I'm always contemplating something. Sometimes I write serious things, sometimes it's just a little bit funny! I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Chaos!

It is perhaps the most dreaded experience of all. No one REALLY wants to do it, but do it they must. Yes, it is again that time of year- Christmas shopping!

You spend countless hours walking around the department stores and malls. Your legs ache. The blisters on your feet pop each time you take a step. You have writer's cramp from signing so many credit card slips. Worst of all, you've lost the family car somewhere in the vast sea of Neon's, Hyundai's and SUV's. You wonder if you are in the early stages of Alzheimer's. You must be, you've already forgotten what you just bought.

Flash forward to Christmas Eve. You stay up all night wrapping presents. You KNOW the kids are going to love them.

At 5 a.m., the kiddies wake you up. The baby gently kicks you and says, "Dadda, why you sleepin' under the twee?" You jump up and wonder- why WERE you sleeping under the tree?

You scratch your head in wonder and hear the rustling of paper. 6 year old Suzie rips a bow out of your hair.

"Yeah, and why ya wearing a bow on your head?"

The kids start begging and pleading with you, eager to open their presents. Finally, you relent.

Suzie opens her first gift- a Barbie. She opens another...a fancy car for Barbie! She's elated! Now Barbie can cruise around town, looking for a new boyfriend. It took Barbie over 40 years to kick Ken to the curb. He was a real loser, and it took her that long to figure it out.

Suzie opens another package. Clothes! Bathing suits, ball gowns, and shorts. Skin tight jeans and slinky halters that barely fit over Barbie's shapely curves. There are shoes and hair ties of every color. Barbie must look sharp. Barbies clothes cost more than Little Suzie's "back to school" ensemble.

Baby Jeffrey gets all kinds of colorful, noisy toys. The toys come in all kinds of boxes. Jeffrey immediately chucks the toys and sits in a box. "Vroom,....Vroom..." He stands up and places another box on his head. He twirls around and around in circles, making himself dizzy. He crashes into furniture and people alike, screeching out his joy. You and your better half try to get his attention.

"Jeffie, look at the car." You demonstrate how the wheels go round and round. "Vroom, Vroom! Look at Daddy!" Jeffie whizzes by in his box, "Vroom,vroom..."

"Jeffie, put the box down and play with the toys!"

Jeffie has other plans. "No, play with box."

Ever so gently, you remove the box from Jeffie's hand. You furiously grab another toy and stuff it in his hand. "But look Jeffie, look at the Bob the Builder toy!" With the precision of a professional baseball player, Jeffie throws the toy clear into the next room. It hits a coffee cup sitting on the counter, causing it to smash to the ground. Jeffie experiences a major meltdown with crying too horrible to bear. You return the box.

Suddenly, Suzie flies by. "Vroom...Vroom! She is pushing a naked Barbie around in one of Jeffies boxes.

"Suzie, where are your new Barbie clothes?" you inquire. Susie gives you a blank stare.

"Where are the Barbie clothes and the car you got for Christmas?"

"I dunno...vroom...vroom." Away she goes to enjoy the wonderful new toys- Naked Barbie's and cardboard boxes.

I am purposing a way to make Christmas more affordable for the parents, and still be fun for the kids.

Skip the Barbie Volkswagen Beetle that costs $29.99.

Forget the Barbie clothes. With each outfit (don't forget hair ties!) costing approximately $10.00 apiece, that's about $100.00 in your pocket.

Save $100.00 or more on useless stuff for Jeffie. He doesn't care about the stuffed animals, cars and other boring toys. He wants the boxes! Go to the nearest store and get him a bunch of boxes of assorted sizes. He'll be happy as a clam. Give one of the boxes to Suzie to use as a car for her dolls.

Next take the money you saved on gifts and hire a babysitter for the kids. Go out on the town.

Eat, drink and be merry. That may be the best gift yet!

Ho-Ho-Ho, Merry Christmas

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Guest Was A Real Pest

(This was written a couple of years ago- just didn't know where to send it to for publishing)

When you live in the country, you never know who (or what) might come to call. Noises inside the walls were my first clue that we had uninvited guest. When I found nuts and other goodies in the corner of the pantry, I realized this guest was a real pest!

