Monday, December 29, 2008

Always Good Kharma At Last

I'm a dog lover. No surprise to anyone, I guess, given how many times Kharma has appeared here. I've owned six dogs as an adult and each one has taught me valuable lessons that I've built on.

Then too, I've gotten so many ideas about training and possible tricks from websites and blogs and YouTube. Other dog lovers and their best friends have inspired me. There is no limit to what can be achieved between dog and human when the human contributes as much trust and devotion as the dog does. The 'Net has been the key to a magical place filled with possibilities.

Long story short--I think of Kharma as a partner rather than a possession, family rather than pet. She makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world to have her for a best friend. So 2009 is going to be a year when I challenge myself to provide opportunities for Kharma.

And rather than bore anyone with 365 posts about our journey into Dog Agility and Canine Freestyle and daily trips to the pasture to play Frisbee, I created a dog blog for Kharma. It's up and running. You're invited to visit us there (along with the dogmoms who belong to Johann and Gracie and Xsara and Guinness and Bi and Phoebe)if you're interested! The link is at the left under Blog Friends. And I've added some of your wonderful blogs that I should have long since (you know who you are!).

I now return you from Dog to Food. Behold Mount Krumpet!

It's truly amazing how many apples we can get into a pie. Especially when my sweetie cuts them up like matchsticks instead of slicing them. And festooned with mini cutouts of Christmas trees and stars on the crust, sprinkled with turbinado sugar (my secret ingredient) on top...yum, very yum. Even the Grinch would have approved.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I don't know which one of you sent the snow my way, but it was lovely to wake up to a fluffy white blanket sparkling in the morning sun. Good work!

It was only one inch deep however. So the rest of you need to get crack-a-lackin' with your white stuff (not THAT kind) and make my Christmas merry.

I'm hoping the snow will help me attain some mellow, friendly, relaxed Christmas Spirit. The head cold has receded far enough that I knew I could walk from the Forester to the store(s) without hacking up my lungs in the process. Shopping was high priority because it wouldn't be a very cheery holiday when my family realized my only gift to them was dinner and a the annual showing of "White Christmas". Unfortunately I left my Christmas Spirit at home and was a tad cranky while driving there, shopping, waiting in line, and driving home. Possibly crankiness is just a symptom like a runny nose, a sore throat and my deep cough. Internet shopping with a wrapped photo of the item to be received has become a real possiblity.

I look forward to not being married to the box of Puffs Plus (just bought another three boxes to be safe), not needed cough medicine every four hours, and having some energy. Not to mention that my skin is about to drop off after being soap-and-watered every fifteen minutes. Hey! At least I'm sleeping through the night now. Although I was thinking up some good posts when I couldn't sleep even if I didn't have the energy to actually sit at the keyboard.

Tomorrow is going to be a good day though. Because a PUPPY (!!!) is on the schedule. I get to puppysit a little eight-week-old Shi Tsu until Santa is ready to drop in unexpectedly while they go for a winter walk. I expect to have pictures of me and the little guy.

I'm not sure how to tell Kharma and Zelda that the puppy is not for them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jealous and Pouting

Everyone else around our area has more snow than we do. Portland is figuring out how to put on tire chains. Salt Lake is white (no surprise there). Even Vegas had a real true-life blizzard. What's up with Reno?

We've had snow. It was gorgeous--just enough to enjoy, not enough to hamper Christmas shopping. We were all picturing a white Christmas: dogs cavorting, lights reflecting off the glimmer, trees dressed like Disney princesses, peace and brotherhood.

But the snow melted somehow in the winds preceeding the front--not like it was exactly tropical around here, but apparently 35 degrees accompanied by wind equals a heat wave for snowmen. We had a dusting last night and a few vagrant flakes this evening to replace the evaporated loveliness, but it's way too little.

I want your snow. I promise to take good care of it. I'll curl up with my Puffs Plus while I try to stay one step ahead of this miserable ill-timed cold and watch the stuff fall until it disguises the pond, the trash cans and Zelda's deeply dug holes. I want snow. I need snow. I should have snow. Now.

If you're done with your snow, please send it my way. Please? Otherwise I feel a full-fledged hissy fit coming on complete with stomping of feet and slamming of doors.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Something A Husband Is Good For

He found my missing battery charger. From four hundred miles away. Over the phone.

