A Weekend In Narnia!

    My sister texted me the other day. She’s in Florida. It’s 87. I am in Massachusetts which seems to be under the curse of the White Witch from Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe . I even have a lamppost to prove it!

That white stuff…yeah it’s snow! April Fools on me! Here I was hoping for an early spring to get my gardens going and we seem to be living in the land where it’s always winter and never Christmas.

     So what is a person to do when reality rises up and dashes your hopes like so much fine china in a toddlers playroom?

    Well you can play in the world of fantasy! It’s a wonderful escape!  During this last weekend of abysmal weather, I went to see the wizard… you know the wonderful wizard in OZ at our local elementary school. Then I drove through the snow to a youth Fine Arts competition.

While I was there I met Snow White! How do you like the seven dwarves?

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down. So on that day I went searching for and caught a white gnome! I found this one taking a bath.

    As it turned out the gnome was a friend of the Wicked Witch of the West who promptly threatened to get me “and my little dog too”.

    As you can see I am going a little nuts with this weather. But at least I am managing to keep myself amused. Gee I hope Aslan comes soon and brings the Spring with him!

What do you do on rainy weekends?

Blaming God For Flea Treatments

     Friday was the day for the dog’s monthly flea treatments. Now one of the things about my two little darlings is that they really do not like to be separated. When I give baths, I keep one kenneled while I dunk the other. When I give flea treatments I separate them putting one in the kennel while the other runs free until dry. This way there is no temptation for one to lick the poison off the other. My heart is in the right place. I wish the dogs could see it that way.

    I chose Mercedes first this month. I picked her up in my arms and cradled her as I gently put the Advantix at the nape of her neck. Jacopo was going wild in the kennel. You would think I was murdering his girlfriend before his eyes. I set her down to run and the two of them went at it. He was barking hysterically from behind the bars and she was barking just as hysterically at him from the outside. Neither dog understood why I had done it. To them it seemed unnecessary torture. I doubt even if I could have gotten to their level to explain it they would much have appreciated my good intentions. You see, their discomfort was so great that a flea here or there would probably have been an acceptable compromise in order to avoid it. But not to me! 

    I don’t know about you but when it comes to life, I can be a yippy dog. God is going about His business “perfecting everything that concerns me” and there I go off the deep end as soon as His work in me takes me out of my comfort zone. God gives me the spiritual equivalent of flea treatments and I am immediately at his door begging Him to make it all stop.

    The truth is though sometimes what seems like a terrible trial to me actually turns out to be a benefit later on. When and if I finally see the big picture I throw up my hands in disgust.

      “Now why couldn’t you just have shown me that from the beginning God?” I sometimes say.

     “Even if I had you would not have wanted me to continue.” is His quiet reply.

      He knows me so well. I’m O.K. with a few spiritual fleas as long as that will keep me in the zone of fleshly joy and peace. But He is not O.K. with it and so He graciously gives me my “treatments”and patiently waits out my foolish rantings.

    Man,I hope someday I will be smarter than my dogs.

Puppies and Carpets

     I think I made a mistake. I always thought that little dogs would be less trouble than big dogs: Their poop is smaller,  they eat less, they take up less space, they aren’t as formidable, you can pick them up and carry them away when they bark at people, and they can sit on your lap with no danger of creating a double hernia.

      I have since learned that all that aside, little dogs are not less work than big dogs. In fact in a lot ways they are like our carpets. The first carpets my wife and I installed in our house were a deep burgundy. Beautiful really but every speck of lint showed up like stars in a cloudless sky in Montana. So we vacuumed everyday, made people take their shoes off, and did our best to protect our beautiful burgundy carpets. We gave up when we did the addition to our house. We tried…oh we tried to keep the construction from messing them up but sawdust is attracted to the color burgundy!

     So after the construction we went to a low pile beige rug thinking “Aha we have defeated the night sky of Montana.”

       Did you know coffee and kool-aid are attracted to beige?

        Now puppies (particularly white puppies) are like carpets. They look so beautiful when you first have them installed or washed.

But beware, forget to clean them for a week or rip them up and throw them out onto the dewy morning grass and the results for both puppies and carpets is about the same.

White Fluffy Children

Tina and I love our kids. I cannot even tell you how glad we are to have the girls home for even part of a summer. To be honest though we didn’t have a lot of time to miss them this winter. Our lives were so busy.

     I think we have discovered a key to conquering the empty nest. Staying busy enough to have to schedule pee breaks helps a lot.
     One way we did that is by buying replacement children (at least that’s what our kids call them). Last Father’s Day Amanda our oldest daughter gathered the other kids into a pact to buy us two maltese puppies. I say pact because buying maltese is not just a decision it is almost a religious commitment.
      Now we have had dogs before. I have to admit we have always been consummate failures at keeping them. I always said that if we got a dog again we were going to make a long term commitment to it, no more of this “love  ’em ’til they grow up” poop. I didn’t realize when I said it that my word would be tried with not one but two white fluffy children.
     We struggled with the names at first. We decided to name them after the hero and heroine of our favorite movie,  The Count Of Monte Cristo.  Edmond and Mercedes were so cute together those first weeks. They pretty much fit into my coffee mugs when we first got them. It was two weeks in, that  I decided Edmond was far too human a name for my little boy. So we changed his name to Jacopo.

      By the end of summer, when the kids had to leave, I had learned why we were never able to keep dogs before. We had kids. When you have three kids to truck around, do home work with, and keep house for, who has time for a dog?

     Now that I have two maltese who need to be walked 5 times a day, washed and blow dried, held and played with and brushed every day who has time for kids?