Monday, December 31, 2007

My BIG New Year's Resolution

As I sit here mixing Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta Cheese (take that, Martha!) into a truly disgusting mix of cheesy hot dip for the family New Year's Eve Party (they actually asked me to bring it) I thought I'd take a moment to say "Happy New Year" to everyone and point out those little goal rulers at the end of my blog. For Christmas I luckily got a membership to the gym, and I will be neck deep in water aerobics classes by the end of the week. I am also planning on working the treadmill miles as well this year. Nothing keeps you on the straight and narrow like public disclosure, so I am tracking my progress on my blog this year. Then everyone can cheer my success or slap me into reality if I forget my resolutions to myself. OK, maybe not slap me (there are some of you that would derive waaaay too much pleasure in doing that), but nudge me in the right direction. :) Goodbye Velveeta and 2007!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's Almost the New Year!

Seems like time moves faster and faster, but 2007 is a year I will enjoy being gone. I've been through quite a set of personal trials and tribulations this year, but when I think of where I was last year and where I am now I feel very blessed. I was surprised to find that for every one bad experience there were two more that were amazingly wonderful this year. I also learned nothing comes from standing still, that it is sometimes blind faith and movement that life requires. I do not regret anything, because in these experiences I truly found the grit placed in me by the tough women of my family, long gone. Today I am stronger and more determined than ever, and pointed forward.
Then there were my friends. I've always maintained I had the best, and they certainly proved themselves as such to me this year. For those who held my hand, talked to me for hours, and just were present when I was in need I thank you. I welcome 2008 with open arms and heart, and wish this for you all as well. A bright New Year, ready for the jumble of life to be written upon it. I don't know why, but my heart tells me 2008 is going to be a great year for us all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One of my Favorite Family Traditions

Some years ago I discovered Kinder Surprise Eggs in Canada, and as things go I made sure my family and friends had them for Christmas. Each chocolate Kinder egg has a plastic capsule inside, fitted with a toy inside to assemble. Some toys can be pretty complicated, but they are all really fun to build. My family likes to build them in mass quantities then participate in horse-trading the coolest of them afterwards. I understand these eggs are sold worldwide, but in my limited experience German toys are the most complicated and hardest to assemble. Many people collect the toys, as there are 120 new toys introduced each year. Little did I know when I drug them home to my family that they were also very addictive.

Since they are illegal to sell in this country, we now spend time every year ferreting them out on the internet for Christmas. Ebay was a bonanza for a while, but they discontinued when someone cracked down on them. Then we shopped Canadian sites on the internet and found them for several years. This year it took weeks to find someone to send them, and they arrived declared "toys" and not "candy" on the customs form. I always thought that they were banned from the U.S.A. because some yahoo somewhere would give these tiny parts to a baby and then sue. But when I questioned the shipper this year I found that the ban is not the small plastic toys, but that Hershey Chocolate has lobbied to keep this chocolate out of the states. It is traditional European milk chocolate, with hazelnut coating inside, and it is truly delicious. Since there are no other additives, I can't imagine why Hershey would want these banned. >>wink<<

So Kinder Christmas once again observed here...Yay!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

OVER-THE-TOP Christmas Awards 2007

2007 Christmas Decoration of Choice: Anyone that celebrated this holiday with pre-teen and teen aged children knows that nothing says "I'm TOO COOL for Christmas" like this little mechanical marvel. In my day we slouched around like true teenagers whining every step of the way, refusing to participate in anything resembling family style joy. But, thanks to the cell phone, you can now reach out and connect with other miserable teenagers, forming a giant circular link of holiday angst. Was that Christmas Bells ...or the beep of yet another text message? (LOL)

Worst "Oh No you Dinnit" Christmas Gift: Patty presented this lovely specimen to Martha for Christmas. Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might be a Redneck..." board game should not be played by southern adults enjoying any holiday beverage, especially beer. What a treat it was to actually play this, and do my rendition of the"stomping on cockroaches"dance for all assembled. We really didn't need this game to give my family the perfect white trash Christmas, we could have written it. (LOL)

