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
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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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A Dog With No Name

DSCN1144

We went to a breeder and picked her out even before she was old enough to come home. She was cute, I must admit, really cute.

Before you ask, she is a Shih Tzu, a small frou-frou dog from a breed originating in China.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a puppy at my house. I’m just not quite sure what to do with her — housebreaking, chewing, and all those horrible things that puppies do. But she is really cute.

“What’s her name?” everyone asks.

She doesn’t have a name yet. We need to think of a name.

“How about Molly?” I ask.

My honey doesn’t like that one, but he can’t think of anything else. The entire family gets in on the act, but nothing seems to fit.

I wasn’t really in favor of another dog. Honey wanted a dog, and I finally caved in. His brother has a Shih Tzu. I blame him for this.

The dog needed to go to the vet for a checkup, so the appointment was made under “female puppy”. We can’t call her “female puppy” forever. She needs a name.

I look on the internet: “Daisy, Lulu, Missy?” I suggest.

Lulu? “Like the cartoon?” he asks sarcastically.

“Daisy is cute. I like that.” But he shakes his head.

“Muffin, Buttons, Skittles, Dixie, Bubbles?”

We still can’t decide. Nothing seems right — or good enough.

We go to the pet store to get a bed and a collar. We tell the pet store lady about the new puppy and that she doesn’t yet have a name. “Just wait,” suggests the lady at the pet store. “She will name herself.”

I don’t think so. I don’t want her to end up with a handle like Trouble, Puddles, or Boo-Boo. No, we need to think of something.

“A lady at work says she gives her pets people names,” suggests honey. That’s the new trend. Pets are just like members of the family, so people name them just like a person.

“People names like Molly?” I ask?

“No, names like Sam, Alex, or Cooper,” he replies.

“Well, those are names for a boy dog. What about Bonnie?” But he doesn’t like that either.

To make it even worse, his brother’s dog has a really cute name — Harley. We have to think of something at least as cute as Harley.

What about a Jewish name? I suggest, even though she is Chinese. We looked on the internet for Hebrew dog names: Hannah, Delilah, Naomi, Rebecca, Mollie?

“Mollie is on the list,” I say.

But he doesn’t like the meaning, “bitter.”

“She’s a dog! What does it matter what it means?”

Everything else is too grand for a puppy or unpronounceable. We want something people can pronounce.

Days go by. Poor nameless puppy, I am beginning to think her name will be “The Dog.”

“I need to name her before going to the veterinarian,” says honey. “What do you want to name her?”

“What do ‘I’ want to name her?” I’ve been making suggestions for two weeks — now he wants ME to name her?

“She’s YOUR DOG!” You decide!

Finally, on the morning of the doctor appointment, he puts her in the pet carrier and gets ready to go.

“What’s her name?” I dare to ask.

“Dixie”

We have a new dog at my house, a Shih Tzu. She is really, really cute. Just in case anybody wants to know, her name is Dixie.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
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I Love a Parade

NOLA stompers

I love a parade! Who doesn’t?  There are homecoming parades, Thanksgiving parades, and parades for the Fourth of July. But the parade I participating in was a jazz band parade in New Orleans.

New Orleans is known as the “birthplace of jazz” and jazz has become a traditional music suitable for almost every occasion there. There are jazz bands at weddings, conventions, parties, celebrations of all kinds — even funeral processions.

The Storyville Stompers are a brass band that plays traditional New Orleans music, the kind that jazz and Dixieland are based on. They are known for their performances at Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The French Quarter Festival and numerous other national and international celebrations.

When they are around, everything else stops.

The band parades on foot through the streets of the city with a drum-major leading as only a New Orleans drum-major can, with a lively step and a waving parasol that has become a legendry part of the New Orleans tradition.

When bands paraded in early times, children often followed behind imitating the high-stepping, umbrella-twirling drum major. Soon a second line of paraders formed, a line following after the band and a tradition known as “second lining” was born.

