Holiday Gifting

I drank oceans of coffee to create my holiday Bunko gift. I was jittery for weeks. But it was worth it! My goal? To have my gift swiped. Yes, I’m oddly pathetic. But I was happy that my Keurig Cup napkin rings were a hit.

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Now, on to the next gift exchange party.  I made an ornament. Jim, when viewing it, said, “How nice we don’t have a tree for that monstrosity.”

So I dropped back and punted. The “monstrosity” will be a decoration tied onto the ribbon. The actual gift? Fun and an enormous secret. Need to sort out a way of wrapping that doesn’t call attention. I want to slide it under the tree incognito.

 

Carmelized Bacon!

Bacon. Sugar. Pecans. Maple Syrup. Add a few spices, bake at 375 degrees for thirty minutes. Cool. Eat.  Watch ass expand.

Christmas is coming; this goose is getting fat.

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My appetizer for tonight’s Bunko Christmas gift exchange. Note to self:  Wear elastic waist pants.

Missing Child.

Child’s name:  Flat Stanley

Last Seen: Saturday, November 25th. Stanley was in an envelope placed in the streetside mailbox and bound for Galena, IL.

Wearing: Red short sleeved shirt, blue jeans with front pockets and one button, brown shoes.

Overall Appearance: Wide-eyed, curious gaze, full lips, short brown head hugging hair, no fingers, nose or ears.

Recent Photo:  Stanley2.jpg

Foul play is not suspected. If seen, please contact me.

(Not everyone here trusts that Stanley’s AWOL stature is accidental.  He’s a playful child and known to pull pranks.  Sliding under doorways and slipping between book pages are among his favorites.  I am currently attempting to recreate his “things gathered by Stanley” file.  Which meant microwaving more Spanish Moss.  Ugh. Stinky.)

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It’s Official. I’m Sixty-Six

The blog title won’t change, but my age did. The big day began with a trip to the dermatologist. She froze the barnacles off my back, and that’s good because those stupid crustaceans itched. She told me their proper scientific name. I then told her their common moniker, “Damned Itchy Barnacles“. 

Then it was home again to open the three cards from Sweet Jimmy.  Always three. Always hidden in plain view. Following that, I spent a happy hour coloring a flat wooden bird, part of the gift from grandkids Deven and Mishri.

Jim pulled out his bird identification book to help me sort out just what kind of chick it was.  As you can see, the designation, while not in the book, is apparent. It’s a “Green-headed, Pink-breasted, Weeki Wachee Warbler.”

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Next, it was off to the primary care physician to go over bloodwork regarding my hormone levels. Good news!  My bloodwork is now routine. Three months ago I had the testosterone of a sixteen-year-old boy.  Having such high testosterone at my age–while great fun–is apparently not healthy.

A quiet afternoon was spent watching Jim do laundry. Yay for birthdays! He does laundry even on not-birthdays. But on not-birthdays, I offer to help. On my birthday?  Not a chance.

Lastly out to dinner. I chose the restaurant based on dessert. Recently we’d eaten there and consumed the most delicious gluten-free, warm-with-chocolate-chunks brownie, topped with vanilla ice cream.

As soon as we sat down, Jim flipped the menu to the dessert section. WHAT!? Wasn’t it listed? I had a moment when I thought I might cry. I nearly turned into six, rather than sixty-six.

Jim, good man that he is, tracked down waitstaff and found gluten-free chocolate cake was a special. Nope, it wasn’t the same as the brownie we’d had previously. However, it was warm, had a pipette of Jack Daniels squeezed into the center, and altogether satisfied this old girl.

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The little hole in the cake is where the booze pipette was inserted.

 

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This is how the bill is presented. Clever, huh?

Today is my second day of being sixty-six. So far it’s been lovely. Stevia-sweetened iced coffee, cottage cheese with almonds–my breakfast of choice which made a friend, Steve, gag when I described it–and a bit of reading.

The following clipping was yesterday’s “born today” blurb.  I liked it.  I wondered aloud if the paper simply prints the same words daily.  After all, who reads “born today” unless truly born on that particular day?  It seems Jim does.  He assured me it’s not a cookie cutter reading.

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Happy to learn my hard work and effort will pay off this year! Bodes well for upcoming Etsy shop.  I’ll learn more on Tuesday when my friend and I visit Psychic Valentina.  Don’t scoff.  Valentina knows my future and next week I will too. How fun is that?!  I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

Adventures with Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley came to visit us for Thanksgiving. If you aren’t familiar with Stanley here is the back-story. Flat Stanley is a series of books by Jeff Brown. The premise? A bulletin board falls on Stanley, flattening him so thoroughly that he’s able to fit into an envelope.

A third grade class in Colorado listened to the book. Each kid then made their version of Stanley. The teacher laminated them, wrote out a letter explaining the Flat Stanley project is a social study undertaking.

A boy named Frankie made our Flat Stanley. So far he’s been to Bainbridge Island, WA, Hana, HI, and here to Palm Harbor, FL. I just mailed him off to friend Jane in Galena, IL. She’s married to a Welshman, so I’m hoping Stanley has a visit to Wales in his future.

Here are the photos we took during Stanley’s visit. We printed them at Walgreens, and they are now on the way to Frankie’s third-grade classroom.

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Stanley drew his self-portrait and was pretty pleased with it.

