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Friday, December 17, 2010

Counting Down

I've been holding out on Greg. I know you're not supposed to keep secrets from your spouse, but I had a good reason.

We've hardly spent any time together lately, and when we did, there was always some homesteading project we had to tackle. So when he last left, I decided to show him how much I appreciated all his hard work and sacrifice.

I wasn't planning on decorating because I'll be traveling between houses, but Greg was going to be here for a few days before Christmas. Why not welcome him home with the full spread?

For the past couple of weeks, I've been decorating, shopping and cleaning the house fit for company. We haven't bought presents for each other in years. But this year, I broke our pact and loaded a table full of presents.

He drove in extra early on Thursday and there was a chance he could get here before I woke up, so I got up in the middle of the night and turned on all the Christmas lights on the trees and the garland.

It was worth it just to see the look on his face. He's been shaking boxes ever since. LOL.


Iko graduates from doggy school this Sunday. He's still a goof, but he's calmed down--sort of.

As soon as I drive into the parking lot of Petsmart (where he has his training) he starts vocalizing. And then he really gets loud when he sees the trainer. OMG! You'd think she was his long lost friend.

It takes him a good twenty minutes to calm down (which is why I always go in early). Needless to say, he's exhausted by the time he gets home. But Sunday will be it. No more excursions into town. No more seeing his buddy, Dakota. (Yes, Marianne, the dog's name is Dakota!) 

Dakota is a lab/husky mix. He's less than a year old and in the past two months has grown as tall as Iko. Iko still outweighs him by 30 pounds but they take turns being submissive to one another. 

The boys have become best pals. I'm glad Iko had a buddy close to his size and age. Iko can be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated.


So is everyone ready for Christmas? I still have to bake bread for the neighbors. What do you have left to do?

PS  Be sure to visit me on Monday.


Marianne Arkins said...

Awwwwww... no more visiting Petsmart for Iko? He's going to miss his friend :-(

And, LOL about Greg! Love that he was surprised.

J.L. Johnson said...

My Mom took their beagle in for training years ago. Was the only dog to ever fail the course. :P

Are we ready for the holidays? No. Still don't know if my aunt is coming down for dinner, need to buy a few more presents, and still wishing for more snow here.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: Greg's been a good boy all year, so Mrs. Santa wanted to show her appreciation. Iko, on the other hand hasn't been that good a boy. But you can't stay mad at that cute face.

Maria Zannini said...

JL: OMG. That story cracks me up. Beagles are tough cookies though. They're as independent as they come.

Ref: snow
LOL. You better not let other people hear you say that. It seems half the country is trying to get rid of their snow. And you get off with a little dusting.

Angelina Rain said...

I’m glad your hubby liked your little surprise. :-)

I took my dog to Petsmart for training last year. He did well in it, although it would always take him forever to calm down. Even now, if I take him to Petsmart and he sees the teacher, he starts getting hyper. He misses her.

Ready for Christmas? Almost! I still have one person left to shop for, Christmas cards to be mailed out, and gifts to be wrapped. Then I have the entire house to clean as my mother will be coming over Christmas day. Also, I have to edit a short story I wrote (5,000 words, that short) write a query and synopsis, and submit it by Christmas (I found a publisher who’s looking for short erotica’s that they want before Christmas day). On top of that, I have a full week at work next week. So I will be busy.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: You have a full week ahead of you! And that's great news about the publisher. I hope they buy.

Ref: mother
Oh, Lord. My mother sends me into Godzilla mode of cleaning. Nothing is left unbuffed or unwashed.

I'll be thinking of you, Angelina. Good luck!

Jennifer Shirk said...

You're such a good wife. :)

I have two more gifts to buy and three more to wrap. Then I'm done. But I do know what I need to get. It's just a matter of getting myself out there. LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: That's just one day a year. I'm trying to make up for the rest of the year. ;-)

Krista D. Ball said...

Poor Iko. No more petstore visits :(

We celebrate Yule, so we'll be celebrating it on Sunday. I make a traditional Victorian era or earlier meal, with traditional recipes (i.e. I'm making a bread pudding circa 1824 recipe).

I have over the Engineer's family, a few friends, and my brother (who I never grew up with, so it's kinda cool that we have Christmas together as adults). The kids open all of their gifts from me on Sunday.

Then, they go to their Mom's on Christmas Eve and stay overnight. Then, I pick them up Christmas Day at noon and drive to their grandparents, where they open grandparent gifts. Whew.

