Archive for December, 2005

Introducing Izod

Thursday, December 29th, 2005


No, I did not complete #83 on my list of 101 things in 1001 days! But puppy-knapping did come up in casual conversation with Randy.

This is Izod. He is my Aunt’s new foster puppy in training for the Paws with a Cause organization. He is 10 weeks old and we all got to meet him on Christmas day. He is going to be a big boy and is already stubborn and ornery and strong.

He is also adorable.

Why we stayed home on Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

(Very late but my card reader got packed and I finally have a new one)

This picture should sum up why we didn’t drive 4 hours to Cincinnati on Thanksgiving:


This is through the windshield while driving south on the main road through Solon, Ohio (SOM Center for you locals) at around 9:30 on Thanksgiving morning.

I will NOT miss this when I finally move to Lexington. Really, I won’t. Not at all.

5 quick and random reasons I love my husband.

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Simply because I get to see him this weekend (and I am bored), here are 5 quick and random reasons I love my husband.

1. He puts up with me waking him up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t remember the name of the dad on the Brady Bunch.
(Yes, this actually happened. It was several years ago and I am still apologizing for it.)

2. He remembers somewhat impractical things I off-handedly tell him I would like and surprises me with them for Christmas.
(See THIS and yes, it ROCKS)

3. He lets me talk to Truman the Dog over speaker phone when I am out of town.
(although I am pretty sure he leaves the room when I do this to be ill)

4. He decided we should send my Mom flowers for her retirement.
(a fact that she shared with her whole office as proof that she does, in fact, have the best son in law in the world)

5. He buys me board games for Christmas even though he hates most board games because his sister Melody forced him to play them as a child ad nauseum.
(occasionally, he will even play a game of two with me although most of the time they live, neglected, in the closet)

Congratulations Mom!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Today marks an incredibly cool day for my Mom – she is taking (very early) retirement and today is her very last day of work.

Ever!!

She has worked at the same place for well over 20 years. I was visiting a couple of years ago and one of the newer staff members was so shocked that everyone seemed to know who I was. She asked my Mom if I had worked there at one time or something. My Mom explained that I had pretty much grown up around the office – in fact, some of the staff have known me since I was 8 years old. (EEK!)

Mom is going to sew and garden and travel and sew some more and take naps and just hang out.

Congrats Mom! You earned it – enjoy all the new adventures to come! We love you!

Whereas I share my lengthy thoughts on family and Christmas and Christmas in my family.

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Christmas is my favorite holiday.

I think it stems from the fact that it is the only holiday my family has ever gone all out for. We have never been huge on birthdays – we send cards but rarely gifts. We also send cards for Mother’s and Father’s day – no gifts since I was young. So of the traditional gift-giving occasions, Christmas is it.

I should start by pointing out that I have a small family. Now, when I say small, I mean that as a child, a family reunion for my immediate family would have been 15 people: my grandparents, my parents, 4 aunts, 2 uncles, 3 cousins and me. Compare that to Randy’s family, who would have had to rent an entire park for a family reunion and wear name tags – yep, my family is small.

By tradition, the family would gather at my Grandmother’s house in Michigan for gifts and dinner. One aunt and uncle and their kids (the 3 cousins) were usually at home in Florida so it was only 9 people for the festivities. Don’t under estimate us though – it would take us at least 4 to 5 hours to open gifts among the 9 of us. It was over the top and wonderful. My favorite memories of Christmas as a child weren’t the gifts but the time we spent together as a family. I think those mornings are one of the reasons I love giving gifts so much. My parents and I would open our stockings as soon as I could get them awake (usually around 7 or so) then the rest of the family would arrive and we would start in ernest. It was usually around 9 am when the first gift was passed to the eldest member of the family. We would work our way down to the youngest, one person at a time. No opening in tandem unless someone gave the same gift to more than one person – we watched, we talked, we laughed, we took our time opening every single package and enjoying each other’s company. Then around noon we would break for a snack and the phone calls to the family members that weren’t with us. Then back to more gifts and finally Christmas dinner at 3 or 4 pm. This was how it was for years and years – nearly all my memories of Christmas center on that time with my family.

Over time the family has changed, as you would expect. My grandfather passed away in 1987. My Aunt Martha passed away this past April and her sister Linda has been adopted into the clan**. The Florida aunt and uncle now live in Louisville and the 3 cousins and I have all gotten married and moved around the country. 1 of the cousins has a daughter now as well.

