Friday, November 30, 2012

The Secret to Success

I haven't been here long, but I know how to be successful!
 Hiya, Friends!  How would you like a little unsolicited advice?  Or maybe it IS solicited.  I don't know.   What I do know is that I have a secret for success, and I want to share it with you.

This isn't one of those get rich quick kinds of secrets to success.  I'm not going to tell ya how to make a million dollars in real estate.  I'm not going to letcha in on any big investment tip.  I'm fourteen months old.  I don't need a million dollars, and I don't need to invest anything.  (But if I were you, I'd invest in either Crest or Colgate, because I'm gettin' some serious toothage, Friends, and I love to brush my teeth with my banana brush!)

What I want to letcha in on is how to be successful, for real, independent of money, because money comes and goes.

I know I haven't been here for very long, I know.  But I've learned that in order to be successful, you hafta take your work very seriously.  You know what I mean?  Do what ever it is you do very well.  For instance, my work is helping to raise awareness of the plight of Little Giraffes.  I take that work very seriously!
Take your work seriously, but not yourself seriously!

But you can't take yourself seriously, because when you take your self seriously, when you have setbacks, it's easier to let them defeat you.  Don't be defeated, Friends!  Don't let outside things make you feel like you've failed, Big People!

We all have setbacks.  I have setbacks!  As you may know, I've recently begun walking.  Well, that's a big set forward, but sometimes, I fall right on my butt.  Yes, I do.  My feet come right out from under me, and down on the ol' dupah I go.  But hey, you know what?  I'm not going to let falling on my bottom define me.  I just get right up, give myself a little shake, and take right back off!  And what if people see me fall down?  Exactly.  What if they do?

It's not the falling down that'll getcha, Big People.  It's if ya stay down. 

So that's my big secret to success, Friends.  Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously!  Dare to be a little silly.  Seriously.  I triple-dog-dare ya!  Hahahahahaha!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Eatin' Conundrum

Part of me's ready for more Big People food...
Hiya, Friends!  Didja hear?  I have two new teeth!  On the bottom.  Well, maybe you haven't heard.  I don't think I've told anybody.  So here's my big announcement!  I have ten teeth!  My new ones are on the bottom, on either side.  I'm glad of that.  For a while, my teeth were coming in one at a time, mostly, so my smile made me look like a Jack-o-lantern.  I know my daddy's a dentist, and we know a few good orthodontists, and all, but I still was gettin' nervous that my junior high nickname would be "Headgear."  Might still be.  Who knows?  If that's the way it's going to be, I'll meet that particular challenge with grace and humor, and revenge will be mine on dodgeball day!  Hahahahaha!

Anyway, now I have kind of a conundrum.  Now that I have fifty percent of my deciduous dentition (woah!), I'm starting to feel a little pressured to start eating more and more Big People foods with my own hands.  Or with my own spoon.  I've been working on using a spoon. 

...but the rest of me still likes being spoon-fed.
I'm already a pro with eating things like Cheerios and Puffs and Yogurt Melts.  I pick those right up with my fingers.  Carrot pieces, cooked to where Mommy would say 'overcooked' if she were eating them, I can do, no problem.  I've even tried eating my Jell-O at the Texas Hot in Downtown Wellsville with my own fingers.  That doesn't go so well.  Over Thanksgiving, I tried to eat some turkey, cut up into little tiny cubes, but I didn't like it at all.  That surprised me, because I LOVE my turkey that's all buzzed up in my blender!  Cut-up turkey was a little dry in my mouth.  I didn't like the texture!

That experience with the turkey being a completely different texture than the way I know turkey made me think of something else preventing me from just taking the plunge and feeding myself all the time.  Do you know how cushy it feels to have somebody feed you by spoon, Friends?  Once I stop getting fed by somebody else, by spoon, that's that.  I'll be feeding myself for the rest of my life.  I'm okay with that.  But I just don't know if I'm ready yet, though. 

I feel like a big girl with my ten teeth, but I still like being a baby sometimes.  You know?  Heck, Friends.  I don't know what to do.  I just don't.  I'll tell you something, though.  You haven't eaten turkey until you've had it blended up in your blender, with a little squash, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  Mmmmm-mmmmmm, good!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Timewarps and Tesseracts!: How Santa Gets Around!

Here's a picture of me and my friend Santa, from last year!
 Hiya, Friends!  It's me, Zoe!  How is every little thing?  I'm doing great!  It's quiet, here, and at first, I was a little sad about that, considering Thanksgiving Weekend was so full of having fun with Gramma and Grampa and Aunt Colleen and Uncle Lorentz, but I just got off the phone with my good friend Santa Claus, and compared to his day, which isn't quiet, I'm glad it's quiet where I am!

See, Santa runs a pretty tight operation up at the North Pole, so during his Christmas Crunch Season, which runs from the day after Thanksgiving, until Christmas Eve, the Elves can continue the manufacturing, and packaging, and keeping track of the Naughties and Nices while Santa takes his show on the road.  Monday and yesterday, he was at the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh.  That's where I met Santa Claus for the first time.

Now, let's get this out of the way right now.  There are lots of shopping malls, and there's just one Santa, and even all the magic in the world can't have Santa sitting in malls across America, all at the same time, so he DOES authorize a buncha Santa deputies to sit in for him at the malls and places he can't make it to.  It isn't trickery, it's delegation, and because of a special communicating device in his suit, Santa's able to hear each and every kid that comes to visit his deputies, and also the North Pole sits in and listens.  I guess more than one time, a deputy Santa has forgotten to push the "Take-a-Break" button on the suit, and the North Pole has had to listen to deputy Santas visit the mens' room.  That's pretty embarrassing, but I had to mention it, and now we'll move right along!

Hiya, Santa!  It's me, Zoe!
But the real Santa, the one I met at the Ross Park Mall last year, he and I hit it off really well, and we talk on the phone every so often.  Sometimes we FaceTime.  He knows I run this blog, and he's agreed to give me updates from the road during his Shopping Mall Tour, before he heads back to the North Pole to load up the sleigh for the Big Night.

