1. Name a tv show of which you have seen every episode at least twice:
Friends. Everybody Loves Raymond. Sex and the City. Grey's Anatomy -- except for this most current season.
2. Name a show you couldn't miss:
The DVR makes must-see tv less urgent, and online and OnDemand viewing are a good safety for most DVR failures, but the ones I am most quickly drawn to? How I Met Your Mother. Parenthood. Grey's Anatomy. The Good Wife. Mad Men. Dexter. The Big Bang Theory. Fringe. Blue Bloods. Pan Am. Once Upon a Time.
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:
James Spader. (Though it didn't work for The Office. Still not interested.) And Tom Selleck.
4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:
Ryan Seacrest. Maybe he doesn't qualify as an actor, but he would still make me want to change the channel as soon as possible.
5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:
Friends. All the time.
6. Name a show you like that no one else you know enjoys:
I don't know, thanks to my online buddies, that there is *any* show I watch about which I can say that! I think I know at least one person with whom I have each of my shows in common.
7. Name a tv show theme song which you have been known to sing:
Friends. Frasier. Two and a Half Men. The Big Bang Theory.
8. Name a show you would recommend everyone watch:
Fringe - This is one crazy, cool show with so many awesome details, but you do have to start from the beginning. Boston Legal - One of my hands-down favorite shows. Parenthood - Some of the best acting, writing and cast chemistry *ever*. The Big Bang Theory - So.Freaking.Funny.
9. Name a tv series you own:
Friends. Boston Legal. Sex and the City. Mad Men (through season 4). Grey's Anatomy (through season 7). Private Practice (through Season 4). T owns Dexter (through season 5). Season 1 of The Big Bang Theory. And I would love to add Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier to the collection, and start with the first couple seasons of The Good Wife and Parenthood.
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting choices on television:
I have been very pleasantly surprised by Donnie Wahlberg on Blue Bloods. He's really good!
11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?
Oh man... I can't narrow it down to anymore than two. Friends, "The One with the Ballroom Dancing" (season 4, episode 4) - when Chandler wants to quit the gym. Sex and the City, "An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux" (season 6, episode 20) - that ending is just the best.
12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:
13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?
I gave up on ER after they killed off Dr Green. I tried to watch Friends With Benefits but I gave up on it very quickly. I am sure there have been others, but if they weren't worth watching, they weren't worth remembering either.
14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
Grey's Anatomy. Private Practice. Harry's Law. Parenthood. Men in Trees.
15. What do you eat when you watch tv?
It depends. I've eaten meals while watching tv, and snacks too. There isn't really anything specific I save for tv-watching. Anything I eat is fair game for eating while I watch tv.
16. How often do you watch tv?
17. What's the last tv show you watched?
I haven't watched a *show* in several days since I am a houseguest with friends; we've been watching movies. I believe the last show I watched was an episode of Grey's Anatomy when I was catching up on some backlogged DVR.
18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of tv?
I watch all sorts of tv. I have equal shares of crime drama, legal drama, medical drama, sitcom and what have you. If it's well-written and entertains me, I am likely to enjoy it. It's easier to say that I loathe reality tv. The closest I get to it is Top Chef.
19. What was the first tv show you were obsessed with?
Hmmm... Full House? Beverly Hills 90210?
20. What tv show do you wish you had never watched?
I don't watch if I'm not interested, therefore I have none I wish I hadn't watched.
21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?
I guess I would need a better definition of 'weird' because it could mean 'mind-bending' or it could mean a show that just made me shake my head that I would watch it. Going with the latter, I would say Ghost Whisperer.
22. What was the single most memorable program you ever saw on tv?
Vague questions like this one and the last irritate me. Do they mean the whole series? A single episode? A stand-alone show? While it wasn't my favorite episode, the episode of ER when Dr Romano gets his hand chopped off has always stuck in my mind. I was horrified. That was the very last one I ever watched.
23. What tv show scared you the most?
Fringe routinely scares me. I have to watch on Saturday mornings when it's light out and there are many hours before I sleep again.
24. What's the funniest tv show you ever watched?
Friends. The Big Bang Theory. Both have made me laugh hysterically on many occasions.
25. What show was cancelled too early into its run?
Cane. Men In Trees. Lipstick Jungle. And if it doesn't get picked up for another season, I will add Pan Am to this list too.
courtesy of Kwizgiver
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
1. Name a tv show of which you have seen every episode at least twice:
Sunday, December 25, 2011
To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen virgin mild
This little child of lowly birth
Shall be the joy of all the earth
These are the signs that you shall mark:
The swaddling clothes and manger dark
There you will find the infant laid
By whom the heav'ns and earth were made
Come here, my friends, lift up your eyes
And see what in the manger lies
Who is this child, so young and fair?