Annual Beeping, Twinkling Snowman "Guaranteed to Delight Patty all Year" Award: This year the "Christmas Snowman Surprise" from Avon was a real winner. It opened with a "bling, bling" of "magic" sound (activated with the slightest of movement) then played a happy Christmas carol as the figures inside ice skate around in the stomach. My sister has so many snowmen that she has an entire room set up to enjoy them all year, and you can bet we'll be hearing this one at least once a day. You would have thought she was given the hope diamond when she opened this one. (LOL)

Gift Guaranteed to Annoy Everyone in the Room Award: This prestigious award goes to the Playstation Rock Band Game. Oh, it was cute at first when the children were strumming the little plastic guitar and beating on the plate-like drums, but I assure you I could have lived another few years without watching my two adult (?) sisters and brother-in-law's rendition of a Bon Jovi classic. Especially the 26 times they repeated it in an effort to get a higher score. (LOL)

Holiday Dish that Most Resembles a Vegetable Award : My sister Martha's Broccoli Salad. It wins purely on the strength of actually being somewhat green with the inclusion of broccoli. Add sugar, bacon, pecans, raisins, and mayonnaise and you succeed in making a salad that is actually far worse for you to eat than full-on cheesecake. Good job Martha!

Thus concludes our Over-The-Top Christmas Award Blog. Can hardly with until New Year's ;)

A Christmas Storybook: My Treetop Angel

I have told this story many times, and this was to be written and uploaded the last time for Christmas Eve. Of course life happened (and my boisterous family's expectations) when I had other plans, so please enjoy this final story with all my best wishes for a peaceful and happy holidays. :)
In 1991 it was really rainy December in Seattle, and Judy and I were out to eat Thai food at our favorite restaurant. I recall we were having an overheated squabble about something I can not even remember as couples often do (back when being "right" was so important), and both feeling the chill of irked and uncomfortable silence as we walked back to the car. As we crossed the street to find where our truck was parked we passed a small antique store, and I glanced in the window and gasped. Sitting at the top of a tree full of vintage ornaments was one of my sweetest Christmas memories. It broke the silence between as I spoke. "See that angel tree topper Judy? My families tree topper was just like that one for years. When I was a little girl I thought that was the most beautiful thing in the world. I truly believed the fiberglass cloud was actually made of "real" angel hair." We shared a little chuckle over this childish magical thinking, and it thawed out our personal cold war a bit, making the trip home a little better.
That Christmas Day found us sharing the day with our little southern expatriate family Roger and Marty. It was a lovely Christmas, with excellent food (as is the case when children from the south gather for any holiday, and especially when Roger is cooking). It was the year Marty stood in line at I. Magnin to get a special signed Christopher Radko Madonna ornament for me, and I remember thinking at the time I opened it that this was, indeed, the perfect gift . So after all the presents were opened and all the wrapping paper was cleared away Judy remembered one last one. (I have never known whether this was intentional or she truly "forgot", it certainly seemed at the time this was genuine forgetfulness.) Presented in the flat brown bag it was packaged in when purchased was my beautiful treetop angel. I was delighted and speechless, completely overcome with emotion. It even surprised me at the intensity of it. This was to be one of the most memorable holidays of my life.
Over the years I have been given amazing and beautiful things as presents. Extravagant gifts, thoughtful gifts, and even sweet gifts as well. And I always remember this as one of the most meaningful, because it truly spoke to my heart. Not because it was a cherished childhood memory, but because I knew that Judy heard me and understood me at the core. Even when stressed out or angry at me, she truly listened and heard my heart. To me, this was what unconditional love was, and I knew at that very moment I have been truly loved in this life. Since then, I have tried my best to listen and hear what the heart wants when giving gifts to others, and be grateful for love where I find it, even if it doesn't always look like I thought it would or come with detailed instructions. Thank you Judy, as always. It is my wish everyone reading this finds this experience in their lives as well, if not this Christmas in their lifetime. Just remember to believe it is possible that fiberglass may be real angel hair, and you might find what you seek.
All my best to everyone, Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Family Has Hijacked me...

...and they won't let up (LOL) So I snuck in here to say "Merry Christmas" to everybody I haven't called or written so far, and say that I will be blogging and calling this evening after all the holiday carnage is complete. :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

I have DIED and Gone to heaven!

