Dear Dear Diary
I have survived the kissmoose holiday and have entered into the long dark teatime between the unwrapping of gifts and my birthday, which I like to think is the real end of my holiday season.
For New Years, I do try to spend a moment or three in quiet contemplation. I did for a while, and Colin crawled onto me to rest his fuzzy head on my cheek and purr me to sleep. As beautiful as such moments are, they aren't contemplative. They are restorative and good for my soul. I've got a sore throat, so I needed sleep more than contemplation anyway. But I do try think of what I can do to make 2006 better than 2005. I've gotten yet another part time job, and I hope this works out okay. I like having work to do because it keeps me from spending money. And anything I can do to help cut up our debts must be good. But it may not be as satisfying as say creating a pretty quilt or writing a nice story. I am more of a craftsman. I like to make things with my hands. I like to sit and concentrate, and when I get up in an hour see the difference. Most of us are like this. Alas, most of the stuff I like to do, I can't think of why anyone would pay me for, so it is only done for the joy of doing. This isn't a crime either.
But still, I know my list of sewing projects includes finishing the baby quilt for my new neice, Arianna, due in April or so; a vest for Jazz to shoot darts in that isn't "too"; and now I have to work on wedding wallhanging for March, and a baby quilt for, I'd guess July. Plus I have the Dear Jane I am working on by hand- it's going to be a long time before that gets even halfway done.
But the list of writing projects seems curiously empty and nebulous. Sure, there are stories I've started, and I vaguely know where they want to go, but I don't sit down and think of them the same way I tackle my sewing project. I don't think of them so thoroughly and I believe that is a fault. I have to think about the plot and the details and let it worry me more and think about what ought to happen next and how to craft where to go from here and how to intertwine it all. I have to let myself become obsessed with a story like I become wrapped in a project I really like. I don't like the quilt I am making for the neice- it's due first, but it's ugly, and it's an expirament that is going badly and I don't know how to twist it so it'll be charming. But I have been thinking about the vest and the wallhanging, and my fingers positively itch to get started. I have to itch for a story. I have to finish one this year, I think. I want to get one done so it's worthy of notice, of publication. Even if I only spend 15 minutes a day thinking and maybe writing a paragraph, it's the same as doing a needleful of thread in a long-term embroidery project. It can get done that way. And I must.
I have a cold now. Thanks to visiting my folks and forgetting my vitamins, the resistance went haywire. So I will try to relax and not fret too much and heal. I find it amusing I am ending 2005 the same way I started it- not feeling well at all.
Happy new year, all. May 2005 be better than 2006. The last thing anyone wants is someone showing up with pickaxes and dynomite to make it any worse.
In case you haven't noticed, I've run away to spend time with the family for the holidays. I keep thinking of posts while I am away from the computer like why we all ought to wear more hats, or bits of stories, but that doesn't help when you aren't near anything you can use to write stuff down.
Overall it was a good haul this year. Except I forgot to get something for Dog and kitties. My mother-in-law bought them scarves. She didn't know she bought them for the kitties, I confess. But they look better in these short wide scarves and they are excellent things to use to tuck in the kitties when they are napping with one on the couch. :)
I am finally getting a little bit of holiday spirit. Maybe it's because I have yet another part time gig to help pay vet bills. Maybe it's because I'm done with wrapping and and had my yearly dose of the Jingle Cats.
derailment: The Jingle Cats are of course holiday songs with cat and dog noises replacing the melodies. I really adore Carol of the Barks. Instead of Ding, dong, ding, dong, it's bark, bark, bark, bark... and mews for the higher melody. I must play this once a year. The new cat, if there is one, is always alarmed. Some of the ones we have had a while are alarmed. The Hunt For Tortured Animals begins with a clawed crawl over me, my desk, and the speakers. Fortunately, no actual animals are harmed. By the end of the fourth song or so, our cats become bored and go take naps nearby.
