Poppycock and Sunshine

The adventures of a crazy girl trying to live a quiet, slower Provincial lifestyle in an hectic, fast paced, American society.

Truly Thankful Am I November 29, 2008

“No longer forward nor behind

I look in hope or fear;

But, grateful, take the good I find,

The best of now and here.”  – John Greenleaf Whittier

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It is my hope that your Thanksgiving was as blessed as mine. Fabulous food, wonderful family, and loyal friends. What more could anyone want?

 

Of course my Thanksgiving didn’t begin quite SO picturesque. It began with this:

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and this……

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That’s right, after almost a YEAR of resisting succumbing to all germs around me (thanks to the kombucha and healthy lifestyle), I got sick. The day before Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving that I insisted on having at my house. Oh joy, oh rapture.

 

Day before Thanksgiving was filled with prepping and sneezing and blowing my nose. There was cranberry chutney to be made.

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There was a large bird to brine in preparation. I have never “brined” anything before in my life. Never even heard of it in any other context than pickles. 

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I took Martha Stewart’s advice and did a “dry brine”. Just grab some salt and rub away. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for a day or two. I have to say, it was pretty tasty.

 

Thanksgiving Day: That would be sicko me, putting the finishing pine cones on the napkin holders. So attractive! Woot, woot. I felt like poop at this point in the day. But the show must go on!

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The table awaits the guests, soon to arrive…..

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And when they arrive, with more yummy food in tow, oh what a welcome sight it is indeed. We managed to squeeze everyone and all the food on one table, a feat I was bound and determined to accomplish!

 

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It was tight and cozy, but the mood was merry.

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After what turned out to be a sumptuous feast, the thought of de-birding the bird was the least exciting thought in my mind. I heaved a heavy sigh when I realized it still had to be done. And then I was informed of a most delightful “tradition” in this lovely family. Apparently it has always been that Dennis strips the bird afterwards. Praise the lord and pass the cupcakes! I was so thrilled I had to take a picture.

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*sighs* Ah how I love this sweet man and his “traditions”. I also loved his pumpkin pie tradition as well. *wink* I partook of some more today as well. 

 

Another sweet sight for my poor scratchy, itchy eyes:

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The lovely Miss Cindy, my future mom-in-law, took pity on me and DID MY DISHES. Oh lordy, could the deal GET any sweeter??? Yuppers, it sure did!

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My beautiful future sis-in-law dried them all as well. I think I’ve officially died and gone to heaven. Gosh, they made it so painless, I think I would be willing to have it at our house again!! THANK YOU, soooooo much, you two. I love and appreciate you both more than I can say. 

 

Know what turkey does to you? Makes you sleeeeeeeeepppy.

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Ahhhhhhh….. so sweet. Apparently the sleepiness was contagious. 

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All in all, it was a delightful day, a smashing success. I was able to take today off from work to recoop from the icky sicky that I still am. And of course I had to make turkey stock to freeze from all those yummy bones I made Dennis set aside yesterday. Poor man, I almost had a heart attack when I saw him throwing away precious bones as he was picking the meat off. I caught him before he threw too many away. 😉 I was able to make 24 cups of yummy hearty stock for soup and whatnot this winter. Nothing goes to waste in this house!

And now, I shall leave you with another Thanksgiving quote that I thought you would enjoy. 

“May you stuffing be tasty,

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump. 

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!”

-Anonymous


 

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Portrait of a Dog November 20, 2008

Filed under: The Clan — May-May Golly @ 5:29 pm
Tags: , ,

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” ~Woodrow Wilson

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Name: Lucy Lui Vosburgh (Soon to be Jandt)

Nicknames: Lulu, RooRoo, DooDoo, Luce, Water Buffalo

Age: 4-ish

Breed: Half Lab, Half Pit-Bull

The Upside of being Half Lab, Half Pit-Bull: Loving personality and loyalty of a Lab, wicked smartness and intelligence of a Pit-Bull. 

Downsides of being Half Lab, Half Pit-Bull: Itchy skin and food allergies, sensitive stomach and gassiness. 

 

Lucy loves: Mornings with Mommy…..

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Lucy loves water…..

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Summer afternoons in her pretty pink pool….

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Being black is tough stuff in the hot sun……

 

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Lucy loves to snuggle on the sofa with her favorite human…..

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Lucy’s BFF: Miss Georgia Peach

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Favorite winter event: Frolicking with Miss Georgia Peach in the snow.