I was no stranger to varmints. My childhood home was across the street from an open field. Mice would come to visit, seeking a bit of warmth and something to snack on. We would laugh as we watched them eat out of the dog’s dish. It might seem like redneck entertainment to some, but hey, we lived in a small town.

I doubted this intruder was furry and cute. Loud and rambunctious, it took over our household at night. I was sure it was a rat, possibly a chipmunk or squirrel. Cute little mice were one thing; big rodents were different. Sleep was hard to come by. I didn’t know what might run across my face at night!

I first sighted the mischievous rodent on a fall afternoon. It had been raining for days, and the gloomy atmosphere gave the appearance of dusk rather than early afternoon. I was preparing supper when the offensive scamp ran by me, about ½ inch from my foot. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye, but it looked BIG! After that every shadow made me jump. Even the cat seemed afraid and would only eat with a light on.

That evening, while cleaning up after supper, we heard a rattling under the sink. My daughter opened the cupboard door. “There’s a mouse in a bottle” she yelled. I peered into the cupboard, and slowly reached for the bottle. With lightening speed, I tipped the bottle over, trapping the mouse. He died within minutes, but we gave it a little extra time just to be sure. Going about our nightly rituals, the mouse was forgotten. The next morning when I opened the cupboard door, he was gone! I was being duped by a little mouse and I didn’t like it one bit. I vowed to catch this thing, no matter what!

Needing some ammunition to win this war, I went shopping for mousetraps. The choices were staggering. Did I want a sticky trap; a live trap or one of those old fashioned spring traps? Not wanting to cause the poor mouse any suffering, I ruled out the sticky traps and anything with poison. I decided against a live trap, sure the mouse would return in a few days. I finally opted for a quick and painless death- The spring trap. Snap the neck and the deed is done.

I craved a good nights sleep. That night, I set the traps. I used peanut butter topped with grated cheese as bait- Yummy! Although mousetraps are extremely simple contraptions, they are at the same time complicated. Not everyone has the patience and finesse needed to set one. I certainly didn’t! The trap kept springing on me, splattering grated cheese around the room. After numerous tries, I finally had it set. I cleaned the cheese off the walls and floor. I then went to bed; sure I would catch our little escape artist.

Checking the trap the next morning, I laughed when I saw the bait was gone, yet the trap remained empty. This was no ordinary mouse. I named it Houdini.

I vowed to catch Houdini if it took every fiber of my being! I took American cheese and wrapped it around the “platform” that the bait goes on. This time, the cheese wasn’t going anywhere, which was proven the next 5 times I attempted to set the trap.

Needing a break from the stresses of trap setting, I went out to check the mail. Upon my return, I stopped dead in my tracks. On the counter stood the mouse, eating the cheese off the unset trap. It looked at me and smirked!

Now I was mad! I slammed the door, scaring the mouse away. I return to the nerve wracking task of trap setting. Finally, I was successful. I S-L-O-W-L-Y walked to the kitchen sink. Gently I placed the trap underneath.

Within an hour-SNAP- Houdini wasn’t such a great escape artist after all! He had put up a good fight. I almost felt guilty. But not that guilty. I emptied the trap, and set it again. A short while later- SNAP! Another one. How many more were there?

I reset the trap, placing it under the sink. A day went by, then two. No mice. As weeks went by, the trap remained critter free. I stood victorious- I had won the war. My uninvited guest (I mean pest) problem was over- for the time being!

Now I need to figure out how to set those ant traps…..

Carolee Sperry
December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grocery Store Madness

Poem I wrote for a contest- I didn't win :-(

Oh no, Oh no, it's time to go

There is no time to spare

The kiddies want to eat right now

The cupboards almost bare

Gather the coupons, head to the store

We need cereal, milk and so much more

Grab a cart; a wheel spins the wrong way

At the rate I'm going, it will take me all day

I finally make it to the produce aisle

Where the fruit is bruised and the veggies look vile

Off to the snacks- the chip bags look skimpy

The boxes of crackers look small and whimpy

We need some meat for the evening meal

I check out the pork, the beef and the veal

The pork is fatty, the steak costs too much

I guess it will be Hamburger Helper with the "mommy touch"

I rush to get milk- my nerves are fried

I look around, mystified!

