Sunday, December 31, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please - New Years Style

Happy New Year to all my blogging buddies, the lurkers and the google perverts that mosey on over looking for something to make them go schwing. Sadly, this batch of cheese is not going to make anyone overly excited, but it will bring a reaction. More of the nose scrunching, groan inducing kind brought on by really bad cheese that has been sitting out in the sun for way too long.

I promise cheese afterall, and some of the best kinds are the those that are pungent.

Hee hee. Couldn't resist.

With that said, I'm off to look for the loudest, most irritating noise maker I can find. After all, the party tonight is not at my house, so I'm unleashing my inner beast. Sorry Martha-Freakin-Stewart and The-Great-White-Hunter, but I have got to be heard over the million or so children you two decided to produce. Children whom I will be encouraging to be VERY loud when the clock strikes 12. After all, the beast will be unleashed and inebriated. Should be fun!

So Happy New Year to all, and may this upcoming year bring stinky cheese for us all to enjoy!

The new year's resolution for the bankrupt gardener was to forget the past and rely on the fuchsia.

I always get lost driving on New Year's eve. I blame the Old Lane Signs.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Very Best Intentions

I love ringing in each new year. Not because it is an excuse to get plastered and walk around pinching people's bottoms; who am I kidding, I don't ever feel a need to have a reason to do that. No, I love looking back on the year past and marveling on how I managed to stay sane, married and out of prison. Oh, and how nobody knocked on my door and took away my children while I stood there puffing on my cigarette, yelling at the cops about how nobody treats this redneck like this and gets away with it....

Too bad I don't smoke.

This past year was pretty tame in comparison to some of the years I have had. I didn't have the opportunity to watch my best friend being dragged out of her house handcuffed, while wearing only a tank top and shorts. No shoes, no undies and no bra. (And Roxylynn's girls need to be confined. Someone could lose an eye when those girls are loose.) I didn't have to go down to the local cop shop to give a statement on her behalf to get her sprung. Nope, nothing exciting like that happened this year. This year Roxylynn learned how to be a law-abiding citizen and avoid the slammer. There goes my summer excitement...sigh...

This year was almost dull. We had family get togethers with only one or two dramatic moments. I can proudly say only a few of those moments were due to my inner shrew being released. Our family grew by one; the lovely addition of The Worm, and we didn't lose any more family members. Hallelujah! I made wonderful new friends through this little blog. Some of them hairier, some mouthier, and some more verbose than others, but all dear to my heart. And these are just a few of the wonderful people who have reached out to touch me (and not in a dirty way.) I thank you all.

I even managed to make a few new friends who exist beyond my computer screen and can come over to actually poke me. Not that any of them have (though I'm sure they've started looking for a sharp stick), but they've all taken a weird fascination with my snide and sorrowful self. For which I am absolutely grateful.

This New Year's Eve, I plan on loudly proclaiming my resolutions. (Loudly because, well, I'll probably be drunk and I tend to have a problem with volume control while inebriated.)

Because I love you so, I'll let you in on these promises.

First off, I pledge to keep my mouth shut when dealing with any mother figure I have in my life. (Included in this: MIL's, Nana-Inlaws and matriarch-type neighbors.) I will do this even if it means stitching my lips shut.

(I will consider myself successful if I can keep my trap shut until after Bug's birthday. Yes, I know dear internet, that is only Jan.4, but I never said I aimed high...)

Secondly, I promise to be the best damn mommy in the world, to both my existing and future children. This is a broad spectrum pledge which includes trying to include more food choices in their diet which doesn't come out of a box and have a delicious orange cheese flavored powder to stir in; and also includes the promise of trying not to embarrass my children by walking into their school with my slippers on, a ball cap and no makeup while yelling "Yooohooo, mommy loves you....You forgot to give me a kiss...." Because this has been known to happen on occasions such as when they forget to take their lunches or bring their homework with them.

(Who am I kidding, I take pleasure in tormenting them. I just plan on learning how to be more subtle about it...)