It is the Christ Child lying there
Ah, Lord, though you created all
How weak You are, so poor and small
That You should choose to lay Your head
Where lowly cattle lately fed!
Were earth a thousand times as fair
And set with gold and jewels rare
It would be far too poor and small
A cradle for the Lord of all
My heart for very joy must leap
My lips no more can silence keep
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradlesong:
Glory to God in highest heav'n
Who unto us His Son has giv'n!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth
("From Heaven Above to Earth I Come," v. 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15)
Saturday, December 24, 2011
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep the angels keep
Their watch of wond'ring love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the king
And peace to men on earth
Friday, December 23, 2011
When you are small, at Christmastime, a tree surrounded by mountains of gifts is just that: so. many. presents!!
But when you grow up, and you see your tree packed full, all you can think of is how very loved you are.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I have loved books for as far back as I can remember. One of my favorite Christmas traditions, growing up, was the reappearance of two beloved books on the table in the sitting room. I still take a few moments each Christmas Eve to read them, lighting the eyes of my proverbial inner child (who is always quite alive and well!). Of course, I always reread the story of the Nativity--that is what Christmas means to me, above all else--but then there are the fanciful, magical books... The first was "Jolly Old Santa Claus" (Maryjane H Tonn, illustrations by George Hinke).
The story itself was captivating, told like the reader is being given a special "insider's" tour of the North Pole--what child doesn't like a peek into Santa's workshop?!--but the illustrations were the true treasure. This book is set up in a way that was a bit unique: the story is told on pale blue pages, with words and a few simple sketches, but then you turn the page to find full-color pages, so packed with detail, each demands you stop to really observe, almost as if you are actually inside them. Somehow, they always seemed to be exactly how I imagined it all really looked. To this day, I still stop to stare at each, before I continue with the story.
The other book is "Santa's Christmas Journey" (Roger Brooke, illustrations by Elizabeth J Miles) and it is told in rhyme.
Something about the cadence of this story has always appealed to me:
This is the story of how once a year
I fly round the world with eight trusty reindeer.
And bring to each child in each house in each land
A wrapped Christmas present, delivered by hand.
The story is wonderfully woven, each page decorated with the most wonderful pictures.
This year, my mom insisted I open one of my gifts a few days early. Inside was the newest book to add to my collection, the classic, "The Night Before Christmas," by Clement C Moore.
Further back than my memory can draw up, this book was my favorite bedtime story--so much so that I asked for it year round, and could recite along with it, knowing exactly when to turn the page. The best part, though, is that she chose one of the recordable books that Hallmark puts out (you know you've seen the commercials more than once), and so tied with this book and its personal memories, I have my mother reading the story, just as she did when I was very small, something that will become even more of a treasure should I ever have my own small child with whom to share these traditions.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
**A blog I was reading swore that the book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," changed her view on baking bread. For the longest time, I have thought that I Want to try my hand at homemade bread, but I've been very intimidated by merely the thought. I wonder if this book would be the catalyst...?
**I have two little clear glass mixing bowls; they nest nicely, which is good for limited cabinet space issues, but they are a little, well, *small* for some things. T has a great big mixing bowl that belonged to his grandmother...but it's, well, great big. And I don't know. It just bugs me that the next size I graduate to from kinda-too-small is holy-huge. And so, I dream of something wonderful, like this 5-piece Parker Bowl Set, in its cheerful colors and perfectly graduated sizes that nest. That's right. I sadly dream of mixing bowls I Want in my kitchen. I hear these things happen as you get older.
**The neck strap on The Precious is getting pretty gross, and truth be told, it isn't the most comfortable thing ever. I keep saying I Want a new one but I don't know exactly what I want to get. I do find myself drawn to the colors in this one.
**I Want to leave cookies for Santa on this Jingle Elf plate. It's he adorable??
Monday, December 19, 2011
Monday: There was *still* a little sauerkraut left, so a quick and simple dinner of hot dogs and kraut is on tap.
Tuesday: They had a really good sale on the ravioli we like (Celentano Mini Round Cheese) so I grabbed a couple packages. Apparently, I had that same plan the *last* time they went on sale too, because there was a pretty good stash going on in the freezer already. So, in the interest of freeing up some freezer space, we'll make some ravioli with some ground Italian sausage, and round things out with a little garlic bread and a salad.
