Archive for November, 2007

A Green Christmas….
November 30, 2007

OK, a greener Christmas, anyway. I heard how NBC is lighting their gi-normous tree in Rockefeller Plaza with LED lights, and thought…hey I could do that!
LEDS are safer..because they don’t get hot…and use 80-90 % less electricity, and last 10-20 years. That’s years, people. They can be used outside or inside, and…they’re just good, ok?
And I checked around for price online…They are about 20 bucks most places, but one place wanted to charge me 10 dollars shipping..nope, click. And then I found HolidayLEDS.com. Shipping…$1.99. Now you’re talking.

I just got them in…bought the little white ones…and I’ll post a picture when I get them up. They come in all sizes and colors….and I feel pretty good about the whole thing.
Oh, and if you’ve just plugged in a set of holiday lights and realize they no longer work, don’t throw them in the garbage; this Michigan company is offering to recycle them for you free of charge.
HolidayLEDs.com will accept your old incandescent Christmas lights from now until December 20th, which will then be recycled in a special program.They estimate that 15 million sets of Christmas lights were purchased in America just last year. They are often treated as disposable which results in excess waste. Seriously, how many sets have I just tossed away over the years?
And yes, to save eletricity costs, I’ll be turning the lights off sharp at 11:30…just like NBC.

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Gourmet Pet Food!!
November 29, 2007

It’s a brave new world out there for those of us with pets….those precious little bundles of fur that bring so much joy(and occasionally pain) into our lives. So, would gourmet dog and cat food be far behind?
I got a coupon for a new Fancy Feast cat food recently…called Medley. You know, medley as in a mixture of heterogeneous elements, a hodgepodge, a jumble. Yellowfin Tuna Florentine, White Meat Chicken Florentine in a delicate sauce, with Garden Greens!!! Yummy. Considered for a brief moment tasting it myself.

This is what it looks like out of the can…lighter than most cat food (maybe the sauce?), and though it doesn’t show here, little bits of, as promised, garden greens. Where else would they grow but the garden?
Let me say here, I am not usually a fancy cat food buyer….if you have more than one cat, which I do not right now, it gets expensive buying those tiny little cans. Wild Kitty would wolf one down and look at me plaintively as if to say, “Nice appetizer, what’s next?” I had to get the bigger cans and split them between him and Muffy. But now that WK is gone(sob), I thought I’d spoil Muf-Muf a bit, with some of the good stuff. And the coupon lured me in.

So I opened the can and feeling like quite the generous soul, placed it expansively before Muffy…there you go, madame. And here you see the results. She’s blurry because she is moving away from the bowl. Now, I will say, she did come back after I sprinkled a topping of dry cat over it…and she has eaten it since. Maybe she was thrown by the garden greens, or maybe Muffy is just a simple cat…or maybe she’s a Nine Lives girl. We all have our tastes.Only one more can to go….Seafood and Whipped Egg Souffle’ with Pacific Shrimp. (Can you make a souffle any other way?)

Windowboxes, etc.
November 27, 2007

Some readers have taken pity on my windowbox plight…..no doubt thinking it sad, that mine look so denuded. And you know they look terrible…no telling what my neighbors are saying, but that’s another story.

Donna here is a good link for window box decorating, kind of like what you said you did before, but they do look good.
I bring my window boxes inside for the winter so I don’t have any great advice on living plants except for something like periwinkle that would do well but you would have it year round. I have a phone question for you. I see that we have the same phone and I too am not electro-savy enough to transfer pictures to my pc, or my Mac. I tried the email thing and I can’t even get a server! What did you do? Thanks Paul

Well, Paul, I’m sorry to say you did not send the link, so I can’t look at the pictures you’re talking about, but maybe it looked something like this? (And I’ll tell you the secret of my “electro-savy” soon…very soon grasshopper. But not now.)

This came from Cottage Living’s website…and it does look very cozy, and relatively doable. They even list what you need, such as:

What You’ll Need:
Spruce boughs sprayed with antidesiccant (to seal in moisture)
Pine cones
Dampened reindeer moss
Winterberry or other berried clusters

Only one question..what the heck is antidesiccant and where do you get it?? Hmmm?
Another reader….

Hi Donna, Love your Blog. Some suggestions for your pots. I have some big pots on our porch. I put artificial pine, some pointsetta, and artificial Holly. Thats the material I use. You could use pine cones and the pine spriggs, or all holly or mix them. Also the little artificial pine tree would also work for a window box. Good Luck. People put swags on their windows and they hold up in the weather, and they will work in your pots and window boxes. Good luck. Keep up the great Blogs.Have a great Holiday. Loretta

And artificial would presumably eliminate the need for the mysterious antidesiccant, since there is no moisture to be sealed in. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Things that need to be done….
November 27, 2007

OK, this is really quite sad….I mean, window boxes in the winter are always a challenge…what grows in the winter, for Pete’s sake?

Yeah, sure, I could do more cabbages like I have done in these pots, but I don’t want to go buy them and I don’t want to plant them. So now what?
Last year I “artistically” arranged a bunch of pine cones…nothing spectacular(nor does it sound it I’m sure), but at least it looked as though someone had given the boxes a modicum of thought. They did seriously lack color, however. If anyone out there has come up with a great winter window box filler…I’m all ears. Or eyes, since you’ll probably email me and not call me. And if you have a picture you can email, even better! Help!!

