Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fa la la la la la la la la

I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm pretty much over Christmas at this point.   I've overindulged on food & drink & family (Don't worry, I told them this already-I think I gave my brother's wife instructions not to call until after New Years anyway.)

And Christmas songs. I started listening to Christmas songs at Thanksgiving which was clearly a mistake.  By Christmas Eve day I needed to put on  my iPod to drown it all out. I listened to Fleetwood Mac and my family listened to Bing and Frank (Oh my, high on my list of irritations is 50's style rat pack banter...."a Little Toddy for The Body"...ugh,...)

My husband, who, I think, fashions himself a great jolly old elf at this time of year, is working in conjunction with my daughter and together they have informed me that Christmas Music stays on until New Years Day.....She's particularly taken with  Oh Christmas Tree, by Andrea Bocelli. I've now heard it about 100 times.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached the Planetarium's  Laser Light Show Holiday Songs and Skies with Mr. Jack Frost today.   I swear to you, as I was getting ready to go, strains of Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree were wafting through the house.  I had reached my limit. 

At least I thought I had. My real limit was reached when I got to the ticket booth and presented my membership card only to be told that the membership does not cover laser light shows and that this extravaganza was going to cost $25........Oh joy, $25 to listen to more Christmas music....

But then we went in. And the music started and so did the lights. And my daughter had a BLAST......She was way more excited that I would have imagined. I even enjoyed it. The music was beautiful (Except for that overplayed Mariah Carey song) as were the images and lasers. They also interspersed the show with  the current night sky and the constellations,stars & planets that you can see right now. Very neat. Completely worth the $25.

There was some stupid banter from the Jack Frost character but at least it was no Bing and Frank.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Want A Snuggie

On Thanksgiving I mentioned that I thought that wearing a Snuggie was, perhaps, giving up..

As in,you have officially reached middle age and have become a remote control wielding couch potato. I'm sure unconsciously, the Snuggie probably represents something deep inside me regarding my own fear of middle age....

Anyway, a Snuggie, I reasoned, was a bit of an embarrassing thing to have. From those inane commercials to the box with the "As seen on TV logos." I want nothing "As seen on TV" so please, don't get me one of those cheese graters for your feet.....They even have Snuggies now for dogs....Yes it's true. I saw it at Wegmans.

Needless to say I did not get a Snuggie for Christmas. (I did, however, get a Mason Bee House  and a Stoneware Compost Crock) Much more in line, with who I want to be.


My niece, however, did get a Snuggie. A LEOPARD PRINT Snuggie. (Have I mentioned my love of leopard print yet on this blog???)

Look how on the box it says, "Snuggie Wild Side" like anything about the Snuggie even remotely appeals to anyone's WILD SIDE......That woman on the box sure looks wild doesn't she???? Like maybe she'll kill you with her remote control if you try and take it from her. That kind of wild.

Anyway, I tried it on. It's made of kind of cheap fleece. Rather light actually. But warm. And actually...

Kind of cosy...

OH MY GOD. The realization dawns on me as I stand there with it on.... I want a Snuggie..... 

I'm a reader. And a Blogger. Both things I do curled up in a chair. I'm currently sitting next to the fire and I have a blanket on my lap. BUT it reaches only to my waist as I need my hands free.  Something that could be easily remedied by the Snuggie. (My goodness, I also wish I invented the Snuggie.)

I'm only telling you this dear readers because sometimes I'm Oh-So-Natural-And-Self-Actualized....

And really.

Deep inside.

I want a Cheap Looking Leopard Print As Seen On TV Snuggie.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27th- Winter at the Beach

 Today we went for a walk at the beach by our house. It's  nice with lake/beach on one side of the road and ponds on the other. It is all part of a park and the road goes right through the park. There is also a nice walking path through the woods.  The new blog header up top is of one of the ponds.  There are dirt paths all along the water which are really nice to walk on. We stayed on the beaten path today though.


