Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's not turkey!

We broke with tradition this year. We ALWAYS have turkey and all the trimmings at Christmas and Thanksgiving. After spending the entire day on Thanksgiving either cooking or cleaning up, I decided we had to try something else for Christmas.

Publix had standing rib roasts on sale and had really been pushing them in the ads - showing how easy they were to prepare. So I decided to give it a try. I used my trusty and cheap turkey roaster**, and we had a salad, potatoes, and baby peas on the side. Much less work and yummy - and no turkey carcass to deal with.

The dogs were happy too because they got some tasty leftovers in their bowls tonight, topped off with canned pumpkin and au jus!

** If you don't have a turkey roaster, check the endcap sale racks at Target, Walmart and such after Christmas. I got mine at Target last year for about ten bucks! It is a handy appliance.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve Morning

And I have tears in my eyes because I just watched the end of Love Actually. Or maybe just because I am about to go to the grocery store and I can't stand the thought.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie's Fortune

I am on a movie jag here lately. Cookie's Fortune is running on the Sundance Channel this month. It is an offbeat comedy with a great cast, including Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler and Chris O'Donnell. Memphis music greats Rufus Thomas and Ruby Wilson have funny cameos as honky-tonkers.

I love this movie. I didn't see it when it first came out, but happened upon it several years later. The movie is set in Holly Springs, MS where I spent a good bit of time as a kid. We camped several weekends a year at nearby Wall Doxey State Park, and we would stay there a few weeks during the summer while my Dad worked out of the Pepsi Cola distributor there.

I have lived in three distinctly different parts of the South in my life. Non-Southerners tend to dump us into one big hasty generalization, but the different parts of the South are very different - different speech patterns, traditions and biases.

I currently I live in Appalachia. Folks here are as likely to use "you-uns" as they are to say "yall." I would guess it is probably the most homogenous in terms of race and culture - very conservative and white (mostly scotch-irish). Before I lived here, I was in the Atlanta area for a couple of years. Atlanta itself is very diverse, as would be expected of a large city. But once you are outside of the city limits, the metro area is a combination of suburban sprawl and small town communities - new South and old South.

But my homeland is the area where this movie is set - the Mid-South. I think Robert Altman has captured the Mid-South perfectly. Every character is remininscent of folks I either knew or are related to, most of whom are crazy as junebugs, which is probably why I enjoy this movie so much.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scout the squirrel herding dog

This is why I can't get anything done around the house. There is constant entertainment going on in my backyard.

Friends - Don't let me turn into this!

Confession time - I tend to have a cluttered car. Anyone who rides with me will probably have to wait a few minutes while I clear out junk mail, makeup and other stuff out of the passenger seat.

Today, after finally getting the Christmas packages for Neil and his girls delivered to the UPS Store, I decided to treat myself to a diet cranberry limeade at Sonic. I was sitting at a carhop slot, blackberrying Pioneer Woman's latest installment on the Lodge remodel, when I looked up and saw this car.

It's hard to tell from the phone foto - but this car is completely, COMPLETELY filled with junk. Papers and mail filled the passenger seat and all the way across the dash. The backseat and back of the wagon were filled to the roof with bags and plastic bottles and mosquito sticks (whatever they are - but they were pushed up against the window where I could read the package.)

I took a look around my car and suddenly the fear hit me - is that me in 20 years?? I'm counting on you, dear friends, to not let me turn into that!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Top Ten Classic Christmas Movies

One of my favorite things about the holidays is seeing again my favorite classic Christmas movies. I have been searching IMDB to see when they are playing and recording them on my dvr.

1. Christmas in Connecticut - Barbara Stanwyck writes a magazine column and pretends to be an early version of Martha Stewart, when in reality she lives alone and can't even boil water. When a returning war hero wants to spend Christmas with her and her family on her farm, hijinks and romance ensue. On TCM tonight!

