Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ranting Ramblings

Oh boy some things really get me riled up!  Wanna know what they are?  Keep reading…

First let me start by saying that I like controversial subjects.  I like thinking about, discussing, and considering other points of view that are contrary to my own.  I’m not afraid.  Questioning is good.  I’ve got a brain and I’m not afraid to use it!  Challenging my own views and beliefs only serves to help me grow as a human being ~ intellectually & spiritually.  I like learning and I realize that I don’t know all the answers.  And if any of you think you do… I hate to break it to ya, but you are gravely mistaken my friends…

Aren’t we all just on this earth together exploring and learning as we go along?  Using our five senses to experience the world around us…analyzing and weighing it all out…using our brains, using our intuition, and hopefully using some fricken common sense.

Having said that…

But don’t judge me!  Don’t label me!  Don’t mock me!  And don’t condescend to me!  Don’t attack my beliefs because you don’t agree with them or because you think they’re foolishness!  And don’t let the actions of others that are of the same beliefs as mine dictate your opinion of me!  I am an individual!

This is the cry of all of our hearts because each one of us innately knows the injustice of being viewed and/or treated like that…

And it doesn’t much matter what our beliefs are or which side of any particular debate we’re on… it’s fricken wrong people!  You want respect?  Give it!  You want to be heard?  Listen!  Open your mind and your heart to the possibility that the other person very well just may have a valid point.  I don’t care how right you may think you are ~ you don’t know everything.

I get it… people are angry.  Many evil deeds have been done in the name of religion.  Last time I checked… we humans… are screwed up!  ALL of us.  Can’t we just get along?!  Come on we can do better than this…

Whether it’s pride… or fear… let it go.  All it’s going to do it drive you farther away from the truth.

Oh and there it is!  That’s the real biggy often at issue here isn’t it?  What is the truth?  Is the truth that which can only be based on the facts?  But what do we use the weigh those facts?  Are the facts merely what it is that we perceive them to be?  That right there is a humongous can of worms for ya’ll.   😉  Good luck figuring that one out!  I like it though ~ it makes me wonder, makes me think, makes me want to explore the possibilities and try and find out!

Some things we’ll never have the answers to.  We can go around and around, but there is just no way to really know for sure.

Guess that’s where faith comes in.

And therein lies the reason for my ranting today.  I have a faith.  I am a Christian.  And I don’t want to be judged by others because of it ~ any more than an atheist wants to be judged for their disbelief in a God, or anyone else of any other type of belief system wants to be either…

RAWR!

~

And ~ just because I like this song…

Reflections & Resolutions

So a new year is right around the corner here and I’ve got a lot on my mind as it approaches.  Things past, things present, and things yet to come are all converging at once and simultaneously scrambling around in my head at the moment.  It’s gettin’ kinda crowded in there and I’m tempted to try and lock it all away behind a firewall of sorts somewhere within the depths of my brain.

Ordinarily I do more of a “New Year’s resolution” type thing around my birthday time.  I figure that’s really when a new year of my life begins ~ not the calendar year, but I still find myself contemplating life along with everyone else during this time of the year…

The past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life so far and there were times when I didn’t know how I was even going to continue on.  Hopeless, seemingly helpless, and dark times where it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But by living one moment at a time, simply concentrating on breathing in and out, and taking one step and then another, I got through it ~ along with a lot of support and encouragement from good friends and precious family, the companionship and comfort of my furry pets, and my faith in God.

~

But in just reflecting on the calendar year of 2011…

January began with the dissolution of my 21 year marriage as my divorce became final after over a year of horrendous upheaval and turmoil.  I know that divorce is common in our society these days, but what I went through was anything but “common” to me.  Such hurt, betrayal and regret.  I’m sure at some point I will blog about that whole process in more detail, but right now all I will say is that although my heart is still a bit bruised and battered ~ I am profoundly grateful to be free from that relationship.  And… that I’m doing okay.

