Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Larew Christmas!

Here I am on Christmas morning, drinking coffee and having cookies for breakfast while Vlad the Wonder Boy sleeps.  He's obviously still on college time.  I expect to see the whites of his eyes sometime around 2 p.m.  But I'm not complaining... after all, he's the one who went out into the wilderness and bagged us a Christmas tree on Sunday.

I went along for the ride and schlepped through the fields on my crutches just out of general principle.

Then began the whole process of getting the tree back to the car and getting it home.  We brought it into the house and got it set up in the stand without incident. (i.e. nobody broke any more limbs... on either the tree or ourselves.) 

We didn't get around to untying it, so it stood at attention in bondage for a few more days in our living room.

I finally released it from its bonds on Wednesday, but since the decorations are in the basement and I can't yet manage the basement stairs, it remains undecorated.  But we kinda like it that way.  We can just say we were going for that "natural" look this year... going green and all.

My sister, Meowyn, didn't even get that far... although her tree has a bit of flair, too....

We Larew girls know how to do Christmas up right!
(We are so getting underwear from Santa again this year.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Each Night A Child Is Born: Mapgpie #45

I'm not a particularly religious person in the traditional sense.  So when it comes to Christmas, I celebrate the wonder of the child in all of us.  Willow's Magpie prompt this week brings to mind a poem by Unitarian minister and religious educator, Sophia Lyon Fahs.   What a wonderful way to honor children everywhere.

For so the children come
And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come—
Born of the seed of man and woman.
No angels herald their beginnings
No prophets predict their future courses
No wise men see a star to show
where the babe is that will save humankind
Yet each night a child is born is a holy night.
Fathers and mothers—sitting beside their children’s cribs—
feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning.
They ask where and how will the new life end—will it never end
Each night a child is born is a holy night—a time for singing
A time for wondering, a time for worshiping.
~Sophia Lyon Fahs

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Willow over at Life at Willow Manor  has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the other fabulous writers participating in Magpie Tales this holiday week.  You'll be glad you did! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Years in the Making

Today marks the second anniversary of "How to Become a Cat Lady... Without the Cats."  Break out the party hats and noise makers!
Now, 239 posts and 239 followers later, how is the Cat Lady faring? Well, for one thing... my house is no less cluttered than it was two years ago.  Nor is my mind.  No big surprise there, though.  And there are still no cats in my house. 

When I started this enterprise, I was hoping to record some of my stories for family and friends.  What I didn't expect was to increase my circle of family and friends so significantly through the blog.  Now I have a network of people to check in with every day, who keep me entertained and amused.  When they're not providing levity, they provide ideas for contemplation, books to read, music to listen to, slumber parties and fancy balls to attend, as well as bourbon balls to eat.  Lively banter and inappropriate language bring giggles and guffaws... more than once causing me to choke or spew liquids out my nose.  It's just like hanging out with a whole mess of brothers and sisters. 

These people live anywhere from a half mile away to half way around the world.  Talk about expanding your horizons!  There are some that I check in with only occasionally and some that I hear from almost daily.  You know who you are!  (My blog roll will give you an idea of how many there are.)  And it's reassuring to receive an email from someone, inquiring after my health if I haven't posted in awhile. 

So thanks to you all!  My life is so much richer because of you!

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P.S.  For a good time, join the best circle of blogger friends out there... Tribal Blogs!  (That's where all the cool kids hang out.)
And while you're at it, stop by and wish Michael at Too Many Mornings a Happy Birthday!  He's having a party at his place today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Pitter Patter of Little Feet

I swear I heard the pitter patter of little feet on my rooftop last night.  But isn't it a little too soon for Santa?  What could it be that woke me up in the middle of the night? 

At first I thought I was dreaming, but once I was fully awake I realized that there really was a sound coming through my ceiling!  Except that it actually sounded a little more like sawing wood.  Maybe I was still asleep after all.

Nope.  There it was again.  This time it sounded a little more like scampering.  Then a scraping noise.  Maybe Santa was trying to shovel some of the snow off my roof to deliver my well deserved gifts?

No... definitely sawing.  Guess I should have purchased a home with a real fireplace instead of a "decorative" one.  Then Santa wouldn't have to saw through the roof to get all those packages to me.

Wait a minute... I do recognize that sound.  Crap!  I've done this all before.* It's not Santa!  It's an evil squirrel come to chew through my electrical wires and burn my house down!

