Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Here Kitty, Kitty

My children like animals. They usually have a dog or two as pets. My daughter goes overboard and will try to get any pet she sees.

When my two older boys were small and all the children I had we got them each a kitten. It gave each of them something to cuddle and learn to care for.

My second son was about two years old and my oldest was four. They loved their kittens and with help they took good care of them.

Then we went for a time without seeing the kitten that was the pet of my second son. Since we did not let them outside much I was bit worried about something beginning to smell if you know what I mean.

But I started hearing mews when I was in the kitchen or if I went down to the basement to do laundry. Thinking that the poor thing must be trapped in the walls somehow I began to search.

I tried to determine where the sound was the loudest to see if I could find a hole in the wall that might have been the entrance for that poor kitten. Listening carefully I determined that the basement was the place to look.

We had a freezer in the basement to store larger amounts of frozen goods. The sounds seemed louder near there so I looked behind the freezer for an opening in the wall.

It took a few seconds for me to realize that the sound was coming from the freezer itself. Maybe it was caught in the motor area. Nope

I opened the freezer door. That poor little kitten exploded out of the freezer. My son had wanted to have it where he could find it so he trapped it in the freezer. I can still picture him in my mind going "Here kitty, kitty" so he could grab it and store it in a "safe" place.

I grabbed a soft towel and wrapped it and held it to try to warm it. It was so cold. The tail was frozen solid. I thought it would probably die.

It huddled down inside the towel. It shivered and shook. Gradually it began to move around. Once it got warm it moved out of the towel and went to lay in the bedroom it called home.

Believe it or not the kitten made a full recovery. Its tail was a little limp but other than that it was fine.

I was glad because I was planning a surprise wedding shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. We had contacted her mother who gave us a list of people we should invite from their family and of course our family would be there. I had a lot to do to get my house ready.

My sister-in-law was totally shocked when she came in my door and saw everyone there. She truly had no idea. The best thing was when she looked up after being there several minutes and said, "That's my mother!" She was overwhelmed by the surprise.

After we nibbled on the snacks and my sister-in-law had opened all her gifts we just sat around talking. Her mother was very nice and we were getting to know her as she got to know us.

My son's kitten hopped up onto my sister-in-law's lap. As she absent-mindedly stroked the cat I regaled my guests of the story of the kitty in the freezer. It was a good laugh.

Suddenly my sister-in-law screamed. "The tail came off!"

She was sitting on the couch in horror holding the kitten's tail as the kitten jumped down and went to hide to get away from the chaos.

Obviously the tail had frozen and was damaged so badly that it died and fell off. It was just an inopportune time to do so. If you have read anything about my family you will know what comes next.

We all laughed uncontrollably. After I relieved her of the dead tail of course.

Looking back I wonder if the dead tail was an omen. The marriage did not endure. My brother never remarried and he died a few years ago. My sister-in-law did remarry a very nice man and is extremely happy. We no longer have the kitten of course. But I still have my son. (I keep him in the freezer so he will not get away.)

Friday, December 26, 2014

What I Gave For Christmas

Where I live the nearest stores are about 25 miles away. By the time I get there I am ready to be home. So shopping is a real chore for me. I have discovered a solution however.

I shop on my computer. I like to look around at different places on the computer anyway and I have come across some unique sites. I can find an interesting gift idea and comparison shop without ever leaving my chair. That way I can get the best deal possible.

Another advantage is that I can shop for Christmas all year. I spend only a few dollars each month so I do not have that huge expense all right before the holidays.

And I keep wrapping paper on hand so that I can wrap the presents as they come. That task is not quite so overwhelming when I do it that way.

This year I gave gadgets. They are fun appliances that no one would ever get themselves but they will be quite useful.

My favorite is the hot dog warmer. It works like a toaster. You stand two hot dogs on end in the proper spots. There is also a place for two hot dog buns so they are warm and slightly toasted. You can adjust the setting for the desired "doneness" like a toaster too. I thought it was so much fun I got myself one too.

One person got a cotton candy machine. It makes cotton candy out of hard candies. It should be a good way to use up some of that leftover Christmas candy, don't you think?

There is a breakfast sandwich maker. It makes a breakfast sandwich like you might find at a fast food place. You place the lower half of, oh say, an English muffin on the bottom. Perhaps a slice of Canadian bacon on that with a slice of cheese on top of it. Then there is a special plate you insert for your egg which will cook as you wish it to. Place the top of the English muffin on all of that. Close the lid, and turn it on. Voila! A breakfast sandwich.