Found this wandering around on U-Tube today. Anybody got a house I can do this to next year? (LOL)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Things Inside Of Glass Balls

Christmas balls with tiny lampworked glass Santas, glass deer, or even foil stars or trees. Little things inside of clear things is one of my favorite lifelong visual influences. The foil star ornaments were purchased from Neiman Marcus when I was in my teens, and it set in motion a whole attraction to glass bubbles with things inside. I went through several years finding bubble ornaments for my collection, but stopped eventually because they get lost visually on Christmas trees. I of course moved on to lampworked paperweights and cased crystal glass instead (it really is amazing how my visual "eye" works, completely unconsciously). The tiny Santa bubbles are really a test of any relationship especially, as they are easily overlooked when packing up the tree. More than once they have been rescued from the curb before traveling to the dump. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Patti Labelle's Choir - LIVE on CLASH OF THE CHOIRS

Anybody else been watching this? I am here to say, this was the first night song from Patti LaBelle's choir, and they have consistantly blown everyone else on that stage out of the water. I swear, if I were competing against them I would have immediately packed my bags after witnessing this. Well done Lady Labelle!

Coming Out of the Klutz Closet

Okay, I have to tell this story. One of the results of the big blizzard this weekend was miles of ice and slush everywhere. On Sunday my niece performed in a dinner theatre, and it was gonna be hell or high water that kept me from it. My sister was picking me up, and all I had to do was walk about 10 feet around her van and get inside. Honestly, 10 feet! In my best tread shoes I made my way around; only five more feet to go when it happened. Slip.... right myself, sliiiiip....right myself again, ut-oh....BAM! I found myself sprawling in a most unladylike fashion. I actually tried several times to catch myself, but actually fell full force on a backpack with my camera and all the stuff I brought to document the event. Okay, everything seemed alright, lost my breath but no serious bone breakage, skin scrapes, or blood. Good thing voluptuous women bounce! (LOL) Got up, got in the car, and went to the performance. It's all good.
But this is the really funny part of the story. I fell on my backpack, and so now I have all these little odd shaped purple bruises on my torso. A camera shaped bruise, a key shaped one; all the shapes of things that were in my backpack. (LOL) They are situated on my body kinda like little purple Christmas ornaments would be on a tree. So yes, I am really ready for the holidays this year, decorated skin deep. Ho-Ho-Ho...owie

A Christmas Storybook: Odd Christmas Toys

(LOL) Toys. You really can't be a life long toy collector without finding Christmas themed toys along the line, and these bendie figures and wind-up Christmas hoppers are just a selection of the Christmas toys that can be found in my Christmas collection. Purchased as far back as 1973, they are just like rabbits and always seem to multiply. One year I made a holiday centerpiece out of them, but usually they are only around to amuse the child in me. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Gingerbread Christmas Troll

When I was 12 years old, these troll dolls were all the rage. Most kids asked for Barbie Dolls, and then there were the odd ones that asked for trolls. Guess which type I was? (LOL) I would spend hours brushing their long luxurious hair and dressing these to fit the day. For Christmas 1969 my mother made a whole box of tiny troll clothing for my trolls, including cheerleader outfits, nurse uniforms, and even a mermaid costume. At one time I had about thirty troll dolls, some larger, some smaller. I even had troll jewelry. This little Gingerbread Troll is the last of my collection, and always reminds me of the 70's. Between these and my "smiley face" collection I will readily admit it, I really was a seriously goofy kid!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Survived the Great I-70 Blizzard, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt

Well, last I wrote I was on my way to the last show of Arty's season, in Indianapolis. Funny things happen when you are busy making other plans. (LOL) The second morning of the show, we peeked out of the hotel room window at 8 am and saw massive amounts of snow falling. Ever the troupers, we prepared for another work day, but watched the Weather Channel to see just how bad this storm was to be. Of course, the wide band of snow seemed to be targeting the I-70 corridor, so we were going to take a direct hit in Indianapolis and probably the entire 3 1/2 hour trip home. At the convention center we set up, and of course everyone was talking about the weather, and since most vendors were from out of town everyone was concerned. Patty looked at me, I looked at her, and we agreed that since our trip was going to be treacherous back we should pack it in and start back on Saturday during daylight, which meant packing up and leaving our show 2 days early. No amount of money is worth real danger later.
I have lived in Alaska, and the snow that was falling when we left the show was a close to white out conditions as I have been in since leaving Anchorage. Visibility was very poor, and even the truckers were pulled off to the side of the road everywhere. Snowflakes as big around as quarters hit the windshield with regularity, and my normally lead-foot sister was driving 40 miles an hour. Patty joked that we wouldn't have to be the Donner Party if we got stuck since we had so much food in the van. I told her about a trip Judy and I had taken across Anchorage in one of these storms, and threatened to sing 999 bottles of beer on the wall all the way. (LOL) We talked and laughed through clenched teeth all the way home. A trip that usually takes 3 1/2 hours took about 5, and conditions did improve as we crossed back into Illinois. But we were clear that we were between storms, and had left at the perfect time.
It snowed heavily here last night after we returned, and today the sun is shining like nothing even happened. So Crystal and I scraped up a little melting snow this morning and made a snow family on the back deck and took a picture, just to remind us of the Great 2007 I-70 Blizzard.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: The Beginning of Greatness

Every year I try to buy one or two special ornaments for my collection, and as I stated before I really like old mouth blown mercury glass ornaments. In 1990 I saw these at the Smith and Hawkin Gardening Store, and I had to buy them. Even though they were newer ornaments, they were so "retro vintage" I knew I would always love them. They are over sized, and seemed pretty expensive ($25.00 each at the time) for ornaments. What I didn't know is that I was at the beginning of an ornament these are the very first Christmas ornaments Christopher Radko ever produced. Fast forward to the future, when he designs incredible fantasy ornaments, some priced in the hundreds of dollars; but every collector in the country is looking for these since they were such a limited edition. Of everything I've seen him make, I like my little fat snowman and Santa the best of all.

A Christmas Storybook: Christmas Cookie Ornaments

Yes, these realistic Christmas Gorham cookie ornaments may seem pretty normal, but they hold a very special Christmas secret. I purchased them the first Christmas Judy and I were together, and had them hanging on our first tree. Now her big black Labrador "Max" was irked with both of us, since we worked during the little light of the day and it was dark when we arrived home. She wasn't getting as much attention as she would have liked. (Even though she did enjoy the secret McDonald's fast food burgers I smuggled to her when we were alone so she'd like me better.) So one day, Judy and I arrived home to find Max had decided to eat Judy's Christmas Stocking in protest. I had worked so hard to find fun things to fill it, and Max had consumed or torn through most of it, even the chocolate. (LOL) I felt so sorry for her when she was punished over it. This was one of the few times I ever knew her to misbehave, as she was beautifully trained. But the secret I have kept until this minute is that the little pink star cookie actually has Max teeth marks in the back. I guess she started on the cookie ornaments, but realized right away they didn't taste as good as they looked. Max is gone now, and so those little teeth marks are precious to me. She'll always be a GOOD DOG! :)

Christmas Road Trip

Tonight was the night, armed with blankets and hot chocolate, I drove the kids around to see the light displays. Here's a few pictures of displays in our little town. I'm off this weekend to work the last show in the season, so I am uploading a few stories to tide over until Monday. Ho-Ho-Ho!!!

A Christmas Storybook: Frida Kahlo Ornament

My first claim to fame was as a jewelry designer, and for the years between 1989-1993 I sold Mexican and southwestern themed jewelry. Many pieces featured Frida Kahlo, a somewhat unknown (at the time) female painter. Her fame increased during these years, with many Museum exhibitions and tributes, and I was the "go-to-gal" for many a museum gallery. I even sold in the gift gallery of Frida's Blue House, which was truly an honor. My jewelry pieces still come up on Ebay occasionally, bringing prices I never imagined they would. After my intense study of Frida, and all the doors she opened for me as an artist I am very fond of her of course, and in 2005 my sister Patty was pleased as punch when she found this Frida Kahlo Christmas ornament for me. It will always remind me of the spiritual debt I owe a woman I never met, even though I knew her well. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Day in the Life

