Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let the games begin!


    I put out a call on my Facebook page for people to name their favorite party game.  We're having friends over tonight for a low-keyed New Year's Eve dinner party and I needed some fresh ideas.
   Here's what came in.  Feel free to add your faves:  Celebrity, Consensus, MadGab, Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Cranium, Spin the Bottle (this, from the apparently frisky Short Jewish Gal - see link to the right), Charades, Taboo and Mexican Train.  (Funny, no one mentioned Naked Twister, my personal favorite.)
   Looks like I have some research to do to figure out which games would work best for a party of 12.
   Here's hoping you have a fun and safe night tonight, and a fabulous year ahead.
   Cheers!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Girl sleeps around


I swear, this puppy can sleep anywhere.  Here she is, snoozing away on No. 1 Son's feet.  So jealous....

Night lights

Christmas twinklers under 9 inches of snow.  Another visual delight, compliments of Blizzard 2009.

Vaporize me, baby!

After four straight days in front of a roaring fire, my skin, eyes, lips and nasal passages are dry as a bone.  Time to break out the trusty humidifiers for the winter.   In case you haven't heard, dry winter air is a real pain.  Here's why.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snow removal, Part Deux

One of the men folk has become so fond of shoveling, he keeps calling me from outside on his cell phone to come take more photos.  What can I say, no?  I'm just sitting inside by the fire doing nothing!

Making progress up to the front porch.


Somewhere, there's a pond under there.  See the little arched bridge?


I love the way the snow caught on my antique sled by the front door.

Kicking back old school

Santa must have sensed we'd get socked in for three days this Christmas, low on liquor and desperate for things to do. That's why he left these old-timey diversions under the tree:

I used to be quite the Tiddledy Winks player in my youth.  And there's the operative word - youth.  After a rousing game of Tiddledy with the old man on the living room floor last night, not only were our point totals low, we could hardly move a half hour later.

My daughter loves her potholder loom (like the one I had in 4th grade) so much, she won't let me make one lousy potholder.  She's got a party to go to tonight and when she's away, the elves will play, baby!

NOW is the winter of my discontent


OK, enough snow already.  The driveway the men folk spent 3 hours shoveling is covered again with two inches of new fluff.  The side streets aren't sufficiently groomed to venture out in anything but my son's filthy dirty old Jeep, and said son is moving out today (a light in the darkness).  I'm going to have to get extremely inventive with what's left in my freezer if we want to eat.  Worst of all, we're out of liquor!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Post 3-hr shovel session


(There was a time when that would've been me snoozing on his shoulder.  'Just sayin....)

Snow!

First real white Christmas since I don't know when. We are, for all intents and purposes, snowed in! This calls for a little Grand Marnier in my coffee and the traditional opening of the presents.  Happy Christmas, everyone!

The view out our mudroom door.  Snow drift at hip level.


Impressive drifts on window boxes.


Oops!  Forgot to winterize the screened porch.
 

What the men folk are doing today.   Women folk are keeping the home fire burning and the hot cocoa warm, equally important and strenuous tasks.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yule log fire - a classic

For all of you who are sans fireplace this year, here's a classic for your Christmas Eve enjoyment:



Happy holidays, and thanks for reading!

- Cathy

Monday, December 21, 2009

My kids, my stuff

I insisted that my kids read yesterday's column.  My daughter laughed all the way through it, then asked, "Are you trying to tell us something?"  Then, she promptly went to my bathroom and took my straightening iron up to her room.  Seriously!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another nice rack


   Here's another nice rack (discover why I'm doing this here) for you to enjoy.  I bought this rack at a secret and slightly sketchy (zoning-wise) wholesale antique store.  Normally, they're just supposed to sell to retailers, but if you call and make an appointment to come for "coffee," they'll let anyone in.  I've gotten many good deals there.
   I think this rack is Dutch.  It hangs in the living room, next to the bay window, and we hang a lot of nostalgic old crap paraphernalia on it.  That's one of my many Polish stoneware plates on top.  As racks go, it's one of my favorites.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More pretty trees


The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall)
can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, Portugal.
Thousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special
enchantment of the city during the holiday season.

'Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree': Even in its humblest attire, aglow beside a tiny chapel in Germany's Karwendel mountains, a Christmas tree is a wondrous sight.

Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris, even the Christmas trees are chic. With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it's no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas trees around the world

Thanks to my friend, Deb, who sent these my way, even though they've given me an acute case of wanderlust.  I've chosen a few of my favorites:

 
The world's largest Christmas tree display rises up the slopes of Monte Ingino outside of Gubbio, in Italy's Umbria region.  Composed of about 500 lights connected by 40,000 feet of wire, the 'tree' is a modern marvel for an ancient city.

