Monday, December 31, 2007

Coming to a close...

I leave for work in a few. The evening shift, don't ya know.

I've never been wrapped up in retail on New Year's eve before. Adventures abound surely.

I look forward to coming home this evening. I'll arrive moments before the new year rings in.

My house no doubt will be filled with sound and laughter.

...because the party is here this year.

I love that a party can be held at Britches Central, without Ms. Britches herself.

As I breeze in at the stroke of midnight, someone will have a glass of champagne and a kiss at the ready.

...what a way to start aught eight.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Coming down...

I'm sitting in a moment of quiet.

The men of the house are off in different rooms occupying themselves with PSP, XBOX 360, and football.

Yes, Santy was good to them. The extra job allowed for generosity this year, although it was stressed strenuously if there was to be quality the quantity would suffer.

They were agreeable.

Me? I am hastily spending an iTunes gift card as I type.

It bears repeating, I do love my iPod.

So as we go to our separate corners this evening, I'm catching up on my blog, others' blogs, and buying music to take me into the new year.

I'm a happy camper.

The clan Britches spend some time in the hills. We hung out in a log cabin, ate too much food, drank too much wine, and in general, engaged in all sorts of unhealthy debauchery.

...and that was just the kids.

Big Daddy and I did manage to take time out for a 2 hour hike. Afterwards we immediately made up for all the exercise by spending the evening drinking Guinness and Wheat and being entertained by a man too talented to be kept a secret in our little corner of the world.

People come back year after year to this tiny little downstairs bar to laugh (and by that, I don't mean a polite twitter or a giggle, I mean belly laughs-the kind that leave you exhausted and giddy when you are done), and sing, and feel a sense of community.

So even though I am in all ways content, I must admit I get depressed coming off of vacation.

I've decided it has nothing to do with the dread of going back to work, because I like my job.
It has nothing to do with having to leave a place I love, because I know I'll go back.
It has nothing to do with leaving people I love, because I get to take them with me.

I'm a creature of habit. My body and spirit crave a schedule, even if my heart doesn't want one. I don't understand it and I don't like it, but there it is.

I liken it to when a baby gets off his schedule. He gets cranky.

So, I am a happy camper with a little rain cloud over the top of my head.

As for you, if you found yourself melancholy during the holidays (as many people do), I hope there was something or someone close by to bring you comfort.

I hope your holidays were joyous and funny and poignant-as mine were.

I look forward to reading all about them.

...right now.


Friday, December 28, 2007

The Prodigal Returns

Coming back from four idyllic days in the hills of the Ozarks leaves me melancholy.

Thanks to Montgomery for a touching guest post. It took me two days to quit tearing up every time I thought of it.

I'll share more of our adventures soon.

I need to start a load of laundry and get a fire started.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Post in Which Monty-The Belligerent Cynic- Contributes to the Blog of Pants in Her Time of Need

Hello all, Montgomery Jack Farnsbooth here.

I have kidnapped Miss Sugar, and will be posting for her in my own classy way... MWAHAHAHA!!!

Anyways! I haven't really kidnapped her but she is busy working and has decided to have someone else keep things up and running...

So I'm Blog-sitting... And it better damn well pay....

So, the Christmas days are coming, and the controversies, old clay-mation cartoon specials, and bonuses (i wish!) with it.

A snow covered town, hot Wasil (yes, this is spelt right, pronounced wah-sil[as in baby noise and a window sill]), and cookie S'mores cooked over iron pot fires. This is Christmas for the Britches family.In a previous post Pants mentioned Silver Dollar City. Well I'm here to give an in detail description of the wondrous times that are spent there at Christmas time._________________________________________________________________

The gates are in sight!!! The two triangle billboards are crystal clear in the flurried night. The trip to the heavily wooded parking lot holds us in its frosty anticipation, as we slowly mount the climbing winding hill.We search for a spot and are victorious in our venture and we all pile out.

Immediately the trunk is popped and all of our winter wear is grabbed until it's hard to discern one from the other except by the color jacket we wear. We slowly run to the round-about to wait for the open air tram to shuttle us to the city on the coldest ride in the park.