Wednesday: T is going to grill up some chicken--not sure yet if we will marinate it in some garlic & herb marinade we have on hand or use some barbecue sauce--and then I'll make some corn and we'll finish up the salad from Tuesday.
Thursday: It's been a while since I've made my Meatloaf Patties and we'll have a bunch of potatoes around (way too many for Christmas dinner for just two people), so I will whip up some mashed potatoes and make some French-cut green beans.
Friday: We decided we needed some fish on the menu this week, and after some debate, we settled on Marinated Grilled Tilapia. I'll make up some wild rice to go with it, and we'll have whatever squash looks good at the store when we get closer to the end of the week.
Saturday: Keeping it super simple: grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Sunday: Christmas dinner will be a baked ham (courtesy of T), some mashed potatoes, an as-yet-undecided veggie (trying to pick between two recipes) and some rolls. We're keeping Christmas dinner a little modest, since I will be traveling next week and T will be stuck alone with the leftovers.
Notes from last week's menu: We stayed on track, last week, until we got to Thursday. Neither of us really felt like cooking (bad news on a night that the recipe is a little labor-intensive!), so we postponed the quesadillas and got some takeout from Wendy's instead. As it turned out, leftovers were sparse, so Saturday turned into quesadilla night and T made some tuna casserole on Sunday.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Between Christmas preparations and keeping up with regular television shows on the DVR, we just haven't gotten to any of my favorite Christmas shows or movies yet. Tonight, we began remedying that.
A few favorite quotes:
"I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all really. Maybe it just needs a little love." (Linus, "A Charlie Brown Christmas")
"Sure, Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please! And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.' That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." (Linus, "A Charlie Brown Christmas")
"It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! He puzzled and puzzed til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!" ("Dr Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas")
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The final angel, Silver - Beauty, is Arianne. She my my very favorite. I love the delicate snowflakes on her gown. I love her soft beauty and the fact that she reminds me to take in the beauty of Christmas in the middle of the crazy rush and the commercialism.
Arianne comes on wings of brightest silver, reminding us to rejoice in all the beauty we see and hear in this breathtaking season - in the chime of a silver bell ringing clear and pure on the crisp air, in the silvery winter light that bathes the landscape, in the snowflake that spins and glitters as it falls. Arianne brings with her a soft and delicate message of wintertime beauty.
(description found on ornament box)
Friday, December 16, 2011
Azura (Blue - Peace) is one of my favorite of the five angels. I love both what she represents about the Christmas season and the details of her gown. I think she captures the feeling of peace perfectly.
Azura gently reminds us of the hush of a starry December sky and the still, unhurried moments at the heart of the season. From the hint of pale blue in a frozen pond to the deep blue of a winter midnight, her gown of calming blues brings feelings of peace. She reminds us, too, of the close friends and family who bless us by sharing those quiet moments with us.
(description found on ornament box)
Thursday, December 15, 2011
This is one of my favorite representations. I love what my third angel, Gilda, stands for: Gold - Tradition. Traditions are very important to me. I love the celebration of a ritual that has been passed down from my grandparents to my parents to me...and maybe one day my own children and grandchildren. There is a warm comfort in thinking about all the times a tradition has been honored by people I love. When I look at Gilda, in her golden gown, I think about what she is intended to mean, about the people I love, about the generations-old traditions...and the new ones I've created with T.
Gilda represents time, memory and every precious thing that endures. Her gown of gold brings to mind the star that tops the tree or the golden glow of a flame passed from candle to candle. She brings her message of gratitude for those who have shared in our traditions through the years - passing them on, receiving them, creating new ones. She is a shining celebration of tradition and the many ways it enriches the season.
(description found on ornament box)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
**I Want to try Dunkin Donuts mint hot chocolate. If only it weren't still EIGHTY DEGREES here! (Stupid La Nina.)
**While we're talking about unrealistic wants, something on my "I Want" list for quite a while now is a mortar and pestle. This one is...not inexpensive. But I've looked at the cheaper ones and I remain unimpressed. Therefore, I also remain mortar-and-pestle-less.
**I have zero kitchen real estate left for important things, never mind something *so* frivolous, but how cute are these hot dog plates?? I hate when my hot dog tips over and either leans in my potato salad or falls out of the bun all over my potato chips. This would solve that issue. Plus, so cute! I can't help it. I Want.
**I Want this Half Pint Garden!! Then again, I also want enough natural light in my home not to kill it.
**Falling somewhere between frivolous (because I have been using clear plastic Gladware for years and it's worked just fine) (also, remember, kitchen real estate is currently at a premium) and somewhat realistic and useful is this Homemade Cookie Jar. As I said, I by no means need it, but do I Want somewhere cute to store the cookies I bake? Why yes, yes I do.