Attendees at a conference I attended in New Orleans had to walk several blocks from the hotel to a meeting at the Aquarium. Why walk when you can dance? And so the conference planners hired a traditional jazz band and before we knew it, we were high stepping and second lining as if we had been doing it for a lifetime.

It is hard to stand still when the Stompers play. No one can avoid dancing along. When a band plays jazz New Orleans style, the only thing that matters is having a good time.

We prepared. We bought kazoos to play and umbrellas to twirl. Here we were, a group of writers, nerds, and old folks, dancing through the streets of a city like a bunch of giddy kids.

Traffic stopped for us, tourists stopped for us, cameras flashed, and we boogied on. In New Orleans they have grown accustomed to street performances and only smile, wave and applaud, wishing they could join in or maybe even dancing right along.

I twirled my umbrella and danced just like everyone else. After all, what good is life if you can’t have fun? We marched into the aquarium, past the fish and aquatic animals and into the room where our event was being held.

I don’t know if the creatures were accustomed to such festivities or not, but they seemed not to mind. It was hard to play my kazoo and twirl my umbrella at the same time. Maybe I’m one of those people who can’t walk and chew gum without forgetting to do one of them.

We all made it in spite of traffic, rough sidewalks, gawking tourists, flashing cameras, heat and humidity, and hysterical laughter. Now, if anyone should ever ask, I can say that I’ve been second lining in New Orleans .

I really doubt that it will ever come up, though. It never has before.

Life is short and the world is a small place. Someday I can say, “And then there was a time in New Orleans when I went second lining with the Storyville Stompers Brass Band.”

I’m sure when I tell about it, the grandkids will simply say, ‘We’ve heard that story before, grandma. Tell us another one.”

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

Beowulf Was Here

BeowulfOnce again I received a reminder that I’m not as young as I used to be. This time it’s bursitis. It’s pitiful when you get so old that all you have to talk about is your aches and pains. So, I tried to ignore it.  Mind over matter — if I don’t acknowledge it, maybe it will go away.

Unfortunately, this ache was in my right shoulder and I’m right-handed. It was starting to affect my computer arm. As much time as I spend clicking a computer mouse, it was starting to get down-right aggravating.

You can only ignore pain for so long. My mind over matter theory was melting quickly. I tried warm showers, long soaks in the tub, ice packs, and the old stand-by favorite, menthol rubs. Have you tried those new stick-on patches with icy-hot menthol built in? As good as they are, it was obvious that I needed something more than a stick-on patch.

“I feel like the monster in Beowulf!” I told my honey. Most people have studied the ancient epic poem called Beowulf, probably in a high school literature. To refresh your memory, Beowulf was the young hero of the story. To make a long classic short, Beowulf saved the mead (beer) hall when he killed a beast named Grendel by pulling it’s arm out of the socket. [Maybe that was how arm wrestling was invented?]

Regardless, it was time for me to see a doctor.  I couldn’t wait for an appointment by now. I was in too much pain. I considered an emergency room, but I was rather embarrassed to go to an ER for something that had had been hurting for two weeks. Why do we do things like this?

I went to the local urgent care clinic, sometimes called a “doc-in-the-box.”  Doc was sympatric and gave me a shot of cortisone and prescription for muscle relaxers.

Ah, sweet relief!

I quickly forgot that I was as ancient as the Beowulf epic and went right back to my regular routine. As you have probably guessed, as soon as the cortisone shot wore off, my pain came back. By this time the bursitis was a raging monster, threaten to devour my entire arm.

“Down beast!”

I’d better go to an orthopedic doctor. But I couldn’t wait. I had let it get out of control again. So, it was back to the old urgent care clinic. I knew the routine by now. But this time the doctor was a different one, a female. She was not as understanding.

“You’ve been here for this before?” she asked. I nodded in the affirmative. Old grouch, I thought. “You need to see your primary care doctor,” she said.

