Serving O'Brien & Clay Counties

Pedley's Ponderings

This and that

‘Tis the season to be busy. It feels like I’m constantly doing something, yet accomplishing nothing – more so than usual.

I still haven’t put Christmas lights up outside. I’m in a bit of a cold war about it with my wife, who has asked me to scale a ladder and get them hung several times. I’ve said no at each instance, which has forced her to threaten to do it herself. I tell her no way, and then we grumble back and forth before returning to whatever we were doing before the squabble.

I’m hoping she’ll just give up since Christmas is a little over two weeks away. I don’t see any sense in it at this point.

Despite my resistance to hanging lights, I did find myself assembling a tree two weeks ago. For some reason we have three trees in our house this year and I was charged with putting together one in the basement. I have a bunch of Hawkeye ornaments from when I was a kid, and Kaity apparently thought it was necessary to dedicate an entire display to them.

The tree in question came from my parents’ house and has been a part of the holidays since as far back as I can remember. It’s old, and the paint dots indicating which branches go where are faded and rubbed off. This made for a rather infuriating sorting and assembly process, which resulted in me eyeballing a lot of branches and guessing where they went.

For reasons I cannot grasp, this tree has extra spots for branches that do not exist. I started from the bottom and worked my way up, only to come up three whole branch spaces short. I had the top of the tree, a massive portion of bare pole, and then the rest of the tree.

Kaity checked on my progress when I was in the process of moving the branches up to fill the gap.

“Oh yeah, I did that last year,” she quipped.

...would have been nice to know.

“Why am I doing this by myself, again?” I asked.

“Well Cece wanted to help,” she said.

My daughter was nowhere in sight. Once the tree was finally assembled, I did have her help with ornaments. We made “Christmas memories,” I guess.

The tree looks rather pathetic. Despite not having any space gaps, it’s clear some of the branches are in the wrong slot. I care not, however, and am just hoping disassembly goes a lot smoother than assembly.

• A season of surprise

As expected, Michigan trounced Iowa in the Big 10 title game on Saturday. The Hawkeyes entered the game as heavy underdogs and needed a miracle to keep it competitive. The didn’t get one, losing 26-0.

I’m not mad about the performance. The defense played as good as I could have hoped for, but the offense never stood a chance against the Wolverines. Injuries depleted the roster this season and robbed the unit of any paltry big-play ability it may have had earlier this fall. Iowa’s offense opened the season as the joke of college football and ended as the punch line once again. At least offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz won’t be back next year.

Still, the coaching staff deserves kudos for stringing 10 wins together with this team. They were robbed by the referees against Minnesota, too, and it really should be 11 wins. That’s a fantastic season for nearly any team in the country, especially Iowa.

I know changes to the offense are desperately needed, but coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff do a fantastic job. Though many fans grumble that it’s time to move on from the old man, I’m afraid of becoming Nebraska. Those donning the Black and Gold should be thankful we reliably see win totals ranging from 8-10 each season. The landscape of college football is ever-changing these days and the level of success Iowa repeatedly achieves should not be taken for granted. Iowa will never be Alabama or Georgia.

Learn to enjoy the wins when we get them and quit fretting over how they come. There are many ways to win a football game – punting just happens to be one of them.

• Pupdate

Our new “puppy,” Tucker, has acclimated to our home relatively well over the past week. I put puppy in quotations because the vet discovered he has all of his adult teeth. He’s likely six months or older – still a puppy, but not a baby.

As I mentioned last week, Tucker was found on the side of the road by Primghar and arrived at People for Pets with no history. Based on his size and the fact he definitely has Border Collie blood in him, they guessed his age at 3-4 months. The new information about his age has us estimating how big he’ll get now. We aren’t expecting much more growth, which is fine by me – German Shepherd Bo takes up enough space.

Kaity and I have been guessing what type of mix Tucker is. I think it’s probably Border Collie and some sort of terrier based on his size, ears and tail. A Google image search yielded similarly-looking dogs.

Tucker’s personality is very loving, and he’s a huge baby. He adores belly rubs and won’t stop squealing until you give him one. Even when you are scratching him, he still whines for more. His tail never stops wagging and I’m glad he’s happy.

Bo seems to have gotten used to her new pup. I’d describe her demeanor as muted annoyance most of the time he’s around – welcome to parenthood, Bo.

The cat, too, has been getting used to Tucker; however, she still very much despises him. She’ll tolerate being in the same room as him, but growls and hisses each time he gets within six feet of her. She’s also getting quite tired of him eating her food.

Oliver adores Tucker and I can tell they’ll be buds forever. Though I didn’t necessarily want another dog, I’m happy he’s around.

Nick Pedley is the news editor and ad manager of The Hartley Sentinel-The Everly/Royal News.