Thirdly, I plan on not subjecting this body to any more tattoos or piercings.

(I have the best of intentions, but without my hubs to put a leash on me, this one may be kinda hard...)

And lastly, I plan on being the best damn wife to Boo that I can be. Because with the ten year anniversary rapidly approaching, surely the man deserves it. I promise to be attentive to his every sexual need, not to nag at him to pick up his tools or his dirty socks and to actually smile while scrubbing out his bathroom.

Okay, who am I kidding. I'm outright lying. If he wanted that type of wife, the poor bastard never would have married me. He likes me fiesty.

Of course there are the typical resolutions I make every year, like trying hard not to incur any more speeding or parking tickets; promising not to spend any money foolishly on books, music, and shoes; and pledging to curb my sarcastic remarks to any and all sales people and adoption workers I meet, but I think we all know the flaws of those intentions.

I never claimed I didn't have a few er, quirks to my personality.

So this New Year's eve, I will be the one tottering about, spilling my drink and loudly proclaiming my new resolve.

While my children silently watch their mother in awe and shame and my husband does his best to keep me from pinching the ass of the 20 year old boy who is slightly afraid of this aging redneck.

Happy New Years friends. May your resolutions be more successful than mine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Just Wanted My Vagina Book...

For most people there are four seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter. I, however, have five seasons to deal with. I like to call it the sorrow season. It begins every Oct 21 and runs until Jan. 5. This time of year has no spectacular display of autumn foliage, nor does it have breathtaking exhibition of wintery whiteness. No, this season is generally accompanied by used and crumpled tissues; empty kleenex boxes; and a big bulbous red nose. (Apparently, there are some seasonal similarities...)

This season of sorrow was hard. Not that I expected jolly laughs and good times. I honestly believed that getting through all the firsts would be the most difficult part of the grieving process; everything after would pale in comparison.

I was wrong. What I neglected to take into account was that through a lot of those so called "firsts", I was still in shock. My son was only dead for two months when I had to face our first Christmas without him. I had barely processed the fact that he was gone, let alone what a lifetime of Christmas seasons without him would mean.

Shock is a grieving mom's best friend. It can numb the sharpest of pains like nothing else.

The only shock I had this year to to insulate my pain was when I touched a shorted out wire on a string of Christmas lights this winter. And it didn't help dull my pain or lessen my memory. It did however, get me to curse like a seasoned sailor who just picked up a cross-dressing tart only to discover....

I wasn't ready for the onslaught of emotions that began bombarding me from the anniversary date until now. I had naively and somewhat stupidly thought that I had done the hard part and survived.

Turns out, the hard part keeps on coming. It never really ends. It's like that annoying pink rabbit banging on that freaking drum to advertise batteries. It just never stops banging away at my heart, at my head.

This year was harder than last year. Last year people made excuses for my shabby appearance, my lack of thoughtful gifts, my inability to articulate an intelligent thought. After all, I was grieving. I had just lost my baby boy. This year, it was as if a spot light was turned on me and people were examining me to see if I survived my year in purgatory. Apparently, I didn't receive a passing grade. This year people expected the T from the past to make a long awaited appearance. They thought that she would come back in fine style, shake off the dust from being trapped in a grieving box for so long and start entertaining the masses. They were disappointed to discover that she no longer exists.

That T, that piece of me is gone. Replaced by a more sober, sadder version of myself. This T no longer cares if the packages are deliciously wrapped and rival Martha Stewart's. This T no longer cares if Fric has a hole in her stocking or if Frac's hair is cut. This T realizes the only value of Christmas is the value you create by being together and appreciating the small moments togetherness creates.

The old T was buried with her son. She no longer exists. It's a hard lesson for those who love me. It's a hard lesson for me. I resent having had to change. I liked myself, who I was before death reached in and snatched the light from my soul.

But I like who I am now too. I have walked a path no person should have to. I have experienced a pain so severe, so debilitating, no human should survive. But I did. I survived, am surviving. I may have a few more earrings and body art to show for it, but I am relatively intact.

