Saturday, November 17, 2012

Secret Santa. It was my idea, so I'm in charge.

My family is doing a Secret (I will use that term loosely) Santa gift exchange this year. Mom and Dad, Erv and his family and my crew decided to pick names out of one of mom's bread baskets when we had a family dinner early in October.
The idea being that Christmas has basically become a gift card exchange. Pretty much we give each other a gift card and say,
"Go get yourself something nice."
My brilliant and economically sound idea was to just buy for one person, spend $50, write your name and at least three things you want and keep it secret. We all wrote from the same pad of paper and I made a rule to not put down gift cards.
Before we left the dinner table just about everyone knew who had who. My niece folded the corner of her piece of paper, I yelled out "I thought I said no gift cards." Erv looked at his paper and said,
"I don't know what any of this stuff is. Is this English?"
That was a give away that he picked Boy #3's name. The geek, and we are not sure what language he speaks. He has had to provide a picture and a two paragraph explanation of each item on his list to me since he was about twelve. I could tell Erv wanted to put his name back in the basket. I looked at Boy #2 and his girlfriend, they were showing each other the names they picked and then they looked at me. My dad is a stickler for rules and stuck to them saying he wasn't going to tell anyone who he had. He put his name in his pocket and avoided eye contact with mom. A tell tale sign that he picked her. Had he picked anyone else she would have been given the name because dad don't shop.
The Secret Santa drama continued for a few more minutes and then we did the dishes. Time will tell if my money saving, brilliant plan will work. I think everyone is happy to cut down on the Christmas present spending. The secret part blew out the window immediately which isn't a surprise because no one ever listens to me anyway. I'm still in charge though.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Here's how it happened.....the phenomenon

It all started in the garage. The husband and Boy #3 were cleaning in there. Yes I know, cleaning the garage, it's one of those jobs that is more like a punishment. But they were just cleaning it for the hell of it. That's what they tell me anyway. I know it's because they can't find stuff when they are reconstructing my house.
So you can imagine my surprise when I saw a bag of rock salt next to the front door. And when I took a look see in the garage I saw the sn, sn....I can't say it, shovels neatly stacked in the front corner. Three of them, one for each kid, that's how it works, don't let anyone tell you different.
In addition to this all of my sweaters are out of the cedar chest, washed, dried and hanging in my closet. We are prepared. This is very scary for our house full of procrastinators.
Usually the first time the steps are iced over this conversation ensues:
"Did we have any rock salt left over from last year?"
"Can't remember."
"Have you seen any half filled bags of rock salt down there?"
"Don't think so."
"Well the next time one of us is out we need to pick up a bag."
"Are you listening to me?"
The first time the driveway needs to be shoveled this is the conversation I have with the shovelers, which has dwindled down to one this year:
"Are the shovels in the shed?"
"Can't we just buy a sn.....?"
"Shovels. Where are they?"
"I don't know."
"You have to find them and start shoveling. I'd help but I have a bad back. And when your father and I made a list of the Pros and Cons of having children, shoveling was like third on the list of Pros. Don't make me regret our decision, get out there."
And when it gets cold, I put off dragging my sweaters out of the cedar chest. So I wear my gray hoodie every single day of the week, people start to talk. The phenomenon is that we are, as far as we are concerned, prepared for the winter season. The only explanation for this is that we will have a very light winter. Your welcome Northeast Ohioans.
There is another plausible scenario and that is that while watching the squirrels scoop up and hide a bumper crop of acorns, more than I can ever remember falling in our yard, they, the squirrels, have sent us telepathic winter warnings while running back and forth across our roof.
Time will tell.

Monday, November 05, 2012

It was probably a bad idea

In 1995 the husband and I went to see the movie Outbreak. This was my idea because I had heard an interview and review of the movie on the radio and thought it would be a nice movie and dinner date. But it was not to be. The movie freaked me out, I let it mess with my head and afterward at dinner I couldn't even eat. All I could think about was getting home and locking all the doors while armed with a can of Lysol. Eventually I calmed down to my normal germaphobe state of mind and even made some jokes about global killing germs.

This past Thursday the husband was watching football and I had a head pounding sinus headache. So I tucked myself in bed and watched a movie. Guess what I watched? Contagion. Because I'm a moron. This movie didn't freak me out but I did wake up sick and have remained sick through the weekend and still today. 

Hurricane Sandy saw to it that it rained everyday of last week, by Wednesday the dog was bouncing off the walls. She needed a walk so I took her both Thursday and Friday morning, in the rain. Yes we, the sissy dog that is afraid of rain and me the one with newly formed germs swirling around in my veins, walked in the rain. This is about three or four bad ideas already right?
I called my doctors office this morning, that hates me, my doctor doesn't hate me, the witches in the office however do not care if I live or die. My doctor is apparently 'booked up solid' the whole week. Which translates into 'we can't squeeze you in because that would involve extra work for us, we know we are in the health care profession but you sick people kind of throw off our day and we have stuff to do.' I was told to go to urgent care.

"Insert a string of profanity laced sentences here."

So now I sit and wait for my possible strep throat to mutant into a global catastrophic event. I, the host, plan to vote tomorrow come hell or high water or bubonic plague. So everyone watch out, I'm going out in public tomorrow and taking my germs with me.