aging, comedy, family, holiday, home, Humor, Travel, women


Christmas celebrations have ended and a new year is already underway.  A feeling of anticipation led me into all of the celebrations while old-blue-borrowed-new are dragging me out.  Yes, I know those are out of order, but I don’t want to end on blue.

A lot of same old, same old happened for Christmas.  It’s been over 30 years and certain family members still can’t decide if they are in or out for parts of the celebration. Last minute calls trying to disrupt the schedule, people getting sick, and others busting a hemorrhoid right before the dinner I worked so hard to make are nothing new to me. I’ve come to expect same old, same old. Oh and by the way, it wasn’t my ‘roid that ruptured.

I have to admit I’m feeling a little blue now that it’s all over. Not the hemorrhoid rupture but the holiday season.  It was a lot of work and I spent 45 hours in the car over the last 3 weeks traveling to visit family members in three different states, but it was well worth it.  All that action came to a screeching halt this past Tuesday and it’s taking a little time for me to adjust.  Actually, since I have some time on my hands I could send out the Christmas cards I bought but never wrote. Eh, maybe next year.

Traditions are things borrowed from previous years and earlier generations.  My family has borrowed a lot.  We make pirohy and mushroom soup on Christmas Eve and drink gawdawful-come on now, I can’t use the real spelling because this is about Christmas-grappa at midnight.  Grappa was made from whatever was left over after the real wine was made.  Enough said on that borrow.

Last but not least is the ‘new’ and it’s always good to end on something new.  It’s a new year and a time when many people make resolutions for change.  My big change was spending New Year’s Eve in Nashville.  It was frickin’ freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth, but it was well worth it. Sure, I missed watching balls drop with the people I always watch the balls drop with, but a bucket list is a bucket list and Nashville was on it.  After all, I’m not getting any younger. The day is coming when I won’t be able to listen to Cheap Trick and Keith Urban while standing in 7 degree weather. Well, Cheap Trick anyway.

You can tell that I have a lot to work through as a result of all the celebrations. Regret over not sending greeting cards, drinking something that tastes like how witch hazel smells-and she smells, and taking action on my bucket list are all dragging me down a bit. So is the fact that the celebrations are over and I’m not sure when everyone will be together again. On the other hand, aside from five fingers and a thumb, it was a fabulous holiday filled with old, new, borrowed, and now, a little blue and I can’t wait to do it all again in another 354 days.

Happy New Year!

Eliza G

aging, comedy, family, holiday, Humor, kindness, women

Do It Automatically

I babysat 6-week-old Baby the other day.  It has been a long time since I took care of a baby given that my own babies are in their late 20s.  I managed to keep everything under control for the short time I was in charge and when it ended, something beyond the beauty of Baby stuck with me.

It went like this…I smiled at Baby while making a goofy face and talking to her in baby talk and she smiled back.  Yes, I know she’s advanced for her age but nobody should be surprised given her lineage.  Anyway, I was goofy and Baby smiled a few more times, and when she got tired of looking at me, I gave her a break from all the fun.

Later in the babysit I saw a small Minnie Mouse rattle inside the diaper bag so I took it out and shook it a few times for Baby. She smiled.  I shook it again and she smiled again. When I moved the rattle out of Baby’s sight, she stopped smiling only to start again when I moved it back.  I know, big deal, all babies smile at people and toys, including things with Minnie Mouse. But what stuck with me is why she smiled. I always assumed that smiling involved some behind-the-scene processing where the smiler sees, hears, tastes, or touches something, decides if it’s smile worthy and if it is, smiles.  How can 6-week old Baby process a middle-aged lady making a goofy face at her or Minnie Mouse rattling around in front of her and in split second decide to smile?

So it might seem like I’m making too much of a few smiles made by beautiful Baby, but perhaps there is something to make too much of.  Maybe when we see something like a face the natural, automatic response is to smile and for whatever reason we’ve shut off that response so that a smile becomes something we choose to do rather than something that happens on its own. That’s a messy sentence but it comes down to this…Based on my first babysit in a very long time, Baby automatically smiled in response to other faces.  And based on the world in which I live and work, people don’t.  Imagine a world where people automatically smile every time they see another person’s face…even if that other person looks like Minnie Mouse.

I think we could all take a lesson from beautiful 6-week Baby this Christmas and make that imaginary world a reality. Simply smile at other faces, regardless of who they belong to and do it…automatically.

Merry 1st Christmas, Baby.  Merry Christmas and all the holiday greetings, Everyone!