A dispenser of treats is next. It has two compartments so you can have two types of treats available at all times. You can fill them with candy like M&M's or Skittles. Maybe cereal like Cheerios  or Captain Crunch. Or two different kinds of nuts like peanuts or cashews. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would be good choices too.

Two of my great-granddaughters are getting butterflies in a jar. A jar like the ones used for canning has an artificial butterfly in it. When you push the button on the front of the jar the butterfly flits around the jar. It lands for a time and its wings undulate like a real butterfly would do. Then it flies some more before finally coming to a rest.

The youngest of my great-granddaughters is only three months old. She would not be able to operate the butterflies. So I got her a Tribble. If anyone has seen Star Trek you will recognize that Tribbles are a little animal that makes a loving pet. They are practically all fur. People irresistibly fall in love with them. The only problem is that they reproduce often and can quickly fill a confined space in no time.

A smoothie machine converts any fruit or vegetables into a healthy and delicious drink. I make a lot of smoothies in the summer but I have to use my blender. I almost wish I had one of these myself.

A fancy idea for a punch bowl caught my eye. It is tiered and the punch flows constantly over the edges of the tiers to the one below. It will be very pretty when used.

Another machine for using fruit will make frozen treats similar to soft ice cream. I believe it will require ice cream of yogurt or something as an ingredient as well.

My youngest grandson is still too young to appreciate these gadgets. He is getting a giant whoopie cushion. You are all familiar with the rubber thing that you blow up like a balloon then place under the cushion of the chair. When an unsuspecting person sits on it, it makes an extremely rude noise.

He will also get a hot potato type game. It is a round ball operated by batteries. Players sit in a circle. Then the ball is switched on and passed around the circle. When the ball goes off it will emit a mild electric shock. The person receiving the shock is out of the circle until one person remains. It is not as cruel as it sounds. I have given them to my other grandchildren and they loved them.

I also make "stockings" for each person. They will contain a lot of candy. I also buy a lot of this online. I can get candy that you do not see in the store and bulk prices which helps my budget. There are also small toys. Again I buy them in quantities and they cost less. I may see something interesting at the store and I will pick those up as well.

An example of small toys would be finger traps that are simply woven material. You place a finger in each end. When you try to pull your fingers out they are trapped. Small tops, yoyos, parachuting soldiers, key rings, small flashlights with a picture when they shine, pinwheels, magnifying glasses, finger puppets, marbles, bells, whistles, kazoos, small games, puzzles, well you get the idea.

I always used the stockings as something the children could have right away when they came to my house on Christmas Eve. They would have something to do while they waited for everyone else to arrive. My oldest grandson told me one time that the stockings were his favorite thing. So I keep making them because they are fun for me and the kids like them.

Because my family is large there are duplicates of course. I have fun trying to find something unusual to give as a gift each year. I can only hope they like them as much as I did.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vacation At The Farm

 My mother-in-law and father-in-law had a farm. They weren't farmers. They only had forty acres and those acres are located on hills that are next to impossible to grow crops. But Mom held onto that land with her fists. It was paid for and that gave her security that she had not felt at any other time in her life.

My father-in-law worked in town at various jobs. When he worked at the meat packing plant they had good money coming in. At any rate he took care of his family to the best of his ability.

They always had a big garden and Mom canned most of the yield. She stored the canned goods and potatoes from the garden in a cave dug into the hill. Dad kept a tractor to do the heavy work. You can see that they were farmers at heart.

My children considered the farm to be "home". Whenever we would go to visit there they had such a good time.

We lived in a big city. There is not much freedom to be a normal child in the city. The dangers are many and I did not want them getting into trouble.

As a matter of fact my children said we put them at a disadvantage by raising them with the values we knew growing up. They were city kids with rural values. I think we were right but I can see that it was hard for them because they did not feel like they belonged.

But they belonged on their grandparents' farm. Grandma cooked on her combination gas/wood stove. Her food was basic simple food... the kind kids like. She would sit and tell them stories about when their father and aunts and uncles were little.

Grandpa gave them rides on his tractor. He had a big scoop that attached to the front of it and they loved riding in that. Grandpa smoked small cigars. That fascinated them because people they knew smoked cigarettes.

