Give-A-Gif Thursday!

Happy Thursday to all my old and young and in-the-middle friends!  I have decided to make today — no, not Taco Thursday, Thank Goodness It’s Thursday, or Thor’s Thursday — but (thinks real hard)…Give A Gif Thursday! Feel free to share and repost or just sit and look at them for an hour or two —

9 Ways to Survive the Holidays

christmas_animals_pictures_7There are lots of ways to survive the holidays. Alcohol tops the list. Chocolate too.

Since my drinking days are more-or-less over, I thought there must be other ways to make it through too many BBQ wienies and bad football games and your brother-in-law. Ways that are cosmic yet down-to-earth. Funny yet serious.

Those of you who have hung around the Goddess this long know it’s hard for me to be serious here. So here are a few ideas to get you through the holly jollys.

  1.  Sing Christmas Carols. In the car, as you walk up to your house, as you walk up to your relative’s house. It’s the time of year to bellow out your version of The Twelve Days of Christmas…like…11 Labs a Licking; 10 Buns ‘a Burnin’…you know…
  2. Bake something. Nothing says Christmas like the scent of cookies in the air. No time? No problem! Pillsbury makes a great slice-and-bake cookie dough. You can also buy your favorite cookies already baked and spray some vanilla/cinnamon air freshener around your house. Same thing.
  3. Don’t sweat the gift thing. I know everyone wants to give something and get something. But not everyone has the buckaroonies to follow through.  Do the homemade thing. Make a gift certificate giving one hour of your time to walk their dog. Or pick up dog poop. Or to sharpen their knives. Something they can’t do themselves.
  4. Watch a Christmas movie with family or friends. And be sure to say the lines out loud along with the actors. Every holiday we watch Christmas Vacation, It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, Die Hard (yes…it is a Christmas movie), Elf, Home Alone, and Christmas Story.  And I know lines from all of them.
  5. Sleep in. I know you probably have kids/pets/mates, you’re going to either host Christmas dinner or driving to someone’s house for the same.  But there’s something about curling back under the covers for an extra 10 that can set the mood for the whole day.
  6. If you go somewhere over the holidays where there are kids, be a kid. Don’t just sit and nosh and drink and talk to all the grownups…there is nothing more freeing than sitting on the floor (or maybe the sofa…I can’t get up from the floor), driving Hot Wheels into stuffed animals, building Lego monstrosities, or coloring in a kitty or car book. The sillier the better. Connect with those who will some day pick out your nursing home.
  7. Take time for yourself. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, set aside time to refocus and energize with your one and only soul. Love, learn, and live. It’s okay if you sound like a sappy cliche — that’s what all those affirmations on FB and Twitter are for anyway.
  8. Try one new dish. Something you never thought you’d try. Be a Man/Woman! Don’t let the food intimidate you! Go for the gusto!  And sample as many chocolates as you can. Don’t hide behind milk — go for dark, mint, white, almond, krispie — let the reason for the season be chocolate!
  9. And finally, the best way to survive the holiday season is to just be yourself. Know that every day you are alive is a good day. Let the nonsense roll over you like a bad massage and hold strong to your heart. Good or bad, this day will pass.

And you will have set the record for the most inventive version of the 12 Days of Christmas yet!

Granny the Enabler

th-1Did you survive?

Did you eat too much? Drink too much? Get up too early to shop on Black Friday?

I did two of the three — and survived.

I admit my feet gave up before the second store…maybe I should have stopped and bought shoes, too. Actually, the crowds weren’t too bad. Yet I fear I was one of those shoppers everyone else hates to be around.

I let my 1.4 year old grandson run around the store.

What’s wrong with me?

My husband always calls me the enabler. He’s probably right. I’m the one who ventures forth where no one has gone lately. Grandbaby was crabby. Who wants to sit in a shopping cart when everyone around you is running around filling theirs? There are so many pretty sparkles up and down every aisle — surely there’s no harm in letting baby go check out a few while mom and dad slip away a couple of aisles down.

Enabler.

So here I go, toddling after the toddler, pulling him away from one thing, tempting him with the next. It’s amazing what interests a toddler.

