‘Tis The Season…


It is the time of year I begin to live vicariously through other people’s celebration of the holidays. It has been a few years since we have decked the halls in my brother’s house. Living with a special needs child has some drawbacks when decorating for the holidays. Anyone who knows or lives with a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can tell you the difficulties of making changes in the child’s environment. They do not like changes of any kind and when you start putting up trees with bright glittery ornaments and lights it can cause them to become over-stimulated and in our house that leads to anarchy.

It was easier when my Mom had her apartment because she loved to decorate for Christmas and collected nativity sets, so there was one set up on every table in the place. She also collected angels but those stayed up year-round unless they were specifically Christmas angels. She usually had one big one and a few small ones. Surprising enough, she never had a treetop angel. Our family almost always went with a star for the tree. Anyhow when I needed a Christmas fix I would just go to Mom’s to soak up her festive vibe. This Christmas just hasn’t felt like it because with Mom gone I am reduced to going and visiting stores and we all know that isn’t the place to soak up feel good, joy on Earth, goodwill to men vibe.


Growing up poor meant not a lot of presents. It was the time of year that no matter how bad our finances may have been my parents always made sure that we had a tree with some old and new ornaments, tinsel, and garland. I remember Dad getting out the lights and stringing them through the house so he could make sure that they all lit up before going on the tree. The three of us kids were part of his lighting crew. We would crawl up and down the green wire looking for burnt-out bulbs and when we found one we would call for Dad. As we grew older we were allowed to remove the bulb but only after we had been instructed for what seemed like forever on the proper removal of said bulb. Dad had a touch of OCD when it came to anything electrical. Once he approved, the lights were hung and Christmas had officially begun. We almost always put our tree up after stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving dinner.

My Dad had a love/hate relationship with Christmas. The holidays usually meant more work for him but it was also the time of year that customers tip their service workers. Those tips are what bought our gifts. If it was a bad year for tips, then there was little under our tree. I saw more than one year go by that my Dad would sell his car to make sure his kids had Christmas gifts and a good Christmas dinner. Come the new year when bonuses were handed out he would buy back his car from whomever he had sold it too. He always made that deal with the buyer. As children, we just knew that we at least would have one present under the tree that said it came from Santa (Mom & Dad). It was also the one day that we got to spend all day with our Dad because he was off work. For me and my brothers that was the best gift of all.


To this day whenever I hear sleigh bells, I think of my Dad. I have no idea where he got a string of sleigh bells but one of my earliest memories of Christmas is waking in the middle of the night( or what I thought was the middle of the night), to the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells. The next morning I would get up and there would be a mound of presents under the tree. I remember asking Mom about the bells and she would tell me I must have heard Santa on the roof. The truth of course was it was Dad out on the front porch, adding sound effects to make his kid’s Christmas more magical. I always intended to do that for my future kids, I just never got the chance.

This year I have been finding it doubly hard to get into the spirit. I have always made cookies and candies during the month but this year I just don’t feel like it. I sit down and plan a menu for our big family dinner but not this year. I don’t even want to cook it. The closest I have come to be in the mood is filling out the few Christmas cards I send out. Here it is the week before the blessed holiday and I just finished with my cards. Part of me wants to go out to the garage and un-earth Mom’s nativity scenes; the other part isn’t ready for the memories that will undoubtedly come from this exercise. Better to leave them wrapped up in the newspaper, maybe next year. Maybe next year has become my mantra for this one. Maybe next year, I will have a place of my own and can decorate and celebrate, just not this year.

I honestly didn’t think the holidays would affect me so adversely this year but apparently, I was wrong. Add to it that I have been sick since the beginning of November and the end of the year is taking no prisoners. Does anyone else feel like this year just needs to end? Hopefully a new year, and a new decade will bring better things for all of us. Two more weeks to finish any old business before the new year brings in a whole new list of to-dos. Feel free to comment on how your holidays are progressing. Maybe I can live vicariously through your celebration. Until next year I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember love fully and laugh often.


New Family Member

I am sorry for how long it has taken for me to post. It has been a rough few month’s. I had thought I had posted a photo of our newest family member and the latest inductee to The Cat’s Eye Gang. So let me introduce you to Tilikum. Tilly for short.

A two month old Russian Blue kitten.
Here is Tilikum (Tilly). He is my niece Jasmin’s baby. She needed someone to help with her anxiety and panic attacks and this little fellow reached out his not so little paw and touched her heart. It was a match made in Heaven.
A sleeping Russian Blue kitten.
One of the few down times for this rambunctious fellow. I honestly think my Mom and Jasmin’s other grandma got together in Heaven and sent him to help her grieving process. She lost both her grandma’s within a space of about ten months.
Bright-eyed Russian Blue kitten.
As Tilly has been introduced to the other members of The Cat’s Eye Gang, it has been interesting. The gang isn’t very welcoming to outsiders but Tilly is slowly but surely winning them over.



Mr. Bo Jangles was a shelter cat who chose my brother when he and his wife visited the local Humane Shelter in Tacoma, Washington. Bo’s life before finding us was one of the betrayals of trust and survival on the streets.

The shelter told my brother that Bo’s previous owners had left him when they moved away and he was living on the streets when a lady witnessed him get hit by a car.  She brought him to the shelter explaining his story as she knew it.

Bo was severely undernourished and was sick. This didn’t matter to my brother when Bo reached out and grabbed his attention. It was instant love.  He came to live with us and it took him quite a while to warm up to anyone but my brother.  My brother gave him the medicine that was prescribed and slowly Bo warmed up to the rest of us.

When Bo came to live with us, he never purred and never showed his belly.  It took a couple years before one day he began to purr. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. Not long after he began rolling over on his back and showing us his belly. Our street cat had found HOME.

Bo now purrs constantly and loves to head butt and give kisses. His tail is almost constantly in a question mark. He has come a long way from being abandoned and left to die. He has become the most Jangliest Bo in the world and we love him to pieces.

Feed Me

Oh! Look what mommy has to eat. TURKEY. I like TURKEY. Mommy open this, I need to eat some TURKEY!!!!

A tabby cat smelling the package of a turkey wrap sandwich.

Tabby cat sitting next to a turkey wrap and glass of tea.

Really?? You are going to take my picture instead of feeding me this glorious TURKEY?? You are a mean mommy. I wish I had thumbs because this would be so in my tummy. ~~Miss CeCe

A Reason to Celebrate

Photo of a black cat sitting on a window sill.

Today is my handsome boy’s sixth birthday. If you would have told me back then how much he would mean to me, I probably would have laughed at you. Not because I would have thought it impossible, I just didn’t think there would ever be a cat to replace my Pooh Bear in my heart.

Now I realize that I didn’t have to worry about Neko replacing Pooh. I learned that my heart was big enough for both of my boys.

So here is my beautiful Neko Dubh posing on his birthday.

Brotherly Love

Two cats cuddling.

Go away humans. There is nothing here to see. Just two brothers showing their love for one another. Close the door and walk away. ~Dominic & Bo Jangles