I like the ice, it looks like frozen waves.


At the edge of the pond. I almost used this as the new header.

Walking path.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26th-One Child's Christmas Rubble

Reason #215 That I Only Have One Child
Christmas Rubble
Are you kidding me??
Complete with a Target bag full of used Christmas crackers from last night's dinner...


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here is hoping that you have a wonderful Holiday with family and friends.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night......

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm A Sleepy Christmas Mouse

Is anyone else out there tired?

I'm beat.

My dining room looks like Santa's workshop (at least the wrapping department at the North Pole) and yet I am hosting Christmas Eve in it tomorrow. For 18 people.....

It seems that everyone who loves my daughter (which, as it turns out, is a lot of people) and that means from friends this weekend to people my husband works with to our neighbors to the speech therapist, have given her birthday gifts. I'm not complaining mind you, (well yes I am) but I don't begrudge any of it. I'm happy people like her and treat her well. But it  looks like the man with the bag has already been here. And while it's true that she doesn't get gifts like this at any other time of the year, I'm always afraid so many gifts all at one time is a little excessive for anyone. (I steal things from the pile to whip out at a later date) While you could imagine a large amount of gifts would be special to a child,  I fear that it brings more want instead and the specialness is diluted. 

I guess I should blame this on Santa as well.  That guy seems to give way more presents than Mommy would ever permit. (And trust me, compared to some people I think we do give a lot less.)

(Here I could wax philosophical about the true meaning of Christmas, but you've heard it all before....)

Today at pre-school I talked to a bunch of people and it felt like we were all in some kind of race, trudging tword the finish line with a glazed look in our eyes. More than one person said they couldn't wait until it was all over.

I didn't say that this year but I've been there before. I have. The past 2 Christmases I've been horribly sick (and I never get sick) Christmas week.  We are fine this year. I stress over spending large amounts of money (cash mind you) so much so that last year I also needed to put $1000 into my car the week after Christmas.( I swear I caused this, along with the sickness myself)  This week, I kid you not, I had to put $431 into it.... Apparently I am handling the money stress better, although, clearly, have not mastered it yet. ;-)

So yeah, I'm just really tired.....

December 23rd-5 Years Old

My baby girl is 5 years old today.  Actually I think that still pretty much makes her a baby.  But she told me she's a big girl now. She said she'll make her own lunch from now on (except for grilled cheese because she can't use the stove.)

You know how everyone tells you that it goes by so fast. Well it does.  Sometimes...... Sometimes 5 years has gone by rather slowly.

-Like the time she was around 6 weeks old and wouldn't stop crying (ALL DAY) so I took her out for a 2.5 hour drive around my town drinking decaffe coffee and listening to a book on tape. (I can still tell you what book it was. When the coffee ran out I just drove through Dunkin Donuts again) At that point it seemed to me that we had signed up for a lifelong commitment without actually reading the fine print....

 This is actually a big Christmas stocking but she was so tiny we had to wrap her up in it instead.

-Being up all night long. Breastfeeding and watching movies. Feeding her every 1.5-2 hrs. That particular exercise in sleep deprivation damn near killed me....

-Or being up all night being thrown up on, on Christmas Eve, so much so, the next day you think you still smell like vomit, even though you don't.

-5 minute time outs that end up taking 35 minutes. 35 L O N G   M I N U T E S.

-The power struggle over getting into the bathtub or dressing oneself even though we are completely capable of doing it ourselves....

Then later, after the struggle is over. (Because I never can quite remember it in the moment.) I remember that someday will be the last time that she wants me to dress her. 

That is the kind of thing that gets to me.The kind of thing that makes me want to open my eyes and take note of every little thing. All of the things that I just didn't know that it was the last time I was going to get to experience.

The last time she breastfed.
The last batch of baby food that I made her
Her last bottle
The last time I fed her from a spoon.
The last diaper or pull-up that I changed. (I never minded poopy diapers.)
The last walk we took where she was still in a stroller.
The last time she said Tapana for Bannana.
The last time we went to story time at the library. 

