Sunday, December 30, 2007

Final Thoughts on Christmas

Between the anniversary and Bhutto's assassination, I'm just getting around to this. Because of the anniversary and the assassination, it is important that I get around to this.

* The Mystery Gift was a French butter bell from the Lovely Cats. Love these things and am thrilled to have one of my own.

* Ten years may or may not be enough time to be able to be happy after the death of a loved one. Ten years when combined with a big-picture happiness is definitely enough time.

* The most annoying Christmas song isn't "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." It is actually the one titled something like "Christmas Shoes." The one about the kid looking to buy shoes for his mother before she dies on Christmas Eve. Yes, yes, I know. It's supposed to be moving and touching and remind us all to live each day and celebrate Christmas. For me, it just annoys me. To no end.

* I have the most gorgeous collection of amber necklaces ever. So many reasons I love Lithus.

* In an earlier post, I mentioned that I top my tree with a cross. This raised questions for some people. Here's the story (it's a little long...)
When my parents were first married, they couldn't afford a tree topper. So, Daddy went and got gold tin foil (it was readily available then) and made a cross from cardboard and gold tin foil. That thing topped the tree for YEARS. Over time, gold tin foil stopped being so readily available and the cross got more and more beat up. Skip forward several years...I'm a pre-teen and early teenager when my friend, Gail, becomes a surrogate mom to me (as most of you know, my relationship with Mama has been iffy most of my life so Gail REALLY filled in A LOT during the awful time of being a teenager.) She also worked at the Ground Round as a waitress. One night ~ it wasn't even during the holidays ~ we were eating at the Ground Round and Daddy realized his baked potato was wrapped in gold foil. He asked Gail to find out where they had gotten it so he could recover the cross. Instead, she brought him several sheets of it. Daddy never got around to recovering his cross. Skip forward another year or two. Gail dies of cancer on my 16th birthday. Needless to say, I don't handle it well but life goes on. Three years later, I'm 19 and throwing my first Christmas party. I can't afford many ornaments so I tell everyone the "price of admission" is a decoration for my tree. My parents make a token appearance (as they are aware parents/the chair of the Communications Department probably aren't *that* welcome at a college party) but bring a decoration with them. It is a cross tree-topper made from cardboard and covered with the gold foil Gail had given Daddy all those years ago. Now, I have both crosses and use them interchangeably or, sometimes, have two trees and use them both.

* Having your best friend's parents send you a holiday present is a present in and of itself.

* Beef Wellington tastes as good as I remember.

* The reason I celebrate Christmas is best explained by A Christmas Carol. We all know the story. But if you haven't really paid attention recently, revisit it. Either read the original story ~ paying very close attention to the end ~ or watch the George C. Scott version from the mid-80s. Really listen. You'll understand why ~ and how ~ this Pagan celebrates Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Those are Pobble Christmas thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you egg nog.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

They Did It

They killed her.

God help us all if they now get the leader they deserve.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Running With A Wolf

Wolfgrrrl tagged me a few days ago. It's a lovely meme...

1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.
2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.
3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.
4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

1. A blogger I would like to see something wonderful happen for...oh, so many. I'm choosing two: one who is a personal friend, one who is a blogger friend, because it's hard enough to only choose two, let alone one. The first is Nemeria. Without telling stories that aren't mine to tell, I will say that she deserves something wonderful. She's had a rough couple (years) months. Still, throughout it all, she has been an amazing friend, a thoughtful colleague, and a true gift to the Universe. Trust me, your world is better because Nemeria is out here, even if you don't know it or her. How can I not wish something wonderful for her. The blogger friend would be Cracker Lilo. Without knowing it, she has given me so much. More often than not, I read her posts and think "that's what I wanted to say" or even "oh dude...I hadn't thought of it that way."

