Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Snapped Rabbit

Photo Courtesy of Hershey's
   There is almost no greater joy than the pure chocolaty goodness that lies in the rectangular patterns of a Hershey’s bar.  While some people enjoy cigarettes or liquor or even illegal drugs of choice, my addiction lies in the innocence of a candy bar.  It is something that is enjoyed in small pieces, savored, one rectangle at a time.  Whatever genius designed this heavenly creation, divided the bar into 12 miniature rectangles, all looking like a small version of the whole.  It’s mind boggling if you really think about it.  It’s much like putting two mirrors together and seeing into infinity.  With each bite of Hershey’s bar you find more rectangles calling your name.   A wise person knows not to listen to their sirens call, but to snap off only one or two pieces and move on without looking back.  

Photo Courtesy of B Jobse
   My children know the power of the Hershey’s bar and fully understand that stressful events can bring on the dipping of chocolaty bites into a jar of JIF peanut butter.  It’s a marriage that no man can ever put asunder.   While the old saying goes “Don’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar”  I’ve discovered that my entire hand fits into a jar of JIF peanut butter when I think no one is looking.  It has happened more than once that I’ve been caught at the midnight hour with my hand deep in the JIF jar with chocolaty crumbs all around.   

   Around Easter, the Hershey’s company raises the bar on confectionery delights by bringing us “Snapsy,” a chocolate Easter bunny with body parts carefully molded to “snap” apart into mouth-size pieces.  Everyone knows that ears are the first body part to go on Easter Bunnies and Snapsy was designed for the entire auditory section to break away first.  Now, I admit to cheating on Hershey’s during the Lenten season because of a secret pleasure in biting off the ears of tiny generic brand bunnies, but Snapsy has brought me back into the fold.  The discovery of this magical creature taught me brand loyalty as my daughter and I learned that Snapped Rabbit may actually bring more joy than the twelve tiny bars of the standard Hershey’s candy bar.  Of course, Snapped Rabbit is only available at Easter.  This is probably for the best, as I’m not sure that one could endure such joy all year long without losing appreciation for the gift they had been given. 

   For about a week, once a year, after school snacks include Snapped Rabbit.  I’ve discovered that this is concerning to visiting friends when offered such culinary delights.   An instant look of panic comes over the children’s faces as my own children and I clamor to retrieve refrigerated bunny parts.  Once they see that there is no braised rabbit in a pot and only peanut butter and chocolate, they welcome Snapped Rabbit with open arms and open mouths.   

   Sadly, my daughter still prefers the hollowed out chocolate bunnies that she can slowly devour body part by body part.  No snapping is required, just giant, aggressive bites.  I have to admit that there is something therapeutic about biting off the heads of these creatures, but it's just too difficult to dip the fragile parts in peanut butter.  The chocolate breaks off in the jar and once again, you find yourself wrist deep in the JIF jar trying to gather bunny parts.    

   The Easter season is over now and it's time to toss out the remaining body parts lying around the house.  Chocolate legs and tails remain in cellophane packages and will never be enjoyed. Snapsy, who was brilliantly designed with an algebraic method for manipulating assorted shapes into bunny parts, is long gone. We will now return to an orderly world of geometric solids made of Hershey's love and chocolaty goodness.  Life is good. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Wild Goose Chase


   Who knew that a male goose could fit the entire length of his neck through a chain link fence to ward off predators or helpful strangers trying to rescue stray goslings who had wandered away from their pond?  Some things like this would be helpful to know in advance. 
   This afternoon, my daughter was tooling around the neighborhood on her golf cart when I received the most distressful phone call from her.  “Mom, come quick” is all I heard as visions of child snatchers or head on collisions came to mind.   I could tell from her voice that something was terribly wrong.  I finally pieced together context clues from panicked cries for help and determined that the baby geese at the neighborhood pond were on the wrong side of the fence and needed rescuing.  