But I think my real pool of happiness lies in the facts that I have taken the week off from the main day-job, and I will get to sleep Christmas eve in my own bed. No waving at my sweetie in the twin bed next to mine. No cuddling on an air mattress on the floor. No trying to sleep in the back bedroom of my mother-in-law's home either, or upstairs in Gram's house, or on the couch in my brother's home (all of which have been offered before). No, I can sleep with my sweetie in our bed. I will be comfortable, warm, and well rested. And no one will knock and ask if I'm ready for coffee yet or other hints to hurry up and dress because the youngens want pressies.
Well, I expect to see a certain cold black nose begging for Out, but that's expected and welcome. That's my favorite lump of coal every morning. :)
I just finished reading Memoirs of A Geisha. I think it's a very good book. I don't know if I want to see the film, because I am sure it will be beautiful and with many layers, but it will not be the book. Just as Peter Jackson's movies are not the same at all as the book, nor are the Harry Potter films as complete or thorough in how they can touch the reader of a book.
Not that Memoirs ought to be in the same classification of either of the latter two really. It is more like reading Eudora Welty's House of Mirrors, or perhaps even the Bell Jar, but of course is written by a man and therefore never completely captures the feminine, as much as The Awakening is to Madame Bovary. Perhaps it is more of Lillian Hellman- in that I feel in reading anything by Lillian Hellman that the married women are trapped in their marriages with no way out and no real love felt any longer- as if one kiss of bliss and promise of romance is dashed into permanent sadness by that wedding ring.
I have to read such things in context. I cannot believe that marriage is a trap, nor that romance ends with the wedding ceremony. It is harder perhaps to focus all romantic efforts on one person alone- one's spouse- but I have felt the effort to be worthwhile. But I can certainly see where one might feel that way with the old lack of divorce laws or other cultural differences from as far ago as 20 years ago- and much worse only 100 years ago. I have read too many things about the treatment of women to ever wish to go back to live in the past.
Memoirs tickles my memory about watching Shogun, the miniseries that was on when I was a teen or so. So I have some lovely images of Japan. I've also read a small amount of manga. I know enough about Japanese culture to know I don't know very much at all, and would be very lost if I ever went there, and likely would stand out with my Rubenesque curves, chestnut hair and pale skin. Oh the round eyes don't hurt, but they look reassuringly brown. I can imagine how startling a blue-eyed geisha could be when I have seen anyone with blonde eyes. I would like to go, but I'm afraid of being confused and offending without intending to offer offense. I remember still being bewildered in Calais, with my meager half-a-year of schooling. I got on fine, but it was the first time I had looked at signs and could not read. I went with a New Yorker, who did not mind approaching people aggressively with "Do you speak English?" With each puzzled "no" or being ignored, I trailed along after in her wake, "Excusez, elle est Americaine," horribly embarassed. When I finished apologizing, she found someone and I was asked to interpret further. It was, how you say, very awkward. The French are a proud people, and I think the Japanese are just as proud. It would be hard.
I don't think Memoirs of A Geisha can be complete in its feeling of how and what geisha is. It is written by an American male, in American, for an American audience. The ending still felt wrong to me. I wanted her to be with Nobu at the end. And enjoy her time with Nobu. He was a kind man who loved her. Perhaps that would have been enough for me. While I could tell an attempt was made at being erotic, I found it more beautiful than erotic. There was little of the sensual or seduction in the story- it was more painting on bamboo than anything that would arrouse more of my senses. Perhaps it is because I am a female reading it, and perhaps I have too much of my own awful baggage, but too much of what it was essentially about left me cold and wincing in sympathy. And the "witty conversation" was more reminiscent of fraternity life. Bad memories, there.
No, I do not want to see the movie. I am better at reading awful things or discussing them, than I am at seeing them on a screen. I don't like the graphic details that modern movies tend to paint. There is more art in suggestion than there is in graphic portrayal.
On a different note, Tom came back from the vet again today. The hope of repairing his eye is dashed. We will have to watch it and see if it ever gets worse. If so, then he may have to have an operation and possibly an extraction. Hopefully, it never will get worse. Meanwhile, everyone is recovering slowly from the sniffles. Even me.
I am cat obsessed at the moment.
I was right in knowing that by bringing in another cat to help for Katrina victims that I would willingly donate more to help an actual cat than I would if I just opened the wallet and sent a check. I just didn't expect it to be quite this expensive. Apparently the girls have caught the sniffles from Tom. Even though he went on an antibiotic as soon as he got here, Colin caught something, and then Spider and Sassy got something.