I discovered a strength, a resilience I never knew was part of me. And I kept my funny bone, even when my heart was ripped from my body and buried with my Bug.

All in all, this Christmas was good. Hard, but good. I kicked my hubs ass several times around the board games, I watched my children's faces light up with excitement and wonderment and I talked with my Bug through out it all. He was as much a part of this Christmas now as when he was alive. Minus the tube feedings and shitty diapers. There was a bad moment, when my well-meaning mother-in-law gave me my present. To every other adult female in the family she gave various vagina books; Your Vagina and Menopause, Your Vagina and It's Health, How to Be an Effective Leader with a Vagina; I was looking forward to my vagina book. Perhaps I'd get the How to Grieve with a Vagina, or How to Watch What You Say When You Have a Vagina.

Sadly there was no vagina book for me. Instead there were three lovely picture frames. It was a thoughtful gift, but it only served to remind me that while I replace the pictures in two of the frames, one picture frame will be frozen in time, collecting dust. Forever frozen while everyone moves on.

Every one but me.

I don't believe I will every truly move on. Part of me will linger with my boy until the day he is in my arms once more. Part of me doesn't know how to let go, forget a life so beautiful it hurts to remember it. Part of me never wants to.

Because that life, that boy, is part of me, a part of this family I created. It is a part I cherish, love and admire. And death do us part, it still exists. It always will. Some years it may be more dusty, others it may be more vibrant, but every year day it is always present.

I am looking forward to this season of sorrow coming to an end. After the new year, when the tree is back in storage, the ornaments carefully packed away and the house once more swept clean of Christmas merriment, I might be able to breathe deeply again, without this pain in my chest. I just have to get through New Year's. And his sixth birthday. I will survive. I will cope. I may even grow.

If I don't think too hard of who he would have been if life had worked out just a bit differently.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas - Now Pass Me My Puns...

It's been a rough couple of days out in my neck of the woods. Boo has been facing a worrisome health scare (he is fine), my dad's new teeth make him puke and I fell on my ass in front of a bunch of handsome men, and not one of them volunteered to pick my sorry ass up off the ground. Not only did I bruise my pride, but my ego took a beating too.

Then there was the Christmas concert from hell for Fric. An hour and a half of listening to grades six, seven and eight students butcher various Christmas melodies. It was like listening to a cat screech - in stereo, for a really long time. And the school didn't provide liquor to dull the pain.

The next day was the concert for my son Frac. His class had a lovely performance and the only butchered melody at this school was when the grade three's whipped out their recorders. I, however, wept like a grieving war bride when they trotted out the kindergarteners for their class production. Most people chuckled and laughed at the requisite fidgeting, butt scratching and nose picking, but I couldn't stem the flow of tears when they started singing "Away in A Manger."

Bug was supposed to be in that Kindergarten class this year.


But the shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and the only Christmas task I have left to perform is to supervise the assembly of the gingerbread house tonight. While not getting frustrated because I can't get the walls to stand up and stick together. Of course, it will probably help if I didn't supervise while slightly tipsy, but where's the fun in that?

I'm signing off on a holiday break now. I plan on spending the next few days alternating between various stages of drunken debauchery, and full on crying. Perhaps both at the same time. I have already stocked up on the red wine and the kleenex.

I will be back sometime after boxing day. Hung over, I'm sure, and loaded with embarrassing tales of Christmas woes.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Unlike my children, I believe in quality over quantity (with the exception of alcoholic beverages) so as my Christmas gift to you, I dug up a fabulously stinky pun for my friends.

Enjoy the cheese!

And like a little gift found in the toe of your stocking, I give you this:

Who hides in the pantry at Christmas time?

A mince spy.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Picture this...

With all the merriment of the Christmas season upon us, it has been easy to overlook the fact my darling hubs and I are expecting another member to our family. After all, I'm not pregnant and thus, I am not suffering from weight gain, hormonal mood fluctuations and odd cravings. (Well, I have been jonesing for some smoked oysters, but I am most definitely not pregnant.)

