Friday, December 31, 2010

Walking in Winter

This morning at the outer part of Noccalula Park

during a neighborhood walk

A beautiful blue bird! The "inner park" is on the other side of the fence
the Falls are going strong these days!

looking in to the gorge

It feels good to be back at walking again and I hope I can really keep it up through winter. I love the Noccalula Park area because it is very peaceful but is located near a busy road so I don't feel isolated! I longingly gaze over the wooden fences to the inner park where I have enjoyed so many walks in months past. Ahhhh....those were the days...
I walked in my neighborhood one day but was joined twice by loose dogs, one which followed me closely for a couple of streets. I used the "Dog Whisperer" technique of ignoring and not making eye contact so it would think I was the leader of the pack, ha ha! It worked, because it soon left me looking rather bored. I had to use it again when an unrestrained dog in a yard barked furiously at me until I passed by on the other side of the street, "Dog Whispering" ignoring technique again!
So I thought I would return to Noccalula this morning, and as I passed the main entrance to the inner park I noticed that the gate was open. Hmmm, that's interesting, at Christmas the train connductors told me they weren't opening the gates again until the park opened in March. It was too desolate this morning, I think the county workers were off for New Years Eve, so I stayed walking on the perimeter but I will have to call after the holidays to see if the inner part is open for walkers. I hope so, because as you know, I love that place!
Hope your night is everything you want it to be! Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Time in Pictures

Kavi (my grandson in case you didn't know)having a blast on Christmas Morning

When Stina and Kavi were in Alabama we went to see Afton in a Christmas play!
This past month has been jammed full of the funnest times. Two and a half weeks here in Alabama with my daughter and grandson! Christmas shopping together, a craft bazaar, Christmas lights and so much fun at Noccallua Park, Antique stores, lunches out, hot tea and cocoa every night!
Then to Florida for me and Christina and Kavi where we had more fun Christmas shopping at Ikea and the International Mall in Tampa, Greek Food, Italian Cookies, Chinese Food, Pizza! (whenever we visit Florida we load up on all of the foods we love and which are either not available in our town or just not that tasty there) Downtown Disney on Christmas Eve, just like respectable tourists. ( it is an area outside of the theme parks with shops, restaurants and a stage with free entertainment) We ate at The Rainforest Cafe which is decorated like a tropical jungle with monkeys, elephant, tropical fish tanks and a thunderstorm that happens every twenty minutes. At first my grandson was not happy with the gorillas that were near our table, but by the end of the meal he was happily looking at the silly fake monkeys!
Then preparing for Christmas Dinner, with delicious Indian food, homemade meatballs and sauce which is my husband's family recipe, pasta, roasted Brussels sprouts (my new favorite vegetable that I used to hate) delicious salad, eggplant, desserts and more hot tea and cocoa every night!
Now we are all back in our separate states in our separate homes missing each other but also recovering from the past month's activities!
I started going for walks these past two days, because I have been a very bad undisciplined girl for this past month and needed it very badly! Hope your holidays were fun and festive too! I am not sure I will be able to stay up to midnight tomorrow, but I will try!
Happiest of New Years to you and all your loved ones!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

While We Were Away!

our backyard

our snowy home
For the first time in recorded history, the county I live in had a White Christmas! Imagine the joy on children's faces to look out their windows seeing that lovely sight. Snowballs to be thrown, snowmen to be made, oh the joy! My family however was in Florida for Christmas with my daughter, son in law and adorable grandson! Although it was annoying to be in the Sunshine State while magic was happening back home, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. My family is precious, loving, fun, entertaining and a greater joy to be around than snow. And that, my friends , is saying a LOT because I do love snow!
The pictures above were captured by our friends who knew that we would love to see our home in snow and I may just be making a new blog header with one of them!
So many Christmas memories were made in the last few weeks, but just as Christina, (my oldest) said in her blog, pictures need to be downloaded and edited, so hopefully in a few days!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have A Peanutty Happy Christmas!

