Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Golfing

Wow - another atypical December day, sunny and moderate temps. I was driving through town and saw Maple Hill golf course packed with golfers. I guess it's cool, they'll be able to say they golfed on December 30 (and maybe 31 too, if it stays like this). How often does that happen?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cassie, Come Home!

Our guest has returned to her happy home. The owner had not updated the tag, because she was planning on registering the dog after all the paperwork transfered. She lives on Riverbend... the dog hadn't gone too far.

The dog was rescued by a guy from a breeder. The breeder keeps lots of Scotties in tiny pens, and even though Cassie is only 5 years old, she has already had 9 litters. The cages have to be large enough for the dog not to touch any side of the cage, hence the stubby tail. They trim the tail so that the dog will be just barely not touching the sides (which goes to show you how small the little cage must be!)! She was just taken out to breed and deliver, and the rest of her time was spent in the tiny cage. So it's a good thing she was rescued by these people! Poor thing! What a way to spend 5 years... I imagine she has suffered psychologically as well as physically. I mentioned that we thought it might be a schnauzer because of the stubby tail - that's when she explained about the practice of cutting it shorter. I thought declawing was cruel!

Anyway, I'm glad she is back safe at home. And now we don't have to wonder what will become of the min-pin. He ran home after we picked up the terrier!

"God Loves a Terrier"

Here's our new house guest.

Ron and I were driving back from my parents' house and at the intersection of Riverbend and Butterworth, we saw two dogs trotting along, both with collars w/ tags. Ron stopped the car and called to them... the little one (looked like a mini pinscher) ran off, but the Scottish Terrier jumped right into the car like we were old friends. It's tag had a phone number for a humane society in Lenawee county (Adrian, MI... east side). I called the number, but since it was after hours I only could leave a message.

We drove to the Grandville Police dept and spent a little while there, while the on-duty officers tried calling every number they could think of to find out where we could bring her. Even all the "back door" numbers, as they put it. No luck. I said that it was getting too late (10:00 PM) to be dealing with this, I had a baby in the car and we had to get home... I said I'd just take her over night and call the place in the morning, during business hours.

Didn't have to - they called me right at 8:00 and told me the name and phone number of the owner - and the name of the dog: Cassie. The man lives in Lansing, but I am hoping he will return my call and come pick up the dog tonight. We can't have another pet. I am also not sure how long the dog has been on the run, but we can't take any chances with anything it may have "picked up" along the way. So, we're keeping her more or less seperated from Killian... but when they are around each other they get along just fine. Just checking each other out.

I'm just glad we have a big fenced in yard, and a breezeway (where she slept last night). It makes it a lot easier to babysit someone else's dog.

I wish we could have caught the other dog. I think they were traveling together. I hope that someone is able to capture him (or her) and contact the owner. I am happy we were able to get Cassie before she was hit by a car or attacked by an animal. This dog is incredibly sweet and obedient, well trained (sit, stay, come, all that)... so I am hoping the owner is excited to hear she is okay and in good care.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


This is not the photo we used for the Christmas card. This was taken the next day, and I didn't see how good it was until we had already had our cards printed. She just looks really pretty here, so maybe we'll have to get a print of it sometime. I still love the picture we chose for our cards.

Here she is playing in the Exersaucer. She's actually too young for it, but I stuffed a couple blankets around her body to keep her more "upright". She always seems to enjoy her time in there, and I think it's good for her!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Come All Ye Faithful - and don't forget the cookies

I really enjoyed his editorial this week. I do every week, but thought I'd share it here...

by Garrison Keillor

A child is singing in the next room, calling on the faithful to come and be joyful and triumphant, as she watches a light-up snowman whose hands and feet and eyes turn green and blue and red and purple. A Santa perches on the mantle over the fireplace and two manger scenes cohabit the side table, a standard King James one and an American Indian one in which the Holy Family is gathered in front of a teepee and one of the Magi looks like Sitting Bull. There is talk of a Christmas tree.

The mood came on suddenly, and it may have been something we inhaled driving by that house on a side street of St. Paul last night. There in the midst of modest homes was the Caesar's Palace of Christmas, blazing white-hot in the dark with reindeer, shepherds, snowmen, angels, elves, radiant beams, etc. Not my taste, but Christmas has something for everyone.