Well, now that we've figured that one out, I guess I'll just drift off peacefully back to sleep.... no worries...

Yeah... and a Merry Freakin' Christmas to you, too! 

*See The Mating Habits of Squirrels.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season.... to be called Boom Boom.

There's more than one reason I'm known as Boom Boom in some circles.  Each holiday brings back memories of days gone by, when I narrowly eluded the local constabulary.  Although I've posted this before, it's always fun to look back and remember...

Good times!  Good times!
Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Snowflakes and Rosebuds: Magpie #44

When does childhood end and adulthood commence?  Perhaps it's when snow days become a source of angst instead of sheer joy.

In childhood a snow day means freedom!  Freedom to stay in your pajamas until late in the morning. Then it's into snowsuits and caps and mittens and boots to explore the world of wonder created by freshly fallen snow.  It's building snow caves and sliding down hills.  It's making snow angels and snowmen and catching snowflakes on your tongue.  It's shrieks of laughter as compact orbs of snow fly back and forth through the air.  It's the steaming hot cocoa with marshmallows that awaits you when you return to the warmth of your house.  A snow day is magical!

The magic begins to fade when snow days mean having to get up early and shovel so you can get to work in time.  Back breaking labor takes all the fun out of watching the snow fall.  It means brushing off the car and hoping the locks aren't frozen.  Turning the key in the ignition, praying the car actually starts.  And then edging the car through the snow covered streets, hoping you don't get stuck or slide into another intrepid traveler before you reach your destination.  It takes a special person to actually enjoy this kind of activity. 

But every once in awhile, a funny thing happens.  The planets align so that a snow day happens on a day off.  You have a chance to enjoy the beauty of the snowflakes from the comfort of your easy chair while enjoying that first cup of coffee of the day.  The world once again looks magical and it brings back memories of days gone by.... of sleds named Rosebud and the joy of childhood.  And life is good.

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Willow over at Life at Willow Manor  has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the other fabulous writers participating in Magpie Tales this week.  You'll be glad you did!

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Secret Admirer

Life is worth living again!  I have a secret admirer!  Imagine my surprise when I was going through my emails this morning and came to this one:

    Subject:     Hello
    Date:     December 10, 2010 10:41:54 AM EST
    To:     undisclosed recipients: ;

Hello, I am lucy
How are you? hope you are fine and in perfect condition of health. Please I went through your profile and i read it and took interest in it, please if you don't mind i will like you to accept my  
friendship request with you and for me to send my picture to you  remember that distance or colour did not mean but true love matters alot
  hope to hear from you soon, and I will be waiting for your mail because i have something VERY important to tell you.
Lots of love

Profile?  What profile?  Last I checked, I wasn't registered on any sites.

I must say, I'm flattered.  But I think poor lucy is sorely mistaken on a few items. (She obviously didn't read my mystery profile very closely.)  So, there are a few things I'd like to clarify and/or have lucy clarify:

1.  I am not currently in perfect condition of health.  I'm not anywhere near death's doorstep, but I'm far from perfect at the moment.

2. I'm a strong proponent of gay rights, including same sex marriage, but I don't usually go out with other women.

3. I'm not currently collecting pictures of people I don't know, although I appreciate your offer to send me your photo.

4. lucy, what exactly should I remember that distance and colour did not mean? 

5. While I'd like to believe that true love exists, I'm afraid your kind email is not a harbinger of true love for me.

6.  I've found that when people have something VERY important to tell me, it's usually bad news, so I'll pass on that as well.

So, thanks but no thanks, lucy.  Better luck with the next undisclosed recipient.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Worst Christmas Present Ever: A Belated Tribal Blogs Carnival

Okay, okay, so I missed the first Tribal Blogs Carnival.

The theme was "The Worst Christmas Gift Ever."  My post is late because I got so depressed from thinking about all those crappy Christmas gifts from years past, I couldn't bring myself to write about it.  (Not really, but I needed an excuse.)

When we were kids, my mom made all our clothes, including new outfits for Christmas.  That's fine when you're a little kid, (loved the flannel jammies,) but as you approach your teens it becomes a source of angst.  We really wanted the store-bought clothes all our friends had.  So one year my mom decided to cut labels out of other clothes to sew into ours to fool our friends.  Uh... yeah.  That's gonna work.  We never fully appreciated our mother's skill as a seamstress, although she really was good at it.  (Sorry, mom, wherever you are!)

