R.I.P.

I suffered a serious loss this week.  My beloved, quite large, extra freezer died.  It seems like just yesterday we were having a great time together.  Why, only a few short weeks ago, I had stocked it with a bunch of Stouffer’s frozen dinners, pizzas, corn dogs, fries, ice cream, pot pies, White Castle burgers, and just in case you’re thinking I don’t eat healthy, a few bags of broccoli and green beans (but not too many).  It was there when I bought the house, always there, large and beautiful, sitting in the laundry room, humming away.  It gave me great comfort.

On Monday I went to retrieve some bacon and cookie dough from my old faithful pal, and OH NO!  When I opened the freezer, everything was all melty and wet.  The light was still working, so it wasn’t a circuit breaker.  I spent the next half an hour putting soggy, wet, ruined food into trash bags and dragging them out to the trash can. *insert single tear rolling down cheek*

The recently deceased behemoth, rest well my friend

When I think back, it had been making some pathetic, funny noises, but I just kind of hoped it was nothing.  That’ll teach me to ignore a cry for help.  Now it’s dead, and gone forever.  Well, not actually gone, it is just sitting there in the laundry room… large, empty, and haunting me, because now the only freezer I have is the teensy weensy one on top of my refrigerator.  It has about the same amount of storage as a plastic cooler, and even less space for my own food, once I put the bowl of Kong and Tux toys stuffed with peanut butter and treats for the dogs inside.  And we all know, those are an absolute necessity.

Why is it that now all I have is a teensy freezer?  Funny you should ask.  That’s because this summer when my refrigerator died, I decided that since it’s just lil’ ol’ me here, I would save money and buy a smaller fridge with a top freezer.   I mean, after all, I had that HUGE freezer to store tons of food in!

Good idea in theory.  Not so much in reality.  It doesn’t help that I quickly developed a special hatred for that fridge.  I was used to a side by side, and not having to stoop down to reach into the refrigerator.  I kept hitting my head on the handle to that stupid minuscule freezer every time I stood up.  I often still do.  The dogs have started to think that “shit, ouch, dammit!” is just part of my ritual banter while working in the kitchen.  It just adds insult to injury that it is now my ONLY freezer.

The midget, mocking me with its smug smallness

Come to think of it, maybe the big freezer hung on as long as it could, but died from a broken heart after the old fridge bit the dust… I think maybe I need to get out more.

Home For The Holidays

I take the phrase “home for the holidays” literally.  I stay at home on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  I have wonderful, generous friends, and family who always extend invitations to join them in their festivities, but on holidays I want be with my own little furry family.  Sentimental? Silly?  After all, the dogs don’t know it’s a holiday, right?  Right!  Of course they don’t know, but I do.

As I’ve mentioned several times, I have an amazing family.  Like most families, we grew up with holiday traditions.  We all have fond holiday memories, and funny stories to share.  Over the years, as people married, and had children, as would be expected, new traditions were established.  My siblings now have their own families to celebrate with.  During my former life as a married person,  we moved around a lot, and often lived far away from family, so I too developed new traditions.

When I moved back to the Chicago area in 2012, alone for the first time in my life, I’ll admit, the holidays were kind of hard.   Partly because long long ago, in a land far away…I had gotten engaged in December, and married the following December.  That kind of ties a lot of additional memories to Christmas time.

That first holiday season back home, my always wonderful family invited me to share in their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  I joined them, but I found that seeing my family carrying on their traditions just reminded me of what I no longer had.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it just was what it was.  Add to that the fact I’ve always been a bit of a chicken driving in winter weather, and my family is an hour’s drive away, plus my eyes aren’t what they used to be now that I’m a bit older, so night driving is tricky as well.  All in all,  I found that I couldn’t wait to get home to be with the dogs, and stay there.

Can’t you just stay home with us and cuddle?

