Oh Valentine! You had me at Dear Occupant:

Valentine's Day

Dear Readers!  I rushed breathlessly to my mailbox this morning, and discovered I had a new suitor and just in time for Valentine’s Day!

It seems Xfinity is now in crazy, passionate occupant love with little ol’ moi! 

Ah!  Be still my beating letter opener!

First off, no matter what I decide about whether I’m going to allow myself to be “wooed” by Xfinity, they want me to know that this plastic card that was attached to the occupant love letter is mine to keep!

When it comes to occupant love, a plastic card is the equivalent of a diamond engagement ring except it’s not as sparkly, it can’t cut glass . . . but still . . . 

Then there’s this:

Don’t worry, you don’t need to read it, it’s way too boring, (sigh) however I did read it and here’s what it more or less says:

If you pay Xfinity $30 every month, they’ll put security cameras all over your house so that if you decide to go to Hawaii, you’ll be able to sit on the beach and stare at your house on your smart phone to make sure everything is still not stolen every minute of every day until it’s time to come home.

Or it means you’ll be able to actually watch live on your smart phone as a burglar breaks into your house and steals all your stuff!

And Xfinity is also offering the handy feature of being able to control the lights in your home remotely so that while you are sitting on the beach in Hawaii you can turn the lights on in your house in order to better see the burglar who is stealing all your stuff.

Jeepers!  That’s a pretty good proposal Xfinity is offering little ol’ moi!  Let’s see what other occupant tokens of love Xfinity is throwing at me to win my affections:

Oh Goody!  A touch screen controller . . .So when my grandson touches all the buttons trying to access Elmo, it will accidentally trigger the swat team to be dispatched to my house. Well, okay, that’s pretty cool.

And, with this 3 window/door sensors Xfinity is offering to provide me with much needed help when it comes to sensing which is a door and which is a window.  Well that’s over-the-top thoughtful!  I’m really liking the direction Xfinity is taking me in with this one.

Oh wow!  Every time we move, an alarm will go off at the police department!  Well, I’m all for that.  Who wouldn’t be?

Woo-hoo!  A keypad!  Xfinity doesn’t say what this if for but I think we all know by now, don’t we?

It’s the Xfinity Wireless Keypad to my heart! 

Because Xfinity has finally managed to woo me with their tokens of occupant affection.

It seems now all I have left to say to Xfinity is

 “you had me at  “Dear Linda Vernon and/or Occupant” 

I don’t know about you, Dear Readers, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a heck of a happy Valentine’s day this year!

If you need me I’ll be on hold with my new beloved XOXOXfinity!”

Until next time . . . I still love you but not quite as much as I do you know who

My Brain Peanuts Remembers: Santa Claus

Welcome Dear Readers to this edition of My Brain, Peanuts, remembers.

Today’s Topic:  Santa Claus

The first memory of Santa I have takes place in 1954, when I was three, and Santa Claus was making a live appearance in the basement of the Presbyterian church.  On the big day, everyone filed down the stairs to the chilly  church basement and eagerly awaited the arrival of The Man in Red. (Back then church-goers didn’t really worry about anyone forgetting that Jesus was the reason for the season because 1) there was plenty of room in church for both Santa and the baby Jesus and 2) nobody had thought of that catchy phrase yet.)

Ice-Cold Church Basement Sunday School Clay

Anyway, we all stood around watching our breaths and breathing in the aroma of Sunday School Clay.  That’s because our church basement always smelled like Sunday school clay. Sunday school clay is different from ordinary clay by virtue of the fact that it is kept in the cold church basement.  So Sunday school clay was always somewhat frozen and by the time you got it warmed up enough to roll it into something as simple as a snake, Sunday school was over.

I never understood why they even bothered with having clay unless it was just something to keep us occupied while the Sunday School teacher was earnestly trying to impart some useful biblical wisdom into our somewhat disengaged little minds.

A Communistic Christmas?

Anyway, we all stood around waiting for Santa and shivering beneath the glare of church basement’s fluorescent lights that cast a Russian-esque-like hue over the scene — probably not unlike the same scene that was transpiring on in the opposite side of our cold-war globe in the basement of the Kremlin while communist children waited for Soviet Santa to make his appearance –i.e. Khrushchev in a fuzzy hat.

