Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas


Christmas is here, and is rapidly approaching those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

I don't have a tree this year - but would welcome either of these stunners, sent to me by friends.


The only problem with this one is that I would inevitably need to look at one of the books on the bottom layer...

And this one is just plain charming. although if any of the decorations are like Jazz, approaching it would be fraught with peril.


Despite its reputation as 'the happiest time of year', Christmas is very, very difficult for a lot of people, for a variety of reasons.  Loneliness, bereavement, ill health, estrangement, poverty...

With that in mind, I am delaying our Christmas.  Shortly I will go and do a shift on the crisis line, reach out to others, and remind myself (again) just how fortunate I am.  It will also give me time away from a self-invited house pest guest.

I hope your holiday period is full of love and laughter.  Good food, drink and companionship doesn't go astray either.

It's CHRISTMAS -
Eat, drink, and be merry!
Actually good advice every day....



124 comments:

  1. You are so right that not all is happiness for everyone. But sounds like you are taking steps to make world a better place! Merry Christmas when you get to it and hope your 2015 is great from beginning on!!

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    1. Bookie: Thank you - and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope 2015 is wonderful - and renovation stress free.

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  2. Love the trees, though the bottom one would have me sneezing for about a year hehehe. When you do sit down and rest, I hope you have a fine time, with love from over the pond, Michelle xx

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    1. All Consuming: Rest? Tomorrow I think. Which is fine. And love flowing back across the pond to you. With lights and sparklers...

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  3. I think you are wonderful to put others first. Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. mail4rosey: I get more than I give. A lot more. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

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  4. Merry Christmas to you and yours, both of those trees are wonderful. We don't have a tree either, it's an artificial one and quite heavy, dh got it out but we never brought it up stairs, too late now. Hopefully the guest doesn't read your blog. have a good one

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    1. Linda Starr: Our tree is artificial too - and we didn't even get it out. Next year. Perhaps. And the guest doesn't know I have a blog, and wouldn't be interested.

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  5. Happy holidays to everyone in your house, and all you touch on the crisis line.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Thank you - and to you and yours. A much fuller house than we have here.

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  6. I saw the cat Christmas tree on another blog and thought of you Sue. I hope the crisis line is quiet and not too many drunk and nuisance callers. Maybe I should call to check my rum ball recipe with you or get advice on cooking a turkey. I joke but you know I am not underplaying how important Lifeline are to our communities. A very merry Christmas xx

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    1. Carol: Who knows what the crisis line will bring today. Always a mystery. And yes, hopefully no drunks. Or sexual fantasy callers. A very merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope the holidays are treating you well.

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  7. Replies
    1. Author R Mac Wheeler: Some day I will get the third ha from you...

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  8. Helping others as you do is truly admirable ! Merry Christmas *

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    1. Whisper Mist: Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    2. Andrew Maclaren-Scott: I hope your solstice celebrations and family get together was wonderful. Is wonderful? The time gap thing is beyond me this morning...

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  9. Does the pest, I mean guest, read your blog?
    I've seen the book tree. Love the cat tree.
    I mirror the others' sentiments; so good of you to help others on a day that some find so difficult. Best wishes from Michigan!

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer: The guest doesn't read my blog. I am not certain he knows of its existence, and it would be way too trivial for him.
      I hope your Christmas is going gang-busters.

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  10. It looks like a tree of Vasils! Which might not be so bad today, because he's still a bit loopy from the vet.

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    1. Riot Kitty: Vasil? Vet? Is he ok? I will send you an email shortly.

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  11. Those trees are stunners. And I quite agree that Christmas is not a good time for many - by any stretch of the imagination. Can be the loneliness time of the year. And I congratulate and admire you for giving part of your day to help others in need. I have done the same myself albeit for a different organization - giving food to the homeless.

