Archive for the ‘parents’ Category

Oh the fob of it all….
December 19, 2012

 

My keys, after being overnighted from NC….don’t they look happy to be home?

I was down in North Carolina this past weekend, a place I love to visit…and on my way back home as the Southwest pilot announces we are getting ready to land, I start packing up and checking where my keys are. Not in my handbag. My keys…the only working fob set to my Toyota…is in…that’s right, North Carolina. Ouch.

That meant renting a car at the airport to get home…chi-ching…leaving the car at the airport..chi-ching…but the real cash register sound came the next day, when the very nice lady at Toyota gave me the news that the smart fob that opens the doors to and starts my car…will cost $500 smackeroos to replace…CHI-CHING!  Um, no thanks.

But she also advise me to try inserting the non-working fob…that you never can tell, they might communicate. So we drive to the airport, turn in the rental, fully prepared to one-car it for a day or two until the keys can be sent to us…find the car, open it with the laser key in the side of the fob, stick it in the (fob hole?), say a little prayer and it starts. Who says there aren’t little miracles?

But like the rest of you, my heart has been heavy with the horror in Connecticut. In North Carolina Saturday morning, I got up and made some tea, and then thought…this morning those parents woke up…if they slept at all…and the horrible reality came crashing back that sleep relieves for a little while. That it really did happen. That their child, or sister, or mother…was gone, for good. It was real.

There are no words to capture the terrible nature of that day…we in the news business have struggled with that all week..at least I have. There are no words. So we just try to pass along the information we have in the most tasteful way we know…but know, it breaks our hearts too. We are also parents who send children to school, assuming we will see them at the day’s end. I only hope that something good can come from the heartbreak….surely something will. Won’t it? Otherwise how can anyone bear it?

I’m off work next week like many of you to celebrate Christmas…I wish for all of you a safe family around you, some good food, some laughs, and a nice present or two. And lots of love…hold them close. I think we will all hold our families closer this Christmas.

 

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High tea sendoff for the Phelps family
July 24, 2012

Really, what better way to bring a little bit of London to Baltimore, and send the Phelps family off London in style,  than to have high tea, Four Seasons style? I mean, if they can’t handle it, who can??

There’s a lot of hand talkin’ going on here, but I’m pretty sure
it wasn’t as serious as it looks. Debbie Phelps on the left…in
case you didn’t know!

Momma Debbie Phelps, who let’s just say it, is always precious….was so excited…I mean, of course she is!  Trip to London, her baby boy Michael’s last Olympics…as he makes another run at the history books. I asked how she gets herself together on a trip …given the fact that she KNOWS all cameras will be on her when her son is in the pool. She admits she is super organized about clothing…all outfits are planned in advance and packed accordingly with lists, etc., so that nothing is forgotten. I like it. I want to be more like that.

Hilary Phelps…in a royal blue dress. She’s funny, smart,
and has a killer smile….

Her daughter Hilary(who has the skin of a two-year old I swear) is also psyched about the trip. Funny story…I got to know Hilary on Twitter, because she likes the same things I do, yoga…healthy eating…and she has a great website called Genuine Joy….you know. Who wouldn’t follow such a cool girl? And then Kate Amara told me that Hilary Phelps was going to the Olympics and would be doing some stories for us. I looked at her, with what have been a confused expression, and I asked her, “So, she is a big Olympics fan? Why is she doing stories for us?” Kate replied, “She’s Michael Phelps sister.” Light dawns on yonder rock. I truly had no idea they were related. Hey, she still invited me to tea….it’s all good.

Hello lover….steamed puddings a la Four Seasons…

And while most people were talking, and not in my opinion paying nearly enough attention to the food…I made time for it. Incredible shortbread, a concord grape macaroon that was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and these crazy little steamed puddings that were, just….just…I wanted to grab all of them and stuff them in my bag, ok? But I did not. 

Green tea with pineapple? I’m all in…

Add really interesting teas and coffees from Lamill Coffee Shop …the tea served in beautiful stoneware cups. It was one of those days I was glad to be me, you know?

Au Revoir Gallbladder…
March 13, 2012

My view at Mercy Medical Center for a few hours....

