Christmas Time is Here! 12-25-2017

ponyforxmas.jpg

Day Five of Christmas Horse Pictures!

Christmas Day! Ring in the Happiness! Good Cheer! Presents…..

At my house, sort of.

I didn’t wrap anything until this morning, Christmased out by decorating the living room and Tree on Christmas Eve. Normally, all the presents for my kids are wrapped and under the tree by the week before. Not so this year, but maybe that is okay. It is okay not to try so hard?

It wasn’t like they were up at the crack of dawn.

So, I wrapped for them, then the rest of the my family. After opening presents at home, under the newly decorated Christmas Tree, my oldest mixed up Mac and Cheese and some oatmeal cookies for the Family Gathering later that morning.

This was at my asking, mind you. No, not asking. Telling. This wasn’t some bright insight on her part.

They both did an excellent job with my gifts. My son got me a neat black and white drawing of a barn scene with a bright-orange/red fox in the foreground. My oldest got me an agenda and a GC to B&N. Her gifts surprised me. Usually, it’s a DVD.

I was just about to start my “Great Agenda Hunt” for 2018 and this saves me so much time. It isn’t one I would have picked, but she did and it will work fine.

The we drove down to my parent’s house for Christmas with my Dad, sister and her son.

Truthfully, everything felt odd and awkward. Maybe it was just me, but usually I am pretty good about reading such things.

We handed out presents. My sister asked if I had purchased Dad’s gifts to my kids. I said no, I hadn’t been asked to put that on my agenda. Strike one, thought my Dad did write them each a check before we left.

Strike two, we took the dog. I am not yet comfortable leaving her home alone (well with the cats) for long periods of time. She has abandonment issues due to being dumped on our street. We didn’t take her inside my Dad’s house, because she had not been invited. She wasn’t even mentioned until we were getting ready to leave.

We ate and rushed home so my youngest could go to work. Christmas was over.

It was a good Christmas, I guess. At least, an okay one. I don’t do well with holidays on a whole – they overwhelm me – and the same with family gatherings.

Could it have been better? Could I have made it better? Yes and yes, but I’m not sure faking the emotions was the needed ingredient. I don’t want to fake and pretend. I just want Christmas to mean something more again.

That said, Christmas really isn’t for adults, not the Christmas Tree/Santa Claus side anyway. Christmas is for children, those who haven’t forgotten the world of Christmas magic.

I can remember being that child, but can I ever be that child again?

Maybe if I had gotten that pony under the Christmas Tree……

horseforxmas

(images from Pinterest)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Time is Here! 12-23-2017

Image result for gypsy vanner foal xmasBy the way, all the images for this series are off Pinterest and not mine

Day Three of Christmas Horse Pictures!

Today will be posting late. Actually today will be posting tomorrow AM and then tomorrow’s edition will post later. Merry Confusion!

So how goes the Christmas Spirit of the season for today, day three of horse pictures? For the pictures, pretty good. I am enjoying them each and every day. For the ongoing problem of the Christmas Tree, and Christmas itself, not so well. I hated, yes hated,  admitting to ‘testing’ my kids, or anybody, to protect myself. I hate that I do that. I didn’t realize for years and years and then I just pretended I didn’t.

Yesterday, I claimed it. Shamefully, hatefully, reluctantly, but I did.

So now what?

Where do I go from here?

I was hoping to work on that yesterday (actual yesterday, not writing yesterday), but I haven’t been eating regularly and correctly so, in Kohl’s, I got suddenly overheated, nauseous and thought I might pass out. Now, why am I linking this to the Christmas Trees?

Wait, the ego-side of me is saying.  I can make this sound better. But I can’t really. So I felt ready to pass out. Pup and I went to Dairy Queen and got ice cream. Have you, by the way, tried the Hot Chocolate and Oreo Blizzard? Delicious!

Notice how my flow of thoughts keeps avoiding the real issue? Maybe if I avoid the issue long enough, it will go away?

Truth?

In my head, I really wanted to clean up and put up the tree. In my heart, I wanted to clean up and put up the tree.  So, instead, I watched Youtube video’s and scanned Facebook.

