Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Bike

A bit and a half ago, when we went to see Santa, Andy declared to Santa his desire for dinosaurs... and Joey had no idea what he wanted (and answering "What do you want for Christmas?" was a little too much to ask, anyway). Then he discovered what he wanted was a bike. A real two-wheeler, with training wheels, please. Yes, that's what he wants. A bike.

My baby is growing up.

But anyway, in order for Santa to bring said bike, Mommy had to go out and purchase said bike. Fortunately, Toys R Us is openuntil midnight this weekend. I'm not a big fan of Toys R Us. When I was young, it was great- a warehouse deal of toys that were cheap and simple, the haven of Star Wars figures. Now its an expensive place to get toys, and all they have are toys where the company I believe pays them to basically rent the space to display their merchandise- the higher fee you pay, the more prominent spot your toy gets. Variety? Gone. Everything marketed, splashed with TV characters or packaged more for Mom and Dad than for little Johnny or Janey. And service? what's that?

So I wasn't really surprised when I waited half an hour just to get someone to come help me with choosing the correct size for the bike. I've picked out a nice red one. There was a beautiful green Schwinn, but too pricey. He's probably going to need a new one next Christmas, anyway, so no point shelling out the big bucks just to get it green. Red is good for a first Christmas bike. A shiny, red bike. With training wheels.

So I pay for it, and pay for them to assemble it. See, that's the advantage of Toys R Us. Our Walmart don't assemble.

The cashier takes my name and number, and says someone will call when it's ready, but be sure to pick it up tomorrow or it goes off hold. (That would be today). OK, no problem.

Except that no-one called.

So I call and ask what is going on, if there is a hold up or a problem or something, and I get told that they don't take names and numbers unless there is a problem, and he doesn't see a bike with my name on it back there anywhere... and he finally got snippy with me and told me (in that snap-snap sort of way) that if I showed up with my receipt, he's find my bike. Click.

I don't like being hung up on.

So off to teh toy store I go, and present the receipt with a brief explanation of the snap-snap attitude problem. She makes a call on her walkie-talkie, and everything becomes, "yes, m'am."

Long story short: There is a very pretty red bicycle hiding in the Jeep. Don't tell Joey!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Retrospective

Monday, December 10, 2007


Once upon a time, I was tagged for a meme. I didn't forget, I just have been very, very grumpy. So ok, mcewen, you got me. Here's the meme:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here it is:

1. Once upon a time when I was young, I played the baritone. Actually, I played the euphonium, but most folks don't know what that is. In fact, an awful lot of folks have no idea what a baritone is, either. But I loved it, and wish I still played it. I also played the flute and the valve trombone (that not the one with the slide; it looks kinda like an oversized trumpet, and is used for some marching bands, so you don't whack folks in the head with a slide).

2. I collect Christmas ornaments. I have both a silver collection and a blown glass collection, seperate from the rest of the tree ornaments. I display them in garlands over the doors. Keeps little finger and little kitty paws off them.

3. I like bleu cheese, sauerkraut, and winter squash. I liked none of these things when I was young. My parents still do not believe I eat them.

4. My ideal evening right now would be to curl up on the couch with a fire in teh fireplace, and with a fresca, a bowl of mint ice cream, and three boys, watching five different versions of A Christmas Carol. Usually, I would want to be watching either Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Time Bandits, and Life With Father followed by the entire extended- version Lord of the Rings. I dislike watching new movies, especially in theaters. I tedn to get very high fevers. My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the 1934 Scrooge with Sir Seymour Hicks, closely followed by Patrick Stewart (1999), George C. Scott (1984) and the Muppets (1992). I strongly dislike the Alastair Sim versions, which will get me hatemail, but you wanted facts.

5. I adore Jane Eyre. I dislike Wuthering Heights. This will also win me hatemail, but I just don't get a "love" story where a bitch and a bastard can't get it together and destroy all the lives around them in the process. That's not love, people. That's being selfish jerks. (Did I mention that I'm feeling grumpy?) Jane sticks to her principles of right and wrong and creates her own happiness. Much more satisfactory.

6. When I was little, I always wanted my own goat. So when I got a little older, my folks got me goats. I miss my goats, though I have no idea how I would find time to care for one now. When I went to college, my poor mom had to take care of them for me. She's really good with animals.

7. I taught myself to knit in three hours. I arrived for my GD test for Andy with a kit and instruction sheet, and left with five inches of scarf. The nurses were in hysterics when they realized what I was doing. But hey, when youre going to be sitting somewhere for three hours, what would you do? With Joey, I did needlepoint kits. I had to do two three-hour tests with him. The nurses at the lab thought that was funny, too (who's ever heard of having to take TWO?)

I'd tag, but this time of the year, who has time? So if you'd like to join in the fun, please do; or store it for later, when you're not in the midst of holiday craziness.

I hear Andy stirring. I'd better go help him get dressed... thanks for sharing this moment of quiet in my house!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lighting the Way

I have a special fondness for Saint Lucia. I know that according to the canonical calendar, her feast day is December 13, but the old tradition places her on Solstice. She lights the way through the world's midnight to bring us into spring.

Advent candles are something I have less affinity for, more because I am unfamiliar with them than anything else. They are a new-fangled event in the Methodist world, brought in to appeal to folks more familiar with other sects and a heavier dose of ritual than I was brought up with. However, light is light. When we were asked to light the advent candle this week, I didn't pass on the opportunity to bring some light into the world. I never miss a chance to think of Saint Lucy.

Some folks are probably irked to find pagan ritual, symbol, and tradition in Christian traditions. It never bothers me a bit. In fact, it speaks to me of some of the basics of my faith: God made everything. Because God made everything, I like to try to represent everything in my celebrations of the life God has given to me. That certainly includes Christmas. Christmas at my house just bursts with the world God has gifted us, no strings attached. You don't even have to believe in Him. Here it is. Enjoy.

So the connection with Saint Lucia to pagan ideas of Brigit, to the Solstice, to traditions of light far older than the Christ, doesn't bother me one wit. God made them, too. Besides, God made me on Solstice, too.