Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: The Year Of The Shark

Goodbye, 2015. You were a Year Of Many Lessons. Some of your Lessons, I enjoyed (driving and docking the boat, making fish tacos, the joy of simpler living); others, not so much (well...let's not talk about them). But, your biggest Lesson is one that I keep learning, and it is sometimes your Hardest Lesson of all.

That is why I call 2015 The Year Of The Shark. For ages and ages, it has been said that sharks have to keep moving or they drown. Even though this isn't exactly true for the majority of shark species, it's still accurate to say that there are some varieties of sharks who have to maintain forward swimming motion or they will, indeed, die. 2015 made me realize that I had to be very sharklike and only move forward, too.

It is hard to be disappointed, to suffer loss, to be angry, to be hurt, and to feel sad. But if I'm going to replay those feelings, or dwell upon the episodes that caused them, I'm paralyzing myself. The Year Of The Shark almost made me forget my mantra of "Do whatever you can and then move on, knowing you did what you could."


As I've said before, both here and on my defunct blog Stuff On Our List (co-authored with Jared years ago), I don't usually make actual New Year's Resolutions because I think of myself as being on a Continuous Journey Of Self-Improvement. Last year, I did make two, which I promptly forgot, but they sort of roll into my Big Three Resolutions, which are guideposts for my life and have not changed. They are:

1. Be kind.
2. Shut up.
3. Never say never.

Pretty self-explanatory for the most part: I try to make kindness my default in every situation; I try to listen more than talk, which can be a challenge for me; and I try not to deal in absolutes, especially in discussions. Rather than say, "I would never own a gun," I say, "I can't imagine a scenario in which I'd own a gun." Beyond this, I continue to be grateful and work on my patience. Remember--Continuous Journey!

Goodbye, 2015. I look forward now to 2016 and what and who it may bring me. Happy New Year to all of you, and thank you again for reading and commenting. I hope to give you much more for both in the coming year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Warm Holiday Wishes From The Dept. Of Nance

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. 
Cheer to all Whos far and near. 
Christmas Day is in our grasp, 
so long as we have hands to clasp. 
Christmas Day will always be 
just as long as we have we. 
Welcome Christmas while we stand, 
heart to heart, and hand in hand.

I've been sick with a nasty virus since late Saturday night and my strength is just now coming back. As The Grinch says, Christmas comes just the same, so with the help of My Men, we're hosting The Family for Christmas Eve as usual.  

Bless them, they'll overlook any dustbunnies and cat hairs we miss and focus on food and wine and togetherness, as usual.  They're the best.

May all of you have Hands To Clasp this holiday, Warm and Loving Voices to hear, and Time for Togetherness with those you love.  

And once again, thank you for Being There.  I am more grateful than you know.



Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Dept. Is Back And With A New Feature: Ask A Large Cat

The Dept. is back, and with a new Feature, Ask A Large Cat. Without any Further Ado, here is Piper, resident Large Cat, to answer your Queries.

Query 1: Is it Just Me, or is Christmas feeling Blah and Tedious this year?
Large Cat: I feel the same way. I don't even watch Nance wrap gifts this year; I just lie under the tree and sleep. Here in NEO, everyone thinks it is due to the weather, which is extremely warm and snowless. I think that's Zzzzzz.

Query 2: Do you think the rest of the world is laughing at us due to Donald Trump leading in the polls?
Large Cat: No. I think they are shaking their heads in dismay and pity. The laughter ended with the re-election of George W. Bush.

Query 3: Every year, I ask for a pair of navy blue or red leather riding style boots. They do not exist. I don't understand why. I feel like they should, and that I cannot be the only one who thinks so. What's the deal?
Large Cat: Look, I understand. I feel like my dish should always be full of either albacore tuna or, at the very least, wet cat food. Keep hoping. I do.

Query 4: Our dog--
Large Cat: Next.

Query 5: I keep reading articles about tipping everyone at Christmas. Is this really necessary?
Large Cat: I don't think so. It sounds like a New York Thing to me. If you get regular service from the same people all the time, like a regular groomer or a regular mail carrier or pet sitter, then I would give them a tip. But tipping everyone sounds worky. And expensive. And tiring.

Query 6: Are gift bags okay to use, or are they tacky?
Large Cat: I really prefer boxes. They are cozy, and I can curl right up in them as long as they don't have some off-putting tissue paper in there. Gift bags tip over and require jumping and depth perception and quick risk-assessment.

Query 7: Is your Christmas shopping done?
Large Cat: I am a Gift Giver all year-round, and there are lint-rollers in two rooms to prove it. Sometimes I re-gift my breakfast.

Query 8: What do you want for Christmas?
Large Cat: A cat in the White House. Tuna every day. No more dog visits, ever. More quiet.

Query 9: With such impressive photos coming back from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, and its myriad discoveries, do you think Pluto will be reassigned its planetary status within our solar system?
Large Cat: I wish.

This has been Ask A Large Cat, with Piper, resident Large Cat. The Dept. of Nance is pleased to be back after a Hiatus Of Sorts...sigh.
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