Thursday, December 30, 2010

laundry list


2. I have taken to calling myself Whimsy-Under-Siege. The mad-dash push for Christmas with making gifts and wrapping them and having everything done before Chip's family got into town melded into an even madder dash to put on Christmas Eve dinner for fourteen (yes, fourteen) people. There was this whole mishap with the turkey, too. The end result was a borrowed turkey roaster pan from Wandering Nana (saving grace) which had Chip and I moving the turkey that had already been cooking for an hour, from one pan to the roaster. Imagine two human adult people trying to move a piping hot 24-pound turkey using nothing except large kitchen tools. It wasn't pretty, but somehow turned out fine. In the days since Christmas, the Whimsy-Under-Siege mentality hasn't left, and I am nervous and fretful and feeling cagey. I keep hoping that it's just going to run itself out, but no luck yet.

3. It's my mother's birthday today. Sadly, the Whimsy-Under-Siege compounded by Lack-of-Sleep-Whimsy means that I haven't written her anything except this madness. Happy birthday, mom. I love you.

4. It snowed yesterday. The weather guys of course said that it wasn't going to snow except in higher elevations. I don't know why I ever listen to them because they are never right. But it was a nice surprise, really it was. We had nowhere to be, so Bean and I just hung out. I cleaned the bathroom. We played Candyland (in case you didn't know: it turns out when you play Candyland with a two-year-old, you spend 15 minutes telling the child to put the cards down, don't touch the other gingerbread guy, put your gingerbread guy on the blue square - no the other blue square). We played in the snow. I bribed Bean to take her medicine (the two-week-cold that I mentioned in point #1 has an ear infection chaser that was diagnosed when I took her to the doctor on Monday which means the added awesomeness of antibiotics).

5. Successful medicine taking bribes have included Hershey's Kisses, apple juice, marshmallows, neon goldfish crackers, and multiple games of Candyland.

6. Less successful medicine taking bribes have included a smile from mommy, a hearty pat on the back, a kiss from mommy, a bowl of shredded wheat, and raisins. All of them, epic FAIL.

7. Which is why you're getting this mishmash from me today. Happy December 30th. I've been working on an entry for tomorrow. We'll see if I get it done.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

time out for bubbles

Because sometimes, even in the dead of winter, it's time for bubbles.

Bean taught me that.

And then I forgot.

And she taught me again, last week, when we visited dear Kate and Shelby.

A wonderful and sweet lesson.

I think, at least once a week, I need to take time out for bubbles.
(Also note to self: must get me one of those battery-operated bubble making thingies, because dude--- so awesome.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

christmas injury round-up

We've got lists of gifts and pictures of the festivities. Complete run-downs of food eaten and the pounds gained. But you know what there hasn't been, here on the blogosphere, about Christmas?


Yes, that's what I said: Injuries. Because Christmas has it's share and I don't think we talk about them enough.

I can tell you already, if we were to compare Christmas injuries of people in my immediate sphere, the winner, on a scale of least to worst injuries, would be my dear friend Wandering Nana who actually cut off a slip of her finger. Cut it OFF. (She's fine, and on the mend, and the slip that was slipped off will happily - apparently - grow back.)

For my own self I will tell you that my injury is thus: a bad burn obtained from a glue gun. How does one obtain a bad burn from a glue gun prior to Christmas, you might be asking. Well, one receives a bad burn from a glue gun whilst using the glue gun to wrap packages for Christmas into the wee hours of the morning while simultaneously watching The Polar Express.

It was very burny and ouchy. Which turned into blistery and ouchy.

Now it's just ouchy.

But it's getting better.

Now let's have some fun and compare injuries. Whatcha got? (And if not injuries, tell us about a favorite gift given or gift received or how about just what you've been doing, since it's that kind of a Tuesday and I think we need a little bit of chatter.)

Fergus says: the new direction in casual attire for 2011 is the ascot. Now you know.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

musings on decorating for Christmas

I would like to be a person who decorates her house for Christmas. I would love to see mantels bedecked with garland and twinkle lights, silvered ornaments strewn carelessly-on-purpose across the green.

