That’s what my dad said when I broached the little plan for my sister and him to come up here for the day, and to spend the night. “oh, I think that will make it a most memorable Christmas.” And that made me so happy. Because months ago I had talked to my sister and said, we have to try to make Christmas special for Dad this year (because his wife died in June.)
And it was a MOST memorable Christmas. Pretty much everything went exactly according to the plan I put in my last post. Including getting in a walk with my dogs, which was a little funny, because my dad and sister were at my house when I got home. Which is weird, because pretty much I walk along the only road that goes to my house. But I had taken one little detour, and that is when they went by. That worked out fine, because it was easier for them to get in the house without the doggies carrying on.
We had hors d’oeuvres–shrimp cocktail, my apple/laughing cow cheese/walnut concoction (I cut the apples in slices,) dates stuffed with walnuts, and tiny pieces of salami on a toothpick. Simple, but satisfying and pretty nutritious.
Dinner was excellent, if I do say so myself. One of the recipes I made was an old traditional one that I like to have with ham–buffet potatoes. But I substituted some yogurt mixed with a little milk for the half and half, and I substituted a smaller amount of asiago cheese for the cheddar cheese that was called for. They turned out EXCELLENT! Maybe I will post the recipe on the side bar. They aren’t really diet fodder, and not something that will be a part of my everyday eating. Still, its fun to try to ‘healthy up’ some of my old favorite recipes.
After dinner, we relaxed and then had dessert a little while later, and dad leaned back and pronounced, ‘well, this was just the perfect Christmas. It is so peaceful up here.’
I think it was 10 minutes after that that Oliver (‘the practically perfect black standard poodle’) jumped off the couch acting like he had to throw up. He had made a ‘retching’ face a couple of times before that. I let him outside, and then went to check on him 10 minutes after that, because he hadn’t come to the door.
Well, I don’t want to give you the blow by blow of what happened after that. But as soon as I saw him, I pretty much knew in my heart that he was going to die. He had bloat/torsion. I made so many phone calls trying to find someone local (not that that would have helped) but ended up getting my dad into bed, and my sister and I racing all the way into Sacramento to an emergency 24 hour veterinary hospital. I was really glad my sister was with me. She is a very kind, compassionate person, and for some reason I didn’t cry as much. (That came later. I guess I am a private cryer…)
The next day we went to a few shops in the little town of Sutter Creek, and went out to lunch before they headed home. I had brought my gym bag, planning to hit the gym, and get back on track. As soon as they left, I realized I didn’t want to go to the gym. I didn’t want to see anybody. I was crabby and tired and sad. I thought, I’ll just go home and take the dogs for a walk. That’ll be enough exercise for the day. And THAT is when it hit me. I did the hard cry–the one where you really shouldn’t be driving because really, you can hardly see the car in front of you.
Part of me still can’t believe it. He was only 4 years old. I have had many many dogs in my life, and he was one of the most perfect dogs I have had. Sometimes I would start to be afraid–what will I ever do if something happens to him? Well, now I know. Life goes on. It is best not to hold too tightly to any ‘treasure’ here on earth. I have tried to live by this. And I think it does make it easier for me to carry on.
Anyways, yesterday I thought, I can’t share this on my blog. For one thing, it is a downer after Christmas. And for another thing, these people are going to think I am the ‘angel of death.’ Come on. How many people do you know who have lost three dogs in one year? But you guys are an important part of my life. And this blog is kind of a chronicle of my life, so it didn’t seem right to leave this out. Thanks for allowing me to share.
Back to the ‘weight loss’ part of this blog. I have some big time damage control to take care of. I really did fall off the wagon. I guess for me, walking into the breakroom full of the sugar/fat/salt combos (i.e. cookies) would be like a former crack addict walking into a ‘crack den.’ Or, a former alcoholic walking into a bar during ‘happy hour’ where all the drinks are free. I think there are some alcoholics who can do this without a problem, and maybe some crack addicts who also could get by. And I know there are foodies who can withstand the ‘breakroom.’ But for me, and others like me, eating that stuff is why we got to where we were (morbidly obese–love that term) in the first place.
I did get home after the big cry. And I put the two pieces of pie that were left into the freezer. No more ‘big sugar’ stuff in the house. And even though it was REALLY cold (yes, you New Yorker’s can laugh at me. It was probably 38 degrees–) I made myself take Sophie out for a long walk. It was Sophie speed. But at least it was a walk. I ate some really healthy food. Then I fell asleep looking at dogs on petfinder.com.