Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Lost Dog

 It is no secret that the black dog has been following me closely for a while. A lot of stuff, I suppose, but I really do think that it's mostly just that it's been a lot of changes this year and that there is still things that we won't know for a while. Tim has a blood test tomorrow that, once analyzed, should make it clearer what happens next.

He's very calm.  

Me? I've never been much good at waiting. 

Tough time.

We went out today and did some more Christmas shopping. It's just little things, really. Plus I needed to get birthday gifts for my sister and her husband. I had an idea what I wanted to do. 






They're life sized tin chicken sculptures. They'll look cute right by the steps of their log cabin. 

Don't tell.

Anyways, it is snowing here, and we did a bit of Christmas shopping. It's just the small stuff left to do at this point. The fun stuff. 

In one store, and I found another fun game for the Amish Christmas eve. We have quite a nice little stack of gifts for them, and let me tell you, they get awfully excited by those gifts. I don't know that they do gift wrapping. What I do know is that there are 8 kids eyeballing that wrapped stack of gifts all through supper, chattering away to each other in hushed voices and when supper is done and they are given permission to get those gifts, it is chaos. From the oldest to the youngest. It's great fun to watch, and I'm looking forward to it. The focus this year is heavy on puzzles. They do love puzzles. This is a giant match box that is filled with 10 matchbox puzzles and 50 challenges. I bought this a couple months ago with them in mind. I have a box of the old fashioned metal puzzles, games, a jigsaw puzzle, toys for the youngest. Something for everyone, I think. 

 Even today, I found a couple more items to add to their stack. I can't wait. My last plan is to get a large box and put 9 helium balloons inside so that when the box is torn open, there are balloons everywhere. It will be a great surprise for them, and it tickles me every time I see their stack of gifts on the chair waiting to be wrapped. 

These are all fine and happy thoughts. 

Something else I saw was a small scented candle. Fresh Lilacs. Lilac is about my very favorite flower. I picked it up and popped the lid on it, and gave a sniff. Really, really lilac-y. I smiled and put it back on the shelf and turned to walk away. But...I turned around and looked back at it, feeling ridiculous, chiding myself for my self indulgence but, you know what? I got it. 

At another store, I saw someone I hadn't seen in years, and we talked, probably far longer than we should have. 

We had a late lunch out and visited with some other friends, and that was nice too.

Tonight we sat in our livingroom, watching a couple episodes of Antiques RoadTrip, listening to the banter of Mark Stacey and Charlie Hanson. A lilac candle burned on the coffee table. The lights were off. It was just the Christmas tree and the candle and the television, and in the dimness, I lost track of that black dog for awhile. 

A wonderful break. 




46 comments:

  1. You know what? I haven't really done much actual shopping yet. Arrghhh! We plan to start on Thursday afternoon. We need to get cracking!

    However, you have put me in the mood. I loved what you wrote about the fun things you got for your Amish friends' kids. What wonderful joy! I felt happy just reading this post.

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    1. It's so fun, simply because the children are so excited about all of this.

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  2. Seeing friends and family is the best thing about Christmas..but it needs to be spread around the year more

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    1. It does! I like the spontaneousness of the visits to them.

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  3. Lilacs is my favorite flower as well. They remind me of my childhood early summers where we had a huge lilac bush growing on the upwind side of our house. When the windows were open, which was pretty much all the time at that point since it was pre-airconditioner for us, the smell of lilacs was constant throughout the house.

    I planted four lilac twigs about six or seven years ago alongside our driveway and for some reason, they are taking their own sweet time to grow. Last year, the largest one at about chest high to me, finally produced one single blossom and it was heavenly smelling it. I hope I live long enough to see a huge bush like what grew upwind of our old farmhouse.

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    1. Ugh. I've never had that problem. Mine just grow like...well..weeds. I plan to have a wall of lilacs at the back of the property when we move there. I'm not going to plant them now, because I know they will be deer fodder. I hope mine don't take their good old time. I don't have years to wait!

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    2. I can grow asparagus but not lilacs. You can grow lilacs but not asparagus. Perhaps we need to team up!

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  4. The chickens are wonderful. The children's toys will bring them such pleasure and you, too, watching them.

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    1. Funny how happy this evening makes me. It is just so unspoiled.

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  5. We watch Antiques Roadtrip most days Debby.

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    1. We are in Season 9. We get quite a kick out of second guessing the choices of the experts. I like Paul Laidlaw and James Braxton so far. I think Natasha Sharp is nice as well.

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  6. Love lilacs, but have never found a candle or room spray that I could tolerate. We record Antiques Road show, and I will sit and binge-watch them for hours. What amazes me are the experts with their enthusiasm and vast knowledge. They are history lovers, I think. Thinking of others, or helping others is a way to defeat the Black Dog for a time, but not always. I have a good counselor and she helps me walk through the Black Dog times. I have a Dr. for my eyes, my teeth, my body, and my mind. I need them all.

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    1. I've never had much luck with counsellors. I've tried. I know that I struggle with PTSD, but in the end, I guess that it is up to me to solve the eternal question of myself.