We sit in electric anticipation of the wonders that await us on the other side of the tree line, though we have been raised on the sight, at winter it's remodeled in our minds, the memories of years past refurbished, and the congregation of the mass emotion hits us all as we smile, sigh, then run like maniacs to the turn-stile so the ole gaffers, all decked out in suits and top hats, await to grant us entrance to the kingdom of the Ozarks, with it's fires smoking away keeping the streets warm, trade shops of all sorts lit merrily as we stroll down the lane, with soft whispers of caroling in the trees.

As we huddle together in the warmth of family, in the way only an over-mind of years of tradition can, we stroll subconsciously to the first and most important stop of the night....IT'S SANTA!!!!!!!! Amongst all the tiny tot's and toddlers who await with baited breath to see the man of all their Christmas dreams, they're are two teenagers with their eager mother, as she claps her hands together in rapid fashion, in a way only a mother who has had years of practice can, shudders and yells "YAAAAAY!!! IT’S SANTA!!!!!!" And the two young men(As she HATES being told that they are) roll their eyes, look at each other and smile, knowing that there is no other place in the world that is quite like Silver Dollar City in the winter.

The two of them mount the stage and sit on the air over Santa's lap, trying not to break the poor old man, because, as I said, these two young men do weigh just a bit more than they look, being corn fed and all. They sit with aching thighs as the minutes tick by as Santa tells you nice things jolly old men are supposed to say, such as, the joy of Christmas may never be forgotten, as long as it lives forever in your hearts, and the hearts of all those you meet, and they just wish that they would take the blasted photograph before their legs will fall off their da...~FLASH~ The picture is taken! And we slowly and proudly leave, having saved another Santa from a destroyed lap, and improving the fortress of memories our mother has in the delicate snowflake ornaments, containing pictures dating back since Little was born of her two little boys and Santa.

We make our way through the children, hugging our mother as she fondles her sons, and go to the next stop in our agenda to pick up yet another hardy token of the Ozarkian City of Lights. Down the winding lanes and trees, and through allies and shops of warmth and homeliness, we make our way to the Smithy to receive the reward for our faithful attendance to every festival, the pewter ornament of a building in the city in its entire holiday garb! “OOH!"Our dear matriarch exclaims " They cast this years after the tree on the square!" meaning of coarse the giant 5-story Christmas tree that sings and dances with it's spectacular show of songs that is enough to make any man with his family cry.

"Well, we can go home now..." says our father with a smirk on his face as he turns towards hill street(Cardiac hill, heart attack hill, cardiac street, hardy cardy heart attack hill and all other names given the steepest hill in the city)

"SAYS YOU!" say me and my brother in the best manners possible, then promptly turn our backs on them and flea to the Christmas tree to see the show, because it has just started, and is' playing the carol of the bell's, our favorite one!

The tree erupts in a display , with it's multi colored lights chasing each other over the tier's of candles lighting the sections, the angels proclaiming joyous refrains, and the familiar ghosts and spirits of past, present, and future, meld together into one bountiful creature of holiday festivity and shout into the heavens it's most merry greeting “MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! AND MAY GOD BLESS US! EVERY ONE”!

As I run, I turn back to see my dad chuckling as he turns and looks around at the trees and lights in a place that time has forgot and will never remember, at the place that he worked and toiled for more than a wage, and slowly turns and gives his last tender gaze towards the beautiful girl that he caught so many years ago, and soundly kisses her, amid the lights, sounds, and smells in the one place that love will never be forgotten, as long as there is one piece of popcorn (or one popcorn seller) to be swept up.___________________________________________________________________

And such is a Christmas tale from Monty, to Britches and all her readers. Merry Christmas Y'all!

And as I sit here in my Vicodin induced euphoria in the early morning of Christmas Eve, I hear the clangor of a wood stove burning up fuel, I remember presents needing to be wrapped, and I anticipate, with Silent mouth, to hear the sleigh bells on the sleigh of the jolly old man of Christmas dreams.

And so I leave you, with but an echo of Christmas cheer in the lofts.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'll See You Anon.

I'm busty.

Oops. I meant busy.

Work has me swamped. I'm trying to prepare for Christmas, and sleep, and uphold obligations. I may be absent for a few days.

...but check in. Monty's lurking in the lofts.

Tooth update...

The wisdom teeth were extracted successfully yesterday.