Santa Khrushchev

I will bury you! No wait . . . have yourself a very merry Christmas . . . and then I will bury you!

 Anyway, when our Santa Claus finally appeared, he was wearing a rubber Santa Claus mask.  The weird thing is, I was the only one that seemed to notice.

Santa Mask

Mask? What mask?

All the kids ran up to him as he handed out candy.  I thought this was extremely alarming. So I began shouting at the top of my lungs, “Thanta Clauth ith wearing a Mathk!”   (I had a slight lisp at the time.)

But no one seemed to care.  Everyone was on board with this rubber-masked imposter. They were taking candy from him like it was candy.  What was wrong with everyone?  I screamed!  I shouted!  I was a three-year-old Paul Revere trying to warn my fellow pint-sized citizens not be taken in by this Santa Claus Charlton!  But nobody listened.

Not the Real Santa

On the way home, my mother tried to tell me that that wasn’t the real Santa wearing the rubber mask in the church basement.  The real Santa was busy at the north pole making presents, and he couldn’t take the time off to come all the way to our town to hand out candy (Plus it was probably too cold in that church basement even for him!)

I do believe in Santa . . . I do . . . I do . . . I do!

I wanted to believe her story.  I really did.  I looked up at the stars and tried to imagine Santa flying through the air.  I strained to hear the sound of Santa’s sleigh bells.  I neither saw nor heard a thing.  Try as I might, the integrity of the Santa story was beginning to form some big, gaping holes.

The Jack Hubbard Incident

When I was five years old, the subject of Santa came up, and I cruelly broke the news to dear, sweet, innocent, Santa-believing, Jack Hubbard that there was no Santa Claus.  I explained that he was merely a figment of the imagination, a tale told by an idiot, full of thound and fury thignifying nothing.(I still had my lisp).

A traumatized Jack Hubbard ran home, broken-hearted and told his mother what I had said.  Mrs. Hubbard called my mother.

My Mother:  Hello

Mrs. Hubbard:  Jack said Linda told him there was no Santa Claus. Did she tell Jack that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh I don’t know.  Let me ask her (my mother put the phone to her chest).  Linda, did you tell Jack there is no Santa Claus?

Me:  Yes.

My Mother:  Yes apparently she did tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus.

Mrs. Hubbard: Why did she do that?

My Mother:  Oh gosh. Let me ask her.  (My mother put the phone to her chest again) Linda, why did you tell Jack there wasn’t any Santa Claus?

Me:  Because there isn’t any Santa Claus.

My Mother:  Oh.

I don’t remember what my mother said after that, but I do remember that neither my mother nor Mrs. Hubbard were none to happy with me and, frankly, I’ve been feeling guilty about it ever since.

This year my five-year-old grandson asked me if Santa Claus really existed.  I told him that believing in Santa Claus is a personal decision that he would have to make for himself. This seemed to placate him since he didn’t exactly understand what I was saying.

If only I had thought of this answer when I broke the news to Jack Hubbard.

Until next time . . . I love you

 

 

 

Mummy Tell Me Again About Labor Day

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well it’s Labor Day here in the United States of America!  Which means a lot of people get the day off.  Nobody knows why and nobody cares why.

Well, Dear Readers, I for one, feel that Labor Day is getting the shaft, and that’s why I have taken the liberty of writing an educational story about Labor Day to create awareness for Labor Day appreciation.

Mummy, Tell Me Again About Labor Day

“Mummy, tell me again about Labor Day,” little Tommy Sweatington begged his mother one fine Labor Day morn. “For as you know mummy,” little Tommy continued, “tis my favorite American Federal holiday of all!”

Mummy Sweatington looked up from her task of scrubbing the floors of City Hall with a toothbrush and replied, “Tommy!  How many times have I told you never to come to City Hall wearing your pajamas!”

Mummy’s harsh words made Tommy’s heart sink and push down on his kidneys in such a way as to make the tears in Tommy’s eyes shoot out at odd trajectories.  But then he remembered it was Labor Day, his favorite American Federal holiday, and his heart floated back up to its proper position and his tears reversed their trajectory and went back into his eyes.

Once his vision cleared, Tommy noticed something very strange.  His mother was workingMummy was working on Labor Day! 

