Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Power of Popsicles

Over the holiday, I came down with the dreaded Noro-Virus, commonly known as the stomach bug. This strain is particularly mean & ugly and also highly contagious. Half the family is coming down with it and looks like half the community, too. By Sunday night after Christmas, I was down for the count. Luckily, I had decided when I was grocery shopping for the holidays, to throw some "just in case"items in the cart. Gatorade, that sugary, salty, revitalizing drink and Popsicles (the old fashioned mixed flavor bag).  Gatorade is not my go to drink, not by a long shot. But it is what the doctors now tell you to drink when you get a stomach bug. When I was little it was coke syrup. When my kids were little it was de-carbonated coke ( if you add sugar & stir coke gently, you take the fizz out) then along came Pedialyte.  So the re-hydrating drinks change with the times. But there is one constant, one perfect fix for the "bugs",  Popsicles. (my personal fave is rootbeer, of which you get only 4 in the variety pak) When anyone gets sick, my immediate response is popsicles. Think about it. When you are sick, most times you have a fever or sore throat . Popsicles cool as they work their way down your throat. You don't even have to chew. You break off a piece, put it in your mouth and let it melt. It is cool, it tastes good, keeps your mouth & throat moist and it is adding much needed fluid to your body a little at a time, when just thinking of having to drink another  mouthful of something sends you running for the bathroom !
(when I was little, a Popsicle with the big red circle on the package, was quite a treat. When the ice cream man came around, nine times out of ten,  I picked a Popsicle...rootbeer)
So I had about 25 Popsicles and drank 3 -32 oz bottles of Gatorade over the last few days. It was breakfast, lunch & dinner for three full days. Now, I hope I don't have to see another bottle of Gatorade for  awhile, but tonight while I watch TV, I will have a rootbeer Popsicle...just because.....

My 7 great kids all chipped in and gifted me with a Kindle for Christmas (what an awesome gift !) Needless to say, as I layed in bed for 3 plus days, I read a book. It was The Heights by Peter Hedges. It was the only book downloaded on there that I could figure out how to open! It ended up being a pretty good choice. The chapters were dialogue by character, so it was an easy read. ( in my condition, I was lucky if I could focus ) It was the story of two marriages, one pretty good, the other a farce. They were the haves and the have nots. Add in a Hollywood ex-flame ,  a roving eye and gossipy neighbors and you have got some good conversations going on ! About two thirds through the book, I thought I could have predicted the ending..but there was a twist. A pretty good read...I recommend it.

 Please stay tuned.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Counting my blessings......

At this special time of year, I get to thinking how lucky I am  to have family all around me,  all the time. To some people, that's a me it is what the words "warm & fuzzy"  are all about. There is nothing I like better than to be surrounded by as many family members as possible, so many conversations going on at once, so much laughter. And I will tell you my family is a master at sarcasm, it is just another service we offer ! My family cracks me up. As I was listening to that Christmas carol that goes..."and when I 'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings." I realized that is exactly what I do on those nights that I am anxious and can't fall asleep. I picture all the faces of my family, funny things they have said & done and I feel so much better..and off I go to sleep. Now I know how the whole counting the sheep thing works, you picture sheep jumping over a fence and count them and you drift off.  I still picture sheep jumping over a fence (usually it is a fence located in the meadows of Scotland, full of purple thistle) but the sheep all have the faces of my family and I name them as they jump over and off I go, warm & fuzzy.
Special Note: I have a picture of my dad sitting on the couch at my sister, K's. We were having a family gathering and there he was sound asleep with a smile on his face , looking so peaceful and I snapped a picture. Now I  understand what  he was doing. He was warm & fuzzy and counting his blessings and he drifted off right in the middle of all the chaos.


A quick review: I watched a good movie this past weekend. It was called Losing Chase. Starred Helen Mirren, Jeff Bridges & Kyra Sedgewick. Set on Martha's Vineyard, a story about an emotionally ill wife & mother ( Mirren) whose insufferable husband (Bridges) hires an au pair (Sedgewick) for the summer. All three lives were forever changed.
I recommend this one !

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's the little things......