After a Vicoden and a long nap, Big was ready for bear. He went to a party last night. So, obviously the horror stories he was subjected to at school did not come to pass.

I went in with him yesterday very blase' about the whole matter. People get this done everyday.

Then they started hooking him up to an EKG and preparing the I.V..


Ah, I think I've changed our minds. Is this really necessary?

I don't know what I was (and wasn't) thinking. I mean, it is called oral surgery.

It's just having your child hooked up to machinery and poked and prodded just didn't set well with me.

I know he's damn near a grown man. ...and it doesn't matter a whit.

Fear clenched me in the belly for a second-the what ifs.

I quickly flicked them aside and went on with it. ...or at least Big went on with it.

He slept and dreamed of milkshakes.

I sat in the waiting room and fretted.

He got the better end of the deal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is my 100th post

...and that's all I have to say about that.

Tooth and Nail

What’s the fascination we Americans have with teeth?

They need to be blindingly white and perfectly straight to be accepted in today's society.


Is it a health issue?

The reason I ask is because I did some figuring. The money I have spent/will spend on straightening my sons’ teeth would purchase a new car. …A fekkin’ nice new car.

I don’t begrudge my children dental hygiene and dazzling smiles, but why do I feel it so necessary?

It’s because I do what I’m told and the media tells me that if I ever hope to have my sons marry and become successful they have to have perfect teeth.

I never went to a dentist as a child. Not once. I was pregnant with Big the first time I darkened the door. Prissy didn’t believe in dentists. She feared them and wouldn’t hear of us going unless we were in pain. Therefore we brushed like maniacs twice a day.

I was fortunate. My first visit to the dentist I was told I had the mouth of a twelve year old. (I’m still not sure what he meant by that.) A few fillings and a root scaling was all that was required.

I guess that started me down the wayward path. By God, my kids would visit the dentist regularly. …and they do. We all do.

But the orthodontist is a different animal. I understand that there are times when orthodontia is needed for more than just cosmetic reasons. And some people’s teeth are so bad that it causes issues in their communication and health. But has anyone ever died because their teeth were crooked?

When I took Big for his first evaluation, I had one done also. I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my mouth. I have some crowding on the bottom, but the real problem is my ability to eat corn through a picket fence. Both of my sons have inherited this unfortunate affliction as well.

I also hate having my picture taken. Not because I’m unattractive. I happen to be devastatingly beautiful. (You should see me.) But because when I smile, all you see is my upper gums. This tragedy marred my face and destroyed my budding modeling career. (Was it that or my fat ass? …I forget.)

I was told my jaw would have to be broken and reset and then braces for three years. I decided at that point that my family would probably need to eat a few times over the next few years, so financially this probably wasn’t in my best interest. That and why would anyone have their jaw broken on purpose?

Big is out of his braces. He gets his wisdom teeth cut out Friday-as to not ruin the orthodontia. Little will get his braces, fingers crossed and enough extra hours at the 2nd job, this summer.

So, I’m doing as I’m told. I want to assure my sons grown up to marry fashion models, become presidents of successful dot com companies, and vacation in Tuscany.

…I am nothing if not obedient.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Found Tonight

One bottle of hot sauce. with the panties.

I spent the rest of the night humming this little ditty.

Muy Caliente!

Monday, December 17, 2007

In the City

Last night I got to spend some time with the men in my life.

With me working extra hours and Big assembling tacos in his spare time, it’s a rarity the four of us are together to go somewhere.

This is where we went.

In know. I know. A theme park?


An 1880’s Ozarks mining town. Complete with thrill rides and overpriced, fatty-albeit fantastic-food. …and it’s Christmas time, when The City is at its best.


Of course.

That’s part of its ample charm and I will love this park till the day I die. It’s one of my favorite places in life. It’s special for a couple of reasons:

It was my first job. It combined my love of the theatrical with my need for gas money. It was theatrical because I got to play dress up everyday and get paid for it. It was and still is about 30 miles from home and it became my little corner of the world. It was a place where no one knew me and didn’t find me awkward or weird. I met interesting people and enjoyed my work. I fell in like a couple of times and in love once. Two summers belonged to The City and I treasure the time I spent there.

I met Big Daddy.

