Monday, December 22, 2014

Peace on a Winter's Night--and Day

Have the oven on and haven't made the fruitbread going in it yet. Wasteful. What a big footprint I have at time, even allowing for big feet.

I wanted to blog again before Christmas Day, however.

It has been a better than usual season, and I think making the breads is a part. I had bought a dozen red sacks to give my breads in, and am startled I have only two left. I don't know how good others think they are, but they satisfied my tastebuds, and I didn't do it for reaction. I realize I did it as a positive action for me. I have 2-3 more to make and I'm done. AND I kept a loaf of the banana bread for breakfasts and snacks last week, a loaf of the cranberry nut the week before. Have a third earmarked for Christmas morning. That, some ham and a fresh mandarin orange will make a fine breakfast. Leaves room for the Feast yet to come.

Poor Brody still has his cone and two new staples in the top of his incision because I let him run around the house too much. He is feeling SO fine, and he has to stay in the bathroom except for potty breaks and food. He is whining a bit, which pains me, too. Next vet visit Dec. 39. I am not optimistic. This morning, the 30-pound dog pulled the leash completely out of my hand to chase some birds on the lawn.

But all the gifts are wrapped and dispersed. My home is back in order--except for all the baking stuff staying out in the kitchen. One dish to make ahead tomorrow, then a chocolate pie on Christmas Eve Teenage granddaughter is making her most excellent cherry pie NOT using pie filling, but real cherries. It is so very good--a little tart, and the whipping cream or ice cream is just an added note, not overwhelming sweetness. If we even bother adding it.

I've been observing and participating more fully this year. I do believe we have a huge effort made by stores to get us away from family, even on Thanksgiving Day, and go shopping. Well, except I know families that enjoy shopping together. I don't think starting "the shopping season" after Halloween pays off. I think shopping more around the whole year makes more sense, but I apparently don't have a lot of herd mentality.

Actually, I like persons well. It's people in large quantities I am not fond of. I don't think it used to be better; it wasn't. The one thing I miss that was better was less pressure--or I perceived less--to stop and breathe every now and then. Oh, we can still do it, but it is harder. More pulls away from relaxed family times, though many have them. More manufactured food to eat to save you time to do more manufactured fun someone wants you to pay to do. Honey, that stuff without the preservatives just purely tastes better, even if you do have to eat it up fast because unlike Twinkies, it gets stale.
And if you live anywhere you can go out ant actually see a starry night, it is peaceful, smells good, and beats any house decorations around. Many don't have that option any more. Our perpetual lighting and huge cities hide the actual world and its peace from us.

Christmas is a cultural holiday celebrated and enjoyed by persons of all faiths and none at all. It is a religious occasion as part of the holiday for some. Despite the songs, it is seldom magical, and though happy, often not joyous. It brings out generosity in people, and that's a good thing for everyone. Humans are hardwired to get a bigger kick out of giving than in the getting--or most of us are.

This year, it has been a journey to peace, one of the greatest gifts the holiday can bring. It has been my journey. I have spewed and snarled and kicked less and less at this season than in so many, many years. I have made my peace, at least for now. I may have to do it all over again next year, but at least this year, I know how.

Maybe I'll write a book.

I write, of course to be read, but that is for my own pleasure, too. Whether you celebrate Winter Solstice, and I have some friends who do, or any other holiday, I hope you have happiness and peace. Above all, peace.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Just an ol' dog and a trip to the vet

Brody, my half-Corgi male 4-year-old dog, had a fairly serious surgery Monday, and it has been a learning week.

He was born with a fairly small opening in the abdomen which became large enough for a little gut to pooch through about a month ago, so he had the hernia surgery he needed on Monday. Fortunately, I've had him on a slight diet in expectation of this and he was down from 29 to 27 pounds, which helps when you're stretching flesh to cover formerly open territory.

He was supposed to be crated. If they make crates with doors for handicapped persons, the vet didn't know about it, and I turned out to be unable to secure the door, letting him stagger out. So he's spent the week in a 5x5 foot bathroom. First night he cried in the middle of the night and got more meds. He was hurting. For the next two days he endured with these sad eyes that asked me repeatedly why I was doing this to him. He has a neck cone too, of course. Thursday he finally barked once and Friday he wagged his tail and charged to the end of the leash. His eyes sparkle again. He's feeling much better that he really is, and now he's getting pushy about confinement. Fortunately, he's not a whiner or barker indoors.

Actually, the bathroom has worked well for his personality, because he has a deep need for touch, ear rubs and back rubs. The crate would have allowed much less of that. I have learned more about his sweetness, and despite his Corgi abilities, his generally poor thinking skills. I have been glad for solitude as I have relieved my impatience at times with language I hope my granddaughters never hear me say. At least, not in such quantity.

Pills have meant a lot of peanut butter-covered tramadol, antibiotic, and such. Gracie has been somewhat upset with all his largess, never mind that he has to stay in the bathroom. She has cuddled more with me for whatever reason, opportunity being one. Brody doesn't always share his owner well.

I notice I've been more tired--yes, a little more work, but I think it's knowing the dog was actually hurting for a few days. I have friends who have recently lost family members, are in severe pain awaiting surgery themselves, or dealing with their own difficult survival. Don't think I've mentioned dog's surgery to most people I know. In the scheme of things, it's rather minor. It matters to me, and that's enough.

I was thinking about that this week. It's part of the fabric of my current reality, and as such, worth my attention. I've gotten quite a bit done anyway the last few days--he's found out how to sleep on that cone, and the medicine means he sleeps deeply. I type, or cook, or do a number of things, and he is content for now to sleep nearby. Gracie sprawls nearby as well, and at time the floor is littered with Dead Dogs Sleeping, usually just where I need to go next.

Stitches come out next Thursday--don't know how long he retains the cone, or the leash to keep him from dashing around the yard. I do love to watch these two play chase at top speed when both are in good shape. And that time will be here soon.

Funny old routines that make up our daily lives and fill the shape of them with action and feelings. After decades of living, sometimes we are doing something that seems quite solitary to anyone watching, but has years of familiarity and memories attached to what we do. I think this is the real stuff of our days, often the meaning we find as we drift away to sleep.

It has been a good day. I hope that new loaf of fruit bread turns out as good as it smells. Nuts, cranberry sauce and orange marmalade with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Not necessarily to the dog's taste, but they would try it, given the chance. Their day has been good as well. They're both softly snoring. Day is done.