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my daughter was quite sick last week…she’s been staying at our house since Sunday a week ago….when she became terribly ill after lunch out(the babies always come home when sick). At first we thought food poisoning? But we all ate the same thing so, that couldn’t be it. Virus? Possible, but the throwing up was so unrelenting. And just the week before she’d had an endoscopy, because of several severe, painful attacks of what we thought was GERD… or gastro esophageal reflux disease. The endoscopy did show inflammation of the esophagus, so she was put on Nexium. And now this.

A call to the gastroenterologist …..who said, “I think we may have overlooked a gallbladder problem.” I was floored. So she went in for an ultrasound…and sure enough, her gallbladder was packed with gallstones. Next stop…surgery.

Baby girl, resting after surgery....

So Friday morning very early(we had to be there by 6:30 and after working the 11 pm news-oy vay)…..and the waiting begins….her surgery was laparoscopic, thank goodness. So we called back to get her dressed and take her home a few hours later. My daughter is saucy, it must be said, and to one nurse who was loudly clapping her hands and saying “Let’s move, let’s move, let’s move! “…she stared at her groggy from anesthesia and said, “Go. Just get out of here“, and waved her away. She has no memory of it now…but it was kinda funny.

A good friend delivered homemade matzoh ball soup...it's amazing....

She’s been recuperating at our house of course, where the supplies are stocked, the sheets are clean, and there’s always help or soup at hand(or most the time). But she’s getting better every day, and just today commented on how great it is to not feel sick anymore. Sore, yes, but not sick. Big difference.

Hendrick's Gin and Tonic for the nurse, please....it's Miller time...

 

Lots of people have asked if it’s common for someone in the 20s to have their gallbladder removed…I don’t think you’d call it common, but it’s not uncommon. Her surgeon at Mercy said it happens a lot more than you’d think. So she’s gonna be fine….and so am I. 🙂

When I saw this…
March 5, 2012

ImageWhen I saw this picture of those swirl vases on the dining table at the HGTV Dream Home 2012, it was love. And when I saw they are from Ethan Allen, and knew I had an unused  Groupon to Ethan Allen…it was happiness. Here’s what I did with mine….

Curly willow in my swirl vase.....

The thing weighs a ton….seriously, it’s a hunk of glass, but I love it…and roots from the curly willow are growing…not sure why I’m happy about that but I am…

Curly willow roots growing...can I plant it outside this spring??

My daughter gave her first big girl dinner party….she called, to talk it over, and I asked if she needed anything. Yes, as it turns out…plates, cutlery, wine glasses, a table cloth(for the floor-no dining table), candles, etc. Sooooooooo…

Salad servers, check...big serving bowl, check....

I loaded it all up and drove over Saturday afternoon…and while I left the final setup to her… I love the result of her dresser turned bar.

This piece belonged to my Grandmother...I painted it red when I was a teenager, but I love the color!

Adiosing all the makeup and hair stuff, and putting the wine glasses and wine and flowers there…is just beautiful. I wish she would keep it like that, but I know.. life intervenes.(And a girl needs a place to do her makeup!!)

And this I show you just because I thought it was such a great looking way to deal with the litter box issue, when you don’t have a basement in which to keep it….a litter box with classic French style, made with wooden wine crates…hinged on the back. You can find out more about in on Apartment Therapy…love it!

Chat boîtes!!

 

A day on the ranch…..with LBJ
February 7, 2012

This was a common sight at the LBJ ranch back in the 1960's....

Ok, last week in Austin…I rented a car one day, and decided to make the trek out to the old LBJ ranch(now a national park)…for those of you under a certain age…LBJ is Lyndon Baines Johnson. The man who took over the helm after President John Kennedy’s assasination. The man who steered/bulldozed civil rights legislation through Congress.

LBJ called it "Air Force One-half"....

The runway on which Air Force One landed was just a strip in the middle of a field (which is still there), and it landed there pretty often, as LBJ spent 1/4 of his time at the White House, in Texas on his ranch.

Lovely shot of LBJ and Lady Bird....back in the day...

It’s where he and his grandparents and parents before him were raised, on the Pedernales River….out in the beautiful Texas hill country.

The entrance to the ranch that LBJ designed.....

And the entrance that LBJ added(always a flair for the dramatic), included a trip over/through the river, and while the roadway through the river is still there, no one drives over it, but this is what it looked like when you did…

Actually looks like fun, doesn't it?

