Archive for December, 2010

Bah, Humbug!

I just spent several hours wandering through stores hoping inspiration for the perfect gifts for the grandkids will hit me kinda like lightning. Only less painfully. Alas, my muse was apparently out drinking someplace and having a far better time than I was. The stores were pretty much deserted which was both good and bad. Good, in that I could stop right in the middle of the aisle when my brain shut down from toy overload and I could happily scream internally in mental anguish without people interrupting me whining about needing to get past. Bad, in that store employees with nothing else to do were apparently following me around just to wish me “Merry Christmas” over and over again, and I felt obliged to be just as cheerful right back instead of running them down with a shopping cart. This was not easy to do when my feet were so painful that I just wanted to sit down and howl in anguish, but nooooooo. I smiled, wished people a Merry Christmas right back, and declined all offers of assistance, for how in the world can somebody assist me to find what I don’t know that I’m looking for? Somebody up there better be puttin’ in a change order to upgrade that hut in the hereafter that I’ll be inhabiting someday to a single wide. Just sayin’. Or, uh, maybe the celestial builders are all engaged in the upgrades on the retail people’s mansions. That’s okay. I can wait.

My feet were excrutiatingly painful because I went up (and down) a ladder several times today to go up on the roof per SwampMan’s instructions. I declined, because I knew it would put me in a mostly crippled state for days. He insisted. *sigh* Shopping takes a LOT longer when feet do not work properly. I really need my feet tomorrow. I will be following my mother, the world champion shopper of all time, around. It’s going to be embarrassing if somebody with leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis kicks my ass at shopping. Maybe I can hypnotize my feet. Maybe I can find enough pain pills in the cabinet so that I won’t even care if my feet hurt. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and be better, but I figure the odds on that are about the same as waking up tomorrow and finding that I have a healthy bank balance.

One of the things I mentioned while SwampMan was telling me that I should absolutely not go out shopping tonight was that I did not know where I was going to find the time and energy to drag the big ol’ artificial tree out of storage, stick every branch on, and light and decorate it. This may have been our first year without a tree. SwampMan suggested that I get a really cheap pre-lit artificial Christmas tree, put it up, then trash it after the holidays. Hunh.

I wandered into Walmart and picked up a box that had a 6 and 1/2 foot pre-lit artificial pine that said $38 on the price tag. It wasn’t a sale price, either. How bad could it be? Well, I am here to tell you that it was really, really easy to put up. Maybe 5 minutes. It’s a bit….sparse, much like the tree in Charlie Brown’s Christmas. It looks kinda like it’s pining for the dry cleaners because all of its relatives are coat hangers. Mental shrug. The tree is up! My decorating is DONE.

Grin. I had an epiphany of sorts today when I was getting a little stressed about everything that still needed to be done. Or was I taking a little psychotic break? I forget. Anyway, I have been comparing myself to my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother, women who all had perfect food and perfect gifts and perfect decorations and perfect holidays. Naturally, I do not come off well in comparison. Nobody is ever going to confuse me with a domestic diva. Today, however, for the first time I realized that none of those people that I’m kicking myself in the ass daily over because I’m not measuring up to their memories had an actual paying job when these perfect holidays were occurring. They did not work outside the home. They did not have a second job raising livestock. They did not put up fences. They did not haul bales of hay. They didn’t mow the grass. So maybe I can forgive myself just this once for not baking enough cookies and seven different kinds of fudge. On the bright side, my kids won’t have high standards to live up to at all! As long as they don’t accidentally set fire to the house with Christmas candles, they’ll be able to count the holiday a success.

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Granddaughter Now Weighs a Little Over 4 lbs.

Daughter called on her way to work after her obstetric appointment and ultrasound. Zoe (or Zoey, haven’t asked daughter how she’s gonna spell it yet) Elizabeth weighs a little over 4 lbs., has chubby cheeks, the familial full lips, and LOTS of hair.

Dylan and Jacob spent the day yesterday. Jacob helped me bake and decorate cookies and dip pretzels into peanut butter and melted chocolate and then decorate them with sugar sprinkles. Grin. He would eat 3, decorate 1, eat 4, decorate 1, etc. I’m surprised I haven’t had a phone call about an upset tummy!

Dylan went with Papa to pick up a motor. Dylan is extremely energetic and creative, the kind of kid that will probably be placed on Ritalin so that he can sit in his chair in school and not lead all the other kids in a rousing game of tag or revolt against the school system. He decided he was Spiderman while Mommy was getting ready for work, so he got into the magic markers and made blue spiderweb designs all over his face. We picked him up in the car from Momma at work in the parking lot.

Both boys asked us if they could please have a Happy Meal from McDonald’s from lunch. “Why?” we asked. Usually they want to start a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows, not a nutritionally correct choice, but we’re the grandparents, so the hell with nutrition.

“Because”, said Jacob, “they have Bacagons Bakugans in the Happy Meals. I’ve never had a Bacagon Bakugan before because they’re too spensive, but I’d really like one.”

“I want Bacagon Bakugan too!” exclaimed Dylan.

Hmmmmmm. It would really piss off the food police, so we decided that it was a done deal. McDonald’s for lunch for everybody!

After lunch, Papa took Dylan with him on his errands with the blue spiderweb designs all over his face and a pretty good 3-year-old kid’s representation of a spider just a little off center on his forehead. Along with the Bakugan, of course. I didn’t take a picture, and dearly regret it. It isn’t the dressed up in a suit pictures that tell us what kind of kid he was (not the dressed up in a suit kind!) but the blue veining of spiderwebs that tell us that he was a superhero when he was little.

