15 Family Traditions For Decorating Your Christmas Tree

So, I took some liberties with the title just to get non-readers to click the link, but hopefully you’ll learn something anyway…..like how unsanitary my mop is.

Jack’s new elf: Yes, he has a whole face. I stay away from the little crapster because I’m pretty sure he’s not just a spy for Santa, but for the IRS too, probably linked to Obama’s Gestapo. 

There really should be a law requiring children to be terribly excited, interested and cooperative about decorating the family Christmas tree each year. That way I could have my boys arrested for their completely uncaring, lackadaisical attitudes about the huge 9 ft conifer that’s now taking up a quarter of the living room, just waiting to create fond memories of family bonding over festive lights and cherished ornaments.

They’re supposed to ooh and ahhhh as James hurls in the Noble fir and spends 45 minutes muttering profanity as he fits the oversized SOB into the stand that we were supposed to replace last year, and the year before that. They’re supposed to dance around with glee and anticipation as I check the colored lights and unpack the ornaments.
Instead I find myself bellowing after I’ve got it half decorated completely by myself, “Andrew! Jack! PUT DOWN THOSE __________________ing game remotes and Get OVER HERE AND HELP ME WITH THIS _________________ing TREE!!!!!!”
Posted in butt nursery, Christmas tree decorating, Elf Magic, Jack Nicholson, noble fir, Pine Sol, The Shining. | 5 Comments

How to Effectively Utilize the Silent Treatment to Improve your Marriage….or Don’t Drink the Zit Cream.

(if this blog post has word spacing issues or any formatting problems at all, it’s NOT MY FAULT! It’s stupid, communist, liberal Blogger.)

I’m a little concerned about Katie, our six month old lab-border collie-Australian shepherd-piranha mix. None of the traditional “teach your dog to potty outside” training methods have worked thus far. I think she actually holds her bladder for hours while she’s playing in the yard so that she can “treat herself” to doing business on the dining room rug. I give her credit for having good taste.

