The New Computer System


Our office is getting a new computer system. Those responsible, called “The Team,” are so proud of it you’d think they created a new solar system — in six days instead of seven. There hasn’t been so much hoop-la about anything since the local football team was in the SuperBowl.

Now, this new computer system can do everything except give birth, and it might be able to do that if someone programmed in the birds and the bees. It has so many bells and whistles that it rivals Google. The Team is practically popping buttons they are so excited.

Of course, the average user is less thrilled. It is one more new thing to learn, one more thing to do on an already over-crowded schedule, one more thing to screw up in a life already screwed up by super technology that is smarter than we are.

The innovators are certain that the new system is bigger and better than anything we’ve ever seen, so certain that they have determined that everyone not only going to learn it, but like it whether they want it or not.

They have untaken a massive communication campaign to assure that we average users are prepared when the new system comes online. Their emails are lengthy, technical, and numerous.

Did I say numerous? They fill up my inbox faster than SPAM on a weekend holiday buzz. After a while, there is nothing left to say, so they just say the same thing over and over.  So far, I’ve received 108 emails singing the praises of the new computer system louder than a rock concert.

And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on.

We’ve been trained, educated, and saturated with FAQ’s up to our eyeballs. We have been introduced to online training, training manuals, classroom training, and training on how to understand the training. I am more computer literate than a teenage hacker.

The first day we could log on the new system, The Team practically wet its pants. So did the server, which came close to crashing as everyone obediently signed in at the same time, creating a log-on traffic jam bigger than an audition for American Idol.

We are still getting emails and reminders that the Really Big Day is just around the corner. The Really Big Day is the day the new system goes live, not just for practice but for actually doing real live stuff. The Team will be foaming at the mouth.

The help desk will go ballistic with calls from people who don’t have a clue about what the heck is going on. The Team seems not to be aware of the phenomena called “information overload.” They sent so much information that people tuned them out.

People don’t like to change. Regardless of how good the new computer system is, they already understand the old one and don’t have to figure anything out to use it. It’s comfortable like a pair of old slippers, and it doesn’t make mental blisters.

Sociologists divide people into groups with regard to change: the innovators, the adapters, the resistors. I guess I’m an adapter. If it’s inevitable, you might as well go ahead and learn it. Please don’t tell The Team, but I’m about as excited over this as I would be over a root canal at the dentist’s office.

They are having a meeting right now planning more ways to make life miserable for us end users. I can hear the sounds of a war dance floating up the stairs. At this point I’m not sure what is worse, the computer system or know-it-all innovators who force feed information because they know what’s best for us.

When The Big Day finally came, guess what didn’t work? Yep, it flubbed. Funny thing, we didn’t receive a single email about the problem until after about a zillion calls to support wondering what was wrong.  Guess they were all busy cleaning the egg off their faces.

Are we peons laughing up our sleeve? Well, maybe just a wee bit. Of course, it can’t possibly be The Team’s fault. After all, they did everything they could, and more. They are in an emergency meeting now, trying to figure out what the end users did wrong that caused this to happen. I’m sure they will come up with something.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Technology, Work Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Hair Day


My daughter’s hair was propelled into a state of shock and awe. She decided to to dye it. Don’t all women color their hair, these days? So, if she wants to join the traipse into high fashion, why not?

We went to Walmart, a fabulous local boutique for stylish makeovers. Since I had groceries to buy, my grandson helped her pick the color, a dubious decision. She later told me they picked a color by holding the boxes up to her face and choosing the picture that most looked like her.

As any real expert can tell you, hair color is tricky. It has a way of not coming out as the crown of glory you had intended, especially when you do it yourself. It’s nature’s revenge on the hair industry, I suppose.

When it was time for the deed to be done, she was nervous. “I’ve never put permanent color on my hair before. I always use the temporary kind.”

I offered to assist with the dastardly deed. We took a chair into the bathroom and played Barbie’s beauty shop for half an hour. We then wrapped it in an old
towel, and thirty minutes later she shampooed.

I heard a scream from the bathroom.

“My hair is BLACK!”

