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Showing posts from 2014

Go-go, Gadget...Boxing Day!

After the FitBit fiasco on my birthday, (which I don't believe I wrote about...suffice it to say my highly coveted new FitBit failed to count steps on the treadmill... apparently, you must have forward motion - who knew?) the hubs decided to make up for it two times over. Not only did he give me a fancy clip-on New Balance pedometer, he also gifted me an iPod Nano which - omigod - has a built-in pedometer and is cute as a bug's ear.  (My recently replaced iPhone in the larger '6' size was proving a little too large for my workout pants pocket.) I'm sure the NB pedometer cost considerably less, but you'd never know it by the epic operating instructions.
The little Nano, on the other hand, is elegantly easy to set up and is so light and small, it fits inside my exercise bra where the only problem will be keeping it dry. (For this reason, I may have to purchase a clip for it.)
I am giving them both a simultaneous test run to determine which device is the better s…

My favorite day and night of the year

Of course, I am running behind. How far behind, you ask? Well, no gifts have been wrapped...that's right, like zero! I still have a couple more presents to pick up. There's grocery shopping left to do.  A beef tenderloin to make for tonight. Multiple dishes to make for tomorrow. And yet, I love Christmas Eve! My family is here, all snug and cozy under one roof. Tomorrow, we'll venture to Mom's house one last time for Christmas dinner with the ever-extending family. (Who knows where we'll be in 2015?) Plus, the forecast calls for light snow today!  If there's a happier kind of stress, I'd like to feel it!  Happy holidays to all.... and to all a great night!

Done!! Well, almost done!! But, happy!

Wowzers! Where has the time gone? I haven't been here in a while, I see. On the blog, that is. It just goes to prove that you really can't do it all, no matter how much time you have on your hands.  What have I done, you ask? Well, not to brag, but I got Christmas done, thank you very much...and in record time, too!  Okay, not completely done. My mother's gift still eludes me. I have a very specific thing in mind for her new apartment door, and I can't seem to find it online or in shops. But, my goal is to get it all done before my son arrives tomorrow and, snow or no snow (we got three inches last night), I will succeed! 
In other news, I would like to heartily endorse the Verilux Happy Light as the best invention ever, next to the lighted magnifying make-up mirror. This year, I was hit with a horrible (and unexpected) case of the blues, which started around the end of daylight savings time and worsened in the last couple of dreary weeks. I don't know who turned…

Bentonville, Crystal Bridges and 21c Hotel

The weather wasn't the best, but Bentonville, Arkansas (aka Walmart World Headquarters), did not disappoint. We checked in at the oh-so-hip 21c Museum+Hotel Friday afternoon and got a preview of the artgasmic experience we would have on Saturday at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 
After a short power nap, we drove to Crystal Bridges (because it was cold and raining; you can easily walk or bike from the hotel) for "Culture Hour." $5 glasses of really good wine and cheap but delicious apps plus a jazz duo to enjoy while you take in the amazing view.
We had a nice dinner at The Hive in the hotel and enjoyed a stroll around the Bentonville town square. It's a sleepy town, but we found a fun bar down the street where we could watch the Kansas basketball game with a bunch of friendly Arkansans. Fortunately, the game ended well.
The next day, we walked the 1.5 mile Crystal Bridges Trail from downtown to the museum where we spent the first two hours at a demo/talk wi…

Buying and selling, selling and buying.

I've not been on the blog much because I have become obsessed with guerrilla retailing. The goal was to clear out the old stuff in the attic to make room for new old stuff from my mom's house. To that end, I've been selling stuff on eBay, Craigslist and, by occasional Facebook posting. This week, I sold an old saddle maker's bench to a young saddle maker (that was cool) and a lot of seven old wooden spools to a guy via a double-parked hook-up with his sister downtown. ("I've got the stuff. You got the cash?") Last night, I got way too excited about an inquiry on my lightly-used office chair and almost fell off my new brand new office chair. So far, I've earned $190 for two items which I turned around and spent, almost to the penny, on a flat-screen TV with wall mount for the guest room because the Brooklyn kids are coming to stay and the room needed a technology upgrade, especially because it doubles as my home gym. We'll probably put the old tub…

The last Thanksgiving at Mom's

Today, my extended family will gather to celebrate one last Thanksgiving around the big table in my childhood home. (Mom and her hubs are moving to a retirement facility in January.) It's a bittersweet day, especially since my son stayed in Brooklyn in lieu of a 10-day visit over Christmas. Life is a trade-off.  To overcompensate, as I am wont to do, I am cooking up a small storm. The pre-brined Trader Joe's turkey will go in at noon "stuffed" with fresh sage, thyme and a cup of white wine if I can figure out how to get it in there.


