I stuck with my own tradition and put my Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Did you happen to notice that Thanksgiving was a week earlier this year?  We have a whole week to go before the first of December, which also gives us an extra week of shopping, baking, creating, etc.!

I decided to go with a whiter theme this year, and since I had all that wedding decor still lying around the house, I thought:  why not use that?  So here is my creation.

Yes, it is a small tabletop tree, but it is bigger than the one I used the past few years.  It is actually a five-foot tree I found at Walmart!  Crazy how a lot of “stuff” can fill in a cheap and dinky tree, huh?

We switched to a tabletop tree the year we got our bulldog puppy Dozer.  He would have destroyed a floor model, along with all the presents.  Sadly, he is no longer with us, but poor old Whitey, our 11-year-old Boston, is getting forgetful about where to use the bathroom and he would probably be “anointing” gifts if they were on the floor.

I don’t have any wrapped gifts yet (my life has been consumed by wedding!) so I added my vintage typewriter, some ancient books, vintage Santa mugs, and a ceramic Boston terrier who is very obedient.

A letter to Santa would have been nice, but I like the childhood photos of my children even better!

There is my most well-behaved Boston hiding in the tree!
I pulled a few neutral and white ornaments out of the Christmas ornaments box and added silk flowers, ribbon, and tulle left over from the wedding.  Then I topped it all with some twigs from our land and an ostrich feather.  I think the effect is rather magical, don’t you? 



AT HOME MONDAY: We’re home!

Nothing makes you appreciate home more than leaving it behind.  We took off last week to southern Indiana to see my sister and do some deer hunting, and although it was sad saying goodbye, it was good to get back home to family, dogs, and our own stuff.  

What is it, exactly, that makes home different from anywhere else?  I mean, my sister’s home is comfortable, spacious, cozy, and beautiful.  Her (and her husband’s) hospitality is wonderful–they fed us well, provided us with a good place to sleep, a great place to hunt, and anything else we needed.  (Except when DirecTV stopped working and her computer messed up!)  Her four dogs are almost equal to my own babies in sweetness and cuddliness, and everyone gets along famously.  So why was it good to get back home?

FAMILY:  Jimmy and I were 850 miles from our children, our parents, and my other sister and her family, and my brother and his wife.  Jimmy and I talked of moving to Indiana because of its beauty and climate and gigantic deer, but we would have to bring our children and parents with us.  I couldn’t bear to move that far away from them!

DOGS:  Our three Boston terriers become despondent every time I pull a suitcase out of the closet.  They hate for us to leave them alone, and although my daughter stayed here to feed them and keep them company, they were depressed and sad the whole week.  They missed us terribly, and I missed them.

STUFF:  Comedian George Carlin had an act where he talked about what people do to hold their stuff–buy bigger homes and storage buildings, carry suitcases and purses, etc. just to hold their stuff.  People need stuff to keep their stuff in, because finding a place to put your stuff is the meaning of life, etc.  There is a teeny bit of truth in all of that, although I don’t like to admit that I am as materialistic as all that.  As many suitcases and bags as we pack, we leave most of our things behind when we travel.  I missed my favorite chair, my TV programs, my laptop, my bed, my books.  The only thing I really didn’t miss was my housework!

Home, sweet Home!

So those things mean home to me.  I love visiting the homes of my family and friends, but it is always good to get back to my own home, as shabby and humble as it may be.  “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home,” the old saying goes.  



AT HOME MONDAY: There’s never a dull moment. . .

. . .when you have a dog in the house.  Multiply that times three for us, and really, three is nothing when, not too long ago, we had seven dogs and two litters of puppies in the house at one time!  Not just dogs, mind you.  These are Boston terriers, the smartest canines in the world.  Don’t bother to argue with me, because I will never change my opinion on this, okay?

We bought our first Boston terrier puppy when the kids were small and we realized that no child should grow up without a dog.  I believe Matt was 8 and Natalie was 3.  The kids were thrilled and Mack became a wonderful companion for Matthew.  However, just one dog would not be enough.  No.  

Trips to Dog Alley at First Monday Trade Days in Canton convinced my honey that we should go into the dog breeding business.  One breeder told us that he had paid all his debts, including a home and travel trailer, from his earnings in breeding.  Jimmy was convinced that we needed to start our own dog breeding business.  I went along since it meant lots of cute puppies.  We bought Mack a wife, a little female puppy we named Mindy.

Fast forward a few years, through their litter of puppies (their ONLY one) which produced Whitey, Whitey’s wife Molly, Maggie, Maggie’s husband, Murphy, and their daughters Feisty and Swirl, and lots of other little puppies who found new homes.  With vet bills for mommies who miscarried, stillborn pups, vaccinations, puppy ads, and other expenses, we NEVER came out ahead, and our home suffered.  Look forward to tales of home damage in future posts. . .

After so many years and no children at home, we are left with three babies:  Whitey, who is now almost 11 years old, Molly, 8, and Maggie, 6.  But poor Whitey is feeling his age.  

Every spring and summer, he suffers from skin allergies, an ailment which usually forces us to resort to steroids from the vet.  After feeding him doses of Benadryl with no improvement I finally took him to the vet’s office today.  He has also been limping a bit, but it has gotten worse over the last couple of days.  Last night he had trouble standing to eat his dinner, and he could barely get to his favorite resting place on the sofa.  

Natalie came over this morning to help me get him to the doctor. To my surprise and dismay, Dr. B. found fleas on my poor baby!  I was SO humiliated!  I mean, we pride ourselves on being wonderful pet owners.  We allow them complete run of the house, we have a fenced in yard with a doggie door, and we keep them on a strict feeding and medication schedule.  We also check them often for fleas, and had not seen anything!  Dr. B. glances at his poor skin and sees three!  Of course, she IS trained. . .Needless to say, we forked out almost $200 for flea treatment for everydog, as well as some cortisone for Whitey’s poor achy joints. 

To top it off, my daughter notices–while we are waiting in the examination room with the dog–that I have put my blouse on wrong side out!  What with Whitey having a thermometer shoved up his most personal orifice, Natalie realizing her parents have been fussing at her pets for scratching when they have BUGS on their skin, and her mother not being able to properly dress herself anymore. . .well, it was a HUMILIATING day for all. . .

Poor Bawhitey-bewie. . .

Ap ril  xoxo
stay tuned. . .