Friday, November 25, 2011

Its a beautiful day

I had a really fantastic day yesterday. Normally, I'm not a huge Thanksgiving fan. I mean, I love the mass amounts of food and all, but the rest of teh holiday seems a little lost for me. It has since I was a teenager and I lost my grandfather. When my family stopped spending so much time together during the holidays, it seemed like there was a lot less to be thankful for, and that's really what the day is supposed to be all about. My teen years and my early twenties seemed even more futile in the celebration of Thanksgiving. I didn'tr really feel a connection to the people I was around for the holiday, and I missed the feeling of closeness that I used to have.

I have to confess, I think yesterday turned it around for me. We had Thanksgiving with Kitten's mom. It was really nice. We hadn't really planned it that way, we weren't planning on being back in town from vacation until Wednesday and we were just going to crash out. Problem was, Kitten has a test for school she couldn't miss, so we decided it would be nice to have a family dinner. Since the fire, our oven doesn't work so well, so we were going to use Precious's oven. Then Kitten's mom asked what we were up to. So we got to go over to her place and make dinner.

I've never made a turkey before, so that was a big deal to me. We got over there at about ten in the morning and started to get things ready. (I have to confess after the first hour we realized there wasn't a baster, so we had to run to the store to get one, oops!) After we got the turkey going, though, we spent the morning teamed up playing games like catchphrase and taboo. It was a lot of fun. It definately felt different to me, because my family never did things like play games with each other on holidays. There was a lot of gossping a squabbling, but not a whole lot of fun. I derived most of my holiday joy from watching my grandparents cook. This year, though, we spent quality time togther, and I really enjoyed it.

When we finished cooking together it was nice to sit at the table and eat, Kitten carved the bird, which turned out really, really well. After dinner Kitten's mom's roommate came and played a few games of Scrabble with us. I loved it because they are both really good players, I like a challenge. There was plenty of good natured teasing going on. I spent a lot of yesterday laughing. I experienced, I think for the first time, how truly joyful a holiday with your family can be. I think Oscelot felt it too, and she was smiling and laughing all the way up to the moment when she fell asleep in front of the fireplace. It was awesome.

It got me thinking about how near a miss I had. Really. I know I talk pretty frequently on how lucky I am to have Kitten in my life, but I really believe it. Eleven years ago I was foolish enough to let Kitten go out of my life. I remember so clearly that day, I can play it over and over in my head. I'm not saying I didn't have happy times after that. When I was with Beloved I had several times where I was pretty happy, given who I was at the time. But thank the lord and lady I have Kitten now. I'm so happy. I feel, for the first time in my life, like I am complete. I feel like I trulyhave a family that loves and supports me. I have the security of knowing no matter what happens, its going to be okay because I have her, and Oscelot, to get me through things. Its this sort of love, the kind that has no restrictions, that makes a person truly able to reach their potential, to grow, to be more than they thought they could. I don't know that I deserve it, but I am glad to have it in my life.

I got a lot of messages from my friends yesterday and I was thinking again how much better my life is now. I couldnt' always say that I had friends who understood me, who knew me well enough to truly be friends. The people who I make my friends now are remarkable. They know how to deal with my constant need of affection, my lack of filter, my ability to say and so incredibly stupid things sometimes. They also know me well enough to know when I need support and when I feel like I need help. They always offer it to me. That's a very rare friend, a wonderful gift from the universe. I feel lucky to have so many people that I can call true friends.

I'm even lucky in my job, although a lot of times I don't feel like I admit it. I work for a company that closes for big holidays so we can be with our families. I work for people who respect me and my religious beliefs. I have two wonderful bosses who allow me to do things like take long vacations so I don't go bonkers and still give me a great schedule when I come back. I didn't have to be at work yesterday. I won't have to work for Yule. I know a lot of people who can't say that. It makes me happy to think I've found a place that treats me with respect and courtesy. Its really nice.

I know its sappy and a little cliche, but I really do have a lot to be thankful for. I'd be ungrateful if I didn't take a little time to sit down and acknowledge that.

I hope that all of you have something that you can be proud of, something that makes you glad to be who you are. Sometimes its just these little things, the ones that really count, that remind you life is worth living.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just Like a Dragonfly

Well, I've been home from vacation for a couple of days now. It was really nice. We had a great time.