You like to cook? Try roasting a goose. Anyone who can accomplish that is qualified to run for public office. If you like to shop, here's the world championship event. Want to practice charity? The needy stand before you. Are you a drunk? Welcome to Alcoholics Unanimous. Art and decoration: be as gaudy as you like. Want to feel close to people? Come to church and sing. Whether or not you believe that the Creator of the Universe came to earth in the body of a child, the day itself is an enormous gift.

There are people who feel "excluded" by Christian symbolism and are offended by the manger and the angels and the Child, but there have always been humorless, legalistic people. Complaint is an American art form, and in our time it has been raised to an operatic level. To which one can only say: get a life. When you go to France, you don't expect a stack of buckwheat pancakes for breakfast or Le Monde to print box scores. You're in France. Now you're in America. It's a Christian culture. Work with it.

The essentials of Christmas are few, in my book, and a big wad of cash is not one of them, nor do you need a 99.44 percent pure heart that is filled with faith. You do need Christmas cookies. Thin gingery ones in iconic shapes with sugar sprinkles and a dab of frosting. You need candles. And you absolutely need carols.

You could make Christmas just out of the Three Cs, though it would be nice to also have city streets with shops with an array of gifts in the windows, perfumes, model trains, wind-up animals that do backflips, woolen gloves and scarves, pens, and leather-bound diaries with a lock and a key. It would be good to have cold and snow so that you can haul yourself and a toboggan to the top of a steep slope and shove off into the dark so that the primitive thrill of falling shoots you full of adrenaline, which makes the cookies taste better. And you need "Silent Night" just before midnight on December 24 when the lights dim and everyone in church stands up and sings, and tears well up in your eyes, and all of your Christmases meld into one.

The little girl singing in the next room is blissfully happy at this moment, but the life of a little girl is very dramatic — it revolves around (1) jumping up and down and squealing, (2) collapsing in tears, (3) collapsing in laughter, (4) rapt adoration, and (5) hopeless frustration. Sometimes in rapid succession.

So it is with Christmas. You can go straight from pure bliss to desperate remorse in less than a minute. There are dead friends that one does not ever quite forget, and there is the great wound of divorce which, even though 30 years in the past, can come open and bleed and almost break your heart. You walk to church and she's waiting for you in the shadows, asking, "Why did you do that?"

Christmas is an artistic performance, and art, by and large, is not made by contented people. It is made by wounded recluses, freaks, the absurdly self-conscious, the haunted and guilty, the humiliated, the outcasts, and we create this, first and foremost, for our children. To rise up out of confusion and dismay, with ghosts whispering to us, and bake cookies and light a candle and sing "Silent Night" — I can do that for my child, and if your children want to join us, they are most welcome


Poor Lucy had to get 5 shots today to protect her from a whole variety of diseases... she got 1 in her arm, and 2 in each leg, plus a vaccination given orally. She screamed and her face turned so red, I felt so bad for her because there was really nothing I could do. She quickly calmed down though, and fell asleep on the ride home. She was definitely tired because she hadn't really taken a morning nap, and I think getting those shots probably wore her out a little bit too.

I was wrong about her weight - she is not over 14 pounds. She is 13 lb. 8 oz., 24 inches long. She's a little above average size, but with how long she is, she is proportionate. She's also really healthy and happy, likes any food I give her, and smiles and coos more and more all the time.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Day!

So 2 days later we have an instant Winter Wonderland - and an extended weekend for Ron, since most area schools were cancelled today. That's the one kind of phone call we're happy to get before 6:00 AM.

So, today Lucy is 2 months old - wow! She is growing a lot, and the other day I was packing away some of her newborn clothes and was amazed at how tiny she used to be... those clothes were huge on her at one point (well, 8 weeks ago, to be exact). Maybe in a few years I'll get to use them again.

Ron cleared the driveway, and we're still hunting for our box of gloves/scarves/hats. Somehow they've been misplaced in the not-so-organized basement. Why am I not surprised. They'll turn up sometime in April, I'm sure...