Gratitude Sunday: Game Of 14

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.


Sunday Haiku
Cold air falls slowly
into wet winter, snow soon!
Clouds promise snowflakes.

Sunday Musings
I may not be a big fan of the Christmas holiday, but I think it has more to do with the artificially constructed consumerism than about the holiday itself. Growing older I find I do less each year, as I become less able. I have to pick and choose what makes me happiest to get through the pressures of the season, so there are a few things I still do. One of which is having a tree inside.

I love the smell of a fresh tree, though the last couple of years I haven’t been able to smell the tree. The son admitted the tree and its fragrance were one of his favorite parts of Christmas since we have always had small Christmases. The tree feels festive, celebratory, in an in-your-face kind of way. I love the pagan feeling of bringing nature indoors, honoring the life god and the universe have given us.

I get to do most of the work myself. The son will help me get the tree mounted in the stand, and get the lights strung, after that I’m on my own.

Oh, but first I clean a spot to put the tree. In my abundant home that means the game of 14. That’s right. To move one thing, you have to move 14 others to make it all fit, like some gigantic reality jigsaw puzzle. Every time I try to get rid of stuff, twice as much more stuff seems to come into the house. Many years ago I stopped going to garage sales and thrift stores, unless I need something, because I always find something I love. I love too much stuff. I’ve tried many methods of decluttering, and have finally resolved to embrace my abundance. I am extremely careful not to purchase items unless I am in need. I am grateful for recycle bins and file cabinets.

When I have to move several things to make space for the tree, it’s actually exponential cleaning. Since that space hasn’t been cleaned since the last time I played the game of 14 everything gets a good cleaning as I go. It’s the haphazard approach to home maintenance. It works, just lacks efficiency. Even though I have all I need – a safe, decent home with a solid roof – I can’t help myself dreaming about a couple more rooms. I don’t need to buy more things, but I could spread out my abundance and enjoy what I have more. Perhaps.

Many women in my generation have hubsters who let them do most of the hoopla around Christmas. I generally choose to do my work when my hubster is away from the house as he is critical, and tells me what to do and how to do it while he does mostly nothing. Thus the subversion, so I can do what I please without telling him where to go. If it’s already done when he’s not looking he can hardly say undo it. If he gets really bad I call him by his father’s name, who griped at my mother-in-law with every decoration she put up. That shuts the hubster up real quick and sometimes even gets him to leave the house so I can carry on in peace.

In recent years I have bought my tree from the local Boy Scouts, as we worked with them for so many years and like to give back to our troop. I liked knowing where my money was going and what it was doing: helping to provide campership assistance to the scouts for summer camp, equally distributed, but scouts who were willing to put in more than the minimum number of hours got bonus pay. I know when the trees are cut so I can get one fresh, as well. This year I might have to go to another distributor to stay within my budget. I will check at the scout stand first to see if they have my size at my price.

How does a poor person have the right to be fussy about a tree? Shouldn’t I just be satisfied with anything, and grateful for it? I might say yes, but when you are watching every penny the budget comes first. Nobody is giving me a tree; that voucher doesn’t come with the food stamp card. I say beauty should be one of the pleasures in life and if I can create a beautiful tree for the price I’m willing to pay (or less), I shall create beauty, and live with beauty and grace for the rest of the month, and it shouldn’t be anyone’s judgment on how much creating that beauty cost me. I bet I can do more on 10 dollars than most people can do on 100. It’s hard to break the habit of caring about what other people say or think. I want to be happy with my choices, just like anybody else, money or no.

As we finish today’s game of 14 (there’s always another game tomorrow) we have dusted, and vacuumed, and moved furniture, and retired some pieces to the shed with the help of the son. The shed holds the Christmas decoration boxes so two birds with one stone there. There’s another small box ready to go to the second hand store, and a recycle bin full of a forgotten pile of paper.