In one of his most brilliantly strategic moves yet, my husband James blocked off both dining room entrances in hopes that Katie would prefer the 1.25 acre backyard toilet over any other interior rugs. Within 20 seconds of losing dining room access, resourceful Katie decided that the foyer rug was a suitable substitute, squatted and peed three gallons. While urinating, she stared up at James with a puzzled expression as he stormed into the room screaming expletives at her like the dad in A Christmas Story. I expect James to be blocking the foyer off soon. By the end of the week, we’ll all be living in the master bedroom closet because the rest of the house will be Katie-proofed.
I’m also very concerned that Katie is an atheist…or perhaps  Muslim. In the past two weeks she’s urinated on both my Bible that was lying next to my bed AND the boys’ sports devotion book. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the stack of Fortune and Golf magazines on James’ side was left untouched. I’ve never had a pet that attacked my faith before. And I find it strangely disconcerting.  Tonight I’m going to bait the foyer rug with an old Joyce Meyer book Battlefield of the Mind, and a copy of Pilgrim’sProgress, if James hasn’t already blocked off the area with CAUTION tape.
It’s also been a difficult week parenting-wise too. Andrew got his first zit, prominently on his right cheek. He seemed rather proud of it, modeling it in the bathroom mirror and treating it like a portal to manhood. After plundering through the cabinets, I produced a four-year-old tube of Clearasil and told him to use it. Thinking he could handle the task unassisted, I left the room and moved on to number 477 on the to-do list. Three seconds later, I hear….
Andrew pre-zit.
“Mommmmmm, can zit cream kill you?”
ME: “WHY?”
ANDREW: “Because I accidentally drank some.”
I seriously didn’t want to have to call the Poison Control Center and tell them that my 11-year-old, who isn’t in special education classes, drank Clearasil. It’d be terribly ironic if he died from it, and had to be buried with a massive pimple on his face. That totally should’ve been a line in Alanis Morrisette’s song Ironic
It’s like drinking zit cream
And dying from it
And at the viewing, people are pointing out
the huge zit on your face.
Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think??
But he didn’t die…and I’m very glad. I don’t want to think about such unpleasant things anymore.
What’s more pleasant? Ah, I know. Girl drama. It still happens even in your 40’s. That should be comforting for all of my teenage, mean girl readers. 
My friend May got mad at our friend Wanda, who’s always been better friends with May than me. (It’s obvious that these names have been changed because I don’t really hang out with people named May or Wanda, although I had a college roommate named Wanda once and we did hang out.) I like Wanda a lot. Don’t get me wrong. Wanda’s great, but May’s always liked her better than me. Anyway, I secretly and insecurely wanted May to stay mad at Wanda because it would move me up a rung on the friend ladder. Sort of like in middle school band when they have challenges for first chair each week. I’m a very mature person that way. Well, then May had the audacity to call Wanda and apologize. And now they’re back best buddies before I even got to sit in first chair. I was all ready to go out and buy May one of those “Best Friends” charm necklaces that’s broken in half and I’d wear the “Be Frie” and May would wear “st nds.” But alas, it’s not meant to be because May is terrible at holding grudges.
me and May (or maybe not)
I think I’m going to stop speaking to both of them.
The problem with not speaking to people is that sometimes you have to make tremendous effort to get them to notice that you’re not speaking to them. To get James to notice, I’ll sigh REALLY LOUDLY, like 100 times in a row, until either he asks what’s wrong or I start hyperventilating and pass out. And then when he does ask why I’m angry, it’s never like “Oh, Honey, what have I done to upset you? And more importantly, what can I do/buy to make it up to you?”
Heck no! He’s like “What?” all defensively. And I respond all snottily “nothing.” To which he replies “ok.” And turns the volume to the football game up louder to drown out my sighing. I think he secretly likes it when I give him the silent treatment.
In her blog, destination unknown, my friend Nicole does a recap every Friday of the things she’s learned throughout the week. I will now attempt to do the same.
Things I’ve Learned this Week
1)      Clearasil, if ingested in modest quantities, is not life threatening.
2)      Diabetic candy can effectively be used as a laxative. (I picked up this little info jewel giving out diabetic candy as Bingo prizes in a nursing home. Several people won three and four times. The next day, they were too weak to get out of bed.)
3)      If you soak a raw egg in vinegar, the shell will dissolve and the “naked egg” looks really cool.
4)      That sixth grade science homework is much too hard for me. I actually resorted to handing Andrew back his study guide the night before his chapter test muttering “good luck. Here’s $20. Go hire a tutor.”
5)      That even in sixth grade you have to learn a ton of stuff that you’ll NEVER again use in your whole life. Like the absolute value formula for figuring out the distance of stars from each other. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but in my professional life I haven’t once had to tackle equating the distance between Betelgeuse and Rigel. And I bet I never will.
6
6)That I don’t learn a whole lot in the average week. I’ll try much harder to pay attention next week. I promise.

(footnote: from Andrew: “I didn’t drink the stupid zit cream, Mom.!!!! I licked it off my finger on accident. That kind of thing happens. If you’re gonna write about me, get it right!!!” 

Posted in atheist dogs, diabetic candy, grudge holding, house-breaking dogs, is Clearasil poisonous, the silent treatment | 4 Comments

An Earnest Plea for an Excellent Cause…get your Kleenex ready

(You’re expecting me to write about Jack’s birthday party aftermath or our adorable, new dog, Katie. But some things are much more important and can’t be placed on the back burner.)

I know there are many of you who want to do something for the good of humanity, who have a few extra bucks you’d like to donate to a charitable cause. Your heart tugs at you to get involved in something that will lead to the betterment of our world, but you just don’t know what to do or where your money will be most wisely utilized.