Good grief, how can brunette be black? She is probably over reacting. Surely it would be a lighter color when dry, I thought.

It wasn’t.

We are talking black here, as black as the mulch at the garden center, as black as the soot in your chimney. Think Morticia Addams, Cher, or Elvira. When you looked at her, all you could see was black hair, like a negative image on film.

“What can I do?” She cried. “I can’t go around looking like this.”

“Maybe we can get light brown dye and try again?” I responded with the hopeless situation of my vampire daughter beginning to sink in. We tried it, but it didn’t work. I found out later that you can’t take out color with more color. You can go darker, but not lighter. In other words, she was out of luck.

“Maybe you will get used to it?” I suggested.

We went back to Walmart for an expert consultation with the resident gum-chewing beautician whose bleached blond hair failed to inspire much confidence. The beautician shook her head. “What did you do to it?  We can strip out all the color and then recolor it. You might want to enhance it too.” I could see the digital dollar signs flashing in her eyes.

It seems there is not a lot you can do as a home remedy when things go this far astray. If you try to strip it with peroxide, it turns flaming orange. If you try to cover the orange with brown, it turns putrid purple.

Black is bad enough.

Other people offered horror stories of their own instead of any actual solution. It seems the best advice when you can’t afford professional treatment is to learn to love your hair the way nature intended it.

But it was a little late for that with midnight madness pulling out her roots.

We turned to Google for advice and found that a clarifying shampoo will make a dark color fade faster. We bought a bottle. It closely resembles Drano and will unclog the drains as a side benefit.

She is washing it daily now and conditioning it. Maybe it has faded a little bit. Maybe. Or maybe we are just getting used to it.

All I can say is to try a lighter shade first if you want to color your hair at home — unless, of course, you’ve always dreamed of looking like Morticia Adams.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Posted in Fashion, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How to Eat Healthy


While I hadn’t really noticed this before, I have lately begun to suspect that there is a vast conspiracy out there to make people fat. It seems I have been so busy watching the diet industry that I paid little attention to the shenanigans of the rest of society, and they have had unrestrained freedom in conspiring to seduce us into their trap.

Take, for instance, the commercials we watch on the television set, unless we have the good sense to avoid such digital diversion, which most of us don’t. In the middle of a CSI autopsy, a commercial breaks in at a most unexpected moment. The screen flashes a succulent dinner that titillates our taste buds in spite of the inappropriateness of the interruption.

And should we be seduced into going inside a restaurant, we are certain to be victims of foul play. As soon as we are seated, we find a bucket of roasted peanuts in front of us and are offered liquid refreshments, nearly all of which are high-calorie and nourishment-empty. If we manage to resist these delights, a basket of yeasty-smelling bread is placed in front of us, butter on the side. Then we are asked about ordering an appetizer, as if the other condiments are not there.

Scanning the menu, we find not one single meal that does not appear to be high enough in calories to give us air sickness. After ordering, we receive salad to go with the buns. By the time the actual meal arrives, we are not even hungry. As soon as our forks have touched the food, we are invited to order dessert.

So, we try to stay away from these businesses that, after all, are doing what they do best, feeding people what they perceive that people want, high-calorie, fat-laden, and belly-fattening food. People who try to avoid the eating-out syndrome do not fare much better. Unlike other addictions, eating cannot be stopped entirely if we value our life, and if we judge by the amount of fat consumed these days, we value it highly.

Certainly it is possible to find low-calorie, fat-free food if you look hard enough, but while looking, you must crawl over piles of cake and donuts, pass by cases of ice cream, look past frozen pizza, run around fried chicken, and go through aisles lined with potato chips, snacks, and every type of candy invented by man’s ingenuity. Suddenly, our bag of lettuce and frozen diet dinners seems as worthless as confetti after the party is over.

And we haven’t yet considered the deceptive labeling. Candy is fat-free. (What about calorie-free?) Ice cream is low-fat (but not no-fat), pork has no carbs (but plenty of cholesterol), and potato chips are baked (but still starchy). Could anyone really expect us to think this stuff is good for us? Or do they just wish to make the choices so difficult and confusing that we don’t know what to buy?

