Reality Show Revelation

Days after our spectacular Christmas tree fiasco, we found ourselves the day before Christmas Eve Day. That’s an awkward way of saying Dec. 23. Second Born Son was at work because it’s high season in the grocery business, First Born Son was in the kitchen cleaning up some dishes. (Yes, that was my Christmas Miracle!)

Me and The Big Guy? We were in the living room discussing decoration placement for the rest of the room, since the tree was the only thing that was completed. You could say we left things a little 11th hour this year.

FBS calls me to the kitchen repeatedly, quickly, and I can tell by the tone, that we have a problem. He points at the sliding glass doors off the kitchen where Cane is anxiously looking to come in. He has his left paw up in the air and there’s enough blood in the snow on the deck for transfusion.

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We let him in the kitchen to inspect the damage, and the hemorrhaging continued inside. The same towels that mopped up water the week before, were now used to mop up blood. Once we got his heart rate down, the bleeding did subside and we were able to determine the source of the injury. It was the outside pad of his left paw. A clean slice on an angle that ran so deep you could see parts of the pad I’m fairly certain were never meant to be exposed.

Thankfully, and due to our history with Cane and Roman, we have a fully stocked First Aid kit just for the dogs. We managed to clean things up and wrap it. This was now around 9 p.m. and TBG and I decided to call the vet clinic rather than throw him in the truck for 45 minute drive. After the phone consult it was scheduled to take him in the morning when we wouldn’t have to pay double the rate. After all, once Cane was wrapped, he told us he was ready for bed, thankyouverymuch!

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The morning visit confirmed what we feared; that you can’t stitch a pad, and this was going to be a long healing process for Cane.

This made for a “fun” Christmas season; trying to keep a large dog inside and inactive while entertaining family.

<PAUSE> Cane was a model patient at the vet clinic. For a large, large-breed dog, he’s remarkably gentle, especially when he knows you are trying to help him. No snarls, no snapping, just one little whimper when they cleaned out the cut. <PLAY>

Christmas came and went and with it some interesting family interaction. Now folks, I can’t get into too much of what I’m referencing here, because honestly, I don’t need a law suit right now, but believe me when I say statements were made by certain individuals that were cause for “shock and awe-ful reactions!” Gotta love the holidays! I’m setting money aside for counselling for the boys!

This was followed up by an opportunity to educate my father in law, whose understanding of burning garbage over the years at the family farm, needed some updating now that he lives in town. We are hoping our neighbours are still speaking to us after learning what he was trying to dispose of in our light paper burning barrel. I’m fairly certain the black smoke billowing from our property was visible from space.

It was that day, just after lunch, that FBS made his declaration.

“We need to have our own reality show!”

“We’re pretty boring, bud. I don’t think anyone would want to watch us,” I chuckled.

Then he made his case. He figured the Christmas tree would be one episode, the dog would be another, and there had been enough crap going on in our world in recent weeks that it would most definitely be enough fodder for a first season. He pointed out we had all the right personalities that would make for good viewing.

“After all, if that family can have their own show, and it’s all written for them…our stuff is real!” I thought he meant Duck Dynasty. He actually meant Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

I reflected on this comment later in the afternoon and chuckled to myself. I think I’ve grown used to the “crazy” to the point that it’s become our “normal”.

After all, we have had a much drama as anything on TV. My father goes in for high risk surgery on a Friday, which takes much longer than estimated, but he survives. The next morning TBG’s mother passes away. SBS breaks his arm TWICE. The same arm – a year apart. We buy a new house, TBG gets a great job offer a month later, which he takes, and the following week I’m laid off of my job.  My mother and my sister move THE SAME WEEKEND – then my father in law moves a month and a half later! We decide to go on our first family vacation in 8 years and our furnace is condemned a week before we leave. Oh, did mention this is in NOVEMBER?

Maybe the kid is on to something!

I can recall catching up with a friend a couple of years ago, and she was stunned with the collection of events.

“If I didn’t know you, I would think you were making this up!” she stated in awe. It wasn’t a compliment.

I’m going to keep his little suggestion in my back pocket, for the next mini crisis. I’ll grab my cell to record while I’m juggling the chaos!

Without Tradition, We Have Nothing

Anyone who has read The Bowery Girl for any length of time knows that we really like Christmas and take our decorating rather seriously.