While doing a little online research (aka shopping) I ran across something that will definitely drive Dublin tourism up, attract new businesses, create new jobs, thus improving our local economy, which will ripple into the regional economy, eventually driving up the value of the U.S. dollar, which will vastly improve our global economy. So, I can say with a high degree of conviction, that if you live anywhere near Dublin, GA, or the U.S. or anywhere on Planet Earth, you will  benefit.
Right now, I’m sure most of you are thinking “anything that can improve the quality of so many lives, heighten our economy and perhaps even eradicate global unhappiness, I want to be a part of!” And, I’m so glad to say, my friends, “you can be!”
However, others of you are crossing your arms thinking, “Angela, you’ve always been such a grounded, straight shooter with the sensibilities of a military accountant. But this sounds sort of ‘over-the-top. What’s the catch? Are you trying to get us to sell something?” Rest easy, dear ones. This has nothing to do with any network marketing scheme. (We’re still settling lawsuits from the Zoe Life incident of ’09.) It’s about beautifying a neighborhood and displaying rare art, which will eventually lead to global prosperity and world peace.
Take a look at the gorgeous photo on your left. You’ve probably been staring at it thinking. “My gosh! A breath taking work of art such as that belongs in only one place. Angela Weight’s front yard.” And you’d be right. It does belong in my front yard. There’s nothing in the world that would make me (and you) happier than to have this magical creature grace the Pine Ridge subdivision. Like I said earlier, it’ll increase property values, drive tourism and probably lead to a cure for conditions like Pica and Werewolf Syndrome (see appendix A)
Sadly, my husband James, who has never been the art lover, global economist or philanthropic visionary that I am, has forbidden me from purchasing this amazing, and probably antique, five-and-a-half foot metal chicken, calling it tacky and just plain “weird.” (His blindness for things of beauty and potential economic boons is heartbreaking.) James went so far as to say that I was not to spend a dime of his or my money on such an absurd purchase. (I prefer the term investment.A $399 investment, to be exact, but I have strong negotiation skills.)

JAMES: “Angela, forgodsake. We almost got kicked out of the neighborhood because of your feral pit bull sanctuary. Now you wanna drag a ridiculous six foot pile of scrap metal into the yard? Not with MY money. Or yours!!!”
ME: “How can you NOT see the potential here, honey? Can I get it if I use someone else’s money?”
JAMES: “Even your MOM won’t fall for this one. Good luck, babe. If you can get someone else to finance your stupid chicken, then have at it!”
ME: “Can I display it in the front yard?”
JAMES: “You can even invite people over for photo sessions.”
ME: “Yay! I’ll get investors. And they can all own stock in the chicken and have their names listed as donors on my blog. And there’ll be a chicken board of directors and stuff. And we can rent it out for birthday parties, and pay dividends to shareholders from the party profits. And maybe I’ll even put wheels and a motor on it and charge for chicken rides around the neighborhood and that’d be even more money back to investors. Thanks, honey! I’m going to go write up the details.”
JAMES: “I’m going to Shamrock Beverage Mart.”
I’ve always considered my readers to be a pretty smart, compassionate and financially savvy lot. I’m sure I don’t have to write anymore to convince you that your donation of one dollar toward my metal chicken (aka improved Pine Ridge property values, aka job creation in Dublin, aka national debt solution aka beacon for peace between Israel and Palestine) is the most worthy cause you’ve EVER encountered….and probably ever will.
All I’m asking is for your kind donation/investment of one dollar toward the purchase of the chicken you see on the left side of the page. (Of course I’ll take more.) But just one dollar from about 399 of you, plus shipping and handling, is a small price for such tremendous benefits to so many. (What the heck is “handling” anyway?) Okay, I’ll pay for the S&H. Or perhaps, 100 of you could pay $3.99. There are many different options. 
(I wholeheartedly promise, this is the only fundraiser I will ever do on my blog. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.)
Please send your contributions to:
Angela Weight-Huge Metal Chicken Fund
122 Creekview Circle
Dublin, GA 31021
Also, I have a PayPal account, if that’s easier for you. My email is Calpeach27@yahoo.com.
Together, we can make the world a better place….one metal yard chicken at a time.

Note: The above image isn’t the real chicken I want to purchase because that site had their photos copyrighted. Darn them!!! But this is close enough. Special thanks to the Bloggess for making me realize that I even needed a giant metal chicken. 

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Posted in arusticgarden.com, giant metal chickens, the Bloggess, yard art | 3 Comments

First Day of School…and the Perils of Being a Socially Awkward Mom

“Just grand, Mom. I’m late on my first day of school,” huffed Jack as we sped past an ambulance trying to make it to Northwest Laurens Elementary before the tardy bell rang. “It’s all your brother’s fault for passing fifth grade and going on to middle school, which is clear across the county,” I deflected. “If he’d been more like Uncle Clarence, we wouldn’t be seeing the inside of WLMS until at least 2016. Dang smart aleck kid.”

