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Not a Famous Monstrous Monday

His expression is not as festive as his attire.

Well, why not have a Monstrous Monday on Christmas Eve?  For one reason, I don’t have much else.  I went running this morning, intending to do a Running Commentary.  Steven and I had breakfast at Heidelberg Cafe in Herkimer, NY prior to picking up rolls for tomorrow’s Christmas feast, so I could have done a shout-out to a local business.  Well, sometimes these things do not work out.  Right now I want to get back to celebrating Christmas Eve with my loved ones, so I will attempt to come up with something mildly entertaining at least.

What could be more Monstrous Christmas Eve than Boris Karloff reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”?

Here is another Frankenstein/Christmas mash-up: the most famous portrayer of the former reading a classic tale about the latter.  But adding the macabre to Christmas is by no means original to me.  There is even a line in a Christmas song, “There’ll be scary ghost stories…”

Who doesn’t love a ghost at Christmas?

We watched two different versions of A Christmas Carol yesterday and might have watched  a third if I hadn’t pooped out (I only mentioned one in my blog post; do you suppose I should go back and edit?).  It is perhaps the most famous Christmas ghost story.

And now I see that I am over 200 words.  Regular readers know I call that respectable, especially for my more foolish posts.  Happy Christmas Eve and Monstrous Monday, everyone!



That Squirrel Didn’t Bring Me a Present!

So I have about twenty minutes before Steven gets home from work and thought I might be able to get my blog post done.  He fooled me yesterday.  I thought he worked till 5:30 but it was only till five.  He’s sneaky that way, but I think I have the right time today.  What I do not have is a blog post, but we’ll see what I can come up with.

Earlier today, I was out on our deck, taking out the trash and recyclables, when I heard a hoarse chirpy kind of sound.  This dumb squirrel was on our tree, eating a nut and, apparently, taking exception to my presence on my own deck.  I told him what I thought, but he was not impressed.  Like any self-respecting person of the 21st century would do, I went inside to get a device to take his picture.

If I only had audio, you could hear how audacious this critter was.

I’m afraid it is a little too dark, but my Tablet does not have a flash.  At least, maybe it does but I don’t know how to turn it on.  OK, I am not really a self-respecting person of the 21st century, but I would like to be someday.

Anyways, I sat down to write a blog post with the words “But Here’s a Squirrel” in the title, then I thought I’d like to add a couple more pictures.  So here is an update on a couple of our Christmas decorations.  We’ve added presents.

Steven surprised me with this tableau.

It seems so appropriate for Santa Claus to hold my Christmas presents until you remember: he gives presents to GOOD little boys and girls.  I’ve always suspected that elf was a pushover.  These presents have been on our stairs for a few days now, but I just added the following yesterday:

But can we trust this motley crew not to open them?

This scene is a little busier, and the presents are not wrapped as well.  No matter.  It is Christmas Eve.  This is the day we realize we are not going to have the Norman Rockwell, Hallmark Card Christmas we envisioned back in November, and that is OK.  Enjoy your Christmas if you celebrate it; if not, enjoy whatever you do.  Peace.


Couldn’t It Just Be About Egg Nog?

Oh dear, am I going to have a Wrist to Forehead Saturday on Christmas Eve Eve? It would seem that way, since I am currently, clench-teethedly fighting the type-it-in-then-backspace-it-out disease.  I have not done enough for a Scattered Saturday.  I did not go running.  I left the house once, and the most notable thing about that was how much further around the parking lot I walked to avoid stepping in deep puddles.  All I could think of was how I used to LOVE slushing through the slush when I was a kid.  And how dumb I was not to wear my flood boots.  Well, one cannot always think of everything.

I have been doing some Christmas making but not baking.  White Trash and Chex Party Mix (full disclosure: I use store brand cereal).  I thought I might forgo the cookies but now am second-guessing myself.  I could spend the evening or tomorrow morning baking cookies.  How can I have Christmas without cookies?  What kind of a lazy, Scroogey, Grinchy kind of scumbag am I?  And I already bought the chocolate chips.  How selfish would it be of me to keep them from their ultimate destiny of brightening somebody’s Christmas in a delicious cookie.

This is how I beat myself up at the holidays.  If dithering burned calories, I could eat all the cookies I wanted and still be a size five (yes, I was a size five once, as an adult; it didn’t last long).  I know, Christmas is not supposed to be about material things like presents and good food (or presents of good food), but presence and good friends (the presence of good friends) and family.  My problem is I am not such a great shakes as a human being that people should be happy just to see ME.  And it is certainly a lot easier to bake cookies and wrap a present than to try to improve my humanity.

Oh well, maybe my small heart will grow three sizes one day.  In the meantime, I am over 300 words and I just thought of a fairly catchy title for this foolishness.  It makes it a kind of a Non-Sequitur Saturday, but I like it.  Merry Christmas Eve Eve, everyone.


We’ll Call It a Win

I hope everybody is having a Merry Christmas Eve Eve.  That is what a friend of my sister’s declared December 23 many years ago.  They said, “Today is Christmas Eve Eve.”  They even got a little silly and started saying that yesterday had been Christmas Eve Eve Eve.  I don’t remember how many Eves they got to before they got bored with it, but they had no use for my suggestion that the day after Christmas must be Christmas Vee.

I lead with a memory to avoid straight out declaring that this is Wuss-out Wednesday, but I think we all knew it was coming.   Christmas preparations, what a tiring endeavor!  I had thought to write a blog post while at work today and save us all the pain of Wuss-out Wednesday, but I had no ideas.  Then I started thinking about a murder mystery I had committed to write and found out I actually had lots of ideas.  Once I got on break, I started writing on that.  Oh, what fun!  I love writing murder mysteries!

Just to be clear:  it’s not a novel and it’s not a real play.  It is interactive dinner theatre.  At one time I wrote a good many of them. They were very well received by certain North Country audiences in the 1990s.  But people who go on about past glories are tiresome (except when it’s “tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago,” like in the song).

After work, I had barely an hour and a half before Steven got off work and it was time to whisk off to Rome and my parents’ house.  I thought briefly about making my blog post then, but I had several chores to finish.  With that in mind, I put on some coffee, jumped in the shower and once I was clean, dry and dressed, I got to work.  I packed, I wrapped, I loaded the car, I checked my to-do list for what I had forgotten, I took care of the stuff I had forgotten, I remembered some stuff that was not on the list, I took care of that.

And I got it all done!  All Steven had to do when he got home was change his clothes, put coffee in travel mugs and let me drive us to Rome.   I was awesome!  At least, I have not yet remembered anything else I forgot, so we’ll call it a win.

And now I have written an unusual 400 some words on my silly blog post for the day.  If only I could come up with a title, I would be reasonably content with my lot in life.  Hmmm… nothing is coming, although I am getting a few more ideas for that murder mystery.


At Least the Presents are Wrapped

It is almost 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and I have not written my blog post yet. I can hear church bells ringing outside, and the vague headache that has been plaguing me most of the week has returned. On the brighter side, I have done everything I had to get done before picking up my hubby at work at 6:30. Except load the car. And gas up. And make my blog post.

The devil on my shoulder (you know, how in the cartoons the character has a devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, each trying to convince her of a certain course of action?) is saying, “It’s Wuss-out Wednesday! Why not go all the way and not post ANYTHING?” She knows there is no chance of convincing me of the extreme option, but she tries. The angel (and you thought I didn’t have one) (you know who you are) is saying, “It is Christmas Eve, one of the holiest nights of the year. Is it respectful to wuss out on such a night?”

As they continue to argue, I will just share a little half-baked philosophy that I perhaps ought to hold for Lame Post Friday, but what the heck, it’s a holiday. Does anybody else feel as if Jesus was really born on Christmas Eve? After all, according to the story it was night time when the shepherds watched their flocks and the angel came and told them to follow the star. Then again, according to the song “The First Noel” the star gave such great light that it continued both day and night. Oh, but in the Rankin/Bass Christmas special about “The Little Drummer Boy,” the Three Kings traveled at night so they could follow the star.

Now I’m getting bogged down in argument, mixed up in my sources and, I confess, a little silly. Or a lot. And why not? In another couple of hours I will be with family to celebrate a holiday of joy, peace and goodwill. Have I first wussed out on my blog post? Perhaps so. But Merry Christmas Eve anyways. If you’re celebrating, I hope your celebration is grand.

One last note: I finally came up with that title. Does it seem to you as if Non-Sequitur Thursday came a day early? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Christmas Guilt

You wouldn’t think I would have a Tired Tuesday when I’m on vacation, but so it is. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not very sick; I’m apparently just sick enough. I truly had not meant to complain about it, but it’s part of the reason I’m publishing a kind of a crappy post today. I’ll count your forgiveness for that as another Christmas present (which would work out fine, except I was bad all year so do not expect any presents).

Where was I? Ah yes, another Christmas where my half-baked plans have once again gone awry. “Half-baked plans?” you say. “I thought you went in for half-baked philosophy on Lame Post Friday. I was kind of looking forward to that.” (Oh, OK, I guess nobody but me looks forward to my Friday Lame Post; I thought for once I would let my imaginary reader say something nice about the blog).

In this case, half-baked plans is… not exactly right but appropriate. I have in fact done less than half of the baking I had planned. Well, I didn’t want to start it too soon, in case the cookies got stale or (more likely) eaten. And I’ve been busy. So here I am the day before Christmas Eve and not much done.

As yesterday’s post detailed, I have baked one batch of the most delicious cookies imaginable. Seriously, Steven ate one and said, “I LOVE you!” I am not above buying affection. I went to rehearsal (for the play I’m in, did I tell you about that?) (I was going to link back to a previous post where I did, but I can’t find it, sorry) and apologized to the cast for not bringing any in. Now they are mad at me for bringing it up and I don’t blame them. What was I thinking?

I was supposed to go to the store today and buy more powdered sugar but did not make it. At least I got the laundry done. Clean underwear is a good thing on Christmas week. Perhaps some would prefer I went commando and made cookies, but I daresay they wouldn’t want to hear about it and you know it is just the sort of thing I would mention (some of you are probably already taking in a deep breath to shout, “TMI!” I hate that expression).

I managed a batch of Chex Party Mix, the original recipe that you bake for 45 minutes. Then I took a two hour nap. In my defense, the dog wanted to, too. After I got up I made a batch of White Trash. That isn’t baking, but it is a very popular snack in my family.

I have rehearsal in about an hour and a half. It might be a good idea to study my lines some more (I also looked at them at the laundromat). I’m afraid I don’t have time to make the peppermint bark, even if I could find the recipe. Will I make it to the store and bake more cookies tomorrow? I DON’T KNOW! Will my family still love me if I don’t? I HOPE SO!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, everyone.

Picture This

My place of employment considers both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be paid holidays. Therefore I shall feel free to make another silly post, in addition to yesterday’s bit of whimsy (do you think that is a nicer word than “nonsense”? Discuss amongst yourselves).

The Mohawk Valley has gotten a dusting of snow for Christmas. Isn’t that delightful? The look without the pain of shoveling. As I write this I am aware that in other parts of the country people are sitting around in their shorts by barbecue pits thinking of our White Christmas with scornful pity. Well, to each his own, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.

I am in Rome, NY for the holidays (thieves, don’t take note; there is really nothing in my house worth stealing) (I do this joke every time, but if you go to rob my house anyways, please clean the bathroom, it needs it again). Perhaps by next year I will get the proper camera or smart phone and be able to post pictures to this blog. That would be a good thing, because the city of Rome has some of the nicest Christmas lights around.

Some of the display came from a large, fancy restaurant called Trinkaus Manor, which tragically burned down some years ago. Many people from Rome cherish memories of driving out to Trinkaus at Christmastime to walk around and see the lights. After the restaurant burned down, the city ended up with them. What a great Christmas gift. I hope later on tonight to take a drive downtown and see the sights.

I see now where this would have been a better post with pictures. Oh well, one does what one can. It is Wuss-out Wednesday after all. Once again, Merry Christmas.