    Merry Christmas to you, EC, your family (furry or otherwise) from Down Under and Off to the Side *hugs*

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    1. Wendy: I hope your Christmas was marvellous. Ours is still largely in delay mode, waiting until the guest moves on.

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  12. Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★Christmas★ 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚

    You are a truly beautiful person for volunteering on the crisis line over Christmas.

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    1. ditchingthedog: How do you do that? Sooooo clever. And thank you.

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  13. What a kind and thoughtful way to spend the day.....and I LOVE the kitty tree.

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    1. Delores: Isn't the kitty tree amazing? I smile every time I look at it.

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  14. A very merry Christmas and wishing you a happy and healthy 2015.
    Love the trees.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: And to you and yours. And the trees are a gem. Nowhere to put lights (safely) on the second one though.

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  15. You are one of the kindest and most understanding people I have ever met! thanks for being YOU! the rat

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    1. mohave rat: Thank you. Like everyone else I am a mixture. And parts of me (often big parts) are grumpy. And not kind at all.

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  16. Well said, we must remember this can be a very hard time for some folks. Thank you, it is good to know there are kind people like you out there. Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

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    1. DeniseinVA: I hope that you, Gregg and all of your family are currently having a wonderful day. With a year to match to follow.

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  17. You're a good person, EC...and I'm glad we've become blogger mates. I shall definitely raise a glass of good cheer to you today.

    I think after all the glasses I've said that I will be raising in good cheer...I could very well end up on the floor under the Christmas tree - that is, if I had a Christmas tree...but I guess if I get to that stage I won't know whether I have one or not, anyway!

    I love those "trees"!

    Enjoy your day, EC... Merry Christmas. :)

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    1. Lee: My glass of bubbles late yesterday was more than welcome. And left me more than a little legless due to lack of other sustenance. I might try again a little later today.

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  18. Cat tree aweseome, if somewhat nightmare-ish.

    I celebrate Solstice (although with the meal and gifts on the traditional 25th, having checked the daylight really is returning).

    The season makes many people stressed an miserable, although also brings many much fun. A worse than usual time to be feeling sad and lonely, that's for sure. And so much nonsense exploitation, manipulation and mixed up muddle around it makes me sigh. But still, it's nice to have the grown up kiddies back for a few days and a meal out to look forward to tomorrow. Mid-Winter celebration makes a lot of sense, even if little else does.

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    1. Andrew Maclaren-Scott: You are not alone in thinking the furry tree a bit nightmare-ish or creepy. Which hadn't occurred to me. Obviously I have been conditioned by a lifetime of black cats.
      I hope your family reunion is wonderful. And how I wish it was winter here. It is just after five and I am already overheated.

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  19. the cat tree is the stuff of nightmares! i like cats but .......

    eat, drink & be merry indeed! life is too short for too much restraint :)

    have a good one, EC

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    1. kylie: Another vote for the nightmare quality of black cats... Not something which would have occurred to me, but I will take it on board.
      I hope your day was WONDERFUL, and that no babies diverted you from family celebrations.

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    2. baby arrived yesterday, the mum was inspiring, baby was gorgeous, dad a total ninja :)

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    3. kylie: How did I miss this? I love hearing that you had gorgeous babies and inspiring mamas.

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  20. That cat tree looks terrifying to me. They're all just... staring at me.

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    1. Michael D'Agostino: If you share your turkey they will be fine. And your ham. And anything else they might like...

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  21. I want that Christmas tree (I'd just call it a Hanukah Bush) made of books.
    Have a great Christmas, EC! xo

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    1. Rawknrobyn: I think a lot of us would like that tree/bush. And would never, ever turn it into the burning variety.
      Happy holidays to you too. And a wonderful year to follow.

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  22. I find the cat tree pretty creepy too, but the book one - yes please!

    May you have the wonderful festive season you deserve, EC.

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    1. Alexia: I seem to be outvoted on the furry tree front. Never mind, I would happily make room for it.
      Christmas will happen here later today. I hope yours was a joy.

