Aaahhh...the holidays. At our house, we have a few traditions that can't go unmentioned. On the Eve of the Day of Eating...we always watch HOME ALONE! We dress up in our pajamas and quote lines from beginning to end. Some of our favorites: "Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF!" and "Santy don't visit no funeral homes, little buddy!" We may be crazy, but it just makes us happy! We can't start Thanksgiving until Kevin has slapped his cheeks and screamed AAAAAAHHHH into the camera! Of course, Thanksgiving morning starts bright and early with my dad cooking and the rest of us watching the parades. I still get excited for the Broadway show numbers, the Rockettes, and of course, the giant Snoopy and Charlie Brown balloons. Once we are all seated around the table, everyone takes a moment to express what they are thankful for, and we offer a prayer of gratitude. This year, more than ever, I have much to be grateful for. Health, employment, food, friends, a home, opportunities to serve, opportunities to learn, opportunities to love. We dine on the regular fare...turkey, yams, my dad's potatoes and gravy (my absolute favorite!), corn, rolls, spinach salad, stuffing, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, and once in awhile, my mother makes carrot pudding, (absolutely NOT my favorite!) It comes complete with lemon sauce, which I took home accidentally one year as a leftover and poured a generous amount over my potatoes before realizing it wasn't my dad's gravy. Imagine a mouthful of lemon-sauce covered potatoes...not a pleasant memory. The rest of the day is spent taking walks, taking naps, playing APPLES TO APPLES, ROOK, and doing a new 750 or 1000 piece puzzle. Later we enjoy leftovers, the men enjoy a little football, and we watch another movie. I'm counting the minutes until it begins, and getting giddy with excitement for the moment when I watch Kevin's mom walk through the door to find her son, the one she left home alone, safe and happy and so glad to see her. It gives me goosebumps, and always makes me shed a tear or two. It's what the holidays are all about...being home, not alone, but with the ones you love. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Until recently I had never donated blood. I have a fear of needles. But when I received a phone call asking if I would donate, I decided to give it a try. The first test they did told me I was too anemic, but they pricked a different finger with a different needle and the second time I passed. To quote a famous slogan, "That was easy!" and before I knew it, I was enjoying the free cookies and punch. So easy, in fact, that I will probably do it again. And again. And again. It's free, it doesn't take much time, and it can be used to help someone in need. The best ending to this story comes now: I've never known my blood type until I received my donor card in the mail today. I'm not sure if you can see it or not. I'm "B Positive" Enough said. Maybe it is a sign from above. Or maybe just a reminder to live up to my name. So, whatever you do today and wherever you go, think of my blood type and "B Positive".
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I just stopped at Walmart to buy a loaf of bread, some bananas, and a few bottles of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. One to celebrate (or commiserate) the election outcome; one to give as an opening night gift for a play. As I'm waiting for the clerk to ring it up, I realize he is looking at me a little weirdly. Soon enough, I find out why. "Ma'am...since this is non-alcoholic, I won't have to card you. Otherwise, I would need to see some id." WHAAAAAATT???? He thinks I don't look old enough to buy non-alcoholic cider? I should've been flattered, but I think it just made me wonder...where do they find these Walmart workers?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This is the last one. I promise. It's starting to look like I'm a little blog-deprived. Eli just read me a comic from last week's paper. He's laughing so hard he might lose another tooth. It's from FOR BETTER OR WORSE. The little boy wants to be Batman, but his brother tells him he is already going to be Batman, so he will have to settle for Robin. In the course of the conversation, the little brother comes up with alternate 'man' heroes that he can be...like, "Fart-Man" and "Burp-Man" and "Toot-Man". I am proud to say this is right up my son's alley! As Charlie Brown would say, right before the Great Pumpkin rises from the pumpkin patch and burps in his face, "AAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!" (If you look closely, you'll notice Linus is trying to teach Sally how to arm fart. That boy really knows how to impress a girl!)
