Monday, February 18, 2008

Dog Insanity and Valentine's Day

Hi, long time no see.... hear..... read? I've been busy and tired and this morning a wee bit cranky as well (hormones, you gotta love'em - they either make you think the world is wonderful when it's really falling to pieces or, conversely, make you want to cut the head off a perfectly decent husband simply for standing slightly crooked).

I'm not really mad at the husband or my hormones. I'm mad at my dogs and their hormones. Rosie is in heat (she's not fixed yet for a couple of reasons which I won't go into now) and this is the first time this has happened in the middle of winter when it's too cold and cruel to simply leave Buck, our un-neutered male (for reasons also - undescended boy bits and the vet's recommending against risky surgery - all our other animals are spayed and neutered - always!) outside in this kennel.

Now clearly a german shepherd sized male and a female chihuahua only slightly larger than your cell phone aren't a match made in heaven, romantically speaking. To Buck's tiny brain's credit, I think even he realizes this. But it doesn't stop BOTH of them from acting all giddy and goofy and annoying. Rosie's acting like a little strip tease and then growls when Buck steps up to see the show. Buck compensates for his built up frustrations by gluing himself to my knee with a foot long invisible cord and peeing (dribbling really) in excitement. I'm stuck in the middle carrying the small dog and trying not to trip over the large dog. At night Rosie takes refuge under the covers and Buck wanders around the house clicking his toenails on the hardwood floors or laying as close to my bedside as physically possible, obsessively and noisily grooming his paws. The last few days it's been warm enough to put him outside come sun up and he spends a few hours barking sporadically. Just one single bark, about every ten minutes. Just a few feet from my head outside the bedroom window.

I've been putting him out for longer periods during the day these last few days, just to get a BREAK, even though every single trek from back door to kennel is another death defying, glacier crossing, nightmare. There's only a thin ring of crusty snow left in the south facing front yard, but the back yard is solid ice pack and even hubby taking a cement shovel to the path only dents the surface (which the just-above-freezing day temperatures melt back into a nice smooooooth surface by sunset) - ARGH. I'm sleep deprived, slightly hysterical, and feeling just a short walk away from certifiably loony. I'm now officially DONE with winter.

Moving on....

I wanted to tell you about our lovely Valentine's Day. First of all, I won several of the One World - One Heart prizes that I entered. That was exciting! I'll try to post about those as they arrive over on Laume's Studio.

I woke up Valentine's morning to hubby bringing me coffee in bed, flowers, three cards (one, supposedly, from the animals), and a big bag of presents from my favorite local shop. It included tea, chocolates, soaps, and the cutest little shabby chic candle chandelier. He was so excited to watch me open everything. Then I sort of scratched my head and muttered something about how I'd planned on getting him a card and something the day before when I went out grocery shopping but I'd gotten distracted and, uhm, well, uhm... He said it was fine, he hadn't expected anything from me and besides Valentine's Day was more for guys to give presents to women, not vice versa.

I had in fact, forgotten to get him something the day before, this is true, but what I was going to get him was a decoy gift. So I was glad he just assumed it was my general laziness, pragmaticism towards holidays like this, and general unorganization. Hubby accuses me of being the most UNromantic female he has ever known. Which isn't true. Okay, it might be 2% true. I'm not as write-my-truelove's-name-in-hearts-and-sparklies as most women I know, and he's more likely to select a "chick flic" at the video store than I am. But I think this says more about him being more of a romantic than most guys than about me being less of a romantic than most women. I was glad he didn't suspect anything, but I think I should be a little insulted too, since it's not true that I usually forget. I always have very nice gifts for him for Valentine's Day, Father's Day, his birthday, etc. In any case, this time it worked in my favor to be accused of slothfulness. Because.....

I really had a surprise for him and I was trying to keep it a secret until the last possible moment. My friend Deb and I had made reservations for four for a special Valentine's Dinner at our local tea room, which my husband adores. In fact, before the tea room closed (unexpectedly, for the winter, we're really on pins and needles to see if they survive and reopen again in the spring) hubby had seen the advertisement for the by-reservation-only dinner and asked if I wanted to go. I went through the motions of asking the owner, Rob, and he played it beautifully, telling hubby that regretfully they were booked full. And then he winked at me when hubby wasn't looking.

So all day long I pretended that I was just sort of ignoring Valentine's Day and then come dinner time I said I didn't really want to cook, seeing as it was a holiday and all, and we should go get some Mexican food. We drove off (not dressing up since that would have given it away, although I did manage to brush my hair, throw on a clean shirt and a sparkly scarf) and since the tea room was the opposite direction from the Mexican restaurant, I pretended that I wanted to show him something funny I saw in a window uptown earlier that day. We pulled up in front of the tea room, all aglow with lights, and he STILL didn't suspect! I told him we were going in for dinner and he was completely surprised and THRILLED. Said I was way tooooo good a liar and it was the best surprise ever. Yah me!

But wait, that's not all! He still didn't know our friends were joining us. About ten minutes after we were seated, they showed up and he was delighted all over again.

We met Deb and Dave as parents. We were bleacher buddies for years, as as our collective sons played both baseball and football together. Eventually Deb and I became good friends outside the sports realm, as we share many interests, including buying large quantities of fabric together (aka quilting), and started spending time together as couples as well for dinner or a night of playing board games. It's hard to find compatible pairs where everyone enjoys everyone and although we're all very busy and get together far too infrequently these days, we are very blessed with their friendship.

Tea house owner Rob took photos of all the couples.

Here's Deb and Dave.

And here's hubby and yours truly. Except for the whole eyes closed thing, not a completely terrible photo.

So, I guess I've got some romance in me after all.

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