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Midnight in the Cold…

Went out tonight in the cold to check out why Puppy was barking. The moon was so bright that I could make out the colors in my shirt instead of the usual shades of gray. I wandered out to the sheep barn and could easily see while inside the barn. Nothing there. Hunh. Sheep were lying about chewing their cud and wondering what the hell MY problem was. Back outside. Puppy was raising hell while looking at the house, not the sheep barn or chicken pens, which would seem to rule out coyotes or foxes or raccoons or sheep rustlers.

Puppy was barking at ducks on the roof. They were making noise with the whop whop rustle of their webbed feet in the leaves on the roof as they moved around in increasing agitation trying to find out where the danger was that Puppy was alerting to. He couldn’t be too careful with the noise on the roof. After all, I had been inside, and I am the bringer of the Canned Food. Or maybe he was concerned that they may sneak down the chimney and get into the canned food from the inside. Or maybe he just wanted to roust me out from under a warm blanket to play in the cold weather.

SwampMan thinks we need to get him a pet to keep him occupied. Puppy is really taking this whole “guardian” of the flock and hearth thing waaaaay too seriously.

I’m going to bed now. If a real threat to the house arises that is more serious than duck feet, I’m not sure I’ll be awake enough to deal with it.

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Happy Sunday Morning!

What happened? We left Florida yesterday morning when it was warm. We drove through colder and colder rain to visit family in Georgia. We were so happy that it was pretty warm when we got back last night, and then this morning it is COLD outside! Guess we brought it back with us. I blame SwampMan. It was his family.

The cotton fields all around the in laws’ place had been picked, and the grandkids had a great time running through the stubble and picking up gobs of cotton that had been dropped by the pickers. Canadian geese were scavenging dropped soybeans from the fields behind them. I like to take them (grandkids, not geese!) walking up the dirt road to look for deer tracks. I have them run, then come back and look at their tracks to see how their feet dig deeper and kick up dirt when they’re going fast, and how their tracks are lighter and they don’t toss up dirt when they’re walking. That way, they can judge whether the animals that made the tracks they were looking at were walking or running. Son in law went walking with us, too, and ended up carrying his 3-year-old son on his shoulders since those little legs gave out after about a half mile!

There weren’t many Christmas lights evident in rural Georgia on the way home. Rural Georgians are in a big financial bind, I suppose, just like the rest of us, with a touch of despair sprinkled in for seasoning. Doesn’t really make a person feel like putting out happy Christmas lights when you can’t afford Christmas presents for the younguns, and if Grandpa and Grandma can’t afford their medication.

I’ve been saving up LOTS of chores to do during the 2-week “vacation” from school, if you can call it a vacation when we work our asses off trying to get caught up on things like tractor repairs, butchering, gardening, FENCING, ROOF REPAIR, automobile repair, Christmas decorating (no, I haven’t gotten the first decoration out of storage yet, but I’m about to!), HOUSE CLEANING, Christmas shopping, preparing for opening up another business, cooking, baking, etc.

The capitalized things are the most important, but the Christmas shopping better be bumped to the top of the list! The Christmas shopping that I’ve already done has been for the kids at school and coworkers, then the relatives, and now it is time to do it for the family. On the gift tags, I suppose I should put “The Sheep” in the from section, because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the first present if I hadn’t sold a trailer load of sheep, half last weekend and the rest picked up later today, hence the late, late, LATE Christmas shopping! Poor babies. *sigh* They’ll be somebody’s Christmas dinner, so they’ll brighten the holidays for many people.

A LOT of our shop equipment and assorted tools ended up in SwampMan’s school shop class when he was hired at the high school. When he first started working there, the only equipment they had were some 1970s era saws. Yikes. Gradually, our stuff ended up there. MY personal stuff ended up there, too! “Honey, have you seen my RotoZip and the Dremel and attachments that I use for machine carving? I hate the cabinets and want to make some changes. Oh, I can’t find my HPLV sprayer, either!”

“Uh…..”

“DAMNIT! Is it at school?”

“Maybe.”

“I need it now! Go get it!”

“Can’t get it until after Christmas. Nobody’s there to turn off the alarm system.”

I call that annoying. Swampman calls it an intervention system to keep me from doing crazy stuff on the spur of the moment. If I don’t want to still do it after waiting several days, maybe it just shouldn’t be done.

If SwampMan needed to build something for our use, he had to do it at school because that’s where all our stuff was! Over the years, though, the shop at school has been getting restocked, and our stuff that hasn’t been entirely worn out is coming home piece by piece. We’ve been buying replacement equipment and restocking our home shop so that we can open up another small business to supplement our income and maybe replace mine as funds are available. There won’t be any sheep* left to sell to pay our property taxes this year, and danged if our income is high enough to pay them out of salary, so we may be starting up in January!

*Oh, I’m not entirely sheepless. I kept 15 ewes, one of which is ancient and may die at any time (daughter’s champion ewe from long ago), and several of which are too young to breed. I just won’t have enough lambs this year to save my ass with extra income for things like taxes or Christmas.

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Hava Nagila Bollywood Style

I’ve never quite heard it this way before…..

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Bombings are “Unacceptable” in Sweden

From VOANews.com:

Sweden’s prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, has described two explosions that shook Stockholm’s central shopping district on Saturday as “unacceptable” because, in his words “Sweden is an open society.”

Perhaps somebody should clue in Fredrik that the attack is because Sweden is an open society. Y’all imported a bunch of rats (as have we) and time is gettin’ close for a rat killin’.

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And Now For Something Completely Different


Oh, dear. N2l complained about traditional Samoan dancing and I realized that I hadn’t actually put up any videos about traditional Samoan dancing, unless you want to count Thriller and Greased Lightning. So, here ya go.

Ooooh, more traditional dancing! (grin)

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