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  7. I will be alone for Christmas, Im a widow and kids not able to come but I did put my tiny fake tree up. I found out the pub down the street is doing Christmas dinners to take out so I will have to at least get dressed to go pick it up. I also bought myself some very expensive candles for Christmas. As a family we don’t do gifts anymore as we don’t really need a thing. My daughter and grandson and his friend came last week and dusted and vacuumed my house, very welcomed as I can’t reach high or low. That gave me such a boost. Luckily I have never suffered the black dog. I seem to be happy happy with myself. I love those chickens as I have a small collection of them on the flyover in my kitchen, from a pleated paper one to a pottery one, to a metal one. I love them all. I think you will feel better when Tim is over his medical problems. It takes so much time doesn’t it? My daughter just came down with covid this week and is having a hard time with it, its her second time since having to travel downtown on public transit to work. She was fine when she worked from home, but now is required to go down three days a week. I still have not had covid and have had seven Covid shots so far. We get them every six months if we are old in Canada.. so many people are not taking advantage and Covid cases are on the rise again here. Gigi

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    1. I think that getting answers to all these medical questions will be a great help. Another part of it is that wish that everyone could be together, but it's not even realistic. Silly notions.

      This really is the first year where I have really had to rack my brains about what I wanted for Christmas. I don't want anything in a material sense. I still get the same amount of joy from picking out my gifts for others. I just don't want anything. Tim's asked, and really, the only thing that I could think of my old bedside table lamps. They need rewired, and to have longer cords. Tim jumped on that: he was set to buy me new ones. But...I don't want new ones! I like these and it took forever to find the lampshades for them. They just need rewired.

      Tim and I have never had covid. Everyone around us has, it seems, but we've dodged it enough to wonder if we're immune?

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  8. I have done exactly 0 prep for Christmas so far this year. Work has been crazy (it's always crazy) and I finished up for 10 days today as I have a minor op tomorrow - I think there might be an opportunity next week - then another full week of work before Christmas. We have a running joke in the office that starts "when it gets quiet" - that is pretty much the joke. We just all laugh and then rock in the corner.

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    1. Good luck on your minor surgery. Fingers crossed for clear margins and all of that. 10 days off?!! What a great time for that! Recover quickly and bake some cookies!

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  9. Having never heard that expression, I thought to take it literally. I knew about the cats, but now there is a stray dog? Anyway, I like the expression. Maybe I'll use it someday. It could apply to much of our year here.

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    1. Churchill's use of the term is thought to have dated back to when nannies used the term to describe temperamental children. He applied it to his periods of depression, and noted that the black dog might leave, but it is always lurking.

      You know, AC, it seems like it's been a really rough year for a whole bunch of people in our little blogging circle. I'm hoping that 2023 will be a better year for you and Sue, and for us, and everyone else out there struggling right now.

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  10. aah.. such a lovely calming post, Debby. Thank you!

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  11. We are recovering from Covid in my house so no Christmas shopping done yet. I've got to get myself in gear and have started decorating a bit but it's hard to get into the spirit of it. We will be a smaller group this year and I'm saddened about that but I need to appreciate the ones who are near and not worry about those that aren't.

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    1. That sounds as if it has some long-lasting after effects.

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  12. i was wondering if you were going to be spending any Christmas time with your Amish friends. I'm glad that you are! I figured that would cheer you up tremendously.
    My fingers are crossed for the blood test. May all be well.

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    1. We have spent the last two Christmas eves with them.

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  13. That does sound nice. You've had a lot of stress and worry this year and I can certainly understand why the black dog would be following you, but hopefully he's on his way out, tail between his legs. At least temporarily. The puzzles look like fun and I love the chickens!

    I need to buy Dave some gifts and I haven't even started. But fortunately he's really the only one.

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    1. Good grief Steve! Whaddaya waiting for? CHRISTMAS???

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  14. Perhaps the black dog is allergic to lilac:)
    I'm no different when it comes to treating myself to something. I will always put the thing back, go back to it a few times and then maybe buy it. I seem to like denying myself enjoyment. Yikes.

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    1. Boy that would be great wouldn't it? Keep a lilac candle going at all times! You! Pixie! You get your little self in gear and go do something nice for yourself! STAT!!!!

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    2. My little self:) Nobody ever calls me little. I'm often the tallest except for one nurse who is casual, she's six feet.

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    3. Things look smaller the farther away you are!😉

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  15. Sorry you are feeling down, but that does not seem to be stopping you from planning this wonderful treat for your neighbor's children. I'll look forward to a post about their reactions.

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    1. I've actually been collecting stuff for them for a few months. I see things and think of them.

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  16. Nice to see that you've got the black dog on the run.

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    1. It feels like a major accomplishment this time. It was a struggle.

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  17. Your evening sounds perfect. In my area, the black dog has a different meaning. Seeing one when no one else does is a sign of impending death. So, I like your use of the term much better! I hope you continue to have these kind of days. Good for the soul.

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    1. Everyone has bad days and good days. We get past them.

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  18. Puzzles are always fun. Any kind. I got my two middle grandkids little puzzle boxes. I just hope the solution to open them isn't the same!

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  19. I bought a puzzle box. When I did the maze, I flipped the lever and it broke in my hands.

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  20. Glad you had such a good evening, and also getting into the mood of Christmas festivities. I think the black dog historically always told of bad news in its ghostly appearance and somehow translated into the modern 'black dog' of the mind.

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  21. I don't have any little ones in my life to think about, buy for. A friend spends many hours getting her tiny granddaughter things, and gives a gift every month. I think the childhood joy is some kind of wonderful anti-depressant. I need to make friends with some children! First I need to meet some (through their parents of course!)

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    1. We did that once for William, treating him and his mother to an event every month.

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  22. That's a nice and warm post. I can imagine the excitement of the Amish children.

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    1. Oh my gosh, they get so excited. Even the oldest. It is fun to watch.

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