Saturday, December 24, 2005

The stockings have been hung on the chimney with care...


I have not had much time to blog this week...what with whipping up yummy yule logs, glue-gunning festive baubles for present-wrapping, gathering dried folage for my table's centerpiece, and taking time to shrink wrap gift baskets for the needy, I have hardly had time to do anything. Ya right...let's get serious.

H & I are hanging out at home this weekend...he deserve's a long winter's nap after all of his hard work the past year. (Mainly putting up with me!) *Hanging out* will pretty much involve cocktails, movies, and munching on snacks, as these are a few of our favorite things. We may change out of our sweat pants to walk the dogs if they REALLY have to go. My sis and family from Michigan are arriving on Monday so we will have a houseful of guests. I am making dinner for a crowd on Monday evening...sis, parentals, NASCAR brother, etc., so I have a bit of meal-planning to do...but it will be fun. I am off the entire week so it's time to relax and visit!

The very bestest news of all is that I am now the *leasee* of a lovely chestnut Quarter Horse gelding!!!!!!!!!! It is a bit of a stretch financially but H & I agree it is a good way to start out so we know what owning a horse will cost in the future. I am beyond thrilled...I feel like a 6-year old on Christmas morning, actually! Honestly, I am kind of afraid I will run the poor horse into the ground riding every day...but I was assured he is *healthy as a horse* and he needs to be ridden so there you go.
I'll post a picture so you can all oohh and ahhh about him. He's such the little peach!

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas to All...

H’s last day of bell ringing at Wal Mart was last week. He has such confidence when he goes into these things. I know he dreamed of his moment of fame when the mysterious gold coin would appear during HIS stint with the bell. I think he had visions of transforming the entire town into a celebratory scene from a Hallmark card as he stood next to his bright red kettle.
Instead, on his last night, he had to move out of the way to make room for the police and ambulance folks to get inside the building to deal with the woman in the wine aisle who smashed a bottle over a guy’s head.

…and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Power Sellers

Since H and I moved into the neighborhood during what I like to call “The Broiler Portion of Summer”, most of the neighbors were holed up in their air-conditioned homes on the weekends, bar the weekly powerwashing of the driveway by the neighborhood men. The noise of the powerwashers made it somewhat difficult for H and I to introduce ourselves so we normally gave a friendly wave (or hoist of the Miller Lite in my case). The powerwasher-people usually returned the wave, often with a somewhat puzzled look as if to say, “Who are you…you who sit idly while your driveway collects dirt and grime?” Once the powerwashing season was over, the weather got cold and no one came outside so we have not met many neighbors. These people don’t know what they are missing…wait til they find out that H will rake leaves, blow snow, and generally become a cabana boy once he gets to know them. Anyway, we were kind of hoping to get somewhat of a jump-start before next Spring as far as knowing who goes with what powerwasher. We figure maybe they will find us to be somewhat normal despite our unsightly driveway, battlefield themed well-head, and mole-tunnel filled yard. I know, our chances are getting pretty slim…especially since my potted mums on the porch kept falling over and blowing across the yard during my attempt to fit-in and seasonally accessorize this past Fall.

During some discussion the past couple of weeks, we decided we are going to try the direct approach and actively campaign to meet our neighbors during the holidays. Instead of painting holiday-themed signs or whipping something together with felt and a gluegun, we decided to bake cookies and distribute them to the folks on our street. We made several varieties of cookies over the weekend and I purchased snowman-containers and raffia ribbon so we could put our little packages together in deliciously attractive bundles.

H: What do you think I should write on the card?

WTC: Feliz Navidad…then they will think we are foreign and thus don’t know how to powerwash.

H: No, really…

WTC: How about Jesus is the reason for the season! Then they will realize we are religious and can’t do yardwork on Sundays.

H: Will you stop it…they will think we are weird.

WTC: We ARE weird.

“From our powerwasher to yours, H & WTC wish you a very happy holiday”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Another holiday classic from Indiana!

