New Friends

So, on the way to Thanksgiving dinner, we made some new friends. They look like they have perpetual “bed-head,” eat with their mouths open, and have a distinct smell…but all in all, they’re pretty cool. And really, what friends don’t have a few quirks?










Thanksgiving Madness

Ahhhh, the end of November. You know what that means. Thanksgiving is ready to spill its bountiful cornucopia all over us. Are you ready for the psychological obstacle course known as Thanksgiving dinner? Just like evergreen trees are to Christmas, gaudy cakes are to birthdays, pastel eggs are to Easter, and candy hearts are to Valentine’s Day, the family meal centered around turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce defines the holiday of Thanksgiving — yet it’s rarely as benign as a chalky pink piece of candy that says BE MINE.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having the generations all gathered around one table to laugh, share, and love. I love my family. Not only do I love them, they’re a hoot. Where do you think I get it from? But often coming along for the heartwarming ride is the knowledge that over wine, green bean casserole, and Haas Gooey Cake, I get to be put on trial yet again for that thing (or two or three) I did god knows how many years ago. And by this point so many of the stories brought up are so old that there’s probably more imagination in their re-telling than actual fact. Or so I like to say anyway. I mean, no one could be that bad when they were young, could they?

Thankfully, the holiday spirit that envelopes my family is plenty big enough to wash over many and my brother is often also the object of ridicule at these joyous functions. Believe me; I’m only too glad to share in the glow of the dinner table spotlight. Topics that are often revisited have to do with our childhood and our inspired attempts at killing each other or our driving our mother insane. I tell you, I cannot wait until my children are old enough for this holiday tradition and I can start to tell stories on them. Although quite frankly, looking back on it, I think my mother just has way more material to work with. Poor woman.

This Thanksgiving, to add to the joy, we’re going to throw three dogs into the mix as well. Oh, big deal you might say. Well, these dogs haven’t met yet, and being in my family, of course each one has its own little quirks…doggy eccentricities let’s say.

One of them is a mammoth of a German Shepherd puppy named Resi who is absolutely flippin’ adorable but a little shy and new to the family. She’ll have to quickly learn to hold her own against two brutal hell-hounds. They’re not the mighty, snarling beasts like at the end of Ghostbusters, but as you regular readers will know, my Rufus and Petra can be just as vicious as Zool’s protectors even if they are only about 5 pounds each with limited reach. They’ve fended off their fair share of UPS drivers through the window I’ll have you know, and I’ve yet to be murdered in my sleep, or taken hostage by the mailman thanks solely to my diminutive four-legged protectors.

Despite her size, Resi is still young and she’s afraid of new things, bless her heart. And when she sees a dreaded “new thing,” she tends to stand there and bark at it as puppies so often do. But so far, these new things haven’t been able to hop around and generally be annoying. Her encounters have been more on the inanimate side, like sculptured pigs sitting on an end table and the like. Well, that’s about to change.

Rufus really wants nothing more than to be friends with his four-legged cohorts, yet he has absolutely no sense of boundaries with other dogs so will do whatever he can to coerce them to play whether his attentions are wanted or not. He’s like that annoying little weasel who tries to steal chickens in the Looney Tunes cartoons who just won’t give up.  Or the kid whose name you learn in the restaurant because the mother is constantly “Rufus stop that, Rufus get down, Rufus leave him alone, Rufus stop licking her in the face for goodness sake!”

Petra, like Resi, is sometimes fearful of new things, and when she’s afraid, she also stands there and barks. Oh joy. I can see hear it now. “Battle of the Barks.” She has the additional quirk of wanting to burrow and hide when she’s very afraid. Under what, it doesn’t matter. Under furniture (whether she fits is irrelevant), under blankets, under people. Under something, under anything.

If our dinner table stays upright, I’ll eat my hat. I’m definitely taking bets on all hell breaking loose and the turkey going airborne. I think I may just come out of all this with some decent spending money.

Thinking about what’s to come as I write this blog I’m reminded of one other part of the holidays that I do quite enjoy…drinking. Thanks be to the Holy Spirit for that which is called wine. Without thee I know not what I would do.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

This.  This is what I’m faced with immediately upon entering my neighborhood grocery store. Most of you will likely scoff and say, oh, big deal! So what!? What are we even looking at?? But perhaps a few of you will at least somewhat understand why this blemish on an otherwise perfectly corresponding floor throws me off my stride every time I go food shopping.

I understand accidents happen and tiles get damaged. Why not make a design? Even a simple square or something? Especially if you chose a tile that had a nice, peppy design rather than trying to match the tile already in place…and dismally failing, might I add.

I mean, it is the only odd tile in a veritable sea of like-colored tiles. And what’s worse, the banana table is RIGHT THERE. See it!? It could be moved over ever so slightly to cover up the oddball tile. But no. The powers that be just leave the offending thing there. Out in the open. Taunting me.


tile at acme_1


tile at acme_2

Importance of Spell Check

So, this corner mart is in my hometown. Not far from the house where I grew up actually.  I’m just so proud of my old neighborhood and what it’s become. Now I’m not normally one to go around policing everyone’s spelling or grammar, but seriously!? Come on people, get your act together. The sign’s been there at least two years. All I can think of is this: Has no one brought it to the store owner’s attention? Surely there are less socially awkward people than me out there who are brave enough to come forward and let him or her know. Or is it a purposeful thing? Is it some kind of secret code? And if it is, for what exactly? Bad spellers anonymous?

As it is, every time my daughter and I visit my parents, we point to it and smile, our individual, internal spell checkers on alert and for some reason, amused.