Generally, while the mind is confused, the stomach takes control and somehow fills the grocery cart with all-beef wieners, (all beef fat, that is) breakfast cereal (50% sugar), low-fat cheesecake (Don’t even ask.), salt-free popcorn (Butter flavor is optional), and caffeine- laden energy drinks. We are somehow brainwashed into believing we are eating well, and swearing that we will never give unhealthy foods a ride in our shopping cart.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

We are controlled by outside marketing forces determined to fatten us up whether we need it or not. It is futile to resist. We might as well let bon-bons be bons-bons, so to speak. And since we are already overweight and outwitted, we might as well have one of those artificial chocolate, meal-to-go candy bars before passing out from hunger.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Posted in Food, Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

To Do or Not To Do

to doIn my purse is a piece of paper and on it are eight things to do. Why do people make “to do” lists anyhow? Does it somehow make me feel more important to have a list of things to do? Or is it just that my memory is so bad that I will not be able to remember what to do without a “to do” list?

Every time I’ve ever been to a time management class, they have always said to keep a “to do” list so you will be sure to accomplish everything that you need to do. Not only that, but you are supposed to prioritize it with the most important items to do at the top of the “to do” list so you do them first.

Maybe “to do” lists are helpful, but they are also a pain. Once something is on my “to do” list, I have to do it whether I want to do it or not. It becomes a nagging aggravation. There is something about having things written down that makes them more compelling. It is hard to rationalize something away when it is on a list of things to do.

A while back I had a “to do” list with about twenty items on it. I could never seem to get them all done. I hated that “to do” list. It became an obsession. Somehow once it was written on my “to do” list, I had to do it, but I couldn’t do anything unless it was on the “to do” list although I had too many other things to do.

Not only could I not get everything done, the “to do” list continued to get longer and longer. Doing one thing reminded me of two other things that I needed to do. I hated getting up in the morning as I had too many things to do. The “to do” list took over my life. I was a slave to a piece of paper. This didn’t seem like the way things should work. A “to do” list was suppose to help me manage my time, not use it all up.

Finally, I came up with a brilliant idea. I would put “finish the ‘to do’ list” on my “to do” list. As silly as it seems, it worked. I wanted to mark off that item more than any of the others, so I worked feverishly for several weekends to finish the “to do” list. Finally, I came to the end. Free at last! No more “to do” list.

I’ve avoid making a “to do” list ever since. If I forget to do something that I need to do, it will just have to wait until I remember to do it. Of course, there are a lot of things that never get done that way. It is conveniently easy to forget what you really don’t want to do, like clean dresser drawers or file away old bills. After a while, these kinds of tasks start to pile up. You know you have to do them eventually, but you always seem to have better things to do.

It finally came to the point again that I had to do it — make another “to do” list. I have promised myself that I will keep it at a manageable length this time and try not to start thinking of other things to do that I can put on it. Somehow, it actually is easier not to do things when they are on the “to do” list. I can always say that it is on my “to do” list, and I will do it later.

But, wait! I’ve just thought of something else that I forgot to put on my “to do” list for tomorrow. It’s something I really have to do. I will put it on the “to do” list. What else can I do? It is more important than any of the other things I have to do.

I have places to go and things to do. But there is one thing I can mark off my “to do” list now. I have just written a blog and it is no longer something that I need to do.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
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Does Santa Bring Dog Gifts?

dixie christmas
Dear Santa,

I know you are in business to deliver toys to kids, not dogs. However, maybe you do not deliver to dogs because they do not write and ask. I am sure with all the reindeer that you have, you must be an animal lover. So I thought I would let you know that I am here.

I am writing you to let you know that I have been a very good dog this year. I have not done much in the way of getting things done, but I am not a work dog. I am a pet. I take my job very seriously, and I do the best job possible of taking care of my humans need for unconditional love and affection.

I suppose you may be wondering why I was barking out the window the other day and woke my human mommy up. I saw the garbage truck outside. It was my duty to protect our turf from the garbage truck. Just because human mommy was grouchy about me waking her up early is not my fault. I’m sure you understand.

