Thursday, November 19, 2009

O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your flip flops

So despite my previously mentioned seasonal issues, I do realize that in approximately 5 weeks Christmas day will be upon us. Which means decorating is right around the corner. Don't tell this to the Targets and Wal-Marts and malls of the world. They have been decorated since before Halloween. I, for one, refuse to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

When we were small, my family took the Friday after Thanksgiving to decorate the house. We were recovering from our turkey comas (who are we kidding, for me it was pie) and did not want to set foot outside, lest we freeze to death and/or get trampled at a nearby Black Friday Sale. So Al went up into the attic (she's the smallest and can fit into the opening the best) and Dad stood on the ladder and I took the boxes and lined them up in the garage. Mom supervised from inside. And then, as a family, we assembled the tree, unwrapped all the ornaments, and spent far too much time figuring out where they should go on the tree. In fact, this superb attention to detail usually resulted in eating leftovers in whatever spot you could find to sit, as the entire kitchen and family room were covered with decorations. And the project often carried on into Saturday. My poor parents. It was great fun (for us kiddos), and a tradition we continued until I graduated from college and moved out.

This year marks a changing of the guard, so to speak. It's the first Christmas Michael and I are married (but we've had 4 Christmases living together, so not a huge deal in that regard) but, most importantly, it is the first year we have a house! WITH A FRONT PORCH! THAT I CAN DECORATE WITH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS OHMYGOSH! This week I suddenly had an irrational fear that the stores, with their pre-Thanksgiving super marked-down decoration sales, would sell out of all the stuff I wanted for my porch. So what did I do? I went and bought all the accouterments today. I am now the proud owner of many feet of pre-lit garland, a light-up wreath complete with pinecones, a non-light up wreath with gold accents, window candles, and luminaries for the front walk. And of course, nothing says holiday spirit like driving to the store in flip flops and with the windows down... Definitely not an Ohio experience.

Sadly, my stash must remain in hiding for ten more days, until we are back from our Thanksgiving travels. But if you need to find me on November 30, you'll know where to look. I'll be on my front porch decorating it to the 9s. Wearing flip flops.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gonna make a Sentimental Journey, to renew old memories

I've had these feelings for quite some time, but something this weekend triggered it. We went to Target to do 'registry completion' which is really a way for the stores to still make a buck off of you after your wedding. (or baby is born, or whatever you're registering for) The way it works is quite simple: any items left on the registry post-event are yours, at a 10% discount. Wonderful. Since we registered for (and did not receive) a $300 vacuum, this was music to our ears. And we had gift cards! But grrrrr Target didn't have much of anything we actually registered for IN STOCK! (Including the vacuum) How ridiculous.

Anyway, my point has nothing to do with household electrics. After we paid for our other items, using our gift cards, the cashier asked 'Do you want these back?' Call me crazy, but what in the world would I do with used up, empty pieces of plastic? Do people actually keep them because they have a wedding dress or appropriately themed picture on the front. (Note that one of our cards was a neon green frog- doesn't scream wedding does it? That's my sister for you) I am sure I gave the poor woman a look when I said 'Oh, no, thanks' What am I going to do with an empty gift card? Glue it in my wedding scrap book and say "Oh remember my wedding shower, when I got a Target gift card?" Doubtful. Where would it end? Should I keep the wrapping paper, too?!

Why do people get so hung up over objects? It's a THING! Sometimes they will reason with you by saying "Oh I can't get rid of that. Grandma gave it to me when I was 10" Well, ok. But since you are now 35, the item is not so relevant, is it? And, by the way, it's a ceramic bowl that you dropped and is broken into 3 pieces, so Grandma would probably think you were being silly. Even if an item is still 'good' there is no reason to keep it because of the recipient. It was made in China. Moving on.

I treasure photos. For some reason I cannot get rid of them. The digital era has been good to me since I can store them on my computer instead of albums. But most other things do not tug at my heartstrings.

My mom is in the process of getting rid of my childhood bed and getting a new bed that fits two people, so that when her newly married daughter and son-in-law are around, there will be space. She asked if I was attached to the furniture before she attempted to get rid of it. My answer was, of course, 'not so much'. My grandparents bought the complete set-2 beds, 2 dressers, bookshelf, desk, vanity- in 1963 (a year before Grandpa died) so it does have some family history. Mom and Auntie slept on those beds for years, did their homework on the desk, and brushed their hair at the vanity mirror. Then Al and I inherited them, used the pieces daily, and they've been in Mom and Dad's house for 25 years. It's time for them to go. My sister and I are grown adults (though we may not always act like it!) and are past the white furniture stage of our lives. We're not getting rid of a family member or the memories we've had playing on the furniture. Especially the one when we used to hang off one of the posts and pretend we were garbage men. Those will always be in our minds, but the furniture, and anything else you decide to part with, is just a thing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Auditory Amusements

Me: I still think we should watch the Macy's parade in person some time- how fun would that be?!?!

Al: Probably about as much fun as that time when I had to get 4 fillings done without novocaine.