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Person she fears, adores, and listens to most: Daniel

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What Lucy is most known for: Loyalty

What she is NOT known for: Modesty

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Really, Lucy, a lady should be more dignified!

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Other things on the list of “Things Lucy Loves”:

Naps……

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going for rides in the bus….

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tug of war……

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little people…..

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kids………

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wait, did I mention kids??

 

naps……

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Be careful, for although Lucy appears to be a big water buffalo in stature and demeanor, she has very sensitive feelings that are hurt easily!

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However remedied quickly at the mention of a “walk”.

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She is my sweet friend, my constant companion, my oversized lap warmer. My sweet tail thumping, farting, burping, whining, high maintenance, ever loving pup-pup. She would never harm a fly, however would protect me to her death if the need arose. Perhaps you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting her or being included in her pack. If so, lucky you. 😉

 

 

 

Hopelessly in Love with Paris November 18, 2008

Filed under: interesting bits and pieces — May-May Golly @ 1:17 am
Tags: , ,

“America is my country, but Paris is my hometown.” – Gertrude Stein 

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I have always loved Paris. Anything french really. Several years back Vic and I traveled there for 10 days. We lived like the locals. Rented a flat. Shopped at the local grocers, went to the same cafes every day. Saw the same people. Lately, more than usual, strangely enough, I have been missing Paris. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have just finished reading this book….

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It’s about a 40-something woman who has been disowned by her family for a mistake she made, she then found herself homeless and went off to start working for a traveling circus as a cook. After that she moves to the 11th Arrondisiment in Paris to open her own cafe. This book is now one of my favorites. I devoured it. I didn’t want it to end. It was like an amazingly fabulous meal that you just want to continue savoring. I gorged myself on it, retracing my steps in certain chapters, re-reading certain scenes and analogies. It made me ache for the city even more. 

Would it be terribly cliche’ for me to say that I was amazed at how at home I felt there? Well, the french love to sit around and eat and talk and smoke. Obviously I’m going to feel at home there. The pace was so different there. They take the time to stop and enjoy the simplicities of life. Something as simple as a cafe’ creme’ (coffee with milk). Having lunch outside a little bistro on a tuesday afternoon, enjoying a lively conversation with a good friend or a quiet moment with a riveting book. I am feeling very nostalgic this evening. Please bear with me as I share some pictures from my trip to my “hometown”.

 

Our front door to our flat……

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The local corner market where we purchased our wine and our bottled water…..

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Our favorite Cafe, which was up the street from our flat.

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My most memorable meal at this Cafe.

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The fabulous and welcome staff at Au Soleil. The guy hugging Vic tightly? That would be the owner. Every day he would wear the same jacket and scarf, walking around spritzing the corners of the cafe with air freshener. This picture was our last night in Paris. He brought us special liquor from his secret stash. We walked home that night, each now the proud owners of a liquor goblet from the restaurants’ shelves. I suppose he wanted us to take a part of the cafe home with us. Something to remember them by. It sits on my shelf at home in my dining room. I always remember them. Anyone who says the french are a rude people obviously has never really experienced Paris.

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French people are rude??? REALLY??

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Hmmmm…. well now, they all look friendly to me. What do you think?

 

More sights that I love…..

The Sacre Coeur at night.

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And during the day.

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Our means of transportation (besides our feet of course).

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Our other favorite Cafe, where they knew our names and eventually what we liked to drink.

 

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A common sight at Le Cafe Montmatre.

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French Faith.

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It would be an understatement to say that this trip changed my life. Changed me. My outlook on life. I was never the same. I take life slower now. Look at things differently. The things that used to be important to me just don’t seem that important anymore. I choose now to live life moment to moment…. savoring every last morsel. Lucky for me I have finally found myself a man with the same sentiments. He has no wish to see Paris, but hopefully someday I can take him there and change his mind. *sighs*

 

Speaking of that handsome man….. 

Know what I love more than Paris? Him. Know what else I love? My new acquisition, thanks to him. Oooooooh, Preeeeeettttty.

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*whispers* I’m not supposed to be blogging about it, cause he’s a silly loon and doesn’t want too much attention drawn, so this will have to stay our little secret. *nudge nudge, wink wink* But we’re getting married. I know, right??? *giggles quietly* 

 

 

These are a few of my favorite things….. November 6, 2008

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.”

-Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

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Some of my new and old favorite things that make me happy on a daily basis…….