What, Bloggers Don’t Get Holidays?

Merry Christmas Eve, to all my readers, regular and irregular (you know who you are).

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like Saturday, because I have the day off;, it feels like Sunday, because I’m very wrist-to-foreheady; and it feels like Friday, because I’m about to do an extremely lame post (and what does my computer mean by telling me “wrist-to-foreheady” is not a word? You all know what I mean, don’t you?).

My current stress is really all my fault, because of my silly obsession with posting every day. Not all bloggers post every day. Some post weekly or three times a week or just when they darn well feel like it.

Full disclosure: I don’t really feel all that stressed. I love Christmas Eve; it is my favorite day of the year. I confess to a certain… urgency. I want to post this before I have to finish loading the SUV and run a couple of errands before picking up my dear husband at his not-so-dear job (YES! We’re happy he has a job in this economy; doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a little better in some respects) (ooh, that might form the basis of some half-baked philosophy for when it really is Lame Post Friday).

I don’t have to finish it right now. We are going to my parents’ house and I could happily make my blog post from there; I’ve done it before. Only by then I will want to sit in the kitchen, eating good food and making silly jokes with everybody.

You know, it really is great fun to sit here at the computer typing nonsense. Who invented this blogging thing? I must send that person a thank you note.

Ooh, almost 300 words. That’s quite respectable. I’ll try to say something less nonsensical tomorrow. Then again, it will be Christmas.

Christmas Eve Walks

I don’t have anything mushy or profound to post on Christmas Day. Instead I have a fairly pedestrian post about walks I took with my dog Tabby on Christmas Eve.

Steven had to work from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. while my assignment was to get The Rest of Christmas Ready before heading to Rome and my parents’ house. Naturally as soon as he left the house, I got right to work. And by “to work” of course I mean onto the computer to make my blog post and check out what people were posting on Facebook. Then a walk was in order.

The walk was actually of a practical nature, because we went to the Post Office to mail out a couple of bills that were soon due. It was delightfully quiet in the neighborhood, although quite cold. The lobby of the post office was open, but not the window. Actually, I would expect the post office to be quiet on Christmas Eve, because then it is a little too late for Christmas cards or mailing presents. I remembered how last Christmas I had vowed I was going to mail everybody their Christmas presents so as not to have to load so much stuff into the car Christmas Eve. It was the first I had thought of that vow since I had made it, so you see how well it worked out.

After mailing the bills, Tabby wanted to keep walking, so I let her pull me here and there. The only thing I refused her was crossing Route 5, not so delightfully quiet. It might have been fun, since we rarely walk on that side of town, but I felt it was too cold. We would just have had to cross back again, and it was really too far if Tabby suddenly got sick of walking, as she occasionally does. We walked down Albany Street instead, another street we’re not often on. Tabby looked longingly at First Source Credit Union as we went by, but I assured her that nobody was there to give her a treat. The walk ended up taking a half hour. I felt exercised.

Later that morning, we went for another walk. I intended to give Tabby a bath and wanted to give her every opportunity to relieve herself first. I like to give Tabby a bath before we go on a visit. Friday might have been a better day, and Steven might have been able to help me then, but things do not always work out as we plan. The second walk was shorter and one of the usual routes: over to the Historic Four Corners, down through the little park at Basloe Library, the up Prospect Street to East German. I was surprised to see the streets were almost as quiet as they had been earlier. Some of the residential areas seemed almost deserted. I guess everybody went away for Christmas.

Tabby was not best pleased about the bath, but she endured like the good dog she is, so I was able to get her all pretty to go visit my parents. We took the third walk after she was dry. She indicated the desire for another business meeting, and I was not about to let a brand clean dog run by herself into the backyard. I put her on the leash and walked her around the block.

In between these walks, I made guacamole and chicken wing dip, wrapped presents, cleaned up after myself and generally finished up the Christmas chores. When Steven got home, we were ready but not raring to go. I was tired after my various exertions. Tabby, of course, got her second wind as soon as she saw us loading the car. When I picked up the kennel, there was no stopping her! We were off the celebrate Christmas!