Mom…Don’t Lie To Me

30 11 2005

First, let me preface this little story with a quote from Sophocles…

My girls are 8 and 6 and I have come to the realization that this will probably be the last year that they believe in Santa Claus. I hate this.
As they have gotten older, I see little disappointments start to mold them into what will eventually become the adult form of my children. The first time someone yelled at them. The first time they experienced a death in the family. The first bully problem at school. The list is getting longer and longer.
All of this inexorably leads to “growing up” which seems to be directly correlated to “getting used to pain and disappointment”. This does not at all seem right to me.
This weekend, Sophie (6) looked directly into my eyes and said, “Mommy, don’t lie to me. Do you buy the presents that come from Santa?” Maya’s ears perked up and all of a sudden I am faced by these beautiful, innocent, upturned faces begging to be told the truth.
And what did I do when faced with this opportunity? What did I do when I have always prided myself in being the sort of parent who is totally upfront and honest with her children? ( Example: Honey, it’s not a hoo-hoo, it’s called a vagina.)
I lied.
I looked them dead in the eye and said, “Of course not! You both know that I would never be able to afford to do that! Santa comes to those who believe in him. You had better be careful what you say!”
I know that they have to know. That I eventually have to fess up. But not this Christmas. Not when we’re so close.
There would be no Santa cookies. No milk. No blue mush (I’ll explain that one later, in a future blog). No reindeer tracks meticulously drawn in powdered sugar on the front steps.
No magic.
I’m just not ready for that quite yet.

Okay…Here’s What We Are Going To Do…

29 11 2005

I have read a few posts of late that lament the holidays happening when there is just no money. I understand this well my friends. I have definitely had worse years than this, and my stress level is quite low comparatively. I am very thankful for that.

But I learned many things in those lean years.

Like how the dollar store stuffs a stocking like nobody’s business…..
Like how everyone else buys toys for your kids and if you get one or two things they don’t notice who got them what……
Like the joy of the holidays NEEDS to overwhelm the greed….
Like if you have your kids (or yourself) make blankets or dolls or box up used toys and clothes and then have them take them to the shelter for battered women and their families it really opens their eyes to what is really going on in the world…

But, let’s face it. Presents are exciting and fun. They are mysteries wrapped in sparkly paper with crinkly bows! They are joy.

So, I want each and every one of you to make a wish list – with pictures and links and whatever – and send it to me. (My email is in my profile page as “email”. Brilliant.)

That’s right. I am “buying” every damn one of my imaginary internet friends an imaginary internet gift this year! (Even if you have never, ever commented before.)

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Morning Announcements – 11/29/05

29 11 2005
  • 12 days left until “Mamma Mia”
  • Quirk o’ the Day – I always type “k” when I want to type “d” and visa versa.

Blown Away

28 11 2005

It is really gusty and stormy right now (maybe some snow tomorrow!). I was just outside watching birds flying in the wind.

They looked like they were having a blast.

Morning Announcements – 11/28/05

28 11 2005
  • 13 days left until “Mamma Mia”.
  • Quirk of the Day – I want to pull my ears off whenever I hear anyone besides Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis sing “White Christmas”.
  • Explanation of the Day – (quoted from my sister Shannon when asked about why the car is named “The Minty Squirrel”.)

*sigh* I only wish that the Minty Squirrel name hailed from the story that makes sense to tell. Even as I look back on the story I find it strangely not-funny. This is truly one of those “you had to be there at the time” stories which also mixed with the chemistry of the personalities at the time — Erik, Jami (at her most hysterical and bossy), Trina,Trina’s cat-chasing dog, Cisco, Crookshanks, James (from XIP) and myself. (and… of course some mint and a squirrel) If I could tell you, I would. But you’d probably just fall asleep. Feel free to make something up!

So! There you go! Mystery solved! 🙂

The Story of Mindy/Ratty Catty/Bunny

25 11 2005

The above mentioned names are actually the name of one cat. And yes, it is the cat that I mentioned in the squirrel post. The one who was frozen solid in a pan of milk.

So here is how that all went down….

On our ranch, when I was young, we had a few milk cows that were milked every morning and evening in our barn. I remember them well, one was red and short and one was huge and black and white (a Jersey and a Holstein I believe, for all you cow breed buffs). They were nice and all, but there were two things that were extremely cool in my pre-school mind. The milking stool and the barn cats.

The milking stool was this hand-made, rough-hewn stool that was crafted out of a log and a plank. It was heavy and old looking. It fascinated me. You sat on the plank (of course) but you balanced on the one log. There were no legs, per se, just one big log that was a bit rounded on the bottom. I think it was especially nice for milking because you could tip forward and nearer to the cow. Mobility is especially important in cow milking (I guess).

The barn cats were my absolute favorite. I loved them. There was Mamma Kitty and Gray One (and if you haven’t read my post about him – you must do it). Mamma Kitty was always having kittens. Outdoor cats don’t have a huge life expectancy, but she kept us supplied with great mousers for a very long time.

This particular day, she had a litter that was up and running around. Not tiny, but not ready to be out on their own either. She would bring them down for milk every time we milked the cows. We had a pan that was about 10 inches across and a few inches deep that we would pour milk into for them. It was warm and steamed in the below 0 degree air. When we left that night the kittens were happily lapping up the warm milk, filling their tummies for the night.

In the morning, it wasn’t such a pleasant picture.

One of the smaller kittens had obviously fell into the milk during the pushing and shoving the evening before. It was so cold outside that the milk froze quickly, obviously freezing the kitten along with it. It was terrible. We chipped the kitten out (I think it was my Dad, sister and I) and cried and cried (just my sister and I, not my Dad). He agreed to take it up to Mom (I’m sure it was just to appease us) to see if she could “save” it. I think he was hoping that the act of trying would be enough to mend our broken little hearts a little bit.

My Mom grabbed the kitten, tapped on it’s frozen eyeball with her finger, and grimly said that there was little she could do. But, she wrapped it’s stiff little body in a towel and placed it in front of the fireplace. I am unsure whether this was done in an attempt to really save the kitten, or in an attempt to make us feel better. The kitten would be more comfortable in heaven if it wasn’t a frozen block of kittenish cuteness, right?

Hours later, when Mom went to bundle up the kitten and begin funeral proceedings, she was amazed to find that it had enough life left in it to kick itself off the ledge of the fireplace and onto the floor.

It was alive.

It was now our indoor cat.

I named it Mindy – after Mork and Mindy (Hi Squishi!). The name was a terrible one, and she eventually became Ratty Catty (from my Dad) and ended up being Bunny (not sure why). She was an odd cat. She started out short haired, and when she was a few years old morphed into being long haired. Her litters of kittens were patterned like a SAT question. One kitten, then three kittens, one kitten, then four kittens, one kitten….I think it stopped there. And she would lay in front of the fireplace staring and purring at her own personal God for hours.

I guess her quirks were understandable after all she went through.

And the best part? Her almost amazingly short life span was increased by more than just a little bit. Bunny lived to be in her twenties. I’m not exactly sure the exact years, but she was born in 1976-77 and died around 2000.

Cool, huh? (No pun intended)

Morning Announcements – 11/25/05

25 11 2005
  • 16 days left until “Mamma Mia”
  • Quirk of the day – My pinkie toes kind of curl under.

A funny thing that I can’t really make into an entire post…

My Mom, my kids and I went out to dinner at a swanky restaurant on Tuesday. Maya (in an incredibly loud voice) announced, “If anyone needs an extra fork, I’ve got two!”


I apoligize for any pop-ups. I had no idea it was happening until Squishi told me. I hate to annoy any of my faithful readers, so I am removing what I hope to be the culprit. (the Google ad thing) Let me know if it works.