The Random Yak

Lest We Forget

Filed under: Christmas Alliance,Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:44 am on December 8, 2009

Sitting at lunch with Yak the Younger over the weekend, I reminded him that certain family members still needed to know “what he wants for Christmas.”  His answer came as a surprise.

“I wish they wouldn’t ask.”

“But if they don’t ask,” I pointed out (momentarily glorying in my own logic), “how will they know what to get you?  They don’t see you very often.  Maybe they don’t know you that well.”

“That’s the point,” he replied.  “I wish they did, because that would be better.”

While I tried to recover from the psychic EMP that is a 14-year old wishing he knew elderly relatives better, YtY swooped in and dropped an even bigger depth charge in my brain:

“Besides, it’s not about getting an expensive gift.  We only give presents to remind one another that Christ came into the world to live and die on our behalf.  The presents aren’t important, and if you put too much emphasis on them, people forget what they’re really all about in the first place.

“It doesn’t matter what they give me.  I know what it stands for, and I’m glad they care enough to send anything at all.”

At this point, my brain locked up.  I could only stare.  Not that I didn’t already understand his point (I may even have blogged along those lines, as well as making my views on Christmas lists well – and redundantly – known. ) – I just didn’t expect to hear a fourteen year old boy making it.

When the works came unstuck, one thought came to the forefront…thank you, Lord, for the son I have received.  I do not deserve this blessing any more than the multitude of others I enjoy – and for this one in particular, I am truly grateful.

Somehow, somewhere, some time along the way, Yak the Younger learned the real meaning of Christmas.  And when he stated it so clearly, without pretension and without a desire for “effect,” I realized that he not only absorbed it as something his parents taught him – he recognizes it as truth.

I have received my best gift this year.  Two, really.  First, the realization that my son – as delighted as he will be with the gift-that-shall-not-be-named when he sees it under the tree – understands and appreciates Christmas for the real reasons rather than the ones that come wrapped in (cat-tasted) ribbons and (slightly chewed) bows.  And second, that he isn’t afraid to stand up for those reasons even in circumstances when no one would shame him for going the commercial route.

So if the “Holiday Season” has got you down, the shopping is making you crazy and the general fluff threatens to turn you from Santa to Grinch, take a moment to remember the greater meaning of Christmas – and take comfort from knowing that you are not alone.

I confess that I don’t have great hope for most of the next generation.  In that, as in many other things, I become more like The Random Father with every passing day.  But the promised remnant is still among us, and the remnant does remember.  So take a moment and forget the rush, the bustle and the ribbon the cat just regurgitated on the rug.  It doesn’t matter what gift you’ve chosen, if you give it in the proper spirit, and it doesn’t matter what the glittering box contains, if you receive it as a symbol of the greater gift that none of us deserves but every one of us, miraculously, has the power to receive.

In a moment I’ll return you – and this blog – to the regular, irreverent style.  But as you move through the days between now and December 25, don’t let the sparkles overwhelm or distract you from what those gifts should really mean.

It’s not about glitter or paper or bows, or bright colored lights, or the first Christmas snows.  It’s not about creches or angels with wings, or four-letter words said when dropping glass things.  It’s not about candy, or parcels, or beer.  Christmas is for Jesus, and knowing He’s here.

(Update:  Apparently I’m not the only one riffing on this theme today. David at third world county has a similar sentiment – and a much better poem – on offer.)

Observed While Picking Up (Prescription) Drugs

Filed under: Frivol,Holyday Yaks,Just Yaks,Yak Rants — Random Yak @ 12:09 pm on December 4, 2009

Last night I ran out to pick up some dinner and stopped off at the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for The Random Spouse.  (Note: Yak the Younger went with me, so I have a witness on this.)

I made my way through aisles strewn with the detritus of Christmas-to-come, aka the Miracle That Is the Pharmacy Christmas Section: obligatory piles of colored paper, ribbons and bows, a thousand light-up snowmen and half a dozen models of bell-wearing reindeer that dance and play [Insert "The Most Irritating Carol Known to Man"] at the push of a single button.