2. This is another tough one to limit to one and the reason I have been so long in accepting this tag. See, for those of you who don't realize it, I worked human services for 13 years and learned about 13 days into it that I would be changed and touched as much if not more than my clients were changed and touched by me. However! I think I finally got the one ~ and it doesn't even come from those 13 years. When I was 11, my parents started taking BioSis and me to volunteer at the local soup kitchen. And not just during the holidays. Every 6-8 weeks, year round (from this I learned that there are LOTS of people who like to volunteer during the holidays but somehow forget that people are in need the other 10 months of the year. But I digress...) At the kitchen, we served 2 types of soup, three kinds of sandwiches, coffee, tea, milk, juice or water. People could have two bowls of soup, three sandwiches and as much to drink as they wanted. Everyone went through the line first and then we served refills at the tables. I was young; I was upper class; I was privileged; I was compassionate...I was self-righteous. I was helping. I was good. I was, although I wouldn't have put it this way at the time, the Great White Hope. Until I met one particular man. He was well-dressed. He was probably in his mid-twenties. He was deeply embarrassed to be there. And yet...he behaved as if he was at a restaurant instead of a soup kitchen. His demeanor was one of self-worth and self-respect. He was in need ~ he wasn't needy. As I tried to serve him, he kept saying "no" to more soup, to another sandwich. But if I refilled his milk once, I refilled it a dozen times. Later, I realized ~ milk is filling. Milk is nutritious. Milk can see a person through to the next day if you drink enough of it. He wasn't too proud to be there. He wasn't too proud to drink his milk. He wasn't too proud to accept a young girl helping him. He was, however, still proud. And I learned that compassion without respect is pity ~ and hugely demeaning. I have no doubt this man ~ who was younger at the time than I am now ~ didn't eat many more meals from a soup kitchen. I have no doubt he has long forgotten the little girl who refilled his milk glass over and over. I have never forgotten him. Compassion and respect. I hope I've continued to combine them well. I hope he would be proud of me.

3. Something born out of joy ~ I am making homemade cupcakes for the staff here at the apartment complex. They do so much and make this such a delightful, safe, comfortable place to live. I wish I could do more to thank them. Since there's not, I'll make them cupcakes. And I make a damn good cupcake. :) (ed. note ~ this has been done already but it was in the future when I first starting writing this post.)

4. The with Wolfgrrrl, this is a tough one. SO! Let's go with Graziella, Krystal and Get Off My Lawn! With Wolfgrrrl's same disclaimer: if you don't have the time during the holidays, I completely understand!

Those are Pobble Thoughts, with a hand from Wolfgrrrl. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Mystery Gift

Since I am nowhere near anyone I have ever celebrated the holidays with, I am receiving several packages in the mail. Most of them, I recognize where they are from. Except for this one. This one that arrived today...I have no clue. It was sent to me. But the return address is the store from which it was shipped. In a state where no one I know lives. I have simply put it, as is, under the tree. I guess I'll find out Christmas morning. At least, I hope I will. :)

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

From My In Box

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? paper ~ although I've had to use a couple bags this year due to oddly shaped gifts

2. Real tree or Artificial Real. I'm a bit militant about this one.

3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime in December. No real set date.

4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime in January. No real set date ~ although when I was Christian it was important to me to leave it up at least through Christmastide and Epiphany.

5. Do you like egg nog? love it. love it plain. love it spiked. love it in coffee. love it in pancakes. love it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? probably Bear, the stuffed one I still sleep with

7. Do you have a nativity scene? um... not so much, you know?

8. Hardest person to buy for? Tom Cat or the Grill Master

9. Easiest person to buy for? BioSis

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail ~ on years when I do them, which is more often than not.

11 .Worst Christmas gift you ever received? two bottle of red wine from my mother a couple years ago (I can't drink red because it gives me a migraine.)

12. Favorite Christmas movie? How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the real, animated one, not that dreck with Jim Carrey); 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (the one with the mice); George C. Scott's Christmas Carol (and yes, I know I've left out Wonderful Life but that's one of my favorite movies, period, so it doesn't feel like a Christmas movie to me.)

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I keep my eyes open year-round

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes *blushes*

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? dressing

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I've always done all white but we're having a clash of Christmas styles this year so the tree is all white but the balcony is colored

17. Favorite Christmas song? another three-way tie: Snoopy's Christmas; Bing and Bowie's Little Drummer Boy; and Transiberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? In the past, I traveled. This year, staying home. Hoping to travel again next year.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Of course!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Currently a star, but that's because my tree topper is in storage still. Has always been and will always be (though this will shock you) a cross

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? All on Christmas morning

22 . Most annoying thing about this time of year? The whisper in the back of my head about Daddy's death. although, at least it's just a whisper now!