 
Venice's Murano Island, renowned throughout the world for its quality glass work, is home to the tallest glass tree in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.

Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost's arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.   More photos later.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Here's one of my favorite Christmas tunes sung by one of my favorite singers from back in the day (although I didn't fully appreciate Tom Jones until much later.)  His duet partner, Welsh singer Cerys Matthews, ain't bad either!  Cheers!

My one-two immunity punch

   Ever since my boomerang daughter came down with yet another virus she contracted from her job at the local high school, I have felt like a ticking time bomb - poised to explode with the miserable sore-throat-and-pounding-headache thing that's going around.

    
   Never one to go down without a fight, I am doubling my Neti pot efforts and just invested $30 in a product I've used before to fend off contagious disease.  It's called Immunity Take Care, basically a high dose of elderberry concentrate,  and it worked.  Miracle pill or placebo effect?  Who cares?  I've got WAY too much to do before Santa comes.

 

Monday, December 14, 2009

I just elf'ed myself!



Send your own ElfYourself eCards

If you haven't gotten hip to JibJab, by all means, take a few moments to read this from USA Today, then go to JibJab.com and elf yourself.  It's free, but you can join for a nominal annual fee and send funny animated video greeting starring you and yours anytime you want!  (My moves have never looked so good.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How I spent my 54th birthday

 Today's newspaper column on how some things never change with the years.

Forget the pet, eat the ch-ch-ch-chia seeds!


I thought chia seeds were those tiny things you spread on the back of a wet clay something-or-other (what IS that creature pictured above?) until a Facebook friend posted this on the health benefits of chia seeds. Who knew?

Toyland, toyland, dear little girl and boy land....


   Took the long way to Kansas City in order to pick up a case of the world's best catsup (seriously, folks) and stopped in at Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas.  Didn't purchase any marbles (although there's a huge variety) but picked up some nostalgic toys and - be still my heart! - one of those retro potholder looms for Christmas presents.   A baby boomer's paradise, it was!

 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Room with a view, and a little naughty, too.


   When a planned trip to New York City (on the Slim-Fast company - more on that later) was postponed, my husband suggested we spend the weekend playing out-of-towners in Kansas City, about an hour away from home.   After low-balling a 4-star hotel room on Priceline (55% off the rack rate, thank you very much), we're now holed up on the 9th floor, overlooking the famous Country Club Plaza. 
   It's nice and we're being very naughty - and by that I mean crashing someone's company Christmas party in the ballroom last night and having a cocktail from the open bar.  (Was that so wrong??  They had a really fun band.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sketchy Santas


A colleague of mine wrote about a hilarious site and I had to share.  Go to SketchySantas.com.  You'll get the gist.   Kinda makes you wonder why our kids aren't more damaged than they are.

Not so fast, stupid humans...


    When will I ever learn not to brag?  Minutes after I posted the "look how smart I was to puppy-proof my tree" entry below, said puppy found the unplugged Christmas lights cord on the floor and gave it a good yank.  The tree did one of those slo-mo, to-and-fro wobbles, my best ornaments swaying precariously on the branches.  I screamed, "Oh, no!"  My husband lunged and caught it, milliseconds before it hit the floor.  Look closely at the wall behind the tree and you'll see his quick fix.


         Can you say "House Beautiful"?!

A puppy-friendly tree


   I knew a full-size Christmas tree with sparkling ornaments dangling at jaw level would spell disaster for Lucy, the curious pup.  The solution presented itself with a sweet little (4-1/2 ft) tree marked down to $20 at the local craft store.  Placed it on top of my old Italian harvest barrel cum corner table and - voila! - a tree with almost as much stature as the full-size model.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nice rack! (Vol. 1, Issue 1)

    I'm embarking today on a little experiment in SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  The Web geeks in my newsroom say one of our most traffic-generating stories of all time was a piece on our 'alt' site with the words "nice rack" in the title.  (Yes, it was about breasts, or the psychology of having large ones.)

    There are other kinds of nice racks, of course, and pictured above is one of mine.  This nice rack is from a collection of hand-painted furniture from France or Belgium (the seller wasn't sure which) I purchased for a song several years ago.   It hangs in my dining room above the dry sink we use as a bar/stereo cabinet.  Technically, it's probably more of a shelf but, because it has cup hooks, I call it a rack.
    I have more than one nice rack and, in the interest of my little traffic-increasing experiment, I will show them to you, here on my new blog, from time to time.  When I run out,  I will seek out other nice racks and showcase them here, too.  I realize I run the risk of ticking off more than a few adolescent boys (of all ages) but such is life in the dog-eat-dog blogosphere.
    In the meantime, if you have a nice rack to share, send it to me or post in a comment.  I'll share your nice rack with the world.

Cuddle Duds: The New Naked?