Despite my usually cynical nature (exacerbated, as always, by low blood sugar and the presence of plush Santas and smiling angels wearing banners that proclaim “Happy Holidays”…with the irony apparently lost on everyone but me) I found myself strangely infected by the Christmas Spirit.  I started to smile.  I even decided to get my Christmas tree this weekend – a week ahead of schedule.

Somehow, the store had made me merry, and instead of fighting it, I decided to enjoy it.

And then I saw it.  Sitting on an end-cap halfway between the front of the store and the pharmacy counter.  An object so strange, so hideous and so inappropriate that my Christmas spirit shattered and a single, overwhelming thought filled my mind.

I am so blogging this.

Particularly since the store had posted a large, multicolored sign next to the offending item which read: “THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT.”


In whose mutated, illogical world does a “Dog blanket with sleeves” even rate as an acceptable Christmas gift? (Hint: not the dog’s.) The dog doesn’t want one.  The owner shouldn’t want one.  And – in case you needed more evidence – nobody else wants to see the poor dog wearing one.

If you want to dress yourself in an absurd-looking fuzzy drop cloth with arm holes, in the comfort and privacy of your own home, go for it.  Knock yourself out.  Your family will probably snicker behind their hands (assuming they wouldn’t guffaw openly, as mine would) and your siblings will doubtless post incriminating photos on YouTube for all the world to see.  Still, it’s a (mostly) free country, and – to paraphrase my law school Contracts Professor – every person can make as good a choice, or as stupid a choice, as (s)he is able.

But for the love of all that’s good and merciful, and in the spirit of the holiday:

please, please, PLEASE don’t do it to the dog.

A Final Pre-Thanksgiving Thought

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 1:02 pm on November 25, 2009

At Thanksgiving, frustration is often relative.

A Thanksgiving Feast to Yak About

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 1:00 pm on

(well, that came out wrong.)

Thanksgiving approacheth on small turkey feet, and although I initially intended to liveblog at least one football game during tomorrow’s Random Family Festivities, I fear that may not occur.  I have seen the elephant turkey, and answered the call to battle.  In other words…I’m doing the cooking.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily preclude liveblogging.  In fact, some might think I could spin some fairly solid blogging from this particular version of “Kitchen Impossible (call it the Mountain Edition,” with me in place of Robert Irvine.  Fortunately, it’s not televised.  I have a face for blogging.).  I’m not even ruling it out, though I’ll have to find some way to keep small, sticky fingers off the keyboard.  (And keep the Random Niece and BamBam away from it too.) I might even let Yak the Younger take the wheel – though that would represent a tremendous leap of faith and courage that I’m not altogether sure I possess.

We’ll see what happens.

In the interim, and in case there’s nothing new tomorrow, permit me to offer the following feast, drawn from postings of Thanksgiving Past:

First, let’s stop to welcome the visitors: Our New Chicken Overlords.

For the pre-meal Blessing:  The original ‘Tis a Gift to be Simple from November 2008.  Or, if you’d rather take the inverse: be grateful you’re not working toward one of my 13 Least Worthy Life Goals.  For these and all our other gifts, may we be  truly grateful.

Appetizer:  Mixed fruits and nuts…with a few Random Thanksgiving Facts tossed in.

Main Course: The original Trial of the Turkey, in five acts….from Indictment to the Reading of the Charge, the internal legal memorandum, Prosecution Argument, Statement By the Defense., the prosecution’s request for sanctions (due to defense counsel giving us “the bird”)..the defense case-in-chief, the Turkey’s Last Call, and finally, the inevitable execution.

The “good-for-you” brussel sprout side has a little Thanksgiving History thrown in.

Here we pause for chaos – a short  food fight if you will -  brought to you by the good people at Southwest Airlines.

With the meal complete, let us pause to reflect on Lessons Learned from Thanksgiving. (And no…that’s not what you think it is.) Sticky fingers and all.

And…to respond to a recent post at third world county…here’s the potty humor.  Because no story is complete without it.

Just don’t overdo it and end up sick.

Happy Thanksgiving to One and All!

