Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Whither Winter?

All last week, the temps couldn't get past 30 degrees.  It even snowed a teeny bit.  My poor, snow-deprived children grabbed their sleds and made the most of it, even though grass was clearly visible above the snow cover.

Okay, I'll admit it.  After they all went to bed that day?  I took one of those sleds and put it through its paces myself.

Not typically a part of my January wardrobe
So, today? 69 degrees.  Our cheap plastic sleds, abandoned and useless, are sitting outside in a mud swamp.   And tomorrow, it should reach at least 70.  I'm even considering pulling out my FitFlops.  I loves my FitFlops. 

But I still want my winter back.  Please?





[FitFlop image: Island Trends]

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Puppy Love

Really, Mom?  Only $500?
A friend of mine used to move a lot (generally with pets) for her husband's job in the military.  When her family transferred to Maine, she registered with the local veterinary practice.  This particular practice had a long questionnaire to fill out, and one of the questions on it was as follows: "Do you consider your pet to be a member of your family?"  My friend, after thinking about this for a minute or two, wrote, "I consider my pet to be a member of the family only up to 500 dollars.  After that, NO."

I totally get that.  I guess you would say I am not much of an animal person.  But I do have a friend who is very much an animal person, someone who definitely does not put a $500 ceiling on her attachment to her pets.  Which helps to explain her enormous vet bills due to the amputation of her dog's cancerous leg.  Oh, and then there was the chemotherapy, and xrays...you get the idea.  She's gone way over 500 dollars.

Cory loves animals, too.
Now, Kristin and I share a strong bond - not through a love of animals, of course, but through our mutual adoration of Cory Booker, the hunk-y mayor of Newark who saves women from burning buildings and probably leaps tall buildings in a single bound.  Also, she held my hand (figuratively, across the Internets) early on Election Night, when I started freaking out and hyperventilating.  So I would like to tell people about the etsy shop she has just opened.  You see, she is a very productive knitter (unlike, say, moi).  She has put a number of her handmade items up for sale, with all the proceeds going to pay off her sky-high vet bills.  Also, there are the pain meds for her poor dog - they're pretty pricey.

Obviously Obamacare isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Cory! I think your mom would like this.
Anyway, Kristin needs to pay for these things before she starts seeking oncology treatment for her cat.  No, I don't know why both her pets have cancer.  In my day, pets didn't even get cancer.  They just got older and slower until they had to be put to sleep. Or, at least, that's what my parents told me.

So!  If any of you are interested in buying some darn nice hand-knitted items, please check out Kristin's Etsy shop.  If you are interested in a custom order (an American Girl doll dress for your daughter's doll, say, or a lacy baby blanket), take a look at the items she has knitted in the past for some ideas.

Hey, maybe I'll tweet Cory Booker and see if he wants to buy his mom a nice hand-knit hat.  After all, he IS that sort of a guy. 

[Puppy image: Steve Curtin]
[Cory Booker image: Business Insider]




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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Time Machine

Kayla of Shut the Fridge won the Celebrity sTalker book giveaway.  This is actually old-ish news, but I kept forgetting to mention it.  I was too busy this week writing about hot flashes and cauliflower.  Congratulations, Kayla!  I actually have the book packaged up, and I'll be mailing it out Tuesday.  Unless I forget to bring it with me, the way I left Theo's care package of homemade banana muffins baked with a mother's love lying on the kitchen table last week as I ran out the door to take the kids to art class.

At least books don't get moldy.

And here is the point where I should announce the next book giveaway, right?  It's The New Kings of Nonfiction.  It's over 400 pages, and I am currently bogged down somewhere in the middle of it.  Not that it isn't a good book, mind you; but it's a collection of nonfiction pieces compiled by Ira Glass (of This American Life fame), so my interest level fluctuates according to which piece I am reading.

What disturbs me is this: I recognized one of the pieces, an essay by Malcolm Gladwell that I remembered reading (and enjoying) in The New Yorker a few years ago.  Well, maybe as many as 6 years ago, even.  Or 4?  Maybe it was only 4.  Annoyed I couldn't remember, I turned to the page in the book that gives the copyright dates of the different essays.  Yes, there it was.