The passing of those things is what makes me feel like time is going by quickly. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22nd-I'm A Cheap Date

Today on the way home from work my husband stopped at the store to buy my daughter a sled for Christmas. When he got home, he brought with him, a dozen roses for me.

I was pretty surprised and asked why he got them for me. 
He replied, "Well I saw the roses. And then I saw the cheap price and I thought of you..."

This is the same man, who, just today, was stopped in the school cafeteria by an imposing African-American 8th grade girl who proceeded to tell him,

"For an older white guy you're pretty cute. We all think so.." Done with a sweeping hand gesture to a table full of 8th grade girls.... (I would NEVER have said this to a teacher. Heck, I don't even say stuff like that to attractive men at parties....)

Yes, it is true folks, I am the envy of many a Middle School Girl.

The roses are very nice though.

My Year on Facebook

I'm on Facebook but I consider myself more of a facebook lurker than anything else. I don't usually post status updates but I do like seeing people's family photos and what they are up to. In case anyone cares, I really have no interest in your cyber farms..... I wish there was a way to shut those updates off.....Really, I grow real food...(In truth, I won't even go near that game because I know for certain I would probably like it and it would become a real time suck for me.)  My blog also feeds to facebook which is neat and I get a lot more comments that way (Although I do, in fact, prefer them on the real blog in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, Facebook asctually has this cute application that sums up your whole year in statuses. I hardly had any but it still came out so cute!

Next year I may have to write more statuses just so my collage looks better!  I love how it stretched coffee out like that at the end!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20th-Making Pierogi with Grandma Ruth

Today my grandma and I made 90 Pierogi.  I'm so proud of this picture because in it, you can hardly tell mine from hers. (I can tell of course) but I've been getting better and better as the years go by. These have not yet been boiled.

It took us about 3 1/2 hours but it seemed to go by quickly.

Like last year, we talked and talked. When I really listen to her (I mean with my heart, and not just my ears) I  get some real life truths from her.  About her, and life in general. I'm glad I'm old enough (or wise enough) to appreciate them. Today we discussed how lucky women are today as opposed to back when she was younger. (For a huge variety of reasons) We also discussed my cousin's wedding in England that took place yesterday and my aunt and uncle who will be with us for Christmas Eve.

Bob wandered in and out all day long.

For lunch, my grandma served soup that she made from the Turkey carcass that I sent home to her on Thanksgiving (she asks for it every year) It was a simple soup of rice, carrots, onions and turkey. It was delicious. My grandmother and Bob are not poor people and yet, they are simple and conserve.

Bob told us stories about having only a chicken for Christmas dinner growing up because they could not afford a Turkey. He also has really neat stories about being an Ice Deliver man with his own truck and route when he was a young man.

When we were finished we watched a DVD that someone had sent Bob from the History Channel. They waited for me to watch it because they have no idea how to work the DVD player in their Big Screen Plasma TV....  The DVD included a part that featured the ship Bob served on in WWII, The USS Enterprise. The interesting part was the footage was from when Bob was actually on the boat and from a battle he participated in. At one point they show an ariel view of many ships racing somewhere and engaging in battle. I asked him if he can remember seeing all of those other ships around his, and he does.  He was pretty excited to talk about it. It was interesting to listen to. (Did you know that many ships in WWII had ice Cream parlors??)  I told him to bring the DVD tomorrow so that we can all watch it.

December 19th-Dino Party

By all accounts the party was a success.

 Decor by the resident Dinosaur. She swore she was wearing her Halloween costume to the party but we convinced her it might make the other kids feel badly.


 Very excited as her friends arrive. I have many other cute shots but do not want to plaster other people's children all over the internet.

