Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Every Dog Has A Day(s)

(I've never surveyed squirrels from this window. This is marvelous! Thanks Princess A!)

Uli is in recovery. Not from relatives sneeking her sips of spiked nog or nibbles of bourbon soaked beef tenderloin. No, Uli is in recovery from her routine being all scrambled up. 

You see, Uli is a creature of habit. She likes regiment and order.  She knows exactly the time she wants out in the morning. She knows exactly the time her food bowl gets filled--twice a day.  She knows exactly where and how to lounge on each family member.  She knows exactly where she likes her kennel, and just how her pallet of blankets inside need to be fluffed. She knows the square of yard she relieves herself.  She knows she hates to be bathed, and hates a King Ralph home spun grooming. 

That was until... 

Three days before Christmas Uli's world of routine was scrambled. She was one pissed off pouch!  We moved her kennel out of the Red Room, into D's bedroom (just to give flow for Xmas company). Then D bathed our stinky hound, left her trapped downstairs till she dried, while I was washing all the floors. 

Bad idea! 

Uli told us just how she felt, in the way only a dog can. 


Shit the floor! 

Damn dog!!

So then she got the clippers for a slight winter trim. 

Thus the snub began. 

Uli refused to have anything to do with us. She neglected our offers of affection. She stared at the spot longingly where her escape pad use to stand. Not to mention the girls dressed her in her elf T-shirt and Xmas sweater. Uli HATES to play dress-up!! Basically Uli had slipped into a doggie depression.  She would sit staring out the French doors, probably plotting against her family. Never breaking her stare to look at us. She was a stone cold hearted dog. 

Then came December 26. Without fanfare her Xmas clothes were packed away and her kennel return to its usual location. Quietly, like a thief in the night (except it was high noon) she's sllinked into her kennel for an afternoon nap. The sun beating through the French doors warmed her fur. At that moment I believe I saw the corners of her mouth turn up, in a smile of euphoria.  

Our pouch was back! 

Bark, bark, hurray!  

I Demand A Repeat

Call me crazy...probably I am...I just said to myself--I wish we could do Christmas all over again.  

I know I moaned and complained about being stressed, and about King Ralph's permanent-reclined-Christmas-watch-it-all-come-together position...
(That's a fresh from the oven gooey butter cookie resting on a napkin on his chest...that he did not rise from the chair to fetch) 

but the Eve of Christmas and Christmas Day; one tranquil and one magical, filled me both heart and soul, beckoning for a repeat. What is not to love about that?! There is always, (especially this year) a beautiful full house Christmas Eve church service, filled with carols, choirs - of both vocal and bells, accompanied by a beautiful message of love, joy, hope and peace. Something my city is in desperate need of finding and understanding.  Something our World is equally in need of finding! 

There is always food. Lots of good food. 
(Christmas Eve) 

Santa never fails. He comes in the night, and I'm now first to see what he left under the tree.  Wasn't like that in the yesteryears. Who knows, maybe little, or now big feet tip toe in the night to survey the wrapped goods? 

The pickle stake went up to $20 this year. All I could hear from M and D was something on the lines of being a poor college kid and needing twenty bucks. 
(D wins!) 

After gift opening, I gave a once over scrub to bathrooms and floors, and vacuumed area rugs for the umpteenth time...the company arrived to play with our new toy: Selfie Snap.

The libations flowed: Grinch Juice and wines.

We ate and played games. New favorite: Racing Horse Game 

Our fun continued on the twenty-sixth, where the 61* day was more Spring than Winter. M asked for, and received a croquet set from Santa (okay from King Ralph and I, but Santa is much more fun to say). Since our backyard was swampy from the rain earlier in the week, we headed to the sculpture park. The park was bustling with folks soaking in the gift of warmth Mother Nature served up. Most walked the trails or played with remote control toys.  We, however, were the envy of the park. 

Next it was time to play with my new toy--the pasta maker attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer. Along with a ravioli press. 
(Served in a treasured pasta bowl that once belonged to King Ralph's paternal grandmother.)  

