A Camel, A Donkey and a Golf Cart

Courtesy of Wikipedia - my picture was of the camel's rear-end

Sometimes I wonder if my husband and daughter do things on purpose to foster my delusion that they cannot function without me or if it really does come naturally to them.  I’m 600 miles away on a week long business trip last week and I see an email from my daughter’s cheerleading coach.  It reads “There have been a few changes to our plans for Sunday’s Parade.”  Hmm, changes?  plans??  So there was a plan before today?  This is the first I’ve heard of this plan and today is FRIDAY!

It turns out that the Cheerleading Squad was to ride on the Chamber of Commerce’s float in the annual Christmas Parade on Sunday.  Oh good – because after a full week out of town I needed something to do with my Sunday afternoon.  Lying around napping on the couch is overrated anyway.  But it’s a Christmas Parade after all.  It will be fun right?  Have you BEEN to a small town Christmas parade?

First, you have to understand that in a small town if you have a convertible, a golf cart or a tractor you can and evidently should, be in the parade.  If you are “Miss” anything you should also be in the parade.  So you will see a 1995 Blue Mustang convertible with Miss Teen Terminx 2011 sitting on top waiving with a magnet on the side of the car advertising the local shoe repair shop.  It’s best if you can attach tinsel to your golf cart, tractor or convertible or maybe some garland because that makes it more festive. 

There are a few floats in the parade – as I mentioned my daughter was riding on one.  They were performing cheers and throwing candy although they looked as if they were throwing shoes at rabid dogs rather than tossing Tootsie rolls to antsy toddlers.  I think some of the cheerleaders should go out for softball.  Anyway, there was one very disturbing float with a handful of women my age in sweats dancing the same exact dance the entire student body of my high school did at the prom.  I said to my husband, “What the hell is that?”  As the float went by I finally saw the sign on the back for the locally offered Zumba classes.  I don’t know how many free classes those women got for agreeing to do that in public on a float in a small town Christmas Parade but it cannot possibly be enough.

Duck and cover - Tootsie Rolls Incoming!

Another interesting float was the Good Aim Baptist Church Nativity Scene.  I am not making up the name of that church, I so wish I was.  Joseph was dangling baby Jesus precariously over the edge of the float much to the annoyance of Little Mary.  I’m not positive, but I think further down in the procession, once Mary got Baby Jesus back in her hands, she beat Joseph with him.  Following behind them was a camel and a donkey.  I feel it prudent to point out there were no wise men in connection with this float.  If there had been wise men, they would have changed the name of that church!

If you count all the time we spent dropping Tink off at her designated location, finding a parking space, waiting for the parade to start, waiting for it to be over and returning home, we spent about three and a half hours doing “parade activities”.  That’s a lot of time spent to see a camel, a donkey and a few golf carts!

The Night Before Christmas? I Think Not!

If I heard one more person say, “What’s with all this Christmas stuff?  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!” I was going to start decking more than halls.  A few short weeks ago, every person I came in contact with uttered that phrase.  The only people who think that there’s this mysterious endless supply of time to prepare for Christmas are the people who don’t have to.

It was barely 2 days after Halloween before I was planning ‘The Set Up’.  “You’ll bring the boxes down from the attic,” I told my husband.  “I’ll put the tree together and,” I turned to my daughter, “you’ll decorate it!”  “Why don’t we get a real tree this year?” my daughter asked.  When my wicked laughter stopped, I replied, “I’m barely keeping you, your Dad and the cat alive you think I”m going to tackle a tree??”

There’s a pressure on Moms to put on The Perfect Christmas.  This pressure is mostly thrust upon us by our own selves.  (Warning:  Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, say this to a Mom.  If you do, I am not responsible for what happens to you afterwards!)  We want to experience that perfect moment on Christmas Day when everyone in our family opens that gift they’ve been wanting most for all time.  Or at least the gift they’ve been wanting most for a month and a half.  Everyone will get along that day and the turkey on the table will look like the ones they always have on TV.  Miracles will happen in our own homes like they do in cheesy Christmas specials and we will actually hear the Angels singing.  It will be perfect and glorious.  Instead, no matter how hard I work, my Christmas’es always seem to turn out more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Anyway, this pressure that I put on myself seems to begin with getting the house decorated for the holiday.  My mom followed a pretty strict timeline which included putting the tree up on December 15th and I always thought that was good, but I don’t follow that one.  Don’t mistake my rush to decorate for Christmas as enthusiasm.  It’s actually a defense mechanism because the longer I take to decorate, the more I have to listen to my daughter and the neighbors and my co-workers ask me when I’m going to decorate.  So if I get this out of the way by the day after Thanksgiving, well, that’s something I can check off the list.