There are so many movies that are Christmas themed and I have loved many of them like Jingle All The Way, The Santa Clause (1 &2), Home Alone (1&2). Well, for some reason that is all I can think of right now. I NEED coffee this morning!
My grandson loves the kids cartoons every morning and they ALL have been about Christmas, but my very favorite all time Christmas program was the Charlie Brown Christmas. I mean it is ancient really, it has been on since I was a kid and that my friends was a very very long time ago. But amid the hustle and bustle about presents, the simple story of Jesus birth in a manger while the angels rejoiced in the skies brings comfort and peace.
So this Nativity Scene makes me happy and feel a little like a kid again at Christmas. Churches may have very elaborate productions and Cantatas at this time of year and they are usually very good, but my favorite play is when little kids dress up as Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, wise men,cows, sheep and donkeys to reenact that special night.
Hope that you all will have a Christmas and New Year filled with comfort, joy, peace and good times!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

tea towel calendar

Etsy has like a million cute calendars for sale! There is still time to order on in time for new years! Practicality and art all at the same time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Europe at Christmas

Madrid Spain

Paris France

Switzerland (sorry it's blurry, but it still looks quite lovely to me)
London England
A few years back I watched Rick Steeves Europe when he did a Christmas special in different countires and by far, the Switzerland segment was my favorite.
Staying with a family ( I am not sure if they were relatives) they went out one afternoon to the woods to choose a tree to chop down and trekking halfway down the hills towards home they stopped at the coziest cabin in the planet where a fire was roaring in the fireplace and they made FONDUE!!! FONDUE!!!! In a cozy cabin while it was snowing outside. Then they made the rest of the way home to this music playing that made me want t o cry. I know it sounds sappy and by golly I am not ashamed to say, yes I AM sappy about certain things. I love snow as long as I am warm and cozy and inside looking out at it or outside dressed perfectly warm enough but very close to an inside with hot cocoa or hot tea available on demand. Of course this scenario never happens as I have lived in Florida or now Alabama. At least in Alabama it has snowed but doesn't stick, except for one full day last year where I was giddy at the accumulation which melted the next day. My husband doesn't really care for snow since he works outside on car interiors and exteriors and he can't really work in inclement weather. So, I love it if it is on a weekend and can stick long enough to make sow balls and snowmen, but not make the roads dangerous. I know, I live in a fantasy world. I really like that world and I think you might like it as well.
(please forgive me if you are reading this from the cold hard north and have a bad relationship with the white stuff, I only love snow in my dreams as I lived in NYC till my mid twenties and have experienced a terrible fall into a slush puddle while wearing a skirt on my way home form work, two blocks from my apartment...not fun)
Last week right before leaving with my daughter and grandson for Florida, it snowed! So Christina who hasn't seen snow since she was 12 and my grandson who has never seen it got to dance around outside while flakes gathered on our hats and coats. Kavi loved it and so did Christina, AND we were fully stocked with tea and cocoa!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Blog of Substance Award!

Special thanks to BundlesofBlossoms for passing this lovely award on to me! It is nice to know that my blog is thought of as having substance!
I understand that I must sum up my blogging experience using 5 words, so here I go:

1. Friendship
I had no idea when I started blogging as an effort to promote my etsy shop, that promotion ended up being the least important part of blogging. I have met some wonderful and interesting people on line who I am sure that I would love to hang out with in person.
2. Inspiration
The blogosphere is full of very creative and talented people from whom I have gathered multiple ideas for crafting, decorating, cooking and baking. The numerous blogs I follow are like reading your favorite magazine without the advertisements!
Being able to relate to a full range of emotions that are expressed, some hinted at , some more candidly and realizing we are not the only ones to go through some life's struggles.

4. Learning
I have learned to do many new ideas such as recipes I would never have tried, new crafts to try, new stitches in crochet and knitting or new ways to handle life.

5. Sharing
It is so rewarding to me to be able to pass on others or my own ideas for food or crafting or decorating or just life in general!

I would like to pass this award on to
and jesse and sophias

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

macy's christmas shopping window

macy's christmas shopping window, originally uploaded by blucolt.

Last year I posted about growing up in NYC and taking the bus and subway from Queens each year at Christmas time to look at the gorgeous Christmas displays! My dream is to go there for a vacation someday before Christmas with our whole family so they can experience the magic of Christmas in Manhattan.
Rockefeller Center... Macy's Window Displays...Radio City Music Hall...The Smell of Chestnuts Roasting...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poems for a Dollar!

