Friday, October 31, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Barbara tagged me for the "Seven Random Facts" meme.

Here are the official rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here goes.

1. I am unusually good at remembering names. Whenever anyone at my dog park wants to know who anyone else is, they always ask me. I invariably know the first and last names of the object of enquiry, as well as their dog's name. I don't know if this is a natural skill or a product of training. Once, when I was at a leadership camp during high school, one of the stupid bonding games we played was gathering in a huge circle -- starting with our instructor, each person had to say his or her own name and go backwards around the circle and repeat the names of everyone who had gone before. I was almost at the end of a circle of about 50 people and I could not bear to make a mistake (not that I'm a perfectionist or anything), so I got all the other 45 names correct as I went back around to our leader. Everyone clapped for me when I finished. I don't know if that experience revealed a talent that already was there or was responsible for creating said talent. Either way, I now rarely forget a name.

2. I love to cook, and I believe that an important part of preparing food is being mindful during each step of the process. For example, I use different cutting boards for different types of foods, and I wash my knife and the cutting board in between cutting different types of food. I also think happy thoughts while I prepare ingredients and cook them, and I envision sending good energy into the dish. I'm convinced that all of this ritual makes the food taste better.

3. Even though my college days are long gone, I am still a total Cameron Crazy at heart. For all you non-hoops people out there, that means that I am a Duke basketball fan of the most avid variety. When I was at Duke, students got into games at Cameron Indoor Stadium on a first-come, first-served basis. This always involved a long line and frequently involved camping out in front of Cameron, sometimes for 2-3 weeks. My sophomore year, I was in charge of student crowd control in front of Cameron, which was no easy task, especially when I had to oversee the monitoring of "tent city" for weeks at a time in addition to the game-day line. In return for taking on this pain-in-ass task, I got to sit at mid-court about three rows back at all the home games. By the time all the kids who would fit finally were packed into the stadium, I would always think that I was too exhausted to stay for the game. But as soon as I entered the building the intense Cameron energy would revive me and I would stay and cheer with the best of them. It is a very special (and hot!) place.

4. I love old English cars. I inherited the old-English-car disease from my father, who taught me to drive a stick shift in his 1960-something TR 3 and gave me a 1974 MGB GT when I turned 16. I drove that car for 15 years before I finally broke down and got a "real car" (i.e., something with power steering, power windows, air conditioning, and windshield wipers that actually worked when it rained, and that could be started on cool and/or rainy days without resorting to a manual choke). I really think that if a person can drive an old English car, he or she can drive anything. If I ever strike it rich, I will buy two mint-condition Jaguar E-types (in my opinion, the most beautiful cars ever built) -- one for me; one for Daddy.

5. I have a deep appreciation for architecture, and the first thing I do when I visit a new place is simply wander around looking at all the buildings. My favorite building of all time is the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to live within walking distance of it. It is simply gorgeous, inside and out, and all the beautiful decorations relate to areas of knowledge. I always go to the main reading room when I need inspiration, and it never fails to provide some. I also love Washington, D.C.'s Union Station (also within walking distance). Although it is an active train station and shopping mall (complete with movie theatre), it has an incredibly peaceful and tranquil energy about it. When I was in law school at Georgetown, I would always go to Union Station, which is just a few blocks from the law center, when I needed to calm down. Thank you Daniel Burnham for designing such a wonderful building, and thank you Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Elizabeth Dole for bringing it back to life (Congress nearly bulldozed it in 1981).

6. I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time earlier this year (my first trip to any part of the American southwest) and was stunned to find myself feeling more at home there than I do in my home state of North Carolina. That's really saying something, because I love North Carolina from the eastern-most shore of its Outer Banks all the way to the western-most point of its mountains (or "hills," as my grandfather used to call them). But there is something about the energy, light, and spaciousness of the Santa Fe area of NM that feels just perfectly, exquisitely right to me. I can hardly wait to go back.