**My one completely serious item this week (I'm serious about the others, but expectations are nearly nil) is a real ice cream scoop. I Want one that will eliminate me needing to leave the ice cream on the counter until it gets soft enough to scoop with one of my cheap regular spoons without bending the darn thing, because letting it melt and then refreezing it just messes with the quality of my ice cream, and I take my icea cream *very* *seriously*, friends.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The second angel is Green - Generosity, and her name is Esmerelda.
Esmerelda calls to mind the spirit of giving that marks the season - the wreath of pine inviting us into a friend's house, the holly bough on the mantel above a welcoming fire or the glowing tree where we place the gifts our hearts have chosen with care. In her evergreen gown, Esmerelda brings with her the joyful message of generosity.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday: We have a stash of Barber frozen stuffed chicken breasts. We'll pop a couple of those in the oven, whip up some white rice with gravy (there's a little chicken stock in the refrigerator that needs to be used up), and round it out with a salad.
Tuesday: We have an appointment right after work, so we needed something simple for dinner. Spaghetti and meatballs will pull together easily. Pop some garlic bread in the oven. Eat up some more of that salad from the night before. Dinner should be ready in no time!
Wednesday: T will grill up some brats. We have some sauerkraut in the refrigerator to use.
Thursday: There are some tortillas already open from last week, so we'll use them up making some Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas.
Friday: The owner of the the company I work for is taking the office staff (plus significant others) out for dinner for Christmas!
Saturday: Maybe we'll have leftovers. Maybe we won't have any left and we'll have to fly by the seat of our pants.
Sunday: We have a bunch of stuff in the freezer and the pantry. We'll cobble something together, I'm sure.
Notes from last week's menu: Last week was a little crazy and I never got a menu posted. I wish I could tell you I even remember everything I ate last week, but I've been racing through Christmas preparations so that packages could get mailed out in time. I know we had BLTs one day. Friday was the company Christmas party. Saturday, I was at EPCOT; I had a slice of pizza at Via Napoli in Italy. Sundat, T grilled up some chicken for wraps. I think Monday was fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli? Yeah. Crazy.
The logo at the top will link you to more menu plans!
Back in 2005, Hallmark had a collection of ornaments called "Joyful Tidings." There were five angels in the collection, each wearing a different color representing part of the Christmas season. I fell in love with them immediately, but at nearly $20 each, there was no way I would be adding them to my collection of Christmas angels. The following year, though, thanks to some skillful Ebay maneuvers, I managed ot get all five in my possession for a grand total of $24--two of them for only $2 each! I look forward to taking them out each Christmas. The details are amazing and they truly do convey the spirit of Christmas. I have been meaning to photograph and share them for several years now.
The first of the angels is Red - Love. Her name is Cordelia.
Cordelia wears warm red to help her do what angels do - bear messages from heart to heart. She brings to mind the rosy cheeks a mother kisses when her child comes in from the cold, the crimson ribbon on a package for a special someone, or the red-mittened hands that reach out to embrace a friend. Cordelia serves as a tender reminder of love in all its forms.
(description found on ornament box)
Sunday, December 11, 2011
No, we will *not* be breaking into a rousing rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, thank you very much.
Cookie recipes baked: 5
New recipes tried: 3
Number that were a complete visual disaster: 1
Cookie sheets in rotation: 3
Dozens of Soft Molasses Cookies: 2
Shortbread Bites baked: 200
Shortbread Bites sampled: 7
Number of Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree Cutouts: 17
Fingertips burned: 1
Temperature of oven rack at the time of unfortunate contact: 350
Peppermint Stick Cookies baked: 48
Number it felt like: 80 bajillion
Peppermint Stick Cookies that broke: 11
Number that fell on the floor: 2
Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Sandwich No-Bake Cookies made: 67
Number sampled: 2
Hours in the kitchen: 14
Happy tastebuds: all of them
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
1. Company Christmas party.
2. Finish my Christmas shopping.
3. Wrap gifts.
4. Bake cookies.
5. Church, because I will badly need to slow down and refocus.
This Confetti Life was the inspiration for this post!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
It's a theme this week! If you saw my collection of Christmas tree ornaments, you would know that I have no sad, bare little tannenbaum. I have no need for another ornament...at least not until I have a house & can put up multiple trees! But I adore Christmas tree ornaments and Crate & Barrel has *so* many this year that I Want.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
1. Worst Christmas song?
The Twelve Days of Christmas. One year, I got trapped in the airport in Houston, awaiting my connecting flight to California, which was a plane delayed arriving from Buffalo. It was getting later in the evening. The terminal had nearly emptied, enough so that the music could be heard clearly. And it was stuck on that song, on constant loop. If I ever hear that song again... My one and only exception is the version done by Straight No Chaser.