So when my adoption case worker contacted me and informed me she needed to do an informal home visit before the formal home assessment could be done (gotta love bureaucracy!) I was taken back. I panicked. I didn't feel ready to take on the responsibility of a new child. But I am smart enough to realize that a lot of this is due to holiday stress. I miss my son, and it's hard to think of anything but Christmas morning with no Bug to cuddle with. So I agreed to the meeting and set up a time.

Which was this morning. Of course, that meant hastily running around, stuffing things into closets and doing a quick once over with a duster. I just prayed she wouldn't want an inspection of the kids rooms or my laundry room. All three of which look like a tornado blew through them.

She didn't. No, she was more interested in my parenting techniques. How I discipline the kids (where's my wooden spoon), support them in crisis (suck it up, buttercup), provide them with adequate nourishment and stimulation so that they will grow into healthy and productive members of society (Chef Boy R Dee, I love thee). Imagine her surprise when she discovered the Worm, just hanging out.

Kidding. That isn't my nephew. Just some random neighbor's kid whom I duct-taped to the wall. With her ducky.

After her shock of learning this redneck's technique for time-outs, we quickly settled into a groove discussing our grief, our hope and our goals.

The conversation quickly turned to child matching and what type of child Boo and I hope to adopt.

It's hard to put into words. Sometimes it is just easier to show somebody a picture.

He or she should fit right in around here.

***No children were harmed in the makings of this post. As for the kid in the pic, I couldn't tell you.***

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Welcome Wagon

My husband phoned last night to inform me he would be arriving home this afternoon, instead of tomorrow night.

I want to be excited, but I'm falling a little flat. He should arrive home before the children get off the school bus, which means....Well, in theory it means there is time for a little afternoon delight. It's been several weeks since I have had to pick up his dirty socks, sleep in the hollow of the bed, or watch him scratch his boyish parts. I should be ravenous for a little man-love. But I'm not. Because the moment he gets home, my honey-do list will be calling his name. After all, I have weeks of garbage bags out on the back deck, no wood for the fire place and most importantly, so much freaking snow in the yard that people are starting to think I am an abominable snow woman. (And they haven't even seen my legs to prove their theory.)

The reality of my hubs homecoming is more likely this:

Boo: " Honey, I'm home. Come give your man some love."

T: " Shhhh, you'll wake up The Worm. He's teething and acting like Lucifer himself this afternoon."

Boo: "Well, then we'll just have to have quiet love," said as he paws at me.

T: "Did you just walk on my clean floors with your muddy boots still on?"

Boo: "I've been saving myself for you ...."

T: "Wait, did you walk up the drive way? Did you not notice my car parked at the bottom, by the road, because our driveway has over two feet of snow in it? Do you know how hard it is to pack The Worm up that driveway with his diaper bag and food bag. He's over 25 pounds now!"

Boo: " Come here, let me give you a massage, I'll work out your kinks..."

T: "Could you please go blade the driveway so I could actually, oh, I don't know, drive up it."

Boo: "Now? I just got home?!"

T: "Even better. You're still wearing your boots and your jacket..."

Boo: mutters as he heads outside "Well, I'm fucked, but somehow it just doesn't feel right..."

Don't get me wrong, I plan on rewarding his good behaviour with a little naughty behaviour of my own. But a woman has her priorities. And nookie with the hubs, while still delightful, falls behind her nephew's afternoon nap and plowing the driveway, but still comes before oh, say, scrubbing the toilets and folding the laundry.

Now, if you will excuse me. I have to locate a chainsaw to hack away the forest growing on my tree stumps legs. I wouldn't want the hubs to know he married a Yeti.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

With the Christmas season upon us, it is a time for merriment. Office parties, community-league gatherings and get-togethers at friends and relatives homes. It is the time of year when you can imbibe in some spiked eggnog, or a lovely merlot and feel good about grabbing that cute guy's bottom. It's the season for normally shy and awkward dudes to feel brazen and bold enough to approach that pretty lady across the room and ask if they are wearing any underwear.

