Monday, December 24, 2012


When Sweet Neighbor Girl and Trouble #1 were over at Casa de la Flaming Bore this morning to exchange Christmas presents, she followed me into the kitchen, grabbed one of my arms, tugged me into the bedroom, and quietly said, "I've got something important I have to tell you." 

I braced for the worst and quickly thought of all the terrible possibilities: an illness, family problems, a move out of town, another dead pet.  What earth shattering news was I about to hear?

"Do you know that there's not really a Santa Claus?" she said. "My Mom told me there actually isn't one and we just pretend like there is."

"Well, Santa Claus is still kind of like a spirit who represents happiness and how it's good to give to others," I said.  "His spirit is real."

"We're not supposed to tell Kalim (her brother)," she added.

"Oh, I won't. It's a secret with me."

And with that relief out of the way, we went back to putting up some magnet art on the freezer...a snowman and a Santa Claus. Don't tell anyone, but they are just decorations and aren't the real deal.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


After Sweet Neighbor Girl and Trouble had their early morning Meet and Greet breakfast with Santa Claus today, they came over to Casa de la Flaming Bore to see what was on my December 1st agenda. I was planning to walk up to the bank and on to the library, so, oh boy, let's get permission to go, too!  Fine with me...just remember that it's 10 blocks one way.

The first time Trouble ever made the trek with me, he was moaning, "It feels like I've walked 100 miles!" before we ever hit Main Street.  By the time we got to the library..."It feels like I've walked 1,000 miles."  But he did fine today and was eager to hit up the "fun stuff" in the kids' department...not the books but the Legos and puzzles and other cool gizmos that he doesn't have at home. Library Lady really knows how to entertain 'em.

SNG helped me shelf the audio tapes, magazines, newspapers, and returned books until we got to the Teen Lounge, at which point she asked permission to crash out on one of the bean bags with the Seventeen magazines, even though she's still 10 days away from reaching double-digits. 

An hour later we headed back home, while getting in two rounds of Mother May I, playing Balance Beam on some curbing, playing Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother's Back, playing Jump the Railroad Ties, and reciting (I don't know how many times) "Stop, look, and listen before you cross the street.  Use you eyes.  Use your ears. And then use your feet." Nevertheless, it took a while to get back to the 'hood.

Until their friends came over for the afternoon to play, SNG got on my computer to find Christmas jokes that she's compiling for a little booklet she's making.  She found lots of good ones:  Q:  What's a snowman's favorite cereal?  A:  Frosted Flakes  Q:  Which of Santa's reindeer has the worst manners?  A:  Rud-olph  Q:  Which Christmas carol is the favorite of parents?  A:  "Silent Night."

I decided that's my favorite Christmas carol, as well...and silence is what I'm planning to experience tonight.  Big Bore is gone for the weekend, so it's just me and the cats...the Wildcats, that is.  K-State plays football on TV pretty soon, so I'm going to dig up some purple to wear, and then quietly crash on the sofa to watch the game, with a box of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch nearby.  I'm hoping the 'Cats will silence Texas and we'll all be sleeping in heavenly peace later tonight. 

Over and out.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Trouble #1 was over the other day finding uses for my red bandanna.  After he was done being a pirate and a masked man (robber), he decided to make a turban for our cat statue by the entertainment unit. We added a little bling and there you have it!  Maharishi Kitty. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Recently Sweet Neighbor Girl showed up at the front door with a note she handed over to me.  It read:

You're the best neighbor ever!!  And I've had a lot of neighbors!!!  You are the only reason why I like to play outside because you always have something fun to do!!

"So, Nancy, whatcha wanna do?" she asked.

Good grief!  How could I ever begin to live up to that note?  It was too cold and windy to "play" outside, and I couldn't invite her in because Big Bore was sick and germy. So, we ended up going out to the garage to sit in the warmth of the car and play the State Game...her idea, actually. I "drove" across the country. She rode shotgun in back. And we memorized all 50 states of the United alphabetical order, of course, because that's the cardinal rule of the State Game. She even turned it all into a song.  "Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas....."

It's going to be a long winter.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012


The Library Ladies recently sought out the dubious assistance of The Flaming Bore in creating a bulletin board. They said they needed snowflakes. Lots of snowflakes. All colors welcome. All sizes. They'd even provide the paper. It would be a fun activity for me to do with the neighbor kids, they suggested. And I agreed.  

The minute Sweet Neighbor Girl and Trouble came over yesterday, I told them about the project. Hooray!  They were gung-ho. Let's get started.  And then came the hard part. Actually making the snowflakes. The head Library Lady had given me a vague demonstration of how to create them, but I apparently was a slow learner of the challenged variety because, try as I might, EVERY snowflake I cut out either had four sides or eight sides or looked like a scary Halloween mask. 

"What am I doing wrong?!  They're supposed to have six sides!" I moaned to anyone who would listen. 

Unfortunately, the kids were no better than I at snowflake making. Every one of theirs had four sides, too, or just looked like a circle with holes in it. 

"We're doing something wrong with our folding," I told them.  "Well, duh!"

Before long, the living room had morphed into a paper disposal center.  "Oh, let's just give up, Nancy!" SNG said after we'd filled two trash bags with paper scraps. Her little brother quit and strolled into the computer room to build houses on some Lego website...something that doesn't require a genius IQ, like making snowflakes.  

I kept at it for about an hour, folding this way and that way, with no luck, and then finally waved the white flag.  "I guess I'm just a snowflake dumb-dumb," I confessed, forlorn and disappointed with myself.

After the kids left for the day, I turned to my ever-faithful answer machine--the computer would know how to make a snowflake!  I found a video demonstration, a light bulb went off in my head, and bingo! I returned to the paper and scissors and created the best damned snowflakes of all time. Then I couldn't stop. I was like a snowflake factory the rest of the evening (see above samples). My fingers practically locked onto the scissors before I finally called it quits. "The storm has ended at last!" I proudly announced to the cats, satisfied that I had mastered the craft.

When I go back to the library tomorrow afternoon to deliver my snowfall, I may need a shovel.  

Monday, November 19, 2012


Underneath this quilt is Big Bore's Christmas present--a new rocking, reclining man chair that is parked in front of the TV, where his old chair used to be.  It's quite comfy, but not as broken in as the previous chair, so it will likely take a while before I get used to it. Yes, after he retires for the evening, the man chair becomes a lady chair for a few hours.

The best part about the chair was the box it came in, which became the latest "toy" for the neighbor kids.  It's the perfect size for a two-person clubhouse.  I loaned them some paint and brushes yesterday, and away they went. It's refreshing to know that there is still cheap entertainment in our little corner of the world.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The last few days, in an effort to get away from anything political, I've become lost in the world of online jigsaw puzzles. I've hooked up to three sites, and the best one is  My preference is for eyebending   artwork, like the ones posted here.

Big Bore has jumped into the act and helps out periodically. And then after school today Trouble #1 came over, saw what I was doing, and he got hooked, as well.  There are kid-level puzzles on jigidi, so he was in his element and worked three puzzles before it started getting dark and he had to head home.

I don't know how long this latest past time will last--probably the rest of the week, for sure, but now that colder weather is here and gardening is done, I might be dancing the jig until spring.