It’s true spend a lot of time sleeping in case you don’t know already, but I have to rest up so I will be ready when it is time for my daily walks. I always take my human daddy for a walk when he gets home from work. He has been cooped up in an office all day and it is the least I can do regardless of whether it is cold, hot, or raining. If it wasn’t for me hopping up and down, he would probably never get any exercise.

I am such a good dog that sometimes he lets me walk without my leash on. I always walk along right beside him, at least most of the time. I ran across the street once or twice when I saw my dog friend across the street. But the car stopped in plenty of time, so what’s the big deal? Besides, a dog has to have a social life.

Now, I am going to get down to the real purpose of my letter. You know why everyone writes to you, of course, to tell you what they want for Christmas. In a word: TREATS. I really like those rawhide-free chewing bones. Peanut butter is my favorite, but if you run out, I will take chicken.

My humans give me a treat once in a while, but I would like to have a stash of my own. I am not asking for anything else at all: no silly dog sweaters, no new collar, no leash (please, no leash) and no gift cards for vet visits. My needs are very simple — treats.

When you visit on Christmas, I promise not to bark at you or eat your cookies, not even the peanut butter ones. I will just give you some warm doggy kisses and sniff your bag for treats. Remember, peanut butter, available at pet stores everywhere.

Thanks for letting me make a picture with you the other day. I didn’t have a chance to tell you what I wanted for Christmas, so I had to be sure you know. The picture was my gift to my humans. Got to keep them happy, you know. That’s my job.

You should probably get a dog of your own to help you with deliveries. Sorry, I’m already taken, but there are many dogs at the local shelters looking for homes. Maybe you could drop by and give them a few treats also.

I will look forward to seeing you at Christmas. I don’t bite, so don’t worry about that. You can scratch me behind my ears if you want, or give me a belly rub. I will be sleeping under the Christmas tree dreaming about peanut butter bones. See you on Christmas Eve.

Dixie Dog

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The Green Stuff


Holidays are a time steeped in tradition and a time when families gather together and enjoy favorite foods. For some families the traditional food may be turkey with special stuffing, ham with a secret glaze, or pumpkin pie. Our family too has a special food that we enjoy only at holidays. It’s called “green stuff.”

Yes, you heard me right. I said “green stuff.” It surely must have had a finer name at some point in time, but it has been so long ago that the name has been lost to posterity and only the ingredients remain. Even the recipe has grown a bit vague, at least as far as exact amounts.

I can tell you what green stuff is made from, but only a taste can really do it justice. Mix a bag of melted marshmallows, two packages of cream cheese, two packages of dry green jello, a can of crushed pineapple, and a pint of whipped cream. Presuming you didn’t blow up the microwave melting the marshmallows, you have made green stuff!

Even though the name faded into oblivion, the green stuff continues to be served at Thanksgiving and Christmas year after year. There are other similar recipes, but this one is especially rich and sweet. Our family cannot be fooled by imitations. We eat a small amount of it along with the meal, just like cranberry sauce.

The tradition started with my mother-in-law who always used to make the dish on holidays. Of course, my husband wanted “green stuff” when we began to prepare our own holiday meals. And so the recipe was passed along with verbal instructions on how to prepare it so that it comes out light and fluffy — not that anyone could make it like she did.

At one time we made both “green stuff” and “pink stuff.” The pink stuff was exactly like green stuff except it was made with strawberry jello and nuts were added. Eventually, though, the green became such a favorite and the pink was so neglected that we dropped it completely so we didn’t have to feel guilty for not eating it.

We have begun to think that perhaps “green stuff ” is actually the correct name. People seem to instinctively call it that. Whenever I prepare the dish for guests or for a potluck dinner, someone will invariable ask, “What’s the green stuff?” Imagine their surprise when I reply, “That’s it. It’s called ‘green stuff’.”

For our family a holiday isn’t a holiday without it. Whenever my son calls to wrangle a dinner invitation for the holidays, he always asks, “Are you making the green stuff?” Naturally, I am. We can change almost any other part of the meal, but we have to have the green stuff.

