Monthly Archives: December 2011

Top Five of 2011

As we near the end of the year, it’s time to look back and really contemplate those things of which we are thankful. I can picture you all now, listing off your above-average family, your adorable, honor-roll children, a roof over your head, pot-roast on the table … and that’s all fine and good.  But what do you say we really dig in. I’d like you all to push aside all the ‘givens’ above, okay? We can assume you are grateful for those stellar gems.

Let’s get to the crux of it, shall we? You know, the fun stuff. Those things that when you look back and remember them you get that little zing of excitement in your belly. Things that bring up a giddy squeal of delight. Think of the stuff that had you bouncing on the balls of your feet, which made you look like you had to go potty.

 I’ll start first with my top 5 picks!

 

1. Twitter

This past summer I joined Twitter not knowing how much fun and how attached I’d quickly become.  In October I took an online blogging class instructed by Kristen Lamb and that’s when my Twitter world exploded!  I met so many awesome people and made some great connections. I joined the blogging world and oh my goodness, I mean, I really ~heart~ Twitter! You are more then welcome and encouraged to click that cute Twitter button thingy and follow me.  We can be Twitter besties!

 

2. iChat

This one is a bit more personal.  The majority of my writing friends, and every one of my writing/critique partners, live far from me. We take part in online loops and we email, Facebook, Tweet but sometimes you just need to chat with your peeps. For a while now some of us have carved out some time where we log onto iChat and it’s almost like being together. We can brainstorm, say hi to each other’s kids, husbands and pets, laugh, cry … basically have a cup of coffee or glass of wine together. It’s the best.

 

3. Lindt

No favorite list is complete without chocolate. I discovered, by quite a fortuitous happenstance, this amazing chocolate bar. It’s dark, it’s got itty-bitty salty surprise crunchies, it’s a savor-moment. We’re talking nirvana here folks!

4. Ninjas

Ah, this next year will be the year of the ninja for me.  My muse was kind enough to hand me such a fun story idea that involves, well, you know what’s coming, Ninjas! I’m already in love with my new characters. They are such fun, especially my sassy little heroine. I can’t wait to spend time with them next year and hope they teach me some really cool ninja moves.

 

5. Wine

Now you know it had to come to wine at some point, right? One thing our family loves to do is take the boat out to the lake. We are all skiers; we love the sunshine, the water, the fun. We’ve started a fun weekly tradition of Wednesday nights out on the lake. After we all get in a ski ride or two, we dig into the cooler for dinner in the boat watching the sunset. What’s all this got to do with wine? I found these cute little mini-boxed wines that are perfect for the cooler! Now I can have a lovely glass of wine watching the sunset with my family. I know! For Christmas, we received many really nice bottles of wine. My wine rack is full of goodness. Furthermore, Whole Foods just had a sale on a great little go-to wine, $25 for a whole case.  It’s like the universe really gets me.  🙂

Now it’s your turn. I want to know your Top Five picks of 2011.  Come on, don’t be shy.  I know ya’ll discovered some awesome stuff!

Before I sign off, I am going to say that I’m so grateful for all of you who read my blog and have fun with me. It’s only been 3 months and already spending time blogging and connecting with all you great people is a highlight in my life. I look forward to what 2012 will bring.

Had a garage sale and survived!!

 

Over the weekend, we had a garage sale. I know, I know … what were we thinking? But our brother-in-law was having one and we were making piles for the Goodwill and it just sort of happened. Now before you tell me we should have stayed strong and not ventured forth with this absurd idea, I’m glad we did it. I really am, I swear.

Here’s the deal. We were trying to get rid of this stuff, like for years! But we’re always so busy, we never create the time to go through our stuff. And, in our defense, we had big stuff, like TV’s, electronics, desk, entertainment center … stuff that wasn’t junk, people! We emptied the attic with stuff we put up there a decade ago. I’m pretty sure we didn’t need the once-gorgeous Emmaljunga carriage stroller that our nearly 6 foot tall son once rode in.

 

A garage sale date turned a dreaded chore into a definite project with a timeline and a potential financial payoff.  We were relentless in our purging. I mean, nothing was sacred in our garage. I grabbed a cooler and Darling Husband mentioned that we still use that. I replied, “Not lately” and hoisted it into the inventory pile.  Ooh, and in our organizing I ran across a bin of pictures and found a picture of my very first car, which I blogged about recently.

We struggle with getting our children to part with their toys, especially my daughter with her stuffed animals. (She has hundreds!) My husband, William, and I are to blame for this. Some people might like to call us pack-rats. I prefer to say we’re extraordinarily non-wasteful. ~ahem~ In any case, the kids inherited our reluctance to part with our things. But more and more I realize that what I’m holding onto is not the thing but the memory attached to it. (Light bulb on … cue epiphany music)

Naturally, the kids were not fully on board with this ‘getting rid of everything we love in life’ plan. That is, until I mentioned that whatever they sold of their own toys, games and stuffed animals, they could keep the profits. All of a sudden, some of those items weren’t so precious anymore. Although, daughter may have hurt some of her sales as she was lovingly petting a stuffed puppy on her table.  No one wanted to take it from her. And our son was so appalled that we wanted to sell the Gamecube that he made me price it quite high so it wouldn’t sell and he could take it back home. Um, it’s currently in his room someplace with all the other stuff he couldn’t part with.  But they both made some cash, so all is good.

