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At Least They're Not Frogs

17 December 2009

As I poured the last little bit of packing popcorn into my last shipment of gift baskets, I had a flashback to my childhood…
Years and years ago, my mother (who taught me how to re-purpose stuff other people had given up on) had a little business that gave her some spending money. Actually, now that I’ve written that down, I realize that it was more likely money to help pay for groceries and tithes — the two things you couldn’t live without paying for.  If you don’t understand what I mean, you probably don’t want to know!
So, my mother was in the business of making frogs: adorable, hysterical, split-pea-filled cloth frogs.  The key adjective in that last sentence would be “SPLIT-PEA-FILLED.”  Ok. Let’s think about this.  Mom designs a frog out of material, sews the body, stuffs the head with batting, then fills it with split peas.  No – seriously – THINK about it.  How the hell do you get peas INTO all of the smallest little pieces of the frog.  Have you ever tried to fill anything with dried peas? It’s incredibly difficult when the receptacle is…well…CLOTH.  I remember trying.  You’d get the frog 98% full, and need that last 2% in order for the frog to be full enough to be “posable.”  Just as you were about to sew it shut, CRASH, it would tip over and spill peas everywhere…I swear for the three years or so that she was selling them, there was never a moment that you didn’t walk through the kitchen and feel a CRUNCH beneath your feet…there were always split peas everywhere.
Dad once built a machine to fill them…words could never do the damn thing justice.  It consisted of a stand to which the legs of the frog were attached by clothespins, at the top of which was a funnel attached to some sort of mechanism that vibrated.  As the frog hung upside down by his feet, we would insert the funnel into the opening at the base of the frog, turn the mechanism on, and let the peas fall into the body of the frog.  Actually, now that I think of it, the thing worked remarkably well.  Yet, still…peas were everywhere.
Suffice it to say, packing popcorn is a hell of a lot easier to clean up than split peas!!!! So bring on the baskets – at least they aren’t frogs!  Anyone from my past remember this adventure?  Anyone have any photos of the frogs?  I miss their personalities hanging around the myriads of bookshelves at home…hmmm, maybe I can convince her to make me a farmer one.  I do still have the pattern! What do you say, Mom? Beth – care to fill any frogs old time’s sake? *evil grin*
Do I even need to say I was swamped today?  My “work” room is never clean, but this week I took it to a whole new level of untidy.  And every time I stop to straighten things up, something else comes up that is far more important…like the tree.
When this room looks like this…you know I’ve lost it.
Yeah, the tree. The poor, sad, neglected tree.  I knew it was bad when I brought it up to Jeffrey.
“I’m going to do my best to decorate the tree tonight.”
“Wow. Crazy. Usually we have at least three weeks enjoying the Christmas tree, and this year it’ll only be ONE week.”
“Um, I’ve kinda been busy, Jeffrey.” I was trying my best not to get snippy because he wasn’t criticizing, just observing, but I am a bit hyper sensitive about the fact that my house isn’t totally ready for the guests that start arriving on Sunday.
I was thinking that maybe we should leave the tree up an extra 2 weeks so that we can enjoy it for the same amount of time as previous years.  I mean, come on, I can keep the tree up until Valentine’s Day – can’t I????  At least I have the lights on, and I did start unpacking my ornaments.
So…here’s the synopsis of the day:
1. I didn’t get crap for sleep because EG’s heater wasn’t on high enough, so she was cold and woke up at 1:40 am (30 minutes after I posted my blog). She was awake for an hour until we were both warm.  I got to sleep around 3 am, but Boots had a little pain episode at around 6 am and woke me with his howling.  Dealt with that, crawled back into bed but couldn’t sleep because of the incessant honking of the Canadian Geese.
2. Crawled out of bed, fed the dogs, and managed to get everything prepped for the morning before EG woke…
Jax goes into EG’s room every morning and keeps her company!
 
Puffy just-woke-up eyes

3. Headed out to pick up Victor and Lorena, said hello to our resident coyote, fed the horses, enjoyed a little bit of sunshine, and wondered at the beautiful clouds.
4. Packed up gift boxes to send, dealt with orders, payments, emails, and all the other stuff that comes along with selling stuff online…
5. Headed out to look at “affordable” horse boarding facilities only to be extremely disappointed.  One place said my 18hh horse would be “fine” in a stall that had 8 foot ceilings throughout the barn.  Right. That would work. I could just see Avdoo raising his head and crashing into one of the fluorescent lights that were hung from the ceiling.  No idea how we’re going to solve this one, but I do have a couple of possibilities.
While at one of the barns, we heard the screeching call of a falcon.  When we looked up we saw a hawk and I commented that the screech didn’t seem like a hawk’s call.  As we stared at the circling red-tail, a bald eagle came swooping down.  It was a tremendous show of two magnificent birds, and was my very first sighting of a bald eagle in the wild.  They’re HUGE and absolutely breathtaking!
6. Headed to the post office to ship four orders. Had to wait for 20 minutes while some lady argued with the postal guy about how much stamps SHOULD cost.  He finally said, “Ma’am, there are people waiting behind you. If you’d like to speak with someone else, that can be arranged.”  I wanted to scream at her, “WE ALL PAY $.44 A STAMP – NOW GET WITH IT!!!”
7. Stopped by Target to pick up something that I couldn’t remember, but knew it was important.  I ended up wandering the aisles, putting stuff in my cart, and thinking, “Wow. I really need this…and this…and this…”  Of course, before making my way to the register, I found a corner and emptied the majority of those much needed items onto a shelf.  Hey, we gotta keep the Target Team Members busy right???
8. Fed the horses on the way home, and as I drove up, realized I had forgotten to pick their blankets up from the Tack Shop where they were getting washed.  Tomorrow.
9. Realized I hadn’t eaten all day, and I still didn’t have an appetite.  What the heck is wrong with me?
The rest of the day was a series of multi-tasking situations which ended with my filling gift basket orders while EG ran around in her onesie and nothing else.  Aaaah, to be a child again! Hee hee
Her fancy new $3.83 sneakers from Target. Hey! Don’t be a hater! They work!

Tomorrow I have two priorities: the tree, and the menu for my dad’s visit….and the holidays that follow! We’ll see how that goes!

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One Comments to “At Least They're Not Frogs”

  1. I don't imagine I would want to MAKE any more frogs, but I do still have one in each size. They sit on my sewing table and I use them as pattern weights and their batting-filled heads as pincushions.

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