The tradition has passed on to the next generation. My daughters always say no one can make it as good as I can. Of course, that is just a ploy because it is a pain to make. It seems impossible to prepare without making a sticky mess and dirtying up half the bowls in the kitchen.

This year when we planned the holiday menu, green stuff was not mentioned. I
thought maybe everyone was tired of it and we would just skip it this year. Then I received a panic call work from my daughter. “We forgot about the green stuff! What do I need to buy to make it?” And so it continues.

While I was up to my elbows wrestling melted marshmallow and whipping cream
in my kitchen the other day, my grandson walked into the kitchen. He looked at what I was doing and asked, “Hey, grandma, what’s the green stuff?”

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Posted in Food, Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toys for Grown Ups

christmasHere it is time for the holidays again, and we are deciding what to buy for our significant others. Manufactures, sensing our indecision and ability to be readily influenced, have honed their marketing proficiency and offer us a wide variety of senseless gift selections.

Number one on the “wish list” this year will be the iPhone 11 digital camera phone, another cell phone that takes pictures and video. No electronic gadget can possibly
be expected to do only one thing anymore. Conveniently becoming available only a few months before Christmas, these cell phones will undoubtedly be a hot seller, in spite of their high-end price tag.

If you couldn’t wait for Christmas or already have a digital camera phone that is “good enough,” there are many other ridiculous items to choose from. For instance, we have the two-wheel electric, personal transporter with a $5,000 price tag. You
can stand on it and zip along for up to 10 miles, saving your energy for more important tasks. No wonder we don’t get enough exercise. The only thing we exercise is the brain while thinking of new ways to get in worse physical shape than we are already.

If a personal transporter doesn’t float your boat, how about getting a hovering saucer to ride? It floats on air just above the ground and is guided by holding on to handle bars and shifting the weight of the body. It costs as much as a car and only works well over solid surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt, but if you are a “wanna be” space cadet, it’s as close to having a private flying saucer as you can get.

Still thinking? You are aware of the Global Positioning System for cars that uses
satellite signals for navigation and emergency assistance? Now you can get a GPS to keep up with your child. I’m not kidding! The child wears it like a wristwatch and can be located anywhere at any time. Of course, manufacturers don’t realize that once we get them out of the house, we would probably be better off not knowing.

Maybe you could use an air purification system for your home or a desktop model for the office. Not only does it filter the air; it has a special ultraviolet light to kill any germs, mold spores or bacteria in the air. We already disinfect and deodorize our homes, breath, and underarms to the point of absurdity; we now must disinfect the air we breathe.

Still leaning toward electronics, are we? How about a combination game deck, music player, wireless browser and cellular phone. We’ve previously established that nothing can do only one thing these days. Electronic gadgets are the ultimate multi-taskers, and most all of them incorporate some combination of new technologies. Funny how we suddenly have a “need” for these things, in spite of the fact that we have lived without them for all these years.

Remember the tiny wireless cameras that were marketed all over the Internet
whether we wanted one or not? Well, now they are selling a tiny gadget to detect hidden mini cameras. That figures! One manufactured need creates the market for another. And so it goes.

My favorite, most favorite, gift of all, however, is the voice-activated gadget
that can change TV channels and make television adjustments on voice commands. It has finally happened. We have grown too lazy to even push buttons on a remote control!

Next year’s hot item should be an electronic, multi-tasking, garbage can to throw away all the senseless and useless junk we bought this year.

Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss – All Rights Reserved
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Christmas Spirit

toystoreI was overcome with Christmas Spirit last weekend; and wouldn’t you just know that it would happen in a toy store? I went in to find a small toy of some kind for my granddaughter. I was think of buying some little outfits, but kids don’t want clothes for Christmas, they want toys.

I was having fun checking out all the toys. I had already gone through this once at the neighborhood discount store, and couldn’t find a thing that really grabbed my attention. But, I rounded a corner and there they were, a whole shelf of oversized stuffed dolls, dolls that didn’t talk, cry, wet or do anything except be a doll.

