Life in progress


#SoCS – Kringle Ingle

What day is it today? Okay, technically it’s Sunday where I am. But all day Saturday I was confused. Of course, having a kid home on a Friday because there’s no school will do that to a parent.

It’s almost time for Kris Kringle, as a matter of fact.

Kris Kringle to leave footprints on my shingles.

And slip down the chimney into my ingle. (Which I just found out is a fire in a fire place.)


Sing it with me …

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …

Maybe that’s why his suit is red.

To symbolize the many times he’s been set alight.

Kringle crackling on an open fire …

That works.

Poor guy.

Speaking of Christmas, I think I’ve got almost all my shopping done. Already! I’m early this year. Normally I’m closing the stores at 5pm on Christmas Eve.

I had a salted caramel mocha at Starbucks today. Only they didn’t have the salt. So it was just a caramel mocha. Very disappointing. Especially since I had to practically mortgage my house to buy it.

I could say that it just didn’t make me tingle …

Ugh. That was a stretch.

What I will say in closing is I’ll have a Christmas present for you all soon. If you like paranormal romance, that is …


2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

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113. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Note: Strong language

Friday, December 22nd, 5:00pm
Morris (and Andrea)


Morris sits at the window. Andrea takes the seat beside him.

Morris: Ugh.

Andrea: Excuse me?

Morris: I still don’t have my Christmas shopping done.

Andrea: And this concerns me how, exactly?

Morris: It doesn’t. I just wanted to …

Andrea: Why does everyone on this freakin’ bus want to tell me their problems? Like, I can’t get a minute’s peace on this freakin’, fucking bus! First I’ve got people flashing me, spitting at me, telling me their problems …

Morris: I’d watch it, if I were you. I’m Santa.

Andrea: (stares at him) You’re what now?

Morris: Santa Claus. And with a mouth like that, you’re not likely to find anything in your stocking, young lady.

Andrea: (frowns) Wait. Didn’t you just say you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping? Doesn’t Santa MAKE the toys?

Morris: No, the elves do that. I have to go out and buy all the supplies.

Andrea: You’re fucking crazy.

Morris: (shaking his head, mumbles) Whatever is the world coming to?

Andrea: (mumbles) Exactly.


Next stop: Saturday, December 23rd, 6:00pm

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#SoCS – Happiness

Yes, I lack the perfect house. My clothes are all years and years old, my furniture doesn’t match, and there’s a funny smell in one of my cupboards. But we’re all happy. Me, the kids, the dog, the cats, the fly flying around, laughing at me when I try to kill it… all of us. We have a warm place to live (now that the furnace is fixed–it was touch-and-go a few days ago), we have food in the fridge (and apparently rotting in one of the cupboards), and we have electricity with which to watch TV and connect on the internet (Hi!!).

And we have stuff to look forward to, too. Tomorrow is the Santa Claus parade here in town, and Alex is very much looking forward to participating in it, on his school’s float. But there’s a catch, of course. The float is themed on the Grinch and he’s terrified of the Grinch. We may be in the parade, or we may be running, screaming from the parade. Something for me to look forward to since it’s supposed to rain. Then there will be the joy of Christmas shopping to look forward to. For the first time in three years I’ll be doing my shopping in Canada. At home. This time last year I was on a plane to Tokyo. So hard to believe. But I have proof:

Mt. Fuji, just below the engine.

Mt. Fuji, just below the engine.

This year I just didn’t have the money. In fact, I’m probably still paying for that trip. Maybe I’ll post about it, finally, for the next ten days, which was how long I was there. Yeah. Happily, I took notes.

But now life is so much more simple. With my old clothes, my mismatched furniture and my funny smell, my dog who’s not a puppy anymore and three kids who are old enough to drive, I’ve proven that I don’t need much. Only love.


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You Actually Can’t Do Anything You Want to Do

As a child I was led to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I don’t remember when I discovered the truth about the latter two, but I do recall feeling betrayed by my parents when I reached into my stocking one Christmas morning and pulled out a gift with a price tag on it. At first I refused to believe it – they couldn’t possibly tell me such a blatant lie, these two adults who were constantly stressing to me the importance of telling the truth. But alas, we all know how it turned out. I’ve been wary of humans ever since.

Even worse than this, in my opinion, is telling kids that they can grow up to be whatever they want to be. I’m sorry, but if you stop growing when you hit four feet, you will not be a Harlem Globetrotter, nor will you be a famous opera diva if you can’t carry a note in a bucket. You will never be President of the United States if you were born in another country, no matter how much you want it.

I don’t care who you are – everyone has limitations. As adults, we learn what these are, and yet I still hear adults lying to generation after generation, promising children who can’t possibly know any better that they can do ANYTHING and be ANYTHING they want to be when they grow up. It’s total, utter bullshit.

In my own case, this on top of being told that everyone is good at something, left me feeling woefully inadequate. I wasn’t about to believe people who would tell me that I was a brilliant singer – these were the same people who told me there was such a thing as Santa. Hindsight shows me that in most cases, it’s just as well. Just look how many end up on TV talent shows only to be laughed at?  So if I couldn’t be good at doing something I loved, what could it be? I tried guitar, figure skating, horseback riding … and ended up a bookkeeper. I couldn’t even type that fast. It’s only in the last fifteen years that I’ve discovered my passion for writing.

But I digress. The incident that brought this whole topic up was a conversation I had with Chris, my Autistic eighteen year old, in the car on Sunday. He told me he wants to be a radio announcer. I know for a fact that he’s been told he can do anything he wants. Radio announcer isn’t one of them, nor will it ever be. He can barely get more than two coherent sentences out of his mouth on the best of days. So I get to be the bad guy. I have to tell him he can’t do it. I tried to explain to him that he needs to get hired in order to talk on the radio, but he can’t understand why anyone won’t just hire him.

I can say with all honesty that I was reluctant to let my kids to believe in Santa. It came down to the question of whether or not to allow them that wonder I remember feeling when I did believe. But I can also say I never really tried to convince them he existed.

I’ve always maintained a realistic outlook for their lives. I’ve been truthful in telling my eldest that he can do almost anything. There are many things Chris will never do and I’ve always tried to steer him towards what is feasible. Alex as well. He will certainly never sing opera – and none of them will ever be President.

I’m sure there are people out there who have become exactly what they wanted to be – we all knew someone who was incredibly gifted and knew what they were cut out for at an early age – but few of them actually turned out to be the superhero they always dreamed they’d be (yes, that was one of my dreams too).

If you were like me and Chris, and your aspirations were outside the realm of what is achievable, then perhaps you’ll agree with me. Or maybe you were more down-to-earth in your expectations. In either case, telling a child they can do or be absolutely anything is something I’ll never do and something I wish others would put a little more thought into. You never know whose dreams you’ll eventually be dashing.

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