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What do you mean you can't wait TWO DAYS till Christmas?


"GRAB HER! SHE'S GOING DOWN!"

I gasped and plugged my ears. What good that would do if she fell, I haven't a clue. But at least I wouldn't have heard her crash through the poinsettias and land


 
 
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THREE DAYS before the main event.

Ahhh...gifts are wrapped and ready to deliver to family and friends. Tomorrow. It's time for a glass of wine and try to figure out how the heck I punched the wrong button on the bread machine. THREE HOURS??? You've got to be kidding. I needed "dough". Not a loaf of bread. I have no idea how to stop this thing...even unplugging it doesn't make it stop. I do believe the LITTLE RED ELF had something to do with this. I'd been warned...


 
 
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FOUR DAYS till Christmas? 
and you want me to take a NAP? 

Seriously? Are you nuts?

Last minute orders are delivered except for two. The paper shredder is jammed. Glue gun is stuck. Again. Out of tape? Can't be. I bought the last truckload after Christmas last year. It's here somewhere...
Can you please make the bed? Hubby walks by and plops in recliner. Now, please?
It's not dry.
Dryer stopped ten minutes ago and clean sheets are draped over the bed. 
Hubby looks around from said recliner. Oh.




 
 
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FIVE days till Christmas.

If you're a parent or a teacher, I'm sure the anticipation of Christmas combined with a full moon a week before Christmas has your stress level peaking close to catastrophic stroke numbers. Smooth move, Santa...who would've guessed you'd trade in the guidance of the full moon and Rudolph's nose for a GPS and LEDs. Gee thanks, Big Guy. Full moon belongs on Christmas eve, thank you very much!  



 
 
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SIX days till the BIG DAY 
and most of the packages remain intact. Leave it to Ryleigh to remedy that minor detail and discover the magic of Christmas. Early.

Ryleigh is the Yorkie pup our son brought home without our permission and we promptly fell in love (also without permission). After the first few weeks, I told my son if my grandchildren acted like Miss Riles, I was moving to Italy. Permanently. I teased him, but truth be known, this little dog immediately captured my heart. It took our 8 year-old Shih Tzu, Sadie, a little longer to warm up to her (3 weeks to the day), but when she finally did, they became inseparable buddies. Now Sadie thinks she's a puppy too. What one doesn't figure out, the other does. Perfect combination for trouble.



 
 
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Seven days till Christmas...
Our dogs have their own Christmas stockings that hang next to ours. We lost our Tigger Boy in the summer of 2012 and although we no longer hang his stocking, I haven't the heart to part with it. 

In May, our son brought home a Yorkie puppy, named her Ryleigh, and when our Sadie Girl finally warmed up to her, she would mope around the house whenever our son took Ryleigh with him for a weekend out of town. 


 
 
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Last week I wrote about the chaos a little puddle on the bathroom floor caused. Well, (heavy sigh) we have leaky plumbing. Again.

Her name is Ryleigh--the little girl with the plumbing problem. She's a tiny thing, but big on wet kisses and leaving puddles on the floor. And she's a bit spastic. Ummm...let me rephrase that...she's a Yorkie and she's flippin' nuts!

After graduating from ASU and the completion of his Disney internship, our son moved home. With an over-saturated job market, he struggled finding work, had nowhere except his bedroom to call his own, his buddies were in Phoenix or Los Angeles and he decided he wanted a dog. His forte is PR and I swear that kid can talk the feathers off a duck, but I held my ground with more than one emphatic "NO".



 
 
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I don't have a problem with ruts. If I'm bumping along in my rut, I won't fall off any cliffs. I prefer to know what's around the next bend or over the next hill. I don't particularly like surprises and absolutely despise change.

Boring? Perhaps. I'm what True Colors calls a "gold" personality. Golds cling to the safety net of routines. Someone once told me "Sometimes change is good. Other times it's somebody's way of justifying their job." I can totally get behind the latter statement, and heaven forbid don't change the itinerary on vacation!


 
 
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Gold. That's ME! According to the True Colors Workshop anyway. 

Golds need structure. I make lists, both written and mental, and follow them with a precision that can be quite scary. An unplanned event? My list is toast and it throws my emotional equilibrium into a tailspin. Trying to squish "unplanned event" between the groceries and laundry is akin to adding a step to a ladder. Not in this lifetime! Vacation without an itinerary? Not on my watch! Left my grocery list at home? Instant panic-that's why cell phones were invented, I'm sure. Sudden changes cause the "gold" part of me to short-circuit.



 
 
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Winter is almost gone. 


Snowy days, with more dark, gloomy hours than light seem to never end. Though the quiet solitude of a snowstorm is magnificent, it can become depressing. And a melted, sloppy bog. Spring is fickle at best. One day she