The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, December 7, 2015

Troublesome Timothy

         This Saturday I spent the night with my granddaughter. Her parents never go out--just the two of them--so this was a real treat.

        On the agenda: 
  • do some fused glass (using a microwave oven kiln)
  • make some chocolate goodies for Riley's mom (bake brownies, then crumble them up. Add a 1/3-1/2 cup of Nutella, and a splash of kahlua or vanilla. Roll into balls. You can then roll them in cocoa or sprinkles or crushed nuts, but it's not necessary)
  • eat dinner (or those brownie things)
  • watch a movie (or two)
  • entertain my granddaughter with my ability to fall asleep in a sitting straight-up position repeatedly
  • make my granddaughter laugh with my snorting-myself-awake skills
       After she went to sleep, I had a secret thing to do--do something with her Elf on a Shelf, named Timothy. Apparently this Elf is a way to get revenge on your kids, because the first year, and during the first few days in December, it's fun. They alternate with who is responsible for making sure Timothy has the chance to get into some mischief. 

       But after the first year, or on the 24 day of keeping up with that prankster elf, parents are getting into fistfights. 

        "It's your turn with that %$#@ elf."
        "I'm too tired. And besides, I've run out of ideas. YOU do it."
        "Go, and do something with that elf."

Last night, Timothy slipped into a giant vase-like bottle.
What is that next to him?
(The opening looks huge, but my arm is a bit fat, and I almost got it stuck as I dropped Timothy
into the bottle. THAT would have been like an episode of "I Love Lucy.")

Here's a close-up. Timothy was eating some of
Riley's Cheezits in the middle of the night.
The nerve of him! Riley told me that no matter
how much aggravation he causes, he always has a smile on his face...

          We got everything accomplished. In fact, I was a true over-achiever when it came to the last two things on the agenda.

        However, as I read for a few minutes before falling asleep a little after one o'clock in the morning at a reasonable bedtime for a nine-year old, I came upon a solution for a pesky problem I was having with my WIP. 

        I wasn't fretting over it. It just came to me.

        Agatha Christie said, "The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes," and I'd have to agree. When our brain is not engaged--or so we think-- it is engaged. The cogs turn without our prodding. Things surface.

          So, if you have a grandchild and would like to get back for all the gray hair their parents caused you, it's not too late for "Elf on a Shelf."

           And if you're revising/drafting/puzzling over a piece, do something that is off-track (like washing the dishes or walking the dog) and maybe... just maybe... you will get back on track in no time...



  1. You are right...sometimes things come into my mind at untimely moments but will not leave me alone. Then there are the flashes of whole poems in the night, complete lines, that I fail to be awake enough to write down...and lose.

    1. Claudia--Do you have a little tape recorder (or can you use your phone or ipad) to slur and mumble it?

  2. Could Timothy BREATHE in that jar? What with an arm plugging the entrance and all...

    Some of my best ideas come to me in the shower, or while I'm driving.

    Use a little tape recorder or phone or iPad? Why don't you just suggest splitting the atom in my dark basement lair? I am equally capable of both.

  3. The Elf on a Shelf came around too late for my three kids. Praise the Lord. lol Sounds like you had a great time making memories. :)

  4. I think the Elf is a little creepy...thankfully, he came along after my kids could enjoy (become terrified of) him! I love your list of things to do with your granddaughter. Can't wait until I can spend quality time with grandkids...don't have any now, so will practice on others! Yes, I agree, the ideas come to me when my hands are full of something else! I think if it is something really important, the thought will at 2:00am or something! Thank you for sharing your wonderful sense of humor and little bits of writing wisdom!

  5. Yep, I get my best ideas in the shower. Speaking of which, here's a time saver for those of you dealing with the likes of Timothy:
    Day 1: Elf on the shelf is precariously close to the edge of a high shelf.
    Day 2: Elf on the Shelf is splat on the floor.
    Day 3, 4, 5, 6: "Oh, kids, looks like Elf has gone to hospital!"
    Day 7--23: Elf's in rehab (the broken hips kind of rehab)
    Day 24: Elf returns just in time to tattle on everybody.

  6. Krampus on the shelf would make children behave.

  7. Oh my goodness, I laughed out loud.
    my daughter has the elf who hung on the bottom branch of our trees when she was little. He never did anything wrong, but now...hmmm.

  8. The whole Elf on a shelf thing seems to create strong opinion. People either love him or think he's, well, kind of creepy.

    Critter Alley

  9. The whole Elf on a shelf thing seems to create strong opinion. People either love him or think he's, well, kind of creepy.

    Critter Alley


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