2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby and Dany Kaye are musical showmen and former war buddies, who show up at a Vermont inn where their old General is now the innkeeper. Lots of great song and dance numbers. Guess what - hijinks and romance ensue!! On Lifetime tonight!

3. Holiday Inn - Often confused with White Christmas, because it also stars Bing Crosby, also takes place in an inn, and also features the song White Christmas. Bing plays the singing half of a song and dance team. His partner is Fred Astaire, and their partnership breaks up when Fred runs off with Bing's fiancee. Brokenhearted, Bing retires to a big house in the country which he opens up as an Inn only on holidays. On RETRO tomorrow!

4. The Bells of St Marys - Another Bing Crosby movie, but completely different from the others. Bing is the newly assigned parish priest sent to close down the parish school, and Ingrid Bergman is the strong willed nun determined not only to keep it open but to get a new school building. Nominated for Best Picture in 1945, and Bergman won the Golden Globe for her performance. TCM tomorrow!

5. It's a Wonderful Life - Jimmy Stewart has lived a life taking care of others while his own dreams fell to the wayside, and when he finds himself in trouble, he contemplates suicide. His guardian angel gives him the chance to see what the world would have been like had he never lived. Hokey? Yes, but one of my all time favorites with a message we should all think about. On NBC Chrismas Eve night.

6. The Shop Around the Corner - Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan work together and can't stand each other. Jimmy has fallen in love with a woman with whom he has been having a pen pal relationship, and they meet for the first time on Christmas Eve. On TCM next Tuesday. (This movie was the inspiration for You've Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.)

7. Miracle on 34th Street - A young Natalie Woods doesn't believe in Santa Claus until her Christmas wish comes true. Unfortunately, I have not found the original on this year, but a good 1994 remake is running on HBO.

8. The Bishop's Wife - Cary Grant is a guardian angel for a workaholic bishop. A real heartwarmer - on TCM tonight.

9. A Christmas Story - I liked this one a whole lot more before TNT ruined it for me by running it for 24 hours every year, but still a classic. It has become part of our family tradition.

10. Love Actually - I love love love this movie. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman and Liam Neeson all in the same movie is almost more than I can stand. Several love stories touch you in different ways. And if you can watch the montage during the ending credits without crying, you have no heart. Edited version tomorrow night on Oxygen, but to see the whole movie, you better rent the real thing. (Otherwise you miss the sweet story of a couple of porn movie stand-ins!!)

Ok - I have just wasted the first rainy afternoon of my long holiday vacation.

What great movies am I missing?? Tell me what else I should add to my dvr recordings!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time's Up!

Here's who entered:
1. Kim
2. Laura M
3. Laura P
4. Penni
5. Karen
6. Diane
7. Ann
8. Debbie
9. Dawn
10. Heidi
11. Maggie
12. Sarah

And the winner is . . . . . . . .


Maggie - call or email me and I'll get started on your bag!

Kim and Sarah - I have not seen Cloud's article bags. What are the important features of an article bag? Might be fun to play with it. Mine is just the plain old bag that J&J sells.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Dawn tagged me to post the 6th picture in the 6th folder in my pictures.

This is Spencer and Scout, loaded up to come home from the Specialty this year. They are surrounded by their haul of ribbons for the week. Spencer picked up a double Q in rally, including a 3rd place finish. Scout q'd in rally and finished her Rally Novice title. She also was Best Herding Titled Bitch, Runner Up to Best Red Bitch in the Megan, and won an Award of Merit in the BOB show.

She looks a little worn out from it all and ready to go home!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We Have a Winner - And a New Giveaway!

There were 5 entries, so I used the dice roller at Lucky #2 is Laura M! Laura - email me at liveswithcorgi *at* and let me know your preferences on color and if you want the large or small portfolio!

I have really been enjoying piddling around the sewing machine lately, and since it tis the season, I thought I would offer up another one. Did you see the purse I made for my friend Starr? I will make one specially for the winner, with embroidery(or not) if the winner so desires, in the winner's choice of colors from my fabric stash.

