Snowman is not impressed

So, we went out to dinner on Thanksgiving. Since cooking a big meal like that for three people is pretty much the same amount of cooking as it would be for 10 without the extra bodies to help with cleanup (and cooking, I guess), I don’t like to do it.

So we’re out to dinner and as usual I like to take some pictures.


First, I take one where someone is not looking at the camera. But it’s still a fairly nice shot of the dudes. So I try again.


Hey, that’s much better. People are looking at the camera. and smiling. Cool.

Then I decide that in the interest of making sure that there is photographic evidence that I exist and not only exist, but exist in the same physical plane as my child, he should come over and sit by me so Daddy can take a picture of us.


Look! There we are! But wait. Somebody isn’t looking at the camera. Let’s try again.


Okay, so we are both looking at the camera. And obviously THRILLED.

But it works.

So I start to fool around with it.


And I make it my cover photo on facebook.

And then I go back in time to use an old photo of a snowman for my profile picture. Since the two pics are in such close proximity, it becomes very apparent that

this guy:

and this guy are thinking pretty much the same thing.


I see a lot of people posting around on the internet things they are grateful for every day for the month of November. I applaud them and think that anytime you can be grateful is a good time to be grateful.

But I do kind of wonder why we have to wait until November to get that going.

Although I am as guilty as anyone of falling behind on keeping a gratitude journal, I don’t like to limit it to just this month or time of year.

So here is mine:

Gratitude Day 319:
today I am grateful for the strength in my body,
that in spite of whatever I have done or not done to my body it is healthy.
for the many opportunities I am afforded in this life
that I really want for very little and certainly nothing in the way of necessities.
for love and kindness. It really does make the world go round.


It’s way to early for this stuff, but I’m getting started on pieces for two holiday bazaars in the first week of December. (Um, yes I know that I’m late on that part. I just meant that I like to keep xmas stuff until later. I’m not a fan of Christmas creeping up earlier and earlier.)

This was my first stopping point. I really like the sketchy look, but wasn’t satisfied with some of it. Of course, I started fiddling with it and then did it some more. Until eventually I got to this:

This is oil pastel which I blended with some kind of turpenoid or something*. (My friend gave me a little of hers since she paints in oils and has the requisite paraphernalia and I paint in acrylic and therefore do not. I can’t remember what it’s called, of course. At any rate, it is great for blending the oil pastels.)

That’s my funny little Santa

*Update: it’s this stuff here.

Plan Z

On Monday I got up ready to face the day and write about it being the one year anniversary of my blog. I was going to write about how surprised I was that I’d managed to keep this up steadily for this long.

My husband was out of town getting ready to have surgery. Our son was at school. I decided to wait to post until after I got back from running to town for his Christmas Program and errands. We were planning to go to my Dad’s for the holiday since our Daddy would be gone.

I might have posted something about it being the darkest night in 300 years due to the lunar eclipse falling on the eve of the winter solstice.

I might have…but the universe had other plans.

Instead I came home from running those errands and became riotously ill with a stomach bug.

I had a couple of hours until the bus would bring home the kid, so I thought if I went slowly I could feed the horses and then go to the bus stop to get my helper who I was really going to need.

I did manage to get the feeding done, but I also managed to slip and fall on the ice. Hooray. (No real injuries, just a bruise on my upper shin.)

I dragged myself to the car and down to the bus stop.

When my son got in the car he proceeded to pull up his pant legs and show me some weird rash that he had on his knees. Huh? We went home because, no, you cannot stay and play at your friend’s house with some possible contagion all over your legs, son.

At home, with further inspection, it was discovered that the rash was all over his body except for his head. It was red, lacyish, had welts. I was freaking out!

I knew I was going to have to take him to the ER. And I was going to have to drag somebody else with me because I was going to be spending an unusual amount of time in the bathroom which would leave my baby all by himself in the ER with a burning, itchy rash. Worse, I was going to drag all of us an hour away to the ER worth going to. Since, having tested the local hospital on several occasions, we are no longer willing to go there unless we are actually in danger of dying from blood loss or some other critical situation. If we can make the drive, we will.

