Mrs FussyCrankypants Learns a Christmas Lesson. Maybe.

Like many other people across the country, the Fussy Crankypants engaged in the various rounds of holiday visitation, with greater and lesser results at each.

One morning, Mrs. Fussy Crankypants found herself breaking her fast with several male relatives, one of whom she was married to, one to which she gave birth, and several who share her DNA.

Upon offering gentle instruction to Mr. Fussy Crankypants in the most dulcet and mellifluous of tones, regarding the best way in which to brew the best cup of tea possible (a topic with which Mrs. FC is slightly familiar) given the circumstances of tepid water and one tea bag, Mrs. Fussy Crankypants suddenly found herself coming under a barrage of criticism from the males of the species who had, to speak metaphorically, circled their wagons at this perceived hint of the maligning of another male’s ego.

References were made regarding both the female population at large and Mrs. FC’s kindly self as well.  The solidarity of females in protecting their own against the males of the species is well know, but Mrs. FC would like to put it to you that a) when females remonstrate a lone male for his gaffe, there is always a good and sound reason for it and that the females are always right and b) the males of the species are just as bad, if not worse, given as it is, that their motivation is solely the protection of the all-too-tender male ego instead of benevolent instruction.

Mr. Fussy Crankypants did not exactly leap to Mrs. FC’s defense but knew well enough to refrain from joining the melee.  Mrs. FC’s tender education did not, in fact,  raise Mr. FC’s ire because he never listens to a word she says anyway is always open to learning new things.

Therefore, Gentle Reader, Mrs. FC enjoins you, when you find yourself in similar circumstances, to take to heart the bitter lesson that was inflicted upon Mrs. FC. If you find yourself surrounded by males, please bite your tongue, however much you long to be a guide to Better Things, for otherwise you yourself may suffer the retaliations that result from the wounding (or the perceived wounding) of that fragile of all things, the male dignity.

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Season’s Greetings from Dreams You Got it Happy

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Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

C is for Cookie

Like many people, one holiday tradition of my youth was the making of the Christmas cookie.

Every year in memory, the dough would magically appear in its round, buttery-yellow goodness, the flour would be sprinkled on the counter, the rolling pin would do its job of flattening and then…

…out came the Christmas cookie cutters; the reindeer, the Santa, the star, the ubiquitous circle made with the lip of a cup, the candle, the Christmas tree.  Each cookie was tenderly cut with all the dexterity that a youngster could manage. Often the candle flame might be lopped off or Santa would lose his head, but a little mending, a little pinching and the magic of the oven’s warmth would mend all wounds.

But even better than the rolling and the cutting and the placing of each figure on the cookie sheet, even better than this was the Decorating of the Cookie.

The humble yet sugarlicious classic mix of powdered sugar blended with cream and some vanilla was tinted with the colors the food coloring bottles had to offer:  Red, green, yellow, blue (we didn’t get real crazy with MIXING colors, as some are wont to do.)  Then with a bowl for each color and a knife for each bowl, we shoveled the frosting into our mouths painstakingly created lovely works of art, with yellow for the candle flame, blue for the candle stem, green Christmas trees, Red Santas, and yellow for the stars.  Each creation was liberally covered delicately sprinkled with the sparkly red, multi-colored dots, brown chocolate sprinkles from the reserve of candy sprinkles that we probably never used up, or at least, like the widow’s oil, seemed never to run dry (thanks, probably, to Giant Eagle!).

Then the delight of mixing all the colors of the icing together into weird and wonderful tones that would never do for Christmas cookies but were just right for EATING straight from the bowls, that slightly crispy, crunchy layer that had formed over the top as the sugar had set adding extra texture to the experience.

These days we don’t get to make Christmas cookies as much.  But as I’ve been baking a few cookies on my own this year, I’m looking forward to next year when my little guy will start to make his own memories about Christmas cookies.

 

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Mmmmm. Cookies.

The Couple in the Corner

 

I saw them go in ahead of us, walking arm in arm.  At first I thought that perhaps it was a father and his adult daughter but something in their intimacy made me doubt.

Seated across from us, she was seeming young and pretty in the conventional way. Blond hair, petite, delicate features, slender, tapering fingers.  Seated across from her he seemed a strange match, with what hair that was left on his head wiry although neat, his belly rotund but not unslovenly, his features unremarkable.

I wondered what to make of them, though it was not my business, as they lingered over mint tea in clear glass demitasse cups and the rice wrapped in grape leaves. 

Was this, perhaps, a clandestine meeting, the man and his mistress?  He talked of his son. She laughed.  But the adoration and intensity of her gaze made it clear that whatever the relationship, she felt it deeply.

He held her pale, slender hand in his, stroking the fingers gently as they talked, as if stroking the soft fur of a well-loved cat.

Who knows what they were, such a pair, remarkable for what seemed to be their ill-suited appearance together; Beauty and the Plain Man.

They lingered; we did not.

I’ll never know their story, only that they sat together, face to face, on a chill winter evening, loving each other.

Sunday edition, Konglish style

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You’ll never, EVER think about Popeye’s in the same way again.

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Taken at our local sculpture park. Even the TT was impressed…for all of five mintues….before he realized that he was STILL in the carseat.

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MY Charitable Donations are Better than YOUR Charitable Donations

This year we are all giving each other a donation to a charitable organization. Because we are insufferable goodie two-shoes.

Talking today with one person for whom I will donate, I realized that I did not approve of this person’s choice of charity to which this person wished to be donated for (by? now I’m all confused by prepositions). 

This person’s choice was a charity that gives out Bibles to, um, hotels and stuff. It rhymes with…uh, Gideon. Actually, it sounds EXACTLY like that.  Now, fostering the spiritual welfare of others is, of course, important but I would rather see my cash go towards buying surgery for some child with a deformity or protecting the environment or providing a goat to a child in poverty or buying well initiatives for a village in need of potable water or provide safe, educational spaces for at-risk kids in poor neighborhoods of 3rd world countries.  In short, I want TANGIBLE, PRACTICLE results that I can SEE and that change someone’s physical well-being.

How can you address someone’s spiritual needs if they are hungry?  Or sick? Or too busy wondering how they are going to provide for their family?

That’s just me, I guess.

Because I am more awesome and much better than anyone else, of course.

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