We got quite a bit of snow yesterday. Well, quite a bit by southern standards. Lola has webbed feet and, therefore, is a bit of a weenie when it comes to snow. It gets stuck between the pads on her feet and she marches in place because her toes get cold. Pitiful. This requires gently digging in between each pad to excavate the trapped snow so that miss Lo-bear doesn’t get frostbite.

I repeat – pitiful.

Rigby, on the other hand, is my fearless snowbunny. She leaps off the porch and approaches the snow with gusto.

I suppose that this is the time to make a confession to you.

My beagle eats shit.

Rigby is incapable of denying herself what seems to be the distinct picante that accompanies the leavings of the pomeranian next door.

I know. I know. It’s nasty. I also know, however, that at least half of your dogs enjoy the same guilty pleasure.

It would seem that Rigby, while not particular about the format of the excrement, prefers what we affectionately refer to as “poopsicles.” Get it? Popsicles? Poopsicles? Oh, nevermind.

Cold weather is fine, but the buffet is too exposed for our sweet piggy. My girl likes a challenge. This brings us back to the snow. Do you remember those fake archaeological digs from your elementary school days? “What? You found a bone? I bet it’s a small dinosaur femur! Good for you, slugger!”

The front yard is Rigby’s dig site and the treasures are waiting to be unearthed and enjoyed quickly. I say quickly because she has to scarf them as I screech loudly and try to gesture at her to drop the…. uh…. artifact.

She doesn’t, of course, because she is well aware of the fact that I will most certainly not take it from her.

Also, she stopped being afraid of me years ago.

By that, I mean that she was never afraid of me to begin with and has never, as they say, respected my authorit-eye.

When you’re a child, snow is the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful thing in the world. As an adult, however, snow loses a lot of that luster. Snow means shoveling, window scraping, not getting to work on time, and, in all likelihood, a cold bra. Ugh. Though, I’m willing to admit, if I actually left my bras anywhere but on the floor, they wouldn’t be so cold.

Life’s a funny thing. Bittersweet, they tell me. Bittersweet is the good with the bad. The bad flavors the good, the good softens the bad.

This has been a rough week and yet, it’s been a wonderful week at the same time. We celebrated my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower, had dinner with friends, relaxed through a long weekend.

But also, the dogs came down with an upper respiratory infection that might be Bordatella. There’s been family strife, work stress, bad feet. Someday, I’ll write a whole post dedicated to my feet. Maybe it will be a poem.

On top of the pile of chest-crushing weight, now, snow.

Snow and the bittersweet.

I’m realizing the metaphor. Half the time, in life, we’re digging through snow for shit nuggets.

Seriously. Half of our lives are spent digging through stressful events for something that, in all reality, isn’t worth anything at all. I’m more guilty than anyone. I sludge through my stress and anxiety, waiting for moments, events, or things that, in short order, will mean nothing at all. Assuming I remember them to begin with.

I want to start digging for more substance. Metaphorically. See? This whole anecdote is a really disgusting metaphor for life. Did I already say that?

My sweet girls are sick and coughing. If you’ve never heard a dog with the canine equivalent of whooping cough, take my word for it, it is heartbreaking. As I type this, Lola is asleep as close to me as possible with her head on my legs. She’s clingy and not feeling well. I’m cranky and feeling overwhelmed. Carter, well, I haven’t asked him how he’s feeling. I should and I will. I can say, however, that he is handling his ladies with aplomb. 

I made a promise to myself, to make room for gratitude in my life. Yes, it’s been kind of a shitty week. And, yes, it’s been a relentless couple of years. I am, however, splendidly blessed.

This is where the post may lose focus. I may start mixing metaphors. Forgive me – I was up all night with a sick dog and I’m so tired that I can literally hear my heartbeat in my eyeballs.

I think…

2014 has been a year of reordering so far. I think that’s going to be the theme and way of it. By turning, turning, I’ll come ’round right. It starts with this – I want to reorder my perceptions and associations. I want to see snow for what it used to be – beautiful, peaceful, quiet – rather than associate with chaos and inconvenience.

I want to view my current struggles as an opportunity for growth. I want to better organize myself so that I can head stress off at the pass, so to speak. More than anything, however, I want to take time to count my blessings more often than I count my troubles.

My troubles won’t seem nearly as numerous or oppressive in that light.

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest.”

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  1. Ohmygosh, those mornings – up all night with a sick little one, feeling bleary-eyed and anxious and not yourself, and trying desperately to *appreciate the moment* like everyone tells you to do because *it all goes so fast* (this may be more of a human parenting thing, but other human parents could not shut up about it) . . . oh, I remember it so well. And while there is something sweet about a still small creature cuddling up to you for comfort and warmth, I’m not sure it balances the constant sleep-deprived crazy feeling. But as you know: this too shall pass. (And yeeks, between your post and my latest, so much poo talk!!! Time to reclaim the dainty, in my humble opinion.) 🙂

    Hang in there, sweet girl! Sending love and strength your way.

  2. I had a child who is now an adult, that used to pick up dog poop and put them in his pocket. He thought they were special rocks. I discovered just how special they were when I washed his clothes and then threw them in the dryer. Word of advice-never throw clothes with poop in the pockets into the dryer. Trust me on this! And always check the pockets for special objects!

    On another note-thanks for explaining the phenomena of tweeting. I am on the slow learning curve and your explanation really helped.

  3. I am trying to be more grateful in my life too. It’s been a challenging couple of years, but I am determined that this year, I will find the good in the not-so-good and will savor it. (Hopefully it doesn’t taste like shit. 😉 )

  4. You are such a beautiful, laughter and joy filled soul, Kate! I have every faith in you that you’ll find your life’s “sweet spot” and be able to once again see the innocent happiness and magic in the snowfalls of life. And I’ll keep and your adorable dogs in my thoughts. *hugs* my friend

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