Saturday, December 12, 2015

Holiday Hits & Misses

Pretty sure you're like me and scrambling to get ready for the holidays. I thought I was ahead of the curve but then got trapped in Shutterfly Hell last week. It put me back a good six hours, which if my Facebook feed is any judge, is not an uncommon occurrence for folks trying to make last-minute(ish) gifts.

I'd complain to Shutterfly but I'm pretty sure they'd roll their collective eyes and ask me if I'd sorted my photos before embarking on the task. Thinking you can whip out a calendar filled with touching/funny/silly/significant photos after not backing up or sorting photo files for three years is like thinking you can build a deck in a day after watching HGTV.

So, sorry, family. By the time I get those damn things organized, Alison will have graduated from college. But riddle me this: I was complaining about my picture plight to a fellow sufferer when another woman happened into our conversation. "What? You sort your photos? You name them? Why would you do that?"

She didn't actually call us idiots, but I'm now sure that I'm missing some sort of virtual magic photo sorter. If it's just me and that lady in the dark, I'm going to explode.

In any event, I resorted to using an old photo to make cards at CVS. It outrages Alison now that I hooked her baby self up to our old sleigh and called her Max (the Grinch's dog.) But it's a great shot.

Here's an updated one, though, which is fun, too. It only took a little begging to get her to do it.  

"Remember when you used to love helping me with Christmas pictures?" I said.

"I was a baby," she deadpanned. "I had no choice."  

Ali has taken to blasting “Highway to Hell” when I pick her up from school. She's not a huge AC/DC fan. She is though, of late, not a fan of my driving. 

When she was a kid, she and the Ogdens loved to sit in “the way back” of the Subaru and I’d bounce them around by swerving wildly (while in perfect control) in our neighborhood. But now, she’s subscribing more to the unfounded rumor that I’m a bad driver.
Here’s a conversation we have had nearly daily for the past few weeks:
“You almost killed me. Again. ” she will claim from her shotgun seat,  referring to a time when a car swerved out of traffic in front of us and I had to slam on the brakes.
“Actually I saved your life,” I retort.
“Only because you almost killed me first,” she'll claim.
No respect.

Jeff was struggling (kind of) to get off the couch where he was weighted down by the youngest redhead in the house

"Be like that blue train," she encouraged.
"You know. That blue train. Be like that blue train!" she said.
"What are you talking about?" he said, exasperated and still trapped.
"You know: “I think I can. I think I can. You can do it!”


One of the first clubs Ali joined at Herron was an a capella group that meets an hour before school one day a week. She's also in the choir and was chosen to be part of a special part of one of the songs in the school's winter choral performance. The choir has new dresses this year and her's needed hemmed.

I thought I'd do it myself. What a mistake: it was Shutterfly all over again. In my defense, I'm not my sister Donna, and the skirt was full -- with a lining. 

It was well worth the $20 to have it hemmed and to withstand expected ridicule from our tailor, Lam Son in Broad Ripple. He's great and knows us mostly because of Jeff's suits, though he took in a bunch of clothes for me a while ago. I went to pick up the dress, which still bore the safety pin hem-mark job I did. 

"How hard did you laugh at my poor attempt?" I asked. (Jeff had delivered it.)

"Well, you don't have the tools I have," he said.

Savvy, Lam Son. Savvy.

If you're downtown in Indy next week, look for Ali to be caroling with her a capella group. She might have her Santa hat on. I'll give you a cookie if you ask her how to spell "a capella."


She's still fun most of the time. The teen drama has been minimal. Or perhaps she's just investing it in snark. The plumber was coming a few days ago so I cleaned her bathroom.

That night: "Hey mom, while you were destroying my place of sanctuary, you didn't happen to see my Harry Potter hair bow, did you?"


She was baking cookies this morning and moved my teapot, which sent her pan of just-baked cookies a titter. So of course she grabbed it with her bare hand. I told her not to put her hand under cold water but to instead put butter on it. I took out the remnants of a stick from the fridge.

I reached for a butter knife to apply it. She plunged her singed fingers into the 1/4 stick nub of butter.  I looked at her. "Uh. I wouldn't eat this," she said.

Merry Christmas. Hope you keep your oven mitts handier than we do.


Anonymous said...

I'll give YOU a cookie if you remember "a cappella" is not one word.

Hilary said...

Welcome to the Sisterhood of Bunconians Terrified by Ms. Bick's Driving Ali! The really scary part is you don't have to be in the car with her to be at risk; ask her about the near miss between her careening backwards to the street in the Suburu while I happened to be driving past obeying all rules of the road.

Cheryl said...

Very funny, Hils. Let that be a lesson that next time you visit my street without seing me, you should at least call.....