I'm dressing up my cornbread dressing by cooking the mirepoix in rosemary-infused olive oil and soaking my dried cranberries in Marsala. Chopped toasted pecans are a given. Later, I'll do a roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel and bacon dish topped with pumpkin-spiced pumpkin seeds from TJ's. Isn't cooking just the best therapy? Happy Thanksgiving to all... and don't forget the Tums!

Crystal Bridges, here we come!

It's like I always say, half the fun of a trip is the happy anticipation of it. And, since it's a sad 21 degrees outside, I've decided to start looking forward to our weekend in Bentonville, Arkansas, two weeks early. From all reports, Bentonville is a hip and happenin' town thanks, in large part, to its jewel, the three-years-old-this-month Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art,  located in a holler (yes, a holler) in the Ozark hills.  Read all about it here. Our plan is to stay at the hip and whimsical 21c Hotel because penguins are my favorite.
There are, apparently, lots of green penquins standing around the hotel. The staff has fun moving them around to surprise their guests. Yes, it will be December. And, yes, that might not be the prettiest time to visit Arkansas, unless it snows. (Oh, and I hope it does!) But, the way I figure it, winter is penguin season. And I want to see them in their element.

Out with the old

I realized I need to accelerate the distribution of my stuff if I'm going to have enough space to accommodate Mom's stuff at the end of the year. I hadn't planned to take much of her stuff but, darn it, I'm doing it for the kids. It's possible they might want some of her stuff - or my stuff - someday. My attic is full and, since we have no basement and a storage unit is out of the question according to the hubs, I'm in full-out, blinders-on purge mode. Some of the things I'm getting rid of are unusual, if not downright strange...
 like this antique saddle makers bench, for instance. I decided to put it on Craig's List. 
This is a German World War I-II ammunition carrier. I gave it to a guy who sells things on eBay for people. His 30% cut seems worth it to me.
This is the challenge. According to my research, it's a vintage Japanese ceramic gofun geisha doll in a glass case...worth anywhere from $150 to $350+ online. The eBay guy doesn't want it …

Moving Mom via Memory Lane

I spent an afternoon last week with Mom, expunging one of the many closets in my childhood home. The move to her new apartment is getting closer (2nd week in January) and a sense of urgency is setting in to get things distributed before the holidays. I left with two boxes of stuff for Goodwill and a box of "keepers," such as art pottery, copper pieces and an album of my baby pictures.
As the first-born, there are a LOT of pictures of me, much to the dismay of my baby sister, Number 5. (Photos of her as a child are almost non-existent, poor thing.) When I was an infant, my dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Sacramento. My mom had a camera and a LOT of time on her hands.
I am thrilled to have the pictures, although after I scan and catalog them, I doubt I'll even look at them again...
until I have grandchildren, of course!

Hermann highlights

Hermann MO: Willkommen

We checked into the Alsace Suite at Schiller Guest Suites in Hermann around 3 o'clock yesterday. I took these photos before we messed the place up...
And now, for a little wine and beer tasting, because when in Hermann....

Happy Halloween!

The hubs and I are heading for Hermann to celebrate Halloween with a bunch of German wine, beer and sausage makers in "the prettiest town in Missouri."  There's a hard cider tasting tonight at the bar in our inn (right under our room, we hear, although the bar allegedly closes at 11...we'll see).  Costumes are recommended, so we're going all out....
as Sister Mary Catherine and Monsignor Hamilton.  (He wouldn't settle for being a mere priest. "Too pedestrian.") As you can see, we were pretty pleased with ourselves posing for this dress rehearsal photo. "We'll kill!"  I said, ignoring the sixth commandment. Then, I got a load of this guy on the Facebook last night....
my friend and former co-worker who, after laboring through all those World Series games and countless gawd-awful Rob Lowe commercials, is going as "Creepy Marlins Man." (You'd have to have seen the series to get the joke.) Okay, my friend, you're gonna ki…