Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I grabbed this from Big Blueberry Eyes website.

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Ooo. . .tough choice. . .I have to choose hot chocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? He's flexible; some are wrapped, some unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights on the house and trees; colored lights on the Christmas tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I used to, when I was little. I think I enjoyed getting it because it was a good excuse to climb a tree.

5. When do you put up your decorations? Thanksgiving day usually, but this year they went up before Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? ham, lasagna (I must be related to Garfield)

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Drop by Queen of Cute Shoes's blog and find out; I'm the guest blogger today. (Thanks again Stephanie!)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Santa's still here at our house. I'm a student of the story, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Of course!

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? A collection of things I've made and been given over the years.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread? I love it, but haven't seen any since the mid-80's.

12. Can you ice skate? Yep! But it's been so long since I've been on skates, most of the skating would be while I'm on my backside.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? The two Welsh ponies Dady gave me when I was 8.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? family, friends, traditions.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? cheesecake

16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Giving gifts of cookies we made to friends and neighbors.

17. What tops your tree? A star (It was my MIL's)

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving, of course. You can't beat that feeling you get whe you see the receipiant's face face light up with joy.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love all of them, but I love Oh Holy Night, and Christmas at Our House the best.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Y-U-M-M-Y!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

If you're curious. . .

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I over-ate, as usual, and now I feel like I'm related to the Goodyear blimp.

I've tried all day to put a montage I've made on this site, but Blogger is being a booger head and isn't co-operating. If you want to see the face behind the screen, you can see the video here.

View this video montage created at One True Media
The dream

See ya'll tomorrow!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Wish. . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

New concept on scratch and sniff packaging

You all will never believe this. . .

Saturday, the family and I where running around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to gather supplies for Christmas.

We have a superstore Wal-Mart in my town, but on a whim, we went to the new one in a town just a few miles north of us.

I will say, I was impressed; this store seemed cleaner and better organized than ours. Everything was going great until I met the associate from the netherworld.

Sent by John, Seth and I embarked on a quest to find honey. After five minutes of running up and down the aisles, we remained empty-handed.

"Hey, there's someone who can help," Seth proclaimed, pointing at the blue vest clad employee, who was stocking shelves.

"Excuse me madam, but can you tell me where the honey is?" The associate gave me leave-me-alone look, before turning back to her shelf stocking. Normally, to be ignored like this would have irritated the crap out of me, but I was in a mischievous mood because of the wonderful time the family was having together.

"Honey, can you tell me were you keep the honey?" I asked. Seth fought to keep his giggles under control as we approached her; still, she ignored us.

"Madam, could you PLEASE tell me WHERE YOU KEEP THE HONEY? I all but bellowed.

Again the associate turned to look at us, a package of instant potatoes in her hand. "Is there something you need help with?" she asked, a mystified look in her eye.

"Yes," I began patiently, "I need to know where the honey is."

"Umm, gee. . .I don't know," the woman said, scratching her butt crack with the package of potatoes.

Oh please let me be wrong about what she's doing,
I thought, shifting my weight from one foot to the other, trying not to gross out. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Seth, staring open-mouthed at the woman.

The more the woman thought, the harder she scratched her butt with the potatoes. "I don't usually handle the food department."

Gee, I wonder why,
I thought sarcastically, feeling a little sickened by what I had just witnessed. She put a whole new meaning to the term scratch and sniff packaging. LOL

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Demise of Mr. Zucca

“So we’re in agreement then,” I said calmly, gazing over the rim of my coffee mug at my husband. “Today is the day we get rid of Mr. Zucca.”

“Yeah, I guess,” John mumbled distractedly as he read the sports section of the newspaper.

“So, when are you going to do it?” I asked, rising from my seat and clearing the breakfast dishes off the table.

“Sorry, can’t help you there. I’ll be at work all day. If I were you, I’d wait until Seth left for school; the less witnesses, the better.”

Did you honestly think he would do that kind of job for you? This has happened before; you’ve taken the heat, and he’s come out smelling like a rose, my inner voice nagged.

