I read an article on regret…

10 Regrets No One Has At The End of Life.  Take a sec to read it.  Go ahead, I’ll wait… lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala…

So the article resonated with me, not in the sense that it said anything new.  It’s kind of what you’d expect, pretty obvious stuff– spend time with your kids, tell your wife/husband you love her/him.  Everyone says things like what you won’t say is– I really really really wish I’d spent more time at the office.  The Facebook comment was unique to our prevailing social reality.  I liked that one.

When I’m facing something out of my comfort zone, a decision I either have to make or a change I want to make, I always ask myself this question:  When I’m on my death bed, what will I say?

That’s why, Jew that I am, I have a Christmas tree– although  not this year because we’ll be spending Christmas in Montana where my daughter will have a Christmas tree.

Once upon a time I realized that when I am on my death bed I wouldn’t be saying– By gosh by golly I’m sure glad I never had a Christmas tree.  I’d be giving myself a big fat head slap and saying– Damn!  I shoulda had a Christmas tree!  So we got a Christmas tree!

No excuses, no rationalizations, no apologies.  Christmas tree.  Christmas ornaments.  Christmas presents.  Christmas lights.  The whole nine yards.  Me.  My ecstatic kids.  My initially reluctant but eventually won-over husband.

When I’m on my death bed I will not be saying:

1.  I should have eaten more broccoli.

2.  I’m so sorry I ate milk chocolate as opposed to politically correct dark chocolate.

3.  I wish I’d never learned to play Spoons.  ;)

4.  Fresh air sucks.

5.  I shouldn’t have taken all those risks…

One more thing I won’t be regretting when I’m on my death bed– that I love and I am loved.  That’s pretty much the only thing that matters anyway.

So I may or I may not post again before we leave.  The next month or so is gonna be busy around here what with travel and visitors.  And I still have this stupid finger to work around.  However I do plan to release a few more books in 2014 than I did in 2013, which is relatively easy since I released zero in 2013.  Just one of those years…  And that’s another one of those regrets I won’t have.  Life happens.  You gotta roll with it.

So Julia says… Love you!  And Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

 

Gratitude.

Tis’ the season, you know.

Eh.  I’m not much for a season of gratitude.  I think gratitude should be an everyday kind of thing.  Not in a new-age sort of way, but in the – my kids are okay, I have my health, I can walk the dog, we have jobs, and we have food on the table sort of way.  Oh, and I live in America.  I’m grateful for that.

My husband and I were talking today about how some people in America support repressive regimes – people you would never expect to support repressive regimes because those regimes oppress, suppress, repress women, minorities and gays.  What an odd contradiction.  I’m a big fan of human rights.  A really big fan of human rights.

My sister was telling me that in her community of Boulder, CO, dog owners are known as Dog Guardians, or Pet Guardians.  See this article.  How silly.  I realize the distinction is intended to be symbolic, but my question is this – then why have leash laws?  Isn’t that oppressive?  Can’t a dog take himself for a walk?  Yet Boulder has strict leash laws.  If your dog is caught walking off leash they can really ding you.  If Boulder has these strict leash laws, can the dog then receive a ticket and will he or she have to pay the fine?  So if the meter man leaves your gate open and the dog of which you are a guardian gets out, does this mean the authorities can remove your dog from your home and give him to another guardian?  Because you aren’t the dog’s owner, you’re merely the dog’s guardian?

Like today when hubby and I noticed a police vehicle driving through the wilderness park.  The officer was obviously looking to ticket the owners of off-leash dogs.  Had the officer caught us, I could have asked him – “Why are you ticketing me?  He’s the one off-leash.  I’m not his owner.  I’m merely his guardian.  My dog has free-will.  I’m not legally responsible for his behavior.”

Listen, the above is tongue in cheek to a great extent, but I do think some people have way too much time on their hands.  If they have enough time to think up these ludicrous euphemisms for dog owners they have enough time to volunteer at a food bank or a soup kitchen or an animal shelter.

I love animals.  I consider Jake my companion and he’s part of the family, but he belongs to me.  I’m not merely his guardian.  He’s MY dog, bought and paid for – of course my ownership DOES NOT give me the right to abuse or neglect him or any other pet I own.  It’s not like I’m running a doggie sweat shop here.  Jake doesn’t even pick up his own toys.

Although… Come to think of it, that terrier down the street could use a couple new guardians.  They were all standing out in front of their house with the dog off leash last night.  She ran across the busy intersection once again to harass Jake.  Tsk. Tsk.  I think I’ll call the Boulder, CO, authorities.

Wait… I got off track.

What am I always grateful for this time of year?  I’m very grateful when I don’t receive holiday letters.  You know, those letters that are either dark and gloomy or outright braggadocious and irritating.  I have a cousin who is really into giving us a holiday the obscene amount of money I raked in this year and what frivolities I spent it on update.

On the other hand, I do want to thank you– you wonderful, amazing, lovely, thoughtful friends and readers who have offered me words of encouragement and support during this difficult time.  My dad is not out of the woods yet, and I’m heading back up to Oregon this week.  But… Thanks.  You are so kind and considerate.  Your thoughts and wishes have made me feel better.  You’ve made the stress tolerable.

I’d like to end with a question – What is up with that weird-ass drinking game show I’ve seen countless, and very scary, ads for – Cougartown?  The women look freakish.  Yeah, I know one of the women is Courtney Cox, or some Stepford Wife/Joker version of her, but WTF?

Here’s the ad~

Baking Cookies…because it’s fun.

Nothing relaxes me like baking

and I adore the smell of chocolate chip cookies.  There is nothing to compare to the taste and texture of a just out of the oven slightly under-baked chocolate chip cookie.

With the possible exception of chocolate cherry cookies or maybe my grandmother’s melt-in-your-mouth cookies.  Baking all three today and on Saturday, I’m baking my grandmother’s chocolate sheet cake for hubby’s birthday while he’s off clamming.

Cooking, baking, sex – all smell taste and sound good.  Real good.  Course, I’ll just have to work out harder for a few weeks to burn off the extra calories.  But it’s worth it.

The holidays are all about family, home, hearth, warmth, light and life and around here we are a warm, loving, passionate, argumentative, open, dysfunctional, opinionated, eclectic bunch of cookie eating folks.

Back to baking!