The tags than hang under the merchandise, boxes that were way too big to pick up, emoji pillows, dog pull toys, duck tape, all were temptations the babe couldn’t resist. Nor could I pull him away from. After a few dramatic stretches on the floor, mom or dad would come back and place him gently in the cart or in the carrier.

Enabler Bad Granny.

Grandbaby was pitching a fit at Taco Bell for breakfast…wet diaper, hungry tummy. Nothing would satisfy the moment. So Granny gave him a few sips of her Pepsi through the straw. No sugar or caffeine for grandbaby.

Enabler Bad Granny.

What’s my problem? Am I that out of control?

Maybe it’s the holidays. Maybe it’s my second childhood. Maybe it’s my own kids all over again. What Grandparent says no? I mean, I do draw the line with dangerous things, with car seats and baby gates and no peanuts and diaper rash. I never endanger my kids, my grandkids.

Having said that, what’s wrong with a little exploration through the jogging pants at Kohls? What’s a sip of Pepsi here or french fry there? Life is full of sneak peeks. Of chocolate before bed and staying up to watch movies when the parents aren’t around. What’s wrong with playing soldiers with a 6 year old or dancing in the rain, getting all wet and silly?

Grandparents are supposed to do these kinds of things. The kind of things that parents smile and shake their head about. These are the treats, the perks, the golden magic between two generations that has skipped the one in the middle. It is the secret space that all grandparents hide in with their grandkids. The private tricks they play on all-knowing parents.

My inlaws did it to us: my kids were taken on more trips to Kiddyland, more staying up lates, more homemade cookie baking and animal farms than I ever thought about. At the time I was a little miffed; why were my kids’ grandparents trying to steal the show?

Now older, hopefully wiser, I see what really went on. I didn’t have grandparents to spoil me; my husband did. And my husband’s love for his grandma and grandpa is something he still talks about today.

So it is with my kids; hopefully it will be so with theirs. I hope when I am long gone I will be the star in the stories my grandkids tell again and again.

Granny. THE enabler.

 

Shameless Self Promotion

Dear Friends, animated-gif-jewels_precious-36

I don’t do this often — you know — really sparkle my own diamond. I love to write my blogs, I love the discoveries I’m making in my art gallery.

I know the people who follow me do so because they get a kick out of what I’m saying and/or showing. And I hope to entertain myself — oh! and you — for quite a while into the nebulous future.

So here comes the sales pitch.

If you could share my Humoring the Goddess blog (www.humoringthegoddess.com) or my Sunday Evening Art Gallery blog (www.sundayeveningartgallery.com) with just ONE friend, it might just open a new world for them — and me. They might bring a smile or smirk to someone else’s face, or eyes of wonder as they look at the incredible art I find around the world.

My Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sundayeveningartgallery/) could also use a few followers — the sole purpose of this account is to share unique art to those who can’t always go through the galleries.

Either way, I’m done selling for today. Hoping you continue to grow, to dream, and to have fun. We only go one way in this life — let’s make it real.

Where’s the nachos?

Love,

Claudia

Did You Know You Spoke Chinese?

I have a grandson who is starting kindergarten in a couple of weeks. Ahhh…innocence floating out the window. No, not him — me. Or rather his mom. Brings to mind a blog I wrote back in October of 2011. Think it still rings true.

I Didn’t Know I Spoke Chinese

Do you believe that children and their parents speak two different languages?  Do you ever try and communicate with someone who hasn’t a clue as to what you are saying?

The teen years are stressful for those going through them. Puberty comes crashing in any time between the ages of 12 and 16, estrogen and testosterone fighting for space inside a body that is growing in too many directions at one time.  But hey. What about the ones on the other side of those swings? Those who pay for hot lunches and gym shoes and nail polish?  Not only do we have to put up with I-pods and cell phones, but we have to learn to speak a whole new language in order to be understood.  It is as if we have stepped over the threshold of reality into an entirely new universe.

Life seemed so much simpler when our kids were toddlers. The years between two and, say, five, are probably the most rewarding for all forms of parental figures.  We can do no wrong; our children hang on our every word.  They fear and revere us. They bounce around from moment to moment wanting only to please those in charge.  Pick up your toys?  Of course! Eat your spaghetti?  Of course!  Clean your room?  Of course! We speak, they listen, and things are ideal.

Then comes those “cute” years, say, six through nine.  Everything they do and say is cute, especially when they pout and say “no” with wide-eyed enthusiasm.  Pick up your toys?  No! I wanna play with ‘em a little longer.  Eat your spaghetti?  No! I want pizza instead.  Clean your room?  No!  I gotta have twenty dolls in the corner!  They are starting to catch on to the power of being an individual.  They still brush their teeth and do their homework and go to bed pretty much on time, but they learn to manipulate the world by talking or playing or whining, probably all three.

By the time middle school comes around, there is a slight Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-ish personality starting to surface. Football games and study nights with friends start to take on a bit more significance as our middle schoolers begin to feel the strength of their own convictions.  Pick up your toys?  Oh please, I don’t play with ‘toys’ anymore.  Eat your spaghetti.  Red sauce? I’d rather have cheese.  Clean your room.  Oh mommy dear and/daddy dear — it is clean!  A little clip in their voice should be the giveaway that they are catching on to you.

Just when you think you have settled the beast that rustles inside your child, their high school days hit you right between the eyes. Music becomes some thundering beat with  talking rather than singing; wearing jeans that cut low enough to show off underwear or vertical fissures becomes the fashion statement of the day. Homework becomes an enigma.  School semesters are identified by fall, winter and spring sports, and words like Paris and Pink suddenly take on a whole new meaning.

You wake up one morning sprouting antennae from your head. Your voice becomes a booming echo down an empty tunnel or a high-pitched squeak riding the airwaves.  Suddenly you speak a foreign language: ρτε τα παιχνίδια σας  (pick up your toys in Greek);  съешьте ваше спагеттио (eat your spaghetti in Russian), and 投入您的衣裳去, (Chinese for clean your room). Their eyes become glazed and their expression reminds you of eating a lemon.  One day you are a friendly, loving parent, the next moment you are Godzilla’s cousin.  You don’t know what you are talking about ― your ideas or so old-fashioned they will be amazed if you make it to 50.

How did this happen?  How did we fall off of our pedestal?  One moment our child is reaching up to be held, the next moment they cringe if you hug them in public.  Is this the reward for all of our hard work?  All our love?

Well, trust me.  This too will pass.  As your children approach their twenties, they are amazed at how smart you’ve suddenly become.  Your old-fashioned ideas transform into newly discovered truths of their generation.  The older they get, the more human you become.  Your antennae suddenly don’t seem so out-of-place; as a matter of fact, they kinda look cute on your old frame.  You find a common ground through life and all its ups and downs, and they finally understand what you’ve been saying all these years.  Words and ideas flow once again, and your pedestal gets packed away somewhere deep in their heart, only to be pulled out when you are not looking.

Either that — or you have finally learned to speak Chinese.

Read (ick!) At Your Own Risk

bigstockphotoStickingOutTongue27088I have been working very hard on getting my “new” Sunday Evening Art Gallery website up and running so that you can see even MORE of the unusual, unique, amazing art these artists come up with. There are times when I don’t want to read a thing — looking at pictures will do just fine. So hopefully by a week from Sunday I will have a visual gallery for your perusal as well.

In the meantime… Why not fill your head with a bit of food nonsense? Works wonders for me!

 

An average ear of corn has an even number of rows, usually 16.

Most wasabi consumed is not real wasabi, but colored horseradish.

Oklahoma’s state vegetable is the watermelon.

The winner of the 2013 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest consumed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

The  Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea offer doughnut flavors such as Kimchi Croquette and Glazed Garlic.

(It’s getting worse…)

There is an amusement park in Tokyo that offers Raw Horse Flesh-flavored ice cream.

(And worse…)

Castoreum, which is used as vanilla flavoring in candies, baked goods, etc., is actually a secretion from the anal glands of beavers.

TMI…TMI..

Coconut water can be used as blood plasma.

McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.

One fast food hamburger may contain meat from 100 different cows.

Arachibutylrophobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

When taken in large doses nutmeg works as a hallucinogen.

The red food-coloring carmine — used in Skittles and other candies — is made from boiled cochineal bugs, a type of beetle.

To make jelly beans shiny, shellac is used, which is made from Kerra lacca insect excretions.

 

Thank you Buzz Feed http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinabarca/food-facts-that-will-blow-your-mind. 

Makes me never want to eat again.

 

See you Sunday!