7. Thus far in life, I have had only two speeds -- "total workaholic" and "off." This past year has been my first real experiment with being in the off-mode for an extended period of time. Although it has been wonderful to have an opportunity to pause and reflect and take myself away from the pressures of the DC rat race, I think that, on balance, I do better when I have a job to keep me occupied. When I return to work, which I hope will be by the first of the year at the latest, I would like to try to find more of a middle ground, where I'm a workaholic at work but feel comfortable leaving my work in the workplace and coming home to relax. I know that this is possible because, like just about everything else in this life, it is a choice. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to put that choice into practice.

Well, that's it for my seven fun facts. More than you wanted to know, I'm sure. I think that most of my blog friends already have participated in this or a similar meme, so I can't come up with seven people to tag. I will, however, tag Jeff (who is always a good sport) and also my blog friends across the pond, Virtual Voyage and SJW. Play along only if you want.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Time of Strange Dreams

I have been having very long, vivid, and strange dreams lately. The one last night was a real doozy.

At the beginning, I was scaling a rock wall, without any kind of harness, with a couple of men -- one was a famous movie actor, the other was the owner of a small business in my neighborhood. At one point, I would have fallen to my death if it hadn't been for the two guys' help. We all made it down OK, and then I realized that I had left my keys in a restaurant located on the fourth floor of a nearby building. The guys sent me scaling up the wall of the building, this time with a harness, so that I could climb through the restaurant's window to retrieve my keys, which I did successfully.

Flash forward to being outdoors looking at two spider webs woven between blades of grass, one right next to the other. They had collected the morning dew and glistened beautifully as the sunlight hit them. (I saw tiny webs like this in the grass as I walked my dogs this past Sunday morning, but the ones in my dream were much bigger.)

Fast forward to another restaurant, this time located high upon a hilltop with an expansive outdoor seating area that could be accessed only by climbing an almost impossibly tall ladder. Someone, I think J, held the ladder for me, and once I reached the last rung I discovered there was a bar stool perched rather precariously on top and that the restaurant's deck was about 50 feet away. There were two other ladders next to mine, and the people on those ladders had climbed atop their respective crowning bar stools. They told me that the point was not to get to the restaurant but rather to stand on top of the stool; they also told me that getting on top of the stool was not as scary as it looked, and that I would not lose my balance. Now, I am not all that comfortable with heights in the first instance, so just making it up the ladder was difficult for me, and I was scared to death at the thought of standing atop that bar stool with nothing to hold onto. Yet somehow, with my neighbors' coaxing, I managed to climb atop that stool -- it felt great once I did it, and oh my, what an amazing view!

Flash forward to going back to look at the beautiful spider webs again.

Flash forward to showing a friend my new crystal pendant, which contained within it a tiny glowing spider web, complete with a tiny living spider at the center.

Here's my first cut at what all this means: Yesterday I had an interview for a legal job that will, if I take it, involve absolutely crazy hours and will leave me little if any time for puttering along on my slow-going novel. The novel is already pretty fully-formed in my head, and I actually would like to finish committing it to paper some day, so the thought of not having time to write pains me. This is a not a particularly rational reaction, because in theory I now could be working on my book all day while I'm unemployed; however, most days I choose to devote my time to other things instead. Even so, I equate a decision to take this new job with a decision to give up on the book. I think that all the spider stuff in the dream symbolizes writing (thank you Tam, for that insight), and that all the height-scaling has to do with obstacles to success and also with fear. The fear is not only the fear of failure, as symbolized by the rock climbing near-fall, but also the fear of success, as symbolized by being afraid to climb atop the stool that symbolized success once I reached it. Maybe the "key" I recovered in the dream is the thing that will unlock my ability to see my novel to a successful conclusion, regardless of whether I take this job or not; maybe that key is the belief that success with my writing is just as available as failure, if I am willing to put aside my fear and really believe in myself for a change - if I can maybe even believe that there really is nothing to fear - and if I am willing to accept the help of others along the way as I did in both the climbs in my dream.