In February I met someone new.  Yeah, I know… a month is hardly enough time to wait in between a tumultuous divorce and entering into a new relationship, but I didn’t mean for it to happen and believe me… I resisted.  But he was very persistent and before I knew it he had sneaked his way fully into my heart .  Also, I must confess that after feeling abandoned and discarded by my husband it just felt so darn good to be pursued and wanted.  And not only was this new guy the exact polar opposite of my ex, but he seemingly adored everything about me ~ even the things my ex had hated and complained about.  I fell hard.  Real hard.  And I am still not over the break-up of that relationship which was just this past October.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, my Dad passed away this past June after a valiant fight against colon cancer.  The pain and loss I have experienced through that and getting through the holidays has been especially difficult for me.

~

But now the holidays are over.  Well not quite… New Years is here now = reason for this post.

Ever since the realization of my impending divorce began, I have been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I didn’t have a career during my marriage because my focus was on raising our daughter, being a good wife, and taking care of my home.  I worked at my daughter’s school for 11 years and loved every minute of it.  Well… not every minute, but I enjoyed it very much and cherish the relationships I built during my time there.   It wasn’t just a job to me and I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  But in June of 2010, I was let go along with 20 or so other people as the school did some restructuring and cutting back.  So not only was I in the middle losing my marriage, but I had lost a job that I loved and a strong connection with a community that had grown to be like an extended family to me.

I knew in getting divorced that I was going to have to eventually find a different job that would support me financially, but I had also hoped that maybe I could stay working at the school and collect spousal maintenance until I figured out what to do next.  Maybe take some classes in this or that to try and rediscover my interests.  Up to that point my life had just been so wrapped up in being a wife and a mom that I hadn’t really given much thought to anything else.

Thankfully I am receiving some spousal maintenance, but the amount I’m getting will soon be drastically reduced and here I sit ~ jobless and still without a clue of which path to take.

So as this new year approaches I guess one of my top resolutions should/will be to really dig into the depths of my heart and mind and try and figure it all out huh?

That along with… eating healthier, taking better care of myself and a myriad of other things I want to change and/or improve in my life…  😉  I’m sure you can relate.

Out of curiosity I decided to Google the top ten new year’s resolutions and was not surprised to find they were:

1.  Spend more time with family & friends

2.  Make time for fitness

3.  Tame the bulge

4.  Quit smoking

5.  Enjoy life more

6.  Quit drinking

7.  Get out of debt

8.  Learn something new

9.  Help others

10.  Get organized

Sounds good to me.  And you know… 2012 is supposedly the end of the line, so we had better make the most of it!

Day After Christmas Ramblings

It’s the day after Christmas and all through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse…

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!  My coffee isn’t even helping to rev up my engine today.  I must be getting old.  Or maybe it’s just that lull after eating so much sugar over the past few days…

Not even sure if I can muster the mental capacity needed to write this.

We didn’t even have a whole lot of hoopla ~ it was a much toned down kind of Christmas for my family this year.  Maybe I’ll share more on that in a later post.

But speaking of toning down…  oof!  And next it’s onto all of our New Year’s resolutions of getting into better physical condition…  😉

This week on the calender between Christmas and New Years is always a contemplative one for me.  Reflecting on the past year and wondering what the new one approaching will bring.  You know… where have I been, where am I at, and where do I want to be, stuff like that, blah blah blah…

And I’m sure I’ll get right on that as soon as I finish recuperating…

~

Although we didn’t take any family photos on Christmas this year, I did manage to snap a few during the days & activities prior…

I went on a “Holiday Lights Tour” this year along with my daughter, my mom, my sister in law, and a good friend of mine.  None of us had ever done anything like it before and we had a very nice time.

Not the best quality or most flattering snapshots of us, but memorable just the same.  😀

~

We also did something a little different with our holiday baking this year.  We got together at my mom’s to do it.  It took place over the course of FOUR entire days and it ended up being way more than what we had intended on doing, but the time spent together was fun… and yummy!

~

And of course… I am always taking pictures of my pets.  I love them so! ❤

Again, not the best quality having been taken with my cell phone’s camera, but still adorable!

