Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I saw this on facebook and it gave me a chuckle!

I also saw this video on facebook and wanted to share it, although its NSFW. Its a great song, and the guy is super sexy. I got a real kick out of it!

A friend sent me this and I just had to share it.

Remember the old Herbal Essence shampoo commercials where the women washing their hair had orgasm-like reactions to the scent of Herbal Essence? Well, check out this spoof video for Herbal Essence for MEN!

My office is going to be closed Sat & Sun for New Years, which means I'll have 2 weekends in a row (Christmas & New Year's Eve) off work and with Spouse. How nice, since I always work on Sat and every other Sun.

We're going to a New Year's Eve potluck dinner party at Steven & Thad's tomorrow night. It should be fun! I hope all of you have a fun and safe New Year's Eve and a wonderful 2012!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stoopid lyrics

Here is another installment of my blog feature "Stoopid lyrics" where I share with you a well-known song with lyrics that don't make sense.

Keep in mind this doesn't mean the song is stoopid or that I don't like the song. In fact, I often like the songs but the lyrics don't make sense.

What do YOU think?

Landslide
performed by Stevie Nicks

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm, mmm, mmm

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I'm getting older too

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I'm getting older too
Oh, I'm getting older too

Aw, take my love, take it down
Aw, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide bring it down

And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide bring it down
Oh, the landslide bring it down

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Miss Richfield 1981 returns

Last night we had the pleasure of attending Miss Richfield 1981's show at the Blue Moon.


Originally Spouse & I planned to go with Steven & Thad and Joe P, but Spouse came down with a 24-hour bug and wasn't able to go.

This was 'dinner and show', so we started with cocktails and appetizers. I chose a Cosmo and the fried green tomato appetizer which were both delicious. Then I had the seared prime beef Belvedere with sauteed mushrooms and fried fingerling potatoes - yummy! For dessert I had the chocolate pie.

After dinner Miss Richfield 1981 began her hilarious show! Here she is with one of the guests.Here is Miss Richfield 1981 playing the hand saw, a talent that helped her win the Miss Richfield contest in 1981!
Here's Miss Richfield with Joe P.

We had a fantastic meal, a fantastic show, and fantastic evening!

Monday, December 26, 2011

(Holiday) Weekend highlights

Fri am we headed back to VA, arriving just after 11am. We visited with Spouse's mom for an hour, then met up with Kerry & Hugh, Kelly, George, and Lisa for our 3rd annual Christmas lunch at Joe's Place. We had pizza and hippy rolls and shared a great time together. Then back at Spouse's mom's we visited with her and Spouse's sister, niece and nephews. That evening Spouse & I took his mom to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant: Cantina Mexicana (aka: Taco House).
We had a wonderful dinner and got to see the proprietor and our friend Juan. Unfortunately Gloria wasn't there.

Sat I drove out west almost an hour to visit my cousin Nez and her family. It had been about 18 months since I'd seen her. Just after I saw her last she had breast cancer surgery followed by months of chemo. I wasn't able to be with her then, but really really enjoyed spending the day with her on Sat. We sat around and talked, laughed, drank coffee, snacked, and just reconnected. It was really wonderful. That night Spouse's whole family came together at his sister's house to celebrate his mom's 82nd birthday, on Christmas Eve. My dear friend Kathryn came to the party as well, and we had a bunch of good laughs. She is the heterosexual, African American, female version of me!

Christmas morning was quiet, with Spouse & me having coffee and a slice of pumpkin roll with his mom. Later, his sister, niece and nephews came over and we had breakfast together. Later I showered, dressed, and picked up my aunt Mary and brought her back to Spouse's mom's house where we had our little gift exchange. Then we all went over to Spouse's sister's house for Christmas dinner. We had rigatoni, gnocchi, meatballs, sausage and 'gravy' (tomato sauce) and salad. My aunt Mary brought my absolute favorite cake for dessert: hummingbird cake. It was a very nice Christmas evening.

