Monthly Archives: December 2012

~ Mad Elf ~

Do you remember Mad Libs?  A few weeks ago, Goggy and Papa bought Critter a Mad Elf as a reward for getting such good grades.   It’s a little gizmo that asks you to supply words, then incorporates those words into a pre-written story, and tells it.

In an elf voice.

And apparently all elves suck Helium before speaking.

If you remember back in ~ Love Chain ~ we had gone to visit My Captain at the fire station where he was working overtime, because we missed him, because he’s working so hard, and because he has been away so much from his family during this holiday, he was a little bit down.

We arrived at Station 23….

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…..gave him his advent chain, and then Critter brought out his new Mad Elf.

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My Captain allowed Critter to suck him into a story.

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He took direction well from Varmint.

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Critter’s schtick is pretty much like any other 9-year-old boy’s would be….

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…every time he was asked for a noun, he offered: ‘Poop.’  Every time he was asked for a plural noun, he offered:  ‘Buttcheeks.’  Every time he was asked for a verb, he offered: ‘Farting.’    You get the picture.  This is nothing new to us.  But it cracks Critter up every stinkin’ time.

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My Captain was not only able to understand the humor….he regressed and met Critter on that level with such alacrity and ease it was astounding.

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And frankly, I think he needed that.

So to anyone suffering the blues during the holidays, I advise you to go immediately to your nearest Hallmark and buy a Mad Elf, because frankly, there are few things in this world funnier than hearing the word “Buttcheeks” in an elf-voice.

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~ Define ‘Normal’ ~

My Captain and I got to spend time with old friends last night.  We don’t get to see them very often, so when it happens, we like to fill the time with deep thoughts, introspection, and soulful heart to heart conversation.

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It was a wonderful evening of philosophy and debate.

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We talked politics, romance, and religion.

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I won’t lie to you, the discussion was intense at times.

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But the food was good.

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As was the fellowship.

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This is how our friend, Jim, met us at the movie theatre.

Jim doesn’t really have a moustache.

Other than that, he and his wife, Tammy, are completely ‘Normal.’

And we love ’em!

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~ Christmas Eve Eve ~

All of my Vegetarian Friends….read no further.  Save yourselves!  Turn away!

All of you carnivorous son-of-a-guns, check this out!

This Christmas Eve Eve,  Grandma Jane served us the most beeeyouteefull Standing Rib Roast from Hedgeapple Farm EVER.

It was straight out of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch That Stole Christmas, too.  It was the purtiest Roast Beast I’ve ever seen.

And My Captain carved it for her, being the most trustworthy of the group with sharp tools.  (The rest of us have dubious pasts with carving cooked animal flesh, and were not to be trusted.)

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It was an adult night, just the four of us:  Grandma Jane, her Mike, Me, and My Captain.

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It was a night with vegetables that were eaten without whining.

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It was a night with MUSHROOMS.  I’m telling you, friends, fungus was heavily involved, sautéed with onions in red wine and butter, and served without reservation.

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There was good silver used.

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Candles with real flames were lit.

The old family china was in place.

You’d think with all of these clues, everyone would be behaving in their most respectable, and mature fashion.

Well, we did.  Until ….

Mike brought out  the game “Fact or Crap.”

And that was the end of that.

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All in all, it was a WONDERFUL evening.  Yes, I missed my munchkins, but as far as all-adult evenings go, this was certainly up there in the ‘time-well-spent’ department.

Facts are facts: my mom isn’t always going to be here.  I will be a mess when she decides to leave (and I do mean decides, because she isn’t going anywhere until she is darn good and ready.  Even the Good Lord knows this.) and dread the day.   My hope, which I suspect is futile, is that I can store up enough moments like these to last me until it’s my turn to leave.

(And that won’t be until I’m darn good and ready.)

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~ Lean On Me ~

Three weeks ago, Critter helped me carry the newly cut Christmas tree into the little cottage, and Varmint helped me put it up in the stand.  My Captain was working overtime, having an overly developed sense of fiscal responsibility.

I keep telling him they’ve done away with debtor’s prisons, but he doesn’t believe me.  It’s very sad.


Varmint held the sweet little evergreen tree as I screwed the bolts of the stand into the trunk.  It held.  We were pleased.

And went on about our business.

Fast forward, three weeks later:


It is leaning into the wall and….


…alarmingly to the left.

My Captain, who normally is in charge of anything construction or structurally related in our house, has been kind about this unfortunate turn of events.  He has not criticized.  He has not condemned.  He has not even snickered or teased.

But if anyone comes to visit us, he is very quick to say, “I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT,” and unhesitatingly throws me under the bus.

Look, the way I see it is, if it hasn’t actually fallen, and it makes it to New Years, when we take it down, it’s fine.  Charlie Brown had a crooked little tree, and it charmed the socks off of everyone.  So what if ours is very, er, angular, and has a rubber chicken in it?  It’s still dag-gum charming!

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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~ Naked Christmas Chicken ~

Of all of the beautiful and sentimental Christmas traditions in our family, I believe one of my favorites is between Grandma Jane’s main squeeze, Mike Buchanan, and me.

You see, every year, at Christmas, we give each other the gift of the ridiculous, but a few years ago, I got him the ultimate ridiculousness.

With baited breath, he opened up his beautifully and tastefully wrapped present from me, and beheld a naked rubber chicken from The Dollar Store.

It was a thing of beauty.  Completely tacky, looking like something you would have found in Steve Martin’s dressing room, it even smelled that awful cheap rubber smell.

He immediately placed that absurd naked foul on the Christmas tree.   And there it sat: a symbol of all that is ridiculous and funny in our lives.  A reminder not to take ourselves too seriously during the holidays, or any other time during the year.  A reminder that no gift from me is too cheap or tasteless.

The next Christmas, I opened my gift from Mike….and there, lovingly nestled (crammed) in amongst the glittery tissue (re-used) was the beloved Christmas Chicken.

I immediately placed it on the Christmas tree, where it harkened all who beheld it to chuckle, grin, or silently wonder, “What the …..?”

And so it has gone, back and forth, and back, and forth at Christmas.

Until this year.

When I gave it to Mike for his Birthday.

But despite that little hiccup, this Christmas, under the tree, lay the same box I had given the chicken to Mike on his birthday.


You can tell by the cupcakes.

And of course, it was immediately opened, and given its exalted spot on the tree.


Don’t judge.  Every family has its peculiarities.


Ours are just…more peculiar than others…..

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