Oh, look! Snow!
(My mom calls it the curse of the new snowblower.)
(Besides the current nor'easter, we had a dusting of snow this Friday that looked like set-dressers from The Fellowship of the Ring had come by: these little ovoid pellets that looked exactly like crumbled Styrofoam. If they hadn't melted I would have been sure someone was playing a prank.)
We purchased a Christmas tree today, a Fraser fir, and put it up. This is the first real (i.e., non-artificial) tree I can remember having (I was voting for a fake tree, but to no avail). For those of you who've seen our house, it's sitting in front of the built-in bookcase on the left side of the fireplace, just on the living-room side of the big opening between the living room and the dining room. It fits very well and looks great: classic little white lights, no tinsel or garland (Chad doesn't like garland, I don't like tinsel, and it's a pretty small tree anyway), and our ornaments. I must remember, next time I'm shopping for ornaments, to look for glass ones and very brightly colored ones, to add balance to the tree.
(I love decorating the Christmas tree, and take it just a little seriously. I have no idea why, as generally neither Christmas nor decorations are my strong points. Maybe it's because I have an unfortunate fondness for knick-knacks, and I feel less guilty about buying and playing with ornaments, because they only come out at Christmas and so aren't clutter.)
Emmy did chew on the tree when she first saw it, so we coated the lower branches with Bitter Apple while she romped in the snowy backyard. This appears to have worked; I am eternally grateful that she does not regard Bitter Apple as a seasoning, unlike the Bad Dog list (post on that coming soon).
I am considerably less grateful for her behavior over the last two nights. Normally when she whines or barks after we crate her for the night, she just needs to go to the bathroom. Friday night, she whined and we let her out twice for a while; nothing happened, but then sometime later she threw up in her crate. (Emmy's sole entry for the Bad Dog list would be, "I will not eat things that make me vomit.") So last night, when she whined and moaned, I got out of bed and let her outside. She sniffed around for a minute, then came back inside, bouncing around and wanting to play. I was tired and unwell and having none of it; after a few minutes, I asked her if she wanted to go outside again, she ran for the door, went through it, stopped on the second and last step, turned around and begged to come back in. So into the crate she went; it was quarter of twelve and no time for dogs to be awake. Half an hour later, she was at it again, so I came back downstairs in case she was actually sick. After we repeated the "no, wait, I don't actually want to go outside in the cold" thing for a few more times, I just curled up across the room from her and read for thirty minutes, until she was sleepy enough to go to bed without fussing. This had better not become a habit; we're going to try a policy of only one trip downstairs from now on, and see how that goes.
Fortunately for Emmy, I wasn't getting any sleep last night for a different reason. A co-worker gave his annual holiday party last night, and it was a lovely time, but I ate something that did not agree with me; that, or it was just my stomach deciding to hate me, as it does every so often for no apparent reason. My stomach feels better today, but I'm extremely tired.
I'd hoped to get a lot of writing done on a brief this weekend, but instead I've spent hours chasing down an idea that came to me on the way home Friday night (to only small benefit, alas). Maybe I'll skip Part II of Angels in America tonight and watch it some other time; or maybe I'm too tired to write anyway. Decisions, decisions.
A few links from this week:
- Chad wrote a silly post about walking Emmy in the snow.
- The Return of the King movie advent calendar is pretty, but the most inspired day by far is December 4.
- And finally, words to live by: "It's important not to introduce a dancing army of Popes into your writing without a bit of backstory."