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  23. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas and eating, drinking and feeling very merry! :D

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    1. LL Cool Joe: Some eating, a little (one glass) drinking. Merriment will happen later today.
      I hope you are having a fine day - and envy people receiving gifts you have wrapped. And, more seriously, hope your father is doing better.

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  24. Oh EC, I love your big heart, empathy and consideration for those who need your comforting words - brings tears to my eyes. Thank you ♥

    That book tree is amazing!
    Imagine a whole house full of naughty black cats!!
    Although, I think I'd so much prefer them to even just one house pest, er, guest ;)

    When I have my first drink today, I will toast to you, dear EC.
    Merry Christmas...

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    1. Vicki: Our house is frequently full of naughty black cats. Just the two of them can (and do) wreak havoc. I would really, really like that book tree though. And rather a lot of the other decorations in the room.
      Hugs.

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  25. Hee hee, house pest....(*~*)
    You could make that cat tree with cutouts of photos of Jazz and Jewel.
    I like the book tree a lot and LOVE that teapot, cup'n'saucer, plates lamp base. What a great idea for a dining room!
    Have as great a day as you possibly can. Merry Christmas to you and the cherished one, Jazz and Jewel too.

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    1. River: The decorations in that room were brilliant weren't they? The lamp base was inspired.
      Yesterday was busy and a bit difficult. The guest leaves sometime today and our merriment can begin. Jazz and Jewel will be happy too.

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  26. Hey, that book tree is just like the one I put on my post, from our library! I agree that the cat tree is just, well, spooky! Thank you so much for all that you do. Sending you lots and lots of love, and even a few ... ha ha ha's. :-)

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    1. DJan: Spooky? Sigh. Comprehensively outvoted. I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you and Smart Guy found somewhere nice to walk. Hugs.

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  27. That is very good of you to spend time helping others at this time of the year.. May your day be bright and may you show love to those who are less fortunate.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: Thank you. And a bright day to you.

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  28. Good on you for doing your bit for others on this day. The book with the recipe for Christmas mince pies is on the bottom and the pies are yet to made. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Andrew: What an excellent excuse/reason for my failure to make mince pies. I hope your day was wonderful.

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  29. The trees are delightful. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You are a joy to help make today a bit happier for others. :)

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    1. Mason Canyon: Thank you - and I hope your day/year/life are wonderful.

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  30. Blessing to people like you who put others first. I hope you get some time to celebrate with the SP. Merry Christmas to you both.

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    1. Teresa: Our celebrations are still in delay mode. Later today. Quite a bit later. I hope your day is wonderful. How is your mama?

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  31. Love the book tree, but, like you, I'd have to start reading! Thank you for being a life liner.

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    1. dinahmow: It couldn't be a book from the top or the sides either...

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  32. Wishing both of you peace and contentment, EC.

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    1. jenny_o: Thank you. And to you and yours. Later this week I think I will experiment with your oat-cakes recipe.

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  33. Here's Mac's third ha... HA!
    Both of those trees are awesome, although the second is fraught with danger. Come to think of it, the first one is too, for the reason you mentioned.
    I hope your pest...er, guest, is gone now.
    Hugs to you and all of your hard work and efforts to give comfort to others less fortunate! You are one of a kind - to which I'm sure you'll say that's a blessing to the world - but we could use more good people like you. :D

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    1. River Fairchild: Guest still with us. Asleep at the moment. As is the smaller portion. It is definitely a blessing that there is only one of me. Somedays that feels like too much as well.
      Hugs.

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  34. I think Eric Idle sums it up best.

    We do Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day here (for long complicated reasons that pre-date Christianity) and it is a much more low key celebration than the Christmases I remember in Australia. The fact that it is pitch black by 2.30pm and -20°C might be a reason people stay in :-) But we got snow, so Santa came good in the end.

