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.