It seems the last few Christmases I've tried to schedule visits with friends and family like this, but they were interrupted by illness or inclement weather. Fortunately this year all my plans worked out! It was a great holiday, filled with friends, family, food, festivities and fun.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

A friend sent me this and I thought it was cute:

Our weather has been crazy this week. Its the week before Christmas and it was 65 degrees. Being so warm it didn't feel like Christmas, but it was kind of nice to not need a coat or jacket.

Spouse & I are both off work today and heading back to DC for the holidays. We're planning to spend time with family AND friends we haven't seen in awhile since we'll be there for 3 full days. I'm looking forward to a great, long, holiday weekend.

Since I don't have may fragments for today's post, I'll leave you with these sexy Santas instead. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Merry Solstice, Happy Kwanza, and Happy Holidays to 1 and all!



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday happenings

Last week Spouse & I were commenting that it seemed as though fewer of our friends were having holiday parties this year. Then all the sudden, the invitations all came in at once.

On Mon I decorated and bagged Christmas cookies along with the owners, staff, and my fellow entertainers at the Blue Moon. We prepared approximately 400 bags (of 4 large cookies each) to be donated to the Jusst Sooup Ministry, which was featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Nov. Then later that night I went back to the Blue Moon for their staff and entertainers Christmas party and Chinese gift exchange. There served 7 different types of lasagna, salad, bread, and had an open bar. In the gift exchange I came home with a trio of savory dips. We had a really great time.

Tues night was my office Christmas party and secret Santa gift exchange. We decided to have it at my favorite happy hour location: Saketumi. We all had cocktails or wine and sushi and then exchanged gifts. Spouse and Christy's husband Ted came after the gift exchange and we all talked and laughed and had a fun time. I received a gift certificate and peanut butter fudge from my secret Santa, and a cashmere scarf from my boss.

Last night we went to a Christmas party at our friends Bill & Dean's house. They always go 'all out' with their Christmas decorating, but not in a tacky way. Their decorations are very tasteful and elegant and there's a lot of them. They had a full house of friends and family for their party and we ran into several friends we hadn't seen in a while. We had a very nice time.

Next week we're going to Tim & Randy's post-Christmas party on Wed night. I really enjoyed going to their party last year and am happy that Spouse has agreed to go with me next week. I really enjoy holiday parties, but I am going to have to go on a diet after the new year to make up for all my indulging.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

T-shirts

We've all got someone in our life for whom gift shopping is a pain. What do you get for the person who's already got everything?

My answer: funny t-shirts!


Who wouldn't like a t-shirt with a funny saying on it? A local t-shirt shop can print them up or you can order some online. Here are some great suggestions:

Stupid people shouldn't breed

Winning isn't everything, but losing sucks

Not all men are fools. Some are bachelors

I'm not deaf. I'm ignoring you

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

Is there life before coffee?

Have I slept with you somewhere before?

I know it all. I just can't remember it all at once!

If I wanted to hear from an @sshole, I would have farted.

I'm sure we all know SOMEONE who could use 1 of these!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend highlights

On Sat I worked until 5pm. I had no appointments and received very few calls and internet leads so the day seemed to drag on. That evening Spouse & I had dinner at Dos Locos, just the 2 of us. It was nice to eat out together without our friends, kind of like a date. Shortly afterward I headed over to the Blue Moon for the last of the Legends Christmas show performances. Jason & Kevin, Joe P, 1 of the Bobs, and Spouse came for the show, which went very well. At the end of the finale song it began to 'snow' in the performance area. The Blue Moon's snow machine made beautiful flaky white 'snow' that lightly fell over the audience. Very cool! After the show Jason & Kevin invited us over for pumpkin roll and coffee. The time flew by and before we knew it it was going on 1am.