Decorating the house is the first outward appearance of preparing for the holiday, but by Thanksgiving Day if I’m not 3/4 complete with my Christmas shopping I’m seriously behind.  By the time the turkey’s coming out of the oven, I’ve been writing down notes of what gifts my daughter and husband have mentioned they would like to have or want for months.  I’ve also spent hours on eBay, Amazon and Google tracking it down.  I have been asking them for weeks for a Christmas list.  I don’t go out on Black Friday.  I may get crazy and delusional during the Holidays but not that crazy!  I’m too old to get trampled by 500 antsy, caffeine crazed loonies over a $5 Barbie, a $9 coffee maker or a $99 Plasma TV – especially since there’s only 3 of each hidden throughout the store.

Then there’s the endless discussions with my family and my husband’s family to determine dates for the family parties.  There was probably less tension during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  This negotiation is followed by the search for perfect gifts for extended family members, neighbors, teachers, my husband’s boss, my employees, gymnastics coaches and my own boss.  Cooking falls in there somewhere.  My daughter and I bake Monster Cookies which is a recipe I stole from my 7th grade home economics teacher – that takes up a whole day.  There’s also the annual Christmas Eve gathering of the neighbors which is a lot of fun because it includes wine.  I wish my in-laws gathering included wine.  Well, now that I think about it I guess it’s better that there isn’t any alcohol near those family gatherings.

Each year, my husband and daughter take off a day or two before Christmas and go out in search of my gifts.  I don’t venture out during the “End of Days” as I call it.  I’m so stressed by a day or two before Christmas that if someone wrenched the last faux cashmere scarf out of my hands I might attempt to strangle them with it.  Last year was a strange one for our family.  I was gone for a week on a business trip in early December (just like this year) and my husband was working several hundred miles away and home only every other weekend.  So, I bought my own gifts last year – but I made my husband wrap them.  Because last year was extra stressful, it culminated with me loudly declaring on December 26th that if my family wanted to have Christmas in 2011 they would do it themselves!  I quote, “I’m done with Christmas.  I.  AM.  NOT.  DOING IT!”  And I meant it! 

I’m not the only one who reacted this way.  My friend Michelle told me that last year when she open the boxes of Christmas decorations, more than half of them were smushed and broken.  Then she remembered that she was having a complete meltdown as she ripped down the decorations and shoved them into boxes.  For some strange reason that made me feel better.

I was firm in this resolution of “not doing Christmas” into the shiny new year . . . until Halloween came.  As families around the country were getting dressed up as vampires and mummies, I said to my daughter, “It’s Halloween so you know what that means . . . It’s time for your Christmas list!”  I distinctly heard my husband say, “Oh no, not again” even though he denies it.

Yes, it will be the same thing all over again.  Because despite the stress, headaches, family drama, exhaustion and lack of appreciation for all the behind the scenes work, it is worth it.  Christmas Day is perfect because by then I’ve found the true holiday spirit.  I am thankful that I have my daughter and husband, extended family and friends to fuss over so much.  It really does feel like a Christmas miracle.

But by golly on December 26th, everyone better help me pack all this red and green junk back into the attic because I’ll be over it for another 10 months!

Quick Quips

As most of you know, I’ve been imprisoned all week and all my creative energy sucked out of my brain by long business meetings.  Please forgive me for offering you an appetizer-size sample of some of my friends’ wittiest comments over the past few weeks.

The best of the recent Facebook moments:

A friend posted on Facebook “Do something nice for a stranger, even if it’s just a smile and a ‘hello’!”  I replied, “I have no problem smiling and being nice to a stranger. It’s my family that might take a little more effort!”

A co-worker posted on Facebook that she was nervous about leaving her 9 week old baby with the sitter and returning to work on Monday.  I replied, “Yea!  It will be just like old times!  Oh wait . . . this was supposed to be inspirational.”

Reminds me of my Tanorexics Anonymous meeting . . .

