Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sunday Stealing: December 30, 2008

courtesy of Sunday Stealing

The TV Meme

1. Name a TV show [or] series in which you have seen every episode at least twice:

2. Name a show you can't miss:
thanks to DVR, i don't miss very many shows anymore. those that i have to watch as soon as possible are: Grey's Anatomy, Fringe and Dexter. Boston Legal was also on this list before it ended. oh! and Red Sox games! must. see.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:
James Spader.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:
David Spade.

5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:

6. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys:
i don't know that *no* one else enjoys it, but i'm always very surprised to come across someone who also like Ghost Whisperer.

7. Name a TV show which you've been known to sing the theme song:
i don't really sing any tv show theme songs that i know of...

8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch:
hmmm... we all have such different tastes in tv but i would always recommend catching reruns of Boston Legal!

9. Name a TV series you own:
Sex and the City.

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting chops in television:
i'm going to have to move on to the next question, because absolutely no one is coming to mind.

11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?
the Thanksgiving episode of Friends when they flashback to past Thanksgivings and Joey's head gets stuck in a turkey.

12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:
i'm watching or have watched pretty much all the shows i've been meaning to, at least as far as i know.

13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?
sure have!

14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
Grey's Anatomy. the episodes with the old people get me every time.

15. What do you eat when you watch TV?
nothing specific. sometimes dinner. or snacks. or dessert.

16. How often do you watch TV?
it's almost always on when i'm home, just for background noise, but actually sit down & watch with no other distractions or activities? about an hour a night--not counting baseball season when the Sox are on.

17. What's the last TV show you watched?
i think Family Guy was on last night when i finally gave in & called it a night...?

18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of TV?
sports!! and then probably drama.

19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with?
Beverly Hills 90210.

20. What TV show do you wish you never watched?
LOST. it still hurts my brain to think about that show. i don't like to work that hard to watch tv.

21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?
weirdest? define weird.

22. What TV show scared you the most?
i don't remember what it was called but there was a show on for a while that was kind of horror-ish in concept and i inadvertently saw an episode that scared the bejeezus out of me.

23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched?
there are episodes of Friends that *still* make me laugh til i cry, even though i've seen them all so many times.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas past

just a little walk down Christmas memory lane...

baby Dawn's first Christmas. i look particularly distressed about something. (probably my tummy aching, since i was pretty colicky as a wee babe and i was only about 2 months old in this photo.) that's my Dad there, rubbing my back.

much happier baby Dawn on her second Christmas!

my Gram had this snowman. you would turn his base to wind him up and then he would play "Frosty the Snowman"--and i was *obsessed* with it.

(wow, those are some pants...)

let's jump ahead a few years to about 1995... my grandparents took "eclectic tree" to a whole new level! Gram loved a Charlie Brown tree with lots of wide open spaces so she could fill them up with 50 years' worth of Christmas memories she shared with my Gramp. she would often line ornaments up, two and three deep, on the branches. and the tinsel? pieces of that would stop turning up right around the time we replaced them with Easter basket grass.

some more time travel brings us to 1998. that's my Gram on the left. the other two ladies are two of my Gramp's sisters (Aunt Emma in the middle, Aunt Esther on the right). every year, Gram & Gramp would invite his sisters to the house for some Christmas celebration. in the back left of the photo, you can see my Gram's hutch. i would drive her bat crazy as soon as Thanksgiving was done to dig out the boxes of Christmas decorations. the bottom shelf was her lighted Christmas village. the very top was a nativity. the middle two shelves were all kinds of miscellaneous Christmas collectibles that my Gram had acquired on their various travels and as gifts. to the back right of the photo was my Gram's china cabinet that she had inherited from her mother. the more delicate Christmas trinkets were tucked behind the glass door and on top was Gram's angel choir. i find myself wondering often, especially this time of year, where all my Gram's treasures are now. i only have a few ornaments and all the photos i could find...

and finally the year 2000... the last Christmas i got to spend with both my grandparents...

...the greatest gift i ever gave myself was to make sure i saved the old family photos. the trips i can take when i flip through them are worth their weight in gold.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

i'm dreaming...

