Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Thanks, but NO Thanks!"

"Thank you for this, thank you for that..." Yes. I know my list is lengthy, and for that I am even more grateful. But sometimes, "enough is enough!" In other words, "Thanks! But NO thanks!"

Let me explain.

I admire those super-energized lifestyle bloggers who prep a fancy Thanksgiving table in mid-September; they promptly post it, preening with perfection, on the first of November. By that date, they're also done with Christmas and hopping around, looking for table toppers for Easter. Impressive! I could never do that. Mainly for one reason. Over here, I have "help" - those classy ladies do not. Huge difference!

Here, take a look!........

My "General Manager" emerges with the turkey tureen. He's opinionated.

"That napkin looks crooked."
"What?  Only one bottle of wine?"
"Squash soup? Again?"

He's closely followed by "The Weather Girl."

"Hmmm. Well, who really knows what Thursday will look like. It's not here yet (duh!). But today I'm observing a frisky pair of squirrels hanging at the bird feeder, and predicting they'll be back tomorrow!"

When the centerpiece arrives, so does "The Florist."

"Funny. I don't smell a thing! Did you remember to order this arrangement in fresh catnip scent?"

No, we're not done yet.

"The Chair Inspector" is here to do some serious sitting....and commenting.....

"Say I choose this seat, how close would I be to the gravy boat?"

Lighting. Meet my electrician-in-residence!

"Open flames? There's no reason to take that risk in this era of battery operated tea lights. I've even seen some that flicker like real candles. Why don't you go that route?"

So, I've added "tea lights" to my shopping list and made a few more notes:

  1. re-launder tablecloth
  2. re-wash dishes
  3. wish everyone a purr-fect Thanksgiving (who says "no thanks" to that?!) 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rockin' and Stitchin'

I probably should be bothered by a common "grandma stereotype" - but I'm not. After all, that blissful rocking chair occupancy, the lap loaded with quilting-in-process, the milling about of multiple cats - really does describe what happens at this contented grandma's house. But there's another, more sentimental reason why I'm not offended. A warm childhood memory of mine is the picture of my own beloved maternal grandmother, rocking away, (knitting, not quilting), with her little dog, Tuffy, safely tucked alongside, like a snugly wrapped lap burrito. This welcoming oasis was a place of perpetual sunshine and warmth for me; I'd sit and babble about any old thing that crossed my mind - laughing, narrating, unburdening with abandon - because grandma absorbed every single word I said. She'd smile and nod and shift her ball of yarn and urge me to continue. At grandma's, I could never say or do anything wrong; in fact, I am certain that if anyone had dared make that suggestion, they'd be dismissed with a scowl so penetrating they'd flee the scene for fear of losing their soul.

Grandma has been knitting away, listening, and loving me from heaven for quite a few years. It's my turn now - to rock and stitch and collect cats - and do anything else I want in between. My favorite among those choices, of course, is hosting a place where grandchildren come for their own turn as the most important super star in the world - the place where a word like "naughty" doesn't exist - but descriptions like "precocious" and "ingenious" thrive, along with, "Isn't that just the most clever thing anyone has ever heard anywhere?" Those words rock away with contentment in the sun, under the warming quilt of a grandmother whose offspring, for yet another generation, are incapable of ever doing any wrong!

Yes, I did the make the wall hanging pictured above. Several years ago. It's a Lynette Jensen "Thimbleberries" pattern. I love her work. I bring this one out every autumn. Sometimes it hangs on the wall, other times it covers the kitchen table. There's a risk in doing that, though. Then it becomes more of a resting place for spare sets of paws, rather than one for place settings for people!

Oh my goodness! Look at that scrumptious pair of little fluff-muffins! I just wanna gobble 'em both right up!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015 - Post-Mortem

"I'll have whatever those kids are bouncing off the walls on!"

Buried. All of it! The fuzzy spiders, that rattlin' pile of bones, those scruffy rats, the giggling ghosties.....hustled down to the basement to embark upon an eleven month respite.....

But spectral wisps still linger, refusing to be swept up for thoughtless discard alongside fun size wrappers and crinkled party bags. When memories sneak a seasonal path into the crevices of a grandma's heart, Halloween is never, ever, really over!

Let me show you what I mean.....

It was a dark and stormy afternoon....(Is it ever gonna stop raining on Halloween around here?)
But inside grandma's house, beneath candlelit glow, a curious occurrence promised a show......

A family of skeletons - entrepreneurial ones, right down to their bones - opened for business, and welcomed us in......

"We might call this place 'The Bone Shake Shack,' but slurpin' up ice cream isn't all we do!"

"If you like what you see, we've got tables for seating your two groups of three!"

With children in hand, I inspected the scene - a little uneasily, but it was Halloween!

And that's probably why no one but grandma seemed bothered by a trio of donuts attracting the attention of three scruffy rats!

At this unsettling picture, I suggested we go, but as you've probably guessed, the kids hollered, "NO!"

Plenty of seating, as promised, ahead.......the kids were just dying to sit and be fed!

A tower of goodies, groaning with snacks!

Cheese straws on top,
Cream cheese iced banana muffins in the middle,
Fruit and veggie slices with peanut butter dip on the bottom.....

This little kitty meowed with delight!
(But those nasty old rats weren't scared by the sight!)

Twin cousins, too, here's one now,
Eyeballing a taco monster and thinking, "WOW!"

Lovely ladies fill each chair,
Next year, baby brother joins them there!

Kaylee surmises (correctly!) that if she doesn't gobble down her lunch, someone else will!

Time for dessert!
What'll it be?
Shack's signature drink!
What else would we think?

Bone Shakes served by "you-know-who!"
Twin sissy, Ava, devours hers, too!

We settled our tab and left a nice tip.....
Dining with skellies is really quite hip!

Now, I suppose you might wonder, and I do understand, what kind of grandma brings children to dine out with rats?

Has she no class?

Would I change your mind if I invited you to the Halloween Art Show and Sale that followed the meal? Grandkids and I have been busy; that's the real deal!

My crew hung the pictures; they've years of experience - and know what to do!

Handprints and feet, pumpkins from paper and more from potatoes,
You can trust Bree, she knows where it goes!

Kaylee rents shopping baskets, Ava and Angeline sell tickets, but the "big kids" take care of your need for refreshments! (And here I have to brag. See the brother in the middle? He approached me a month ago, suggesting that we glue eyeballs to green Gatorade and sell it as "Green Goo!" Smartie! And Nick loves mummies, so we added Mountain Dew and wrapped them just for him, too!)

Needless to say, our Halloween Art Show was a sell out! No parent went home lacking a wall-full - enough to last long after the size of these little hands is just a memory to smile about!

But another thing you've gotta know,
Then I promise, I will go.....

If you're ever around on Halloween Day,
Shake those bones right in this way!

Good night, Halloween 2015.
You were, by far, the scariest one I've ever seen!

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