holiday · Random Life

Can I make the holidays MORE complicated? Why YES, YES I can!!

My grandmother always said you have two choices in life–you can laugh or you can cry, and it’s always more fun to laugh! This week, I may be laughing until I start sobbing.

But first, here’s a brief survey of recent activity.

This is what happens when a 16-year-old microwave decides to give up the ghost. It was also apparently a pyromaniac. Back on election night, by coincidence, and the only way I remember what night this happened, I decided to fix a quick apple crisp in the microwave. Chop up an apple into a bowl, toss on some butter, oatmeal, cinnamon, and honey and pop in the microwave. I cooked it for a couple of minutes–not quite there, so I stuck the saucer upside down on top of the bowl and put it back in for three minutes at half power. And walked back to the bedroom to put up some laundry or something.

Did I mention I have ADHD? Because I got totally distracted in the home office, but microwaves just turn themselves off, so no big deal. Sooo, an hour later, I walked back to the kitchen. (It’s a ranch house and quite long between the office and the kitchen.)

Oh, that’s not good. There’s a cloud of smoke in the kitchen (smoke alarm is in the hall and did not go off). And a smell as I approach. The cabinets are BLACK over the microwave. So I open the door to find that (see picture). New fact learned was that when microwaves go bad they either short out or the computer glitches out and instead of setting 50% power, it can set power to approximately 500%. Because the smoke that rolled out of the microwave was impressive, and stinking. The ENTIRE interior of the microwave was black with soot. I lifted the saucer off, and fortunately it and the bowl contained the fire. Yes, apples can CATCH FIRE and apparently burn very hot.

The saucer apparently was reglazed with soot, as most of that is hard and shiny and not coming off. The bowl was washable, but the heat had cracked the bottom in two. Needless to say, the apple pieces were nothing but charcoal. The black on the cabinets was only soot–they are not damaged (yay).

So I’m very thankful that it was not worse, and that I did not have to cook Thanksgiving dinner, because two weeks out and I still DON’T HAVE A MICROWAVE. Because unable to find one I liked in stock, I ordered one to be delivered to the store. It would be here November 19. Then it would be here November 27. Now it’s tomorrow. If it’s not here tomorrow, I am cancelling. I found a store in CHICAGO that can deliver in two days, and the local store can’t manage two weeks. Argh.

Thanksgiving was lovely. We went out to my parents’ and had a relaxing day. And look, I made pumpkin pies!! Yum. No microwave needed for these babies. And I make I pretty good crust, if I do say so myself.

Cool fact–see that wood cutting board the cooling rack is sitting on? It is made of one plank of poplar wood, and my mom let me have it when they moved to the retirement community. She got it from my grandmother (her mother-in-law), and grandma got it from her mother. My great-grandfather made it for his wife, and it has been in use ever since. And let me tell you, it is worn so smooth you just about can’t mess up a pie crust on it. They roll out like a dream on it, and so does cookie dough. Fortunately my sister wasn’t interested in it, because this is the one item I might have fought her over when mom and dad were downsizing. I enjoy baking; I really need to do more.

So with Legs home from school, he got put to work. Thanksgiving Day my dad informed Legs that there was a job to do at their house. Get all of the Christmas boxes off of the high shelves in the garage. ALL THE BOXES. My parents live in a two-bedroom duplex, and mom has more boxes than I do. I had already made Legs drag out our prelit Christmas tree on Wednesday and put it up. It’s rather heavy, and it’s easier when there are two people to do it.

So Friday we put the lights and tinsel on the tree, and Saturday Legs hauled out our boxes. His comment: “I think your Christmas boxes are breeding.” I just have nine. Mom has a dozen. That’s not a lot, right? So we decorated the tree! And the outside lights too!!


And it’s a darn good thing, because my relaxing holiday went right off the rails Sunday and then crashed and burned in a truly spectacular fashion! All because of costumes–that’s right kiddos, it’s Christmas pageant week!! Coming up this Sunday evening, all angels and shepherds and magi and assorted sundry must be outfitted and ready to dazzle. And I was soo totally on top of things this year–I even made up two spare shepherd’s robes on Friday, because we pretty much used up all available ones last year.

And so I went to church yesterday, toting along a box of costumes requested by the assistant pastor (let’s call her Babs–I’m sure she doesn’t want her real name ever associated with this event). She wants to do a skit at a mid-week event involving shepherds and sheep. No problem–I tracked her down at church and handed over the box. I also asked if she had some of the costumes, because I noticed I seemed to be missing some–notably a nice blue chambray that I use for a shepherd or for Mary, if the child is particularly petite. “Oh yes, I’ve been meaning to give those to you. They are right here in the storage room.” (She likes to use them for random Sunday school lessons or other events she thinks up. Totally awesome stuff.)

Note: I had not been in church for the two prior weeks because of a nasty virus that went into a sinus infection with bronchitis. Fun.

