First off . . . can you believe I’ve actually completed a full PostADay month!! Whoo hoo!!
Now the real challenge is seeing if I can keep it up . .
The real topic today is Christmas Shopping . . . I stopped by a big box store last night to pick up a gift that I had ordered online and had shipped to the store to save me shipping costs. I was in and out in just a few minutes . . . and thankful to not deal with the crowds. Then I met a lovely lady as I was walking out the door. She wished me a good evening and success on my shopping adventures. She asked how I liked the store pick-up option and I told her I LOVED it!! She said that she loved the option too and did most of her shopping online now because of the frustration of dealing with crowds and unhappy shoppers at every location . . . and I looked at her and said that was exactly the reason why I shopped online as well.
Now I know that online shopping is causing the death of brick and mortar stores, and people are losing their jobs, and all sorts of other things . . . but this lady is right. I stopped shopping in stores because of the people who aren’t friendly, or courteous, or even civilized in some cases. There are crowds that jostle and fight over every little thing just to save a few dollars. There used to be joy in holiday shopping . . . there doesn’t seem to be any joy. Yes, I try to spread my own joy when I can but it’s disheartening to have your smile and friendly “hello” ignored by your fellow shoppers . . . and the cashiers who are taking your money . . . and it’s not always when you’re shopping for gifts . . . I get the same feelings when I’m grocery shopping . . .
So instead of adopting the “bah humbug” attitude, I shop at home. With the puppies at my feet. Playing Christmas music. Usually in my sweats or jammies . . . and this helps keep my holiday spirit during the holidays . . .
Millie is part lab. Probably mostly lab. She has a lab appetite. She thinks she’s always hungry. Which is why she had a weight problem when she was a young dog. Which is why I feed her a half can of green beans with each meal – to help fill her tummy and keep her from thinking she’s hungry all the time.
I have bird feeders in the back yard. Most of the time she leaves them alone but sometimes she likes to eat the bird seed that the birds have knocked out of the feeders and is on the ground. Usually in the spring when it’s been raining and the ground is soggy and the spilled seed tends to stink. That’s when I have to go out almost daily and clean up the seed before she can eat it.
It’s been kind of cold here lately. We’ve had some snow. We’ve had an ice storm. Ground is frozen. Which means the bird seed on the ground is frozen. Which makes me think “whoo hoo!! I don’t have to worry about Millie eating bird seed!”
I. Was. Wrong.
That goofy little dog has decided that clumps of frozen bird seed are a new delicacy and she MUST EAT ALL THE SEED . . . which means every time she goes out, she heads to the area where the bird seed is and starts feasting on her new treat.
Rocky told on her . . . he came to the back door and looked at me like “Mom, she’s doing it again” and waited for me to step outside to see what she’s up to.
Curse. Swear. Filth. Foul. WTF is wrong with this dog?!
So I have to keep a closer eye on her than normal . . . and I have to go out tomorrow while it’s still daylight and chip up the old bird seed to keep her from eating it.
I swear that dog is responsible for a good bit of my gray hair . . .
There about a hundred things I should be doing . . .
Sending out Christmas cards . . .
Decorating the tree . . .
Going out shopping . . .
But I’m happily sitting here with Millie asleep on my feet and listening to Rocky snore.
Everything can wait a bit.
It’s been snowing all day. Nothing significant. Just enough to be annoying. And enough to risk black ice on the roads after sunset. So I stayed home with the dogs and watched TV.
It was glorious.
Yesterday was a sunny beautiful day . . . high temperature in the mid 50’s . . . unusual weather for Ohio in November . . . and I won’t complain . . .
The dogs were in and out the back door most of the day . . . drove me nuts . . . but we won’t have many more days like this so I won’t complain . . .
Today a cold front moved through . . . first with wind, then with rain, now with snow . . . nothing significant, probably about an inch or so . . . and it’s just covering the grass.
Rocky and Millie LOVE snow . . . they like watching it fall . . . they like running through it . . . they like running outside to see if anything has changed in the two minutes since the last time they were outside . . . and since it’s snowing, they’re covered in snow so I have to dry them off and wipe their feet before they can come back in the house.
If I’m working on my cross stitch, I have to wash my hands after I clean the dogs so that I don’t get my project all dirty. If I’m reading a book that I borrowed from the library, I have to wash my hands so that I don’t get the book all dirty.
If they’re barking at heaven knows what and I call them inside, they have to get a treat . . . because they came when I called them . . .
And if I’ve called them inside because they’re barking they look at me like I’ve broken their little hearts and made them stop having fun . . .