I literally took a 2 hour nap when this was over. 9 kids, cake & ice cream, games to Dora Christmas music &15 intense  rounds of "Don't Break the Ice" =mentally exhausted mommy......Tomorrow we do the grandparent's party.......Wednesday we celebrate her Birthday at school,  Thursday we're hosting 17 people for Christmas Eve. By the weekend I will be toast. Having a child this close to Christmas was NOT part of the original plan.....
I don't really recommend it.
(Although we did get to bring her home in a stocking & Santa hat on Christmas Day, that was pretty awesome.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18th-Dino Cake

Tomorrow is my girl's 5th birthday party. This is a big one for her  because it is the first time we are having a kids party. She wanted to invite only boys because she doesn't think girls like Dinosaurs. We convinced her that inviting friends would be more appropriate than random boys.  She's wearing a plastic pith helmet and her girlfriends will have pink princess crowns. We are playing pass the dinosaur and going on a archaeological expedition where the kids can search for dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs. We have a craft with pink glittery dinosaurs to appeal to everyone.

I'm a pretty ok hostess. I can throw an intimate dinner for 8 without much grief. I host major Holidays. I've thrown a bridal shower brunch. I like those things. I'm comfortable in that arena.

Kids parties, not so much. I'm completely out of my element. I think I've been on the phone with Deanna (Queen of Children's Party Planning) every day this week about a 2 hour party for 9 pre-schoolers. And to tell you the truth, Deanna planned most of this party for me.  I did, in fact, come up with the cake myself. It's not the prettiest cake I've ever made but my girl is going to love it when she sees it tomorrow morning. I am particularly fond of the volcano made from a sugar cone and red sparkly gel frosting.

December 17th-Where I become like the masses

Today I became one of those people I swore I would never be. Those people I laughed at pre-child. One of those people whose motives I snickered at with scorn.

Today I went in the search of  that all allusive, Christmas toy.....

No, I did not wrestle someone in Walmart over one of those hamster things....

I meant to order this a while ago and never got around to it. Then when I went to purchase it no one had it.... I called all over and finally found it in an upscale toy store in Fairport.

Behold, the Playmobil Sphinx

They have a pyramid which is bigger and even more cool than this.  That, is nowhere to be found. This one has a secret compartment you need to open with an amulet, a mummy with a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, those 2 guys and a few other things.

The funny thing is that my daughter has no idea this even exists. (it's not like I was chasing after it because she really wanted it!)  We've been reading about Ancient Egypt and she loves it so I know she'll really like this. And this is a toy I will like playing with too.

If you've never checked out the Playmobile toys you really should. They have all kinds of sets from Romans to Pony Ranches to Weddings to Masai Warriors. I kid you not!

I almost bought myself this little guy today because he was so darn cute! Being the practical woman that I am though, I left him on the shelf.

I'm also kind of cheating and using this as my December photo of the day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Favorite Movie EVER-Little Women

Along with eggnog, another seasonal favorite of mine is the movie Little Women.  The Winona Ryder version. It has to be THAT version.

I watch it every year at Christmas and only once, so I don't get tired of it.

In every instance but this one, I prefer original books over  movie versions.  As soon as I hear the opening lines and the score of "Orchard House" I feel all swoony inside.  This is also a visually stunning movie and the story, of course, is fabulous.

It makes me want to deliver food and firewood to the less fortunate with my sisters....

It kindles my lifelong devotion to Christian Bale. I love the Laurie character so much that I can even overlook Christian's horrible public behavior in the current century. I am convinced he would be a better person had he stuck to period pieces.

It makes me want to cuddle up by the fire to read the many pieces of correspondence that I receive.

Each year I want to implore Jo to please, pretty-please, just this one time, please choose Laurie..
She never does....


I've even now, come to terms with her choice of Professor Bhaer. In the books it works but in the movie I was crushed the first time.

The movie was done in 1994. Gabriel Byrne was 45 years old. In 1994 I was 22, Nowadays, a 45 year old man doesn't look half as bad as he did back then to me......

You must see this movie! Here is the trailer to get you started!

Stephanie Draven Winter Contest!

Hey folks, my longtime friend, Stephanie Draven is running a contest over at her website for an Amazon gift certificate and one of her books!

If you've not heard me mention Stephanie before, we've been friends since High School and I love her dearly.  She is wildly intelligent (I mean really, do YOU know anyone who can weave Greek mythology,  political strife & sex into a highly readable-can't-put-down-book? I didn't think so. She's the only one I've ever met!)

Recently she was helping me with a crisis and she said something to me that prompted me to ask her if she was, indeed, 400 years old. She's so very wise and insightful into the human character. This is why & how she can weave those themes together in her writing and make it all work.
She gets people. She makes them real.

She's fun and she's saucy! (in real life too!)

December 16th-Alton Brown's Blueberry Muffins

I was feeling rather unmotivated today and we spent a pretty low key day in the house. I whipped up some of these blueberry muffins with blueberries I froze last July while the speech therapist was here.

I love Alton Brown's intelligent geekiness about food. That man can tell you the best way to make anything and then tells you why it works that way.

Agin with the foodies going over the top though. This recipe calls for you to pre-heat the oven to 380 degrees (Have you ever seen a recipe that called for that) Then, right after you put the muffins in the oven you raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees, you add 20 degrees....What gives?

Anyway, these look pretty basic but they are moist from the yogurt in them and quite tender as Alton is pretty specific about not over mixing. And he's right, of course.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15th-Lunch With Grandma Ruth

This is my Grandma Ruth. She's 85 years old. (she looks great for 85 doesn't she-she's not very wrinkly-This gives me hope-that stuff is genetic right?) She's got all of her faculties, like every single one she was born with. She's the oldest of 13 children. She had 4 children of her own. She has 7 grandkids and 9 Great Grand kids.  She likes to gamble, garden and crochet and after my grandpa passed away she drove his Monte Carlo SS for quite some time before a young guy down the street bought it. (I don't think she revved the engine much.) She went to England this past summer for 2 weeks.  She has a boyfriend whom she's been caught kissing. She complained about him today. (I love that at 85 she is complaining about her boyfriend, I LOVE it! He;s 87, soon to be 88.) She's pretty feisty sometimes when it comes down to it.

I am very very lucky to be the age I am and still get to go out to lunch with my grandma.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14th-Pittsford Farms Dairy Eggnog

One of the reasons that I love Christmas is because of eggnog. And not just any eggnog. This is the very best eggnog in the world.


It's from a local dairy but at this time of year they sell it at Wegmans. I'm so very sorry for you if you do not  live near me because this is life experience you really should have. It's creamy and made with REAL ingredients & real spices. (and look at the darn label. Isn't it cute?) I just cannot express to you my love for this beverage. There is nothing fake in this product and they are also nice enough not to include the nutritional breakdown anywhere on the package.

And the cost, well it's pretty expensive. This little qt size bottle is $5.49. You can get 1/2 gallon for $9.99. I never do get a half gallon at a time though because I would feel waaaaaaay decadent and I really don't need to consume a 1/2 gallon of eggnog each week from Thanksgiving to New Years. And yes, I do buy it every week.

You might think it's funny that a frugal girl like myself would even consider purchasing this item but I  use it as coffee creamer and it  beats paying $5 for a Starbucks Eggnog Latte that I also love so much. (And please don't even try and tell me that your fake eggnog non-dairy creamer even comes close to this perfection of dairy delight. It doesn't and you are fooling yourself.  Don't even get me started on non-dairy creamer, it won't be pretty.) In  case you are wondering what I drink in my coffee when it's not The Eggnog Christmas Season, I drink half and half. I KNOW, GASP, it's not even fat-free! 

I tend to splurge on quality rather than quantity. $5.49 may be expensive for Eggnog (or coffee creamer) but think of all of the way's you've probably wasted $5.49 before.  I get my magazines at the library for $0.25 because I can't bear to spend $5 on one, $20 a gallon for eggnog is not a big deal for me. It's all in your priorities. And mine include real food and eggnog.

I have an ice cream maker and I have been pondering taking this and trying it out in there, but I feel that might just be a little too decadent even for an eggnog lover like myself.  I might quickly make the leap from lover to junkie and I'm still looking to be able to zip my pants in the new year.

(Again, thanking God that I am not not lactose intolerant.)

December 11th Makeup-Ladies Who Lunch

Last Friday Leighanne and I drove to my favorite little hamlet of Pultneyville for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants that looks over a little inlet & the lake. We've been trying to have this lunch since August! We had a late lunch &  the whole place to ourselves.

I didn't do pictures for the weekend because Saturday's would have been a picture of Cosmos at my neighbor's annual Christmas party and Sunday's would have been the pillow that I laid my aching head on for a good part of the day. I should have stuck with beer. I am NOT a good drinker, although I pretended to be on Saturday evening.....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10th-Rescued Corner Cabinet

Just so people don't think my house is full of garbage after this post, I wanted to show everyone a piece that I finished this week, that I am particularly excited about!  All I really did was paint it, although I do think it was an inspired choice of trash picking genius when I found it.

This cabinet was one of those corner built in cabinets that a lot of houses had in the 30's and 40's. I should have taken a picture of it when I first brought it home as it had no back. Just a skeleton frame in the back and shelves. I had Michael put beadboard in the back, reinforce the sides a little and make it a freestanding unit. I used beadboard because once that red wallpaper comes down from the kitchen someone is installing beadboard in this particular part of the kitchen. You can see in the picture the wood on each side and see how much more substantial the piece looks with that extra wood once I painted it.

For those of you not in the know, Michael is not my husband. Michael is my friend Kristin's husband. This week at Garden Club Kristin described him as Deanna's and my older brother. I described him as a huge pain-in-the-ass that I adore. (Yes, Michael, I do, in fact, like you. There, I've said it. Publicly even.)

Michael and I have a symbiotic relationship in that he likes doing things for people (even though he pretends this is not the case) and I like having things done for me. (Something I am not at all shy about) It all works out rather nicely I think. He has hung shelves, installed crown molding, fixed electrical outlets, ground stumps, helped me with a decorating dilemma involving the dining room chandelier and dropped off wood for the fireplace and as much free packing material as I need from the cabinets that he installs. (His custom kitchen work is to die for!) One unfortunate day he stopped over just as my neighbor was throwing out old doors and I made had him take the glass knobs off and install them in my house.

I did actually come by the work on this cabinet honestly, I sold a bunch of his tools on eBay for him in trade. The other stuff, not so much.

I think the materials for this project cost around $25. Add to that paint, (which was $23 but I hardly used any and I will be using it for the trim in the kitchen when I paint, and a $10 paint brush (I always use Purdy brushes when I paint. They are more expensive but so worth it. I don't buy a new one with each project mind you but I was in need of a new one anyway). New glass knobs were $5 each.

All in all, it was a pretty inexpensively piece of furniture, except for the fact that my debt to Michael is ever growing....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reunited, And it Feels So Good

 He sees me from across the room and smiles. He walks over and speaks my name.
 "It's been a long time" He says, as he gives me a small kiss on the cheek.
"Too long" I mummer, slightly embarrassed.
He leads me away from the crowd with his hand gently on the small of my back.
Finally we talk.
And all at once it is like no time at all has passed.  His hands are in my hair. He's making suggestions in my ear. Interesting suggestions.
I tell him how frustrated I've been. I tell him to do what he wants. For a small instant, a furtive voice inside me thinks, damn the cost, I  need this man.....
He gently pats my shoulder, "I'll take care of you.."
I relax slightly, I know he will.
I sit back and hear the sound of a zipper being released.
He takes out his....
and begins to cut my hair.

OH YES! My former stylist Edward and I are back together. Edward and I have been on a break, a very long 2 year break. It's had it's highs and lows while I've bounced from one unsatisfying stylist relationship to another.  After my last encounter where (a highly recommended woman) butchered my hair and my eyebrows, I've said enough is enough.

The thing I love about Edward is that he is not gay.  Please note, I have nothing against gay people, or gay stylists. I know people will argue this point with me (I know all about Deanna and her devotion to Ron) but I've never had a good cut from a gay man. The styles may have been technically perfect, but they always lacked being appropriate for me, specifically. When you have a man who likes women doing your hair I think you end up looking how men would like to see you and your hair (that may have come out wrong...)

Edward is married, hunts and fishes with his Dad and brothers and looks slightly like a computer programmer. He's balding slightly, has a beard and wears somewhat geeky glasses. I am sure in his personal life people probably call him Ed. He is the most unlikely person you would imagine finding at a high end salon wielding $1000 scissors (This is true, we talked about it today. I learned all kinds of things about expensive scissors today.)  He's got a nice conversational style but with him you can also just be quiet and it's not uncomfortable. One of the last girls prattled on and on about her small child and her love of Sweet-n-low which is probably giving her cancer, I kid you not. I can not stand yammering like this and yammering while someone is touching me for 2 hours is some kind of sensory overload nightmare to me.

Anyway, Edward served me coffee, mentioned velcro roller to me with no prompting whatsoever, and told me I really do have beautiful hair. (yes, I believe his lies because when he does my hair it IS beautiful) tonight, I have gorgeous highlights, soft shiny waves and eyebrows that do not resemble two skinny rainbows over my eyes.

Ah...back where I belong.

December 9th-No Boys Allowed

Annual Garden Club Wreath  Making Event

Take one large room over Jennifer's garage & add a roaring fire.

Throw in some locally brewed beer on tap and Lisa's killer cookies.

Add Some Crafty Girls


Complete with talk of good books, existential motherhood grief, & our tallest member, Bonnie describing how badly she wanted to meet a local gorgeous pediatrician she saw in a magazine and then her horror when he turned out to be 5 feet tall with a lisp.

And you have a perfect evening at Garden Club and come home with a hand made wreath!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8th-Mini Paleontologist

My sweet girl in the hat she picked out to wear to her Dinosaur Birthday Party.  She's got an "instrument" in her hands for digging out dinosaurs. Did I mention I love that kid.

Who would think this sweet little face would later be yelling to me after I put her in timeout,

" I wish I lived in a different house. One where the people are nicer..."

I chuckled to myself as I added another minute to the time-out......

Simple Pleasures-Christmas Lights & Old Fezziwig

I like beer. I like good beer. Most any good beer actually. Recently a beer connisour asked me what kind of beer I liked, hoppy? malty? dark? light? I pretty much had to say,


Anyway, at this time of year I love Christmas style ales or winter beers (Anchor Steam anyone?) Another favorite is Old Fezziwig, which is where our story begins tonight.

This evening, while dinner was cooking I took out the compost. I had my super warm LL Bean Jacket on and a bottle of Old Fezziwig in my gloved hands. I have to say, while I like a nice beer, I still prefer it in a bottle, rather than a glass. (I'm kinda cheap like that, and I don't mean frugal.) it's enough to make beer lovers shudder.

Anyway, I decided to see how our Christmas lights look so I walked out front. Then I noticed how nice my neighbors lights look and took a walk on over there. Well then, of course, I had an entire neighborhood of lights to look at.  I slipped the beer into my pocket and sipped it along the way.  We don't have street lights in my neighborhood so it was pretty dark except for the Christmas lights. It was so peaceful, walking and looking at the lights and drinking beer. I felt mildly self-conscious (and kind of trashy) about that as I usually don't walk around my neighborhood drinking alone.....Is it even legal to walk around drinking?  I made sure it stayed in my pocket in front of the house of our new town justice. When someone's motion light went off I jumped and once when I stopped to look at a particularly nice display and take a covert sip, I noticed a neighbor walking her dog. She had her head down. My hair was up. She walked right past me. I said a friendly hello and she didn't respond. She either didn't recognize me or felt awfully embarrassed to catch me swigging beer right out in the open like that.