My anger fueled my cleaning efforts, and within minutes, the kitchen was cleaner than the kitchen on the Mr. Clean commercial.

Now to take care of Zucca. Ugh, just the mere thought of him made my stomach churn like a clothes washer. He had arrived with celebrity status fanfare the week of Halloween, and in my opinion, had long overstayed his welcome. He was trouble from the very beginning; he showed up at the most inopportune times, always getting in the way.

Every morning he sneered at me as I passed him in the hall. Well, after today it would all be over. My hands trembling in eager anticipation, I removed a sheathed butcher from the kitchen drawer, and put it in my wind suit pant’s pocket. Then, with all the care one gives to an elderly person, I took Zucca outside and sat him on the picnic table.

Quickly, I took the knife from my pocket, unsheathed it, pausing momentarily to admire the way the sunlight glinted off the steel blade. It's over for you, I thought as plunged the blade deep into Zucca A wave of grim satisfaction washed over me as I rocked the knife back and forth, embedding it deeper.

After the cuts were made, I reached in, and pulling out a handful of guts, threw them on the ground. I knew I should have put them in a trash bag, but who would want the festering stench in their garbage can. This way, I was giving back to the Earth.

I sliced Zucca into pieces, then carried him back into the house, where I dumped him into a galvanized pot, covered the pieces with water, and brought it all to a boil on top of the stove.

The way I see it, Zucca will taste wonderful in a pie this Thanksgiving.

Umm. . .you did know I was talking about an uncut pumpkin, didn’t you? A pumpkin with a painted on face?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

All I want for Christmas

This weekend, as I sat on our overstuffed green sofa, engrossed in an old episode of the Sopranos, reality jumped up and took a bite out of my backside. In less than a month, there will be sixty of your family members here for Christmas; and what have you done to prepare, nothing. What prompted me to think of it at that moment, I don't know; perhaps the sight of Tony Soprano beating someone senseless brought back some deep seeded memory of my cousins and I wrestling over toys when we were children. I sighed as I ran my hand through my short, wavy hair. Unless you counted the half-eaten peppermint on the stereo, there was not a shred of Christmas cheer to be seen.

I knew the next few weekends would be filled with cooking and cleaning. Better decorate now; this'll be the only weekend free.

"Where are you going?" John demanded as I struggled to get off the couch. We had watched two episodes, back-to-back, and needless to say, my rear was quite numb.

"I'm gonna start decorating for Christmas."

"Now? It's not even Thanksgiving yet. Hey, I know, we'll start calling you Wal-Mart." John quipped.

And I could call you Ace Bandages, cause you might need them, I thought nastily as I tugged and pulled on the Christmas boxes by myself. With the kids' help, I had the Christmas tree branches placed in record time. In a late show of gallantry, John offered to clean the storage room.

"Hey Mommy, let's hope you don't fall into the tree this year." Seth said , chuckling.

Maybe it was just being paranoid, or maybe the swift hand of Fate, but after my son's comment, everything started going wrong. A small curio fell off the wall and hit me in the back; later , Seth smashed the door into my face as I was walking in from outside, almost breaking my nose, AGAIN.

The tree was finished, and stood there majestically, bathing us in the glow of the twinkling lights. "Let's write letters to Santa," Seth suggested. Even though he no longer believes, it's a tradition we still carry out for Robert's sake.

I sank to my knees at the coffee table, my nose feeling like I'd been three rounds with a prizefighter, and the back of my head throbbing. In my neatest handwriting, I wrote: Dear Santa. All I want for Christmas is to stay in one piece, or a free upgrade on my medical insurance.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

You make the call

I'm seriously thinking of moving this blog to another server. Blogger has not let me post or comment for days.

The hype and fanfare that accompanies election day in my state has been over since Tuesday, but I still feel flatter than a head of hair on a rainy day. Though retired from politics, hubby spent a lot of time away from home assisting friends with their campaigns, and it's good to have him home on the weekends again.

