Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whew!

Well, I managed to get my office cleaned before the strike of midnight!!!

I am not a superstitious person...at all!!! However, it somehow makes sense to me that whatever you are doing New Year's Eve will set a precidence for the coming year. Yeah, it's only in my head, but you know the saying, "what you think, you create", right?

I like to have my bills paid and in the mail, if I can, and the house clean, and whatever I want my circumstance to be in the coming year, I want to create on New Year's Eve.

My entire house did not get cleaned, however, my office did...




Clean...





Clean...








Clean...








Clean...








My reward???



While I was slaving away in my office, Hubby was busy in the kitchen preparing a feast of King Crab Legs, Lobster tails! with melted butter, homemade Foccacia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, artichoke with mayonaise, and sauteed greens with preserved lemons! I feel a little guilty about the extravagance of the crab and lobster, but this man does love a feast!

I feel blessed to have a wonderful husband, three awesome children, a mother that still wishes the best for me, a supportive extended family, two dogs that are definite members of our family, a thriving business, a home that I have come to appreciate, and love from all of the above.

I wish the same for all of you! God Bless You.



Happy New Year!

Ancient New Years
The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23, although they themselves had no written calendar.
Late March actually is a logical choice for the beginning of a new year. It is the time of year that spring begins and new crops are planted. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.
The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
The Romans continued to observe the New Year on March 25, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun. In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.


"Happy New Year" Around the World
Arabic: Kul 'aam u antum salimoun
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo means "Good Parties and Happy New Year"
Chinese: Chu Shen Tan
Czechoslavakia: Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch: Gullukkig Niuw Jaar
Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French: Bonne Annee
German: Prosit Neujahr
Greek: Eftecheezmaenos o Kaenooryos hronos
Hebrew: L'Shannah Tovah Tikatevu
Hindi: Niya Saa Moobaarak
Irish (Gaelic): Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Buon Capodanno
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
Russian: S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian: Scecna nova godina
Spanish: Feliz Ano Neuvo or Prospero Ano Nuevo
Turkish: Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Vietnamese: Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan

Obligatory fine print:
Gary Ryan Blair is the inspiration behind New Year's Resolution Week. This annual event was founded on the premise, that a single resolution can positively and profoundly create lasting change in your life and help to make the world a better place. To become part of the world's largest personal change initiative, visit www.GoalsGuy.com.

Have a fun and safe New Year's celebration my blogger friends!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Frost Flowers


I had never heard of a frost flower before yesterday. I am enthralled!


So delicate. Takes me to a place of wonderment again.

Frost flowers is the name commonly given to a condition in which thin layers of ice are extruded from long-stemmed plants in autumn or early winter. The thin layers of ice are often formed into exquisite patterns that curl into "petals" that resemble flowers.
The formation of frost flowers, also known as "ice flowers," is apparently dependent on a freezing
weather condition occurring when the ground is not already frozen. The sap in the stem of the plants will expand (water expands when frozen), causing long, thin cracks to form along the length of the stem. Water is then drawn through these cracks via capillary action and freezes upon contact with the air. As more water is drawn through the cracks it pushes the thin ice layers further from the stem, causing a thin "petal" to form. In the case of woody plants and tree branches the freezing water is squeezed through the pores of the plant forming long thin strings of ice that look uncannily like hair ie: "frost beard".
The petals of frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched. They usually melt or
sublimate when exposed to sunlight and are usually visible in the early morning or in shaded areas.
Examples of plants that form frost flowers are white
crownbeard (Verbesina virginica), commonly called frostweed, yellow ironweed (Verbesina alternifolia), and Helianthemum canadense. The have also have been observed growing from fallen branches of conifers and contain enough hydraulic power to strip the bark off.
These formations are also referred to as "ice flowers", "frost castles", "frost beard", "ice castles", "ice ribbons", or "ice blossoms".
The name "frost flowers" is also a name given to formations on newly formed ice in the arctic
.


Aren't they incredible?



We have added frost flower hunting to our list of things we want to do before we leave this earth.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting Organized

Reading through the Sunday paper yesterday, I noticed that all of the flyers had "storage solutions" on sale. I love to start off the new year clean and fresh.

The advertising business is usually pretty quiet around the holidays so I have no excuse to not "get organized." I've done a fairly good job of not getting overwhelmed with stuff during the year in my office, but looking around this morning, I see that I have three piles of junk; one to file, one to enter into the computer, and a pile of odds and ends that I'll probably decide to throw away after going through it a second time.

Oh Lord, there's another one!

These piles don't look too bad, I know, but keep in mind that I spent some time cleaning up my piles before Christmas. Hehehe.