Two summers ago, I was in one of my antique haunts, a co-op with many vendors( Love these kind of shops, each booth holding treasures that the vendor finds dear...and saleable !) and I found something I have been looking for. Which is usually the case I might add. Mostly I find things I didn't know I was looking for. But it is always fun to spy something and say OMG ! I have been looking for one of those. It was a homemade, vintage fireplace insert. Someone had taken some small birch logs and burned them so they would look authentic. Cut a hole in the center and placed a piece of plastic that looks like hot coals. Behind all that is a small motor turning a dowel wrapped in tinsel. A yellow light bulb completes the invention. Loved it, it was perfect. I live in an old Vistorian house, with two non-working fireplaces. And although I usually fill them with flowers in the spring & birch logs in the winter, I really thought having a cool, old insert would be awesome. Well, it was a big co-op store and I figured I would circle back around after I had seen everything and bring it up to the cashier. Well, you got it. Totally spaced it. Left without it. When I went back the next weekend, it was gone...bummer.
Fast forward to this fall. A bunch of my friends decided to do a antique shop/gift shop tour "up country". Several shops in neighboring towns were having open houses on the same day, so we mapped an itinerary and off we went. There was one place that I absolutely loved. They had a big barn full of great old sleds , baskets and stepbacks, etc. Their gift shop was filled with great Christmas things..candles and santas & jingle bells ! The whole property was gorgeous, right beside an apple orchard.  I bought a few things and off we went to the next shop. The following weekend, I was feeling like I wanted to go back to that shop and have another look around. So I called my friend M, and she said sure ! So off we went. We get there and start looking around, more slowly this time and lo & behold in walks C & J !! They came back to look over a few things they had thought about all week.  We all went up to the barn.
As soon as I walk in I notice that the old mantle they  have  has a glow . It is a fireplace insert sitting on some andirons. I am admiring it, looking for a price tag. Then I step back & look again. You guessed it,there it is, the one I left behind !
I was beyond excited. And panicked, there was another person looking at it too. There was no way I was going to lose it this time. I walked down the hill to the gift shop and asked if the insert was for sale. "Everything is for sale" was the answer, and the owner of the shop said $25, and offered to go get it for me. (The other shop wanted $30, by the way)
So, home I went with this awesome treasure and now most nights you can find me, sitting beside a roaring fire with a glass of wine and Christmas carols playing. Life is sooooo the little things. If I could just get the marshmallows to toast alittle faster.........

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Need some Holiday Spirit? Two words, Bill Porter

At this point, we are right in the midst of the holiday season, or holiday rush , as some say. This year I have tried to slow it down, but it is hard to do. We all have so much decorating, shopping , entertaining and parties to attend, that the season does feel rushed and on December 26th I will be so sad that I didn't do half of what I wanted to do.
But, I must say that there is certain thing I can never do without during the holidays. All my  Christmas movies come out of storage.  It's a Wonderful Life ( I now own both B&W and color), When Harry Met Sally, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown's Christmas, Polar Express, Rudolph, Sleepless in Seattle, Love Actually, The Holiday, The Snowman, Scrooged, Miracle on 34th name a few.
 There is a movie that I love that maybe you haven't seen. It is called "Door to Door" and it was a Hallmark movie that came out in 2002. Starring William H Macy, Kyra Sedgwick & Helen Mirren,  it is the story based on the life of Bill Porter, who was and still is a door to door salesman for the J.R. Watkins Co. Bill was born with cerebral palsy, but that did not keep him from being named one of their top salesman. This is not just a Christmas story, but when I first saw it , it was at the holidays and I have always kept it stored with my other holiday movies. Bill Porter has been an inspiration to many people over the years and when I am having a pity party for myself , I pop this movie right in and realize that there is not an awful lot that the human spirit can not overcome. So to me it is the perfect holiday movie. I urge you to go on line to JR Watkins and hear the story of Bill, from Bill himself. Yes, he is still a salesman for the company at 76 years young !! And please, take some time-out and rent this movie. Light a fire ,pop some corn , take the time to relax and watch this movie..oh  and grab a box of will need it.

Thanks for stopping by and please stay tuned !!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Good Book & More......