I may have mentioned previously my *love* for *attractive* Christmas decor and kozy kristmas crafts. A 7’ inflatable Santa, a life sized snowglobe, animated light-up reindeer, cheery glue-gun-assembled wreaths, cornhusk nativity sets…my list of items goes on and on. Screw the classy red bows and lighted garland…I want plastic candy canes, chaser lights, and wreaths on the grille of the car!

After the big Midwest snowstorm last week, H ventured back to our old neighborhood to plow snow for our two neighbor ladies. The two are sisters, in their 50’s, who live together. While we lived on that street, H always raked their leaves and shoveled their walk in the neighborly gestures that make H the nice guy he is. (Amazing that such a giving guy should end up with someone as selfish, sarcastic, and bitchy as me…opposites attract, I guess.) Anyway, since we have moved from the neighborhood, he feels sorry that suddenly these ladies have to fend for themselves during the brutal Indiana seasons of falling leaves and snow. The two ladies were thrilled that H arrived to save the day. He was showered with hot tea and freshly baked cookie treats. He also came home with a gift. A lovely thoughtful and handmade gift.

Knowing my *affection* for tacky craft items, H brilliantly placed the homemade sign at the entrance to our garage. I nearly drove through the garage door when I saw it.

Frosty and Me Welcome Thee!

WTC: “Yikes, where on earth are we going to put that?”
H: “Ummmmmmm, I guess we can’t leave it here by the garage in case they stop over.”
WTC: “Well we can’t put it on the porch or anything, someone might SEE it!”
H: “I know, it isn’t exactly your style unless the Frosty means a nice iced glass of something”
WTC: “Perfect. Let’s put it on the bar, then and call it good.”

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Overheard last evening in the Ladies Room of a rather fancy restaurant:

Oh my god…I am so wasted

Ya, you’re pretty bad

I haven’t had a drink in three years. I’m so wasted.

You drank at last year’s party, didn’t you?

No, I haven’t drank in three years.

But you were so wasted at last year’s Christmas party. That was crazy.

I wasn’t drunk, tho, I just smoked the pot, remember?

Oh ya…right. You are so wasted.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Kozy Kountry Kristmas

This past weekend a friend invited me to go with her to the “Annual Christmas Open House Tour” that takes place in a little town not too far from here. Those who participate in the “Open House” are local folks who decorate their homes and sell crafts, baked goods, and gift items. As a visitor, you have a map and you drive from decorated house to decorated house to shop for lovely Christmas goodies in this quaint rural area. As a rule, I should never be invited to go along on one of these things because despite my morphing into Martha the odd time, I am not a fan of crafts. Especially crafts that involve angels, cheap-smelling candles, and Avon gift sets as seemed to be the norm for this particular *Tour*. I do enjoy this friend of mine, however, so I went along like a trooper and tried my best not to be my usual bitchy snob of a self.

The first house was a teensy place with plastic candy canes lining the walk. We entered the house to be greeted by a huge woman sitting on a very puffy sagging couch. Between the couch and the 6' big-screen TV across from it, there was a walkway about six inches wide. We marched in to see what she had on display. There was a lamp made from a cup and saucer, several odd-colored candles in canning jars, and some wire hangers with knitting on them to make them into sort of a padded hanger thing. T-A-C-K-Y. I always feel like I have to say something at this point so I don’t start laughing…so I exclaimed, “How WONderful!” My friend looked at me like I was completely nuts. “Just look at these candles…and how cute is this tea cup lamp?” The lady kept watching her humongous TV so we turned around in-place and headed towards the front door. I uttered the obligatory yet jolly “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” as we proceeded down the candy cane lined path.