 

My new rubber dishwashing gloves from Ross. They make me happy. I whistle while I wash.

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My new Reed Diffuser. In boutiques for $30. Purchased at TJ Maxx for the delightful price of $5.99. Makes my living room smell like a really big gingerbread cookie. (Rather than wet dog.) Yum. 

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My new (used) $2 handbag, courtesy of Value Village. I feel oober sheik and stylish. And cleverly frugal. 

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My new (used) silky with pretty embroidery flowers PJ bottoms, also courtesy of Value Village. 

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What I’m currently reading. Also now one of my favorites. This author’s description of pain and life and recovery is poetic. 

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My beloved Brown Betty Teapot. Watch any british film or show and play “Find the Brown Betty”. It’s always there. A staple in every english home. Why? Because it makes the perfect pot of tea, of course. Something to do with the shape and the glaze they use, I’ve been told. 

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And last but certainly not least, my trusty ibook. I dread the day I am forced into trading it for a newer model. 

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Pray tell, what are a few of YOUR favorite things?

 

What to Do on a Proper Fall Day November 5, 2008

 

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”  ~Stanley Horowitz

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Sunday was the most perfect fall day. It was the perfect temperature. The perfect amount of sunshine. It was absolutely inspiring. I love Autumn. Have I said this already?? This was the sight that greeted my eyes when I went out to check on the chickens.

 

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I had to take a closer look.

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Spectacular! God really is the most incredible artist.

 

So this is what you find when you haven’t checked for eggs in 3 days:

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Yes, I know. I am a bad chicken mommy. I liberated the eggs and let the girls and Rudy roam free for a bit as well. I think they forgave me the neglect. 

 

The Red House on the Hill looks delightful in the Fall as well. I think it’s that particular color of red that blends so nicely with the autumn hues.

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So this beautiful fall day inspired me. To be crafty. Now one thing I love in the fall and winter are wreaths of the front door. Like this one: 

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You can purchase this one at Target for the lovely price of $79.99. Since I cannot justify nor afford paying that for a grouping of dead leaves and grasses to hang on my door, I came up with a better plan. (I would like to take this opportunity to interject that I have absolutely NO clue why my writing suddenly turned blue and underlined, but as I haven’t the faintest clue how to get it back to black and NOT underlined, I beg your pardon. Back to our scheduled program…)

 

So I got on my warm down vest threw the ol’ hat on:

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First paying my respects to Mr. Squirrelly McS…..

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I got into the ol’ Van…..

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After I had grabbed my co-horts in crime, of course…….

Co-Captain #1:

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Co-Captain #2:

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We set off for this place:

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10 bucks later + a little crafty imagination = the finished product:

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That’s right. I made this one myself. Now granted, its not as fancy pants as the other one from Target…. or elaborate. But then, I never was a really showy sort of gal. Not to mention I have that extra $69.99 left in my pocket for more important things like food and gas and books!  And don’t you just think it warms up my little front door nicely??

 

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I thought so too!


 

Stepford Wives R’ Us November 2, 2008

Place: Living room sofa, sandwiched between two warm pooches. 

Mood: Recovering from quite possibly the longest week of my life this year.

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I came home last night from working my third double this week. The second of three doubles which was spent working the whole way through. That’s 10-11 hours on my feet going non-stop. Needless to say, I’m tired. I’m promptly came home and, instead of sitting down and blubbering like a child like I did after my 2nd double this week, I came home and had a raging MIGRAINE all night long, laying in my bed moaning with an ice pack on my head and a worried boyfriend at my side. It was so bad I finally had to take my migraine medicine, which I used to LIVE on. Migraines are HORRID, by the way. I can’t believe I used to live with them on a weekly basis. Plech. How did I ever function? How did I manage to rid myself of the weekly migraine, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya. I listened to the ever so smart Daniel Jandt, who FINALLY convinced me to go off caffeine. That and I got fired from Starbucks. Life minus caffeine and constant stress equals no more migraines. Yay me!! However working 3 doubles in one week now apparently brings them back. No more of that, I say! I’m better now, though, and currently considering actually getting up, putting clothes on, and taking said warm pooches to the dog park. It is, after all, a pretty day which should not be wasted. Not to mention I think I have 3 days of eggs to collect and chickens to feed. Hopefully they won’t peck my eyes out because I’ve neglected them all week. 