I came up with this theory as soon as I awoke, and a quick consultation of the dream dictionary to which Willow pointed me last month (when I posted about my animal dreams) confirmed my initial instincts. If anyone else out there has thoughts or alternate theories, I would, as always, be pleased to hear them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Experimental Cooking - Dream Soup

One night last week, I had a dream that I was making a soup with carrots and cabbage. On the one hand, this was a pleasant dream because I absolutely adore cabbage; on the other hand, this was a vexing dream, because I started the soup with carrots, cabbage, and stock but for some reason could not decipher the rest of the recipe. Hmmph! Damned dream, teasing me like that!

I thought about this dream for a couple days and decided that I would make a cabbage soup concoction of some sort this weekend. Then yesterday I woke up with symptoms of a bladder infection (I've been steadily improving ever since), which caused me to consult various holistic healing sources about nutrients that might help ease those symptoms until the doctor's office opened on Monday. Some of the recommended foods were celery and winter squash. Could those be the magic missing ingredients I needed to complete my dream soup? I decided to experiment and find out.

Miraculously, my experimental concoction turned out so well that I thought I'd follow the lead of some of my fellow bloggers and post a photo and the recipe. I tend to cook by feel, especially when I'm making up something based on a dream, so what I'm posting below is more of a guideline than a strict recipe. If anyone out there is brave enough to try it, let me know how it turns out and if you like it.

Adrianne's Dream Soup

- 2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 small-to-medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into approx. 1-inch dice
- 1/3 of a large head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- 4 to 6 cups homemade vegetable stock or other homemade stock (if you cheat and use store-bought stock, please don't tell me!)
- ground turmeric, to taste (I added it a pinch at a time until I thought things looked and tasted right, so I'm not really sure how much I used in total -- my best guess is 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.)
- ground coriander, to taste (my best guess on this one is about 1 to 2 tsps.)
- ground allspice, to taste (I used enough to add interest and complexity to the overall dish without imparting an affirmative allspice flavor -- around 4 or 5 twists of the grinder)
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the carrots and celery and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced squash and saute 2-3 minutes more. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until the squash is slightly tender but not yet cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the cabbage and spices and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmering until both the squash and the cabbage reach the desired level of tenderness. As the soup simmers, adjust the amount of stock as needed to achieve desired consistency. When the soup is done, taste for spices and adjust them to your liking. Serve hot with warm, crusty bread.

P.S. This soup is even better the next day -- the spices mingled nicely overnight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Now that things have finally cooled off here, 'tis the season to sit by the fire.

Our house is a little chilly during the day and really chilly at night, but we have not broken down and turned the heat on yet. Evening fires in the cozy den provide just the right amount of warmth after dinner. I always have good intentions to "read by the fire," but once I get the fire going all I can manage to do is sit and gaze at it.

I have been mesmerized by fire all my life, and my fascination seems only to grow over time. If it is true that we have past lives, I think that one of mine was during the period when fire was first discovered.

I do so love a fire.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I fell off the blogdar for the past week for a variety of reasons, mostly because I was wiped out by weed and mold allergies. My fellow allergy sufferers and I agree that the fall allergens have been particularly ferocious here in DC lately.

Although I've had fall allergies for as long as I can remember, usually they have been quite mild. Most years I'll sneeze a bit, but I won't feel bad enough to resort to antihistamines. Last week and weekend, by contrast, I was still experiencing a wide range of symptoms despite faithfully taking zyrtec each day. One day things got so bad that I took benadryl in between zyrtec doses. At that point, I decided that it was time to figure out where my epinephrine-pen was, just in case (epinephrine is used to treat cases of anaphylaxis, which is an extreme allergic reaction that potentially is fatal). Yikes!

My experience seems to be about on par with others who have weed and mold allergies. One of my dog park friends was having so many allergic symptoms that he lost his voice for three days late last week. Another friend was sneezing and coughing so badly that at first she thought she had a cold. Yet another friend is still suffering despite taking oral meds and shots. So, it's not just me -- I think that there is something different going on out there in the air this year. I sincerely hope that whatever made things so unbearable recently is not indicative of a new trend!