Because what could be more festive than going commando in a sub-arctic climate?

(And yes, it really happened. And yes, I was indeed wearing undies. Not that I told him. Pervert.)

Christmas season is a time for festive cheer. It's a time when you can sit by a warm fireplace with a good buddy, crack jokes and stir your coffee with candy canes. (Thanks Piano Man.) It's a time you can go to your best friend's house and eat all of her lovingly baked Christmas goodies. (Hint, hint, Roxylynn.) And it is the time of year I can spread my festive cheese with all my bloggy buddies. (Well, I'd spread the cheese regardless, but this way, I feel good about it!)

So, in keeping with my Sunday tradition, (you know, the one where I post a pun instead of actually having to think up a real post,) I present to you my Christmas cheese cheer. And because I believe in quantity vs. quality at Christmas, you get a two-for-one.

So enjoy. Go forth and be merry.

One Christmas, Dan and Stan built a skating rink in the middle of a pasture.

A shepherd leading his flock decided to take a shortcut across the rink. The sheep, however, were afraid of the ice and wouldn't cross it. Desperate, the shepherd began tugging them to the other side.

"Look at that," remarked Dan to Stan. "That guy is trying to pull the wool over our ice!"

This one is dedicated to my good buddy, Kimmy K. Because she is such a classy and clever gal. Cheers!

What do you get when you cross a pickle and a reindeer?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Rewards of motherhood

I love being a mom. Most of the time. Most of the time, the rewards outweigh the disadvantages. Who doesn't love stretch marks, minivans and mom jeans? Most of the time, I see my children and I marvel that my husband and I could have created such fabulously beautiful and intelligent children. Because, let's face it, we didn't have the strongest gene pool to work with... I don't mind getting up at the crack of dawn to supervise their attempts at making breakfast. After all, they are nine and ten, and I have set a good example through the years, teaching them how to pour the cereal into the bowl and not on the floor. I help them make their lunches, I nag them to put socks on and comb their hair and brush their teeth.

I smile when they roll their eyeballs at me, because it wasn't so long ago that I was doing the same to my mom. I have to walk to another room when I hear them talking about the boys and girls they like. I don't want to be caught sniggering at their romantic escapades. After all, there is nothing funny about a boy hiding a girl's mittens at recess.

I enjoy the creativity they exhibit in their pathological lying story telling. And the creativity they show when making up excuses to get out of chores, well, that just demonstrates their ability to think outside the box. Because, really, do the dishes need to be washed every day?

I don't mind spending hundreds of dollars on school fees, clothes, shoes and food. Not to mention all the gadgets and gizmos they need as they grow older. Play time was cheaper and easier when they banged on the pots and pans, but it is so much more rewarding, and fun to hear them try and learn to play the guitar or the saxophone. I do love music, after all.

Especially rewarding is the generosity these darling children exhibit when it comes to food. They are so thoughtful, leaving food out to attract rodents and ants. They go out of their way to stuff apples and rotten sandwiches into the darndest places, to ensure that all of God's creatures are as well fed as they are.

Really, could a mother be prouder?

In the end though, I get even with them. They don't know it, but I do. By the time they were three, I had both of them telling strangers that drugs and premarital sex were life's biggest dangers. You should have seen the looks. I treasure the memories. Then there was the time I kool-aided their hair. Fric was pink, Frac was green and Bug was purple. Good times. What's better than making your children a walking rainbow of creativity? I just wanted them to get used to people pointing and staring at them. After all, the world is a cold, cruel place. Why soften the blow, when you can toughen the hide?

And until very recently, they thought that bumping uglies meant smashing an ugly face into another ugly face. More than one bloody nose came from that phrase. And today, after a morning of listening to them argue over who was going to put the milk into the fridge, I told them that it was okay if they left it out on the counter. It wouldn't spoil. They could put it away when they get home, and it will be good to use tomorrow morning.

I'm looking forward to watching them eat breakfast tomorrow. I love being a mom.