My youngest son was still in diapers when we visited one time. He followed Grandpa everywhere. Then I saw him puffing on what looked like the butt of a cigar. Horrified I grabbed that dirty thing from his mouth. He had found a piece of tree branch that looked like Grandpa's cigar. If Grandpa was doing it he would too. And Grandpa loved having his grandson copy him.

Grandma made ceramics. It was something she enjoyed and she picked up a bit of extra money. She kept s picnic table under a tree just outside the window in the living room. Cardinals nested in that tree every year.

 When grandchildren were visiting she provided them with paints and unpainted or often painted ceramics to have fun with. They loved it and it kept them occupied for a long time. There was a ceramic frog that had been painted so often I wondered why the new layers of paint stuck.

They did not keep livestock any more either. Of course there were usually chickens. Occasionally they would fatten a calf or hog for butchering. The kids had a good time feeding the chickens. There were laughs all around when they would toss clods of dirt that exploded into small clumps and the chickens pecked at those too.

The gliders were where we sat on a warm evening to enjoy being outside. The gliders moved back and forth in a way similar to a rocker but the ride was so much smoother. We would sit and talk to catch up on family news. Or maybe we would just glide and say nothing. It was that relaxing.

When we would go to visit Sunday afternoons were fun. Family who lived in the area came to see us. Cousins that my children seldom got to see were there. It is a large family.

Once I was going to run to the store when everyone was there. Mom was so worried about me watching for the children. I was so busy watching for kids that I backed right into the ditch.

I laughed as did almost everyone else. But Dad muttered about women drivers as he went to get the tractor to pull me out. He was having the time of his life feeling useful but of course he could not show it.

Dad always had a dog. Usually they were males but once he had a female. As females dogs will do she had puppies. We had promised the boys (I only had the two older ones then) that they could have one. When they saw the puppies they each had a favorite. We decided that they could each have one.

My sister-in-law decided to go shopping while the family was gathered. She was being careful of the children because her mother always worried about cars around the kids. She was carefully watching all the children as she backed out of the driveway.

Suddenly she felt a small bump as at the same time she heard screams of horror. She had been so busy watching children that she had run over one of the puppies. She felt so bad because she was an animal lover. She cancelled her trip to town and there was a funeral. My boys ended up with one dog instead of two.

The farm was sold after both Grandma and Grandpa were gone. Their little ramshackle house was torn down as it should have been but it hurt. The last thing to go was my sister-in-law's trailer house. It was just this past summer that it happened.

The man who purchased the farm is very nice. He has built a very nice home for himself there. He has let the whole family know that we are welcome to go there any time to walk the hills like we did when Mom and Dad were still the owners.

All that is left to remind us of home now is Mom's beautiful weeping willow tree and Dad's yard light. And it is still home.

Friday, December 19, 2014


I have been listening for years (and I do mean decades) about the pro and cons of fantasy character stories for children. Some say the tales cause irreparable harm. After all a child might think Superman is real and jump off the roof trying to emulate him. In a case like that I personally think the child who is old enough to navigate his way onto the roof is not too bright if he thinks he can fly.

They also like to say that children are devastated to learn that their parents were lying to them about fantasy characters. The children can never trust their parents ever again.

I happen to believe that imagination is a sign of intelligence and should be encouraged. Without imagination inventors could not envision new concepts and we would still be chasing animals with sharp sticks and hunting for nuts and berries and we would have no toilet facilities. (I think I may be becoming a bit obsessed with that.)

I love to sit down with a two year old and begin a fantasy conversation. They are so receptive at that age. I will start with maybe wondering where someone is. Let's choose the dog. Maybe it's under the water dish? Did it hide in a dresser drawer? Under a pillow on the couch? Is it inside the walls? The child joins right in with some amazing possibilities. It is fun, funny, and stretches their minds.

I bought a book about fairies. You know that fairies do not like to be seen by humans. But they must be able to flit about so they disguise themselves. Did you see that leaf skitter across the lawn? It was a fairy. The shadow that you see from the corner of your eye when nothing is there is a fairy.

Often you will see toadstools arranged in a circle on the lawn. It means that the fairies were dancing under the moon. Every place they stepped left a mushroom.

Most nations have fairies of some sort. Gremlins from Germany like to tinker with mechanical things. They often cause malfunctions. Our family's Gremlin was named Petey. Boy did he cause a lot of problems.