At this point, I am happy to report that I am feeling much better. The offending agent(s) seem(s) finally to have subsided. I'm breathing a lot easier and have returned to my usual energy level. Now that I'm feeling like me again, I hope to be posting more regularly. It was weird being away for a week.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Long Weekend Spent Appreciating Nature

After a weekend spent rescuing our front yard and our neighbor's tree box, what did J and I do yesterday? We went to the National Arboretum and wandered around marveling at nature and taking pictures for at least two hours. The fall colors are just now beginning to emerge in the DC area, but despite still being very green the arboretum was gorgeous, as always.

The arboretum was hosting its annual orchid show and as a consequence had tons of visitors, which rarely happens. The orchids, which were judged and awarded ribbons the previous day, were on display in an exhibit room. I wish that you all could have smelled, as well as seen, that room. The orchids were exquisite, like a kind of very fine living art work, and they had one of most intoxicating smells I've ever experienced. I could only stand being amid the orchids for about 5 minutes before the sights and especially the smells put me into sensory overload, but it was an amazing experience while it lasted.

In addition to the wonders of the plant world, the clouds yesterday were so spectacularly beautiful as to defy all description. It was as if all the known cloud types, plus a few new ones, were present all at once. Watching the clouds move yesterday convinced me that the angels and the other spirits are up to something. In contrast to all the mess that's going on here below, I sense that the goings one up above are all good. Maybe the spirits in the clouds will send much-needed rain to my blogging friends in Africa. I have included a couple of cloud photos in this post, but for even better examples of what the DC sky had to offer yesterday, check out J's blog and also a friend's blog.

(Clouds of all kinds)

(Clouds billowing like smoke and flames)

(Clouds flowing like a river)

(Angels in the air)

(Tree or wishbone - you decide)

(Busy bee)

(Mossy fallen tree trunk, side view)

(Mossy fallen tree trunk, top view)

(Delicate web)

(Sea of green)

(Fallen leaves on fallen tree)


(First fall color)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gardening Pics

Here's some pictorial evidence that J and I really did spend most of the weekend gardening. I meant to post these yesterday but was having some technical difficulty adding and moving pictures. Better late than never, I suppose!

("Velvet faces")

(Decorative cabbage, which the guy at the nursery had to
coax me to buy, but which I now actually kinda like)

(Green moss, chosen and planted by J earlier this year)

(Goldilocks, which we're hoping will take over a portion
of our front bed)

(Blooming gerbera daisy, which was a gift from a friend,
with hosta bloom in foreground)

(Very leggy, and thus far underutilized, herbs - tending them
yesterday has renewed my commitment to use them so they
don't get so out of control)

(The tree box's new look -- I wish we'd taken "before" pics,
because the change is really dramatic (the liriope is planted
too close together, but we had lots to offload))

(Aerial view of front bed, with more divided liriope, again
planted too close together -- hey, if anyone in the DC area
needs some liriope, let me know!)

(Aerial view of hosta bed (they're also planted too close
together, for the same reason as the liriope))

(Close-up view of front bed -- goldilocks and pansies)

(The bed nearest the house, with new snapdragons and
pansies for color, and new phlox that we hope will spread
all the way across the front edge and spill over the brick border)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Feel the Earth

(Favorite gardening clogs)

My house came with a very small, and initially very blank, front garden. For the last eight years, the task of planting things in my small garden space and watching them grow has given me a great amount of pleasure. A couple months after I moved into my house, my parents brought me hostas and liriope from their garden in NC. At first I thought that the plants looked puny and were planted way too far apart, but in eight years they have spread and filled in so much that this fall they desperately needed to be divided. Gardening is a great teacher of patience that way.

Normally I plant twice a year -- once in the spring and once in the fall -- and make a reasonable effort to tend to things as they grow throughout the year, but this year my fiance took over the spring planting and the summer tending. As a consequence, when I took to the garden with trowel in hand yesterday morning, it had been almost a year since I had probed the earth. Yesterday we divided some huge clumps of my parents' liriope and transplanted them into a tree box in front of my neighbor's house. That was our good deed for the gardening season, because the tree box was completely infested with four-foot tall weeds before we tackled it. Today, we moved some existing plants around our own yard and planted some new perennials -- coral bells, creeping phlox, and goldilocks -- and some annual color -- pansies and snapdragons. Now we get to sit our aching bones down and admire our handiwork.