Second Note: Babs also has ADHD, as does Legs. This is relevant.

Now we are rooting around in the storage room, but not finding any costumes. And THEN Babs REMEMBERS.

Babs: “Oh, I remember now. I already gave them to you.”

Me: “When?” [very confused; I have no memory of receiving costumes]

Babs: “I dropped them by your house. Didn’t you find them?”

Me: “When? And where did you leave them? I didn’t see them.”

Babs: “I left them on your deck, in a black plastic bag. I put them on the picnic table.”

Me: “On the picnic table UNDER THE DECK?” (Note: Two-story house with elevated deck over a concrete patio slab.)

Babs: [happily] “Yes!”


Babs: “What?  Something the matter?”

Me (squeaking): “A black plastic bag sitting on the picnic table under my deck. Sitting where my son leaves the black kitchen trash bags when he thinks the herbie is too full? Almost two weeks ago?”

Babs: “Yes. I texted you about it.”

Me: “No, no you didn’t. No text.”

Babs: “I thought I did. But you found it, right?”

Me: “I found it where Legs leaves the kitchen trash bags when he thinks the herbie is too full. Which it wasn’t, but still…”

Babs: [dawning horror on her face]

Me: “I found it when I went to get the herbie to take to the street for trash pickup. Legs had taken out the trash and I assumed he had left the bag there instead of putting it in the herbie. Even though it wasn’t full, so I put the plastic bag IN THE HERBIE. Are YOU SURE you texted me?”

Babs: “But did the garbage come? I thought I texted you, maybe I didn’t. You can check the garbage, right??”

Me: “The garbage came the next day. I threw out the costumes. I threw out AN ENTIRE BAG OF COSTUMES!


Yep, ADHD FTW!!!! I’m out about a dozen costumes!!!!!!!!!!!

Babs, who is the most amazing, creative, energetic children’s pastor God ever made, had been in her usual tizzy of needing to do 10 different things at the same time. Typical for ADHD, and her. Apparently she dropped off the costumes, meant to text me, but never actually did so. But in a busy ADHD mind, sometimes we think we did something just because we meant to do it. So no text–and I double checked, because with my ADHD I have been known to overlook them.

And I made a major ADHD assumption leap, in not questioning why there was a full plastic garbage bag under my deck. I just assumed it was Legs’ doing, based on his past ADHD behavior of not following through with a chore. Granted, it’s been a couple of years since he’s done that, but it used to be a common issue. But I just went for the easiest assumption, and full ADHD steam ahead with the rest of my evening.

Cue hysterical laughter, or is it sobbing? Grandma, I’m just not sure anymore.

So, we lost a number of shepherds’ robes, belts, and headpieces; one long purple cape and a crown (which I don’t actually use for the magi–thank you dear Lord for small mercies); and MARY’S AND JOSEPH’S COSTUMES (doing a full dump out all the bins and double check, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have them).

I am up three shepherd’s robes as of yesterday–you can make three tunic style robes from one queen flat sheet and they are pre-hemmed.


So I need to make at least three more shepherd’s robes, find or make something for my little Mary, and see if I have that extra white cape and try to dye it brown for Joseph before Saturday’s dress rehearsal. Shoot fire, if Babs had Joseph’s cape, she probably had his traveling bag too <bangs head on desk>.

By the grace of God, she did not have any angel costumes or the magi costumes. I would be crying if those were gone. Baby Jesus is present and accounted for too, so I don’t need to go buy a new baby doll either.

Well, good night. I’m off to sew until I drop or my eye starts twitching again.

I’ll wish ya’ll a Merry Christmas if I survive this week.



4 thoughts on “Can I make the holidays MORE complicated? Why YES, YES I can!!

  1. Oh my what a chapter of disasters. And if only I wasn’t in the UK. I have kept all these years the shepherd costume I made for my sons and a wizard outfit ditto which could have been adapted for a King. Sure your congregation will help out. Good luck. I had a microwave blow up with flames out the back. Spectacular but scary. The tree looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Flames out the back??!!? Holy cow! Thank goodness mine wasn’t that bad. Although I still don’t have a microwave–grrrrr. Thank you for the offer, but fortunately she did not have the three kings’ outfits–just a random royal one we have. And I still have all the angels–dear Lord protect me from the second grade divas if we lost those. And at this point, I can sew faster myself than track down someone else who sews and explain what I need. I’m up 5 robes now–God bless no fraying, no wrinkling, double-knit polyester.


  2. Oh. My. Goodness!!! Words fail me, quite frankly – how can one woman have so many disasters? I do hope you can see the funny side of these incidents, although I’m not sure I would be able to! Good luck with the rest of the costumes…..! X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Disasters? It seems to be my life. Direct quotes from my sister: “I live my life vicariously through you.” and “Wow. You should write up a script for Hollywood. Nah, they’d reject it as being too unbelievable.” Thanks sis. Fortunately, thanks to grandma, I usually laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

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