I would like to be a person who has boxes of heirloom ornaments carefully wrapped in tissue paper that smells of cinnamon and bayberry. I would like to see a huge wreath on my door - sweet and whimsical or hearty with pine cones - either one would be delicious and beautiful.

I would like to have tree colors or tree themes and clasp my hands rhapsodically as we wrap evergreen in strings of beads and lights.

I would like to have bowls of candy placed on each surface of my house: a bowl of chocolate kisses and a bowl of peppermint patties (for some reason, I can eat them at Christmas time as if they were popcorn, unwrapping them and eating them one-by-one, right after the other but as soon as January 1st comes calling they are cast off as the weird mint step child that they are and sent to the back of the cookie cabinet). I would like to be a person who doesn't explain her weird love/hate seasonal relationship with peppermint patties.

I would like to be someone whose house smells of evergreen and citrus, cookies baking in the oven while festive Christmas music tinkles in the background. I would like to have my home feel like a Christmas card, a Christmas card I get to live in and breathe in and take naps in.

I would like to have Christmas gifts wrapped - each of them perfectly, with color-coordinating bows and ribbon, without any panic of last-minute wrapping and that terrible real-looking Santa paper that no one wants to use and so of course, it's the last one on the shelf. Check that, it's the second to last one on the shelf because the other option is that gold-lame pointsetta foil paper that looks like a 1967 velvet-wallpapered hallway, so of course you choose the Real Santa paper and hope that it doesn't scare anyone.

I would like to purchase a Christmas tree without ire or frustration or the inevitable line, uttered by no one though surely it's said every year, Fine then. YOU go pick out a tree.

I imagine a leisurely outing with bemittened hands clasping tightly as we, our Christmas-decorating family, goes tumbling merrily onto the tree farm to purchase the Christmas tree of our dreams. A dream that, like all of this, is just...

Not us.

Not me.

Christmas, it comes to me again and again, in waves of perfectly color-coordinated reminders, is a time of reflection. It is a time of wonder. It is a time of...

a thousand different things for a thousand different people. I have never mastered the art of decorating for Christmas. I don't have bowls of useless doodads in my house during the other eleven months of the year so it wouldn't make sense that I'd magically become the person who has that stuff in December. I hold no ire for anyone who does--- in fact, I am in sheer unadulterated AWE of The Christmas Decorator. I love that woman. I love that she has the creativity, the dedication, the mind's eye for that kind of beauty. I just know that I'm not her.

What I do know is that I'm still figuring out who I am, reflected in my house. As much as I'd like to be The Christmas Decorator, the one of mercury glass and heirloom ornaments, I have a feeling it's not in the cards for me.

Right now, I'm happy that we have a tree. That we are placing our simple and weird and whimsical ornaments on its branches. I'm happy that we use colored twinkle lights because they remind me of childhood. I'm happy that our stockings don't match and quite frankly I'm still deciding what kind of stockings I want us to have. I realize, even now as I write this, that the men out there tuned out long long ago - because this is something that doesn't occur to most of them, at least to my husband (love you dear): that Christmas traditions, the ones of decor and trees and how you hang your stockings - those tangible traditions that become the cement of a family history - they are decisions made along the way over the course of a lifetime.

So yes, I'm happy that our Christmas is becoming ours in our very own way: messy and unmatched and strangely asymmetrical. Just the way I am.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I can't contain my joy.

(in fact, I did a jig sometime around 5:49 Tuesday morning after pulling an all-nighter because I just couldn't take the grunge and mess of house detritus piling up around me and willed myself to just be DONE...)
And then I was.
I am finished.
The sewing machine has been placed back in its rightful home on the studio table and won't be visited until sometime in January.
It's possible that what started out as an innocent venture to provide Bean with a fun accessory for the doll she'll be getting for Christmas turned into... something else.

There was the wee diaper bag.

With the equally wee fleece diapers.
And changing pad.