Colin, thank goodness is getting better. He's drinking and eating enough to where I don't have to keep taking him in for more subcutaneous fluids (at $18.50 a shot). He's moving into his second week of Clavamox though, liquid this time. The Clavamox pills were the only ones he actually tried to pocket and spit out later. He has more energy and is back to wanting to cuddle, and he has a little bit of an appetite. Hooray!
Spider is sneezy. She has adorable sneezes. Yes, tigers can be adorable. At 7.7 pounds she is our lightest cat. She's been sneezing a lot these past 3 days.
Sassy has a watery eye and is blowing nosebubbles. She's also not washing her butt properly. This makes this little blob of blubber really attractive. She's shorter than Spider, and weighs now 13.9 pounds. This is back up 2 pounds from her low this summer after a year away at fat camp. :(
So I took both girls in to the vet's today. Dr. L was gracious enough about seeing both of them. Spider has been pronounced too healthy to need the antibiotics. Sassy on the other hand is getting the Clavamox too. And it's been strongly urged that we give Lysine to all of them to get rid of the Herpes Simplex virus that they are likely to have been exposed to thanks to Tom. That's probably why Sassy's eye is weepy, and likely to have been what started the damage to Tom's eye. So it would really suck if we managed to get his eye working again only to re-infect it. And we don't want Colin getting a weepy eye either. The doc also said that if Pepe or Spider starting having green stuff in the nose, nosebubbles or other more serious symptoms, she'll just go ahead and prescribe some Clavamox for them too. She knows how much I've paid in vet bills this month, and is being kind about that. If I see any more serious eye troubles in any of them, back they gotta go. ASAP.
If we can get this band feeling better, it'll be a very purry kissmoose indeed. I do worry a little that I'll have to forgo the road trip so I can be here for medicating cats. But if that's what I gotta do, that's what I'll do.
And as for Dog, she's all better. The wound is completely healed. We just have to wait for her fur to grow back. But we're back to letting her run and jump, and she's one very happy Dog.
A small thing I am happy about:
Tom was playing loaf and blocking the door between Kitchen and Living Room. Dog walked right by, practically having to step over the cat's head to get by. *Tom Did Not Flinch*. /happydance.
A small thing I am considering expensive electronics for:
Tom has got to be the stinkiest poo machine ever. He has lovely neat habits- always buries, never misses, doesn't spray... but the smell! It would wilt lillies. So if I get this transmitting collar for him, and some sort of receiver in the fan switch, so that every time he's in the bathroom (the one box really close to where I work all day), maybe I'd smell a lot less cat poo during the day.
But then, if this is my biggest problem? I have a very easy life indeed.
To my right, Sassy/fatso is napping (snoring really) on the heating pad. Colin's feet are twitching in his sleep on the heating pad on the shelf. And the chair with the mooshy pillow next to the bookcase, contains Tom, finally experiencing the joy that is a mooshy pillow. I love having an appreciative audience. :)
He's laying on the heating pad again. I had to put him there, of course- he's lost too much muscle to be able to jump. But now, instead of wheezing, he's purring. Thre's no sunlight filtering through the cat curtains and lighting his fur, but that heating pad is on, and he's occasionally rotating himself to avoid cooking and burns (I haven't had a cat yet get burned, but since his muscle layer and fat layer are faded and gone respectively, I'd be a wee worried about the poor dear).
Spider is attacking a twist tie on the floor next to me. He's sat up to watch her. Movement is catching his eye again. Tom is on the heating pad to my right, on a pillow on the floor next to me. If I lean closer, he's snoring.
I think Colin will indeed pull through. He had one bout of epistaxis early this morning, but on the whole he's breathing better and doesn't feel so damn frail. I didn't take him in for subcutaneous fluids today. That's how much I think he's improving. He finishes up the Clovamax tomorrow (it was for one week, and is antifungal as well as antibiotic). The doc said we could call and ask for another week, but given how much he hates that pill, I think I'll call and ask for another week of a liquid instead. This is the only pill he's actually tried tricking us into thinking he swallowed it when he spits it up. Odd how he can keep down the pepcid and the B12, and the metacam, and still manage to cough up the clovamax.
