Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was The Day Before Christmas . . .

and all was madness & confusion as Sue tried to get everything ready for Christmas.

Whew, good that I'm not entertaining this year as I seem to be less organized than usual.  Calls from Ginger about Westminster tickets, from Laurie about this & that, and from Paula about when we will meet so I can pick up Patrick & Eddie.  Oops, better touch base with mom too about when we will pick her up tomorrow. 

Got the fabulous sweet potatoes done for tomorrow.  All that is left is to bake them and to add the mini marshmallows and pecans.  Had a momentary meltdown as I tried to figure out where the vanilla might be.  Ah, in my tackbag, but that's another story.  As I took out the tackbag Argus got all excited, thinking that he was going to a dog show.  Sorry buddy, not for another month.  As I took my bag of pecans out of the freezer where they have lived for a long time, I noted that the bag indicated that they were best if used by June 2008.  Oh, well.  They taste just fine, especially once they are toasted.  Obviously I need to bake a bit more often!

Next on the agenda is chopping cranberries & draining crushed pineapple.  I'll add sugar and put the mixture in the fridge until tomorrow when I add whipped cream.  A family favorite we NEVER have except at Christmas.

OK, then I get to finish wrapping gifts, mostly dog gifts, so everyone has something to open tomorrow.  Told them they were getting a new nail grinder for Christmas (sort of like coal in your stocking) but I have not picked one up yet.  Am sure they don't mind waiting on that gift.

Christmas Eve with Ron's brother Bob and his family and friends.  Christmas Day with my mother, Ron, Jess & Don at my sister's.  Kris is working 12 hours today (hard to turn down overtime) so hopefully her husband Bob and son Erik can fill in on the basics.  Kris is doing the turkey, dressing, and potatoes, mom is bringing the pie, Ron bought the wine, and Jess and I are bringing the salads and vegetable, rolls, condiments and such. 

Now, if Mother Nature would just do her part.  Kris lives in rural Wisconsin, down a long and winding road (hey, that would make a nice song) that will be a bugger if it is snow-covered and slippery.  A little sun would be welcome!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thanks - And A Little Venting

Life is rough in Paisleyland

Thanks to the dear friends who took the time to call or drop me an email after yesterday's blog posting.  You really touched my heart.  Things are OK here, and I slept well last night, although now I have added some new concerns. There's always something to worry about, isn't there?

Yesterday's snowfall was manageable, only 5-6 inches, but the freezing drizzle that is falling on top of the snow promises to create major problems for the rest of the winter.  It allows the snow to pack into ice, and will give everything an icy armor coating.  Now I can worry about ice dams on my roof too, something I have not had for 15 or more years.

More snow due on Thursday, although so far the forecast for Friday and Saturday looks OK.  We will all be very disappointed if we can't get to my sister's home in rural Wisconsin for Christmas Day.

This will be the 6th Snow Emergency for the city of St. Paul, something the cash-strapped city can ill afford.  Although this particular snowfall is not as heavy as the previous one, there is a lot of clean up left from the last one.  Hopefully they do a careful job this time and plow us curb to curb. 

Several of the busier streets in my neighborhood are no longer wide enough for a car to get through when there are cars parked on both sides of the street.  Duh people, use some sense here!  One street over is a major roadway, and because people don't park close enough to the curb, there are places where two cars going in opposite directions can not pass.  WHY do people think they have to park far enough out from the curb to let their passengers exit - and then just leave the car that way?  Just let your passengers out and then pull up close so you are not obstructing the roadway!

My other complaint is the fact that sidewalks are to be shoveled "edge to edge".  What part of that do people not understand?  No where does it state that a narrow path through the middle is enough.  It states that sidewalks are to be shoved edge to edge, and that if you live on the corner you are responsible for BOTH sidewalks, as well as the curb cuts.  I could cut people some slack if they were seniors or disabled, but most of the offenders are hale and hearty, and some of them have teenagers living at home.  So why aren't those kids out shoveling, working for their spending money?  Which brings up yet another point - why does it seem that kids (at least in this neighborhood) no longer try to make money by mowing or shoveling?  There's plenty of money to be made this year, and no kids to looking for shoveling jobs.  Too busy playing with their computers or video games?     Eeerrrr.

Wow, Spellcheck caught only one error!  Wonder how many mis-used words it missed?

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Hours Before Dawn

The late, much missed Rob. My "heart dog".

Suddenly I am laying in bed wide awake.  Must be 5:55 and time to get up, but no - it's only 3:20.  Although I turn over and try to get back to sleep, I know it's not going to happen as a jumble of thoughts start racing through my mind.  I've gotten through the past few months with very little "down time", for which I am grateful, but I dread the worrying nights, when all concerns & questions seem to be magnified.

Why did I spend so much money on Christmas?  Did I get everything?  Do I need more cards?  Who did I forget?  How much will my Xcel Energy bill be and will I have enough in my checking account to cover it?  Will my car insurance bill come on the 23rd?  How will I pay that?  Did I make my furniture payment this month? Did I even get the bill?  How can I possibly consider going to Westminster?  Will Argus drop out of the Top 10 all breed?  Should I have gone to Chicago this weekend?   How much snow will we get this time?  Where will we put it?  How will St. Paul pay for another Snow Emergency?  How will we get down the streets that are already too narrow?  How can I afford another tie rod on my car? Is the car going to be a money pit as it gets older?  Is my job secure?  Can I master the new accounting system?  Will they fill all the empty positions, or will we be forced to "make do" without enough people to get the work done?  Are they setting us up to fail?  Will the state go into lock down mode next summer?  Why are politics so polarized in Minnesota?  Will state government get anything accomplished this session?  Will state employees ever get a raise again some day?  Should I refinance and get my wiring redone?  Will I need a new roof?  How much money will I lose on Tess's litter of two?  Will Michele be able to fly out with the patched boy?  Will Eddie be show quality?  Will Patti want to take him in January, or will I have another pup to house train? Will Mariah bully him too much?   Is Mariah big enough for her age?  How can I afford a puppy training class for her right now?  When am I going to get the patio door stained?  Why didn't I spend the extra $200.00 on a prefinished door? 

And of course when I start worrying, I worry for everyone. Will Wendy & Kathleen find a backer for Pauli or will she sit home and go to waste because of the enormously high cost of campaigning a show dog? Will Coral stay healthy? How long will she live? How will Ron handle losing her? Will Ron stay healthy? Should I nag him for about eating better? Getting out more? Losing a few pounds? And what about Jess? Is she backsliding? Is my sister smoking or not?  Will Kris Hatch find homes for her puppies? Can Laurie afford to get her car fixed?  Will Don's father stay out of the hospital over Christmas?  Will Mom stay healthy this winter?  How about my sister's car?  Will it hold up all winter?  Will my brother-in-law get the job he is hoping for? Will the weather in Costa Rica be OK for next year's flower crops, and will Al get his hours adjusted the way he hopes?  Will Ginger's mother be OK?  Will the AKC survive?  Why is Tom so difficult?  What's wrong with Cheryl?  Will I ever get Lucy down here to show?  Will there even be any points next year?  How will Argus handle retirement?  How will I handle Argus's retirement?

Three cups of coffee later, with time out for hugging a few dogs, things are looking a bit brighter.  I'll take this one day at a time, do my best, and try to be patient and understanding.   I'll remind myself how fortunate I am to have a job, a roof over my head, a wonderful family, good friends, and my beloved dogs.  That's enough for now.   Things will be fine.