2. If you were a Christmas character, who would you be?
Christmas character? Like from a Christmas show or movie? Probably Linus in "Charlie Brown Christmas."
3. What type of decoration should stop being made?
I can't think of one that should stop being made but I do believe it should be made impossible for people to combine steady, flashing and chasing lights. Just pick one and go with it. The combination make my brain hurt!
4. Tastiest holiday treat?
I love anything that combines chocolate and peppermint!
5. Favorite pop culture Christmas icon?
Buddy the Elf!
6. Know how to make cookies/brownies/cake from scratch?
Um, yes. And that is still on my Christmas "To Do" list!
7. Ever cut your mouth on a candy cane/candy?
No... Is this a common hazard from which I have been spared?
8. What other country would you like to experience Christmas traditions?
I don't know how "adventurous" this is, considering my family heritage, but I think Germany would be at the top of my list.
9. What kind of pattern/pictures do you like on your wrapping paper?
Snowflakes are a particular favorite!
10. Will you make a Christmas picture for your blog/Facebook profile?
Specifically? No. But I am sure there will be some taken that will find their ways to those places!
11. Three best things about Christmas?
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, when I feel an indescribable combination of peace and joy. Finding the perfect gift for someone special to me. Sitting in the glow of just the Christmas tree lights.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
The Christmas playlist on my iPod is in full swing.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
A photo of me:
Quite possibly my most favorite photo taken of myself in years!
1) Candle scents this month:
Autumn Fruit. Be Thankful. Orchard Pear. Cranberry Chutney.Cinnamon Stick. Mulling Spices. Cafe Au Lait. Vanilla Satin. Mountain Lodge. Pumpkin Pie. Maple Pancakes. Spiced Pumpkin. Harvest. Apple Cider.
2) What I am reading this month:
I didn't do much reading this month. By the time I climb into bed, I've been ready to sleep. So... I am *still* reading Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand). I am determined to finish this book before the end of 2011!
3) Top three songs I was drawn to:
"The Best Day," by Taylor Swift. "Crazy Girl," by Eli Young Band. "Just a Kiss," by Lady Antebellum.
4) Movies I saw:
Shrek the Third.
5) Favorite tv moments of the month:
Hands down, the one that sticks in my mind the most is "The Good Guy Fluctuation" (The Big Bang Theory): "Bazina, punk! NOW we're even!!" You know you've found a good episode when you have a line that immediately becomes part of your everyday language. "In-Between" (Parenthood) made me tear up more than once (too bad I was watching at work over lunchtime!); this show is so freaking good. And then there was "The Rebound Girl" (How I Met Your Mother). Holy bombshell, people!
6) Something yummy I made:
The Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans I made for Thanksgiving were outstanding (if I do say so myself).
7) Restaurants where I ate:
California Grill (Disney's Contemporary resort hotel). Yak & Yeti (Disney's Animal Kingdom). O'hana (Disney's Polynesian resort hotel). Kouzzina (Disney's Boardwalk). Biergarten (EPCOT, Germany pavilion).
8) Five things I am loving this month:
1. See's Apple Pie Truffles. Like a perfect little mouthful of apple pie a la mode. 2. Marie's Honey Mustard dressing. I love a good honey mustard. The problem is finding a good one. So many are either too sweet or too mustard-y. This is one the perfect balance! 3. The time change: it is *finally* getting light out side before 8am! I loathe dark mornings. 4. Our new real estate agent. 5. Cooler weather.
9) A goal I had for this month:
To find a dress and a hair style for my wedding. I wanted to find the dress while Nichole was in town on vacation, so I wouldn't have to go alone, and I needed to settle on a hairstyle so I would have time to make sure my hair would be long enough (if necessary). Done and done!
10) This month I looked forward to:
Playing at Disney with two of my best friends. It wears me out, but since we live so far apart, I have to take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves.
11) Something I want to be thankful for this month:
I am grateful that my family and friends back in New England made it through the Halloween snowstorm safely, even though some were without power for a considerable period of time. I am also thankful I live where that kind of storm is even less likely that it was there. (In the twenty-five years I lived up there, I never once recall snow being on the ground for Halloween.)
12) A photo I took this month: