A Christmas Memory

A Christmas memory? What?  You're probably sitting at your desk shrieking, "Mrs. Nesbitt, has the Oklahoma heat gotten to you? Have you done gone mad?"

Well, "mad" is a relative term and today I think I'm relatively close. Factor in the following things: summer vacation, a holiday which involves 20+ guests and explosives, some business drama I'd rather not disclose (nor deal with, to be quite honest), a week of Camp Nesbitt wherein my three children and my sister's kids camp out at my house and we watch gratuitous amounts of "Phineas and Ferb", make pom-pom crafts and God's Eyes and eat a lot of hot dogs and the fact I have PMS and you now know why I am dragging out a Christmas memory for you today.

Consider it my gift to you, while you sweat and watch your hair frizz in the humidity, you can read about a simpler time, a cooler time, a time in which the scene opens to the Nesbitt kitchen, December 2009.....


...........The kids and I watched A Christmas Story the other day and ya know, that is one movie that never gets old and always amuses the heck out of me. I particularly love the dad and his penchant for swearing. I know, it shows a lack of intelligence to swear and all that, but the 12 year old in me still finds cussing absolutely hilarious. The scene at the end of the movie where neighbor Bumpus' dogs bust through the kitchen door and make short work of devouring their turkey is rip-snorting hysterical to me because the dad's cussing is so hilarious.

Tuesday morning Cousin Courtney and Conner came out to make Christmas candy. Okay, really Conner had nothing to do with it; he served to entertain my children, thus keeping them from bugging us in the kitchen. She and I work very well together and just enjoyed dipping and sugaring and melting and stirring and laughing.

We made chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate-covered caramel corn, chocolate suckers and some Double Chocolate Ooey Gooey Marshmallow Pillows That Will Surely Put You Into a Diabetic Coma for the Holidays. Courtney also decided to try her hand at peanut butter balls, which she thought were just peanut butter and powdered sugar mixed together. I had no idea, but it sounded good to me. They lacked some substance. We're thinking there might've been another ingredient or two. As she was trying to glop the balls of conglomeration into the molten chocolate they were disintegrating, so I suggested freezing them.

She plopped the gooey messes onto a cookie sheet and because my boy-child was the one who was breezing through the kitchen in search of Koolade at that particular moment he was the one who was nominated to run them to the freezer on the back carport. We carried on with more candy-making and about 45 minutes later she wondered if I thought the peanut butter balls were set up enough to dip and headed to the back door to find out. I visually followed her path through my utility room and caught sight of my office window which looks onto the carport. It was then noticed something - the freezer door was open.

It's a large stand-up freezer and when the door is open it blocks the window completely. I screamed "THE DOOR IS OPEN!" Courtney jumped and said, "No, the back door's shut, Mrs. N." I said, "OH MY GOSH THE FREEZER DOOR IS OPEN!" and I all but knocked my itty bitty cousin over as I plowed past her to....well, I don't know what I thought I was going to do.

We both blasted out onto the carport to find frozen Schwan's pizzas all over the ground and as soon as we hit the concrete cats started flying out of the freezer like they were being catapulted. (Get it, CATapulted? Ha! I slay me.) Out flew the gigantic tom cat, Michelle Duggar (Yes, we have a cat named Michelle Duggar. She's quite...uhm....fertile), that fuzzy black and white thing and the hateful black one with one white whisker - all of them feasting upon the icy delights beheld in my freezer. I, of course, started cussing. And hollering. And shrieking. And between my wailing I heard my oldest say to my male offspring, "OHHHHH you better get ready because you are about to get BEAT!" I also vaguely remember him saying, "BUT I SHUT IT! I SWEAR!" All that was background to the blood pounding in my ears. I do remember kicking the dog who thought us being there was some kind of permission to continue on what he had been doing, which was gnawing on a frozen package of hamburger. Seriously, dog has some crazy strong teeth to have gotten through half a pound of frozen hamburger.

Courtney was laughing and I knew I should've been, too, but at the time all I could think was why on earth do we have SO MANY CATS? When I finally calmed down enough to see straight and quit verbally threatening my son's behind and the life of every feline on our property I started taking stock of the damage. Half a package of hamburger, gone. One frozen chicken, gnawed on and scratched. I tossed both of those out into the yard. I looked up at the cookie sheet of peanut butter balls and said, "Courtney, I think your peanut butter balls are okay! They look okay!" She, however, was not convinced. She shook her head and said, "Ohhhh, I don't know....that fuzzy cat was right there when got out here....I'm not sure...." I reassured her they were fine, so she pulled the cookie sheet off the shelf. I was still checking out the three rolls of frozen Blue & Gold sausage to make sure there were no teeth marks on any of them when I heard her bust out laughing.

I looked up to find her holding the cookie sheet in my face. She said, "Uhm.....the balls are NOT fine. LOOK!" Sure enough, there were three balls gone and nothing left in their place except for frozen smears with cat-tongue prints in them. At that point, I allowed myself to laugh.

After I secured the freezer and double-checked the door, we went back in the kitchen and it occured to me that I had just been Bumpused. No, it wasn't the Christmas turkey on my dining room table that was obliterated by the neighbor's hounds, but instead my cousin's balls in my freezer by my own cats.


See, don't you feel cooler and more refreshed already?

~~Mrs. Nesbitt

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