Just finished a good book. I know it was a good book because I didn't want to finish it, I wanted to keep reading it for about a zillion more pages. It was by an author I hadn't read, her second novel. Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos. The story of three siblings who lost their mom when they were young, lost her in a very bizzarre way and how it affected their lives. How it molded them, stunted them and finally allowed them to be who they were meant to be.  I highly recommend this book. I will be back at the library this week hoping to find Kallos' first novel, Broken For You.

Since I hooked up with NetFlix, I have become an indie junkie. Independent films are my new passion. They are films you would never look for at the video store, you don't see them advertised like you do mainstream flicks. But I can tell you, they are some of the best movies I have ever seen. And with actors that we all know & love.
Here are a few that I recommend:

Just watched: The Private Lives of Pippa Lee  starring Robin Wright Penn (love her), Alan Arkin, Blake Lively & Keanu Reeves. Loved it. Story of Pippa going from a young ,wild girl (Blake Lively) to middle aged (Robin Wright Penn) and having a melt down.

Away From Her starring Julie Christie & Gordon Pinsent.The  love story of an older woman battling Alzheimers and her husbands dealing with it. But let me tell you, she is one beautiful older woman, huge fan of Julie Christie.

Then She Found Me starring Bette Midler, Colin Firth ( love him ), and Helen Hunt, who also directs. A famous actress, who gave a baby up for adoption(Midler), decides to find the baby (Hunt), thirty something years later. You know with Midler you are going to get some laughs.

Then there is this little English movie, Kinky Boots, that I just loved. Now,  take into consideration that I am a fan of English actors and films, but even if you aren't, this is a cute movie.  This film is based on a true story. An Englishman inherits a shoe factory that is about to go under. Through a chance encounter, he meets a transvestite & his/her "kinky boots". .......

So, these are a few of my faves....thanks for stopping by & please stay tuned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I need this & this & this.......

I love make-up, been wearing it since the early 60's. Ever since my older cousins got me hooked on Yardley of London Pots (yes, I used to paint on the Twiggy lashes),  I have been applying makeup daily. Since I am in my fantabulous fifties, that is ALOT of make-up applications. So, this morning when I was getting ready for work, I was thinking what I could not live without. Like, if I was deserted on an island, what would I have to have? (besides Jude Law) Now, when I was younger maybe it was just one item, but now..there are a few. ..

Lash Curler: A few years ago I saw an article in Vogue that said models can't live without their Shu Uemura eye lash curler. Never heard of it...then I watched the movie Devil Wears Prada, and they mentioned it, too. So I went online and ordered one...$30.00, quite a splurge for something that I can get at Walmart for $6.
I was skeptical, but willing to try it to get those model's lashes. I have been using a Shu for a few years now and won't ever go back to the other brand. It curls so much better and is gentler. They send one extra little rubber thingy (you should change it after 3 mos), and after that you need to get a new curler. They have two models, one is a bit cheaper ($19) and that is the one I use. So if you have a teen daughter or neice, this makes a cool present, as well as a must have for yourself.

Mascara: No woman can live without mascara, it is a scientific fact. Well, it is a fact of some kind anyway. I have tried so many over the years, couldn't even list them all. Right now I am using a new one by Maybelline, which I like. It is called Falsies.($5 at Walmart) Love the brush, separates the lashes and has staying power. All mascara's clump, I don't care what they say, this one is no exception. But what I do is wipe the wand with a tisse after pulling it out of the bottle. Knocks the clumps off, for a much smoother application, no clumps.

Lipstick: I never used to wear lipstick. Didn't like the feel of it, and my lips are not exactly like Angelina's so I didn't want to draw attention to them. I could not live without it now, what a face brightener ! I wear a Clinique shade called Butter Shine, Watermelon. I wish it was a bit longer lasting, but having tried  a lip stain and not liking it ( they are so dry), I will stick with this. So get yourself at least a tinted lip gloss, you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned !

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And so I begin........

I have had a very interesting life...or so a New York playwright once told me. And as I look back, maybe I have.
I was born in Alaska, I guess that's a pretty interesting start. I work in a field that was/is prodominantly male, although thankfully that has changed alot over the last few years.
Growing up I wanted to be a writer/and a psychologist..that didn't happen. But I think writing a blog about life and my daily observations might be just the thing to soothe that part of my soul.
And it is never too late, so here goes...........