When it comes to Christmas trees, we like them big, and we like them to be real.

And we aren’t above risking life and limb to get the “perfect” tree!

It has involved going out into the wild yonder with a saw in hand. Then there was the task of getting it into the house.

But this year’s tree was truly unique. As Little Sister now lives at my parents’ former home, we didn’t think it would be cool to hike back and steal a tree. We’ll let them get their boxes unpacked before we start helping ourselves. You know, manners.

So we went to the neighbours of my parents’/my sister and brother in law, who, ironically, own and operate and Christmas tree farm. I’ll let you think about that. Yes, we have been slogging trees out of various bush areas for the past several years when we could have simply selected a pre-cut tree while sipping hot chocolate and cider under twinkle lights while being serenaded by festive music.

Yup. That’s how we do things around here. The hard way.

Which takes us back around to this year’s tree. Once again, we needed the “perfect” tree. Something that had the ability to inspire the Christmas Spirit even in the most jaded of Grinch-like hearts. It needed to be the one thing that people remembered about The Bowery Girl Christmas, because, once again, we were hosting at least one side of the family.

Yes, we were asking A LOT of one tree.

So when I came upon a stunning blue spruce, full and lush and standing well over 7 ft tall, I   knew I was in love. The Big Guy questioned whether or not it was too tall. I think he forgot about this tree…

2013-12-09 15.39.04

To be clear, that tree is above the eavestrough.

First Bon Son was not nearly as convinced.

“I don’t like it,” he declared, no particular reason given.

Second Born Son was more accommodating. He gave it his blessing.

To appease everyone, we purchased a smaller, Charlie Brown-like tree in a pot that we can plant in the spring. The boys agreed they would put one single decoration on the tree, although I did lend them a star and some garland so it didn’t look so naked.

After the appropriate pruning and trunk trimming, the blue spruce was in the corner of the living room awaiting embellishment. I was particularly excited because TBG agreed to a new colour scheme for our Christmas decor. Instead of the red, green and gold we had used for the past 22 Christmases, this year we would go gold, silver, white and rustic – burlap bows and pine cones.

FBS left before the decorating began, declaring that he had contributed enough to the family tradition. It was his silent protest since he still didn’t approve of a perfectly beautiful blue spruce.

This left SBS and TBG to help put the new decorations on the tree. I strung the new ornaments and the two of them placed them on the tree. When it was done, it was stunning.

Breathtaking, wouldn’t you agree? The colour and textures were spot-on. We wrapped up the Sunday evening in our jammies, admiring the afternoon of work we had put in. I take a photo and text it to FBS, who is back at college. He begrudgingly admits it looks good.

TBG decided he was ready for the nest around 10:30 p.m. and, as every good owner of a real Christmas tree knows, he unplugged the lights. While he was under the tree, the festive masterpiece went from a 90 degree angle to a 45 degree angle, only saved from further horizontalness by the black leather love seat that broke it’s fall. This sudden stop, however, launched the brand new glittered star from the back corner of the living room, clear across to the opposite end of the space. The TV dogged a bullet…as it were. A third of the ornaments were on the floor. Of those, half were broken. We could tell because the shards were floating across the hardwood laminate floor in the water that had been in the stone filled bucket we were using to anchor the tree.

TBG swore, jumped up, grabbed the tree and yanked it upright. It fell over. He swore again. More broken ornaments. More ornaments the floor. 98% of the water is now creating a tsunami across the living room. TBG said all the words. ALL of them.

SBS launched from the couch and grabbed dry towel in our house. Unfortunately, due to an old war wound, my back prevented me from doing anything other than holding the tree, which seemed to be incapable of staying vertical.

Upon inspection, it became clear that the tree was rather off balance. Almost all of the ornaments are on the front side of the tree. When TBG unplugged the lights, he disengaged the only thing keeping that thing upright.

SBS is moping the floor like he’s getting paid. I’m trying to evaluate how many ornaments have been lost, how many I can salvage and how many are still on the tree, when TBG turns to me and asks to hold the tree. I oblige. HE SHAKES THE TREE. FOUR MORE ORNAMENTS FALL ON THE FLOOR AND SHATTER.

I look at him in disbelief.

