Holidays, Musing

Holiday Traditions

IMG_2266Happy New Year!  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but I’m back.  Much like you dear reader, I have been busier than the best whore in the whore house on two for one night and twice as scattered.  But, before I take down the tree and start looking toward Mardi Gras I want to talk about traditions.  I love holiday traditions. I love hearing what friends and other cultures do to celebrate their most sacred times of the year. I love the Christmas traditions my family of four has cultivated over the years.  I love reminiscing about the traditions from my childhood.

I didn’t carry over that many traditions from my childhood. Driving around looking at lights and reading the about the first Christmas on Christmas Eve night was really the only must do’s I had growing up that I have carried over to my own family.  We didn’t make cookies for Santa; we put out whatever we happened to have. We didn’t go visit the big guy at the mall.  We didn’t go to church on Christmas Eve or Morning.  We didn’t have a special breakfast.  And, we sure as hell didn’t have some crazy elf.  (Whispers – Y’all know I hate that damn elf.)  But, I still feel like we totally seized the holiday every year.

This year was weird for our family.  We traveled about 800 miles to see family and enjoy some time in the mountains.  We left before Christmas proper so that meant fewer decorations were put up, we opened gifts early, and we generally did not know the day or date for 10 or 12 days.  This was the first year in at least 7 years that we didn’t have tamales on Christmas Eve night or Chinese on Christmas Day night.  But, we were able to see family we hadn’t seen in a couple of years.  We were able to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass at the same church where my hubs and I were married. And, we were able to show the kids a part of the country they’ve never seen.  I realized that even though we weren’t able to have our normal traditions I still felt the Christmas spirit. We still had fun and we still had each other. Who knows, maybe traveling on Christmas will be our new tradition.

So, dear reader, what are your traditions? Comment on here or if you’re reading this via the Facebook link, comment there. I love hearing what people do. I once had a sister in law who’s family was of Scandinavian descent. They had some weird fruit based cold soup on Christmas night. I wish I had gotten the recipe before she left the family. It sounded kind of gross but who knows, it could be fun to try.

P.S. – Guess what y’all?  As of the last post (Christmas Zen), I have done 100 posts! It’s like 100 Days of School only way better because you don’t have to do some stupid craft that requires 8,000 trips to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Actually, it’s more like 100 episodes of a tv show only without a cake and a party.

P.P.S/Photo Credit – You never know what you’ll see when you are doing a road trip in the South. I took this picture myself while sitting at a stop light in B.F.E. I can’t even remember the state.

Holidays, Musing, Uncategorized

Christmas Zen

silhouette of man at daytime

About this time every year, I totally lose track of everything – and I do mean everything.  I forget the day, the date, what I purchased for everyone, where I hid the stocking stuffers, what I’ve committed to bringing to the potluck dinner, and the list goes on and on. At this juncture, the meticulous lists I make to keep myself organized have long since been forgotten.  If I am with it and taking meds for my ADHD they too have been forgotten. Quite simply, I’m hanging on to the knot at the end of the rope with my fingernails.  The funny thing is any other time this type of chaos would usually put me into a panic attack of epic proportions but not this year.

I’d like to say the reason for this new found zen is some sort of meditation, yoga or pills but it’s not. I wouldn’t even say that my give a damn is busted. When it comes right down to it, I guess I just don’t care. Before you ask, no I am not depressed even though with each passing year I feel more and more like Charlie Brown. I think this feeling of zen is more a feeling that the stress doesn’t matter. It’s a feeling of there is nothing going on in my world that demands I worry about it that much. Life will work itself out.  It could also be that things seem to be going halfway right.  Ironically, that right there is what bothers me the most.  I know when the universe gives you the gift of zen it’s about to hit you right in the face with a big ole shit sandwich. That’s just the way life works.

Despite my zen, there is plenty of things to be annoyed about. For example, why does my youngest still want me to move that damn elf around even though I have a house of nonbelievers?  Why are so many people talking about how 30+ year old cartoons and songs are suddenly offensive yet homelessness and families without the ability to have a traditional holiday celebration are barely on those same people’s radar. And, why for the love of God aren’t people behaving themselves at school concerts.  You are not here to see Metalica.  Stop whooping and hollering like you are at a rock concert or rodeo.  No one needs to hear screams followed by, “WOOO HOOO GREAT JOB POOKIE.”  Pookie may have done a great job but all those other kids parents and family want to watch their kid in peace.  Holler at your own house, not at the school auditorium.  Damn people were you raised by wolves?


