Sunday January 25, 2004

Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You

Hearts Gladness is...

Snuggling with the kitties on a rainy day. A warm purring pussycat nestled in my arm at nap time. Another kitty nestled against my neck and shoulder. Bracketed by soft fur; lulled to sleep by purrs.

Hearts Gladness is...

Bebop greets me as I wake from my nap, purring loudly (vroom vroom vroom). He's most agreeable to a snuggle. Rub the belly. Rub the head. Then he starts to slurp my ears, First the right, then the left. He presses a soft paw against my cheek to turn my face, the better to gain access to the opposite ear.

Then he walks around onto the pillow. I turn my head away and snuggle down into the pillow for a little while longer. Bebop continues to purr, rhythmically kneading my hair into the pillow, kneading the back of my neck.

Vroom vroom vroom

Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You - posted by Vicki at Sun, 25 Jan, 22:10 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday January 11, 2004

Keeping Company

Hearts Gladness is...

Bedtime. Lying in bed with my soft Butterscotch boy (Bebop) snuggled into my neck (and partly on my head). I got a foot cramp, finally couldn't stand it, had to get up and walk around. Unable to go back to sleep; out to the living room to read. Bebop followed along, snugged into the couch, keeping me company while the effects of the cramp wore off, till I felt sleepy again. Bebop melting lower and lower into the couch as time passed...

My sweet buddy.

Keeping Company - posted by Vicki at Sun, 11 Jan, 20:35 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday January 07, 2004

Furry purry lick lick

Hearts Gladness is...

Waking at dawn. My sweet Squirrel cat grooming the hair on my forehead. OK, maybe this means I need to wash my hair, but nonetheless, it's very sweet :-) When my kitty treats me like another kitty, I feel loved and special.

Then Bebop, settled behind my head, working the back of my neck and my hair on the pillow. Knead, knead,. Feline shiatsu.

Furry purry lick lick - posted by Vicki at Wed, 07 Jan, 10:17 Pacific | Comments (0)

Pears

Hearts Gladness is...

Plump pears at the peak of perfection - juicy, sweet, not a hint of a blemish. Can anything really be this good? Shared with friends. Delightful.

Pears - posted by Vicki at Wed, 07 Jan, 00:42 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday December 28, 2003

Watching the Squirrels

Hearts Gladness is...

After nearly 15 years in this house, finally, grey squirrels in our backyard. Now, grey squirrels every day at the feeder, sometimes two at a time, choosing nuts, eating sunflower seed. Watching the squirrels eat. Watching the cats watch the squirrels.

Watching the Squirrels - posted by Vicki at Sun, 28 Dec, 12:01 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday December 25, 2003

Christmas Memories, Christmas Traditions

“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge demanded.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”

“Long Past?” inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature.

“No. Your past.”

Hearts Gladness is...

Good memories

My memories of Christmases past are good. Lights sparkling on the tree, sometimes (although not often) snow. Unlike our cousins, who usually spent Christmas at the home of our shared grandmother, my family spent Christmas together at home, often joined by our other grandmother.

We generally put the trees up the weekend before Christmas and left it up through Twelfth Night. From very early on, we had (at least) two trees in our family. My sister Keri and had a shared tree for quite a few years when we were young. When we were very little, my mom wouldn't let us help decorate her tree. So my Dad brought home the department tree (he taught at the University) when Christmas break began. Keri and I set our tree up in Keri's room and we made homemade decorations by coloring animal cookies with egg-dye paint!

Each year, Keri and I would make (or receive as gifts) more decorations of our own. One year, when I was 8 or so, Dad found another tree (most likely abandoned by a student going home for the holidays) and that year Keri and I each had a tree. After that, of course, precedence and tradition demanded we each have a tree every year and we did! It was delightful falling asleep with the Christmas tree lights sparkling and glowing.