    I hope you had a quiet day at LL and that now you are home poisoning, I mean entertaining your guest. And counting the minutes until they leave. A very happy Christmas to you EC; may your holiday be filled with books. And with good food and drink, as well as good company too--four-legged and/or two!

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    1. Marie: I LOVED Eric's take on the season. Guest so far unpoisoned. Just.
      I hope your day was wonderful. And would really, really like some of the snow you finally received.

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  35. Wishing you a beautiful holiday...Merry Christmas Soosie!

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    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness: Thank you - and to you and yours.

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  36. I am curious about your uninvited pest guest. Animal, vegetable, or mineral? Regardless, I hope he/she/it becomes less pesky and you have a wonderful Christmas :)

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    1. mshatch: The house guest is a long-standing friend of the smaller portion's. Alone, needy, and a tad selfish. And loud. He is asleep at the moment which is blissful.

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  37. Your friends know you well and have provided you with the perfect trees ... but like you, I don't do perfect and I can see the disadvatages of both of these trees as well. What would be perfect for you is if I could package up all the giving that you do in a year and send it to all of those in need. You are an amazing ... more than that, astonishingly gifted person who uses her talents to make others happy and give them hope. If I could do it over, I would aspire to be like you ... Thank you for being a part of my life and your idea of Christmas is brilliant ... though you are leaveing SP with the uninvited guest :) Perhaps that is a good thing ... or not! Merry Christmas, EC ... You are the best and I am blessed to have you in my life ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea Priebe: The house pest/guest is a long-standing friend of himself. Over forty years now. I find him exhausting and confronting, the smaller portion less so. Which means it was fair to leave them together for some of yesterday.
      I am flattered by your assessment of me (very) but disbelieving as well. Thank you - and hugs.

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  38. I've seen a few versions of the book tree on the web, but I think the one you've shared is the most fun - something about those bicycle wheels in the background gives it an even more festive air, somehow! And if that isn't the perfect tree for you to create for yourself - I'm sure you have plenty of the necessary supplies at your fingertips! ;-) As for the cat tree, my goodness! It looks like Jazz and Jewel have invited over a few house guests of their own, and have all conspired to camouflage themselves as a Christmas tree! :-)

    You're so right that Christmas is a difficult and sad day for so many (amplified by our cultural insistence that it be a time of merriment, excess, and socializing-on-steroids), and for so many reasons. My mind and heart go out not only to fellow humans who have suffered tragic losses, are dealing with illness, are victims of violence, human trafficking, poverty… but also of the hurting, lonesome and/or frightened nonhuman animals made homeless or left abandoned in shelters, caught in traps or nets, imprisoned in zoos and circuses, forced into labor, crowded onto factory farms and feedlots, and of course slaughtered on land and sea by the billions, with no respite for a holiday. And so I think it's important not only to think of all those who suffer everyday, but to do what we can to relieve whatever portion of that suffering we are can (which is often more than we realize). Your volunteering and sharing your compassion and support at the crisis hotline, especially at Christmas, is such a beautiful, inspiring, and meaningful thing to do, and I applaud you!

    May your uninvited house guest (giggle at "pest") either make themselves helpful or scarce, post-haste. :-)

    Sending you heartfelt thanks for your friendship and unwavering support of my pathetic blogging efforts (lol), and wishing you and yours much peace this holiday season. xoxo

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    1. Laloofah: No arguments here. We are vile to animals as well. Consistently vile.
      House guest still here. For another ten hours of so.
      Love and laughter to you and yours.

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  39. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones :)

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    1. WildBlack: Thank you. And to you and you loved ones.

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  40. I am late, I forgot that you have already christmas, have a good new year..........
    I love your photographs.

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    1. Bob Bushell: You are never too late - and I didn't get to our Christmas until after lunch on Boxing Day.
      I hope your Christmas is wonderful - and your New Year even better.

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  41. --sending love and hugs from Duluth.
    I LOVE the Cat tree, of course! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: I am so glad that you love the cat tree too. Love and hugs returned - with interest.