Deadline for this one will be Thursday, Dec 18, 7:00 pm EST.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Should I be offended?

That only 4 visitors to my blog have signed up for my first every giveaway? No - these four are wonderful women with impeccable taste - no reason for offense there.

On the other hand, my nephew called me today, asking for a favor. He asked me if I had any Christmas sweaters. I said, "Yes, I do."

Then he went on to say that he is going to a party tomorrow night where the theme is "Tacky Christmas Sweaters" and wanted to know if I would lend him one.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who likes blog giveaways?

I do, I do!

I have a list a blogs in my favorites that I visit often, and several of them have giveaways from time to time.

The Pioneer Woman has giveaways almost every week, but there always over 10,000 folks signing up for them, so the chances of winning are slim! She's having one today giving away three copies of Photoshop. (For those who follow her blog, she has also just put up the latest chapter of "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.")

Another one I like is Design Mom. She's an art director and finds the coolest things to share. She is having a big "12 Days of Christmas" giveaway this weekend.

Should there be a "Simple Things" giveaway? Why the heck not? I don't get much traffic - so anybody's chances of winning are good! How about a portfolio like the one in my previous post? I'll make one for the winner in the colors of choice, either the large one as shown, or a smaller one for a 5x7 pad. I do not guarantee that I will get it made before Christmas!

So - leave a comment on this post if you want to enter the first ever Simple Things giveaway. Let's say the deadline is Sunday, Dec 14, 5:00 pm EST. I'll find a cool random number generator to pick the winner, unless only one person leaves a comment! If no one leaves a comment, I guess I'll just have to go cry a river and make one for myself!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Getting Crafty again

I made this portfolio yesterday for a party I went to tonight where everyone brought something to for an auction to raise money for a worthy cause. It was a really fun party - the auctioneer was hoot. I bought a cute picture frame and a custom made wine rack.

Ghosts of Christmases Past

I found this picture during my great pre-Thanksgiving clean out. Back when I was really doing alot with photography, I went thru a stage of copying old photos to b&w, then sepia toning them and hand-tinting them. It was a lot of fun - and, at least so far in my introduction to the world of digital, a lot more satisfying than struggling with Photoshop.

This picture has taken me back on a sentimental trip to the past. This is me with my oldest friend in the world, Kim. Our parents lived next door to each other when we were born and we lived next door to each other until I went off to college. Despite the enormous difference in our sizes, I am only 6 months older than Kim, but I was a year ahead of her in school.

I had just turned 5 in this picture and she was still 4. We were headed out to our Christmas Skating pageant. I'm not sure if my pose is something from the show or if my arms just got tired from posing for the picture!

Kim, I and the girl across the street, Robbie, all took roller skating lessons at Skateland, just down the street from Elvis's house. (This was in the sixties when Elvis was big time - we always looked for him as we drove past Graceland.) Robbie was a year younger than Kim. I quit taking lessons when I started to school; Kim did the same a year later. Robbie, on the other hand, went on and became a World Champion.

The couple who owned Skateland was Tony and Caroline Mirelli. Tony had been a champion in Italy, and Caroline had been a show skater and was quite glamorous with her bright red hair. I had not thought of them in years, so of course I had to google them. Apparently Tony died some years back, but it tickled me to see that Caroline, at 76, is still coaching young roller skaters!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Recycling Show Ribbons

Everyone in my group at work are decorating wreaths for our offices. Last year after Christmas, we bought several plain wreaths on sale and stored them away. Our plan was for everyone to customize their wreath with things that are special to them.

Of course, I had to find a way to work the dogs into mine, so I decided to recycle some show ribbons!

