Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recess Duty

I had recess duty today.
It was an unexpected assignment, on a freezing cold day. Luckily, I always have my ratty old "fire-drill coat" hanging from the back of my door because I hadn't worn a coat to school.
I know, I know, "what if you got into a wreck while driving!" As irresponsible as it is, I often don't wear my coat. It's a short dash from the parking lot to the doors of the school, it's warm inside, and a coat is bulky in the car, hot in the store.
I was wearing a sweater along with my extra fluffy, extra long scarf. I figured with the coat, scarf, casual-Friday jeans and a sweater, I could last my half-hour assignment on the snowy playground.`
As I stepped outside, a light snow raced along on a breeze. I was glad my scarf was long enough to tuck the fringed ends into my pockets to snuggle my hands.
I surveyed the play areas, frosted wood chips under the monkey bars, kids persisting in a Winter soccer game, girls whispering and giggling, leaning against the walls of the portable.
Two little guys, kindergartners, approach me.
"Will you put on my gloves?"
"Sure, hold up your hand. Push it in. No, hold out your thumb and spread out your this. Push hard, there! Give me your other hand. What's your name?"
I get his gloves on and off they go but in a couple of minutes they're back.
"Will you put on my gloves again?"
"Okay, give me your hand..." The scene is repeated.
They come back! This time, he takes off his gloves in front of me, reaches up under his coat and hitches up his pants. I realize they are a size too big. He can't hitch up his hand-me-down pants without taking off his snowy gloves! When he's done, he turns to me holding out his gloves and I know what to do without being asked.
His little friend exclaims, "My hands are freezing!" He has them clenched up inside the sleeves of a light coat that is too big for him.
"His mom gave him girl mittens!"
The little boy nods in affirmation.
"How do you know they're girl mittens?" I ask.
"They're purple!"
"Well, boys can wear purple mittens. Let me see."
He pulls out lavender mittens, girl mittens. His little hands are frozen.
"You know what, it doesn't matter what color they are! They keep your hands nice and warm. If anyone says anything you just tell them you don't care what color they are, you want to be warm! Give me your hand, hold your fingers like this..." Soon the mittens are on.
"Here, let's zip up your coat."
"The zipper's broken."
I feel like crying when I advise him to hold the two sides closed by crossing his arms.
They go off to my side to play "pick up big chunks of snow and drop them on the ground". I hear them giggling and turn to see one holding a chunk of snow that looks, remarkably, like a breast prosthesis, up to the chest of the other.
"Chi chi" he says with a naughty giggle. The other looks down and snickers, "yea, chi chi."
"Boys, that's not nice" I say as I shake my head. They sheepishly giggle. The bell rings and they run to line up, only after Jesus has taken off his gloves to hold up his pants.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creepy Santa

Sometime in the early 1960's, the era of shiny aluminum Christmas trees, plastic reindeer and the first Charlie Brown Christmas, my grandma Alba bought us a Santa. Standing about two feet tall, it wore a plush polyester Santa suit with little black plastic boots. His face was also plastic, plastic that had been molded into features that were decidedly not Santa-like. He didn't look like the Santas we were used to, Santas like the Coke-Cola Santa, Norman Rockwell Santa or the Santa in the movies. No, this Santa looked more like a happily demented, half-Asian, leprechaun who somehow had stolen a Santa suit.
Over the years, once we realized he was harmless, we came to appreciate him. He was our creepy Santa. He was a conversation piece. No one else had one like it, that we knew of.

Just a couple of years ago, while looking at a web site about abandoned places, I found another creepy Santa! This was Creepier Santa! His little hands, seemingly ready to strangle you in your sleep, his unfocused icey blue eyes, ghaaaaa!This got my daughter Shan and I thinking, "there are other Creepy Santas out there!" She knew she had to have one of her own. One that would terrorize her own sweet, children some Christmas in the future. The first photo of "cute, Creepy Santa" is actually one that she bought on ebay a couple of years ago.

THEN..I saw THIS Santa!!