Walking With Pies

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 12:20 pm on

Observed at the local Marie Callender’s restaurant this morning (yeah, we bunted on half the pies this year):

A sign reading: “Walk In Pies”

I tell you, the serving suggestions get stranger every year.

‘Tis a Gift to be Simple…

Filed under: Holyday Yaks,Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 12:52 pm on November 24, 2009

…’tis a gift to be free…’tis a gift to have a loving family…and when you find yourself in their midst tonight…give thanks for their love and God’s gifts in your life.

(Without apologies to the original writers.  I think my rewrite would meet with their approval.)

Two days to Thanksgiving, and time for the annual “Why Are You Thankful” post.  Yes, it’s hackneyed, and cliched, and everything else you can say with your mouth squeezed into that disapproving little squish.  It’s also perfectly appropriate.  (And if anyone doesn’t think so, permit me to refer him to The Rules.)

This year, I am very thankful.

I am grateful for all the “normal things” – honestly, truly and completely grateful for the Random Spouse’s, for Yak the Younger, The Random Parents and The Random Sibling.  I am grateful for The Random Sister-in-Law, The Random Niece, and Bam-Bam (the Random Nephew).  I am grateful for the Maniyak’s friendship and for the gift of a law practice that provides both work and an opportunity for many levels of growth.

I am grateful for all of these things, and could easily write a long, self-serving but completely honest and accurate post extolling their virtues and how very, very much I appreciate their presence in my life.  All of which, though meaningful to me, is less so to the rest of you.  (Perhaps more importantly, it’s publishing a form of gratitude for which I am normally silently, prayerfully and humbly grateful – and will continue to be, without necessarily trumpeting it to the world at large.)

It’s also not why you came here.

In light of which, permit me to share some other things which make me grateful.

1.  Finding a parking space.  Seriously.  How many times have you pulled into the lot to find it full?  How many minutes of your life have you spent circling aimlessly, silently begging elderly ladies to push that walker just a little faster so you can get by before the dude in the Porsche snags the last empty spot – and then wishing all Porsches would suddenly vaporize into ashes along with the spot-stealing ingrates who drive them?  (By the way…that’s your pastor behind the wheel.  Just thought I’d mention.) Yeah.  Now…how often are you grateful when you pull in just as someone vacates the prime spot right in front of the place you’re heading?  Think that one over.

2.  Cheese in a Can.  Cheese.  In.  A.  Can.  Granted, it’s not “real” cheese…more like orange spackle with a vaguely cheesy aftertaste…but it comes in a can! Someone, somewhere, got the idea that we could improve cheese by doing something different with it, and someone else, somewhere, decided to give him the chance.  I don’t know how many failed ideas preceded it (hot dog in a can, anyone?) or how many ideas never get the chance to fly, but for the existence of a world in which some dreams get the opportunity to become reality…I am extremely grateful.


Giving You the Bird: Bacon-Basted Turkey Recipe

Filed under: Holyday Yaks,Just Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:32 am on November 23, 2009

Submitted for your consideration: a turkey that essentially bastes itself, but still has a nice, crispy skin – with the help of Nature’s Miracle Food: Bacon.

Now, I don’t claim ownership of the idea of loosening the skin of a chicken, turkey or duck in order to slip something between the meat and skin to add flavor to the bird as it roasts.  You can see it every night on Food Network and read about it in a thousand cookbooks.

I’m probably not even the first one to think “hey, if it works with bay leaves, why not try it with bacon?”  (In this or any other context, scary as that seems.)

But I’m the first one I’ve seen talking about it, and when I mention it in public I always get the same response – startled surprise, followed by a request for a recipe.

In light of which, here’s the idea I’m using Thursday.  I’ve also used it to roast chickens and it’s great with them, too.  Haven’t tried with cornish hens yet, but assuming you’ve got the mad skinning skills, I’d bet it would work.  (Consider that on my “to do” list. I’ll get back to you with the results.)