...of a White Christmas...

the closest i get now to turning my face up & letting the snow fall gently, kissing my cheeks...
Disney's Hollywood Studios--December 20, 2008

may your days be merry and bright
and may all your Christmases be white


how lovely are your branches

i have what might be considered an unhealthy love for my Christmas tree. from the second i put it up, it makes me so ridiculously happy that i break out into a smile every time i see it. i can often be found in the evenings, relaxing in my living room, with it lit only by the tree and maybe the tv. i have joked (mostly) about cutting a hole in my bedroom wall to make a window so that i can fall asleep looking at my tree. and i get really sad when it's time to take it down. if i thought i could get away with leaving it up all year, i would very seriously consider it.

i don't have a themed tree. it's far more eclectic. old ornaments and new. gifts and those i've bought for myself. but there are some recurring themes on my tree: angels, stars, snowflakes, snowmen, jingle bells and gingerbread cookies--and anything sparkly!

the snowflake was a Christmas gift from my Dad back when i was still just a kid; we always searched for the perfect spot on every tree to hang it so that it would reflect the lights--which were always multi-colored, just like i have on my own tree now. the icicle to the right was one that used to hang on my grandparents' tree; though it is just the simplest of decorations, it is one of my prized possessions.

this angel was a gift from my grandparents one year. as i unpacked her from her tissue-paper lined box, i received an unexpected gift...

...it's amazing how something as simple as an old gift tag can become so precious. just to see my Gram's handwriting again...

i love that for almost every ornament on my tree, there is a special meaning. i love that it tells the story of my life. i wouldn't trade it for all the perfectly manicured, themed, decorated trees in the world.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the only way this Christmas song is tolerable

i still have flahbacks of being trapped in the airport, in Houston, with this song playing over... and over... and...


picking the perfect tree

growing up, every Christmas my Gram would bake dozens & dozens (and dozens) of Christmas treats. there were sugar plums, Magic Bars and sugar cookies in every shape imagineable: angels, Santas, stars, bells, Rudolphs (complete with red cinnamon noses)--and she would decorate them all with colored icing & sugars.

a sugar cookie tastes like a sugar cookie, right? and Lord knows there were more than enough cookies to go around several times over. yet for some reason, we found ourselves fighting over one shape year after year. the Christmas trees. i don't know what it was about those trees, what with all the other dishes laden with cookies.

but thus began a Christmas tradition: all the sugar cookies i make now are Christmas trees.

kitchen confession: of all the cookies i make, i have the worst time with the sugar cookie cutouts. they drive me crazy, what with the sticking, and the flour-mess everywhere, and the needing to all be uniform in thickness, and ARG!!

but even though they drive me around the bend, i wouldn't miss a Christmas without them.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

P is for post.

a couple of weeks ago, Joe did a post similar to this on his blog. the basic idea: leave a comment on this post requesting a letter (like i did on Joe's), and i’ll assign you one. then you write about 10 things you love that begin with your assigned letter. post it on your blog and when people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on. got it? good! moving on.

Joe says my letter is P. hmmm... P. couldn't have given me B, R or S, right Joe? too easy. (no Boston. no Red Sox.) and no M or L for mmmmm...Mike Lowell... Joe clearly wants me to think here.


well, since i can't find a way to spin P into anything to do with my favorite baseball team, how about we start with...

1. the Philadelphia Phillies! my love for them is not nearly equal to that of my boys from Boston, but they will forever have my gratitude for preventing the Rays from winning the World Series. i love them for that!

2. the Patriots. you can take the girl out of New England but you can't make her root for her local sports teams. bleh.

3. ohhh!!! ::slaps forehead:: PEDROIA!! let's face it, he's no Mike Lowell (wink wink nudge nudge) but he certainly brings the style of play i enjoy watching to the table. i love that he lays it all out there when he plays. he runs his mouth a little more than i might prefer & i know he's the sort of player other teams' fans love to hate, but i love that he's ours! and ours for another six years at that!

4. packages in the mail. i love to send them. i love to receive them--even if they are something i bought for myself. and there is no such thing as a box in the mail too small to get excited over. happies in the mail are *always* a good thing!

5. peanut butter. is there really a more perfect food? it plays nicely with chocolate. and jelly. you can put it on apple slices. or crackers. you can put it into cookies. or eat it straight off a spoon. yummy.

6. Private Practice. total chick show, i know. but it's one of my must-sees. which i am slowly running out of, by the way. Boston Legal has ended. Dexter's season is over. we are months away from baseball. ::sigh::

7. photos. i really really love photos. not just taking them or looking at my own, but old family photos. other people's photos. old photos. family photos. vacation photos. baby photos. when someone has photos, i am always sincere in my excitement to see them.

