Tag Archives: Christmas

Happy New Year! And while I’m on my letter writing campaign …


(1) Dear Body Shop Boutique ... Please reconfigure your store’s holiday displays into a much roomier, customer-friendly arrangement. Sorry I took out your entire Cranberry Joy Collection with my purse, but let’s consider the fact that I’m a 5’4″, 115-lb. (well, before Christmas anyway) small woman. The average male customer perusing your wares would’ve taken out a whole aisle.

(2) Dear Ice Cream Counter at the Mall ... Do you really think having a cake display on your counter called “Better than Sex” directly behind Santa’s village where every freakin’ kid stops for eggnog ice cream is a good idea? Because I don’t. And I promise I’m snagging the sign from your business next year.

(3) Dear Photo Processing Supplies Company … Can you please change whatever chemical you use on the surface of all photographic prints (specifically from Walgreen’s) to something less delicious to my cat? Every year, I spend entirely too much time strategizing my Christmas card display to ensure that all the low-hanging cards are free of photographs, so that they are not licked and bitten beyond recognition.

(4) Dear Tinsel Manufacturing Company … I am also suggesting that you, like the photo processing supplies company, change your product’s “recipe.” We had to give up on you years ago as Christmas tree tinsel is apparently a delicacy in the feline community. Our previous (diabetic) cat, Toby, always managed to sneak his share of tinsel from the tree which never much worried us until, one day, we saw him running wildly around the house being chased, it would appear, by his own feces. As it turned out, the tinsel had passed all the way through his system. One end stayed in him while the other lodged itself into his ball of waste. True story. Which I just took the time to write about and, worse, you just took the time to read.

(5) Dear Specialty Toy Stores … If you’re going to have adult games available on your shelves, please create a special section … if not a back room … for these items. My kids spent the entire afternoon cutting up about them (and, I think, quoting the boxes on a few hushed occasions). We had to leave your store so fast that we didn’t buy anything anyway. And I promise I would have. Every other damned store at the mall got some of my money that day.

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(6) Dear Santa … Apparently, one of us should’ve gotten gifts for the caterpillar/butterfly habitat my daughter keeps on our porch these days. Way to drop the ball, jolly man. Said my girl, “Bubba Chubba and Kevin are sad that we forgot them.” (Yes, those are real names. One of them definitely lost the name lottery. I won’t say who.)

(7) To My Children’s Preschool Teachers of Yesteryear ... Thank you for introducing my kids and I to the art of reindeer food creation. I have come to love the annual tradition of making food to leave out for Santa’s fleet. The only recurring ingredient each year is raw oatmeal. Everything else is whatever I’ve got lots of … and am looking to get rid of … in the house. This year’s menu included some old parsley flakes and paprika as well as blue and pink face glitter (“to catch the light and help the reindeer find the food”) left over from my girl’s school play. It is the best way I’ve found to clean out my pantry and spice cabinet in years. Hmmm, I wonder if I could feed them stuffed animal spare parts next year. Those nappy little critters are taking over this house.

(8) Dear Manufacturer of the Shirt I wore on Christmas Eve … Please improve the quality of your zippers. When I tried the shirt on in the morning to select my evening attire, the zipper locked up on me, trapping me inside for the entirety of the day. And dressy black shirts do not really complement the sweat pants and unshowered mess that was the rest of me for all of my last minute holiday errands throughout the day.

(9) Dear Drugstore located Two Minutes from My House … You lost my business on Christmas Eve because of the annual “rock” concert you hold in your store each year. I know I sound like a Scrooge, but I needed to get in and out of your store in a hurry but everything was entirely too packed for me to even consider stopping in. So, the next closest drugstore got my business. And I spent $163.53. Just so you know.

(10) Dear Sanitation Department and Letter Carrier … Do you really care about political correctness on my girl’s homemade greeting cards to you each year? She seems to struggle to fit these lengthy titles in her festive holiday designs. Would ‘garbage men’ and ‘postman’ be acceptable next year? Also, did you like the candy canes/cookies?

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(11) Dear Lady Next to Me at Church on Christmas Eve … Fishnet stockings?

(12) Dear Me … Remember that your kids are always listening … and somehow, apparently, reading. Which is why, when your boy asked about the mysterious gift tag on his dad’s present that read ‘To Dave, From ODNT, your girl said … without hesitation … “That stands for Old Dog New Tits.”  You, dumb ass, now get the joy of explaining to her what ‘tits’ means and why she can’t use the word anymore. And then, you get to deal with what will undoubtedly be her implicit disapproval.

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Think the Food Network would consider producing a show hosted by ODNT?


Pay attention, my friends ...

… because this may well be the first and last blog entry you ever read from me offering recipes and help in the kitchen. Maybe it’s all the health craziness and anxiety I’ve been through the last month. Who friggin’ knows? But, for whatever reason, I felt inexplicably compelled … both after Thanksgiving and after Christmas … to create something really delicious and rib-sticking … from scratch … for my family.