Carefully loosen the skin over the breast of the turkey.  Don’t rip it, just loosen it, starting from the bottom cavity opening and working your way toward the neck.  When you have the skin loosened, slip whole pieces of thick-cut smoked bacon between the meat and skin.  Orient them lengthwise, so they run from the top of the breast down toward the opening of the body cavity (not across the body from wing to wing).  Start with two up by the breast bone (you may not be able to loosen the skin away from the breast bone, and I find it actually provides a decent anchor for the first pieces of bacon if you don’t).  Then add bacon, pushing the pieces together so you end up with a single layer of bacon slices that covers the entire breast of the turkey, under the unbroken skin.

After that, I normally put a little butter on top of the skin and salt and pepper the bird before putting it in the oven.  You can add whatever other aromatics or seasonings you want, either inside the bird or outside it, provided you remember that you’ve added bacon and you probably don’t want to use anything that competes with the bacon’s flavor.

Roast the bird as you normally would.  (I start at 500 for a turkey, with the bird loosely tented in foil, then reduce temp to 350 after 10 minutes and remove the tent only during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking, as and if needed.  And don’t open the oven door if you don’t have to.) If you haven’t got a probe thermometer – the kind that has a probe which goes into the turkey’s thigh and a base that sits outside the oven on the counter (with an alarm when the bird hits temperature) it’s totally worth the investment.  Not just for this, but for that Christmas prime rib too.

The advantages:  the bird bastes itself.  As it cooks, the bacon renders down and keeps the meat from drying out.  You end up with a great crispy turkey skin, and drippings that make a slightly bacon-flavored gravy.  The bacon taste isn’t overwhelming, though, in either the turkey or the gravy.

Disadvantage:  the bird’s skin gets crispy, but the bacon does not.  When the bird is finished the bacon will be cooked, but it won’t be crispy – so if you want crispy bacon, make it separately.

And while I’m at it: a big Random Yak welcome to all the “Bacon Turkey Recipe” and “Turkey Bacon Recipe” Googlers who showed up looking for a recipe that used both turkey and bacon and actually found … exactly what they were looking for.  (I promise it won’t happen again.  Not soon, anyway.)

By U.S-E.R Demand: More Random Thanksgiving Facts

Filed under: Frivol,History Yaks,Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 2:09 pm on November 19, 2009

A romp through the referrer logs indicates two interesting, self-educating facts:

1. Many, many people have stopped by recently looking for “Random Thanksgiving Facts.”

2. The Random Yak is the #2 site in the Googleverse for Random Thanksgiving Facts.

Never let it be said The Yak didn’t give the people what they asked for. (Well, unless it was illegal, immoral, or fattening – and in the latter case, that’s just because I already licked it and you really don’t want yak germs, do you?)

On with the facts:

Random Facts about Thanksgiving Turkeys

1.  The type of turkey eaten by the Pilgrims, and common to North America, is Meleagris gallopavo, which is the largest of the wild turkey varieties.  (Curiously, the North American politician, Malintendis spendomucho, is also the largest turkey in its class.)

2.  Although almost all male turkeys have a feathered “beard” that sticks out from their chest, 10-20% of female turkeys also have beards.  (A characteristic which, fortunately, does not also translate to the North American politician population, except possibly in San Francisco.)

3.  Turkeys have a variety of vocalizations.  Regular readers of the blog know that the standard turkey call is not “gobble gobble” but rather Oobie oobie oobie.

4.  Approximately 88% of the homes in the U.S. serve turkey on Thanksgiving Day.  (Which leaves me with a sneaking suspicion that someone’s having Tofurky instead.  If you’re in that unfortunate 12%, permit me to apologize in advance for your relatives and their culinary preferences.)

Random Facts About Thanksgiving Dinner

1.  No matter what they told you, your relatives do not like yams.  Or parsnips.

2.  If you check with them, and they tell you I’m wrong…refer to item #1.

3.  A yam is not the same thing as a sweet potato.  Ironically, true yams are sweeter than sweet potatoes, but contain less vitamin C.  (Yams are also toxic if eaten raw, whereas sweet potatoes are merely nasty.)

4.  The amount of gravy you should serve to a child under the age of 8 is directly  proportional to the amount you want spilled on the carpet, and inversely proportional to the number of peas said child is likely to fling at his cousins when your back is turned.  (In other words: if you can’t trust him with the peas…what on earth possessed you to give him Liquid Carpet Stain.)

