Our Christmas Day

Although I am one of eight children all of whom are still alive, I am like many people far away from most of my family. Only two of my sisters in England take time to share their own Christmas’s with me by sending me a little gift to let me know they care. This dog sign came from my eldest sister Norma who always sends something that is current in my life and it is much appreciated.

How did your holiday go? Were you unwell and in pain but felt forced into doing things you wish you did not have to do? I know this is true for many women while they go through the holidays with mesh in their bodies and often after it has been removed.

The last blog I wrote was about a woman who died just a few days ago and her death hit me harder than I thought However it also reminded me that the holidays are about enjoying life, not doing an inner battle trying to please your family. It is about being as happy as possible regardless of the health problems you live with, caused by a mesh implant.

This year I made miniature garden benches that my two sisters could use every Christmas as part of their decorating and they both loved them. I do something special for these two sisters, but most of what I send is something unique that did not cost a lot of money, but I spend hours making them. They appreciate getting something that you cannot buy from a shop or off the Internet, so I began early enough so I can get them made in plenty of time to mail them.

My own Christmas Day began with clearing up and washing dog bowls after Kim gave them breakfast and walked them all. Then they settled down and are happy while she spends a little time working on her own miniature dog sculpture. It wasn’t long before it was time for her to go to work on fixing or building things in this house or outside on the yard. I took this photo this morning when she showed me how her sculpture was coming along. Everything that needs doing around this house falls on her so she never has a day off but when she can, she tries to find time to do something creative that can help our dog rescue. It takes everything she can do to keep things in order but she takes thirty minutes or an hour first thing in the morning, while she also spends time with one or more of our rescue dogs. Even though life is all about work, I can tell you that she is very happy and enjoys her life very much.

Life at our home is all about the dogs we care for and they need food. So, it is my job to cook the food they eat and the first thing I did this `morning was cut up chicken I had cooked the day before and then I began getting it ready for freezing in containers to help me pull it out on days when it is needed and add it to vegetables.

I can’t stand long to chop up veg so we buy them frozen. I do make up yams which is the orange and freeze small packs to add to their other veg of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Then I add chicken pieces and chicken stock to the pot and when it is all heated up, I turn it off and add ‘quick cook’ oatmeal to thicken the food. I make a big lot at one time which can last 2 ½ to 3 days before it is time for me to make more. We also add supplements, vitamins and minerals in their bowls of food, so that they get everything they need to live a long and healthy life.

Was there a turkey cooking while I did this? No there wasn’t. Kim and I only eat small meals so this would be a waste of time and money and we don’t worry about traditional foods. Our home is all about the dogs and to rescue dogs you must make choices that they come first. I can tell you this, they are all worth it because they give us so much happiness and laughter, and you never have time to dwell on your own problems or think of yourself.

After I chopped up chicken I then picked up a dog bed and took it to my studio, because Harry and scratch a hole in the under part of the bed. The manufacturers tend to put a thin cheap fabric on the underside of the beds and at times Harry turns his bed over and scratches it before he settles down. So Kim handed it to me a couple of days ago for repairs when I felt like doing it and then it can be washed.

I simply cut some black cotton fabric and hand sewed it over the scratched fabric and it is now like new. I have done this before and it works well. While I was busy, Kim was also busy.

Kim recently changed a few things in the entrance area of our house, so after time with the dogs first thing this morning, she began painting the sliding glass doors that lead into her office. When she changed out the doors for easier access, it meant she must repaint everything. I used to do all the painting before the mesh implant, in fact the aged technique on the walls of this entrance was my doing in the past. I cannot stand long enough to do any of this now so she has taken over doing all of it on her own.

Yesterday I took some time and I made Kim a tiny gift for Christmas. A 2 ½” long dog couch for a tiny dog. She loved it. I have learned over the years that you do not have to spend a lot of money on a gift to give the gift of happiness. It is all about giving of yourself.

I do see the guilt other women feel when they can’t make a big deal out of a holiday. I also see the stress and toll it takes upon their lives and their mental and physical state. Sometimes you must learn to let go of what you used to do and realize that happiness for any of us cannot be bought. We all must make ourselves happy and it has nothing to do with money. As I write this, I am just grateful to be alive this Christmas and be with my daughter and the dogs in our care. Sometimes it is the small things in life that gives us huge enjoyment and a lot of peace.

This is Molly, just one of the six dogs who are with us this Christmas. Next week someone is coming to visit her and if they are the right adopter she will then have her own special home. It is always hard to say goodbye but finding a great home is why we do this.

Was any part of my day traditional? No, however I have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day this year and none of it was hard on me or Kim. It was simply about being with my immediate family, which is now Kim and the dogs. Now I look forward to a hopeful and better New Year because I am always hopeful and optimistic. I hope you feel the same and found your own happiness this season.


  1. Sue Tierney

    Read your blog. Our tradition has changed somewhat since Amber has to know spend time with her boyfriend’s family. So we get together on Christmas Eve but this year her boyfriend had to work so he came later. Christmas morning I go over there and they make bkfast. Things may change next year you just never know. I never feel like doing all the traditional stuff since mom passed and now that Amber’s grown, and especially last few years as I’ve had so many health ssues, but it always ends up being nice.

    1. Linda (Post author)

      After mesh complications you find a way to enjoy every day even when it seems abnormal to others. The whole point is, we don’t need to spend money we don’t have to enjoy every day, including the holidays.


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