~

In all, my Christmas was nice.  I’m feeling deeply grateful.  For precious time spent with my family.  And for the dear friends I have in my life.  ❤

But for right now… on this day after Christmas… I’m going to eat some left overs and then lay on the couch and vegetate and relax, because the mice aren’t the only creatures not stirring around here.   😉

Countdown to Christmas

Six days until Christmas… Are you ready?

I’m not sure if I am or not.  I mean… The tree is up.  I’ve got all my gifts bought and wrapped.  I’ve “decked the halls” and decorated my apartment.  “The stockings are hung by the chimney with care” ~ or by the window (if only I still had a fireplace).  And baking is on the agenda starting tomorrow, so it would appear that I am ready.  But…

Even though I’ve been doing my best to be in the Christmas spirit, this year it’s been more than a bit of a challenge for me.  For multiple reasons.

First and foremost is feeling the loss of my Pops.  He passed away this past June and this will be our first Christmas without him.  I think it will hit us all the hardest as we gather at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve.  On Thanksgiving his empty place at the dinner table was like a gaping hole, and not having him sitting there in his recliner on Christmas Eve will definitely instill a profound sense of loss in all of us.  I am dreading it.  It’s hard to know how much to allow yourself to feel.  Because it hurts so much, part of me wants to put up a wall of protection around my heart and try to pretend like nothing is different or out of place.  But I know if I do that then I will not be honoring my Dad’s memory or being true to myself.  I think I’ll just try not to plan too far ahead what I’ll do/feel and just go with the flow ~ let the emotions come as they may.  And… I will focus on the dear and precious loved ones that are still here with me and treasure the gift of their presence.  We’re all in this together and we’ll get through it.

A photo of my Dad from Christmas past.  Whenever I would ask him what he wanted for Christmas he always said “money.”  Well that’s boring.  So one year I decided to get creative with the method in which I gave him his money.   I made him a money tree because I wanted to show him that “hey Dad, guess what?  Money really does grow on trees!”  😉   And then I folded some money into the shape of a shirt because the cliche’ is that’s what you give Dads for Christmas (or socks or a tie teehee!).  Then there was also a little box that was a puzzle he had to figure out before he could get to the money inside.  Because as every kid knows… Christmas presents are all about the toys, I had to make it fun!  I put a $50 bill in it so he was pretty motivated to get it open, but it took him quite a while to figure it out.  Happy memories.   ❤

Another thing affecting my Christmas spirit at the current moment is our lack of snow here in Minnesnowta.  It’s interesting how not having that fluffy white stuff on the ground can affect your Christmas spirit.  Although I think it’s pretty, I’m not necessarily a huge fan of snow in general ~ it’s cold, hard work shoveling it, and dangerous to drive in.  Last year we got so much snow dumped on us here that it was ridiculous, but i neeeed it for Christmas!  I don’t need that much, just a little to make it festive for Christmas.

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” so I say… “Let it Snow” and I’ll be “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and find “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” and think “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and then maybe I’ll “Have Myself a Merry Little Christmas.”  Yeah, lets see how many Christmas carols I can fit into one thought…  😉  Hey I’m just attempting to muster up some Christmas spirit!

I came across this video about Christmas spirit the other day.  Call me weird, but I can’t help it… I find nigahiga hilarious!

I guess everyone has a different idea of what Christmas spirit is.  And maybe we tend to put a little too much hype and expectation into it all.  There is just so much that surrounds Christmas time.  And depending on your own personal beliefs there may even be multiple holidays going on here simultaneously which adds even more to it all…

Well, as the countdown continues to click away the days, hours & minutes until Christmas, I’ll just keep doing my best to try to be festive and keep in mind how blessed I am ~ even when things are difficult.

And I’ll pray for snow…

😀

I’m a Smart Dummy

Sometimes I really I wish I could record myself during random daily conversations I have with people because I seriously can come up with some pretty good stuff. 

“Sometimes I even amaze myself.”

