I hope you have enjoyed my Wild Ride! Feel free to click on the links to see the corresponding stories and photo essays.
Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, the family was out.
Woke up at 6:00. Left @ 6:30 – Gone Shreddin. Love Kelly. Call meh for da plan. High 4!
The stockings were emptied, what remained were the hooks,
The only memory of Santa had been read in books. Continue reading
The cards have been sent with 20 cents extra postage, the stockings are hanging perilously close to our gas fireplace, and I ate a dozen of the cookies I baked for the last exchange of the season. Tonight I am basking in the twinkling light emanating from all of the decorations inside my house while the electric meter is whirring outside in the bitter cold.
On the 6th night before Christmas, there are presents to be wrapped, but I can finally take a deep breath and relax. As I sip my first cup of tea, a memory of a Christmas from long ago swirls back from the past.
Kelly was five-weeks-old. Danny and I lived in a Boulder apartment on the third floor with outdoor steps. It had snowed and kept snowing. It was three days before Christmas and we would fly back to Madison, Wisconsin to celebrate the holidays with our families. Our flight would take off at 4:00 PM. Continue reading
First of all, Happy Holidays to everyone out there in the blogosphere!
After all the drawing, printing, folding, cutting, and pasting, I am happy to say that my Christmas cards are finished. Whew!
They are a little different this year. They are a modified pop-up and more like a fold-up.
Step 1: Fill coffee mug. Use up entire red ink cartridge. Punch out trees. Refill coffee mug. Continue reading
One of my annual holiday traditions is creating our family Christmas card. In the last couple of days, I have drawn and copied, cut, folded and stacked all of the parts that will be ready to glue and assemble. With around 24 hours into this art project, I would guess that I am just about half way to finishing them. I am hoping to make 90 cards. I know. I am ridiculous.
This year’s card is another pop-up, meaning there will be folded paper inside that will have some dimension after opening. Last year, I added beads and half of the envelopes were returned before Christmas with postage due. Ugh. This year, I avoided any extra dingle dangles that would mess up the otherwise timely delivery.
Last year’s card. Those beads cost me!
Another pop-up from two years before.
I thought it would be fun to run a contest for those of you interested in receiving one of my homemade cards. No matter what your faith or how you celebrate, this is a card made with lots of love for you! Continue reading
Let me start out by clarifying that I love the idea of Santa Claus as the embodiment of joy and generosity for children around the world. But it was the department store Santa with the nasty cigarette and coffee breath I endured for the sake of the obligatory traditional McCartan photo every Christmas. Continue reading
When you think about how many films you have viewed during your lifetime, have you ever wondered why some remain timeless? They can be watched over and over again without losing their impact.
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorites. Somehow this Christmas tale produced and directed by Frank Capra has kept its relevance every year since it was released in 1947. It still is #1 on the American Movie Institute’s list of most inspirational films. The movie is based on a short story written in 1939 by Philip Van Doren Stern called The Christmas Gift.
I am about to start on my last rewrite of my novel and examined this movie in a completely different way. Not as a movie-goer, but as a writer. I discovered its magic and why it has left audiences spellbound for the last 66 years. Continue reading
I’ll admit it. I have never done it. It was way too risky for me. Lack of protection and the aftermath if compromised has kept me from the experience. But, I am finally ready. The idea of trying something new is pretty exciting. It will be my first time and then I’ll no longer be a Cyber Virgin.
Cyber Monday which is November 26th, is the official kick-off to on-line holiday sales. This year promises to top previous years in the amount of deals offered and dollars spent. I plan to join in the fun. Continue reading
Don’t I look confident? It is all a facade.
When my children were younger, I would get nervous just thinking about Thanksgiving. Roasting that humongous bird was intimidating. All those years of my own mother making the perfect feast loomed over my head and I feared that I would make the dreaded - dried out turkey.
One year I accomplished the opposite. I stuffed the bird. I know and in high altitude of 5280 feet above sea level. I don’t think it was cooked all the way through. I was horrified to find out that my mother-in-law, who never complains, was up in the night.
Then there was the first time we celebrated Thanksgiving in the mountains. I was caught unprepared in more ways than one. I didn’t have the right pots, so I steamed vegetables in cake and iron frying pans. I warmed the biscuits in bread pans. Hey. I have always been a MacGiver-type. I hadn’t accounted for the super high altitude of 10,500 feet so although the water was rolling, the potatoes were firm after an hour of boiling. After watching two sappy Christmas movies, we finally sat down to dinner at 9:00. My sister was by my side and we giggled throughout the turkey madness. My husband Danny kept the kids entertained. It was a feast to remember. At least we had silverware…
Now I roast that gargantuan sucker with panache. I wrote down my mother’s recipe long ago, but I will call her in the morning and ask for it again like every year. I’ll mix up the stuffing with the cooked giblets and bake it in a separate casserole. Then when the electronic thermometer beeps (I said panache and I won’t ever take chances on a rare bird again), signaling that the turkey is done, I’ll pour the drippings through a fat separator. Then, I’ll drizzle some of the juice over the stuffing. No one will know that the bird wasn’t stuffed.
This year I’ll make a list of all of my sides. Yep. I go overboard. Last year, I found the sweet potatoes in the microwave on Friday. I knew there was something else.
We’ll try to pack a lot into our day and enjoy our kids and my sister’s visit. I am hoping we will take a walk and enjoy the sunshine since Thanksgiving is almost a week early and the temperatures are still in the 60’s. We’ll watch old family videos and a football game or two.
This Thursday will be the 23rd time I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner. After all these years, I will relax and enjoy it. There will be no Black Friday shopping for me.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Roxy thought my Thanksgiving turkey was delish!
Have you ever been intimidated by cooking?
For safe turkey roasting tips, click here.