Sun we met Steven & Thad for breakfast, then went Christmas shopping and to the grocery store. Spouse decided to have a small dinner party that evening so we did some light housecleaning, the Spouse made a cake and started dinner while I began wrapping some gifts.
That evening Steven & Thad and Joe P came over for dinner. Spouse made chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta and a chocolate cake with white icing and red & green sprinkles to add a festive holiday touch. After dinner we lit some candles, turned on the fireplace, and enjoyed looking at the Christmas tree as we talked. It was a great way to end the weekend!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

I started our Christmas cards on Mon and surprisingly got about 3/4 of them done. Often I do them in several smaller batches, and hour or 2 each night after dinner. But I didn't have much planned for my day off so I just kept going for 6 hours. Then I finished the balance of them yesterday. All 138 signed, sealed, addressed, stamped, and dropped off at the post office.

I had to share this from facebook:

Many of you likely have memories of model trains and miniature villages at Christmastime. This video shows an extensive model train and miniature collection - the largest in the world - with settings from several countries. Its truly really amazing!

Had to share this from facebook too:

May THIS is why they don't want gays in the military. Pretty funny stuff.

Spouse & I did some Christmas shopping after work on Thurs. It was a rather productive trip and we're about 1/2 way done.

A friend sent me this:

Tonight we had dinner with our friends Deb & Greer and Bob & Michael. We tried a new place (actually an old place that's under new management now). The food was pretty good and we had a fun time together.

Here's wishing everyone a great weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Company Christmas party

Last night we had our company Christmas party. The owners of our agency rented out an entire restaurant and had an open bar, a buffet of cocktail party food, and a band.

The party was well attended with about 75% of employees, plus many of us brought our spouses. My Spouse is not a big fan of the whole company Christmas party thing, although he has graciously come with me to most of mine in the past. I expected he would be hinting that he wanted to leave after only an hour or so, but to my surprise he really seemed to enjoy himself and we stayed until just before the official end time.

My colleague Amy brought her camera and took several photos. Here's me and Spouse:

Here's Dawn, Spouse, and me:

Here's Spouse, Amy, and me:

Here's Spouse, Christy, and me:

I just noticed there's a Cosmo in my hand in every photo! It was a very nice evening.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I had a dream...

I had a very unusual dream.

I was inside a very large factory with metal floors, walls, and ceiling; not big wide open space like a typical factory, but lots and lots of hallways with doors. I wasn't frightened at all, but I was trying to find my way out. I kept walking down corridors and opening doors, only to find more corridors and doors.

The next thing I know, I run into a couple of my colleagues from work. I tell them I'm surprised to see them, and ask if they are trying to find their way out too. They say yes so we decide we'll stick together. However, after walking down several corridors and going through several doors together, I look over my shoulder and the colleagues are gone. Again, I'm not alarmed by this, and I continue on my way.

Then I meet this guy whose ethnicity I can't quite figure out. He could be Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian, I'm just not sure. The ethnically ambiguous guy (EAG) is very gentle and friendly. I explain that I'm trying to find my way out of the factory and he says that he's sure I'll find my way. I thank him for his kindness and continue on my way.

Again I encounter others in the factory that I know; friends I know currently as well as some from my past. I confirm with them that they're also looking for the way out of the huge metal factory, and we agree to work together. Some of them offer suggestions and we easily agree which direction to continue on. Again after going done several corridors and through several doors, I look over my shoulder to find myself alone again. I continue on until I finally see a window with daylight shining through.

Just then EAG shows up again. I excited point to the window and tell him I think I've almost found my way out of the factory. He smiles and nods his head. I tell EAG that I'd met up with both the colleagues from work and the current and past friends while trying to get out of the factory. I tell him how we shared ideas and agreed to work together, but that all of them have disappeared. EAG suggests that perhaps I got what I needed from them so they were no longer needed for my journey.

Now, if the dreamed had ended then I probably wouldn't have found it to be so unusual. I would have thought of it as being just another of those crazy dreams that make no sense. But instead, the dream continues.

I note his use of the word 'journey', and feel it is the most accurate description of what I've been going through: a journey to get out of the factory. I look at EAG and he smiles back at me. He knows that I'm starting to understand.