Then there was the small collection of clothes. Wee dolly needed something other than the capri pants and short-sleeve top she is coming to us in. After all, it's winter. And she needs jammies. It's possible that they are matching PJ's to some that Bean will open on Christmas Eve. Maybe.
But that's all perfectly reasonable. Sometime in the 3-4am area, I went a little crazy.


Make that, a lot crazy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

things that are worth it


It's different for everyone - the things they consider worth the effort, and the things they wouldn't do in a million years. I won't sew knit shirts of any kind, it's not worth the heartache and expense. And I won't sew jeans, never ever - I'd much rather buy. I won't sew adult pants except for pajama pants, and I have to be doing a whole big batch of them to value the energy expense.

I will never sew Barbie clothes, you couldn't pay me to do it - but I will (and have, just recently) sew doll clothes, within certain reason of ease and size.

I sew dresses and skirts, pants and jackets for Bean, but probably wouldn't do the same for myself.

I love to knit and have done several scarves and hats, but try as I might I can never get through an entire sweater, and until we live in a world where it costs more than $15 to buy a toddler-sized sweater, I'm not sure if I will ever be able to justify the hours of time and energy it would take to make one myself.

I bake my own bread, but you'll never catch me making cinnamon rolls unless I have up and lost my mind - the homemade ones are delish, I know because mom makes them, but they are Labor Intensive (capitalized), and I just don't see myself taking the time to do it right now.

I won't bake bagels when I can buy them.

I won't bake rolls unless I have oodles of time.

I won't make tortillas (does anyone?).

I will make cookies.

I will make cakes-from-scratch, but not very often. We're mostly box-cake type of people except for our chocolate cake recipe, which nothing can compete with if you ask me.

I've tried to make Christmas ornaments and decorations with varying degrees of success, but ultimately I'm a buy-your-Christmas-decor kind of person.

I cannot imagine a world that has me making my own soap or shampoo or lotion or make-up type of item, ever.

I won't sew underthings or swimming suits.

I have stripped and scraped and repainted tables and chairs and cabinets for repurposing, but I'm not sure if you'll ever find me making my own furniture.

I've sewed curtains but will not consider making a slip cover.

It's worth it to me to can fruit and make jam, but I don't see myself ever making huge batches of pasta sauce or salsa.

Ultimately, the line between Worth It and Not is a thin line, a wobbly line, a line that squirms between one thing and another without a lot of sense in between. I can't see myself ever making my own candy but I think making caramel is perfectly acceptable - and there isn't much I can do to explain why I'll do one and not the other except to say, some things seem crazy-undoable and others just seem crazy, but within reach.

I'm curious about you. What's worth it to you, and what's not?

Friday, December 17, 2010

horrible christmas song round-up


It's that time of the year when we've been subjected to enough holiday music that we know, we just know what's good and what's bad. And when a Christmas song is bad, you know it's really bad.

Last year I did a pretty comprehensive list of horrendous Christmas songs, and I stand by that list, I do. But I think there is more to be said - namely more from you.

I want to hear your nominations for Worst Christmas Songs, include sub categories please.

My new additions to the list:

For Worst Christmas Song Involving Footwear:
Christmas Shoes - I'm not sure what can be said about this song other than it ATTEMPTS TO MAKE YOU CRY, WITH DEATH. And that's not cool. Especially for Christmas.

For Worst Semi-Decent Song Ruined by a Popular Singer:
The First Noel, as weirdly sung by Sarah Mclachlan - Listen, I really like Sarah. I do. And I have her album, which is pretty lovely, EXCEPT FOR THIS SONG. She tries to sing it all tribal and sexy and it just... doesn't work. It's The First Noel, for crying out loud. It's supposed to be this sacred song about the birth of Christ and it just goes strangely awry from the first few thrummy drum beats. I skip it every time because it goes beyond anything listenable and needles directly to CREEPY. If you've heard it, you know exactly what I mean.