It’s November in Ohio . . . we’re going to have about three or four months of this stuff . . . and they’re driving me nuts after one day . . .
Yes, I’m complaining . . .
I did a lovely post on Rocky’s birthday . . . and it seems that he’s had a post on his birthday the last few years . . . and I realized that I haven’t done a post about Millie in a while . . .
This picture was taken the day we brought Millie home. Millie came to live with us the day after my beloved Luci girl passed away. It wasn’t my idea. XH and Rocky ganged up on me . . . and I never had a chance . . . I know it doesn’t look it in the picture, but Rocky was/is over the moon with his little sister.
I was all prepared not to like her . . . I was prepared to not bring her home with us . . . and then I heard her story and my heart melted.
She had been dropped off at the rescue group as a young puppy. She got adopted quickly but kept running away from her family because they didn’t pay attention to her and she was a bit of an escape artist. After her third escape, the family decided she was “too much trouble” and let the rescue group keep her . . .
How could I not want to give her a good home after that . . .
I still wasn’t prepared to like her . . . but Millie had other plans for me . . .
She’s a whirling dervish . . . on the go from the minute her eyes open in the morning until she falls asleep at night. Always hungry (she’s part lab). Doesn’t know a stranger. Will eat anything that won’t eat her . . . and will try to eat a few things that could do her serious harm (wasps, carpenter bees). The only dog I’ve ever owned that will willingly and happily eat lettuce and raw potatoes.
This picture sums up her personality perfectly . . . she doesn’t care about your opinion or doing what she’s supposed to be doing if there is a more interesting option . . . she’s the only dog I’ve every loved that didn’t go to obedience school . . . and she’s the only dog that will come IMMEDIATELY when she’s called and sit quietly for a treat . . . she has to be the first one to get pets and hugs when I get home from work. She has to be the one out in front during our walks. She has to be the one to get her supper first and her treats first. She tries to “help” the girls behind the counter at the vet’s office whenever she has an appointment. She will not stand still on the scale so we have to “guesstimate” her weight.
She goes off with the girls at the kennel or the groomer without so much as a backward glance at me . . . but she’ll knock anyone down if they get in her way when I show up to take her home.
She’s been pretty oblivious to the change in the household dynamic after Prince Charming died, but she’s the one that came running from the other end of the house and pushed me out of the way when I accidently turned on Prince Charming’s CPAP machine a couple of months after he died because she thought he had suddenly returned home. She hasn’t grieved the same way that Rocky has but I can’t play his voice mail messages when she’s around because she whines and tries to get to the phone if I’m playing a message and she hears it.
This is my very favorite picture of Millie and Rocky . . . it was taken about a month after she came to live with us . . . and I like to think Rocky was telling her what a happy life she was going to have her with us . . .
She’s a handful alright . . . and I’m thankful every day that she picked me to be her human.
I was always a good kid. Typical middle child. Fly under the radar, stay out of trouble, hope nobody noticed me . . . there were six of us kids and it was pretty easy to blend into the background . . .
Until I turned 16 . . . and I did the Stupid Teenage Rebellion thing . . . and thought I knew everything . . . and my parents didn’t understand anything . . . that’s when my relationship with my Mom became strained . . .
Then I met XH and “settled down” and became a “responsible adult” and things were better . . . until XH and I started having trouble . . . and then we got divorced . . . which was a MAJOR No-No in my Devout Catholic Family . . . and then Prince Charming seemingly appeared out of nowhere . . . and my Mom was thinking “WTF” was going on with me.
Then things evened out again when Mom saw what a positive influence Prince Charming was on me . . . and then when Prince Charming died and she saw her “rebellious girl” turn into a “strong resilient woman” . . .
Then Dad died and I was the only one who truly understood what she was going through on a daily basis . . . and we became buddies . . . crazy broke widow women out on adventures . . . after Mass on Saturday night, we would go to dinner, then out shopping at the Dollar Tree or Five Below or just hanging out. It has become the highlight of my week.
Today was Adventure Night . . . after Mass, we had quick dinner at Arby’s and then started our new tradition of Mom’s Christmas Shopping Adventure . . . Kohl’s was having a Black Friday sale . . . and Mom had people to buy for . . . so we decided to check out the sale and see how many people we could check off her list . . . we managed to check off three people . . . and saved Mom a boat load of money . . . and we had a wonderful time doing it . . .
If someone had told me twenty or thirty years ago that my relationship with Mom would evolve to this . . . I would have told them they were crazy . . . now I like to think that this is the reward for not us not giving up on each other all those years ago . . .