Christmas is my all-time favorite time of year. The months-long buildup to Christmas gets my nerve endings tingling. I've been known to have a "twitch," an involuntary shudder that is my excitement literally bursting out of my body. I have been twitching at least once a day for weeks. It's like I'm leaking excitement like a fire hydrant leaks water. Just last night I had one while watching the live-action version of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." It wasn't as good as the animated version, but it still made me laugh. Bear thinks I'm ridiculous, but he can't really talk. He is as big into Christmas as I am this year. I was supposed to make my father trigger finger mittens as one of his presents, but the pattern is terrible and the thing looks more like a dysfunctional oven mitt than a mitten, so I gave up. I told Bear this while we were upstairs, in bed, getting ready to take a nap. His mind started working on what to get him instead and within a few minutes he was urging me to get up so we could drive to Bangor (a fifty mile drive) to get him something. The cost of that something? Eighty-eight dollars and change. Bear, it turns out, is a compulsive giver. If one gift is good, than more gifts are better. We are poor as church mice right now, but there is a stack of presents under the tree that threatens to overrun the livingroom! Is it any wonder I love him so much?
I have one minor wedding update - we got our wedding bands! Saturday we looked at a few jewelry stores, trying to find a band Bear would like. I picked out the diamond, so I told him he could pick out the band. I care less that the band matches my diamond than I care that my band and his match. The first store we looked at was Day's Jewelers. They had a titanium band that Bear liked, but the sales associate was kind of pushy and told us that titanium and tungsten bands CAN still be cut off if they need to be. That was contrary to the information I had. We opted to wait and come back if we still liked that band the best. Next we went to G.M Pollack and Sons jewelers, where there were several beautiful bands that were all out of our price range. We were really hoping to spend less money on the bands than we had on my #3,300 engagement ring. The third place we stopped was Kay Jewelers, which is the store we got my diamond from. The lady that helped us was the same one that we got the first ring from. This was good, because we like her. Kay had something the other stores didn't - stainless steel. They had titanium and tungsten (she told us that the tungsten has to be SMASHED off a finger! We took that metal off of the list of potential rings), but knowing Bear as I do, I thought he might like the look and weight of the steel. I was right! The right he liked fit him right from the case and was only $79.99! We ordered a matching ring in a size 7 for me. You can see the ring here What do you think?
I know the subject title says the good with the bad, and all I have mentioned so far is the good. Well, here it comes: the Bad News.
1. Minnie, our twelve-year-old beagle, has ruined two Christmas presents so far. The first was a box of Lindt truffles meant for my stocking, the second a box of Rese's Peanut Butter Cups for Bear's stocking.
2. As angry as we are that a dog ate the chocolate intended for us, we are also concerned for her health. Usually she manages to eat chocolate no problem, but for two days her heart has been pounding and she has been breathing really heavily. It may be because of the chocolate, but it may also be a worsening of her heart murmur (she has had this for quite some time). We are watching her carefully, but if she doesn't get better, she must go to the vets. I don't think they will be able to do much to help her if it is her heart.
And right before Christmas, too.