Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Message

Happy New Year to all!

And I just want to say a brief thank you to everyone who's visited my blog (make that blogs) during the year – especially you wonderful people who've left comments and said hello. I've met so many great bloggers during this past year – the experience has been much more rewarding than I ever could have predicted when I started out. You guys are amazing!

Best wishes to you all and your families – I hope 2009 brings peace, prosperity, and lots of good times your way.

Cross-posted on Joy's Blog.

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 309)

LunaNina says :: and I think:

Destined :: …for each other (M and me – awwww, how sweet!)
FAIL :: Well, since this is in all caps, I guess it's meant to be some really, really BIG failure – like the Space Shuttle liftoff or your polygraph test.
Camping :: …out (something I do only when forced to by natural disaster or nuclear wipeout)
Only you :: …can prevent forest fires (remember Smokey Bear); also a great old tune by The Platters

:: …drivel (AKA: my blog)
Tomorrow :: …is another day, Rhett
Impressive :: anyone who leaves a comment on my blog (I'm impressed and grateful!)
Riches :: …beyond your wildest dreams (Of course, family and good health are the real riches.)
Dislike :: getting up early; reality TV; war; famine; plague; racism; greed; intolerance; ignorance; washing my hair
Speaker :: …wire; …cable; …box;…of the House

Monday, December 29, 2008

Blue Monday: Teddy

This bear is about eight inches tall from head to toe, and almost as old as I am (we won't go any further into that at the moment, thank you very much). An aunt gave him to me for Christmas one year, after I'd seen him in the store where she worked. I fell instantly in love with him, and I still feel that way after all these years.

I know he doesn't look very blue anymore (except for the bright blue button eyes), but originally he was a nice sky blue plush. He also used to have a pink tongue sticking out, but that was ripped out long ago by my toy fox terrier. "Corky" used to wake me up in the mornings by jumping on my bed and tussling with Teddy - hence, the ragged ear and missing tongue.

These days, Teddy lives in my jewelry box, all wrapped up in tissue paper. But every now and then - mostly at Christmas time - he gets to come out and have another look at the world.

Please visit Smiling Sally's blog for more Blue Monday offerings.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Sunrise-Sunset

This was yesterday's sunset here in Northern Virginia. We actually had some breaks in the clouds yesterday, which was very nice.

This was cropped a bit, to cut out all the cars at the bottom of the photo. I snapped this from our parking lot while the hubby was taking all the groceries out of the car (I like to help out like that).

To see more sunrises and sunsets, or to participate yourself, visit the Sunday Sunrise-Sunset Photo Meme.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Change Is Good (So They Tell Me)

Well, Christmas 2008 is now a memory. So Joysweb is un-decorating today. I've been playing around with several different blog backgrounds, including some splashy New Year's layouts. But couldn't find one I really liked – they were all too busy and cluttered, or a little too cute for my tastes.

So I'm experimenting with doing my own header. And I think I like this one pretty well. I do love a beach, so maybe I won't mind looking at this view every time I come here. Have to give it a chance to grow on me, I guess.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #104

Hope everybody is enjoying the holidays. I guess this is the last Friday Fill-Ins of 2008, isn't it? And it looks like a good one, so here goes:

1. I must see Italy before I die.

2. You can't stop time and tide. (You can't stop my hubby from playing with his new digital cable TV package, either. Ah, the 21st Century – what a thing it is!)

3. I wish I never had to buy prescription medications again. I'd be in perfect health – can't be bad.

4. _____ has helped me change my life. Hmmmm. Not sure I've changed my life any time recently.

5. I know the song _____ by heart. Again, hmmmm. Well, I know hundreds of songs by heart. Nay – thousands. (Shut up and pick one!) OK, here's one – I know "Texas Fight" (official fight song of the University of Texas at Austin) by heart. Hook 'em!

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would eat mayonnaise and pickle sandwiches. (But my digestive system would never forgive me.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to not doing any cooking (either we eat out, or it's sandwiches tonight, sweetie – but not mayonnaise and pickle), tomorrow my plans include maybe venturing out to sample some of the after-Christmas sales, and Sunday, I want to watch the Cowboys play Philly (and, I hope, win – and apologies to all the Eagles fans out there), and also get some reading done!