Speaking of Songs Ruined by Popular Singers:
- Burl Ives. The dude can do one song, and one song only, and that's Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. Anything else he sings sounds campy and strange.
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town as sung by Bruce Springsteen. It's not necessarily a Christmas Pulitzer Prize Winner or anything, but still: a solid song. However, when Bruce Springsteen starts to strangely belt it out, all downtown and throaty, it's dumb and annoying. I don't listen to it.
- Anything Christmas-y as sung by Jewel. Because, according to Chip, Jewel ruins everything.

Your turn.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

binge sewing


I had the best of intentions (and the best of plans) to get all my Christmas gift sewing done before Thanksgiving. Based on previous years, I knew that it was my only chance: getting it done before the mad slide into holiday insanity of December. And just as in previous years, October evaporated into November which slipped into December with nary a bit of sewing done. There were VERY GOOD REASONS for the lack of sewing. But still: NO SEWING.

My solution was this: a sewing intensive. Me, the machine, iron, ironing board, and notions set up in the dining room for available round-the-clock work. I set myself up on Friday morning and worked furiously, ignoring housework. I let Bean watch Scooby Doo until I was singing the song in my sleep. I stitched hems and ironed seams and pinned patterns until my eyes crossed. And still, here it is six days later and I haven't even gotten to the half way point.

Last night nearly broke my resolve. I'd been working on Bean's Christmas dress all day long - I picked back the seam for the neckline FOUR TIMES. And the gathers - THE GATHERS. The thread kept breaking and I had to go back and sew it again and again and I wanted to stab myself with stick pins. STAB.

But after many hours it was done and ready for Bean to try it on. So cute! With the gathers around the neck and the tiny little fabric-covered buttons! I was so proud. I called Chip over to watch to proceedings, grabbed Bean and told her she was going to try on a brand new dress! (Again: SO PROUD.)

And then it wouldn't go over her head.

She got really upset.

But I wasn't going to give up, not after all that work.

So I tugged.
And wiggled.
And wedged.

And Bean? She wasn't pleased.

But eventually I got it over her noggin and on her body.

And it was.... not good.

Funny fitting. Tight near the arms. With a weird pinched fold up near her arms.

In a word: AWFUL.

And then there was this, from Bean: I DON'T LIKE IT. CAN WE TAKE IT OFF? TAKE IT OFF NOW?

I stomped around the house for the rest of the evening, feeling like the biggest sewing failure EVER.

(First rule of sewing: if the recipient of your sewing project says CAN WE TAKE IT OFF within the first 60 seconds of wearing the garment, you have a problem. Second rule of sewing: if the garment won't go over your recipient's head, you probably shouldn't try to force it. ...On second thought, that might be the first rule.)

I'm heading back into the sewing trenches today. I have scrapped Christmas Dress Number One. Ugh. What's making you crazy right now? For me, it's a sewing project that wants me to die.

Monday, December 13, 2010

christmas card conundrum


It is the same every year.

Around October I think about Christmas cards. I think how great it would be, to send one out---- to catch up with friends and family, to take a cute picture, to write some kind of clever family update that is entertaining without being cheesey or braggy. In October I decide it is both possible and a Good Idea.

Then I forget about it until early December.

And in early December I start to realize that there isn't time. No time for picture taking or update-writing. Though again, it sure would be nice to do a card. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day.

And every year it's the same: I run out of time and steam, watching the cards of friends and family flood our mailbox. I promise that I'll do it next year.

I'll let you guess where I'm at in the Circle of Christmas Card Delirium right this minute.

This year there is something new. I've started to contemplate the alternative of mailing a card, which is of course: emailing a Christmas greeting. (This is where you come in.) I'm wondering about the Social Acceptance Rating of email Christmas greetings. I think it shifts every year---- like maybe a few years ago this type of thing was considered to be Lazy. But as the cost of postage keeps rising, and the number of people who are online and emailing and regularly writing on Facebook and such keeps rising--- the idea of doing a Christmas card in an email seems more and more practical.

What I want to know, from all of you, is where you stand.

