Thursday, December 21, 2006

Global Warming Hits Minnesota

I think we finally have undeniable proof of global warming this year. Not only is the frozen tundra of the north facing a brown Christmas, but today it is raining. Raining! I don't mean freezing rain or drizzle. I mean a downpour. It is cloudy and wet and icky outside, but I don't need a coat Minnesota. What more proof do we need?!?!

Besides soaking the ground for the inevitable freeze that will send semis skidding off the highways, this quirky weather system has also dampened the holiday spirit around here. No loud snowmobiles rumble down the quiet neighborhood streets. The holiday lights look almost pathetic with those dark rain clouds hanging overhead. The ski resorts can barely manufacture enough snow to remain open. And the ice skating rink by our house is a giant brown mud puddle. Worst of all, I bought CT a snowboard for Christmas! Needless to say, I feel very Grinchy today.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today's Favorite Quote

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.
-Bernard Manning

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Monday, December 18, 2006

O Christmas Card! Thou Art the Unceasing Agony in My Otherwise Cheery Holiday Disposition

I spent all weekend working on finishing up my Christmas cards. For those who don't know, I am the sucker that spends a majority of my holiday season creating handmade masterpieces that probably hang on my loved ones' refrigerators before being tossed in the nearest trash can on December 26. OK, that's a really negative outlook for this jolly time. The truth is, I enjoy making least the first 10 or so. Anyway, I was so proud of this year's totally original design. I won't post a photo yet so not to ruin the surprise for my friends and family who eagerly log on to read my rants and will receive this card via snail mail any day now. You'll just have to take my word that it is a fabulous card. Since we cut our Christmas card list down to just 80 this year, I took it upon myself to make a more complex, yet imaginative design. I have decided based on this foolish decision, that I may not be in my right mind around the holidays. Perhaps I am lured into some strange Christmas fit of madness by the festive holiday music that begins playing in the grocery store at Halloween and I never fully recover until stuffed pink Easter Bunnies make their appearance on the store shelves sometime in February. Nevertheless, I endeavored and labor-intensive, yet stunning, Christmas card this year. It never fails that I fall completely in love with my card until about the 10th card. By about the 30th card, I start shortening the already shortened recipient list. And by the 50th card I detest the whole Christmas card ritual and make excuses as to why certain family members don't deserve this work of art anyway. The only thought that gets me through is the knowledge that at least my mom will appreciate the effort. It is the duty of every mother to marvel at the child's creative talents no matter how lacking those talents may be. And my mother has continued to honor this maternal commitment since the days of fingerpaintings and crayon scribbles (thanks Mom!).

So, I labored on these cards this weekend. Not a labor of love, but of obligation. I was liberated from burden late last night when I finally placed the pastage stamps on each envelope and put them in a box to take to the post office. Having been released from the holiday card bondage, I was again excited about my little Christmas showpieces and I rushed to the post office before dawn this morning to drop them in the box and send them on their merry way to delight my dearest friends and family. So, you can imagine how frustrated I was to find that my local mailbox was crammed so full of other people's store-bought, completely boring greeting cards that I couldn't stuff any of my cards in the slot...not even the card addressed to Mom! ARGHHH!! Oh Christmas Cards, will your harassment never end?!?

But do not fret, my friends, I am not yet beaten. I made my way to another nearby suburb to a almost hidden out-of-the-way mail receptacle and gleefully tossed in my multitude of Christmas cheer. I even managed to still make it to work on time! What I've learned from this year's experience can be summed up by the following: I hereby promise and swear to treasure each and every Christmas card I receive this year (especially those handmade by other creative elves out there) and cherish them dearly....until at least December 27.

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Today's Favorite Quote

Every kid, at the back of his mind, vaguely but insistently, believes that he will be struck blind before his 21st birthday. And then they'll be sorry.

-Ralphie (A Christmas Story)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Today's Favorite Quote

What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
-Phyllis Diller

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Knitted Overalls?

My new niece and her favorite aunt.

Now, that my sweet little niece has been born, I can finally share the photos of my latest knitting project. I worked for months on these little knitted overalls. Not just any ordinary baby sweater would do. I had to knit something that would be unique and stand out in a crowd. It's not pastel and it's not frilly, but you have to admit it's adorable!

Front: Those little buttons took an eternity to sew on. For those who don't know, I am sewing challenged.

Back: Check out those cute little pockets. I have no idea what a baby keeps in her pockets, but they are cute nonetheless.