I know avoidance is one of my highly polished skills, but at the end of the night I was mad and upset with myself. It’s it funny how many ways we have to totally screw ourselves over, pretending all the time that we are happy?

Oh, joy, ecstasy. I am so happy being miserable.

Merry Humbug!

Remember the Christmas Spirit I wasn’t finding? Well, we had Christmas with my Aunt today, at her nursing home.

I hate that my family is getting smaller (8 at last count), and we can’t make Christmas the same as it has been forever. No more my family over at the Aunt’s house on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day at my parent’s home. Heck, we don’t even really have Christmas in my house anymore. It’s almost like another day. Opening the present and keep going on with life. Ships in the night.

This is the little kid in me kicking and screaming because things have changed and I DON’T like it! I want things to be the way I want them because that’s how I want them!

I want the memories of when Christmas was special. Little faces glowing with the thrill of lighting a Christmas Tree and the joy of hanging stockings. Waking up early to peek and see if Santa rally came. Me staying up half the night to get everything wrapped and under said tree.

Pause. Breathe. Breathe.

Maybe I don’t want to invest in Christmas this year because I know it is going to be different. It can’t not be different. My Aunt is in a nursing home and can’t go to my parents’ house on the Day. And it isn’t even my parents house any longer, it is my parent house. Mom is not there anymore and I really needed her this week.

Truth?

I don’t want to wake up Christmas morning and have it any different from all the years of my life.

I don’t want to wake up any day of my life and have it any difference than it ever has been.

Impossible, I know. It is already different. It can’t help but be different. Every breath I take makes a difference.

The question is, how can I learn to live with the difference, not only on Christmas Day, not only with the ever-evolving relationship with my kids, my job, my family, but with the ever-evolving relationship with myself?

Does who I am today, on Christmas Eve Eve, have to be less-or-different than on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? This year? Next year? Ten years from now?

And I’m back to the Christmas Tree. I am angry with my kids for not putting the tree up because having the tree up means something to me from my past that I want them to understand and respect, even though they can’t. It’s not their past with the Christmas Tree which was, with my Ex, rather sporadic at best.

Do I think that if I stop my life it won’t pass me by? If I hold my breath, stubbornly, the world will relent and let me have my way? At Christmas Time or anytime?

At least holding onto my anger feels like I am doing something…..

 

Christmas Time is Here! 12-21-2017

Image result for horse christmas image

I went looking for horse Christmas images yesterday and, of course, found a-plenty. True horse lover, I was unable to decide which picture to use so I decided to use them all. This means, yes, prepare for five days of pictures of horses and the holiday. Selfishly, I am going to bombard you with horses just because I want to see them!

I must admit, I am having a hard time finding my Christmas Spirit. Maybe because the past year has been such a struggle, but, when has the year not been a struggle? There are always struggles in each and every life.

Reading your blogs has been eye-opening and a point-of-stability for me. It’s easy to feel like you are the only one struggling against this or that or whatever, but hard to feel alone when you, my fellow bloggers, are so open and honest both in your personal musing and in your writings. You inspired me to do better, be better, live better.

Now, back to the Christmas Spirit.

The tree isn’t up.  My excuse is that my kids put up the tree. It’s artificial (the tree), so how hard is it to walk the box from the basement to the living room, set up the base and snap in the branches?

So, I hear you say, why don’t you do it yourself?

See, this is my problem. I refuse to do it. Partly out of stubbornness, partly out of pique. I asked them to put up the tree and they agreed. Let me point out here, the kids I am speaking of are 22 and 25. Responsible young adults, you say? Well, with a mother’s love, I say not really.

No, that’s not altogether true. They are young adults and, mostly responsibly. As responsible as any young adult at their ages.

Let me say here, I love both my kids very much!

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to miss them. Can you tell they both live at home?

I am proud of both my daughter and son. Daughter being a hard term since she was born my son.

Wow, never wrote that before. It has been a long struggle from that first day when he informed me he was a she. I think we, she and I, have finally come to an understanding. She is living her life as she wants. She is happier. She is moving towards responsible adult. What more can I ask? (Besides chores around the house and some $$ to help pay bills).