Would you rather receive some kind of greeting over nothing at all? Or do you think the Christmas email is a Grand Cop Out? Postage is horribly expensive, after all. Does an electronic greeting still do the job of sending news and sharing a cute picture and letting you know that the sender is thinking of you, or do you lose the meaning when you lose the tactile experience? I know that Swistle has an awesome and perfectly-worded scoring system (highly recommended), but I'm wondering again about that social acceptance shift that I mentioned earlier. As time goes on, does it become more the norm, or will I be considered a Christmas Card Pariah for even considering it?

Please advise.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

things I will tell my daughter: on abandonment and a parent's love


There will be a day - hopefully some day long off and flung far into the future - when you will feel utterly and totally alone. When the isolation will creep in, when the cold of it will settle deep into your heart. When the most familiar places you turn: your mother, your father, are closed to you--- locked behind a door you cannot open. There will be a day when you feel like no matter how loud you call or how long you cry, no one is within earshot to listen, or to care.

When that time comes, my sweetest daughter, I want you to remember the story I'm telling you now.

It was just a few days ago, just this past Sunday, but the working of the gears putting it all into motion started when our church building burned down. Before that time, we had been bringing you to the nursery at church, the class for the littlest ones like yourself: from eighteen months to wee three-year-olds. From the first minute you didn't want to be left alone. Despite the colorful toys and the many smiling faces of the people who worked there. Despite our many efforts to make it a happy place for you, you refused to be left alone. We didn't push it. We decided to let things shake out naturally. Your dad and I, we took shifts in the nursery to sit along the wall and watch you play with the toy kitchen or chat up your little friends. We sat in chairs three sizes too small and helped wipe down hands and faces. One month passed, and then another and another. We watched parents of other children come and go, watched them help their children to make the transition from clinging monkeys to happily waving goodbye, I'll see you later. So it went, for fourteen months. Still there was no change except your ever-growing vocabulary and greatly-increasing sauciness.

When the church building burned down, so did the toys, the familiar room. But within a couple of weeks we were cozy in another building, surrounded by those same smiling faces. Because of your allergies, we have to take specific precautions. Before you could be allowed to spend time in the new nursery, we needed to clean every toy, wipe down every surface. As the time approached to do the cleaning, your dad and I discussed our plans for you. At two-and-three-quarters you are so grown up. You ask questions and carry on conversations and show such a delightful curiosity about the world. We have worried that our continuing to come to nursery with you was holding you back, reinforcing a fear of independence that wasn't healthy. It seemed natural that when the new nursery room was clean, we'd do what so many parents had done before us: we would let you go in, and we would stay out. We would go to our classes, tend to our responsibilities at church, and allow you to attend to yours.

We talked to you about it. For weeks leading up to the day, we talked about it. We shared the timeline, reminded you what would happen when. We talked to your teachers and prepared them for the major shift in your world. And the day before church, I gave you a special necklace--- I told you that as you wore it, it was a promise that mommy would always come back for you. I would never leave you alone.

When the day came, I walked to the room holding your small hand. You were chattering so happily about the toys you were going to play with, the friends you were going to see. The room was bustling with children and their parents when we walked in. Your dad was dropping off some of the toys we had brought home to wash, his back to us as I knelt down to tell you goodbye. But as soon as my knees touched the floor, as soon as I put my hands on your small shoulders, your face crumpled in--- tears ran down your cheeks, and you told me not to go. I tried to be strong. I told you that it would be alright. That you were going to have fun. That there were people, so many people, who loved you in that room and wanted you to be safe. You wouldn't hear any of it. You shook your head and grabbed my hands tight. I reached inside the neck of your shirt and pulled out the necklace. I fingered it quickly, trying to repeat the phrase that we had been saying for so many weeks, the phrase we say as we kiss you goodnight and wake you in the morning. I tried so hard to get it out, but choked on the words, "I will always always always come back for you." My dear friend Heidi pushed me out the door--- smiled and hugged me and told me that I needed to go before my tears made yours so much worse.

So that's what I did. I walked out that door, and baby there is nothing in the world that can convince me that it wasn't one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I stood next to that door and listened to you scream for me. I stood next to that door and listened to you find your dad and go through the exact same scene with him - but even more pronounced, even more pained, even more violent. You plead with him. You bargained with him. You promised to be a good girl if he'd take you with him, and my heavens, baby girl if you didn't break our hearts into a million pieces right then.

But we both walked out that door. We left you alone.

For your part, I can't say what it was like for you, but I can imagine. I remember standing so small in the corner of the play yard at preschool, my fingers wrapped around the chain link fence, wondering what I had done to cause my mom to leave me alone. I wondered why she didn't want to be around me. I wondered about her day and how she was spending those hours away from me. I wondered what I could do or say to convince her to take me with her, take me with you - please don't leave me alone.

I can't say how it must have been for you, crying and calling for us, curled up next to the door, pushing your dimpled fingers into the space underneath, hoping hoping hoping to get to us. I can't say how it must have been to ask for mommy, to ask for daddy, to ask for Bo or one of your stuffed buddies and not get what you so desperately wanted, what you so clearly needed.

I can't relive those long moments for you, but I can tell you what it was like for us. I can recount every agonizing second, exactly what it was like for your dad and me.

My dearest, dearest girl--- for every tear you shed, for every bit of your heart that was broken into tiny pieces, for every second of your pain, we were feeling it with you. We listened to your cries through the door. We prayed for your comfort as Heidi tried to talk to you. We held each other outside that door in every way that we wished so desperately we could be holding you. And then we said, again and again, whispered and choking: we will always always always come back for you. Darling one, we will always come back for you.

And you know we did. After forty-five minutes, when we could take it no longer, your daddy walked into that room and held you so close to his heart. He held you and comforted you, and then he sat down in one of those tiny chairs while you served him plastic food.

There is going to be a day, sweet Alice, when you feel as if the entire world has turned its back on you and walked away. You are going to feel as though you've been deposited inside an impenetrable bank vault, separated from love and comfort and companionship of any kind. You are going to feel like there is no one on the other side of the door listening to your cries. But you'd be wrong.

In your darkest moments of fear and regret, we will never be far from that closed door. We will be listening to every tearful plea. And we will, I promise you, want nothing more than to break down the barrier and hold you closest to our hearts. But sometimes that isn't possible. There are things that you have to do by yourself, lessons you have to learn by yourself. And if we love you, we'll let you do just that.

With every bit of me, I promise these constants, these things that I know are true. First, that you are loved. By me, by your father, by so many people they would fill a room. Second, that as much as I love you, my heart expanding with seams bursting to full-- that as much as your daddy loves you, his caution and care soft as down-- your Heavenly Father loves you even more. His love, sweet girl, is a perfect love. A love without flaw. And as we promise we will always come back for you, he can promise - and he does promise - that he will never leave. The cracks under the doors of your life will be too cramped for fingers to fit through - but his presence can get through any barrier, and his love will reach over any fence.

There is going to come a time when you feel like you're all alone, but it won't last forever. And as you take comfort from your Father in Heaven, your earthly parents will be patiently waiting just on the other side of the door, to hold you and sing to you and remind you again and again that they will always come back. That nothing on earth or in heaven could stop them from keeping that promise.

As ever and always--- I love you,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



Is this what you do...

The answer is no to all of the above.

I am vaguely curious about our survival in upcoming trips to the mall.

Also: I forsee emails to Santa in our future, in place of any real face-to-face contact.

Monday, December 6, 2010

black friday assault: the full story


The Players:

The Plan:

Set the day before, after scouring the ads, making multiple lists, and setting priorities. A multi-prong approach was deemed most effective, since both Walmart and Shopko were opening at the exact same time. Striker would head up the solo Team Delta at Walmart. Lucky Lynda and MLB would doubleteam Shopko. Wary Winston would be responsible for homebase monitoring of the Sleeper Cell. Alarm clocks set and watches synchronized for 3:00am, out the door at 3:30.

The Approach:

Striker wore jeans, a t-shirt, his polar fleece, and called it good. Of course he'd be waiting for the electronics section of Walmart to open INSIDE THE STORE.

Mother Love Bone and Lucky Lynda, on the other hand, wore several layers of long underwear, gloves, fleece-lined jeans, wool sweaters, and down jackets. There was talk of heated hand warmers, but none were to be found at 3:30 in the morning. MLB also sported a jaunty hat.