“Mummy!” screamed Tommy, “don’t you know that in 1882 Matthew MacGuire proposed Labor Day after witnessing a labor festival held in  Toronto Canada which eventually led to the observance of my most beloved American Federal Holiday  — Labor Day?  Mummy, I implore you to tell me why you are working on Labor Day?”

At this, Tommy became agitated and then Tommy became appalled and finally Tommy became apoplectic — which didn’t last very long — because right after that Tommy went back to being appalled and then merely agitated and by the time his mother looked up to answer his question, Tommy was pretty much back to normal.

“But Tommy Dear,” Mummy Sweatington replied, “I’m not working.  Scrubbing the floors of the City Hall is my hobby, silly!”

“But Mummy!” Tommy protested.  “Why would you want to have a hobby that requires you to scrub the floors of City Hall with your toothbrush?”

“Tommy darling, you don’t understand.  I’m not using my toothbrush to scrub the floors of City Hall, I’m using your toothbrush!”

And a good Labor Day laugh was had by all!

“That Mummy’s a riot!”

***

Happy Labor Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

Take the Christmas Litmus Test

Merry Christmas Dear Readers!  Are you having a fun Christmas so far?  What?  You’re not sure?  Well, take the Christmas Litmus test and find out!

You are having a fun Christmas so far if Santa didn’t bring you a:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if Christmas dinner doesn’t smell like:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if when your children opened the Christmas gifts you gave them they didn’t:

You are having a fun Christmas so far if the guests at your Christmas dinner didn’t consist of just you and:

 And there you have it, Dear Readers.  I hope this clears up any confusion you were having about whether or not you are having a fun Christmas!

Christmas dinner sure smells good!

Hey whatcha cookin’ for Christmas dinner?  It smells kinda familiar?

Until next time . . . I love you

A Visit from the Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well we almost did it.  We almost got through Christmas without a visit from the Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady.  Unfortunately when I opened up the blog today she was camped outside waiting for us with her cats,  17 fruit cakes and a stick of dynamite.   I think we better humor her, don’t you?  Oh here she comes now . . . act natural . . . 

The Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady

The Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady

“Merry Christmas Crabby Christmas Lady! What a surprise!  Fancy meeting you here!”

Listen Toots.   I’m not a big fan of Christmas.  Okay? Got that?  First of all, Christmas comes every single year. That’s way too often, Toots.  Waaay too often!  Christmas should come every  five years. That way everybody wouldn’t be so sick of it.   And Jesus would be much younger too.  It’s called a win/win, Toots! Okay? Got that?

“Well Christmas Lady, that’s an interesting idea but—“

Toots I’m not done talking yet.  If Christmas only came once every five years, the Christmas songs wouldn’t be so annoying and repetitive!

“Well, I suppose if—“

Toots!  Stop talking and get some saucers of milk for my cats.  Okay?  Got that?

“Uh I don’t think I have that many saucers, Christmas Lady . . .”

Toots I’m not done talking yet!  The Christmas songs are annoying because of all the bells jing-jing-jingling!   And all the hark hark harking as in hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away — what does that mean exactly, Toots? The bells are ringing and ringing and ringing so loud you can’t even hear yourself think, Toots!  You just can’t!  And they are telling you to “throw cares away and buy whatever you want . .  whatever you want, Toots!   Aluminun foil. The bells don’t care that you already have 14,000 boxes of Aluminum foil in your storage unit.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it because the bells told me to do it, Toots!  Toots are you listening? What are you opening the door and handing me my coat, Toots?

“Listen I hate to cut our visit short but—“

Which brings us to the Christmas sugar, Toots! A hahahaha!  I’m dreaming of a white C & H  pure cane sugar from Hawaii Christmas, Toots!  What with all the sugar cookies and the sugar candy and the sugar plums and the sugar houses and the sugar nativity scenes. Have you ever tried to eat a tree ornament, Toots? They are edible you know. They are made of sugar plastic . . . mmm. . . sugar plastic!

And do you know what sugar plastic does Toots?  Well do you?

“Uh  I’m not really listening anymore, Christmas Lady, I— “

Listen and listen good, Toots!  Sugar plastic causes your little fat cells to sit up straight and pay attention all innocent-like at their little fat cell card tables covered with the tiny candy cane plastic table cloths wearing their teensy Santa bibs and Santa hats each holding miniscule red and green plastic forks which they will devour when they are done because they are made out of sugar plastic too.  Okay? Got that?