And just like that, another school year has begun. I hate how my kids are growing up so fast and there’s not a darn thing I can do about it. I almost wrote on Facebook this morning “Andrew is starting sixth grade! Where did my baby go?” But then I remembered posting that exact status yesterday (or three years ago) when he started third grade. My snarky college coworker, now remote FB friend Samantha, commented “He went to third grade. That’s where he went.” So I commented back “I always hated you. Your face looks like a marshmallow…

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in first day of school, kids' birthday parties, social anxiety, social awkwardness, urine | Leave a comment

Random Question from My Pedicurist

“Have you been to Aruba?” asked the gentle Vietnamese pedicurist who spoke only enough English to communicate nail length and color.
“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Aruba. Have you been to Aruba?”

Mind you, this is the only piece of conversational chit-chat she’s attempted in the 15 minutes we’ve been together.

“Uh, no, I haven’t been to Aruba. Have you?” I replied…

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Does Your Dog Have this Problem?

My dog Hope has this not-so-attractive habit of regurgitating her food about an hour after eating. Her ample serving of Kibbles and Bits is in line for the intestine coaster when “whoaaa….back out the hatch.” I’m sure it’s very confusing for the food…

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in deaf people in airports, dogs, kids, owners, puppies, vomit | 3 Comments

Valentine’s Gift Buying Advice for Men

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re bombarded by advertising. Most is directed toward guys…because they rely heavily on ads to tell them what to buy their gals for holidays. That way they don’t have to think. If a company were to market yak manure as the perfect Valentine’s gift, you can be darn sure that hundreds of men would send it to their sweethearts. Run a commercial with a few hot models oohing and ahhing over a steaming pile of droppings, and orders would pour in by the shit load. (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Now a word of caution.

I’m not sure what I’d like for V-Day, but I can guarantee with 100% certainty that it isn’t a teddy bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Yes, you’ve seen the commercials, running 386 times a day on every cable network with even one male viewer.

The ads feature attractive, female recipients, ages 20 to 40-something, thrilled to receive an over-priced stuffed animal…that “arrives as a Bear-Gram gift, packed inside our fun and colorful gift box with air hole complete with a personalized card and gourmet candy”.

Maybe in my 36.9 years I’ve lost touch with the true concept of “fun” but…

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in gift buying advice for men, Pajamagrams, Valentines Day, yak manure | 5 Comments

Toilet Telephoning: is it just me or is that…. wrong?

“Angela, Honey, I’ve GOT to have the recipe for that soup you made us last night. It was DE-VINE…and such a good colon cleanser.”

This is the text I received from my friend Amanda this morning. I can’t help but wonder if she typed it from the comfort of her toilet seat, during the therapeutic internal cleansing elicited by my chicken tortilla soup. I guess I should be flattered.

Maybe it’s a niche I can fill in the meal delivery business, catering to a constipated clientele…

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in talking on the phone while on the toilet, toilet texting | 12 Comments

Doing the Polar Bear Plunge and Other Stupid Things to Try to Feel Young

I did the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge yesterday at Tybee Island with several hundred other thrill seeking morons, including my husband James.

People keep asking “so, what was it like, jumping into the freezing Atlantic Ocean?”

“Uhm, it was cold….and wet, very wet…..and cold. Did I mention that it was cold and wet? That is, until my bottom half sort of lapsed into numbness. There was no tingling sensation like biting into a York Peppermint Pattie. No, nothing that positive.”

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in Aging, Bad Ass, Polar Bear Plunge, Reclaiming youth through stupidity | 7 Comments

How to Accidentally Set Your Kid’s Magic Elf on Fire

I’ve never set a stuffed animal on fire before, but there’s a first for everything. Technically, Alfie isn’t an “animal.” He’s a Christmas elf, actually a knock off of those expensive Elves on the Shelf. He’s an elf, who’d have to spend the next six months in a burn unit if he were human.