Zing, Christmas Spirit hit!

I fell in love with them! I grabbed one up and headed for the front of the store to check out. That’s what I intended to do, but then I saw that child-size set of pink luggage. Pink luggage with ballerina slippers on it! It would be perfect for her to pack doll clothes, take to dancing classes, or pack away whatever other secret items a little girl has to pack.

Zing, Christmas Spirit again!

Before I made it quite to the register, I remembered that I had intended to get blocks at the discount store, but couldn’t find any. How could they not have blocks? Every child needs blocks. I found Lego’s, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, all the other building stuff, but where are the blocks? Then I found them.

Zing, Christmas Spirit! Only two boxes left. Better get them before they are
sold out.

I didn’t get a shopping basket when I came in because I was only buying one small
toy. The blocks were so heavy that I could barely carry them. I had to get help to get the all the stuff to the cash register. Okay, I know I’m spoiling her, but what are grandparents for anyhow if not to spoil grandchildren?

Now I’m just trying to figure out now how to explain to my son and daughter-in-law why I bought these toys when she already has too many. But they are really practical toys and durable. . . except for the plastic luggage, which was so cute!

Three toys aren’t really that many. Of course, when you add it to what her other grandparents bring and what Santa brings, it might seem like too many. She really is good, so Santa needs to reward her. That’s it! I’ll sneak the stuff in and pretend Santa left it. They will never know it was me. Maybe. And if they happen to figure it out, I’ll just say:

Zing, Christmas Spirit! I couldn’t help myself!

Then, there is also the matter of my other grandchildren.

Fortunately, Santa sent me a letter through Amazon telling me exactly which DVD was on my other granddaughter’s wish list. That Santa is a pretty smart fellow. A good thing I didn’t have to look around with that Christmas Spirit running wild in the toy store. No, the little outfit I got her wasn’t on the list. But, I was right there at the Children’s Shop anyhow, so I just had to take a quick look.

Zing, Christmas Spirit! It sure gets around.

Now I have only my grandson left and he has made out his own list, so that completes my children’s shopping for this year. Everyone should be required to spend time in a toy store at Christmas. . . just to get in the mood. Also, with enough people pushing and shoving, maybe the Christmas Spirit will be too busy to bother me.

Oh, heck, I enjoy giving gifts to the kids more than they enjoy receiving them. I might as well admit it.

Zing, Christmas spirit!

Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Posted in Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh Christmas Tree

pink trees

It used to be that Christmas trees were real trees brought at a lot on the corner. I could hardly wait until we could drag out the boxes of shinny glass ornaments from the dime store to decorate it. It was covered with tinfoil tinsel and brought the piney smell of the forest inside.

The lights seldom worked. If one went out, the whole string did. We spent most of Christmas trying to find and replace the burned out bulbs. The tree usually had a crooked trunk, and just getting the thing to stand up in the flimsy tree stand was a challenge.

Then real trees fell from favor and were replaced by aluminum trees with blue ornaments and wheels of color that changed constantly. These silver rainbow trees were about the ultimate in beauty, we thought.

But artificial aluminum tackiness didn’t last long and plastic tackiness set in with trees that looked real, but were not. These trees had about a million limbs to assemble every year with directions that always became lost after the first time.
Monstrous plastic trees with miniature lights that would not melt the phony needles took over the living rooms of America. But now it seems that even a monster tree is not enough.

“I have three trees,” said a girlfriend at work, “One for the living room, one for the den, and one in the bedroom. It’s white with red, white and blue ornaments,” she said, “for election year.”

Theme trees are all the rage. Old fashioned trees with a hodge-podge of ornaments are out. Now trees must be color-coordinated, have a theme, and match the decor of the home. Sort of takes all the fun out of it when home decorators take over the tree. “We have seven trees,” said one of the managers. “My favorite is the Titan football  tree.” He then elaborated on the other tree themes as well.

The latest trend, though, is “pencil” trees, not because of the ornaments (thank goodness), but because the trees are tall and skinny to work in smaller size modern homes and apartments.