So I ask. Why wouldn't I want a repeat of Christmas? 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Where Are You Christmas

Where are you Christmas? I know you're out there...I think I found you, finally, this weekend. With just days to spare, my Christmas meter is rising. Aaaahhhh yes! 

Thursday, King Ralph drove down to pick up D from college. D and her hundred tons of shit, I mean stuff. Stuff and all, my heart and home are now full--for the next four weeks; at least. 

Friday was the last day before winter break for students, and although I am working through December 23,, an occasion of this magnitude calls for a family night celebration. So...to the symphony we go. 

I didn't have to beg hard, well, I did hear--"Mom, really, I'm almost 25!" To bad, get up there...and they all three did--sat on Santa's lap . 
"Three beautiful girls. What a treat for Santa!' 

It was a great symphony of holiday music and a sing along. They even gave me a spiritual, and as my family knows, I love a good spiritual. Seriously! 

On the way home we took in a Saint Louis holiday light tradition: Candy Cane Lane and Angel Ave. who doesn't love a neivirhood's collective spirit of celebrating via lighting up every house on the street?!

Saturday brought us to an early Avery Family Christmas.  Wait, I mean, "dysfunctional family fun", or as we like to refer: DFF. It was a great night of food and fun, and the dysfunction was kept to a low roar
 With a toast
And another toast (where's the damn [missing] Charley sign?) 


It was the beginning of a beautiful thing. The First Annual Dysfunctional Family Fun Bowling Tournament. When you have two kings pins in the family, what better way could there be to say Merry Family, than at the bowling alley! The King pin cousins were captains, selecting team members by a hat draw of names. Which calmed my repressed memories of school days in PE. There you have it...
Team Loser (can my sweater sag down anymore making me look fat or nine months pregnant? Sigh.) 
Team winner, with a two game series score of 1833. Holding the new and coveted Toby trophy. That golden boy Oscar ain't got shit compared to ceramic Toby! Just saying. 

It's only at this family gathering that you can hear one cousin say to another cousin, "love what you've done with your beard. Gone with the Abraham Lincoln style."

Sunday brought Princess A's  mad cookie skills to the kitchen. 

Christmas to be continued....

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Friends I'm stressed!  S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D! Stressed.  And I'm not afraid to tell anyone who asks, "how are you?" Which always prompts the question, "why?"

Why?  You wanna know why?

Well, let's see...

There's work.  WORK!  I won't go there.  Not to mention I have to work till December 23, while students are done on the nineteenth.  Perhaps I'm just plain jealous? Perhaps? No I am!  There was the lights on my pre-lit tree that went out, in the center of the tree...but I fixed that stress-er after five days of stressing about it.  I still have a few gifts to get--so those folks will just be getting gift cards. Christmas Cards.  Screw that, I eliminated the cards, but not without King Ralph (who's never touched our cards) moan about it.  When will I clean?  When will I grocery shop?  When will I bake? Do laundry? Iron?  

M and D are arriving home from college with their hundred tons of stuff.  M is home now and it looks like she is back forever; when it is just a month.  D arrives home tomorrow.  Surely to come with her hundred tons of stuff.  Why does the "stuff" have to sit idle for three days, engulfing their bedrooms, before they decide to wake up from their 48 hour post final naps and then shuffle it to the appropriate holding spot?  It's a mother stress mess!

I made myself a chore chart yesterday.  I pray it helps me to pace my stress.

While I tackle my chore chart, we will be celebrating M's 22nd birthday.  Princess A has a cookie order to fill.  We have the holiday concert at the STL Symphony and an early Avery Family Christmas, and the family Christmas bowling tournament. (We'll visit my mad bowling skills at a later date.)

Oxygen.  I need oxygen!      

I'm now cranking up the Christmas tunes, grabbing some cleaning supplies and checking a few areas of my chore chart.

Tis' the Season.