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Christmas Traditions

Dear Reader, I have received three Christmas cards, so far this year.  There seems to be a theme. For me, 2018 has definitely not been a year characterized by joy.  Disappointment, frustration, anxiety.  There's a reason that people don't put those words on Christmas cards. Years ago when I was living in England, I used to joke about the freedom of having no house, no car, no kids and no debt.  Now I'm a single "mother" of two (dogs) with a car, a tractor, a house, (read: mortgage) and a very tall stack of consumer credit cards, all located in a place that is cold, has ridiculously high taxes and is a hassle to travel to and from.  In summary: through a series of well-meaning life choices, made for good reasons, I find myself with a life I never wanted. So I've made it through Denial, I've given up on Bargaining and now I'm working through Anger and Depression so I can make progress on Acceptance: I'm going to be in Maine for a while.
Recent posts

Snow Tires, Snow Tired

Dear Reader, LandLady likes to encourage me by saying "I hope you're writing about this." At least, I'm pretty sure it's meant as encouragement.  It might be private hopes that if I write the story well enough, I can sell the movie rights and she can demand a cut. After all, the whole plan to buy a house in Bangor and move Dog in with my friends and their three boys (7 and younger) was hatched under her roof. However, as yet, the whole situation seems very unreal.  It took 3 months from offer to closing.  I signed a lot of papers and took possession of a lot of keys. And then the plumber showed up and there was a lot of banging.  And I extended my lease at LandLady's in hopes that plumbing and heating issues could be resolved before I moved in. And this house is in Maine where it has finally snowed.  And the driveway has been plowed in.  Dog doesn't want to go outside to run or pee and when she is forced to, she holds each foot off the icy ground

A Sudden Change of Direction: an Analogy of Dog and Life

There are times when you and Life are walking along, like good friends, and you think you know where you are going.  You think that you and Life have agreed on a direction; that there is a plan; that you understand each other. And then Life decides that despite all the trees you have already visited, you really must see this new one.  This tree is different from all the other trees and if you don't see it, you simply won't be the person you might be if you DO see it. And so Life changes direction. Except you don't notice.  Because you talked about it.  And there was this plan . And then you trip over Life.  And Life LOOKS very indignant because you weren't paying attention and kneed her in the ribs.  And you ARE very indignant because this is a stupid tree that you had no interest in ever seeing and you would chop it down and burn it if you could. Stupid tree.  Stupid Life.  Stupid little bits of gravel stuck in your palms. But eventually, you thin

This Is Your Dog On Drugs

Dear Reader, Has it really been 3 months since I last wrote to you?  My apologies.  Dog, Pony, LandLady and I have been busy.  We have had house breaks (Pony found an open door) and growling (Pony stepped on Dog and Dog was not  amused).  There have been many stuffed kongs of happiness (peanut butter & bananas, frozen peaches, yogurt) and learning moments ("See Dog, when Pony quietly lets me cut his nails, he gets treats.  Why don't you try it?") and romps at the dog park. And then, as life was starting to get a bit routine, Dog turned to drugs. Actually the drugs were an accident.  She was really after chocolate brownies, and it just so happened that they were pot brownies*. In a scene reminiscent of the Toast Snatching Incident , I found Dog munching her contraband brownies in LandLady's sitting room.  It takes a lot of chocolate to kill a dog of Dog's size, so I, being unaware of the brownie's active ingredient, had no immediate concerns beyond

Hope Deferred

Dear Reader, Dog and Pony have been resident with me and LandLady for 4 weeks now.  The local dog trainer asked me yesterday if we were bonding.  My ability to read dog body language is still weak, so it may be...or not. We are having some long heart to heart chats.  This one happened in the car on the way home from her stay at the boarding kennel last weekend. "Dog?" Dog, in the back seat of the car, whines. "Dog it's very important that you listen to me." Dog turns to stare out the window. "Dog, I don't have to keep you, you know.  I can send you back.  If you want to live with me we need to come to an understanding." Dog turns to stare out the other window. "There can't be any more gate jumping.  No more sticking your tongue in the peanut butter jar.  Less restless pacing." More whining. "And you owe LandLady an apology for taking her toast." Dog lays down, rests her head on the seat protector and looks at

Jailhouse Rock

Dear Reader, Dog has a way of expressing sad resignation when she is confined to her crate against her will.  She sighs and lets her head fall against the crate door so it clangs on its hinges.  The more frequently she gets in trouble, the more frequently she gets sent to her "room" and the more frequently I hear ...Sigh...Clang. The most exciting incident of this week was on Tuesday.  LandLady likes to start her days with coffee and toast, and on Tuesday morning, she took the European approach to this classic breakfast by warming the previous evening's Italian bread and adding plenty of butter. Dog, baby gatted in the TV room, watched these proceedings with interest. Dog watches all food related proceedings with interest.  She knows where her food is kept.  She knows where the human food is kept.  She knows where her treats are kept in two different rooms.  And she knows that LandLady uses Pony's crate as a table for things like buttered Italian toa

Asserting Dominance

Dear Reader, LandLady sent me a video of Pony chewing on a rope chew stick.  It's not especially funny or unusual.  Just a big happy dog gnawing on a chew stick. I was not grateful to see this video, because I had bought the chew stick for Dog;  I wanted her to have something non-consumable to chew on since the bits of blanket and squeaky toys she had enjoyed chewing seemed to have unfortunate consequences for her digestion.  But Dog shunned the stick, presumably for the very reason that it is not-consumable.  So it was re-gifted to Pony, who is delighted by it. Dog is, in fact, resisting all of my efforts to keep her busy with non-food based entertainment.  But she is inventing her own games.   Games like "stand quietly just out of line of sight and see how long it takes for MyPerson to come looking for me".  Since I have reasons for not trusting Dog, she usually doesn't have to wait long.  So, fun times for everyone!! One reason I do not trust Dog is that w