It wouldn't be Christmas if Mum didn't kill one of our cats. An otherwise delightful 60 minute drive into the depths of suburban Ontario was ruined when I tactlessly asked if both cats were still alive. This question prompted an all too familiar glare from my dad in the rear-view mirror, and muffled sobbing from mum in the passenger side. * silence * Apparently the answer to my question was 'no'.
And so began my trip back east for the Holidays.
The homestead. A few things we need to sort out first. Moth balls. In a word: Dreadful. And as I just very recently learned, a cousin to the urinal cake. Upon opening the folks front door I immediately began wheezing and gagging in mock-ish agony. In the infinite wisdom of those in the 1600's where by disguising a putrid smell with a slightly more floral putrid smell, Mum thought it appropriate to ignite some scented oils. I marched upstairs within minutes of arriving home and tore open the folks closet doors. My bionic nose had lead me right to a small mesh bag of what appeared to be mentos (not even close to being the fresh-maker) dangling at chin height from a hanger. I snatched them out of what would otherwise be a lovely walk in closet and tossed them over to Mum who obligingly pitched them in the rubbish. The smell lingered for days. Fortunately after three days of not leaving the place my nose became acclimatized and I couldn't smell a thing. Until that is I stupidly left the warmth, sandwiches and milky tea of my sanctum sanctorum for the cold outdoors. I left the house 3 times in 6 days.
After the assault on my olfactory senses, I was able to begin to familiarize myself with my surroundings. Over the phone Mum had warned me that she had put up the Christmas ornaments. “you'll probably think it's too much.”
She was right. There were 10 x-mas trees throughout the house, and there were bits of greenery and /or holly perched behind spare corners of picture frames. Real boughs and faux boughs sprung out of every available vessel or trimmed any semi-bare surface. Mum had decked the halls. A lot to take in, but the good news is the woman has good ornaments. There were only a couple which I pleaded with her to remove. By 4:00 on day 1 two trees had been removed. Granted, it was later that night I found one in the bathroom and one in her bedroom. So not really removed, so much as re-positioned. At least she has taste, and at least she doesn't adorn surfaces with musical light-up snowmen. Highly festive, and by day 2 the delicate pong of mothballs was waning, and the aroma of piragi was permeating every room instead. * sigh*
Ahhh Christmas. In my old age I've found it rather pleasant to simply eat and snooze myself into oblivion over The 'Hols'. Mums are great. They are great for baking, dinners, hugs and their old Ports blouses. I ransacked my mum's closet a few times and came away with some sweet stuff. The bad news is, my mum has owned these things and worn them for years, but on my first outing in any of them I manage to stain or spill on them. Guilt. Fortunately Christmas Eve was the exception, even draped in cobalt blue silk, and feeding 'the last cat standing' gravy I remained stain free. Of course the ungrateful beast left me three little shreds of sauerkraut from her Christmas gravy. But even those remained on the delftware dish and not down my front.
In conclusion: Dry-cleaning is a total rip-off. I had to clean two of my x-mas finds already. Natch. It cost $50 clams, and the stains are still there. Thank Christ I got a Tide To Go in my stocking. That's the other thing about Mom's, at least mine, they know what their children need. And that friends, is constant supervision. Even in her 30's.