Thursday Thirteen (TT#2)

Thirteen favorite vintage Christmas postcards from my collection.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 308)

LunaNina says
:: and I think:

Carpet :: magic...; red...; called on the...; something that gathers dust and has to be vacuumed
Bottoms :: ...up; opposite of tops
Music :: ...Man; Sound of ...; ... of the spheres; ... hath charms to soothe yada, yada, yada
Nails :: horseshoe...; gets it right; ...in your coffin
Watch it! :: ..., Buster!
Your life :: This is ...; Your money or ...; the time of...
Candies :: chocolates; bon-bons; something I try to stay away from (not always successfully)
Chafing :: ... dish
Svelte :: (don't get me started on this)
Ding :: ...Dong School (remember Miss Frances?)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blue Monday: Sand Dollar Ornament

Whenever we travel, I like to bring back small souvenirs that I can use as Christmas tree ornaments. That way, I get to relive the trip once a year when we pull out all the Christmas decorations. Last August, on our annual visit to Rehoboth Beach DE, I bought this memento at the Christmas shop there. These are made from real sand dollars that wash up on the beach, so they're very fragile. Which means, of course, that this is one ornament that may not be around too long (OK, I admit it – I'm a klutz). So I thought I'd better take a photo right away, to remember it by!

For more Blue Monday photos, pay a visit to Smiling Sally's blog.

Random Photo Monday: Another Christmas Past

Pardon the shameless nostalgia, and the faded condition of the photo. It was Christmas Eve. I was four years old. The pajama doll was a gift, as I recall, from one of my aunts. I'm dressed in the matching sleepwear. Looks like pajamas but it could have been a nightie – don't really remember which. Those dolls were very popular in the 1950s.

The tree is a pretty typical '50s version, too – large multi-colored lights (trust me on that), and lots of tinsel. The ivy that appears to be growing out of it was actually growing in a wall planter behind the tree. My mother always had lots of ivy growing everywhere – I even have a pot of it that I inherited from her, and it's thriving in my living room right now.

Wish I could say that I inherited all the ornaments on the tree, too – I remember there was a little glass snowman and a Santa Claus that I especially coveted. But all my mother's ornaments were broken or lost in a move from San Antonio to Fort Worth, years ago. And the creche was lost or broken or given away years before that. I used to love arranging it and moving the figures around every year. I had a parakeet and a toy fox terrier who also loved playing with it – and in it. So, actually, I guess it's no surprise it didn't make it past my childhood.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back On My Feet

Well, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to keep it going very long – this posting everyday, that is. Missed yesterday. So it's probably just as well I didn't sign up officially with NaBloPoMo. Don't have any excuses – just laziness, really.

Not that I would have had that much to write about, even if I weren't so bone lazy. But I did get out of the apartment yesterday, for the first time since wrenching my knee a couple of weeks ago. Which was great – I was beginning to feel like the recluse brother on Monk. Had to be very careful about where I put my feet, and almost had a set-back after tussling with the front door, coming back into our building. But I made it OK, and without a cane, too. So I'm feeling pretty much like a normal human being again.

Now if the Cowboys just hadn't lost that *%$#^&* game last night, things would be looking really peachy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #103

It's beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas around here. Can't really believe it's just a week away now. And this week's Fill-Ins are very appropriate, aren't they? So here goes:
  1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you hear what I hear?
    Yes, yes, I hear it, I hear it! This is one of those Christmas songs that I really love the first time I hear it every year. But after being subjected to it over and over and over in every department store, elevator, supermarket, and restaurant I enter – I'm ready to roast that little lamb and serve him up with some nice mint jelly.

  2. The first Noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds . . . . As opposed to the wealthy shepherds, I guess.

  3. Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere.
    This one always reminds me of Peter, Paul and Mary – don't know if they ever recorded it, but I hear them singing it in my head.

  4. It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old.
    One of my favorite carols. Always used to sing it in Sunday School a lot.

  5. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Let your heart be light.
    Ah, Judy Garland. This is another one of my favorites, but it always sounds so sad.

  6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing right within your heart.
    Seems to be a popular ringtone for cell phones this time of year. Used to see Perry Como singing this every year on those Christmas TV specials.

  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing evening at home – probably watching another Christmas movie, tomorrow my plans include getting out and about for the first time since I twisted my knee a couple of weeks ago and Sunday, I want to be able to walk without a cane, and get some reading done!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My First Thursday Thirteen (TT#1)

Well, I should have said something in yesterday's post; but of course, that was Wordless Wednesday, wasn't it? But it was also my one hundredth post on this blog. I'm up to 250-something on my other blog (Joy's Blog), and I never thought I'd be able to keep two blogs going for so long. Guess I'm gabbier than I thought, huh?

