Showing posts from December, 2016

The Post I Couldn't Write...

I've had something in my heart since the beginning of December (Dec 3rd to be specific), but I couldn't share my thoughts.  At least not until Christmas was over.  So here, with tears, I share with you sad news (that if you're local you may already know), Ray Beesley passed away. You may not know the name.  You shouldn't know the name. The name was not important.  But the man was. He owned Beesley Event Photo.  It was a family affair and as I found out after he died, that it was his daughter who took the photos.  Ray wasn't behind the camera, he was in front of it.  He was in countless holiday photos for decades.  But it wasn't Ray in those photos, it was Santa Claus.  Let me reiterate this; Ray did not "play" Santa Claus; he WAS Santa Claus.  And it didn't matter if he was in his suit or grocery shopping (as I once saw him at our local Shoprite), he WAS Santa. He wasn't about the photo or the list of gifts.  He was about listenin

Christmas (Eve) Word of the Day:

Improvisation. When you go to make your annual Christmas Eve alcoholic beverage, that you only make once a year and find you are missing one of the ingredients; you improvise.  Yes, it would have been early enough for me to run to the local liquor store for some blackberry brandy to make the beverage right, but the wallet is thin this holiday season, so just forget about it and add a little more blue curacao, peach schnapps and raspberry vodka to the pina colada mix along with lots of shaved ice. (Many years ago I bought a icee maker at a flea market.  One of the best expenditures of $15 ever.  For at least 10 years I have been using it Christmas Eve to make myself a bastardized version of a Blue adult frosty beverage that was sold at the now defunct Spoodles restaurant at Walt Disney World's Boardwalk Resort.)  And with no whipped cream to add to the top of it, I've just improvised once again and thrown in some cool whip.  And no, I haven't co

When Christmas and Hanukkah Collide

Christmas is always December 25th, but Hanukkah moves around on the calendar.  The holiday keeps you on your toes because it could be at the end of November (like the year when it coincided with Thanksgiving) or any time in December. This year the first night of Hanukkah is also Christmas Eve.  For a blended family like mine, it causes a slight challenge. Background:  My husband was brought up in the Jewish faith, but he does not practice.  My in-laws (and when they were alive my grandparents-in-law...if such a word exists) are Jewish.  My family is Christian.  (Although my father and his side of the family are a different denomination than my mother and her side.  When it came time to be confirmed, I chose to my mother's Presbyterian tradition, while my brother chose to become Episcopalian like my father.  Of course with that said he was eventually married in the Presbyterian church and his funeral was overseen by a Congregational minister, who was a very good friend to him.)

SOMWaD: The Poop Snoop Finale!

A decision has been made:  My son had decided to let the Snoop while you Poop stay. The Snoop was pretty relieved as evident by his final note: After much consideration my son DID name him:  McShiSh*t.  I have dubbed his full name to be Poopy McShiSh*t. Unlike Ralph, who will disappear on Christmas Eve night, Poopy will hang around a little longer.  (After all he only just appeared on Monday night.)  Sometime during Christmas Day he will disappear.  (Maybe to a perfectly timed flushing sound??  How creative can one woman get?) Thus ends the saga of the Poop Snoop; on to other pressing holiday matters such as when should I start baking holiday cookies?  (I'm thinking I start this weekend and then do some more next.  Doing them all next weekend would be best, but I don't think I'm going to have the time.)  My chocolate cinnamon sugar cookies are always a hit with the family. (And with the elf  as well. Who knows what Poopy McShiSh*t will think?)

SOMWaD Update: Fun or Failure

The whole "homemade" Snoop While You Poop (or as I crowned him:  The Holiday Poop Snoop) did not work out quite as well as I had hoped. He appeared in our bathroom on an outlet ledge overlooking the sink and, of course, the toilet with a carefully written note.  I was sure this would bring giggles and make the not so fun morning routine a little more tolerable.  (Blog post to come on that in the near future.  I could use some help in how to get that kid up and going in the morning.)  WRONG! Hubby played along, gasping at what had appeared in the bathroom.  When we finally managed to get him out of bed and into the bathroom, he was not pleased.   Words along the line of "Get him out of here."  (Only there were other words in between the him and out.)  He pulled down the carefully placed note and tossed it in the trash. So much for levity in the morning. Later as my son was brushing his teeth (and I was trying to get out the door), I see my son spraying our ve

A Little Holiday Cheer from the SOWMaD

As holly and jolly as I try to make the season, this past weekend was a big FLOP.  Lots of stress, tears, name it.  It WASN'T a good weekend.  And it WASN'T pretty. As the weekend wound down, I did one smart thing.  Sunday nights are for The Simpsons and I made sure that we all we snuggled up in my bed to watch last night's episode.  I didn't know it was the holiday episode and I didn't know that the "B" story would be so brilliant.  (At least WE thought it was brilliant.) When Marge brought "The Gnome In The Home" to watch over Maggie, we started to chuckle.  We were flat out hysterical when we heard that the gnome eats the fingertips of not so good girls and boys.  And when we heard that toy company (I believe it was Spyco Toys, but I could very well be wrong*) also had products as Bear Who's Always There and the Snoop While You Poop, we were rolling on the floor laughing.  Which is EXACTLY what this family needed after th

Looking to the Light

As high tech as my family can be, we still enjoy some simple pastimes that people did decades ago.  We've played Scrabble together. (Although not recently and the main reason for doing so was to help my son with spelling.)  In warmer weather, we eat outside when my husband grills.  And now that we're in the holiday season, we get into the car (ok, SUV) and drive around town to look at the lights. Yes, people STILL do that.  Or at least we do.  And usually several times during the holidays.  I turn the radio on to the holiday station(s).  (Prefer Sirius XM Holiday Traditions, but since that doesn't go on air this year until Dec 10th, we've been tuning into Holly.)  Sometimes we don our "Santa Hats."  (Yes, we're that dorky!  And proud!)  We drive around for an hour or so.  I try to pick streets that I know have lots of lights/decorations.  (And since we've been doing this for several years, I know which streets are decorated more than others.)  I v

The Elf Fails

Once the Thanksgiving meal is over, it's time for the elf to make his appearance.  Yes, we STILL have Ralph visit us from Thanksgiving night to Christmas Eve.  I hope he'll be around for many years to come.  For us Ralph is less about "keeping an eye on the child for Santa" and more about alleviating tension that often comes with the season. (Although thankfully, this year the Christmas Crazy Kid level has been a little bit lower than usual.) Emotions tend to run high this time of year.  Having Ralph around makes us laugh as he gets into some wacky situations (though nothing too crazy...I'm not cleaning up after any elf).  He may hide among the left over Halloween candy (not that there's much left now).  He may hang in the music room as a reminder for my son to practice the trumpet.  Or he may just hang off the ceiling fan in the living room for the fun of it. The other morning when I found a package on our front doorstep for our son (UPS must have be

So Here I Am Again

I've been lying awake for the past hour or so (give or take).  The alarm was set to go off at its usual time (which is about a half an hour from now...with now being as I sit at the keyboard, screen glowing in the otherwise darkness).  This whole sleep thing seems to be eluding me a bit.  Which is sad because despite what my son thinks, I DO love sleep. The good thing though is that while I am up, sitting here and typing, I am not doing so because I feel the need to hack up a lung or because my face feels like it wants to explode due to all the pressure in my sinuses.  Thankfully, a visit to the doctor's office had made that much better.  I'm not an advocate for antibiotics, but when they are needed they work wonders.  Clearly I needed one because only one pill later and I am feeling so much better.  I didn't ask for one either; she just assessed me and felt that it might be the right course for me. And she was right because hours after the first dose, I felt bette

The 2 AM Sinus Infection Blues...

So it's the middle of the night; or actually early morning, and I'm sitting in front of this computer because despite a dose of Nyquil 7 hours ago, I am not sleeping.  (And I am also now out of Nyquil.) It's that wonderful time of the day when my sinuses are full and I wish that my face could just fall off.  That time where I am wondering if I need to see a doctor and take a sick day or just soldier on. With Christmas just 20 days away, I'm feeling the pressure. I need to get better.  And so does the husband.  He came down with it first (I think last Monday or Tuesday) and I followed suit on Wednesday, although I don't think I got the full blown fun until Friday or Saturday.  (So far the kid has been spared and I'm praying that it stays that way.  The kid has a strong constitution and hopefully a better immune system than his parents.) It's one of those darned colds or infections where you feel miserable, but then not so.  Is it worth a trip to the

Tree of Imperfections

The day after Thanksgiving is our decorating day.  Actually I did start decorating after our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday night.  I put up my Little Town of Bethlehem and part of my New England Village from Dept. 56.  I really need more space if I wanted to show them both off, but I'll take what I can get. My husband usually assembles the tree.  Yes, we have a fake one.  I love trees and think that they should stay planted outside where they belong. I know you can get a live one and then plant it outside afterwards, but I'm going to be honest, that would be too much of a hassle for me.  Plus with all my allergies, a real tree just isn't in the cards.   The tree was purchased (for me, or so he says), by my husband back in 1996.  So it's 20 years old.  It's been assembled, decorated, and taken down and stored in our (musty, damp and sometimes moldy) basement for 19 years.  We've gotten our money's worth out of it.  Every year, when my husband bri

Here We Are...

...last month of 2016.  For those of us who've had a tough year, we can breathe a little easier knowing that it will soon be over.  On a personal level, 2016 hasn't been as bad for me as it has for many others that I know.  While it has not been the best year ever for me (I'm not sure I know what year that was for even the really good years [like the one where my son was born] had some serious downsides [my son was born but I lost my job earlier in the year at the same time we lost my husband's grandmother].), it has certainly not been the worst.  (The prize for worst year ever has to go to 2012 which included two deaths in the family, another job loss, two robberies and Super Storm Sandy.)  We've only got 30 more days to ride out 2016 and then it's on to 2017. It's also World AIDS Day.  I mention this only because it didn't seem to get much fanfare this year.  (Or at least I didn't really hear about it.)  I suppose that is a good thing; HIV is