One question that Santa gets asked a lot when he's not working is how he can travel so quickly between shopping malls when he's on his tour, and the answer is Magic, of course, similar to the magical technology that allows Santa to fly around the world in one night.  There's some space-time-continuum mumbo-jumbo, timewarps and tesseracts and such, stuff we mortals will never understand.

But when you get on down to the brass tacks of HOW Santa travels, well.  This'll blow your mind.  Santa has a magic Airstream travel trailer that looks like just a regular Airstream travel-trailer from the outside, with LED Christmas lights strung on it.  He used to use those big C9 lightbulb lights, but Santa adapts to the changing times and says LEDs are the way to go!

The magic Airstream travel trailer is self-propelled and run by a sophisticated auto-piloting system, and is equipped with so much technology that it makes Air Force One look like a tinker-toy!  Hahaha!  It can either be used as a teleporter or a flying travel trailer, depending on the distance Santa needs to go, and how much time he has to get there.

He and Mrs. Claus travel by magic Airstream instead of teleporting back to the 'Pole every night after the malls close, because first of all, the Elves are more than adept at running things back at the Workshop for the month Santa's on his tour, and also because it takes a lot of magical energy to teleport all the way to the North Pole and back, and that would tire out the Clauses, so they stay right in the travel trailer.  While Santa's sitting on the Santa Throne at shopping malls across America, Mrs. Claus walks undercover through the mall to keep an eye on how the little kids' parents behave when they're out doing their Christmas shopping.  How about that?!

That Santa knows how to travel right!
But back to the magic Airstream travel trailer.  Like I said, from the outside, it looks like this little, unassuming travel trailer, but on the INSIDE, well, it's a mansion with a full compliment of domestic Elves, a chef, a lap pool, a sitting room with a fireplace, a personal trainer to help Santa stay cuddly but still fit, and a machine that makes the best hot cocoa you'll ever imagine!  It's five candy-cane accommodations, Friends!  There's a nerve center so the Clauses can keep in touch with the Elves back at the Pole, and when the Clauses want some down-time, they can get any television channel in the world on their Big TV.

When I asked Santa Claus how much a magic Airstream travel trailer like his would setcha back, he said there's no putting a price on his rig, since we mortals wouldn't be able to understand how to use the Airstream travel trailer or its magic, and we really don't need to, but he said that regular Airstream travel trailers can be found at numerous places, including eBay, and that they can be fixed up and turned out to be pretty luxurious on their own.  So I might talk to Mommy and Daddy about that one of these days.

So that's all for Santa and Mrs. Claus for right now, on their tour of the shopping malls across America.  If you want me to, I can ask Santa some of your questions, next time I talk to him, while Santa's on his tour.  Or if you have questions for Mrs. Claus, I can ask her something, too, just not when she's doing her undercover work, keeping an eye on parents!  Just leave me a comment with your question- I won't know what to ask, otherwise!

In the meantime, let yourself believe in some magic, Big People, just for this month.  It's okay to believe in some magic!  It really is!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Puttin' on the Ritz on the Tree!

I've experienced the magic of the Christmas Season!
 Hiya, Big People!  Happy Monday.  Or more to the point, Happy Monday after Thanksgiving to you!  Here in Pennsylvania, some of the schools are out because it's the first day of hunting season.  Mommy says that when I'm big enough and am off school, we might go shopping on Deer Season Day, if they still give it as vacation by then, because she says hunting for bargains at the mall is more fun and warmer than hunting for poor deer in the woods, and I believe her!  I really do!

I'm samplin' some COOKIES for the Christmas Season!
It's pretty magical, what's happened up here on the hill in the Bing.  On Thursday, it was warm and sunny and you could see the grass on the ground, and then it got cold the day after Thanksgiving, and over the weekend, it snowed!  It looks like a Frosted Mini-Wheat outside the window.  There's a song that it's a marshmallow world in the winter, but right now, it's just a Frosted Mini-Wheat world outside. Anyway, I understand that the Christmas Season kicks off on the Day After Thanksgiving, and I just thought it was so cool that all that snow magically appeared when it was the Christmas Season!

You know what doesn't just magically appear during the Christmas Season?  Our tree, all decorated up.  Apparently we hafta do that, and Mommy's been griping about it all weekend long.  You ought to hear her.  'Gripe, gripe, gripety-gripety-gripety, gripe!'  All about putting up and decorating our Christmas tree!

I said, "Mommy, why don't we just go out and cut down a Christmas tree from outside and decorate it up!"  And she grumbled that we can't have a tree cut down from outside, because the pine makes it hard for her to breathe and makes welts break out on her arms, and I said, "Well, that's just ridiculous!" 

When that tree's up, I'm gonna climb it!
We HAVE a Christmas tree, right up in the attic, I guess.  But Mommy has to bring it down, and put the lights on, and then put on decorations, but not glass ones, because I'm little, she says, and I might drop a glass ball on the floor and break it, or try eating the ornaments... what does Mommy think I am, a baby?  But okay, no glass ornaments this year.  That's fine!

I do think it's a little weird that we cut down trees from the outside and stick lights and ornaments on, or we bring trees down from our attics and stick lights and ornaments on.  You Big People have some weird holiday traditions.  But I'm here, and I'll go along with it.  And I remember our Christmas tree from last year, and it did kind of dress up our living room.  Made it feel ritzy and cozy.

You know what I'm gonna do, Friends, after we get that tree all put up today, and we get all the ritz on it?  I'm gonna try climbing up to the very tippy-top!  That's what I'm gonna do!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Major Eating Holiday Debriefing

Hmmm.  What should I eat next?

Well, Friends, I did it!  I got to participate in my first Major Eating Holiday!  It was pretty cool.  I liked it.  I had me some squash.  If you know me, you know I love squash!  And some stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and this weird stuff I've never had before called cranberry sauce.  It was like Jell-O, but not, and it was kind of sour but sweet.  I've never in my whole life encountered anything like it.  I pretty much like it.  I liked it cut up into little triangles and put on the tray of my high chair. 

I noticed there was cole slaw-slash-cabbage salad on the table.  I also noticed I didn't have any of that.  It's probably just as well.  I've heard what cabbage'll do to a body, and I didn't need any help in that department.  Not to be crass.  It's just a fact.  It's a fact, and we all do it, so don't be all prudish about me mentioning what cabbage and other vegetables such as beans, broccoli, and cauliflower do to a person.