It occurred to me today that most of the time I blog big news events or stories from my life and past. I do read a lot of blogs, and I see a lot of people use their space as a personal daily diary, or to vent about their trials and tribulations. But it seems to me very few people just write about an average ordinary day. There really is no reason for me to write a special blog entry about it, but I woke up in a great mood, happy, and have been so productive I just wanted to remark on it. Cold and drizzly outside, I cooked, cleaned, and enjoyed a nice cup of Mexican hot chocolate after lunch. I feel so happy to be alive, and so appreciative of my little life on this planet for no special reason. Tonight I will start my yearly Christmas Cookies, and plan to wrap gifts and watch a movie or so as I do it. No work pressure,no family obligations, no personal angst; just a peaceful day. Memorable only to me.

A Christmas Storybook: Aunt Laura Ornaments

My Aunt Laura lived in Alaska, my mother's older sister, and she was the most amazing hand crafter I have ever known. I was her namesake, and she was the most artistically creative sister so it really fit. She would make the most wondrous things, all without patterns or prototypes, as was well known locally for her apple dolls and Easter eggs. It was her tradition every year to make a special ornament for her children, and when I was living and working in Anchorage she included me too. In 1985 she gave us all old lady angels because she was convinced angels were actually wise old ladies, and not youthful as they usually appear. Then in 1986 she made this charming puffy Santa Claus for everyone. She is long gone now, my sprite of an aunt, but every year at Christmas I find these in my ornament collection and I remember my sweet Aunt Laura. My own personal old lady angel.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Christmas Music

Christmas Music. Remember when that was basically old standards by Bing Crosby with "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" thrown in for good measure? I am always on the search for an unusual "tweak" in Christmas music. Of course there is ELVIS, who is in a class by himself. Christmas Cocktails (a compilation by Brad Benedict) is one of my all time favorites. Oh -so-cool snippets of 50's and 60's influenced Christmas carols, Daddy-O. But when I really want to get the most bang for my buck in the Christmas cheer department it is time for Louis Armstrong. Who can't be happy listening to Satchmo? So alive and happy to making music, he delivers more of the same to Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Odd Old Nativities

I know in this age of bigger is better I should be collecting huge life size nativity sets, but it seems I am attracted to tiny vintage ones. I collected miniatures as a child, and was always fascinated with them after reading the books "Stuart Little" and "The Borrowers" and finding tiny things they would use if he ever visited me
The small plastic nativity hut with glitter was one I had as a child, and I have fond memories of sitting it by my bedside and looking at it every night before I went to sleep during the Christmas season anticipating the big day. The carded set was one I found at auction in 1991, and in my obsession I stood in Illinois mud up to my ankles for hours to be able to pay $1.00 for the junk box it was in. And finally the "day glow" set was one my Mother had for many years in her collection of nativities. I always found it odd that they would even make a "glowing" miniature Nativity. Who thinks up these things? And better yet, how many could have possibly sold? (LOL) In any case, of all the things my Mother left behind somehow this little nativity made it's way to me. I have always found it fascinating the things that are long past that drive us unconsciously as adults. I figure my tiny nativity attraction is pretty harmless. :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Christmas Lights Tiara

Ahhhhh, the annual viewing of the outdoor Christmas Lights displays... what could be more American than a blanket, thermos of hot chocolate and gasoline you could actually waste viewing your neighbor's Christmas Lights across the city?
Maybe it's a southern thing, but even now I make a point of trekking through the elements to enjoy this particular expression of seasonal creativity. In 2004 Genie went along for the ride, and she presented me with the coveted "Christmas Viewing Lights Tiara" that year. I didn't have the heart to tell her these were actually reindeer antlers (a true tiara requires rhinestones after all). Even so, I wore this on my head proudly as we drove through new money Dallas looking at truly remarkable displays of Holiday wattage. Long Live Reddy Killowat. :)

A Christmas Storybook: A Pickle?