Cows milk, and soy milk and rice milk, too

There are too many choices, what shall I do?

I grab one of each- I really don't care

I just want to get the heck out of here!

The lady up front takes all my money

She gives a big smirk saying, "Thank ya, honey!"

Finally I'm free from the grocery store

I drive away, done with my chore

I get home and start unloading the car

The kids knock me over for an ice cream bar

They will no longer hunger nor will they fade away

Momma's brought home the goodies- they're happy for the day.

The End!

Carolee Sperry
December 2, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

My first published piece!

Originally  printed in Syracuse Family Times September 2004

The Perfect Mate

Discovering the secret to a great socks life

I loathe people that have sparkling white socks. They wear perfect mates, always suited to each other. These people are playing the rest of us for fools.

I was matching socks one day when it struck me that, as the days go by, socks look less and less alike. At the start of a new school year, I buy each of the children 12 pairs of socks, all exactly alike. If they lose one, they can mix and match.

The 15-year-old has plain white tube socks. The 14-year-old boy likes socks that barely come to the ankle, with gray on the heel and toes. The 13-year-old boy prefers socks that come up to the ankle, also with the gray heel-toe combo. My daughter gets plain white ankle socks plus a package of colored socks.

About a month later, when we can afford it again, they each get another 12 pair. With 24 pair of identical socks, they should have socks available for months to come. Not in this house.

The boys like to save time by washing their whites and colors together. Depending on what else is in the load, they may end up with gray, blue, pink or red socks. If a sock gets a pink tinge, and it’s mate gets a gray tinge because it was fooling around in a different load, well, that doesn’t make for successful mating.

The 14-year-old used to wear his socks to bed. He would wake up in the morning wearing only one sock. He didn’t seem to realize it. Eventually, he would venture outside for something, wearing that one sock (and no shoes of course). This sock would get filthy.

It’s mate, however, relaxed under the bed for a few months retaining it’s glistening beauty. It now no longer matches any of the other socks in the household.

Spring comes, and with it, mowing the grass. My honey makes a stunning discovery. Over the winter it had snowed socks. Three of them were found, in various stages of filth and decay.

We recovered several more socks from behind the old dryer. They were full of dust and lint and barely recognizable.

Five more socks were found hiding out in my car. They, too, were beyond cleaning. Who in their right mind removes their socks in the car? They may have been barely recognizable, but they were too small to be mine!

We have a basketful of old socks; I can’t bare to part with them. What if I find a sock lurking in the shadows that has the same shade f pink-red as the one in the basket? A perfect match.

What about that gray thing in there? I swear I saw the mate somewhere. Honestly, we haven’t found a perfect match out of that basket in months.

I used to baby-sit for two children who always wore matching, snow-white socks. These kids were at my house all day, playing in the sandbox, jumping on the trampoline, and playing baseball in their socks. When they left here, their socks rivaled my kids’ for sleaziness.

Each morning, they would arrive with their pearly white socks adorning their feet. I asked their mother how she kept them so clean. She rattled off some name-brand detergent.

I tried it. Really, I did. I scrubbed them with an old toothbrush. I soaked them overnight in the detergent. You would think that after hanging out together for more than 12 hours, one of those socks would have found the perfect mate. Out of 28 socks, when they exited the dryer, no two looked the same.

The mother had lied. What an awful example to her children. I believe she is what I call a “habitual sock-buyer,” and she’s trying to cover her tracks.

I can see it now, Friday nights, she tears apart sock drawers, furiously throwing away any and all foot coverings that show signs of previous wear. Then she whisks the kids off to the mall to purchase new socks.

When she gets home, she carefully inserts the socks into individual Baggies, one pair for each day of the week. Exhausted after a long night of sock buying, she falls into a slumber and dreams of mountains of white socks glistening in the sun.

It seems like a lot of work to me, but so is searching for socks day after day, searching for that perfect mate, which has strayed elsewhere. I think I’ll gather up that basket of old socks, toss it in the trash and become a habitual sock-buyer. That way, I will finally look like a Super Mom and my socks will always have the perfect mate.

The End!

...more to come. Unfortunately, all my articles were once available online, but now they aren't, so I have to retype them. YUK!