"The colleagues from work and the past and present friends..." I say to EAG, "they're all me, aren't they? That's why they left, because I was able to find my way to the window." EAG tells me that I already had all the answers, and that the colleagues and friends simply helped me have the confidence to follow my own direction.

EAG and I walk down the final corridor and open the final door to the outside. The sunlight is so bright that its blinding. I shield my eyes with my hand, then look back to make sure EAG is still there. He is, so I say to him "And you... you're me too, aren't you?" I ask him. He smiles. "So now that I've found my way out, I guess you'll disappear too, won't you?"

I accidentally move my hand and the bright sunlight blinds me again. I readjust my hand to shade my eyes again, and sure enough... EAG was gone, and the dream was over.

This is the only time I can remember where my dream's symbolism is actually explained in the dream. I didn't wake up wondering why I'd dreamt that, it was clear. I knew what the dream meant.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend highlights

This was my weekend to work both Sat & Sun, but I still managed to squeeze in some celebrating and fun.

Sat evening we joined a bunch of friends at Saketumi for Jason's birthday dinner. The food was delicious as usual, and the company was fun. Then I was off to Blue Moon for the Legends Christmas show. It was really fun and the crowd was very responsive to our performances.

Sun after work we went to Steven & Thad's for dinner with Joe P, Alisha & Jack, and the Bobs. Steven made enough spaghetti for an army! We had a great time and it was a great way to end the weekend.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

Spouse & I started our Christmas shopping this week. We don't go crazy buying multiple, expensive gifts for our family. (My hair stylist told me he's buying at $500. laptop for each of his 3 kids.) There are too many of them and its just not practical or necessary, so we buy gifts: moderately priced things we think the recipient will like or enjoy. This week we went to our favorite jewelry and accessories store and picked up 4 gifts for the family and 1 gift for my office gift exchange.

We received this as a Christmas card at work from a vendor and I thought it was funny enough to share!We've had some wild weather fluctuations this week. On Wed it was 70 degrees but a cold front came through overnight and it was only 40 degrees on Thur - a 30 degree difference in less than 24 hours. At least the cold weather makes it finally feel like Christmastime.

I saw this posted on facebook and thought it was cute.

I received a small box of chocolates as a gift and noticed the phrase "hand-crafted in small batches" in italics on the box. If the ingredients are the same, does chocolate made in small batches really taste different than chocolate made in large batches?

Now, HERE'S a candidate I could really stand up for!

Why do some people make "realtor" into a 3-syllable word? They pronounce it "real-UH-tor" when the correct pronunciation is "real-tor". I've even heard this on real estate shows on HGTV.

This year I've been vacillating about whether or not to send out my usual load of Christmas cards. Well, today I made a decision: I'm going to send them. One of my concerns was the cost of cards and stamps, and while I can't do anything about the cost of stamps, I was able to find some great deals on cards. Today I got more cards than I'll need and only spent about 1/4 of what I thought I would spend, so I decided to do it. I also took a few minutes today to review and edit my list of recipients. Surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I'd imagined to trim about 15 off the list, and I only added 3 to the list so far. Now all I need is some eggnog to sip while I start my cards.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Bad taste

You already know that I've written before about my dislike of rushing the holidays. You know, Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween, bathing suits in stores in January, that kind of thing. I just think we should decorate, dress, and enjoy 1 holiday at a time.

But as much as rushing the holidays annoys me, the opposite is just as offensive. Today I drove by a house that had a Christmas wreath on the door and a jack-o-lantern flag sticking up from the flower bed.
I had a rather strong reaction to this holiday tragedy and needed to pull over in order to collect myself.

I mean, wouldn't you think they would remove the Halloween flag when they put the Christmas wreath up? Don't most people store their holiday decorations in the same place? It just seems so logical to put away the Halloween flag at the same time you're getting out the Christmas wreath.

And what happened to Thanksgiving? Is there some reason why the Pilgrim, turkey, or cornucopia decorations were skipped altogether?