8. on the subject of photos, there is also Picasa. i know Flickr is where all the cool kids play, but i really like the Picasa software for organizing my photos on my computer. and also the ease with which i can seamlessly upload my photos to my Picasa Web albums for backup & for sharing. there are some basic photo editing tools in Picasa, and when those don't suit my needs, i am also a big fan of (bonus P!) Picnik.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean--the Disneyland version. the one here in Florida, at Magic Kingdom, was one of my all-time favorite Disney attractions. and then? i was lucky enough to go on the California version. i still enjoy it but that one *totally* puts the one here to shame.

10. Pioneer Valley Days. not just being nice here. Joe's blog is in my top ten list of blogs to read. i'm really glad i discovered it!

turns out i could have gone on & on! there are also: poinsettias (which always remind me of my Gram at Christmas time), potatoes (mashed, boiled, baked, fries, chips, roasted, hasbrowns, yummy), possibilities (who doesn't like the anticipation of endless possibility??), peppermint (mmm...candy canes & York Peppermint Patties...), Priority Mail (hooray, two-to-three-day delivery for those packages mentioned above!), pine-scented Yankee Candles (Sparkling Pine, Mistletoe, Christmas Wreath, Balsam & Cedar--all make that artificial tree feel a little more real), Post-it notes (oh the wonder!), Planet Earth (the show from the Discovery Channel--serious WOW, no matter how many times i see it). great letter choice after all, Joe!


Friday 5: December 16, 2008

Not Mine!

1. When did you last sleep in a bed outside your home?

Thanksgiving. at Nichole & Daniel's.

2. When did you last drive someone else’s car?
wow. ummmm... October 2002, i think? i drove my Dad's car on a weekend trip to Cooperstown, NY when i went up for a visit. i don't typically like to drive other people's cars. makes me nervous because what if something ever happened?? ack.

3. When did you last cook in someone else’s kitchen?
that would be... 2001 sometime. in my Gram's kitchen.

4. When did you last care for children who aren’t yours?
i'm going to define "care for" as the parents not being there. which would be... 2002, right after i first moved to Florida. i watched the infant daughter of a co-worker of the ex's.

5. When did you last do someone else’s job?
ahem. going to take a pass on this one.


Saturday 9: December 16, 2008

hosted by Saturday 9

How Do You Sleep

1. How long do you sleep each night?

i average about six hours a night. and i usually wake up on my own after six hours, no matter what time i go to bed so i try not to go to bed much before 11pm.

2. Do you fall asleep easily?
usually. i do go through occasional periods when i lay there for hours, waiting to doze off.

3. Do you fall asleep at times not in your bed?
sometimes i doze off on the couch. depends on how tired i am.

4. Do you listen to music or use “white noise” to sleep?
not usually. sometimes i will fall asleep with a football or baseball game on tv, or listening to some music, but i always set the timer so the source of the sound goes off by a certain time. otherwise it will wake me up later & i will have a difficult time getting back to sleep again.

5. Do you sleep through the night or get up a couple of times?
i rarely wake up during the night. i bet i can count on one hand the number of times i've woken up for a bathroom break. if i wake up during the night, it's usually bad news: i either had a very bad dream or i'm about to be sick.

6. Do you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed?
not as long as i am comfy.

7. Do you need an alarm clock to get you up?
only if i am going to be getting less than my requisite six hours of sleep.

8. Do you ever take medication to help you sleep?
i've taken the occasional Tylenol PM, but only when i go through one of those periods when i have trouble falling asleep & it lasts for more than a few days. i try to stay away from meds unless i *really* need them because i don't medicate that well.

9. Do you/have you slept with pets?
i did when i still had my puppy. he was like sleeping with the Tazmanian Devil though. and it was ok if he tossed & turned & whined & twitched & kicked me in *his* sleep, but if i so much as moved a toe, i would get a warning growl that i had disturbed him. (you know, because he wasn't able to SLEEP ALL DAY or anything.) also, i would make a "nest" put of my pillows & blankets while i slept. when i would get up in the morning, i would come out of the shower to find *him* curled up in it, under the blankets, head on the pillow. he was quite the character. one thing i will say: he was a good sleeper, as far as if he woke me up to go out at night, i knew it was an emergency & he *had* to go.


One-Word Sarcomical Sunday: December 16, 2008

yes, i know. it's not Sunday. it's also a month late. deal. ;-)

hosted by Sarcomical.