I was working the popcorn wagon one day and there he was-sweeping the streets. I got that curl in my belly. You know-the one you get when you see someone special. …and there was indeed something sexy-special about the dark-haired, bearded young man walking my way. He stopped to sweep up the popcorn that had fallen under the wagon. We started a conversation and he went about his way.

The next day I saw him again. But alas, there was no popcorn under my wagon to be swept away. So I put some there. Not much, just a couple of handfuls thrown out the window when no one was looking. Of course he was obligated to come clean it away.

Every day after, there would be popcorn under my wagon. I would complain loudly about how messy people were and apologize profusely that he had to stop and sweep everyday.

He said it was no great hardship.

So I chased him until he caught me.

The boys roll their eyes when I drag this little jewel out for others to hear. But most people don’t mind hearing how BD cleaned the popcorn out from under my wagon.

I’ve got a story about bar-b-que sauce, too. ...but that one I’m not tellin’.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

People are...

pigs and thieves.

I'm beyond tired.

My feet hurt.

I have a blister on my big toe.

I have a headache.

I have to piddle around for at least an hour because I can't sleep right away when I get off work this late.

I'm cranky.

So everyone else went to bed to let me stew in my sour mood.

Good call, Ya'll.

Why are people pigs?


They prowl through the clothing and, when they are done, they throw it on the floor or discard it in the produce aisle.

I realize fully that my job is to pick up after people and refold 7000 shirts a night. I have no problem with this and I am not too proud to pick up after people. But still-a little common courtesy would be nice.

This evening a woman handled a shirt. (as women we can't just look. We have to feel it, hold it up against us, look at it frontwards and backwards ask anyone near us if they think it would make our ass look fat) It was on a table I was refolding. When she was done, she looked right at me, and threw it down.

...and walked away.

Thank you for shopping with us, Ma'am.

Why do I call people thieves?

...because. We'll take anything and hide the packaging in the socks.

Working the unmentionables department I have found torn and empty packaging for:

hearing aid batteries,
lip liner,
cell phone holders,
candy wrappers,
earring cards
wallets (where's the irony there?)

One night I found two empty memory card packages hidden in with the thong underwear.

What does that mean?

I think in everyone's best interest I'm going to try the warm milk thing tonight.

...or maybe just some Advil with a vodka chaser.

Yeah. I think I like that better.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remotely Interesting

Primal wrote about giving up TV Tuesday and it made me think of my own viewing habits.

I shared that I actually watch quite a bit of network programming online sans the commercials and on my timetable. It’s a great alternative. This whole writers’ strike business may put the kibosh on that soon however.

When I was eight or so, I got an old hand me down black and white for my bedroom. That’s right folks. I had my own TV.

I was popular for a good week and a half.

To my own children, this story is not a big deal. They’ve never even seen a black and white TV and-the spoiled brats-they’ve always had one in their room.

I guess this is proof in the pudding that we as Americans are an overindulged and lazy lot. I wonder how many TV sets the average American have in their home? I guess I could look it up, but I’m disinclined being lazy and overindulged and all.

The big thing here is that there was no remote. We didn’t even know what a remote was since they hadn’t been invented yet. As a matter of fact, Bubby and I were the remote control. Any time a parental unit would want the channel changed or the volume turned up, we would get our little fannies off the couch and do it for them. And we had to be quick about it. If Dad missed something because we didn’t get up fast enough there would be hell to pay.

Changing the channel also required grabbing a knob and turning. There was a satisfying ‘Chunk, Chunk’ noise that went with changing the channel. You couldn’t change the channel too fast or you’d get yelled at.

Don’t turn that knob so fast- you’ll break it!

So we had to very slowly and carefully turn the knob. Then we had to adjust the volume until it was just perfect for the folks. This could take several passes. While you were there it was often necessary to adjust the vertical or horizontal lines that would blip across the screen. This would require using yet another knob or perhaps a little wheel across the bottom of the panel.

The rabbit ears also need adjusting and sometimes we would have to stand by the TV holding the foil covered antennae. This was usually at a crucial point in the news or Little House on the Prairie. If we moved, the picture would go fuzzy and there would be that aforementioned hell to pay.