The Djinn are from the Middle East. We think of them as being trapped in a magic lamp. If we rub the lamp to release them they are so grateful that they will grant up to three wishes.

The elemental sprites like naiads and dryads represent certain elements such as water and trees. They are lively and naive sprits who will waste away if taken from their homes.

The Irish have a whole group of fairies. They are known as the Sidhe (pronounced Shee). The Scottish counterparts are called Sidh (or Sith). They include the mound people, leprechauns, Banshee, Fear Dearg, Puca, and many more. Some are quite large and some are very small. Each type has its own magical properties and reasons for existance.

One of my favorite fantasies from childhood on is a "Tinkerbell". Tinkerbell is the fairy from the Peter Pan stories. I'm sure you have seen a Tinkerbell. Have you seen the light flickering on the wall? That is her. Some people try to say that it is nothing more than refracted sunlight. We know better.

Our first encounter with a fantasy character is usually Santa Claus. As Christmas nears many parents take their children to a store so they can sit on Santa's lap to tell him what they would like for Christmas. Some of us wrote our first letters to Santa to let him know we were good all year and would he please bring us our hearts' desires.

The Tooth Fairy is familiar to most children. I will never forget when my brother (one year younger that I was) came home holding his tooth that had come out. He wanted to know if the Tooth Fairy would come if he left it under his pillow. What??? Nobody said anything about any tooth fairy to me! I had already lost several teeth and threw them in the garbage. Life is not fair.

Uncle Sam is the figure who represents the United States. He is an older man, slightly dignified but not too much. Most of the time when we see pictures of him we see him pointing at us in a forceful way saying, "I Want You".

The Easter Bunny hippety-hops down the bunny trail for Easter. He delivers colored eggs and sweet treats to good girls and boys. It is a sign that spring is here and the world is waking to give us all the colors that make so many of us feel happy.

Now there are negative fantasies too. The boogey-man is one. He is the meanie that hides and plots to grab little children when they do not mind. I do not believe in him so my children were not familiar with him.

There are little jingles that children like to recite. Like "step on a crack, break your mother's back". It is very hard to avoid cracks when you must walk on a sidewalk that has not been repaired in a long time.

And the little chants we did when jumping rope are fun. "Sally and Johnny sitting in a tree k.i.s.s.i.n.g. First comes love then comes marriage then comes Sally with a baby carriage." If you made it that far then they went on to count how many babies there would be. Those flights of fancy are just plain fun.

As you can see I think these fantasies make childhood fun as it should be. They can be serious when they are adults. None of my children have been traumatized by knowing these fantasy characters.

Do you disagree with me? Prove me wrong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Musical Names

Have you ever come across a name that sort of sings when you say it? I consider those to be musical names. My real name is very gutteral and dull sounding so I have great appreciation for musical names.

For instance when we were quite young my brother had a friend with a musical name. It was only musical if you said his whole name so that is what we called him. Logan Cole Kennison, Jr. We never used just his first name. His entire name was just too much fun to say.

In a book my grandmother discovered two names that she loved. They were the names of Indian maidens. One was Nalinlee and the other was Ondelea. Both very musical. One is now my sister's name and the other is the name of a cousin.

My mother loved lyrical names. Her favorite was (now you must say the entire thing) Haile Selassi of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She also liked the names of two baseball players. They were Felipe Alou and Jesus Alou. Their poor brother was only Manny Alou; not quite as lyrical.

The legendary late night show host Johnny Carson enjoyed introducing a guest who had a musical name. It was Gunther Gebel-Williams the famous lion tamer from Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Over the years I have appreciated names that belong in a song. Even though I realize that a name is simply something that distinguishes me from the person standing next to me I can feel the beauty of a great name. Here are a few I have "collected".

It may sound a bit like a sneeze but that is part of the charm of Nikita Khrushchev.

American Actress Barbara Bel Geddes

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Country music singer and songwriter David Allan Coe

Many of the United States presidents have musical names. My favorite is William Henry Harrison

Oliver Wendell Holmes of the United States Supreme Court

Pollyanna Whittier is the little girl from the book Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. Sequels were written by several authors and a movie by Disney (starring another musical name, Hayley Mills) are all favorites. Pollyanna was the girl who found something to be glad about in every situation.

Most of us think of Maya Angelou as a poet. But she was also an actress, author, dancer, and singer.

Ethel Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore were part of the family that is often considered American theater royalty. These two are the ones with the musical names.