And while the first lady Lady Bird Johnson had a guest book…the President had a different way for his guests to be remembered at the ranch..they signed their names in concrete.

Astronauts Gus Grissom and Alan Sheppard.....

The house has been preserved just as it was when the Johnsons were in residence…he donated the ranch to the National Park Service, to go into effect after Lady Bird died(in 2007).

LBJ's presidential office on the ranch, just as it was...

It’s a fascinating glimpse into the 1960s, and the volatile, crazy time it was, with civil rights, assassinations and the Vietnam War all playing on stage. I didn’t realize that Johnson died when he was only 64, just a few years after announcing that he would not seek another term in office.  He’s also buried at the ranch. The park service does an amazing driving tour(diy-you get a cd and it tours you around with commentary and info. If you ever get out that way, don’t miss it!

 

 

Love you Octavia Spencer!
January 16, 2012

Octavia Spencer, Auburn woman, all the way!

Let me just say up front I adored the movie The Help….and I adored equally Octavia Spencer in her role as Minnie. So last night when Octavia won Best Supporting Actress, I fully expected to like this funny and thoughtful Auburn woman’s(that’s right, she’s an Auburn grad who grew up in ‘bama!) acceptance speech, and I did. She referred to Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrate today, saying, “”With regard to domestics in this country, now and then, I think Dr. King said it best: ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.’

And in truth, most of us who work are “the help” to someone, or some small business or some large corporation…but when you do your job with your whole heart and your best effort, whether you’re cleaning someone’s home(a job that truly uplifts humanity) or a sanitation engineer(ditto) or work in a department store or in an office or on tv…doing the best you can do uplifts all of us, and in the end, I think it lifts you up too. And that, I think, is partly what Dr. King was saying. Happy MLK day everyone…now get out there and uplift someone…or yourself!

 

Purple Haze: What the WBAL team is doing this Sunday!
January 13, 2012

Let your purple freak flag fly!!

Saw this car on my drive to work this morning(before you lecture me about taking a picture in my car…I was stopped at a traffic light!), but it made me think, what is everybody doing this Sunday for the Ravens playoff game? Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

J-Fran, in purple as always on Friday...

Jennifer Franciotti, who is the truest Ravens fan I know, is working this Sunday. Before you say, “Awwwww, that’s too bad“, let me add that she is at the game! So the girl is happy, you know? Wouldn’t be anywhere else. At home though, her family is saving her some Buffalo wings and sliders, and a glass of wine for when she gets home.

the I-team's Jayne Miller...also a big fan...

11 News I-Team lead investigative reporter Jayne Miller will take some time from investigating, and as a season tickets holder, will also be at the game Sunday. What’s she eating? She tells me she will definitely hit a few tailgates, menu TBA, and probably have a Guiness at the game…depending on how cold it is. “What’s the difference between a playoff game and a regular game?”, she asked me. Not knowing of course, she replied, “At a playoff game, everyone STANDS, all the time!”

Mindy Basara and me....comparing our purplicity....

Mindy Basara will watch the game from home….and she was thinking wings, but their grill has been acting funky, so they may switch to chili…or maybe a complicated buffalo wing dip thing, but she doesn’t have all the ingredients to it. She’s hoping she can con her hubby into shopping for it AND making it. Love that, girl.

And yours truly, as mentioned on Facebook,  is making a Pork Shoulder Braised in Apple Cider..a recipe I saw on the Today Show last week. It looks AMAZING…and I have the pork…just need to score the cider. IF you would like the recipe…here it is!

the lovely Sarah Caldwell sports some purple too....

Sarah Caldwell will also be watching the game from home….I asked her if she was making something special…..she said negatory on that…but you never know. Maybe she’ll change her mind.

John Collins.....a working man...

Meterologist John Collinsis working Sunday, so he too, will not be tailgating or baking purple pastries, or throwing a pork shoulder in the oven.(I’ll save you some John).

Lowell Melser.....looking lavender

 11 News reporter Lowell Melser has a little problem…which is kinda hilarious(Chris Daschille laughed out loud when he heard it). Lowell’s wife was invited to a baby shower on Sunday…that starts at 1 PM. And they did not reschedule. Yeah. So, things are a little up in the air…maybe view part of the game at a bar in Canton, maybe pizza in his basement on the BIG screen…you know. He’s keeping it loose(except being a little stressed over the baby shower thingie.)

hope you have a great time on Sunday…that the Ravens win(yeaahhh!)…that no players get hurt…that no one throws rocks, and you all come home safe…’cause we miss you!

iPhone Cleanout!! Pics from the past eyar….
January 6, 2012

Twisty Bacon Man...it was in my son's Xmas stocking, and he left it here!