My friend Brian posted yesterday:  Things you probably shouldn’t say at the Holiday Customer Service Desk:  “Can you help me exchange my balls or do I need to get your supervisor?”  
“I’m sorry, it seems the problem was I was adding wrong.” posted by our company’s Chief Financial Officer

“I saw a grown man with a stuffed Papa Smurf attached to his backpack.  Is that code for something?”  Reply, “I told you to stay away from the Walmart in downtown Baltimore!”
That’s all for today folks.  Tune in Monday when hopefully I’ll have a little more energy and can be a bit more creative!  If I survive tonight’s company Holiday Party that is.

Let's hope this isn't a scene at tonight's event!


Tanorexia – It’s not a myth anymore . . .

See - no tan lines! (photo from FreecessionLessons.wordpress.com)

So if you are a regular visitor to my blog, you may remember the post Party Dress Humiliation about me trying to find the perfect outfit for an upcoming holiday party and, more importantly, how to squeeze into it.  It involves some embarrassing moments and possibly a can of Crisco, but that’s not the end of it.  The selection of the dress and proper undergarments is just the beginning, because once you’ve put on the dress and smoothed out your lumps and bumps you look at your face hovering above it all and realize you look like a corpse!  (Note:  Never, ever, ever search for corpse images on Google.  I need therapy now.)

I’ve been working 50-65 hours a week, daylight’s getting shorter and the weather is turning colder.  How am I going to cure this sickly pallor?  Oh the humanity!  I finally solve the dress dilemma only to discover that I forgot my head was attached to my body!  Then, as I’m sinking into yet another pit of despair over this damn party, an idea comes to me . . . I can go tanning!

This looks completely safe! (photo from photobucket.com)

I can go once a day to a tanning salon and lie in a coffin that shoots rays of death at my body in an attempt to look better in a week or two.  This sounds horrific, but if you can get past the increased chances for cancer, the fact that some other naked body was lying in that exact same spot just moments ago and the smell of slightly charred flesh – it’s really not so bad.  I mean you get 10 – 20 minutes to take a nap while lying on that piece of plexiglass.  (if the sweat pooling beneath you doesn’t bother you)

If you’ve ever been tanning, then you know what I’ve written above to be true.  If you haven’t, then after reading that you are probably thinking “NEVER!”  But there’s a condition that is recognized by doctors everywhere . . . or at least WebMD.com.  Tanorexia!  I am NOT making this up.

Tanorexia is the theory that just as anorexics can’t get skinny enough, tanorexics can’t get tan enough.  While you may think you are just subjecting yourself to these deplorable conditions for a few days to knock the white glare off your pallid complexion for a special event, you will look in the mirror and think “Oh good heavens!  I’m still pale – I need more fake and bake!”  (note:  Fake and bake is a technical term for indoor tanning.)  After your special event has come and gone, you will still feel the need to continue the indoor tanning lest you feel you have “lost your glow.”

I'm totally rocking this look

Tanorexics also believe that they look slimmer and sexier when they are tan.  This is compounded by the fact that it is true.  Seriously, when you think of nerds do you envision tan ones?  No, they are super-skinny and pale like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.  When you think of super-models or bare-chested hunks do you see one with alabaster skin?  No!  They always have a healthy glow if not a deeper, richer color.  There’s also an expression:  If you can’t tone it, tan it.  So if working out isn’t working out for you, tan it!  What’s the harm?  Oh yeah – cancer.

Then there’s always the chance that while you are subjecting yourself to this tortuous situation and burning your skin in order to be sexier that you will over do it.  There’s nothing more difficult than trying to explain a sunburn in December when it’s 30 degrees outside.  People look at your red face and first assume you must be drunk.  Who would think you had suffered a sun-burn?  It’s not a sun-burn it’s a bulb-burn.  I spend a hundreds of dollars a year on make-up and moisturizer with sunblock built in only to scrub my face clean of it before lying underneath direct ultraviolet rays.  What is wrong with me?

Don't my teeth look nice and white?