Stay tuned.  More facts to come …

In Which I Explain the Origin of “Oobie Oobie Oobie”

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 1:49 pm on November 18, 2009

(…by popular demand.)

It has been brought to my attention that most people think turkeys say “Gobble Gobble Gobble” but here on My Side of the Mountain, we reproduce the turkey’s standard noise as “Oobie Oobie Oobie.” It has also come to my attention that some of you wonder why.

Wherein lies a tale.

When Yak the Younger was two years old, we had a visit from some very good family friends (read: an individual  I’ve known since high school, plus that individual’s spouse).  As wise visitors often do, they brought a gift for YtY: a Beanie Baby called “Gobbles the Turkey.”  (Yes, “gobbles,” not “oobie” – bear with me.)

Upon presentation of this gift, the husband of the pair also gave Yak the Younger his best turkey call – and the guy’s a hunter, who hunts wild turkeys (which they eat, as they do everything he hunts, so the animal rights activists can take a number and prepare to be thoroughly ignored).

Yak the Younger loved the turkey, but in particular, he loved the call.  His little face lit up with absolute delight, and he seized on the turkey with a loud imitation of our friend’s (astonishingly lifelike) turkey call.

Only, in his two-year-old translation, it came out OOBIE OOBIE OOBIE!!

Whereupon four grown adults almost exploded from repressed laughter, and a new turkey call was born.

And turkeys – all turkeys – have said “oobie oobie” ever since.

But before you dismiss my tale, or cry “fowl” at my interpretation of Turkinese, take a moment and consider: Yak the Younger had a point.

Say “Gobble Gobble.”

Now say “Oobie Oobie.”

Tell me the second one doesn’t sound closer to a real turkey call.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Oobie oobie oobie to you, too.

Thanksgiving Plans

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:18 am on November 16, 2009

Received an awesome call from The Random Sibling last week, in which he suggested that he, the Random Sister-in-Law, and the  Random niece-and-nephew (yeah, we call him ‘Bam-Bam’) decamp to My Side of the Mountain for Thanksgiving.

We had Thanksgiving at Casa de Yak a few years ago, when the Random Niece was 2 and the Random Nephew not even the proverbial twinkle in his father’s eye, and a fantastic time was had by all.  The family photo from that weekend still graces my refrigerator (what’s this “frame” you speak of?) and an old, long expired calendar we made for The Random Mother the following Christmas.  (Which, incidentally, still hangs…on her refrigerator…)

Upon hearing that The Sibling & Co. were headed north, The Random Mother indicated that she and The Random Father-Deux were also inclined to participate, which means a table for ten at the Yak’s place next week.  Probably followed by Friday-in-the-snow up the hill, assuming the snow decides to participate.  (Which it probably won’t, as the daily “weather report” emails from The Random Sibling suggest.   Leave it to the little brother to point out the minor flaws in my grand design.)

After a little wrangling, the menu has finally landed.  One week from Thursday, we’ll be having:

Turkey and gravy; mashed potatoes; brussel sprouts (rendered edible by liberal quantities of bacon); artichoke-heart casserole (green beans, eat your heart out); corn-something (yeah, that one’s still being debated, though the creamed corn fanatics are winning, primarily because they’ll be the ones cooking); a fruit centerpiece (odds are 100 to 1 against it actually surviving until dinnertime, less if anyone turns their back while I’m in the room with it); and not one but three pies: key lime, chocolate meringue, and pumpkin.

Rumor has it there will also be rolls, though family tradition mandates that they’ll probably end up burned and better suited for table-hockey than butter and gravy.  (But if The Random Mother asks, you didn’t hear that from me.)

So, for those inclined to comment or link…what’s showing up on your table?

Always Remember. Never Forget.*

Filed under: History Yaks,Holyday Yaks,Lessons Learned,PoliYaks — Random Yak @ 3:04 pm on September 11, 2009

[Reposted from September 11, 2007.  September 11, 2006 post is here.]

Six years*  ago this morning, a telephone call from The Random Sibling woke me from a sound and peaceful sleep.

“Is your TV on?” His voice demanded into my sleeping ear.  “Are you watching this?”

“Watching what?”  I looked at the clock.  My alarm wouldn’t go off for another half hour.  “What’s going on?”

“We’re under attack.  They’re flying planes into buildings.  Turn your TV on NOW.”

September 11, 2001. (more…)

“A” Christmas Post

Filed under: Christmas Alliance,Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 11:41 am on December 5, 2008

Realizing that (a) only 20 days remain until Christmas and (b) I have yet to begin the annual trek through the Christmas alphabet, it occurs to me that I’d better get on the ball. Our usual Christmas Alliance activities have taken a bit longer to kick off this year, probably due to my partially-involuntary blogging hiatus, but I think perhaps it’s not too late to get the ball rolling again. (IT Yak is out of the country at the moment, but I’ll get him to post the 2008 Alliance page when he returns)

That said, this year’s Christmas alphabet begins with the letter “A” (talk about stuck in a rut…I seem to start here every year.). And although the world contains a great many appropriate topics, from Angels to Advent, this year I’d like to talk about the slightly less common “Aspirations.”

Now, before you inhale your coffee in surprise, permit me to clarify.

“Aspiration”: “the strong desire to achieve something great, or the object of such desire.”
No matter what your focus, Christmas is all about aspirations, and about the achievement thereof. In the birth of Jesus Christ, God achieved the greatest single act and victory the world has ever known – the salvation of many souls through the birth, life and sacrifice of a single divine life. There is no greater aspiration, and no greater achievement.

Christmas also offers a time for personal aspirations: we aspire to bring joy to those we love, comfort to those in need, and more and greater individual dedication to the values we learned from the God whose birth we celebrate. To those who would make Christmas a purely secular day, let me offer this question: without Christ’s birth, and his birthday, what does this celebration mean? To remove Him removes the great aspirations and motivations which remind us of who we are and motivate us to become (if more temporarily than we would like) more the people we wish to be.

Every human being aspires to be, or to become, something greater than (s)he is. We recognize, if only subconsciously, our own failings and our need to connect with something higher than ourselves. Christmas represents God’s offer to fulfill those aspirations, and the Divine person in whom they can be fulfilled.

A reason to rejoyce, indeed.


A Visit from Smallest Cat

Filed under: Holyday Yaks — Random Yak @ 12:34 pm on November 26, 2008


‘Twas the night before turkey, and all through the place

I saw smiles of longing on every face;

The cranberries were canned in gelatinous goo,

waiting just to be eaten by me and by you;

The stuffing was cubed, for the bread to go stale,

While outside a big rainstorm was blowing a gale.

Now the Spouse on a hunter and I on a priest,

Had just re-specced for raiding (one holy, one beast),

When out in the kitchen arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the computer to see what’s the matter.

Away to the pantry I flew like a flash,

Tore open the doors and examined my cache.

The moon on the eyes of the creature below

Gave a Halloween lustre, an ominous glow.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear,

a Small Cat, black of hair, with small feet and big ear,

and an attitude problem so easy to see,

That I knew in a moment which one it must be.

More rapid than eagles she raced from the room,

As my eyes looked around, and I saw, to my doom;

She’d invaded the cupboard, licked apples and pears,

and subjected potatoes to more than just glares,

From the top of the stove to the top pantry shelf

She had ‘sampled’ Thanksgiving, claimed it all for herself.

As all cats that before threats of punishment fly,

when seeing the master, too fast for the eye;

So out of the kitchen our Smallest Cat flew,

(with a last stolen crumb, in some hideout to chew).

And then, in a twinkling, I heard the Spouse call

in a voice growing loud as it came down the hall.

So I drew in a breath, and was turning around,

trying hard to decide how to make the truth sound,

When I noticed the kitten, gripped ever so firm,

in a headlock that thwarted her determined squirm.

A handful of scruff the Spouse held firm and tight,

to my eyes, it seemed justice might be served this night.

Kitty’s eyes, how they twinkled! Her whiskers, how merry!

Wait a minute…she’s chewing a stolen blackberry!

Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

from the taste or the grip, I had no way to know.

The stub of a pie she held tight in her teeth,

as the Spouse looked around for a sword to unsheath;

For not only had kitty invaded the food,

she had ruined our raiding, destroyed the good mood.

Yet, although she’d committed a cardinal sin,

I laughed when I saw her, so fuzzy and thin;

and despite being captured she showed no remorse,

(this doesnt surprise a cat owner, of course).

The Spouse spoke not a word, but went straight to the work

of assessing the damage; then turned with a jerk,

and laying a finger aside that cat’s rear,

with a firm “Bad, BAD KITTY”, but no shedding of tears;

We sprang into action, the pantry to clean,

and from all of the wreckage the leavings to glean.

But I found myself thinking, as she hove out of sight,

I’ll be thankful on Thursday – Cat’s thankful tonight.  


Thursday 13: Best Things About Christmas 2007

Filed under: Christmas Alliance,Holyday Yaks,Thursday Thirteen — Random Yak @ 2:23 pm on December 27, 2007

1.  Spending the entire day with The Random Family, enjoying one another’s company and celebrating the birth of our LORD.

2.  Coming home from the midnight service on Christmas Eve to hear Yak the Younger say, “I feel closer to Jesus tonight than I ever did before.”

3.  On Christmas Day, I got a nap.

4.  Although we weren’t all together on Christmas Day, The Random Parents, The Random Sibling, The Random Family, The Random In-Laws and all their associated spouses and children were happy, healthy, warm and well-fed on Christmas.  (On second thought, this probably could have gone up to #1.  In this, our Christmas was truly blessed.) 

5.  Prime rib on Christmas Eve, and turkey on Christmas night (and leftovers from both!)

6.  More new books than I can shake a Yak at.

7.  The post office found the missing parcel.*  (It arrived this morning – which means YtY doesn’t have to wait for the New Year to get his stormglass after all.) (* Note: this qualifies as a true “Christmas Miracle,” despite it happening two days after.)

8.  Did I mention my nap?

9.  Managing to get through Christmas without a cat eating too much of the Christmas tree (or having to clean up the inevitable results).

10.  Playing mad scientist with Yak the Younger’s new crystal-growing set (and somehow managing to keep the kitchen intact).

11.  Yep.  Another nap.

12.  Reflecting on the blessings of 2007 and looking forward to the blessings of 2008.

13.  Watching the mental Bengal (yeah, the one on Prozac) finally play with the new kitten in a way that didn’t involve attempted kitticide.  (Once.  For approximately 15 seconds, until she realized the kitten was winning.  But hey, it’s a start.)

The Thursday Thirteen Days of Christmas

Filed under: Christmas Alliance,Faith Yak,Holyday Yaks,Just Yaks — Maniyak @ 1:20 pm on December 13, 2007

Today is the rarest of Thursday Thirteens. Not only is it Thursday, but it is the thirteenth day of December and it is exactly thirteen days (counting today) until Christmas Day.

For this triple witching, uh, watching thirteenth, the Yaks bring you the thirteen days of Christmas gifts that we have already received this year. (No partridges in pear trees were disrespected or misappropriated in the making of this list.)

1. Every day that we experienced God’s love, forgiveness and grace. That is, every day that we accepted this most-precious gift.

2. Every day that we shared love, forgiveness and/or grace with anyone else.

3. The day we had the automobile accident, but no one was hurt.

4. The day Myak forgot all to pack a dress shirt for an out-of-town event, but an alternative clothing choice was providentially available.

5. The day we had popcorn at the office.

6. The day I did not vent my emotions as venomously as I felt them. (Unfortunately, this gift was much rarer this year than in other times.)

7. The day that God provided a way out well before I knew that I needed it. That is, I am thankful for this special instance that I recognized, knowing that God is doing this constantly without my conscious notice.)

8. All the days before the fuse on all of the outdoor Christmas lights blew out, again.

9. Online Christmas shopping.

10. Finishing Christmas shopping with thirteen days to go. (This is for RYak. For Myak, this goes on the Christmas wish list.)

11. The days that all of the family were together again.

12. Every day that the United States did not experience a terrorist attack.

13. Every day an American soldier is not injured or killed defending our country.

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