Tag Archives: Antler

Meet My New Pet, Juan Pablo

Water buffalo. Two. Mine, all mine.  Why? Because they were Christmas gifts.


Each month, I put out the newsletter for my church. This is my eighth year as a volunteer. Every Christmas, my thoughtful pastors give us a small gift bag with chocolates and a thank you note. I think the note said something or other about giving two water buffalo. It’s a lovely gesture, but I’m still waiting for the pigs they promised a couple of years ago. So now I have two water buffalo roaming around in my back yard, which if you’ve seen my back yard, you will know is the size of a rather large postage stamp. Or at least, I WILL have two water buffalo roaming around in my back yard. They haven’t been delivered yet either. From what I understand, I have to share them with the rest of the church staff. I haven’t been told what the schedule is yet, so I don’t know if they’re going to be coming to my house for a week or a month at a time. These things should be taken care of in advance when one is giving a present like this, don’t you think? Really. What were my pastors thinking? I must admit that it must be the thought that counts here. I just can’t understand why they think the staff of a mid-Western church needs to share two water buffalo though. I’ve never seen any inclination of the staff to want to herd things. Shepherding the congregation is another matter altogether. Water buffalo? They can’t be used for baptisms. Wrong kind of water, so even around the church, they’re kind of useless. They can’t even be used to pick up parishioners from their homes on Sunday mornings. Face it, in the world of animals as autos, water buffalo are sturdy convertibles, but our winters are much too cold for open canopy water buffalo taxis. Around my house? Like I said, my yard is small. Even plowing up a garden plot wouldn’t take very long. And if I tried to have a garden, the water buffalo would stomp all over it when I let them outside to do their “business.” Really. What good are two water buffalo to me, Mrs. Suburban Mid-West Woman? I’m going to have to talk to the rest of the staff, but maybe we can give the water buffalo to Heifer International so that they can help two families sustain themselves. The shipping costs might be exorbitant, but I’ll feel better knowing that Sally and Juan Pablo (I’ve gotten attached) are being put to good use instead of trampling my garden or being played on like a jungle gym in the church nursery. I’ll miss them, but they belong with other people who need them more than I do. I think the church secretary will agree too. Sally never got the hang of answering the phones and Juan Pablo tried to photocopy his butt. Hello, repairman. Good bye, Juan Pablo and Sally. It’s for the best. I wish them well. I hope that for next Christmas, the pastors just donate money to Heifer International in our names. Well, I’m off to buy some buffalo kibble. Anyone know a good wholesaler? I’m going to need a lot. I just hope the pigs don’t finally come too. I’m not sure there’s room.


12/21 Drunken Rudolph

Presenting drunken Rudolphs, the socks that started my Christmas sock obsession. Unfortunately, Rudolph is going to that sock drawer in the sky because one of the drunken Rudolphs is missing his big red nose, thanks to a pull. I wore them to do last minute stuff at home. I added more ornaments to the tree, picked up around the house, strung my dad in the window. It wasn’t really my dad. It was a lighted Hallmark memorial ornament, only it didn’t want to light this year. After replacing a dead bulb with the only one that fit in the socket, my father now blinks at me from the kitchen window. It tickles me to see his smiling face blinking on and off, keeping me company. Family. Have you ever thought about whether Mary and Joseph had anyone with them during the start of their family? A midwife, maybe? One of Joseph’s relatives? That part of the story is missing. Where was their family? We’ll be missing our extended family this year. We live too far away, but they are in our hearts. Like my dad. He’s in my heart now and forever, although he’s never blinked at me before.


12/12 Grayndeer

Dec 12 – Christmas is an assault. The hustle and bustle attacks us with gusto. We experience Christmas with all five of our senses on full alert. We hear the Salvation Army ringers and the caroling of familiar songs. We see the glitz and the glitter in the decorations. We feel it in the cold weather as we pull on our reindeer Christmas socks to go shopping (and boy, it’s cold right now). We smell the fresh evergreens and the ginger cookies. And we taste the candy canes, the warmed wassail and hot chocolate. We can wish that the Christmas season was calm and peaceful, but without the madness of it, we wouldn’t appreciate the peace that comes with the advent of Christmas Eve. There was no peace for Mary in the stable that night so long ago. The sounds and smells of animals, the feel of the hay and maybe Joseph’s calloused hands, the pain of childbirth, the sight of a king in the form of a new-born baby, the first taste of love for the little one that she held in her arms. No, Mary’s Christmas was an attack too. An attack of peace on earth.


12/1 Kitties in Antlers (Repost from 2013)

Dec. 1 – I’m starting off the season in red socks with kitties in antlers and scarves. What could be more indicative of the playfulness of the Christmas season? Yet, at church this morning, on this first Sunday of Advent, we had communion, reminding us of the reason for another season, Easter. The candle for the first Sunday of Advent represents hope. We take communion because we remember the hope that was given to us from the cross. We celebrate Christmas because that Hope was born in a manger, with cattle and sheep and maybe even some barn cats frolicking about. Christmas is the season of hope, a season of celebration, even a season of kitties in antlers and scarves on brightly colored socks. Be playful, be prayerful in the great hope of this season. Merry Christmas!Image