Tom continues to have issues with Dog. It will be a while. Tom is now learning Dog's routine. Don't stand between Dog and her goal, and Dog won't even acknowledge Tom. Tom and Colin were both upstairs, sleeping in the hall, when we got up this morning. Unfortunately, first thing Dog does is head down the hall, down the stairs, and through the house to the back door. Tom proceeded her along this path, turning every 2 feet to hiss at Dog, and Dog just blithely ignored her. "This is where I go every day, Cat. Get used to it." I had to pick up Tom and put him off the path to get it to stop. So far, it's only hisses. But it's only been what, 2 weeks? That's not long. I'm delighted Tom is going upstairs regularly.
Well, maybe it is in character for Jeannie... lol.
Someone elsewhere posted this "but this crap about getting offended if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas is just ridiculous. People who do this hope that you enjoy this time of year with your family and friends. We are not drugging you, dragging you off, and forcing you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior! So leave it alone."
Well... Maybe I don't want to be forced into spending time with my family and friends. Maybe I know I'm not going to enjoy it. Maybe you ought to be drugging me- I might have a better time.
I tolerate it. Because tolerance is a wonderful virtue that I treasure greatly. But truly, I don't want to think about Christmas. I would rather focus on the other holidays near that time that I *DO* like. Like my birthday and New Year's Eve, and a few days off that I will enjoy with my family mainly because they aren't forced. And nobody has to give into the rampant commercialism for those days.
My family holiday I prefer to call Kissmoose. Because we took the Christ out of it years and years ago. It's pretty much paganism and capitolism, and family. These are the trappings everyone can recognize, and it's not limited by religious affiliation, simply because there isn't any at all any more.
Hannuka is nice. I did it once and enjoyed it. I've honestly never known anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa. I'd love to meet someone who does. Maybe I'll try some year. I don't think you have to be black to celebrate that holiday, just respectful. And that's what I'm ranting about.
I don't want to have a Merry Christmas. So please, don't order me to do so. Thanks.
I admit, I'm a fan of this website: http://heartlessbitches.com/
I find the rants thought provoking and sometimes inspiring. But it does bother me how many people sign up to be "honorary" Heartless Bitches. Surely the whole point of being a heartless bitch, as they define the term, is that one does not need the validation of someone else to be one? I am who I am, and I don't need a club to tell me if I fit their criteria or not. Perhaps, it's like Groucho Marx once said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me." But since I am a member of at least 2 other clubs, um, I don't think that's exactly true. :)
As for the Colin report, he's apparently not had a nosebleed in 24 hours. I've seen him at the food dish twice, and in general, he seems to be improving. His purr is louder than his wheeze, and I'm taking that as a very good sign.
And Tom, who I've already joked about calling Evander (after the boxer who got his ear bitten off by Tyson), had a nap with this morning. He had to walk by the dog this morning in order to do it, so that's very brave of him and a good sign, considering at 4:30 this am Tom got too close to the back door when I let the dog back in. Tom decided that he wasn't going to back down there and hissed, and Dog informed him that she wasn't putting up with that. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it was very noisy. Today it's more of mutual respect and giving each other distance. She does outweigh him 3 to 1, but just judging by his scars, he doesn't care.
More fiction anon. I'm thinking more and more about the necromancer than I am the insane Jeannie.
In the sunlight, he looks better. He longues on the heating pad with winter sunlight direct and reflected around him and his eyes are clear. Most things look better in sunlight, except maybe vampires, and we could argue that point. I would welcome the distraction. His fur is soft grey and white, but that's not because of age. He's horribly teribly frail, and there's a blood stain on his paw from washing his face after epistaxis.
I can hold his paw and he'll purr for me. My nose is red, but I don't know how much tears I have left. He's finally off the prednisone and on Metacam (an anti-inflammatory pain reliver) which seems to be helping. Later I'm going to try Afrin and lysine, in addition to his Pepcid and B12. He's poked and prodded, and badgered into getting better, but I don't know if it'll help or he's just given up. It's too hard to tell right now.