When we were at the show in Concord last month, I saw a really cute quilted tote bag made from ribbons. I am going to put that on my list to try to replicate the idea.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nothing Says Christmas Like Corgis Under a Pink Tree

I found this little metallic pink tree a couple of years ago and had to have it. It's a nice size for my little house too.
I have several ornaments of great sentimental value to me. This yellow angel was a decoration on a gift that was given to me on my first Christmas - and was hung on our tree every year when I was growing up. (She looks good to be 29 years old, doesn't she?? ; ) ) The little elf dates back to first grade. The pink cupcake is new - it was sent to me in the Blogger Ornament Exchange this year.
The vintage striped glass ornament and the pink one in the background are other ones I saved from our old family ornaments. The angel made from a cotton boll reminds me of growing up in the land of cotton. The counted cross stitch ornament was made by Mom - she used to make me a new one every year and put it in my stocking.
Of course, the cardis are represented - that's Scout driving a train, and Spencer is hiding back among the branches.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Corgi Parade: All that obedience training finally pays off!

The St Elmo Corgi Parade was this morning, and despite the cold, damp day, the cardis were well represented. Laura brought Lego (black) and Star (blue) so that along with Spencer (brindle) and Scout (red) - we would have all of the colors represented. There were at least 3 other cardis there as well. All the cardis got lots of attention and all of the cardi owners were asked lots of questions about the breed.

Only one of the cardis was dressed up - but we're not sure what she was dressed up as. Scout seems to be saying, "Hey lady, what did you do to this girl?"

Spencer was named the Most Talented Corgi - and the prize was a basket with 7 one pound bags of organic, free trade coffee and a box of rooibos tea. He did a little sampler of rally/obedience exercises, topped off with his signature move - the Full Twisting Inverted Prairie Dog (that's where he drops to a down from the Prairie Dog position and immediately rolls over - it's always a big crowd pleaser!)

Lego beat out Spencer for the Longest Corgi by a mere quarter inch. Star won the Best Tail award, but Scout says she was robbed and pouted over it all afternoon. In fact, it got a little ugly when Scout hit the "red bitch" button when we got home - Laura and her dogs came over to the house after Laura and I had some mexican food and a margarita. Scout got ugly with Star, so Scout spent the next hour in her crate.

The weather was a bit dreary, but it was a fun day. Hopefully they will have the Holiday in St Elmo festival again next year along with another Corgi Parade.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cook, Eat, Clean, Repeat

This was our cycle from Wednesday night through today. My dishwasher has run more in three days than it did in the past 3 months. With my 50+ hours a week work schedule plus Mom visits, the only cooking I have done is dog food.

I must say I actually enjoyed having the chance to be in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. My brother and sister-in-law from Florida, nephew from Atlanta, and nephew, niece-in-law and 2 great nieces from Memphis all came in Wednesday night. My plan for supper was to heat up a pan of Omaha Steaks lasagna that was coming as part of a gift box to be delivered Wednesday, along with a big salad and a baguette.

When the Omaha Steaks box arrived about 5:00, I was surprised and dismayed to see that the lasagna was sized for three servings! Ouch! I dashed to the kitchen and figured I had all I needed to put together a pot of red beans (with smoked turkey sausage) and brown rice - and it was was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Thanksgiving morning, we made a big country breakfast. My nephew Neil is the official biscuit maker in our family, and as usual, his biscuits were light and tasty as can be. I made sausage and gravy, and brother Jimmy made fluffy scrambled eggs. Everyone had fun making their own coffee or hot chocolate in my fabulous Keurig coffee maker - I should get a commission on these - everyone wants their own for Christmas. We finished eating, got up and started cleaning up so that we could start cooking dinner.

