23 December 2010 @ 11:05 pm
All is merry & bright  
Holidays 21: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Don't forget to track Santa this year! You can watch him cross the globe and learn a little about a lot of countries in one night.  NORAD Tracks Santa here.

Good Deeds 3
17. Be nice to someone who is having a hard day.
18. Help prepare a meal.
19. Give someone a compliment.
20. Call a friend or relative who lives far away wish them a happy holiday.
21. Tell someone you love them.

Current Music: Linda Eder - Here Comes Santa Claus/Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Current Mood: tired
19 December 2010 @ 11:16 pm
Childhood Calling  
Holidays 19: A part of childhood we'll always remember
Tonight, decorations from Sesame Street and a song by the Muppets.

It's true, wherever you find love It feels like Christmas )
Current Music: The Muppets - It Feels Like Christmas
16 December 2010 @ 11:44 pm
"And I fall asleep counting my blessings"  
Holidays 16: A Few More Good Deeds
This month is just not going as I planned, so today is a few more days of Advent calendar activities. Tomorrow won't be such a cop-out.

13. Draw a picture and put it on the refrigerator for everyone to enjoy.
14. Do a chore for someone else. (Happy Birthday, Mom!)
15. Give thanks for something today.
16. Make some Christmas cookies for a neighbor.
Current Mood: exhausted
Current Music: tv - White Christmas
12 December 2010 @ 07:17 pm
"You don't care about coloring inside the lines."  
Holidays 11 & 12: Good Deeds Part I
This year the Advent calendar on my fridge is called "A Good-Deed-a-Day Countdown to Christmas". These are the first 12 good deeds.

1. Put birdseed out for the birds.
2. Write thank-you notes to let others know how much you appreciate them.
3. Help decorate something in your home.
4. Say a prayer for a friend.
5. Choose one toy to give to charity.
6. Make and send a holiday card to a friend.
7. Do something nice for a member of your family.
8. Brighten someone's day by singing.
9. Read the Christmas story to someone else.
10. Give someone a hug.
11. Give everyone you see a smile today.
12. Share a happy thought with someone else.
Current Music: tv - Ramona and Beezus
Current Mood: exhausted
10 December 2010 @ 11:31 pm
"It is a truth generally acknowledged that we are all longing to escape."  
Holidays 10: Costumes & Drama
The End of the Story is all about costumes, drama, romance, fairy tales and the works of Jane Austen. This isn't really Christmas-y but it captures the best bits of some beloved stories and films. ♥ ♥ ♥

"It is a truth generally acknowledged that we are all longing to escape." --Amanda Price, Lost in Austen
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: Mark Mancina - August's Rhapsody
09 December 2010 @ 10:31 pm
"and a prayer for peace on earth within our time"  
Holidays 9: Crafty
Can you tell I do most of my "crafting" with little kids?

Cinnamon Tree Ornaments )
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: Rob Thomas - A New York Christmas (live)
09 December 2010 @ 07:47 am
Playing Catch Up (Again)  
Holidays 8: Remember When
One of my favorite holiday specials is the hour-long Remember WENN episode, "Christmas in the Airwaves".  There's a Christmas-y story, music, witty banter, lovely costumes and a very fun "12 Days of Christmas".  The show isn't and probably never will be available on dvd but the episode can be found here.  
Current Music: Coldplay - Fix You
07 December 2010 @ 08:46 pm
"This little green one here seems to need a home."  
Holidays 7: Sugar Rush
These are a little addictive. This year my mom's class is making them to give as Christmas gifts.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles
Rolo chocolate candies
Mini pretzels
Nuts – toasted pecans/almonds/hazelnuts/walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350

1. Upwrap your Rolos. Place pretzels on baking sheet. Top with a Rolo.

2. Bake in oven for 3-5 minutes, until the chocolate just begins to melt. The Rolo should be soft but not completely melted.

3. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and immediately squish the chocolate with a nut. Watch the caramel oooze out.

