A Wreath-full of Christmas

Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t say to me, generally several times a day, “What a cool job you have.” Agreed. The coolest job I know. Check out what we’ve been doing lately.

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Love the burlap bow with a bit of bling in it. Awesome.

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Mantle piece done by BH for Deerfield Retirement Center–bronze is a hit this year.

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Swag with some sparkle and bells.

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Stick a birdhouse on it and it sells.

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LH added some ginko leaves. LOVE.

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We’re dying over the blueberries.

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Don’t forget the tree.

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Red Twig Dogwood goes into every arrangement and wreath. Again, LOVE.

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Ballerina hellebore for winter containers.

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Greens for the container, drop and go.

 

 

Walking the City Dog

I walk Aggie a lot. Which is a new thing for me because when I lived at South Turkey Creek, the dogs lived outside. Except Platypus, who got to live inside and sleep on the bed. Here’s Platy dog.

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Look at that face. Who can say no to that face? Still, Platy dog is a country dog. She’d be lost in town.

My country dogs, named in order, were Fruit Loops, Big Dog, Platypus and the last to join the family, Bear, were pets in the pet-ish (not to be confused with fetish) sort of way. They came around for their food. They sometimes wanted you to play with or pet them. They always wanted to accompany me on my walks, but I never used a leash. They preferred sleeping outside, and Big Dog only came into the house when she was in her final days (a sad time for all). At night, if the dogs were inside, they were tossed outside. They were all moochers, so first chore when setting the dinner table was to put the dogs outside. When we were out of town, a neighbor feed them, and checked on them. There was none of this fancy boarding stuff. But mostly, the country dogs roamed through creeks and woods, and did a lot of sleeping under the porch. It was their world and they decided how their days were spent (mostly).

Its a different life for the City Dog.

Agapanthus, Aggie for short, sleeps in a crate (almost the size of a small room). She is always on a leash. Even when she goes out to pee. She is walked four times a day, and if it isn’t a busy day or it isn’t raining, she goes to the Flower Market at night when it is all locked up with no customers, and romps around sans leash for an hour or so.

She travels in the car quite a bit. She gets excited when she realizes she is taking the short trip with me to Ingles, my local grocery store.  An outing for her is truly an outing. It means not being inside a crate, inside a room, inside a house.

For about a week, I was taking Aggie to a very large, enclosed playground at the local elementary school. I can’t brag about the playground. Its just mostly a big open area, but Aggie adored it. She could run from fence to fence, jumping over small rocks, stumps or railroad ties, and actually feel free for an hour. I’d unleash her, and say, “Run Aggie, run.” And boy, did she.

A passing walker stopped one evening to watch her run. An elderly gentleman that, it turned out, was the janitor of the school. We stood together, enjoying the sight of her running with pure abandonment, and he said, “Man, that dog was made to run.”

I agreed. Watching Aggie run is like watching my youngest son play soccer. You know he was made, literally designed, for the purpose of playing soccer, and it is joy to watch. Aggie was made to run. Ears back, legs reaching out in front of her. She looks like a Thoroughbred horse running the track. Then the janitor said, “It kills me to say it, but dogs aren’t allowed in here.”

I thought he was kidding until he pointed out the sign I had walked past every night. I was heart-sick because there is no other place for Aggie to run in my small town. The Flower Market is not the same. Too many things obscure Aggie’s ability to flat out run.

So, instead I walk her, and walk and walk and walk her. Early in the morning, late at night. We know all the roads, side roads, small alleys, shortcuts, where the streetlights are and aren’t. We walk and walk and walk. Its my small way of saying, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that cities have ordinances about dogs on leashes. I didn’t think about the number of cars traveling past my house every day that could pose a danger. I didn’t consider the number of hours I’d be at work and you’d be stuck in a crate. It never occurred to me that you would rely on me to pee. City dogs are a new concept for me.

I want to tell her so she understands, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you were made to run.

Aggie whimpers a lot in her sleep, jerking this way and that, dreaming like dogs do. I imagine she is dreaming of running. I promise her, as I close the crate door for the night, “We’ll be up early girl. We’ll get up early for a long walk.”

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Aggie with her favorite and well-chewed duck.

Drowning Dogs, Hair Drama, Car Dealerships, Golf Magazine, Direct TV and Chocolate Chip Cookies

If the title of this blog doesn’t explain the chocolate chip cookies at the end of it, I don’t know what to tell you. I haven’t eaten a carb in weeks. Here’s why.

Pictures.

Permanent pictures.

My son is getting married to my (already) Bonus Daughter, and I expect to be in a picture or two, hence the forgoing of carbs. Wedding pictures are permanent, even if wedded bliss isn’t, hence the need to look good for generations to come in the photogs.

Say what you like, but I cut out the carbs, and the weight literally peels off. So, I’m a bit grumpy due to the lack of carbs, and then the dog decided to dive right into the deepest part of the Davidson River this morning. With me holding the leash. Guess who found out she couldn’t swim as well as she thought?