“Yes Christmas Lady.  By the way, I’m going to be out of town next year at Christmas so there’s no need to be dropping by again.”

Fine.  Good I’m leaving now, Toots. Okay?  Got that?  Here kitty kitty kitty . . 

“Bye Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas Lady.  Merry Christmas!”

Phew!  I didn’t think we were every going to get rid of her did you, Dear Readers?  Oh look she left us a present under the tree.  Let’s open it early shall we?  Why it’s a stick of dynamite.  Well bless her Kind of Crazy Crabby Christmas heart!

Until next time . . . I love you!

“Mummy tell me again about Labor Day.”

Welcome Dear Readers!  Well it’s Labor Day here in the United States of America!  Which means a lot of people get the day off.  Nobody knows why and nobody cares why.

Well, Dear Readers, I for one, feel that Labor Day is getting the shaft, and that’s why I have taken the liberty of writing an educational story about Labor Day to create awareness for Labor Day appreciation.

Mummy, Tell Me Again About Labor Day

“Mummy tell me again about Labor Day,” little Tommy Sweatington begged his mother one fine Labor Day morn. For as you know mummy,” little Tommy continued,” ’tis my favorite American Federal holiday of all!

Mummy Sweatington looked up from her task of scrubbing the floors of City Hall with a toothbrush and replied, “Tommy!  How many times have I told you never to come to City Hall wearing your pajamas!”

Mummy’s harsh words made Tommy’s heart sink and push down on his kidneys in such a way as to make the tears in Tommy’s eyes shoot out at odd trajectories.  But then he remembered it was Labor Day, his favorite American Federal holiday and his heart floated back up to it’s proper position and his tears reversed their trajectory and went back into his eyes.

Once his vision cleared, Tommy noticed something very strange.  His mother was workingMummy was working on Labor Day! 

“Mummy!” screamed Tommy, don’t you know that in 1882 Matthew MacGuire proposed Labor Day after witnessing a labor festival held in  Toronto Canada which eventually led to the observance of my most beloved American Federal Holiday  — Labor Day?  Mummy, I implore you to tell me why you are working on Labor Day?”

At this, Tommy became agitated and then Tommy became appalled and finally Tommy became apoplectic — which didn’t last very long — because right after that Tommy went back to being appalled and then merely agitated and by the time his mother looked up to answer his question, Tommy was pretty much back to normal.

“But Tommy Dear,” Mummy Sweatington replied, “I’m not working.  Scrubbing the floors of the City Hall is my hobby, silly!”

“But Mummy!” Tommy protested.  “Why would you want to have a hobby that requires you to scrub the floors of City Hall with your toothbrush?”

” Tommy darling, you don’t understand.  I’m not using my toothbrush to scrub the floors of City Hall, I’m using your toothbrush!”

And a good Labor Day laugh was had by all!

“That Mummy’s a riot!”

***

Happy Labor Day!

Until next time . . . I love you

Embarrassing Valentine Please Don’t! I Beg of You!

Bobby

a picture of a nerd

Having missed the last train to Dorkville, Bobby decided to hang out with me at the coffee shop where I worked — until the next train arrived.

Well not really hang out officially.  More like send me imagined hugs and kisses and god only knows what else from upon the stool he spent a lot of time occupying at the lunch counter.

Bobby was 35, and I was 19.  He was married to a 15-year-old (which was apparently legal in some states back then) but worst of all, Bobby had fallen hopelessly, helplessly in love with me after having misinterpreted my statement, may I take your order?  to mean  I love you Bobby!

From that point forward Bobby was in dorky-stalker Love with a capital L.

Bobby’s personality consisted entirely of him saying no way shape or form after everything.

He’d say:  Do you know what time it is?

I’d say:  2:30

He’d say:  No way shape or form! (only he’d draw out the word form like this:  fo-ho-ho-horm!)

Or he’d say,  “Can I get a cup of coffee?”

I’d say:  “Do you take cream?”

He’d say:  “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.”

“I want to get you something for Valentines Day.” Bobby said to me one day.

