Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve in Seattle

By the time y'all be reading this, it'll be Christmas but here's to say that on Saturday, Veeka weathered the 5-hour flight from Washington, Washington very well. We count ourselves VERY fortunate we did not book a flight through Chicago but instead spent zillions of dollars for direct flights to the Emerald City. Believe it or not, today was SUNNY in Seattle. Amazing.
Tomorrow all the relatives descend and Our Little One will be dressed in a lovely green velvet dress from Talbots, courtesy of Oma. Oma and Opa are experiencing the constant antics of Miss Veeka, who just got spanked for standing on the couch and hanging over a 10-foot drop down the stairwell leading to the den. Miss Veeka in turn is delighting in all the wonderful food to be had here, as she doesn't get near that kind of abundance at home.
Dinner is a'beckoning. Must go. For those of you with spare time, please do check out the last 2 days (Dec. 23 and 24) Washington Times when I've had articles on A1 both days. Today, my piece on atheists *banners* the top; yesterday my piece on a child with SMA - a horrific form of muscular atrophy, took up much the front page. And the WTimes blog has a photo of Veeka at the Indian embassy where she was also a hit. Our Veeka. A socialite.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Third Saturday of Advent

Tomorrow we light that special pink candle that belongs to the 3rd Sunday of Advent. As the weather gets colder, we enter Veeka's natural habitat of the southwestern Siberian plain where she was born. Must say I am glad I am not making that trip again any time soon. I think she is half Japanese though: she loves hot, hot baths. She tries to get into the hot tub with me when I am at the exercise club and the lifeguard yells at us both.
She likes hair driers too, as you can see from the photo.
Veeka is gaining words fast now. She can say "one" and "two" and "Opa" (sorry, not Oma yet) and "yes" ("es" it sounds like) and even a "tank u!" Wow. Now if I can get her to say "please." Her aunt Susan taught her how to say "apple" in September so she's good at that one.
My religion blog on the Times' web site is doing well. I am making it edgy, which helps in retaining readers. Most religion blogs try so hard not to be offensive, they are boooooring.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Veeka at the Kazakh embassy

Last Wednesday it was a snowy evening with nightmare traffic but were we inside, roasting chestnuts over an open fire? NO. We were driving about town, attending the annual Kazakh Independence Day reception at the Kazakh embassy on 16th St. just down from the White House. There our Little One greeted the new ambassador Erlan Idrissov (shown here holding my squirmy child). Unlike the previous ambassador, this one actually speaks good English!
Then Veeka went to listen to two musicians in native costume serenade the guests. There was a sumptuous banquet set out BUT we had to hold onto our little girl quite tightly as we didn't want her pulling on a table cloth and sending wine glasses flying. Her little hands were already busily grabbing tomatoes and cheese blocks off the plates as quickly as she could. Fortunately she was not tall enough to spot the caviar.
Kazakhstan Independence Day is officially on Dec. 16 but that is a Sunday and no one is in town that day. They broke free 16 years ago from Russia.
This is the season for Christmas parties here in Washington and Veeka is usually the belle of the ball. She attended a fete Saturday night on Capitol Hill where, with cookies in both hands, she charmed everyone all evening long. She even gamely put up with a flat tire her mommy got on the way home.

Monday, December 3, 2007

my new blog - I think

Folks: Today I began my new religion blog at the Washington Times. You can access it through this URL: but usually you can find it on the blogs list on our "front" page on the Washington Times site. There seems to be some technical probs getting it up, plus it was supposed to be on the main page for the first week, at least. So use that URL until you hear differently! Am also posting one of my new "mug shots" for the blog.
Last night, Veeka and I lit the first Advent candle on the wreath with Stephanie as a guest at our dinner table. And Veeka, who sometimes has a tough time taking on new words, took all of five minutes to learn how to say "cookie," especially after I baked her a batch yesterday.
That was during one of her more angelic moments. These days she's very Two: knocking down the baby gate, rifling through my purse and tossing my cell phone down the steps. She's hidden one of her library books and some lipstick she found in my purse. And at 4 a.m. today, I was awakened by a little tousled head, that, like a submarine periscope, slowly rose from beside my bed to hover above my sleeping form. My disgusted cats jumped off and she, of course, climbed in.