Mata Hari was executed in France as a spy for the Germans during World War I. Her real name, Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle MacLeod is almost as musical.

Rip Van Winkle was a man who shirked all work. One day on a foray into the Catskill Mountains he meets a group of friendly men playing nine-pins and drinking moonshine. He fell asleep and returned to his village to find that twenty years had passed. Perhaps the melody of his name helped him sleep so long.

His  full name is William Somerset Maugham but drop the William (which he did) and his name is so musical. He was a British playwright and author.

Henry David Thoreau is best known for being a leader of the Transcendental movement. He was an author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, and on and many ons.

Carrie Ann Inaba is best known as a judge on Dancing With The Stars. She is a dancer and choreographer with a name she can dance to.

These are only a few of my collection. I am constantly collecting new names. Maybe you know one I would like.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Child Abuse

My sister was pregnant. I was thrilled. I love it when the family has new babies. It continues our family. Each new member is to be cherished just as each other member of the family is cherished.

When my sister first introduced me to the boyfriend who was to become the father of her baby I stood with my fists clenched at my sides. I wanted to hit him so bad. I had no real reason but he did not seem to deserve her.

But he grew on me and we actually became very good friends. He was excited about having a baby. It was fun helping them plan for the newest member of our family.

Then about a month and a half before the baby was to be born the father up and married someone else. He completely abandoned my sister. When my nephew was born his grandmother was forbidden to go to the hospital to see him. Luckily the father's brother had married my sister's friend who had her baby in the same hospital at the same time. Grandma was able to sneak down to say hi.

My sister is a good mother. She was happy with her son and there are more than enough males in our family. He would not lack for male role models.

Then just as suddenly the father started to come around. He wanted to be a father to his son who was four years old. My sister recognized that her son has a right to his father. It was a good thing.

What was bad was that my sister once again became pregnant. But the father stuck around for this son. Then he took  off. He went back to his wife. Where he should have been to begin with.

I have to inject here that I still liked the guy. We had work associations so I saw him often. My sister was off limits as a topic for discussion.

About five years later my sister and I were working together and rode to work along with a friend of hers. On our way to work one night my sister very quietly mentioned that she was in contact with the boys' father again. All I could say was, "Thank God you cannot get pregnant again."

He was divorced now leaving three lovely daughters and a step-daughter behind. What a mess.

But it seemed like he was going to stay with my sister and the boys. As a matter of fact he had a house built in a southern state on the mountain that his family owned. He moved my sister and the boys down there.

My mother followed after a couple of years. She wanted to retire to warmer weather. She had her own place but she watched the boys after school until their parents came home from work.

Things were going smoothly until the day that the boys' father brought home his new wife to introduce her to his family. My sister kicked him out. Mom moved in with my sister to help with the boys and give financial help too.

The father visited often. He would come after the boys were home from school.

One day Mom was in her room and she heard a scuffle. She went out to tell the boys not to fight. There she saw my oldest nephew on the floor with his father on top of him, choking him.

Mom demanded he get off which he did. (Everyone respected and listened to my mother.) As Mom was trying to put things in order as to what to do in what order my nephew grabbed the phone.

He called the police and reported that his father had attacked him. They came right out. I should mention that my nephew was about 12 years old.

When the police arrived they sat the father down and asked all the right questions of everyone. Then they asked my nephew what he wanted to happen next.

He said he wanted his father out of the house and not be able to come back. The police agreed with him and told the father to leave.

Then they explained to my mother how my sister could get a restraining order. Which my sister did the very next day.

The father was not even allowed to visit his mother who lived not far away if the boys were there.

We were all so proud of my nephew. He was proud of himself. And the first thing his little brother did was make a bowl of cereal and take it to his bedroom to eat it. His father never allowed that.

After Mom died my sister and the boys moved back to where we lived. The boys grew up and became fathers themselves.

The oldest has three boys of his own. They all live in the state where their father is from. My nephew has made peace with his father now that he is big enough to keep him in line.

The younger one has a little girl. They all live near my sister. He has little interest in seeing his father.

The abuse was not an ongoing thing. My mother and sister would not have stood for that. The father had been drinking that day and apparently thought that gave him the right to be a bully. But my nephew stopped it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Shopping

I must brag. I have all my Christmas shopping finished. All the packages have been mailed. I am so proud of me. This is the second year in a row.

I used to be notorious for last-minute shopping. There were several reasons for this.

