Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Dog Ate the Spirograph

That's our wonky Christmas tree over there.  Our tree's trunk is so crooked it's tied to the wall in hopes it won't fall over.  I'll keep you posted.

Mama's back from her month of writing and not a moment too soon.  Alex was in charge of many things while I was hunkered down in the corner of my favorite coffee shop and some of those things didn't end well. For example, he selected the Christmas tree.

Other things weren't Alex's fault at all; they were the fault of our terrible/wonderful dog, Natani.

Natani destroyed Lucien's glasses when he sat them on the counter and turned his back.  I pulled out his back-up pair of glasses with a firm, "DO NOT set these down on the counter!" He didn't listen, sat them on the counter, so Natani cheerfully destroyed them, too.  Lucien was without glasses for nearly a week and kept running into doorways.

We're not used to big dogs.  We're used to small dogs who can't even dream of getting their paws up on the counter to sniff around for dog contraband.  Our dog trainer recommended spraying her in the face with water whenever we caught her with her paws up on the counter.  That worked for awhile, until the day she found the water sprayer on the counter and ate it.

Natani also demolished a Spirograph set bound for a little girl's birthday party one hour before the party was to begin.  I was writing at the coffee shop so it was up to Alex.  He gathered his wits after a moment of panic and tried the Amazon one-hour delivery service.  It worked.  Less than an hour later a Paris coloring book was delivered to our door. They wrapped it up and were out the door just in time.

A Paris coloring book sounded like a great idea so I bought Coco the same book for Christmas.  I thumbed through it when it arrived and felt instant panicked mortification.  There were several pages of lingerie in the very adult Paris coloring book. One page bras, one page panties, one page bra-and-panty sets, topped with a couple pages of the Red Light District.

We'd wrapped a bra-and-panty spectacular and given it to a six-year-old child -- even worse, a child whose parents I'd never met.

I sent an apologetic email to them, explained the situation -- "our dog ate the Spirograph"-- and assured them we really weren't that weird,  At this time, I still have not heard back from them.

It used to be a mattress

But wait!  There's more!  Natani also recently jumped into our large outdoor planters after a rainstorm and got stuck chest-deep in the mud therein.  I had to pull her out and carry her mud-covered self into the house, straight into the bathroom for a bath.  But Natani is terrified of baths, you see.

She splayed all four of her legs and braced against the sides of the shower door.  I tried dozens of times but she fought hard. I eventually got her into the shower but only after the bathroom and everything in it -- the walls, the mirror, the floor, the sink, me -- was covered in mud.

When I finally emerged from the bathroom an hour later, Coco was standing ashen-faced on the other side of the door.  She said quietly, "Wow, Mommy, you said a lot of bad words." Hey, in my defense, the dog is a maniac!

As for our other dog, Oscar the old guy is still hanging in there.  He has to wear a diaper all day now because his bladder is not even remotely trustworthy.  It's gotten to the point he won't even stop to pee, just keeps walking as it happens, resulting in long pee rivers all over the house. He could not give two f*cks.

I recently bought him some more dog diapers on Amazon and noticed in the "Frequently Bought Together" section of the order page a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli.  Can someone explain the connection between dog diapers and Chef Boyardee ravioli?  I'll admit I'm intrigued.

She's nuts but we love her so. 
Dogs do that to you.

My writing month went very well.  It felt luxurious to say "no" to everything but writing for a full month.  I was productive, got more done in that month than in the previous four years.  The terrorist attacks in Paris rocked me hard and led me to shelve the project for awhile, at the time I thought possibly forever.  I eventually picked it up again with an even greater desire to share stories about the city and its lovable/quirky inhabitants.  I haven't felt that clear and focused in ages.

Recently I've been referred to a good developmental editor who will hopefully help me shape the thing into something interesting. I hope there's a story to tell in there.  Still thinking of you, Paris.

My laptop was put aside long enough to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends.  I made the cheesy potatoes and the appetizer plate.  I sliced the hell out of my finger trying to peel jicama.  Don't try to peel jicama; it's a fool's task.  The skin is so thick, so unwieldy, it seemed the jicama was mocking me and my peeler. I got frustrated, reacted hastily. And then I was bleeding.

Thanksgiving began festively with a street brawl outside our friend's house just as we pulled up out front.  Their neighbors have a tricky situation going on.  A woman used to date one of the brothers but now she's dating the other brother so when the family gets together -- say, for Thanksgiving -- things don't go so well.  I called 911, of course, because that's what I do, then stepped gingerly through the angry family dropping f-bombs liberally with my cheesy potatoes and a tentative "Uhh, excuse me? And sorry! And Happy Thanksgiving?"

We love our community.  We always have a good time together but truly outdid ourselves this year. The high point was blaring New Edition's "Cool it Now" during dinner.  We sang the lyrics we all still remember from our youth in between mouthfuls of foodstuffs. The low point was when Coco took an elbow to the face on the trampoline and came indoors bleeding profusely from her gums.

And a final celebratory November event -- we finally bought an RV.  We are now the proud owners of a Winnebago ("The Winnie B" as we're calling her) though we still haven't taken possession of it thanks to a recalled propane line.  Bummer.  We're anxious to begin living "the lifestyle."

Alex and I went to the RV dealer last weekend to do our walk-through of the coach.  It took three hours.  The technician pointed out every switch, every button, every gauge, every sewer pipe thingy and gave ominous warnings like, "never ever do that, you could blow up your propane tank."  Alex and I tried to take notes but the amount of information was so voluminous, so overwhelming, by the end we were just staring blankly at the dude and whimpering.  We will therefore, upon taking possession, immediately blow up the propane tank.

she's a beauty

November was so good,
December is bound to be a disappointment.