The next year, I decided to try staying home with my own little furry family during the holidays, and it was AWESOME!  I invited a few single friends for Thanksgiving since I enjoy cooking.   The following week, I blasted Christmas music through the house, and tortured the poor dogs with my off key singing while I put up my Christmas decorations.  I baked, shopped on-line, and played in the snow with the dogs.  I was creating new traditions without even trying, and had the unexpected added bonus of beginning to glimpse some of the same magical feelings I remembered as a child during this time of year.  Feelings that I thought were long gone.

 
Nowadays, my family graciously accepts (maybe with a bit of an eye-roll) that I prefer to be at home with the dogs on the holidays.  They make it clear that if I ever decide I want to join them, I am welcome, which is a gift in and of itself.

 

OOOPS!

So, yesterday I decided to do some blog related housekeeping, and deleted a bunch of photo files.  Turns out I didn’t just delete them from the file folder, I also deleted them from the blog posts…WHAT?!

Then I realized I’d have to upload all of the photos again, and then go back into each blog entry to put them back up on the individual posts.  I thought about it for a while and decided it was just too much to bother with.  I’d rather spend the time creating new posts, which we all know I don’t do as often as I should.

Sorry about that, but going forward I’ll know not to make the same mistake! DUH!

Ferris & Henry

This week we celebrated Ferris’ one year adoption anniversary.  It’s hard to believe we’ve all survived, oh sorry did I say that out loud?  Seriously, he has grown into a sweet, fun guy, even though he really does seem to have a doggie version of attention deficit disorder, and often has a rather endearing blank look on his face.

Huh?

Earlier this year Ferris earned the title of “Destructodog par Excellence”,  when he successfully disemboweled two futon couches, and several dog beds.  We won’t even mention the dozens of stuffed dog toys.

I apologize if the content of this photo is disturbing to any of you.  Just know that the end was quick, and futon didn’t suffer.

I’ve considered pursuing something like obedience, or maybe agility classes to tire out his brain and body at the same time.  Ferris is however, well…let’s just say, not so bright.  Whenever I’ve tried a one on one training session with him, he could not be less interested.  His concentration is similar to that of a gnat, he’s just way too distracted by things like, the other dogs, smells, noises, and, you know, air.  Lucky for me, I have lots of other dogs to help teach him, and while he may not want to learn by typical training methods, he does learn from the other dogs.  They have helped teach him to sit, wait, and get into his crate on command.

As most of you know, I adopted Henry this spring, as a playmate for Ferris.  The plan worked, they love to play together.  Truth be told, to an untrained eye it looks like they love to beat the crap out of each other, but it really is just really rough, loud, rowdy, boy play.  Considering this is the only way Ferris plays, Henry truly is a perfect pal for him, and they have become best buddies.

This photo is a bit outdated, Henry is now the same size as Ferris.

Henry at 8 months old, is still a puppy in many ways, but he is CLEARLY very different from Ferris.  Henry is laser focused on me, super affectionate, and quite bright.  I’d love to take some classes with him, and if I can get him over his car sickness I will.  There’s nothing worse than taking a dog that gets carsick to classes.  They feel like crap when they get to class, so they aren’t super interested in treats until maybe halfway through the class.  Then on the way home they vomit up the treats from training class.  How fun – let’s do that again!!

Having two young rowdy boys in the house has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.  I laugh a lot, (when I’m not yelling at them).  They really are pretty hilarious.

I wasn’t aware of how much Ferris had bonded to Henry until yesterday.  Henry is staying at the vet’s for the weekend and getting neutered on Monday.  Ferris has been moping around like a sad little child who’s lost his favorite toy.  Which is pretty much exactly what has happened.  It’s strange to see him all droopy and quiet.  I actually miss the nutty, sometimes exasperating Ferris.  Yesterday he tried to play a little bit with Cubby & Sox, but they weren’t interested in being dragged around like a rag, so it didn’t last for long.  Then he tried to coax Rex in playing, but that didn’t go over too well either.  He eventually resorted to curling up in Henry’s crate to mope.  I think he’s going to be getting a lot of stuffed kongs, and chewies this weekend.

So so sad, missing his buddy