If you are new to my blog, then you may be expecting me to now say something meaningful and altruistic about how we should all embrace our own unique physical appearance and not feel burdened by society’s demands that we look tan and slim in the middle of winter.  But this ain’t that blog.  I say, do what you have to ladies!  Buy the restrictive undergarments, fry your skin to a golden brown – whatever you need to boost your confidence.  When you find people asking you why you look like a piece of shriveled up bacon, come join me at my next TA meeting.  People there are very friendly once you get past the smell of fried skin and tanning accelerator.  “Hi, my name is Angry, and I’m a Tanorexic”

Party Dress Humiliation

Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the Super Bow...

Most women who read this title immediately understood what this post would be about.  Men are probably thinking this might be an interesting read about a wardrobe malfunction equal to that Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident several years ago.  Sorry to disappoint gentlemen (but trust me, a wardrobe malfunction would have been equally as disappointing) but this post is about the humiliating search for a holiday/party dress.

When I was 23 I remember my sister-in-law calling me to tell me she had seen the most amazing party dress that only 1 person in the world could wear and that person was me.  It was on sale and she insisted that I go right that moment and purchase it.  I did indeed go straight to the mall, found the dress and tried it on.  It was Kelly Green and made of stretchy ruched satin and very, very short.  It did indeed look good on me.  I was 23, everything was where it was supposed to be (and firm) and I weighed 101 pounds.  As my mother used to say, “A flour sack would look good on you.”  That was me – way back then.

I really, really miss those days.  Every year the company that employs me hosts a holiday party for the employees.  Cocktail party attire is the dress code.  For many who attend, it is the only chance all year to dress up.  For equally as many, it is a lesson in humiliation.  We women must find a new dress to wear to this event and the hunt itself is devastating to our self-esteem. 

So off I went to the department store and ventured into the holiday dress section.  Oh the horror!  Now that I am no longer 23, no longer have all the parts in their ideal location, (nothing feels firm) and I sure as hell am not 101 pounds, none of these dresses are made for me.  But neither am I ready to shop in the “Grandma” section.  So I swim through the ocean of holiday dresses grabbing a few to take to the dressing room.  There will be no Kelly Green nor Christmas Red at this stage in my life.  Every choice is black because black is a color that hides middle age issues. 

Each dress I try on is more horrendous than the last.  They look beautiful hanging in the store and on those perfectly proportioned mannequins, but on me they reveal all my worst features.  “When did that roll of fat appear?  Why is my rear-end so lumpy?  Oh Lord, it’s time to clear all the clothes off the treadmill again!”  These are just some of the thoughts rolling through my mind.  Finally I choose a dress that a nun could wear and wander off dejectedly.  Then I remember something.  Spanx!


For those of you who do not know what Spanx is, think of the girdles women wore in the 50’s and 60’s only Spanx come in nude and black and with a slightly naughty name.  So I go to the Intimates section.  Hmm, well Spanx may be “intimate” but it sure as hell isn’t sexy.  These garments range from giant panty-styles to things that look like mini prison jumpsuits.  The sales lady helps me pick out a size and style.  I ask, “Do you have to use a can of Crisco to get into this?”  She laughs, luckily she is the age – and possibly size – that would also know what a can of Crisco is.  “It stretches,” she says, “go try it on and then put your dress on over it.  You’ll see.”  So off I go to the dressing room. 

It takes me 10 minutes to squirm into this garment which goes from my mid-thigh all the way up to my ribs.  When it was finally on, I think I heard my kidneys scream.  It was either the kidneys or my liver and gallbladder – I’m not sure.  I was wondering how the heck I would get out of this to use the bathroom when I discovered it has an “escape hatch”.  I’ll leave the description at that.  Then I tried the dress on.  HOLY COW!  I looked amazing.  There were no rolls of fat and my rear-end looked like it did when I was 23!  (Ok, would you believe it looked like a 33-year-old ass at least?)  I looked . . . what was the word . . .  GOOD!

25 minutes later, after I’d wriggled out of that contraption, I was back in the dressing room again with different dress.  One that a nun would not wear!  It showed a little bosom and clung tightly to my body.  I put the Spanx on again – another 10 minute ordeal – and then the new dress.  By now I’m sweating like I’ve just completed Biggest Loser Cardio Workout and having a little trouble breathing but again I look good.  Almost . . . dare I say it . . . hot?  Well, definitely warm. 