Pumpkin pie: love at first bite, if you will.
Another pleasant surprise was my Crescent Roll that I got to have.  Big People, have you ever tried those?  Oh my goodness, they're right up there with those biscuits the Red Lobster brings out.  I really liked my Crescent roll!

Mommy tried to feed me like I'm some kind of baby or something, and I said, 'Hold it, there, Old Lady!  I'm a big girl, and I'm going to participate in this Major Eating Holiday as such!' and I fed myself with my own two hands!

We waited a little while for the pumpkin pie.  I've never had pumpkin pie in my whole life, and I got to have some pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  Mommy made them.  It was tasty!  I ate the middle all from my slice of pie and let Mommy have the crust.  I ate some of the crust.  It was good, as far as crust goes, but that's not where it's at for me, with the pumpkin pie.  I like the middle, and I like the whip up on top.  Yes.

This is good stuff, right here!
In the middle of all of it, after the feast and before the pumpkin pie, that darn Mommy thought I ought to take a nap.  How bogus is that?  (How'd you like my word 'bogus?' I understand it was the parlance of the cool kids back when Mommy was in school, which was a long time ago, but I'm gonna bring it back!  Bogus!  Naps are bogus!)  Anyway, I didn't want to take a nap, and I could hear everybody out in the living room, having fun and visiting, and I thought it was shabby of all of them not to stand up for me and tell that mean Mommy to come get me and bring me back out for the festivities.  I thought I was going to get a break from the nappage once, but it was only Mommy, bringing in Grampa's iPod, which had Beethoven's music playing on it.  I like Beethoven, and it was meant to distract me from my mission, which was to skip naptime in the afternoon.  It didn't work.  I screamed the whole time.  So there.

Other than all that, I had a blast during my first Major Eating Holiday that I got to participate in.  I hear this is an exciting time of the year, so I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of things I can get into between now and New Year's.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Big People!

Is he putting bunny ears up behind my head?
 Hiya, Friends!  It's been a busy week, as evidenced by my absence from checking in with you this week.  But I wanted to make sure I stopped into my home on the World Wide Web to wish all my friends and friends-to-be a really, very, most definitely Happy Thanksgiving!

As you know, this is the first time I get to really participate in a Major Eating Holiday.  Last year, all I got to eat was Similac, because I wasn't even three months old on Thanksgiving, but this year, I'm fourteen months old, and I'm gonna have it all.  I'm going to split a turkey leg with Rozzie, and have some mashed potatoes, and squash, and green beans, and.... PUMPKIN PIE!  I cannot wait!

I also get to see my Aunt Colleen and Uncle Lorentz from all the way in Wexford.  It's always a good day when I get to see Aunt Colleen and Uncle Lorentz!  All the eating this Major Eating Holiday is just the icing on the cake, and you all KNOW how much I love cake.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

I have a lot of things to be thankful for, Friends, and I bet you do, too, even if it's not readily apparent.  The more I'm around here, the more I realize that as long as we get to get up in the morning and draw breath, that's a reason to be thankful.  That's a place to start!

I'll see you soon, Big People, especially starting regularly again on Monday.  In the meantime, I think we'll all be very busy with the Weekend Festivities, so if I don't see you very much over the weekend, please don't be alarmed, and don't think I quit.  I could never quit checking in with you, Friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember, today and always, Zoe loves you!  Muah!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fwd: Not Just For Emails Anymore!

I used to hafta ride facin' backwards!
 Well, Friends, my whole life, I've been riding in the car, facing where I've been, instead of where I was going.  I didn't know any different, it kind of did bother me.  I couldn't help but notice that the Big People get to ride in the car facing forward, and it made me wonder what I was missing.

It wasn't all bad.  When Rozzie goes for rides with us, I would get to look at her.  She's fun to ride in the Jeep with.  Just seeing her face makes me smile!  But Rozzie doesn't ride with us ALL the time, so when she doesn't, I'm a little bored, facing the back of the Jeep!

At least I'd get to watch Rozzie sometimes!
I thought I'd be facing the back of the Jeep FOREVER!!!  Friday night, Mommy and Daddy went to Rochester to watch a hockey game, and they took me over to Gramma's.  And while I was riding along, facing the back of the Jeep, I said to myself, 'Self, we're going to hafta ask Mommy and Daddy to put something interesting on the back of this seat, like a picture of a disco ball or something, just anything more interesting than plain black leather. Especially when Rozzie's not along.

A strange and wonderful thing happened, though.  On Saturday, when Mommy and Daddy came to collect me at Gramma's, I got out to the Jeep, and whammo-blammo, wasn't my carseat facing a new direction: FORWARD!

I'll tell you what.  It was the most magical ride home ever!  I could swing my legs, and kick my feet and not hit anything like the back of the seat, and I could SEE!  Goodness, Big People, did you know the best view out of a car is out the windshield?  It's true! 

But I'm glad that like an email, I get to be forwarded now!
Yesterday, I got to ride to Daddy's office in Coudersport, and I couldn't help noticing that the sun didn't get in my eyes as much as it did when I had to ride backward.  Which is really a good thing, because with me riding facing forward in the car, the sun was brighter, and the sky was bluer.  It was a really good day!

What struck me the most, though, Friends, was how much I really felt like a Big Girl, getting to ride in the Jeep, facing forward.  It just seemed like the right thing to be doing.

"Forward" isn't just for emails now!  It's for Zoe!  And I couldn't be happier about it! Wheeeeeee!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Had A Dream

...And there it was, a cupcake big as a house!
Friends, I had the best dream last night.  I had a dream that when I looked out my window this morning, parked in the yard, there was a cupcake the size of a house.  Not a little bitty house, but a big house with three stories.  And one of those cupola things on top. 

It was beautiful!  It had lotsa fluffy frosting up on top, and a wrapper that was pink and purple and shiny.  Oh, it was just the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

And there was a notecard, big as a Jeep, right next to the cupcake the size of a house that said "For Zoe," so I went downstairs and climbed to the top of the cupcake, and the frosting was real buttercreme.  I could swim in it, and it was sweet, but not too sweet, and it left a buttery taste in my mouth!