I've always been fond of old mouth blown mercury glass ornaments. But in 1983 when searching for the ornament of the season I came across this one. A pickle....yes, a blown glass pickle! Now, I have found all manner of blown glass fruits and vegetables, occupations, and animals. I have even seen Vegas showgirls, snake charmers, and Day of the Dead skeletons represented in this medium. But a pickle? No...this was special! I could just imagine the glass worker in Poland who's job it was to carefully blow pickle after pickle all day long. To get just the perfect pickle curve and bumpiness. Standing day in and day out next to the guy blowing the giant Frostie the Snowman Commemorative globe and thinking..."Someday that will be me."
So that year, in honor of that lowly pickle blower with a dream in Poland I bought these odd little pickle ornaments for all my friends and family. Nothing says Christmas to me quite like a bumpy dill pickle after all. :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Christmas Storybook: Mechanical Snowman

I'll admit it, I am sooo not a fan of mechanical Christmas do-dahs. But genetics aren't always the same between sisters, and my sister Patty lives for these things. Every year searching for "the" new Christmas decoration that beeps or squawks, it makes her house a giant labyrinth of annoying Christmas cheer noise.
In 2002 she proudly displayed this guy in her front hallway. The first time I saw him wiggle his derriere and swing his little light-up snowflakes to the tune of "I'm Mr. White Christmas" in his glitter vest I squealed ""OH MY GOD...she's found a drag queen snowman!!! " Mostly to annoy my sister. Insert guffaw here.
Well, imagine my surprise when watching Jay Leno on the Tonight Show about a week later and seeing this little snowman featured on a Christmas product segment. And what did Jay Leno say about this little guy? Hmmm... I guess I wasn't the only only to see the similarities. My sister saw Leno too, and guess what was under the tree for me that year. (LOL)
A postscript to this little tale: Of course Mr. White Christmas sold out everywhere after his appearance on the Tonight Show. So when he finally was restocked he'd had a makeover. In an attempt to butch him up they'd replaced his glitter vest with one "only a straight guy" would wear. Needless to say he fit in at Wallymart better, but he'd lost his charm. Those "MR. White Christmas, dammit!" Snowman hit the clearance table almost as soon as they arrived. Hee!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Christmas Storybook : Reindeer Steaks

While reading Sharon's blog about several of her special Christmas Ornaments over at Domestic Bliss I got the idea to write some new personal Christmas stories for the holiday season as a gift to my readers. (A better gift than a card, but maybe not as good as a bottle of wine.) Each day I will pull something from my own rather eclectic Christmas decor to write a story about; some funny, some beautiful, and some bittersweet. Think of it as a little blog advent calender counting down to the big day. Hope ya'll enjoy reading, even you grumpy assed "I hate Christmas" people.
This, dear readers, is my nomination for the funniest product concept incorporated into Christmas ornaments I have seen in my life. I bought this set from my friend Terri Sullivan at her store BIZANGO in 1995, and even today they make me laugh uncontrollably. Leave it to BlueQ to do this. I mean, what could be more evil than Reindeer Meat Cuts named after famous reindeers on pop out Christmas Ornaments? If you aren't laughing at this, you really need to check your pulse. I don't hang them on my tree, as they are traumatic to children. But every year, when I unpack and see them, I am insured of a really big belly laugh to start the season.

Blog Number 300 Snuck up on me!

On to 400 :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another Friendly Public Service Announcement

Management has received a fervent request that something be written here so the first thing you see loading my blog is not my scrumptious pie. I mean really, it was a lovely pie. In the immortal words of Barney the Dinosaur "Sharing is Caring", and indeed those are words I strive heartily to live by. But, as is the way of all good intentions, now there are words to read first upon viewing my blog since the photograph seemed to be the road to Hell for some. And so comes the disclaimer*

*Photographs of food presented on this blog are considered entertainment (unless otherwise noted) and may not be your experience in baking. We strongly recommend that those with chronic inappropriate hunger or temporary growling stomachs decline to view photographs thirty minutes to one hour before eating, and never before bedtime. We provide no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the ability of this blogger to FedEx pies upon user request. Photograph of "Turkey & Mushroom" pie was meant as an illustration of the season and not, as has been implied, uploaded to torture any unfortunate "pie-less" readers. Unauthorized or improper use of pie photographs may result in administrative disciplinary action and severe indigestion. View pie photographs at your own risk.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Chilly Winter's Day Project