23. Favorite ornament? the aforementioned cross tree-topper

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? beef wellington, dressing, the vegetable is allowed to vary, and pie. :)

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? bath stuff

And for those of you who don't read the Lovely Cats, here's a
  • link
  • for you.

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

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Things Kinda Happened

    I didn't mean to be away for so long. It just kinda happened. Here are some other things that just kinda happened...

    * The FedEx truck pulled up and delivered a package ... for me!

    * The FedEx truck pulled up and, while not delivering a package for me, played holiday music through the window while the driver was delivering to someone else, giving me a lovely, unexpected carols concert from my balcony

    * Lithus and I wandered the city, people watching and looking at the lights and generally enjoying the season and each other

    * I had a lazy day where I didn't even shower until 5:00 p.m.

    * I had a lazy day where I didn't even shower at all

    * All the presents ended up perfect ~ and sent to their respective homes

    * The Nordstrom Santa made me smile because he has the "right" smile and twinkle in his eyes

    * My vintage faux fur coat (that only cost me five bucks!) looked good enough that it drew snarky comments from the oh so earnest young activist kids behind me

    * Egg nog and egg nog lattes came back.

    It's a lovely season.

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

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    The Words I Didn't Want to Hear

    "I do not support same sex marriage." ~ John Edwards, 2008 US presidential candidate

    I'm behind in my politics. I understand that. However, I finally saw clips from the democratic debate on Logo. And in response to the question about same sex marriages, Edwards was decisive, clear and respectful. There was no waffling. There was no politicking. He was everything I have come to respect and expect from him. And I do love that about the man.

    Except...what he said. I cannot support what he said. Looks like the other shoe has finally dropped.


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

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007


    Hi everybody! This is a friendly little reminder about giving at the holiday season. Now, if you do not give or can not give, I'm not here to judge that. If however, you do donate, then I would request that you take this post into consideration when you do...

    Everybody and their neighbor is donating canned green beans, Stovetop stuffing, Barbie dolls and action figures. And TTG for it! Because those are indeed the cornerstone of human services organizations holiday drives. You know what people aren't donating, though?

    wrapping paper, ribbon and tape
    artificial Christmas trees and ornaments
    stocking stuffers
    gifts for teenagers ~ especially teenage boys*
    full-sized toiletries (because guess what? people still need to brush their teeth!)
    gift cards for gas stations
    board games the whole family can play
    adult-sized underwear ~ especially men's
    AA batteries

    So. There you have it. The things that used to make me happy as a pig in shit when someone would donate to my shelter/organization. And thanks.

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

    * Can't think of what to get teenage boys? How about: ballcaps for your local team; gloves; t-shirts with funny sayings on them; posters of bands or cars or sayings (not religious, please); walkmen; clever boxer shorts...Just some suggestions. Anybody have questions or suggestions, please chime in!!!! :)

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    I Stand Corrected

    It wasn't a date. She is not Timber's girlfriend. Mind you, it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck. Apparently, it ain't a duck. So be it.

    And yes, I did go in with Lithus and meet her and her parents. Lovely people who only reacted very slightly to a woman not Timber's mom showing up. He had made us promise we would be in and out, five minutes tops. I think we made it although he was nudging me at one point as his dad and her mom started doing the phone number exchange thing.

    After spending five and a half hours together, they were on the phone for another hour and a half that evening. She is coming here for dinner next weekend. He's already bought her a necklace for Christmas. He is considering asking her to come with Lithus and me when we go into town to check out some of the holiday events in the city. When I had to ask him a question this evening, he was lying on his bed, in the dark, on the phone with her.

    Oh yeah ~ it's a duck.

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

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    I Had Forgotten

    I had forgotten how much fun shopping for holiday decorations could be.

    I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy finding the perfect tree for the room.

    I had forgotten how much one can look forward to trimming the tree.

    I had forgotten how beautiful carols are.

    I had forgotten unrestrained laughter and unadulterated joy in December.

    I had forgotten how joyous this time of year really is.

    I had forgotten what it meant to be truly happy at Christmas.

    I knew I had forgotten.

    I had never thought to remember again.

    I do.

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