The doctor is telling me to see a doctor? What is she? Anyhow, she did give me another short of cortisone.  Funny thing about cortisone, it can makes things hurt much worse before it starts feeling better. Now I know why Grendel died of a displaced arm. I thought I was going to die too.

I finally called my primary doctor and made an appointment. Dr. Grouch at the clinic mentioned that I might need physical therapy. But, my arm is starting to feel much better today. I don’t know why I’m going to the doctor Monday when I feel fine on drugs.

As I said, it’s pitiful when you get so old you have nothing to talk about but your aches and pains. If my arm comes out of the socket, though, I won’t be able to type; so I figured I’d better get my column written while I still can.

If there is no column next week, you will know I have died of Beowulf syndrome.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Health, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hot Wings from Hell

nalau-nobel-xTLbEZOkNuM-unsplash

“How about some hot wings from the new carry-out place?” my honey asked.

“I don’t remember a hot wings carry-out place. What’s the name of it?”

“Wing City or something like that… I can’t remember.”

“Okay, sounds good — as long as they are not too hot.”

I checked with my daughter.

Yes, she wanted some hot wings too — as long as they were not too hot.

We had a bad experience previously with wings from the pizza place. Somehow they got the hot sauce mixed up with the mild sauce. That little fiasco turned me against hot wings for a while. I don’t mind spicy food, but food so hot you can’t eat it is another matter.

We finally decided on bone vs. boneless, mild vs. hot, and regular Buffalo wings vs. other varieties. We were not sure what they had, but Honey was off to the new wing place to give it a try.

The food smelled delicious when he returned and the sticker on the box said MILD. I made sure of that. We were ready to chomp down.

I bit into the first wing. Something was wrong. “My mouth! My mouth! They are too hot!”

“But it says ‘mild’!”

Flames were shooting out of my mouth and I couldn’t reply. If this was mild I could not imagine hot. No celery to cool down with, nothing, I thought, as I fanned my flaming tongue with my hand.

I must be a fluke — I’ll try a different one. But it was hotter than the first. I tried to chew with my teeth and not let the food touch my tongue. Tears rolled from my eyes as molten lava filled my mouth. I quenched the inferno with half a diet coke while steam spewed from my nostrils.

I was going to kill my honey. He better prepare to die.

“Are yours too hot?” I asked my honey.

“Mine are the ‘medium’ flavor,” he said munching happily.

They couldn’t be any hotter. The man has no taste buds. His tongue must be made of asbestos. These wings were so hot the box was charred. These hot wings were from hell.

My daughter, who, also had the “mild” wings agreed.

Maybe if I wash off some of the sauce, I thought. I held one under the faucet and then tried one more time.

My mouth exploded like I had eaten a hand grenade. As rockets flared and fireworks lit the kitchen ceiling, I wiped the sweat from my face and visualized my death by cremation.

There was no use. I could not eat these wings. It could not possibly be that a different place had also mixed up the sauces? I couldn’t even throw them away in the trash can. They needed to go to the toxic waste dump with other hazardous materials.

I staggered into the kitchen for an ice cube to cool my blistered tongue and promised God that I would never eat another hot wing from hell as long as I live, regardless of how mild they are supposed to be.

Some people are flame-eaters and some are not.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

 

Posted in Food, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

New Orleans

DSCN1227The party never stops in New Orleans. The people are tourist-friendly and the visitors bureau is jazzed you are there.

The French Quarter is a quaint area of town where brightly-colored buildings have wrought iron balconies and flower boxes. The streets are very narrow since they were built in the 1700’s. In the evenings, bars are wide open and streets crowded with young people and pick pockets.

New Orleans summer weather is so hot and steamy that my hair immediately frizzed like an SOS pad. A walk down the street gave me a hot flash that even a pink hurricane drink in a souvenir glass couldn’t cool.

