I woke at 6:30 this morning but despite having ten hours of sleep, my eyes had dark circles and my mind spun with a bizarre sequence of dreams. I fed the fat cats on their diet kibble, went downstairs to make my coffee, checked book sales and suddenly realized one of the foster cats appeared to be missing.
A missing cat caper?
I did a quick sweep of the house, as the missing cat was Touch of Grey, known for her clumsiness. She once managed to crawl into the heat ducts and get stuck almost in the furnace. Touch of Grey, or Tiggy as we call her, can be a jerk. My cat, Fog, also known as Meatball in his obesity, can also be a jerk. I caught Fog intimidating Tiggy as she used the litter box, so I removed her from the fat cat room.
She promptly took up residence in the bathroom sink. So me, being me, laid a towel in the bathroom sink so it would be cozier for her and brushed my teeth using water from the tub.
It seemed extremely odd that I couldn’t find her now.
Introducing The Phulasso Devotional
Seeing no signs of calamity, I decided to have some coffee and dig into my publishing company’s latest work-in-progress, The Phulasso Devotional. Lots of people texted, and seeing some familiar names felt good to my heart. And Maryann Riker, the mixed media artist who contributed to Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money, emailed with samples of work she had come across in the style that she thought would be nice for Phulasso.
They touched me– even before Maryann told me the series had inspiration in Tao. Before I started work on The Phulasso Devotional, I sent a rather thorough, elaborate spiritual statement to the author (yesterday!). I wanted to be upfront with him about my own formerly Christian, agnostic, animistic and pagan beliefs. As a publisher and editor dedicating myself to a very Christian project, I needed to cement that we would be comfortable and trust one another. And I believe we do. But to quote one line of that treatise on my own religious background: “(I also took Religions of China and Japan and fell in love with Taoism.)”
And I loved the miniature watercolors depicting a sunrise and an open path that glows with openness and potential.
I ended up buying them.
Maryann said she would be in my area later today so she’d deliver.
Continuing the Cat Hunt
The Teenager did a sweep of the house and the outside. She went to work, and sent me a text saying one of us should check the coal bin in the basement. I put on shoes and headed down, found no cat but carried some garbage from the basement outdoors. I checked the cardboard boxes we have piled next to the garbage cans for recycling, because if I were an indoor cat suddenly outside on the coldest day of the year, a cardboard box would look so good.
And then I had a thought: did anyone check my room?
Tiggy was lying peacefully on my bed. Apparently when I left my room at 6:30, she silently crept in.
Sweet Fruity Doughnuts
During my last visit to The Grocery Outlet, I bought some weirdly glazed doughnuts. When The Teenager got home from work, I asked if she wanted to try them. She was game. The glaze was not merely glaze but a thick, hard icing that tasted like fruity candy. I had purchased a mango and a strawberry.
Decorating the House
The Teenager got her baby cousins window markers and window crayons for Christmas, in addition to procuring some for herself. So we decorated the windows for Yule after I showered and donned my Christimas Flamingo sweatshirt.
A Bagel Big Surprise
Little Dog’s Mom brought bagel-themed presents for The Teenager and I and a new toy Christmas Llama for the Bean dog. The bagel theme included a gift certificate for one of our favorite places in the world, New York Bagel & Deli, in one of our favorite local shopping plazas. We also received everything-bagel-flavored pretzel chips (which are one of The Teenager’s favorite snacks) and everything bagel seasoning which has been on my shopping list forever. And Little Dog’s Mom remembered The Teenager’s favorite candy!
Plus, Little Dog’s Mom and I were twinning.
Maryann called and said she was on her way.
Another Artist in My Collection
At Parisian Phoenix, we incorporate original photography and art into our books. We aim to support visual artists as we do those who share the written work. Heather Pasqualino Weirich, of Heather Pasqualino Fine Art, whose art adorned the cover of Not an Able-Bodied White Man with Money, joined Maryann and other artists in that anthology. Maryann commented that the cover painting from that book should be released in prints.
When Maryann delivered her art, I asked her to come inside my home and decide where to hang them. She hung them beside Heather’s original piece in my central room.
And the nicely wrapped art pieces came with a Ghiradelli packet of hot chocolate and a shot of peppermint vodka. The Teenager took the hot cocoa. I claimed the peppermint vodka. Now I need a candy cane.
Magnetic Ransom Notes
I returned to work on the devotional until The Teenager’s Dad arrived to play Ransom Notes and have dinner with us as I had bought the Teenager shrimp. Ransom Notes is like Cards against Humanity using magnetic word pieces like those in a magnetic poetry kit. We mixed it all our magnetic poetry kits, too. We also listened to Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.
The Teenager made shrimp, broccoli, rice and potatoes, but since I don’t eat shrimp she cooked up some Spam so I’d have some protein. That’s right. My Christmas dinner was a pile of broccoli with some diced up Spam.
As I write this, The Teenager and her father are downstairs playing video games. All in all, a simple but soulful, joyous Christmas.