The Rearview

 

 

This year has been a doozy. There have certainly been some ugly times and occurrences. I don’t deny that. But as I look in the rearview at the last 12 months, I’m choosing to focus on some positives. I thank you in advance for indulging me…

 

Slippers – Yes, after decades of wearing socks for warmth, I finally broke down and got myself some damned slippers. I’m wearing them as I type and I wear them all the time! I love them truly. I love them madly. I love them deeply. I had no idea slippers could change my little world.

 

Saying Yes – This year saw me taking a different tack when faced with situations/opportunities that frighten me. For example, in the past, I never would have said yes when asked to participate in a public reading. But I did it, so there you go. Other experiences have been added to my life as well, and a few more are already on the calendar. When I was recently asked to do something very cool and very scary, I told the organizer the truth: This idea is amazing and yet the very thought makes me terribly uncomfortable. Because I’m afraid, I think I’d better say Yes. I’ll participate.

 

London – I about blogged that trip to death. And I’m still talking about how great it was! No doubt, Mister had a lot to do with that as he was such a great fellow traveler. But there was also something magical about the vacation. Sure – Kate Bush was a dream. But so was the Harry Potter Tour. And so was Dinner By Heston Blumenthal. And so was our beautiful Navy-colored hotel room. And so was every other fabulous thing. Again, I’m still talking about it.

 

Painting – I finished a painting a couple of weeks ago and I can’t tell you how happy I am. I’m a slow painter, y’all. I own that. So when I decided I wanted to finish this particular piece by year’s end, my painting buddy Nicole laughed and laughed. (Sadly – she didn’t just meet me.) Betting her I would finish spurred me to actually do it. And I did. Good for me.

 

Books – I read some top-notch books this year and reading is one my greatest pleasures, so I’m quite happy with this one. And I’m reading a couple of grand books now. As I’m known to say, no matter how long I live I’ll never get to read all the books I want. So I’ll take what I can.

 

Letting Go – This one is partly due to having read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. I certainly don’t claim to be a Master or anything, but I’m learning people. And that counts. It feels good to not have to try and make sure every friggin’ thing is just so. We all know how well that turns out, right? The work on this one continues.

 

My Kate Bush Mug – This may seem like an odd thing to love, love, love, but I do, do, do. Love, love, love it I mean. I keep it on the back of the shelf, so when the dishwasher is holding a few to-be-cleaned cups I reach in and find the Kate mug. I can’t tell you how big I smile when that happens. The cup reads “It’s coming! It’s in the trees!” It makes me very happy, y’all.

 

D2T2 – This little creative idea was born at the end of last year during a beautiful, drunken afternoon. And though it’s been challenging to undertake an artistic endeavor each week of the year (yes – I know we dropped the ball a few times), it’s been inspiring. And I have to say – the creative wheels seem to be turning more than before we undertook the task. What’s more – these projects netted art! How cool is that?

 

Mister – Nothing I write here could ever come close to conveying my truth where this guy is concerned. I can’t properly describe my feelings, my respect, my love. To say I’d open a vein for the man is just scratching the surface. I love him more than butter. It’s crazy. It’s surreal. It must be love.

 

I could keep going, but this is a pretty nice list. And to end it on the love of my life seems appropriate.

 

So here’s to the New Year. To New Adventures. To New Opportunities. To New Life. Cheers!

Only In L.A.

 

 

Not sure how you’ll be celebrating tomorrow night’s New Year’s Eve, but whatever you do – please heed the advice on this L.A. bus and keep your guns aimed low, yo. Only in L.A., friends. Only in L.A.

Food Love

 

 

The holidays are nearing their end and though I’m looking forward to laying off the booze and eating a boatload of salads, I have been enjoying the excess and beauty of food love over the last few weeks.

 

One of the highlights in our home has been UseRealButter’s Savory Bread Pudding. We made this for dinner one night (along with a simple green salad) and were blown away by how good it was. After that, leftovers were enjoyed at breakfast until it was gone. Actually, to say it was “enjoyed” is a gross understatement. We friggin’ loved this stuff. As recipes go, this one’s definitely a keeper.

 

As the UseRealButter chick did such a magnificent job blogging the recipe, I’m just sending you to her post (versus blogging it myself). And I realize you probably could have used this recipe earlier, when you had a houseful of guests, but take my advice and simply file it away for next time. Or do what Mister and I did, and make it for yourself. The leftovers are divine. And don’t you deserve that?

 

Yes. You do.

D-Squared T-Squared – Week 51

 

 

Mister and I went on a creative outing this past week. Our target? The Frederick R. Weisman Foundation.

 

I’ve been before, true, but Mister was new to the experience. And honestly, I felt like a newbie, too. That’s how spectacular this place is. We were simply awed by the collection and I would go back again! For reals!

 

As photos are not allowed inside the structures, Mister snapped the above photo outside (totally allowed). I love that the Foundation extends their love of art to their mailbox. I love the mailbox, too.

 

As I’ve written before, if you find yourself in the Los Angeles area and can get a reservation for a tour, please do. It’s a fascinating collection. One you’re not likely to forget.

Score!

 

 

 

Yesterday I happened to be in a familiar part of West Hollywood and knew what I needed to do: Buy Wine!

 

I stopped in to visit the fellas at Du Vin and just like every other time I’ve been there, they hooked me up. They keep files on frequent buyers (ahem) and can refer to it to aid in procuring bottles for us. As much as I like wine, my knowledge is only in the so-so range. And European wines? I know nothing. And picking pretty labels doesn’t always pan out. So I turned to the knowledgeable staff at Du Vin and let them do the choosing for me. All I had to do was give them an all-in price limit and they did the rest. Beautiful!

 

And now our wine fridge is well-stocked for a while. Or at least through the New Year’s celebrations. Cheers!

Cave People

 

 

For Christmas, Mister and I got premium TV channels. It took a lot of sweet-talking, but a deal was struck and now we feel like we’ve joined the ’90s.

 

Anyhoo, I wanted to explain why you may not see us for the rest of our lives a while. Do you know how many shows we’re catching up on? If you’re thinking “all of them,” you’re right.

 

It’s funny. We’ve finally joined civilization and now we’ll be living in our cave. Go figure.

Merry and Bright

 

 

If you’re traveling during this holiday season… If you’re staying home… If you’re celebrating… If you’re planning run-of-the-mill days…

 

I wish you peace, joy and love. May all our days be merry and bright.

Naughty or Nice?

 

 

I’ve been mostly nice this year, though a fair amount of naughty was sprinkled about. If I’m honest, that’s probably how most years go. I’d like to do better, but I am what I am.

 

Because I believe and – in my heart – know, I won’t wait up for Santa tonight. I’ll just snuggle under the covers, grateful to have a warm bed and a roof over my head. I’ll probably count my blessings before drifting off. Knowing me, my belly will be full and I’ll wear a smile there in the darkness. I like to think those little parts of my personality put me on the Nice List. And that Santa sees it.

 

Let me be clear about something here: I believe in Santa Claus. Maybe not in the way a child believes, but I believe just the same. It took me many adult years to get here. As a kid, I was a Santa junkie, like all the other children I knew. Then, when I was only 6 or 7, my uncle Scottie told me the most horrible story imaginable: Santa was fake. He told me how our parents get all the presents, then hide them before putting them beneath the Christmas tree each year. He even took me up into the attic of his house, to show me where all his gifts were stashed. As uncle Scottie was a couple of years older than I, he was an authority. And I believed him. Kid Christmas would never be the same.

 

I was devastated, but I kept it to myself. I had 2 younger sisters and I didn’t want them to find out about Santa. I didn’t want them to feel the heartbreak I was enduring. By the time they no longer believed in Santa, years had passed.

 

I never told on Scottie for enlightening me about Santa Claus. And to this day, I don’t blame him. He was a kid himself. Like me, he didn’t know any better. We just wanted to grow up. We thought we had to put aside childish things in order to make that happen. We thought a concrete understanding of life would bring maturity. We had no idea what we’d lose in letting go of our magical beliefs.

 

I am mostly grown now. I watch the children of friends as they marvel at December’s promise. I hear strangers admonishing their children out in the world, “You’d better be good or Santa won’t come to our house!” And I smile at all of it. For I believe in Santa Claus, too. And I believe in Magic. I believe – period. As an adult, I have regained the beauty and possibility of a child’s faith. And if that’s not Magic, I don’t know what is.

 

Uncommon and Fabulous

 

 

 

Because I’m in the arms of my favorite Holiday music loves, I want to share some of the least known but still fantastic songs on my playlist…

 

Five Pound Box of Money“ by Pearl Bailey – If I don’t play this one at home myself, I’m not gonna hear it anywhere else. For me, Pearl Bailey doesn’t pop up enough in life and this song makes me laugh like crazy.

 

That Spirit of Christmas“ by Ray Charles – I don’t know why this one isn’t more popular. I first heard it in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It still evokes a tender moment from the film, and I love the song more each year. Of all Ray Charles’ Christmas songs, this one is my favorite.

 

Send Me Some Snow“ by Chris Standring & Kathrin Shorr – Okay. I know these folks. They’re friends. But that has no bearing on my love of this song. And I do love it. Dearly.

 

Swiss Colony Beef Log“ by Eric Cartman – This tune from the fellas of “South Park” is another giggle-worthy holiday treasure. But it also sparks of the truth. I do want a Swiss Colony Beef Log at Christmas each year. (And I never seem to get one. Dag.)

 

The Little Drummer Boy by Karl Lundeberg & Full Circle – (sorry – no link) – This jazzy rendition may be a little out there for some, but I adore it. It’s really hard to find, too, y’all! It isn’t Christmas for me until I play it. And play it I do.

 

25th December” by Everything But The Girl – This is another of those songs that I won’t hear unless I play it. And that’s a shame, because it’s lovely. Really, really lovely.

 

Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl – I’m adding this one at Mister’s insistence. I guess I’ve always thought this song to be quite known and quite popular. He tells me no – not so well-known or popular. And after I thought about it, I decided he may be right. I mean, this season I’ve only heard the song at home. That seems odd to me, but there you go. Anyhoo – I do love this song. And as much as it makes me smile, it also makes me sad. I feel that way whenever I hear Kirsty sing. I can’t believe she’s gone. She was a brilliant songwriter and a beautiful vocalist. At least we get to have her here, in this wonderful song.

 

That’s it! For now. I do love these songs and though I hear them only at Christmas, I’ll take what I can get.

 

If you have an uncommon and fabulous Christmas song on your fave list, please share!

Everywhere You Go…

 

 

This was the scene at Krispy Kreme yesterday. Snowman Doughnuts!

 

Everywhere you go, holiday stuff abounds. And I love it. I know it started before Halloween, and that some of us are getting more than a little tired of it. But we’re approaching the end of this holiday season, so enjoy it while ye may.

 

At Krispy Kreme, I certainly enjoyed it.