“No please!  BOBBY!! Listen to me!” I pleaded,  “You’re married!  It’s completely inappropriate! Please I beg of you.  DO NOT GET ME ANYTHING FOR VALENTINES DAY!”

“No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.” Bobby sing-songed.  “I’m getting you something anywho!”

Well sure enough, on Valentines day, during the busiest part of the lunch hour when the coffee shop was full,  here comes Bobby waltzing through the restaurant making a beeline straight for me, his eyes shining brightly with dorky-stalker love, his thick coke-bottle glasses slightly askew in his excitement, carrying a two-and-a-half pound box of chocolates that had a huge story-book doll glued to the top of it.

picture of doll on box of chocolates

Bobby’s secret Valentines Day heart-winning weapon!

All eyes and ears were ratcheted our way listening to the conversation that ensued:

Bobby:  I brought you something, Sweetie!  Happy Valentines day!

I said, “No I can’t take this Bobby!  No!   You need to give it to your wife.”

Bobby: “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.”  I already gave her one just like it!”

Embarrassed and defeated,  I took the world’s largest box of chocolates from Bobby’s grubby little hands — but only because I was starting to hear some  “oh how sweet ooh-ing and ahh-ing” coming from  the lunch crowd.   And I stuck it out of sight as quickly as I could before dissolving into a perfect puddle of Valentines Day humiliation.

I don’t remember what finally happened to Bobby.  Maybe somebody shot him.

If so,  we all know what his last words were.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers, and may today and all your Valentines Days be Bobby-free!

Until next time  . . . I love you (No . . no!  Not you Bobby!)

From My Brain Peanuts and The Gang!

My Brain Peanuts and The Gang Wish You A Very Very Very

This is it

Until next time . . . we love you!

How to Tell if You’re Going to Overdo Thanksgiving

Hello Dear Readers!  I love Thanksgiving!  It’s one of my favorite holidays.  Every year I cook for my family and every year I look forward to it with great pleasure.  Maybe a little too much pleasure.  That’s why I’ve come up with this list of warning signs on how to tell if you are going to overdo Thanksgiving.

How to Tell if You’re Going to Overdo Thanksgiving
Woman looking pensive with leaves on her head

You’ve replaced the phrase “I love you” with the phrase “Olive you”.

You just got back from Potato Mashing Immersion Camp.

You’ve instructed your surgeon to break ground on that new stomach addition.

Architect looking at plans

“So the way I see it, we can knock out a wall between the belly and the button, and we should have room for an entire bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy.

In preparation for the big feast, you’ve managed to diet down to a size bite.

Even if you were to carry out pi to a million decimals, all forms of pi will be polished off by Friday.

“Of course I didn’t eat all the pumpkin pie! You know I only like apple.”

You’ve taken to sleeping on a pillow of mini marshmallows.

Thanks to you and your voluminous Yam Stockpile the earth will be taking 6 days longer to orbit the sun.

Earth orbiting sun

“Gosh this week is really dragging by. What day is it?”
“Yamsday.”
“Still?”

You made an appointment with your dentist to get your teeth sharpened.

Your new gravy boat sleeps six.

“Move over!”
“No you!”

Your husband Tom is slightly worried about you because his name is Bill.

You’ve been preheating your oven since the 4th of July.

You refuse to read, watch or listen to  anything that isn’t about Jello.

“Honey! Come quick! Look!  There’s Bigfoot!”
“Is he in the form of a Jello mold?”
“No.”
“Is he carrying Jello?”
“No.”
“Then I’m not going to look.”

And the most obvious way to tell if you’re going to overdo Thanksgiving:

Your appendix has been officially called back into active duty for the stomach reserves.

“Ten Hut!”

 

Until next time . . . Olive you

The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick

Hi everybody!  Oh what a wonderful week it was in our little neck of Words!  All you WP buddies are all so much fun to hang out with!  I feel like I was born under a lucky star!  And with that in mind, and since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s day, what better time to rerun this Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick!

The Real(ish) Story of St Patrick!

Of course everyone knows that St. Patrick is the patron saint of four-leaf clovers because he was partial to the color green.  But there are other little known facts about St. Patrick that the average person might not know.

For instance, back in the days when St. Patrick was alive, they had a lot of snakes slithering around Ireland.  It was really gross.  The whole place just gave you the heebie-jeebies.  As a matter of fact, that is why the Irish Jig was invented – to keep from stepping on them. But that’s another story I haven’t made up yet.

