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Holiday wrap-up


The early bird gets the worm (again).

I’m usually the early bird, unless the worm is something I didn’t even know about or unless all of my other bird friends withheld the information from me.  What am I talking about?  The ginger bread house kits that all of my friends bought, put together and decorated with their kids. Guess who didn’t even know about said kits?

Yes you guessed it, lamemom didn’t. And while you may not be surprised, I am surprised that none of my clever and eager friends shared their gingerbread house info until it was too late to obtain the famed Trader Joe’s gingerbread house kits for $4.  But I forgive my friends for not sharing with me. Next year I’ll be on the ball.

I imagine that some people actually bake and cut the items out to make the house (I couldn’t even do it with paper) and buy the candy and make the frosting to make the perfect (and probably delicious) gingerbread house — and I applaud the their artistic abilities and their free time. Even with the time, a case of wine and my dream kitchen, I would not take that route. And because I didn’t think of it until December 22, the pre-fab version wasn’t available to us. What did we do? We happily slapped less than $10 down and left with two gingerbread man kits. All the frosting and decorating fun that one could ask for, and nothing tasted good enough to actually eat it — perfect. Next year I’ll be first to buy those houses. And I’m going to tell everybody about – the second I safely get mine purchased.

I know better

Santa drops off books and new jammies at our house on Christmas Eve and this year was no exception.  This year, however, he was just a little too busy (or scattered) and forgot to wash the jammies he left for my son Jake. In the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, Jake entered my room and said he was itchy. I touched his stomach in the dark and immediately realized he had a raging rash–bumps on top of bumps — all over his legs, stomach and back. It looked like the heat rash he gets in the summer… but I knew he was allergic to something in his Batman jammies. Rats. Silly Santa. Aquaphor (our cure for everything) and fresh pjs solved the immediate problem and he went right back to sleep. Next year I’ll make sure Santa washes them. And have Benadryl on hand.

Favorite gifts

In spite of way too much time spent thinking about and shopping for our modest (truly) Christmas, the most popular items at our house this year? The orange Tic Tacs that Santa left in the stockings and the ribbons that he put on the gifts. Just like everybody always says. Obviously, there wasn’t any bubble wrap on any of the gifts or that might have even beat the TicTacs. Next year I’m buying even fewer things, and I’m going to try to keep track so I don’t find a “whoopsee” bag full of more stuff. Although, I have to admit that it was pretty fantastic to hear 3-year old Jenn (who remembered it was Christmas morning, unlike her brother) say to him when she woke up and went to the tree, “There are more presents! Santa DID come!”

New Year’s — back to reality

We spent the entire holiday – two weeks – at our cottage. It was amazing:  no (or minimal) work for the grown-ups, lots of snow to shovel, ice to skate on, fires to make. But as part-time country mice, (which means part-time spoiled city mice) we also suffered (please know I use suffer loosely!) a bit: no babysitters, no eating out and NOT ONE place to deliver anything — not even pizza. Oh, and no building guys to help with the snow removal. When we got home last night I could hardly wait to order groceries and order dinner.

Onto 2011. And because I’m generally optimistic, I can’t wait.

Jan 3, 2011

I’m freezing. Put on a sweater.


On the weekend, I got into another (misguided) brawl with my 3-year old daughter.  The impetus? Our cottage (barely insulated on a good day) was about 45 degrees when we arrived there on Saturday, which was freezing, a typical early winter day. After we arrived and did the typical warm-up with blankets in front of the fire, Jenn declared herself warm and took off her shoes and socks. Then she left the coziness of the fire and took off her sweatshirt, leaving herself in cheetah print fleece pants (at least warm, if not stylish) and a long sleeved shirt. The rest of us were still wearing down jackets and hats (and happily were not in cheetah print fleece).

Looking at her made me shiver. And given the last two weeks of family flu, I was determined to get that sweatshirt back on her. Not that I believe that being cold makes you sick, I just wanted to make her comfortable. She, meanwhile, was determined to continue to play in her space shuttle tent. Even my cleverest cajoling didn’t work. I signed up the husband to help (I’ll note that when he told this story recently, he saved the day. I don’t remember how.) and he couldn’t woo her into anything warmer, either.

I know you’re thinking:

She’s not going to die. Let her be. When she’s cold (hungry/thirsty/tired) enough she’ll put on her jacket (have a drink/eat something/sleep).

I’m not always stupid; if you were recounting the story to me, I would be the first to say, leave her alone; she’ll be fine.  But I was already too deep in the battle, so to speak. Yes, I understand there is a problem with considering myself “in battle” but I find rational thought to elude me on occasion when I’m being ignored.

She and I screamed about it for a while.  And she eventually got cold enough to allow her sweatshirt to be put on her. So I guess it was a tie.  But I know I was right:  it was much too cold to be without warm clothes.

My grandma Dorothy would give us a drink when she was thirsty or a sweater when she thought it was cold, and I’m pretty sure that was infuriating at the time, but now I only remember it fondly. So as we have all tried to avoid turning into our mothers, at 40, I have managed to become my grandmother.   Certainly, there are worse things.

Dec 13, 2010

What you’ve missed