“Are you FREAKING kidding me?!?!”

Without missing a beat he replies, “I wanted to see if the trunk shifted in the bucket.”

I shoot him the death stare.

It took another half an hour to get everything picked up, the floor mopped up and the dehumidifier strategically placed in the middle of the room. Ever my son, SBS made the perfect observation.

“You know, it could be worse,” he said, “this could have happened at 3 in the morning and we might not have heard and woke up to the tree on the floor and the floor would have been ruined.”

So proud. He was absolutely right. Except his father begged to differ. He was heading back to the shower in an attempt to de-adhese himself of all the sap on every square inch of him. TBG is in the pit of despair. It’s like someone gave him a lump of coal after telling him that  there was no Santa Claus. And that he’s allergic to chocolate. And there’s no gravy for Christmas dinner. It was THAT BAD.

Which I understand, because the tree is a sad shadow of it’s former self.

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You thought I was exaggerating, didn’t you. I sent this photo to FBS. He texts back, “I told you there was something wrong with that tree.” He’s lucky he’s an hour away.

Back on the home front, we have glitter in the floor, in the loveseat, in parts of our bodies that we didn’t realize were exposed to glitter. I’m fairly certain I’ve eaten more than a peck of glitter.

TBG’s foul mood continued once he was re-bathed and tucked into bed. He relived the moment over and over again. Ranted about how upsetting the incident was. How his ENTIRE CHRISTMAS WAS RUINED!

<PAUSE> Not kidding. He said that. You should note, he’s weeks away from his 50th birthday. Not 5. Forty nine. <PLAY>

Throughout this so-called Christmas Catastrophe, I’ve been the voice of calm. THIS is when I finally lose it.

“SHUT UP! I’m the one who picked and bought the ornaments. I’m the one who will have to replace the old ones. I never yelled or blamed you for making it front heavy. SBS is absolutely right; we could have found it in the morning and the floor would have been ruined!”

“Well,” he said, “we won’t know about the floor until the morning.”

I take a fist and drive it into his stomach.

I then remind him about the real trees we had before having kids when we were at our previous home. It always fell over. There was the decorating of the tree, and the redecorating of the tree after TBG picks it up off of me. The answer was to anchor the tree in the corner to the hinge of the front door we never used. We simply had to find another solution for this house.

Three days later, when TBG had finally cooled down enough to discuss the “tree situation”, and I had purchased the replacement ornaments, and it was certain that the floor wasn’t ruined – just really clean; we tried decorating 2.0. And counter balanced with a tractor weight wrapped like a gift.

Some families have traditions of eating certain foods at Christmas. Some have specific songs they always play. We have a collapsing Christmas Tree.

Hope your Holidays were magical, and dry…..

 

Puggly

I believe I’ve found the way to create world peace. Get a puppy.

But not just any old puppy. You need a Pug puppy.

WHAT. A. FACE!

WHAT. A. FACE!

Little Sister recently lost her beloved poodle (RIP Lance!) and the ache just wouldn’t go away. She saw a Facebook post that one of her friends had a litter of pups and couldn’t resist the puppy pull.

Now, you have to understand; we were raised with German Shepherds. BIG dogs! I am guilty of making comments about little dogs just being cats with dog tags. But that was before I met Eco.

Eco – as in Echo, spelled incorrectly, not as in Ecological. Little Sister does things like that.

We recently enjoyed a day at the beach with wee Eco. It was a slow start for his first day at the shore.

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he's crammed his head into layers of blankets...

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he’s crammed his head into layers of blankets…

Eco wasn’t really “into” much of the whole water, sand thing. But he really shone later on in the day. We like to go walk about after soaking all the sun we can handle. It’s nice to move around, see the local shops, maybe get some deals. It usually takes about an hour and we grab a snack before heading back to the parking lot and hit the road for home.

Unless you are with Eco.

Then it takes A LOT longer.

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Little Sister bought a sarong and used it as a pup carrier, since it was too hot to let him walk on the sidewalk, and let’s face it, someone would step on him, then they would have pug all over their sandals. It would be a disaster.

Okay, let's walk!!

Okay, let’s walk!!

Finally we shake off the spectators when this happens!

#$&@!

#$&@!

