December 30, 2006
Best of Rince na Chroi Video: For your iPod!
Just click here to view the best photos from 2006 of our son Graham's Irish dance school, Rince na Chroi.
Posted by maasx003 at 8:22 AM
December 29, 2006
Best of Xmas 2006 Video
Posted by maasx003 at 4:59 PM
December 18, 2006
A Tale of Two Xmas Trees
When we did our house remodel a few years ago, we gained a bank of windows in our great room that just begged for a big Christmas tree.
This nine-foot artificial tree is pre-lit and covered with family mementoes and keepsakes from our travels including an ornament from our honeymoon at Glacier National Park, a metal building from Brianâ€™s visit to Brussels and a Russian birch heart.
There are also plant and garden-related ornaments, some purchased at a garden store outside of London during our last visit. Blown glass carrots, peaches, hummingbirds and cardinals mingle with tiny pitchforks and spades. It may be winter but the garden is never far from my mind! Click here for a videocast of my favorite Xmas ornaments.
This tree is beautiful but Christmas just wouldnâ€™t be Christmas without the scents of a real tree. So each year we purchase a tree just for Grahamâ€™s ornaments. These range from 101 Dalmatians and Bob the Builder to Scooby Doo and the Flash, a chronicle of his childhood toy progression. This yearâ€™s cool ornaments are a Star Wars storm trooper and R2D2 & C3PO. Not to mention this cool rocket ship which screams "we have a boy":
His tree is the one we gather around on Christmas even to open presents, which makes it even more special.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Our recent snowfalls have lent a holiday spirit to the gardens.
It is a well-known fact in my household that while I can do many things, baking cookies is just not one of them.
I never seem to trust the amount of time that the directions tell me to leave the cookies in the oven, so my cookies are always well done. Okay, over done.
When I told Brian that I wanted to bake Christmas cookies with Graham this weekend, he just laughed.
I want Graham to have â€œtypicalâ€? childhood memories of baking home made Christmas cookies. So I cheat a little. I buy a tube of pre-made sugar cookie dough, roll it out and call it home made. Graham doesnâ€™t know the difference. He just likes to spread LOTS of flour onto the granite island and cut out his favorite shapes.
His cookie cutters of choice do not have Christmas motifs. He likes to use an old, old set with the images of cartoon characters such as Tom and Jerry, Droopy dog and a duck. They must be from when my brother and sister were kids.
We may or may not get around decorating the cookies. It doesnâ€™t matter. The point is that we did a traditional Christmas activity together. And Iâ€™ve got pictures to prove it.
Afterwards, when Brian asked Graham how the cookies tasted, he said, â€œCrunchy.â€?
Some Christmas traditions never change.
Feeding my Inner Geek
Readers who love arcane information should look no further than the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Books series. With more than 130 titles on everything from â€œAfricaâ€? and â€œAmphibiansâ€? to â€œWeatherâ€? and â€œWorld War II,â€? these books provide a comprehensive, in-depth look at a single topic. The books are quality products, made with gorgeous photographs and high production values.
Graham and I both enjoy them. Between the two of us, we had a huge stack of them checked out from the library last week.
Sometimes a novel or autobiography just wonâ€™t fit my mood because I want to learn something new. The other night I finished â€œWatercolorâ€? and on my bedside still await â€œRocks and Mineralsâ€?, â€œMedieval Lifeâ€? and â€œCrystal and Gemâ€? for when that mood strikes again.
For younger readers, thereâ€™s a spin-off series called Eye Wonder â€“ same great photos and production values â€“ just a simpler focus.
And theyâ€™ve even made a few of the titles into videos and DVDs. As I type, Graham is watching â€œOceansâ€?. His other favorites are â€œSharkâ€? and â€œPlanet.â€? Heâ€™s even going to give â€œSharkâ€? the book to his school buddy for Christmas.
Check them out at www.dk.com.
What Iâ€™m Reading
In the middle of: â€œWhat do You Do All Day?â€? by Amy Scheibe, a childhood friend. Itâ€™s a funny and frank story of a stay home mom in Manhattan. Run out and buy a copy now! (Okay, so that was a shameless plug!)
Also: â€œChewing the Cudâ€? by Dick King-Smith, the autobiography of the author of â€œBabe: The Gallant Pigâ€?which was made into the classic film by the same name.
Listening to: â€œThe Blue Lastâ€? by Martha Grimes. Only about 10 minutes left!
Grahamâ€™s current favorite: â€œCaptain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman" by Dav Pilkey. I couldnâ€™t have made that up myself if I had tried.
Remaining Garden Chores
Clean out my gardening tote. Itâ€™s filled with old plant tags, clods of dirt and other detritus.
Pack the canna, four oâ€™clock and sweet potato tubers in sawdust for the winter and store them someplace in the house that wonâ€™t be too hot or too cold.
â€œWhat if the chickadee only said, â€˜Dee-dee-dee-dee?â€™ Could it keep its old name?â€?
â€œI want an easy job when I grow up. Iâ€™m going to take pictures of dinosaurs in museums.â€?
â€œI donâ€™t need to write a letter to Santa. The elves have already made want I want.â€? How do you know that? â€œOh, Mom, itâ€™s a long story.â€?
When Graham and I came home from running errands one evening, we discovered that Glynis had eaten the remaining 10 squares in Grahamâ€™s chocolate calendar. I told him that dogs that eat chocolate can get really sick and even die. He walked over to where Glynis was lying on the couch, gave her a pat and a kiss and said, â€œGood bye, Glynis.â€? And then walked away.
Posted by maasx003 at 4:07 PM