Anyhoo, for today's post I thought I'd try a Thursday Thirteen. Never done one before, so this will be my First Edition, and I'm starting off slow. I've noticed lots of other people have already done this list, so here goes:

My Thirteen Favorite Christmas Shows (not necessarily in this order)
  1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (well, I think this one is my number one favorite)

  2. A Christmas Story (probably the perfect Christmas movie – everyone can identify)

  3. The Polar Express (just added this one a couple of years ago – Tom Hanks makes a wonderful cartoon character, doesn't he?)

  4. The Bishop's Wife (had never seen this one until after I got married and my husband made me watch it – one of his favorites – now I love it, too)

  5. Comfort and Joy (the one directed by Bill Forsyth – ice cream wars at Christmas time in Glasgow)

  6. A Charlie Brown Christmas (not officially Christmas until I've seen it at least twice)

  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one from 1966 – not the Jim Carrey atrocity)

  8. Love, Actually (actually, I'm in love with Bill Nighy)

  9. The Bells of Saint Mary's (yes, it's schmaltzy, but Bing and Ingrid are so cute together)

  10. The Fabulous Baker Boys (well, much of it takes place between Christmas and New Year's, and in our house, that makes it a Christmas movie)

  11. It’s a Wonderful Life (although I see it more as a horror flick than a Christmas story)

  12. Christmas in Connecticut (I can so totally identify with a woman who's a complete flop at being the perfect housewife)

  13. White Christmas (Why didn't Rosemary Clooney make more movies?)
I like Holiday Inn, too, and it does have Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" for the first time. But it's about a whole year of holidays, not just Christmas. And I haven't seen Scrooged, but I'm sure if I had, it would be on the list, too. I'm such a huge Bill Murray fan – don't know how I've managed to miss this one all these years. Something to look forward to.

Oh, and one more – Holiday Affair, a little movie from 1949, with the very young Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. But I left that off the list because the reason I like it has less to do with the Christmas theme than it does with the fact that Robert Mitchum was one gorgeous hunk of a guy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 307)

LunaNiƱa says
:: and I think:

Travel :: Hmmmm. Whenever I think of travel, I always end up wondering the same thing: When the heck are they gonna invent a real transporter like they had on Star Trek?
Expensive :: travel
Backspace :: typewriters (remember them?)
Traffic noise :: travel
Now see here :: Something they were always saying in old TV shows ("Now see here, Gildersleeve!" "Now see here, Mrs. Ricardo!" "Now see here, Dobie!").
Vegetables :: yum
Chat :: a casual conversation or a French kitty cat
Your calling :: Tough one. I used to think my calling was working in the theater – that's the place I really feel at home. But in reality, I suppose my one true calling was working with books – either in a bookstore or a library. Whichever way you look at it, I missed my calling.
Weekly :: Reader (do they still publish that?)
Oh! :: …Susannah!; …say, can you see by the dawn's early light; …. you beautiful doll; …no, it's snowing!; … how I hate to get up in the morning!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Random Photo Monday: Christmas Long Ago, On a Planet Far, Far Away

This week, I'm putting up one of my favorite shots from Christmases Past. This is a snap of me at the age of four, and my cousin MLB, who would have been about ten months old at the time. And I believe we were at her house, because I have another shot of me taken that same year at my house, and the trees are slightly different.

Notice the antique TV. Of course, it was probably state of the art at the time. Not sure what that box on top is – since this was decades before DVD players.

I actually do (vaguely) remember having this picture taken. We had been seated in an adorable pose, holding our nicely wrapped packages and smiling for the camera. I was also holding onto the back of her dress until just before the Brownie snapped. Of course, as soon as I let go, Cuzzie started giggling madly and took off to do a little exploratory crawling. Well, I suppose that just proves she was hard to handle even at that tender age.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Sunrise/Sunset

We usually visit Shenandoah National Park at least once or twice a year. It's only a couple of hours away from the Washington DC area, and the Shenandoah Valley is beautiful in every season. And even though nothing can really equal those I remember from my days growing up in Texas, the Shenandoah sunsets are pretty spectacular.

Sunset, Skyland, 2007

To see more sunrises and sunsets, or to participate yourself, visit The Sunday's Sunrise-Sunset Photo Meme website here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

It's been a few years since I got a doll for Christmas. I've collected dolls for many years now, but lately I really haven't been actively collecting. Even so, I do like to add a new girl occasionally. And this year, one of the new Silkstone Barbies caught my eye. Called "Preferably Pink," and designed by Robert Best, she actually arrived a little early for Christmas, back in November.

Pretty, isn't she?