Irish Jig Dancers performing the “Get a load of the size of that one!” twirling leap

Anyway, St. Patrick, who happened to not like snakes very well, decided to take it upon himself to rid the entire continent of Ireland of them. He set about doing this by writing down some goals and sticking them up on the village mirror and by repeating them over and over whenever he had some spare time.

“Six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . “

It must have worked because St. Patrick is credited, history-wise, with getting the entire population of Ireland totally onboard with Christianity, foods that are magically delicious, red hair, and snake ridding.

But it was the snake ridding that really got his name in print. The story goes somewhat but not very much like this:

You see, St. Patrick was nothing if not charming. He had it all, looks, a winning personality and a flashy carriage to cruise around in.  This is a guy who had powers of persuasion up the yin and/or yang.  In fact, when it came to getting his way, St. Patrick would have made Donald Trump look like a fat guy with funny hair — if he hadn’t already been one.

So St. Patrick, being a man of the cloth, (he had a huge and impressive cloth collection) decided that everyone hopping around all the time trying to side step snakes was depleting the citizenry of their usual vim.  (Vigor hadn’t been invented yet.)

It was obvious something needed to be done, post-haste.  And so he decided to “charm” the snakes out of Ireland.  He started by inviting them all over to his house, under the guise of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and began charming the pants off them (in those days Irish snakes wore plaid pants with little matching berets).

He did this by slathering the blarney on pretty thick and following up with a plethora of pandering and topped off with a prodigious pitcher of empty promises.  Pat was pretty proud.

Then, when he realized he was running low on straws for the rum and cokes, he quickly herded his limbless revelers outside and managed to lure them over the White Cliffs of Dover where they toppled, snake-like, into the sea. All dead as doornails (albeit very large doornails).

And of course, we all know what happened next — St. Patrick painted the White Cliffs of Dover green to commemorate the occasion.

So next time you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll know why.

Until next time . . . I love you

Guillotines are for Babies!

Imagining George Washington’s Sixth Birthday. 

Happy Birthday Hatchet Pie!

Our story opens when George Washington’s father comes outside and finds that the cherry tree has been chopped down:

What the?  George Washington come here right NOW!

Yes father?

Something tells me you cut down this cherry tree with the hatchet I got you for your birthday today!  I knew you were too young for a hatchet!  I knew I should have gone with your mother’s suggestion and gotten you a guillotine instead.

Father, please . . . I’m six!  All the other children in the township got hatchets when they turned three!  I mean, it’s downright embarrassing how long I had to wait to finally get a hatchet of my very own!  And, besides, everybody knows guillotines are for babies.

Well look what happens.  I finally get you a hatchet, and you haven’t even had it more than an hour and what’s the first thing you do? Cut down my prized cherry tree!

Well, I cannot tell a lie, Father.  It’s not exactly the first thing I cut down.

What?!?

Well now that you’ve brought it up, and since I cannot tell a lie, this might be as good a time as any to mention that first I cut down the apple tree, then I cut down the apricot tree and, lastly, I cut down the cherry tree — in addition to hacking up a couple of rose bushes.

That does it George, march yourself to the woodshed, I’m giving you a sound whipping’!

Father, as you know, I cannot tell a lie, so this might be as good a time as any to also mention that the woodshed isn’t as much of a woodshed as it used to be . . .

 On no!  Not another “I cannot tell a lie!”

In fact, it would be more accurate, Dear Father, if we were to start thinking of the woodshed in terms of a rather large pile of kindling rather than an  actual building in and of itself.

Nothing like the thrill of killing and eating fruit!

Oh for crying out loud!  Well, I hope you at least saved the fruit so that your mother can bake us some pies . . . George?  You did save the fruit from the trees didn’t you?

Oh that . . . well . . .  I can cannot tell a lie, Father, for I surely would if it would spare you the heartache of telling you that I but finished off the last of fruit only seconds ago.

Ha ha! Well,  you might be the naughtiest boy in the world but at least you’re honest George, my boy!   I have a feeling you are going to grow up to be the very first President of the United States of America!  Now off with you!  Oh . . . and for godsakes don’t forget to brush your teeth again!