Published in The New Yorker in 1999.

When reading, beware of wormholes...
1999?  Nineteen Ninety-Nine.  Could that be possible?  For those of you who are slow at math, that was 14 years ago...  


14 years...that's more than a decade, so why did it seem like I had read it recently?  In 1999, Brian, Rachel, and Susie hadn't even been born yet.  I first read that Gladwell essay in a completely different era, back when I was still a youngish mother of three with a face that didn't sag, when I had only a dial-up connection and dinosaurs roamed the earth. 

Apparently, I blinked, and 14 years flew by.  Which means, next thing I know, I am going to be eligible for Medicare.  This whole passage of time phenomenon freaks me out.

Anyway, I should be done with this wormhole/book  in a day or two.  Leave a comment if you are interested in being the next person to read it! 






[Book image: Goodreads
[Wormhole image: Radio Freethinker]

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hold The Ketchup



I attempted a recipe from Pinterest today.

I know!  I've become THAT mom.

It was touted as being mac-n-cheese, but with cauliflower instead of macaroni.   Now, I know long-time readers might be wondering, "Hey - why don't you just serve the cauliflower with ketchup, the way you always have?"  And the answer is "I don't know."  I guess I was looking to make my mac-n-cheese healthier.  Or maybe I was just trying to make my life more difficult.

Anyway, when I took a closer look, I realized that the ingredients for the recipe called for heavy cream and cream cheese in addition to the regular shredded cheese.  I swear, my cholesterol rose 15 points just from reading the directions.


Cardiac Cauliflower


So, in an effort to stay alive another couple of decades, I decided to take my regular mac-n-cheese recipe (which receives mixed reviews, but that is because I married a weirdo who doesn't like the heavenly combination of pasta and cheese and who passed that particular idiosyncrasy on to at least 2 of his children) and just substitute cauliflower instead.  I know!  The Pioneer Woman probably wishes she were me.

Seriously, who DOESN'T like mac-n-cheese?  It's almost un-American.


After no little effort in the kitchen this evening, I ended up with what can only be described as some sort of cheesy cauliflower gravy.  But, wonder of wonders, they ate it!  Nobody cried!  And no one even thought about asking for ketchup.  Once I fine-tune this recipe, I'm going to post it to Pinterest and become famous.  Among the mac-n-cheese-hating crowd, anyway...





[Cheesy Cauliflower image: LouAnne's Kitchen]

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Poise That Refreshes


Now, I believe I have alluded in the past to the gobsmacking nature of menopause.  Let's review: at a time in your life when you are most likely enjoying the charming experience of living with a child going through the throes of puberty (complete with eyerolls, disdainful sneers, and angst galore), you yourself are experiencing what can only be described as a second adolescence, only less fun.  


Some days, I feel like this.
Acne, insecurity about your appearance, public embarrassment (when you forget to cross your legs before you sneeze) - ladies, all this and more will be yours at some point in your 40's.  Couple those delights with a face that insists on following the siren call of gravity and the realization that you have suddenly TURNED INTO YOUR MOTHER, and you've got a recipe for a humdinger of a decade.

Am I being too negative?  Forgive me.   Remember that movie in 4th grade?  The one that called the onset of menses a beautiful time in one's life?  We don't need to be lied to again, do we?  

Menopause sucks.  It's not beautiful, not unless you think "Is it hot in here or is it just me?" is incredibly alluring.

I swear to God, I just uttered that line TODAY to my dental hygienist.  SHOOT ME NOW.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, menopause.  There are some benefits to this time of our lives, true.  I'm no longer spending money on Kotex, for instance.  Of course, those funds are now going toward products that bill themselves - erroneously, I might add - as "wrinkle-removers"; but at least I no longer have to worry about being stocked up, as it were.  And I can schedule a trip to the beach without planning around "that time of the month."

Hey, who else remembers teen slumber parties where you discussed, "Oh my gosh, what if you have your period on your wedding night?"

Just me?  Okay, never mind.

Anywhoo, Poise (which is - full disclosure - sponsoring this post, but the opinions herein are mine, ALL MINE) has come out with a line of products designed to mitigate some of the less pleasant aspects of going through this time of life.


