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Christmas: The I’m Not Stalking You Way! Part 2

For Part 1, please click here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/12/christmas-the-im-not-stalking-you-way-part-1/

NOTE: This post has ADULT CONTENT. Not for young eyes.

Adult Content

Adult Content

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about Santa Claus.

One of my earliest childhood memories (I cannot even tell you how old I would have been) was of waking up in the middle of the night in December and hearing the sound of gift wrapping in my kitchen. I sort of groggily thought, “Oh, I guess there is no Santa Claus. I guess my mom just buys all my gifts and wraps them for me.” Then I went back to sleep.

Futurama rules

Futurama rules

I never felt cheated by that experience. I actually think it saved me from waking up to the harsh reality years later that many kids have to go through, when they find out all their gifts come from family members shopping on Black Friday. I have just always known that there is no Santa Claus. Sure, my mom would always sign a few of the gift tags “From: Santa”. My stockings would magically be filled Christmas morning “by Santa”. We had no chimney. She would try to tell me, when I asked, that she would let Santa in the door.

Peeping Santa

Peeping Santa

I know my mother. There is no way she is opening the door for a strange old man while she is in her nightgown in the middle of the night. She wouldn’t even let people we KNEW in the house while she was in her nightgown.

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

I never saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus

Don’t get me wrong, I love THE IDEA of Santa and his sleigh and reindeer and elves. I love the songs. I love the Classic Coca-Cola ads with his image. I just don’t fully buy into it. I blame the realistic Capricorn in me that always seeks the truth.

Just wrong, in so many ways...

Just wrong, in so many ways…

But, the little that I DO believe about the legend of Santa comes from an unlikely source.

PM Magazine.

PM Magazine was a syndicated news show back in the early 1980’s, which featured human interest stories and lots of entertainment content. In my area, it was shown on WTOL Channel 11, just before The Muppet Show. So, I would often see the last five minutes as I was waiting for The Muppets to come on. In my memory, the picture is a little greenish. I think that was because of the color TV we had that was dying and only had one color left–green.

Anyway, I remember a story near Christmas time on PM Magazine about the REAL Santa Claus.* I recall the story being about some old guy who lived in a town near the North Pole. For his town, he would dress up as Santa and deliver toys to all the kids in town.

And that was enough for me.

To know that there was one guy who played the part of Santa in one town in the whole world was enough for me. To know that something like that exists has kept me going with the Christmas spirit all these years. Of course, that was 30 years ago. Dude is probably dead by now. And there was probably one mom like mine in that town who wouldn’t want to let him in the door anyway. But maybe, just maybe, he is still delivering those presents, to this day.

What?! Ugh!

What?! Ugh!

I do not plan to encourage or discourage my son’s belief in Santa Claus. But if he asks me if their is a real Santa, I will recite my fuzzy memories of that green news story to him from three decades ago.

Working at the mall recently, I got to know the Santa there very well. He is a super-nice guy. Even though I found out what his secret identity is the rest of the year, he still seems like Santa to me, because he is the only one I have gotten to know personally.

Santa is my BFF

Santa is my BFF

* I am sure many of my details about the PM Magazine story are inaccurate. I found where it may have aired on 12/24/1984, with the title of Real Life Santa.  I would have been only like 8 years old. But that show aired so long ago, that anyone else’s memory would be tainted with time as well. Unless someone has the actual classic footage for the Santa story, in which case I would LOVE to see it.

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R.I.P. Parker Jo Buhdoo (2002-2014)

The last known picture of Parker.

The last known picture of Parker.

A.K.A. Monsieur Parkere and Senior Porkchoppo

October 31, 2002 (estimated) – August 23, 2014

Parker Jo Buhdoo was a German Shorthaired Pointer picked up as a stray.  My husband and I found him at the Lenawee Humane Society, then going by the name of Archer.  My husband was very interested in owning a purebred sporting dog.  I looked at him skeptically and  replied, “You want THAT dog?!”

That is pretty much how our relationship with Parker went.

Parker ate many things.  Styrofoam, crayons, plush dog toys, string cheese wrappers, the seat off a child’s potty, bath soap, etc.  It made picking up his poop more interesting, I guess.

Parker, thinking about asking to go out to poo

Parker, thinking about asking to go out to poo

Parker could easily hold his urine for 8 hours in a stretch if no one was home.  If you were home, it was a different story.  He would whine and pace about every 2 hours to be let outside.  If he just drank the entire bowl of water, then he would need to go out again in 20 minutes.  If it was getting close to dinner time, he wanted to go out every 10 minutes in hopes of being fed when he was let back in.  If you called his bluff and refused to let him out, he would pee on the floor.  He once peed on our mattress right in front of me just because he was mad.  He peed on the floor probably at least once every two weeks, but sometimes 3 times in one day, for most of the  years we owned him.

Parker asking to go outside to pee

Parker asking to go outside to pee

He was an asset in a hundred year old house in our drafty bedroom in winter.  My husband and I worked different shifts, but Parker was a great source of heat and a good cuddler.  It was one of the only times he was not pacing the floor and whining.  Although he did occasionally howl in his sleep while dreaming.

Snuggles

Snuggles

Parker loved to run.  We had a special leash and harness to hook him up to our bikes.  My husband would always take Parker, because he was too fast for me.  He would literally pull the bike.  He would run until his feet bled.  He once did that when he ran away.  He ran away probably about 12 times in the 9 years that we had him.  The best investment we ever made was his dog tag.  The second best was when we extended our backyard fence to include the back door. Once, after a Pure Romance party at my house, he ran away.  My theory is that the products with the pheromones in them turned him on.  He usually ran away on cold, winter nights when it was freezing raining.  Once, on a hot day, he went for a swim in Lake Adrian.  He crossed 223 at least once.  I always expected him to return with a broken leg or worse, but he never did.  We only found him ourselves on one occasion.  We clocked him doing 18mph down the sidewalk.  Luckily, the smell of a nearby baby possum caught his attention long enough to slow him down.

