Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sickly trees, snow and decorating disasters...the season is upon us.

Free to good home: one sadly neglected ficus tree. I really think it could have a chance of survival living with someone who watered it regularly, rotated it to receive some better sunlight (and help it grow evenly), and I can't even remember the last time it was fertilized. Poor thing is probably root-bound in that pot. Included is the very stylish piece of cardboard to keep the dogs out of the dirt.

At this point, and in honor of the season, I think it may bear some resemblance to the famous Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've been around. I'm a terrible blogger and a terrible commenter to boot. I know a lot of people take a hiatus this time of year. I often have the urge to write but by the time I can sit down either I've forgotten what I want to say or I'm just too damn tired. Sometimes I feel I've lost my voice my writing sounds stiff and impersonal-not my real voice. Does that make sense? Well it is the early morning hours so just humor me if it doesn't. Okay I guess I will chat about what's going on around here.

A little over a week ago we had our first snow and I'm happy to report it was gone in a few days. It stuck around long enough to get my newest fosters out to experience it.
I know Shecky looks pathetic but it was the first snow of his life and within a few minutes he was running and rolling in the yard like a madman.
And Suzannah bucking and kicking in the snow...well what can I say about this wacky girl. 

Thanksgiving was a quiet and stress-free affair. As A and I prepared dinner for my mom and her boyfriend, I realized that this is the first time in I don't know how many years that I actually feel in the mood for the holiday season. 
But I guess if the Grinch's heart can grow 10xs, mine can expand just a little bit. 
I even went out shopping on Black Friday for the first time ever. Yes, I was a Black Friday virgin. I admit it was a short shopping excursion; drive to the store, straight to the items on my list, cashier and back to the car. It wasn't too crazy at the speciality store I went to and well worth the trip to save $80 on the one item that A really wanted. I wisely avoided the craziness of Target, Walmart or Best Buy.

This past Saturday is traditionally when A starts decorating for Christmas. Here she is using tree parts as antlers and chasing the dogs. What can I say but I pretty much let her do anything to keep herself entertained.
A couple years ago I had to suffer through those horrendous inflatable decorations in my yard but last year, A started buying the retro blow-mold decorations. She found several in antique stores and at the flea market but this year they are back in fashion and can be purchased everywhere. 
So meet Vernon the snowman.
Seat-belted in for safety on the way home from the store. I think he looks just a little psycho.
A proudly getting ready to put Vern out in the yard with Santa. 

I have to admit that we both spent our Sunday feeling blue. After putting the tree together, A started looking for the lights to put on it. They were not in any of the boxes she had here. We have a small house and rent a storage unit about a mile away. We don't store anything of much value there; it's just a place to put the summer stuff in the winter and vice versa. A went there to double check and nothing. That's when we realized we were missing an entire container of decorations not just lights. We remembered that last winter A had found the lock cut off our unit 3 times. Each time she had looked around inside and didn't notice anything missing. 

Who in the hell steals only a container with "X-Mas Decorations" written on it?! The heartbreaking part is that box contained sentimental, handmade and one of a kind ornaments; it was full of memories. Through our years together, A and I have given each other and collected ornaments when traveling or objects that symbolized special moments. There were ones I had an artist paint of the dogs and childhood ones that are simply irreplaceable. Every year we crack a bottle of wine, decorate the tree and reminisce. Not everything is gone since we had multiple containers but some of the most special items were in that box. For me this is devastating and even A shed a few angry tears. 

I realize it's really not the end of the world-a lot worse things could  happen, but it's hard for someone as sentimental as I am and I just had to spend a little time feeling sad. We did pick up a few new things when we were out shopping today and later this week when we finally decorate, we will crack a bottle of wine and toast to making some new memories. (Who am I trying to kid?  I'm still damn pissed!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I am a stress-induced emotional eater. I almost feel like I should be standing in front of a crowd. "Hello, my name is Mel. I have a stress eating problem". 

Food is comfort and I of course love, love, LOVE carbs-bread is my absolute weakness. I have been doing well the last few months but Monday morning I was triggered. I woke up to sick dogs, a mess in the house, a mess on my bed from a dirty dog butt, no working dryer and 5 dogs that needed baths because they were such a mess. Aghhh!

When things had finally settled down, I innocently opened the freezer to get some ice and spotted it; that box of candy my mom had given us last spring. Trying to be good, I had shoved it in the freezer without opening it and all these months it has sat hidden from view behind bags of veggies. Monday I ripped into it and down the rabbit hole I fell. The carbs/sugars are like crack and I'm the biggest addict. 

Lets see, 2 days home from work, multiple pots of coffee and gone one box of candy, a loaf of bread, frozen cookie dough, potato chips, animal crackers plus an unplanned trip to the grocery store to satisfy my craving for Pop-Tarts and chocolate-cherry ice cream. Now this is in addition to the wonderful cooking and "real" food that A cooks up around here. 

And sadly the holiday season is not truly here yet. I better go make another cup of tea and try to convince myself that I really don't want just one more bowl of ice cream. What am I saying? Fuck the bowl, just eat it straight from the tub.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's my Monday tomorrow, blah! The more time I have away from the work, the less I want to go back. Please tell me that I get to retire when A does. I wasn't even surprised today when people at the office started texting me about office drama---seriously people, I haven't been there for 4-1/2 days!

Several months ago A and I were invited to spend this past weekend with friends at Grand Casino. They come from the north and us from the south; it is a nice meet-in-the-middle location. We made reservations then I realized I had to spend that Saturday at the University of MN for a continuing education class. I felt guilty but couldn't cancel since work was paying and I'm in need of credits-oh the joy of procrastination! A wanted to cancel her weekend but I encouraged her to go, hang out and have fun. 

Saturday morning as I got ready to go into Minneapolis, I decided on a whim that after my class I would drive up and surprise A, have dinner and just spend a few hours. I mean it was only another hour north. I arrived in record time (thanks to my lead-foot) and texted her that I was in the parking lot-meet me in the hotel lobby. She was so surprised and excited. I just LOVE making her happy and it's really so simple to do. 

I'm really not into gambling but A was playing poker and I watched over her shoulder and consulted. Otherwise I visited and people watched. My original plan was to spend a few hours then make the 2 hour drive home. A and the other ladies insisted I stay the night (and I admit I packed an overnight bag just in case). I have to say it was nice to spend the night in that big bed without any dogs. After a huge breakfast Sunday morning with my new favorite food-wild rice bread-we came home.

I'm glad I had the last two days at home even if they did fly and I didn't accomplish much. Just getting the dogs out to run in the yard was a treat and I dread the weeks--months we will spend closed up in this house. The early darkness is already starting to feel oppressive but the weather is still holding unseasonably warm. The weather man keeps saying rain/snow then changing his mind. I'm happy when he's wrong even though I know we can't keep winter away forever.