Sunday, December 27, 2009

Things I Learned This Christmas

I learned some important things this year.  I feel I should share my new-found wisdom so that you, dear readers, can learn from my Christmas mistakes!
  • Wax paper doesn't go in the oven.  That's what parchment paper is for; if you think it's no big deal to substitute wax paper for parchment paper so you don't have to run out to the store for more parchment paper two days before Christmas, your kitchen WILL SMELL LIKE A CANDLE ON FIRE. 
  • Stained Glass Cookies are NOT worth the effort to make.  They are DEFINITELY not worth running out to the store 2 days before Christmas to get more parchment paper.  We threw away the dough.  Too sticky to use the cookie cutters on, not worth the frickin' effort. I consider it a Christmas gift to my sanity.
  • If you FILL your freezer with cookies for everyone's Christmas gifts, YOU WILL GET SNOWED IN.  And you will be stuck with all those frickin' cookies in your freezer until you can make it to your hometown and give them away.  Cuz you REALLY don't want to eat them and have to re-make all those damn things.  
  • If you wait to buy your mom a knock-off Snuggie, (because she refuses to see logic and just wear a robe backwards, cuz let's face it, same thing, except you can TIE a robe!!)  they'll sell out. 
  • As soon as you hang your stocking on the wall, the cat will become ENTHRALLED with it, even if he's been sleeping on all of them for 3 weeks.  (You know, the 3 weeks between when you dug them out of the closet and found the Command hooks and put the hooks up on the wall and finally got around to putting the stockings up.) 
  • If you give you husband (long and tall) pilsners for Christmas and you aren't sure they are dishwasher safe, buy a bottle brush BEFORE Christmas, so that you are SURE you have one when he tries them out.  Because those are a B*TCH to try to stuff your hand down in and clean out. 
So now you know how my last week has gone and why I have done pretty much nothing except bag up the trash since Christmas.  I took a day and a half off the sit around.  Now I should probably get back to work.  Blerg. 

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    The Week In Cookies... or something.

    It's been a week since my last post. I'm busy enough during the day that I don't have words by the time I get around to the computer.

    Yesterday, my dad bought my birthday present. Dude needs a calendar; my birthday is in September. Maybe that's what I should have gotten him for Christmas.

    I am so tired. Getting ready for Christmas is exhausting. I'm making cookies and other baked goods for my friends. If God can't make me thin, I'll make my friends fat, and all that jazz.

    I made Oreo Bonbons today.

    Tomorrow (well, technically today, it's after midnight) I'm going to my office to turn in my keys. I will no longer be the service-learning coordinator. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I love the title, but I HATE the job.

    Tomorrow, I have to have lunch with TheWeasel. I'm not looking forward to that.

    Tomorrow, it is also my goal to clean out the rest of the stuff that's still in the van from when we moved. Then hopefully it'll get better gas mileage for the TRIP TO MY PARENTS' HOUSE!!!!! this week. And we'll have room to bring back the bar-stools from my parents' basement. I can't wait to have seats to eat at instead of the floor or the couch all the time.

    Tuesday, Andy and I are making Stained Glass Cookies(I use the site she links back to, but it's not loading right now), Snickerdoodles for Jamie, Cake Pops a la Bakerella, and Nutella Turnovers. Hopefully all that stuff will work out. I added food coloring and thinned the almond bark on the Oreo Bonbons so they look kind of different than usual. They still taste great though. I hope everything works out and people like them.

    OK, I should post this and wrap up and go to bed.

    --Oh! And I made a stocking for Punk. And Andy's aunt made him 2 scarves and they should be in the mail! Punk likes scarves. He drags mine around the house. I'm excited.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    Chad Ora Howard-- May 25, 1979-December 13, 1995

    There are some things you never think you’ll have to say.  And then there are things you say so often you’re surprised when someone hasn’t heard them. 

    When I was 9 years old, in fourth grade, I got the flu on a Sunday morning.  So I stayed home from church.  Monday I felt better but my parents kept me home to make sure I was ok.  Tuesday I relapsed and was sick all morning but better in the afternoon.  When my brother got home from school, (he was a high school junior) I had been cooped up in the house so long, I wanted to play.  He suggested Legos.  I refused.  I wanted Barbies.  We got in a fight and he told me that Mari, his girlfriend in Montana, played Legos, and that was why she was so smart.  That, of course, infuriated me, so I yelled that I hated him and went back to my room. 
    After supper I was so bored and stir-crazy, I was willing to apologize, and even to play Legos.  So I went to my brother’s room downstairs.  The door was locked.  I told him I was sorry through the door and that, if he still wanted, I would play Legos.  No reply.  So I went upstairs and told my dad.  He told me to tell Chad that “he said” to open the door. 
    No reply.
    So I went back upstairs and told him that.  He told me to tell Chad that if he didn’t open the door, he would have to do dishes, the most dreaded chore in our house.   I went back down. 
    No reply.
    At that point, I had had enough.  I didn’t want to tell anyone, but I still wasn’t feeling 100% well and all the running up and down the stairs was making me feel sick again.  So I sat on the couch and read the comics from the Sunday newspaper.  If Chad didn’t want to play that badly, then he wouldn’t be any fun to play with anyway. 
    The next morning, I still wasn’t feeling very well, but I had decided I WAS GOING to school.  I got up at my normal time, got dressed and wandered out to the kitchen to eat the breakfast my father had prepared for me ahead of time.  As I was eating my soggy Cocoa Pebbles, my father remarked that Chad hadn’t come up from his room yet.  Normally he beat me to the kitchen table.  He was always upstairs by 7:15 at the latest. 
    So my dad went downstairs to make sure Chad was up.  His door was still locked.  He usually slept with the door closed, but not locked.  My dad yelled up at my mom to get the spare key to Chad’s room.  My mom got the key, I handed it to my dad when he came up and he told me I should go wash my hands, I don’t know why.  So I went to wash my hands and heard my dad yell up at my mom to call an ambulance. 
    After washing my hands, I went to the stack of folded laundry in the living room, looking for a towel.  As  I was leaving the living room my mom was entering and I remember dancing around in a Chip and Dale style dance, arms straight out, half hugging, no touching except the hands on each others’ shoulders.  Then she sent me to my room and told me Ken and Dee, the neighbors down the road, were gonna come get me for a while. 
    I sat in my room, waiting.  I didn’t know what was going on; I just sort of felt empty inside.  I sat on the floor next to my bed and tried to play paper dolls, but I didn’t have any interest in them. 
    Ken and Dee arrived in what probably was record time, and I left before the ambulance came.  I spent the day at Ken and Dee’s doing various things, making paper crafts, playing with dolls, the usual.  No one told me anything until around 3pm. Ken came home, from the hospital, I presume, and told me that Chad had gone to heaven.  I didn’t really listen.  I thought he must have been confused or something.  I don’t know.   I just went on going what I was doing.  I stayed until supper time.  My parents’ actually got home and came to get my while I was having supper with Ken and Dee.  All the adults decided that Ken could just bring me home after I had eaten. 
    When I got home, my mother was looking in the fridge.  I asked her how Chad was.  She said he was much better.  Not getting the answer I was looking for, I found my father in the dark, looking out the picture window in the living room.  I asked him how Chad was.  He looked down at me and asked hadn’t Ken said anything to me?  Chad died.  I didn’t know what to do.  Ken had to be wrong.  Where was my big brother?  I don’t remember anything else from that night except that there were more presents under the Christmas tree, without tags and I asked who they were for and my parents said me; who else could they be for?