People, when BlogHer told me I could test one of these products, I immediately fixated on their Roll-On Cooling Gel, a purse-friendly tube of something magic that delivers a cooling sensation when you roll it on your wrists or neck.   You see, my current method of alleviating the discomfort that accompanies hot flashes is to grab an ice pack from the freezer and apply it to the back of my neck.  As you can imagine, this approach can be a little difficult to implement when one is away from home.  As a result, my spouse has had to endure the embarrassment of watching me, in public, fish ice cubes out of my drink and shove them down the back of my shirt.


Of course, that embarrassment is NOTHING compared to what he would experience were I to follow my first instinct of simultaneously stripping down to my underwear and dumping my cold drink over my head.  So, really, he shouldn't complain, don't you think?


Anyway, it struck me that this Roll-On Cooling Gel idea might be a more subtle way to deal with hot flashes when I am away from my freezer.  And I'm pleased to report that it does help mitigate the discomfort I experience from hot flashes.  What's more, it doesn't have any funky scent that would give me a headache.  So many products designed for women are contaminated with perfumes that are, for me and many others, a direct ticket to a migraine.  This Cooling Gel is NOT one of them.

Poise brand's other products designed for this "change of life," as I remember Edith Bunker calling it, are the following:

Body Cooling Towelettes offer instant cooling and refreshment.  Gently wipe the towelette on wrists, chest or neck to feel cool and comfortable. Featuring a portable, re-sealable package, these towelettes are easy to use anywhere you go.

Personal Lubricant designed to enhance your intimate experience. This lubricant features an easy to use bottle and is made without Fragrance, Glycerin or Parabens.
 

Panty Fresheners have a fresh and clean scent that lasts up to four hours. These discreet,  hypoallergenic fresheners stick to the outside of your undergarments so you can confidently go about your day. 

Feminine Wash provides daily freshness with a unique formulation that is pH balanced for your intimate area. Glycerin and paraben free, this gentle wash will help you feel clean and confident.


Learn more about these new products, hear stories from real women, share your own, and pledge to join The 2nd Talk at Poise.com.    Also, get a free sample by clicking here or download a coupon here.

And, wait!  Here's the best part: Poise is giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky commenter on this post.  All you have to do is answer the following question:

How are you approaching life's changes confidently?

Sweepstakes Rules

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 120 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 1/22/13-2/19/13.
Be sure to visit the Poise brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!



[Edith Bunker image: Talent Mechanic]

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Handyman Fever

Larry, flush with success after completing his insulation project in the den, spent yesterday tearing out the walls in Anna's old room.  His reason?  They needed paint.  Really. 

You see, even before Anna officially moved out last summer, Brian had been coveting her domain.  Rumor has it he was even seen sneaking into her room while she was at work and measuring her closet to see if his Lego table would fit.  But, of course, he wasn't excited about taking ownership of a room whose wall color roughly resembles that of black raspberry ice cream.

Gosh, it seems like just yesterday that I was regaling you with the story of choosing that paint color3 years ago, it was...

I'm the adoring wife in the background, I guess.
So!  As Brian pored over paint sample cards, Larry (following his usual perfectionist logic) said, "Well, I'm not going to paint those walls without first tearing them down and putting insulation."

Apparently, folks, he is planning to rip our house apart bit by bit, room by room.  I'm wondering if it wouldn't be more efficient to just knock the whole thing down at once and rebuild it.

So, all that explains why my master bedroom is now crowded with an extra dresser, a disassembled bunk bed, and all the craft stuff I had stowed away in Anna's closet the minute she moved out.  That's right - Brian wasn't the only person around here eyeing that extra space...


[Handyman image: BeachTeam]

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Preemptive Nostalgia

Not dead yet...

Totally worth coloring for...
Enjoying (or trying to, anyway, drugged up on Sudafed and Excedrin Migraine as I am) this rare sunny day.  We'll be scooping up freebies (hey, our local bakery gives a free cookie for a completed snowman coloring page!) and buying ingredients for David's lasagna and attending a birthday party (cake!).  All in all, it's a gloriously ordinary suburban day, one that I am sure I will look back on fondly when I sit, alone and forgotten, in a nursing home someday.

