Gloomy Day Gloombusters
January 23, 2012

Hmmmm...too sweet?

Ok, at the risk of sounding like Julie Andrews, a little too happily singing, “These are a few of my favorite things“…I, like many of you, was feeling a little…gloomy today. The weather is terrible, snow on the ground AND it’s raining and gray and cold, and yeah, the Ravens lost to the Patriots. But I found there were quite a few things that made me feel better, so I share them with you in hopes they may offer the same respite. In no particular order:

Cardinal on the snow....so pretty...watched him for a while...

No, not whiskers on kittens, but a huge fuzzy Baby Girl tail!!

News that one of my favs, The Dogwood Restaurant in Hampden, will start offering Saturday and Sunday brunch this coming weekend….think about this: “Fried Chesapeake Oysters on Hoppin‘ John… fresh black-eyed peas braised with green chilies, andouille and the trinity, chipotle aioli.” That ain’t nothin’ but hopeful.

A funny crab hat gift(From Cafe HON)...come on, that is funny.

Thinking about George CLooney doesn't hurt either...

Listening to the soundtrack from The Descendants-preview the songs here…for a movie that had more than a few melancholy moments, the exclusively Hawaiian music is so lovely….very peaceful and surprisingly upbeat. It just makes me happy to hear it. Helps if I look at a pic of George Clooney at the same time…

Living wreath...still lives! There is hope...

This living ivy wreath I bought back in December…..it’s been gorgeous through the holidays…you just take it to the sink every few days and douse it with water, drain and rehang. A storm door in front of it protects it from the worst weather, but while it’s cold…it’s happy there. So I’m happy too.

She escaped the Christmas sweep….and lives to sing….

And this little angel is a Christmas decoration from my childhood, that somehow escaped the after holiday roundup. And she seems so ecstatic over the whole thing with her little harp and all, I think I may just let her stay out this year. Who’s gonna notice, really. And hopefully, one of these things has brightened your day too.

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A Tardy(not tacky) Holiday Wrapup……
January 5, 2010

Mea culpa to those of you(probably very few) who have wondered what on earth happened to my blog….just this weekend my sweet daughter exclaimed, “You are  a crappy blogger. If you don’t post people will stop checking to see if you have anything new up.” And I know that’s true…the me being a crappy blogger part, anyway. Here’s the thing.…once you go for a little while without posting, it’s easier to continue doing  just that…nothing. It’s kind of like anything you stop doing for a while…exercising, going to church, calling your mom….once you don’t do it for a while, it’s gets easier and easier not to do it. But that all ends. Today. At least when it comes to blogging.  

I thought I’d do a little holiday mishmash, since I haven’t told you ANYTHING about what went on. My son and the lovely Jennifer came down for Christmas and spent 4 lovely days with us….it’s so much fun having them around, and seriously I dread the first year they won’t be here(and yes, I know the day will come)…because it will just be the three of us…two doddery old adults watching my daughter open her presents. She would be horrified. Maybe that will be the year we shake it up and go to Mexico or Spain for Christmas, thought honestly, it sounds a little depressing. But I digress.  

My new Manduka Yoga mat and bag.....

I got some good stuff…presents, you know….and the following are some of my faves. A Manduka yoga mat…..and a really great carrying bag, from my son and Jen…..they love yoga, and say all the cool kids at Kula Yoga in NYC use this kind of mat. I want to be one of the cool kids too! And this mat has a lot of support and good spring for the hands, and you don’t slip on it…love it, and love the bag too.  

Ummmmm..Uggs...

New Uggs. My daughter gave me these, as she was disgusted by the fact I could stick my toes out of the side( yes really) of my old chestnut Uggs. I may still try to have them repaired…but they are really old. Oh, and tip for those of you who wear a size 8 or smaller…save yourself $40 and order kids Uggs. A child size 6 is an adult size 8….that’s what she got me…and with all the variations of Uggs out there today, I still love the Uggs classic Chestnut boot.   

play some new tunes....

Let’s see….I love, love, love  my new Bose sounddock speaker for my Ipod…this was from the hubby who gave me “portable speakers” a few years ago, but in truth, they’re not really portable. Nice smaller speakers but with a lot of wires and the plug is big, and they just don’t work for carting around. The Bose SoundDock is perfect…small, runs on battery or electric power, looks sleek, no wires….love it and have used it a lot already, after downloading free yoga classes from Itunes! There are some good ones…some that last 20 minutes, others a little over an hour, and for people who know something about yoga, it’s much better to hear the directions that watch it.  Saw some great films over the holiday…you probably did too. Avatar…I give an A-….and liked the 3D effect after I got used to it. Took me a few minutes of feeling a little disoriented though. Invictus….loved it…a solid A. Why this film starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman hasn’t created more buzz, I don’t know. Great story….go see it. Up in the Air with George Clooney…again, an A. Smart, smart writing, and it’s much more than just a romantic comedy….it is funny, but it’s also sad..and deals with the downsizing of many jobs. A multi-layered film.  And I tried a new fabulous dish, from the NFL of all places….a recipe for Pork Belly with Collard Green Risotto and Pickled Okra. It did have a few steps, and I cheated and didn’t “cure” the pork…I just roasted it with sea salt, and a little cinnamon and it was still fabulous. And I only put part of the collards into the risotto…if you put all that’s called for, I think the risotto would be overwhelmed….just serve the rest of the greens on the side.  (If it seems that I am addicted to pork belly…I am. It is just so delicious, and cheap.)  And just the recipe for the greens alone  is lovely, even if you don’t do the rest of it! 

 So there…gifts, movies, home cooking….that’s what the holidays should be about anyway, don’t you think? Many of you have asked how this Christmas was, the first without my Mom. It was…different. She was very much in my thoughts and memories of Christmas past, and I so miss talking to her. She is the one person in the world who was always, without exception, happy to hear from me. Always. Even other people who do love you, aren’t always glad to hear from you…they’re busy, have a lot going on, now’s not a good time…you know? She was always thrilled to talk to me. So I miss that. But I’m happy knowing she’s not struggling anymore, and my sister doesn’t have to race to the hospital all the time. But I miss her. A woman that I work with here  lost her Mom two years ago, and she told me, “It’s still hard for me, without her.” I think it’s the loss of the person who always  loved you( not necessarily approve…oh no, but love, yes)…no strings attached…that kind of love is hard to come by.

OK, I’m not a big believer in making resolutions for the New Year, because like many of you, I feel like I do the best I can, 24/7. Now that may not be good enough, and let me assure you it often is not…but still it’s the best I can do, ok? So why make some namby=amby “resolution” to do better when I’m not? So I’ve decided instead to to make some negative resolutions…things I will not worry about doing.  

1. Sto worrying one cat is too fat and one cat is too thin. It’s true of course, and I do what I can(my best already being done, remember?)…to make sure they eat the correct amountws, but there’s only so much one can do with cat and their eating habits. I’m letting it go.  

2. I’m gonna worry less about things I can do nothing about. My Mother, bless her, was the champion at this….I’m determined not to follow in her worrying footsteps. I can’t fix the middle east….I can’t do anything about the economy. Let it go.  

3. I’m going to sincerely try…really, really try…