I don’t know what is about me and decorating, but sometimes my love for tablescapes and holiday decorating bites me in the ass. There’s no polite way of saying it. Listeners may recall the year that I had a dinner party for neighbors moving to California. I created this amazing Food Network-inspired tablescape that included twigs and berries picked from my yard.
The result was my first and only case of poison oak. It was so bad I was prescribed steroids for weeks which turned me into a whole new kind of crazy. A kind of crazy my husband and children had never seen before (and believe me, it was not pretty).
So I stopped picking twigs and berries out of my yard. Instead, I buy faux twigs and berries at the craft store! Genius, right? All the holiday ambiance with none of the risk to my (or others’) health.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2012. I put the berries pictured here in a vase on the floor in the corner of my dining room where I was serving Thanksgiving dinner. This vase already had brown twigs in it and the berries made it look SO. MUCH. BETTER!
How festive, I thought, before going about my business of making stuffing, roasting a turkey and burning the graham cracker pie crust.
Around this same time, we decided our dog Casey had matured enough to be trusted outside of her crate when we were not home. Or, in the case of my husband, home, but upstairs working for hours every day.
You see where this is going don’t you? Dog out of crate. Irresistible-looking berries at dog eye-level. I haven’t even mentioned the Nerf football the boys left in the yard to be chewed to pieces.
If you listen to this week’s podcast you will hear how this all turned out. These berries may have been the single most expensive decorating decision I ever made. Right about now you are probably asking yourself: When is Erin going to just give up the damn decorating and holiday tablescapes, throw down a table cloth and call it a day?
Or worse, you are thinking: what stupid dog owner puts faux berries in a floor vase so her dog can eat them?
In my defense, the doctor says the berries (I think Casey gnawed off about 40 of them) might have passed normally on their own. But when greeted by Nerf ball stuffing already in her gut, they combined to make a nasty tangle that wreaked havoc on her stomach.
So with our Christmas fund now depleted, and the dog crate back out of the attic, we’ve all learned a very expensive lesson. Trouble is, I doubt even having her stomach cut open will keep Casey from her continued interest in tasting anything and everything she possibly can.
Right now my husband is trying to Casey-proof the yard by replacing the wood stakes the snow plow company put around the driveway. Because yes, that showed up in the dog X-ray, too. It’s amazing what one can pick out of a pile of dog bile.