There were sprinkles, too.  I forgot to mention the sprinkles.  It isn't that they weren't worth the mention.  They were! But they were really small, and sparkly, like glitter, but I could eat the glitter.  And it tasted like powdered sugar and vanilla!

I thought the cupcake the size of a house was just going to be chocolate, and that would have been fine, because I like chocolate cake... I like all kinds of cake, really.  And the chocolate cake part of this cupcake the size of a house was just so silky and good, and just when I thought it couldn't get any better, there was filling in it!  Filling that tasted like the vanilla creme in a donut!  I just couldn't believe it!

When I ate it all up, at the bottom of that beautiful, beautiful cupcake wrapper, there was another note that said "Sweet Dreams, Zoe!"  And it was true.  It was a sweet dream!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm SASSY: Serious About Silly Stuff, Yo!

Life's more fun when you're SASSY!
Hiya, Friends!  Have you ever heard of the FLYLady website?  Mommy follows FLYLady, because she says she likes FLYLady's approach to getting the house clean and keeping it that way by shelving perfectionism and doing things like decluttering, fifteen minutes at a time.  I think I like that idea, too, but I'm not talking so much about FLYLady as I am, thinking about all the acronyms she uses!  The FLYLady website is a rich field of acronyms- why, even FLYLady's name is an acronym: "Finally Loving Yourself."  It's all about being kind to yourself and not listening to the mean things you might say to yourself about a messy house and such.  I can't explain it and do it justice.  You should just check out the website for yourself.

It all got me to thinking, though, Friends.  I want an acronym that describes me!  I thought maybe I could turn my name into an acronym, but the best I could think of was: "Zingers, Or Else."  I've never had a Zinger before.  I guess they're like a Twinkie, which I've also never had before, but Mommy says it's just as well.  So it just wouldn't make sense that my definitive acronym be "Zingers, Or Else."  I'm really ambivalent about Zingers and Twinkies, actually, which is odd, considering how much I love cake.
Never be afraid of the silly and ridiculous: Embrace 'em!

Back on task! I've been really prone to digressing lately, and I need to stay tight to my subjects!  The revision police will be coming to get me, if I don't straighten up!  Back to my acronym!  I couldn't figure out anything I liked, and then, while I was in the tub the other morning, Mommy made me get out before I wanted to, so I kicked my legs and made all kinds of bubbles whip up, and she said, "Well, aren't you sassy today?" And I stopped kicking and thought, "Yes!"

Sometimes, things are so silly I just have to say 'hoo boy!'
There it was!  Right in front of me, right out of Mommy's mouth!  I AM sassy!  I mean I'm SASSY!  Serious About Silly Stuff, Yo!  Here's why:

If you know me, you know that I like to have a lot of fun.  I take having fun very seriously.  If you come to my office, you'll see that it's dedicated to the pursuit of Big Fun and the Advancement of Silliness.  I have a giant Ballapalooza in the corner, for heaven's sake!  What could be more silly than a giant marble-roller that lights up and plays New Wave-inspired music?

What's sillier than this giant shoe-chair?  I don't know!
Even up in my bathroom, where I get ready in the morning, and I get ready for bed at night.  I have a comb that looks like a caterpillar, and a brush that looks like a ladybug, and my toothbrush is a BANANA!  Holy smokes, if that's not Silly, I just don't know what is, then!  And I have a coupla vests that were meant to be Halloween costumes, but I like 'em so much I just wear 'em around, for a fall-weather keep-the-cold-off vest!  One is a zebra and the other's a ladybug!  How silly is that?

I am obviously very SASSY!  And I'm just thrilled to pieces that I, too, finally have an acronym of my very own!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I'm Thankful For!

It's fine to want things, but better to be thankful for whatcha have!
Hiya, Friends!  Zoe here.  Well, after yesterday's post, I realized that I don't want to come across as too "wanty," especially a week out from Thanksgiving, so you know what I'm gonna do today?  I'm gonna tell you what I'm thankful for.  I saw on the Facebook that one of Mommy's friends posted that she was thankful for being thankful, and that she didn't want to be that person who wasn't thankful for all she has, ever!  Mommy and I both thought that was pretty great of that friend to post.  I've really been thinking about that, the last couple days, and it's really taken hold in me!

As I sit here in my office, I look around and see that I have a lot to be grateful for, just within a few steps' worth of space.  I have a lot of nice things, and I'm grateful for those.  But I don't want to dwell just on my toys.  My toys are the icing on my cake, and you know how much I love cake!

I'm thankful for having enough to eat.  Not everybody gets enough to eat, and someday, I'd like to do something to help about that.  I know my foods don't just magically appear on my high chair tray, but that if you could push a rewind button on anything we eat, and take it all the way back to its beginning, we'd see a farm and a farmer.  I looked up farmers and farms on the World Wide Web the other day, and boy, do they ever have a lot of work to do!  They get to drive fun-looking equipment.  Sometimes I see fancy farm equipment go past my house, and I love to watch it!  And there's farmers running that equipment!  But I know the real important thing that farmers and their fun-looking equipment do is work really hard to take care of crops and land and livestock so that we can eat all our vegetables and fruits and dairy and meat, if you eat meat, and eggs, and fish... Wait a minute.  Do fish grow on farms?  Just a sec, Friends.  I need to fact-check.  I should fact-check before I start writing, but sometimes I don't know what I'm going to need to fact-check until I get to writing.  While I'm checking, please enjoy this photograph:

This is really apropos to nothing, but I thought you'd appreciate how everything coordinates, while I do my Internet search!

Okay, as it turns out, fish can be raised on farms as well as caught right out of the wild.  So I'm thankful for both fish farmers and wild fishermen, because I like fish.  I didn't think I would, the first time I tried it, but now, I like to eat salmon, tilapia, and haddock.

Speaking of Internet searches, I'm thankful for the fellas who keep our lights on.  Back the other week, when there was that terrible storm, Mommy was trying not to let on that she was afraid the lights would go off, but I could tell she was.  Our lights stayed on, even though it was very windy, but I've seen the lights go off a coupla times in my life- why, just this last summer, Mommy and Rozzie and I had to go sit in the basement, and when we came up, there were trees down in our yard, and across the road, and there was no electric!  And we made out better than some people, because ours came back on after four hours.  Some people were without for DAYS!  And then a couple days before my birthday, the lights went out for no real reason, and were out.  So I know why Mommy was worried.  It's hard to do a lot of things without lights, even draw water and cook!  So when that big storm came along a couple weeks ago, I was very thankful that our lights stayed on, and I've been thinking about those fellas, and probably some women, too, who go out and work on our power lines.  I think that job can be very dangerous!  So I'm thankful for them!
Thanks for everything, Big Guy! Zoe loves you!

I'm thankful for Rozzie, because she's my best friend in the whole, wide world, but I'm also thankful for her doctor over in Wellsville, and her doctors she saw up at the University of Guelph, when she was a little puppy, like I'm a little kid.  I can imagine how scared I would be, if I had to go to a hospital like Rozzie had to go to, but those doctors made Rozzie well, and Rozzie's doctor in Wellsville takes special care of Rozzie, and the girls who give Rozzie her bath once a month make sure Rozzie doesn't have skin problems.  I guess Rozzie had quite a time of it before I came along! 

I'm thankful for my doctor, too!  And all the nurses at my doctor's office.  I know I kick up a big fuss sometimes, especially when there's needles involved, but I haven't been sick a day in my life (knock on wood!) and it makes the needles worth it.  And you know, it really hurts for a few seconds.  I can live with that!  Rozzie told me that she gets shots every time she sees her doctor, which is once a month, and that there was a time in her life that Mommy had to give her a shot every day!  So I can handle a shot every coupla months when I go to my doctor, and he's really nice to me!  I like my doctor!

I'm thankful that I live where I can speak up without being afraid, and that I'll be able to go to school and be whatever I want to be!  I cannot stress this enough!  Plus, I'm thankful for living in a place where we can all have our own opinions and beliefs.  I know not everybody agrees with me, and I don't agree with everybody, but for me, I'm thankful that there's somebody up above.  I feel like they're looking out for me and my family.  My whole life.  You can believe or not, but I believe.  And I'm thankful that we can all believe what we think is right!

I'm thankful for being able to laugh.  Could you imagine a world where you couldn't laugh?  I don't want to!  Sometimes, the only thing you can do is laugh, and it lights up the dark.

Finally, I'm thankful for you, Friends!  Knowing you're out there makes me happy.  When I get to see you in person, that's even better!

This isn't everything I'm thankful for.  Of course not!  But I don't want to go on and on to all of you!  I'll continue being thankful on my own.  And I hope you all find some things to be thankful for, especially this week!

Remember, Zoe loves you!  Muah!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So I Don't Get Lost in Santa's Inbox!

Here's me, carefully carrying my holey bowls!
Hiya, Big People!  Well, all this time, I've been focused on Thanksgiving and being so excited, excited as the Dickens, that I get to take part in this eating holiday, that I forgot all about Christmas being less than two months away.  Now, bear with me, here.  I know it's a little early, but I have a reason for jumping the gun.  See, this is important, and I don't want to mess it up.

What I'm really hoping for, for Christmas from Santa Claus is a pretend kitchen.  What would I do with a pretend kitchen, you say?  Oh, a buncha stuff!  Why, I'd put things in the cupboards and take them back out and put them back in, and I'd pretend to wash my holey bowls, and maybe I'd pretend to cut up some food and cook it.  And if I got a pretend refrigerator, I'd pretend to organize my pretend refrigerator according to kind of food, and then by bottle or package size, and then by color, and once a month, I'd pretend to clean out my pretend refrigerator.  And then, once I got really good at knowing the order the letters in the alphabet go in, if I had enough boxes, I'd practice loading up my pretend cupboards alphabetically!  How about that?

And then, who knows?  I might even pretend I have a cooking show like Rachael Ray... her daytime show, not her Food Network shows.  I like Rachael Ray's daytime show, because she gets to have people over, and they sit at her kitchen table, and she makes them food, and it makes them happy!  I want to make my pretend guests happy like that!  And my real guests like Sabretooth and the Little Giraffes and Cookie Monster and Elmo!  And Rachael Ray works really hard and is really successful, and I think if I get enough practice at working really hard like Rachael Ray does, and practice being really successful, maybe when I grow up, I'll also be really successful from working really hard!  Who even knows?  I sure don't, but a pretend play kitchen would definitely put me out on the right foot, don'tcha think, Big People?  Friends?
Lost in the inbox, how about that bad luck?

So I'm really hoping Santa Claus gets my message about the pretend kitchen.  I have great big plans for it.  And the only reason I'm bringing it up to all of you now, before even Thanksgiving, and out in public instead of in a private, peppermint-scented letter to Santa Claus only, is that last year, I waited until I saw Santa Claus in person at the Ross Park Mall the Monday after Thanksgiving before I told him I wanted a pony of my very own, and I even left him a thank-you note in advance for the really cool pony, so when I got downstairs Christmas morning, expecting to see a pony waiting for me in our living room, and there wasn't a pony, I was really disappointed.  I had a Post-It from Santa that told me he was sorry about the pony, but that my request for one got lost in his inbox in the pre-Christmas rush.

Just thinking about a pretend kitchen makes me this happy!
That's really okay, in the long run.  I think it's better for the pony that I didn't get one for a Christmas present last year.  I don't really know anything about taking care of a pony, when you come right down to it.  I don't know the first thing about it, actually.  So it's just as well my request for a pony got lost in Santa's inbox last year. 

But my pretend kitchen?  It will be TRAGIC if I don't find a pretend kitchen from Santa waiting for me this Christmas, so I'm putting my request in early, in triplicate, also in hard copy, e-mail, voice-mail (I have the Big Guy's direct line!) I put something out on the Facebook yesterday... And of course, if anybody out there sees Santa Claus, I'd appreciate you putting in a good word for me and my pretend kitchen.  I really would appreciate that.  You have no idea!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

This is my lemon-face!
 Hiya, Friends!  You know that saying about what to do when life gives you lemons?  Well, I guess you're supposed to make lemonade with them, but you know what?  I say, when life gives you lemons, you should give them to me!  I LOVE 'em!

The first time I ever had a lemon, I was at a place in St. Marys called Merlin's.  I was there, meeting a college friend of Mommy's, and it was a hot summer day.  Hot, hot, HOT!  I'd been riding in our red sassy car, and I remember I was just parched, and my water just wasn't doing the trick.

And then I saw it, all yellow and citrusy and inviting, right there in Mommy's iced tea: a wedge of lemon!  Now, I'm a girl who knows what she wants, and has no problem letting anybody know it, so when I saw that lemon, I made sure Mommy knew I wanted it.  I was willing to trade.  If Mommy gave me her lemon wedge, in return, I would let her and Daddy and their friend Ann, and everybody else in Merlin's eat their meals with me in silence.  I call this sort of deal-making "Citrus Diplomacy."  It worked, because I got the lemon wedge, and was so overwhelmed by the flavor, bursting in my mouth, that I couldn't have kicked up a fuss if I'd wanted to!
This water needs some lemon. It's boring right now.

Now, I know that lemons get a bad rap.  I've heard that if you buy a car or something, and it always has something wrong with it, then it's called a lemon.  Lemons are sour and they make you pucker your face up.  If you eat too many lemons, it can ruin the white part of your teeth.

But I want to focus on all the good things lemons can do, to make you understand why I love them so much!  First of all, a lemon can pick up the taste of plain old boring old water.  And besides tasting great, lemons have lots of Vitamin C, to keep you from getting a cold!  And if you DO get a cold, you can put some lemon juice and honey in some hot water, and it'll soothe your throat.  How about that?!  And you can take a peeler, and just peel off the very yellow part of the lemon skin - it's called the zest- and mince it up super-fine, and then put it in spaghetti with some butter, and it makes a nice, snappy pasta dish!  And then of course, there's squeezing a little lemon over fish or seafood to brighten up the taste!

Not everybody likes lemons? I don't believe it!
And then, did you know that you don't even have to EAT lemons in order to get their awesome lemony powers?  It's TRUE!  Most easily, if you just buy a buncha lemons and put 'em on the counter in a bowl, they're like a decorator item!  If you've been eating seafood with your hands, and your fingers smell gross, and they didn't bring you out a wet-wipe, and you don't carry a package of them in your purse like Mommy does, then you can take the lemon and squeeze it on your fingers, and rub it into your hands, and it makes the smell go away!  And you can use salt and lemon juice to clean things!  How about that?  I even read on the World Wide Web that if you have a garbage disposal, and it has bad breath, you can send your lemon peels down the disposal, or if you really want to say good-bye to half a lemon, you can send down half a lemon, right down the disposal, and it's like giving your disposal a lemony breath-mint!  Except it's just lemon, and not mint!  I probably should have used a different analogy, other than the mint.  That might confuse people.

That's not even thinking about the color.  I think lemons have a nice color to them!  On the inside, they're a nice, smiley-face yellow, and the outside is a yellow that just makes you think about summertime, you know!  I think I even have an outfit still, that's the color of lemons!
It's okay to LOVE lemons, Friends!  I sure do!
And of course, you can make all kinds of delicious things out of lemons, if you don't like to just eat them, the way I do.  I mean, Daddy did say it's bad for your teeth if you eat too many lemons.  I guess they have a lot of citric acid in them, and someday I'm going to look up all about citric acid and teeth, but in the meantime, I'll focus on all the ways I can show my appreciation for lemons, without assaulting my teeth with all that acid.  As soon as I'm able to, I'd like to try a bite of lemon meringue pie- I already like coconut creme pie, remember?  And a lemon drop.  I've heard all about lemon drops.  And of course, there's the classic lemonade that you're supposed to make when life gives you lemons.

I don't think lemons deserve the bad rap they get, Friends!  I love lemons!  Come to think of it, I might start a petition to change the name of cars that have something wrong with them all the time from 'lemon' to 'cockroach' or something that nobody likes, for real.  Because I think lemons are pretty fantastic fruits, Big People!  And it's high time we told 'em how much we appreciate them,  don't you agree?  I sure hope so!

All right, Friends!  I'll see ya tomorrow!  Until then, always remember that Zoe loves you!  Muah!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Hockey Season that Isn't

My first Sabres Fan gear!
Friends, I have a confession to make.  I, Zoe WithLizardBreath Blake, am a hockey fan.  I watched my very first hockey game when I was only four weeks old!  I watched it at my Jeep dealership, and it was my Buffalo Sabres against the Anaheim Ducks, and they were playing their first game all the way in Finland!  That's why we had to watch the game at the dealership.  We had an appointment there, and the game was in the afternoon, and they got the game, so we watched it!  And it was so much fun!  I decided that day that I would be a hockey fan for life!

At my house, we have a big television set where we'd watch hockey games last year.  I just loved hearing my favorite announcer in the whole National Hockey League, Rick Jeanneret, say, 'SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!' Whenever the Sabres would put a puck in the other team's net.  And I got to stay up and watch the whole hockey game on hockey nights.  I sure was glad hockey season lasts so long.

Sabres jim-jams always give me sweet dreams!
When Mommy and Daddy would go to hockey games in Buffalo, I'd get to stay with my Gramma.  Now, Gramma's a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, and she was always making me look at the Sidney Crosby calendar on game night, and is always trying to turn me into a Penguins fan, but I sure like my Sabres.

Me and Sabretooth! Friends and fans forever!
The thing is, it's the Twelfth of November today, and I haven't gotten to watch my favorite team play hockey, because they've been locked out.  This is terrible!  And it must be terrible for them, to be locked out.  Back in the summer, Mommy and I got locked out of our red Jeep, and we had to call the locksmith, and for $43, he let us back into to our Jeep.  I've offered to send our locksmith's name and number up to the Buffalo Sabres, so they'd get let back in from being locked out, but Mommy says all the hockey teams are locked out, and our locksmith can't let them all back in.  So that leaves me, Zoe WithLizardBreath Blake, lifelong hockey fan, with no hockey games I can watch this season.  This is a tragedy.  I just don't know what to do.  Sometimes, when I didn't have anything else to talk about with someone I just met, I could talk about hockey, and break the ice a little bit... no pun intended.  But that's how it worked!  We'd get talking about hockey, and then we'd find out other things we had in common, and next thing you know, it was like we were old friends! 

I've tried getting into football.  I've tried, and I just can't.  I don't get it.  I don't like watching big boys running into each other.  I like to watch skating, and keeping track of the puck, and hearing it boing off my team's goalpost and into the glass when the other team shoots on my team's net.  I like to hear the sound of the goal horn when my team scores. 

The face of intimidation, right here! Are you intimidated?
It's starting to make me punchy, Friends, waiting for some shred of hope that the hockey season that isn't can somehow find some type of salvation.  I'm also getting twitchy.  Everything I see reminds me of some type of hockey thing.  Even at the Red Lobster, the bread basket reminded me of a goalie mask, so of course I had to model it. 

I sure hope hockey comes back soon, or I'm going to have to steal a bread basket, and a coupla oven mitts and make my own hockey team, of which I'll be the goalie, on account of me having the bread-basket mask and oven-mitt pads.  I can make it work, Big People, but it'd be a whole lot easier if they'd just let the professionals back at it.  It really would!

Anyway, have a good rest of your Monday, Friends.  I'll see you again tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

When You Want Anything Done Right....

Wish I had some Honey Nut Cheerios now!
You know that saying "If you want something done right, do it yourself?" Well, I'm starting to see that those are Words to Live By, along with "Be useful as well as ornamental," and "If you live in a glass house, don't watch TV in your underwear!"

I've learned this lesson because I saw a commercial for a cereal, Cheerios, and since I've noticed I'm getting bigger, and my supply of Gerber Puffs is getting smaller, I thought I'd like to try a new snack for in my cup with the swirly grabber lid, and Cheerios would fit the bill.

I just love the sound of "Cheerios," don't you, Big People?  "Cheery-OH!"  Or if you're a francophone, "Cheery-eaux!"  That'd mean "happy water!"  I hear some of you Big People really like "happy water!"  Good for you!  I drink just regular-water, and that's good for me!

I said 'please' and everything!
Back to my Cheerios.  It's been a couple weeks since Mommy went to Wegmans.  Now, I stayed with Gramma and had a great day working at Duplo Tower- Remember that?  I do.  It was a lot of fun!  And I knew Mommy was making out a shopping list, so I made sure I wrote on the shopping list "Cheerios, with the cute little honeybee on the box, please!" I said please and everything, and was very specific about which product I wanted to have come home from the store with Mommy.

You just can't trust a grown-up.
When I saw the DOUBLE BOX of Cheerios on the kitchen counter, I knew it had paid off, and that I'd have some Cheerios in my snack cup, as soon as my supply of Puffs was gone.  Guess how excited I was today, to see not X-shaped Puffs (which I still love, by the way- I just wanted a change!) but O-shaped Cheerios!  Yessssssss!

Then I grabbed a couple and put them in my mouth.  WHAT?! I was expecting honey-ness and nuttiness with my Cheerios, and these tasted like just plain Cheerios!  Mommy!  What the heck?  I looked at the box!  It said "Cheerios" on it, but where was the cute little honeybee?  Nowhere!  Nowhere on that box was the honeybee, and I was specific when I wrote it on Mommy's shopping list!  I said PLEASE!

When I asked Mommy about it, she just said that she wants me to get used to eating regular Cheerios before I get the Honey Nut ones, and then she put me in my office and walked away.  Excuse me, but I was still yelling!  Mommy!

Zebras like oats! Zebra'll help me eat all those Cheerios!
And have you seen the SIZE of those double-boxes of Cheerios, Friends?  They're HUGE!  GINORMOUS!  In short, there's a lot of eating to do to get through a double box of Cheerios, and it'll feel like even more eating, because they're boring old plain Cheerios with no honey-nut flavor!  Oh, Friends.  I just don't know what I'm going to do.  Well, I guess I'll eat the Cheerios I already have.  I don't dislike 'em.  I just wanted the ones with the honey-nut flavor and the cute honeybee on the box.  That's all.  I'm disappointed, that's all. 

Anyway, boy have I ever learned that if I want the right box of Cheerios to come home from the store, I'd better have my hiney in that shopping cart and be right there with Mommy to make sure she picks the one with the cute little honeybee on it. I'm going to write this down, so in a year, when I finish my double-box of plain Cheerios, I'll remember to go with Mommy to the store to get the right Cheerios next time.  That's what I'm gonna do!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pie in the Sky!

This is what I usually eat: Strawberry Jell-O!
Oh, my goodness, Friends, guess what?  Yesterday, I went to my doctor for Part Two of my flu shot, and that went how you'd think it would.  I kind of flipped out when the nurse was getting my leg ready for the shot, but the shot was over before I even knew it, and I looked at Mommy like, 'What was that?!'  I was going to hold a grudge against her for putting a stick in my otherwise good day like that, but I decided not to.  I'm really glad I made that decision! 

You know why I'm glad I didn't hold a grudge?  Because Mommy and Gramma took me to my favorite place in the whole wide world: THE TEXAS HOT IN DOWNTOWN WELLSVILLE!!!

Now, normally, when I go to the Texas Hot in Downtown Wellsville, I enjoy a Strawberry Jell-O in a sundae dish, with a generous helping of real whipped cream on top.  That's my usual order, 'the yoozh,' as I like to call it.  So that's what I was expecting to enjoy today, when we sat down in a booth in the Texas Hot. 
This isn't my Jell-O!  Whaaaaaat's this?

Imagine my surprise when, instead of my usual Strawberry Jell-O, a giant piece of Banana Creme Pie was set before me! Holy smokes, Friends!  I couldn't believe my eyes, and at first,  I thought it was a mistake.  I thought my waitress got me all balled up with someone else, at first, but then Mommy said it was for ME!  Can you believe it?  I've been waiting my whole life for a piece of pie at the Texas Hot in Downtown Wellsville, and today, I got one!

This is out of this world!
I bet you're wondering if I thought it was as good as I thought it'd be, and the short answer is yes.  I loved everything about it.  The banana custard, the pieces of real, actual banana.  The mountain of meringue on top.  I even liked the crust, which I'll be honest, caught me a little bit off-guard.  I guess I forgot about pie having crust, because I was so wrapped up in all that meringue-y goodness. 

I had really high expectations for Banana Creme Pie, Friends, and I'm glad it didn't disappoint!  So you know what I think you should do, Big People?  Go and treat yourself to a slice of pie at the Texas Hot in Downtown Wellsville.  It'll make you feel better, Friends!  And always remember!  Zoe loves you!  Muah!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wearin' My Shades

You can't tell from here, but I flippin' hate these sunglasses in this picture!
Hiya, Friends!  It's me, Zoe!  Well, I never thought it would, but it's happened.  I like wearing my sunglasses!  Almost as much as Mommy likes to wear hers!  My whole entire life, I've felt that my Mommy's sunglass wear has been excessive.  She wears them when she drives.  She wears them when we're walking outside.  She wears them from sunup until it's too dark to wear sunglasses.

But I get it now!  I really do!

A couple days ago, Mommy and I were getting ready to go on a walk to our polling station, and we were standing in the doorway, and the sun was shining through. 

The sun seemed a lot brighter than usual, because here at my house, we've had cloudy weather for over a week, because of that awful storm.  I'd forgotten what the blue sky and sun were like!  And while we were getting ready to go on our walk, that sun was so bright that I couldn't stop squinting my eyes!

I feel ridiculous in this getup.
So Mommy got out my blue sunglasses with the little flowers and the strap that goes around my head to keep them on, and she put them on my head.  Usually at this point, I rip my sunglasses off my face and throw them across the room.  I wouldn't have to fling my sunglasses, of course, but it's a punctuation mark, an exclamation point if you will, on my distaste for my sunglasses.

But guess what.  While Mommy and I stood in the bright sunshine the other day, I was surprised to see just how much those sunglasses help with the bright!  Holy smokes!  I could keep my eyes open wide!  I didn't have to squint!  And they didn't pinch my nose or smoosh my face the way I thought they would!

When we got outside and were walking down the driveway, I couldn't believe how much better I could see, now that I wasn't pinching my eyes shuttish, to keep the sun from being too bright!  I loved it, Friends!  I really did!

I voted for stylish sunglasses for everybody!
It just goes to show, Big People, sometimes when you try something before, and you don't like it, maybe you just have to wait a little while and try it again, and then you'll find out you might like it!  That's how it worked out with me and the sunglasses.  I thought I'd never, EVER like wearing sunglasses, but I've gotta say, I'm glad I tried them again.  I really like wearing sunglasses! 

But just because I've recently extended goodwill toward stylish eyewear like my sunglasses, that doesn't mean I'm going to make my peace with socks, shoes, or hats anytime soon.  I still don't like those things at all.  If you get a chance, could you pass along that message to my Mommy, Friends?  I don't like hats, shoes, or socks, still, but I'm cool with sunglasses.  One accessory at a time.  I'd tell her myself, but she gets all overzealous and keeps trying to put hats, socks, and shoes on me.  Drives me more nutty than a holiday assortment of mixed nuts. ... Um, that wasn't my best comparison, was it?  I'll work on that for tomorrow, Friends.  I promise.  In the meantime, have a good rest of your day, and remember that Zoe loves you!  Muah!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Card Photoshoots

I don't want to be just some lame kid in an elf suit!
 Friends, Rozzie and I are on a quest for the Perfect Christmas Card picture.  There's a lot of pressure on me this year.  Not from any outside sources, but from right in me.  I'll tell you why.

See, this isn't my first Christmas card picture.  Last year was, and all I had to do was dress up in my red outfit with the hat, and look at the camera, and that was that.  My part in the picture was all done, easy as a lemon squeezy!
Besides, elves wear pointy-toed shoes, and I don't do shoes!

This year, I'm a seasoned Christmas card picture veteran.  Or maybe not.  I'm definitely a seasoned picture-taker veteran.  I've had thousands of pictures taken of me since last year.  And Rozzie's also had lots of pictures taken of her!  So we put our heads together and decided we wanted to do something really cool and creative for our Christmas card pictures this year.
My vote's for silliness.  Silliness all the way, baby!

See, Rozzie and I are partners.  At least for the Christmas card photograph.  She does a lot of behind-the-scenes work for my Daily Zoe show over on Facebook, like making me laugh or asking me questions for my show.  I really like working with Rozzie, but she definitely calls the shots at picture-time, if you know what I mean.

The Basket Picture from Easter.
Oh, you don't?  Well, I'll tell you.  For instance, if Mommy has the backdrop up, and Rozzie wants to sit all skee-hawed on the backdrop, so you see half backdrop and half stuff behind the backdrop that Mommy was trying to hide with the backdrop, well, that's just how it's going to be.  Half-backdrop, half-stuff-behind-the-backdrop.  If Rozzie wants to roll over or not look at the camera, that's how the pictures are going to be.  When I work with Rozzie, I have to bring my A-game.

 Of course, Rozzie's always looking out for me.  See, at Eastertime, there was a picture of me in a basket.  Rozzie was supposed to be in the picture, too, but she took one look at that basket and said she was not going to be in a picture with a baby in a basket.  Now, I did take umbrage with being called a baby, but I also thought it was a little weird for me to be in the basket, too.  I mean, I don't usually go around in a basket!  Who DOES stuff like that?
I've got to learn how to show my teeth like that and get results!

So do you know what Rozzie said?  She showed her teeth and said "NOBODY PUTS BABY IN A BASKET!" and you know what?  The next picture, I didn't have to sit in the basket.  Boy, I love that Rozzie!  She's the best!

Silly flower aside, at least I'm not in a basket for this one!
She also taught me how to resist wearing headbands, so luckily, so far, with the Christmas pictures, I haven't been forced to wear headwear.  It hasn't even been presented to me.  Rozzie's told me all about the year Mommy made her dress up like a pumpkin, complete with a hat that looked like the cap of a pumpkin, and she said it hurt her dignity as a dignified member of the community, and I believe her.  Wearing hats that make you look like a pumpkin can do that to your dignity.

So that's us for this little stretch of time.  Me and my best friend, just trying to figure out our Christmas card photos.  We want to do something epic, something that really showcases our personalities.  But we also want to work together, because Christmas card photos are more fun when you get to work with a friend.

We have our work cut out for us, Friends.  We sure do.  Even in the midst of all this work, though, remember that Zoe loves you!  Muah!