The vet offered sinus x-rays to find out if there is a tumor in his sinuses, but if there is, I almost would rather not know. I don't want him spending the night and day at the office, even if it means getting constant fluids. He's not wheezing as bad. He sniffed the limburger which encouraged him to try liver snack. I rustle the food bowl so it "smells fresh" and he eats a bite. Every tiny bit we can do, we are trying. Comfort is the goal. I think he's happier on the shelf right now, in the pale winter sun.
So maybe, just maybe, I can have hope.
I am crying. I worried about Colin. He hasn't left the heating pad by my computer all day. Not to eat, not to drink, or even Pee. And they gave him a boatload of subcutaneous fluids yesterday. I feel horrible, like I'm just watching him die. I have found he likes the liver squeezy cheese I bought to put in the dog's Kong. So I've been trying to give him that at least to try to stimulate his appetite, or at least get something down. No dice, he's not interested. Oh, he gave it about 5 licks or so. But not much went down. I know I have to take him back Monday to the Vet's office (he's been yesterday, and Thursday) and I am so worried. I hope I can get him in to see the vet proper and not just a vet tech for fluids (like yesterday). I feel rather helpless. We're giving him a pill antibiotic twice a day, plus his prednisone and pepcid and B12. That's a lot of pills for any cat to choke down and I don't feel good about shoving them down his throat. He's lost too much weight and feels far to fragile in my arms. I'm afraid I'll break him if I don't hold him right. He's wheezing worse than my grandmother.
I have been thinking, perhaps too much, about what sort of temple the Goddess of Chance would have. Certainly, devoting one's worship to such a being would be... chancy at best. It is said in Terry Pratchett that her temples have all decayed or were destroyed shortly after they were made, as the wheel of fortune cannot turn only one way, not even for those who choose to walk her path. She is a true chaotic neutral goddess, giving as much as she takes, for the euphoria of winning is lessened without the despair of total loss. She can follow the law as easily as abandon it, but most who follow in her path are tempted outside the law. Gambling happens even where it is banned. It is a very human thing to hope for better, and to try to find an easy random way to have everything fall into your lap. Few forget that in order to win something, someone else has to lose, and more lose than win.
Not for her is the incense filled great hall with stained glass windows, nor should there be an altar for sacrifice. I can picture instead a craps table or something like, and a shrouded oracle will instead cast the dice of the seeker's fate. Maybe you will roll the double 6, and leave the temple knowing your endeavors must prosper. Maybe you'll roll snake eyes, and have your life or lands forfet. It's Chance. It's not a sure thing. You cannot cheat a god. Perhaps she will accept the offerings of cards or dice or unclaimed wager tickets. Perhaps her attendants will offer decks and dice for sale.
Or perhaps, it's just another tavern in an already crowded city, and a reckless few feel more daring there- more sums change hands in gambling there than elsewhere. Or possible even throw in Love, for some think finding true love is a real gamble, that it'll work or last or stay true. I like it best when her name is never mentioned, and to offer her a prayer is to invite her gaze- but certainly does not guarantee her smile.
She is fun to ponder, but I have no story for her now. We shall see.
I just woke from this dream. I was bare 18, and I was enjoying the pangs of first love. I met him while I was shopping. He showed me a manga shirt he wanted to get to insult his friend- it had pictures that were drawn right to left so if you didn't know better, you watched kids explode, heal from explosion, express their booredom, and are gently pushed back into their home. I told him his friend wouldn't get the joke.
But later, he went ill. As in very.His mother was a witch- but of the good variety. She baked cookies that if held we could watch his soul. I was told to eat my cookie after my visit, but I didn't. I kept it. And later, when he died, I went to the graveyard. Thousands of pages billowed like leaves on the wind, and I saw my boyfriend mount a ghostly charger and challenge any in the cemetary. One old warrior chief rose to the challenge. He was Viking, and dissappointed to see it was "only a boy" - but they fought anyway for the joy of fighting. I think the boyfriend won.
I dug up his head and took it back to his family's home. I put the cookie in the head, and he would still talk to me. But none of the family members could see his head and none would talk to him. They had eaten their cookies, and the magic was gone for them. So it was just me and his head, and I wept.
