Monday, December 28, 2009

Maybe Next Year

There was no Christmas tree in the Epic household this year. In fact, there were no Christmas decorations of any kind. It's NOT that I'm a complete Scrooge, and I really do generally love the season. But after the trauma of last year, I wanted this year to be as stress free as possible...

Apparently, every other person in the world buys a Christmas tree from the tree farm during Thanksgiving. I thought I was early last year when I showed up two weeks before Christmas. Wrong. I was greeted with the sight of tree-farm-rejects. I’m not saying that some of them wouldn’t grow into fine trees, but, for the most part, they could have benefited from the tree equivalent of braces.

After some disheartened wandering amongst the Island of Misfit Trees, I approached the tree farmer. He had some cut trees that, he earnestly assured me, had been kept watered and would not drop all of the needles into my carpet. I picked one and headed home.

Upon arrival, Mr. Epic helped me attempt to put the tree in the new, high-end tree stand. I won’t go into all of the gory details, but, let’s just say that Mr. Tree Farmer neglected to point out that this fine specimen had a warped trunk. And those well-watered needles showered down in a continuous fall. Mr. Epic’s frustration mounted as the trunk refused to fit into the stand, even after repeated modifications with a saw. I, dripping in sweat and covered with tree needle jabs, eventually flew into a towering rage, grabbed the tree, dragged it out the front door, and threw it into the driveway.

After sitting on the couch for a bit, I decided to give it one more try with the old, metal tree stand. Mr. Epic made the stand work, the tree was forced into submission, and the decorating commenced. Later that evening, as the lights twinkled, I turned to Mr. Epic and said, “I may be having PMS.”

Mr. Epic responded, “What was YOUR first clue? Mine was when you threw the tree out the front door.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dumping dogs

On the way home from Deep Southeast Texas (it always feels as if we are escaping a sucking swamp when we leave there), Mr. Epic spotted two abandoned puppies on the side of the road. There really wasn’t much discussion about what to do-I turned around and went back to get them. We would figure out what to do with them when we got home. When we got back to them, it wasn’t two. It was five (I know-that’s a pack). And they weren’t baby puppies, more like adolescents-some sort of wiener-dog mix.

When the Explorer stopped, Young Epic got out to round up the dogs, but they headed into the East Texas trees and underbrush. He headed in after them. You haven’t lived (or felt like you’re gonna die) until you’ve battled East Texas thicket. Mr. Epic finally made Young Epic come back. We had no desire to have to go get rabies shots because we wanted to rescue dogs that had no use for humans.

There should be a special, really hot, nasty place in the next life for people who abandon animals. For Pete’s sake, take them to an animal shelter. They don’t charge anything to take them, and it doesn’t take any longer than a trip to the mall. Oh sure, the people there might lecture you about spaying/neutering your pets, but you can always lie and say somebody dropped them off at your house. What do you care what strangers think about you?

I do have to confess, once we got home and the snow started, there was a sense of relief that we didn’t have Epic Dog (she's an animal shelter baby) plus five strange dogs inside the house until Monday. Couldn't really take dogs from 70 degree weather and throw them out in the yard in the snow. But I wouldn't mind taking the person/people who dumped them and leaving them out in the weather.