Eliza G.

aging, comedy, Friends, holiday, Humor, introvert, women

Takeover Talkers

I’ve heard people complain about some people who talk on their cell phone in the presence of other people.  Did you get that?  I’m asking because there were a lot of people in that sentence.  People complained, some talked, and still others were simply in the presence of those who talked…on a cell phone.  Truth be told, this story isn’t about talking on a cell phone. It’s about the act of talking in the presence of people to whom you are not talking.

My husband and I were at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony a few weeks ago.  We arrived early and not surprisingly, chose seats away from the crowd. As we waited for someone to flip the switch to turn on 100,000 tiny white lights, people started coming into our territory. At first, it was fine. They picked their seats and chattered quietly as they sipped really hot hot chocolate that was topped with tiny marshmallows.  It was festive and peaceful.

Then things changed from fine to wasn’t fine. A couple of people came and sat right next to us and guess what?  They were talkers.  Actually, they weren’t just talkers, they were takeover talkers…and they cackled.  All the quiet chatter ceased because nobody could hear quiet chatter while the talkover was in progress. It was worse than listening to someone talking on a cell phone in the presence of people to whom they are not talking because we could hear both sides of the conversation and two cackles. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, two of their friends showed up. That’s when things went from wasn’t fine to really wasn’t fine.  We heard about how the lights would look when they finally turn them on, where they all had recently traveled, and that one of them spilled a box of wine on her crotch-her words, not mine-on her way to the lighting ceremony and that her fake leather pants-my words, not hers-were all wet. Let’s face it, no amount of very hot hot chocolate was gonna make that feel better on a cold wintry night. The wine could explain some of the talking except that she spilled it rather than drank it.  Just how do you spill wine from a box on yourself?  Doesn’t the box have a spout that you turn on to fill your glass and turn off to stop filling?  And what was the spout doing down there anyway?

Let’s just say at that point, things were no longer festive and peaceful.  Everyone in our area who came to quietly enjoy the tree lighting wanted it to be over so that the takeover talking would stop and they could spend the rest of the evening trying to unhear what they’d heard. Well, at least I did.  Truth be told, you can’t unhear things you’ve heard-it’s impossible.  You just have to live with it. And there was a lot to live with simply because of the act of talking in the presence of people to whom you are not talking. Cackle-cackle.

aging, comedy, holiday, Humor, Hygge, shopping, women

Something Fishy

I wanted to wrap up my Christmas shopping with a stop at a Bath & Body Works.  I don’t buy their stuff when it’s full price because I can’t see spending $12 on a bottle of lotion so I can “put the lotion on the skin.”  That’s a quote from the movie Joe Dirt.  Yes, I know, I have low standards, but it’s a funny movie and the quotes live on at my house.  Anyway, I will splurge on sale items at B&BW such as 3-wick candles for $8.95 and an additional 20% off with the coupon. The candles smell good, but on ‘wrap up day,’ something was fishy.

It seemed that everyone in the neighborhood wanted in on the candle special. The store was filled with people carrying bags and boxes that overflowed with smelly candles.  Shoppers sniffed and snorted everything in sight as they decided which scent was the best for their secret Santa.  One lady was so excited she dropped a candle and broken glass went everywhere. While she probably was embarrassed, it was an ingenious way to clear an area so she could shop without other customers grabbing her stuff and crowding her out.  I’ll have to remember to drop it like it’s hot the next time I want to shop in peace at the candle store.  That’s a shout out to my buddy Snoop Dog. No, not you Martha, just Snoop.

I know, about now you’re starting to wonder about the fishy part. Well, it happened when it was time to check out. There were four lanes, four cash registers, and four candle ringer-uppers.  I looked down and noticed that a wise person had placed tape on the floor to mark the lanes. Each lane was numbered and aligned with a register and a ringer-upper. I picked lane 3, which was right next to lane 4, and got in it. As the line moved up, I noticed the lady in front of me wouldn’t commit to a single lane. She hung out between lanes 3 and 4.  As each shopper checked out and left to go burn their candles, the line moved up and so did she…in lane 3.5. “What’s this?” I thought. “Something fishy is going on. You’re either in lane 3 or 4. Lane 3.5 doesn’t exist. The tape on the floor says so. So, make a decision and go with it.”  But she didn’t.  She rode lane 3.5 long enough to see which line, the one in lane 3 or lane 4, reached a ringer-upper first. Now I’ve seen people in the grocery store move from one lane to the other because they thought the other moved faster, but after a few stutter steps they eventually committed.  Not this lady.  And, she messed up the lines behind her because people didn’t know whether to follow the taped off lanes or line up behind something fishy.