Yes I realize this makes two quotes in a row....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Auditory Amusements

"That's gross. It's a PHONE! It's only supposed to touch your ear."

Michael, after reading an article about the variety of 'adult' apps available for the iPhone

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Amusing Thanksgiving quotes that won't interfere with your enormous dinner

"OK here's the Thanksgiving menu so far: apple pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry tart, and ice cream roll. What am I missing? Cake! We need cake." -Grace Adler, Will & Grace

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" -Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame Street

Thanks to creativity on the part of Google, many folks are aware of Sesame Street's 40th birthday today. In fact, Google has been helping us remember for the past week.

I had a very pleasant childhood for many reasons. One very important reason is the fact that I spent many many hours watching Sesame Street with my mom and my sister. And during reruns on Saturday, Dad too.

I learned a lot from the program and its cast, though this list is in no way comprehensive:
  • The difference between near and far, over, under, around and through (Grover)
  • Monsters are not scary
  • C is for Cookie which is good enough for me!
  • Lots of elementary Spanish, such as counting (Maria), Cerrado means 'closed' (Miami Mice and Ernie), and Peligro means 'danger' (Placido Flamingo)
  • It's OK to rewrite song lyrics (Don Music & Kermit the Frog)
  • If you can't sleep, don't count loud items (Bert & Ernie)
  • When in the jungle, you must talk quietly (Guy Smiley)
And, most importantly, the fact that deep down, We Are All Earthlings

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There's a lizard in my dining room

Hannah* has written about encountering various creatures in her apartment. There was the 5-inch bug and more recently, the mouse. Living in Florida I have encountered many creatures outside, and occasionally see cockroaches in the house. It's gross, we have a guy come spray but they're smart suckers and they survive! We stomp on them and move on. Well, this morning presented a new challenge. (see title of blog post)

Yesterday was the first day it's been cool enough to open the windows. Yes you read that right, and yes it is November. So I did. Every window in our house was open to the max. For about an hour, I also opened our back patio door, which does not have a screen. When Michael got home he questioned my logic citing lizards and bugs roaming about out of doors. There were no bugs and I did not see any lizards milling about so I was good to go. Plus, lizards are afraid of people (typically) and tend to avoid us and our living quarters whenever possible.

This morning, Michael's worry was justified. I did not notice it until 9:45 this morning, after having been up and about the house for more than 3 hours. Then again, I did not venture into the dining room either. I was walking down the stairs with a basket of laundry and saw what appeared to be a lizard sitting on the floor. I asked outloud "What are you doing in here?" and, thankfully, got no response. I walked a few paces into the room and verified that it was, indeed, a lizard. And then realized I was going to have to remove it. [most] Bugs are easy. You step on them, or if they're a huge cockroach, smash it with the large issue of InStyle magazine. Then you grab a few paper towels and windex to clean up the guts and you're done. But reptiles pose a new set of challenges. They have bones and skin and BLOOD for God's sake. I decided a broom and dustpan would be good tools to try.

However, I also wondered, in the back of my mind, Is that lizard dead? I weighed my options. Lizards are usually very jumpy creatures, and he was still. Likely dead. BUT! I didn't see him there last night when I closed the windows, so he hasn't been in that spot very long. He wouldn't dry out in less than 12 hours and I saw no signs of trauma. Could be alive. Hmmm. Better poke him with the broom first to investigate. HOLY JUMPING LIZARD, BATMAN! It was alive. I yelled a PG-13 rated expletive. So he IS alive, but slowed down greatly. I suspect the roach poison that is regularly sprayed in our home has an adverse affect on reptiles. (Good to know)

The problem has become: How do I remove a STILL LIVING REPTILE from my house?
I tried to gently usher him onto the dustpan with the broom. He was afraid, and I can't blame him. When a huge giant person is interacting with your micro reptilian self, you tend to freak out. He was reluctant to get onto the dustpan, but I eventually convinced him it was alright. Then I had to get said lizard transport device from the dining room out the front door. Not far away at all. We were doing OK at this point. Then he decided to jump off the dustpan and run further into the room. So onto plan B, which is essentially desperation on both of our parts. I decided that sweeping him along the floor like a crumb would be a good idea. Not so much. It only elicited more jumping and spasmodic behavior. Not knowing what to do, I used the broom as a mallet and tapped him. This certainly put an end to the jumping about. It stunned him. I then quickly swept him into the foyer and out the door (but not before he got stuck on the doorjam, ick) Sadly, I think that in his weakened state, my tap might have actually killed him. I swept him onto the porch and into the bushes, and really don't feel like seeing if he's still there. Hopefully he hopped away, but if not, I guess another creature will have a tasty treat. Circle of life and all that.

Needless to say, the patio door is CLOSED at the moment. However, in my defense, it's quite possible he got in through a window screen. They are not a snug fit and it's highly possible for a small reptile or amphibian to wedge through the small crack between the screen and the frame. But the open door for sure did not help.

*Do you know Hannah? (aka Pannie) Because if you have been reading my blog this long and haven't heard about her, well, you aren't paying attention.