Transitions and Treasures

Christmas 2014 is now in the history books but was quite epic for me this year. On the one hand, it is a time of major transition that will take some adjustment. Both my children and their families have moved to distant parts of the country so this was the first time ever there were no kiddos around to enjoy Christmas morning (to be fair, my oldest brother spent Christmas with me and my parents and he’s still acts like a kid sometimes, albeit one who is now retired). Still, the celebration was one that was amazing. Christmas day is my Mom’s birthday and I always try to spend the day with her. This year work gifted us an extra day off (pinch me–that still blows me away) which allowed for a few days to spend out-of-town at Mom and Dad’s. And while it was eerily quiet and definitely NOT the hallmark of past family get togethers (due to sheer numbers, not drama), it was decidedly very different without the kidlets.

Christmas is tailor-made for little kids, their excitement, their energy…it’s the perfect recipe for experiencing the joy and fun of Christmas. Not having any little kids around this year left me completely out of step, off-balance even, though I did enjoy the time spent with my parents and yes, even my adolescent-like brother. We talked, laughed and ate/drank but it was clearly different and weirdly odd from past Christmases when the house is full of noise and activity.

Yet it appears that Santa reads this blog because he sent these two incredible treasures.

Santa to the rescue!

‘Colorado Santa’ gifted me a vintage and exquisite genuine alligator handbag which was from my much beloved grandmother in Germany. This bag is probably over 60 years old and is so beautifully made; it’s almost a work of art and one that I’m almost afraid to use (but definitely WILL!). It will be one amazing accessory for sure but more importantly it will be an absolute treasure in my heart/soul and one that will always make me always smile at its history. It  will (a) remind me of two very special family members and (b) remind me of my German heritage. Every time I’ll look at it, memories full of love and gratitude will be triggered about two very special family members. <3

‘Hawaiian Santa’ (and newly appointed manager of Martin & MacAurthur in Kona 🙂 and who also happened to be the same benefactor of the once beloved Goldpfeil wallet brutally eviscerated by one damn standard poodle who shall remain nameless!) gifted the gorgeous wallet with Koa wood monogram. It is beyond gorgeous and unfortunately the photo does neither piece any justice. If you don’t know about Koa wood, check out M&M’s website (https://www.martinandmacarthur.com/) – their stuff is fabulous and gorgeous.

Both gifts absolutely took my breath away, will be forever adored and will make my heart sing whenever I look at them. Of course I love them–they are both truly exquisite (I mean, what’s not to love–they are both gorgeous), but I’m in love with the heartfelt memories they will generate especially at a time when I was feeling off kilter and out of sync. Should Sam begin to cast even a tiny glance toward either of them, he shall be flogged like the red-headed step child that he is! Seriously though, when not being used, they will both be under lock and key behind closed doors and kept well away from that dimwit!

Oceans of gratitude and love to both ‘Santas.’ I hope they know how much their gifts meant to me and how incredibly grateful I am for their thoughtfulness. You guys are truly the best!

What made your Christmas wonderful? Was it different from past Christmases? <3

Holiday Safety PSA

Happy Howlidays!
Happy Howlidays!

If you’re anything like me, this is the time of year where things get a bit crazy. That’s kind of an understatement…I’m pretty much crazed most of the time, but especially now. Thanksgiving was later than normal so now it’s a mad dash to get everything done in time for Christmas. How is it possible that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away? Wasn’t it Halloween just last week?!

Between the hustle and bustle of get-togethers, shopping, baking, etc., sometimes our fur-kids may be a bit overlooked…that is until things goes wrong. I know I’m overwhelmed these days and can’t begin to imagine how Sam feels tripping over tons of craft supplies, ornament boxes, artificial greenery, wrapping paper and bag of bows. The season is fraught with possible mishaps and dangerous situations as well as wonderful memories to cherish with friends and family.

