Monday, November 28, 2011

Apple Core, Baltimore

We didn't get a VCR until Blockbuster stopped renting them out in bags. Remember that? During that time, we rented both the VCR and an obscure chipmunk/Donald Duck movie. In it, a chipmunk would eat an apple then say to it's chipmunk buddy, "Apple Core." The other rodent would reply, "Baltimore". Chipmunk 1: "Who's your friend?" Then the second would point out an unlucky pal and the first would hurl his apple core at the "friend". My brothers and I thought this was a spectacular idea and have continued the tradition to this day.

This ritual is so ingrained in our family that sometimes we forget not only how obnoxious it is, but how obscure. I don't think anyone else saw this movie. So when my mom accidentally dropped an apple core into a birthday gift bag for her boss and he found it, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Apple Core, Baltimore." Not surprisingly, he missed the reference.

I foolishly taught my daughter this game and now it has extended to peas. Much of the dialogue has been simplified: "Peas Porridge, who's your friend?" She doesn't even need an answer. If it wasn't for my black lab, there would be peas everywhere. Those black labs are amazing. Mine is also fat.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finding Christmas

In six years of marriage, Willie and I have only had two Christmas trees. Every time I put up a Christmas tree, I remember that the stand my mom gave me is only for decoration: it's missing a couple screws and is probably 80 years old (actually, it doesn't have any screws). But it's been three years since we had a tree and just long enough that the stand seemed perfectly capable. We had to have a tree this year because Halle explicitly asked for one last year. The conversation went like this: "Merry Christmas, Halle!"
"No, it's not."
"What do you mean?"
"I looked for Christmas everywhere and can't find it. Can we at least have a tree next year?"
It's hard for me to justify buying Christmas decorations when they cost money and get stored the majority of the year. But, seeing my three year old's disappointment in her parents has fueled my decorating fire. We had to get a tree. And a deer head. 

So I called friends to deliver my tree. After a lot of effort, Chris explained to me that the stand was not going to work and that I would need to get a new one. "But when you get a new one, call us and we'll put it in for you. Don't try to do it yourself."

Of course, after they left I immediately sawed off several more branches and enlisted my four year old to help me in getting it back in the stand. The tree fell on me three times. 

After all that effort, the tree was still a little tilted. But it was in my house and decorated. I would have left it. But my friends called me again, knowing that I would do something stupid and try to fix the stand. They delivered a stand and installed it. The tree only fell on Karen once. Moving a tree around is way more efficient with adults.

I'm hoping that Halle is appeased this year. I know that I, for one, am all ready having a great Christmas. Not only are we celebrating Christ's birth and our rescue from sin and darkness, I have a deer mount. My brothers and husband have all shot deer. I have hunted and captured one as well. I'm sure my family will be very proud.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The first time I saw Halle break out in hives, it was all over her face and I did a classic mom-freak out. I called the doctor and actually said that I feared for my child's life. I rushed her into the doctor and by the time we sat down in the waiting room, her hives had cleared up. This prompted me to lean over and whisper into my two year old's ear, "itch your face, child. I look like an idiot."

Thus, when her face broke out in hives this week I just pulled out the Benadryl. I won't be fooled again. I still have no idea what causes these hives, but I am sure that if I take her to the doctor to find out, they'll clear right up.

These skin irritations must run in the family because Willie also has had some frightening episodes. His ear, lips, and cheeks have all spontaneously swelled up. The doctor diagnosed him with, "unexplained hives." I could have diagnosed that.

Willie's biggest foe, however, is poison ivy. When we lived in Georgia he broke out in a rash and didn't get rid of it for a YEAR. If someone talks about poison ivy, he breaks out. I, on the other hand, am immune. This greatly aggravates my husband. I like to call it my superpower. He may be cuter, more athletic, smarter, and luckier than I am, but I am immune to poison ivy.