As usual, I welcome your comments on my latest project (that's my way of fishing of compliments, people!) Why don't y'all ever comment anyway? I know you're out there! Perhaps my uncanny wit has dumbfounded you and you are unable to speak, much less type. Or maybe you have surfed so long that you no longer have a free thought or opinion in your head and you are lulled into believing and agreeing with everything you read on the net. In this case, my beauty has recently won me the title of Miss America and you must send me cash in order to prevent a massive earthquake that will destroy us all.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

CBDS Strikes the Nation

In an attempt to solve all the world's problems, our local newspaper ran an article on how to tie a bow today. So before I turn my attention to the problems of the middle east and stem cell research, I will pass on this valuable information to all the crafters out there who struggle with CBDS (Christmas Bow Deficiency Syndrome) day after day. Although CBDS is more noticeable around the holidays, this heartbreaking illness is common and symptoms can be seen in cards, gifts, scrapbooks and sewing projects year-round. There is no cure for CBDS, but if you or someone you love is suffering with the disease, the instruction below can offer some relief.

  1. Start as if to tie your shoe and twist, leaving it longer on one side.

  2. Bring ribbon across bottom of twist, up over the side and across the top of twist. Tuck under twist and pull back toward yourself. It is now stable. No knots are necessary. Make a loop and pinch in the middle.

  3. Bring the short piece of ribbon across the top and tuck through hole formed by pinching the loop.

  4. Tighten bow and trim ribbon ends by folding each one in half, left to right as is you were closing a book. Cut on the diagonal, away from yourself, forming an upside down v.

Now to sort out that pesky little UN mess...

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Today's Favorite Quote

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.

-Johnny Carson

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Monday, December 11, 2006

I Will Buy Pink

Yippee! I am the proud aunt of a beautiful new niece. Ok, I haven't met her yet but I know she's beautiful. For those of you keeping track of such things, PKBS gave birth this morning by c-section to a healthy baby girl at 7:56 am. She weighed 8 lbs. 9.2 oz.

I want to rush right out to the store and buy everything pink I can find, but I'll have to try to contain myself. I was hoping for a girl. Besides the new little angel, PK and I have 2 nephews and another niece (but she is in college and as far as I can tell, pink frilly things are not the latest style around campus).

I love being an aunt, especially when I know how much CT looks up to all his aunts and uncles. It's a great way to have incredible influence, but very little real responsibility. In fact, I highly recommend being an aunt or uncle. If you happen to be an only child and married to another only child, then I suggest you make yourself an honorary aunt or uncle to someone else's kid. It is advisable to pick a child you actually know. I think it is frowned upon to pick up some stranger's kid and insist they call you "Uncle Doug". Anyway, be an aunt or uncle and buy pink (or remote control cars). It is incredibly gratifying without the pain of childbirth or paying for college.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Honey, Is There Any Food Here for Us?

You know you have a busy holiday season ahead of you, when you buy a week's worth of groceries and none of it is for your family to eat.

For instance, this week I prepared for the potluck at work by baking the cookie dough I purchased from my my nephew for his school fundraiser. Obviously, the house smelled of fresh, hot cookies. PK and CT groaned when I told them they could only have a few and the rest were for work. Poor PK was shot down when he recommended I make a second batch of cookies for us to keep at home. "No, those are for the cookie exchange next week," I reminded him, "What do you want for dinner?"

"I thought you were making tacos," he said pointing to the taco shells on the counter.

"No, that's for taco night at the scrapbooker's retreat this weekend."

"Oh, and the cake is for the birthday party?" He remembered that it's my turn to bring treats for the birthday girl at work this week.

"Honey," he said meekly "is there any food here for us?"

The answer is, of course, NO! I wonder if this is a phenomenon everywhere. Men all over the country are literally starving to death because they are being denied the tasty seasonal delicacies that surround us everywhere this time of year. No wonder they never gain weight over the holidays like we do! They aren't allowed to eat until the new year!

Well, not my men, ladies! Let them pack on the pounds and make weak diet resolutions like the rest of us, I say! I did make that second batch of cookies....and they've eaten like kings, I can tell you.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Today's Favorite Quote

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

-Dr. Seuss

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Monday, December 04, 2006

An Ode

By KellyFaith

Bucket standing beside the bed
Jackhammer in my head
Standing guard beside the bowl
Trying hard to hit the goal
Of delicious food and drink
One like me can hardly think
Oh, how much I hate you
Cruel and vile stomach flu

(Don't groan. You can't expect Emerson from someone feeling this bad!)

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