Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas House Tour

I love, love, love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. As a practicing Catholic, I love the religious significance of it, and celebrate that joyfully. But I also love many things about it that aren't overtly religious: old fashioned Christmas lights, cookies, ornaments, Santa Claus, stockings over the fireplace, "A Charlie Brown Christmas", caroling, and on and on and on. I love buying gifts; I love receiving gifts (Yeah, I know, I'm not supposed to say that, but at least I'm honest about it).
I especially love decorating for Christmas, in large part, I suspect, because it allows me to go over the top with the decorations. Every year, I do something a little different from previous years. This year, money was tight as usual, so I pretty much had to just use what I already had. 
So, here's a little tour of my humble abode at Christmas
The front door welcomes you to a Snoopy Christmas. This was a very simple wreath to put together. The Snoopy ornaments are tied on using ornament hangers. This way, the ornaments aren't ruined by glue, and I can change it around when I get tired of it.
The view from my entryway:
Scenes from the Dining Room:

My nephew made this paper wreath when he was 7 years old. He is now 32.
I have over 400 Snoopy ornaments, so it was really hard to pick out just a few of them to trim the tree. One of these days, I'm going to clean out the 3rd bedroom and turn it into my Snoopy Room, with 3 Christmas trees up year round to display all the ornaments. I know, I'm obssessed.
The dog tree:
 Many of my dog ornaments belonged to my mom; I always think of her when I display them.
The living room:
One stocking for me, one for Tallulah.
These stockings are actually plain stockings from Dollar Tree, plus part of 2 1950's embroidered pillowcases that were so stained they couldn't be salvaged. I love how they turned out.
Of course I can't resist a picture of my favorite china.

These lady head vases were a birthday present in September.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Doggie Dog

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile will wonder about the name change. A couple of months ago, I wrote this post  about why I felt a change was needed. It took me awhile to think up something I liked, but I finally did.
I'm not sure if it's a stupid name or not, but I feel it's more indicative of where my life is right now. The past three years have been really hard. If I wrote my life story, I'd have to entitle this chapter, "The Broke and Lonely Years." I miss my sister, my family and my friends. I miss familiar things. I miss knowing my place in the world, even if I didn't particularly like that place. It was the devil I knew, versus the unknown, the temporary, the insecure.
I really don't like living here in Central California, and I know this isn't where I want to live until I'm carted off, kicking and screaming, to the assisted living facility. However, for a variety of reasons, most of them financial, I really can't move back down south anytime soon. So, I'm stuck here.
Now, I can choose to wallow in that, to refuse to be happy until this or that is perfect, but that's ultimately a waste of my time. Quite frankly, I'm getting to the age where I am acutely aware that my time on this earth is limited.
When trying to decide on a new name, I was thinking of how it's a dog eat dog world out there. If the Recession didn't teach us that, then a glance at a newspaper should convince us. But when I go home at night after a long day of work, the first thing I hear when I walk in my front door is the sound of a tail thumping against the sofa cushions. Sometimes a head pops up over the back of the sofa. On lazy days, I just hear the tail thumping.
I progress further into the house to find my Big Doofus, Tallulah, hips swaying from side to side as she wags furiously, dancing around me with joy. My day of coping with angry customers, demanding managers, traffic, creditors, and all the everyday struggles, melts away. I know I'm home.
I've come to realize that at home, I live in a doggie dog world, not a dog eat dog world. I live with a dog who exudes joy. She doesn't demand much from life, she's happy to greet the day, she forgives easily and loves well.
You may not have a dog, you may not even like dogs, but if you are making the best of your life, whatever your circumstances may be; if you take pleasure in the simple things, in home and family;  if you're happy in spite of any wolves who may be at your door, then, in my estimation, you living in a doggie dog world, too. It's a nice place to live.