Then I woke up.
Some of my dreams are indeed very odd.
Someone asked me elsewhere, what tradition of the holiday do you miss?
Christmas, when I was a kid, meant going cross country to visit the grandparents (both sets). We would sleep at Meme's and Burt's. We would count the exits on the Thruway there. 32 was Gram and Grandpa's exit, 31 was the other. And we kept being thrown off by 34A in our count...
Christmas Eve was spent in the back room of G & G's while the living room itself became choked with smoke (which I Do Not Miss), but I'd play with my cousins and sibs, and we'd try on wigs and play at Tea. We didn't want in the big room, because then our eyes would sting etc. I remember the year that everyone had stopped smoking except Gram, and then I was old enough to sit in the living room and Behave.
But the night- all three of us sibs got to share a room. We shared many a whispered secret, and giggled long after lights out, waiting for the sound of sleighbells (grandpa burt would sometimes go outside and ring them on the lawn). Too full of anticipation to get much sleep. Then we weren't allowed in the living room with the tree until everyone was awake, dressed, and breakfasted. Everyone. Oh the misery inflicted on anyone trying to sleep in! And the dramatic unveiling as Da pulled back the velvet curtains and took our picture.
Meme and Burt are long gone, so is their house with the velvet curtains. Gram is still around, but I go pick her up and take her to Mum's, oxygen tank and all. The rest of mom's family doesn't come any more for Christmas Eve. though I know my brother and his family will go, and my sister will be in town. But my sweetie and I will day trip up on the day itself, long after all the kids have unwrapped their stuff. My neice and nephew won't come up until the day after the holiday, and I will likely go up to see them. It's not the same family unity it used to be, and I have to miss the naivete we had. I miss the breathless, sleepless anticipation I used to have, the whispered joy in the dark with my sibs.
I wonder whatever happened to the sleighbells.
Shakespeare's Sister has a Question of the Day post, asking which of the current crew of Evil Republicans would you like to kidnap and tie to a chair in your basement to yell invective at for 24 hours.
I'm bothered by this on many levels. While most of the men in question have never seen actual violence perpetuated personally, that does not mean that letting them experience being the victim of assault and abuse will be of any benefit. They are likely to don their mantle of Victim and use this as an excuse to stifle freedom of expression or other essential rights we currently enjoy. Nor will they learn from the experience and have the maturity to take from their experience and how they felt as a Victim to empathize with others who have suffered a great deal more as a direct result of their policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, or here at home. Now, they are likely to take Victimhood and Martyrdom to mean what they wish it to mean, and let their paranoia dictate policy.
Violence only perpetuates more violence. To live eye for an eye 100% of the time is impossible, because then only the blind will be left. The chain has to break. We have to keep confronting lies with Truth, and refusing to reward violence with more violence.
It is true we will not win every battle. We cannot rescue them all. But we have to keep trying, or Evil will triumph in our despair. We have to continue with non-violent protests and reasoned thoughts, even if we are sure they fall on deaf ears. Because there will always be someone we did not notice who is listening and watching, and learning.
He's back from his check up. His conjunctivitis has cleared up. However, the more serious issue with that eye is still present. It has started to improve- the nasal side of the iris has begun to lift off the lens and the muscles holding the lens in place. The eye is not as bulging either. If the iris/pupil layer lift off the lens layer, the ducts that drain the intraoccular area may open up fully, and the iris may allow the pupil to open again so he may be able to see with the eye, even if it's fuzzy. So far, the doc can't say for certain what's going on in the back half of the eye and if there is any point to trying to get it to open up at all. But he obviously seems more comfortable than he was last week. He's going to have more eye drops for two weeks and then he goes back.
His comfort level around the other cats is growing steadily, which is good. But he's still not sure about Dog, which is a pity. Because Dog herself is having a tough time. Dog had a lump removed last Wednesday, and in order to keep her from licking her stitches, we've taken the drastic step of putting her in pajamas. This covers the wound, and she self-limits her movements. Stairs aren't as easy. Running around is daft. And these are things that help the wound to heal, so we leave her looking silly in her purple pjs with sheep all over. Jazz and I have agreed not to post her pic on the web - she's being humiliated enough by the experience.
