We wish you a Merry Christmas...

And a Happy New Year!

Artsy Fartsy, the Knight, and the Betty Rascal


I fudged.

I've been very good this week. Every day at work, someone would bring in yet another delightful tray of high calorie goodies. Peppermint puffs, chocolate and peanut butter buckeyes, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallow Santas, and wine cookies. And that was just yesterday. I think I have done pretty good resisting the temptations, but this morning, one of the secretaries brought in a plate of Artsy Fartsy weakness - homemade fudge...with walnuts. Yum.

So, of course, I gave in. But just one little piece. And believe me, I savored every last crumb. The past month, the Knight and I have really limited our caffeine. We quit buying any type of carbonated soda, and strangely, not drinking diet Coke has reduced my cravings for coffee, as well.

But, since I was giving in the fudgelicious temptation, I decided to also heed to my coffee demons. Now, I feel as if I'm in a coffee and cocoa wonderland. It is very sweet here. Maybe I'll stay a while!

I realized that I promised last weekend that I would post pictures of lots of things. I lied. But I'm posting them now, sort of. I made a little album on Facebook of what we've been up to the last few weeks, and here's the link to that album.

Because I love you, and I often find posts a lot more interested if they have pictures (look ma! I can has picture book, and I done read it good!), I have selected a few of my favorites to actually put on HERE for your viewing enjoyment!

Betty in her new UT Vols sweater (what? she said she wanted one) and a new teacup snoozzy bed. Also, she enjoys chomping on rawhide as if she was a crusty, 50 year old newshound chewing on a stogie.

A member of our pewter deer family. They stand guard over our kitchen and protect our wine.

Our little 3 1/2 foot tree. The thing is as prickly as ever, but at least it smells good!

The Knight is quite the saint in the Church of Cranberry.

Home Sweet Home.

Professional partiers.

We love our little hairy monster!

Okay, well that's all for now. If we don't chat before then, hope you have a fabulous Christmas and a lovely New Year. But, really, we know I'm too chatty to wait that long before we talk again. So until next time...

Artsy Fartsy has comes to terms with the fact that she is as excited about getting presents now as she was when she was 10. Maybe more so. Is that what it means to be *gifted*?


Happy Birthday, Betty Rascal!

My dearest little Betty:

Today we celebrate your birth, one year ago today. So far, you have received two e-cards, a bone, some doggie cookies, and a squeaky stuffed goose from your beloved puppy friends. In the past year, you have had two boyfriends (Romeo and Reagan), played with several other doggie friends (Murphy, Tootsie, and Cotton-Pants) and made countless human friends. You are already a very popular young lady. I cannot even begin to imagine what will happen when you start dating, young lady!

I may be a crazy dog lady, but today, I don't care. Today is all about Y-O-U. You have brightened our lives in so many ways. It seems that for each ounce of love we give you, you return in tenfold. You make coming home from work so much more fun - wiggling and licking and shaking all over with excitement when we each walk through the door. No one else is ever that excited to see me. When I am sad or feeling sick, you want to comfort me...snuggling right up to my chin, being very still, and looking up at me with those big, brown, intelligent eyes. You want so much to please us, and oftentimes you go to great lengths to do just that - rolling over countless times for a treat, enduring wearing the most ridiculous of outfits, and tentatively wagging your tail in hopes of calming the Knight and me when we are in a heated discussion.

You also make us laugh. Pretty much daily. Remember when your favorite toy was a strand of anal beads that I had gotten as a gag gift? I do, and can I say, thank goodness we "lost" those in the move. I don't know how my mom would react if you pulled those out on one of her visits! I will never forget your protective barking at the cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe. Or the day we discovered that you make a squeaking noise when chasing the other dogs if they are too fast for you. I remember the time you and I went for a walk outside, and I looked down to see you with a half-used cigarette jauntily hanging out of your mouth...as if you were some rebellious teenager firmly dedicated to freaking out your mom. When we moved to the apartment in Memphis, your mischievousness grew daily as you devised better and efficient ways to chase all the ducks into the pond. We've started to call you the Duck Wrangler for all of your efforts. Your puppy antics are the source of many nights of entertainment and lunchroom discussion. You do so many cute things that are probably too mundane to write about here, but, please, don't ever stop.

As I think back to the past 10 months we have spent together (you were born today, but we didn't get you until February), I am overjoyed with happiness that the Knight picked you out just for me. To think, he almost picked one of your sisters...but then, you did something - looked at him a certain way, moseyed over in your (even then) friendly Betty Rascal way, packed your bags, and moved right in to his (and my) heart. I remember our first few months together... you were so tiny. Only about 1/2 pound doggie and 1 pound fluff. I could pick you up and carry you around in my robe pocket when I prepared for the day. You never seemed to mind, considering your inability to walk on the hardwood floors during those first few weeks. I would sit at school, worrying that you were okay at home. Wondering if you had figured out a way to nose open the kitchen cabinets and was, at that very moment, drinking a Windex cocktail. Never has my Draconian imagination been so vibrant as when you were a new pup, and I would daily worry about new ways that you were probably killing yourself while I was not there. I will say that I don't miss hovering over you, waiting for that ubiquitous puppy squat on my new rug, but even when you had an accident, your mess was so tiny, it was almost cute. (Thank goodness you are house-trained now!)

