Archives for December 2008

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 13

This is downright embarrassing, really.

SEVEN MONTHS between podcasts.

We hang our heads in shame.

And you’d think that between May and December we might have come up with a little, you know, THOUGHT-PROVOKING CONTENT. But oh no. We’re still talking about movies from the 80s and breakfast foods we enjoy and word games we like to play on the interweb.

Riveting.

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Click here to listen on the web. Or, you can go here and then click on the speaker next to Episode 13.

And you may want to wear your headphones. Because 1) the podcast is much easier to hear with headphones and 2) headphones will save you the embarrassment of anyone knowing that you’re listening to a couple of women in their late 30s talk about Jake Ryan from “Sixteen Candles.”

Thank you and have a lovely Christmas.

Edited to add: you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes right here.

Breaking The Gray

For the last few days I’ve had a touch of the winter blues. I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly affected by the absence of sunlight, but let me just tell you: two weeks of dreary, muggy, rainy weather? Two weeks of nothing but gray outside?

Oh my word. If my disposition has been any indication, all that gray takes a toll.

Friday morning I was running errands, looking Gray Day #13 dead in the eye, and I found myself thinking that a bright turquoise sky and a bright yellow sun and some bright green leaves would be a welcome change from all the wet-leaf dreariness that has enveloped us lately. Several minutes later, when a brief little patch of sunlight peeked through the clouds for all of two minutes, I stood in the dead center of that little patch and looked up at the sky.

I couldn’t get over how much I’ve missed the sun.

I couldn’t get over how much I’ve missed color.

I told my husband that I think the gray days would be easier if it had at least been cold enough for us to build some fires (fires are orange! and red! and blue!). But since last week was about seventy four kinds of muggy, fires weren’t really an option.

Late Friday afternoon the boy and I hopped in the car for a quick road trip, and about ten minutes before the sun was supposed to set, it popped out from behind the clouds in one of the most glorious displays I’ve ever witnessed. Even the five year-old piped up from the backseat and said, “Mama! THE SUN!,” and we oooohed and ahhhhed as we made our way down the interstate.

Then I pulled out my phone (WITH BOTH EYES ON THE ROAD, OF COURSE) and snapped away.

You wouldn’t believe what those colors did for my mood.

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There was pink! And red! And turquoise! IN THE SKY!

And I thought: funny how the gray days make you more appreciative of the colorful ones.

I think there just might be a metaphor in there somewhere.

Engraved Euniques Door Prize

All righty – I’m running a little late, which is SHOCKING, I know, but I did want to announce the winner of the Engraved Euniques door prize.

Engraved Euniques is a business that makes wonderful customized tiles. You can pick the size and the finish that you like, and you can have your tile engraved with your favorite verse or quote. You can even have a plaque made for your front door, and I think the tiles make wonderful, one-of-a-kind gifts.

See?

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Aren’t they great? You can see even more neat designs right here.

I asked Kaye at Engraved Euniques if I could give away one of her tiles after the tour of homes, and she was sweet enough to say yes. So a few minutes ago I drew a random number from the tour of homes comments (the comments, NOT the Mr. Linky), and the winner is…

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…commenter #38, also known as Moriah at Please Pass the Salt. Moriah, if you’ll email me, I’ll put you in touch with Kaye so that y’all can figure out your customized creation.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Quick Update

Hey internets –

I know that my presence here is sort of inconsequential right now (which has worked out beautifully this week, what with all the not writing I’ve been doing), but I wanted to tell you three things.

No, four.

1) I have been astonished by your response to Ye Olde Christmas Tour. And y’all totally get the credit for the number of people who participated, because you are the ones who got the word out. You posted the button and told your readers and mentioned the tour on Twitter and who knows what else. Then you showed up and linked to your beautiful pictures and shared all your wonderful ideas. Thank you. I cannot say it enough.

2) Friday morning I’m going to close Mr. Linky to any new links. The list is huge, and once that post rolls over to a new page, it won’t be so easy to check and make sure the links are legitimate. So the current links will remain active, but you won’t be able to add a new link after about 10 AM central time tomorrow.

3) Also, I’m doing a random drawing from the comments on the tour post, and one of the commenters will win a personalized engraved tile from Engraved Euniques. I’ll post the winner sometime after lunch tomorrow.

4) After our unfortunate post-Thanksgiving run-in with Stomach Virus ’08 (I haven’t blogged about it because quite frankly I don’t want to think about it EVER AGAIN IN MY WHOLE LIFE), I’ve decided that there is absolutely no way I can cook cornbread dressing or sweet potato casserole for Christmas dinner. There’s really no good reason to share the specific details that led me to this decision, but suffice it to say that I HAVE MY REASONS.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to make homemade pizzas for Christmas dinner (it’ll be different! it’ll be fun! it won’t be anything like cornbread dressing!), then use the leftover marinara sauce to cook chicken parmesan the day after Christmas when my sister and her hubby come to town.

