Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey, Dressing and a Large Scoop of Perspective

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'll be baking pumpkin and chocolate/pecan pies and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my family. I feel extremely blessed to have my health, the most wonderful husband in the world, great kids, my job, true friends...the list goes on and on. I feel especially grateful this year. One of my dearest and oldest friends lost two of her brothers in law this past summer. Strangely, they died exactly a month apart from each other. One was only 32 and the other 47. Each left behind a wife and three children. The holiday season is going to be difficult for their entire family. They have been through so much. So, this year I am simply thankful to be with my family and to wake up every morning next to my warm, sweet husband. I don't know what I would do without him. He is my knight in shining armor. I am thrilled to kiss my children (who seem to be growing up way too quickly!) and welcome my parents and my brother and his family to my home. Carve the turkey, pour the wine and be thankful....truly, deeply thankful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jewelry and Shopping and Babies, Oh My!

What a lovely weekend. It started off with a bang Friday night, as C and I got to babysit my friend's 15 month old twins! They are so much fun and so silly and crazy. We rolled around the floor and laughed at them and they brought us toys, sat in our laps and were astounded when C performed a back walk-over! What a treat. Yesterday I got a LOT of Christmas shopping done and made some jewelry. C's two BFFs slept over and I'm off to make pancakes with them now. Work will be hellish Mon - Wed this week with end of month and a holiday coinciding. I am looking forward to a four day weekend. Going to the grocery store today to stock up for feasting.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Do List- The Eagles, Starbucks and Bad Ass Shoes

Yesterday was a busy day and I got lots of things crossed off of different 'to do' lists. First off, we had our carpets cleaned, which falls under the 'Get Ready for Thanksgiving' list, as well as 'Get My Asthma Under Control' on the "Life Enhancing List". The living room sofas were moved into the kitchen, so we lounged and drank coffee, pretending we had our very own Starbucks. I think I liked that a little too much. Next, I went to run errands and picked up the Honey Baked Turkey - spiral sliced and ready to go - in case you didn't know, you can pop those in the freezer for a couple of weeks and not stand in line the day before the holiday. (Get Ready for Thanksgiving List) I can't stomache making a real turkey. The act of sticking my hand up the elbow into a bird carcass and pulling things out that are referred to as 'giblets' would make me nauseous for days, thus defeating the purpose of Thanksgiving, which is overeating. I also picked up the makings for a Chocolate Pecan Pie at Super Suppers. Everything else will be homemade. Whilst over in the Honey Baked part of town, I dropped into Nordstrom Rack to look for black pumps. A lady with a incessantly whining toddler almost made me leave the store to go have my tubes tied yet again, just to be sure, but I persevered and found a gorgeous pair of Stuart Weitzman bad ass pumps. Originally $300, for me...$70. Score! "Find New Work Shoes" on "General To Do List"...check! "Wear Bad Ass Shoes As Much As Possible" on "Life Enhancing List" check! Two for one, altho I lose a point on the "Spend Less Money" checklist unless you look at it as a SAVINGS of $230, which luckily, I do. That night, Mr. Wonderful took me out to dinner at Fishmongers, where I dined on Shrimp Tortilla Soup, grilled Shrimp, Scallops and veggies with rice. As if that were not enough, we continued on downtown to the American Airlines Center to the Eagles Concert! We had really great seats and the show was fantastic. The guys came out onstage promptly at 8:00, dressed in black suits and ties and we didn't get out of there until 11:30 (there was one short intermission). They played lots of great songs, both old and new, including Lyin' Eyes, Peaceful Easy Feelin', How Long, Heartache Tonight, Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, Long Road out of Eden, One of These Nights, Witchy Woman, Busy Being Fabulous. The second set was acoustic and I have to say these guys can still sing and their harmonies were tight. They all sat in a row and sang No More Walks in the Woods, Waiting in the Weeds (my personal fave from the new CD), No More Cloudy Days, Love Will Keep Us Alive and Take it to the Limit. When this set started, I could stand it no more and had to turn around and ask the people behind me to please keep their conversation to a minimum. Thankfully, they complied. Why someone would pay this much money to go see The Eagles and then talk all throughout the concert like they were having a conversation at dinner is beyond me. There is so little respect left in the world. The crowd was generally in their 40s and up -- and well behaved. Even the security guards at the stage were sitting down and looked like someone's grandpa. The entire crowd sang along with Take it Easy, which was the first song of the encore. Joe Walsh - Guitar God who changed guitars like Cher changes clothes - clowned it up on Life's Been Good, Timothy Schmit can still hit those high notes on I Can't Tell You Why and Glenn Frey referred to the tour as the "Assisted Living Tour", making jabs at their age throughout the night (altho, of the four, he still looks the best). Henley was much more reserved than when I saw him solo at The Joint in Vegas, but when he stood alone in the spotlight for the final encore song and sang Desperado, let me tell you, it was a religious experience for me. I am a Henley Girl...he is my fave. That concert definitely falls under my 'Bucket List'. Check!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Favorite Things - Part 2

Feeling a Cold War coming on? Come on over to my garage! We inherited these relics from my in laws. They are civil defense containers of hard candy (carbohydrate suppliment, anyone?)

...and Saltine Crackers. So, if you're ever locked in my garage (uh....I mean my bomb shelter), remember these are in the corner and there's usually vodka and beer in the frig out there. Weird, huh?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Favorite Things - Part 1

Sure, I like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens as much as the next guy. But do you ever look around your house and think about what your favorite things are? You know, the things that you would want to grab if your house was on fire...beyond the family, the cat, the photo albums, jewelry - wow, I'd better move some of this stuff closer to the exit! I'm not a super materialistic person, no matter what my ex husband says, but I like some stuff. Most of it is of no real value, only to me. :)
Books signed by the author:

I have four books that are signed by the author. Let's start on the far right. Anne Rice signed this copy of 'Tale of the Body Thief' at a bookstore signing. I really like her books, especially 'The Witching Hour' and am a big fan. No, I was not dressed as a vampire at the book signing. I have a life and I know the difference between real and pretend. Most of the time. At the top is Ann-Margret's autobiography, signed my the fabulous lady herself and her hubby, Roger Smith. I also obtained this at a book signing. When it was my turn I said to her "Tommy and Viva Las Vegas are two of my favorite movies", and she looked up at me and smiled that Hollywood megawatt smile and said, "They're two of my favorite movies, too! Would you like to meet my husband?" (I don't really act wierd around celebrities and I've met a lot of them, so I don't think I was giving off a stalking lesbian vibe) and Roger came out from the back room and he signed the book, too. They were both very nice and she is a beautiful lady and if I were a stalking lesbian, I'd go for her.

Next to the left is 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it was written about my hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma back in the 60s about the rivalry between the rich kids and the poor kids. It was a favorite growing up and I was glad to see that my son had it as required reading in 9th grade still. The book was changed to the East side vs. West side when it was really the South side vs. the North side. I was a Southsider. When the movie 'The Outsiders' was filmed, I was a senior in high school and since it was filmed in Tulsa, it was all the buzz. I got to meet Matt Dillon and actually taught him how to drive a stickshift because he liked my car (I drove a 1967 Triumph GT6 - guy magnet!!!) I was a little disappointed that he didn't thank me when he won the Oscar for 'Crash', but it was rumoured around my school my senior year that I was dating Emilio Estevez. I did nothing to encourage that rumour, nor did I do anything to squelch it. Many of the kids that I went to school with got to be extras in the movie and I still like to watch it and see those kids. My girlfriend, Angela is a limo driver and called me one day from Tulsa. She said "I am driving Susan Hinton today and also C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Maccio for the DVD premiere of The Outsiders!" I had her stop by the bookstore and buy a hardcopy of the book and get it signed. She did! And yes, it says 'Jana - Stay Gold' The book on the far left is kinda cool. It is one of the later Madeline books, "Madeline in America", which was written by the original author's son. What makes it extra cool is that it is inscribed to Don Henley's kids and signed by the author. I was given this by a friend/neighbor who's ex-nanny had also been the Henley's nanny and they had given the nanny a bunch of books. She gave it to me after I helped her do some organizing one day and she said that her two boys wouldn't appreciate it and for me to go ahead and take it before her husband sold it on ebay. What are your favorite things? More of mine in upcoming posts!

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.