Thankfully, a friend of our family will resume his position as state representative; some other political acquaintances did not fare as well. I don't miss the political scene; in fact, I hated it. We had to live our lives under the scrutiny of the public, and it was emotionally, mentally, and physically tiring. One day, during hubby campaign, I went to town while my oldest was in school to run a few errands.

At each place I stopped, the same woman appeared there also. When she followed me to a friend's boutique, that was the final straw. My hands shaking with barely contained rage, I eyed her coolly, then told her, "Take out a pencil and paper and take notes, honey."

"Why?" she asked, a fox in the hen house grin on her face.

"Because, if you lose me in traffic, this way you'll know every place I'm going to be." She left in a tiff, and I didn't see her the rest of the day.

Society believes that if you are in politics or are a celebrity, invasion of privacy is the price you pay, and I can "buy" that, to some extent. But where do we need to draw the line?

I wanna know what you think. You don't have to sign your name, just please tell me your opinion.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sunbeam dancin'

I'm trying to keep my mind off the elections tonight, so I think I'll take a trip down memory lane.

When I was a young child, every afternoon I grabbed as many toys as I could in my chubby, sticky hands and toddled off to the kitchen, depositing my bounty and myself in the middle of the floor. Mama became a contortionist as she reached over and around me to retrieve things out of the fridge for supper.

“Can’t you find a better place to play, honey?” she always asked.

Stubbornly I shook my head. This was exactly where I wanted to be. Engrossed in the adventures my plastic toy horses and I were having on the wooden floor, I lost track of time until the faint strains Andy Griffith Show playing in the living room reached my ears, and the kitchen was filled with the soothing smell of supper bubbling in covered pots on the stove.

I knew it was almost time; slowly I stood, forgetting everything, and faced the kitchen window. As if on cue, a large beam of sunlight shone through the window, bathing the dandelion-colored kitchen in an almost celestial glow.

Dust particles danced in beam, as if they were tiny kitchen imps. With the innocence of a child, I too danced in the sunbeam. “Look Mama, I’m getting sprinkled with fairy dust,” I squealed, resembling a small windmill as I whirled. “Make a wish!” I shrieked, pausing long enough to wish, then resumed my dancing

“Don’t spin until you get sick,” she said, looking away from the stove and smiling.

As I grew older, I stopped the crazed dancing; but that time of day remained magical. I still stood in the sunbeam, soaking up its warmth, as I closed my eyes and “made a wish”.

My attitude changed after Daddy’s death. On day, several months after the funeral, in desperation I ventured into the kitchen in the late afternoon hours. I was emotionally numb; I longed to feel something, anything, some resemblance of my former self. Like an old friend, the sunbeam shone through the window, and as in years past, wrapped me in its’ embrace. It didn’t help; nothing cold warm the dark recesses of my heart.

“Make a wish,” a voice whispered in my ear. Turning, I saw my mother, her eyes red-rimmed from crying, standing behind me. “You once told me it was fairy dust, remember?”

“It’s just dust. . .plain old dust, that’s all.” I remarked acidly. I pushed past her, turning my back on my childish beliefs for what seemed forever.

I never again thought about those fun, mystical times until recently. A few days ago, I was folding clothes in the living room, watching my favorite late afternoon shows. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my toddler dancing joyously in a sunbeam shining through the living room window. Childish, girly giggles of the past echoed inside my head as I watched him slap happily at the dust particles in the light.

“Hey Robert, know what that is? That’s fairy dust. Now quick, make a wish,” I said hoarsely.
The magic of the sunbeam has now been passed down to another generation; may it live forever.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The aftermath

Halloween morning I "hit the floor running" and didn't stop until bedtime that night. That morning I raced around like a dog with it's tail on fire, cleaning the house and occasionally barking reprimands such as: "No Robert, the kitty will not look good wearing Mommy’s lipstick" and "The dresser is not a mountain, so stop climbing it."