We were always tempted to sit very close to the TV. This wasn’t because we couldn’t see or couldn't hear. It was simply a matter of logistics. We didn’t have far to travel if our channel changing skills were called upon. This however didn’t fly with Prissy, because sitting that close to the TV was obviously bad for your eyes and we’d go blind. And when the color TV finally came around, it could explode and kill us if we sat that close. (Much the same as eating Pop Rocks and drinking Coke simultaneously would cause certain death.)

When turning off the TV, you’d have a high-pitched whining noise that continued for several minutes after you turned the thing off. This was a sure sign it was cooling off. The whining was often accompanied by cracks and pops. Then. Finally. That little dot in the center of the screen would fade and disappear.

There were only three stations available back in the day-four if you were in an area that got PBS. Then you could watch educational programming. I learned to count to ten in Spanish by watching Sesame Street and I did not take up smoking by watching Alistair Cookie smoke a cookie pipe and then eat it.

This is a sad reflection on today’s society.

But the topic here is the TV itself. I very rarely make a statement that is remotely (ah, no pun intended) political or controversial. I’m not that blogger.

...and I won’t start now. So what is viewed isn’t my topic as much as the device itself.

Nowadays the television comes in forms and sizes galore. You can HDTV yourself into a stupor-surround yourself with surround sound. Record what you what when you want it.

You don’t have to wait for The Wizard of Oz to come around once a year and mesmerize you in black and white. You can watch it anytime. In color. You can adjust the volume from across the house and stop and start the action at will.

…without getting up.

My boys sit across the room and several feet from the TV.

This is good. You never know when that thing might blow.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Over the Beer Barrel

When did the accordion make its comeback?

Well, if not a comeback, when did it become acceptable in modern society?

As a (small) child of the 70's, this instrument was the subject of ridicule. Being a sensitive child, I remember distinctly in the 4th grade Karl Howser bringing in his accordion for show and tell. He played his little nine year old heart out and I sat there hands folded in my lap embarrassed for him. Its a feeling I recalled years later watching David Brent in The Office. I hate that feeling!

But I also have a warm spot for the accordion. A nostalgic feeling as I pay homage to my Polish heritage and I conjure up summers sneaking into the tavern. I remember the smell of beer and sweat and cigarette smoke. I see the knees of excited adults polka-ing passed me in a great circle around the room.

My point being-the accordion is an old people instrument

Until now.

Last Christmas my music loving eldest son declared his interest in learning to play the accordion.

"What?" I said. "The accordion?" I then collapsed into a fit of laughter enjoying my son's dry sense of humor.

"Son," I said. "I really would like you to have sex someday and I don't think accordion skills will be a conduit."

"No, really." he said.

"Well!" Big Daddy barked. "I think it's cool!"

So, thanks to BD's open mind and Ebay, Big got an accordion for Christmas last year.

He then proceeded to take it to school and show it off. I started sweating. Images of Karl Howser popped into my brain. Big would be ridiculed, mocked, chastised. He'd get swirlies in the men's room.

However, arriving home that night, he was the bell of the ball. Everyone thought his accordion was the coolest thing ever.


Had the accordion never really left? Had I been blind?

Earlier this year I went to a rock concert. During the acoustic portion of the show, the keyboard player brought out an accordion. I started to giggle. I just knew the comedy portion of the show was coming up.

I was wrong. Instead they played the entire set with the accordion instead of the keys. And get was freakin' fantastic!

Then... I got hooked on Arcade Fire. When would this accordion madness end?

In a fit of apoplexy, I had an epiphany.

I was a snob. An accordion snob.

Why shouldn't I embrace this noble instrument? Why wasn't I?

What's next for my reformation? The melodica? The glockenspiel? The Hurdy-Gurdy?

I had shamed myself.

I immediately begged Big to forgive my bigotry.

This Friday night Big makes his debut.

He'll play accompaniment on the accordion, music he has composed, to a choir piece called Noche' de Lluvia.

It is beautiful.

The only regret I have now is that Flogging Molly has their accordion player back full time.

My hopes for Big are dashed.

Hey! Maybe he can start his own band! He can feature his brother on the Tuba.


I really wanted grand kids.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Places I Think

This was fun. Sad, but fun. There are still so many places to go-and to think. (Thanks, Dr. Seuss)

My map looks like I jumped from North America landed on a trampoline in England and bounced to India.

