Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year

Happy 2005 to all.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

In what my friend Kim calls the greatest game of chicken, they faltered first and gave in to host New Year’s Eve.

She invited us reluctantly this morning (the 30th) and I had to laugh, knowing that each of us would wait until the last possible second to make plans for the night, hoping someone else would host.

Sorry, Kim.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas blew in...and blew back out

In what meteorologists are calling a freak “wind incident,” a rogue storm blew in from the Gulf early Sunday morning and caused wind gusts over seventy miles per hour around the Tampa area. We were awakened at 4:30 am by the crashing of our front dining room window when the solid wood flag pole snapped in half, and speared the glass. We survived four hurricanes this year, but a “wind incident” cost us a few hundred bucks the day after Christmas….

…which was a great day anyway. We spent the two days doing all of the traditional holiday cheer; baking our own gingerbread house, visiting friends, going to church, delivering presents, opening our own, going on light tours and feasting on a wonderful Christmas dinner at home.

It was one of the best.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

It wouldn't be Christmas without antibiotics

12 miles to the doctor
11 people before us
10 dollar copay
9 misdiagnosis
8 orifices prodded
7 grouchy nurses
6 hours later
5 needle sticks
4 eyes a cryin’
3 diaper changes
2 neglected siblings
And a Mom on the verge of crazy.

Happy Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2004

When the Cat is Away, the Mouse will Bathe

When you are flying solo in the parenting department for a few evenings, and you get all of your little chickens peacefully sleeping before 9 pm, you are faced with some difficult choices.

Do you: a) Take the opportunity to wrap the huge pile of gifts precariously stacked in the not-so secret hiding place? B) Domestically prepare for the 50+ party guests you are expecting over the weekend? C) Bake a batch of warm gooey cookies that you can lick your own spoon without sharing? Or D) Grab your book, an eggnog and a mud mask and drop your exhausted butt into a tub of sweet-smelling lavender suds that you haven’t opened from last Christmas?

I think you know the answer, folks.

I love egg nog.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The First Lady of Safety Harbor

Every Blue moon or so, when the humidity level is low, the barometric pressure hovers around 29 mb and the hair gods are frisky: a coiffed miracle occurs atop my head.

I can get my hair to look exactly like Maria Shriver’s.

And, sadly, this is a good look for me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

Oh yes, the power of the Internet has made our holiday shopping experience more convenient, especially for brooding hermits like myself, but there is even a greater gift the World Wide Web has bestowed upon me these waning days before Christmas.

The United States Postal Service is online.

I have just shipped all of my extensive holiday out-of state packages from the comfort of my armchair. With merely a credit card and a scale, I now sit and await my regularly scheduled mail carrier to fight the traffic, lines and general bad temper for me.

Who knew civil servants could be so helpful?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Twisting the Day Away

I think the original recipe read: Crisco, Sour cream, yeast. Knead. Bake 375 for 20 min, in my Great Grandmother’s cryptic hand.

Somehow, through years and dozens of trial batches, we have translated this into our family’s favorite holiday treat: The German Twist.

The ingredient list is a bit more extensive, mind you, and there are about 37 steps and 4 days worth of preparations missing from the original recipe, but the annual toil is well worth it once you’ve tried these little twists of cinnamon heaven.

I am knee deep in the rising process now, making a batch for my Gramp who will not only appreciate the warmth in his belly when he receives them, but the warmth in his heart knowing what I went through to make them.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wine, Women and Song

One can’t help but notice the plethora of “hot” Christmas gifts this year, which seem to revolve around, well, for lack of a better word: vices.

On every end-cap, there seems to be a display of luxurious poker chips and gambling paraphernalia. This equipment is even packaged in impressive bullet-proof mob brief cases so you can apparently abscond with your ill-gotten gains unscathed after your game.

Then there are all of the martini sets, digital bartending guides, $200 corkscrews, electric wine chillers, and brew-making kits.

Drinking and gambling.

Two activities that I myself don’t mind partaking in moderation, but I can’t help but wonder: is this the mainstream moral fiber all of those exit polls were referring to?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

You've Got Mail

I’m finishing up the Christmas cards now. I love this part of the season, no, really I do. There is something so good Karma-esque about sending your best wishes for happiness and peace all over the country by means of this humble little act of the postal service.

Friday, December 03, 2004

We Meet Again Stanley

I miss hockey. Yes, this NHL lock-out debacle has really grown quite old for me.

One would think that without an 80+ game schedule to compete with, that I might see my husband more frequently. Not the case. It seems he is working longer hours than before, if that is humanly possible. I feel for him. It’s not a whole lot of fun when you can’t even ride that Championship in the next season…

But last night, we got a small taste of the Coolest Game on Earth once again. At a charity function, Lord Stanley himself was the guest of honor. It was the first time I’d seen him since September, and his newest engraving on his bottom silver ring was finally completed. Among the famous legends and hockey heroes adorning my Stanley? My own every day hero and wonderful husband. Congratulations, honey.

And as an added little private internal smile, apparently, they like this at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Book Club

Last night was Book Club. Out of my many social clubs, this is one of my favorites. It is sparsely and sporadically attended by many of my friends, but I love it nonetheless.

Our last selection was one of my all-time favorites, The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields. I love this book.

It was not as instantly and universally adored as I had hoped--a lukewarm reception--but the reaction would never detract from my pure ardor for this book. Not only does it entertain me even the third time I’ve turned its pages; but it completely restores my faith in the artistry and delicacy of the written word. She prepares this lingual feast that few authors can match; elevating the most mundane circumstance to a thing of unexpected and exalted beauty.

But even more amazing than the super-literary powers I’ve already bestowed upon it, is that it actually inspires me. It literally makes me want to walk my lazy ass over to my own neglected manuscript attempt, and create..

It is a must-read, folks.

I leave you with one quote from a book which begs to be quoted from:

There are chapters in every life which are seldom read, and certainly not aloud.

I don’t know why this one just leapt out at me.