The other day while I was on the phone with my sis talking about various stuff, she told me that I have “such great intellect” and “a natural inner wisdom.”   It’s so awesome to hear something like that and it made me feel really good.   My sis speaks my same love language and always knows how to build me up with those words of affirmation.

A couple of weeks ago my daughter kept telling me over and over how smart I am and that I have such a great way of looking at things and figuring them out.  This was somewhat unusual coming from her because even though I know how much she loves me, she rarely compliments me about stuff like that.  Do you suppose that since she’ll only be a teenager for a couple more months that maybe she’s finally starting to realize that her ol’ mom may actually know a thing or two?  Heh!  One can only hope…  😉

All through my life and especially as an adult, my Mom has always told me how smart I am.  She compliments me a lot about many things actually and has always made me feel like I’m special.  Not only to her, but to the world at large.

Back when I was going through the nitty gritty of my divorce, I had to go and have a vocational and psychological evaluation along with psychometric testing as well.  The results?  Well, after over 12 hours of intense, grueling and brain boggling tests, questions, exercises and activities ~ and paying to the tune of $2,000… the conclusion was… (insert drum roll)  that I am in the “above average to superior range of intelligence when compared with other people my age.”  Yay I’m smart!  Unfortunately I can’t use the results of this to help me get a job…  :/

But before I am tempted to get any sort of big head about this being smart and wise thing, I also need to remind myself of what a dummy I am too.  Because although I may come up with some pretty good stuff ~ I don’t even listen to myself.  The old saying “practice what you preach” kind of applies in this situation.  It’s not in the sense of like being a hypocrite, it’s more like about ~ how the things I say to others sound all good and right and practical, but doing it/following through/taking it to heart for myself doesn’t always go so well.  This annoys and frustrates the heck out of me.  I mean geez… shouldn’t I of all people be able to benefit from my own wisdom…?!  You’d think so.

I do try to follow my own advice.  And when things are upsetting or bothering me, I go through my little process and usually come out of it with a pretty good grip on what it is that I need to do to get over it and get on with things.  But the amount of processing time varies and sometimes during the process I hit a snag or two and get hung up.  Especially lately in the matters of the heart.  </3

So maybe if I recorded myself during one of my “great intellect/inner wisdom” moments, I could go back to it periodically whenever I hit a snag and listen.  And then I could remind myself what to do instead of being a dummy flailing about on the waves of my emotions.

Or maybe that’s what friends (and family) are for…  they can speak your own advice and words of wisdom back to you when you are being a dummy.

Reminds me of the quote:

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
– Bernard Meltzer

Moral of this story:

Perhaps it’s not so much about being smart or dumb ~ maybe it’s more about pouring yourself  into others and letting them pour back into you.  So that during the trying times when we’re flailing about and we’ve forgotten “the words” ~ we have each other to reach out and grab a hold of to remind us.

Thoughts While on the Potty

You know how they say that some of your best ideas come to you in the shower?

Well what about thoughts while you’re using that other item that is in the bathroom?  The one that is for sitting on?  You know… the thing off in the corner… it’s not really just for sitting, but is used for another word that rhymes with sitting and has an H in it.  Okay I’ll just come out and say it… the toilet.  The potty.  I guess just going ahead and saying toilet is actually better/less crude to say than describing the word that rhymes with sitting anyway.

Not that I ever actually use the toilet ~ because we all know that when ladies use the bathroom… it’s only to powder their nose. 😉

Anyways…moving right along…

The bathroom in my apartment has one of those frosted glass type of windows.  It’s really awesome because being as huge of a fan of natural lighting as I am, it’s nice to let the light in and still have the privacy that a bathroom requires without wasting electricity.

So while I was in the bathroom this morning ~ ya know… just powdering my nose, I had a few thoughts and realizations about my life come to me when I was looking out the window.  If you can call it looking out.  Which I guess is what the realization is about…

My life right now feels like I’m looking through frosted glass.  I can see that there is light, I can see the outlines and different shading of things, but I can’t see anything clearly.  I’m so thankful for the light ~ that there is even a window at all, but I want to see clearly.  I want to know what the shaded images really are.  I want the frosted film over the windows of my eyes to be removed.

