Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nala on the Prowl

Our Aunt's dog Nala will soon have been living with us for an entire year, and in all that time I'm pretty sure we've only pictured her here once.

Here is that original photo, when she was roughly 6 months old:

Don't let that innocent face fool you. My sisters and I may as well be living in the same house as an African lion, as careful as we've had to be to avoid becoming casualties. 

Here's a list of a few things she's accomplished in the past 11 months:

  • Grew in size and power. She's now nearly able to pull full grown adults off their feet when she lunges. 
  • Discovered how to check if closed doors are latched or not. If not, she lets herself right in.
  • Learned how to scale and burrow under the chain link fence in the backyard, to ignore an invisible fence on full power, and to effectively evade recapture.
  • Learned to jump up on the kitchen table and onto kitchen counters when nobody's looking.
  • Consumed an entire chocolate bunny stolen from Mom's closet - and never even appeared to feel ill.
  • Destroyed a wide variety of objects, including but by no means limited to: the face of a wolf stuffed animal, a starfish ornament, shoes (always just one of a pair), window screens, a cooler, carpeting, and her own beds and blankets.
  • Wolfed down over a dozen unbaked chocolate chip cookies before they could go in the oven (again, she appeared to suffer minimal effects).
  • Learned how to run and pee in the house at the same time.
  • Claimed the white leather couch overlooking the front window as her domain. Everyone's given up trying to get her to stay off it - it's wrecked from her toenails anyway.
  • Decorated most doors and woodwork in the house with deep toenail scratches.
  • Destroyed nearly all of her toys, with the exception of an old red Kong and 2 lifetime-guaranteed "goughnuts."
Today, it finally happened. Nala got into Mom's room. 

It was Saturday morning, and Nala was still in her crate when Mom went downstairs for breakfast. Mom figured her presence downstairs would trigger barking, hence she planned to come right back upstairs and left her bedroom door open. But, since Nala was being remarkably quiet for once, Mom decided to quietly use the computer downstairs. She was so engrossed that when Grandma came downstairs and let Nala loose, she didn't think much of it. 

The jolt of horror hit several minutes later, when she realized that 1. it was way too quiet and 2. her bedroom door was open.

There was damage, but thankfully, Mom caught her before things got really bad. Nala had been most intent on finding anything edible. Hence she went for a ziplock baggie (to her dismay, it only contained rocks), a decorative box that contained a mint chocolate truffle (chewed up the box, ate the truffle, left the wrapper), and some cosmetics from on top of Mom's dresser (chewed up a tube of chapstick, hadn't gotten around to chewing on the mascara tube yet). Her big find: two wrapped cakes of soap (favors from the wedding Mom went to this summer). She took them up onto Mom's bed to chew on, leaving plastic, soap debris, and slime over the blankets, comforter, and a few unfortunate stuffed animals. Shaggy (one of Mom's 3 favorite stuffed animals), the new microwaveable fox from Christmas, and Licorice the Valentine's Day bear took the brunt of the sliming on the bed. Fortunately, all the stuffed animals were still in one piece, unless you count a chewed off tag (Slapshot, a beanie baby penguin).

Mom was pretty ticked with herself and with Nala, but she's more relieved than anything else that nothing worse happened. My sisters and I sure echo that, and we are really glad we were all safe in the basement at the time!

Granted, this incident has done nothing to endear Nala to us, but we do admit that she is not all bad. It's not her fault she lives here and that her owner is rarely around. While none of us dolls are big fans of pit bulls appearance-wise, we think whatever she's mixed with makes her more attractive than many. Here are a few shots of her:

This one was taken back in May. 
Lingering puppy cuteness.

And here's one before she lost her off-leash-in-the-backyard privileges. 
She does this frog pose a lot.

Nala with the green goughnut (aka The Cucumber). 
It and the red Kong still look great.

One of the rare occasions when Nala's been inside Mom's room

On her favorite couch 

Why the couch is her favorite
(And why, even with a couch cover, it still gets beaten up)

Nala posing. 
Note tennis ball carcass in the background.