I didn't realize it until I got to digging yesterday, but I think that I had been in serious gardening withdrawal. I must be one of those people who needs to dig in the earth and tend to plants in order to feel good. Once, when I was talking on the phone with my mother a few years ago right after one of my planting sprees, she spontaneously asked me if I had been gardening. "How could you possibly have known that?," I asked her in amazement. "I could tell by the lilt in your voice," she replied. I think that right now I probably have that lilt back.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This fall has been a remarkable time of connection for me. I am not sure if it is a product of the season (i.e., if fall is a time of connection and I simply have never noticed that before), or if it is a product of my time of life (i.e., if I've lived a sufficient number of years that I've had time to develop, and sever, some deep connections that I've now had long enough to miss and am seeking to renew ), or if it is simply a coincidence.

Whatever the cause, I feel that "connection" is the word of the day for me.

There are two people whom I've known for much of my life but with whom I have not routinely associated in a long while, and we are now in the process of establishing a new kind of connection that builds upon our history without attempting to relive the past (as if that were possible) or lay blame for the previous loss of connection.

There's also a sense of deepening connection with several people who have been squarely present recently but who are opening up to me, and I to them, in a qualitatively different way.

Then there are all my new blogging friends whom I've "met," so to speak, over the last three months. There are several of you whom I feel I have known for a long, long time, maybe even over many lifetimes, and I think it's such a blessing that we have found each other through this wonderful blogging process (special note to MWS - I'm guessing that you don't believe in past lives, but no matter - I nonetheless am so grateful to have met you in the blogosphere here in the year 2008 and feel a special kinship with you. I luv you, man!).

Then there's the connection that's inherent in commenting on others' blogs and receiving comments on my blog. The blogosphere has been a fascinating place lately, as people raise and discuss "big topics" (God, self, human nature, philosophy, art) and relish the conversation, even if that means agreeing to disagree about aspects of those topics in a civilized way.

These all are different forms of connecting, which is something I think we humans have a propensity to want to do. Wonderful alliances are being made these day, my blogging kin. Enjoy them. Enjoy them to the fullest.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is There Any Such Thing As an Inappropriate Prayer?

As I discussed at some length in a previous post, I see God not as a separate entity that created us and decides which of us go to heaven and hell, but rather as an eternal consciousness that permeates all things. The thing I have been wondering about for the last few days is whether or not it is OK to ask God for help in a formal, prayerful kind of way.

Last week I was telling a friend about how there are a couple areas in my life right now on which I could really use some guiding wisdom. "Why don't you pray about it?," she quickly responded. My first reaction to this idea was, "Ask God for something? For myself? Eeeeeekkkk! That's just not appropriate. That might even be downright irreverent. God is not a slot machine that exists to entertain and fulfill all my wishes!" I frequently thank God for the world around me and the people in it, both friend and foe, and I also wish that God will do nice those for all those folks, but asking God to do something for me somehow seemed selfish and therefore off limits.

My friend and I had a spirited talk about whether or not there were inappropriate topics for prayer. Her view, in a nutshell, is that it is OK to say anything to or ask anything from God, as long as one is sincere in what one says. I continued to bristle at that notion, but my reaction really got me to thinking about why that was the case, and about whether I might (gasp!) be misguided in my view.

I concluded that my qualms about what is or is not an appropriate topic for prayer had to do with two things --(1) the Judeo-Christian view of God with which I was raised but in which I no longer believe and (2) my view of myself.

On the first issue - the kind of divinity that I now envision is not the kind of presence that might judge me harshly or punish me for anything that I might think or say. However, the God that's described in the Bible might, in one of his wrathful moments, give me some demerits if my request rubbed him the wrong way. He might even send me to hell. This thought raised the following questions - If my view of God has evolved from the Biblical version of God and into something that is more like an all-loving, all-knowing, non-judgmental force, then why would I still envision the Biblical God as the receiver of my request? And why would I leap to the conclusion that asking such a God for help would be grounds for a harsh judgment in the first place?