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  42. I was wondering but not surprised that you would be doing a Christmas shift EC. :)
    The book tree, gotta have the book tree, and yes of course we'd want the book at the bottom.
    x

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    1. Rose ~ from Oz: I am pleased to say that there were a lot of us doing shifts. Sadly, it was very necessary. Very, very busy and more than a little sad.
      Wouldn't you love that book tree? Every year?

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  43. No matter what, I hate Christmas and always have. Everyone who gladly held doors open for me yesterday will be slamming them in my face tomorrow.

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    1. lotta joy: I am confident that anyone who is foolish enough to slam a door in your face will learn the error of their ways. Quickly.

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  44. Christmas is tough for so many. Thank you for this compassionate reminder.

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    1. ladyfi: Very, very tough. Quite a lot of services are virtually shut down here as well.

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  45. My cats would knock that book tree over so fast! They usually climb a real tree. This year, mine is fake like the holiday. Perfect. Cats can't climb it either because the wire branches flop with weight. Hahahaha. I'm evil. But I topped the cats this year, outlasted them. (yeah, in my dreams). Hope you had no terrible crisis on the line today. You're very kind to take the Christmas shift on the hotline.

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    1. Strayer: There was a lot of pain, a lot of grief and some anger (justifiable). No terrible crisis while I was there.
      And yes, my cats would climb that book tree in a heart beat.

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  46. I love the book tree, although that looks like a lot of work. Here's one I think is cool:

    http://cdn.goodshomedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/diy-christmas-tree-snowman.jpg

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    1. Stephanie Faris: That tree is very cool. Very, very cool. And I would love to have it here, when temperatures often nudge (or exceed) 100 for Christmas.

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  47. God bless you for your kindness and to all that you have touched. Now I'm thinking the tree # 1 the book tree needs to be made into real life next year at my house!

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    1. Karen S.: And I could have a tree like it for every room. Several trees like it.

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  48. Love, love, LOVE both "trees." Showed them to my daughter, and she agreed. (When she was 12, we redecorated her room with a Library/Cat/Swimmer theme.)
    You are so giving EC. I hope the crisis line was quiet this year. And that your House Pest has left. Many best wishes to you!

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    1. Susan F.: The crisis line was busy, and I was glad that there were people to answer the calls.
      I love the idea of a Library/Cat/Swimmer decor. I am obsessed with all three.
      The house pest has gone and it is blissfully quiet. And I have books to devour.

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  49. The book tress is awesome! I would love to make one, but so far I haven't. Someone recently said that they made theirs with discarded books that were going to be thrown out from a library. I thought that was nice, if the books aren't going to be read then they can still be enjoyed. :) The cat tree is hilarious! I think my cat would pounce on the tree.

    How wonderful of you to work the crisis line at Christmastime. So many people need that person to talk to. It can be a fun holiday, but it can also be heavy on many people's hearts and minds. Thanks for helping other!

    Glad the house pest is gone! :) Merry Christmas to you.
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: Our cats would assuredly climb the book tree - and probably play who is the king of the castle from it. The cat tree would cause war.
      I hope your Christmas was wonderful.

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  50. love the trees! i've had a relatively good year - and am delighted to have both of my children under roof this year. but i know the holidays are emotional minefields for many - and really appreciate that you work the crisis phone lines. time well spent...

    wishing you a very merry holiday, whenever you get to celebrate!

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    1. daisyfae: I think I would describe your year as mixed... Time on the crisis lines IS time well spent. Sometimes heart-breaking, often confronting, but valuable.
      Love that both your children are with you this year - and expect that fun is the order of the day.

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  51. I really like the book tree. Maybe I can remember this until next year.

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    1. Practical Parsimony: The book tree is wonderful isn't it? And looks completely possible to build for ourselves...

