Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And As If Right On Cue...

The UPS man just appeared at my door with none other than our second annual nightmare... The Turducken.

Is it considered a tradition if it is thrust upon us unwittingly?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Here's what I have learned...

A little snow = frolicky fun. A lot of snow = hell, in many different forms.

Let me share...

So, things were going swimmingly for the first 3-6 inches. Dogs were prancing, chasing after the wet snowflakes. Kids were red-cheeked and buzzing with anticipation of even more snow to come. I had actually gotten off my ass and hit the store and was prepared to be snowed in indefinitely.

But then, the snow kept falling. And falling. 12-18 inches later, the scene had changed drastically.

The school bus carrying Moody's swim team home from the meet Friday night got stuck on the icy roads, with the scantily clad and still damp team on the bus, until well after 1:30 in the morning.

Our entire little outdoor winter scene, complete with lighted snowman, arctic seal and penguin was buried, shorted out, and declared DOA by Saturday morning.

The dogs have become overwhelmed and disoriented and have no idea where their invisible fence is. Since they no longer wear their collars, they have been venturing way past our yard and are thisclose to being official runaways. Look for them on this week's edition of 20/20, living under a bridge and selling crack for dog biscuits.

Moody keeps insisting he should be able to be out driving in all this mess and is making our lives miserable. Truly.

Apparently, I miscalculated at the grocery store, and while we still have about $200 worth of cookie dough left, we have been out of actual food food since Saturday afternoon. And who the heck wants to eat cookies without milk?!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Digging Out

Well, it snowed. And snowed. And today, we are digging out, not that we have anything to do, or anywhere to go. The streets haven't been plowed, but Hubby has been hitting the pipe stem pretty hard, snow blowing every 4 hrs or so. We haven't gotten any word about school tomorrow, but I forced the boys to get some homework done, just in case. Once the work was done, we decided to play a little...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do You See What I See...?

I have noticed for the last few days that there was something amiss with our tree (other than it being mildly pathetic and small). It took me a while to deduce what was happening, and then another little while to actually catch the perpetrator in the act.

In other, somewhat related news, I hear fur is back en vogue. I am picturing a nice muffler and perhaps a matching hat?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Miracle, Part II

Well, it turns out, the real Santa can bite me. I was out of my jolly mood, and back in the saddle of irritation, panic and distress, by sundown yesterday. Whatever, Santa. However... I adore my Secret Santa Soiree partner. She is an angel. A bonafide gift from the heavens.

I must confess that my Secret Santa wasn't much of a secret for very long. Due to my own crass pushiness, and a SSS partner that is such a good person that she is horrible at lying, even through email, I was able to figure it out PDQ. Am I officially kicked out of the SSS program now, Georgie and AmyBo?

Anyway, my unSecret Santa sent me the most wonderful (and needed) box of goodies that, because of the intensity of my emotional crisis, were put to use immediately. Therefore, the photos below may not truly emote the festivity, care and love put into my gifts.

So, without further ado, I present to you my goodies! Lotion and body wash and comfy socks and yummy chocolate... All to de-stress this crazed scrooge. Oh, and they were accompanied by the most hilarious and perfect Christmas card, ever.

Here we have the "before"... yay!

And then the boys got home from school and things began a pretty swift downward spiral...

No, my unSecret Santa isn't stingy... the pail was brimming before I got my hands on it. My mood lifted a bit, until the sugar high passed and I started to crash. Coincidentally, about this time, Moody's math progress report landed in my inbox. I grabbed the 'stress relief' body wash and took a nice, hot shower.

And no, I didn't use the razor next to it on my wrists or Moody's throat! Oh, and I didn't get a chance to photograph the cozy slipper/socks because Sassafras, the rogue, evil, Christmas decoration destroyer kitty, had run off with them somewhere. Take my word for it... they're heavenly.

Thank you, my dear unSecret Santa for being an excellent seasonal Santa, and a true year-round friend!

Oh, and muchas gracias to those big hearted elves, Georgie and AmyBo! I love you both for your commitment (I am sure you are feeling like you are ready to be committed about now, right?) to the season and to us lowly bloggers. I am thankful that there is always room at your inn.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Miracle, Part I

So, I was speeding way too fast along the parkway this morning, in a hurry to just be done with my Christmas errands. My mood was crap, and I was full of dread. Suddenly, flashing lights and sirens caught my eye and I hit the brakes. In the distance before me, I could see that there were motorcycle cops at the next two intersections, and a large police escort was headed my way. My first thought was that it was a funeral procession. A funeral for someone very influential, mind you, but a funeral, nonetheless. I strained to spot a hearse, but couldn't see one.