I was in charge of the dressing - something Mom has always made in the past. I had never made it, but watched her do it many times. I cooked celery and onion in butter til tender. I made a large batch of cornbread from scratch. When I was growing up, a pone of cornbread was on our table at least 5 out of seven nights a week. As I got older, I would occasionally make it, but I am sure the last cornbread I made was probably fifteen years ago. I was happy to see that it was like riding a bike - something you never forget how to do. I crumbled up the cornbread, stirred in the celery-onion-butter mix, soaked it all in chicken broth, and baked it for 35 minutes. It turned out good! I also made Mom's super secret easy gravy - I could share it, but you would lose all respect for me and good southern cooking if I did. (Although - I did share it with a huge food snob friend of mine who was in a panic Thanksgiving a few years ago when she was cooking for her new husband's family for the first time and had forgotten about making gravy. She was appalled when I told her what to do, but everyone at the table loved it and she has used the recipe ever since.)

If you don't have a turkey roaster, wait until after the holidays and then check the endcaps at Target or Walmart and pick yourself up one at a bargain price. Heck, go ahead and buy one at full price - it is so worth it not to tie up your oven. However - do not believe the cooking time they say in the instruction book - we have used two different roasters over the last couple of years, and both cooked the turkey in about half the time prescribed.

Today we started all over again - another big breakfast - even got a picture of it:

We had a little time to kick back before we started cooking again today - but this time we had a big batch of fried crappie and hushpuppies. My aunt in Mississippi who spends her summers fishing sent frozen filets to us via an uncle who was traveling through.

This afternoon, everyone headed out - nephew Eric to a wedding in Cincinatti, Neil and his girls to Atlanta to visit friends, and brother and sis in law started back to Florida. It's awfully quiet in my little house tonight, but nice. And I have a refrigerator full of food. I may have to recruit some folks at the corgi parade to come help me clear it out.

Hope everyone else had a happy and safe holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Give a Laptop, Change the World

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and here I am still in my nightgown at noon - but I have been cleaning and getting ready for the deluge of family due here this afternoon. Tonight, there will be six adults, 2 children and 2 dogs trying to find space to sleep in my little house, and tomorrow we will spring Mom from the rehab center for Thanksgiving dinner.

In preparation for this, I have been doing some serious clearing out. I have accumulated a large pile of stuff to go to a yard sale sometime soon. There is not one new doodad that I need in this house, so I am letting everyone in my family know that if the best gift they can give me this year is making a contribution to some worthy cause - their choice, or I can make recommendations.

I recently blogged about Donors Choose, where contributions can be made to public school teachers for specific needs. I am pleased to report that two of the projects I selected have been fully funded now. I heard from some folks who read my post that they further spread the word about Donors Choose, which I think is great too.

Here's another cause I have have been hearing about for quite a while - some very smart people have developed low cost laptops for kids all over the world. They are sturdy, kid-friendly and have the capability of linking children to all kinds of learning opportunities. They were also smart enough to partner with Amazon (where a substantial chunk of my disposable income lands - I never buy anything until I check to see if Amazon is cheaper, and they often are. I found an all in one wireless printer/scanner/faxer that I had to have Monday night, and Tuesday afternoon it was on my front porch - but I digress . . .)

Anyhow, when you surfing around, check out the One Laptop per Child Foundation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Corgi Parade is Back!

Many moons ago, I went to a little community gathering in St Elmo, TN, a suburb - in fact the first suburb - of Chattanooga, at the base of Lookout Mountain. It was street fair with vendors selling arts and crafts and such. A friend of mine and I had a little booth selling beaded jewelry.

When noon rolled around, there was announcement to clear the street - the Corgi Parade was about to start. I don't know that I had ever really paid any attention to corgis until then, but I was charmed by these short little dogs. There were probably about 25 dogs there (probably all Pems, but at that time I didn't know there two breeds). I didn't have a dog then, but I thought that when I was ready to get one, I would have to consider a corgi.

Five years later, I went to what would be the last September in St Elmo Festival and Corgi Parade. Spencer was 4 month old puppy then, and he won the Best Tail award - ok, he was the only one there with a tail, so there wasn't much competition.

I am so excited that St Elmo has decided to have a Holiday in St Elmo, bringing back the Corgi Parade - see here for info on everything else going on that day.