Maybe the problem here is that I’m in the bathroom.  The bathroom of my life?  Well isn’t that just great?!   I thought it smelled bad in here.  Not from me of course because I’m just in here powdering my nose…

We’ve all heard it said that as we go through life ~ that there are different seasons… Well perhaps there are different rooms as well.  The nice thing about being in a particular room is that unlike seasons ~ which are out of our control (unless we are God or a mad scientist experimenting with methods for controlling the weather), we can simply choose to move into a different room.

Well, the bathroom is a room we must revisit frequently.  We have to go in there to wash.  To clean off the dirt and grime of life.  And we have to go in there to… um… powder our noses and stuff.  But we don’t need to spend too much time in there.  Well, unless we ate something that didn’t agree with us ~ then it could be a while.  Maybe we should be more careful what we eat and what we dirty ourselves with so that we don’t need to spend a lot of time in there.

But sometimes it can’t be helped.  We fall down and get dirty.  Mud gets thrown at us.  We might have to walk through some pretty messy situations that take a while to wash off of us.  And we might get an upset stomach from all of that and need spend some time on the toilet (or leaning over it).

So at different times of our lives we may have to be in the bathroom for a while.  And while we’re in there ~ we have to look through the frosted glass.

But notice how there is still light coming in?  Although we may not be able see clearly until we finish our business in the bathroom and move on to the next room (and hopefully it’s one with big rose colored glass windows!), lets be thankful that there is still some light coming in while we’re in the bathroom times of life…

Yay it’s Monday!

Yay it’s Monday!  Monday =  funday!  Despite the comic above, I’m not being sarcastic here, I’m actually serious.   Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking…  “what are you lady, crazy?”  Yep, apparently so!  😀

Can’t help myself.  There’s just something I’ve always loved about Mondays…

I guess calling them “fundays” is pushing it quite a bit, but my point is that I do enjoy them.  I think it’s because I like new beginnings.

Most people dread Mondays and having to drag themselves back to their jobs/school after the weekend, but not me.  Well, especially not me at the moment because I am currently unemployed ~ but even when I was working I always approached Monday with a positive anticipation.

It starts on Sunday night… I start switching gears in my mind and thinking about the upcoming week.  What do I have going on, what do I need to accomplish etc.  I admit there is much less of either of those two things now while I’m not working, but I still enjoy planning for the new week ahead.

I’ve always liked structure and routine.  There is definitely a sense of comfort in both of those for me.   And I like being organized too.  Makes me feel like I’m on top of things.  On the ball.  Ya know?   But I’m not a control freak by any means ~  I am very good at being flexible and even flying by the seat of my pants when the need arises.  I guess Monday is kinda like a chance to regroup, see where I’m at, and start off with fresh motivation to accomplish stuff.  Stuff like… just not failing in my everyday life, for example.

I’ve never met another person who likes Monday.  And many people have told me how weird I am for liking it.  Most people like Friday.  Hey, I like Friday too!  It’s my second favorite day of the week.  Mondays are a new beginning and Fridays hold the excitement of having some free time for a few days.

Monday is always what day it is when I decide to start something new and if a Monday happens to fall on the 1st of the month, that’s even more motivation for me!  Not that I’m all that greatly disciplined at sticking with/following through with whatever new thing I start ~ I lack that significantly as a matter of fact.  But hey that’s why Mondays are so great… they happen every 7 days so I can always try again!  It’s all about not giving up, right?  😉

So what’s on the agenda for this Monday and the week that follows?  Attempting to clean my poor neglected (and somewhat filthy) apartment, finishing putting up the Christmas decorations (even despite my daughter repeatedly playing “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” as I’m writing this), getting my finances in order (the end of the year is nearly upon us), finally cracking open the new book I bought, and trying to figure out ways to mend this broken heart of mine.   Just to name a few.

How about you?

“What’s in your wallet?”

