Who’s the Boss?

This tiny, little creature is Akiane (pronounced “ah key on ah”). I call her Mommie most of the time because she, along with the amazing (now-departed) Diggity Dog, has given me 16 beautiful grandpuppies. Mommie is about 500 pounds of fierce, rolled into about 5 pounds of preciousness.

Despite her tiny frame, there’s no doubt who runs things around here. That’s right, this smidgen of a dog absolutely dominates me all day long. Of course, being a chihuahua (pronounced “chi-wow-wow” around here), she’s obsessively faithful and loyal. I have no doubt that she would do her best and defend me to her death against any threat I might face…

Because of this pint-sized canine, I have lost any claim to the part of my anatomy between my hips and knees that exists only when I am sitting; I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find an image of my Mommie along side the definition of “lapdog” in any dictionary. My laptop computer has become a kneetop device in order to accommodate the queen on her preferred throne. And just to be sure that she knows that I know that I have the privilege of typing (instead of petting or otherwise devoting my attention to her) only because she allows it, she positions herself so that her head rests on one or the other of my wrists.

There’s more to her domination than taking over my lap; she must be on some part of me at all times (unless she is making the rounds to remind My Sweetheart that he is also hers). Mommie is there to assure me that she is in charge even when there is no lap in which she can lounge. When I get on my hands and knees to check for stray beads in my crafting area, this is how she reminds me who’s the boss:

Mommie on my neck

Yes, it’s a little embarrassing…

Of course, Mommie knows that if she wants to remain in power she has to trust her advisors and follow their recommendations on certain subjects. To that end, she’s a reasonably obedient chihuahua (except for knowing when the heck to zip her lip) and lets me pretend to be the one who makes most of our decisions. Anyone who really knows us, however, knows better.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Bittersweet Season Begins Again

I just opened my admin panel to make a quick post and found this notification from WordPress waiting for me:

Happy Anniversary! You registered on WordPress.com 2 years ago! Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

I can hardly believe all of the unexpected and heartbreaking events that have taken place in the past two years, but through it all, I have My Sweetheart and I feel like our love grows more and more every day. Two years ago I wouldn’t have expected to be saying that now. Maybe that’s just proof that everything really does happen for a reason. {sad smile}

Anyway… I am here to make a quick post about the upcoming holiday season, which is always so difficult for me. If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you know that I lost my grandparents a year apart at this time of year over a decade ago and have seen very little of my natural family since then. My Sweetheart is known to say that when we grow up, our family becomes more about the people we choose to have in our lives. I agree with that philosophy more and more, but in the past year (or two) the list of those we call family is shorter and shorter. Last year we lost two members of our closest family, our friend Pam and our Diggity Dog, exactly one month apart, and those wounds are still very fresh today. Almost everyone else we have come to know and love and trust as family have pruned themselves from our chosen family tree by one form or another of deceit or devious behavior. With so few friends to call on this year, my favorite aspect of the holidays is going to be a bit tricky.

THAT is what I was going to post about… My favorite thing about the holiday season is cooking for the people I love. Every year, My Sweetheart and I put out an open invitation to everyone we know to join us for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. Instead, we have decided that we aren’t even going to celebrate on the same day as the rest of the country. This year, we will be celebrating one day early. We lost our Diggity Dog on the day before Thanksgiving last year, so we are going to celebrate that little dog and everything else for which we are thankful on the anniversary of his passing. (Yes, I know that the date won’t be the same, but it’s the significance of the *day* that means something to us.)

And, just because we aren’t going to expect to feed a family the size of an army, don’t think I won’t be cooking up a feast. I’m already looking for a couple of new recipes to include in this year’s menu on Food.com. I’ve been a member of the site since it was called RecipeZaar.

RecipeZaar founding member banner

My username there is “LoveToCookHateToClean,” so if you have a recipe to help brighten our season a little bit, let me know in the comments here or find me in the community pages there. I love learning new dishes for My Sweetheart.

Are the holidays a difficult time for you, too? Share your coping strategy in the comments. I need all the help I can get.

My Forever-broken Heart

Last week, on the day before the nation sat down together to share a feast of gratitude and celebrate thankfulness with friends and loved ones, my household suffered the tragic loss of a very special family member when our Diggity Dog was struck by a car near our home. Diggity had been My Sweetheart’s constant companion for four years, husband to my Akiane (“Mommie”), father of 16 beautiful pups (including my LB). Diggity was such an awesome little dog that 12 of the 16 pups he and Mommie created were adopted by our friends and family who wanted to have an awesome little dog of their own. My Sweetheart and I love that little guy as much as we could love a human child and we are heartbroken beyond words.

This is how we remember him: Diggity Dog

 

Week Six: Room For The Whole Family (A work in progress…)

A couple of weeks ago I offered you a peek into one of the “office” rooms in the warehouse, the room where this little family spends the most “together” time, when I introduced Week Four’s De-Clutter Fail. A few days later, I introduced you to my baby boy, LB, when I confessed my shortcoming on the weekly challenge. This week I’m back in the closest thing to a family room that the warehouse offers, to tackle a different clutter zone and give two more members of my family a chance to say hello to the blogosphere. If these two loved-ones could talk, I’m sure they would have been nagging me to get this room in shape a long time ago. Even though neither of them ever so much as set foot outside of this room, they contribute to the clutter the least of all the family members, and for that they deserve a little showing-off-time on the blog… Nevermind the fact that one of them doesn’t have a foot to set anywhere anyway… Without any further ado, please say hello to my family:

Oogie-Boogie and Peanut…

Both of these guys were gifts who now reside in the “living” or “family” room here at the warehouse. To me, they are something like a cross between Wal-Mart greeter and a Foo Dog. They greet all everyone who stops by and seem to make a pretty strong impression when people come through the door for the first time. Oogie seems to have the more attention-getting personality of the two, for sure, but I have a special affection for Peanut (who is the latest addition to our family, btw).

The real reason I am posting photos of  these two is to find out a little more about Oogie-Boogie. Like I said before, he was a gift and the person who gifted him to me discovered him at a private sale and didn’t bother to ask any questions about him, she just saw him, knew he was meant for someplace other than the place he was in and brought him to my place… Fate, I guess… I’ve never seen anything like him. No one who has seen him here has seen anything like him. I can’t find anything like him on the internet at all… (not even close!) And there are no markings of any kind to indicate that his creator would like to be connected to him… No signature. No date. No inscription. No symbols. Nada!

So, I’m curious… have you ever seen anything like him? Know an artist who produces anything like my Oogie-Boogie? If you have any clues that might help me find out more about this awesome… guy… who puts up with my clutter and greets all of my visitors, I would love to know what you know about him… Anything at all, even long-shots.

While you are wracking your brain over the orgin of my Oogie, I’m going to tidy his room… Er… I mean I’m going to De-Clutter the Family Room… At least a fair piece of one corner of our favorite gathering place.

This is what I’m starting with (about 10 minutes into the effort I came to my senses and realized I needed to snap some photos of this project!):

You’re invited to come see the results of my efforts on Monday when I re-visit this post and show off my freshly clutter-busted corner of the world. If your idea of a fun weekend includes parading your inner hoarder for the world to see (or if you’ve got some tidying up to do and don’t mind the rest of us watching and waiting for you to post photos of your success so we can ooh! and ahh! over them between remarks proclaiming your amazing level of genius and complimenting your spiffy workmanship), then check out the instructions for the 4-Day De-Clutter Challenge.