Because of how we release a cat into the house, upstairs is the last place they get to. Downstairs bathroom is the first refuge. Then we watch their world expand like ripples in a pond. Next is the office, where I work, then the kitchen, and sometimes the mudroom. Then the basement, where the dog never goes and there's lots of spiderwebs and other fun things to poke a nose in. Then the living room, then upstairs. I know he's comfortable in the house, because yesterday I found him napping on our bed. And we don't allow pets in the bedroom and keep the door shut. I must have not have secured it after fetching my slippers yesterday. This morning, he and Pepe were napping outside the bedroom door. Yes, I think he's adjusted very well to our home. :)
I confess, this year I'm not getting into the holiday spirit much. I think the year I enjoyed Christmas most was the year I was going to church regularly and I could feel more of the palpable anticipation of Christmas.
But this year, like too many other years, I'm more worried about the schedule of what's on the to-do list, what obligations I must fulfill and the downright chores of the holiday. It's not that I mind most of these obligations, because Kissmoose can be very enjoyable and I get to see everyone I've missed for the rest of the year. I get to buy everyone presents, which I do enjoy. Sometimes I think long and hard about what I am giving people, and it is pleasing to think of them. Or I wouldn't want to be giving them anything. I look forward to seeing their faces when they open it. I suppose it's a sign of how I've grown up that I really don't care any more what people give me. I have become the watcher on Kissmoose day, the one with gifts still left while everyone is done.
It's hard to look forward to Kissmoose, simply because any time you spend a month, or 6 weeks or longer looking forward to something, it invariably ends up a dissappointment. I anticipate the dreadful things as easily as the nice things. I know my sister will be there, and I'm not 100% sure what I'll be able to stop myself from saying or what she will say. I'm not sure how polite I will manage to be to the younger nephews or my brother. And I'm looking forward to seeing the neice again and the older nephew, because I'm not sure how often I'll be getting to see them. Particularly the neice. She's 21 now, and graduating college. It's been a rude kick out of the nest for her, but she's got to learn to fly. She's very like me, and I tremble for her. I don't think I'm flying yet, but I'm definitely not in the old familial nest any more. I'm not to worry about her, but I will anyway. I'm good at worrying. It will be a different sort of Kissmoose this year. But if there has been any constant in my life it is that things change.
I have been cleaning the house and basement, much to the delight and amazement of Jazz. Well, it's not the vacuuming and dusting one expects when one mentions cleaning. It's more like excavating piles. I found all of the carboys with fermenting things. I'm cleaning all of the bottles so I can get rid of the bottles we don't need. And, hopefully, the end result will be visible heating ducts and access to the dryer. So we can remove the old dryer and put a new one in. And I'm trying to clean out cobwebs in my brain as I work. I have realized more ideas and formulas about stories, so maybe I'll focus more on that. I want to. I've always wanted to. But stories don't write themselves. I have to string together the scenes I see and record them. Otherwise, I'll keep telling silly jokes related to books I haven't written yet, and that's just embarrassing.
Christmas, and the days before it, are about preparing the way for Christ's arrival, the realization of the hope of the Jewish people that their Messiah would come. So I am preparing my own way, and I hope to realize some dreams this coming year.
This is friendly reminder for the 6 or so of you who read this blog. Please, don't forget the animals of Katrina and that region. They all have not been rescued. They are all not dead, waiting in foster homes, or in shelters. They still need your help. Wildrun
offers some suggested sites for donations and actions (for those who don't have money to donate) that can help make things better.
Do check if your local shelters are taking in Katrina pets. My local pets have started receiving shipments of these owner-surrenders. Yes, that means these pets were rescued, sent to a holding area or foster home, identified by who owned them, and then surrendered, because the owner simply had no way to keep them. Most of these pets need medical help because of the disease-ridden water and other problems they were exposed to. So even your local shelter probably needs more donations than it usually does.
One of the best things that you can do is go to your local shelter and adopt a pet. It doesn't have to be from Katrina. Any pet you take home is making room for more pets from Katrina to be sent to your area.
But the very best thing you can do is spay and/or neuter your animals.