So, I was flipping out over all this on top of already feeling like you-know-what.

My husband convinced me via text and phone to go to town and get some calamine lotion and Benadryl to give him and see if that helped. If it didn’t, we could go to the doctors in the morning.

I enlisted the aid of a friend who ran around and got everything for me (including a Happy Meal for the patient 🙂 so I only had to make one stop.


As an added bonus, she has three grown kids and has seen every rash and allergy already. She looked at it and said it was probably an allergic reaction to some thing. (Still don’t know what.)

We came home to administer the lotion and Benadryl.

Well, I managed to give him the Benadryl and then fell asleep.


Since we both had something wrong, neither of us had to get up early to try to get to the bus. whoopee!

*I’m sorry son, I know the rash is almost all gone today, but we can’t go to school. Yes, I know it was Xmas parties today. I’m sorry. We’ll have donuts and rent that movie over break.*

Thank goodness the Benadryl worked.

Thank goodness my neighbor was able to feed for me.

Thank goodness my husband’s surgery went well. Longer than expected, but fine.

Thank goodness my son is old enough to fend for himself quite a bit and was feeling better.

We’ve all been recovering ever since.

We had to change all of our plans, of course. We’ll visit my dad next week. We ran around like monkeys to pull off Christmas at the last minute since we weren’t planning on being here. Well, sick, tired old monkeys anyway.

Bonus: Since we were planning on being gone, the neighbors were already going to be feeding for a few days. We just asked them to do it anyway since we were none of us feeling up to it. Hooray! Neighbors Rock! (At least-some do.ha.)

Happy Belated Solstice!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

I think I need another nap.

Lost Week.

I’ve lost a week somewhere and I can’t seem to get it back.

I think it was probably the week when my husband was in the mountains and then in the hospital.

But, whether that was it or not, I really thought I had another week before my husband’s surgery and then Christmas.

I freely admit that Christmas has a habit of sneaking up on me. But, due to circumstances beyond my control, it has seriously tried to evade me this year.

I only have a week left.


Oh boy!

Better get crackin’ !


I don’t think I’m going to be able to manage the twelve days we usually do. But maybe. We’ll see.

On Thanksgiving

I’m going to save my list of things I’m grateful for until tomorrow for six word friday since that is our topic. What I will say is just a little thing I “borrowed” from Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy.

2. I am thankful for my friends in real life and on the Interwebz who get me, make me laugh, and forgive me when I inevitably jam my foot in my mouth.

1. I am thankful for my whacktacular extended and nuclear family, warts and all.  They are brilliant, inspiring, and make me laugh out loud on even the worst of days.

Go read her list of 10 things she’s thankful for.


One thing that I love about Thanksgiving is that, for the most part, it hasn’t been hijacked by the media and big business for their gain. It still remains a family holiday focused on appreciating the good things we have. Most of which are intangibles which can’t be sold or bought.

The obscene glut of sales, deals, commercials, mobs in stores and fighting each other over more Merryness for me and mine doesn’t kick off until tomorrow. They call it Black Friday. Quite rightly.

It’s hard to have a Happy Holiday season if you are agonizing over the perfect gift for 356 of your closest friends.

When I was a kid we would often make coupon books to give each other in my family.

This coupon is good for:

a backrub

a carwashing

doing a chore for you (I don’t remember specifics)

Not things. Actions or services that you know they would appreciate. Personal and specific to them.

These are the types of things that we need to focus on in this day and age of consumerism and marketing. When we slow down and look at what really matters to us about these holidays, what is it that makes it special? If you look back on your life is it the toys you remember? Or is it the time spent with family and friends.

The food? Or the time spent together preparing and eating the food. (I’m not knocking the food. I love the food.) If it was just the food we would all go out to eat. After all, a turkey is a turkey is a turkey. No, it’s good food made special because Grandma made it that way and let you stir. Or Uncle Joe cracked jokes while setting the table backwards. Or whatever your memory holds dear.