One-Word Sarcomical Sunday #18:
How You Live Edition

1. What wakes you: myself
2. Your initial look in the mirror reveals: Kramer
3. You usually first put on: lotion
4. Your closet: semi-organized
5. Your mood before 11am: mellow
6. The first thing you look at online after email: Twitter
7. Something you tend to snack on: crackers
8. What you see out your front door: apartments
9. Your takeout menus: nope
10. Number of boxes of tissue out in your home right now: two
11. The way you sneeze would read: ahCHOOO!
12. Number of times a day you probably brush your hair: zero
13. The most predominant thing in your pantry: water
14. A smell commonly coming from your kitchen: cookies
15. How you sort your books: size
16. The way you keep your place in a book: ducky
17. Something you hide when people come over: clutter
18. Number of people normally at your table during dinner: table-less
19. Something you put on your nightstand before bed: glasses
20. How high you pull the covers when you go to sleep: chest


Monday, December 8, 2008


my apartment has been Christmased. my blog has been Christmased. my cards have been ordered. my gifts will be wrapped this evening. Christmas music is playing the office. and now? the Christmas meme (courtesy of Lil Foot's Mommy)!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? unless the shape of a gift simply will not lend itself to being wrapped wiith paper, i prefer to use wrapping paper and ribbons and bows. i actually enjoy the gift wrapping process.

2. Real tree or Artificial? i would prefer real but they are just too expensive in Florida, so artificial is better than no tree at all because i can't afford one.

3. When do you put up the tree? on the first Sunday of Advent or as close to it as i can get. this year, due to travelling & not feeling well, it went up this past weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? after Epiphany--so most likely the second weekend of January this year.

5. Do you like eggnog? no thanks. i would prefer to have hot apple cider or hot chocolate instead.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? truthfully, no one gift stands out in my mind. i always loved all my gifts.

7. Hardest person to buy for? my father's wife. i have a theory on this...

8. Easiest person to buy for? my dad. in fact, he's so easy for me to buy for that i have to cut myself off!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? several. i have a miniature nativity and also a Precious Moments one that my Gram & Gramp gave me.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail! i know i always love seeing the cards that appear in my mailbox.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? i got this sweater from the ex's parents one year... yikes...

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? (i have to pick more than one, i can't help it) classic: It's a Wonderful Life. comedy: Elf. drama: The Nativity Story.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? well, i am always on the lookout for The Perfect Gift, but i officially start in October. i need to be done by the first week of December so that all the gifts can be wrapped & put into the mail early enough to reach their destinations before Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? i don't think so...

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas cookies!!

16. Lights on the tree? are you kidding me?? that is my favorite part of having a tree! having all the lights off except for the tree. and i want my tree to have colored lights please.

17. Favorite Christmas song? "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "White Christmas".

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? a little of both!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? i sure can!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? i've done both when i had multiple places to celebrate Christmas, but these days, i prefer Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying part about this time of year? the fact that so many people tell me that the way i celebrate Christmas, as a Christian, is offensive to them and that i should keep it to myself, but i am not allowed to be offended by the way that any of these people celebrate Christmas or whichever is their Winter holiday of choice. the fact is, their holidays *don't* offend me, but why am i the only one required to be tolerant? can't they just respect my traditions as i respect theirs? ok, enough controversary. it's threatening to dampen my Christmas cheer & that's just not acceptable.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? i *love* my ornaments. every single one of them. some belonged to my grandparents or my dad and were passed along to me. some i've had since i was a child. some i have acquired on my own or received as gifts since becoming an adult. but they all mean something special to me. i guess if you were to look for a common "theme," you would see that i have lots of stars, angels, snowflakes, snowmen, gingerbread men and jingle bells on my tree.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? i don't think i have a favorite food that i *must* have for it to feel like Christmas dinner. it's all about the company.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? for the people i care about to enjoy the gifts i picked for them. all the rest is bonus.



i am assuming Steph tagged me, because it says 'Dawn' but there isn't a link for me to determine if that meant me or another Dawn. either way, here ya go:

Where is your cell phone? desk
Where is your significant other? missing
Your hair color? darker
Your mother? Burlington
Your father? working
Your favorite thing? tree
Your dream last night? hazy
Your dream/goal? comfortable
The room you’re in? office
Your hobby? Disney
Your fear? disappointing
Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
Where were you last night? home
What you’re not? angry
One of your wish-list items? jersey
Where you grew up? northeast
Last thing you did? answered
What are you wearing? jacket
Your TV? silent
Your pet? non-existent
Your computer? sleeping
Your mood? festive
Missing someone? always
Your car? dirty
Something you’re not wearing? sneakers
Favorite store? Target
Your summer? ended
Love someone? absolutely
Your favorite color? red
When is the last time you laughed? earlier
Last time you cried? 30th


