Thursday, November 22, 2007


It's going to be one of those picture postcard Thanksgiving days this year. Perfect football weather, friends and family together for dinner, everyone pitching in with their favorite dishes. Here's what we're fixing: turkey,rice and gravy, green bean casserole, apple cranberry crunch, and pumpkin cookies (scroll down for recipe).

Hope you and yours have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gold Gloves

On Tuesday the National League Gold Glove Awards were given out with few surprises. Andruw Jones picked up his tenth. Derek Lee picked up his third. But a record was broken this year by Greg Maddux when he won his 17th Gold Glove. That was a record for a pitcher and it broke Brooks Robinson's record of 16 by a position player. Maddux has always helped out his own cause by being an excellent fielding pitcher and that's a trait that should be emulated by up and coming players.
There were five first time awards given to Russell Martin (Dodgers), David Wright (Mets), Jimmy Rollins (Phillies), Jeff Francoeur (Braves), and Aaron Rowand (Phillies).

Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Day

Today was the first serious day of Christmas shopping. I've picked up a few things here and there all year, but it doesn't feel like Christmas shopping until the stores are decorated for the holiday. One of the shops was called the Pink Cabana and as you can imagine it was decked out in pink trees with pink, green, and silver ornaments. The furnishings in the store are upholstered in a large black and white check so the effect is charming. I found stocking stuffers for my daughters and mother, as well as the dog. Even found something for me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Golden Time

Dogs can be like grandchildren. When pictures are passed around, the photos are appreciated most by those with the most love for the subject. Others will oooh and aaah because they recognize the bond......they have it with their dog.....not because they think the dog is beautiful. What's beautiful is the bond. Does it mean more when a dog is aloof and independent or affectionate and intuitive? Depends on the owner and what they need from their dog. Hunting and herding dogs aren't meant to be pets but in general are fiercely loyal. The jobs they do come from extensive training of instincts they possess. When the job is done well, the master acknowledges with words and affection. A non-sporting dog who fills the role of family pet is following his instincts, too. Protective and obedient, they become part of the family. An intimate communication is established between dog and master that can be expressed in subtle gestures and soft sounds. These are the beloved pets that are remembered when photo albums are brought out and old stories are told. The mysterious bond never breaks and images impressed on the brain produce phantom sightings of the creature long after it's gone. Running down that familiar track or lying in that accustomed spot, they are here again. The time we had with them is golden, the love, undying.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Moleskine

The section at Barnes and Noble with cards, journals, stationary, and maps is my favorite. On every trip over there, I save the best for last. It's books first, then the fun stuff. With such a large family cards are always on the shopping list. The best are quirky photos or beautiful landscapes on the outside and blank on the inside so a poem or personal message can be added. Today a new Moleskine notebook made it into the shopping bag. It's the 240 lined acid-free pages with an expandable inner pocket. Big enough for someone with large handwriting but small enough to fit in a pocketbook. It feels like Christmas morning to pull off the shrink wrap and give the elastic band a snap. The shiny black cover has a grainy feel and opens easily the first time- not stiff like cheaply made notebooks. The inside cover has lines to write who the journal should be returned to if it's lost. There's also a line for the amount of a reward to be paid on it's return. much is this little book worth? Today it's worth the asking price of $16.95 but in a year when it's full of thoughts and memories and postcards stuck in the pocket it will be priceless.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Golden Age Of Television

Jack Benny was the subject of the AmericanMasters series from PBS this week. Clips from Benny's radio days and television show, as well as movies were featured. Jack Benny was a unique talent doing ground-breaking work at everything he tried. Even though the character he played was a curmudgeonly old tightwad, Benny was in fact a warm and generous man loved by millions. He started careers for so many people who are now household names themselves and true admiration and affection showed on the faces of those who described working with him. Little blurbs with George Burns, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope,Carol Burnett, and Milton Berle were scattered throughout the show. Seeing them all on one show was like getting seconds on dessert. His humor was accessible to everyone in the family witnessed by the countless shots of kids crowded around the old black and white with dad in his recliner. Seems like a good idea to stock up on DVDs of the shows to watch when there's nothing on TV.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Worry Wart

Worry doesn't add one day to your life but it does add character to your face and gray to your hair. It takes your mind to another day instead of letting you focus on this one. If we had back the amount of time we've worried away, our lives would be twice as long. Does worrying about what to have for dinner get it cooked? Can you worry away the thank you notes you need to write? Oh, if only worry could pull weeds.

Children can be a major source of worry as they skip out the door and into the big, bad world. It can be so tempting to rein them in and protect them from harm, but is this doing them any favors? So many life lessons come from mistakes made when children are playing outside in their neighborhood. That play teaches them alot about what people are like and how things work. So let 'em go and have faith!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Pilgrims Ate Tacos, Didn't They?

Am I the only one who has such a hard time making Thanksgiving work? Between work and school, no one in my family can take more than Thursday off, so going to Georgia is out of the question. But it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving if we don't go. What to do......what to do? Maybe I'll pretend it's like any other day and make tacos for dinner.

Road Trip

Son Jack and I are going on a road trip tomorrow. He's not very excited about it. The last thing a 19 year old wants to do is spend nine hours in a car with his mom. It'll be like learning to drive all over again.....

........for hour after hour after hour.

He wants to go to North Carolina to climb and I want to visit family in Georgia. So it's the old two birds,one stone thing.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Chili Night

When the temperature finally drops into the low sixties and the humidity is lower than dog-panting level, it's time to make a big pot o' red. Some people think the more ingredients, the better, but I think less is more in the chili world. Our family favorite is as follows:
2 lbs. lean gr. beef
2 28 0z. cans crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
2 packages Chili-o w/onion mix
1 cup water
Brown the ground beef in a dutch oven, drain off fat. Add tomatoes,beans,and seasoning mix, and one cup of water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook at least 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice and top with grated sharp cheddar and chopped sweet onion. This chili is better the next day if you can stand the wait.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Movie Night

Long Way Round is a documentary that follows Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman on a motorcycle adventure from London, England to New York, New York going east.

It chronicles the pair formulating an idea, assembling a staff, acquiring equipment, and traveling around the world. From the Chunell through Belgium and Germany went by quickly. Things slowed down considerably through Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The journey continued on through Russia, Alaska, Canada, and finally, the United States. Since this originally aired on television in Britain, it is broken up into episodes. This really doesn't detract from the adventure and makes it possible to watch in smaller bites. Expect to have your preconceived notions about the Eastern European counties challenged. This two disc set is perfect for a weekend's worth of entertainment.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Wind

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass—
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all—
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song:
RLS 1913

Thursday, November 1, 2007

At It Again

The rookie music reviewer strikes again! I'll forgo the format most writers use of trying to describe the songs in cryptic sentences. goes.....REM has a new live album (that's cd in old people talk) with lot's of favorites and a terrific sound.
It's a two cd set and also comes with a DVD of the concert. Amazon has samples of most of the songs, but you've probably heard them before. One song that was left off the album ,but is my favorite REM song is "Nightswimming" so I'm putting it up here for you to enjoy.It reminds me of late summer at the lake up in the mountains a long time ago.....good times.
Mike Mills was interviewed on the Dan Patrick Show and played a bit of the piano part of Nightswimming over the telephone. The only thing that kept me from sobbing was when he messed up and yelled "Shoot!" in the phone. Funny guy.