This is not a shameless bid for attention

Oh, who am I kidding. This is 2012 and this is the Internet. It’s all about the attention, baby

Today’s my birthday, and in a Facebook World that means everyone you’ve ever gazed for some unspecified minimum of time — both in actual real life and cyberspace — qualifies for Friend Status and thus wishes you Happy Birthday.

This gives you the totally misguided notion that all these people actually remember your birthday, have it marked on their Cute Kitties wall calendar, and count down the days mentally til the day they can joyously wish you feliz cumpleaños, joyeux anniversaire, or 생일.

This year is not a Significant birthday, except in  my own little mind. For it is, dear readers, the last year I can claim a “4” in the tens place, the last year before what I’ve fondly decided to call the F Word enters my life, and the last year before I am required to submit to the regular maintenance indignity perpetrated upon the American public known as the colonoscopy.

Ah, that’s a fun thing to read with your morning coffee, no?

And seriously, I do not mind growing old, for I have my own personal old fart to grow old with. He’s a decade my senior, and like most Baby Boomers, has experienced every nuance of aging long before I ever got there, and so by this time, the whole thing is old hat. Gray hair? Yes, he’s got that in abundance, and he cheerfully reminds me how ever so much grayer it is since the day he married me. Some gray hairs have crept into my coif too, but I like to think of them as cheap highlighter, and pretend that I look this way on purpose.

Today I plan to do what I do best, which is crack jokes and preside as editor of a publication. I’ve been informed there will be an departmental Birthday Lunch and I have indicated I will attend. I am wearing with wild excitement the birthday gift Mr. Gray Hair presented me with this morning, a deliciously blingie  snake rope necklace, and, as always I am clad in cowboy boots.

My children are healthy, I’ve got a roof over my head, and there are doughnuts in the world. Happy birthday to me!

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Now THAT’s more like it!

We had snow last Friday, as I detailed at the time. What did I know then? Today, now — today was a different story. Today we had SNOW.

Now that’s what I’m talkin bout. This is serious snow.

As soon as the city’s slumbering school kids awoke and realized snow was a-fallin,’ the wireless networks were instantly clogged with text messages buzzing with the news. Christopher was immediately invited over to a classmate’s house for sledding, and before long, he was bundled in 27 layers of clothing and equipped with a bright-red plastic sled, acquired a couple years ago when we also had sleddable snowfall.

Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of snowman Christopher. Instead, I present “Jeff.”

Jeff here is the creation of Claire and Trassie, who ventured forth into the approximately 4-inch, extremely wet snowfall that was so perfect for making snowmen that, why, they practically make themselves!

They also have to endure a few indignities, like having rabbit-ears thrust behind their snowy heads. But hey, Jeff’s a stylin’ snowguy, equipped with a baby carrot nose, genuine gravel eyes and mouth — and a vintage scarf from Mother’s Extensive Scarf and Wrap Collection. This one, c. 1984, is festooned with metallic thread and saw service as a waist-wrapped sash in a Flashdance-influenced period of my wardrobe history.

I hope you realize how much courage it took for me to admit that. But on Jeff, now, the scarf looked great, the kids had  a great time making him … and about six hours into his lifespan he was kicked flat and pressed into service as a fort.

The poor guy!

Now as evening approaches and I’ve got a chicken roasting in the oven and cranberry sauce cooling on the stove, my house is filled with good cooking smells and damp outerwear, drying here and there in various bathrooms and over heating vents. Who knows what tomorrow will bring; possibly frozen streets and perilous conditions for morning Mass-driving.

But now I’m snug and warm with Tras and my darling children Claire, Christopher, Trassie … and Jeff. God rest his snowy soul.

White Friday

Last night, while we were dreaming about spectacular sales, door-busting deals, and awesome online purchases, Nature had a more nuanced plan for the day after Thanksgiving.

White Friday.

I don’t claim to have any supernatural powers of observation, but the predawn light this morning seemed to have a lighter quality than usual. Things seemed a bit more illuminated as I pulled myself from the warm covers at the urging of Mr. Snugglepants J. Getupearly. Like every parent of a  school-age child, we spend weekday mornings dragging him from the bed from where he lies comatose in a dead sleep — but if it’s a day off and Mom and Daddums can actually sleep for an additional 23 minutes? He is UP BABY!!

So, although my as-yet caffeine-deprived brain was firing on just a half a cylinder or so, I was moved to peek out the window to see if anything in particular was up. As I was drawing the shade I realized the angry chirping of a seriously annoyed robin was alerting me to investigate.

“What in the holy hell is this??” he was saying. (I speak fluent robin.)

“I left the Upper Peninsula for THIS??”

Trassie was also amazed, but, not being a robin; rather, as a 6-year-old boy, he was speechless in presence of snow in November.

“November? I can’t believe it!” he breathed, happily dancing around the front hall in his Agent P jammies in a subdued fashion, so as not to awaken the still-slumbering daddy unit.

I was frankly sort of stunned that at this age, he realized that snow in November is indeed rare in Kentucky. (OK I know it’s not particularly Official Snow, right? But it’s actual white stuff on the ground and It Counts.)

Then, over warmed-up pancakes with 60% Real Maple Syrup (30% Cane Sugar) and turkey bacon, he told me what he had surmised regarding Life in the New Millennium thus far: Commercials advertise the month. See, October commercials feature Halloween. November? How else would we know it’s Thanksgiving? Way, way back in the summer? TV’s all over the Fourth of July. And December? Easy — Christmas, which includes plenty of the white stuff.

“It’s November, Mom! How can there be snow in November?” Don’t tell me television isn’t educational.

Behold, the vast reaches of whiteness behind my house. The green space, as we call it, is now the White Space …. and like the pleasure of finding a great deal online or in the store on the day after Thanksgiving, it has brought to this household a rare treat. I’ve never liked the term ‘black Friday’ … too dark and evil for the start of the Christmas season.

White Friday suits me much better.

Merry Christmas to all

The stockings are definitely hung by the chimney with care, but St. Nicholas isn’t anywhere particularly near. It’s Christmas Eve and there’s wrapping to be done. Let the panic begin.

Oh, I say that but I have to admit — it’s been a wonderful holiday season, from shopping with Tras, to decorating with the children, to lunches out with coworkers and lunches in with coworkers. I’m not even going to think about all the weight I may or may not have gained until January 2. It’s on my calendar.

Perhaps the most magical moment of all, this season, was the annual Christmas pageant presented by preschoolers. I began hearing “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” shortly after Halloween, in preparation for the lovely concert you see below. Their rendition was flawless.

Can you spot the nose pick? It just wouldn’t be Christmas without one.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, all ye blog readers. May all your dreams come true.