Sunday, December 14, 2008

Elves on the Shelves

Yesterday this woman came into the shop with her granddaughter, they are semi-regulars so I figured they were just there to browse but the woman made a bee-line to the counter and said to me quite pointedly "Someone told me you have an Elf on the Shelf for sale." I was not familiar with this term but replied as helpfully as I could "You mean those Kneehugger Pixie Elves? I have several in stock." And then proceeded to one area of the shop to show her some. Again she gave me this hint-hint look and said "These are the elves that sit in a house and transmit messages to Santa about how the Children in the house are behaving?" "Exactly! A new shipment just arrived from the North Pole, so look them over and see which one will best suit your needs." I left them alone and sometime later the lady and her granddaughter came back to the counter to purchase an elf. Meanwhile I had some more tricks up my sleeve, because I remembered the little girl's name. As I was ringing up the purchase she was off to the side checking out the toys in the case so I asked her grandmother in a loud voice, "This elf is going to VICTORIA'S house... Correct?" Victoria's eyes got as wide as saucers as her Grandmother replied with a grin, "Yes, and her sister Olivia too." OK that's great I said, pushing the cash register buttons so some beeping sounds came out; "I've activated the transponder so as soon as this elf gets to his new home he will start transmitting information to Santa. Please instruct the girls to be on their best behavior because this elf will be reporting if they've been bad or good." The woman thanked me as I handed her the bag, and passed it to her granddaughter who carried it reverently out to the car. It's nice to see there are still people who Believe. Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baptism By Fire

That is exactly how my Mom's new stove made its debut on Thanksgiving Day!! First, a little background information; my Parents remodeled their kitchen in 1987, right around the time my Mom went back to work full-time and gave up cooking. She pretty much only cooks for Holiday dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The last 2 Thanksgivings, one burner of the gas stove has stubbornly refused to turn, let alone light. This last burner is only turned on at the critical gravy-making moment because the gravy pan covers 2 burners, and by this stage of the game my Mom is usually having a Hot Flash and throwing all the windows open while my Brother and I are freezing and taking turns trying to fix the stove while the other one drinks beer to help us cope with the situation. Both years my techno-savvy Husband has saved the day with the needle-nose pliers he keeps handy for such occasions, uttering something like "This d*mn stove must be made by Microsoft..."
So this year well in advance of the day we mandated that my Mom get a new stove prior to Thanksgiving or we would be boycotting the event. At first we were met with some resistance; "That stove is BRAND NEW!" Ummm... just because you have only used it 40 times does not mean it is BRAND NEW!! That stove is old enough to legally drink!!
Long story longer, my Mom obliged and had this fabulous stainless steel G.E. Profile range installed the week before Thanksgiving. She even heeded our advice to test-drive it a few times before the Main Event. So we figured, what could go wrong?
Fast-forward to Thanksgiving Day and I hear my Brother call to our Dad, "Harry, we need you to come take the Turkey out." The thought did briefly cross my mind to wonder why a 6-foot-4 39 year old cannot take the Turkey out himself but I figured he just did not want to upset tradition, plus I was busy whooping my niece's butt at Go Fish so I remained quiet. My Dad sauntered by to go get the Turkey and then seconds later I hear this "WHOOOOOOOOOSH" and my Brother is screaming "HARRY! HARRY! GET OUT OF THE WAY." Turns out my Dad was taking the Bird out of the oven in its flimsy tin foil roasting pan and the pan bent, spilling the juices into the oven, where direct contact with the heating elements caused a fireball to shoot out directly at his head. Luckily he ducked and managed to hold onto the turkey, and the few hairs left on his head were unharmed, as was remarkably the ceiling. Guess who Santa will be bringing a REAL Roasting Pan to this year??
Thankfully no one was hurt and there was actually enough juice left to make the gravy, although my Mom was worried there wouldn't be and walked around muttering "Freaking Harry." And for those of you who are wondering "You call your Dad by his first name?" the answer is... not exactly. A good friend of mine once asked why my brother's name is Mike and not Harry Jr. The answer? "UMMM... because Harry's name is really Mike." But that's a story for another Blog. Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

That's what Casey Kasem would say... if he were talking about my website! It was just a few weeks ago I celebrated the 10,000th visit to; not even one month later, I'm proud to report that count is up over 12,500! I know there are a lot of repeat visitors to whom I should say THANKS!! And now that the shop renovations are complete, I'll have a LOT more time to post updates and Blog. The downside about the increase in traffic is, I have to be a little more careful about the Blogging, lest I offend any potential Repeat Customers with tales of what a pain in the arse they were to deal with... the good news is, there are plenty of characters around here who are always fair game. Like my Husband, for instance; he just walked by and I asked him "Do you know how to spell Casey Kasem?" (OK, first I really asked him Do You Know Who Casey Kasem Is? and THEN I asked him How Do You Spell His Name. Sometimes a 5-year age gap is more of a difference than you'd think.) Anyway he said he had no idea how to spell it so I pointed at the screen and said "Does this look right?" He stared for a minute and then mumbled "I think so... Wait a Minute, it's not Casey KaseN? with an N?" SIGH. So much for husbands... Thank God for Google!!