Sunday, December 7, 2008

And I Quote: December 7, 2008

"Food makes everybody feel good. There are four or five people on the planet who do not eat by choice. They're cranky."
(Rachael Ray)


Friday, December 5, 2008

Sing Along: December 5, 2008

If I could only have you near
To breathe a sigh or two
I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
Upon this winter night with you
("Song for a Winter's Night," Sarah McLachlan)


resurrecting Dawn

so ummm... yeah. this is what i get for promising to be back on the blog more often.

first, i was getting ready to travel. which means... less time to play online.

then, i was travelling. which means... less time to play online. (they really need to start putting WiFi on airplanes by the way. i would pay for that kind of entertainment on a 5+ hour flight. just sayin'.)

then, i was enjoying Thanksgiving with Nichole & Daniel...

(i meant to take a photo of my various plates as they were presented, but really, the food was too yummy & i forgot. oops. here is the aftermath of dinner though.)

all of which means... less time to play online.

then i was shopping on Black Friday. or, well, mostly observing the shopping. and then tagging along for the Christmas tree selection. but that still translates to... less time to play online.

then i was at Disneyland, seeing it all decorated for Christmas, which i have never done before...

(the gingerbread men were so cool! they made the costumes flat on the back, just like a cookie would be, and even "browned" the edges!)

so while i was definitely gathering things to share on my blog... there was no time for playing online.

all of this would have been fine. but then... Saturday evening, we went to dinner at Hook's Pointe. i was having a hard time deciding what i wanted for dinner. i almost got the Mahi Mahi. but then i picked (cue ominous music here) the salmon. i should have gone with my original gut feeling. because then i could have avoided the feelings i got in my gut later that night. oh. my. God. i thought i was going to die. i was mildly uncomfortable after dinner, but chalked it up to just being too full (even though i only ate half my dinner... and thank goodness i only ate half), and when we got home, i went to bed, dozing restlessly until i awoke around 2am by the unmistakable Very Unhappy Tummy feeling. the waves of nausea just kept rolling over me. by the time Nichole & Daniel woke up Sunday morning, this had been going on for hours. i couldn't talk or move or even so much withstand a comforting pat on the hand (although, strangely, i could read, which provided some measure of distraction between waves of feeling ill.)

this whole time, i am alternating between praying it would just end and wondering how on earth i would be able to get on the red eye that night. finally around 11am, i was able to go about twenty minutes between waves of nausea, so i took a shower to at least try to feel somewhat human again. then i camped out on the couch, while Nichole & Daniel took care of me and did some decorating for Christmas. as my stomach slowly began to settle (all i ate the whole day were five crackers and three canned pear slices, and some water--no way was i "re-loading the gun" thank you very much), my nose? started to run. turns out that sore throat that i thought was just from dry air decided it was going to be much, much more than that.

oh goody.

by the time, they put me on the plane, the war of the worlds in my abdomen had all but subsided, but they had to send me off with a box of Kleenex for the faucet on my face my nose. the guy in the seat next to me gave me a couple of unhappy looks as i proceeded to blow my nose at roughly four minute intervals. i was just waiting for him to say something, because i would have informed him that he's just lucky we weren't flying the night before. (not that i would have even attempted to get on the plane like that but considering it would have hit mid-flight? wouldn't have been a fun night for *anyone*.)

so, i got home and have spent the rest of the week muddling through the progression of a cold. from the runny nose to the plugged up head to the coughing, which is where i am now. but for you? i have dredged up enough energy & ambition to download photos, edit them, upload them to my web albums and compose a post.

so all in all, i wasn't really able to be online, due to a variety of circumstances. we're on the upswing now, but no more promises.


Snapshot From Along the Broken Road: November 2008

photo of me

this was taken in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel, as we were resort hotel hopping to check out the Christmas decorations--and may i just say that i do not know why i look like i am in pain, standing there. that wasn't coming until later... =P

1) current candle scents: Apple Butter (retired scent). Gingersnaps (retired scent). Vanilla Caramel (newly retired scent).

2) what i am currently reading: "Love the One You're With," by Emily Giffin. "America Alone," by Mark Steyn.