This year Christmas was 11 people out of a possible 18: Randy and I, my parents, Grandma, 4 aunts and 2 uncles plus 3 dogs of varying age and ownership. We got phone calls from all those who were missing including one from my cousin Molly in Iraq. We opened gifts and played with the dogs, we had Christmas dinner and we laughed and we took our time enjoying each other’s company. It was lovely and it reminded me once again why Christmas is my favorite holiday.

**Aunt Martha was an Aunt by love rather than blood relation so Linda is now an aunt as well.

Fill in the blank and celebrate!

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Not wishing to exclude anyone (and because I love celebrations of any kind), I give you the following:

I hope that you have/had a Happy/Merry/Joyous _______________________

Please select from the following:
Boxing Day
Christmas
Festivus
Hanukkah
Kwanzaa
New Year
Ramadan
St. Lucia Day
St. Nicholas Day
Tet
Three Kings Day
Winter Solstice
Yuletide

If I forgot any celebrations, please feel free to let me know – I am always up for learning new things!

And even if 2005 was a phenomenal year (it was for us here at EDEP), here is to hoping 2006 is even better.

Paris la nuit de cathedrale de dame de Notre

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Paris la nuit de cathedrale de dame de Notre

Translation: Paris at night from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
A 360 degree panorama of Paris at night from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral – magnifique!

I prefer sentimental over schmaltzy, thank you very much.

Monday, December 19th, 2005

I am a sentimental person. I still have my favorite stuffed animal from childhood. I still have all the notes that were tucked into the little envelopes put into flower arrangements from my husband and every card he has ever given me. I still have the sweater that my Mom knitted for my Dad when they were first married over 35 years ago. I cry at Hallmark, coffee and refrigerator commercials. I refuse to see King Kong because I know I will sob uncontrollably for a day and half over that giant ape. I am a sap, a softie, a mush, a lover not a fighter – I am corny to a fault. I refuse to fight it – I revel in it.

THAT BEING SAID.

Can someone please explain to me what it is about this time of year that makes me want to hunt down old friends in the forest of links that is Google and reconnect with them? Please, I would love to know. I am sentimental all the time but during the Holidays it taps me on the head like Chinese water torture and I start going through my mental palm pilot wondering how my 9th grade boyfriend is doing. (His name was Ben and he is now a middle school teacher – I was his first kiss and when we were in college, he gave me my first alcoholic drink (now before anyone reads anything into this: he is married – happily so from what I hear, same as I am. No ulteriors there at all, promise.))

BUT I DIGRESS.

You know what this means, don’t you? If you are an old friend and we parted ways with no ill will, we just kind of lost touch, watch for the out of the blue email from me asking how you are. Amy got hers today, I am sure there will be more, I mean I still have 6 days until Christmas, right?

Of course if you are an old friend and we parted ways with no ill will and you are reading this, why the heck haven’t you emailed me? And how have you been?

IN CONCLUSION.

I prefer sentimental over schmaltzy, thank you very much.

PSA: Bring tissues

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

This is a public service announcement: don’t go to see The Family Stone expecting it to be a happy, happy, romantic comedy about love and family and Christmas.

It is funny and touching and very good but there is an understory that they never mention in the ads and it hit very close to home for me – it had me crying more than once.

Go see it with your girlfriends and enough tissues for everyone.

-End PSA-

Oh, and Luke Wilson is so cute. Seriously just adorable. That is all.

80. Go to a dog show

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

80. Go to a dog show

I have never been to a dog show before so off I went to the Crown Classic Dog Show at the IX Center in Cleveland on 12.17.05.

Anyway, I arrived and wandered around for a little while through the vendor area (got Truman a new collar for Christmas. I predict the family will love it – Truman and Randy probably not so much.) and then headed over the show rings. Found the Goldens because I, of course, have a soft spot for them. While walking around to the other rings I met a HUGE Mastiff, a St. Bernard, several Great White Pyrnees. I do love big dogs – seriously the bigger and fluffier the better in my book.

I followed the applause to the agility rings where I stayed for a while. I love watching agility because you can tell that the dogs are having so much fun. The Border Collies and Australian Shepards just killed me – they talked the whole way through the course. They would go over a jump and bark, run over a bridge and bark, go through a tunnel and bark. It was hilarious – like they were talking about how much fun they were having.

I made my way over to the obedience rings – yeah, Tuman needs to go back to doggy college. It was interesting to watch the dogs being put through their paces. Some of the habits the owners instilled in their dogs are rather quirky. I guess one thing that was needed was a way to get the dog sitting next to the owner so one owner would raise her hand and say a command and the dog would spring into the air and land in place. Very cute.

No Buzzy Bee sightings to speak of, but overall an interesting day nonetheless.

And with that, another 1 thing out 101 completed – onto the next.