Trees now come not only in traditional green colors and white, but in blue, pink, purple, peppermint stripes and even rainbow. I can’t believe my eyes. “I used to have a pink tree in the bathroom,” said my spirit-filled friend at work. A tree in the bathroom? I don’t think so. Enough is enough! And one tree is enough for me.

I down-sized this year to a table-top tree. Yes, bah, humbug. No more monster tree. Sorry, but I’m tired of a Christmas jungle. Actually, it is rather cute, even if it is pre-lit. It has all my old wooden ornaments and is quaint, even if it is small. We decorate it every morning and the cat undecorates it every night. Maybe she prefers a catnip theme.

As far as I’ve heard, seven trees in one house is a record. That’s probably more than Walmart has in the Christmas department. With seven trees, Santa wouldn’t even know where to leave the presents.

Sometimes I miss the old days of live trees, but I don’t miss cleaning needles out of the carpet for months afterwards. I think I have two or three old trees somewhere in the attic. If I start now, I might be able to put them all up before Christmas. Want to help? I didn’t think so. Now I remember another reason why I have only one tree.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss


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Hello Santa

christmasmailbox.jpgDear Santa,

I’m just writing to say hello. In case you are wondering, I’ve been good, but I don’t want anything at all this year. I have everything that I want.

This should be a pretty easy year for you — at least at my house. I received a new computer from my honey, so you can scratch that off your list. Actually, you probably didn’t have it on your list, since I’ve asked you for one for the past five years without results.

My old computer finally died. The monitor quit working. What can you do without a monitor? The fact is that I was still using the computer I bought during the Y2K panic in 2000. That makes it a dinosaur in the electronic world. It’s a wonder it worked this long.

My grandson cannot think of anything he wants this year either. . . other than a puppy. Don’t you dare! I picked up some age appropriate toys and games for him at Wal-Mart, so just skip our house. I don’t want to have to worry about a gift that chews up the other gifts, wets on the rug, and tries to eat the glass ornaments off the Christmas tree.

We don’t want any of the hot new electronic toys either. Electronic toys have gotten out of hand. The toys do all the playing and the children just watch. Your elves really need to stop with all the upgraded technology and get back to basics. These teaching toys are starting to get on my last nerve. I don’t think most kids learn anything from intelligent toys except how to take the batteries out.

Don’t bother bringing any new clothes for my grandkids. When they open a package with clothes, the clothes are thrown straight up and they grab for the next package. Christmas is not a time to try to sneak in clothes or anything else practical that a child might actually need. Kids know the difference between needs and wants and needs are not on the list.

I bought one item online that was already becoming sold out at the stores. I was afraid that you might run out of it before Christmas, as usual. Hope you don’t mind me taking matters into my own hands, but I didn’t want anyone to think that Santa forgot them. It’s one more thing that you don’t have to worry about in case you are counting.

For the first time in recorded history, I finished my shopping early thanks to the Internet. I don’t do malls at Christmas any more, unless it is just to look at the decorations. Actually, most people these days would just as soon have a gift card instead of a gift. They don’t like getting stuff to return because it doesn’t fit or isn’t what they want. Standing in a return line after Christmas is the pits!

That should make it easy for you. You won’t even have to bother with coming down the chimney. Just drop the gift card in the mail.

I suppose you are having a rough time this year with all the toys that were made by Chinese elves, which have been recalled. The recall list seems to be longer than the wish list. I’ve now heard that there are a lot of counterfeit toys on the market. Next thing you know, they will be blaming all the toy problems on illegal immigrant elves.

Parents are almost afraid to buy toys anymore and are pretty selective about what their kids receive. I hope you will be more careful about the lead paint, magnets, and other things in the toys you bring.

My decorations are done and my tree is up. As I said, I don’t want anything this year. Why don’t you try thinking of yourself for a change? Maybe get some new red insulated underwear or some crossword puzzle books to pass the time after Christmas is over.

Merry Christmas and please say hello to Mrs. Claus and the reindeer.

Copyright Sheila Moss
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