 

*THE FIRING OF THE KITCHEN HELP*

I love my sweet man, yes I do. However, I learned a very important lesson this week. I made this lovely soup on one of the days, which one escapes me at the moment since they all are running together in one confusing mess. I only had a limited time to make it before getting dressed and rushing out to work. It was going to be a Chicken Curry Soup with Rice. Doesn’t that just sound delightful?? Indeed. Since I had run out of time to complete the last stage, I asked my dear sweet man if he would kindly add 1/2 cup rice to the soup since I didn’t have enough time. What did he do?? He went and added more than ONE WHOLE CUP of rice!!! The result?

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Now does that look like SOUP to you?!??! No, it doesn’t to me either. That’s because now, instead of being a lovely soup, it was a, as Daniel so LOVINGLY called it, gruel. Goolash of sorts. The lesson learned? Never ask your rice-loving-fanatic-asian-wannabe boyfriend to add RICE to anything! Who knows what you’ll end up with. The funny thing about the whole thing? He LOOOOOOOOVED it!! Ate the whole damn pot in a matter of days. And let me tell you, it was a rather LARGE pot.

 

*HOW I SPENT MY HALLOWEEN*

At work. That’s how. (I shall now CONSIDER forgiving you, Rhonda-Roo, for NOT coming and visiting me when you had all that time on your hands on friday, instead opting for staying home and pouting. WHATever.) Of course several of us dressed up for the occasion. Now mind you, Halloween isn’t my fav of the holidays. Although, being raised in the religion that I was, growing up I never celebrated ANY of the holidays. But anyways. I always have loved any excuse to get dressed up as anyone other than myself. Or as anyone from another era other than THIS one. So what was I this fine friday night? See for yourself.

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In case you can’t figure it out or don’t know your eras, I was a 50s-60s housewife, thank you very much. Complete with apron and pearls. You can’t see it in the picture, but the best part about that apron is the teeny tiny Amish people in the background! It give me the giggles whenever I wear it. Thank-you, Miss Nola, for convincing me I simply MUST purchase it for the fine price of $1.50 at our local Goodwill. It really has given me such a delight. Anywho, I digress. So there I am at work. The customers loved it, giggling at the very sight of me. One of them most aptly and rather loudly exclaimed upon seeing me, “Oh my gosh! You’re a Stepford Wife!! Brilliant!” Hmmmmm, not QUITE what I had in mind, but okay. I can see that. Now upon seeing me, the smart-ass-that-he-is dishwasher said “where’s your remote control?” To which I indignantly replied “Ummm, hello, what are you implying???? *VERY LONG PAUSE* We don’t HAVE remote controls! I have to get up like any other good housewife and PUSH THE BUTTON thank you very much.”

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I shall now digress from the whole “what everyone wore for halloween” montage for some fine information every Stepford housewife should know, brought to you by “Housekeeping Monthly” year 1950. (Yes, this is an actual quote from the magazine itself.)

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Have Dinner Ready
Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare Yourself
Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear Away the Clutter
Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, papers etc. and then run a duster over the tables. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Prepare the Children
Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimise the noise
At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.
Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him
You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time, let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make the evening his
Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his real need to be at home and relax.

Your goal
Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Don’t greet him with problems and complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have been through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low and soothing and pleasant voice. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity.

Remember
He is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. A good wife always knows her place.

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*cough* My, how times have changed. (Thank the lord and pass the cupcakes.) Anyways, we now return to our previous program. Halloween. More pictures from the night. Now this would be me, the Stepford Wife, with my favorite person at work, Miss Nika, who in this picture is your straight-from-the-eastern-block (she’s from the ukraine originally) nerd.

Complete with glasses taped in the middle. Very clever, Nika, very clever indeed.

 

Unfortunately non of our customers came dressed up, much to my disappointment. (You could have been the exception, Rhonda, but nooooo.)

 

Now there were witches aplenty that night. Here we have my neighborhood witch, proudly displaying a picture of her favorite presidential canidate.

 

The costume that really took the cake that evening? 

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This usually very lovely little girl (daughter of a gal I work with) was supposed to be a Zombie Prom Queen that night. I would have to say, I have NEVER been this creeped out by a costume before. I mean, it was SO real looking. Well done, Zombie Prom Queen’s Dad who did all the makeup work! She even had blood on her shoes. *shiver* Gah, it was creepy. 

Okay, so could this post BE any longer? I suppose now would be a good time to bid you adieu. Give those little peepers of yours a bit of a rest until next time. It’s still a lovely day outside and I think a walk in the dog park is just the ticket. TTFN.