Wow, where did THAT come from?  Must be the menopause...

Maybe I'll cheer myself up by reading Celebrity sTalker again before I give it away.  Last day to enter!



[Cookie image: Peanut Butter Runner]

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Delirium

Wow, what a difference the sun makes!  We haven't seen it in a week, at least.  Also? Everyone in this family has been sick all week with some sore throat/headache/cold combo that simply will NOT go away.  In fact, a couple of the kids seem to have started on a second round.  I can't really keep track anymore.  All I know is that I fed everyone ice cream for lunch today - it felt like the right thing to do.

It's not the flu, people.  You know when you have the flu, because when you have the flu, you lie in bed and think that death really isn't so bad.  Also?  Your hair hurts.  This isn't that.  It's just an irritating cold that kept me up most of the night last night; and when I did doze off, I drifted in and out of weird dreams about Downton Abbey.

Very weird.

These people are haunting me.

So, all that to explain why I haven't written this week.  But the Celebrity sTalker book giveaway is still ongoing!  Comment on this post by tomorrow to have a chance to win a free copy of Suzy's book. 

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Celebrity Stalker

No, not me, silly - Suzy.  Suzy Soro.  She played the woman who got the last chocolate babka in Season 4 of Seinfeld , and now she's written a book where she indulges to the max in her 2 favorite pastimes - telling funny stories and name dropping.

Did I mention that I actually am acquainted with Suzy Soro?  In the Internet sense, anyway.  I mean, I email her and EVERYTHING.  Also, I bought her book.  So, we're practically related.

Anywhoo, she has a lot more names to drop than I do.  Apparently, she has made it her life mission to embarrass herself in front of as many celebrities as possible.  In the end, she comes across as a sort of Hollywood Zelig.

Does anyone remember Zelig?  I'd like to point out, Suzy, that the one celebrity you never mentioned was Woody Allen.  And he's the one I've met (or at least stalked).  So, between us, we've seen everyone.

It was this way.  I had taken my college roommate Carol into NYC for the day, on our way back up to school.  She hailed from Houston, you see, and I was determined to show her a REAL city.  Plus, we wanted to see a Broadway play.  Amadeus, I think it was.

The only celebrities I've almost stalked
So! We were walking along the streets of the Greatest City in the World when suddenly Carol, a tall, blonde young woman with way more sophistication than Miss Short and Dark NJ here will ever have, grabbed my arm and started jumping up and down like a maniac.  "Look!  Woody Allen!  It's Woody Allen and Mia Farrow!  They just passed us!" she yelled in a voice I could only assume she used for telling all her Texas dogies to git a long.  People were staring at us.  I glanced in the direction she was pointing and saw 2 short-ish people hustling along, heads down, arm-in-arm.  Carol, still jumping up and down, was insisting on following them.

"Carol," I said, "We're not going to chase people.  Besides, I don't think that's even them."

At that moment, in a textbook case of Life imitating Art (Art, in this case, meaning "Annie Hall"), a guy standing in a doorway started pointing and shouting, "It's Woody Allen! Look, folks, that's Woody Allen!" in the thickest New York accent imaginable.

At which point both Woody and Mia jogged around a corner and out of my life.

So, see, I could have practically written this book myself, Suzy.  You just thought of it first.  And you're funnier.  And I really don't know where I'm going with this book review.

Only, the book made me realize that Suzy and I have a whole heck of a lot in common, so far as our backgrounds go.  I mean, we're practically twins.  For instance, Suzy used to stay up with her mother and watch The Tonight Show featuring Johnny Carson.  Well, my mother used to let me stay up to watch it, too!  Does anyone remember when Johnny came out dressed up as the Sun, stood there a minute (timing is everything, folks), and then said, "Is it hot in here, or is it me?"

It still makes me laugh.

Also?  According to Suzy, she spent the majority of her youth watching I Love Lucy.  Well, same here.  I think it's time to have an I Love Lucy Slam, Suzy.  Hey! What was the chicken doing in the camera case?  Do you remember?  I do

See what I mean?  Twins. I mean, except for the part where she is a professional stand-up comedian and I'm nothing professional whatsoever.  Also, I have 6 kids, and she is not particularly enamored of children.  And I'm happily married, and she is happily not.  Also, she looks to be way taller than I am.

