Sunday, December 9, 2012

...with dreams of sugar plums dancing in my head

It's that time of year
-when magic's in the air.

         The Story of the Holly Sprig
         - Arthur Upson, St. Nicholas Magazine,
                c. 1907, Words to a song)

              "I'd be the shiniest green,"
              Wished once a sprig of holly,
              "That e'er at Yule was seen,
              And deck some banquet jolly!"

              "I'd be the cheeriest red,"
              Wished once the holly-berry,
              "That e'er at board rich spread
              Helped make the feasters merry!"

              The life within them heard
              Down dark and silent courses,
              For each wish is a word
              To those fair-hidden sources.

              All Summer in the wood
              While they were riper growing,
              The deep roots understood
              And helped without their knowing.

              In a little market stall
              At Yule the sprig lay waiting,
              For fine folk one and all
              Passed by that open grating.

              The Eve of Christmas Day
              It had been passed by many,
              When one turned not away
              And bought it for a penny.

              Hers was a home of care
              Which not a wreath made jolly;
              The only Christmas there
              Was that sweet sprig of holly.

              "Oh, this is better far
              Than banquet!" thought the berry;
              The leaves glowed like a star
              And made the cottage merry!

My Christmas Letter

Throwing cares away for even a day would be delightful, but this phenomenon of sweet innocence is reserved solely for children and pets that are deeply loved.  My own personal world orbits around me warmed by my happiness or cooled in my despair.  It is nurtured by my attitude; whether it is uplifting or downtrodden, positive or oppressive.

My household reflects the heart of me.  It is the measure of who I am.  I want it to shine outward as a thousand burning suns and to glow within as a new moon starry night.  I persevere on my journey to create a quality of existence that soars to the heavens for each gift of life that enters in. It's not a passage to be taken lightly.

As a child I had others to protect me, but as an adult I am the protector, and invincibility has never found its place by my side.  I stumble, I fall down, and I get back up and move on.  I've learned that life is not forged for the faint of heart, for it thrives on the backs of those who take chances.

I feel nostalgic this holiday season, as I sit at work reflecting on whatever drifts into my thoughts.  It's hard to quiet my soul and patiently wait for the minute and hour hand to get unstuck and fly around to that 4:30 mark and freedom; freedom to go home and fry up breakfast for dinner, and remove the clutter to make way for all that glitzy holiday menagerie of decorations.

Christmas is...well it's Christmas; but each of those 24 days leading up to that 25th day we all celebrate in so many different ways, well...they're all simply magical.

Merry Christmas and love this holiday season!

Yvonne and Vic
Our feline trio: Zoe, Andee, and Lacey
A dog named Dustin

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Keepers of Christmas

Old iron bumper for a pick-up truck.

If life was always easy, I'm 99% sure I would have died from pure boredom decades ago.  Fortunately, I have been blessed with an uneasy life and have never been plagued with that problem.  With oncoming winter promising cold showers last Friday, and a super crisp night dropping into the twenties to follow - regrettably, my Thanksgiving found me still working in my yard, still finishing a low retaining wall to the south side of the house   That's right!  My day of official thankfulness was chained to a project that selfishly refused to go away on its own any time soon.  Bummer!  I plastered my pale cold face with a frown of Grinchatude proportions as that blustery day and my new wool socks strangling my cold tootsies in shoes with no forgiveness, refused to remind me how great it was to still be breathing.

Multi-tasking inside-the-house with outside-the-house (is that even a possibility) is not practiced in this household of aging noggins.  Any thoughts of preparing the feast were crammed into the farthest corner of my brain to vegetate until the wall was completed.  We finally sat down to a lovely dinner of bacon and cheese quiche, spicy mandarin muffins and a large tray of veggies and dip just before nine that evening.  I might have been a bit more grateful if I hadn't already nosedived into the loony bin about two hours earlier trying to tie up all the loose ends of the preparations before midnight - but the force of invincibility was sadly not on my side that day.  The pumpkin pie remained a figment of our tired imaginations until it was baked the next morning after a good night's sleep and a softening of attitudes.

New Furniture
A gift to ourselves while Vic was still working.