Note: 1. These are best when still a little warm. 2. I normally use pecans that haven't been toasted.
Current Mood: listless
Current Music: tv - A Charlie Brown Christmas
06 December 2010 @ 11:12 pm
"It's a season of love and joy and caring."  
Holidays 6: By the power of Greyskull!
Nothing creative tonight, just a flashback to my childhood. Hulu is featuring He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special.  This is a special I remember watching when I was in 1st grade and one that I haven't seen since it originally aired.


He won't ever see this but, Happy Birthday, Dad! 

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: tv - Murder She Wrote
05 December 2010 @ 06:23 pm
"Hope is the greatest of the gifts we'll receive"  
Holidays 5: Drink up me Hearties Yo Ho (Mulled Wine)
Several Christmases ago, [personal profile] stellarmeadow sent me Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I've been making this mulled wine for my family on Christmas Eve ever since.

Mulled Wine
12 cloves
1 orange
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 750-ml dry red wine

Press the cloves into the orange and place it in a 4-quart slow cooker. Add the cinnamon, sugar, and wine, stirring to disolve the sugar. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Just before serving remove the cinnamon sticks. Serve warm.
Current Music: Michael Ball & Elaine Paige - As Long As There's Christmas
Current Mood: hungry
04 December 2010 @ 11:11 pm
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag"  
Holidays 4: Feed the Birds
One of my favorite Christmas books is A Sesame Street Christmas. I don't really remember a Christmas without it. It's filled with stories, songs, recipes, crafts and Muppets! I've always loved Big Bird's Bird Feeders craft the best. The directions as printed in the book follow. Note: I have made these a time or two without the fat/lard. I just increased the peanut butter.

Here's what you need to make an outdoor tree for your feathered friends: )

Don't forget to check out [profile] macteague's Virtual Advent Calendar here.
Current Mood: exhausted
Current Music: tv - Disney's A Christmas Carol
04 December 2010 @ 08:14 am
Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night  
Holidays 3: It's time to play the music, It's time to light the lights
I tried to post last night but lj was down for maintenance. Here's yesterday's post featuring a gang that never fails to make me smile.

Current Music: The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling
Current Mood: busy
02 December 2010 @ 08:30 am
A Christmas Story  
Holidays 2: A Child's Christmas in Wales
Tonight is the town Christmas parade. This year's theme is Christmas stories so today I decided on a Christmas story, Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales. I've always loved this story because it captures Christmas the way many of us remember it as children, pure magic.  The story, actually a prose poem is posted under the cut. You can also listen to the author's radio broadcast recording: Part 1 and Part 2.

One Christmas was so much like another... )
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Vince Guaraldi - Linus & Lucy
01 December 2010 @ 10:27 am
"Don't let the light go out, let it shine through our love and our fears."  
Today is the first day of December and the first day of Holidays! I'm going to try posting fun, little things between now and Christmas. Some days it might be a holiday recipe (cookies, yum!). Some days it might be music, a video or a story. Some days I may not post at all. I've wanted to do this for a few years now and seeing virtual Advent calendars like [profile] macteague's and the holiday treats at Elizabethan have inspired me to actually give it a go this year.

Holidays Day 1: Chag Urim Sameach! (Happy Festival of Lights!)
Today, the first day (night) of Hanukkah, calls for some recipes and music. My grandpa (dad's dad) was Jewish and while my family is not, we try to honor Grandpa's with a few traditions throughout the year. This means celebrating at least one night of Hanukkah with food and music. The food might vary a bit from year to year but the centerpiece is always latkes. This year I'll serve the traditional potato latke with these yummy looking apple latkes for dessert. The music includes the classic "Dreidel Song", Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah" and my favorite, Peter, Paul & Mary's "Light One Candle".

Current Mood: working
Current Music: Peter, Paul & Mary - Light One Candle
30 November 2010 @ 07:41 am
"And we'll have the heart not to lose it"  
Moving has made the commute to work longer. I used to get up at 6 am. Now I'm getting up at 5. It's amazing what a difference an hour can make.  Blah.

