The stuff pushes in, new stuff; Christmas stuff and clutter. I have a tendency to be overwhelmed even by too many groceries after a trip to the store, the consumerism of Christmas always freaks me out a little. I don’t know how to catalogue things, except books. I have just gotten done giving things away, things with emotional weight; I never keep such things. They stay new and perfect if they are full up with expectations that never realized fruition, or a disappointment that hangs over my heart. It’s so much easier to gift wrap my emotional bounty and give it away in parcels,

But there is always the incoming. The influx.

I don’t pretend to be well, but tomorrow and the next are also parcelled into organization bits. This year I will synthesize a little bit more of the love offered. I’m frowning over a sum, bent over the computer. The stuff has a presence of its own, looming and omnipresent as rock formations in my mind.

What she does, the kitten, is she leaps into the middle of everything that seems so serious and so much. She’s a little girl cat, and she’s one of *those* girls, you know: The kind that prove boys aren’t _quite_ the most lovable things on Earth. She’s all round tumminess and slightly slanted green eyes, and she can take the distance from the couch to the arm chair in one leap, no sweat. She lands in the pile of my terrible stuff, and I’m laughing, suddenly, because there’s a ribbon caught on her whisker, and she’s a rakish pirate cat. I push it all aside, very matter of factly, and retrieve my wayward cat.

Strange magic, Maya. You turn my sink and soar into a comical flounder. I want to write, to respond to people far enough away that I can get close to them. And of course push away those who have gotten too close, find some way to word my regard and still carefully post my ‘Keep Out’ borders, but you won’t stay on the floor, will you?

She jumps into my lap with the stubborn, single-mindedness of a girl cat. Gracie was the same way, but Gracie didn’t leave four tiny holes in the skin of my thigh, rousing me to holler from the pain of her stubborn climb.

You’d laugh too, to see her looking wild and alarmed, rushing away from the shout, to hide behind a pile of ‘Shall i keep them?’ books. She knocks things down. She doesn’t listen. She hops into my lap over and over while I’m sitting at the keyboard, thinking I will write the twisted etchings of my mind.

I have to take my hands off the keyboard, and wrap them around this little, purring body. She doesn’t understand anything. She doesn’t know I’m a failure, that I make some sort of living off of introspection, that I hate myself, and the holiday, and love my family and hate their presence and hate  hate hate the STUFF; she’s a fool.

And she’s real. And soft. And alive.

And I’m in love. 

A few words on Vegetarian Dog Food

Sometimes, I think I’m pretty funny. Others don’t necessarily share that opinion, alas. Case in point, I used to write articles for an online site who paid very poorly. Since the pay was so ridiculous, and the format so open, I didn’t always take the proposed topics very seriously. Due to their new nazi profit sharing tactics, it has become somewhat worthwhile to revise the articles that were not particularly well received so that my portfolio makes a little money without me doing anything.

Before I erased it for all time, I wanted to share what I feel is a very helpful article on How to make Vegetarian Dog Food. (I may also share my valuable insights in a later post on ‘How to Date Your Older Home’… very interesting information, that. Stay tuned.)

How to Make Vegetarian Dog Food

1) When you set out to make vegetarian dog food, it is important to start with a vegetarian dog. If budget allows, several vegetarian dogs are ideal, in case your cooking makes one or two of the dogs fatally ill. If you can’t afford several vegetarian dogs, one vegetarian dog and a few vegetarian guinea pigs will probably work just fine.

People sometimes ask “How do I know if my dog is a vegetarian?” That’s a fairly dumb question: A vegetarian dog will not eat meat. Be careful when you get your vegetarian dog that you don’t accidentally get a vegan, because feeding a vegan is a pain in the tookus.

2) K, you have your vegetarian dog(s), now you need your ingredients. You might be thinking that vegetarian dog food consists primarily of vegetables, but vegetables are only one component. Grains, beans, cookies, these are all fair game when you go shopping. There are two main rules to follow when buying ingredients for vegetarian dog-food. First: The ingredients must be vegetarian, which means no meat. Secondly: Your ingredients should not be poisonous to your dog. Outside of those parameters, you might as well try anything. You’re the chef, the entrepreneur, the culinary mastermind. And hey, if you can find some vegetarian dog food while you’re shopping for ingredients, that will save you a lot of work.

Here’s an incomplete list of ingredients to avoid because they might be dog poison.

onion powder
citrus fruit
rat poison
Preparation H
acne medication

3) So you have your vegetarian dog(s), you have your non-poisonous vegetarian ingredients- now it’s time to make the food. Depending upon your ingredients, you will likely have to chop, puree, and boil stuff together. Make sure there are no large chunks of any ingredient that your vegetarian dog or guinea pig might choke on. Write down the ingredients in each concoction so you won’t forget. Avoid seasoning with a tremendous amount of ketchup or salt, as large quantities of these are unhealthful to canines. Navigate by smell. A hungry dog isn’t all that finicky, so if you’re not gagging they might go for it.

4) Let your dog perform the taste test. You might be really curious, but ideally you won’t be the one eating your vegetarian dog-food, the dog will.

5) Monitor your dog for digestive upheaval for 48 hours- kind of like a quarantine. If he lives, document the taste-test winner. Put it in your recipe box. Congratulations! You’re a canine Betty Crocker!

A Happiness List (in no particular order)

Robin and Anhinga both tagged me for the happiness meme, wherein you list 6 things that bring you happiness. This is somewhat of an expansion on that concept. I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, as this meme has been around most everywhere, but it’s as good a day as any to paste up a happiness. The very act of thinking about these things gave me a glow.

1. A camera with fresh batteries

2. brioche with home-made jam

3. sea creatures! Dolphins, cuttlefish, rays, seaweed, fish, salmon, blowfish, swordfish, kelp forests, itty critters

4. The perfect color green sweater

5. Irish fellas

6. Italian fellas

7. Latino heartthrobs

8. Appealing mutts

9. laughter

10. Music!

11. Dancing!

12. Yellowstone

13.  Yosemite

14. Mountains and towers of books

15. Crunchy stuff: Nuts. Frozen blueberries. Ice. Cereals.

16. Chocolate. (good chocolate)

17. Conversation. (good conversation)

18. The part where you’re excited about a movie you’re going to see, and sometimes the part when you’re watching a movie and realize you really, really like it.

19. Nature in all its iterations, and the opportunity to experience those.

20. sand on bare toes

21. A good game of cards.

22. History, and the option to embrace or ignore it.

23. French

24. clean sheets

25. orchids, and their astounding variety

26. colors, and their astounding variety

27. words

28. Trees. Leaves. Crunching leaves. Crunching leaves and the perfect color green sweater.

29. Chai tea

30. Good dreams

31. being held