   Unable to convince my daughter that we shouldn’t intervene, I headed out on a wild goose chase.  My son drove me to the pond where I found three girls, none with shoes, running up and down the fence line traumatizing the goslings with their failed attempts to get them back under the fence.  The girls ran one way and the geese ran the other.  By the time I got close enough, two babies were stuck between fence posts and one had taken cover in a large cinder block.  The wedged goslings managed to squeeze through the fence, but landed in the wrong yard.  This time they had pushed their way into the yard of a K9 guard dog. The girls screamed, “The dog is going to eat them! Save them Mom!”  As I placed my head close to the fence post and reached into Cujo’s back yard, Father Goose tried to take a plug out of my head.   At the same time, one barefoot girl realized she was stepping in goose poop and left the rescue effort in disgust.  I was trying to keep my eyes from being plucked out by a ticked off goose as I reached for the goslings and prayed that I wouldn’t have my hand bitten off by a trained German Shepherd.  The geese were out of reach and Father Goose was too close for comfort.  I didn't want to come out of this blind and one handed.  

   I opted for the goose in the concrete block and managed to get him to an opening in the fence where he was reunited with one very rude male goose.  About the same time, my daughter was climbing the fence to enter the dog’s back yard when I plucked her down and explained how the guard dog would eat her, too.  We waited a while and determined that the dog was either asleep or inside and we left the goslings to hide in the ivy and wait for better help than us.   A large pink note was left on the door of the guard dog’s home.  It said, “There are two baby geese in your back yard.  Please don’t let your dog eat them. -Allie  (I live in your neighborhood).”  That should be fun to find when they get home. 

   A few hours later, I drove down the road and all eight goslings were back with their parents again, swimming around the pond.   I don’t know if Mother and Father Goose took matters into their own hands (feet) or if the neighbors got the note.  Either way, a happy ending was had by all, except the girl who stepped in goose poo. 

Disclaimer:  It goes without saying that this video will never win any awards, as half way through, it is suddenly shot sideways.  I'm uncertain why the sudden change of angle, but you never know what you'll find on my daughter's phone. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Bus Is Almost Full

    The day my children were born, I began snapping photos, left and right, like some crazy woman.  With my first born, digital cameras weren't available, so I have a million Sears Portrait photos of my son with teddy bears, giants Christmas ornaments and large plastic numbers one through five.   I have enough photo sheets to wallpaper all the bedrooms in my house.  By the time my daughter arrived, we had purchased a digital camera.  She has many of the same photos as my son, but they are versions I took at home with kittens, puppies, and giant bows.  Having the digital original allowed me to only print what I needed, so I don't have quite as many prints of her.   Select sizes were placed in frames and put on display for all to see.

    While shopping for frames for all of my photos, I ran across two picture frames that looked like buses.  There was room in the bus to put your child's photo for each year of school, Kindergarten through twelfth grade.  My children were nowhere near school age, so there was no concern about the bus ever filling up, because that would certainly take a hundred years.   I thought it would be a cool thing to have a photographic progression of them aging.  I never realized that it was simply a countdown for their leaving the nest.  

    Lo and behold, I blinked, and the first day of Kindergarten rolled around.  As a young mom, I was so excited when picture day came and I could put the first picture on that bus.  My son was officially on the bus to graduation and I had twelve more empty spaces to fill. This could be fun, I thought.

    He continued to fill up the bus as my daughter took her place in the front seat of her bus...  a brunette beauty with bangs in Mary Janes and matching cropped pants and top.   The riders on the bus continued to board on an annual basis until my son reached about ninth grade.  He pointed out that when the bus filled up, he would drive away.  That was the last picture I put in the buses.  A subconscious denial kept me from selecting new photos of the kids to put in their escape vehicles.  My son reminded me that I couldn't stop the bus from leaving and someday I would have to put those photos in.  

    After two years of procrastination, and recognizing that college was around the corner, I finally broke down and loaded more photos on the bus.  I held my son's bus up and pointed out that there was only one seat left.  I suggested we put a picture of me there, but we both knew that would never work.  I know after next year, he will drive away and it breaks my heart.  My daughter's bus still has five more seats left on it, so time is on my side.   If we were in a third world country, I could just keep stacking photos of him on top of the bus and he would never leave.  Unfortunately, his bus is almost full and the pre-trip checks are already in play.  I hope that it won't carry him too far away and that it remembers the way home.  I would hate to have to get on the bus with my daughter and go and get him.  Luckily, he knows I'm the kind of mom that could easily be seen coming around the corner in a giant bus, hunting him down if he stays away too long.

    As I ponder where these two buses will go, I realize I should get a picture of a sporty, two seater Jaguar and put it just below the buses. When the kids finish college, I can drop my own photo in the sports car.  It will make the bus leaving a little easier to watch.  

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