Trick or treating is over. Eli has arrived home with a bucket full of candy. The weather was beautiful. I sat on my porch and handed out treats without even wearing a coat. It was the kind of fall evening that you wish would never end. And before the night was through, it did, indeed, feel like the night that WOULD never end. Since Phillip was gone, and Cassidy was at a party, I had grand plans of turning off all of the lights when we ran out of candy, and watching a movie in the basement while Eli invoked on his 'sugar-high' adventure. Sadly, he didn't quite grasp the concept of, "We are OUT OF CANDY! DO NOT (Yoda reference) answer that door!" Whatever. He found that when people rang the bell, it was great fun to open the door, yell "BOO!" and slam the door again. I spent another 45 minutes coming upstairs every 5 minutes to apologize for his holiday rudeness. By the time that settled down, I was SO READY for an evening with my boys from OCEAN'S ELEVEN. ( I know, not scary, but such a fine guilty pleasure. Besides, Whitney is in Vegas right now at a writing conference and had just visited the lovely Bellagio fountains the night before so it was kind of a channeling/bonding moment with her!) George Clooney has barely left the joint to meet up with Brad Pitt when Eli starts crying..."My tooth, my tooth. It's jabbing into my gums. Ow! Ow! Ow!" You get the picture. Well, sure enough, his dead tooth which he practically knocked out on the Winco floor five years ago had finally become loose and gained feeling in the nerves. For the next 30 minutes, he alternated with wiggling it with his tongue, and screaming, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" (He is my son...low tolerance for pain!) Eventually, about the time Brad and the boys were trying to knock out the power all over Vegas, he pulled the tooth! Hooray. Our evening can quiet down now and I can finish this show. Except, I was so tired by now, that I fell asleep. I might have stayed in that blissful state, except that my phone started singing the Indiana Jones theme. Just one of Cassidy's friends, calling me from Walmart to tell me they had wii-fit. (Note to friend: If you really loved me like I think you do, you would've just bought it for me! JK!) Luckily, the phone call came right as the men were basking in the beauty of the fountains while Claire de Lune played in the background, so I was able to see my favorite part of the movie. Thanks, Cody! About this time Cassidy texts from her party to say the movie is running late, can she stay past curfew? Sure. Just be home soon, and drive safely. By the time I hit 'send' on my text reply, Eli is again screaming bloody murder, "I'm shocked! I'm shocked!" Apparently he had tried to plug in the charger for his DS and got a little jolt of electricity, which I had to spend the next 45 minutes explaining to him the difference between a small jolt and death by electrocution. By the way he was screaming, you would have thought he experienced the latter, not the sooner. He was only asleep about 5 minutes when Cassidy came zipping through the door. We talked for awhile and then she went to bed. I stayed up a little longer, going over the day and reminding myself (thank goodness!) that Halloween comes but once a year, and even with all the weirdness it brings, I would miss it if it wasn't here!
Searching for a costume this year was not a priority for me. Usually we think of something simple that can be pulled together without much effort, and yet, comes off looking fabulous. Eli wanted to be Darth Vader, but when we went looking for a costume, the force was not with us. I tried to follow Yoda's advice. "Try. Try Not? Do. Or do not. There is no try." Well, I tried. I tried really hard, but every store in town was cleared out of Star Wars anything. While sorting through the racks at Walmart, everyone's favorite Halloween headquarters, he came across this pseudo-leather jacket, reminiscent of Mutt Williams (Shia LeBeauf) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Krystal Skull. It became his number one choice, partly because it didn't require much effort to put on, and as Eli reasoned, "Of course, I'll need the cool Mutt Williams sword and switchblade accessories to make it just right." I caved, and moments later, my son became a sword and switchblade wielding movie-hero-wannabe from the summer's biggest blockbuster. (Okay, that would've been THE DARK KNIGHT but we have already done the Batman thing in years past) Here comes the part that clinched it for me. Without skipping a beat, he also commented, "Too bad dad isn't here for trick-or-treating." (Wood Badge Scout training for a week!) "If he was, he would go as Indiana Jones and I would be Mutt Williams. Just like in the movie. Indiana Jones was the dad and Mutt was the son." I thought about wearing Phillip's Indiana Jones hat and jacket and trying to play substitute dad, but knew it wouldn't be the same. Not to mention, the hat is with the husband at Wood Badge. So rather than do, I decided to do not. Sorry, Yoda!