Isn’t it funny how many pictures your iPhone can hold…so many that they just stack up, and every so often I like to go through…relive a few choice moments.. and then move on. SO I thought I’d share some with you… including some from a trip to the mountains of NC last week…we spent most of our time in Cashiers and Highlands. Here goes…in no particular order.

Santa and me at the Monument lighting....he's so cute!

Best chocolate I had all year….came from Zoe’s Chocolate in Frederick…

Roasted almonds in dark chocolate in the shape of a tree...yes!

Also seen in Frederick….

Love, love, love this chandelier made from twigs and greens at En Masse

En Masse always has the most beautiful flowers, and some of the best ideas ever for gifts and decorating…like this simple pine cone…

Big pine...stick in pretty pot...instant style...

These wooden plates I saw at Great Stuff by Paul in Frederick,and yes, I did take one home, but the pic of multiples I think would be pretty framed! Great colors…

These are from China...I think...

When I saw this girl(the blonde one) as our place landed last year…I took the picture straight to my colorist, and said…I want MY hair to look like this…which meant: lowlights. I have no idea who she is…do you? But I love her hair color!

Excuse me while I invade your privacy...oh wait, there isn't any. Snap.

I was very jealous of this gorgeous candy apple red chalkboard my son gave the lovely Jennifer…I love chalkboards…so useful and decorative. He found this one on Etsy, of course from a vendor called Revived Vintage-here. The frame is resin and comes in all colors. Just makes such a statement.

THis will look amazing in their apartment...

 

Almost time for Xmas dinner..my daughter admires the moss centerpiece she gave me!

Another Etsy purchase: pine gift cards...wish I had bought more!

Another Etsy purchase, tiny serpent earrings for the lovely Jennifer

You should check out Michelle Chang jewelry on Etsy…she makes some lovely things…and different. (come on, snakes on your ears are definitely different!) Finally…North Carolina!

What a terrific reinvention of a space...

Loved time in Ashville…the city took an old Woolworth’s store, and created a space calle Woolworth’s Walk  for lots of artists to display and sell their wares…and they kept the luncheon counter…brilliant.

Meatloaf at he soda fountain...and art!

Just one of many artist displays at Woolworth Walk

And this darling window display I saw at a knitting shop…the title of it was “Dr. Stitch and Professor Purl have one of their eclectic gatherings, and ask what people wish for the new year.

A clever and creative store window in Ashville....

The answers you see here are: “Monkeys who love me, and bananas of course“….and another wishes for  “Awesome monkeys who advocate for the rights of all!” Ashville is has such an amazing feel about it….loved my time there.

A REAL bacon, egg and biscuit...how delish does this look?

Tommy’s Coffee Shop was just down the road from where we stayed in Cashiers, NC(pronounced Cash’-ers, not like a grocery store cashier)…great food, and wireless!!

Love me some potbelly stove...and it was toasty in there!!

 

But it is Friday, my friends…and while I doubt I stumble into a place like the one above just outside of Highlands, NC…where people sit close to the potbelly stove and chat and have coffee(more’s the pity)…I hope to FINALLY get all the wrapping paper put away for next year….and remove the last remaining traces of Xmas from the house. Be nice, play  by the rules, and come home safe….’cause we miss you!

 

 

 

 

Crazy Time….
December 23, 2011

It’s that time of year when we have so much on our collective minds, that our collective heads want to spin off of our collective shoulders…I gave my husband a list (he’s off today-I’m working) that made him turn a little pale. But he shook it off and sailed off into the early morning hours to: pick up wine across town, pick up a gift (that I would tell you about but my daughter reads my blog) on the other side of town, get a rib roast for Christmas dinner(should have done this myself), get a special kind of bread at Eddie’s, pick up the dry cleaning, find fresh coconut, recycle an old non-working piece of electronica…you know the drill.

But while it’s a crazy day, it’s also a day I think many of us are taking an inner collective sigh, that this weekend, will bring the holiday.  My son and the lovely Jennifer get in tonight(she also has to work today)…but we’re all thankful we have jobs, that we’re all healthy, that we all love each other, and that …well, life is good, I suppose. Very good.

 I think about this being the second Christmas without my sweet Momma…she loved Christmas, and worried extraordinary amounts about what she was getting everyone…I hated that she worried about it, but nothing would stop her. She has, of course, passed that perfectionist trait along to her daughter….alas. But I don’t worry about things as much as she did.  Really, I don’t.

So let’s all take a collective sigh, screw our heads back on…and get on with the day. And the holiday. Keep it safe…keep it peaceful…keep it kind…keep calm and carry on. Wishing all of you the best time with friends and family. And I’ll see you next week. Oh, and come home safe, ’cause we miss you!

Gift List II…here we go!
December 15, 2011

My gift wrapping station, that now consumes the dining room....

I was talking to Jennifer Franciotti today…she said she had mostly finished her holiday shopping…but had to “fill in the gaps“. I know exactly what she means. While I have a pile of stuff in my house(some of which still needs wrapping), I haven’t really taken a count. Which means, do I have too much for some and not enough for others? I think I got this “super-equal” mindset from my parents… who were always overly conscious about how many presents each of 3 daughters had, and how much money had been spent on each. I mean, they were religious about it. So some of that has kinda slopped over onto me…you know?

And since you may also be “filling in the gaps“…I’m here to help with some things I am giving… or have received, that I very much love…in several price ranges.

Love, love, love my Jambox!!

First, the Jambox. My son gave me this Bluetooth wireless speaker(it’s about 6 x 2′)…so tiny, but so portable and has AMAZING sound. It’s on the expensive side, but if you know someone who loves music and is a techno geek…they will adore this. I use mine constantly(I can even have music on the iPad downstairs and take the Jawbone upstairs-still plays). Found it online for $159.00.

The Euca-mint is my fav scent....

Ok Eco-Armour-here,  is the bomb. Add to that it’s locally made, and smells divine, and will save you money-a no-brainer. “Virtually eliminate ingrown hairs, red bumps, razor burn, nicks, cuts and dull blades“…I will tell you that for women(or men) who shave in more, ummmm, delicate areas….this product makes it a breeze. Seriously. Around $24 for the large bottle…and it lasts a long time.

Cheese, nuts, spreads, crackers...how can you go wrong?

Food. We all eat it. We all love it. A basket of goodies from Whole Foodswould make anyone smile(and can be any price range), but they also have these super-cute gift cards, that could be a nice stocking stuffer, or be tucked in a basket of cheeses and crackers. My favorite: “Hugs and Quiches“…or maybe “Dough“. As a rule, I hate gift cards(I know, I know…everyone else loves them-whatever, not me…) but these are too cute to dislike.

Just for the Halibut.....that's funny....

Fresh Pasta ...what's not to love??

Or put together some fresh pastas, sauces and olive oils from Casa di Pasta in Little Italy. I would so dig a present like that….and the shop is run by a wonderful father-son team. Just a great place.

Monograms...on your phone!

Ok, I cannot imagine a girl(or woman) who wouldn’t love this(if they’re into monograms like my daughter)…a monogrammed iPhone case from Neiman Marcus….it’s $56…very chic. Though monograms I know, are one of those preppy, certainly southern things that are not for everyone. But I like them.

Jonathan Adler...very popular home designer...

OK, here’s a way to have some designer style with none of the cost….the Jonathan Adler coffee mug-here. Porcelain with silicone lid and sleeve, it comes in lots of designs…for a measly $13.95. Please, it may be the buy of the year.

Wouldn't Fido look so dashing in this???

And speaking of Jonathan Adler….he even makes something smart for your puppy…a dashing scarf-here (that also comes in  pink and orange), for $14.95. It makes me want a dog.

Gummys in a paint can....

Last but not least…sweets for the sweet….a paint can filled with gummy bears!! And the paint can, can be used later for snacks or cookies or on your desk(you can also get them filled with gum balls and other treats)…$15.

So get busy…fill in those gaps! Have a great weekend everyone(I’m off tomorrow)…it’s the last weekend to make it count before Hanukhah and Christmas. But I hope it’s relatively peaceful for you as well. Yeah, I know. Come home safe, ’cause we miss you!