For what's left, I start cooking tonight for the party on Sunday.

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: That's almost like celebrating Hanukkah. I like the idea of celebrating for days on end.

--wish I was there. I'd love to try some of your traditional food.

Krista D. Ball said...

My kids asked if we knew anyone who was Jewish, so that they could celebrate Hanukkah, too lol

I hope to publish photos and recipes on the blog. Provided that everyone stops freaking puking at my house...I hate people. Can I come to your house?

Rula Sinara said...

What you did for hubby was so sweet...and romantic ;). He's a lucky man.

I'm soooo behind on shopping....

Sherri said...

Love the way you think Maria. I agree your hold out was worth it, I can just imagine your hubby's face.

Poor may have to run him in for a visit every now and then :grin:

Joanna St. James said...

see stories like what you just did is what inspires me to write romance that is so sweet.
What's Iko gonna do without his buddy, tell him we are proud of him for graduating tho'

Krista D. Ball said...

Iko needs a new friend now :(

Maria Zannini said...

Krista: Ooh, I'll be looking forward to the photos and recipes.

Ref: Iko
We do need another dog. I'm still on the lookout.

Ref: your kids
Smart! How better to extend celebrating than to borrow on everybody else's traditions too.

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: There's still a week left. Try for a NaNo day of shopping and see how many presents you can buy in one day. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: It was so funny. He just kept staring at everything and he asked me how many people I had shopped for. I said: Only one. And then gave him a big kiss.

Maria Zannini said...

Joanna: I can't believe that heathen is graduating. He's such an over the top personality.

I probably should take him to the advanced class, just to keep him from getting too flighty. But it'll have to be another Sunday class.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

What a wonderful surprise for your husband!

My parents are coming for Christmas Eve, so I have to figure out the dinner menu. There may be a couple of small gifts I still have to get, but the decorating, baking, and card-sending is done.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: I'll bet it's getting even more exciting for Alex, now that he's big enough to understand what's going on.

Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes makes it all the more magical.

PS You always makes such fantastic meals. I hope you'll post a recipe or two on your blog.

Meghan Schuessler said...

Sounds like a sweet surprise for your hubbby!

What about getting Dakota's owner's phone # and planning some play dates for the 2 pals?

Grandpa said...

Awww..Greg is a happy man - I can imagine him beaming with joy and pride.

And well done Iko!

Dru said...

Greg is one lucky man. I love what you did.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: I live too far away for play dates. It was a Herculean task just to make it to class. But Iko has Tank and this week, we have our dog guest to keep him company. Someday, I'll get him a puppy of his own.

Maria Zannini said...

Grandpa: I think the look on his face said it all.

Dru: I'm the lucky one, Dru. I'm just glad we'll be able to spend Christmas together.

Cathy in AK said...

What sweet thing for you to do for your husband! I bet he felt like a little kid again : )

I'm finally going to get decorations up today. Shopping is pretty much done, wrapping needs to commence, and there's one more social obligation to deal with, er, I mean attend on Monday.

Congrats on Iko's graduation. You must be a proud doggie mama : )

Melissa McClone said...

Oh, that is so nice and romantic to do for your husband! It's cute he's shaking gifts, too!

I have so much left to do I think I'd cry if I wrote it down. Life just keeps getting in the way. But I'm slowly getting things done. Just need to start wrapping soon or it'll be ugly!

Maria Zannini said...

Cathy: Every once in a while I think we're all allowed to act like kids. I think he appreciated it.

Melissa: You poor thing. You've had enough on your plate lately--not counting Christmas. I hope things get back to normal soon.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Love the Christmas surprise.

I think someone else may have suggested this but definitely look into a playdate of Iko and Dakota. You got them together in the first place, it's only fair.

Ready for Christmas? Don't get me started.

Judy said...

I'm not doing much for Christmas this year. The kids aren't coming home, my mom is over every Sunday for dinner (she lives across the street) and I'm a better housekeeper than she is anyway :-P. I do have a few more things to buy and probably need to do that today so I can get them in the mail tomorrow :-)

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: We live too far for play dates. Besides, that rascal has Tank and someday soon a new baby sister.

Judy: Sounds like you've got it covered. It's sad you won't have your kids over though. My mother still gets upset we don't spend the holidays with the rest of the family.

Linda Leszczuk said...

New baby sister?!? Did I miss something here?

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: You didn't miss anything. But we're still looking for a baby sister for the dogs.