In my past life working for a cable company, we were told that to save time you should only touch a piece of paper once. Do whatever you need to do with it, respond to it, file it, or if it's not important, throw it away. Don't set it aside to deal with later. Totally makes sense. Obviously, I'm not always real good at that.


A few months ago we stopped at a yard sale, having spied a large, 4 drawer file cabinet sitting in their driveway. We handed over 25 bucks and it's now sitting in our garage. It's banged up, scratched, but the drawers work and it will hold all of the records from this year that we need to keep, but don't need to have immediate access to.


I don't do well with clutter. It bogs me down and I feel overwhelmed. Hubby and I have made a pact that every weekend we will do at least one thing in the house or yard that takes more effort than a simple cleaning. One weekend he completely emptied out the pantry, cleaned it, checked dates on perishable items, and only returned items that he knew we would use. Love that man!


So I'm starting with my office. I vow to have it totally organized by January first!


Thursday, December 25, 2008


'He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree. '
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

When my kids were little, my youngest came home from preschool on Christmas eve with a little rolled up piece of paper, tied with ribbon, and attached to the paper was a little black pipe cleaner spider. When I asked him what it was he told me the story of the Christmas Spider. Here's the story he shared with me so many years ago.

On Christmas eve, a long time ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year... Christmas day, the day on which the little Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner on the ceiling. They had fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated. The poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the little Christ child's visit. Then the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could wait until everyone went to bed and then get a closer look.

When the house was dark and silent, the spiders crept out of their hiding place. When they neared the Christmas tree, they were delighted with the beauty of it. The spiders crept all over the tree, up and down, over the branches and twigs and saw every one of the pretty things.

The spiders loved the Christmas tree. All night long they danced in the branches, leaving them covered with spider webs. In the morning, when the little Christ child came to bless the house, he was dismayed! He loved the little spiders for they were God's creatures, but he knew the mother, who had worked so hard to make everything perfect, would not be pleased when she saw what the spiders had done.

With love in his heart and a smile on his lips, the little Christ child reached out and gently touched the spider webs. The spider webs started to sparkle and shine! They had all turned into sparkling, shimmering silver and gold.

According to legend, ever since this happened, people have hung tinsel on their Christmas trees. It has also become a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the Christmas tree.

I still have the rolled up paper, ribbon, and spider and when I decorate the tree it brings me right back to the day he told me the story and all of a sudden I'm looking into that little four year old face again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wild Weather!

I'm hoping to pick up my daughter from the airport tomorrow afternoon. As many of you are experiencing, from coast to coast, the weather is wild. We had howling winds last night (40-50 mph), but because we are so far south, we didn't get the precipitation that many others got. My friend in New Mexico woke up to over a foot of snow. They are not happy about it but are used to it. They live at 7,000 feet. She was planning on spending Christmas in our living room. Maybe next week...
Even if a person lives in a relatively calm part of the United States, travel will be questionable because you don't know where your flight is originating.
I think we may be okay if she can get on a plane and get out on time. She should leave her area before the next onslaught of weather hits her area, and we should get home before that same storm affects this area.
We'll keep our fingers crossed!
I'm hoping the same for all of you!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New "French Roses" Quilt

Did I mention that there is no black velvet to be had in Tucson??? I know! I can't believe it either! So, I'll have to order it online. I was hoping to have the velvet & tapestry quilt done by Christmas to give to my daughter, but no. Time wise, I would have been sweating it anyway. Things do have a way of working out as they're supposed to, right?

While I wait for the velvet, I have started the French Roses quilt. I saw it made up at a quilt show here in town. It was so soft looking and beautiful! The roses are four layered fabrics and each layer is sewn in a quarter inch so that the edges fray a bit, softening the edges.
The quilt show was close enough to my birthday that my very thoughtful Hubby bought the pattern and stack of fat quarters for me. He is so good to me! Love that guy!!!

Three years later I think I finally have everything I need to complete the top. I'll still have to find a backing that I like and purchase the batting, but I have put the roses together from the stack of fat quarters. I may add a couple more fabrics because I'm not completely satisfied with the combinations, but here's what I have so far.

I don't know that I'll have time over the holidays to get much farther on it but I'm excited about it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Weather - Monsoon

The prompt on The One Minute Writer today was Write about how the weather affects you emotionally, or recall a weather-related memory.

I had written this back in Monsoon season in July, but it holds true today as my favorite "weather."