Of all the mornings, my house picked this one to look like a disaster area. I had just done the last load of laundry when I noticed the house was quiet, too quiet. What is that child into? I wondered. I didn’t have to puzzle over it too long; as I walked down the hall, the sweet aroma of bananas greeted my nostrils. I walked into his bedroom, and was sickened by what I saw. Globs of banana, resembling mounds of snot were everywhere, on the television, all over the stuffed animals. As I stood there, a glob of banana fell off the ceiling and onto my shoulder; I still don’t know how he managed to get banana on the ceiling.

“Hi Mommy! I’m eating the bananas.” Robert chirped, patting a piece of the fruit into the hardwood floor. He sat on his large stuffed horse, looking like the little girl rescued in the movie Poltergeist. It’s these moments you will look back on years later and laugh your fanny off; however, at that moment I contemplated selling my child to the zoo so he could be with the other monkeys.

“Umm. Well, you did something with them, that’s for sure,” I said evenly. This must be what Mama means when she says I’m ‘getting my raising,’I thought as I cleaned the mess. Next, I plopped a protesting Robert into the tub, scrubbed the banana out of his hair, and dug it out of his ears.

By the time Robert was dressed and fed a snack, it was almost noon when we left. “Foolish mere mortal,” the imaginary voice of Fate boomed in my ear as I zoomed down the road, “did you think I could let you get through this day unscathed?”

As anyone could have predicted, Wal-Mart was packed tighter than sardines in a can. The Halloween aisle was a scene of mass chaos as candy-grabbing monsters, in the form of adults, clawed frantically for those last precious bags of candy.

Robert and I got our groceries and got the “heck outta Dodge.” Oh crap, its already three o’clock, I thought, glancing at my watch. I had the market cornered on stress; trick-or-treating was at five at the mall, and I had very little done.

I picked Seth up early from school, and faster than a scalded cat can run, we headed home with the groceries. Hmm. . .maybe it was the crazed look in my eye--a look that said I could knock over a 7-11 for a chocolate bar and not feel bad--or a sudden prick of gallantry, but Seth unloaded the Jimmy and put everything away. I was a human tornado as I fed Robert a late lunch, made a cake, fed myself, and started making the food for our traditional family party.

At four, everything grounded to a halt in the kitchen, and we got dressed. Seth borrowed my costume idea from last year and dressed as a morning person; he wore his robe, I gelled and messed up his hair, and he carried a coffee cup.

Robert was a tourist. I left him in the shorts and shirt he wore to the store, put a white cap that had PADRE ISLAND emblazoned across the front on his head, and hung a pair of binoculars around his neck.

Being stressed actually served a purpose. I took off my clothes, and put them back on inside out. Then I took address labels, wrote the words, MORTGAGE, KIDS, JOB, MONEY, HUSBAND, and stuck them on my shorts and shirt. My costume: a person turned inside out by stress.

At the mall, Seth and Robert scored about 5 pounds of candy by trick-or-treating at the different stores. Seth’s costume was a hit. There were several at the mall who asked him what he was, and when he told them, they almost busted a gut laughing. They complimented his on his originality, and his face lit up.

John had just gotten home as we pulled up. In the soft glow of the porch light he looked me up and down, taking in my inside out clothes and labels. “Please tell me you didn’t buy groceries like that,” he groaned, rolling his eyes. My mean streak flared up, and I was tempted to say sweetly, “Of course I did; and I told every person I saw I was married to you.” Instead, I said, rather huffily, “Of course not. Are you nuts?”

I embedded myself in the kitchen, and here's what we had:

Scarecrow noses and phlegm-- carrot sticks and Vidalia onion dressing

Witches' blood--guacamole dip mixed with sour cream and served with corn chips

Devil's eyeballs--deviled eggs sporting one black olive slice each for a pupil

Witches' fingers--fried green beans

Blood-- Hi-C fruit punch

A bloody hand— bread shaped into the form of a hand. I placed string cheese inside the finger portions. After the hand was done, I stabbed a plastic knife in the top and drizzled marinara sauce around it

We had a wonderful night, but I’m still trying to play catch up, and the coffee pot beckons. How was your Halloween?