At last weeks Craft Bazaar, one of the sites had a girl sitting behind a cool vintage typewriter making up poems on the spot for one dollar! My friend Rachel showed me the one made up for her and it was so good, I had to get one for myself.
You simply give a word or a subject and she just starts tippity tapping away and you end up with something special just for you.
I gave the subject of Russia and getting to know my third cousin there. Here it is...

so this country
It's better than England or Prussia,
and it's cold, but it's great,
and it's big,
(and it's Russia)

and I just met a wonderful striking young one,
and she probably speaks Russian
and I bet she's quite fun
because she comes from a cold snowy
foreign large place
where the wind whips your toes
and your toes freeze your face

so when you take a vacation,
need a place to chill out,

go to Russia,
not up north or out west
or down south

Lilly Reeves Montgomery

I hope Lyuba reads this as she does read my blog! I will mail you the original poem after the holidays!

P.S. I am leaving for Florida tomorrow with my daughter and grandson until after Christmas!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


stacks, originally uploaded by the snail and the cyclops.

Ah, how I love the vintage dress look! This picture is especially fun as it looks like a secretary was sent into the basement to search for a needle in a haystack. She is wondering if she will ever make it home that day...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

being cheap can sometimes be a bummer

these boots are on sale for 49.99 at DSW and I should have gotten a pair like these...
...but I was toooo cheap and got these from Walmart for 27.99
Thrifty. Frugal. Parsimonious. (the last word was a word my father used to love when he was alive because he learned about it in the Reader's Digest in the 70s) No matter what you call it it still means CHEAP!
Since I have lived in Alabama (coming here after 25 years in Florida and most of my life before that in NYC) I have learned how beneficial boots can be. They really do help keep your legs warm, for REAL! This year I have wanted a pair of cognac , brown, or taupe ones. I was looking through Forever21 online and saw a pair on clearance for 13.99. So, without trying on I bought them. They didn't fit, they were too tight and I couldn't return them because that was the policy. So, good bye to approximately 15.00.
When I did the craft bazaar last week, I thought I would at least make enough to get some boots, but Ray said,'' no honey, pick out a pair from me for Christmas and use the money you made for spending money in Florida''. So then I had to be cheap again, so I picked out a pair from Walmart that were the right color and style I wanted. Well, after two days of walking around in them, they are not that comfortable. I will have to try them with my insoles, but I can't help but wonder if I should have waited for a nicer pair on sale at the big city mall or DSW in Birmingham...
"being cheap can be a bummer"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

bazaar happenings...

day 1 set up
day 2 setup
My daughter Christina had some of her beautiful pillows and earrings set up in this vintage suitcase
the church where I sold from
My daughter Christina of Consider The Coffee, posted about this weekend with lots of pictures and more details, so just click here to read more about it and to see more pics.
It was a good weekend for me at the bazaar, with meeting some extremely nice people and reconnecting with people from last year. It seems that crafty arty people are some of the nicest folks. My location was inside a church across the street from where I was last year, and the people from the church were so hospitable and accommodating to all the vendors.
The weather was cold on Saturday and icy cold on Sunday, which may have helped people buy my crocheted scarves and such. I was happy to make more profit than last year and am looking forward to doing it again in 2011.
The second day , we rearranged the setup because it seemed that people were more hesitant to take my things off of the garden gate they were attached to with clothespins, even though we told them to feel free to pick up, try on, etc. The second day we placed almost everything on a table our friend Jessika didn't need any more and people definitely touched, picked up and tried on a lot more resulting in more sales!
We are still enjoying Christina and Kavi staying with us until Monday when I return to FLA with them. The weather is pretty cold here now with today's high only at 39! Brrr.
Stay warm and enjoy some hot cocoa today!

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Singin in the Rain" then "Baby it's Cold Outside"

One afternoon me and Stina ran to the Post Office while my grandson Kavi stayed with Pa because it was raining. Kavi wanted to stay on the porch waiting for us to come back and when we did he was looking all adorable holding this umbrella!
This is my oldest daughter Christina who we mostly call Stina! The other day we went to a town nearby with Antique shops and Kavi scored a glass jar full of matchbox cars. Pa made his day when he bought it for the little guy! Stina also got some cute things!
It was windy and really cold that day!

Although he still loves cars, his biggest obsession has passed from cars to choo choos! We were happy to be near this long train when we were at the Antique shops!
A very happy Nanny and Pa!
Me and little boo!
Oh, and in the last few days I have actually managed to make 11 hats plus several flower hair clips for my craft Bazaar this weekend. Today, I must finish the little details, tag the items, figure out my setup, get singles and fives. I have already deactivated most of my etsy account in preparation.
Have a great weekend everyone!