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I can't tell my courage from my desperation

It is a typical rain forest morning here, but I am sipping tea before a fire in the kitchen, complete with glowing beeswax candle, so all is well. It is especially well because Christmas is in the air, this being December the 3rd, and we will be spending it in the company of our first grandson and his spectacular parents. I haven't shopped – most of that will wait for Cleveland so we aren't trucking hordes of presents over the border and dutifully hauling many of them back again, I haven't begun Christmas cards, and we have no Christmas lights adorning the eaves of our log home. In fact, the only homage we have so far paid to Advent are the Christmas mugs and music our 4 youngest children set out to greet us when we arrived home from meeting our sweet grandbaby.

Going away for Christmas requires some preparation for the animals. We had 40 bales of hay delivered for the llamas this week. Our hens died of old age some years back, so while we miss their organic, free-range eggs, I no longer have to worry about turning on their heat lamp or breaking the ice in their water dish when the temperatures dip below freezing. My mother and father in law have offered to keep our dog for the duration of our trip, so that leaves me with searching out cat-care. Ideally we like to have someone who will stick around for long hours or stay here most of the time, so they will have company, fresh food, and be allowed to frolic and play the Eskimo way during the day. This morning, I was struck with a wonderful idea, reinforced by Erma Bombeck, whom my husband quoted in his most recent newsletter: "It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, "How good or how bad am I? That's where courage comes in."

I must muster up courage to share my good idea because it reflects rather poorly on my housekeeping skills. I am thinking: "Why not hire a house-sitter/organizer/house-cleaner who loves cats to stay here while we are away?" So if anyone knows anyone who fits the bill, please help me kill two birds with one stone (the cats would have gotten them anyway) and set up my new year with an organized office/home for our happy cats and campers.

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