News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Zane turns six today, for some people it’s the day after Christmas, and for others, it’s the second day of Christmas running through Epiphany. I’ve seen a lot of tweets from the day after people who are already getting back to normal and putting away their Christmas stuff. I really try to be a second day person, as that’s part of my faith. I also don’t want to give up Christmas stuff until I absolutely have to. So I’m the one still reading Christmas books and listening to Christmas music, and I’m going to be the one trying to rip and label all my Christmas CD’s, so I can have an even more a relaxing time next year.

We really did have a nice, quiet Christmas Eve and Day. Originally I was going to play piano with the choir and its organist/director, but the director got sick. Although I don’t wish anyone ill, it was nice to keep up the tradition of working with the canter and trumpeter with whom I played Christmas morning Mass for the last five years or so. The director thought the choir should sing, partly because Christmas fell on Sunday. I’m sure it would have been beautiful, but I’m also guessing choir members were just as happy to spend time with families and/or sleep in after Christmas Eve Mass. We were initially locked out of church, but other than that, the music part went pretty well.

We had a few mishaps in the last three days. Nothing serious, but enough. Phil finally had his appointment at the prosthetist’s on Friday. The part of his limb which the prosthesis was rubbing has stopped. there might be another spot on his knee, or he just has to get used to walking differently with the change. .

Zane has been inspired to pee in a particular spot downstairs, and Friday before my Mall of America gig, he decided to race down and do it rather than go out the open door I was holding . Of course, I had just gotten out of the shower, and cleaning up that mess before leaving for the gig was not on my top ten list of things to do. After just being out this afternoon, he raced down to that spot again. It was dry when checked , but he was smelling it. I gave him quite the correction for that. Although I didn’t necessarily wish this before an event, traveling through the Mall of America parking lot and the mall itself reminds me of why I put up with idiosyncrasies like this and not being able to have Zane wait for me without puppy sitting services as I swim. Zane is my best worker hands down. People and traffic cut in front of us like crazy , and he stopped on a dime. My friend Gina kept looking back very concerned something was going to happen to us. I had Zane following her, but I reassured her he would keep me safe. I had a great audience at the gig, but CD sales weren’t as plentiful as usual. I wasn’t happy with my performance, although Gina said it was good. in past years the sound men have been friendly and very attentive asking me questions about my sound needs. Not this one! It really through me for a loop. I was unsettled by a bright TV screen projecting images from one of the big three networks. Weren’t there enough visual distractions for people without that?

Christmas Eve brought a little problem with water standing in the shower. Phil asked me to ask our friend Dwight — who lives a block away from the hardware store — to get a solution to clear the drain, but I didn’t want to interrupt Christmas Eve with his family. After learning the hardware store and our favorite restaurant kitty-corner from it were open that afternoon, I thought we’d be able to get it ourselves and have lunch as a bonus. The door to the hardware store we usually use was out of order, and Phil and Garron at a terrible time trying to find the alternate door through their parking lot with lots of obstacles in the way. Dwight was able to go over to the store and grab the solution for us.

When in our alley, Zane and I encountered some ice, and I didn’t fall once but twice. Zane feels terrible when I fall! the long-term repercussions weren’t serious. But I was dying to get home and use the restroom. About the short-term repercussions … enough said!

Then there was the Christmas Klutz. That would be me. fifteen minutes before leaving for church, I was filling my water bottle. We keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge for occasions like this. I thought I set the pitcher securely on the counter. All I can assume is that it was unbalanced by being on the boarder between counter and sink. The closed but very heavy pitcher of water fell into the sink shattering one of our cereal bowls. Glass went flying everywhere, and we didn’t find out it was on the carpet, until I almost had another mishap. Better me than the pups. One of us has to be in bare feet to assure we find things which shouldn’t be on the floor. With Phil’s prosthetic foot, I’m it by default. Most of the time I like bare feet, but that would have been ouchy.

The final mishap is still unresolved as of this writing. Phil and I have spent a significant part of these days playing games on a site called RSGames. We had an epic Uno game which went for four hours, and we’ve played lots of Yatzee and a little blackjack. Phil can feel dice, but we have to be at a table to play Yatzee comfortably for him. He can’t read Braille cards, because of his noropathy, so playing games — although something we both love to do — hasn’t always been easy for us. We were in the middle of a game called 1000 miles when all of the sudden, the wireless network failed on Phil’s computer. He has spent the last two hours trying to fix it with no positive results. I’ve been telling him how much fun these games were for months, and we were both having fun playing games by the fire and looking forward to possibly playing games while he was at dialysis. Certainly not the end of the world, but what’s the song about not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone? Also, if the problem is in our wireless network, I hope I don’t have to reboot the computer, because that could mean no speech access.

We ended up cleaning up all the goodies from our friends and family on Christmas Eve. We even ate the chocolates from my younger sisters family for lunch yesterday. Phil didn’t have as many as I did, but his food restrictions sometimes are meant to be broken. Phil got a big silver letter K Christmas ornament, and I had fun with a new twist on a Simon game called Simon Extreme. We each talked to our families, and when I talked to my younger sister, I gleaned enough information to figure out how the game works. There are four individual buttons which cycle through all of the colors. But when placed in a row , each connects to a little wireless network among the four and flashes it’s own color. Since all are capable of flashing all colors, they can be put in any order with the same results. the green button starts a traditional individual game, the red one starts a group game, and I think blue and yellow have something to do with levels of difficulty. Our reader has the week off, but maybe by the time she comes again, I’ll have it all figured out.

One of the things I really enjoy about this version of the Simon game is it’s true, bright colors . It’s more reminiscent of the older Simon games from the 80’s. I have one of the newer Simon games, and although the lights are bright, the colors are very pale. The red is actually pink. Although most know my favorite color is green, I love green and red together all year round.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m attracted to m&M containers out at Christmas time. I went to target and got five greens and five reds. (And I have to eat the candy inside before I can use them. What a sacrifice!)

This Christmas season I took care of those little things I’ve wanted for a long time and denied myself. One was a silver lab necklace which will go perfectly in a green M&M container. The m&M’s are air tight, so the silver is less likely to tarnish quickly. One of the red ones already has a plethora of Earring backs also from Target.
For years I’ve been trying to use just a few earring backs — taking them off of one pair and putting them into a case until I needed them for another pair . Part of the reason is that every time I went to Target, the person helping me couldn’t find earring backs. This should not be a problem anymore!

Finally, it’s fun to have something to which I can look forward after Christmas, although it wasn’t meant to be this way. Phil didn’t feel like putting up lights this year, and of course I understood that. Then the newest and my favorite of my big, bright lights shorted out at the end of November. this is the DJ style light with five different colors, mirrors, a motor, great projection, and such good sound sensitivity that it looks like a disco in here when music is playing. I think it’s the brightest and most versatile light I’ve ever had. It was still under warrantee when it broke down and has been in the shop being repaired, and I hope it comes back soon. The soft blue and white lights on the church tree are nice, but there’s nothing like the blue, white, orange, and of course red and green in this light!

Rebecca Kragnes and Zane (Black Labrador and Seeing Eye Dog)
E-Mail: rebeccak
Twitter: RebeccaKragnes

Comments on: "Zane’s Birthday: the day after or the 2nd day of Christmas" (1)

  1. Loved your Christmas entry! I was thinking, could Zane possibly have a urinary tract infection? That’s what my cat Ashley did when she got her bladder infection.

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