Since February, you have brought a little extra expen$e, a few tears, but most of all, happiness and laughter to our little family. With you in our lives, the Knight and I feel more like a family than ever before. I cannot count the times that the Knight and I will snuggle up on the couch, and you will promptly jump into our laps - alternating licking and kissing on each of us. As if you know that you belong with us, and you want to savor each moment as much as we do.

To many people, you may be just a dog. But to us, you are our Betty Rascal. We love you, little darling!


I know a secret, but I can't tell you...yet!

So, thanks to Jess and Joey for their input as to the Swedish Village PB linens. I have decided to ask for them from Mom for Christmas. That way, if I get them, I can justify using them only in the fall and winter, and still using my own money later to buy something for spring and summer. Or I could just keep the linens I already have for the bed. If I don't get them, I'll just wait until after Christmas and see if they get any cheaper.

I alluded in an earlier post to working on a fabulous Christmas present for the girls in my family. I am done with their gifts, and will be taking pictures either tonight or tomorrow so I can show you all what I have been up to. My craftiness has somewhat consumed my life the last few months, and I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed it. In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I might just be....well, that's part of the secret.

Anywhoo, in the next couple of weeks, I'll be letting you in on my little secret. Until then, here's a little hint:

This weekend, I promise to post pictures of my homemade gifts, our Christmas decorations, and maybe some pictures from my sister-in-law's fabulous Christmas party.

Have a great weekend!

Artsy Fartsy is thinking that she likes her coffee like she likes her men...
strong and sweet!


Admittedly, my taste is questionable.

I need some second opinions. Ever since this bedding and these throw pillows popped up at Pottery Barn, I have have fantasies about them living in my home.

I love how they look old-fashioned and urban at the same time. And we all know how much I adore the color green.

I really think they would look nice in our guest bedroom, but are they too "Christmas-ey"? If I actually paid $70 for the duvet and $40 for a couple of shams, I would want them to live in my house year round.

Here is our guest bed currently:

Artsy Fartsy is wondering if the North Pole needs a new decorator.


Happy Friday!

Betty say: The weekend can't come fast enough!
Artsy Fartsy is an advocate for people who elf themselves.


Columbine Santa?

Driving to work, I heard the most disturbing Christmas song on the radio. The song was about murderous little boy pleading with a gun-wielding Santa to spare his life. After googling a few of the lyrics, I discovered that it was a new Christmas song by the Killers, "Don't Shoot Me, Santa."
Here are the lyrics:

Oh Santa
I've been waiting on you
That's funny kid
Because I've been coming for you
Oh Santa
I've been killing just for fun
Well the party's over kid
Because I
Because I got a bullet in my gun
A bullet in your what?

Santa's got a bullet in his gun
You know it, Santa's got a bullet in his gun

Don't shoot me Santa Claus
I've been a clean living boy
I promise you
Did every little thing you asked me to
I can't believe the things I'm going through

Don't shoot me Santa Claus
Well no one else around believes me
But the children on the block they tease me
I couldn’t let them off that easy

Oh Santa
It's been a real hard year
There just ain't no gettin' around this
Life is hard
But look at me
I turned out alright
Hey Santa
Why don't we talk about it?
Work it out
Believe me

This ain't what I wanted
I love all you kids, you know that
Hell, I remember when you were just 10 years old
Playing out there in the desert
Just waiting for a sip of that sweet Mojave rain
In the sweet Mojave rain
The boy was on his own

Don't shoot me Santa Claus
I've been a clean living boy
I promise you
Did every little thing you asked me to
I can't believe the things I'm going through

Hey Santa Claus
Well no one else around believes me
But the children on the block they tease me
I couldn’t let them off that easy

They had it coming
So why can’t you see?
I couldn't turn my cheek no longer
The sun is going down and Christmas is near
Just look the other way and I’ll disappear forever


Don't shoot me Santa Claus
Well no one else around believes me
But the children on the street they tease me
I couldn't let them off that easy

Believe me

Now, no one can argue that sadness, melancholy, and depression are as much a part of the holidays as Americans maxing out their credit cards to buy and parents ripping each other to pieces in a fight to get the last "it" toy of the season. People have been singing about being sad at Christmas for as long as I can remember. Holidays are kind of like the senior prom for grownups in that it is almost unbearable if you don't have someone to be with on that special night. I guess that when it comes to Christmas music, I can deal with sad. I prefer jolly, happy, and reverent, but I can deal with a little melancholy crooning as well.

I CAN NOT, HOWEVER, DEAL WITH A GUN-WIELDING SANTA. If you think about it... Santa is pretty much perfect. He is jolly and happy. Has a loving wife and an eternally strong marriage. His employees look up to him (literally and figuratively). Even his animals adore him and obey his every whim. Innocent children all over the world want to please him. He represents the bastion of justice - omniscient and fair. He works incredibly hard year after year, giving all he has, overcoming a seemingly impossible obstacle, and gets paid in cookies for all his efforts.

Santa the gun-handler does not fit into this worldview. Make Frosty villainous. Even Rudolph can be a miscreant. But not Santa. Santa knows that guns will shoot your eye out.
Granted, the song seems to indicate that the little boy has been very, very bad (scarily bad, even), but should Santa really be the one doling out vigilante justice? No, I think not.
The Killers better watch out because this song is sure to put them on Santa's naughty list.
Artsy Fartsy is just one crumb short of a cookie jar.

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