Monday, December 24, 2012

Some Things Just Go A Certain Way

I did it! I made it through another year. 2013 is right around the corner. This coming year I’m not making any new resolutions because I figured why set myself up to fail? I’m going to keep the mindset that if I’m very quiet about things needing to be done or changed, there may be a good possibility I can quietly sneak up on them and get them accomplished while not pre-jinxing myself.

Sounds a little adolescent but, hey, I’ll try anything once. I remember last year at this time—and on this very blog—proclaiming that 2012 was going to be the year of Ruby. HA! Things don’t always turn out like you’d like. Last January we made the decision to redo our old bathroom. It was nearing the end of its life. My shabby vanity had seen years of wear from either small children crawling up the side to reach the faucet, spilled nail polish, and the “oops, Ma, I just dropped a hammer on the tile.” It was getting really hard to think of all the cracks, dents, and gunk as simple character marks. Then my husband blew out his shoulder and ended up having surgery, so the project waited.

Then along April we once more put the remodel out on the table. Yup, things were really starting to deteriorate back there in the bathroom. We started to draw plans again…and then in the famous words of Emeril, BAM! I ended up with some medical issues and subsequent surgery the first week of June. So now we’re backed up until the end of August.

Along about September I’m really starting to worry about stepping into the tub only to end up crashing through to the basement. Tiles around the tub began to pop and water started going places it really shouldn’t. So the process proceeded and the money pit began to sap our strength. Because of one thing or the other, actual demolition didn’t start until towards the end of November. And then we discovered that ALL the plumbing had to be replaced, which was probably a smart thing to do. And since we’re anal about doing things ourselves we have now found ourselves on Christmas Eve morning without a second toilet and thirty-three people coming for dinner tomorrow.

But you know? I decided not to sweat it. It is what it is. My kids and grandchildren and family members are all going to be here healthy and happy. The food is going to be substantial and hot, and the drinks are going to be cold and tasty. So what if the house isn’t picture-perfect. The sheetrock dust is gone and the presents are all wrapped and under the tree. I just took out a pecan pie from the oven, the spaghetti sauce is bubbling and I’m off to make my one son his banana cream pie, the other, his chocolate. My brother-in-law’s cherry pie was baked earlier.

So there it is. I’m planning on a great day tomorrow and hoping for health and happiness in 2013. As far as ‘the year of Ruby’? Well, I’ll just take one day at a time. Merry Christmas to all of you and special wishes to 26 families in Connecticut. Keep them in your hearts.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tales of Christmas

So my trees are up inside and outside, I’ve dug out my Michael BublĂ© CD and I’ve finally started my present shopping. Yes, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. My mind is turning to traditions and family and the Christmas spirit is starting to spread. I find I’m enjoying the Christmas decorations and music that were just annoying in November. I want to bask in that warm festive glow. I want to read all the Christmas stories that are being released. I’ve pulled the ones I didn’t make it to last year to the top of my reading list. So many awesome Christmas tales to read and only a few short weeks to fit them all in, because after that window has passed they just don’t hold the same meaning. In fact after the last cracker has been pulled and the last firework faded from the New Year's sky we are all ready for Christmas to be over for another year.

So tell me, which are your favourite Christmas books? Which do you re-read over again? Which of the new releases are you looking forward to the most? Which of those stories should I make sure are at the top of the list this year?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dog Lovers Unite

Dog Lovers Unite

There isn’t a day goes by that someone doesn’t post a picture of a pet on Facebook. It doesn’t even have to be their companion. It’s just a random picture they found and posted a funny quip with it to make the reader laugh.
Most the time it’s pictures of cats. I’m not a big fan of cats. I’ve got my reasons. I had a cat named Fuzz, who was the best mouser on the planet and his weight proved it. What turned me away from cats as pets was this one vindictive little biotch. She belonged to my roommate at the time, many years ago. This little furry vixen hated me from the beginning.
I think she was convinced it was my fault she went to the vet to get fixed, since I was the one who picked her up after the operation. She considered me to be the reason for her pain. Lovely. And that was the start of our love hate relationship.
You’re going to love the rest of this story. It gets better, because I plan to share with you some of the hateful things she did to me during our time together.
If I ever forgot to close my bedroom door, she would sneak into my room and jump onto my dresser. Not a problem. I didn’t mind she liked to be up on things. But when she decided to chew up all the gold bead necklaces I had hanging on a jewelry stand, I was ready to kill her. She looked at me as if “What? I thought you wanted the gold beads squashed flat.” I never left the bedroom door open again.
Now I’m dating myself on this one J  Whenever I listened to records on the stereo, I had to make sure to close the lid. If I didn’t, she’d use it as an amusement ride. The little vixen would jump up and sit on the record as it went round and round, ruining it for any future use.  Then she’d give me a look like “I hated that song.”
My curtains took a beating as her personal climbing toys. But the Christmas tree was her favorite. She treated it as her personal climbing tree. The first time she slithered up the artificial limbs, it fell over, breaking most of the ornaments while we were at work. Of course, most of the ornaments were mine so she got her vengeance. Instead of blowing my top, we tied the tree to the wall so it wouldn’t fall again.
Big Mistake. This gave her the perfect launching station. Since it was situated at the front window and beside the front door, it was a great location for her to plan sneak attacks on whoever came through the door. Mostly just me. She acted like a princess when her mother was home. This little vixen would climb into the tree and wait for me to enter. The moment I closed the door behind me, she’d jump out of the tree and use me as a scratching post.
Of course, this got her taken to the vet and her front claws removed. I wasn’t playing games anymore. But neither was she. The last straw came the day she figured out how to use her back claws to get me good. I used to do sit-ups in front of the TV everyday. (this is true I swear, not my reality now LOL). She planned her attack just right. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her sitting in the kitchen doorway ignoring me. At least that’s what I thought. The moment I lay flat, she sprang into action and hauled ass as fast as she could from the kitchen, straight across the living room and my stomach, making sure she dug those back claws in as she made her turn for the hall and her master’s bedroom.
That ended her time with us. The gouges across my stomach didn’t need stitches but bled and were painful with every move I made. When my roommate got home, the cat was in a large cardboard box, which was taped shut. I had it addressed for Hell. Of course, I was nice enough to poke a few holes in it, but I really didn’t want too. My roommate got the message and took the cat to her grandparent’s farm where she is probably still tormenting the other cats to this day.
Demon cats never die.

I solemnly swear that all of this did happen to me. As an author, the imagination sometimes takes over and embellishes events, but not in this case. This cat and I hated each other and that’s a fact.
Please share your Love-Hate animal stories. I’d love to hear them so I know I’m not alone. I truly love my Dogs. They love me and have never tried to hurt me intentionally. We have the perfect relationship. I feed them. They give me kisses. I throw the ball. They bring it back.
Try that with a cat. It’ll look at you like “What? You think I’m going to get that? Really?”
Dog lovers unite. Flood Facebook with dog loving pictures.
A big thanks to Diana Hunter for stepping into my blog spot several weeks ago. As many of you know, the northeast took a double hit. My heart goes out to all who suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter that followed. It is times like these that make us realize the power of Mother Nature and that we are helpless at her hands when she is suffering a severe bout of PMS. We were lucky and only lost power. Others lost everything. 
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