Moral of this story:

Don’t be hatin’ on Mondays ~ you’ll give them a complex…

Come on they’re not that bad ~ besides, they hold the promise of a new beginning!

And now to put an annoying tune in your head for your Monday…

Reflections of my Pops

Today would have been my Dad’s 83rd birthday…

We lost him to cancer this past June.  Hardest thing ever ~ watching him die.  Cancer is a horrible, evil and painful disease.  What my entire family went through during that time will be forever etched in our memories.

But rather than focus on his death and the terrible sense of loss that goes along with it, I want to focus on my Dad’s life, so here are a few reflections of my Pops…

~

This is one of my all-time favorite photos of him.  It was a beautiful, perfect, summer day spent at my favorite place in Minnesota ~ Lake Superior.  Dad was skipping rocks.  The entire shoreline is littered with them, as you can see.  And that’s my daughter in the background wading in the water.  She’s 19 now so this photo is from quite a while ago, but I still remember the day.  It was a good day.  A happy time.  And my Dad looks handsome.  ♥~

Where as the above photo was of my Dad on a warm summer day…. here is one taken during the glory of winter.  It’s also one of my favorite photos of him.  One thing about living in Minnesnowta is it SNOWS.  Sometimes a lot!  And my Dad always took such good care of clearing his walkways whenever it snowed.  He was actually quite the “ants in his pants” about it!  His hair matches the snow.  ♥   He had such a gorgeous head of hair…~

Omygosh if there is one thing I’ll always remember the most about my Dad… it’s that he LOVED riding bicycle!  He would ride miles and miles a day, all around the city ~  through downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet Avenue.  He was a common fixture around town riding his bike and people even recognized him.  He was a friendly fellow with a bright, wonderful smile.  ♥~

He’s not exactly “smiling” here, but I adore this silly expression on his face!  This picture was taken on one of his birthdays some years ago.  Clearly he is being silly about the new hat and gloves he received.  And see how he’s in his pajamas?  That is another thing about my Dad ~ whenever he was at home and not planning on going out anywhere, he was always in his jammies.  As my Mom and I were going through some of his things a few months ago, I asked for a couple sets of his jammies that we came across.  I’m wearing them as I write this.  ♥~

Here is another precious photo.  This was taken at my daughter’s graduation in 2010.  My Dad was very involved in my daughter’s life.  He was such a good Papa.  Over the years as she was growing up, he rarely missed a program, concert or recital of hers.  ♥~

My adorable parents being cute and cozy on my brother’s couch.  They were married for 52 years.  ♥~

As this is our first year without him on his birthday, we were talking about what ~ if anything, we should do to remember him today.  I thought it’d be nice to have a ham dinner because my Dad loved ham.  Ew… ham = definitely not one of my faves, but I’d be willing to suffer through it in honor of him.  🙂  But after going over it with my Mom the other day, we decided on White Castles.  Yep, good ol’ gut bombs, as we call them.  As a young child, some of my earliest memories of times/activities spent being with my Dad are of going to White Castle and then to the park afterward to feed the squirrels.  So I can’t think of anything I’d like more than to go get some gut bombs in honor of my Dad’s birthday.  Haha!  I’ll probably regret it later!~

Thank you for joining me here during my reflections of my Pops today.  I have one more thing to share.  It may seem out of place among the warm and fuzzy above dialog, but trust me …it isn’t.  My Dad was a sci fi freak!  Growing up, we were inundated with all things sci fi and it has stuck with us.  Thanks Pops, for making us freaks too…  😀

 

Cherish every moment that you have with the ones you love ♥

Cat cRaZy

Well, it’s official… I’ve become a “cat person.”

I didn’t mean for it to happen.  Really I didn’t.  I’ve always considered myself to be more of a dog person.  Dogs are so much fun and the stereotypes that cats have are quite the turn off.  But now that I have cats… I know better.

Hi, I’m Julie, and I’m a cat person.

Make fun of me if you want, but I’m no longer ashamed to admit it.  I’m crazy about my cats!

My cats bring an unbelievable amount of joy and sense of contentment to my life.  Even amidst (especially amidst) the most difficult times.