We’ve moved about 20 feet – just to give you some perspective. Again, we move along, after answer what will be the same three questions; 1. What kind of dog is it? (He’s a Pug) 2. Is he full grown? (No he’s only 8 weeks old) 3. What’s his name? (Eco)

Then we decide to pop in to a store, having found something that catches our eye!

ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?!?

Now we’ve got store clerks fawning over him. Let’s completely forget the fact that dogs aren’t likely welcome in the shop. It’s a puppy! It’s a Pug! It’s Eco! Even while sleeping, completely adorable!

Ok back on the street. Let’s move!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

Second Born Son wanted to experiment. Was the attraction the puppy, or the owner?

Pug pups = people magnets!

Pug pups = people magnets!

Needless to say, he slept all the way home!

Give Peace Pugs A Chance!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

For those who are struggling to find the light in this dark time of year…

For those who push away all that the Christmas Season means…

For those who lose sight of the beauty…

For those who think its about gifts…

For those who almost miss the love in search of perfection…

For those who want a Christmas Past…

For those who live for this day, every other day of the year…

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

May you find comfort in the smallest flame.

May you find Peace in your heart.

May the Beauty of the season embrace your soul.

May you receive the gift of meaning.

May you learn that it is perfect, without the perfection.

May you find joy in sharing memories.

May you be an example of what it truly means to have Peace On Earth.

ORNAMENT

AGGRAVATION

Some people are morning people (The Big Guy). Some people…ahem…aren’t (me).

Some people have so much pep in their step, that you want to put spikes in their slippers (The Big Guy). Some people can get there, but they need a little time to warm up (me).

So, imagine the double-whammy frustration that is TBG on HOLIDAYS! He wakes up almost as early as he normally does, has a big (noisy) love-in with the dogs in the kitchen – which sounds like a stampede of whining elephants with loooong toenails on a hardwood floors in an echo chamber, and then proceeds to clatter and bang his way through his coffee and breakfast routine. Then, because he doesn’t have to head out the door, is the epitome of “Sally Sunshine” when I come down the stairs, exalting the beauty of a 6:30 a.m. with no daylight. He then lists the various “exciting” and “interesting” things he plans for his day. I use quotes because, while I’m sure they are both exciting and interesting plans, I can’t say with any certainty, because my brain is still only on is basic Operating System, which is to say, I’m trying to figure out how to put socks on.

I’m not used to communicating with anyone in the morning since First Born Son moved to college four months ago, as Second Born Son takes after his mother (poor soul) and needs a “warm up” grace period that starts around 7 a.m. I’m out the door right around the time he can form words.

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TBG is bouncing around the kitchen, offering various frying pans and utensils, asking if I want eggs or cereal (answer: no freaking clue – my stomach is comatose!) He comments on what I’m wearing or asks what I’m doing in my day (answer: no freaking clue – that’s why I have a commute to work, to remember what I do for a living)

sunrise

This continues until I back out of the garage with him waving enthusiastically, dogs circling his legs, and a grin plaster across his face.

“Have a GREAT day!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I will, I think to myself, as soon as I have 100% brain consciousness!

 

To Gramma’s House We Go – aka – Back to the Forest, aka – Yes, We Wanted a Real Tree, Again…

Much like gathering the family around the telly for the annual viewing of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, or even National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,

ALL RIGHTS TO NATION LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION - CHEVY CHASE

ALL RIGHTS TO NATION LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION – CHEVY CHASE

…it isn’t really and truly Christmas until The Bowery Girl posts her now annual Christmas Tree post. Last year’s went over so well, we just had to give it another go.

Our search party was smaller this year, as First Born Son was scheduled to work, and I choose to believe that Dad was with us in spirit. With my Mother’s blessing (but not participation- she had heard about last year’s antics), Second Born Son, The Big Guy, and I headed out into the great green yonder.

The Big Guy is making sure we have no issues with area hunters.

The Big Guy is making sure we have no issues with area hunters.

We passed the area where we found last year’s tree, certain that there were no suitable specimens from last year. We walked and walked. Eventually SBS was feeling the strain of the trek.

Piggy back ride anyone?

Piggy back ride anyone?

After all, it had been a solid 10 minute walk!