Happy Birthday George Washington!  Wherever you are!

Until next time . . . I love you

Big Bucks Barbie

 One year my daughter asked Santa for a “My Size Barbie.”  A “My Size Barbie” is a Barbie doll that has been fed huge amounts of hormones at the factory causing her to become the size of Daryl Hannah.

Picture of My Size Barbie in a Blue Dress   Daryl Hanna on Red Carpet

To ensure that “My Size Barbie” would be in stock, I went to the toy store early.   I approached the Barbie aisle and was about to ask where I might find The Big One, when I tripped over a humongous box containing “My Size Barbie” nearly breaking “My Size Arm.”

The adrenalin rush I experienced from the fall enabled me to heft the package containing The Incredible Babs onto my cart, but not being Arnold Schwartzenegger (or even Maria Shriver), I wasn’t strong enough to maneuver the box so that I could see the price tag.

I inched my Barbie-burdened cart to the checkout stand where it took four of us to hoist The Big Gal onto the scanner, and I mentally noted that perhaps some low-fat Barbie cuisine would make an apropos stocking stuffer.

Being an alert consumer, I had estimated the price at around $40, $50 or maybe even $60.

“Do you know how much this is?” I asked the clerk.

“I’ll let you know in a sec, hon,” she said as she fired up the jaws of life to help her run Buxom Barb over the scanner.

As I waited for the price to appear, I recalled a Christmas of long ago when I had received a Barbie Dream House.  My mother had lovingly assembled it all by herself.  It had taken her the better part of the Kennedy administration.

Barbie's first dream house

Assembles in four years

That had been my favorite Christmas and I owed it all to my mother and to my Barbie.  How ironic that this Christmas I would be giving my daughter The Mother of All Barbies.

“Excuse me ma’am? The “My Size Barbie’ is $128.  Did you still want it?”

One-hundred and twenty-eight dollars!  Suddenly everything began to move in slow motion.  I could feel myself turning white . . . then red . . . then green . . . like an aluminum Christmas tree on a rotating stand.

I looked at the clerk, then back at the 20 or so people waiting in line behind me.  They were all staring at me and sighing a lot.  Maybe they were thinking that I shouldn’t let my daughter down for a few lousy bucks and that I should forget the expense because, after all, it was Christmas.  Finally, a gentleman from the back of the line offer his advice:

“Move it lady!”

Then the clerk from the neighboring checkout stand shouted over, ” My niece has one of those and they can  wear the same clothes!” And then, just to bring it on home, she added, “I think she comes with an entire wardrobe!”

The clerk and I quickly tried to figure out how many outfits were included, but that information was on the opposite side of the box and somebody else was using the forklift.

In the end, I paid with a check so big it would have made “My Size Barbie” proud.  And as the crane lowered The Ultimate Barbie onto the roof of my car, I knew in my heart I had made the right decision.

"A little to the left!"

When Christmas morning came, my little girl would open her very special present, and the wonder and joy that is Christmas would be captured again for one brief, shining moment.

I say brief because the day after Christmas, I made “My Size Barbie” go out and get a job.

Foodie: To Be or Wanna Be

Gosh I wish I was a Foodie!  If I’m going to carry around extra weight with me everywhere I go, I wish I could at least really enjoy the food I’m eating too much of.

At no time in the  history of the human race have so many wonderful food choices been so readily available.  Yet, do I bother to partake of the exciting noshing to be had from our modern-day food flotilla of stupendousness?

Not really.  I usually just slap some Country Crock on a bagel call it lunch.

My food choices are as marginal as they are margarine.

But why eat this boring choice when I could easily gather together every item it would take to make, say, Holiday Chutney –which I came across seconds ago by googling the Food Network website and picking “Holiday Chutney” at random.

So here’s Cathy from the Food Network under whose tutelage I could explore the excitement of cooking a Foodie-type dish such as “Holiday Chutney”.   After all, Cathy, who has a pretty good job, seems hell-bent on it.

"I'm going to figure out a way to eat this thing if it's the last thing I do."

First Cathy tells us to bake this teeny decorative pumpkin and then remove all the seeds from it — which is what Cathy says she likes  . . . no make that LOVES doing.

YeeeeeeeeeeeHAW!