If I’m not mistaken the Spanx cost almost as much as the dress but it was so worth it for the self-confidence it inspired.  I won’t lie and say I feel like my 23-year old self again, but I sure don’t feel like I’m just a short step from the Grandma dress section anymore.  If this were a different type of blog, this would be the point at which I would decide that I’m comfortable with my middle age lumps and bumps and to hell with the Spanx and on with the sexy dress.  As I’ve said before, this ain’t that blog.  Thanks to some lycra and spandex, and maybe a miracle bra, I can go confidently to this year’s holiday party.  Of course I won’t be able to eat or drink anything but I will look fantastic in the pictures!  I still think I’m going to have a can of Crisco on hand just incase.

Holiday Memories, Old and New

When I was a child, the biggest fight of the year between my parents was during the lighting of the Christmas tree.  Usually it was an artificial tree, but in those days it didn’t really matter.  Before any decorating could commence, the lights must be untangled and tested and strung on the tree.  Those were also the days when if one light went out the whole string went out so it was quite a frustrating process that culminated with neither parent speaking to each other and barely to me.  So there I would be, all alone, humming Jingle Bells to myself decorating the tree.  Ahh, holiday memories . . .

Flash forward to the year 2011, the day after Thanksgiving.  My husband decides he needs to tackle the leaves in our yard.  You actually couldn’t see any yard, only leaves.  While hubby was outside clearing leaves, my daughter and I decided to decorate.  Together we carefully opened the attic.  The scariest part for me is straightening out the stairs.  I’m just a little too short for the job so there is always a precarious moment as everything falls into place.  Then I was certain the boxes of decorations would be too heavy, but together, my daughter and I successfully brought everything down, including the tree, although we both laughed about the fact that we’d love to see a video of our efforts because they were quite creative. 

christmas decorations at virtusa

My daughter was in charge of the decorating and I of the cleaning.  I would dust, vacuum or clean the area and she would then decorate it.  She saved the tree for last but by then we were both getting a little tired.  I really wanted the job to be complete, return the empty boxes to the attic and collapse on the couch.  Tink (my daughter’s nickname short for Tinkerbell) began to do what I call “lolly-gag” around, ultimately accomplishing more television watching than tree decorating.  As I was putting up cleaning supplies after scrubbing toilets (note: I wasn’t cleaning them to be decorated, this was just part of a weekly routine) I noticed that she was holding the exact same decorations that she had in her hands several moments ago.  My exhaustion began to get to me and I called out, “Finish up already, that shouldn’t take all day!”  I must have been channeling my mother.

Speaking of my mother, a few months ago I was lamenting to her about Tink’s increasingly smart-alec mouth.  She’s 13 – if you’ve ever been the parent of teenagers you already understand.  My mother said, “Wait until she smarts off and you realize she’s right.  Then you have to figure out how to respond.”  I admit that my first thought was, “You mean there were times when I was a teenager that I was actually right and you knew it?” but even at my age I know better than to say that to my mother.  She might still ground me.

christmas decorations

Back to my story, I scolded Tink about her “lolly-gagging” and she replied, “I am, I am!” short pause, “If you want to help me you can.”  It wasn’t the words she spoke, it was the tone.  An unmistakable challenge to my authority as a mother oozing through them.  Although I realized the truth of what she said, I spouted back, “That’s just the kind of Smart-Alec attitude I won’t tolerate in my house!  No ma’am!”  I hurried into the next room thinking that even if she was right she should know better than to taunt me that way!  I almost starting to tear up.  This really was exactly like my childhood Christmases.

Our mutual moment of irritation soon passed, I finished cleaning the house and she finalized the decorating.  Tink did a beautiful job and I told her as much, complimenting her on some of the details.  Finally we were ready to return the boxes to the attic.

Now we were both feeling a little cocky at this point.  We’d already accomplished the hard part – getting the heavy boxes down from the attic.  At this point we were only returning empty boxes to the attic.  I opened the attic door and then reached up to pull down the stairs.  What happened next is a little fuzzy.  I arrived at that precarious moment and it quickly went from precarious to horrifying.  All I remember is a lot of wooden steps coming at me and Tink hollering repeatedly “Are you ok?  Are you ok??”  I would have thought that the sound of me yelling “Aaaahhhhhh!!!!” would have been the indication that I was not ok.  When the chaotic moment passed I was still standing, I knew I was probably hurt but not entirely sure where.  Tink’s eyes were as wide as saucers and again she asked, “ARE YOU OK?”  This time I shakily replied, “Give me just a moment.”  She hugged me tightly and then . . . we both burst out laughing.  She laughed so hard she collapsed to the floor.

