it came
stealing slowly across the lawn
on whispers of wind

it fell
floating gently down to rest
in a blanket of white

and there it now lies
in the dawn
in peace
in silence
in complete innocence and beauty

like new fallen snow
he came

Photograph by Frank Frambach

Tis The Season To Give A Goat

Since the end of the year is almost nigh, I decided to total up my earnings for the year as an itinerant petsitter. Are you sitting down? I made $1450 this year! That is exactly $105 more than I made in my first summer job way back in 1974. I looked it up. You really can look anything up on the internet.

The good thing about making so little money is filing a tax return will be a breeze. I won’t even need a calculator. The bad thing is that it really isn’t much money. My father always used to say there are worse things than paying taxes. Oh, that is so true. I just never thought I would have first hand knowledge of that truth.

Back in my former life as an employed person, I was quite generous with my charitable giving often getting into 5 digit territory by the end of the year. Now that I live on savings, I give considerably less money, but I still give.  I give because even though I am jobless, I am not homeless, wineless or foodless. There are so many others in this world that have so little and I don’t mind sharing.

I spread my giving out over the year and have also upped my volunteering since I don’t have a job that interferes with that. I have a soft spot for the hungry, the homeless, orphans and animals with efforts targeted at hungry homeless orphans and hungry homeless orphaned animals being near impossible to resist.

Earlier this month, I read a wonderful post over at The Bloggess. She mentioned an organization called The Heifer Project. This organization’s mission is to help communities end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. They provide livestock and training to families around the world. A donation to them will buy a flock of chicks or a water buffalo or even a goat, or a part of a water buffalo or goat.

Since I recently experienced the joys of goat herding,  I thought giving the gift of a goat would be an excellent way to wrap up my year, charitably speaking.   If you need a last minute gift idea, consider the gift of a goat or part of a water buffalo. It’s a great idea for that person on your list who is difficult to buy for or just difficult. Knowing you gave a goat in their name will make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even if they don’t feel that way, they’re not going to say anything. It would be unChristmaslike.

I know I feel all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about that goat in my shopping cart and knowing that one goat will make a huge difference in a child’s life.


Wrapping Is The Right Thing To Do

My holiday decorations!

Whew! I finally finished putting up the Christmas decorations. It took about three minutes, or maybe two, but it felt like five. I opened a drawer, removed two holiday pot holders and placed them on the counter next to the stove. I stood there admiring the festive touch, turned around and nearly tripped over the open drawer. I always forget to close them.

I know what you’re thinking, “What took so long?” You’re right. The decorating should have only taken one minute, but I had to dig through the Halloween pot holders to get to the Christmas pot holders, so that slowed me down.

I’m about two-thirds done with addressing the Christmas cards which is about five-eighths farther along than I was yesterday. The math may not be correct, and I wouldn’t have mentioned math at all except I know a few of my readers live for fractions.

I won’t be addressing any more Christmas cards this week as I have better things to do. Namely, I’m going camping tomorrow and won’t be back until Sunday or Monday. I won’t know until then. So if you don’t get a Christmas card this week, it’s because you are at the bottom of my list alphabetically speaking or numerically speaking. There is no method to the madness that is my Christmas card list.

I’m also quite pleased to proclaim that I completed all of my holiday baking today. I know, I know – decorating and baking all in one morning, and yet I’m hardly ever mistaken for Martha Stewart. My holiday baking consisted of one pan of brownies. The brownies are for the camping trip, but since there is some talk of a holiday in the coming days, I’m also counting this morning’s kitchen adventure as holiday baking.

My Christmas shopping is also done, or it would be done if I did any, shopping that is, but I don’t. Shocking, I know. Several years ago, I stepped away from the commercialized consumer driven frenzy that is December. I advised family and friends that I had enough stuff, didn’t need more stuff, and would prefer spending time with them, sharing a meal or drinks or camping, to finding room for more stuff.

It’s great! Okay, it was a little weird that first year. No, it was very weird not opening anything on Christmas Day. So now I wrap empty boxes so I can rip them open on Christmas Day. It’s my new holiday tradition.

So to wrap this up, but not in an empty box, because those boxes are already wrapped, I’m going to need one of those holiday gift bags. I loathe those holiday gift bags. That’s not wrapping, that’s placing objects in a bag. There’s no ripping involved when you’re handed one of those gift bags. The joy of gift opening lies in the ripping of the wrapping paper. So use paper, people, and spread the wrapping ripping joy!