We all know there are potential dangers during the season. First off…the obstacle course (otherwise known as the spot where the tree is erected). Did anyone else’s house suddenly shrink in size this time of year or is it just mine? Even with a slim profile, that tree seems to be sticking out right in the path of an athletic but clumsy dog. In the past, I’ve had dogs with long tails, the kind that just never stop wagging back. Sam’s tail isn’t quite that long, but long enough so that when he’s excited, I can only pray he’s not remotely near the tree, because stuff will go flying or worse, the whole kitten caboodle could come crashing down (tying a string to the top and attaching it to the ceiling seems like a smart solution). Likewise, all breakable ornaments must be at least 3 1/2 feet off the floor lest he bumps the tree during one of his mad dashes through the living room knocking down the irreplaceable hand blown glass bulbs off onto the hardwood floor into a million pieces. A trip to the vet to remove glass shards from tender paws isn’t exactly the kind of Christmas I want to remember.

Ah, those lovingly wrapped packages. So pretty and so interesting especially to Sam (yeah, erecting deer fencing around the tree would be smart idea-just saying). Shiny packages with bows seem to hold special allure for Sam. That long nose of his continues to get him into trouble. And metallic paper in the digestive system of [wo]man’s best friend can be even more troublesome if you know what I mean.

Then there are all those baked goodies and chocolates set out for casual noshing during the holidays. We all know that chocolate can lead to various medical complications and could be fatal for your dog. This time of year I do want to have yummy chocolate (who am I kidding, I want it ALL year long) but sure as heck don’t want Sam to get sick. Then again, I don’t want to share any of it with Sam’s unsophisticated palate either (even if he could safely eat it). It could make him sick, but he’d also never appreciate the good stuff either. That stuff has to go on top of the frig because it seems like every other surface in my house is host to several Christmas craft projects in various stages of completion or within nose reach of one ‘particular hound’ who shall remain nameless. BTW, where the hell are those Amazon drones when you need them to deliver craft supplies quickly to finish all your projects? Just wondering out loud here. I’m pretty sure his neck grows longer this time of year to snatch goodies off the dining room table. Jeez, that dog is like Gumby with an anteater’s tongue right now.

Then there are those gorgeous plants that makes everything look so festive. Poinsettia, mistletoe and lilies can be deadly. Poinsettias are toxic to both dogs and cats and lilies are extremely poisonous to cats, even a small nibble can cause severe kidney damage. Mistletoe poisoning can result in mild signs of gastrointestinal irritation (e.g., drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain). When ingested in large amounts, abnormal heart rate, collapse, hypotension (low blood pressure), ataxia (walking drunk), seizures and death are possible. Don’t let pets drink tree water either. It could contain fertilizer, and stagnant water could harbor bacteria. Check labels for tree water preservatives and artificial snow, and buy only those that are nontoxic. Using a screen around the trees to block access to electrical cords and/or water in the stand makes good sense. Avoid using aspirin in the water thinking it will keep the tree or plant vigorous. If a pet ingests aspirin-laced water, his health or even life can be at risk. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, contact a vet immediately or call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

This is also the time of year when fur-parents buy gifts for their pets. Assess toys carefully; they should be too large to swallow and strong enough so they can’t be chewed up into tiny pieces. Sam can’t have toys, he just rips them up and swallows the eyes of all those adorable stuffed squeaky animals. 🙁 Take care that children’s toys are put away after being played with, you don’t want to step on any little Lego pieces in the dark or have them cause an intestinal blockage for your pet.

It bears repeating, turkey is not your dog’s friend. While not toxic, the skin is quite fatty compared to his normal diet and can cause digestive upset or possible pancreatitis. Turkey bones, are an obvious no-no–they can splinter if eaten and possibly perforate the digestive tract.

With lots of holiday celebrating, bipeds can over-do the whole good-cheer thing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers should never be given to pets. NSAIDs are poisonous to dogs and cats.

Finally, avoid leaving gum out. Sure it’s great to freshen the breath for those unexpected mistletoe moments but make sure your pet doesn’t get into your stash. Sugar-free gum contains Xylitol which is quite toxic to dogs. The sweet smell and shiny wrapping paper are a potential draw so keep them stashed away from inquisitive noses and whiskers.

Enjoy the season but take special care of your fur-iends. Wishing you and yours a terrific ‘howliday’ and may all your days be furry and bright! <3