31 December 2010

a Watched Croc...

the clock winds down on 2010

Some will watch the Times Square celebrations,
or fireworks, or throw confetti and balloons.

Our family tradition for generations -
Bang on the kitchen pots with wooden spoons.

No idea!
Other than it is loud and fun!
And I don’t mind a few dents in my pots as it reminds me of another year with family.

A Watched Croc…..
Happy New Year!
clock image from The Graphics Fairy

29 December 2010

relax ye merry travelers..

The Plan:
a quick family trip the day after Christmas to attend a family party

Everyone home for Christmas—check
Flights reserved—check
Christmas dinner leftovers distributed amongst all guests to take to their homes—check
Bags packed—check
Blizzard—wait, what?!

A quick family trip turned into a major logistics puzzle as my e-mail inbox, and iPhone's text messages, could barely keep up with all the flights' cancellations.

Our revised plan involved gazing for hours at various airport
holiday decorations while sipping airport beverages

We spent quality time airport-people-watching

We saw the sun rise over the Chicago airport,
blue skies over the Arkansas airport
and watched the sun set over the Dallas airport.

Everyone home again—priceless!

23 December 2010

Cool Yule

Over my desk hangs one of my favorite pictures.
It is there all year-round, all four seasons.

It's titled.....Cool Yule
Off for a flurry of baking, eating, gift-giving,
and family-time!

Hope you have a very Cool Yule!

merry! merry!

19 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho!

a deep voiced jolly laugh or chuckle
derived from Gaelic Irish language
term for expressing laughter since 1150

expression associated with Santa
and The Jolly Green Giant

A Canadian postal code for Santa...
Santa Claus
North Pole HOH OHO
The Canadian postal code system has “HO” set up to represent
tiny or rural villages. “HO” codes are rare so letters
to Santa do not conflict with normal postal codes.

Santa Math
ho cubed = ?

merry!  merry!
answer......ho cubed = Ho Ho Ho!


17 December 2010

my space...

placed early dibs on this spot for Christmas Eve dinner!
merry! merry!

15 December 2010

bells, bells, bells...

jingle bells, Bells of St. Mary’s, sleigh bells, bells on bobtails ring, I heard the bells on Christmas Day, Silver Bells, Carol of the Bells….

Favorite Bells

on my keychain...
which always mysteriously gets detached when one of the guys has to take my car!

on my IPhone which has Santa’s sleigh bells as my ringtone
my year-round ringtone!

on our front door
(and, ahhh, three other doors too)
on our bookshelf
on our piano
all over one of our Christmas trees that we call the Jingle Bell Tree

When the guys were little, we hung jingle bells of all sizes on the tree and those were the ornaments they were always allowed to touch as toddlers.
Also works well as a puppy-alert for the hounds!

On my apron
Which needs to get jingling with the cookie baking

And did you know jingle bells were the first instrument in space?

On December 14, 1965, Gemini 6 astronauts were preparing for their journey home. NASA received a report from them saying they had spotted a UFO. According to Schirra's memoirs "Schirra's Space," Stafford contacted Mission Control and said: "We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit.... Looks like he might be going to re-enter soon.... You just might let me pick up that thing.... I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit."

Before Mission Control had time to digest the "UFO sighting," they heard an extraterrestrial rendition of "Jingle Bells" coming from Gemini 6. Schirra and Stafford had smuggled a harmonica and miniature sleigh bells onto the spacecraft especially for this moment.

Here with bells on…

...and I’ll be there with bells on!

13 December 2010

Reserved Chairs...

Wait, what?!
Never heard of reserved chairs?
In the city areas of Pittsburgh it is customary to reserve your
freshly shoveled parking space with a chair.
There are parking chair etiquette rules to be followed.
Wikipedia has an entire entry for Pittsburgh Parking Chairs

Fortunately, we do not have to practice this tradition.

except in our kitchen...

where we always tag our chairs for holidays.

The tags have stayed the same for years and years,
which just makes them more special every holiday.

Christmas reserved chair tags just went up!

10 December 2010

Christmas elves...

Santa’s magic helpers who wear lots of red and
green, and pointy hats with bells.

In Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem
A Visit from St. Nicholas
more commonly known as Twas the Night Before Christmas,
Santa Claus is described as
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf”.

After dark last night I slipped my elf hat on and quietly
tied fresh cut evergreen boughs and big red bows to an
elderly neighbor’s fence posts.
No elves were helping in my workshop today,
but as I reached into a bag of cashmere scarves to be
monogrammed I was delighted to find a gift for ME!
that had been hidden there by a Christmas elf!

Not telling where this surprise elf bag is headed!
Find your elf!
Spread some cheer!

08 December 2010

...four calling birds...

or colly birds
What is a colly bird?
A blackbird!
In England a coal mine is called a colliery, and colly means black as coal.

This year the price of four calling, or colly birds, has remained steady
 at $599.96 per the PNC Financial Services Group here in Pittsburgh.
Since 1984 they have calculated the costs of the cumulative
gifts in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas in the Christmas Price Index.
The Twelve Days of Christmas has been recorded by countless performers.

The Muppets and John Denver rendition from 1979 is my favorite version. The song lyrics remain the same as the classic version, with Miss Piggy adding in her long drawn out "Five gold rings" and classic "ba-dum-bum-bum."

What’s your favorite version?

06 December 2010

deck the halls with boughs...

Ahhh, the wonderful smell of fresh pine.
The tree arrived today!

Tradition has it that I choose the tallest, fullest, widest tree that can
fit through the family room French doors to fill one corner of the room.
The one year I chose a smaller tree, every single family member and guest asked,
“What happened to the tree??”

Gathering the tools for outside decorating…
 Cut greens - check
Pinecones - check
Wire- check
Cutters - check
RED boots for festive look - oh absolutely!

My pine branch necklace for more festiveness from
favorite local mom/daughter designers Lexi and Gem.

And it’s snowing!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!