Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Too Much Christmas Joy

Great Gifts!  I LOVE PEPPERMINT! (and Santa knew)

Unbelievable!  MY FAV!

Cats LOVE it!

And These!
I started out Christmas festivities this year by joining my good friend and former Poppa Inc. president at Oregon Gardens.  There was a night light festival in one part of the gardens and she had a coupon, two for one and the price for one admission was just $5.

How could this go wrong?

So I met her there, on a very cold night a couple weeks ago.  She drove down from Beaverton and I up from here.  It's about a 50 minute drive for each of us.

There wasn't much to this festival.  Would be just fine and dandy if you lived nearby.  The night was foggy and very cold, which alone could make one feel Christmasy.  We waited for the "tram" ride from the entrance to the area of the event, but got tired of waiting and walked up the hill.

There was an archway of lights to walk through and the trees themselves were wrapped in lights.  They sold a couple of items of food, and some yukky wine I did not like at all.  It was spiced wine and spiced wine can be good or it can be very bad.  I wanted to vomit after one swallow.  I "donated" the rest to my friend, who liked it.

There were about ten vendor booths selling items along a pathway.  And that was it.  We milled about a bit and then decided to hit the road.  Her husband was in California so she didn't especially want to just go back home.  So we thought and thought and finally decided to go up to the Woodburn Outlet Mall.  I have never been there and I thought, "How bad could that be?"

So we met there, each driving in our own vehicles.  I made a wrong turn in the fog and ended up hopelessly lost on rural roads.  I just stopped at a stop sign however, and when a car pulled up behind me, got out and went to their window.  They told me to turn left here, right there, right again and I'd hit the main road.  Wasn't that easy to see road names for turns in the fog but I made it back to the main road, then to the freeway and found my friend at the mall, waiting.

The fog and cold had virtually emptied the place.

Along with the bomb threat.

We were stopped by police tape along one mall corridor.  These outside, not enclosed and warm corridors, lie between stores.  This isn't Mall of America.

I didn't know it was bomb threat police tape and simply thought something had broken so they were cordoning it off for safety.  We turned around and wandered more even though it was freezing.  We went into a luggage store and joked with the clerk who informed us of why half the mall was blocked off by police tape.  Bomb threat or bag left or something suspicious.  Was being checked out by the bomb squad robot, he thought.

Then we went to the store next to that one, only to realize the police crime scene tape had been extended beyond the entrance to the store while we were inside.  The clerk was enthusiastic about it, as now she could call her manager and close up.

We looked for somewhere to get something to eat and went into some lounge of some chain restaurant.  We ordered just some finger food that was so greasy the grease coated the inside of my mouth.  Yucky awful!  The waitress hovered and finally I asked, "Are you trying to close?"

They were.  It was not even 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night.  Typical Oregon nightlife.  Nonexistent.

So we said our goodbyes, and left the restaurant, as reluctant losers remained inside, hovered over Oregon lottery machines, hoping to leave with absolutely no money I guess.

It was great to see my friend!  She took off heading north back home and I headed south through the dense fog back home.

An Albany friend and I drove around a few nights back and looked at a few Christmas lights.  We didn't find many and gave up, but even that short excursion was fun, I thought.

Last night I went over and spent time with a pair of sisters and their family, gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve, with food and laughs.  I had not seen any of them in a very long time.  It was a last minute thing.  They called, said "Want to come" and I said "Would love to" and went over.

We met when they lived in Jefferson, over, what else, fixing cats, and after that, they decided I could be part of their family.  Felt good to see them all and play some silly games, that included pipe songs.  We each got a pipe with a number, then Lisa held up a "song", identified only by numbers.  We'd start, each banging their pipe with a spoon when their number came up.  We were pretty darn good and I suggested we try out for X Factor fairly soon.

This afternoon, it was over to Lebanon, off to my friends place, whom I met, over, guess---cats!  I got about two dozen fixed around their neighborhood and grabbed an equal number of kittens, that I got into shelters and rescues.  It really eased my friends mind to get that done.  We've been friends ever since.  Their son and daughter in law and kids were there, a mother, a cousin, well, it was a clan gathering and I am privileged to now be declared part of their clan.  A loud and wild clan it is, too, and after a very good dinner, we played Yahtzee and talked cats and they're going to help spread the word any way they can to help find these Lebanon cats a home.

Throughout the day today, I checked on an acquaintances dog.  They'd gone away and although they have a fenced yard, he just needed let out a few times, to avoid accidents.  It was easy enough.

I ate too much fudge!  But it was soooo good!

Last night I finally realized the barn home I'd lined up for the Lebanon colony cats before I even trapped them isn't going to come about and became stressed and depressed, awake into the night, with worry.  I cried some, then decided I better solve this, and get busy.  I made fliers to take out today, and a Facebook page for the cats, so the word can be spread, e-mailed old contacts, anything I could think of.

Click to go the Lebanon cats facebook page!

I understand finding the cats a place is a marketing issue.  I know there are places out there for them.  I have to get the word out in the right places to find those people.  I am lucky.  I know lots and lots of people.  I am hoping to enlist their help, the help of an army, to save these cats.

I was born an optimist, too stupid to ever quit.  I get down and out, but I don't give up.

The people I know are awesome.  We may be poor, dysfunctional, have issues, some of us borderline nuts---a bunch of curious diverse and interesting characters for sure, but full of heart and love for animals.  We make mistakes, but get up, make our apologies, or not, and keep going.

We will find them a home.  I believe!

Merry Christmas everybody! 

Nice Cards!

I LOVE Christmas cards!

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