 

The best part of the day was selling the books. I know, it’s hard to believe I could enjoy this but I had already loved these books.  My table looked like a mini-library. I had them separated by genre and could suggest titles when I inquired about a buyers reading interests.  It was Ginger’s Book Emporium and we sold most of them. (See the cute woman in the picture above — that was me only I was wearing 2 pairs of pants, my lucky knee-hi socks from Ireland, 3 shirts, scarf, down vest, hat and gloves. Just want you to imagine the picture in reality.)

Will we have another garage sale? I don’t know. I won’t rule it out. I’ve learned some things and hey, I came home with a chenille blanket, a cool shirt and a hanging decorative votive holder.  Bonus!  Oh, and we did make some Christmas cash on the stuff we sold and we’ll get the tax benefit for the rest, which we donated.  Even though it was SO cold that I couldn’t feel my face or my feet for many hours, all was not lost!

So tell me, do you go to garage sales? What do you look for? Do you bargain? Or, do you have any tips in case I have another wild hair idea to try my luck at another garage sale? Come on, tell me I wasn’t crazy!

What’s your poor-baby food?

My tummy hurts!  Like, it feels as if there is broken glass doing zumba in my stomach.  It started Saturday night after we ate take-out Chinese, something we rarely do, so was a fun treat.  My stomach started cramping and I though maybe the food wasn’t agreeing.  All say Sunday … blech!  Didn’t even try to eat until 7 pm and then cramps started.  Woke up this morning … blech!

In other words …  I’m Poor-Soul!  And I need some poor-baby food!  In our family, we have the ultimate poor-baby food recipe for homemade chicken soup.  We call it Jewish Penicillin.  We got this recipe a billion (or maybe less) years ago straight from Goldy Rothenberg herself!

 

I make a short cut version because true Jewish Penicillin comes from homemade stock. I hope to make it to the store later for the ingredients to make my cheater version and a bottle of pepto.  Anytime my oldest child is feeling punky, he says he wishes he had ‘that Jewish Penicillin’ stuff.

When you’re sick with a squirly tummy, what do you need to feel better?  What’s your poor-baby food?

A Harry Potter Thanksgiving

Because my family is beyond awesome, we didn’t just have your average traditional Thanksgiving gathering.  No, we kicked it up about notch and a half and held the first ever, in the history of our minds…

Harry Potter Thanksgiving

Ok, so this post will be all about the pictures but let me give some background on how this came about. My family is crazy about Harry Potter, as will be glaringly evident below. We’ve read all the books (multiple times), watched all the movies and we even own all the audio versions so we can listen in the car. We ~HEART~ the Boy who Lived! This past summer when The Deathly Hallows part 2 came out, my sister-in-law, AKA — Professor Trelawny, and I were texting each other about how in love we were with the movie.  Between the two of us, we thought it would be fun to have a Harry Potter party.  It quickly morphed into a costume extravaganza!

Let me show you some pictures!

You can’t have a Harry Potter party without the famous trio — Ron (w/ Scabbers), Hermione and Harry

Even the Death Eaters were invited.  Yours truly as Bellatrix.

 A very pretty Moaning Myrtle

Teddy Lupin

Cutest Crookshanks ever.

We even let Voldermort come.

Professor Minerva McGonagall and Cornilius Fudge

Lucious Malfoy and Dobby


And then there was food!  The wonderful Trelawny made chocolate frogs and peppermint toads with character cards included.  In addition, we also had pumpkin juice, chocolate cauldrons and chocolate brooms.  Of course there was turkey, more potatoes than you can imagine, stuffing-muffins, veggies, pies … you name it, it was there.

We also had props.  Trelawny (yes, she’s been neglecting her crystal ball gazing to get all this done) made a Herbology book for Neville, Tom Riddle’s diary complete with conversation between Harry and Tom written out and more.  It was AMAZING!

Here’s our cast list!

MY FAMILY!!!

Ginger’s Public Service Announcement:  Wearing a corset prevents gorging yourself on Thanksgiving feast!  It also prevents anything more than a quarter of a breath, which quickly makes you a bit ‘off’.  No wonder Scarlett was such a bitch. God love her!
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Hope you enjoyed the peek into my crazy, wonderful family.
So tell me, if your family had a Harry Potter party, who would you be?  If Harry Potter isn’t your thing (and I can hardly fathom this…) what other costume themed party can you think of that would be fun? We might need ideas for next year!
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