I can't wait to tell them about yellow snow....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Remembering Our Blessings

I've been honest about how I'm struggling to find my festive spirit this year. It's difficult to acknowledge the magic of Christmas when my heart feels like it's been ripped out and trampled on by a throng of sale-happy shoppers.

It is hard to remember to be merry and it is even harder to remember to be thankful for all that I have. After all, I lost perhaps the biggest part of my soul just over a year ago.

But then something comes along and makes a person appreciate all that they have. And I have a lot. I have my health; a wonderful, albeit sometimes dense, and all too often absent husband; two beautiful, healthy children; and my own personal angel waiting for me at the pearly gates. Oh, and let's not forget Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever.

Not every one has this much.

I am thankful. I am blessed.

So if you have a few extra bucks hanging around, (and let's face it, it's Christmas, we're all rich, what with all the money trees we grow in our back yards) I ask you to go visit a friend and help children who are suffering. Bid at this auction, buy some tickets to help support a worthy cause. Because not every person is born healthy. And not every parent gets to watch their children grow up.

I know.

And then go see another good friend of mine. Whose little boy is also very sick. And the family is struggling to make basic ends meet. Go, buy some of his art. Support his cause and help a family who has walked the path that I, and so many others have walked.

Because sometimes that path is a lonely, desolate road, with the only end in sight the end no one wants for their child.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

On My Knees

When I first fell in love with my husband I was 15 years old. I had just spent the entire day busting my ass, building a pig pen (yes, really) with his cousin down the road. I spent all day nailing planks and dreaming of ways to see my darling Boo, when suddenly, he materialized out of thin air.

The flirting began, and before you knew it, I was cussing him out and trying to kill him. I called him a variety of names and hurled a hammer at his head, all the while our parents sat yards away, planning our future.

Of course, as anyone who plays ball with me could tell you, I really couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, so my darling Boo's noggin was safe from flying carpentry tools. Boo is no idiot though, he beat a hasty retreat and disappeared. I didn't know whether to be heart broken or relieved.

Just when I was about to give in to my teenage angst, the young and foolish Boo returned on horseback and swept me into his arms for our first real kiss. Boo was a believer in grand gestures and romance.

Then he got married.

And suddenly his grand gestures entail standing in front of me when I am sitting on the couch or at the computer and whipping out Mr. Pickle and letting me know he has something for me to suck on.

Or, if I mention I have a sore throat, he always let's me know he has a cure.

Classy and romantic. How did I get so lucky?

Before he abandoned me left to go to work this last time, we got into an age old argument. You know, the one where he wants to know why, when I'm sitting on the couch next to him watching the evening news, I can't simply lean over and um, provide him with a hummer.

After all, it's always ready to stand at attention, and according to my husband, would make the news so much more gratifying.

As a journalist, I always tell him the news is not supposed to be gratifying, but informative.

This of course led into a discussion about whether hummers where a dating activity only, a form of foreplay or a sexual activity all on it's own. Because apparently, according to my darling hubs, it's been so long since he's received one that he is reverting back into a prepubescent boy, dreaming of his ninth grade teacher and wondering how soft a woman's mouth really is. This of course, is not the complete truth. But it has made for some interesting discussions with my girlfriends. Apparently, I'm not the only wife on the block with a husband who feels that particular need is not being met.

So, like any good journalist, I took my enquiring mind out on the road and started asking questions. I was determined to find out whether I was saddled with the horniest husband in the world or whether my sexual appetite was lacking.

Turns out, my appetite is just fine. And my husband is not the most concupiscent. That particular honor must be bestowed upon my best friend Roxylynn's husband. Lucky her.

I learned something when I was snooping around, asking my perverted questions. One, I learned that I really have no shame boundaries. I will ask anyone pretty much anything. Two, my dad blushes like a school girl when I teased him about being able to take out his teeth and give my mom a gummer. Thirdly, all men wish we were horny little vacuum cleaners. Doesn't matter how much or how often they get it, they always want more.

