Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Christmas Spirit

Everyone has a tradition that makes a holiday special. Maybe its baking cookies or singing carols but one of my all time favorite Christmas memories is my mother reading from a Ladies Home Journal magazine (circa 1970??) the story of the Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde on Christmas Eve.

This is not an out and out Christmas story. Except that the final scenes take place around Christmas time. It is the sweetest story of love and friendship that you will ever read. And, it makes me bawl every time I even try and talk about it. Really. Just ask my kids. They will roll their eyes and nod their heads vigorously.

My gift to you is this link so you can read the story. It's very short and won't take but just a few minutes. Let me know if it touches your heart like it has always touched mine.

  • The Happy Prince

  • Merry Christmas!

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    Tis the Season

    So, do you have all of your holiday shopping done? Are you one of those who finish before Thanksgiving? If so, no kudos for you. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. In fact, go straight to jail. I don't even admire you.

    Personally, I think having all of your shopping done that early takes a lot of the fun out of Christmas. Have you been to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve? It is not an event to be missed. Sure the merchandise is a bit picked over and you may not find exactly what you came in for but thats half the fun! The next morning when that special person unwraps their multi-colored toe socks the look on their face will be priceless. Word to the wise - have your camera ready and capture the moment forever!

    Okay, maybe there's a happy medium. I accomplish a lot of my shopping online but I still run around and buy things here and there. I predict I will be finished on December 21st. Halle-frickin'-lujah for me.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Dodged a Bullet

    but not completely.

    Let me explain. Last week I began having a strange headache/neck/jaw ache. I finally realized it was emanating from the jaw which meant a tooth. I have a filling in a molar and having already lived through a cracked tooth that had to have a crown, so thought I had this one all diagnosed and figured out.

    On Monday, I trot into my dentist's office. They shoot an x-ray all the while shaking their heads and saying, "it's root, I'll bet."

    They ship me back out the door with recommendations for Endodontists (didn't even know these type of people existed!) and the news that they think I need a root canal.

    Everyone has their THING. Anything to do with my mouth is mine. I freak out over dental work. I think it's because I never had braces and my first cavity wasn't until I was in my mid-20's. And, having my all four impacted wisdom teeth out scarred me for life. That experience lasted for over a month (my jaws froze shut), I lost 8 lbs., and ended up with a dry socket and 6 canker sores on the inside of my mouth. Good times. I'd rather pop a baby out then have my wisdom teeth removed!

    What do I do on Monday? Called everyone who would listen, invited them to my pity party and cried, no, bawled about having a root canal. You see it had also struck me that my birthday was the following day. The unfair timing of my aching roots was cruel!

    Seriously, I think when I called my poor dad he thought one of my kids had died. He seemed almost relieved when he finally understood through my blubbering that I was saying "root canal".

    So, I went to the endodontist yesterday. He said he was going to put something cold on the two surrounding teeth and then the afflicted one. I warned him that my fear was he would touch something and I would come flying out of the chair. He said he had big hands and would hold me down (he was pretty cute - I might let him lay his hands upon me!) and I then felt compelled to further warn him that when and if I did come out of that chair it would be with the aide of adrenalin and I would become super-human at that point. Goodness, while I am flying out of dental chairs I may even lift a car or two in the parking lot. He laughed thinking I was know I wasn't.

    I passed the cold test and he said "not a root problem." So, I do not have to have a root canal but I will still have to have a crown for my cracked tooth.

    Now I just have to stock up on ibuprofen for my aching jaw and wait.

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    White Crosses

    I don't understand the white crosses that people put up where someone died. You know the ones. The highways these days have shrines filled with crosses, flowers and teddy bears. I do not understand this need to commemorate where someone died. I wonder if I lose someone close would I be drawn to this ritual? Or, would I want my family erecting one for me if I died alongside a road?

    There is a white cross just outside of my neighborhood. It is a side street, no shoulder, or streetlights and people travel from 45 - 60 mph on this road. No stretch of the imagination that someone was killed on this curve.

    The cross appeared a little over a year ago. I don't remember hearing about an accident. After it first appeared I would try and slow to see it. You see, there is a photo on the cross and a name. I have made out the first name and I think it was Lance. He had dark hair and looks young, (maybe 19-20?) Then I saw her.

    I am guessing but being a fellow member of the Mom's club, I would say its his mother. She keeps the cross surrounded with flowers, balloons and other photos. At first, when I drove by and saw her playing her guitar and singing to the cross, I thought "How sweet but sad." Now, I am thinking it is not healthy.

    Yesterday, when my family and I drove by, the woman was openly weeping and touching her fingers to the cross, where the picture hangs. Her grief seems to be as fresh as the first day she learned that her son had been torn from her life.

    Dear Fellow Mother:

    I am so sorry for your loss. A loss I can only imagine and will hopefully never have to endure. But, I don't think Lance would want this life for you. He would want you to move on and not have this attachment to the place he died. Remember him for where he LIVED. Visit his friends and his favorite places. Rejoice in the days you had with him.

    I will not ask you to move on because I think with this kind of grief you never really do. I think you learn to live WITH it, but still, its time for you to stop picking at this wound and let it scar over.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Nothing like....

    a sit down dinner for 14 to snap you out of a depression!

    Yes, tonight is the dinner for my husband's co-workers. My big decision? Should I fold the napkins fan style or the cardinal hat style? I do believe you can learn anything over the internet! I don't like the candle style - it looks too, uh, phallic. Not with my dinner, thank you very much.

    Thanks for all the nice comments. Really. It helped to hear some encouraging words. I have several job prospects so I know something will work out. I don't want just any job. I want one that will allow me to fit in my family too so I am being picky. And, one that I didn't have to work TOO hard but got paid a lot of money would be nice.

    It finally got cold here in Houston. Right this very moment it is 35 degrees F!! We will actually get to use the new fireplaces tonight at the dinner! Of course, to use the gas fireplaces I needed the fake logs. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CHARGING FOR FAKE LOGS THESE DAYS??? You can pay from over $100 - $450!!! I was ready to go dig around and see if any re-bar got left on the property. I think a few nicely placed, properly piled up pieces of rebar would suffice. Until I went on ebay and found a set for $100.

    Please don't offer for me to use real wood. I am not cleaning out ashes. That Cinderella stuff is totally old school.

    Had a nice visit from the Sarcastic Journalist today and her two adorable children. She wanted to come and see the new house. She gave me a very nice compliment. SJ said my house was like "house porn" for her and she wanted to make out with it. Hey, its not everyday you get a compliment like that!

    Have a nice weekend. My best advice? Avoid the mall.