Everyone gives you strings of Mardi Gras beads to wear, which help identify you as a tourist. There is a mime, clown, human statue, or jazz musician on every corner working for tips. They seem to have more entrepreneurs per square foot than tourists.New Orleans-56

The fact that I had a camera around my neck and stopped to take a picture every two feet probably helped to identify me as an easy mark. There were so many tourists in the French Quarter that it was hard to tell if you were tipping the locals or each other. Everybody had their hand out.

However, the street people all worked, entertained you, played music or posed with you for an unforgettable snapshot for the folks back home. One clown told me I could probably sell his picture on eBay. I guess he forgot that clowns don’t talk.

Horses and carriages give picturesque tours of the city. You can also take an old-fashioned streetcar which runs down the tracks in the middle of Canal Street, but you have to get off and change streetcars to come back. It helps if you can remember which side is downtown and which side is uptown.

When the wild partying starts in the Quarter at night, old people like me go back to the hotel to growl about the noise, sirens, and cursing in the streets. But even the hotel had a Carousel Bar that revolved like a merry-go-round and made you a bit dizzy whether you were drinking or not.

DSCN1246One evening a brass jazz band led us through the streets to our evening event, and we followed in a New Orleans tradition called “second lining”. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture but I was too busy twirling my umbrella. Even the crowd on Bourbon Street stopped to watch when we boogied by.

Walking down Bourbon Street one morning to check out the cheap souvenir shops, I saw a dog asleep on the sidewalk while his owner apparently visited a local watering hole. I took his picture and he didn’t even open an eye. I’m surprised he didn’t have a tip jar.

In the shops, the price is never the price. If you hesitate, the price begins to go down. I went to the French market one afternoon where I found a cool copper bracelet, that is supposed to help arthritis, at least according to the guy who sold it to me. Maybe I should have bought a voodoo doll. They were cheaper and no telling what I could have cured with one of those.

They have wonderful food and restaurants and a soup called gumbo that is full of shrimp, seafood and rice. They say you just have to eat it and not worry about what is in it. They eat crawdads there, although they have changed the name to crawfish to make them more appealing.

I heard our hotel had ghosts and I intended to check it out at about midnight. Unfortunately, I was so tired by nighttime that I couldn’t stay awake late enough. I did notice, however, that the hotel had no thirteenth floor on the elevator.

I’m still trying to recover from the trip. All the tourist areas are up and running and I definitely recommend it as a great place to visit.DSCN1223

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Oktoberfest

DSCN0356Last weekend my honey and I decided to go to the Oktoberfest in Germantown — that is, I decided and he went along. Other than having the distinction of spelling October with a “k”, what’s the difference between an October fest and any other fest? Well, to tell the truth, not much. A few tents with crafts and T-shirts, and a few with food and beer — which made honey hungry as soon as we arrived.

This Oktoberfest is a street festival billed as the oldest ethnic festival in Nashville; however, I only found out about it this year when I saw it in the paper. It’s in the oldest residential area of Nashville’s near northside with homes and cottages dating back to the 1800’s. Some are still residences; many have been turned into art studios, restaurants, or other business ventures. In the olden days, the area was populated largely by German residents, hence the name of the area.

DSCN0365editCapitalizing on a historic past, many cities are trying to rebuild blighted urban areas. Germantown is in the process of urban renewal, attempting to revitalize the area by updating and remodeling older, dilapidated residences. My honey was less interested in history than in finding a good parking place on the narrow back streets. The most ethnic part of the festival was the presence of several polka bands dressed in native costume and entertaining with lively music while visitors did the chicken dance. There seemed to be an unusual amount of sauerkraut available, a dish that I’ve always been able to pass by without regret — but I guess it wouldn’t be a German fest without out it.