Hold on to that feeling as we head into the whirlwind that is December.

For many people tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day to try to combat the rampant consumerism.

Whatever you do and however you do or don’t celebrate; make room for gratitude and love at your table.

Happy Turkey Week!

Happy Halloween

I like Halloween. One of my favorite things about it is grown ups dressing up and goofing around. There is a wonderful childlike glee that is not only allowed, but encouraged this time of year.

Speaking of childlike glee:


The mask


This is the mask “we” fell in love with when we thought we couldn’t be our first choice–football player. We have since been able to borrow a football jersey. So we will be a werewolf football player.(!?!)

In the spirit of great procrastinators everywhere, we will spend today making our costume and carving our pumpkins. Then, when mom has stressed out enough to finish the thing, we will head out into the night to teach our child that begging from strangers is perfectly fine go trick-or-treating. This will be followed by a visit to the Harvest Festival. This is a fun game night where kids play and win, not prizes, but CANDY!

Then we will haul our bag of loot home and crash into bed in a sugar induced coma.


I was thinking of my favorite Halloween.

I would have been 12 or 13. My friend and I dressed up in cool alien costumes using styrofoam wigstand heads and little flashlights covered with red or blue celofane inside to make them glow. Then we went around the neighborhood handing out candy. It was hysterical. We got invited to lots of parties. The  alien heads were on top of our own making us seem much taller (and presumably older). It was fun to turn the tradition on it’s head. It was also the only time I spent Halloween with that friend which made it extra cool.

Another time, when I was around 23, I wore a unitard and got my nail lady to paint it and me with stars and planets and stuff. That was fun. Especially since I was a bartender and wore it to work. Though it was a little strange to leave work the next morning after my graveyard shift and still be fully made up.

Another old standby for me is just adding another set of arms to a shirt. Sew gloves onto the end of sleeves, stuff the sleeves, and sew the sleeves onto the shirt you’ll be wearing. Then attach the bottom arms to the top arms with string, or even better: rubber bands.  At first glance you don’t appear to be wearing a costume-and yet…


So far, The Dude has been a power ranger, ninja, baseball player, silver surfer, indian brave, and this year, as I said, football playing werewolf.

What about you? What’s your favorite costume or Halloween memory? Do you have a standby backup costume?


Well, here’s my post on this holiday.

It’s taken me a little bit to figure out how to say what I want to say about it. I don’t want to sound like a whiny snit. I developed something of an aversion to most holidays while working in casinos in Lake Tahoe. You rarely get them off and those kind of places turn into zoos full of wild animals on holidays.

Lake Tahoe does one of the most amazing fireworks shows. If you get a chance to go and don’t mind hordes of people and traffic-do it. You might want to do it even if you do mind those things. They (the casinos) spend an excessive amount of money on it and it’s quite a sight to see. If you do go take a radio because it’s timed to a playlist that is broadcast on the local station.

If seen it from both sides. When I was younger we took our boat out and “parked” on the lake and watched it from there. Later, my friend’s family was involved with the setting up of the show the week before it. A perk they received was a certain amount of passes to the private beach off which the barge that holds the fireworks is anchored. A few times I went with them.

Those fireworks shows are all tied together with my childhood and family and friendship. Not to mention they really are great.

I’ve tried to go to other shows. I’ve tried not to compare the shows in other places to the ones from Tahoe.

It doesn’t work.

And it’s not fair.

To me : for the disappointment I feel and that feeling of Is that all?


To them:  for the hard work that they put in and the perfectly fine fireworks show they put on. Not everyone can have the kind of budget the casinos have. They don’t deserve to be judged like that.

So I don’t go.

We buy some fireworks and have a barbeque and generally have a nice time at home.

Yesterday we let our son go with friends to watch the local fireworks. He loved it and we didn’t have to go. win-win

today I am grateful for….. bacon wrapped fillet mignon….independence…..freedom….. the 1st amendment…..and…. marshmallows.