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Eeek.   Stanley took a terrible tumble to the kitchen floor.  Frankie’s teacher specified adult supervision at all times.  Who was watching him when this accident occurred?

 

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This is just before the turkey went into the oven.

 

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This is just after the turkey came out of the oven.  It was HOT there.

 

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Standing in the ice cube maker helped him to cool down.

 

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One of five pies!  Two were pumpkin with gluten-free crusts, one apple, one bourbon pecan with chocolate chips, and the fifth was banana butter brickle. Bet you can’t say that three times fast.  I was really worried Stanley would get too pudgy to be jammed back into his travel envelope. Fat Stanley, not Flat Stanley stuffed into a shoe box.

 

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Here he is doing some stunt riding!

 

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He rode that cow so far and fast he decided to take on a horse.

 

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It didn’t end well.

 

 

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Here he is confessing his sins to Father Steve.

 

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The day after Thanksgiving, chillin’ with Bronson Dog.

 

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Friday we went out to lunch at Barfly because we hadn’t had enough food and needed to eat more.

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The mail-lady just picked Stanley up and he’s off to Galena, Illinois.  He has a small baggie filled with Spanish moss.  I microwaved it.  When we were kids we hauled home a brown paper bag stuffed with moss.  When we opened the sack it was crawling with insects.  Hopefully the nuking killed any critters.  Note to readers-Microwaving Spanish moss stinks up the kitchen.  I don’t recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankful for Dinner by the Pool

We are all ready for Thanksgiving. Table set, flowers arranged, food-except for the bird- prepared.

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I made my friend, Anne’s, “make ahead mashed potatoes”. I fixed them last year, and every single bit was scraped from the bottom of the serving dish.  One guest longed for seconds, but too bad, so sad.

This year I made twice as many. It’s in my 125-pound LeCreuset pan. Tomorrow neighbor Lynda is heating it in her oven. Jimmy may need a hand truck to lug this monstrous pot of potatoes across the street.

Everyone is bringing something, so I’m only responsible for potatoes, green beans, gravy and the turkey. And lots of wine.

I used Ina Garten’s make-ahead gravy recipe and her green beans with shallots.

Martha Stewart gave me some pointers on how to prepare the bird. I’m to drench four layers of cheesecloth with a butter and wine mixture, lay atop the turkey and baste with more of the concoction every hour.

He’s to go into the oven feet first. If he doesn’t fit that way, I’m supposed to turn his pan each time I baste him.

I killed our electric knife when sawing through the tops of pumpkins in which I arranged the flowers. So yesterday found me at Bed Bath and Beyond purchasing a new one. Plus the cheesecloth, kitchen twine, and various cleaning supplies. Lynda and I keep a file of BBandB coupons here at my house. I got twenty bucks off at check-out!

This time tomorrow we’ll be just about to sit down and stuff ourselves. We have a small flat guest, Stanley, joining us this year. I hope I’ll be able to jam him into his envelope after this large meal. Perhaps he will need a shoebox.

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Related blog post:

Keurig Cup Crafting

The War of Art

Counting down the hours until Thanksgiving. The only part I still haven’t figured out is how long and at what temperature to roast an eighteen-pound unstuffed turkey. I’ve thrown the question onto my FB page, and hope someone will have good advice.

Meanwhile here is the latest excellent book I’ve read on how to get the heck out of my way and succeed.

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The author, Steven Pressfield, maintains most of us wrestle with resistance when tackling projects that require a long-term commitment.

In my case, there are two endeavors to which I am devoted.
This blog and my new Etsy shop.

So far I only have ten items listed in my store. I’m determined to fill it to the brim over time. This book gave me exactly the kick in the fanny I needed.

Pressfield included a favorite Goethe quotation of mine:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

I have a sterling silver pendant engraved with those words. It was a gift from Cynthia, the lovely woman I used to work for. She gave me a shot at product design when nothing in my set of skills would predict success.

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I have the necklace hanging on the light over my drawing table.  I read it just before I begin working each day.  I also say a prayer to my muse.  Another Pressfield suggestion.

Then I get to work.  Which I am off to do right now.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Other somewhat related blog posts:

I used to ask, “Why me?” Now I say, “Why NOT me!”

Travel to China

Dreaming with Tate

Just bounded out of bed following a great dream. It’s already nearly in the wind.  I was holding grandson Tate on my lap and designing a Vanity Tag for my pickup truck (I don’t have a pickup truck.  Dreams provide astonishing gifts)

The coolest part is we were discussing awesome name ideas.  His were, as a rule, better than mine.  He was making me laugh.

It was so fabulous when sleeping.  Details went with the waking but believe me, they were fabulous. Thanks, Tate!

Guided Meditation and the Law of Attraction

I’ve been using youtube for my daily meditation. I find it’s easier to relax deeply when listening to a gentle voice, music, and instructions.  I take out one hearing aid and put the computer right next to my other ear.

Lying on our bed and breathing. It’s delicious the state of relaxation I tumble into.

Think positive, Live positive.

My blog posts will be more infrequent because I am busy creating images for my new Etsy shop.  So far I have a pig, kitten, and cow.  They are all decked out in ribbons and straw hats.

I spend my days’ coloring and smiling at the silly critters flowing out of my colored pencils.

My field of dreams.  Build it and they will come.  And when they come 50% of the money I make I plan to donate to causes important to me.  The other 50%?  Who knows.