My next thought was it was some sort of diplomat/politician (Obama in the suburbs? Making a quick arugula run, perhaps?). I live within close enough proximity to "The Beltway," that it was a real possibility. Those fat cats (See, I can use that term fast and loose, too) are always zooming about in their tinted-windowed town cars, enjoying the expensive and ridiculous perks of the job, using those HOV lanes at their own whimsy, since, if you count their huge egos, their vehicles, indeed, carry quite a high occupancy.

No such luck. Turns out it was someone even more grand than any politician. Someone alive and well in Fairfax County... it was Santa Claus! My jaw literally dropped as I watched 12 police motorcycles escort a Suburban with Santa peering happily out the window, waving to us all. And if that weren't surreal enough, the Suburban behind dear Santa was carrying Rudolph, the one and only reindeer!

I couldn't help but smile. I would have expected my response to have been more cynical. But it just didn't occur to me to question the expense or the necessity or the appropriateness. It was what I needed to snap me out of my yearly bad mood. And it worked. The mall didn't seem so crowded, the lines didn't seem so long, and even though I didn't find everything I needed, it didn't matter.

Santa was on the scene, spreading his jolliness to all. By God, I was going to let it rub off on me, even if it killed me! But it didn't kill me. Maybe reveling in Christmas cheer isn't as difficult as I always seem to make it.

And if that weren't enough of a Christmas miracle, when I got home, I had a simple, brown package waiting patiently for me on my front porch, courtesy my own, lovely, Secret Santa.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Brain is Fried

The weird thing about my relationship with french fries is I don't absolutely love them. Given the amount of time and brain power I dedicated to them yesterday, you'd think they'd be at the top of my fave foods list (sidebar: that would be thin crust cheese pizza from Vocelli's and Breyer's cookies & cream ice cream). I mean, I like them, and everything, and I certainly never order my burger sans fries, but I don't really obsess about them, like I do other foods (such as: thin crust cheese pizza from Vocelli's and Breyer's cookies & cream ice cream).

In other, marginally related news, I have become a shopping addict.

So, after what is now apparently my daily crazy, overstimulating, expensive trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, I was famished. I made a quick drive through Wendy's, which is, by no means, my preferred choice of fast food, but I was fairly desperate. The burger (with cheese, cut the lettuce and pickles) was a necessity. The fries? Well, why the heck not?

I found myself doing what I always do when eating fast food in the car. Burger sat half unwrapped in my lap, while the fries remained in the bag, which was resting on the console, for easy access. As I drove, I started to think about the deliciousness of the food I was eating. The burger was gone before I could render an accurate verdict, which left me alone with the fries...

The first step was purely tactile. I reached blindly into the bag (I was driving, after all) and began to feel each individual fry. The ones that were shorter than, let's say, 1.5 inches were immediately discarded. The next to go were those that came to a point on either end. The only fries to make it to phase two were those long, luscious, perfectly rectangular specimens.

Which was followed by the visual examination. Any green or black discoloration was grounds for immediate disqualification. If I overlooked any hard or too pointy fries during the touch test, I got rid of those.

What I was left with was the cream of the crop. My mouth is watering right now, just thinking back to those golden, soft but crispy, little gems.

So anyway, back to yesterday. I was munching my way back towards home, with a trunk full of Beyond, when I had to quickly throw on my brakes (Hmm... distracted much?). The carefully screened fries went flying. I managed to bend down and reach most of them, but I saw that, much to my dismay, the fry that I had been saving for last (we're talking at least 3 inches and not a flaw to be found) had landed under the gas pedal. The three second rule, along with the red light, came and went in a flash. I gnawed on my bottom lip all the way home, trying to decide if I had really sunk low enough to want to still eat that fry.

Trust me, you don't want to know how this ends...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

(Gray) Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

So, being around my parents and basically having my self-esteem captured, water-boarded, shredded into little bits, and then thrown out with the trash has left me feeling worn down and blue. Suddenly RootWatch '09 feels like Sad Old Worthless HagWatch '09.

It's been quite a journey that I have taken with my own head of hair these last few months. We've reconnected, and I have to say, I appreciate my hair, crazy flaws and all. I had taken it for granted for years. I had been dying it various shades of wonderful and not-so-wonderful since I was thirteen years old! I really had no idea what would be waiting for me underneath.

