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Sunday, December 10, 2006

I just had a whirlwind visit from the elves, here to decorate my house for Christmas. Actually, it wasnít exactly elves. It was Tammy, David, Aiden and Kylie, some of whom (I wonít name names) might possibly be related to elves.

My house is the designated location for this yearís Christmas dinner, but it wonít do at all in its natural state of plainness. I have walls and beams and banisters just ripe for decorating, but I have no inclination to do it myself. Well, thatís only partly true. I also have no ability. My design skills are negligible, so if I throw a few knickknacks around on the shelves and light a couple of candles, I think Iíve done enough. Enough for me is not enough for everyone, however.

And Iím perfectly willing to open my house to anyone who has ideas about what a festive home should look like at this time of the year, especially if it comes with a visit from elves, munchkins or leprechauns. Kylie, our little fairy princess, made herself at home this time around, helping herself to my remote controls and whimsically changing the TV channels.

Somehow she decided we needed to watch Cero en Conducta on channel 14 instead of the football game on channel 11. When that show came on, Aiden asked, ďCould I watch this?Ē and plopped down on the floor. I didnít even know he spoke Spanish, but nothing he does would surprise me.

Kylie and I made a game of handing things back and forth to each other. Thatís what fifteen-month-olds do, as I recall. She would load me up with remotes, or pens, or whatever else was within her reach, handing them to me one by one, then politely ask for them back, one by one. When she started handing me five-gallon water bottles (the empties, duh), I ran out of hands to hold them after two. And she didnít really want them back. I think she just wanted to see how many she could get me to take.

If it sounds as if I was a big help in keeping an eye on the babies while their parents decorated, thatís not exactly how it was. The two little ones are born explorers, and anything new and interesting is fair game. Turn your back and Aiden is testing out the letter opener, or Kylie is pulling the cap off the red pen and looking for something to write on. I really need to have something more age-appropriate, for the next time they visit. Thatís why this particular decorating trip was cut short.

10 December 2006

Tree of lights.

But they did manage to hang all the stockings on the stairs behind my desk, and they made a Christmas tree out of a string of lights on my inside wall. No garlands were hung from the beams, mostly because we didnít have anything that would reach up high enough to dust the tops of the beams and clear the cobwebs from around them. Besides, the babies were getting tired, and so, I suspect, were their parents.

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One of the low points of the 2006 election year came in the Senate race in Tennessee, when an advertisement for the Republican candidate, Bob Corker, played to the basest racist sentiments of the voters in an attempt to defeat the Democrat, Harold Ford, Jr. (You can see the ad at TPM Cafe.) Corker won, Ford lost, and now the creator of that slimy ad, Terry Nelson, has been hired on to do the same thing for the upcoming John McCain presidential bid. So you can expect the Republicans to try more dirty tricks between now and 2008, including the kind of phone jamming that Nelson was also tied to in New Hampshire. Say what you want about McCainís integrity, this move doesnít bode well for the tenor of his next campaign.

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One year ago: Uncaged
"D.J.ís team was either executing the most complex set of plays that any coach ever designed, or they had no idea what they were supposed to be doing."

Two years ago: Windup
"I wouldnít even know whom to apologize to, so thereís no use dwelling on it. And yet, dwelling is what I do."

Three years ago: Fury
"It sounded the way I imagine the end of the world will sound."

Four years ago: Columbus Day
"Ten minutes of commercials! Before they even start the preview trailers. Maybe it's only at the bargain matinees that this happens, in which case I'm happy to be subsidized."

Five years ago: Icy Fingers
"I would have been in a huff. I'm a force to be reckoned with when I'm in a snit. You don't want to mess with me when I'm in a tizzy."

Six years ago: Who Needs Tinsel?
"I have to depend on people's word when they say the check's in the mail. That alone can aggravate my ulcer."

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