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December 2009
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February 2010

Character flaw

By now I'm pretty sure that anyone who knows me at all has realized that I have a major character flaw.  Well, really more like a weak spot, since it doesn't involve any sort of moral failure.  Or maybe a particular area of poor judgement.   Whatever, I have it, and it involves an almost complete inability to say no to a puppy.  If someone offers me a puppy, the odds are very high that I will say "Sure!" and cart the critter home, just like that.   Fortunately for my poor husband, no-one has ever offered me a puppy out of the blue, so the dog population in our home has remained (mostly) under control.  The problem is that in the absence of people offering me puppies, I will go looking for puppies, and amazingly enough there are many to be found.   

This is what happened last weekend.  I went looking for puppies online, I found a puppy, hubby graciously allowed me to go look at the puppy, and the puppy came home with me.    You will notice that nowhere do I say I "needed" a puppy, or that a puppy was necessary in any way.  In fact, we already have some very nice dogs.  However, the puppy acquisition drive had been engaged, and there was nothing to do but go with it.  Really, nothing.


   Meet Frodo.  He is a two-month-old Jack Russell terrier/chihuahua mix, and he is (at least technically) "my" puppy.  Honesty compels me to admit, however, that the rest of the family is quite taken with the little guy.   They're not quite at my level of puppy love, but it's close.  He is very sweet-natured and is doing amazingly well for us.  His favorite things are a rawhide chew and a warm lap, and if he can have both at the same time he is one happy pup.  

   Obviously I am a happy woman, as well.  This little stinker has made me laugh more in the last week than I have in ages, and of course everyone knows the amazing power of puppy snuggles!   In a miserable, depressing Michigan winter, Frodo is better medicine than a barrel of Prozac, and a lot more fun as well.   It's been quite a while since we've had a little dog, and it's hysterical to watch him try to play with our big dogs - he looks like a wind-up toy compared to them.  His head is about the size of Zeus's paw. 

So, I may have a "character flaw", but I think it's pretty benign as such things go.  And really, sitting here with a warm puppy in my lap - who cares?  :-)

And so it begins...

Happy New Year!  I know, I'm a few days late.  I've spent all sorts of time mentally composing this post, only to have the editor in my head nix it as soon as I start typing.  Several times I've given up and walked away.   Today I finally decided to just write something, in the interests of keeping the blog (sort of) alive. 

I think my problem is that I'm not feeling very "new year, fresh start, let's be optimistic" right now.   2009 was kind of a stressful year, and frankly I don't have much reason to believe that 2010 will be less so.  Between Christmas and New Year's, we had an injured dog, a backed-up had-to-be-pumped septic system, and a sick daughter.   Half the people we invited for New Year's Eve couldn't come, and the rest were over 90 minutes late in arriving.  That put a dent in my party hat, if you know what I mean.   New Year's Day started off just fine, but by 8:00 p.m. I was in urgent care with a raging UTI.   As you can see, not much cause for optimism here right now! 

Still, we somehow managed to have a good time over the holidays.  Jon was home for three weeks, something we haven't experienced in years.  I love having him home with me and the kids.  We spent time with my mom and sister, as well as Jon's siblings and their families.  After Christmas Jon's parents were able to come spend a few days with us, which was lovely.  (I'm fortunate enough to have in-laws that I truly like.)  And since we've started back to school, the kids have actually been wonderfully cooperative. 

Perhaps I need to change my concept of what makes a "good" year - or month, or week, or day.  I tend to be a pessimist, and it's far too easy for me to get caught up in the troubles and woes of life rather than the good things.  Maybe this year, instead of grumbling about what goes wrong, I can try to focus on all that's right - a lovely marriage, healthy, happy kids, good friends and a house big enough to hold us all.   Oh, we'll still get sick, things will still break down, people will still annoy me...but looking at the big picture, well, I still have more than a fair share of sunshine in my life.   Maybe this year would be a good time to start using those rose-colored glasses a little more - not in an irresponsible or willfully ignorant way, but as a reminder to myself to look for the good in life.  God gives us plenty of it, it's up to me to pay attention. 

Maybe I'm a little more optimistic than I thought....2010 is looking better already.  May God bless all of you.