I don’t know why one person caused something fishy while I was wrapping up my Christmas shopping with a stop at B&BW.  It rubbed me the wrong way. All she had to do was pick a lane and stay in it.  Instead, she was more concerned about being first and getting out ahead of everyone else.  I think she’s gonna find a special candle in her stocking on Christmas morning-a fishy one.

aging, comedy, Friends, holiday, Humor, women, work

BOGO: What Kind of Person?

Sure, I’m a day late, but I’m not a dollar short.  In fact, I have a buy one, get one free offer to share as a peace offering for my lateness.  I know that won’t help with the fact that you were up all night wondering what happened to the fabulously funny Friday post, but it’s the best I can do. While I didn’t write a post yesterday, I did collect two stories from the workplace that are both funny and sad.

The first story, or the buy one, happened to my friend at work.  Her overseer asked her to speak at an important work-related event that marked the end of a journey for the honorees.  Sounds serious, right?  Well, my friend did a fabulous job and I don’t mean a fabulously funny job-I mean a fabulous job.  She talked about treating colleagues with respect, being kind to one another, and needing to move on if you’re not happy with your work; simple things that can bring joy to everyone involved.  So about now you’re asking what’s so funny and sad about that?  Well, nothing…yet.

The final speaker who had to give closing remarks after my friend’s fabulous speech was the person who asked her to speak at the event. The funny thing is, nobody wants to follow fabulous. Nobody, that is, unless somebody thinks he/she can one-up fabulous. But let me warn you-it can’t be done. You simply can’t one-up fabulous no matter who you are or what position you hold. Instead, you just accept the fact that someone else brought down the house, thank everyone for coming, and leave it at that.  But that’s not what happened. Somebody was feeling overzealous, didn’t heed my warning, and tried to one-up.  The result? Somebody went away feeling a little less-than-jovial about asking my friend to speak at an important work-related event that marked the end of the journey for the honorees. While some of you might be feeling sad for less-than-jovial’s position in the speaking order, that’s not the sad part of this story. What’s really sad is that after the event, less-than-jovial tried to make fabulous feel less-than-fabulous…by critiquing her speech delivery. Now, if that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is. What kind of person asks someone to do them a favor and then, after seeing what a great job they did, tries to knock them down a few pegs on the fabulous meter?  I know, do you?

Let’s move on to the get-one-free story because I always like a bargain.  It’s the Christmas season and it won’t be long until a fat elf tries to come down the stainless steel pipe that vents my gas fireplace while carrying a big bag of something. I’m fortunate that he brings a bag, but others are not, including many children who won’t see anything from the elf. That’s not funny and it certainly is sad so do what you can to help; but do it a little better than ‘someone I know’s’ boss did.

It went like this…Out of the blue, an email message came in from the ‘well over 6-figure boss’ that said he had selected an angel from the gifting tree and made a $100 donation on behalf of the 10-member sales team.  The donation was to help make Christmas a little better for a 10-year-old boy. Seems like a nice gesture, doesn’t it?  Well, it was until you read the next part of the message that 6-figures sent to all 10 members. He wrote, “Please forward $10 to my wife’s PayPal or Venmo account to cover your contribution to this gift.” Let me get this straight…out of the goodness of your Grinch heart, you decided to splurge and donate a whopping $100 on behalf of your 10-member sales team only to request a $10 payback from the people who had no part in the decision to donate a measly $100?  And you feel good about the $10 you gave from your own pocket-or your wife’s PayPal or Venmo account? Yeah, I know, every little bit helps, but what kind of person who makes six figures can’t give a little more than $I0 to help a 10-year-old boy, or confer with his employees before signing them up for an embarrassing donation? Oh, I know, I know….the same kind of person who tries to knock down fabulous a few pegs.

aging, comedy, Community, family, Food, holiday, Humor, women

One Way or Another

I went to two Christmas parades last weekend.  Yes, that’s a lot of parading in one weekend, but it was worth it. I had a few laughs and came to realize that parades aren’t what they used to be.

When I was growing up, we would go to the annual university homecoming parade that marched right past my dad’s gas station.  It wasn’t a holiday parade, but it was all we had. It was fun to see all the princesses and fancy floats and hear the bands.  Then one year, when I was older, I had to be in the parade.  No, I wasn’t a princess-I was in the band. That was my mother’s fault-she made me join to keep me out of trouble.