Kind of like eating Chinese food. You can eat until your stuffed to the gills, and then an hour later you discover you are still hungry.

Of course, I learned other things, like the fact that some women enjoy the salty biproduct of a successfully rendered job. And for those who don't, apparently eating pineapple can help. (The men eat the pineapple, the women just, well, suck.) I learned the etiquette of spit or swallow. Who knew there was such a thing. Turns out most men really don't care, as long as they have a woman in the nether regions willing to drool and get lock-jaw for him.

I also heard hummer horror stories. If I was writing for Penthouse, I'd tell you about some of them, but let's face it, I've already attracted enough pervs with the whole spit or swallow sentence.

Boo has decided my indifference to this particular playtime activity stems from our teenagedom, and my sexual insecurities as a young woman.

Me, I just think, I have better things in life to chew suck on.

But I promise darling, when you get home, I'll be down on my knees, waiting for you.

Of course, I'll be scrubbing my continually dirty floors, but I will be down on my knees...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

Since the hubs is out of town, busting his bottom to bring home my bacon, I had to attend my sister's best friend's wedding solo last night. It was an odd experience watching the lady I have known since she was four years old, say "I do" to a man I used to work with. Odder still, was the fact that many of my old co-workers were in attendance and none of them seemed to have changed. At all.

It was a lovely wedding, and a lovely reception. I managed to stay sober, and sadly that means I remember the awful jerking I did that was supposed to pass as dancing out on the dance floor. I'll admit, I was the one in the polka dot dress that looked like she had a medical condition, spazzing out there to Bob Seger.

It's a painful memory.

So to ease my pain, and perhaps inflict a little myself, I present to you this week's cheese. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, lie or try and pass it off as anything than the groaner it is. But know that when you read it, this still isn't as painful as witnessing me try to do the Macarena.


Three Little Pigs went out to dinner one night. The waiter came and took their drink order.

"I would like a Sprite," said the first little piggy.

"I would like a Coke," said the second little piggy.

"I want beer, lots and lots of beer," said the third little piggy.

The drinks were brought out and the waiter took their orders for dinner.

"I want a nice big steak," said the first piggy.

"I would like the salad plate," said the second piggy.

"I want beer, lots and lots of beer," said the third little piggy.

The meals were brought out and a while later the waiter approached the table and asked if the piggies would like any dessert.

"I want a banana split," said the first piggy.

"I want a cheesecake," said the second piggy.

"I want beer, lots and lots of beer," exclaimed the third little piggy.

"Pardon me for asking," said the waiter to the third little piggy, "but why have you only ordered beer all evening?"

You're gonna LOVE me for this....

The third piggy says -

"Well, somebody has to go 'Wee, wee, wee, all the way home!"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I grew up loving the Christmas season. We weren't particularly religious folk; for us, the Christmas pageant was just an opportunity to visit with our friends and snitch as many cookies from the cookie plate as possible.

But my mom did up Christmas the way Martha Stewart can fold a linen napkin. With flare. Every year was a competition within herself to see if she could out do the year before. Could she toss more tinsel on an already over-burdened tree? Could she squeeze in another Santa figurine on the coffee table? Oh look, there is approximately two square inches of space that haven't been decorated. For the entire month of December, no matter what our family faults may be, I was always proud to be a part of this family.

Because we always had the best decorated house in town. Inside and out. And my mom was a firm believer in Christmas baking. Not only did we have the prettiest tree, but an ample amount of freshly baked goodies to consume while we lay in the dark and watch the twinkle of our tannenbaum.

Once I grew up and had kids of my own, it was a mad rush to replicate the memories of my Christmas yore. Boo didn't understand my desire to deck the halls; in his household they had a pathetic little Charlie Brown tree with six ornaments on it and one string of lights, most of which were burnt out. They didn't even have stockings. Gasp! My darling hubs would like to point out that Christmas to them was more than just tinsel and lights. It had religious and family meaning beyond how big the Christmas tree was, or if there was a talking Santa figurine.

Whatever. My house rocked. His didn't.