Well, see that’s the difference between me and Cathy.  Cathy enjoys this type of activity which means she’s living her life to the fullest. Cathy is living in the “now”.

As you can see, Cathy is living in a more fun "now" than the "now" I'm living in.

And  I admire Cathy’s ability to derive so much joy from something like de-seeding a miniature decorative pumpkin. I really do.

As for myself . . . well I suppose if I were to suddenly develop an overwhelming craving for minature decorative pumpkins — due to a serious deficiency in Vitamin A  (probably as a result of eating nothing but  bagels and margarine)  AND if I was stranded at,  say, at the North Pole and the only thing  I could scrounge up was a  dusty miniature decorative pumpkin left over from Santa’s rockin’ Halloween party, I’m  sure I would put as much umph into de-seeding the darn thing as Cathy does, ok?

Holiday decor stuffed with chutney never looked so edible!

So my hat’s off to you, Cathy.  There’s a talent in making Halloween Decor look edible which is something you obviously have in spades!

I just wish I could have seen the look on your face when you picked it up and took a great big ol’ scrumptious bite out of it.

What’s that?  You didn’t eat any?  Well, probably because you’re not hungry, that’s all.

I’ll bet you anything Cathy will take it home with her tonight and maybe later on try feeding it to her little pet guinea pig, Charlie, or failing that, try feeding it to her little husband, also Charlie (just coincidentally).

Whoa Charlie! Save some room for Holiday Chutney!"

So maybe I’ll give this Foodie thing a try. I was going to have a bagel with margarine on it for supper, but now Cathy has me inspired.

I’m looking around this very minute trying to find something to stuff with chutney. And even though I don’t have any chutney, per se, I’m pretty sure I can figure out a substitute.

Well, let’s see . . . I could grab a ball off the Christmas tree, it’s hollow . . .  . . . I’ve got some cheddar cheese . . . maybe I could get the guinea pig involved somehow . . . if you need me I’ll be in the kitchen . . .

The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick’s Day

Of course everyone knows that St. Patrick is the patron saint of four-leaf clovers because he was partial to the color green.  But there are other little known facts about St. Patrick that the average person might not know.

For instance, back in the days when St. Patrick was alive, they had a lot of snakes slithering around Ireland.  It was really gross.  The whole place just gave you the heebie-jeebies.  As a matter of fact, that is why the Irish Jig was invented – to keep from stepping on them. But that’s another story I haven’t made up yet.

Irish Jig Dancers performing the "Get a load of the size of that one!" twirling leap

Anyway, St. Patrick, who happened to not like snakes very well, decided to take it upon himself to rid the entire continent of Ireland of them. He set about doing this by writing down some goals and sticking them up on the village mirror and by repeating them over and over whenever he had some spare time.

"Six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . "

It must have worked because St. Patrick is credited, history-wise, with getting the entire population of Ireland totally onboard with Christianity, foods that are magically delicious, red hair, and snake ridding.

But it was the snake ridding that really got his name in print. The story goes somewhat but not very much like this:

You see, St. Patrick was nothing if not charming. He had it all, looks, a winning personality and a flashy carriage to cruise around in.  This is a guy who had powers of persuasion up the yin and/or yang.  In fact, when it came to getting his way, St. Patrick would have made Donald Trump look like a fat guy with funny hair — if he hadn’t already been one.

So St. Patrick, being a man of the cloth, (he had a huge and impressive cloth collection) decided that everyone hopping around all the time trying to side step snakes was depleting the citizenry of their usual vim.  (Vigor hadn’t been invented yet.)

It was obvious something needed to be done, post-haste.  And so he decided to “charm” the snakes out of Ireland.  He started by inviting them all over to his house, under the guise of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and began charming the pants off them (in those days Irish snakes wore plaid pants with little matching berets).  He did this by slathering the blarney on pretty thick and following up with a plethora of pandering and topped off with a prodigious pitcher of empty promises.  Pat was pretty proud.

Then, when he realized he was running low on straws for the rum and cokes, he quickly herded his limbless revelers outside and managed to lure them over the White Cliffs of Dover where they toppled, snake-like, into the sea. Dead as doornails (albeit very large doornails).

And of course, we all know what happened next. St. Patrick painted the White Cliffs of Dover green to commemorate the occasion.

So next time you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll know why.

Until next time . . . I love you