No, not me. I’m an awesome swimmer, even at the old age of 50+. The dog discovered she wasn’t the best swimmer. She liked to drown. Guess who got her out?

We were up early to do a two mile hike along the river. A place Aggie gets so excited about that the minute we turn into Pisgah National Forest, she starts whimpering.  I don’t have a picture of her drowning this morning, but here she is in the river.

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Not the best picture, but the phone went into the river too.

We were wet, wet. Dirty wet. Icky wet. All the way home in the car wet. Peeling wet clothes off that get stuck on you wet.

But, my hairdresser (the best ever) was coming to my house at 10 to do my highlights, so it was okay. I could live through hiking 2 miles back to the car in dripping wet jeans because I was getting my highlights done. (You women know exactly what I mean.)

It is fortunate that there are no pictures of me with my lack of highlights, because it was sad how sad my hair was looking.

My hairdresser recently had a baby (8 weeks old), and I’ve been working 24/7, so the last highlights were down to the tips of my hair. Finally, today, we were going to get it done. She came to my house with kids in tow. I know what you’re thinking. Geez. Give her a break. She just had a baby. But, need I remind you what it was like with two small children at home? Remember those days? Anything for an outing.

After she left, and I blew out my hair (if you’re a guy you did not understand that comment, if you’re a woman you know what I meant), I freaked.

To quote my son, “Mom you look like Mila Kunis after she turned into the Wicked Witch of the East in the Oz movie.” Or is it the Wicked Witch of the West? Either way, while he exaggerated a bit, I suddenly had gray (or is it grey?) hair. Something I don’t have despite being 54 and blind as a bat (a direct result of aging).

Being the true hairdresser she is, and dealing with hair drama regularly, she came back (I called her slightly, only slightly, panicked), calmed me down, fixed my hair and we had a lovely visit. Whew. Hair drama is serious business.

Okay so by then, it was time to get my car serviced. I know, this day just keeps getting better, right? But, the stupid voice thing says “oil change” every time I start my car, so, off I went. To my appointment. MY APPOINTMENT. I’ll repeat that. MY APPOINTMENT TO GET MY CAR SERVICED AT THE DEALERSHIP.

The dealership did not have my appointment down for today. They did not have my appointment down for any day. I could wait, they suggested. I considered it. I studied their waiting room. Not a single People magazine or US or Better Homes and Garden, nothing but Golf Magazine. Golf. (I live in a retirement city and everyone plays golf. I suppose it is to be expected.) And, the walls of the waiting room were tan. And, they had none of the goodies some dealerships provide, such as free popcorn (yes, I remember the no-carb diet, but I was desperate).

I left. I couldn’t handle tan walls, Golf Magazine, and no popcorn, after a day of drowning dogs and hair drama.

I was going to finish my evening watching tv while working on a plant list for a client. Did I mention that a lightening storm killed the tv, and the new one doesn’t work with Direct TV’s remote, and so I have to get a universal remote? Whatever that is. And, that I just found that out? About 20 minutes ago? About the remote that is? Because the Direct TV girl said, “Your tv is not on our list, you’ll need to get a universal remote.”

I don’t know what that means.

But, for crying out loud they are Direct TV. Every tv that has ever been made or thought of being made should be on their list. Whatever list that is. Call the NSA. They probably have my tv on their list. Perhaps they have the remote I need. (I’m starting to get a little hysterical, I realize.)

It is now 8:28 p.m. There are two choices in front of me. Bake the chocolate chip cookies my son brought home, or go to Walmart in search of a universal remote (again, whatever that is).

Read the last thing in the title of this post, and you’ll know how the day ended.

Cookies and carb-loaded Snapple tea while admiring my new highlights in the bathroom mirror. They do look awesome.

Dating, Iced Tea and a Year of Silence

English: A Glass of iced tea.

English: A Glass of iced tea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. When you’re young and single, people ask you if you’re ever going to get married.

2. When you’re newly married and without children, people ask when you’re going to start having children.

3. If you have an only child, people ask when you’re going to get pregnant again.

4. If you have over four children, people ask if you’re going to stop now.

5. If you’re divorced, people ask when you’re going to start dating again.

Perhaps we should all just stay at question number one because question number 5 seems to just cycle back around to it.

But, to answer question number 5, since that is my current situation, and everyone does seem curious.

If, and that is a big if because I do not have a line of men outside my front door (or any other place for that matter), but IF some guy came along and wanted to date me, well, here’s what he would have to do.

He would have to sit across the room from me. In a chair. I’m probably on the couch. He would have to sit quietly in the chair for say, about a year. Just silence, no words.

After about a year, he could ask me if I would like some tea (iced tea, of course). I’m not going to answer verbally, but depending on how the year of silence has gone, I will either shake my head yes, or simply not respond at all.

If it is a yes and he brings me iced tea (with lots of ice…just saying) then he must return to his chair, and we would resume sitting in silence again. I really don’t know how long this second round would go for. I just can’t say.

So, what d’ya think?