Eventually, I caught up with my mom. My house is a magical place at Christmas time. I tossed the tinsel in favor of garland, traded in the Santas for some beautiful nativity scenes, but I know how to deck these halls. And my kids love it. And the best part of all was watching the Bug's face light up when the Christmas tree was turned on. He didn't understand the fuss, or the muss. But he knew something was up. And every decoration I had was an opportunity for therapy for him. Touching the tree, feeling the prickles. Holding the smooth, cold glass balls in his small chubby little hands. Tasting the peppermint across his wet lips, from the candy cane I would swipe across his tongue.

All of it was so new and fresh for him, every year. And he loved it. While Fric and Frac pranced with excitement, barely able to contain their giddy glee at the thought of ripping into the presents, Shalebug thoughtfully stared at the twinkling lights, mesmerized by some vision only he could see.

So it became a pleasure to decorate every year. To see if I could outdo myself and my mother. I was building the excitement for Fric and Frac and I was providing an opportunity for Bug to reach out and talk with his angels. Every tupperware box Boo dragged in, bitching and moaning, was full of anticipation and excitement; filled with hope and promise.

It's not the same this year. Not for me, not for Fric and Frac. Sure, they are greedy little kids, anxiously awaiting the arrival of promised goodies for a year of half-assed good behavior. But the twinkle of the tree has lost it's sparkle. The water globes are no longer tiny little worlds of mystery, but just glass balls that no longer get drenched with drooly little fingers. The candy canes are now just candy to be forgotten on the tree, collecting dust. How does a person recapture the spirit of Christmas when the family angel is now on top of the tree, instead of in our arms?

How does a mother put on a happy face, decorate her home, bake her cookies, wrap her gifts, knowing that one of her children won't ever again stare at the glittery glow of her pretty tree?

So I carry on. I push through the throng of crazy Christmas shoppers, ignore the carols being sung on every corner and pretend nothing is wrong.

I bake, and I decorate. I tell silly jokes and I encourage the kids to dream of sugar plums and dancing fairies.

And I will watch the anticipation of the season build it's momentum in their tiny hearts, until they are busting at the seams with excitement on Christmas morning.

I will watch them tear into the paper-wrapped packages, and discard the bows I have lovingly placed on all the presents. I will watch their faces for signs of disappointment or glee when they discover what's inside their parcels.

I will play Christmas music and read the story of the birth of Christ, and try to carry on.

All the while ignoring the empty stocking that remains, mocking me, reminding me of what I lost. And what heaven gained.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

I love winter. I'm a winter woman. I love the crisp, crunchy snow and the cool bite of the breeze. I love how my lungs feel when I inhale the icy air and then how snotsicles form when I exhale. I love how I sport a red, bulbous nose for the next six months and said nose constantly drips like a leaky faucet in my grandmother's old house.

I love being able to put on heavy sweaters and hats and mittens and go outside, grab a mittful of snow and hurl it at my children. All in the name of fun. There is something so therapeutic about the season.

I love being chilled to the bone, and coming inside to sit by the fire and nurse a piping hot cup of cocoa, complete with the tiny little marshmallows that slowly dissolve into sugary goodness.

I really love the winter. I even love the fact that I have had to drag my sorry ass out of bed twice this week so that I could extricate my sister and her car from the ditch she managed to drive herself into. Nothing like a sense of sisterly smugness to jump start the day.

I love winter. So on that note, I dug up some winter-flavored cheese. For you all to enjoy.

Because sharing means caring. So when you read this cheese, just keep in mind how much I care...

I was driving down a lonely northern road one cold winter day when it began to snow pretty heavily. My windows were getting icy and my wiper blades were badly worn and quickly fell apart under the strain.

Unable to drive any further because of the ice building up on my front window I suddenly had a great idea.

I stopped and began to overturn large rocks until I located two very lethargic hibernating rattlesnakes. I grabbed them up, straightened them out flat and installed them on my blades, and they worked just fine.

Of course, that's because they were wind-chilled vipers.