Sadly it appears there's just no accounting for taste these days.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Weekend highlights

On Sat I worked until 4pm instead of 5pm. Since the company was preparing to participate in the Lewes Christmas parade, we closed an hour early. I adorned Big Ella with a lighted musical wreath and red velvet bows, and lined up at the parade route. I was amazed at how many people attended the parade! There had to be several thousand spectators lining the streets. It was great! After the parade I met up with Spouse, Steven & Thad, and Joe P at the house and the 5 of us went to dinner at La Tonalteca. Afterward the 4 of them stopped at Walmart to pick out toys for the Toys for Tots drive, while I headed to the Blue Moon to get ready for the Legends Christmas show. Joe P took this photo:
The 4 of them came to see the show, as did 2 of my clients and my neighbor Barb and a handful of her friends. The show was a lot of fun! Here's a clip taken by Joe P: video

Afterward, the 5 of us went to a Toys for Tots toy drive and dropped off our toys. We got home just after midnight and I was exhausted. It was a long day.

Sun Spouse & I spent all day cooking, baking, cleaning, and setting up for our tree trimming party. It seemed like I everything I tried to do backfired. I couldn't seem to get the tree to stay straight in the stand, despite adjusting it and tightening the screws a number of times. Then 3 out of the 4 strings of lights I'd used last year wouldn't light up all the way. Then made 2 pans of brownies and set the kitchen timer on the microwave. Spouse used the microwave so it erased my timing of the baking of the brownies. Both pans were burned to a crisp and had to be thrown away. But everything came together nicely, despite all my bad luck that day, and we had a great time. Joe P took this photo too:The tree looks gorgeous and I love that it is a creation of our friends. I was so tired that we went to bed before 10pm - a real rarity for me.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and I laughed out loud!

Another friend sent me this along with a story about the driver and passengers wearing these artificial moose heads while driving down a highway with the hunter strapped onto the roof, all as a joke. Apparently this 'joke' caused a multi-car accident.

Christmas parade season is here! Last night I drove Big Ella in the Georgetown parade, and tomorrow night is the Lewes parade. The Rehoboth Beach parade is Tues night and the Milton parade is Wed night. There are several opportunities for Big Ella to be enjoyed and adored by the public.

We're looking forward to our tree trimming party. I put up the tree yesterday, and will put the lights on before folks come on Sun afternoon. Then our friends will come over and help us hang all the ornaments, visit, and snack. It should be fun!

Several times I've written here in support of alternative energy. I believe our government needs to support it too, and if you agree, please click here and enter your address. The system will automatically generate an email to the representatives in your district which you can edit (which is best if you have time) or just send the email as-is. It only takes a few minutes and can help save layoffs and create thousands of good, middle-class jobs.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Holiday bread pudding

I'm off work today so after some coffee and a shower, I did a little shopping. We're having a gift exchange at work so I purchased that gift, then got gas and lead additive for Big Ella in preparation for tonight's parade, and deposited some checks at the bank. Back at home I assembled the Christmas tree and put the wreaths on the doors, then decided to make my own new recipe for holiday bread pudding.

Bread pudding is usually made with stale French bread, but my idea was to make it with Panettone. Panettone is kind of like a drier, lighter version of fruit cake, popular among Italians. Since I've been with Spouse we've always had Panettone at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since Panettone already contains raisins and spices, it makes it really easy to make bread pudding. In addition, I added Craisins, walnuts, and spooned 'ribbons' of cranberry sauce into the batter for a holiday touch. It came out really good so I shared it with Steven & Thad, Joe P, and the Bobs.

Here's how to make my Holiday Bread Pudding:


Ingredients
  • Panettone bread, at least a day old, cut into cubes, about 6-7 cups
  • 1 qt milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl soak the Panettone in the milk, making sure all the bread is thoroughly moistened.
  3. In a separate bowl lightly beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Gently stir this mixture into the bread/milk mixture. Optional: fold in Craisins and/or chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour mixture into the baking pan. Optional: spoon in 'ribbons' of cranberry sauce. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until set. The pudding is done when the edges start to brown and pull away from the pan.
Eat it as-is, or top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Please let me know if you make this and how you like it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas cards

We received our 1st Christmas card today.

