Monday, December 24, 2012
Ahhh, the holidays. If one were to watch the many TV shows around Christmas you would be led to believe that the holidays are all about fun family times with people sitting around the Christmas tree drinking egg-nog or singing and dancing out in snow covered streets in some idyllic setting like Whoville or some such place. If, however, you were to watch a TB show, you would find a reality that is possibly closer to your own. I wish there were such a thing as a Silent Night. My house has been a prototype for holiday madness. My daughter Autumn is visiting with her husband and since school is out and my oldest daughter Jen doesn't want to miss anything she's in and out of the house like there was a revolving door out back. God forbid that I should try to keep any heat in the house. It's in the single digits outside with an icy wind howling, but the door is open more than it's closed and then I get to hear the bitching about how cold it is in here. The kitchen resembles Applebee's on a Friday night and coffee is being consumed by the gallon. At any given time there is a movie being watched on TV while music is being played and two or three cell phones are getting a workout on their keyboards. I think I have about thirty coffee cups at the house but when I go to look for one they're all dirty or being used. Fortunately I have two bathrooms, but keeping them stocked with toilet paper is a challenge. Add to all this that Jan's birthday is close to Christmas so there are the usual Christmas cards as well as birthday greetings. Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be, Autumn has inherited my rather bizarre sense of humor. You can see from the card she got her mother in the top picture what I mean. And now a word about buying American made. ABC news has been promoting buying things made in America. I applaud them for that. As much as possible I would love to buy American made products. That being said, however, there are some products that I wish we couldn't lay claim to. A case in point. I love jelly beans, and probably one of the premium makers of them is the Jelly Belly Company, made right here in the good ol' USA. They really make a great product, but the other day Autumn showed up with a box of Jelly Belly-Bean Boozled jelly beans. Not only are there a variety of tasty delights, but there are equally disgusting counter parts that are indistinguishable from the good ones. For instance, a black one could be licorice or it might be skunk spray. You can't tell until you taste them. Is that red one strawberry jam or centipede? Yellow-buttered popcorn or rotten egg or the brown one chocolate pudding or dog food. They even include a spinner in the box with the different colored beans on it. It adds a bit of excitement not knowing what you're going to get. As they say, it puts a whole new spin on playing with your food. When Autumn showed up with them the other day I knew immediately that we would have to put them in a jar on the counter in the kitchen, right where we open our mail. I was certain that Jen would come by and without fail would start to look through our mail and would spot the jelly beans and help herself. Several years ago I put a package of dog Liv-a-Snaps treats in a crystal bowl on the counter. I knew full well that Jen would see them and help herself. True to her nature, she came in and almost immediately was drawn to the bowl. She had just lifted the dog treat up to her mouth when I couldn't contain myself any more and burst out laughing. She got suspicious and wouldn't eat it. Darn it! This time she came in and was all excited talking to her sister and passed by the bowl at first. Autumn had given her a bag of erasers for her classroom and Jen was in the middle of telling her something when she spotted the candy. Without finishing her sentence she exclaims -"HEEEYYYY! and reached for the bowl. With everything within me I was trying desperately to hold it together, but like a cheap earthen dam trying to hold back the mighty Mississippi, my laughter spilled forth and the jig was up. She caught me again.The bottom picture shows my son-in-law, Arron, after he consumed a centipede flavored jelly belly. You can be darn sure I won't be trying any, not with my luck. In any event, it's Christmas Eve. As much as possible I hope you'll all have a blessed time with your families this holiday season. If for some reason you can't be with your family, I hope you'll try and be a blessing to someone else who might also be alone during this season. God bless you all.