Dinner and a Movie….
November 24, 2007

Really, is there anything better than dinner and a movie on Thanksgiving weekend? I didn’t think so. Checked out the new Harbor East Movie Complex this weekend…right down to the end of the JFX and just down on President Street….saw American Gangster….I almost always love anything Denzell Washington is in, and this film is no exception. Loved it.
And the theater is very nice indeed. Well designed, comfy leather seats, gourmet snacks, and a bar! This is as far as I know the only theatre that has one, although you should know that at the Charles, Tapas Teatro right next door, will pour a lovely sangria into a plastic cup, and it’s fine to take into the movie.

Dropped in afterwards at Alexander’s Tavern, right on Broadway in Fells Point….it’s the new place opened by Charlie Gjerde…of the famous Spike and Charlie brothers…great little tavern that looks quite upscale in the dining room but the menu obviously is meant to attract a wide variety of pockets…both deep and shallow. There are baby hamburgers, sliders to the hip…for 8 bucks or so, and then some entrees around 20 bucks. It’s a comfy place, that looks like it is already a hit.

Happy Thanksgiving!!
November 22, 2007


I’ll bet you didn’t know I was a cover girl long, long ago. Clearly from the picture, I mean a long time ago. This was the cover of the Acipco News November of 1960…..Acipco stands for American Cast Iron Pipe Company and it was the company that kept my Father gainfully employed for over fifty years. Can you imagine?
Somehow, his three daughters (I’m the one on the left) made the cover. My Mom was able to set the table using the good crystal and china, and arranged a pumpkin and fruit…. but I’m sure she drew the line at the labor baking a turkey ahead, just for a picture. I have no memory of this picture being made, but I do remember my dress was dark blue taffeta…so sassy. And my Momma could pull back a tight ponytail with the best of them. Ouch.

And just in case you haven’t seen this turkey with a tan that’s is being sent around on the Internet, let it be my little Thanksgiving gift to you…it’s my phone screensaver for this weekend. Hilarious.
I’m actually working today, but that’s OK…we’ll have our dinner tonight, with all that nice food…I’m cooking potatoes for the mash right now…but the turkey is all on the rest of the family. Keep your fingers crossed for us….
And to all of you, a happy Thanksgiving…I know holidays can be funky…disappointing, frustrating, even sad. But no matter how you celebrate today…at work, with a huge noisy group, s small one, or all alone, be good to you!

Turkey watch continues…..
November 21, 2007

My $97 turkey is still on the shelf.
Just a quick update…over at Superfresh at lunch for my salad….the turkey is still there!! But was being taken out to be marked down to $2.99 a pound, so now the cost is (quick math in head)…..about $65, not $97!!

Take two steps forward, one step back…
November 21, 2007


I got a new phone!! Now, let me be clear…I was quite fond of my little red razor, but for reasons more complicated than I should waste your time with, I wanted to share a plan with my daughter who is with another provider. Verizon, OK?
Sooooooooo, I thought…I need a good camera, and I was having real problem with the camera in the razor…my new phone has a 2 mega pixel, instead of a 1.3. And while I don’t know what that means, I know it’s good.

But the issue I thought I got away from, difficulty posting pictures on this blog, still exists. I thought the LG 8700 had the slot for the microSD chip was OUTSIDE the camera…that’s what I was told. So I wouldn’t have to turn off the phone, take off the back cover, and remove the battery to get to the chip. Nice.
Unfortunately that’s exactly what I still have to do. Had to do it this morning to post these pictures.
Our web trends guru shook his head sadly when he realized all the machinations I go thru to post pictures, and clearly admired my determination. He says I should be able to just email my pictures to blogger…. wouldn’t that be nice. But so far, nothing. Something seems to be amiss within the Verizon system….(he can’t do it either). But if I could just get to my chip easier…..yeah, and if could just have lunch in Paris…..

A $97 turkey !
November 19, 2007


No,really….I mean it’s an actual turkey that costs 97 bucks! Among the mounds of lesser fresh and frozen turkeys that cost considerably less, today I spotted this beast…took a picture of it, because I didn’t think you’d believe me otherwise.
OK, it is organic…..and it is by gourmet meat producer D’Artagnan….they do stuff like magret duck(breast), wild boar bacon, duck confit…you know, really fancy meat stuff. The company is presumably named after the Comte de D’Artagnan, one of the Three Musketeers, since their little goose logo wears a Three Musketeer type hat. Very swashbuckling, as is the price of their goods.
Several other women were marveling with me at this 20 pound, $97 turkey today, and I wonder will it be there tomorrow. I asked an employee at Superfresh what will happen to it…would it find a home? She assured me that a couple of turkeys that weren’t that big but by the same producer had been sold….just $50 turkeys. A bargain really. If it isn’t sold in a day or so, it will probably be marked down. If you buy it, please let me know how it turns out. I’ve never eaten turkey that has been fed only whole organic grains and pure spring water…no antibiotics, no growth hormones or protein supplements, no artificial light(?) at any time…I shudder to think what my turkey has been eating. Not really. I was so inspired by the purity of the D’Atagnan turkey that I splurged on a Murray’s all natural turkey….at least it had no antibiotics and no animal products in it’s feed, so while it was more expensive than some of the turkeys, I could still pay the bill at checkout, without staring anxiously at the computer to see if it had approved my charge….you know what I mean.

I’ll try to do better….
November 19, 2007

Just got this in…and I feel bad, really bad. But I will try to do better. Sob.

Donna, I love your blogs and love to hear about your outings … but I have to say, you need to share phone numbers & websites (if available) to all of these great food places (Stone Mill, Louise’s, Eddie’s (is that the supermarket?) etc.) … some of us just don’t get out as much as you do … or know that there’s a different side of town … we need help to find our way … PLEASE!!!

Susan

Here you go Susan, and when you’re right, you’re right…

Stone Mill Bakery
Louise’s
Eddie’s of Roland Park