Monday, December 27, 2010

Readymade

Rediscovering Readymade Magazine -- now available through my local library system! I used to love reading Readymade but like many things I used to love, reading it had fallen by the wayside. However, one night on my way home from the flower shop, I stopped at Whelden to return some books and besides trying on a hand knit cap that has made it to my wish list made it to my head, I discovered current copies of Readymade lurking in the magazine racks, just begging for me to take them home. Naturally I obliged and a pleasant evening reading bits and pieces of creativity and life was had by me. A respite from the holiday madness that can sometimes crush despite the best intentions.

Now that Christmas is behind me, I am looking forward to returning to the creative routine I was trying to establish before the holidays hit. This includes blog posts -- my goal has been to shoot for three a week -- and I’ve missed the mark since before Thanksgiving but I'm ready to work on developing my writing habit yet again. I get in a rhythm for a few weeks, then something knocks me out of it, and well, all I can say, is sometimes you just gotta get right back on that bike again and ride. Yeah, just ride.

**photo from Readymade 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Time for the Holiday Movie Round-up

Last night Marty and I finally started our holiday movie watching. I came home from work to find the original Miracle on 34th Street on -- one of our many favorites. Many we order from the library, but we’ve slowly been adding to our collection each season.

After last night’s viewing of The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young, that one is next on our list. Every once in a while we get a bum DVD from the library -- one of the ones that skips and stutters at all the good parts. Very frustrating.

I love hearing what other people’s favorites are because there are some I either hadn’t heard of or hadn’t considered.  Love Actually with Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and others made it to the list last year -- and I would never have known about it if it hadn’t been for reading it on someone else’s blog.

We have Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck, another fun one, and of course, several Bing Crosby (White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Going my Way, Bells of St. Mary’s), Boys Town with Spencer Tracy, and the 1938 Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen. We tend to go for the classics with an occasional contemporary one thrown in.

When we start looking at Amazon or start remembering all the ones we’ve seen or wished for, the list just grows and grows. So, how can we get bored with any particular one when there’s plenty to choose from?

More to consider:

Prancer
A Christmas Story
Home Alone
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Shop Around the Corner
It Happened on 5th Avenue
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The House Without a Christmas Tree
Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman
The Polar Express
The Walton’s Homecoming Christmas Special

**image from Amazon

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Stress-free Thanksgiving Redux

Right up until Thanksgiving I was working a gazillion hours at my per diem job as a patient sitter for a local rehab. This in addition to my flower shop work and my Brabarella work. Mind you, I am not complaining. Working so many hours is actually a luxury I am enjoying now -- for a long time, I was raising my children single-handed and sacrificed work (and money and career) so as to have more time available for my kids. I’m thankful for that. And now I’m thankful for the time to work evenings, weekends and holidays without having to worry about who will be there for the kids. I still don’t have a career as such, nor the prestige or money that can go with it, but I do have a certain freedom and time that I didn’t have before.

With my daughter away in Rome and my son with his own plans, this Thanksgiving was the first one that Marty and I indulged in the luxury of a relaxing holiday and going out to eat. We’ve always talked about our desire for stress-free holidays, with more time to just savor time rather than getting frantic with family and so on. So we did it. We went to a favorite restaurant, the Red Pheasant, a family-run place in East Dennis, where we didn’t even have to park the car (and wished we had parked it as the valet added a dimple to the driver’s fender). We feasted on venison and fresh vegetables, had a couple glasses of wine, dessert and came home to watch one of our old BBC comedies.

And we had our real Thanksgiving meal -- you know, the one with the turkey, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings a couple weekends later. Invited my dad over, lit candles, had football on and truly enjoyed not only preparing the meal but also sharing it. Remembering little things like how my mother peeled butternut squash before she cooked it, my mother-in-law scooping the squash out after it was cooked, me following Evelyn’s example for years, then trying both ways for this meal. Marty’s mom? When I asked him how she did it, he laughed and said she took it out of the freezer. Ah yes, there’s always room for new traditions.

**image from Red Pheasant website

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lifeforce as in Muesli

In September, I was lucky enough to go to Ireland with my dad to visit many of our relatives over there. Now most people bring back things like Irish sweaters, Newbridge Silver and so on (and I have done that or been the gift recipient of such), but what do I tend to come back with? The stuff of daily life -- LifeForce Irish Muesli for example. It is my favorite cereal outside of oatmeal. Their recipe is amazing, being about half dried fruits (raisins, dates and so forth) and nuts (in particular hazelnuts!) and half barley and oat flakes. I’ve actually tried making it for myself to tide me over between visits.

My sweet cousin Breege bought me the last huge bag at her grocery store, and I was able to snag a few smaller bags in Dublin at the market there. I do wish it was more commonly available over here like other Irish products are, but sometimes not being able to have something regularly makes me appreciate it so much more.

**image from Boyne Valley