3) newest music i added my playlist: "Let It Be Christmas" by Alan Jackson. "Realize" by Colbie Caillat. "In Color" by Jamey Johnson. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. "Come On Get Higher" by Matt Nathanson. "Christmas Time Is Here" by Sarah McLachlan. "Alabama" by Cross Canadian Ragweed. "Gotta Be Somebody" by Nickelback. "Hide Your Matches," "About Life," "I'd Just Be With You," and "My Hallelujah Song" by Julianne Hough.

4) movies i saw: A Good Year. Elf. Candleshoe.

5) something yummy i made this month: i boiled some Yukon Gold potatoes, and put just a hint of butter, salt & parsley on them. very simple dish but brought back priceless memories of my Gram. this was one of my favorite ways to have potatoes as a child and she would make them often, just because she knew i loved them.

6) the last place i ate out: Hook's Pointe at Disneyland.

7) something that made me cry: the past, rearing its ugly head.

8) something that made me laugh: how amused Nichole's brother Steven was to sneak up on & startle me while the three of us were out scoring deals on Black Friday. (actually, they did all the shopping. i just helped carry bags, offered opinions, bought a pound of See's chocolates and apparently provided the entertainment.)

9) something i looked forward to this month: Thanksgiving dinner.

10) something i am thankful for: that the best people have my back, without ever being asked.

11) something i want to remember about this month: in regard to Number Seven (and Number Ten), that i never face anything alone.

12) a photo i took this month:

taken at the Main Street Confectionery, Magic Kingdom

one more thing for this month.
i have been a horrible, rude blog friend for not doing this sooner, but the totally awesome Lil Foot's Mommy had a contest on her blog back when her little family was on vacation in Hawaii, which i won, and she sent me this wonderful package of goodies in the mail! Yankee Candles!! and chocolate...

i am so happy that this goofy thing called blogging has brought me yet another great friend--and that has nothing to do with getting a box of happy in the mail.


Monday, December 1, 2008

'twas the survey before Christmas

1. Do you send out Christmas cards?
yes i do. who doesn't like a little happy in their mailbox?
2. How soon do you start shopping?
i'm not against finding special treats all year long, but i actively start my shopping at the end of October usually. i need to get everything in hand, because most of it needs to be wrapped, packaged & shipped out by December 15!
3. Who do you shop for?
my loved ones.

4. Do you put up a Christmas tree?
5. If so, is it fake or real?
i love real trees but they are too expensive down here. mine is artificial--and it's a pretty nice one that was still far cheaper than even one real tree.
6. Do you like tinsel?
no! that stuff is worse than the needles! it sticks to everything.
7. Do you use homeade or storebought ornaments?
all of my ornaments are store bought. i think my Dad still has the ones i made when i was a kid.
8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?
no, i live in an apartment.
9. Do you put lights on the tree?
of course my tree has lights! it wouldn't be the same without them.
10. How about popcorn and cranberries?
no, i don't have any sort of garland-type anything on my tree.
11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?
no. i was actually looking for one for my wall in my kitchen & couldn't find any that i liked. maybe next year.

Christmas Eve
12. Do you celebrate it?

yes. i always go to church on Christmas Eve. the latest service i can go to. it's so peaceful...
13. Do you hang up your stocking?
not on Christmas Eve. my stocking is up all season, hanging, waiting. if i am a good girl, though, Santa will come fill it up on Christmas Eve!
14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?"
i don't think i have a copy of that book actually. i always read "Jolly Old Santa Claus" on Christmas Eve. i have ever since i was old enough to read.

15. Christmas Movie -

i have several favorites: It's a Wonderful Life. Elf. The Nativity Story.
16. Character from any Christmas Movie -
not really a movie, but i love Yukon Cornelius from "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"!
17. Christmas Song -
O Little Town of Bethlehem. White Christmas.
18. Christmas Memory -
family Christmas parties at my Gram's sister's home every Christmas Eve.

This or That
19. Give or Receive?

give! i love to give gifts. and i always try to sneak in a little surprise or two to people who are completely unsuspecting!
20. Eggnog or Cider?
cider, please.
21. Red or Green?
a nice warm rich red.
22. Ham or Turkey?
i like either. in my family, turkey was for Thanksgiving, ham was for Easter, and Christmas could be anything!
23. Star or Angel?
i have a star.
24. White Lights or Colored Lights?
i love white lights outside, especially in the snow, but i only like colored lights for my tree.
25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights?
still. *please*. my grandparents had some that would blink, some that would chase, some that were still. it's a wonder none of us ever had a seizure! ;-)
26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year?
*ahem* i'm a good girl with just enough naughty, of course!