And thus was born the opportunity for me to test drive the following two recipes, both of which had the word ‘carcass’ in their names. (That’s always a plus in cooking, right?)

After Thanksgiving, I made Turkey Carcass Soup. It involved a multitude of ingredients (nearly all of which needed to be purchased) as well as lots of chopping and dismembering of an Avian skeleton.  And, bear in mind, I am neither Julia Child nor Julie Powell, making aspics with calves’ feet and cleaving through marrow bones like lumber.  Still, if I had to single out the hardest part of this recipe, it was absolutely locating uncooked barley at the grocery store. It took three employees to find it for me … considering that the first two didn’t even know what it was.

After Christmas, I made Turkey Carcass Gumbo. That was today.  And it took me five hours. I even had to make a roux, which  was no small task and (shaming my name as a native New Orleanian) was a first-time effort. But I did it. And I’ve heard nothing but good reviews from five tasters so far. Pretty good for the short order, Hot-Pockets-are-my-Specialty cook who needs repeated lessons in simple rice making. (Right, Ashley?)

For both recipes, I used a carcass from a fried turkey. Yeah, I know that’s kind of cheating … in that there’s so much fatty, salty, seasoned goodness already seared into those bones. But, hey, these were the birds with which I had to work. So, don’t besmirch me the good fortune to have dined well for the holidays in the first place.

Oh, and while I’m at it, I should probably also share the gingerbread recipe I used this season. All of my children’s teachers got a little care package before they left for the holidays.

Every one of my close friends is reading this post with their mouths hanging open right now. Either wondering why I’ve been holding out on them for so long … or what past Shirley MacLaine-ian life has taken over my body in the last month. (MotherMeetsTheRoad, eat your heart out!)


Anyway, I promise I’m fine. I’m just having some fun and making a mess with my kids in the kitchen. So, it’s actually a good time to stop by for a visit. There’s always something good in my fridge these days. And who knows how long my wild cooking spree will last?

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Wishing you all the best from all the hardworking people here at ODNT


It’s Christmas morning and I’m thankful to have much more to do today than sit at my stupid computer. I just wanted to give you all my best and leave you with two of my favorite Christmas videos. (Had I chosen to post three favorites, you’d also be watching Schweddy Balls right now.)

Here’s the original. My mom got me hooked on Bing Crosby when I was still just a baby. David Bowie, I fell in love with on my own.

And here’s the remake. These guys mimicked every little detail, down to the very end, where they stray … just a little. Enjoy.

Happy Holidays from ODNT!

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Can someone help me back up on the horse, please?


Today is December 13 … which you already know if you own a calendar, a phone, a TV or you even just leave home and drive by an electronic bank marquee once in a while. What today means for me is that it’s been 12 days since my surgery.  And I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and sort of become myself again.  But it’s proving to be a little harder than I expected. My cat got out this weekend and the walk around the block that I took to find him nearly killed me.  And then there was the time I tried to sit straight up (rather than the tuck and roll).  Or my sneezing fit today.  Or every single cough, laugh or deep breath.  Damn, I’m weak. And slow.  And I’m so tired of these deficiencies. Tired being the operative word here.

But I’m trying to come back.  And today, I drove.  I actually drove my car by myself.  I had no destination in mind when I got behind the wheel and I’m still trying to figure out why in the hell I chose to drive to Toys ‘R’ Us.  (Seriously, it’s Christmas … but what was I thinking?) For what was a completely fruitless visit.  But I got out there today.  And I didn’t almost kill anyone.  (Unless you count myself with the sneezing.)

Tomorrow, I think I’ll try wearing a bra again.  Wish me luck.

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Missing the Santa Visit with my Girl


My daughter went to see Santa today.

I have two kids, the first of whom was born in 1999. That means 2011 marks 13 years of Santa visits.  Except this year, I’m not there. All because of a stupid ping pong ball of fleshy goo that decided to settle in my chest cavity.

Stupid-ping-pong-ball-of-fleshy-goo, we’ve talked a lot in the last two weeks.  I’ve actually even thanked you for a few things.  But today, I’m not thanking you for anything.  Today, I’m pissed that you have me apart from my girl who just left … all ‘cuted’ up with her reindeer antler headband in her little girl purse to wear for the picture.  Before she left, she hugged me and whispered that she wished that I could go with her but that she’s afraid she wouldn’t be able to protect me while I was there.

When did she have to start protecting me???

I love that kid.  She is the spirit of Christmas in this house.  And, at the moment, she’s only five minutes away at her school’s ‘Breakfast with Santa.’ But I miss her right now as much as I ever have.

When she gets home, I’m going to hug the living daylights out of her.  On my good side, of course.  (The left one, in case you encounter me in public these days and feel the need for a hug.)

That’s all for now.  I’m just a little sad.  And had to put it in writing … for my sanity.  And your uncomfortable silence.

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