My family always went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my parents church. The service included traditional Christmas carols and the reading of the Story of Christmas. Each attendee received a candle upon entering the church. The next to last hymn was always sung by candle light; the final hymn was Joy to the World. Then candles were extinguished and people greeted each other. Christmas Eve service was always early, 7pm, so children could attend.

Neither my sister nor I were early risers. We'd awaken around 9 and savor the moment. I'd turn on my tree. When we heard the other awake, one of us would grab both stockings and join the other in her room where we'd make joyful discoveries until we heard our parents waking up. About the time I was 12 or 13 (?), we added stockings for Mom and Dad as well!

Finally dressed, we'd all troop downstairs to admire the tree and the magical appearance of the packages underneath (as well as the magical appearance of one new ornament, front and center on the tree, that had become a family tradition simultaneously with the stockings for Mom & Dad. Santa works in mysterious ways.)

Our family tradition allowed for one package to be opened by each of us before breakfast. Then we waited (setting the table, etc., as needed) while Mom made breakfast — usually scrambled eggs, toast, sausages, cocoa for my sister and I, coffee for Mom and Dad.

Finally (generally around 11am or noon) we'd gather in the living room to observe the gift-giving ritual. Keri and I sat under the tree, choosing packages and handing them around. Dad sat poised for photo opportunities (of which there were many). We each opened presents while the others watched, thanking the giver and admiring the gift. Keri was generally somewhat annoyed by my part in this process, as I was extremely neat, slitting tape with a pocket knife and carefully removing the paper. Worse, from her point of view, were the (numerous occasions when I would receive a book, as I would promptly start to read it (and no one else could continue until (Vicki!!) my turn was over). I've opened presents this way for years (which more lately haas driven hubby Rich wild instead of my sister), but I've been practicing tearing paper and not saving it. I guess that's a form of therapy.

When all the presents were given and received, we'd relax until dinner time, often reading new books or playing new games, listening to the 24-hours of Christmas music on the radio or local PBS t.v. channel. In my memory, we often had guests for Christmas dinner, friends who had not left town to be with out-of-town family. could be mistaken; those dinners may have occurred at other times during the holidays. I simply recall that Christmas evening was always a relaxing, quiet, peaceful time.

Dinner was usually Turkey Reprise with all the fixins including some special holiday items we only had at Christmas (or Thanksgiving). I especially loved the orange sherbet with cranberry relish. Desert generally included Sand Tarts (delightfully crisp sugar cookies), my mother's variation on Tollhouse cookies (way more walnuts!), homemade chocolate marshmallow fudge, and my Mom's fruitcake. Fruitcake tends to get a bad rap; say what you will about "solid bricks of colored imitation fruit", my mother's fruitcake recipe is different — moist and Very Good..

Christmas Memories, Christmas Traditions - posted by Vicki at Thu, 25 Dec, 11:25 Pacific | Comments (1)

Monday December 15, 2003

Hearts Gladness

Yet another meme :-)

I've decided to try to play along with the idea of Heart's Gladness, although I'll post mine here, and I may do it weekly or whenever I think of something. Heart's Gladness is described by its creators as "a series of our reflections on the aspects of our lives which make us happy, bring us hope and bring us joy." I see the difference between this and Treasures as one of quantity rather than quality. Treasures are many small positive snippets as found during my week. Heart's Gladness is one or two reflections-at-large, described in more words.

Hearts Gladness is...

...Spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family. My sister and parents arriving the weekend before. A lovely TG feast with family and friends. My parents staying for another week. A second dinner spent with family and friends. Getting through the entire period without much conflict. Sorry to see everyone go home (but happy to have our house back). Hearing about the huge snowfall two days later and glad the folks left when they did and had a reasonably "pleasant", "short", and uneventful trip home!

Hearts Gladness is...

...Net friends who joined my new mailing list adventure "just because" — and who are helping to make it a good list by their contributions.

Hearts Gladness - posted by Vicki at Mon, 15 Dec, 18:24 Pacific | Comments (1)