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  52. Both those trees are tremendous fun aren't they? Although I too love books I'd choose the cat tree for myself.
    Trust you to be your wonderful self thinking of others. Christmas can be such a sad and lonely time of year for many and I always drink a silent toast to those no longer with us and those suffering in some form or another.
    I listened as I always do to the Queen's message this year and thought it the best she's done for years. I thought the theme of reconciliation a good one and her mentioning of the truce between the warring nations well thought out. If only people all around the world could call a truce and forget their differences. I honestly feel that humans are more concerned about animal welfare these days (and although I am right behind them) I often wonder we can't do more about human welfare. Honestly, even those that say they believe in their god don't seem to follow his/her teachings. Enough of the sermon and I hope your house guest doesn't outstay her/his welcome. Uninvited? Aw, come on now, that's a bit rough.
    All the best to you and the SP for the coming year; may 2015 treat you with kindness. Hugs.

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    1. Mimsie: Reconciliation, tolerance, kindness... none of them go astray and we will all benefit from more of them. The house guest has now gone. He is a very lonely man. Difficult, exhausting and lonely.

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  53. Christmas is definitely hard for a lot of people. It's sad but true.

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    1. Kelly Hashway: Welcome. All of the 'family' holidays are. Which is sad.

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  54. Love the black cat tree and of course the book tree too. I hope by now you've lost the guest and had a chance to celebrate with the SP. What a treasure you are, EC! An amazing woman and it's an honour to be your blogging friend. I truly wish 2015 to be kinder to you, a year full of hope, peace, happiness and good health.

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    1. Carol: I am glad to see some more votes come in for the black cat tree. I was a bit concerned by the number of people who found it creepy. The book tree? I would love it too. Amazing I am not, but thank you. And I hope that 2015 is kind to us all. Very kind.

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  55. Love your trees and your iron-clad excuse for escaping from a house-pest!

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    1. Molly Bon: The house pest was still resident when I returned and stayed for another twenty hours. Talking all the while. Even while consuming quantities of food. Eeeeuw. Without my time out I might have killed him. With the time out I was tempted.

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  56. By the time I comment here i guess the House pest/guest is gone and you have peace and quiet in the house again. What a beautiful soul you are for helping those that need comforting during the holiday season.
    Of the two Christmas trees my favourite would be the first one even if the cat tree is a close second. I could totally imagine myself feeling the need to read the very last book at the bottom of the tree...
    I'm giggling by myself just imagining it :-)
    Hugs to you and thank you for always bringing me cheers and joy every time you visit <3

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    1. farawayinthesunshine: It would be a 'need' to read that last book. I can feel the itch...
      The guest has indeed gone, and a semblance of normalacy has returned.
      Hugs to you - and hopes for a much, much better year.

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  57. Love that book tree. The cat tree scares me a little! That's so awesome that you were on the crisis line for people who need you on Christmas day.

    Was it that sister-in-law??? :)

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    1. Lynn: I would happily make room for either tree. Though the furry tree would probably destroy the book tree.
      It wasn't the skinny one's sister but a very lonely (and needy and demanding) friend of his.

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  58. That book tree should stay up all year. As for the cat-tree, I had a good laugh, though it is a bit scary :-)

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    1. Guyana-Gyal: Some version of the book tree (without the lights) does stay up all year round here. And my two black cats tell me that they are all the cats I need. Loudly they tell me.

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  59. oh my goodness, I love both trees! The book one is really awesome, but yeah I see your point. You'd need to see that particular one you have to tug out of the middle or the bottom. That would just topple the whole thing over. But that book tree would go very nicely with my post today (yes blunt hint) The black cats one made me laugh. So cute. I hope you had a good Christmas?

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    1. Furry Bottoms: Your post didn't show up in my reader - so thank you for the hint. Perhaps next year I will put up a book tree (or two). Jazz n Jewel say there are enough black cats in the house already. Some days they have both told me that there is one too many...

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