For you folks not too far from Chattanooga - think about coming to the Festival! Bring the family!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The view from my sofa

I played hooky today from work. I was sitting on my sofa this afternoon and this was my view. Unfortunately, I have not mastered my new camera, and I lost the blue sky when I fill flashed inside, but it's still a pretty tree. I belive this has been one of the most vivid autumns we have had in a long time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Bright Spot of the Day

Spencer got his 21st RAE leg today. We both had a shaky start on the Excellent leg, but made a huge comeback on the Advanced leg. Spencer scored a perfect 100 and came in second on time. (We were beat by a Terv - so we suffered short dog setback - they really should handicap the time by height!)

No other good news to report. We had hoped the breeder-judge today would break with the pack and give Scout a win, but "The Perfect Front" won again. She also passed on Laura's Jill today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It ain't easy being a show dog

Spencer, Scout and Laura P's Jill (who was winners bitch today!) after a long day at the dog show.

After a couple of Texas Margaritas and the best cheese-bean dip ever, Laura and I will shortly be joining them.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I happily envy these two little bearcubs.

I don't have a sister, and my only sibling is 13 years older than me, so we really don't even have any shared childhood memories. While we share the same parents, they were at dramatically different points in their lives when we were born. Mom was 19 when he was born, married just over a year, and they still lived out in the country. My grandmother lived with them, so my brother had the experience of being with her every day, and I never even knew her. She died when I was a baby.

By the time I came along, Mom and Dad had moved to the city, and we lived a couple of hours away from all the aunts and uncles and cousins. Jimmy started to college the same year I started first grade, so he was off and gone. My parents always said they had two only children.

All that to say, it makes me happy to see these two girls, just 23 months apart in age, and think about how lucky they will be to have a sister going through life with them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The view from my window

This was the view from my office this afternoon. I'm glad I remembered to bring my camera to work today before the rains come and wash all this away.

I snapped this one from the roof of our parking garage this morning. Look at that sky color - straight out of the camera. I love my new toy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Feeling Philanthropic?

I found a cool site tonite and spent some money.

I just supported a few classroom projects at public schools via

"The Coexistence of Good and Evil: To Kill A Mockingbird"
"ESOL Family Literacy Project"
"Love That Dog"

If you contribute, too, we could bring these classroom projects to life. So check it out and see what you think!

All projects are submitted by public school teachers who seek resources essential to their students' success. Donors can choose from thousands of classroom projects, and then hear back from the classroom they chose to help.

I picked out a few projects that sounded dear to me. If you would like to send a little cash their way - click on the widget at left. (I do have a birthday later this week and would consider this a fabulous gift!!)

If these projects don't make your tail wag, check out their site anyway.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cinderella at the Halloween Festival

Avery wore her Cinderella dress to a Halloween festival last weekend. Her grandmother sent me this picture - looks like I made it about 3 inches too long and they had to do a quick make-it-work hem job.

Her mom reports that when she arrived at the festival, she kept calling out, "Charming, Charming" looking for her prince. I'm sure her dad was thrilled by that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Honey and Brodie's kids (a couple of days early)

These little pumpkins and their two other littermates, Fanny and River, turn three on Halloween.

I have slid over the edge

Confession time. I overslept this morning and was rushing around getting ready on a day that felt more like January than October. Since it was cold out, I decided that I would have to dry my hair before I left, rather that doing my usual lazy way out - driving with the windows down and fluffing it out with some product in the car (so glad I have violently straight hair and a stylist who gives me a cut that suits my lack of desire to style.)
Anyhow - I was about to head back to the bathroom and drag out my hairdryer when I noticed I was right next to the grooming table and spied this:

Yes - my cute little Metro Air Force Quick Draw! One hundred sixty MPH forced air - I was in the car two minutes later with dry hair!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Cute is This!

Emily of Dreameyce did a custom creation of Spencer (see the distinctive ears) and Scout. I love it!

Check out her Etsy store here.