The jacket belonged to Winston and was several sizes too big.

First Wave:
Lucky and MLB dispatched to Shopko while Striker headed out to the northern wilds of Walmart. From the field there were reports of people wearing several layers of jackets, wrapped in wool blankets as they clutched steaming cups of hot cocoa.

Mother Love Bone waited in line while Lucky took the first shift inside the car. MLB tried to text Striker but her fingers froze in the -6 temperature.

Attempting to keep her brain warm, Mother Love Bone composed possible post titles based on what she was witnessing on the pre-dawn frozen tundra. Biggest contenders were: The Largest Hat I've Ever Seen, Is There Really a Baby Under Those Blankets, No Wait You're Taking a Baby Shopping at 3am for Black Friday, and Seriously What Are You Going To Do With That Baby When People Start Stampeding.
Mother Love Bone wondered if it was possible to ever feel her calves again. She felt her eyelids stick to her bottom eyelashes a couple of times.

Meanwhile Striker took off his fleece because he was feeling a little toasty inside Walmart. And then someone came by and gave him FREE DONUTS.

Countdown to Greatness:

After warming in the car for a bit, MLB joined Lucky Lynda in line. Lucky had lived up to her name and shopping prowess, and had befriended a few people ahead of her, thus enabling Lucky and MLB to move a bit closer to the door.
It was decided that MLB would head directly to electronics to pick up their number one shopping priority, a dual screen DVD player for the car. A stellar deal and also a life-changer for long car rides. Lynda would be heading straight back through the store to the toy section. Her aim wasn't anything specific, though a couple of items seemed like good deals. She and MLB would meet up again, luck willing, after acquiring their purchases.

In the Doors:

The rush! The madness! The pushing!

This is the only photo MLB was able to capture. It pretty much explains everything.

And Then:
Mother Love Bone ducked, weaved, bobbed, maneauvered, tried to run, and ultimately was unable to find the DVD player. They sold out in 1 minute. Defeated, she made her way back to Lucky.
Lucky's response to MLB's sad news: Let me see what I can do. Wait here, I'll be right back.
And so she waited.
And waited. Watching women run by with carts piled high with baby dolls and video cameras.
Her phone rang a few minutes later. Lynda on the line, "Where are you?"
When they met up again, Lynda handed Mother Love Bone a box. THE DVD PLAYER. Mother Love Bone's response, "HOW THE HECK DID YOU FIND THIS? YOU REALLY ARE SO LUCKY!"
Lynda explained that she just asked the dude behind the counter, if they had any more, and he just pulled this one from behind the counter. The last one. Someone must've put it back. She also held several digital music/video players saying, "Everyone was just grabbing these, so I thought I should too."
This is when Mother Love Bone hugged Lucky Lynda.
The rest of stop number one was a blur of line waiting (snaking through eight or nine aisles in the store). It was during this time that MLB grabbed the following incidental items: toothpaste, eucalyptus for Sleeper Cell's warm mist humidifier, and a pack of fruit mentos.
Piles and Piles:
The next stop was Joann Fabric, a few minutes after their initial opening. MLB's intended target was some flannel for the screaming deal of $1.29 a yard, and buttons, which were buy-one-get-one-free with an additional 20% off the top. Neither she nor Lucky Lynda were prepared for what they saw: wall to wall people.
People everywhere. In the aisles and in the walkway and snaking in a line towards the registers. And in every person's hands: fabric. Bolts of fabric towering high overhead, piled teetering in shopping carts. Tied to small floor-level luggage racks. Fabric fabric fabric. The line to have fabric cut was several hours long. Mother Love Bone told Lucky, "Let's just come back later. Let's get these buttons now, but come back a little later for the fabric. This is insane.
After Joann's it was Old Navy. After Old Navy it was JC Penny.
Mother Love Bone ate the tube of fruit Mentos for breakfast. She wandered through the mall while Lucky shopped at Penny's.
MLB briefly pondered standing in this line at Bath and Body Works for buy 3, get 3 free.
Then she thought better of it.
Home Again:
And that is how they found themselves back at the house before 9am: eating cinnamon rolls and comparing receipts.
They offered Striker no sympathy when he said he'd been really bored and tired at Walmart, though he did successfully acquire his intended electronic purchase. Which, incidentally, they returned a day later after rethinking its value and necessity. So it goes with the Black Friday Assault Force: you win some and you return some and sometimes you eat free donuts.
But for the sake of this narrative, after eating breakfast, MLB and Lucky Lynda went out again.
Because they are crazy.
Which is how they came to be back at Joann's, marveling that the fabric cutting line was even longer than before. And when Mother Love Bone spied this in an aisle, she decided that $1.29 flannel just isn't worth it.
(In case you need translating: that is two full grown MEN sound asleep on the floor at Joann's. SOUND ASLEEP.
Then Mother Love Bone and Lucky Lynda hung up their shopping shoes for another year and went back home.