I admit that every December, I get overwhelmed and resentful about all the expectations topped with guilt and obligation heaped on us i

n the name of making Christmas fun and meaningful. When we still lived in California (where they haven’t heard of elf magic), I was able to get baking, shopping, wrapping, tree trimming, ornament exchange hosting, Christmas pageant volunteering and Christmas light viewing drives all crammed into a month where I was still expected to work, do laundry, help with homework and spend quality time with my husband.

Then we moved back to Georgia, where I learned about the Elf on the Shelf tradition.

SOME NAMELESS FRIEND: “Oh, Honey, what do you MEAN your boys don’t have elves? My kids’ elves are up to all kinds of shenanigans at night when little John Braydon and Laura Sarah Anna Grace are sleeping. They write Christmas messages on the bathroom mirrors in lipstick. They Sprinkle sugar all over the counter and write the kids’ names in it. One night they even moved the Christmas tree outside in the front yard and redecorated it with toys collected for the needy. The kids can’t wait to wake up every morning to see what they’ve done. The ELVES are the best part of our Christmas season.

ME: These elves, do they create havoc EVERY night?

FRIEND: Oh My Yes, Last night they hung all the freshly folded laundry on the living room ceiling fan.

ME: So, not to be an elf magic pooper, but you, yourself make these messes and you also clean them up. Am I correct?

FRIEND: Well, yes, But, it’s so much fun, though. It’s the kind of magic the holidays are about.

ME: Creating chaos and then having to clean it up. Yep, that’s what I want MY Christmas to be about.

FRIEND: Honey, go buy those boys a couple of elves. I think somebody could use a little Christmas cheer.

After noting the entire child population of Pine Forest Methodist Church and Northwest Laurens Elementary walking around with little green and red clad dolls, I caved and logged onto elf-magic.com to order two Magical elves.

“$29.99!!!!!!! You have GOT to be freakin’ kidding me!!!!!!”
“No! Way! Am I spending $70.00 including shipping for a bunch of yarn and felt scraps sewn together in a 10th grade Home Ec class, even if they do have birth certificates and issued names like Piper and Gumdrop.

Luckily, a day later, in a local gift shop I ran across “Sort of Magic Elves.” Sure their faces were much larger than the Elf Magic elves and their bodies were rounder with a slightly dwarfish quality, but, hey, they were dressed in red and green, wearing pointy hats and shoes and cost only $12.95. I bought two of them and spent eight seconds naming them Elfie and Alfie.

At home, the boys loved their knock off, discount elves, but refused to claim them in public. If they were younger siblings, Alfie and Elfie would have to walk 10 feet behind Andrew and Jack to school. “Mom, the kids in my class were laughing at my elf’s head. They say he’s stupid looking.”
“Oh yeah? Well, just tell their mothers that you’ve got an extra $18 in your college fund. Who’s stupid now?”

So the last three Christmas seasons have careened by with me haphazardly planning elf escapades about half the time, and the boys wondering the rest of the time why Elfie and Alfie are so lazy. I was sort of able to convince them that their elves are special ed elves with severe ADD which interferes with their productivity. It was a heartwarming lesson in acceptance and loving people (and elves) in spite of their limitations.

Even the activities I DID plan for our elves were never as elaborate as that kid down the street whose mom makes goody bags for EVERY holiday including flag day. In the morning I’d say “Look boys, what are Elfie and Alfie doing in the garbage can? Those capricious little buggars.” Or “Look! How did Elfie and Alfie get in the refrigerator?” You’ll have to hug them extra tight to warm them up.”

But this Christmas season was different. I was trying! The boys were really getting into it, just thrilled at what they’d find their elves doing every other morning. Even my husband James, who is the Grinch personified, was strategically placing Elfie and Alfie up on the mantle and yelling “Boys, guess where I found the elves.” We were doing well……until…

That is, until I decided that Elfie and Alfie would have a wonderful time swinging on the chandelier above the breakfast table.

Click here to download my book, Just Kidding (not really) to read the rest of this and 60 other funny essays about life, marriage, kids and being neurotic. 

Posted in Christmas Humor, Elf Magic, Elf on the Shelf, Elfcapades | 18 Comments