YUM! For all you turkey hater's out there, this is why Thanksgiving Turkeys RULE. It was drizzly and cold outside Saturday (as it is today), and it seemed the perfect day to make a turkey pot pie with mushrooms. I actually made my own crust, and did the little "pie flower" steam vents my grandmother used to make on hers. Smelled so heavenly cooking, and looked so cheery on my counter cooling, I thought I'd share this little pie and all the warm feelings I'm having on this cold winter day. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ok George

I got a "Wheresgeorge" dollar bill in my change last night, and couldn't wait to see where he traveled in his normal circulation. I really enjoy the idea of tracking where bills go, and what they are spent on in their travels. But POOR George... this bill only travelled 18 Miles in 1 year, 232 days, 14 hours, 35 minutes at an average of 0.03 Miles per day. Not that Illinois isn't a fabulous tourist destination, but that doesn't seem like much of a trip in my humble estimation. So I have the idea of sending him in a gift with a note to spend in another state. Giving him a little "jump start" somewhere new. Too much of the country left to see, I figure I am doing my patriotic part. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It Starts with Gratitude...

Having fun learning more about Kanji, Japanese pictogram language. I find it fascinating of course, since I've always been attracted to the visually symbolic. Thought I would upload a few here over the next few weeks in an effort to remember them as I learn. It seems most appropriate to start with the symbol for "gratitude" since we are so close to Thanksgiving. (A holiday that has seemingly morphed into a monstrous turkey gluttonfest, and not so much the act of gratitude for abundance it should represent.) I try my best in my daily written journal to be thankful for the small overlooked aspects of life as well as the huge miracles. So today I send out to my friends "gratitude", to remind us all to take a moment to think of the things in life that truly deserve thanks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nature's Modern Art

As a few of you know, I have collected stamps for use in personal correspondence for years. Why use a boring stamp when you can really enjoy a mini piece of art? (LOL) Well, today at my local Post Office I asked to look at the new stamp sheets, just to check out the Christmas Stamps for cards. When I spied this sheet I was absolutely in love, it is by far the best art I've seen on a stamp in a long time. Now maybe it is my visceral reaction to the combination of the colors, or just my sentimental favorite since loving the lights in person. In any case I would encourage anyone to enjoy such a little art jewel, even if they only use them for postage :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

You've been Warned!

cash advance

There will probably be a test too (LOL)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase

And another video..just 'cos I can now (LOL)

Women In Art

Finally! After several months of not being able to upload to my blog... a video upload from UTube arrives! Thanks Sharon for your kind expertise. I loved this video from the moment I first saw it last spring and wanted to share it. Enjoy!

Friday, November 02, 2007

What I am reading: Victoria Finlay "Jewels"

My birthday book from Rogie this year. I so enjoyed Victoria Finlay's natural history of color that he gave me at Christmas 2006 he knew I would love this one. Reads like a novel, but full of interesting historic and compositional facets on all manner of jewels. Ms Finlay travels the world to the sources of each type of jemstone, with chapters devoted to each stone in the major spectrum. I assure you after reading you could never look at a jewel in the same way again. I would recommend to anyone with an interest in history or art, a fascinating read.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

And the WINNER is....

Best Homemade Homage to Corporate Branding:
Light Up Spongebob

Most Likely to Need Therapy as an Adult :
Scary Monster with Ribs Sticking out

Best Use of Technology for Optimum Night Viewing:
Christmas Lights Sparkle Fairy

Most Fabric Used in Special Halloween Effect:
Mr. Mummy (5 yards)

Best Use of future Gay Best Friend (High School Age Range):
Gypsy and Zombie

Diane Arbus Commemorative Award :
Shark King (I am bored of taking pictures Aunt Laura)

And thus concludes the 2007 Howlie Trick or Treat Awards.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweenie :)

Look what washed up on the lakeside this Halloween! OOOooo...scary! The famous mermaid and merman costumes were finished in the nick of time. The pictures above were taken before Crystal and Amber went to school today (no makeup/hair color was allowed there), and in the last Crystal is ready to go out trick or treating with full tattoos and spray painted hair. Amber was a little self conscious around her mermaid ..ah-hem "chest" but loved her long blue hair and dangling earrings. Crystal loved her "Shark King" chest tattoo and stuffed six pack abs. Plenty of securely wrapped Halloween candy was enjoyed by all :)