I have to confess, I actually didn't take a whole lot of pictures. The most I took were on the day we went to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. We had a fantastic time while we were there. Its a giant preserve dedicated improving the lives of exotic cats that have been kept for breeding purposes, as pets or by zoos and private owners who have mistreated them or been shut down by various governemnt agencies. Its a really neat place. Some of the cats have really sad stories, and the entire staff has the whole history of each one of them at their finger's ends.

We spent the whole day there enjoying the beauty of the cats, learning about them and in some cases playing with them. There was a black leopard named Spike who loved to stalk along the tall grasses in his cage. If you took off running down the path, he would chase you and jump up at the fence and then make a chuffing noise (the sound big cats make because they can't purr). I loved him. He was adorable.

Kitten, not suprisingly, was very fond of the tigers, and there were several that were very fond of her too. One of them seemed to watch her no matter where we were walking in the compound part of the refuge. Oscelot spent a good deal of time admiring the servals, which are funny little cats. We laughed because the girl at the front desk said she thought the servals were mean. It gave me a giggle.

If you have time to visit their website, you should definately check it out. Its a wonderful place and they are working for a wonderful cause. As a person who lives in a state that allows the sale of exotic cats without resrictions or permits required, I feel thankful there are people out there working to protect the poor animals that are victimized by the trade.

We had a lot of good food while we were on vacation. I actually ate mexican food. It was delicious though. It was at a little restaurant called Casa Colina. The food was amazing, the service was good. I was pleased to see the chef/owner visiting tables, including ours. It was amusing, though. All the waitstaff were men, I am dead certain they were all gay, and they all had bleached blonde hair. I joked with the girls that maybe their dress code was really strict, or maybe they all lost a bet. We weren't sure. Either way, the food was excellent. We also ate at an Irish restaurant called the Pied Piper Inn. The food was terrific, and again, the service was stellar. Our waitress, who was also the bartender, invited us to a big party at a bar across from our hotel after we finished. We didn't go, we wanted to sleep, but it was a nice thought, wasn't it?

We wandered the shopping district more than we ought, and found a ton of things we really liked. Thank heavens we didn't buy all of them, we wouldn't have been able to fit them in the truck. We also got massages and spent a lot of time in our hotel watching food network and playing in our giant jaccuzzi tub. Its the first one I've ever been in (in a hotel room at least) where I could lay down completely and still have room at the head and foot of the tub. It was delightful.

I must confess, though, I was glad to get back home. I didn't sleep as well as I would have liked without my bed, so I was delighted to crawl into it after nearly a week of not being in it. I've spent the last couple of days trying to rest, because heading back to Casa Bueno for black friday is not something I particularly look forward to. Its a rough day all around.

Since we've come home I have been lucky enough to spend time wtih both Precious, Kitten's bff, and Flyguy, who came over last night to play a couple rounds of scrabble. I was also delighted, because he brought us this adorable little staircase to put in front of the litter box for our kittens, who have trouble getting into it. He made it, and I thought it was really sweet of him.

Today we are going to Kitten's mom's house for Thanksgiving. I am making my very first turkey. I'm pretty anxious about it. I mean, I should be okay given all the episodes of Thanksgiving everything on food network. I know how its done, I've just never put it into practice. Otherwise, it should be another relaxing day. I get to watch pride and prejudice on television, we'll probably play a few games, and we get to eat a huge meal. Things should be pretty nice.

Well, I am to dash off to the MIL's now, so I have to sign off. I hope your turkey day is fabulous. Don't put the stuffing in the bird. Itll make you sick.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm Writing Our History on the Bedroom Wall

Wow. I disappeared for while there didn't I?

Well, to be perfectly honest I was pretty busy. I had Samahin preparations toworry about. It went well, by the way, and I will get back to my witch 101 lessons as soon as I'm able, although I confess, its likely to be December before I get to it.

As you well know, its November, and for me that means its a writing month. Some of you know I've written a novel, and although I was unable to get agented for it, I still am very proud of that peice of work. I think its beautiful writing, one of the few things I've ever done that I am immensly proud of. The reason I got that thing started was NaNoWriMo.

In case you aren't familiar, Nano is short for National Novel Writing Month, and its done every year in the hopes of bringing authors and would be authors fun and joy as they scramble to get words on paper. The idea is that if you write a 50,000 word novel in the space of a month you "win." My first year doing Nano I won, and I won big. Iwrote nearly 200k words that month. That eventually (after, like, six revisions) became my first novel. Since then I have not had as much success, life has a tendency to get in the way; and by life I mean the terrible personal decisions I made in the successive years.

This year I am back at it again with a brilliant new plot and a lot of energy. I'm also being encouraged by my partners to get back in the saddle and get to writing again. So far I've hit 12k words. I'm pretty proud. I should mention I have plenty of friends who are encouraging me as well. It gives me a lot of hope.

Nano is also the reason I met Perpet, my very best friend in the world. She was our city's municipal leaison. We met at the prepratory meeting and rest is history. I'll forever be grateful to Nano for her, if nothing else, because my life would not be the same without her. I also met Sakura through Nano that year, and he has enriched my life as well. If you are a budding, would be, or hope to be writer, I encourage you to pop on the dorums and go for it. Its still early in the month, you've got plenty of time. Hell, its fun, and that's got to count for something right?

Outside of living at my desk chair and neglecting my blog I'm preparing for our vacation. We only take off once a year, and I look forward to it. I must admit, I've been extremely grumpy the last few weeks, so a break is somethign I could use. We're going to the beautiful city of Eureka Springs Arkansas this year, and its going to be great fun. While we're there we are plannign on shopping, antiquing (antiqing? eh!) take a spa day, having photos done, eating a bunch and taking a ghost tour at The Crescent Hotel. Its America's most haunted hotel. You should check out their site, its awesome. The photos creep me out.

I might also add that this is where Perpet got married to The Boy. A funny story for all you nay-sayers I discovered last night. While we were there at the hotel, I was charmed to find they had cats in the hotel. No suprise, since cats are meant to be guardians of people from spirits. I sat down in one of the fancy lobby chairs while Perpet was sorting out stuff with the minister who was to marry them.

Two gorgeous black and grey cats were playing at my feet in no time. I was delighted, because I love cats. Then a giant orange cat leaped into my lap and I was happy to give him cuddles. BBD looked at me askance and asked what I was doing. I emptied the orange kitty off my lap and told him I was petting the cat, why did he care. He looked at the cats at my feet and said no, they were sitting at my feet. I said yes, except for the orange one that just went out onto the porch. He rolled his eyes and walked off.

I told perpet about the cats and she spotted the two grey and balck ones immediately. From what she told me last night she spent the rest of the weekend hunting for the ginger cat. (I suspect she's like me and has a weakness for yellow tabbies) I was on the website last night and discovered the hotel's last ginger cat passed away in 1994! I was petting a ghost kids. I'm not nuts. I swear. I held that cat. I knew it was there. Apparently, BBD thought I was nuts because I looked like I was petting nothing...There's quite a few accounts of this cat, Morris, hanging around guests, as I fond out later last night. Wow. I feel both incredibly creeped out, and awed at the same time.

In other ghostly news, I had a dream about my grandfather about two weeks ago. He (and the lord and lady) came to visit me while I was sleeping. If I give you the particulars chances are I'd sit and cry at the computer, but sufice to say it was a moving visit and I felt very loved and touched when I woke.

I also discovered (because I think I've mentioned I've seen the Lord and Lady before, but was never able to figure out which archetypal for they were taking) that my Lord, such as he is, is The Baron Samedi, the king of the Voodoo Guedes. I'll let you do your own wiki search if you're really interested in him. I will say this, I think its entirely me that he's not only a god of death, but of sex, mirth and life. Trust me to have him appear as a snappy dresser who likes to drink and smoke. Eh? Yeah, its totally me. I found him while I was doing research on death gods. It was, um, a shock.

Other than those things, my life has gone on pretty well as normal. I've been playing Scrabble with Flyguy and Kitten quite a bit. They're getting good enough to beat me on a regular basis. I like the challenge but am convinced if I work harder, I can maintain a winning streak.

I hope all my lovelies in blogland are happy and well. I'll not disappear so long again, I promise.