We cut across open spaces, since that is where the most evenly developed trees can be found,

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…and SBS thought he’d found the perfect tree, but we thought it was a little on the small side.

Not bad, not bad at all!

Not bad, not bad at all!

Then The Big Guy thought he’d found the perfect tree!

Um, little full, lots of sap!

Um, little full, lots of sap!

Then he suggested the one I was standing beside, but I quickly advised him I was not a “Scotch Pine” kinda gal.

Nooooooooooooo!

Nooooooooooooo!

Finally, there was a choir of angels singing, a beam of light shone down and THERE IT WAS!!!!!

HALELUJAH!

HALELUJAH!

Unfortunately, The Big Guy thought we were pointing at the tree BESIDE the one that SBS found!

Um, no.

Um, no.

Finally the confusion was clarified, and we decided we had our tree, thanks to SBS. Now, it was time to cut that bad boy down and haul it back. SBS was a little slow to volunteer, after what had happened to him last year, but his father convinced him that would never happen TWICE! SBS stood his ground, so it was The Big Guy who had to cut the tree.

Cutting,,,

Cutting,,,

We waited.

SBS taking the "supervisor" role.

SBS taking the “supervisor” role.

You don’t realize how big the trunk of these darn trees are until you start sawing them!

Losin' daylight here bud!

Losin’ daylight here bud!

And then it happened!!

And he tells me he's on the Health and Safety Committee at work!

And he tells me he’s on the Health and Safety Committee at work!

The tree jigged when it should have jagged and SBS misjudged how tall he was in relation to the tree and it GOT HIM!

He might just make it doctor!

He might just make it doctor!

Once we realized there was no long-term damage, we propped him up and told him to drag the tree out of the bush. We’re awesome parents like that.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

So like the trouper that he is, he agreed to pull the tree out of the bush. But he forgot how far we had walked to get into this little clearing.

No child labor laws were impacted by the removal of this tree!

No child labor laws were impacted by the removal of this tree!

The Big Guy is now supervising!

The Big Guy is now supervising!

We told him it would put hair on his chest!

We told him it would put hair on his chest!


And before you know it – it was all trimmed up and decorated! Made all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile! (Almost – right SBS?)

The purdiest tree you ever dun seen!

The purdiest tree you ever dun seen!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photographic Evidence of NYE 2014

So. 2014 huh? New Year’s Eve. Once again, I had to work, so I didn’t get to do too much “celebrating”. Actually, it was downright boring for me.

For my guys, not so much.

It started with First Born Son. Just as we were about to sit down to an early movie night, a trio of his friends dropped by and dragged him out to his first New Year’s Eve get together. Nothing rowdy, busy or crazy. Just four friends hanging out and making memories. This left The Big Guy and Second Born Son, who had already made a pact to relive their Third Annual All-Nighter. I was planning on being in the nest by 9 p.m.

So after viewing Red 2 (SPOILER ALERT – NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE) I called it a night. 4 a.m. comes rather early! I drifted off to the sounds of my hubby and son tearing into a brand new Lego set. While I did wake up around midnight, I had no idea what had transpired over the course of the evening, until I got to work the next morning and checked my phone…

Okay, a little blurry...

Okay, a little blurry…

Followed by…

Okay, THAT'S a little too cheeky!

Okay, THAT’S a little too cheeky!

Followed by…

Someone didn't get the memo that "Selfie" was SOOO last year!

Someone didn’t get the memo that “Selfie” was SOOO last year!

Followed by…

What. The. Hell?

What. The. Hell?

Now it’s obvious that there is a genetic link between these two, but in case you were doubtful…

Who is taking these photos?? Cane? Roman??

Who is taking these photos?? Cane? Roman??

There is a definite connection here. Genetically as well as a common maturity level.

Thankfully, adult supervision soon arrived.

Proof that he made it past midnight!

Proof that he made it past midnight!

Even if he wasn’t long out of the nest himself!

Bleepy. Very bleepy!

Bleepy. Very bleepy!

Honestly, these photos look like they have a soft focus filter on them. If I didn’t know better, I’d say alcohol was involved!!!!

Uh oh!!!

Uh oh!!!

So while I didn’t get a chance to experience a New Year’s Eve with my guys, they made sure I didn’t miss out on the fun.

Now to activate a password on my phone!!!!