And very pink, too. Now I don’t dislike the color pink, but I'm not really a huge fan, either. Probably the result of all those pink party dresses my mother made me wear, before I got old enough to fight back. However, when I was color typed back in the '80s (remember that?), pink and yellow turned out to be my "best colors." So maybe mother knew best, after all.

But in spite of all that pink, I was attracted to this particular doll mainly because of the outfit she's wearing. Her Chanel design suit reminds me so much of a similar suit I had as a teen. It was my Christmas outfit in 196--. Well, let's just say one year when I was a very young Boomer and the world was a younger and pinker place. Here's a shot of me in the outfit. You'll just have to trust me when I say it was pink, too – although a much lighter pink than Barbie's. Don't look like I'm very happy about having my picture taken, do I?

The ornaments on the tree were pink, too, as I recall. And the tree was white ("flocked"), and I think it belonged to my aunt. One of my other aunts had a silver aluminum tree that year. Well, as a family, we were nothing if not thoroughly modern.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #102

Time for another Friday Fill-Ins. Seems like we were just doing this, and now here we are again. Time goes on its flight. Ah, well. Here we go with this week's offering:

1. Friends are more precious than diamonds. Trite but very true.

2. Perfect health; it's becoming our major concern around here, as we get older. I'm going to have to start throwing out all those medical newsletters before my hubby can get his hands on them.

3. I'm ready for winter to be over and it hasn't really started yet.

4. Arpege by Lanvin is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells. And I really prefer the original scent – not the newer version. Wish it was still available. Wish I could hop in my time machine and go back to 1927 Paris to shop for it.

5. The oldest ornament I have is in storage because it's too big for the tiny tree we put up every year in the condo. Sad.

6. Take some sparkling wine and some 7-Up and some Maraschino cherries and some orange slices and some ice, mix it all together and you have a very tasty wine cooler – my favorite holiday drink. Well, after eggnog which I really can't drink anymore because of all the cholesterol issues. Bummer.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to staying in and away from the snow that's predicted, cooking eggplant and angel hair pasta, and probably watching one of the DVDs we've got from Netflix, tomorrow my plans include shopping and running errands in the snow (yuck!) and Sunday, I want to stay out of the snow if it's still on the ground (although I might take some photos if I don't actually have to set foot in the white stuff), and get some reading done!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

At a Loss for Words? Who, Me?

Hmmmm. I have nothing to say. I know I said I was going to experiment with posting here everyday this week, but I really can't think of anything of interest at the moment.

It's been cold and rainy here today – the kind of weather I hate. But at least it's been relatively quiet. Our condo building has been having a lot of maintenance work done (facade upkeep) this year. It involves a lot of scraping and drilling and banging and brick replacement. And sometimes the noise can be deafening. And the dust is like an evil entity.

And generally, rain doesn't even slow the workers down. But today must have been especially bad because there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity out there.

We've had to tape all our windows shut and have them covered with plastic, to keep the brick dust out. So this is the view we've had out our bedroom window for the last few weeks. Lovely, isn't it?

And the second photo is a shot of my hubby clearing out books from a corner of his study last week. We had to have the building inspectors come in and make sure there were no leaks in the work they've done so far. I'm happy to report there were no leaks, but the inspection (which took about half a minute) meant that M. had to spend a whole afternoon, moving books and bookcases away from the wall, and then another evening moving everything back. It was a lot of work, but at least it gave him a chance to play with his books.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings (Week 306)

LunaNiƱa says
:: and I think:

Love affair :: Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr; Cary Grant and Doris Day; Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman; Cary Grant and just about anybody
Bubble :: gum; bath; pipe; Lawrence Welk
Pimple :: acne, dermatologist, goose…
Knocks :: … your socks off
Persistent :: telemarketers
Infected :: yuck! (This is turning into a really obnoxious meme, isn't it?)
Yay! :: cheerleaders; pom-poms; Miss Wyatt
Repaint :: (hmmmm – I've got no clue on this one)
Daily :: news
Quickly! :: the opposite of the way I usually do things

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue Monday: Summertime Blues

Around this time of year, all the reds and greens and golds and silvers of Christmas get a little overwhelming. And at any moment, the grays and browns of the outdoors could be smothered in white snow.

I love the holiday season, but right now I really miss those clear blue summertime days by the pool and on the beach.

For more Blue Monday offerings, visit the website hosted by Smiling Sally.

And the Christmas dolls in my Random Photo Monday post would love it if you'd pay a visit and say hi!

Hope your Monday isn't too blue.