I know I've written more than once about my ritual of writing, addressing, and sending Christmas cards. I've done it with joy every year for the last 18 Christmases without even questioning it. But this year I'm undecided about whether to continue this tradition this year.

The main reason I'm unsure about it this year is the expense. I usually buy deeply discounted cards right after Christmas for use the following year, but I didn't do so last Christmas. Even if I can find bargain-priced cards I will still spend about $40. - $50. to get 130 cards. Then there's the $57. cost for 130 stamps. In the past I usually order special Christmas and generic holiday return address labels for another $15. or so, making the total cost of sending 130 Christmas cards close to $125. Although work has been going well, we're still not in a position to casually spend $125. at a time when we're also purchasing Christmas gifts for family members and contributing toward Secret Santa for the needy.

An additional consideration is the time needed to write, address, seal, and stamp the cards. Although some people print address labels from their computers, I have always preferred hand-writing recipients' names and addresses. It seems much more personal to me. I suppose I have the same number of hours I'd had in past years to do this, for some reason I'm concerned that this year I may not have enough time.

Obviously I have considered that reducing my card list would require less expense and less time. But every year its hard enough to scratch some recipients off the list in order to add new recipients without increasing the total number, let alone to reduce the total number.

So even though Christmas is less than a month away and we've already received our 1st card, I'm still not sure what to do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend highlights

On Sat morning I went to work and Spouse's family went home. That evening Spouse & I took our Thanksgiving left-overs to Steven & Thad's and combined them with their left-overs for a Thanksgiving 'repeat' dinner. Joe P came too and brought dessert. I love Thanksgiving food! Then I performed in the 1st of the Christmas "Legends" shows. I sang 'Merry Christmas Darling' as Neil Sedaka and the audience really enjoyed the show.

Sun I was off work. Spouse & I met Steven & Thad for breakfast, then we went for a walk on the boardwalk. The weather was amazing - 70 degrees and sunny! Afterward we came home and I started cleaning up the 'aftermath' of having Spouse's 9 family members stay with us. While I was at it, I rearranged some of the living room furniture to make room for the Christmas tree. I'll set it up next week. Spouse spent some time cleaning the front porch and the white rockers that adorn it. It felt good to be productive at the same time, even though we weren't working on the same projects. Then we took Big Ella out for a spin, and stopped in at Steven & Thad's to see their outdoor Christmas decorations. Afterward we stopped at a few outlet stores in the hopes of finding Spouse a 'holiday shirt', something to wear to holiday parties. Then we met Steven & Thad and Joe P for dinner at a diner. It was a really great day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

A friend sent me this funny photo.

Mon & Tues evenings I went for rehearsals for the upcoming Legends Christmas show series, which runs the 4 Sat nights between Nov 26 and Dec 17. Its gonna be great!

Another friend sent me this amazing video of a two-faced cat that's defied the odds.

This week we've had crazy weather. Mon & Tues it was 76 degrees, then Wed & Thurs it rained and was only 46 degrees - a 30 degree difference overnight - then today it was back up to 70 degrees again. Its a wonder we don't all have pneumonia.

Today I worked but Spouse & the family took advantage of the warm, sunny weather and went to the boardwalk. Notice some of them are wearing shorts.They're all going home tomorrow.

Work continues to go well and I'm still enjoying it very much. I wrote offer #11 this week and the seller accepted the offer without countering! Tomorrow I'm accompanying another client to a new home community to write up offer #12.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving preparations

Today our office closed at 1pm in preparation for Thanksgiving. I had a property showing appt at 12:30 (just 1 house) so that worked out well for me.