DSCN0344What was most interested to me was the tour of homes. I dragged honey past the beer tents and we followed the map through the walking tour. Can you imagine anyone letting thousands of people walk through their personal residence? Some houses were in early stages of refurbishment. Others look like pages out of a home-decorating magazine. Even homes that were not open for public viewing had been refurbished in antique colors with appropriate fall decorations on the doors. In spite of a few jewels, the overall area still has a long way to go before totally successful development. Its strongest point is the location, within walking distance from the heart of the city.

Several homes were remodeled especially well and furnished with collections of antiques and memorabilia that would excite anyone even halfway interested in home decor. An especially interesting detail was use of bright paint on walls; some were red, and others featured various deep hues on different walls of the same room. While it sounds rather strange, it seemed to accentuate the older character of the homes. It also provided a perfect backdrop for the various collectibles of the owners. While I was visualizing my own walls painted in various bright colors, my honey was visualizing more food. I visited the arts and crafts tent while honey visited his favorite vendor for refreshments.

DSCN0358I’ve always found that the best way to become acquainted with a community is to attend local events, and to join in the spirit of the fun. Often the funds raised with these activities go to further upgrade a community. So, we sat on the street curb to rest and cool off while deciding what to do next.

As population and new construction have moved further and further from the places where people work, many people have become disenchanted with the daily commute in rush hour traffic, and cities have turned inward trying to reestablish the charm and convenience of older neighborhoods. It is interesting to see the possibilities and the lifestyles of those who have moved toward the city instead of away from it.

My honey was just happy when we figured out where we had left the car.

(c)2004 Sheila Moss
Posted in Humor | 3 Comments

Howl-o-ween Party

dog

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you find out you “ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”

The other night we went to a Halloween party. Now I’ve been to Halloween parties before and have seen some pretty weird sights, but this one was strange in a different way. It was a Halloween party for dogs.

Yes, you read it right — dogs!

We have a pet store in town over in the new shopping plaza. It’s a cool place as they have gourmet dog food that helps our dog with her digestive problems, and cat litter that attracts cats who have an aversion to the litter box — all kinds of good stuff.

But that’s another story.

I’ve seen the pet clothes and pet costumes there and wondered who in the word, except maybe Paris Hilton, would put a dress or a costume on a dog. Well, at the party the other night, I found out. There are a bunch of people that do.

It seems that parties for dogs have been around a long time. I’ve just never been to one before. I really need to get out more.

There were all kinds of dogs and all kinds of costumes. There were princess dogs, bumble bee dogs, dog witches, and devil dogs. There were pirate dogs, clown dogs and even my favorite, a hot dog.

The dogs waited in line to get pictures taken (of course). Then they received their trick or treat bags, a much bigger hit with the dogs than the costumes. After the picture taking, there was a judging contest for the best dog costume. I felt really bad because our dog did not have a costume.

Wait! Am I nuts? I feel embarrassed because the dog does NOT have a costume?

At least she had Halloween bows in her hair, complements of the dog groomer. Actually the dog is more pampered that I am. Where are our priorities anyhow?

Pets are big business. People spend a fortune on pet products, an estimated 43 billion this year. I saw row after shinny row of food, all flavors for pets of all varieties. And that’s not to mention every pet accessory and toy the creative mind can imagine from beds, to leashes, to shampoo, to purse carriers.

Did I mention that there was a snake at the party? And I’m not speaking metaphorically here. It was a real snake, a really big snake, and the stupid thing even had a costume on. It’s as if dog parties are not bad enough. I suppose he came because he didn’t get invited to a Halloween snake dance.

Anyhow, I guess our dog had a good time. The treats were her favorite part, of course. When we got home, she ate them all up and then proceeded to try to pull the bows out of her hair and eat them too. I’m afraid she just isn’t going to make it as a party-dog.

There’s another dog party for Christmas. Don’t know if Santa Dog will be there or not and I’m not really sure if I want to know. Our dog is probably making out her wish list already. With all the dog toys she saw, it will probably be difficult for her to decide what she wants in her Christmas stocking.

New hair bows and a gift card might do it.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Posted in Creatures, Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments