Yellow Daisy Chick Chat



David Sedaris, Robert Siegel, my Samsung Galaxy, and me

It’s my holiday blog! A hog, if you will.

So far my December has been made up of many, many lists of varying degrees of importance. There are lists of people to buy for, a list of people to send cards to, a birthday list for my oldest, grocery lists for holiday eats, quick lists for last-minute needs from Michael’s, and the usual to-do list that somehow needs to get done in the midst of holiday to-do’s.

This year, I’ve used technology like a junkie uses her heroin. If I misplace my Samsung Galaxy smart phone for even a nanosecond, I get the shakes. If I leave my phone at home while shopping, I start to trash the store like a Charlie Sheen hotel room. Ok, now I’m exaggerating, but suffice it to say I get pretty stressed out. My phone has my world in it. It has been so helpful to me in my time of need; I feel like it’s another appendage. My memo app is like a sister to me. At the least, a 1st girl cousin. It’s the personal assistant I’ve always wanted. It’s the wife I’ll never have; damn you, Heterosexuality!

My computer has been a helpful holiday tool, as well. I have ordered so many gifts online this year; it has been wonderful. I’m not really a big shopper. I like to get in and get it done.  I do not delight in finding that oh-so-difficult-to-find-toy; in fact, I despise it. My daughter, I discovered yesterday, wants one of those toys this year; last week, mind you, it was easy to find. It was relatively cheap. I just wasn’t ready yet…I didn’t have my list together. So this week, it’s nowhere. I mean, nowhere. It’s a voice activated diary, with invisible ink and at this point, hopefully in a jewel-encrusted case, because I had to go on eBay and pay TWICE the amount to “Buy It Now.” Newsflash: I do not have the attention span or patience for the auctions. Said toy also got mixed reviews online with the voice recognition looking questionable, but it was in her top 3. I’m realizing as I write this what an even huge-r idiot I am. But, it was free 2 day shipping. (NO IT WASN’T! YOU PAID TWICE THE PRICE FOR THE @#$% TOY, HUGE IDIOT!)

Despite this trauma, I am moving on and am just trying to finish the lists. My list for the kids is in Word, rather than a scrap piece of paper this year. I still have not gotten over the year that my son found the scrap paper and I had to do some scrambling to be sure he was surprised. He wasn’t even snooping; he stumbled upon it. While they shouldn’t be in my Word for any reason, I still was careful not to name it “Christmas List for the Kids 2011.” I tried to think of names for it that would repel any snoopage; I thought of naming it “Lunch at American Girl” for my 10-year-old son, but it wouldn’t work for the 6-year-old girl. There was “Church Clothes and Shoes”, but again, the girl would look. So I came up with “NPR,” a subject which creates a rare unity of disgust and annoyance in both kids. When it’s on the radio, their cries of “No, Mom” are in beautiful, Simon-and-Garfunkle harmony.

They even typed in their lists on my phone themselves. Again, no paper to keep up with. They put it in, so it’s not MY list of items bought. It’s their list for me. Perfect! Except there’s nothing handwritten to keep in their memory books. Oh yeah, they don’t have memory books. They do have memory boxes, which is filled with stuff that would look great in a memory book. I do plan on putting those together, as soon as I’m retired.

I am making my lists and checking them twice. Right there, on my phone and in my computer. I feel more organized this year, which probably means I’m about to go off the rails. Sometimes I feel like I live in the weeds; maybe I really like it there. I do need some pressure to get motivated, so maybe I am just a weeds kind of girl. If you’re gonna live in the weeds, you better have some technology and some lists.

How did we do it in yesteryear without all of this technology? We did it, but I’m glad we don’t have to anymore. I got a wireless printer early this year for Christmas, so no real need for a list for myself; but I do have one awesome gift for you to put on your list: David Sedaris’ holidays on ice. Here’s an excerpt:

“This afternoon I worked as an Exit Elf, telling people in a loud voice, ‘THIS WAY OUT OF SANTALAND.’ A woman was standing at one of the cash registers paying for her idea of a picture, while her son lay beneath her kicking and heaving, having a tantrum.

The woman said, ‘Riley, if you don’t start behaving yourself, Santa’s not going to bring you any of those toys you asked for.’

The child said, ‘He is too going to bring me toys, liar, he already told me.’

The woman grabbed my arm and said, ‘You there, Elf, tell Riley here that if he doesn’t start behaving immediately, then Santa’s going to change his mind and bring him coal for Christmas.’

I said that Santa no longer traffics in coal. Instead, if you’re bad he comes to your house and steals things. I told Riley that if he didn’t behave himself, Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark. ‘All your appliances, including the refrigerator. Your food is going to spoil and smell bad. It’s going to be so cold and dark where you are. Man, Riley, are you ever going to suffer. You’re going to wish you never heard the name Santa.’

The woman got a worried look on her face and said, ‘All right, that’s enough.’

I said, ‘He’s going to take your car and your furniture and all the towels and blankets and leave you with nothing.’

The mother said, ‘No, that’s enough, really.’ —Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris

I heart David Sedaris. Put it on your list. Better yet, go buy it now.

But please don’t mention to him that I put the excerpt on here. I think I could get in trouble, so if you know him, don’t mention it to him, ‘kay?

And, here is my holiday gift to you: this Elf Yourself video with myself, David Sedaris, Robert Siegel, and my Samsung phone:

Me and my elf buds

Happy Elfing Holidays to you and yours!


p.s. Sorry if the blog technology is not up to par…my absence from my blog might be showing in my lacking blog finesse.

Queen of the Kitchen ReDon’t

We are in the middle of a kitchen redo.  Before you say, “oh, how nice, how wonderful,” let me paint a picture for you.  My cupboard is in the laundry room blocking my dryer, my computer desk is reminding me of those ten extra pounds every time I squeeze by to get out the back door, my breakfast table is on my porch and no one knows where the homework basket has gone. 

Have you seen “Design on a Dime” on HGTV?  We are doing the Design on a Nickel version and while the results are looking good so far, we are getting crankier by the minute.  As it turns out, I do not do well in kitchen chaos.  It is the heart of my home and it is in the midst of quadruple bypass surgery.  My contractor/husband says I can get in sometime tomorrow, but you know how contractor/husbands can be.  And project manager/wives. 

It’s not easy on a marriage.  A DIY home improvement project can test the best of marriages.  How can two people who respect each other, run a household together, raise children together, still get on each other’s last nerve painting cabinets together?  Just because one person is detail oriented and thorough and the other is better with the big picture, i.e. going to pick up lunch?  I thought that’s what Project Managers do.  Just because one person is a work horse and works 12 hours, and the other needs to stay abreast of current events, i.e. watch the Real Housewives?  I mean, someone has to feed our children, i.e. call Papa John’s. 

I’ve done such a good job as Project Manager, I’ve decided to promote myself to Queen of the House.  So far I can’t get anyone in my household to call me that (or Project Manager.)  In my fantasy queendom, there are no torn up kitchens, no dust, no adhesive or grout fumes, and no chaos.  There are also no other branches of government, no checks or balances.  Off with their heads!

In my fantasy queendom, instead of a royal robe, I would wear my Snuggie.  My court jesters would be Conan O’Brien and Tina Fey. 

Every time I made a public appearance, they would have to play this:

In my fantasy queendom, I would outlaw many horrific things, things our real world lawmakers seem to overlook:  skinny jeans for men, cell phones for anyone under 13, Christmas music before Thanksgiving, and married couples redoing kitchens. 

I would make many things mandatory:  college degrees for pro athletes, wine at children’s birthday parties, women to be paid for housework, 10am – 3pm workdays, and quintuple coupon days.

Any unruly children would have a punishment of being forced to listen to NPR for the day.  Any unruly husbands would be sentenced to watch Top Chef: Just Desserts for a week straight.

But I digress. 

Back in reality/Hell’s Kitchen, we really are starting to see real progress.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I should stop complaining.  I can now slip by the computer desk with ease as a result of not being able to access any food cabinets for 2 weeks! 

I look forward to putting our kitchen, marriage, family and home back together.  Then I will be content again in my real world.  My contractor/husband thinks he’ll be done by next weekend, and it will finally be time to celebrate.  


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