Sunny and warm in the morning and as the day heats up, the biggest cloud formations that I've ever seen grow right before your very eyes. Really, you can watch them. It's hot and humid and then you feel the slightest hint of a breeze. Your head snaps up to look in all directions. (You can see FOREVER from almost everywhere) Sure enough, there it is, the curtain of rain that you can see maybe 50-75 miles away and if you're lucky, it'll come in your direction. The wind starts picking up and you look around to get things picked up and put away before the rain gets here. Ahh, there's the rolling grumble. Shasta quietly tiptoes into the house, back to her cave under the bed. She's the most alpha dog I know and is willing to take on anyone to prove that she's the boss. However, a growl of thunder will send her to bed every time. A few light sprinkles tapping on the pool cover makes me hopeful that we'll get some real rain. Did you ever see the movie "Never Ending Story"? Remember the Nothing? That's kind of what these clouds look like. They move and change and have a biblical quality about them. And it's getting darker. Yep, it's coming! We grab our glass of wine and head to the patio to watch. The wind is whipping up, blowing the birds into their hiding places in the bushes and beams under the porch. The rain starts in earnest and you feel the temperature drop; sometimes 20 degrees. Oops, the swing bangs into the smoker, better take that down. Planter blows over. Dang. The trees are whipping and the rain is so loud smacking on the pool that you have to raise your voice to talk. We stay on the porch until the rain is pounding and blowing sideways into the porch. Inside we run from window to window, front to back to watch the lightening and count until we hear the claps of thunder. We are like two little kids, giggling from excitement! The yard has large pools of water. We marvel at the sheer volume of it! Then, cccrrrraaaaccCKKKK!!! We jump at one another and run away from the windows! There is no counting between the lightening and the booming voice of thunder! Oh my gosh! It's so exciting and so scary and so fun! As the rain lightens to a mist, a rainbow to the east. No, it's a double! Awesome. May as well finish our wine on the porch!

Candy Canes

I say, smart guy!

The candy cane was originally a straight, hard, and all-white candy stick invented by French priests in the early 1400s. The cane shape is traditionally credited to a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany, who, legend has it, in 1670 bent straight candy sticks into canes to represent a shepherd's staff, and gave them to children at church services to keep them quiet. Another theory is that, as people decorated their Yule trees with food, the bent candy cane was invented as a functional solution. Candy with red stripes first appeared in the early 1900s. Postcards before 1900s show only white colored candy canes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Breakfast

I love the warm, happy feeling of Christmas morning, with far away family gathered in my kitchen.
The last few years I have served this on Christmas morning to my family. I like that you can make the preserves a couple of days ahead and actually prepare the french toast the night before.

VANILLA MAPLE FRENCH TOAST W/WARM BERRY PRESERVES
9 Eggs
2 1/4 c milk
1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
12 thick slices french bread
1/4 c butter, melted
warm maple syrup
warm berry preserves

Whisk eggs in med bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in milk. Add 1/3 cup maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk to blend. Divide custard between two 13 X 9 glass baking dishes. Arrange bread in single layer in dishes. Let soak 10 minutes. Turn over, cover, and refrigerate over night. Cook about 4 minutes on each side in the morning.

WARM BERRY PRESERVES

1 1lb bag frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 1lb bag frozen unsweetened nixed berries
2/3 cup red currant jelly
1/3 cup sugar

Mix all frozen berries, jelly and sugar in large nonstick skillet. Let stand until berries thaw and mixture is juicy, stirring occasionally and breaking strawberries into smaller pieces with spoon, about 2 hours. Boil until mixture thickens but is still chunky, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over med heat, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Very Fun

Check this out. It's creative and fun to do AND you can send it to friends!
Mine was pretty funny looking but my friends know I have the very best of intentions! Right? Right???
Look at these faces! Is there a picture anywhere that shows two better doggies than this one?


I took this last year and for the life of me, I can't remember what I bribed them with. A mouse? A chuck roast? The neighbor's cat??? At least Wilson wasn't drooling in this one. He tends to do that when there's food around.

We took them to the dog park earlier today. It's always a little bit of a gamble, trying to decide who's naughty and who's nice among all of the dogs. Shasta, little black girl, is an alpha. Hands down, no question. She would be the lead dog in the Iditerod. Never seen a dog faster than her. Some dogs like to challenge her because she puts out an air of bein' the boss in that elusive way that dogs have, although she is a very sweet girl. One time while visiting my mother we took my dogs to the dog park near her home. It was full of senior citizens and their small, well-behaved dogs. Within moments Shasta had the lot of them running amuck in a pack. It was wild. All of the owners' mouths were hanging open!

One complaint that I have of the dog park is that most people that take their dogs there stand around in a little circle, not paying much attention to where their dogs are or what they're doing. I always pick up the piles that my dogs leave and some they were not responsible for. The point is that we watch them.

Today Shasta was attacked by another dog at the park and while I was yelling for the owner to come get his dog, these people just stood there watching. Hubby managed to get in there and separate them, but only then did the owner come over. I leashed her and tried to get her out of there but the other dogs kept trying to get at her. I finally had to posture at one of the dogs before its owner came to get his dog. She's fine, no damage done. Poor Wilson was scared to death.

That was her first fight in 10 years. Scared me. She shook it off but was on edge as we left. I tend to be overprotective of everyone that I love. I hope I will allow her to go back.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Three years ago we bought a little Meyer lemon tree. When we lived in California we had one in the backyard that produced lemons all year long. Since I wasn't sure where I wanted to plant it, we put it in a big pot.

We live in the desert but at 4600 ft. Winter's are fairly cold here. The first winter our little lemon tree had a tough time, dropped leaves, and basically was done for. Or so we thought.

Come spring it started popping a few fragrant blossoms and we babied it back to health. It had a few teeny lemons that we eagerly watched over a few months that eventually just fell off.

The next winter I brought the pot into my kitchen next to the window. The leaves were bright green again and when spring came around my kitchen was filled with the most wonderful scent! There may be nothing that smells better than that. It was doing so well in the house that I was afraid to put it back outside but it was starting to get fairly big and took up too much room.

Today it is loaded with lemons and we actually got to enjoy our first one last week. All of the babying was worth it! So juicy and almost sweet.
I've been covering it at night when the temperature drops to freezing. The nursery people suggested running low wattage Christmas lights through the branches under the cover in a hard freeze.
As lemons are 80 cents EACH here, I think I'll get those lights!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Shade

Our back deck faces east. That means that we have beautiful sunrises.

In winter the sun comes up much farther south and as the season's change it moves to the north.

During the spring and summer we like to take our coffee out there in the morning and read the paper, a book, or just watch and listen to the birds all over the yard. Several years ago we decided to get one of those roll up shades so that it wouldn't be quite so bright. It's hard to read through eyes squinted to slits!

So we hung the shade and that first summer spent most mornings out there.

The next spring of our shade we noticed alot of activity towards the end of the shade. Oh, and by the way, the last time we rolled it up, we rolled it up geehawky, crooked. So one end has shade sticking out and the other end has a wonderful space that is just perfect for a little bird's nest.

Yes, we have not been able to use that shade for the last THREE years!!!

It has been a fantastic nest for our House Finches. In case you don't know, hardy and adaptable, house finches were kept as cage birds before it became illegal in the 1940's. Rather than face arrest, pet store operators in the East released their house finches and the birds, native to western North America, have taken the continent by storm. With their rich, cheery warble and insistent tweeting, house finches serve as a magnet to other, shyer feeder birds. A few house finches at a feeder can attract many other species.

House finches may nest almost anywhere, and are famous for choosing hanging baskets as nest sites.

This fall one of our resident Cactus Wrens pulled the nest out of the shade. I thought it was sad but eagerly looked ahead to the times we would once again be able to use the darned shade!

Okay, who knew they would use it during the winter too!
We have been getting down to freezing at night now and have a big blow tonight (30 + mph). I feel good knowing that this particular little bird has a safe place to close her eyes.






Friday, December 12, 2008

Madison

We received an email today from a friend in California. He is younger than us, full of energy, and is a bicycle enthusiast. By enthusiast, I mean someone that will ride his very expensive bike for many more miles than any of us could imagine. He called it the "Keepin' it Real Tour" and would ride for a hundred miles in a couple of days. Crazy, man!


During his wild rides, we would take care of his beautiful dogs, Murray & Madison. They were Australian Shepherds, one red and one tri-colored. Murray, the red, passed a few years ago. I know that our friend lost a piece of his very being when Murray died. He allowed Madison to go to Murray and in her own way understand that Murray was gone. I absolutely respect him for that. He buried him on the shore that Murray so loved to run.


As the last few years have skittered by, we have lost the connection that we had with our friend, although we have always cherished the friendship and respect that we have felt for him.


Today, we received this from our friend:


R.I.P. December 10. 2008.
13 years 7 months.
Madison, Donner LakeJune 5, 2008
13 years 1 month
Thanks to you and Lisa for the massive love back in the day........

My heart breaks for you, Aaron, because I know how you felt about these magnificent animals and I remember the respect and the absolute devotion & love that they had for you. It was an honor to know these wonderful dogs!

God bless our four legged friends!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Tips

TEN TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rumballs.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? LaborDay?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Have a great Holiday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Balloon Fun


video

I'm thinkin' these little dogs are way too much for me! But they are very cute!