As for my youngest son, I am so proud of the progress he has made. Just when I think nothing will ever change with him, that he will let life pass him by, he up and proves me wrong.

So how did this monologue go from Christmas horse pictures to Christmas spirit to kids?

Just one of the mysteries of life, I suppose.

(Four more days of musing to conclude this anybody?)

 

 

 

 

Quote For The Day 2-13-2016

“I believe that half the trouble in the world comes from people asking ‘What have I achieved?’ rather than ‘What have I enjoyed?’ I’ve been writing about a subject I love as long as I can remember–horses and the people associated with them, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I couldn’t be happier knowing that young people are reading my books. But even more important to me is that I’ve enjoyed so much the writing of them.”
Walter Farley, The Black Stallion

Quote For The Day 1-22-2016

Writing fiction is a solitary occupation but not really a lonely one.  The writer’s head is mobbed with characters, images and languages.

Hilma Wolitzer

Read For The Week 1-15-2016

 

2330877

“Bravery is not the absence of fear but the forging ahead despite being afraid”
Robert Liparulo, House of Dark Shadows

When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into–as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there’s something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places–in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen’s dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

-Goodreads summary


A thoroughly enjoyable book, good enough to read the next in the series but not good enough to keep on my shelf (thought I keep very few books on my shelf after they are read). This is, after all, a Young Adult book probably more suited to the 10 – 13 age group. The story is told by both brothers, David and Xander.  It is well written but, compared to a book like The Raven Boys, it is more simplistic than many of the Young Adult/Teen books I have read. Perhaps I didn’t enjoy it more because I had already read a book built around the concept of a house with doors going into different world and times. I also found the basic plot of the book – to find their Mother after she had been kidnapped – thin at times.

All in all, a fun read but if  you want a more engaging book, I’d suggest something like The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater or even the Morpheus Road Trilogy by D.J. McHale.


“Live to fight another day was an expression that did not take into account the loved one who would die because you didn’t continue fighting today.”
Robert Liparulo, House of Dark Shadows

Quote For The Day 11-27-2015

“I watched the early morning light pass over and through the windows of colored glass, leaving streaks of red and green and yellow on the stone floor. When I was little, I used to try and capture the colored light. I thought I could hold it in my hand and carry it home. Now I know it is like happiness– it is there or it is not, you cannot hold it or keep it.”
Karen Cushman, Catherine, Called Birdy

Read of the Week – Morpheus Road – The Light by D.J. McHale

6503718

“I stood on the street, staring up at the most normal-looking house in the world. My house. I’d lived there my entire life. It was home. It was safe.
It was haunted.
The only other explanation was that I was demented. I couldn’t say which I was rooting for.”
D.J. MacHale, The Light

Marshall Seaver is being haunted. It begins with mysterious sounds, a fleeting face outside a window, a rogue breeze – all things that can be explained away. That is, until he comes face-to-face with a character who only exists on the pages of a sketchbook – a character Marshall himself created.

Marshall has no idea why he is being tormented by this forbidding creature, but he is quickly convinced it has something to do with his best friend, Cooper, who has gone missing. Together with Cooper’s beautiful but aloof sister, Sydney, Marshall searches for the truth about his friend while ultimately uncovering a nightmare that is bigger and more frightening than he could ever have imagined.


From the author of the Pendragon books, D.J. McHale brings us another series fraught with scary ghosts, suspense, humor and likable characters with whom readers can easily relate.  The plot had enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as it moves ahead at a swift clip. The narrator is Marshall and, while he comes off as a nerdy wimp in the beginning, he gradually starts to change as events build around him. The author portrays Marshall’s confusion and fears realistically, keeping the reader engaged in the story and eager to find out what happens next.

I enjoyed this book.  It is well-written; even with all the ‘paranormal’ events going on, I never lost track of the who and where and what of the story.  While this is a Young Adult novel, I would recommend it for anybody looking for a suspenseful (yet not terrifying) read.