Stephanie Burgis
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Pirate socks and Pictures
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Patrick has already blogged about the mysterious curse which dogged his shoe-buying expeditions this weekend. On Saturday, we spent about 2 hours wandering through the mall in search of shoes, without luck. (Why are all size 10s out of stock in the local mall? Why???) Worse yet, I'd celebrated the good weather by putting on a skirt and pretty, sparkly, high-heeled sandals. After two hours of walking through the mall, six different blisters had formed underneath those sparkly straps, and I was in AGONY. If only, I thought, if only I had cute knee-high socks to wear with flat-soled shoes and skirts...

Aha. Behold the solution (discovered through pure serendipity at a kiosk in the mall that we were passing just as that thought went through my head):


pirate socks!

I love my pirate socks very much. I am, of course, wearing them now. I bought two pairs (the other pair has red-and-black stripes), and that purchase, combined with a yummy blueberry-banana smoothie from the juice stand, consoled me for the blisters pretty well.

Sunday morning, because it was shockingly sunny and warm outside, we decided to drive out to one of the most beautiful spots I know, Hardcastle Crags, a wooded valley about 40 minutes' drive from our house. It was the first time Maya had ever been there, and she was ecstatic. It was hard to take any pictures of her, because she never stopped moving! She darted from new smell to new smell, racing deep into the undergrowth and back at top speed, wild with excitement. Her tail never, ever stopped wagging! I don't think I've ever seen her quite that happy. It was wonderful. Patrick and Maya dropped me off at a picnic bench by the river, only a couple hundred yards from the car park, and trotted off for an hour and a half of walking, while I re-read Barbara Hambly's Bride of the Rat God (so much fun! a perfect weekend book) and listened to the roar of the river. When they came back, Maya was covered in mud, wild-eyed, and grinning the biggest grin I've ever seen on her face. She wanted to stay forever!

I think Patrick's going to post some pictures from their walk later, but for now, here's the moment I remember best, in a picture of the three of us together on the picnic bench at the end, and the happiness on Maya's face:

The whole family

It was a really, really good day.

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