Sunday, December 23, 2007


Here we are, on the afternoon of the night before the night before. It's bitter cold and these terribly strong winds are blowing the bit of snow that fell last night from county to county. In short, it's miserable.

I am not miserable, however, partly because I'm not a deer or a crow or any other non-hibernating, non-migrating Wisconsin creature, and partly because I've almost all my Christmassing ready. Gifts nearly all wrapped; cookies baked (they'll be smeared with frosting and sprinkled exuberantly with colored sugar, red hots and colored balls by the small girl, later today). I work tomorrow and then not until the day after New Year's.

That said, and in keeping in the tradition of happy, sappy holiday stuff; trying to witter on about something that I've not wittered on about over the past 3+ blogging years, I think I'll just go on about my favorite Christmassy things: Da ornaments, shall I?

I shall.

We've scads. I'm a bit of a junkie, as you've seen. We've the entire collection of porcelain Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer figures. (I think there are a dozen in all.) We've silk fruit bought in Japan by my mother when we were stationed there 40 years ago. We've glass and glitter and those pretty eggs. I'm a sucker for the sparkly and shiny. My very most favorite, though?

So glad you asked; you're always so obliging.

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This biplane made of some sort of resin-y material makes me giggle. It's translucent and shimmery, (Joy!) and the propeller and wheels turn. I've a bit of a collection of them, including a lute and a banjo.

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This lovely, large glass ball encases gold-accented, glass figures of Mary, Joseph and the angel around the baby in a manger. I wish I could make things of this delicacy and beauty, but if I could, I guess I'd not be curled up on the couch with the smell of cookies in my nose, but in a dark, 3rd world studio covered with burn scars. So I'll just buy them when I find them and encourage the exploitation of 3rd world artisans. Jesus would be pleased, I'm sure.

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Then we've another of a small set of hand-made birds. These weren't made by an impoverished person in Bangladesh but my paternal grandmother, Thelma, circa WWII. It's made of strips of metalic-looking plastic and hung with a paper clip. The plastic is important as it's not made of metal, which was gathered for the war effort. I'm guessing the metal paper clip was added in the decadent 50s when such things were again allowed without being thought to be unpatriotic. (Let's pause to consider how us Yanks would do now do with such restrictions when we can't even give up our gas-guzzling ways in the light of what's going on in the Middle East. And, yes, we are also part of the problem in that we have a shameful SUV. We only drive it during the worst of the winter days, but the damn thing's paid for and it's hard to trade it in and buy a hybrid SUV. Waving at ourselves in the mirror.)

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And then we have what I think is my very favorite. She's a DOCTOR. She's a SHE. See her little black bag and her clipboard and her head light and her white coat with her stethescope around her neck. I love her greatly.

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And lastly, I leave you with this. Any guesses?


This was actually part of a set that Colin was given for his birthday from a friend last year. That's a hint. Last year he was still All Star Wars All The Time boy.

Yes! It's Boba Fett's head! 'Cause nothing says Christmas like the dismembered head of a bounty hunter, nosiree! There are also heads of C3PO, Yoda, and Darth Vader, but I like Boba Fett best.

So, from our little holiday enclave to where ever you are, we wish you a lovely holiday (belatedly if you celebrate the Hanukkah). Hope you are failing to resist lots of food that is bad for you, but good for your soul. Hope those who love snow have it and those who don't, well, don't. Mostly I wish you lots of love and friends and family and really good things.

A very happy merry, dearest darlings, a very happy merry, indeed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

For Colin, Turning Nine

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And so you are nine, my boy. I'm having something of a hard time getting my head around the fact that nine years ago I held you, this tiny (a whopping 5 lbs, 11 oz of you), calm, thoughtful creature who arrived so very considerately, 2 and a half weeks early, on a Thursday, my hellacious clinic day, so I didn't have to go to work tired and pregnant a day more.

Those have been some of your enduring traits: Your thoughtfulness, your compassion, your willingness to help out others.

(OK, so you gripe when asked to clean your room or set the table. I never said you were a freak, just that you are a really genuinely good person.)

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You are also one amazing big brother to Sara, who, let's be honest, can be on the trying side from time to time. No one gets on your nerves like she does, but should something happen to her, anything from getting punished for doing something naughty to getting lost at the back of the bus on the way home, you are right there, protecting her.

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(I swear that is not a posed picture. I just snapped it as it happened.)

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Teaching her.

You still love the sciences. This year, instead of geology (although you still maintain an interest, just not such a consuming one), chemistry is your thing. I think most of this interest is that you think chemistry is in part making potions, which in a way it is, it's just that instead of turning you invisible if you drink the foaming contents of the beaker, you are likely to end up with a severe stomach ache, if you are lucky. Not wanting to burst this bubble, though, I have a feeling that Santa will be bringing you a bizarro chemistry set or two, so you can make some safe potions that won't turn out to be strychnine but green slime or a superball or something. Santa loves science nerds. Santa IS a science nerd. Yes she is.

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Of course, this doesn't mean that you aren't a typical nine-year-old boy. No, it doesn't. You delight in fart jokes and poop jokes and really wanted to hand out whoopie cushions for party favors this year. A combination of how I'd feel as the parent of a fellow nine-year-old boy who brought home a whoopie cushion and used it non-stop for months on end and the fact that each one cost $5, led me to steer you to the quieter yet still twisted Chinese finger traps for your friends, along with water squirting grenades, mini Magic 8 balls and the like.

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Speaking of your party this year, I'd say it was an unmitigated success. We took a page out of Chuck E. Cheeze's book and had all your friends over, stuffing all of you full of pizza and cake and then turning you all loose downstairs with the video games and the big TV for a couple of hours. 7 nine-year-olds all jumping up and down (because boys of that age are incapable of not jumping up and down while playing video games) at the same time and to the same rhythm nearly shook the cabinets from the house and the house from its foundation, but the structural damage to our little domicile was worth it. May I also say that you have really nice friends who all seem to think you are quite the great guy. As your mom, I can't tell you how that makes me grin big, stupid grins. If you continue to have great friends, you will be blessed, indeed. (And I'll worry less. Slightly less. Marginally. Maybe.)

So what I really wanted to say is how proud of you I am, how you make my heart swell, how thinking of you makes me get this big, sappy look on my face. I know, I'm embarrassing. All moms are when you get over the age of 5. But dammit, that's what you get for being so great.

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But clearly, I'm not alone with this view, though at least I don't sit on you.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Deck The Son With Boughs of Gooey

See, we really do get into the Christmas swing of things here, come December. Currently, Colin is in the lead with his own personal Left Eye of Christmas: The white portion being glazed over with a patina of deep red accompanied by plenty of glisteny green goo piling in the corners and festooning the lashes.

I tried to drape tinsel across his brow and hang mistletoe from his ears but he vetoed that, bolting to his room and barring the door. I considered getting a picture of the seasonal boy this morning but as I left at 0'dark-hundred, he was still asleep with a blanket wrapped all around his head. Being a compassionate and thoughtful mother, I decided, after much deliberation, not to waken him to the twin assault of my fingers prying his eye open to the flash of the camera.

He can now never say that I don't love him or put his needs first.

So, what to do to top this? The Rudolph schnozz with the green nose snot has been so over done; the human equivalent of fruitcake. I could use flaky skin as snow with a few snowman shaped boils (courtesy of the multitude of staph patients I get to see) clustered tastefully across my arms. My hands are certainly cold enough to provide the illusion of being made of ice, to further enhance the theme.

Pestilence as body art, for those who've tired of tattoos and piercings.