I sat on the runway in Shannon while the plane refueled, but I never disembarked. So- it doesn’t count. Had I actually stepped foot on Irish soil, I would have included it.


Here’s the link. It’s great fun.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hot Damn!

Yeah, I’m playing with my avatar again.

I don’t know why I find fiddling with that thing so dang much fun! I think it reminds me of paper dolls when I was a kid.

My new whatzit there on the side features Ms. Britches enjoying a hot beverage in front of a roaring fire. I enjoy this pastime immensely and hopefully during the hustle and bustle of the next few weeks, I’ll get the opportunity to do it often.

But our weather here is fickle. A fire needed in the morning can quickly change to the AC wanted in the afternoon.

This past Sunday showcased a typical Missouri change of weather. We started the morning in the freakishly high 60’s. I walked out on my back deck with my coffee and it just felt wrong. I kept thinking, “Something wicked this way comes.”

A few hours later a straight line wind blew through and knocked the temperature down by 30 degrees.

In the morning I was in bare feet in my back yard. By two in the afternoon we shivered watching Little march with his sexy tuba in the Christmas parade.

But I digress. (from what I don’t know, but nonetheless…)

Ah, yes. Hot beverages.

I enjoy many kinds, but here is list for those of you who are still reading.

Coffee- Every morning. Boon says I drink ‘truck stop’ coffee because it’s always so strong. I like dark, rich brews. Kona is one of my favorites. I drink it with half and half and NO SUGAR EVER.

Tea-I am an occasional tea drinker. And it’s always in the winter. I go in spurts. I’ll have tea every day for two weeks and then I won’t touch it the rest of the year. Prissy has collected tea pots forever. Now I have a storage-shed full and no earthly idea what to do with them. They should be displayed. But, where? I think I’d like to make one pot in each before I decide. My own little homage to the after-nap pot of tea Prissy would serve when I was a tot. She had this odd little cozy fashioned after a milk maid. I do like sugar in hot tea and a bit of milk. Half and half seems too heavy for tea. Huh.

Cranberry tea- This really isn’t tea at all. I think it is called such because you actually steep the cranberries. In the end, it’s a mixture of fresh cranberry juice, orange juice, pineapple juice and cinnamon. It’s hot yummy goodness that makes the whole house smell like a party whiles it’s simmering. Adding a shot of cinnamon schnapps to the final product pushes me over the edge to dang near nirvana.

Hot Chocolate- Adding a touch of cinnamon schnapps to the final product pushes me over the edge to dang near nirvana. (Did I say that already?) This combination is a thermos must-have for standing along the parade route.

Mulled Wine-
I love to make a batch of this when I’m snowed or iced in. It’s altogether lovely to be trapped inside a cozy house watching Mother Nature run rampant. This has to be drunk from my crystal mug with etching on the side.

Snobby, ain’t I?

Baileys Coffee-MMM, Baileys. This is the only time I like sweet coffee. I have a recipe to make my own Irish cream. Eagle Brand and Irish Whiskey are the two main ingredients.

What won’t I drink?

Let’s see.

Pre-fab cappuccinos- I’m not a fan. The kind you get at convenience stores are so sickeningly sweet I’m gagging half way through.

Warm milk-I’ve never tried it. Does it really help you sleep?

Maybe I’ll give it a go after an evening shift at Wal-Mart.

I wonder how it would be with cinnamon schnapps.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Silly Boys

I got off work a few hours ago. I spent the day putting out winter coats, ladies' bras, and long underwear.

I thought I'd come home, drink some wine, eat a little supper-let Big Daddy wait on me. You know-make the day seemed way worse than it really was to garner a little sympathy.

Instead I have three teenage boys in my living room giggling like little girls.

Let's play Scrabble!

No way. Cranium!

I hate Cranium.

Then run next door and get Clue.


Oh, look! It's Jack Black on TV.

More giggles and no board games.

Lots more Jack Black.

Go get Clue. You'll be the one to disappoint Mom if you don't.

No way.

Ah, Yeah.

Still no Clue.

Me: It's OK, Guys. really.

More laughter.

More noise.

...lots more wine.

Did I mention I'm in Heaven?