Friday, December 3, 2010

hang on

Hello. We at The Creamery are experiencing a minor difficulty known as Still Suffering From The Cold That Will Not Die--- and it has affected my ability to even begin to tell a decent story.

As I write this, it is late and Chip has already taken some sinus medicine and is waiting for its dreamlike affect. I'm soon to follow, but first I needed to tell you that the promised story, now so blown up and awaited as to SURELY be disappointing when it's finally posted, is still coming.

And now I shall distract you with a photo, and wish you a happy weekend. Can you believe it's Friday? I can't believe it's Friday. It's been a weird week.

(I am dreaming of warmer evenings when we were able to go out on the driveway after dinner and do chalk drawings. This is one of my favorites--- she's a chalk star.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

first snow

(I couldn't just tell one story. Of course I couldn't just tell one story. So you're getting TWO. Second place today, first place tomorrow--- aren't you lucky?)

Childhood is so full of firsts, they pile up like leaves--- drifting underfoot, the colors of each lost in the jumble.

And then one first is pulled into focus, brought close to the face for careful examination.

How does it smell?
That first real touch of snow, a snow you can remember in your teeming nearly-three-year-old brain.

How does it feel?
The cold of it shocking your soft skin. There's a fresh zing of ice catching on your cheeks as I watch you run face-first into the flurries of white.

How does it taste?
Open your mouth, just like this. Catch the snowflakes on your tongue. Delicious.
This is how you do it: develop a taste for snow. It grows on you throughout the day, warm snug inside the house, watching the drifts gather on the porch steps. Until you decide you have to taste it again, bundled in fleece, hair in braids. Welcome to a winter tradition, little one.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a GAME for the tuesday-after-thanksgiving doldrums



I come to you from the great city of Boise, Idaho--- and if I had stayed longer than a single evening, I would most definitely (and finally) meet up with Midnight Rambler and coo over her delightful city (because Boise is delightful, usually). But today it stands between me and my home. A home I want to be in by clicking my heels three times quick and POOF. Alas and alack, my ruby slippers are somewhere between Utah and Washington and so we face the slog with a Jeep full of luggage and a travel-weary husband and fruit snack flinging 2-year-old.

I had the very best of intentions to bring you the Full! In-Color! Excitement-Beyond-Measure! Black Friday detail post, but I left my power cord in the car. So before the laptop dies I propose a GAME.
I am going to post pictures from the past several days and YOU dear reader, get to vote on which picture should be detailed in story form here at The Creamery on Thursday. I promise that each picture holds behind it a veritable CORNUCOPIA of dish--- be it in the form of hilarity, sweetness, sauciness or otherwise.

Without further delay, shall it be:

(Each comment counts as a single vote - and because I'm feeling generous you may vote as many times as you want. That means that if Alicia decides to come in here six times to vote for her favorite, she darn well can. Voting will be open until 12:00pm Pacific on Wednesday.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

#7 8:48am friday

Longest day of my life. Also: check out that bath & body works line going out the door. So glad to not be in it.

...sent to you courtesy of the beloved crackberry