27. What do you want for Christmas this year?

to make the people i love smile. *really*. all the rest is bonus.
28. When do you open your gifts?
Christmas Day.
29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten?
i love all my gifts. i don't know that i really have a favorite.
30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?
i did get this sweater one year... let's just say that people who don't know you well should *not* get you clothes!
31. Who gives you the most gifts?
i don't really keep count. i know that i am *very* spoiled every year.
32. Have you ever had a secret Santa?
we did that one year where i worked. i knew who it was though. when you work in an office, you recognize people by their handwriting.
33. Do you like wrapping gifts?
yes! i love to give pretty packages!

34. Do you put change in those red buckets?

yes, if i have some.
35. Do you burn a yule log?
i'm thinking they wouldn't really appreciate it if i did. there isn't a fireplace in my apartment. ;-)
36. Can you name all the reindeer?
i sure can: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blizten and Rudolph. even though my Gramp wouldn't acknowledge Rudolph because he said he was a sissy. and no, i didn't look the names up.
37. Do you bake cookies?
yes i do! mmmm... cookies....
38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Claus?
i have not.
39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?
no. no kisses for me. maybe because i've never had mistletoe.
40. Do you go caroling?
i have a few times, but it's not one of my hard & fast traditions.
41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?
not intentionally, but i love to see them while i am out & about!
42. Have you ever left Santa cookies?
of course! i'm not taking any chances that he won't stop at my house!
43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap?
when i was a child. not so much recently.
44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with?
used to be just my family but now it varies.
45. Where do you celebrate Christmas?
at home or in California, the last few years.
46. Have you ever had a white Christmas?
not in the last seven Christmases. many before that though!
47. What part of Christmas do you look most foward to?
all of it. the preparations and the giving of gifts. the baking and the decorating. the Advent services and the wrapping. the Christmas shows and music. all. of. it.
48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?
yes, also as a kid.
49. Does your family always take a picture at Christmas?
they might, but i'm not in it.
50. Have you ever heard the song "Thank God For Kids" by The Oakridge Boys?
i cannot say that i have.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


::blink blink::

on Friday, i brought two pairs of pants to the cleaner. they are new & needed to be shortened just a bit. i expained that i needed them to be a half inch shorter & that i would need them back by Tuesday.

today is Tuesday. i just went to pick them up. i was just told...

...nothing was done to the pants. because they were already the length i had requested.


the pants are already a half inch shorter than they were when i brought them in to be shortened?


i guess i need to find two more pairs of pants to bring to California with me tomorrow. and a pillow to scream into.


Ten on Tuesday: November 25, 2008

Ten Things You Want for the Holiday

well, gee, i have a whole wishlist of stuff i'd like, right up here at the top playing in that Kaboodle slideshow. if i had to pick ten items to showcase though...? in no particular order:

1. "Deep Drive" by Mike Lowell with Rob Bradford
2. Pampered Chef Food Chopper
3. Vanilla Bean Noel lotion
4. Sex & the City: The Movie
5. any of the Boston Legal season DVDs
6. color-coded cutting boards
7. cupcake carrier
8. Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals
9. iTunes gift card
10. a Jon Lester Road BP Jersey


stating the obvious

i have been a bad, bad blogger. i don't even have an excuse. i just haven't done it. not even for lack of ideas. i have ideas all the time and i think "oh! great idea for a post." and then? i just don't. i get distracted by things like uploading more music to iTunes or cleaning my ceiling fans (seriously, *how* do things that never ever stop moving collect so.much.dust?!) or flipping through a magazine.

so it's not that i don't have anything to post. or that i don't *want * to post. it's just that i haven't. but i will. i promise.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Sing Along: November 21, 2008

I was waiting
For the day you'd come around.
I was chasing
And nothing was all I found.
From the moment you came into my life
You showed me what's right
("Feels Like Tonight," Daughtry)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

while my thoughts are marinating...

...i'm going to do this cooking survey that i swiped from Nichole and Rebecca. ha ha. thoughts marinating. cooking survey. get it? lame, i know, but so are my efforts to organize my thoughts into an actual post with meaning. or that, at the very least, makes sense. but the natives are getting restless and i've gotten more than one pointed remark about updating so... here ya go.

1. Favorite milk?
the kind we call ice cream. or cheese. i'm not a big fan of drinking milk, but i do use 2% in my cereal.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook this season?
this season?? i plan my meals no more than a week in advance. i have *no* clue what i will be specifically cooking. i do know that i tend to cook more "comfort foods" now than in the past season though when it's too hot to cook anything you can't either grill or cook very quickly on the stove top. i have already made stuffed shells and meatloaf patties since the weather has been cooler.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
just enough butter for the taste without making the popcorn too soggy or your fingers excessively greasy & a teeny tiny bit of salt.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
while i know that they have happened, i can't seem to get any to surface. this may have something to do with the fact that i cooked nothing but plain pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken tenders & cheese quesadillas for five years--and those are tough to mess up. the most recent kitchen oops i've had was when i was making cupcakes & forgot to add the water to the mix before i started mixing (did you know that cupcake mix, eggs and oil make chocolate cement?) but that is hardly what i would call a disaster or a failure. i just dumped it out & started over.

5. Favorite pickled item?
just regular old cucumbers. they can be dill or bread & butter or hearty garlic though. mmm... pickles.

6. How do you organize your recipes?
i am slowly getting them all assembled on my recipe blog.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
i have a garbage disposal but i use it cautiously. when i was growing up, though, my grandparents had a compost pile. if i lived in the country, i would.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
ice cream. raspberries. tomatoes.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
i think about 75% of my childhood memories involve food in some way. my Gram was an incredible cook. we ate like kings. i had fresh produce from the garden & orchard, and their home-canned counterparts all Winter long. there were Sunday dinners and holiday feasts and big family potlucks. i cooked with her in the kitchen as far back as i can go in my memory. if you forced me to pick one, i would have to condense it to time spent in her kitchen with her.

10. Favorite ice cream?
can't have just one! there is mint chocolate chip... and black raspberry... and chocolate mocha silk... and coffee... and Tagalong Cookie...

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
it's more of a utensil, i think, than an actual appliance but i don't know how i would survive with my mezzaluna chopper.

12. Spice/herb you would die without?

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
i'm pretty sure that would be the Betty Crocker cookbook that covers all the basics. it's a handy resource, from time to time, but i can't honestly remember the last time i made a recipe from it...

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
raspberry. although my Gram made tons of homemade jams & jellies (blueberry. blackberry. currant. apple. peach. grape. plum. strawberry.) and i have never found a store bought jam or jelly that could compete.

15. Favorite recipe to serve to a friend?
i don't really have a favorite recipe... i think it would depend on who i was cooking for & what they like!

16. Do you eat tofu?
i've had it once--but i have no idea how to actually cook it. i was served it as a guest. the jury is still out. sometimes it takes me a few tries to determine a verdict. in this case, it's the texture i am considering.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
probably dinner. i rarely cook breakfast foods and lunch is typically leftovers or something quick & easy.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
a turkey-shaped basket and a cornucopia filled with dried Autumn flowers. ooo, wait right here. i think i have...

yep! photos!

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
ice cream. fresh chopped herbs in ice cube form. frozen peas.

20. What's on your grocery list?
at the moment? ummm... just a Sunday paper, granola bars, apples and butter. the week is young though. it will grow between now & Sunday's shopping trip.

21. Favorite grocery store?
Publix. it's the best one we have in my area. i miss Stop & Shop though.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to try, but haven't yet.
there are tons i have tucked away in draft form on my recipe blog. i don't post them til i've tried them & liked them though. however, i can't really link to them since they are only drafts...

23. Food blog you read the most.
i really like the recipes they post on Chop. Stir. Mix.

24. Favorite chocolate?
See's. hands down. it's a food group unto itself. and a miracle food group at that.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
you would have to define your terms. i don't buy anything extravagant by my standards.

26. What vegetables do you enjoy most?
mmm... veggies. peas. corn. carrots. zucchini. summer squash. brussel sprouts. broccoli. cauliflower. green beans. asparagus. peppers (raw only though). tomatoes (yes, i know... it's a fruit). potatoes. really, it's much easier to ask me what i *don't* like: winter squash of any variety and onions.


Friday, November 14, 2008

all the pretty colors

The Ultimate Color Test

When you are at peace, you are:
Deeply stable

When you are moved to act, you are:
Giving and warm

When you are inspired, you are:
Creative and productive

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:
Philosophical and expressive

Your life's purpose is:
To live a passionate life

The Ultimate Color Test


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