There’s nothing like a near-death experience for producing riotous laughter.  It’s been the sustenance of America’s Funniest Videos for years.  As a matter of fact if we had that “attic attack” on video I’m sure we’d have a chance at the $10,000 prize.  After resting for a few minutes and inspecting my arms and legs for signs of broken bones I came to the conclusion that I was fine.  Together Tink and I loaded the empty boxes into the attic passing back and forth a lot of “be carefuls” and “you got its?”  But the dangerous part was over.  

My arms are black and blue and my right wrist is still swollen, but not a scratch on my face or any nasty bumps on my head.  Nothing that a little time won’t cure.  And together my daughter and I created some new memories.  Years from now as she’s decorating her own tree in her own home with her own children she’ll probably double over with laughter remembering the time I nearly died in a tragic attack of the attic stairs incident.  Ahh, Holiday Memories . . .

It’s All Relatives

Dr. Öz at ServiceNation 2008

In a recent Facebook post, Dr. Oz cautioned readers to beware of the sodium in your holiday foods because they could raise your blood pressure and “negatively affect your health.”  Well, Dr. Oz, it ain’t just Aunt Edna’s Mac n Cheese that’s raising blood pressures at all these family gatherings.  Often times it’s Aunt Edna!  Or Uncle John or Mother-in-law or Sister-in-law . . . come to think of it most of the time it is “Someone-in-law”.

Have you ever heard that verse, “It’s the most, wonderful time of the year” and thought “yeah buddy, you don’t have to spend it with my family!”  If you haven’t then yea for you.  Probably time for you to leave this blog and go find one about how to turn the simple act of wrapping a present into a 4 hour ordeal which includes weaving your own ribbon.  This ain’t that blog.

When you Google “Families and Holidays” the first several results are along the lines of tips to reduce family “burdens” and “stress” around the holidays.  Doesn’t something about that seem off?  Aren’t these supposed to be the people you hold most dear?  Then why do they irritate the living fool out of us?  I remember reading an interesting article 20-25 years ago either in Seventeen or Cosmopolitan magazine.  It was geared more towards romantic relationships but the part that stuck with me the most was that the reason someone could exasperate you to the point of insanity was simply because they mattered so much to you.  You don’t spend as much time annoyed at someone you don’t care about.   This person is so important to you and you love them so very much that every little annoying thing they do can infuriate you.  That explains a lot, but doesn’t exactly warm the heart.

Back when “Home Improvement” with Tim Allen was on, I didn’t watch it regularly but I did see a Christmas episode when one of the kids wanted to go on a ski trip instead of spending the holiday with his family.  Tim Taylor, the Dad, comes home to find him sneaking out while the rest of the family was at church.  Tim says, “Christmas is not about being with people you like, it’s about being with your family!”  (So is Thanksgiving)

I love that line!  Because the truth is we don’t often like all the members of our family (or our spouse’s family), but they are important to us.  And truthfully, more important than a lot of people we call friends.  It’s hard because most of us spend much more of our time at work with co-workers and bosses and people who “need” us than we do our families these days.  But if I die tomorrow, while I’m sure several people at work will miss me, within a few weeks they will hire someone else to take my place.  My family isn’t going to hire another Mom, or daughter or niece or Aunt. 

So, whether you are headed home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, Google all those helpful hints about dealing with family stress and take deep breaths when Aunt Edna comments that your turkey is extra dry this year, or when Uncle John has a little too much holiday wine and starts snoring in front of the TV, or when your mother-in-law corrects your children’s table manners then makes a comment not completely under her breath about “blame it on their mother”.  Put on your rose-colored glasses and maybe invest in a good pair of ear-plugs.  Relax and enjoy the family drama – heck maybe even blog about it.  There are people throughout our country who are all alone this Thanksgiving and they would give anything to be where you are.  There are soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who would love to experience the holiday with their irritating, overbearing family.  We have the distinct honor and privilege of being with ours.  And it’s not all bad, there’s Aunt Edna’s Mac n Cheese after all.

Recipe for Mac N Cheese

I’ll be away on Thanksgiving Day with family.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty to rant and rave about by Friday.  Take care and Happy Thanksgiving.