Their names are Sugar and Baby.  If you’d like to hear about them and be inundated with fuzzy wuzzy cuddly photos of them then keep reading.

Heeeeere’s Sugar…

My ex husband brought her home to me one morning in the wee hours just before daylight.  He worked over-nights at the time and had been on his way home when he spotted some baby kittens on the side of the road.  He wasn’t able to rescue all of them because they ran away and hid.  But he did manage to capture my precious little Sugar.

Here is one of the earliest photos I have of her.  Be ready…. the cuteness factor here may overwhelm you!

Now isn’t she just about the cutest little thing that you’ve ever laid eyes on?!  Look at that little face!   Yep, sweet as “sugar” ~ she stole my heart immediately.  ♥

~

She’s super smart and inquisitive about everything.  She can break into rooms, closets, cabinets, you name it.  If she wants in bad enough there’s no keeping her out.  She can even open doors.  And she’s always in our business.  Doesn’t matter what we’re doing… she wants to be right there in the middle of it all.

Exhibit A.  The photo below was just taken last night while we were putting up the Christmas tree.  See… she’s right in there with the Christmas lights as we were untangling them…

But even though she’s always in our business, she is very obedient and rarely gets into trouble.  From a very young age she just behaved and when we did have to tell her no, she listened.  She’s such a good little kitty girl.  ♥

~

Well, except in this next photo… She was lounging on my dining room table.  Which she is NOT supposed to be on!  I wasn’t home at the time and rather than kicking her off, apparently my daughter ~ who is a budding photographer, decided to use the opportunity to take a cute picture…

~

Sugar is also a talking cat and one of these days my daughter and I are going to try and record some of the many conversations we have with her on a daily basis.  Of course she speaks in cat language so we have absolutely no idea what she is saying, but it’s so freaking adorable!

This is one of my favorite photos of Sugar.  My daughter captured this adorable shot of her one day while Sugar was napping on her bed….

And here’s another one that is equally as adorable…~

Several years ago, Sugar had a litter of kittens.  Omygosh that was such an amazing experience!  I had always heard that when an expectant mother cat is ready to deliver she will go and hide somewhere to have them.  But not Sugar.  She came and got me.  I was sitting at my computer and she jumped up on the chair next to me.  She had a strange expression on her face and was sitting kind of weird.  Then she meowed and jumped down and I saw a wet spot on the chair.  She just stood there looking at me like she was waiting for me so I asked “Are you ready to have your babies?”  She meowed again and I could tell the answer was “yes”.  So I led her upstairs to our guestroom where I had made a spot for her weeks earlier.  She followed me, jumped right up there and started having her babies.  Purring all the while and tending so lovingly to each little wet globby kitten that came along.

She had five.  Five little precious honey pies. ♥

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And this is where Baby comes in…

Baby is one of the kittens from Sugar’s litter that we decided to keep.  She was the runt.  She’s not a runt now ~she’s bigger than Sugar.  All she does is eat and lay around so she’s quite a little chubba wubbs.  In the photo above she’s the one in the middle front of the shot.

And this is an early one of her by herself.  So little…

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Baby is my smooshy little cuddle bug.  She is so affectionate and sweet and such a comfort to me.  She doesn’t really like to be held or picked up, but she loves to lay on me.  It usually has to be on her terms, but a lot of the time she seems to know when I’m upset and her cuddly timing is purrfect.

Let me tell you… that having a warm, soft, purring cat laying on you is one of the most comforting, reassuring, and peaceful feelings in the world.  Sometimes when everything else in life is all discombobulated and overwhelming… all I have to do is pet my cats.  I know… it sounds dumb and maybe even overly simple, but it’s true.

