december fifteenth

It is tea-time here in eastern Canada.

Because I just know y'all were dying to know what colour my stapler is

That is tea with milk, and some homemade trail mix (does anyone call it “gorp” anymore?), and my purple stapler.

What the Moose Post brought

It’s been an interesting day here at Chez WisePants. Sunshiney, with sparkly snow; temps in the low 20’s (F), and the doorbell rang four times before noon, announcing various package deliveries.

This was the most puzzling item to appear at our doorstep:

That’s one-third of a surprise gift from Sir Nicholas to me. It’s 35″ high, 22″ wide, and 14.5″ deep according to my trusty tape measure. (Of COURSE I actually measured it. Wouldn’t you have done? I measured it without touching it or peeking under the blue sheet. I was a good girl.)

Another third of that gift came today via a separate delivery truck, and was about the size of a toaster. The last part of the gift, according to Sir N., is on backorder until after Christmas, but is supposed to be about the same size as whatever is under that flannel sheet.

Now. I like surprises as much as the next gal, but I’m getting a bit more curious than usual about this one. That box is HEAVY, according to the shaking of the floors when the delivery dude dropped it on our porch. I know the approximate cost, because Nicholas was cheeky enough to order the things on the phone with me listening…by part numbers only.

I’ve already tried comparing the first few letters of the part numbers with those used by my favourite websites. ThreeSheeps does not use part numbers like that; nor does Boogie, WEBS, nor Carolina Homespun. They aren’t from Amazon; they’re not from Etsy nor eBay nor anywhere else I can think of. And I know they aren’t from a local place, because Nicholas was discussing customs charges during the phone order.

What the heck did he get me?

  • Not anything from IKEA, as Jen suggested. Part numbers and packaging don’t match up.
  • Not a loom (the cost wasn’t THAT much).
  • Not a spinning wheel (three boxes, people, really, really heavy).
  • I have a drumcarder, he doesn’t know what a picker is, and it’s too big to be combs.
  • If it were minions (which I really need), there would be holes in the boxes.
  • No one would order that many pairs of boots/cute shoes at once. Right?
  • Too small to be an alpaca (also: no holes), a musk ox, or a sheep. Plus: Doesn’t smell.
  • Too big to be an iPad or an iPhone.
  • Too heavy to be sock yarn or silk fibre.

I’m clueless. Any guesses?

Around our House O’ Holidays

We are such pathetic tree-hugging fools that it actually makes us sad to kill a tree for Christmas. (Yes, I know. Utter saps.) We have two artificial trees, one big (7 ft) and one small (4 ft). We put up the big one when we are feeling energetic and full of holiday sillies; we put up the smaller one in years when we are feeling like there is enough chaos in our lives without moving things around to accommodate seven feet of fake tree.

This year, what with the IKEA invasion still in evidence in our living room…

Where are the elves when you really need them?

…we decided to put up the small tree.


You will notice the small furry person who is apparently entranced by the lights. Yes, Tim loves the lights. He loves them so much that one day while we were out grocery shopping, he chewed the (unplugged) little green cord, causing all the lights to go out.

We go through this, every single year. Tim or Dusty or Zoe chews the cords, we come up with some battle strategy, they thwart our battle strategy. Every. Single. Year. We almost didn’t have lights on the tree this year, except…what is a Yule tree without LIGHTS?

So the small lightless tree went back to Santa’s workshop…

…and, of course, Santa’s Little Helper Tim had to come along to make sure his newest cat toy was properly taken care of.

Nicholas wrapped the lower cords carefully in electrician’s tape, which has worked well in previous years. We put the tree back…and caught Tim gnawing on one of the bulbs themselves.

A trip to the store, and we armed ourselves with some of this:

I put the cats in another room, and then I mixed up a solution of water and Tabasco, put it in an unused spray bottle (never to be used for anything else after this), and sprayed the tree, and the lights, and the cords, with the water/hot sauce mixture. (I DID NOT SPRAY AT THE CATS, OK. VERY BAD for eyes and sensitive noses.) I figured a coating of nasty-smelling Tabasco on the tree and lights would be a good deterrent.

Turns out: It is. Our tree is still lit, with zero damages, several days later.

(Pass the word to other kitty parents.)


Apparently, Ann loves Zoe as much as I do:

Sandi, I love you, but I want Zoe. She is beautiful!!!

You have good taste in cats, Ann. Zoe is a torby, a tortoiseshell tabby, with green eyes and the softest, sweetest-smelling fur ever. She’s very gentle, and loves, LOVES to be held and petted and fussed over (and told how beautiful she is).

I’m pretty sure she knows I am writing about her, because she just now came over to sit behind my laptop screen for a photo op.

Zoe is so loving that I’ve had friends say she could easily be a therapy cat, visiting the old and sick in hospitals. Zoe thinks that is a fine idea, as long as she gets to come home to her favourite person every day:

Zoe is Nicholas’s Girl. She adores Nicholas, to the point where we joke about me being The Other Woman. Zoe loves to sit in his lap, she loves to sit next to him while he works, and if I am sitting too close to Her Man then she will give me the Death Stare.