But in all fairness, we weren't wizards when it came to buying gifts for our parents, either.  Our allowance just didn't stretch that far...  so my mom said we were only supposed to spend a dollar on each parent.  My dad had a drawer full of all the handkerchiefs we got him... I was always so proud when I managed to score some with an "L" for Larew on them.  Classy!  And mom had a drawer full of really tacky holiday pins that we found on the "Gifts for $1" table at the local department store.

As soon as we were old enough to write, we made "Wish Lists" for ourselves. After awhile, things on the Christmas lists were usually the ONLY gifts we got.  My mom told us if we didn't give her a wish list, we wouldn't get anything.  So the trick became putting enough things on the list so there would still be an element of surprise involved in opening the packages on Christmas morning.  (And we were smart enough to put our lists in numerical order to indicate which things we REALLY wanted, although the ponies never materialized.)  In later years, my mom would put in some actual surprises... gifts she's gathered from her world travels.

Finally, the year came when I didn't make a Christmas list.  (I was in my twenties at the time.) When mom kept pestering me, I just said in frustration, "I can't think of anything, just buy me underwear and some candles."  And my mom was true to her word.  As everyone else opened their gifts, I was the recipient of two items.  Cotton underwear two sizes too big and some candles.  Bummer! 
It was many years before I neglected to write out a complete Christmas list again!  But I had plenty of underwear to grow into in years to come.

  * * * * * *

Looking for a great gift this season?  How about a goat from Oxfam?  I just bought mine.  Go to to get yours today!  It's much better than underwear!  (While you're at it, be sure to visit Margaret at Nanny Goats in Panties for her special goat give-a-way!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Will the Real Lisbeth Salander Please Stand Up?

 The Bloggerhood of the Traveling Book Blog Tour

Well, the Bloggerhood of the Traveling Book Blog Tour has finally reached my house.  So far we've traveled to that schizophrenic Unfinished Rambler/Unfinished Person's blog and to Quirkyloon's place where we got to pop the DDP bubbles of Quirky's thoughts (because she's kinda fizzy like that.)  Next stop will be up to visit our favorite Canucks, Nonamedufus and 00dozo.

But first, I'm supposed to regale you with my scintillating and perceptive review of our traveling book, The Girl Who Played With Fire by the late Stieg Larsson. In case you haven't already figured it out, this is the second book in the Millennium Trilogy, which consists of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.  (You can see all three themes reflected in the cool BOTTB badge that Double 00 made for us.)

When I began the first novel in the trilogy, I was about a quarter of the way through before there was any mention of a girl with a tattoo.  Mikael F**king Blomkvist appeared to be the protagonist.  However, from that point on it was Lisbeth Salander, with her tattoo and piercings, that took center stage.  Quirky gave us her top "Lucky 13 Reasons Lisbeth Salander Rocks" and she's spot on with her assessment of this badass.

But who is Lisbeth Salander, really?

Throughout the three books in Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, we're given tantalizing glimpses into this mysterious character.  As each piece of the puzzle that is Lisbeth Salander comes together, it paints a picture which appalls and intrigues us at the same time.

Lisbeth is a brilliant young woman with an old soul.  She has learned to keep to herself for self preservation and rarely lets anyone into her personal space, either emotionally or by physical proximity.  She's learned not to trust people because she's been burned too many times.  But be careful... cross her and she'll burn you!  Lisbeth is a modern day Ubermensch, gaining almost mythic proportions as she hacks her way through the world, answering only to her own clearly defined moral compass.  She's also a master of disguise when needed, slipping through customs on a forged passport.  Rumor has it she looks something like this... only gnarlier:

So, do we admire Lisbeth or hate her?  I, for one, admire her.  She does all the things I wish I could do but am far too wimpy to ever attempt.  From book to book throughout the trilogy, it is Lisbeth's character that compels me to read further to find out what happens next.  Once you've started the series, you can't stop.. or at least I couldn't, but then I'm obsessive-compulsive like that.  And when you're done with the series, check out the movies.  Although they leave out some parts from the books, they're well worth the effort of reading the subtitles, (unless you are some kind of wizard who can understand Swedish.)

One thing for sure... Lisbeth Salander would never become a CatLady... either with or without the cats.  She's far too neat and travels light... something I'll never be able to accomplish in this lifetime.  *sigh*  But maybe I can still become a badass like Lisbeth by getting a dragon tattoo.  Nah... just like Quirky, I'm far too much of a wuss.  Oh, well.  Pass the popcorn and Dr Pepper, Quirks!
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