Here are a couple of cute shots of Baby that my daughter took…

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Baby sleeps with me a lot and in the past on some nights she used to even sort of nag me when she wanted me to go to bed so she could cuddle.  It was a cute nag though because she has the cutest meow in the world.  Even though Sugar is our “talking cat”… when Baby meows your heart absolutely melts.  “Resistance is futile” because it’s the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear.  Sometimes she’ll come and wake me up in the morning with her sweet little meowing.  Usually it’s because her food dish is empty, but there is no way I can ever wake up crabby with such an adorable sounding alarm clock. ♥

Leaning over the side of my bed, I snapped this shot of her with my cell phone one morning when she was “alarm clocking” me…

Yep… no way you could be crabby about this waking you up is there?  Didn’t think so!  🙂

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I guess that’s about it for now on my cats.  But before you go, here is one of the two of them together. This is a rare occasion because Baby has become top cat and Sugar gets annoyed.  It’s taken with my cell so it’s not the best quality, but still adorable!

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Don’t let stereotypes about cats fool you ~ they have the ability to fill your life with so much love!

The little girl in this video is so random…

Oh Christmas Tree

Coffee in hand (or on desk as I type, actually.  Point is… nearby for sipping),    daily devotional read, cats fed, now to get motivated for the day…

So what’s on the agenda?

Putting up the Christmas tree.  Definitely experiencing some significant degree of difficulty motivating myself for that this year…

I’ve always loved Christmas.  Absolutely everything about it.  But my holiday cheer is at an all-time low this year.  Hey that rhymes!  It could be a newspaper headline: “Read all about it!  Holiday cheer at an all time low this year.”  I don’t know… I just make this stuff up as I go along you know.

So I wonder… what would this article say?  Should I try writing this in the 3rd person and make it like a newspaper article just to make it interesting?  Might be fun, but I’m afraid I haven’t got quite enough creative writing juices flowing just yet.  Maybe another time.  Another place.  Hah!  I’m hearing Rod Sterling’s intro to the Twilight Zone in my head right now!   I have no idea how my brain synapses just managed to link the Twilight Zone into that, but it is, what it is.  Here… join me in my oddness…

Geez I’m such a freak!  Hey cut me some slack, I’m still nursing my first cup of coffee here.  And I did mention in an earlier post that everything reminds me of a line from a movie, a song, or a TV commercial.  And also that I interrupt myself in the middle of a thought.  So before I went traveling off into the Twilight Zone, I was talking about motivating myself to put up the Christmas tree…

I’ve had a pretty rough couple of years here and without going into detail, it has been a real struggle to figure out what the heck my life is even about.  Everything I thought it was has had to be reevaluated.  And I haven’t finished analyzing it yet.  I’ll have to get back to you on that.  But the point is… hard stuff going on in your life affects your holiday cheer (among other things).

So where can I draw from to try and get a little bit of that back ~ my holiday cheer?  I’m not feeling especially inspired enough at the moment to come up with much, but one thing I can do is take the focus off of myself and put it onto others. Instead of going inward and contemplating everything going on in my life, all the loss and pain, maybe I suck it up and stuff all that junk into the far recesses of my thoughts (I can always come back to it later right?).

I’ll focus on my beautiful daughter ~ who loves Christmas.  I did that to her, I’m sure of it.  (Among other things which will inevitably surface at some point.)  Hopefully she doesn’t become disillusioned later when the struggles of life try and snuff out the excitement and anticipation of Christmas.  She’s the one gnawing at me about putting up the Christmas tree today.  Heh… gnawing!  So I’ll suck it up.  For her.  And also for my dear Mother who I have been sooo lucky and blessed to have as my Mom.  This will be her first Christmas without her husband of 52 years.  We lost my Pops to cancer this past June.  It has been a very difficult time for all of us, but I think most of all for her.  And I’ll focus on my sister.  My bestest friend in this whole wide world!  I honestly don’t know where I’d be without her.  Her insight and wisdom over the years has been invaluable to me ~ as has been her love and friendship.

Yep, these 3 precious people.  I’ll focus on them.  And on doing what I can to help make their Christmas meaningful.  Which immediately at hand means… getting off this computer and putting up the Christmas tree.

The moral of this story:

One way to muster up a little bit of holiday cheer = taking the focus off of yourself and putting it onto others.  Suck it up!