Now, after letting all the color grow off, I have gotten the chance to see the fascinating pattern of gray around my temples and widow's peak (sort of a Lily Munster/Eddie Munster hybrid). I've watched as the natural curl slowly bounced back, after being suffocated by bleach and peroxide. Life has officially returned to my hair.

But as wonderful as that all sounds, it is seriously time to start chasing the elusive fountain of youth, once again. While a part of me feels free, an even bigger part of me feels dowdy. And that's no fun. I have many, many years ahead to try this little experiment again, and I know when (or if) I am ready to permanently go au naturel, it will be just fine.

Until then, Viva L'Oréal #62B!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Naughty Again This Year

I have known that they think all of the following for a while now, but it was all reaffirmed for me in many spoken and unspoken ways this past weekend...

I spend too much money.
I spoil my kids.
I am enable my in-laws.
I eat out too much.
I don't call enough.
I watch too much TV.
I am materialistic.
I am wasteful.
I am difficult.
And my personal favorite...
I appear bloated.

One thing is for certain... The message is strong, clear and consistent.

I get it.

But what I don't get is why anyone wants to be around someone as awful as I, any more than I want to be around anyone that feels this way about me.

PS: Can someone please check my grammar on that last sentence?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I tell you what... I am pretty tired of looking inward when things get complicated with people. It can't always be me, can it? Do I really need to just be more tolerant and patient and compassionate when others are acting selfish and silly?

Today I want to feel like the injured party, for once. Today I want to be annoyed that everyone around me is being childish. Today I want to feel secure enough in myself to know that I am taking a stand and saying what I want and calling people on their accusations and careless words.

You'd think that the people around me would think twice about judging others and calling people cruel names, such as "alcoholic", especially having one in their own immediate family, and all. You'd think they'd pause before putting others down, yet congratulating themselves on their apparent redemption, while their deep-seated dysfunction remains firmly intact.

Maybe miracles do happen, but I am not buying it. Sorry.

I am irate. I am sad. I am annoyed. I want it to be Tuesday, so I will have my house all to myself and I can finally exhale and relax and try to get these crazy people out of my mind.

Maybe then I will go back to feeling guilty and bad and put the weight of the world back on my own shoulders. For now, I will mope and whine. Maybe I'll even do a little judging myself.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Armageddon II

Oh, who am I kidding? There won't be any grandiose display of diamonds or cookware under the tree this year (see Part I), and that is just fine with me. My self-preservation strategy this year is to simply ignore Christmas. Call it a desperate measure to keep the anxiety in check, if you'd like.

So, speaking of the Apocalypse coupled with an unhealthy dose of stress...

Those four ominous horsemen have been replaced by an elderly couple, driving a red Toyota Camry cross-country, due on my doorstep in about 10 hours. And if you think I am exaggerating their power to incite mass hysteria and plagues of locust, you obviously weren't around when the whole Texas showdown, precipitated by my brother's near-death experience/alcohol intervention, took place.

Take cover, my people. Take cover.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse

Those horsemen better saddle up because either the world is coming to an end, or I have officially lost my mind (once again).

My husband is quite an amazing gift-giver. He is stealthy and he is generous. Anything I want is mine... and he doesn't even need hints!

So last night, in an apparent act of desperation, he flat out asked me what I want for Christmas. I gave him my standard answer, "Ohhhh, nothing," with that slight martyr inflection, inferring that there might be some little ol' thing that I could think of to put on my list.

And then he let it drop. I began brainstorming. Panic set in. There really wasn't anything I could think of that would put a little extra spring in my step. Except...

It is no secret that I am not so hot in the kitchen. I don't like to cook, and I really don't have a problem with that. That being said, I have been inexplicably drawn to some cool looking non-stick cookware at Target. But honestly, as much as I think I would love it, and how desperately I want to believe that it will make me enjoy cooking, I fear I will just be depressed on Christmas morning when I sit down in front of a really big, heavy box filled with a bunch of Teflon-coated metal just waiting to be used. Which means I would have to actually cook. Ick.

So maybe me wanting cookware isn't the seventh sign of the Apocalypse. Maybe the Pale Horse of Death, as the embodiment of my family's starvation from my lack of cooking (yet abundance of diamond-wearing), is the seventh sign.

Sounds reasonable to me.