Another house (again, this place was teensy) was festively decorated with bows and lights. We were met at the door by a woman with tons of makeup and the largest rear end I have ever seen. She introduced herself and led us by her waddling bum to a kitchen and dining area filled with more knitted hangers and several dishes of food that looked a bit difficult to identify. She exclaimed how she is a Tastefully Simple Rep and this food is sooooooooo fantastic because you never have to add more than one or two ingredients! Not only does she do the home parties, she will take orders DIRECT for all of our favorite foods! “How NICE!” I exclaimed as I viewed her lovely display of pre-packaged foods...all loaded with fat, sodium, and mysterious preservatives that make them so wonderfully yet tastefully simple. I pictured myself suddenly growing an ass as large as hers and I went into a slight panic. "Wow, only two ingredients to add...this stuff looks amazing!" I said with enthusiasm. I am the reigning queen of sarcasm after this day of crafts and festive holiday food.

My favorite house was the “Christmas Cabin”. The place looked like a log cabin kit. Under H’s watchful eye, I have become an unwilliing yet highly educated student of quality house construction. (See blog- Summer, 2005) This most definitely qualified as a homeowner special. H would have marked it with a big red F. The “cabin” was decked out in light pine paneling kind of a tongue and groove look…all decorated in holiday cheer. The “Cabin” ambiance would have had me had it not been for the blue shag carpeting and overstuffed, misshapen couch/loveseat with matching coffee table in the living room. What the hell kind of log cabin has shag carpeting? And cheapy Wickes furniture?? As we proceeded to the dining room/kitchen, the flooring changed to a white linoleum. Not only white linoleum but white linoleum with heat registers cut into the floor. Little House on the Prarie Not. FAKERS, I wanted to scream, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING WITH THIS CABIN. Instead, I glowed, “Quite a house…did you build it yourself?”

Just a bit more holiday cheer from rural Indiana. I am so going to burn in hell someday.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

You can ring my

A couple of weeks ago, H & I were home on a Friday night, having kind of a *cocktails and snacks hour* (formerly known as Happy Hour but now that we are no longer hanging out in bars, we have renamed it to suite our more geriatric at-home theme), and watching TV. As per usual, H had full control of the remote so we were watching nanoseconds of every channel on cable tv. Also as per usual, he stopped at a station that drives me batty, the local cable access channel. It isn’t that I don’t care about all things local; it is more the home-video look of the set. The people, especially the one county sheriff who is the host of most of the shows look washed out, oddly shaped, and generally in ill health due to the low video quality and amateur-ish format. So I hate watching it. Anyway, H’s channel-surfing came to an abrupt halt on this cable channel because it was a show about the local Salvation Army chapter.

H: I thing I wanna ringa bell thisyr.

As if on cue, the washed out oddly shaped sheriff in ill-looking health seemed to have heard H’s drunken proclamation.

WOOSS: Sooo, what’s that number again? Can we put it up on the monitor, Bill?

H: I’ma gonna ringa bell. Wherz thphone?

(Note to self: Do not, I repeat DO NOT sign up for anything having to do with serving the public during *cocktails and snacks hour*!)

Since H was probably the one and only caller that evening, The Captain from the Salvation Army called almost immediately to assign him to a 3-week schedule of bell ringing. At WalMart.

Last night was H’s premier as the WalMart Bell Ringer! After work we went thru a lengthy discussion on whether he should go with the traditional “Merry Christmas” or the more politically correct, “Best wishes for a happy holiday, Christmas, Kwanza, etc.” when he receives a donation in his *kettle*. Of course I suggested he go with a complete religious theme and shout out a hearty “Peace be with you child of the lord!”. H carefully chose his tasteful yet thermo-protective clothing as standing outside WalMart in a north wind calls for some serious layering. He left the house a man determined to spread holiday cheer. And to stay warm.

When he got home, I immediately asked him if we should consider suing the Salvation Army for damages due to carpel-tunnel syndrome in his bell-ringing hand. He stoically said no, but maybe we could do something about the psychological damage of having to watch WalMart patrons for an entire evening. In particular, there was one child who was handed some money by his mother so he could put it in the kettle. H said that as the kid went to put the money in, he FAKED putting it in the slot and kept the money for himself.

Welcome to holiday time in NW Indiana…