It is Creepy Santa incarnate!
How could anyone hand their baby over to such a monster?

He doesn't look like our Creepy Santa...

but he's creepy, baby!
Oh... he's creepy.

Check out

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Oh, no!! Run to the bell tower! Alert the villagers!
Catzilla is among us!!!

Screams of terror float on the air above the Dicken's Village. The tiny villagers are frozen with fear as Catzilla steps carefully past the Tutbury Printer and Faversham Lamps to peer inside the Ole Curiosity Shop!

Innocent school children, anxiously huddled together, are witness to the carnage!
Only the pitiable, village idiot continues to sled blithely, calling "Heeer Kiiittteee, Kiitttttteee!"

Beans has suddenly developed an interest in the snow village! She loves the perpetual skaters in the other village, often perching on the nearby chair arm, her head following them as they skate in their never-ending circle. Every now and then she, very gently, reaches out a paw and knocks one of the figures over. Now she is on the prowl for more of the little villagers to playfully paw. She just can't figure out why, in this village, nobody moves... aside from the fact that they are frozen in fear!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Duggar's Greet Baby #19

I'm surprised by how little the media has responded to the delivery of the Duggar's 19th baby.
I'm surprised the Duggars themselves haven't been wringing every little drop of publicity they can out of this birth, as they have their other blessed events.
Forty-two year old Michelle Duggar delivered her 19th baby by emergency c-section yesterday. The baby girl, due March 18th, weighed only 1 lb. 6 oz.
I am sad for the family and especially for mom Michelle, but this is the reality of a forty-two year old woman who has already had 18 children. The incidence of birth defects and birth difficulties and even maternal death increase with every year past 35.
When the family announced the pregnancy, it was all "happy, happy, joy, joy!" You were quickly reminded of their other 18 upstanding, good-looking, moral, industrious, cheerful and intelligent children if you dared bring up her age or the toll on her body. You were a party-pooper or worse, anti-family!
As long as the outcome is happy lucky pretty, we're all ears, but don't tell us about the outcome that reflects reality.
I hope Michelle is okay and that their poor baby makes it .
I hope she and BillieBob, or whatever his name is, think real hard before a number 20.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Enjoy a little tour of our Christmas world.

I think we've all established that it's family that makes the holidays bright. But the trimmings at Christmas, for me and mine, are not only powerful links to the past, but stir the very emotions called up in this tender season. A decision not to include an item displayed in previous childhood years, is met with wails of protest, because of the special place it holds in the hearts of family members.
As I peruse decorating blogs and magazines, admiring the beautiful Christmas decor ideas in trendy colors or elegant themes, I realize that my Christmas decorations, not decor, are decidedly distinct.
They reflect, sometimes literally, years of collecting.

Close to half of all the ornaments that hang from the branches of our tree are pre-1960, bought at estate sales and thrift shops. Some were inherited from Grandma. They are all glass, with finishes that have tarnished and flaked over the years, giving them character.

The Dept.56 Village pieces were bought, almost always at After Christmas sales or at store closings or as beloved gifts from Don, whom over the years has come to appreciate the charming collectables almost as much as I do. My children especially love the villages and I have made sure that I have a number divisible by 4, so that when the time comes to divvy them up, each will get an equal amount. I look forward to the day when little grandchildren stand on tippy-toes to peek at Scrooge observing the past in Fezziwig's Ballroom and stare in fascination( as the cats do) as the tiny, porcelain skaters glide in their never-ending circle at the London Skating Club.

Perhaps they will wish they could eat some of the diminutive treats displayed in the windows of Lafayette's Bakery or Mrs. Stover's Bungalow Candies.

By New Year's day, I have "had enough" and am anxious to get it all packed away for another year. But for these next few weeks, it wouldn't be Christmas without the glitter and glow of our beloved trimmings.

Enjoy a little tour of our Christmas world.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Successful Thanksgiving with the Baker Girls

The turkey was tender and juicy.
My sister Cheryl's rolls were scrumptious.
The tables looked festive.
And I remembered to buy the pies.

But what made it wonderful was family.