The answer to these questions ties into the second issue - which is that, man, I must be feeling pretty insecure and unworthy these days if I'm afraid to level with God about where I am and what I need. Like I could hide that from an omniscient presence anyway. When cast in that light, I view my reticence to ask God for help, especially when I believe that I really need said help, as evidence that there's still part of me that is afraid to just be who I am in the world and that instead seeks to censor myself to say only "correct" and "pleasing" things so that I will receive approval rather than rejection.

Since thinking all the above thoughts, I've been doing two things. I've been repeating to myself that it is OK to be who I am in this moment and to express openly and honestly what I think and feel. It is. Really, it is! God, along with many mortals, sees me for who I really am anyway, no matter how much I try to finesse my words and actions in order to increase the likelihood of acceptance in the face of potential rejection. I've also been repeating to myself that the divine thankfully doesn't abide by my self-imposed rules about right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, worthy and unworthy. Regardless of what comes out of my mouth in the form of a prayerful request, God will carry on just fine, and so will I.

Today, with an open and honest heart, I am going to send up a request for the guidance that I feel I need, and I will do so without any reservations. While I'm at it, I'm going to say a special thank you for the friend who prompted me to think about this issue and see things differently.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Squirrel Season

(Jacob Threatt, Squirrel Hunter - it's hard to believe that
such an innocent-looking shepherd has such a vicious side)

Hunters have deer season and turkey season. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck have duck season and wabbit season. Here in Washington, D.C., we have squirrel season. There is a very interesting article in today's Washington Post about how squirrels were once nonexistent in our nation's capital, but the inhabitants of the city missed the little critters and actually went out of their way to import some. For reasons that soon will become clear, I think that my dog Jacob may have been one of these squirrel importers in a previous life.

The squirrels here are exceptionally active in September and October as they bustle about collecting their winter stashes. During this time, when my dogs are off leash at Congressional Cemetery, I can count on them to chase squirrels for an entire hour without stopping. I walk about 2 to 3 miles, and they probably run at least 10 in their constant pursuit of the eastern grey. This phenomenon has prompted me to compose a goofy dog song about the squirrel hunting antics of my dog Jacob. It's set to the tune of Danny Boy and goes something like this-

Oh, Jakie Boy, the squirrels the squirrels are calling
From tree to tree, all through the cem-uh-ter-y
The summer's gone, and all the acorns fallen
'Tis you, 'tis you, must chase and they must flee
Oh run ye fast, my golden squirrel crusader
Capturing squirrels upon the ground before they know
That they're about to go and meet their maker
Oh Jakie Boy, my Jakie Boy, oh what a show

The cemetery squirrels are never safe while my Jakie Boy is around, and today he captured and killed his first squirrel of the season. I didn't witness the moment of capture because I was gabbing with my friends K and S. It wasn't until I heard another dog owner screaming in horror as her dog and Jacob took turns parading around with the dead squirrel that I took note. Many thanks to S for slyly tricking Jacob into dropping his felled prey - without S's assistance I would probably still be in the graveyard politely asking Jacob to "drop it." As for the poor squirrel - sorry that you had such a tough exit, buddy, and hope that you will have a better go of it your next time around. In the meantime may you rest in peace.

P.S. This likely will be my last pet post for a while. I've been doing a lot of thinking this weekend and plan to return to more philosophical topics for a while.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Question of the Day

QUESTION: Why is it that this morning a large shepherd. . .

(Amos, the smooth-coated collie mix, with his woe-is-me look)

and an even larger shepherd. . .

(Jacob, the Belgian tervuren mix, with his I-have-no-idea-
how-I-even-fit-here look)

have denied their proud wolf heritage by curling up cat-style into silly floral-print chairs that clearly are far too small to contain all their canine fierceness?


(Lincoln, with his don't-even-try-to-move-me look)

Of course it is because Lincoln the Cat Dog has beaten them to the still-warm bed and made himself a cozy nest out of the unmade covers.


(Triumphant dogs, comfortable at last!)
Take that, you interloping cat! The shepherds stage a coup and reclaim their bed. Looks as if Lincoln still has a way to go before he makes pack leader.