The first is that I enjoyed the Christmas crowds. I liked being in the middle of a bunch of people and elbowing and pushing them. It got some of my aggressions out of my system.

Also it was difficult to go shopping because I had four children. Whenever I went somewhere I had to find someone to watch them. My parents and siblings were helpful but I hated to impose too much.

And I married a man whose family had never really done Christmas the way my family did. I think it was more of a nuisance to them than a pleasure. So he did not enjoy shopping and did not like to go with me.

He somehow developed the impression that if he was not ready for Christmas it would wait for him. Oh let's go shopping tomorrow... or next week. It was like pulling teeth and I usually ended up going by myself.

I love picking out the right gift for a person. I want it to be something they would like and I would like to give them. It takes time and thought but I want to be happy with the gifts I give.

Then they all have to be wrapped. Sometimes I do ribbons and bows but usually I just wrap them with pretty paper and a bit of scotch tape.

Now I live so far away from my children. I have to mail the gifts so I try to be at the post office right after Thanksgiving.

I also live at least 25 miles from any stores so shopping is no longer that much fun. But I found a way. I shop on-line.

I can watch for those special gifts and buy them all during the year. When they are conveniently delivered to my house I unpack the delivery carton and wrap the gift. That way I do not have to sit down and wrap them all at the same time. Then before Christmas they are ready to put into a carton and mailed for Christmas.

I can make Christmas stockings for all of them in the same way. There are companies on the computer that sell small toys and fun candies. Many of them come in quantities and they are cheaper that way. The stockings are boxed and mailed too.

So I am done for this year. All packages mailed. Pat me on the back. I am proud.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Music

I have been listening to Christmas music. I have favorites just as I am sure you do. I like traditional carols. Jingle Bells and Silent Night are my favorites from school days. Not terribly imaginative I agree but there you are. O Holy Night as sung by the Vienna Boys Choir is about as pretty a song as you will ever hear. The Little Drummer Boy by Bob Seger is another classic.

The thing is I have an affinity for silly songs. Some are not necessarily meant to be silly but if they make me so much as chuckle they qualify. Sometimes they have to be sung by a particular artist to be a favorite. Others seem to pale by comparison.

So I am going to make a list for you. It might be boring to you but at least take a glance. You can always go to YouTube and see if you find them as entertaining as I do. If I mention the singer then try to get that one. It does make a difference.

Santa Baby and Santa Baby (This Year) by Eartha Kitt. Who else has that deliciously suggestive voice? Others sing this song but it belongs to her.

All of the (Someone) Got Runned Over By A (Something) songs:
                  Grandma                                          Reindeer
                  Grandpa                                           Beer Truck
                  Grandpa                                           John Deere
There are others but you get the idea.

Santa's Coming In A Whirlybird by Gene Autry. I have loved this since I was a child. There are other ways he will come too. Of course Rudolph (Gene Autry also sang the original of Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer) leads the sleigh reindeer. But Santa has a pick-up truck and a semi truck. There is a stagecoach too. They are all in songs.

Yogi Yorgesson was actually a comedian named Harry Stewart. Yogi had some especially funny Christmas songs. My favorites are The Hat I Got For Christmas Is Too Big, I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas, Yingle Bells, I Was Santa At The Schoolhouse, and The Christmas Party.

I Am Santa Clause by Bob Rivers is a parody of Iron Man by Black Sabbath. Nuff said.

Run, Run Rudolph by Chuck Berry is just fun old rock and roll for Christmas.

The Irish Rovers sing Merry Bloody Xmas (too funny) and Rock Along Christmas is another rock and roller. My favorite by The Irish Rovers is Mrs Fogarty's Christmas Cake.

The Chimney Song by Bob Rivers tells of something that has been stuck in the chimney since Christmas.

I Feel Like Christmas from Santa Clause 2. It is the movie in which Santa must get married or not be Santa anymore. It is a take-off of Shania Twain's Man! I Feel Like A Woman!

Gayla Peavy sings I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas and Angel In The Christmas Play.

I Farted On Santa's Lap by The Little Stinkers is just one of the many views of Christmas through a child's eyes.

The Man With All The Toys and Little St Nick are surfer Christmas songs by the Beach Boys.

I'm Gettin Nuttin For Christmas by Spike Jones and Bad Little Boy by Ray Stevens are about mischievous little boys who can expect Santa to leave them nothing. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth again by Spike Jones tells about a poor child who just wants his teeth to grow in again so he can express himself.