Naughty dog

Naughty dog

Right when my husband and I were both returning to the workforce after lengthy bouts of unemployment, Parker managed to skewer himself on a metal fence post in our yard.  The vet was concerned that he may have punctured his lung, but he didn’t.  She said he was close to nicking his main leg artery, in which case he would have bled to death before I could have gotten him there.  The vet’s office sewed up the wound twice.  He popped the stitches twice.  We made bi-weekly trips to the vet.  He still went on to fully recover from that wound.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

Parker was so excited to go for a car ride that he was not a very good passenger.  After one incidence where he saw a wild animal and tried to crawl out the window that was rolled halfway down, we learned to only give him a few inches to sniff.

On a family camping vacation to Port Clinton, that bird dog went crazy when he saw an ostrich at the drive thru safari park zoo.

He was such a difficult dog that our best friends could no longer stand to dog sit for him.

Parker was a challenge every day, in every way.

I have a theory that Parker may have been a cat reincarnated as a dog.

Here are some excerpts from Sunday’s post:

Yesterday was our 11 year wedding anniversary. The day started by us saying our first goodbye to one of the furry children of our union, Parker. We think he suffered a stroke a number of months ago, could be going blind, and has exhibited a change in behavior. We had him in our lives for 9 years. I have always hated that dog. Now I hate him for making me cry at his absence.   He was such a challenge to live with in every way. Although, I have to believe that maybe he was sent to us to prepare us for the trails that M, our son, would present to us. Maybe Parker was the opening act.

Parker

His velvety head

It was so hard yesterday, to pet Parker knowing it was the last time. Knowing we would never feel his velvety brown head again, or his short hair, that was course when it was dirty and soft when it was clean. I am sure I will continue to find it stabbing me in the cups of my bras though. It was easier yesterday when he was gone. But then harder again this morning. Yesterday he was still in our lives, that stupid, miserable dog. Today will be our first full day without him in our home. I am sad that it seems empty. But I am comforted in my belief that no other family would have put up with his whining and peeing on the floor consistently for 9 years. And it is a much more peaceful and calm atmosphere already, without having to fight with the Parker over everything.

We always theorized that he was previously owned by an elderly couple.  He liked older people, and people in wheelchairs.  He hated thunderstorms, and always sought refuge in the bathroom.  We thought maybe the old couple kept him in the bathroom a lot.  We figured one person died, the other would go off to the nursing home.  Then the kids would come and just open the door, and Parker would run.  Because that is what he did best.  Always.  Even with stitches in his leg.  Then they wouldn’t have to try to find him a new home.

Running.  Always running.

Running. Always running.

Maybe he needed more obedience classes.  Maybe he needed more exercise.

Rest in Peace, Parker.  You definitely made yourself an unforgettable part of our lives, and our family.

Just sleeping here, not dead

Just sleeping here, not dead

My 4-H Project

I might not be stalking you, but I am in my backyard taking pictures of my dog’s poop.

Yes, you read that right.

4H-poop

I recently went to the county fair where I was reminded what a tragedy it was that I was never involved in 4-H. I didn’t know much about it at all when I would have been of an age to actually participate. I think my mom told me it was just for kids who lived in the country and had a barn to raise pigs and chickens. I should have pushed harder, especially since I was living in the country with a barn at the time.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized it involved crafts. CRAFTS! I LOVE CRAFTS! I could have rocked crafts!

Then when I was at the fair this year, I realized their are TONS of categories:

Duct Tape Crafts
Photography
Scrapbooking
Wood Burning
Lego Scenes
Cupcake Decorating
First Aid Kids
Design Your Own Chicken Coup
Make Your Own Music/CD
Research History of Rock’n’Roll

There was just building after building of it! All these projects from wonderful creative minds!

And then there were some that you could tell had just Googled “easy cupcakes” and found how to put a half a Twinkie on top of a cupcake to make a minion. There were several on the table.

Or the ones who Googled “melted crayon collage”. There were even more of those.

So, when our Pointer recently ate around 30 of M’s crayons, I still had these 4-H ideas bouncing around inside my skull. I am on poop duty at my house because, well, it would not get done otherwise. As any good dog owner does, I look at my dog’s poop to make sure it looks healthy.

No, not with a microscope or anything!

Just a quick glance when it is on the end of the scoop shovel is plenty. I have two dogs. I can tell their poop apart by consistency and drop pattern. The Pointer has solid poop and walks around as he does his business, making it a pain to pick up. The Lab/Chow mix…Let’s just say she picks up her own.

I have seen some pretty crazy stuff in my Pointer’s poop. Once there was a plastic eye from a dog toy staring back at me. Once there was an Old Navy cloth tag, just sticking out of his poop (from yet another dog toy, I assume).  There was Styrofoam as well.

When the crayons started coming out, I had a brilliant idea! I took pictures of his poop! In all the colors of the rainbow!

Taste The Rainbow

Taste The Rainbow

It is my 38 year old 4-H project. Think of it as a cross between raising an animal and a melted crayon mosaic. Except these have been chewed rather than melted.

I could call it:

TASTE THE RAINBOW:
How a Dog’s Digestive System Processes Crayons
*A Photo Mosiac*

Do you think the Skittles people will mind?

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