Unnervingly, she will purr whilst doing this. The Death Stare, accompanied by Disarming Purrs.


Today’s Random Good

Our family’s traditional Christmas Day breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon, and generous slices of sherry cake.

This recipe is very similar to the one Mom made back in my childhood except that my Mom only sprinkled powdered sugar on ours.

I’ll try to hunt down Mom’s recipe. I used to think that my grandma had made up our family sherry cake recipe until a friend showed it to me in a cookbook. I was crushed when I found out the cake wasn’t a family secret.

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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12 Responses to december fifteenth

  1. Lisa says:

    WHAT IIIIIISSSSSSS IT??? Now I’m dying of curiosity!

    A loom??

  2. Lynn says:

    How odd. What you call a stapler is what I call a tape dispenser. I think you’ve been living in Canada too long.

    The Box: None of my doing. Nope, none at all. I had absolutely zippo to do with it. (You’re not convinced, are you?)

  3. stitchesandwords says:

    That is a quite, quite intriguing box. I have no idea, sadly, so I can’t feed you hints or pick on you for having to wait and find out.

    I don’t have a tree, but there is a banister perpetually wrapped with green garland and lights, which I never remember to plug in. I think I will go turn those lights on now, since you’ve reminded me, thank you.

  4. Julie says:

    Sorry to say I am no help with your surprise. It’s definitely intriguing, though.

    I just have to comment how much I enjoy your posts!

    My family had a cat similarly colored to your Zoe and she was polydactyl as well. Her human was my father and she loved to sit on his knee and give us the evil eye, purring all the while. She could rip anyone to bits in an instant, but never clawed my father once. We still miss her. Thanks for the sweet memories!

    Thank you for the ideas for the tree as well. I’m hoping to put mine up this weekend but noticed one of mine already interested in chewing.

  5. Diane says:

    Nicholas bought you a box of Big. Generally, and in your case as well, a box of Big often comes packaged with Heavy.

    It could contain minions as they don’t need oxygen until they are released into the light. Clearly, they are in stasis until Christmas Morning (or Eve, depending on how you roll).

    Oh, and Lynn is correct. Stapler must be Canadian for Tape Dispenser. But aren’t you missing some OU’s in there? Like “stapelour”, or something.

    I think we’re foregoing a tree entirely this year. Between travel schedules and the Kitten of Doom, a tree would be, well, doomed.

  6. Naomi says:

    That’s why we used to decorate the potted Norfolk Island Pine (which is older than I am, so pretty big by the time I remember it). When we did “official” trees at my grandma’s, we’d take one of the eastern redcedars that my aunt didn’t want in her pasture, mostly because they smell nice. (I do kinda prefer the tabletop-sized fake tree, though. It just looks wrong ’cause it’s a fake spruce.)

  7. Mardi says:

    Big, heavy, notaloomorwheel…knitting machine? Ellyptical? I would guess loom, as it appear that Lynn had something to do with it and I can’t really see Sir N ordering exercise equipment. Heater/AC unit for the studio? Something other for the Studio?

    Whatever it is, I am now waaaay more excited about your Christmas than mine, because it is Lean Times here, and there will be no Big Mysterious Cant wait to find out! But knowing even a tad about Sir N, I know it will be magnificent!!

  8. Becky says:

    Sandy, I hated throwing out a real tree when I was a little girl, more than that it was cut in the first place. So for my birthday one November my mother bought me an artificial tree, which we used for many years. Now, I use a Christmas-tree-shaped candle as my tree.

    And in one of those strands of the Interwebs thing, the person who came up with that linked recipe is someone I knew from another Internet group.

    Thanks for happy memories!

  9. GinkgoKnits says:

    Isn’t disappointing how many “family recipes” end up being something printed on a carton 30 years ago? A lot of my family recipes are only tricky to duplicate because companies change the recipes on their boxes more frequently now.

    Best of luck with your tree. As much as I’d like to be more green, Christmas is my favorite holiday and I just can’t live without a real tree. My family got an eight foot tree but once it was home we all looked at and said, “it’s a beautiful tree but we could have gone bigger.”

  10. Jess says:

    I have no idea on the mystery boxen, but what about a storage system that isn’t from IKEA? Otherwise, I agree with Mardi – whatever it is, will be perfect.

    Also, I love your mug – it’s so happy!

  11. Sylvia says:

    Sandi, can I borrow that bottle with Tabasco water in it??? Apparently, my iphone charger cord tastes DELICIOUS as it is now in several pieces. Why the furry beast did not electrocute himself I do not know, but am very glad about – but the next iteration of Cord will have to be protected, clearly! First time he has ever done this, in 3 years of Life Together.

    Love the Blog Post a Day in December, thanks!

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