It was in plain sight, so that explains why I couldn't find it. It also explains why I thought it was a good place to put it. It doesn't explain why I thought I had to take a photo of this year's batch of mint jelly.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Un-Photo

Ah, the posts I could publish...if only I could find the battery charger for my camera.

I could film Kharma's advanced doggy classes. I could show you my pond in all its frozen glory. I could take pictures of this year's Christmas decorations as they slowly take over every corner of our house. I could show you before and after photos of the garage as I make room for a car to actually fit into it.

Hey! I could show you how to deconstruct a queen-sized mattress and box spring. Making it disappear was seriously satisfying.

All those lost opportunities! Instead, I have a keyboard and a blog. A blog with no pictures.

I never realized how much I rely on my photos for inspiration. I've come to rely on them as a kind of shorthand journalling as I chronicle the more interesting aspects of our daily life. Maybe I've become a lazy writer. Maybe I long ago decided that brevity was a virtue appreciated by those of us who plow through our daily bloglist (priority one) and still find time to cook dinner/fold laundry/shop for the holidays.

My sweetie has been occupying the computer desk each evening recently, playing endless games of online Sudoku and Bejeweled, while I search for my battery charger under the guise of accomplishing housework. (Let me just state for the record that housework is responsible for my missing battery charger. If I hadn't cleaned our master bathroom and reorganized our vanity, I wouldn't have put the battery charger in a new place that seemed obvious then.) I wish I could rewind my thought processes to discover just where that obvious place is.

This whole situation is a correlary to the maxim that if I throw something away, after not needing it for five years, I will need it within a month. Or that cleaning my desk automatically means it will take me an hour to find a piece of paper instead of the thirty seconds it would have taken had I left my somewhat messy, but secretly organized, piles in place. I never learn. I keep on merrily and sporadically cleaning and organizing like a teenager who can't comprehend cause and effect.

Frustration doesn't help me accomplish anything either. Frustration makes me crave hot chocolate, candy canes, frosted Mini-Wheats, escapist literature, PBJ sandwiches, and long soaks in the tub. I don't get much done and my scale groans every time I come near it. And it's not just the lack of a working camera, it's the flat tire on the 300ZX and the dead battery in the Ford and the two computers under repair sitting on the dining room table and the holes dug by a certain puppy, over and over and over. The lack of sunshine when I get home seems to sap my energy and my ambition.

Yet I've still managed to clean and clear the garage so that my little Subaru is warm and cozy tonight. And I have a good pile of giveaways stacked on my front porch for Thursday's pick up. We found two gorgeous Christmas trees in the forest this weekend. We took one to the Queen Mother and put up her icicle lights in the bargain. And our home is red and green from the hand towels in the powder room to the snowman curtains in the kitchen.

Still...if I had my camera I'd be posting about my flock of Nativity sheep that have finally reached critical mass. I'd be planning a post guiding you on a Christmas tour of my favorite things. Instead I think I'll go In Search Of, yet again.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thanks for the Memories. Not!

During Thanksgiving, I counted my blessings, which are many and vary from family (when they are behaving in a fashion of which I approve) to the bits of new landscaping which have escaped the chewing, digging and general destruction courtesy of a puppy/moose/freight train.

When I exhausted all those easily thought of, I discovered that there have been many things I'm grateful NOT to have.

Foremost this year I am happy not to have the dread Carpal Tunnel. Both hands work and feel perfectly this year and it makes me cringe to remember the pain, sleeplessness and frustration that I experienced last year.

There is a blogger in SLC who is worshipping the porcelain god even as her baby bump grows exponentially--which reminded me that I am never going to be pregnant during Thanksgiving again, thank you very much. It's been a few years, but now I can make my special holiday bread after a full day of work and not blow chunks all over the kitchen floor from exhaustion. I know, I know, more info than you really wanted.

We travelled on holidays with little children for five zillion years and it's nice not to get in the car every November. It means we miss some relatives, but travelling six feet from kitchen to dining room beats an eight-hour drive.

Someday, when I retire, I want to have the house that everyone comes to for Thanksgiving. With a dorm's worth of beds, extra loads of laundry, laughter, political arguments, endless games of Mancala, Monopoly and Uno. And think how thankful I'll be when they all go home.