk into a house sans hubs and children. In those moments happiness really is a warm puppy.