a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: December 2023

Sunday, December 31, 2023

So now it's the 21st century and...

SUMMARY: It's going to be WHAT? 2024? No wayyy!
Inspired by my comment on FB: Dec 31, 2023

A friend on FB threw the question out to his world, having lost his partner of 20ish years: What is everyone doing for New Years Eve? Party? Family gathering? Champagne at midnight? Me? Probably in bed by 8, scrolling for a fun movie. No one to kiss at midnight.

Taj MuttHall responds -- I'll be doing something useful like washing dishes or OH NO donating to charities at the last minute, snuggle with Zorro a bit but no kissing because COAT BEING BLOWN WHY?! when winter is just starting?!, in bed I hope by 8 and hope the fireworks noise isn't enough to keep me or Zorro up. Last year he hid in my closet and seemed fine there. Thank goodness I don't have Chip's terror to deal with any more. [But I miss him none the less]

Wishing you and the world at large a happy 2024.

 (How can it possibly be that year?! I still keep referring to, for example,  six years ago as 2007. Or sometimes 1997. Too many years to keep track of )

Me and former husband at a friend's fancy New Year's Eve party.
Back in 2018.... 2008... oh good grief, 1988. I'm sure I still look the same

Saturday, December 23, 2023

A little Christmas melancholy but a very Merry holiday to you

T-shirt tales—Because every t-shirt tells a story, don't it.
And I have so very many of them. Shirts. And stories. ---- Tell me more. or Read all t-shirt tales

SUMMARY:  It is hard not to feel it. For me anyway. At this time anyway
Source: Discord chat with another writer Dec 22,2023

Somehow I seem to be more busy than before I retired, moved out of state, and left most of my family and friends behind. But I have finished my Christmas shopping since I really have only two family members, two dogs (Only one of them mine), and a couple of neighbors And friends to shop lightly for this year. Such a small number of gifts. So surely I can leave wrapping them until the last minute tomorrow.

As much of my life as I can remember – – and I'm retirement age, so that's...forever – – everyone in the family and their significant others (And often their parents and siblings) and their children and random friends and cousins from near and far and Dad's parents until they died (in the 1970s, but I can still recall how disquieting it felt the first Christmas that neither of them were there) gathered at my parents' house Christmas morning for an astonishing number of Christmas present openings. Even if each person received one gift, that was still a lot, but some of us--like my dad and me--enjoyed giving more than one gift to each person. Christmas at their place became legendary.

Then my dad died in 2015 and it impacted me like a crash and burn. We still all gathered that Christmas and still had a lot of gifts. But he had been the true driving force, And of course their house was good because it was huge because we all grew up in that house. The following year, mom's health declined rapidly and she died two days after Christmas, and we sold their house. We tried for a while, but it wasn't the same. I know they say that, to avoid this kind of sadness during the season, one should create new traditions. We didn't seem to be doing that. I didn't know what to try to create.

[Sidenote: That was a hard, hard year. Lost dad and mom, Tika and boost, dad's cousin who used to spend Christmas with us, and the beloved dog,Who got along well with Tika and boost, of My cousin (dad's cousins daughter) who also used to spend Christmases with us]

I have to work at managing the grief around this holiday. Not looking for sympathy, it's just a thing that is true. Three of us moved completely out of state to basically the same town and we are experimenting with planning a Christmas this year more suitable to three people than 20. We will open gifts, we will have a good meal, we will go for a probably short hike, we will drive out Christmas Eve looking at decorated houses,  we will see about trying to visit some of the many local waterfalls that we haven't seen yet, we will go through our notes and photos from our big trip in October, We will probably watch some Christmas shows or movies. we might do a jigsaw puzzle. Whether a new tradition will spring out of this remains to be determined.

This will be our ninth Christmas without Dad Cheering us on and preparing parts of a Christmas feast to browse from all day and mom trying to keep him moderate and doling out love. Missing them still feels like yesterday.

I have mom's Christmas T-shirt that she received fairly late in her life. It's almost new. I have worn it at Christmas. I don't feel like mom when I do. But the message on the front feels like her.

Friday, December 15, 2023

I'm a little behind in my blogging

SUMMARY: Maybe I'll just spam my own account

Whenever I have a topic that I want to bring up, or edit, or expand upon, or capture from Facebook (or other places) to a more permanent place, or add photos to first, I create a draft post here. 

It's getting out of hand. 94 drafts. If I were to publish one a week, that would give me a year and a half of posts. BUT many are within the last year, where I felt that I haven't had time to turn them into actual posts becauseI'mtoobusyreadingclickbaitonfacebook because I'm still unpacking the house and trying to organize things and now also get ready for xmas.

It occurs to me that, perhaps, I should not wait for the editing or the photos or the additional info, but just spend 10 minutes each and post whatever it ends up being. (Backdated to their original date, of course...?)

One challenge is that many of my original ideas for posts have become obsolete, or the focus will necessarily have to change. Of my two earliest drafts--

Nunes Agility Field, used both by NAF and by VAST (Valley Agility Sport Team I think)--consisting of the same people-- has changed drastically. "John" died several years back. Then the group decided to decommission the NAF organization. Then the leased/loaned land was reclaimed. Pretty soon nothing was left, and this year VAST dissolved as well. A very different story.

The Future of Dog Agility has changed so much (is USDAA really on the way out? How about CPE? Will UKI take over?) that the questions (those questions) weren't even on the horizon back then. Furthermore, whatever I had intended to say 18 years ago (OMG!) I didn't even outline in the draft. Wish I had. I'll bet it would have been interesting to read now.

Meh. Requires making decisions. Plus my speed  at creating drafts has increased lately, it seems:

  • December: 4
  • November: 5
  • October: 1
  • September: 4
  • April/May/June/July/August: 0

Instead, I've created this actual post about Drafts. Is this some kind of meta thing? 

Instead, back to fretting about boxes of books and holiday decor nowthatI'vespent45minutesonthissuddenunplannedentry.

Saturday, December 09, 2023

And to you your xxxwassailxxx Wagtail Too

SUMMARY: We haven't been walking the dogs for so long--
More best-loved lyrics straight from your favorite, K-TajMuttHall radio

--and that's where K-TMH dreams up so many of their fun Alternative Lyrics.

Here's from yesterday.

Here we come a snuffeling [it's 3 syllables, yes, just--sing it like that, ok?] along the weeds so green
And here we are a-wandering so furry to be seeeeeeeennnn--

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And Dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And Dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears

We are not evil squirrel thugs who rob your feeder seed
But we are neighbors' puppy dogs who are always starving because no one gives us regular meals so food is what we need

[Co-author's note: Dog poets are not always known for their innate rhythm sense, nor veracity]

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears

Dog bless the master of this house no matter gender role
And give us rotten apples please to bury in a hole

Treats and toys come to you, and to you a wagtail too
And dog bless you and snuggle you with flappy floppy ears
    And dog snuggle with flappy floppy ears