Fast-forward to the Christmas parades last weekend.  I still wasn’t a princess and I certainly wasn’t in the one high school band that marched by while playing an actual Christmas song.  I was just a spectator,  but what I saw made me realize that parades have changed.  It’s no longer about the people, floats, or bands; It’s about the candy. When did taking home bags, and I mean bags, of what used to be penny candy and bubble gum become the reason for the season?  Don’t parade goers know that the only person happy about them eating all that junk is Hermey the Dentist who will have to repair the damage caused by too much sugar?

Candy distribution at the first parade consisted of paraders throwing handfuls of candy into the crowd.  You’d think that kids would be the ones going after it, but in many cases, it was their parents and sometimes, their grandparents.   After all, you have to be aggressive if you want all that free candy and sometimes, Junior just can’t muscle out his competitors to get that one Tootsie Roll that’s out in the street.  “Come on boy,” I thought, “If you want it, go get it and let grandma sit in her lawn chair holding the first full bag of junk.”  He obviously couldn’t hear me. He made grandma go get his fair share.

At the second parade, there seemed to be an unwritten law that prohibited throwing of candy.  Paraders handed candy directly to parade goers.  I never saw such a thing and after thinking about it, I’ve decided it’s either due to lawsuits or the ‘Everybody Gets a Medallion’ era.  At some point in the past, Grandpa must have gotten run over by a hot ball and sued the parade sponsors.  Or, Junior must not have been aggressive enough to reach Tootsie out in the street and his bag ended up being emptier than everyone around him. To make things fair, the law of candy distribution was changed so that every person has an equal chance of getting a piece of candy.  Now Junior doesn’t have to rely on grandma or figure things out for himself-because everybody gets a medallion.

Yeah, parades aren’t about princesses, floats, and bands anymore.  They’re about free candy and making sure everybody gets fair share-one way or another.

aging, comedy, Dining, Food, Friends, Health, holiday, Humor, women, work

Unwanted Attention

It’s December 1st and opening day for Christmas season, which means getting decorations out of the attic and going to the ‘holiday party’ at work.  At last year’s party, I got a little more attention than I wanted.  No, I didn’t overindulge and tell anybody off, at least I don’t think I did.  But I did have a mishap that caught everyone’s attention at the party.

It was lunchtime on the day of the festive gig.  I found a leftover piece of pizza in the fridge and decided it would hold me over until the germ-infested buffet later that evening.  Buffets?  Who really wants to eat food served with utensils that were touched by every person in the room…especially when a lot of people in the room ‘haven’t been feeling well’?  Sometimes you don’t have a choice and you have to eat it. Save yourself some sickness by using a napkin to handle serving spoons or fill your plate and wash your hands before starting to eat.  Yes, I know, I have issues, but I’m only looking out for you.

Anyway, while eating my pizza I was holding the plate a little too close to my mouth, which I didn’t realize until it was too late.  As I cut a piece of pizza with my fork, the plate flipped up and hit just above my upper lip.  I knew it was bad when I saw red swirls in my ice water after taking a quick sip.  I knew it was even badder when I looked in the mirror and saw my fat, split lip.  I iced it, taped the edges together, and eventually covered it with makeup, but I knew it was gonna get some attention at the party…and I was right.

Some people just outright asked, “What happened to your lip?” while others looked and then looked away like nothing was wrong. You know, how you look and then look away when somebody you’re talking with has something in their nose?  Well, it was like that…they saw it, tried to pretend they didn’t see it, but couldn’t stop looking at it. Some did double takes and others did triple.  I guess it was a low-level accident scene but hey, I wasn’t gonna miss the ‘holiday party’ over an incident with a piece of pizza.

At the height of my unwanted attention, one work colleague decided I had something on my face that she could easily scrape off.  Bless her heart. She came in towards my lip with her little finger extended and said, “You have something on your lip.  Let me get it for you.”  “Well, if you can get that for me, I can go back to being just another ‘holiday party’ attendee instead of the center of attention,” I thought as I swatted her pinky away before it reached my lip, which was now a pretty shade of blue.  No pinky was gonna get that!

So today, I’m not eating any leftover pizza from the fridge to hold me over until the germ-infested buffet.  I wonder where everyone will focus their attention this year.

Thanks for reading and be sure to #ShareTheLaughter !

Eliza G.