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It happened last year, too. Last year, I no sooner put the wreath out upon the lamp post than a Nor-easter whipped through and knocked it off. Last year had less snow and more frozen mud. By the third time it had been knocked off in as many weeks, I left it there on the ground until it thawed enough to be tossed into the compost piles out back.

This year I brought the wreath home and securely (I thought) wired it to the lamp post. I still needed to add the bow which was in storage but at least it was out and looking quite nice, I thought. I was pleased to see that it survived last weekends Nor-easter.

It did not, however, survive the snow blower.

Or was it the operator of the snow blower? (Sing it with me! “Ma-cho, ma-cho man!! da-da-da-da-da”) Yup, that’s my man blowing his stack any which way, clearing off the driveway that we do not use when it snows. Don’t ask. It’s complicated.

In any case, it lay buried in the snow drift, got iced on, and is now a permanent layer of our winter lawnery. I did have *other* plans for the holiday lawnery, but what with the snow and ice and all, they haven’t been put out. Several of our more organized, anal, OCD and filled with spare time neighbors have set up extensive displays of those inflatable thingys. They are mostly buried now, although I can see the tip of Frosty’s hat in one yard.

The exterior lighting displays still shine kaleidescope-bright which pleases me enormously. Eye-candy all over the place as I trundle home in the dark.

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Raking Snow

We had snow early this year. Last year I really wanted it and didn’t get it. This year it is already outstaying its welcome.

I like snow. I just prefer it to last about three weeks over the Christmas and New Years celebrations, and then just quietly… leave . I also prefer it to come AFTER the bulk of the leaves have fallen so it can cover up the untidiness.

Alas, our trees are the stubborn sort which cling in denial to the brown vestiges of the previous growing season. While other trees are stark and bare throughout the winter, ours drip leaves throughout the season, not losing the last of them until the new growth actually pushes them out.

Here is early snow with leaves.

Here is early snow buried under leaves after a particularly windy day.

DH thinks “we” should rake the snow so the leaves won’t clog up the snow blower. (Dream on, sweetie. Rakes are not made for snow!)

We are warned of three consecutive winter storms this week. All of them are guaranteed to be dumping precipitation of some sort… snow, ice, rain. The one set for this weekend is being promoted as a true Nor-easter with gale-force winds. Therefore:

  • I cannot park in the driveway because the snow blower cannot get by my car
  • I need to be sure to put away my stupid girly boots (they look FABulous, but are worthless in snow or ice) and wear my galoshes with the thick tread and miles-too-big-insides so I can wear three pairs of socks inside them
  • I need to get my dry cleaning and fill up my gas tank before Friday
  • I need to make sure to do a grocery run for extra milk, batteries, and other essentials like COFFEE and popcorn
  • ibid the liquor store
  • Refill the windshield washer fluid in my car (what is in there now freezes at 28 degrees and then doesn’t pump anything… scary on the highway!)

This weekend is also the time for me to start getting out the Christmas holiday decorations. Others do it right after Thanksgiving. I wait until at least the 2nd week in Advent to do mine. We may or may not get the (live, of course!) tree this weekend, but I hope we can. I start with the other paraphernalia of Christmas like plaids on the table and red ribbons and greenery. In-coming holiday cards are displayed and outdoor decorations begin to appear about this time in our home. This year I have added a new outdoor lighting style: oversized colored bulbs on our back fence.

I take all of the Advent season and the full 12 Days of Christmas to display decorations. I enjoy building to the dual climaxes of Christmas and Epiphany. It takes me almost the same amount of time to remove the decorations, but who can blame me?

DH humors me in all of this. He even helps with the tree and the lights. He enjoys all of it, too.

The Roomba arrived. It required a 16-hour initial charge. After choir this evening it was ready to rock and roll so I took it into the room it would come to be VERY familiar with…the newly renovated TV room. The room currently has no TV in it, but eventually we will (it’s on order) have one of those uber-cool wall-mount flat-screen TVs with High Def …repeat after me: “oooh! Ahhh!”

Now this is the room that has the doggie door, which allows our puppies the freedom to exit and enter at will, bringing with them all sorts of debris from the great outdoors…sand, leaves, grass, mud, ice…you get the idea. There is no way we were ever able to keep up on the in-again, out-again track of puppy paraphernalia. The Roomba was made for Dixie and Duncan.

They were introduced to Rosie (I watched the Jefferson’s cartoon show…duh!) but it was not exactly a match made in heaven…

Friendly Dixie approached at first. She sniffed. Rosie moved. Dixie retreated, puzzled.

Dixie tried approaching from another angle while Duncan barked in the background.

It was cornered!

A closer inspection showed that it could maneuver out of corners. Duncan barked some more. Dixie wagged her tail as she retreated.

Duncan took the lead, now, trying to nip the moving object. You will notice that Duncan has already “lost” his cone collar meant to keep his stitches safe from excessive licking. I went outside to look for it on my lunch break, and later after work with a flashlight. Duncan not only “lost” his conehead, he apparently sent it into an alternate universe!

After several orders to “leave it!” Duncan did. He had to get a few nips in first. They left no mark whatsoever on Rosie.

Ten minutes of this was all I could stand. I blocked the room so Rosie could continue her job and took the puppies downstairs with me. Rosie’s maiden voyage took approximately 45 minutes. The full bin confirmed she did quite a bit of cleaning.

I think I like her. I think Rosie is going to be a wonderful addition to the family. If only we can train the puppies to accept her and not try to bark her to death or nip her nether regions.

…was from my pharmacy.

On the one hand we can think how thoughtful they are. CVS is all about the customer relationship.

On the other hand we can think of how much more money they think they will be able to extract from me in the coming year based on my prescription expenses in the past year…

I gotta tell you, this thought is seriously depressing. It makes me feel seriously OLD.

p.s. Duncan is feeling much better. He is sleeping more than usual, but I think that is a good thing.

I came home this evening to a bloody puppy. Duncan stood on the back deck waiting to be let in, a white string-like thing hanging from somewhere on his back end. Once inside, I discovered it was not a string, but a piece of wire from the garden fencing. It was embedded in his rear hip.


I removed it and looked for the damage. It needed cleaning to see what it was so I tried lukewarm water. Duncan didn’t like that at all. I didn’t like it either. While he was moving sortof okay, I figured a vet needed to clean it properly and assess the situation. Panic-stricken at the potential damage, I called our vet praying it was a late-evening-hours day. It wasn’t, but they stayed until I brought him in.

Personally, the damage was $192.00 and change. For Duncan, it was 4 needles and multiple staple-stitches in two locations. They shaved a large section of his right rear hip, and stapled the pieces back together. He will return in 2 weeks to have the staples removed.

Duncan was dopey and confused most of the evening. He had an accident in the house which he hasn’t had in probably a year or more. He does not like to lay down and keeps trying to stand, but his back legs give out after a while. The vet assured me all traces of the narcotics used would be gone in 48 hours. In the meantime, I was to keep an eye on him.

I took a flashlight outside, looking for the damaged fencing, beating myself up over the conviction that it was the new stuff I put up over the weekend that was the culprit. No. It wasn’t. It was the older fencing around the hydrangea bush that had tangled him up. I removed it. The hydrangea bush is on its own for the winter.

I missed chorus because of this (priorities being what they are).

He had one of the awful collar things put on him at the vets. Between the narcotics and the collar, he was one freaked-out puppy. As long as I was keeping such a close eye on him, I took it off once we got home. He continued to freak at doorways for another hour.

A grand time for DH to be in Chicago, n’cest pas?

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