I'm the sole keeper of Christmas in my household of two opposite humans that are so frightfully alike, and the patter of four little paws quadrupled.  If I procrastinate, Christmas silently slips into oblivion...poof!  This has the weight of an iron anchor around my neck, a weight my heart and soul puts there all on its very own. Some years the decorations fly up in one day flat; but I'm looking at all these now only half filled boxes still cluttering my living room floor and I see drudge with a capital D.  I would like some company and a cup of spiced tea, but all I'm getting is little old me this morning at a half past three pondering where in the hell do I place this orphaned garland while rising out-of-bed time to get ready for work is just two hours away.  Rats!

And speaking of rats, or more specifically, their cute little cousins with those tiny mousey feet; the first day of my winter is always that first day at work when those furry sweet cheeked cuties leave a delicate trail of lovely turds across the top of my semi-cluttered desk.  Yesterday was officially my first day of winter, I'm armed with dozens of wood traps and, any-mouse-worth-its-weight-in-cheese's downfall, a new jar of out-of-this-world super chunk peanut butter.  So there!  Bah Humbug, you little buggers! 

Drawer Knobs
A gift to myself because I love pretty things.

Collection of old glass ornaments
to remind me of my childhood.

As a child, I skipped through my world of rosy glow contented to be - well - just contented to be little old me.  I was a child, and I was allowed to grow up before I had to worry about starving mouths to feed and a huge world out there to save.  Life was hard for my parents as they sheltered me under their umbrella of care, and that shelter made my life so very easy - not materialistically easy, but easy just the same.  I never had more than two pairs of shoes - one pair for just life and one pair for dress up.  I shared a closet with two other sisters, so the changes of clothes were few.  I worked for my small allowances, allowances so minuscule that to have the buying power to purchase something like a little radio would have taken a few years.

BUT - I had Christmas, that time of year when everything I needed throughout the past year but quietly lived without, was hauled out of its hiding places to be lovingly wrapped and placed under the tree to shout out to the rooftops that Santa indeed had again been extremely generous on Christmas Eve.  Panties, bobby socks, school clothes, maybe a winter coat or a brand new pair of shoes - I'd gather them all up before sitting down to our holiday breakfast of smoked sausages, fried apple rings and Danish pastries; knowing I was completely set up for the coming New Year.  AND, if the year happened to be a prosperous one for Santa and Mrs. Claus, I'd get something totally, awesomely impractical, leaving my face double rosy glowed for the rest of the month.  Oh, how I miss all that now!

Soaking up the morning sun.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Miss Lacey's Forbidden 31 of October

                         From ghoulies and ghosties
                    And long-leggedy beasties
                    And things that go bump in the night,
                    Good Lord, deliver us!
                                     -Scottish Prayer




O, thou little brown bar of chocolate delight,
Your flavor trickling down my throat so excites...
My only true love, morning, noon and night-
I love you, I love you, bite by bite.

Woe is me, O woe is me,
Alas, there's no more left of thee...
A shame, such pain, our future won't be-
I'll have to go shopping for another three.

Dear Lacey,
     My human traps me at dinner time to stuff pills down my throat.  Help.

Down on my luck,

Dear Skippy,
     This column is for cats, dufus!  If you ARE a cat, your human should be put in time out in the basement for a year for choosing that name.

Dear Lacey,
     At dinnertime my two humans are always squirting me with water, thumping my nose, and scaring me off the counter beating it with a paper bag.  They think I am out of control; and always lure me into the bedroom with my dinner and shut the door, trapping me.  Lately, they have begun to forget that I am still in the bedroom until bedtime.  What can I do?  I just want to be a member of their family.

Lug Nut

Dear Lug Nut,
     Clearly anyone naming their cat after hardware on a car is not looking for another family member to add to their litter.  I conferred with my room mate, Miss Zoe FeatherBender, and she agreed.  She cannot ever remember of any human ever naming one of their children Lug Nut.   She suggests you upchuck on the bedroom carpet by the door a few times to stop this practice by your dementia humans.


Dear Lacey,
     My room mates pick on me and make my life miserable.  How can I get them to like me better?  

Battered and Beaten,  

Dear Wus Cat,


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