I'm having a bit of trouble hanging onto the Christmas spirit this year. I was hoping that cats in Santa hats would do it. So far, so good. Mrs. G. would be proud.
It's been a weird couple of days around here, complete with a home invasion, canine gastrointestinal distress, saw wounds, and possible narcolepsy. Intrigued? I thought you'd be. Pull up your chairs, children, and I'll tell you a story. Or at least subject you to a disjointed stream-of-consciousness attack.
Friday evening we had a home invasion. Canadian-style. I was in my bedroom on the computer, Leah was in her room, and Rae was watching TV in the living room. I heard the front door open and close, and the dog going ballistic. I figured Rae had either gone out to the car for something, or a friend had dropped over. I called out, "Rae, who's at the door" and Rae showed up in my room, all confused, and told me there was a stranger in the house. I jumped up, not even bothering with the three-hole punch for a defensive weapon, and rushed to the front door where a guy in his early twenties was standing in the entryway taking off his boots. (This reassured me immensely. I was sure that if he was breaking in on the false assumption that we had scads of drugs or money lying around, then he probably wouldn't be overly fastidious about making boot marks on the rug.) I picked up Rocky, who was still barking his head off, and said to the guy, "Hi?" He smiled at me and said, "Is Ryan here?" I answered, "No, no one named Ryan lives here."
"Oh. I was supposed to meet Ryan here to help him move."
"You've got the wrong address."
"I'm so sorry. My bad. Let me get my boots back on and leave you guys alone. That sure is a good watch dog you have there."
"Yes, he's very vicious and he bites." (That was a lie, but I figured it was ok in the circumstances. I mean, in Florida I would have been within my rights to shoot him. Lying doesn't seem all that bad in comparison.)
"Sorry again. Have a nice night."
"You too. I hope you find Ryan."
And then I locked the front door, which is something I don't usually do until bedtime.
Saturday I had planned on getting a tree and decorating the house. A good plan, but one that was not destined to happen. Because I hadn't made arrangements to get my snow tires put on, oh in late October like smart people do, I was left with plan B which was going to Canadian Tire and waiting in line with all the other
idiots people who had put off putting their snow tires on, as the mechanics change tires on a first come, first served basis. I came prepared with a book, because I knew that I'd be waiting a while. It was warm in the waiting room, and the recliner chairs were very comfy. Despite the suspenseful book, my eyes were very heavy. I didn't sleep long though. I managed to snore loudly enough to wake myself up. The other customers were polite enough to pretend that they hadn't been laughing at me, but I know they totally were.
Later that evening we went out to pick up a tree. Much to Leah's disgust, we didn't trek out to a tree farm, the one with the real reindeer and the camp fire around which you can sit and drink hot chocolate and eat hot dogs. But the farm has to put the cost of reindeer upkeep and hot chocolate supplies into the price of its trees, and I'm not subsidizing anyone else but me (and the LCBO) this year. So, we drove to Loblaws and scored a nice Fraser fir. Sunday morning I got the tree stand up from the basement and got the saw out to make a nice clean cut at the bottom of the Christmas tree trunk. It took about ten minutes and I only sawed my hand open once. And it barely needed a band-aid, let alone stitches. New record.
We had to run off before decorating the tree as we had our annual Christmas cookie decorating and dinner date at my cousin's. It was fun as usual. Knowing that the dog would be lonely while we were gone, I pulled a marrow bone out of the freezer and gave it to him to gnaw on. (This may seem apropos of nothing, but it comes in later in the story.)
Monday morning. Five-thirty. The alarm goes off and I reluctantly get out of bed. I had only taken a few steps in my bare feet on the hardwood floor, when I started sliding, windmilling my arms and one leg as I hydroplaned across the floor, my foot in a cold, wet, pile of dog vomit. Apparently the marrow from inside the bone had not agreed with Rocky. At all. It did wake me up in a hurry though.
It's hard to feel Christmassy when your day starts with stepping in dog sick, and then hitting all the red lights on the way to work, and then finding no coffee in the lunch room when you arrive at work.
Fortunately, what's stopping me from being curled in a fetal position at the computer, throwing back the cheap Argentinian shiraz and watching Once Upon a Time fan video mashups set to sad Coldplay songs on Youtube, is the fact that there's a lot to look forward to: watching the girls open their presents, Christmas dinner with my friend Julie and her family, the Boxing Day trip to Windsor to be with family and friends for a whole week. I feel the Christmas spirit starting to come back.
Bring on the Santa cats.