So!  Now that I've finished this book, I'm giving it away to one lucky reader who comments below.  I mean, lucky if you are the type of reader who would appreciate the experience of sitting with Suzy in a coffee shop while she regales you with one crazy true story after another.  But if you don't enjoy a rollicking good yarn, don't even bother to comment.  Go back to reading The Economist or whatever other boring reading material you normally subject yourself to.  I mean, you wouldn't want to have to laugh or anything, now would you?





[Woody Allen/Mia Farrow image: Business Insider]
[I Love Lucy image: TVLand]





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Friday, January 11, 2013

British Goings On

Jenny Explains It All has linked to her daughter's irreverent recap of Season 3, Episode 1 of (what else?) Downton Abbey.  Go!  You won't regret it.  Unless, of course, you haven't seen it yet, in which case it is just a mess of spoilers...

It's true, I'm a tad obsessed.  Look at it this way - it's the first TV series I've watched in approximately 2 decades.  I know!  It's like I live at Downton myself.  "Television, Robert?  What is that?"  "Don't worry, m'dear; it hasn't even been invented yet.  Not even in America..."

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Party's Over

We had to get back in the swing of things this week, which meant finding the schoolbooks and figuring out assignments and, well, after 2 weeks or so of Christmas and parties and party food and what all, that didn't go over very well.  Plus I had to start driving these kids all over the place again, which was a harsh departure from sitting around in my fat jeans, while knitting and eating leftover Christmas candy.

So, yeah, it wasn't the greatest week.  To top it off, thinking that I was FINALLY caught up on popular culture (as I had watched the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 3 AHEAD of time on my friend's British DVD player), I rashly chose to read some blog posts about the episode and was treated to numerous spoilers before I figured out that EVERYONE ELSE in this country had cheated by watching 2 (2!) episodes last Sunday night.

Cain't say no...
Really, people - whatever happened to delayed gratification? 

So I had to go back to my friend's house and eat MORE holiday cookies (see above, re "fat jeans") and watch Episode 2.  Then, just to make sure I didn't fall behind, we decided to watch Episode 3.  And here's the part where I decide to be mature and not ruin things for anyone.  Much.

Just...Edith.  It's about Edith.  Also, Mary and Matthew look REALLY cute in bed together, don't you think?  And the dowager countess is in fine form, as usual.

Back in the real world, things aren't quite as pleasant.  Susie decided to spend half of last night coughing, and I decided to help Larry feel important by letting him take care of it.  I wouldn't be surprised if he booked a hotel room for himself tonight, though. 

Theo left us over the weekend to finish up his senior year at college.  He had spent most of vacation gloating that he had only one semester of school left EVER and gleefully anticipating life as an adult with a paying job and no homework.  "It's gonna be great!" he exulted.

Larry and I chose not to disabuse him of his fantasy.  But that kid must not be very observant.  I mean, how does he think we got the way we are, anyway?

Larry had to drive Theo to school (12 hours away), so he took Brian with him and dropped him off at Navhelowife's house on the way (Brian and her youngest are great friends).  That left me with David (for technical assistance) and 2 little girls, one of whom was DETERMINED to visit the American Girl Store for the debut of Paige.  Or Saige.  I can't remember.

Don't get involved - she's high maintenance.
Might I mention here that we own no American Girl dolls?  And that I have made it clear that we never will, because they are ridiculously expensive?

Nevertheless, Friday found us at the mall, where I took my virgin tour of that retail mecca for all things American Girl.  Not wishing to quash Rachel's excitement, I refrained from pointing out that people were spending MORE MONEY on their doll's hair ($20 hair styling for your doll, I swear to God) than I spend on Rachel's.  I even shared Rachel's delight in the matching dresses (one for the doll, the other for the doll's owner), although the price tags made me want to scream in shock.  We managed to leave, finally, with one finished craft project, a Saige poster, and a doll-size Saige T-shirt (all free).

And I am never going back in there, people.  NEVER AGAIN.


