Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Holidays!!!!

This is the first year in probably a decade that I did not send out ANY Christmas cards and only a couple gifts to my immediate family members! So, to all of you, my friends: Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy New Year!!!!!! Don't think for a second that I haven't been thinking of you - I have but I've also been entertaining non-stop. Paul and I have not gone more than one day without someone stopping by, for the last couple months. I feel truly blessed to know that we have such incredible people in our lives. We may not see them on a regular basis but when we do, we always pick up where we left off and always share laughter. It's pretty cool. So, although we may feel that we don't know many people in Ridgefield (Wanted: bandmates that are, at least, of drinking age), we have real friends all over the country and beyond. So, to those of you that didn't get a Christmas card from me - I may suck for it but I am here with an open door and a bulldog to sit on your lap anytime you want to hang out.

Love, me.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

The holidays are all about the meals really - the kids should be the only ones exchanging gifts and the adults focus on the time spent together over a great meal with family and friends. Christmas is not about Christ's birthday, give me a break. There really is nothing in the Bible that leads us to believe that we as Christians should be celebrating on December 25th and with the way we celebrate Christmas, we're pretty much breaking several of the 7 sins (gluttonly and envy for starters). In my opinion, if Christmas is a time for anything, it should be to celebrate the winter, the solstice, the physical, emotional and spiritual inward reflection that is naturally occuring at this time of year.

On Christmas eve we were blessed to have Paul's parents and one of his sisters up for dinner (the other was with her husband's family). They are warm and good people. Maryellen took a train from New Hampshire and the parents drove up from New Jersey and picked her up at the train station along the route. This was - the first real dinner I have ever prepared. Don't be mistaken, I've had friends over for dinner but this was the first time I've really made a meal. This was the first time I have ever cooked meat (aside from chicken, fish or hamburgers) and it was actually pretty easy - an organic four bone prime rib - 10 whoppin' pounds. Next time I know to order much less! Other items on the table were organic when possible: mixed greens and mini tomatoes with Gray Salt, RoundPond balsamic and olive oil, spicy horseradish (for the meat), sauteed brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes, roasted garlicy asparagus, and (store bought) Italian ciabatta rolls. This along with ample red wine makes for a pretty good meal (pat on my own back). The dessert was a simple creme brulee with fresh blueberries on top.

The problem with this meal, that started with a cheese platter, was that it was way too rich. It was a cholestoral nightmare. I threw together things that were simple to make but I didn't think this part through. After the meal and the family left, my body retaliated from the richness of the meal. A better option would be to have a small appetizer that was vegetable based and dessert could be a fruit tarte of some sort. Next year I'll know.

Overall, the conversation was nice and I was reminded of how food and wine brings people together. We ended up not moving back to the living room after dinner but we stayed at the dinner table for the entire evening, picking at creme brulee candy crusts and having coffee. That evening, was a wonderful gift.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Goodbye, Sandy.

This evening, Sandy, the golden retreiver that lived a full 13 years, will be put to rest. She lived with my manager but was technically his daughter's dog. Sandy had beat cancer and two bouts of lyme disease but ultimately succumbed to a type of arthritis that worked its way into her hips and into her spine. She was completely immobile and sunk into anyone that dared trying to pick up her 90 pound body. I give a lot of credit to my manager who seemed to stay emotionally very strong through all of this. Since I have known him, he has left every day from work at 4:45 to feed her and take her out for an evening walk (he then logged on from home and worked every night). He took her for semi-monthly baths for her 'Day of Beauty' and regular visits to the veterinarian (8 miles home from the office then 15 miles to the vets office and back again). He sliced her little pills and fed her home cooked meals every day... a very specific type of pasta.

I met Sandy a year ago and asked her to go for a walk. She jumped up after I put the collar on her and she immediately took me for a walk. She pulled and was incredibly strong but then she would suddenly stop to look at nothing but perhaps to smell the fall air. She was always receptive to me walking in the house even though I was there when nobody else was home - but she would welcome me and would wag her tail and lick my hand.

I have a feeling that Jim has had a lot of conversations with Sandy and she has heard things that very few if anyone else knows. He cared a lot for her and I hope that he and his loved ones stay well through this difficult time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Last night as I finished washing my hands after dinner, my dog needed to go out so I quickly did a towel dry, threw on my coat, opened the door and threw open the screen door OUCH! my hand stuck to it and then quickly ripped away from it. The door was frozen solid - ice crystals forming on the screen door and on the dry concrete. I'll have to make sure Betty's paws are dry before she goes out... this weather is crazy!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Annual Dooney & Burke Tent Sale!

Mark your calendars, the Annual Dooney & Burke Tent Sale will be held at their corporate offices located at 1 Regent St, Norwalk, Connecticut (the Nutmeg State or if you prefer, the Constitution State):

December 8th 12:00 to 9:00
December 9th 10:00 to 9:00
December 10th 10:00 to 6:00
December 11th 11:00 to 3:00

If you are currently on their mailing list you will receive a postcard in the mail. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be, please feel free to contact us directly at 800-347-5000 or sign up at www.dooney.com . For directions please visit us at www.dooney.com/tent .