Tree should be in by next week. The aroma will refresh and vitalize us, get us in the mood for giving. The lights will cheer us, keeping evenings bright against the darkest days of winter solstice. The ornaments, many handmade, will remind us of Christmases past, of other years shared. The angel on top of the tree will channel us blessings from god and the universe. Prepare the holiday for yourself and may you always have someone with whom to share it.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Freezing temperatures predicted for next week but we have had such mild weather so far a few hearty roses are found around town. Red beauties. dscn5691 Pink singles. dscn4782 White blossoms like the snow that’s coming. dscn9524

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Royal Night Out (2015, rated PG – 13) the evening of V-E Day in 1945 Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed to go out on the town in London, with body guards of course. * Iron Jawed Angels (2004, not rated TV movie), about the early years of the 20th century as American women fought for the right to vote. Hollywoodized, but essentially the story of suffragettes who were willing to go to jail for women’s rights. * Maggie’s Plan (2016, rated R), the story of a single woman who wants a baby to raise on her own. She makes a plan, follows through, yet the plan goes awry.


Currently Reading – Finished The Wonder (2016, fiction) by Emma Donoghue, who wrote Room, I was expecting a twist at the end, and Donoghue did not fail me. Recommended. * Finished The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life ( 2016, sociology) by Anu Partanen. I paid a small overdue fine to my library but it was worth it not to have to wait in queue again. I like Nordic well-being social policies, but I am not a candidate to move there. Besides I’ve invested all my working years in the United States and paid all my taxes here. Yes, I am bemoaning the lack of a magic wand, to make changes for the betterment of all. Recommended. * The Blood of Flowers (2015, fiction) by Anita Amirrezvani, a young woman learns rug making in 1620 Iran. Fascinating. * Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu, and Zen Masters (1997, Buddhism) by Sushila Blackman. Just started.


This week I have been grateful for:

  • Crisp, chilly late autumn air feeling so much like early winter.
  • Indoor heat.
  • My little string of colored lights around my front window. On a remote.
  • Green cleaning. Cleaning corners.
  • Baked sweet potatoes. With butter, salt, and pepper. And salsa.
  • The second year of the early winter farmers market in my little burg.
  • Finding a small Buddha at the local thrift store, just the right size (small), just the right price (cheap). (Yes, I do need more stuff, I do, I do.)
  • Mister Kitty telling us it’s winter. He goes outside only when he must and wants to cuddle so he can suck up our body warmth. I think he’s on to something.
  • Oatmeal and apples cooked in milk.
  • The surprise this year as I started to clean for the tree: a silent hubster got out the vacuum and cleaned behind me. Well, now.
  • Perfect weather for my little burg’s evening Holiday Light Parade.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.


Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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7 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Game Of 14

  1. piratesorka says:

    I think I get all the holiday fuss and beauty at my parish. Putting up a tree solo is excruciating. So is taking down the tree and disposing of it. Even a small tree, So I don’t. I get my holiday beauty fix by spying on houses lit up for Christmas. i enjoy their cheer that they share with one and all. Besides, a tree makes me melancholy these days. No husband or children or grandchildren to enjoy it . Still I get a bit wistful when I see a car zip by me with a tree on top of it. Just not wistful enough. Actually these are the times I miss my grandmothers house and her cheery presence the most.
    So here I am. treeless again and along the same time I am ill too with a terrible cold.
    It seems the only positive I can give you is a movie and book review. The Movie is Dr. Strange which for me was just a terrific visual with a big pinch of the mystical. Dr Strange is one of the superheros from Marvel comic fame and played beautifully by one of my favorite actors, Benedict Cumberbatch. He is very easy on the eyes. My only criticism was that the role of The Ancient One ws played by an excellent actress Tilda Swindon. She is good but A. the Ancient one is Asian man so in this case the movie gets a plus for casting a woman but a big minus for not casting an Asian in the role.
    The book is “The Gift of Caring.. Saving our parents from the perils of modern Healthcare” By Marcy Cottrell Houle and Dr. Elizabeth Eckstrom. I was asked by our parish librarian to vet this book and while I am not quite finished I can hardly put it down. Cottrell details the decline of her parents, her father to Alzheimer’s and her mother later from various medical concerns. Interspersed between chapters is Dr. Eckstroms professional advice on how to safeguard our parents with excellent advice including research and how to navigate the system and become the best advocate. Its a book I wish I could have read before all that transpired with Charlotte..

    Liked by 1 person

    • sassy kas says:

      I think when I am alone I will not put up a tree. It’s like when mom was still here, I adamantly insisted on going to her house for Thanksgiving and Christmas as I always said “until she dies”. As long as I have someone still in my home to help, I will probably have a tree. They seem to get smaller every year. Looking forward to Dr Strange, recommended from many folks. And the book, well one more on the list! Loving you, Ms Pirate, with all my wittle heart.


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