Then I ran home to meet the guy from the gas company who had come to take a look at our gas fireplace. It hasn't worked since last winter. I suspected the pilot light had blown out. Spouse & I had tried to figure out how to restart it but weren't successful, and I surely wasn't going to try and light it with a match! The fireplace guy showed up, flipped the switch, and the flame came on. I couldn't believe it. He turned it off and on several times and it worked just fine. Fortunately he was a nice guy and said he wouldn't charge me for the service visit since he was already in my neighborhood. Sweet!

Next I began cleaning the house. I'd already washed all the sheets and towels and made up the guest room beds, so today was all about vacuuming, dusting, and straightening up.

I realized that Spouse had forgotten a few key ingredients when he was at the grocery store, so I went to the store to pick up the items I needed for tomorrow's big meal. I'm making Paula Deen's corn casserole and sweet potato shuffle, both guaranteed crowd pleasers that are a staple for all of our holiday meals.

Later tonight 1/2 of the family will arrive. Spouse's sister and her husband and their 2 sons are expected between 10:30-11pm tonight. Then tomorrow Spouse's mother, brother, his other brother and sister-in-law, and his neice will arrive before noon. In case you've lost count that's 9 people coming AND STAYING WITH US for 3 days. They're all leaving on Sat.

Lord help us...

I get along great with Spouse's family, but its hard to have 9 people staying in your home for 3 days/nights. There's people sleeping in every room but the kitchen and its never quiet unless everyone's asleep. Then there's 3 meals and multiple snacks per day for everyone. But considering the lack of relationship I have with my parents/siblings, I should be happy to have Spouse's family here.

Here's wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend highlights

This was my weekend to work both days, but I did manage to squeeze in a few social activities.

After work on Sat we had dinner with Steven & Thad and Joe P at La Tonalteca. Afterward Spouse & I just watched TV before bed.

Sun after work we went to a birthday gathering at Cilantro for our dear friend Deb, followed by a dinner party at Bob & Michael's. We met several of their friends and had a very nice time.So that was my weekend: work and socializing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget yet too small to be their own post.

A friend sent me this amazing video of a cat playing with some dolphins. I've never seen anything like it!

I saw this photo on facebookwhich made think this employee-of-the-year has mastered the art of multi-tasking!

My friend Wendy sent me this funny video. Enjoy!

Here's wishing everyone a terrific weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving

I'm off work today but need to go to the office anyway. I need to copy, scan, and email some documents for deal #10, AND we're having our office Thanksgiving luncheon.

I made sweet potato shuffle, a recipe I got from my aunt Mary a few years ago. She's brought it to Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners for years. Its a family favorite, and I don't think anyone whose every tasted it didn't like it. I think the recipe came from an old issue of Southern Living magazine but I won't swear on it.
Here's how to make it:

Sweet potato mixture
6 cups (2 40-oz. cans) of sweet potatoes (I use Bruce's); drain and mashed in bowl
4 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk; or 1/2 cup Half-n-Half and 1/2 cup milk
2/3 stick melted butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
Combine with a hand mixer and spread evenly into a greased 9x13 baking dish

Topping mixture
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2/3 stick melted butter
Combine with a fork, then spread evenly over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. If a knife comes out of center clean, its done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shoe-tastic!

I grew up with 3 sisters and a mother, so 4 women in the house, and having been a young gay boy I have a pretty vivid memory of the styles and fashions of my youth.

I remember my sisters wearing huge platform shoes in the 70s...
and Candies in the 80s.But I don't think anything has had a greater effect on women's shoes than Sex and the City. I bet nobody outside of NYC had ever heard of Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Ch00 before Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha made them household names.

Designer shoes have become a huge industry necessitating custom closets with shoe shelves and in some cases, bedrooms converted into walk-in closets. Its no longer about having the perfect pair of black heels. Now its about having a pair of black heels for each outfit.

And who can forget the Alexander McQueen's armadillo shoes worn by Lady Gaga?
With all the creativity and technology out there, shoe-aholics will be practically orgasmic over these: