December 10, 2009

No more treats for you, Part II

This is the second year we've had a Christmas tree since Pete and Willy have been with us. Pete had an issue with one particular ornament last year and would keep an eye glued to it whenever he laid on the nearby couch. Every so often he'd growl quietly, but mostly he just seemed to view it with a high level of quiet suspicion.

A few days ago, we heard the sharp bark that usually means Willy has something Petey wants. Matt investigated, and found the poor ornament on the right being manhandled. His fluffy little tail had been chewed off and the loop from the top of his head was missing. He was covered in dog hair and slobber. Perhaps not surprisingly, this was the ornament Pete had it out for last year.

The most recent victim fell tonight. Poor Miss Bianca. The same tone to the bark sent me to the dining room, where I found both dogs crowded up to each other and pawing over something on the floor between them. Seeing what they had, I lifted her to safety and brushed the dog hair from her cloak.

Although I haven't witnessed the removal of any ornament from the tree, I can almost guarantee it's Willy who's pulling them off. Pete probably joins in once they're a safe distance from the pokey branches.

We don't decorate with only Old Time McDonald's Ornaments of Cartoons Past, by the way. They just seem to be the ones the boys are bold enough to chew. Though I've seen Willy nosing a jingly silver wreath lately ...

December 05, 2009

Try again

I got some beets from someone at work and I think I've already messed up cooking them. I skinned them before googling "how to prepare fresh beets" and apparently you're supposed to do that after they've been cooked. Oops.

December 01, 2009

I will miss your bright eyes and your smile

From this valley they say you are going
I will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
For they say you are taking the sunshine
That has brightened my life for awhile

ome and sit by my side if you love me
Do not hasten to bid me adieu
Just remember the Red River Valley
And the one who has loved you so true

I visited my folks one weekend about six months before Dad died, and he and I watched Prairie Home Companion while we had lunch. A blushy smile crossed his face when Meryl Streep appeared and it made me grin inside because he was always a bit transparent when he thought someone was pretty. There's love and death and faith in that movie and I may have been primed for some heavy feeling because of it, but I looked over at him toward the end of the movie and was simply crushed by the knowledge that our days together, our conversations, our sharing life was nearing an end.

And then they started singing. From this valley they say you are going, I will miss your bright eyes and your smile ... and I cleared my throat and tried to hide my tears. I doubt I was successful in that, and that's quite all right. I'd prefer he knew.

My sister and I sang that song to him when he was in the hospital the week before he came home to hospice. He was floating in some other world at the time, but we sang the words we knew and hummed the lines we didn't, and it felt good. I hope he heard and I hope he liked it.

It's been 13 months since his death and we all seem to be having a little trouble lately. I should reword that, really. It's not trouble, it's feeling things we didn't feel as strongly last holiday season because it was simply too fresh. Lately I want nothing more than to hear him say, "Oh hello, Missy! You look pretty today," and it just kills me.

I miss him.