Nala starting to get weirded out by Mom following her around

She has perfected the head tilt

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Valentine's Week Hodgepodge

Welcome to a post of unrelated stuff I decided to throw together and share from this past week. 

On Monday the 13th, our buddy Gem was the first to notice this Hanoverian overload in the livery. 13 Hanos! That's got to be some kind of record!

Most if not all were surrendered by the same player, probably someone who decided they didn't want their Hanoverian collection anymore. That's rather sad, but I'm guessing most of them ended up getting adopted despite their run-of-the-mill stats, as popular as the breed is. I'd never noticed this before, but it appears livery horses are sorted alphabetically not only by breed but also by color within breed. Nice, HI2!

Next, here is the Valentine's Day wild that Ultraviolet and I fluted:

I figured she was your average white gray from her avatar, but she's actually perlino. Sooo pretty!

Wow, good thing her stats were so poor, or we'd have had a really hard time letting her go!

The other Valentine's Day surprise was for Mom. When she went up to her room that afternoon, this was waiting on her bed. (I think the other stuffed animals on the bed were in on it. Snowby the polar bear looks awfully smug.)

Aw! Grandma is the best!

He (or she?) is still unnamed. I'm pushing for Licorice. 

And now back to HI2. I don't know what our deal is with finding +79 horses, but Bethany happened to spot another one in the livery later on this week. It was even a mare of a breed we don't have this time!

Never fear, Bethany was good. She only admired her, took the screenshots, and then moved on. I doubt the mare lasted long in the livery.

Felicity and Wonderland fluted a brown wild on Brown Isle last night. Wow, imagine that! XD

Just after they had posed nicely by the wild, she moved so that the above screenshot happened. 

As nice as her stats were, we put her in livery rather than auctioning her. I hope she found a home. That one awkward stocking cracks me up.

Felicity hogged HI2 for a long time this morning too. (Still riding Wonderland. She sure loves that horse.) They found a 7Up look-alike, so she switched to 7Up for the screenshot:

Not too far off appearance-wise, but 7Up is definitely cuter.

Part of why Felicity was online for so long was because she volunteered to pick up a set of premium companions for a buddy's new pony from the premium pet shop way out on Crater Mountain Isle. As long as she was that far out anyway, Felicity decided to go buy the newest companion on HI2, the dragget kit.

It took her way longer than she intended to find the right dragget cave - she refused to check the help site for a map first and totally went the long way around Great Circle Cave. She was okay with this because it meant lots of gems, a few golden eggs, and two lost dutchies on the way. Finally, they arrived in GreenDragget's cave.

Obviously, she did not choose that first option you see there. She agreed. ;)

Why, sure we'll pay you 2 million dollars to babysit your kit. Only on HI2. XD

Here is what our new charge, SilicaDragget, looks like! =) We're probably not going to keep her on 7Up permanently - Felicity just picked her to try her out on because 7Up is so brave.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dapples and Pintos

I don't have any wild hunting expeditions to report on this week, but that didn't stop us from finding some tempting horses.

First up: this huge Shire mare! I noticed her in the auction house when I was auctioning off a few wild horses of our own. When nobody but the foreign bidder had bid with less than a minute left in the auction, I did my duty. She came home with us.

She's quite a nice horse! Enormous but meek, a beautiful dappled coat, and an adorable snip. Her avatar is easy on the eyes too:

Her +5/6 stats only add up to +68, though, which is a far cry from +80. And since we already have our equally gargantuan Tinsel, I was a good and surrendered her to the humane society for some other lucky player to find.


Next up: another horse pulled from the clutches of the foreign bidder.

As far as brown horses go, aren't brown Maremmanos exceptionally good looking? I love his mealy areas and dramatic dappling! And those ermine marks (the little dots of black) on his white feet that cause striping on his hooves... How can they not make you smile?

I guess his good looks have gone to his head. And then there's his unfortunate name, Lord. Once he was ours, I was itching to change it, or to at least add something after the "Lord." Nothing creative came to mind, though, and I refused to change it to "Lord Voldemort."

Lord's stats, like Tchaikovsky's, add up to that perplexing +79. So tantalizingly close to that magical +80, but not quite there. Since we did not catch him, we were not as instantly attached to him as we were to Tchaikovsky. Still, I could not make myself go directly to the livery and surrender him the way I did with the Shire.

Here is his avatar:

I was disappointed at how faint his dapples are, but they are there if you look closely. This and the fact that we already have a fabulous Maremanno, Vivaldi, sealed his fate. We probably aren't fancy enough for Lord's liking anyway.


Our buddy Gem offered to sell Lord for us in her new horse store on her ranch. We were all too happy to take her up on the offer! Two days later, Lord had a new home and we had broken even instead of being a few thousand dollars poorer for our efforts. It was great! (Not that we mind shelling out a bit of virtual cash to keep nice horses on the game.)

Horse of interest #3 is a wild that Julie and Donatello fluted on Square Isle. To their amusement, the horse appeared smack in between two boulders. It was a stunning strawberry roan overo Paint! 

We were so hoping it would have awesome stats, since our Paint collection is still missing an overo.

Nope. Her personality made us think she wouldn't be a good addition to our Millennium Fields either, so to auction she went. A real player won the auction, though, which made us happy.

Finally, to noteworthy horse #4. One of our buddies, the very same who has gifted and sold us many horses, including Vivaldi up there, was again selling off a new round of horses. I told her we already had our February horse and was all set to respectfully pass. (I suppose that was a white lie, since Tchaikovsky is technically a December horse... and is white gray, lol. In my defense, Bethany, Julie, and I were all hoping we wouldn't find any nice horses for the rest of February so that he could stay without us feeling guilty.)

Our buddy was persistent, though. She offered to hold a horse for us until March if we were interested in any of them. *Sighs* I was interested, alright.

Come March if nothing changes, this mare will be ours. 

Yes, I know we already have two pinto Warlander mares. But this one is silver dun! We don't have any silver duns in the herd, and I think Warlanders rock the color really well. In addition to being +6/6 and +82, she was lovingly ordered with a super horse token by our buddy herself. And she will come with those perfectly-coordinated premium companions! Sorry, sisters, but I didn't think we could pass this one up! At least she's a mare, right?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Leaf Isle Brownies

On Friday night, Felicity and Orion met up with our buddy Gem for some wild horse hunting on the Meadow Isles. They didn't have much success, unfortunately, but Felicity did get to witness Gem use her new flute for one of the first times ever. The huge Spotted Draft ended up poofing into existence behind them. =^)

This morning, Xia and I decided to do some more wild hunting, this time on the Leaf Isles. They were devoid of other players, and it had been a long time since we'd visited them, so they seemed like the best choice. We were hopeful we'd have better luck than Felicity and Gem had had the night before and were eager to find some cute wild ponies.

Well, even though we thoroughly searched all of the Leaf Isles (with the exception of the dreaded flower maze - someone had clearly been in it recently anyway) we didn't find many ponies - an underwhelming total of three. All three of them were similar in color too: brown with darker manes and tails.

Brownie #1:
She sure is cute and has a great personality! Too bad her stats only add up to +50. It would've been fun to add a little Gottie to the herd.

Brownie #2:
A mediocre yet stuck up Exmoor. You've got nothing on Dasani or Vita, missy! Hopefully you find an adoring owner on the foreign isles. 

Brownie #3:
A cute yet underwhelming Dartmoor. A social gadfly is a person (or in this case a pony) who upsets the status quo. I'm not sure our herd is ready for that, lol. He'll be auctioned to a foreign bidder too.

While we didn't end up finding any amazing ponies, I'd still call our trip a worthwhile use of our HI2 time. Nobody else had visited Stem Isle or the trio of little isles off of it for quite some time, and whoever had been to Petal, Bulb, and Flower before us hadn't been very thorough. 

We harvested tons of leaf piles,

lots of ores,

and plenty of fairy rings too.

In addition, we found one awkwardly-placed pot of gold. It contained $92k!

But most impressive of all, we dug up exactly 20 buried pirate treasures from the Leaf Isle beaches!
In order, they were:


That adds up to $264k total! Not bad, right?