[Cookie tray image: Jovina Cooks Italian]
[Saige image: Doll Diaries]




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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Downton Fangirl

Well, I hope you all enjoy viewing Downton Abbey tonight.  I don't need to, you see, because I've already watched the first episode of Season 3.

Yup, been there, drooled over that.  It pays to have a friend whose Irish father brings her the British DVD version for Christmas.  And who has a DVD player we can actually watch it on.

Anywhoo, it was definitely worth viewing - I mean, unless you don't LIKE hunky British men and hunky Irishmen and awesome British accents and gorgeous period dresses.  In that case?  Don't bother.


And, oh, the music to the opening credits!  Hearing it makes me perk up the way my dog used to when we jingled the keys to the car.  What is it about that tune, anyway?






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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Mr. Bates - Too Good To Be True?

Look, I love Mr. Bates as much as the next gal, I do.  My heart goes pit-a-pat every time he limps across my TV screen.  But I think we all need to discuss whether or not he really is innocent of murdering his wife.

Yes, I KNOW that she was low enough to frame Mr. Bates for murder by committing suicide.  But I am no longer completely convinced by his continued portrayal of stoicism in the face of adversity.  Is he really such a sad sack that bad things just keep happening to him?  Doesn't that version of events sort of detract from his allure?

Innocent?  Or not?  And does it matter?  Just LOOK at him!

So, spill it, people: is Mr. Bates a murderer or not?  Is he lying to Anna?  Just typing those questions feels like a sacrilege.  Yet...he didn't seem all that surprised to find himself sitting on death row, is what I'm thinking...


[Mr. Bates image (sigh): PBS]

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Friday, January 04, 2013

Anniversary Intrigue

Just a quick note to inform concerned reader(s) that I made a miraculous recovery by Tuesday morning, enabling me to boss the kids around for 4 hours straight in order to make the house presentable for guests by early afternoon.  We had lots of people over, who ate not nearly enough food and chocolate, leaving me the arduous task of picking up the slack for the past couple of days.  Their collective appetite may have been dampened, of course, by the sight of Susie vomiting all over the vegetable-and-dip tray, maybe 20 minutes after the start of the festivities.  That's right - my daughter, who had given not one hint of feeling ill all morning, waited until there were upwards of 30 people in our house to spew forth a veritable geyser of regurgitated party food. 

This is the "before" picture.

Despite my long and varied experience with puking children, I panicked.  Larry, coming to the rescue like the experienced vomit SWAT team member that he is, grabbed her (as she threw up yet again) and ran upstairs, leaving me to throw an entire roll of paper towels over the mess while babbling, "Oh, she's not sick!  Not at all!  Here, have some potato chips!"

I cannot believe anyone stuck around.  But they did.  They just didn't eat much.  The alcohol went fairly quickly, though.

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out whether or not Larry had remembered it was our anniversary.  He was doing the same.  It was like a bad I Love Lucy episode, only less funny.

I know, none of that makes sense.  But it's a tradition of ours.  Larry did take the day off, which he says should have made me realize that he KNEW it was our anniversary.  But last week he told me he was taking some days off to burn some leave.  So I don't believe him.  And he did suggest we go out to lunch, but he used a gift certificate I gave him for Christmas.  Again, not very anniversary-ish.

To make up for all the confusion, he bought me some almond Hershey kisses that were 50% off at CVS.  Because I NEEDED to eat more chocolate.  These pounds aren't going to add on all by themselves, you know.

Anywhoo, I have exciting things planned for this year.  I just ordered Suzy Soro's Celebrity sTalker and Ira Glass's The New Kings of Non-Fiction.  Once I read them, I'll be giving each of them away to one (well, two) lucky reader(s).  More books will follow, because I need to read more, people - my brain cells are evaporating rapidly.  Also, more knitting posts, for those of you who care - and updates from my continuing "Couch to Standing Up" exercise program.

Throw in some Downton Abbey musings and a dash of political commentary, and you've got a pretty good picture of what I'm planning for 2013.  But, of course, we all know what happens to the best-laid plans...

What the heck happened to 2012, anyway?

[veggie tray image: Eby's General Store]









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