Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas (Eve) to All

It's hard to believe that it is Christmas Eve, even harder to fathom that it's Christmas Eve of 2008! (Dig our Yukon Cornelius ornament. I always loved his shopping list "Cornmeal, gunpowder, ham hocks and guitar strings!")

My blogging has been really spotty this year. A heavy work load over the summer and fall, and health issues pretty much robbed me of my desire to write.

I've really missed it, because, the way my mind works is that I'm always trying to frame even my passing thoughts into words and phrases that would be good writing. I'm ALWAYS thinking of stuff, but this has turned out to be a year in which it has been more effective to just keep my nose to the grindstone where work is concerned, try to deal with my chronic back pain and other body problems as best I can, and to sleep as much as possible, because that's the best way I've found to deal with stressful times, simply making sure I sleep as normal a night as possible. Lack of sleep is the number one thing, for me at least, that will push me over the edge and lose my ability to just deal with things.

By far the hardest thing for me was losing Rosie, one of our poodles who got ill and died within a period of 12 hours. This was in early November, and she was such a part of our every day lives that it has been very difficult for us to even think about her. Almost every move we make around the house reminds us of something she used to do that would either make us laugh or say Awww. Every night when I would sit in my recliner, and all four of our small poodles would jump up there with me, Rosie would climb up and lay curled up on my chest for as long as I sat there. I miss that.

I'm not really one to be affected much by certain dates going by; New Year's Day and my birthday are just regular days to me. But the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons tend to make me recall times past, loved ones that are gone and still badly missed, so I definitely do take the time to reflect on the year that has passed and to try to envision how I'd like to do things a bit different in the coming year that may help improve my life.

But today being Christmas Eve, I just remember being so excited as a kid as to what I might be getting on Christmas morning. And especially trying to figure out which "one present" I'd like to open on Christmas Eve night.

As a kid, it was important to strike a balance in my Christmas Eve One Present opening. I didn't want to open something lame, like socks, that I KNEW would be under the tree, but I also wanted to save the really good stuff for Christmas morning, you know?

Now Lovely Wife's and mine's kids are 20 years old and above, so there's no more worrying about having to wait until like 1am to be sure they are asleep before I begin to assemble the "some assembly required" toys they invariably wanted as kids.

Also, with money tight, we look for the best deals we can get, and since those we buy for mostly want books, music CDs, and DVDs of movies, we usually end up buying almost everything from, so going out and shopping for all kinds of different items is almost nil. I miss going out for a big day or two of shopping, but when you're in pain, it's just a relief to shop online and get hard to find stuff easily and for great prices.

But all in all, I'm thankful that we made it through the year. I truly am thankful because as soon as I even begin to think I have it tough, or to feel sorry for myself, I begin to remember the billions on this earth who literally have nothing. On days when my back is hurting particularly bad and I stumble into work anyway, I usually soon stumble upon someone who is limping with an artificial leg from a Vietnam wound, or see the lady with the heart problems getting out of her car in the handicapped spot and realizing she works on the second floor of a two story building here, and that building has no elevator. So I know she climbs those stairs every day with a bad ticker and also with zero complaints. In fact she is one of those people who brightens the days of those around her with her good cheer.

It has been a tough year for me mentally and physically, but overall, I'm very, very blessed, and am in generally good health, and so is my family. Who am I to complain? So I won't.

But I hope to be able to blog some more in the coming year, it does help clarify things when I take the time to put thoughts down on the computer or on paper.

And I hope that all of you out there who occasionally drop by to see if I've written anything new will have a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. I appreciate all of your comments, even the harsh ones by the gutless person known as Anonymous.

God bless all of you with good health for you and those you love.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lovely Wife Was Threatened!

Lovely Wife had a birthday a few days ago, and is now the next best thing to being 50. (Yes, I married an older woman)

Number Two Daughter told Lovely Wife that she couldn't wait until Lovely Wife turns 50.

"Why?" Lovely Wife asked.

"So I can get you a Jitterbug!"

For those of you who don't know, or are otherwise totally out of touch, a Jitterbug is a huge cell phone with massive numbers on the buttons, targeted at older folks who might appreciate having a cell phone they can see the buttons and numbers on rather than a "cool" cell phone.

The young whipper-snapper generation all think the TV commercial for the Jitterbug is a hoot, and that it's for OLD people.

So, apparrently Lovely Wife has only one more year to indulge in her Blackberry addiction with it's full QWERTY keyboard.

I guess it's mandatory for those 50 and up to switch to a Jitterbug.

I personally think it would be more difficult to get someone off of heroin addiction than to wean someone off of their precious Blackberry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jesus, Mary and Joseph Attacked By Wild Dogs

(Note: This post is a repeat of a post I wrote during the Christmas season of 2007. I haven't written in a while, and thought reposting something I liked was better than nothing at all.)

Yesterday when Lovely Wife got home from the grocery store and I went out to help her get the stuff from the car, all four poodles made a mad dash past me out into The Forbidden Zone, otherwise known as the front yard.

For the first few seconds they were just running and jumping in the nirvana of just being out there instead of the back yard, but then Rosie and Lilly noticed intruders in our front yard that were not there the last time they got to run around the front yard.

The only thing that separates us from Ebeneezer Scrooge is the fact that we have a three piece plastic nativity scene in the front yard.

Rosie and Lilly, after the first taste of freedom had died down, noticed the unsuspecting Joseph, Mary, and the Jesus/manger module just sitting there like STRANGERS.

Of course, we don't have normal poodles, ours are vicious attack miniatures. Don't let the curly hair and otherwise cutie-pie looks fool you, they mean business Buster!

Rosie and Lilly ran over and while Rosie barked, growled and snapped at Joseph, Lilly did the same on the other side to Mary.

It was a classic pincer maneuver that General George S. Patton would have been proud of.

Thankfully the Jesus/manger module was left alone, and Joseph and Mary wisely stood perfectly still, probably from extreme fright, but still, it was the right thing to do.

Since the three intruders just sat there like bumps on a pickle, our lap dogs highly trained attack/guard dogs finally realized that this family was no threat and came running quickly inside due to the promise of a bite of cheese.

But for a minute or so there, the Holy Family was in dire straights, but tragedy was finally averted.

For this year anyway.

This is Rosie;

and this is Lilly.

Is it any wonder that those poor people were scared stiff when these two brutes went after them?

Have a Merry Christmas everyone! And watch out for marauding poodles.