Santa Bring Me A Dinosaur by Bob Brown is another child's Christmas wish.

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano just makes me feel good.

The Marvelous Toy tells of a mysterious toy that brings joy. It is sung wonderfully by the Irish Rovers but I like it better by the Chad Mitchell Trio.

Blue Christmas is Porky Pig's version of the Elvis classic.

Snoopy's Christmas by The Royal Guardsmen is based on a true story from World War I when soldiers from both sides put aside their weapons and celebrated Christmas together before they resumed killing each other.

Santa Claus Is Watching You by Bruce Springsteen is fun just because he is having so much fun.

And Alice Cooper reminds us that Santa Claws Is Coming To Town. It's gruesome.

Rockin Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee Is just a song reminding us to have a good time.

Santa Claus Is Watching You by Ray Stevens is a warning. Santa; He's everywhere, He's everywhere!

Yellin' At The Christmas Tree by Billy Idol tells of a rather disfunctional time at Christmas.

Santa Got Lost In Texas by Michael Landon makes me think of my younger days.

The Hula Hoop Song is also known as The Chipmunk Song. It is sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks who were the alter-egos of Ross Bagdasarian.

Any of the Christmas songs sung with animal sounds. A lot of people do not like them but I love them. I play them for the dog at Christmas. She likes them too.

I know I have forgotten so many but these are the ones that came to mind. I am always listening for new ones too.

To finish Christmas songs I need to hear War Is Over by John Lennon (okay, yes, Yoko too). There is nothing funny about this song but it means a lot.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exotic Dancers

I have mentioned before how much I love music and how I love to dance. I have even mentioned being tossed around the floor by an exuberant new father and being taught the polka by a dear friend. I would like to introduce some other dance partners.

When I was married my husband would get up to dance after he had several drinks. He was not a great dancer but I appreciated the effort.

Several of us in the same social circle had the same birthday. We had some wonderful parties. Of course there were always birthday dances among the ones celebrating. They were slow dances because most of the men only knew how to do a slow dance.

But there was one man of the group (I do not know when his birthday is) who could dance. And lucky for the rest of us women his wife did not dance. We made sure they were invited every time we went out.

He told me once that his father had told him that if he wanted to be popular with the girls he should learn the fast dances. Girls like to dance all the dances and most of the boys would learn the slow ones and not the fast ones. A boy who would fast dance would be in high demand. Smart man. It is a good piece of information to pass along to young men.

When the band would play I would dance with almost anyone. I tried to limit it to two dances per partner. Not to be fair and give everyone a chance... there were not that many available partners. I just did not want anyone to get the wrong idea. I was not going to leave with any of them. I did not want any misunderstandings at the end of the night.

There were two men who came in every week. They were a bit older but not old. They were not particularly attractive and both were quite heavy. One wore a cowboy hat. They were very nice but a little awkward socially.

Neither was a very good dancer but they were enthusiastic. The cowboy liked slower dances but the other one (who was much heavier than his friend) liked the faster ones. I would dance two dances with each.

I was often amused because the non-cowboy reminded me of an elephant when he danced. Now I do not mean to make fun of him at all. But he sort of swayed from side to side the way an elephant will do. As time went on he became a better dancer and the elephant sway was gone.

Eventually the cowboy found a girlfriend at church. She did not like the closeness of the friendship between the two men and the friendship was over. Sad. But the other one kept coming in to dance.

Over time he lost a lot of weight. Dancing is fun exercise. He met a school teacher and they also fell in love. They had a beautiful wedding and reception. They continued to come in and dance.

There was a group of women who were all friends. Some were married and not interested in finding a mate for the evening, some were like me and just wanted to dance, and some were pining after a member of the band. We congregated at the band table.

We all liked to dance. Most of the time there were no men to dance with so we danced together. Most of the songs were faster dances anyway so we could dance in a group. Line dances were popular at the time too. We had such fun.

My most interesting dance partner was the cousin of a male friend. he was deaf. He could read lips but he could not hear a thing. I asked him how he could dance and he told me that he could feel the drum beats in the floor. He loved to dance.

He came in every so often and became comfortable sitting at the band table with us. After a time he stopped coming in too. It seems he had also found a young woman and they were keeping steady company. Isn't love grand?

All these tales are interesting. As Fred Astaire would sing, "It only happens when we dance."