I make most of my gifts. My imagination, my affection, my creativity, and my time on earth, all align in focus to create interesting or lovely things for the people I care about. Six years ago I made chocolate covered spoons meant to be stirred into hot coffee or to add a boost to hot cocoa. I used high-quality Austrian chocolate and wrapped and labeled each one. Thirty of them. They looked like a fancy impulse gifts you might see at a store like Barnes & Nobel or at a kitchen boutique.
It was the evening of December 26th. Normally, we’d be visiting my sister’s family on Christmas day and the gifts would have been all parceled out. That gathering was postponed because the flu was traveling among the nieces and nephews and their families. For five days the spoons and other small gifts sat in a large basket on the floor. That night, our kids were off doing their own things and my husband and I were just home alone when a call came. Friends invited us to hang out with them for the evening. I unplugged the tree and off we went.
Returning home at 11:00 that night, we were met with ribbons and plastic all over the floor — plastic wrappings, curly vinyl ribbon, and spoon handles. This crazy Lab had bided her time for days until the ripe moment when she’d be alone with the chocolate. Chocolate is bad for dogs because it messes with their heartbeat, or worse, cause their pancreas to shut down. I called our vet and woke the poor man. He directed us to an emergency facility. We sped there only to find it closed. The sign on the door directed us to another animal hospital so we sped there. I wrung my hands the whole time. I love this dog as if she’s one of my children.
About an hour later, the vet came out and asked me what we feed her. I rattled off the blend of dog foods she eats. He said her stomach was full of odd non-dog food items. I asked him what kind of odd things, and he gave me a list…maraschino cherries, shrimp tails, cheese chunks, black and green olives, and an assortment of breads and assorted leavings. We host a large Christmas eve party and the next day take our bucket of leftovers, the kind people have picked through all night, and dump them out in the field for the crows. Well, this chow hound found the pile when she was out seeing to her business. Most likely her bout of gluttony saved her life, and certainly saved her from surgery. Most of the plastic-wrapped chocolate came up. The plastic spoon bits were blocked in her stomach and couldn’t damage her intestines. The dog vomited plastic for three days — sharp and occasionally whole spoon bowls. A holiday bonus expense of $400 and a dog with a severe case of over-indulgence, not to mention the lack of gifts for my extended family.
Roughly four years ago, this dog ate six bars of Bavarian milk chocolate (less toxic to dogs) that she pulled right off the table. With wrappers! I could leave a steak on the table over night and she wouldn’t touch it. The night of the spoon debacle there was a package of beef jerky under the tree! She never did this sort of thing when she was a puppy. As an older dog, she’s clearly weighs the outcome and decides whatever trouble she gets in afterward is well worth it if chocolate is involved. Feast on delicious chocolate and get yelled at, feast, bad dog. In the end — chocolate.
This morning I finished the last of my pyramids. They’re special boxes, little replicas of the Great Pyramid at Giza. I designed them with hieroglyphic cartouches of the recipient’s name, printed them, cut them out, assembled them, filled them with Lemonheads for my kids, then glued them closed. The one I made for my husband was filled with foil-wrapped chocolate-covered caramels. In the 2 or 3 minutes it took me to put my supplies away and remember old dogs are insane, she had sniffed it out and ate it. Foil wrappers, cartouche, and all. At soon-to-be 14, she’s arthritic and lumpy, hard of hearing and mostly blind…and she’s still my puppy.
Love Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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If you’re here for the first time, my husband and I are assembling a vintage holiday postcard scrapbook one card at a time. I’ve been posting one or two post cards each day and plan to keep it up from now until January.
Greek Yogurt Truffles
4 oz. real white chocolate
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 strawberries, hulled
Optional: powdered sugar or table sugar for coating
Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler. Stir in the yogurt. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour. Before rolling, chop the strawberries into bite-size pieces. Working quickly, scoop teaspoon-size balls of the white chocolate mixture. Roll it around a piece of strawberry in your hands until completely coated.
Optional: Roll in sugar to coat. Chill the truffles for 1 hour before serving, and store any uneaten truffles in the fridge.
Author Desiree Holt’s blog day.
RB4U is participating in author Nikki Barrett’s READER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY — Lots of prizes. Enter today!
Our December contest has approximately 30 prizes for one winner, including a $75 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m adding a free book from my backlist to the loot. Read the pages and find the dancing Santas.
Today it’s Set the Scene in Six. Come share your six-sentences
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of the Story ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking 2014 now.
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Exquisite Quills presents A Holiday Anthology Vol. 1
Many holiday short stories in several styles written
by more than a dozen authors. And it’s FREE!