Technology, I hate you.

ballpen blur close up computer

I hate technology. No, really I do. It’s not that I don’t see the benefits. I write a blog on the internet for crying out loud – believe me, I see the possibilities and the benefits. The thing I hate most about technology is how it has completely taken over to where we cannot do things any other way.  Allow me to paint a picture.

Before the internet, if you wanted to buy something you went to places and purchased goods or services in person or you made a phone call and purchased something over the phone. You either pick up the actual item or it would be shipped to you. Fast forward to the present day.  I just purchased tickets to an event for my son’s birthday.  Of course, you now purchase event tickets online instead of a box office.  The event place wants you to have your tickets pre-printed.  Halfway through printing off our tickets, my printer decided it was out of ink and to finish the job it needs to have the ink cartridges replaced.  So, I replace them with brand new, factory certified – not the off brand cheap stuff – ink.  Apparently, there is something wrong with the cartridges as what comes out is a weird colored mess.  Now, before you go and blame my printer for being old and janky let me assure you I have a very nice printer. It’s not a cheap piece of crap.  It’s only about a year or so old, a midgrade model from a very good brand. It’s a brand I have trusted since I got my first printer in 1994.  A brand I will not name because I have a very dear friend that works for that company.  She may even read this particular blog post so I’m not going to drag her employer through the mud and I often go to her for advice when I need to buy new hardware.  Now back to the story at hand.

So, the ink is all janky so I do the troubleshooting. I look at the instructions online, which I asked out loud, “Who writes this shit?!”  My husband said, “Some guy in Mumbai.” I thought to myself that’s kinda stereotyping but let’s be real stereotypes are around for a reason.  Nevertheless, I’m picking with this damn printer trying to get it to print correctly. Then my hubs picks at it. We run the diagnostics, the cleaners, the printer adjustment programs, and NOTHING WORKS.  The only solution we can find is to go buy another set of printer cartridges.  Oh, I’ll be damned. These bitches cost $75 for a set of four at Costco. This company owes me $75 or a new set of cartridges. Can we afford the $75? Yes, especially if we float it on a credit card for a couple weeks but damn I should not have to go out and buy another set because these brand new, factory sealed ones are faulty. I paid for something and I ought to get what I paid for, am I right?

Well, here is where it gets infuriating. I try to submit a claim online for a new set of cartridges. Good luck.  There is not a button on the company warranty page for ink even though the ink box package says there is a limited warranty. So, I try to call an 800 number on the ink package. The number won’t give me a person right away but keeps directing to get on a website to file a claim. I finally just keep saying ‘representative’ until it gives me a person. When I finally get a person it is clearly an Indian dude (probably from Mumbai) who has the unmitigated gall to ask me if I am calling from America after I used the word “y’all” in the explanation of my problem.  He seemed completely at a loss and told me he’s going to put me through to another department. The transfer occurs and I hear, “due to larger than average wait times” so I just hung up.  Suffice it to say I was and am livid.  All of this drama could be completely avoided if we did not have to print things out ourselves.

The point of this whole story is technology is supposed to make things so much easier on us. Yet, in reality, when the tech doesn’t work it often creates problems where there is little to no solution or workaround. Whereas, if the old-fashioned, non-tech way was still being used those problems wouldn’t have happened. I know this post makes me sound like an old luddite and frankly, I don’t care. I just want shit that works without a ton of drama.  Is that so bad?

Photo Credit: Free pic by Pixabay on Damn, do I love free.




Thoughts and Prayers

web3-high-five-vs-praying-hands-emoji-yayayoyo-shutterstockThoughts and Prayers.  It’s a phrase we’ve all said or heard at least once in our life.  Here lately it feels like I’m saying it a lot more.  I think it’s probably a function of my age group seeing as how I’m middle-aged.  In the last month, an aunt has died, a high school classmate lost her father, a college friend had cataract surgery, a cousin is fighting for her life in ICU with a myriad of issues and today we buried a former President of the United States.  In all those instances I have offered up hopes and prayers not only for the person but also for those directly affected.  And, yet, those words ‘thoughts and prayers’ sometimes feel so hollow and empty.

I mean honestly what are those thoughts and prayers actually going to do? I suppose they can offer a modicum of comfort to those in the thick of a situation and to myself. But, in reality, we have to muster up a goodly amount of faith to believe those prayers are actually going to work. We have to believe that those prayers will reach some diety’s ears and that said deity will find favor in our prayer and do the royalty thumbs up or down over the whole business. Having painted such a sacrilegious picture I will say I do believe in the power of prayer. I do have faith that in the diety and the whole thumbs up or thumbs down business.  And, still, it feels hollow.  I think it feels hollow because it’s intangible.

Humans don’t do well with intangible.  It’s a concept that’s hard to process. I know I have issues with it. (Whispers – I have issues with A LOT of stuff.) In trying to process those hard concepts I talk it through in my head and to borrow a line from Steel Magnolias, “Yes, Annelle, I pray.” So, I sit here thinking of my cousin, her family, the Bush family and of people I don’t even know that are struggling, HARD, right now.  This is supposed to be the most joyous time of the year.  We are in the middle of the Christmas and Hanukkah season but there seems to be an overwhelming blanket of sadness on most people. Everyone I know seems to be struggling.  It may be a petty struggle like a broken toilet or a big struggle like an ailing parent or not enough money to cover rent but they are struggling nonetheless.  Well, what are we to do?  I don’t know.  Tell those who are struggling you love them and give tangible help if you can but when all else fails I say thoughts and prayers.  Anyone else got a better idea?

P.S. I know this post was heavy. It was this or all the dumbassery surrounding Rudolph and Baby, it’s cold outside. I just wish somebody would come at with me Rudolph. They will need some thoughts and prayers when I’m done with them.

Photo Credit: Emoji lifted off the interwebs.  I have no idea who it belongs to just goggled praying hand emoji.  No copyright infringement intended. Don’t sue me. Blood/turnip. I do this for free and I’m broke.



A few weeks ago Oprah brought out her annual list of favorite things. Y ‘all know I love me some Oprah.  I realized when I read it it’s been a while since I talked about my current favorite things.  So, let’s talk and rest assured you can afford these things unlike 90 percent of the stuff on Oprah’s list.

img_2031You can’t have the holidays without indulging and I like to indulge in the bubbly.   I recently found this Apothic Sparkling wine at a grocery store called Sprouts but I’ve also seen it at Kroger. It’s limited edition so go buy it all. Much like Baby Bear’s porridge, it’s just right.  It’s not too dry and it’s not sweet.   A cousin brought this prosecco to Thanksgiving and she and I polished off the bottle in minutes. I felt a little guilty for being so greedy but damn, it was good.

Next, let’s talk about movies and tv as I am a huge fan of img_2024both. I highly recommend The Kids are Alright on ABC and God Friended Me on CBS.  I hope these shows don’t get canceled.  For some reason, both of these shows have cancel me written all over them; probably because they don’t have to do with cops or hospitals. That seems to be all network tv can do – put out cop and hospital shows.  And, the big three wonders why streaming original programming is eating their lunch. (Insert eye roll here.)  I’m also wild about the movies Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.  If these movies do not win Oscars or Golden Globes it will be a tragedy.

On a side note, today’s entry was a little on the light side.  Yeah, I know.  It’s got about as much substance as a fashion magazine. I don’t know about y’all but I have been chasing my tail all week trying to get caught up from being out of town.  I was riding the struggle bus just to get this little bit written and published. I do have things in the works.  I have a think piece about the pink tax and how people have lost their damn minds with classic shows and movies. I’m sure there will be something nostalgic in there somewhere as I always get ridiculously sappy and nostalgic at the holidays. Oh to be able to time travel and get to see happy memories from Christmas pasts. Hey Charles Dickens, I could do with one of those Ghost of Christmas Past.  Y’all think Amazon could deliver one of those?  I swear they have everything else. Just last night I ordered Neutrogena night cream for me and a leopard print picture frame for my stepmom. Don’t worry she won’t know about the frame. She is the last person in the world without the internet. She wants to keep it that way.







Holidays, Musing


img_1989Ahhh Thanksgiving.  A truly American holiday.  As Linus taught us in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, ours is the first country who set aside a day just to give thanks. That’s a pretty cool concept.  What’s even cooler is it’s the one day a year where it’s socially acceptable to eat one’s own weight in weird food, take a nap in front of the tv and then eat some more.

This past week I’ve seen a myriad of articles about how to keep the peace during Thanksgiving this year.  I don’t know what kind of family you’re from but there has never been any peace at my Thanksgiving dinner table and I doubt there will be this year. As a child, I can remember my mom and her siblings warring with each other. At a minimum, if there was no shouting then there was a lot of awkward silences followed by my Mother’s tirade in the car.  Since I met and married my husband Thanksgiving hasn’t nearly been the walking on eggshells affair of my childhood but it hasn’t been without its pitfalls. A broken finger, a near burn with hot oil, people who didn’t bring what they were supposed to or just plain didn’t show up; still, we managed rather well.  Last year I threw down the gauntlet and said no more of this crazy dinner half the family refuses to eat. No more kids taking three bites of turkey, two rolls and 10 deserts.  Instead, me, the hubs and both kids went to a desert canyon and hiked.  We trecked all over the west Texas high desert. We stayed in a hotel so we’d have a nice hot shower at the end of the day. It was lovely.  But what of your feast? We had turkey tv dinners and frozen chicken pot pies.  All of our extended family thought we were crazy but I thought it was the best Thanksgiving I ever had.  I was with those I love most enjoying nature. What more could I have asked for? And, let me tell you I was pretty damn thankful.

This year my hubs and kids went “home” for the holiday. They went ahead of me because I had to work. I will follow when I get off on Wednesday. It wasn’t the ideal situation but it was the best we could do. It has been strangely quiet since in the house by myself.  Our house is not typically quiet. It usually sounds like World War III is about to ensure.  And, while there are plenty of Thanksgivings I can remember from the distant and recent past were I would have happily eaten Xanax like M&M’s because so many people and things were tap dancing on my very last nerve, I don’t think it will be like that this year.  I’m looking forward to the noise and the weird food.  I’m almost looking forward to my kids eating three bites of turkey, two rolls and 10 deserts.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to seeing my hubs and kids and even the long drive home. Each of us have much to be thankful for even if it’s just Thankful for Xanax.

P.S. What is your favorite of the weird foods?  I adore Green Bean Casserole. You know, the one with the fried onions. And, as we call it down South, dressing. That would be stuffing but not made inside the bird. We just put ours in a casserole dish and bake it.

P.P.S. I’m with my kids on the 10 deserts. And, I have gotten to where I hate Black Friday. Maybe I’ll write my next blog about that.


The Gift of Walmart

If you look hard enough and keep an open mind, you’ll find the Universe/God/Whatever you call it will periodically give you a gift. That gift can be something motivational or an actual tangible gift.  Today’s gift from the Universe was my shopping trip to Walmart.  I know, I know, it seems so unlikely. I mean come on Walmart? Yes, Walmart. The things I witnessed there today was the spark of inspiration I needed for this week’s blog.

As I entered the store my ears were accosted by Blake Shelton singing Christmas carols as well as a big ole sign reading 42 days until Christmas. We haven’t even eaten the bird yet folks! Can we just cool our tits? I get it; you need to have the place decorated for Black Friday.  Okay, fine, but at least hold off on Blake Shelton singing I’ll be Home fimg_1984.jpgor Christmas until you open for Black Friday.  So, I get by that sign without having a panic attack and I see the seasonal section.  It’s pretty much just toys and front and center is the monstrosity I have pictured here. What is up Hasbro and Goliath games that you have to make games about dog shit, exploding pigs and boogers in noses?!  When my kids asked for the Doggy Doo game a couple of years ago I genuinely gave them two Walmart bags and a pair of rubber gloves. Our dog makes plenty of turds they can go pick up.  And, if they sing Spoon Full of Sugar like Mary Poppins it will be a game.  Ironically, this particular game was already marked down to 12.98 from 19.99.  Walmart already knows they will be shipping the majority of this crap back to Hasbro or putting it on the clearance aisle once Christmas is over.

After that ridicululousness, I began to get the items I came for.  I need work out leggings but cannot find any that don’t have weird lace/mesh panels.  No one wants to see 40 year old cellulite in Zumba people. Just like Target, Walmart failed me on this front.   But,  I was ecstatic to find Bluebell Ice Cream brought back the Christmas Cookie flavor.  I didn’t get any last year because Bluebell’s production team didn’t bring their A game and failed to produce enough so stores were sold out in like two weeks.
img_1987Then I find this little gem in the soup aisle. A lady caught me taking this picture and walked right up to me to inspect the situation. I looked her right in the eye and said, “Cream of Bacon sounds weird but I swear it’s also the most fabulous thing I’ve seen all day.” She proceeded to legit laugh out loud, told me I made her day and grabbed a can. Well, I guess I did my good deed for the day.


Next, I’m getting a pie crust because really who makes their own when I find these festive treats. img_1988Now, I’m about to get controversial. I hate Buddy the Elf with every fiber of my being.  I seriously want to throat punch him. He’s annoying. But, I know loads of people just think he’s the most adorable thing on the planet. And, I totally turn into Buddy the Elf my own self when anyone mentions Disney parks so I guess I need to cut Buddy some slack. I was like okay gotta take picture of these suckers cause everyone I know, except me, will want these cookies.

Finally, I get to the checkout. I expect to find one or two lanes open but no there’s like 8. Again, another gift from the Universe or maybe just a Thanksgiving miracle. And, then it happens, the obligatory person in pajama pants and house slippers schleps up behind me in line.  I swear my trip felt complete.