I planned to spend today, my day off, exploring the new neighborhood with the dogs.  That's not happening because an adoption counselor was needed for the shelter's annual holiday outreach program.  It's work, right?  

I was going to be in bed at 7 am this morning. Instead I'm sitting in the Starbucks down the street from the shelter's outreach location. At least there's coffee and free wifi.

I should spend this time working on a church project. The church website needs an update and I really need to give the congregation a missions report.  If nothing else, I need to update them on events in Sudan.

Instead I'm watching this fabulous Harry Potter vid. OneRepublic's "Marchin On" makes a great soundtrack for the HP characters and this vid is incredibly well done.

Current Mood: blah
Current Music: OneRepublic - Marchin On
28 November 2010 @ 07:35 pm
"With a grateful prayer and a thankful heart"  
I am thankful for...
life and love.
my loving family (parents, grandmother, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins).
my friends, the best anyone could ever ask for.
my church and my church family.
my warm fuzzies: Domino, Jack, Trixie, Isaboo, Princess Mia and little Gus Bunny.
my health.
a (new) house and home.
being (mostly) moved in to the new place.
the work I've done with the animal shelter in the past 11 years.
my (growing) collection of books, movies, and music.
fandom, crazy and wonderful as it is.
internet & cable in the new place.
my bosses giving me last Wednesday off for moving and the holiday.
a yummy Thanksgiving meal shared with family and friends.
The Muppets singing "Thankful Heart"
all the things I've forgotten to mention here.
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: The Muppets - Thankful Heart
21 October 2010 @ 08:56 am
"Will you serve the nuts?"  
Johnny Depp Wants 'The Thin Man' Remake -- And Writers Are Lining Up At Warner Bros

No. No. No. 

I didn't think I was opposed to a Thin Man remake until I read this article and the comments that follow. I don't dislike Johnny Depp as an actor. I loved the "Pirates" movies and Finding Neverland. I guess I just don't want to be ambivalent about the actor playing Nick Charles and I'm definitely ambivalent about Johnny Depp.

There's no mention in the article about an actress slated to play Nora but reading the actresses listed in the comments was painful for me.  Do. Not. Want. I actually like a few of the actresses mentioned but I can't see them as Nora Charles.  Amy Adams was the only name mentioned that made me think "maybe" and that's entirely dependent on her chemistry with whoever plays Nick.  

I know I should probably hold off on any complaints until there's an actual script and cast, including Asta.  I just can't see anyone outdoing this.  And if I want something paying homage to The Thin Man, I'll watch Castle or White Collar, thanks.      
Current Music: Natasha Bedingfield - Strip Me
Current Mood: busy
19 October 2010 @ 10:15 pm
An apple a day  
Brother 3 and his girlfriend were in New England last week. They brought home freshly picked McIntosh apples.  I used some tonight to make an autumn meal, Apple & Watercress Salad and Apple & Cheddar Scones.  

The salad recipe is actually from an old issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray.  It was actually part of a Saint Patrick's Day menu from a pub in Boston.  The scones are a yummy! new find from smittenkitchen.  

You might think apples in the salad and the scones would make the meal too sweet.  The use of a tarter apple (Macs, Granny Smiths) combined with the cheese, tart dressing and bacon (crumbled in the salad) made this meal delicious.
Current Music: tv - Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein
Current Mood: sleepy
12 October 2010 @ 08:33 pm
Just Because...  
A One Word (answer) Meme )

ETA: The Monster at the End of the Book is now the Monster in the Old Spice spoof. Grover is ♥!
Current Music: ChartJackers - I've Got Nothing
Current Mood: contemplative
23 September 2010 @ 10:31 am
My birthday was lovely. I had birthday e-mails, texts and facebook messages when I woke up. My family treated me to dinner at the Macaroni Grill. After dinner we went to Brother 3's apartment. There was cake--Baskin Robbin's Rocky Road. There was also some Wii Bowling, Trivial Pursuit and general silliness. I have fantastic family and friends. They all made my day special.
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Joshua Radin - Brand New Day