Greetings from Whine Country, The White Death Returneth, and I Finally Put Up the Decorations

No, this is NOT my house.   Not only is my house far more modest (this Griswoldian display is from my sister’s Cincinnati area suburb- where people consider my yearly income to be weekend pocket change) but Jerry does not permit me to do much in the way of decorating for Christmas.  Since he is terrified of fire I cannot have a live tree, outside lights, or anything that he perceives as remotely flammable.  This decree reeks of I don’t know what, especially after the legendary attempt at fireplace lighting with gasoline, but when you live in whine country, it’s easier and quieter to comply with irrational requests as far as reasonably possible.

I didn’t feel like putting up even my modest decorations this year.  My grandma died a year ago yesterday which was depressing enough, and I’m so damned broke it’s not funny, et cetera and so on. But something in the back of my head made me do it.  Grandma always enjoyed Christmas and always decorated lavishly until she wasn’t able to- and then I would go and do it for her.  Grandma would have been disappointed with me had I failed to at least put up the tree and the Nativity.   So the tree is up, the buzzard is in place (long story,) the Nativity is on the mantle and the wreath is in the window.  It was strangely comforting to put the stuff up. I’m glad I did as weird as that sounds.  I like Christmas decorations- especially when they are Griswoldian and tacky.

I would have been in the west end of Marion today trolling for tacky Christmas pictures except for the weather- there is a minor snowstorm coming through and I don’t want to be stuck up north or worse- trying to get through the White Death on the freeway.  So here I sit all broken hearted…the rest of the line is “paid my dime and only farted,” but a. I don’t have a dime, and b. even back in the day when the department stores had pay toilets, most of the chicks I knew simply slid under the stalls.  I’m in my bed but trapped under Lilo who is enjoying her REM sleep splayed across my chest.   That dog can sleep anywhere.  I have no idea where her dreams are taking her but she is the most dream-active of our dogs.  Her little head shakes and her legs move as if she’s running.  If she has a bad dream she wakes up and then she’s disoriented and clingy for awhile.  This dream doesn’t seem to be a bad one so I won’t disturb her if I can avoid it.  Let sleeping dogs lie- and dream.

Yes, look closely- Lilo is crosseyed.  I can also add bowlegged.  But she’s so sweet.  She’s being patient with Sheena which is amazing too.  Sheena is like a big awkward puppy right now but Lilo doesn’t seem to mind which is surprising me.

So whine country is fairly quiet at the moment- Jerry’s asleep which is nice.  I like that phrase, “whine country.”  If one doesn’t take account of the spelling of “whine” it could sound like I take high faluting vacations.  “I vacationed in whine country” sounds so much different that what it really is, as if I am hanging out with buff young studs and sampling the finest wines in the Napa Valley or something.  It really means I put up with Jerry’s incessant whining for a week straight instead of getting occasional breaks from it while I’m at work.   Going on vacation with Jerry is NO vacation for me! It’s even more work than when I’m at work.   The only way I get a real vacation is if I do what I did last June- I went on vacation to my sister’s in NC with Steve-o, while Jerry stayed home with the dogs.   Works for me, except I missed the dogs.

I have a hard time with the holidays for a number of reasons.  Mostly it’s hard because I never have the means to be as generous with others as I’d like.  This year I’ll be doing good to give cards.  Steve-o has always been cynical around the holidays even when he used to get all the useless crap that kids always want and then end up breaking, destroying or losing before New Year’s.  That’s what happened to the model airplane.  We still don’t know where that puppy ended up.  Probably on someone’s roof.

This was the only pic I could get of Steve-o last Christmas.  I’m so stinking proud of my illustrious offspring.  Perhaps it was fortuitous that he was an only child.

Now Lilo’s eyes are rolled back in her head and she’s snoring.  At least she’s not drooling.  Yet.



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