So. If you happen to have some good homemade pizza recipes and / or pizza ideas, would you let me know in the comments?

Gracias.

Or gratzi.

And, you know, thanks.

I Hate To Interrupt All The Fun…

…but I did want to announce the winner of the Sony digital camera giveaway (thanks, Staples!).

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So I guess you want to know who commenter #272 is, huh?

It’s Cheryl!

Congratulations, Cheryl – you should have an informative little email from me in the next few minutes.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tour Of Homes 2008

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Hey, internets – welcome to the 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes!

I’ll go ahead and confess to y’all that I panicked a little bit last week when I realized that this tour-o-homes business was on the horizon and, HELLO, MY HOUSE LOOKS JUST LIKE IT ALWAYS DOES AT CHRISTMAS, OH SWEET MERCY THE PRESSURE.

But then I remembered that there are a few little traditions that I’ve never shared with you, and as you can imagine my relief was palpable.

First, though, let’s look at all the stuff that looks just like last year!

THIS MUST BE SO EXCITING!

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And with lights!

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Oh, we are very fancy. And once again I can take absolutely no credit at all for my tree, because Mama decorated every single bit of it. Thankfully she didn’t take any tree-related tumbles this year, though the decorating was briefly interrupted by a pesky stomach virus. Obviously she rebounded and finished the task at hand remarkably well.

As always I decorated the bar in our living room. For those of you who aren’t familiar with why there’s a bar in our living room, here’s the gist: our house was built in 1974, and apparently early-70s homeowners felt it was imperative that beverage service be located within ten feet of the television. For whatever reason I get a kick out of the fact that the wet bar now boasts garland, lights, Christmas stockings, and a one-armed monkey stocking hanger.

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See? That’s our one-armed monkey stocking hanger. The monkey used to have two arms, but then he tied up with a certain two year-old a few years ago, and the two year-old won. The monkey still does an absolutely beautiful job holding a stocking, though, and I smile every single time I walk past him.

(He’s also completely broken in two at the waist, so it stands to reason that he could use some encouragement.)

Our Christmas card tree – which is a 6 1/2 foot tree that we got for free and now use to display Christmas cards in the playroom – is one of my favorite traditions. It brings me untold delight, especially around December 24th when it’s chock-full-o-cards.

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And, as always, I LURVE me a festive table.

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For the last several years I’ve put my parents’ aluminum Christmas tree (from way back in ye olden 60s) in our little boy’s room. He loves it because it’s shiny (it’s also very lean-y) and because we put Mickey Mouse lights on it. All the ornaments on this tree are from my childhood – my brother’s elves, my sister’s carolers, my handmade stuff from Sunday School and kindergarten – and it’s so much fun to see how much the little man enjoys it.

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And another fun thing in his room? This giant stocking hanging from a curtain rod.

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In the past I’ve always done garland and lights outside our front door, but this year I wanted to do something a little more simple because, well, I just wanted to do something a little more simple, AS IS MY PREROGATIVE AS A FEMALE, OH THANK YOU. So I found this cool iron container at TJ Maxx for $9.99, and I filled it with some pieces of a shrub that’s in our backyard.

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And just to clarify for all you gardener people, I believe that the Latin name of the greenery I used is shrubae in our backyardae.

Be sure to look for it in your favorite horticulture journals.

The container tends to clang against the front door when people walk in or leave, so it also works as a bell. Who knew my $9.99 would provide me with a container for greenery and an entry notification system? I’m completely undeserving of such good fortune.

Finally, when we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law last weekend, I was totally captivated by the Nativity scene they have in their foyer – and I took a picture of it just for y’all. Because I love how every single creature in the stable is looking at the manger and anticipating the arrival of Jesus.

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May the same be true of us, sweet friends.

Thanks so much for joining in the fun today – I hope you have a great time touring and commenting and visiting and whathaveyou. Remember, as I’ve said before, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so PACE YOURSELVES, PEOPLE. Drink lots of water, eat lots of protein, and please, as always, no wagering.

Oh, I kid. But y’all make this so much fun, and I am grateful.

Four quick things before I go:

– It would be great if you’d leave a comment when you visit the blogs that are participating in the Tour. Even a short comment can encourage someone so much!

– Here’s a refresher on Christmas Tour guidelines.

– Everyone who leaves a comment is eligible to win a very special door prize from Engraved Euniques. I’ll draw for the prize this Friday, December 19.

Please make sure to leave a link for YOUR POST’S SPECIFIC URL, NOT THE GENERAL URL OF YOUR BLOG.

Merry Christmas, y’all!