There are many reasons I like to sleep in the nude:
   1) Saves money on pajamas;
   2) Beats having to strip off your nightgown in the middle of night sweats;
   3) There's no pesky fabric to hang you up when you're tossing and turning at 4 a.m.;
   4) Once you convince your sleeping partner that just because you have no clothes on, doesn't mean you're ready and willing for sex every single night, it just feels good.
   The problem is, of course, that when it's 3 degrees outside, it's miserable getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. A blast of Arctic air (we keep it cold in the house) to your body can wake you up faster than a double-shot of espresso...who needs that?
   Last night, with a forecast of below zero wind chills, I put on a pair of my old Cuddle Duds and wore them to bed. Wow! That slick-on-the-outside/cozy-on-the inside fabric is the greatest for sliding around under the covers freely and keeping you warm (but not TOO warm) in and out of bed.
   For those of you living with me in the tundra, I highly recommend them. Google 'Cuddle Duds' now and you'll see lots of great discounts.
   Sleep tight!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remembering John Lennon


   He wasn't my favorite Beatle.  That dubious honor went to George Harrison.  But John Lennon was a creative genius whose music continues to move me and countless others of my generation and beyond.
   He died the day before my 25th birthday, 29 years ago today, killed by a disturbed fan outside of his New York City home.   He would have been 69.  One can only imagine the music he'd be writing now.
    

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dancing for a good cause

As someone who requires at least two glasses of wine before venturing onto the dance floor, and who would rather go under the knife than strut my musical stuff on camera, I have to admire these happy (and spry) hospital workers. Remember, there's still time to get your mammogram before the end of the year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sleeping crates to cure insomnia?

   My newspaper column today proposes my latest - and, perhaps, most brilliant - idea for the sleep-deprived BoomerGirl.   Check it out and tell me if you think it has legs. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Olive this jam!


  Since I don't can (as in 'put up' jellies or salsa) and have no business baking (because that usually involves massive amounts of sugar and flour), I like to find really unique or incredibly tasty gifts to give friends and neighbors at the holidays.  These olive jams fit both criteria.
  I discovered these sweet and savory condiments on a recent trip to Paso Robles and fell in love!  The green olive jam tastes astonishingly good on crackers with goat cheese, and its black olive counterpart is stellar brushed on pork tenderloin.  Naturally, both are excellent with wine.
  Unfortunately, you can't just walk into your neighborhood gourmet store and buy some.  I found them here at Pasolivo.com where I am a proud and satisfied member of the Press Club (two shipments per year of olive oil and other products....at under $100).  Sign up for the newsletter and get a heads-up on all their sales.
  Bon appetit and happy giving!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm loving Overstock.com's Worldstock



















I can't remember what TV show I was watching (no surprise there), but I recently saw an interview with the CEO of Overstock.com.  His name escapes me.  (I know, I'm a pathetic excuse for a reporter.)  Anyway, he was talking about his new Worldstock department.  I checked it out, and it's truly fab.

Worldstock offers thousands of unique and interesting items made by skilled and artistic craftspeople around the world, shipped directly to you with the artisans receiving an average of 60 percent of the sales price.   The inventory covers everything from furniture to clothing to (my fave) jewelry.
 

Naturalizer on sale this Sunday


   I've become a big fan of Naturalizer over the past few years.  Their styles are getting hipper and the comfort level (for my weird over-pronating feet, anyway) is high.  Even the wing-tip styled shoe-boots with 3-inch heels I bought two weeks ago (see photo above) can go the distance all day, if I sit down once in a while. 
  That's why I'm excited about their one-day sale this Sunday when you get an additional 20% off their sale prices.   Check out the sale merchandise here.  But hands off those cute leather and suede boots in a 9 1/2 medium.  They're mine!


 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Welcome to the new BoomerGirl!

   As you have undoubtedly noticed, BoomerGirl has a new look and a new home.  The site is no longer under the ownership of The World Company.  Instead, it has become my personal blog site, owned by me and hosted by Blogspot.
   The content here will be much the same as on the old site but some of the old features, like staff blogs, blogs by BoomerGirl readers and games, are gone.  There are, however, links to most of your favorite staff blogs under "Links I Like" and  I'm trying to figure out a way to continue the ever-popular monthly contest.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.
   In the meantime, congratulations to November's contest winner, Marjorie Jensen, who will be receiving a selection of Trapp holiday candles soon.
  A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported BoomerGirl(1.0) over the last (almost) 3 years.  I look forward to hearing from you via comments or email in the future.  And I hope you'll check back here frequently for product recommendations, recipes, beauty and fashion tips, rousing podcasts, humor, pop culture, health news and more BoomerGirl 2.0 stuff.
   All best,
   Cathy