Queens Anne, Victoria, Natalie

I know that I am about to experience some major good luck because today I saw Queen Anne and Queen Victoria while I was out on my run.

I always look for Queen Anne and Queen Victoria when I am out on my run but I almost never see them. That makes it so that when I do see them it is suddenly a very special day, which means that by law, I am in for something good.

Queen Anne and Queen Victoria are two rather large St. Bernards that live in a field next to the park on my running path. There is a house on this field, as well as no less than five free-standing garages. What could a person need with five free-standing garages? is what I always ask myself when I run past.

Last week there were three blow-up lawn ornaments on display: a mouse dressed as a turkey, a mouse dressed as Santa, and three mice dressed as ghosts. This week they're not there. It truly baffles the mind.

I named the St. Bernards Queen Anne and Queen Victoria on this one day when I had made the terrible decision to go running even though it was snowing angry buckets out.

There they were, those two silly St. Bernards, just lumbering about, intimidating snowflakes with their massive girths, and I just had to laugh because of all of the days for these mysterious dogs to be out, I mean really, and also, the snow made them look quite regal, as though they were wearing massive cloaks of the finest mink, and frilly ruffles about their saggy necks.

I almost never see Queen Anne and Queen Victoria. I think I have seen them four times total in three and a half years. When they are there it gives me the sensation of having accidentally made a wrong turn into an alternate land, where places look like places you know but are actually not those places at all. Where mystical creatures like gnomes and elves and Saint Bernards live and roam free!

Queen Anne and Queen Victoria are always filthy.

I ran past the field today and there they were, sitting in giant mud puddles the size of lakes and observing the goings-on of the peasants of Moscow. I was so surprised to find them there, just looking about, that I stopped immediately.

Then I decided I should introduce myself, maybe practice my curtseys.

They are very becoming ladies, up close. I crouched on the wet grass and they towered over my head across the fence. They let me stroke their muzzles of warm velvet and slime. Queen Victoria placed her paw against the fence, and I touched hers with mine. I asked how their day was and whether their mud was fine. They said yes, quite so, and asked about my run and was it satisfactory and I assured them it was.

We could have sat there all day long, trading comments about the weather, getting delightfully muddy. I think I might like that very much.


  1. I don't believe it! The one day I was too busy to read your blog, I miss out on Intferd! Grr. So I'm going to comment a day late and send off a wish to the Blogging Fairies to ask you to maybe reply to my comment today instead? (crossing fingers, toes, everything!)

    So, as I'm pretending it's yesterday, um, last night for dinner I had... oh, wait, nothing. I was sick. Ok, so the night before that, I had ... oh, burritos. But you're sick of burritos. Ok, how about my roast pumpkin pasta? Just dice some pumpkin (I think maybe you call it squash?) fairly small, and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper, and some fresh sage leaves, and roast in the oven until golden, soft and sweet. When that's done, boil up some penne pasta, and when it's al dente, toss the pumpkin through the pasta with a little more olive oil, and some chilli flakes if you like a bit of kick, and voila! A pretty easy and (I think!) very tasty and warming dinner.

    I'm going to leave you with a compliment. Because I think that's only fair, really, what with me prying into your life every day. (well, except yesterday, but however). I'm sure you know this already, but gosh, you are a very talented woman! You said once that the Holbs told you you were a good homemaker; after drooling over your little house and the magic you have woven with it, I am inclined to agree. It's lovely. And if I had any need to move halfway around the world, I'd try and talk my husband into buying a little house on B street, Moscow. On top of that, you are a really wonderful writer, and reading your blog every evening before I go to bed makes my heart light and happy (except on the not-so-happy-for-Nat days). Thank you for making every day meaningful.

  2. Oh, so annoyed. The last sentence in that first paragraph should NOT have had a ? at the end of it. I hate misuse of punctuation marks! Sorry :(

  3. first of all Sarah needs to get a freakin grip! Your writing is inspiring and if by chance sometimes you mess up on be it, that's what editors are for! Any who I love this post. I always secretly wanted a st. bernard but don't really have the space or enough drop cloths to catch all that slober! Keep on enjoying the wonderful world around you and tell the Queens I said hello!

  4. Hey there Nat
    you haven't responded to my comment on your NNTFRDD post. Not your fault, I just posted it. I'm going to do my very best to remain delurked here. I know how great comments feel, and I enjoy commenting too. Except this isn't commenting so much; at least not in the sense of me putting my opinion forward in a bid to be heard. I rather dislike that brand of commenting. No, this is more like engaging in a friendly conversation :)
    I do have one other request: just on blogging topics, I love hearing your Peter Pan/Barnaby themed anecdotes. Pretty please keep them coming.
    Love, devoted ex-lurker, Lucy

  5.'re up early! I just got out of bed and I'm a few hours ahead of you. Way to be on top of the day...I'll actually read to post once all the kids are feed!

  6. Running...running??? My gosh, I couldn't even fathom running. And I do love a good work out. However, I hate the jell-o feeling my body has as it makes a feeble attempt to run. Breasts are not supposed to jump sky high like that right???

    The Queens probably loves visiting with you. As far as the snow, I am sure they loved that as well. That's what they are bred for, no? Would have loved to see a picture of the mice blow-ups.

    Your delurker day was great! Please drop by any time. You inspire me to get back into writing on my blog. I have a lot of crafts up there, and not too many musings. Must get back to it... Thanks again for stopping by!

  7. Hmm. The Queen was, kind-of, the voluptuous woman. Who'd have thunk it!

  8. Running in the snow??? Surely they came out to see you that day because your perseverance and determination deserved a reward. ;)

  9. Running in the snow...hmmm I'd only do that if I was running from my warm cozy car to the warm cozy house or store or fast food joint.

    Photos of the Queens please!

  10. I can't quite get myself outside to run in snow. I am more of a treadmill runner in the winter. Call me a baby....It's true. I'm often scared of big dogs while running, they sometimes mistake the running for fear, which then is a vicious circle because at that point I am afraid. And, I like dogs...

  11. *sigh*....It seems that you and I are kindred spirits...or at least we are both very talented in missing deadlines. I didn't read your post yesterday,and missed your personal delurking day!Gasp!So, because I enjoy stalking,er, following your blog,I am leaving a note to say that I love, love, love your writing. Keep it up. And if I lived in Moscow, I would go running with you. you could circle around and pick me up off the cement on your second time around. Give Barnaby and Peter Pan a squeeze for me.

  12. So upon reading your post, I googled "what dog are you"...and there's a quiz for that...Now I've had a lot of pet puppies in my life, and I thought I'd know what my breed would be....but according the quiz, I'm a:

    Wow, You're a Chihuahua!


    The Socialalite

    Your single most amazing trait, dah-ling, is that you are charming and gregarious and gorgeous and lively. Oops! That was more than one. No worries, dear, it wouldn't be the first time the rules have been bent for you! Your charisma, combined with the fact that you can really dish out a good yap when push comes to shove, means you have no problem putting on the dog in order to get what you want. But it's not all about you! N-n-n-n-no-ooo! You simply adore your best friend and love your family to pieces, enjoying every precious little teeny tiny moment you spend together. And children? Well, you love the idea of them, but don’t necessarily need them hounding you day and night, right? Come now, honey, let's face it- children just do not appreciate a good sweater. Learn more »

    FAMOUS CHIHUAHUAS: Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Chris Martin (Coldplay), Paris Hilton

    LIKELY PROFESSIONS: Event Planner, Philanthropist, Advertising Executive

    I'm not a Chihuahua! I know it's because on ONE answer i said something about tequila!

    want to see if you are a St. Bernard?

    go here:

    good luck! if it says you're a poodle....I would demand a recount! ;)


  13. so really this has nothing to do with your post. but i did love i am an animal lover. and have 4 (yes 4!) mini schnauzers of my own...i think, they think, they are st. bernards.

    anyway- the husband is moscow working at the moment. and i wish i was there. though we cannot buy your house- i would love to come for a walk through. and to meet you. and put a face to this wonderful blog. and all of the cleverness to be had here.

    and i hope your day was magical!

  14. I found you via Carrying a Cat By the this post. St Bernards are great dogs! I once saw one at a Renaissance Fair that had been shaved - I actually had to go ask what it was. Very nice dog.
    I took a quiz too, and mine said I am a Norwegian Forest Cat.

  15. I have made a commitment never to lurk again. It's pretty scary out here in the light. Also, you haven't answered my Intferd Day comment because I just read yesterday's post and commented. :-)

    You may have just changed the course of my life a little. We'll see.

  16. Missy, head back a post, I left you a response under your comment. And, now I've left you two! :)

  17. I'm very amazed that you are such an avid runner. I don't run. maybe I'd consider it if there was a big scary guy with a gun, AND I was sure I couldn't take him, then I probably run. To swim, though, that's where it's at for me.

  18. I am a Labrador retriever-- loyal and friendly and smart but silly some days. :) i love that you are a Saint Bernard.

  19. Oooh, two! Thanks! :-)

  20. I love your posts so much. I smile the whole way through. The way you write is so beautiful, touching and intriguing. I would read your posts all day if there were enough to fill the hours.

  21. Sorry, I'd just like to point out I was criticising the punctuation in MY comment, not Nat's post. I would NEVER insult Nat's writing, I think she's amazing.

    Nat, I hope you read this. :(

  22. I second Allie's requests for photos of the Queens! Although I'm not sure mythical creatures show up on film!!!

  23. Those silly dogs to sit in mud puddles on a day that is beginning to snow....I can only say that I am ever so glad that I did not get a St. Bernard as I had said when I was a teen...yes I did..that when I had my own home I would get one....I instead had an adorable Sheltie names Heidi who was a lady and quite neat and tidy.

    You are a real runner! I am a fair weather walker..thus I do the gym so that I have no choice when it comes to the weather....


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