Saturday, December 20, 2014

Morning Post

I learned my lesson last night. If I wait until later in the day to post, I simply don't want to. My holiday spirit is fine this year ~ although not, admittedly, as great as I would have expected it to be based on how holiday-ish I was feeling leading up to Thanksgiving. But, at the same time, it's not. I don't know how to explain it.

It's been a weird season. A mix of rage-inducing tragedy, over-the-top excitement, awareness of my friends' pain, awareness of my own blessings.

Lithus is home and off work, so that will help. I'm not, but am taking a few days off this week, including tomorrow, for my faith. Melancholy isn't right. I'm not melancholy.

Maybe I'm aware? Maybe I'm tired? Maybe I'm a grown up? I don't know. The light begins to return Monday. Maybe I just need the light to return.

Whatever the reason, whatever the happening, I figured it was time to work some new singers (if not so new songs) into the repertoire.


 Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, December 19, 2014


It's been a long day, catching up on work after the kids' visit (pictures soon!), catching up with Lithus after his being gone, dealing with stuff. Nothing bad, just daily living stuff. But it makes for a blah kind of blog.

Have some music, straight, no chaser. Because it never gets old.

 Those are tired, but here, Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Playing Favorites

On the way to the airport this morning, Listener and I got to talking about our favorite holiday songs. It's so hard for me to choose. As soon as I would settle on one in my mind, another would pop in. I finally narrowed it down to the 4 that first popped in when she initially asked the question. Then I remembered that I hadn't included Good King Wenceslas in that list. I think it's because I don't consider that a holiday song, but more a life directive.

So, Listener, it was early. Good King Wenceslas is, bar none, my favorite holiday song ~ and life directive. Since you've heard it already this year, though, we'll cut to the other four...

In the Bleak Midwinter:

Christmas Canon (and I always love revisiting this video every year, just to see Ossie again. There are some people we never stop missing.):

Snoopy's Christmas:

And, of course, Bing and David. Because nobody does it better than Bing and David.

If I happen to have tears on my cheeks after listening to those four for posting, I'm woman enough to admit it. That's what makes them my favorites, after all.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Delighted and Foolish, All At Once

Back on the 9th, I wrote about a clear loop recording thingy. The music I chose for the day was one from the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble Christmas album. This album was the sound of my childhood Christmases.

Every single year, it was the way my father let us know we could come into the living room. When we were little, we would have bounced into their bed, and my mother would wrangle us in place until the music came down ~ or up, depending on the house ~ the stairs. Once we started getting older, and weren't quite up to bouncing any longer, the sound of this music would wake us. It was Christmas morning, and the day had finally arrived.

A few years ago, I found this music on youtube and posted it for Christmas day. I'm sure I wept happy tears at finding it, because I have no idea how long it had been since I'd heard that music at all, but especially on Christmas morning. 10 years? 15? I don't know.

Fast forward to the 9th of December, this year. I've posted a song from my childhood and it hits me: I bet my parents' copy of this album wasn't the only one that was ever made. Not only that, but I bet it was put out in different mediums. In fact, I bet that it didn't matter that I don't know what happened to my dad's album. I bet I could my very own version of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble Christmas album.

Guess what? Amazon. New, for $7.29. I have my very own version of this cd:

So yeah, I feel a little foolish that it took me this long to think of it ~ but more I'm delighted that I finally did.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee to wake up to on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Holidays Means Something After All

I am always stunned when people don't like being wished a happy holidays. There's an internet thing going around that says people should say "Happy (insert whatever holiday they celebrate here)" and not be offended by anything else.

On the one hand, I get this. How great would it be if we could all wish each other Happy (Whatever) and it be okay! 

On the other...really? People get offended by my wishing them a happy holidays, because they think I'm disrespecting Christmas by actually acknowledging they might celebrate something other than Christmas. Which means the very acknowledgement of a possibility of them celebrating Hanukkah is enough to make them feel disrespected. These people would freak the fuck out if I wish them a Blessed Yule.

So I'll stick with Happy Holidays. Because I do wish you a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Yule, a Lovely Kwanzaa ~ and yes, a Merry Christmas. Because I know, love, and respect people who celebrate each one of those. I just don't presume to know which one you do.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Annual PSA

Every year, I write a post on giving during the holidays. This year is no different. However, since I'm pre-publishing right now with the kids in town, I'm reworking an article I wrote earlier in the month for a newspaper gig I have...

It’s the holidays, and you know I do love the holidays. The lights. The colors. The music. The food. Laughter, friends, and goodwill. Traditions that have spanned longer than I’ve been alive, and that just started last year. I love it all. Especially the traditions.

A few years back, Lithus and I were in pretty bad shape financially. Really bad shape, actually. My Mac sat down to do her charitable giving that year and, instead of giving to the ASPCA, she gave to us. $100. Now, it doesn’t seem like much. That year? It was a ridiculous amount of money. What none of us realized, though, was a tradition was born.

Every year since then, Lithus and I have given $100 in her name. We’ve given to individuals, a family, organizations, even once the innkeepers of a place we’d been staying, when we learned they were on food stamps. That $100 in My Mac’s name has become part of our holiday tradition.

Another tradition of mine is to buy a toothbrush and full-sized toothpaste every time I go to the store from November 1st through Christmas. Sometimes, that’s once a week. Sometimes, it’s every day. However often, though, I buy a toothbrush and toothpaste. Between Yule and Christmas, I find a homeless shelter wherever I am, and deliver them. Lithus is British Canadian, so he grew up with a strong sense of Boxing Day being the day to make charitable donations. For him, it was gloves, scarfs, socks, underwear. The small things people tend to forget about. We have combined our two traditions quite nicely, and now deliver my toothbrushes and his gloves on December 26th.

My point is holiday traditions don’t have to be about turkey or beef for dinner. Or the chorale concert you always attend. Or decorating the tree with your friends and too much eggnog. Don’t get me wrong – I have those traditions, too, and I love them. But holiday traditions can be about more than that, too.

If you have a tradition of giving, great. If you don’t, it’s never too late – or too soon – to start one:

  • Give in honor or in memory of someone. A teacher who supported you. The friend who was always there. The sister who loans you her skirts (even if she draws the line at her shoes). The brother who taught you to tie a necktie.
  • Give your time. Not all of us have the financial resources to give money. Believe me, I get that. Contact your local food bank, or animal shelter. Find your local LBGTQ organization, domestic violence shelter, or day shelter. They will have ways you can donate your time, knowledge, empathy, muscles, brains, and passion. Whatever cause is dear to your heart, you can donate your time to it.
  • Combine traditions. Invite your friends over to decorate the tree and drink too much eggnog ~ and ask that everyone bring a single toy, stick of deodorant, full-sized toiletry, or jar of peanut butter. Pick a theme and ask everyone to bring one of that thing. The goal is to reach critical mass – have a small pile of something, without anyone having to spend more than they have, or feel bad because they couldn’t afford much.

And that’s how traditions are made. Which is far more interesting than just a list of things you can donate. HOWEVER! If you’re looking for that list, I have those suggestions as well. 

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Over the River

The kids ~ My Heart and Listener ~ arrive tonight. I am so excited I can hardly see straight.I haven't had him in my home since we lived in Anchorage. I have never had her in my home. And, as much as we've seen each other in the last year or so, time with family is different from time just with us. My Heart and I haven't had time just us in...damn, years. Yes, Listener will be here, but she is really good about, well, listening.

So I'm busy doing last minute puttering. Ovaltine? Check. Flowers? Check. Clean towels? Duh.

They arrive tonight and I get 3 whole days with them. My Christmas wish came true a little early.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.