Saturday, December 16, 2006


Before I lose my readers with just the headline, let me clarify earworms are not a disgusting, squirmy, doggy nightmare. Defined, an earworm is usually a song, or more often, a single stanza of a song that gets stuck in your head and won't go away.

My most recent earworm didn't come from a song but rather from a creative e-mail sent by my sister-in-law's swain on behalf of his dogs. The dogs were describing the various critters, creatures and people in their neighborhood and referred to one notable fellow as "the big, brown, barky dog".

The phrase is so exquisitely alliterative it just keeps going through my head. I mentioned this little problem to my daughter in the hopes that by telling someone else about it I could purge the earworm. It worked, sort of. But now, she's got it stuck in her head and it's the first thing out of her mouth before she leaves for school and when she arrives home - thereby transferring it back to me.

As if that wasn't enough, Belle must have been listening to us too. Last night, she turned into the "big, brown, barky dog" trying to defend me from the horrible creature swinging from the kitchen light fixture.

Let me explain. Molly and I volunteered to make the Christmas Piñata - a Finnegan Family Tradition. We are in the papier mache part of the process and the kitchen light is a perfect place to hang the drying piñata. Trouble is, it spins and turns and Belle thinks it is alive. I finally got her to quiet down by letting her sniff and taste the thing (the paste is made out of flour and water). She settled down to an uneasy truce - no more barking, just a little growling when the twirling got too fast for her approval. But she wouldn't take her eyes off of it until we went up to bed.

I can't show you the current piñata because another Finnegan Family Tradition is that the shape of the piñata is kept top secret until unveiled, with great pomp and fanfare, on Christmas Eve. However, I can show you one of our past creations from the great Piñata archive.

The pictures shown below are a reenactment of the Princess and the Frog fairy tale from the year my husband (then boyfriend) and I made Kermit the Frog, our first piñata together. For me, the fairy tale became a true story. What a prince!

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