I walked pretty far this evening although I would say it was a far cry from excercise.

Creamy Leek Soup

I made my Sunday soup this evening.

I really really like leeks but find them rather expensive at the grocery store, thus the reason that I planted so many. I bought 1, $3 pack of leeks at the nursery this year. They come in one big clump and you can separate them and plant each one, which is about the thickness of a piece of grass. I planted every single one in the package. They look all funny and bent over at first. Then, with 6 or 7 months to spare, you have a field of leeks. It's a pretty great deal actually. $3 and a little patience. (which I usually have in short supply.) Deer don't even eat them so they don't take up room behind the fence.

At any rate, at this time of year I am judiciously using them and looking for new recipes. I had been looking for a potato & leek soup recipe, and while this one has potato in it, it's not very much, just to add a little depth I think. This soup is all about the leeks!

Creamy Leek Soup

I get most of my recipes from, which is the recipe site for Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazines.  Their search engine is great and if you can think of something you would like to eat, you can probably find a recipe for it, complete with ratings and comments. Also, it's probably the best version of whatever item you are looking for. However, once in a while, these foodies take themselves WAY too seriously. This recipe calls for 1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California Bay left. Really? Seriously? Am I really to believe that the California Bay Leaf is oh so much more pungent than the Turkish that I would need to determine which one I have in order to make this recipe???? Seriously???? My bay leaf comes off of a wreathe that I got fresh and dried. I have no idea what kind it is. A dutiful cook would maybe google images of the leaves and then compare them to what she has. I didn't do that. I split the difference and included 3/4 of one leaf. The soup tastes just fine. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7th-One Perfect Apple

 I like to use a lot of natural elements when decorating for the seasons. That way, I can easily come by, dispose of, and possibly, eat, the decor when I'm done.  I don't get really fussy. I have a shelf behind the kitchen sink that I lined with cedar branches and apples and oranges this year. Other years I have used boxwood and pine cones. 
I like how simple objects can be beautiful.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6th-Baking Cookies

My girl was better today but she missed a tea party/cooking frosting party on Friday and her school's Holiday Party on Saturday. We made cookies and frosted a few today. We'll do the rest tomorrow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5th-Around The Garden

I  am supposed to be  taking a picture  HERE tonight but since I'm home with fever girl. I'll leave you  with these pictures of my garden today.

Brussels Sprouts. Still growing but I have been assured, they are nowhere as impressive as the ones my brother is growing.

Rainbow Chard. These still look amazing really. The one on the left is one that was eaten down by deer when I left the fence open. Look how it's bouncing back. That is new growth you see. A good lesson for life I think. If I were a vegetable I guess I'd want to be rainbow chard......

Last weekend I had my girl gather up all of the pumpkins, gourds & Indian corn we used for fall decorating and put them wherever she wanted around the yard for the animals (Yes, for someone who is always bellyaching about deer in the garden I get the irony of leaving food out) This little guy is the only one left. See those stone slabs. They are near the back of the yard. My husband wanted to remove them but I like them because someone before us put them there for some reason. Best to leave them be I think.


 This lies beyond my fence.  I like how that one tree is still holding it's leaves. It's hard to tell,  but today those leaves looked like they were glowing.

Ghosts of Tomatoes Past

Languishing Leeks

Sick Girl in the Garden. Black & White so you don't see her mis- matched jammies, dirty crocs or  how bad that all looks with a leopard print coat. Don't tell my mom I let a sick child outside for some fresh air. I'll never hear the end of it....