This video reminds me of this other balloon fun! I'm totally addicted to it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Every Man Wants in Bed

video

Yes, I know my hubby would go for this! In fact, he's the one that sent this to me. I had asked him to help me out and give me some hints for what he would like for Christmas. He is just the hardest person to buy for! Usually, if he sees something he wants he just goes and gets it and says afterward, "I've been wanting one of these." I have to remind him that it would be nice if he let someone else get it for him. He would feel good and they would feel good. I'll keep looking...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Early Kodachrome Images

If you're a photography buff, please check this out.


It's pre-WWII pictures that trace history all over America.












We have all had our worries, and trials, and fits of hope in spite of it all. But nothing like what our parents and grandparents experienced.


The world has come so far, good or bad, mostly good.
But we're so busy now, in such a hurry.
Christmas time especially is a manic race to buy so much, have so much, and get so much.
I took my mother to the mall last week for a little shopping. She was outraged at the prices of things and at the sheer volume of junk for sale.
Made me think of what Christmas must have been like in her youth. Not much under the tree I think. Simple things, but things that still made them happy.
This year, less junk. More love.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tagged!

I've been tagged by Heather! I'm always up for a game as well and what a great way to learn a bit about other people in the bloggy world!

Although...when I read the "rules" I realized (and worried) that I'm not real savvy on links. But as with all things that I don't know, I had to go figure it out in the help pages!

I love learning new things, not that it's always a happy venture (this one was). When I do finally catch a clue I feel like I've accomplished something.

So let's see, seven random or weird facts about me....

  • I was a blackjack dealer for 7 years in my early 20's.

  • I have been in several local television commercials.

  • I do voicework for radio and television commercials.

  • I started blogging as a self-help tool. :)

  • I have three wonderful children.

  • I am married to an awesome man that was a hit-maker on radio in the 70's.

  • I am an optimist. My glass IS half full!
So here are the rules for the next taggees:

  1. Link the person who tagged you.

  2. Post the rules on your blog.

  3. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.

  4. Tag seven other people and include links to their tags - meryl, janice, jennifer, Meili Lo, Kimberly, Jen, and Simply Heather.

  5. Let each of the other people know by commenting on their blogs

I haven't been blogging for all that long, so if I happen to tag someone who has been tagged before or too recently...'scuse please!

Thank you Heather for giving me an opportunity to learn!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Recipe Exchange

1. Janice Janice_Mathis@comcast.net
2. Lisa shabbygirl@cox.net

You've been invited to be a part of a recipe exchange. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is listed in the number 1 position above (even if you don't know them). It should preferably be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is one you know in your head and can type out and send right now.

Then, copy this letter into a new e-mail, move my name to the #1 position and put your name in the #2 position. Only my name and your name should show when you send your e-mail. Send to 20 friends.

If you cannot do this within 5 days, let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It's fun to see where they come from. Seldom does anyone drop out because we can all use new recipes. The turnaround is fast because there are only 2 names on the list.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Circle of Life


I am so fortunate to work at home. My office has a window right next to my computer that looks out to the mountain in the backround and directly outside looks to where I feed the birds and bunnies.

As I was pondering what I was going to write for Pictures, Poetry, & Prose this morning, a large Cooper's Hawk landed beneath the red tip bushes.

That area is always teaming with all sorts of birds. I feed them because watching them makes me happy. Must come from all those Disney movies back in the day, right? Remember all those happy, chirpy birds?
The little birds, ever watchful, saw him coming and filled the red tip bushes. I watched the hawk walk around looking up into the bushes, seeing the birds and trying to figure out how to nab one. He was also aware of me looking out the window. I realized I was holding my breath, being as still as those birds in the bushes. Was all I could do to keep from waving my hands or making enough noise to scare the hawk off.
He turned to look at me just before taking off into the air to circle and tip the top of the bush just enough to shake several birds out of it. They were just fast enough this morning to not become his breakfast.
What I've learned since moving to the desert is that this can be a tough place for wildlife to survive. Maybe because there are wide open spaces here and opportunities to see the cycle and circle of life, I have come to respect that I don't decide who gets to eat and who doesn't. But I was quite happy when the hawk flew off to find breakfast somewhere else.




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What can I say? What can you say?

Tequila Christmas Cake
Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
1 bottle tequila
2 cups of dried fruit
Sample the tequila to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the tequila again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup... just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the tequila. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.
BINGLE JELLS!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Gift

This is an email that is going around. I just love it. I love being older and the freedom that comes with that.


Old Age, I decided, is a gift

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!) , but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a los t love .. . I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.
They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I
am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration