Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturn?: who knew that ringed planet could be such a bother !! According to my very trusted source (yahoo news...yes people still look at yahoo!), my year as an aries boar [zodiac + chinese zodiac] is looking great because Saturn is on the move - fyi it should be known that I only look at this stuff when it pops up on yahoo news, I don't base my life on planets and numbers, and the direction a pencil goes when held over my head- :

"Throughout Saturn's residence in your partnership house over the past few years, you have endured some of the most challenging and rewarding relationship lessons of your life. After putting you through the karmic ringer, the cosmic taskmaster will finally leave this sector of your chart for another 30 years. You'll happily bid farewell to the trials, tests, tribulations and insecurities, despite all the wisdom they've imparted."

"Pay attention to that inner voice. Give yourself what you need, when you need it. Today might be booked with lunch dates and chores, but it's also OK to cancel all your plans and take care of yourself. If you need some solo time, take it."

"you'll be confronted with the culmination of a quest for radical change that began last year. Use the momentum of the first quarter of the year to launch your major projects, Pluto will turn retrograde between April and September, causing a forced slowdown and re-evaluation of your priorities"

"This is your make-or-break year - so let it rip!"

After reading that I feel like I should be burning a patchouli candle while eating a wheat germ burger while wearing a hemp tunic with no bra!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

quite possibly the best version of the true story of Christmas I have ever seen. I especially love the star @ 2:29....Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Five: the age of wonder and the age of two darling girls that have capture a little bit {big bit} of my heart. I love five because life is a daily exploration. Today I was getting ready to wash their grey usually pink coats when I noticed one coat was particularly heavy....the very important contents of the pockets were pure bliss for me: squeezy applesauce cap, a few robots, a sequin, a wad of old gum, a gum ball machine ring. Secret treasures of utmost value.

At five, questions become so scientific and naive responses no longer suffice. Last week the question of, "how do you know how old trees are?" was in dire need of resolution, luckily we had just the man for the job on hand.
At five, bodies and faces just do this without prompt:
At five, art projects are an essential part of almost every waking hour, and from time to time an art project sneaks into my bag. Yesterday on my way "home" I happened upon an envelope that read, "For my Ica" it's contents:
You see five is wonder, and I have adored having 10 in my life this year [twin 5 yr olds, 5+5=10, get it]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Amies: a charming little french word that means "friends". The wonderful thing about dear friends is that months can go by and when you finally get together it feels like no time has passed at all. [well other than the fact that your hair is longer or a different color or shorter, one has moved, one is year older, one has moved on, and all have "news"]. The poor patrons had to listen to the three of us crack up -okay lets face it Johnson and Ruth have nice lady like laughs, I was the only cackle- for over 2 hours. We talked about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the muscly :) I don't have hoards of friends, but the ones I do have are dear to me. Being so rare these moments these days, in pathetic attempts we all took turns holding my phone with greasy burger fingers trying to capture the grandeur of our gathering....not so grand. "hmm nope let hold up some food", "hmm too much onion ring, that looks creepy", "hmm its a little dark" "Ruth you moved", "hmm not focused", "whoa, stupid burger grease", "ya not bad".

*je vous aime*

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sick: so I have been sick for coming on 6 weeks now, not cool. I take vitamins, drink OJ, wash my hands after blowing my nose....this isn't working! On a night when a hot bath and an 8:pm bed time were calling, so was Jenny Ellen. I answered hers and headed to the National Harbor to see "the tree". Kara and Russell joined us, well I should say I joined them. The tree did not disappoint, (which is more than I can say for the tragedy in front of the White House, trim that sucker!) the lights changed colors every few seconds and then every half hour they flashed in sync with music. Never have seen a grown woman -Jenny Ellen- make such a fuss about a tree. It was a great night, the highlight however may have just been when a compliment was trying to be paid to me and I was told, "or maybe you are skinnier than you look" needless to say, it didn't come out right, pretty sure I could have just been told, "you are chubby" and I would have been happy, we had a good laugh and then a bad burger. Elevation Burger you did not soar to new heights, thumbs down. So here you have me, in boots with fur, by the tree, looking chubbier than I am ?
11:pm: should've been in bed but the butter was calling....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bark (not to be confused with woof or the stuff on a tree): really? I think you are above rice crispy treats or those ready bake cookies. Plus these are quicker.
spatula, off set spatula, microwave safe bowl, knife, parchment paper, candy canes or mints
chocolate melts (these are NOT the same as chocolate chips, make sure you use these)
pulse candy canes in a blender or a food processor until they look like this:
melt dark chocolate first, spread using the off-set spatula on the parchment, allow to dry or pop in the fridge if you are really pressed for time.
when it has a matte finish and is hard to the touch, repeat with the white chocolate but this time work quick because the white will melt the dark and the layers will combine if you spread too much, top immediately with the crushed peppermint and put in the fridge or allow to harden.
Be careful to let it set all the way through but not too much because when you cut it you want to make sharp lines, if you don't care about sharp lines then it can sit as long as you want and you can just break it by hand.
Voila wrap and give or put on a plate and take it up to bed and enjoy it while watching a holiday movie.
O Tannebaum: Not to be confused with The Royal Tenenbaums, I am speaking of the evergreen version. Christmas feels a little lost this year, in DC the weather is warm (68 last week) there is no sign of snow, and traditions are taking a pause. My mother usually has this genius idea to read a Christmas story every night in December, every night she starts and then without fail about 4 pages in, she is a sobbing mess and hands the book to my father or one of us to finish. By now presents have been put under the tree and I have carefully unwrapped and re-wrapped the ones for me. [yes I "ruin" Christmas for myself every year, have been since I was about 4] Paper plates of cookie assortments and chocolate dipped pretzels that look like they just got back from the war adorn our kitchen counters, little gifts from neighboring friends. These treats become my December feast, quick tip: 12 days after being dropped off red and green rice crispy cookies are really REALLY hard so I pour milk over them and eat them for breakfast. Waste Not! There are off key carolers, secret stash and dash Santa gifts left, and then there is Christmas baking. I could say a lot about this but in the spirit of the holidays and wanting people to still like me next year, I will refrain. And then there is the tree, ahh I love the smell, the needles that get stuck in your socks and poke your feet. My parents put up about 9 trees ever year with a big 15 ft tree in the living room, this year I don't have space for a tree and I think I miss that the most. So in place of my own, I take frequent walks, often out of my way, to the Eastern Market tree area, it is like walking through a forest. I walk slowly and inhale the whole time. The tree guys recognize me by now and have stopped asking if I need help, this little walk is my bit of Christmas memory just deconstructed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Simple: I hastily await Christmas this year because I cannot wait to have things be simple. Some years feel easy, they have their days sometimes weeks, but they seem as a whole easy. I have had a few of those, and a few of these. By "these" I mean the complicated years. They can be years of death or pain or so much change that you can't tell up from down or home from abroad, the years of hurried pace or kaleidoscope emotions, of too many sleepless nights or getting home and then realizing you don't remember the last 12 hours [and you haven't had 12 redbulls or a joint], they are just complicated. You can't avoid them you just have to let them run their course. You can however determine how the complications will affect you. (confession I am not as much like a duck as I would like to be....things tend to stick a bit). One of my favorite artist Brian Andres (mind you I don't adore his art but I adore his quotes) has this on one of his Story People:

"I finally got to exactly where I wanted to be, she said, so why won't all these growth experiences go away & leave me alone?"

I don't feel that I am exactly where I want to be but I can gaze hopefully to the day when all the growth experiences will go away and leave me alone- I imagine that day will be when I have Alzheimer's because even if they do come, I won't remember them :)- until then I look forward to next Friday which will mark the day my "simple" time this year begins. Simple time like this... spending 5 minutes just to get these incredibly delicious little cookies to stand up while I take pointless pictures.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Time: love languages make me a little uneasy. I am not really comfortable being described as one word or idea. I receive love through gifts/time/words of affirmation, blah blah blah. The truth is sometimes I need a giant present, sometimes I need to be told I am a smoking fox [let it be noted I don't think this will ever happen but it sounds nice :)], sometimes I need to be held or served or whatever the other languages are. I am multi-lingual. An old flame who has now become a dear friend recently pointed out though that what I gravitate to most however, is time. I need time. As with many, I returned home for Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. Food, family, and everything is slowed. No rushing for last minute gifts, no crowds, no strict tradition. We took time to just:
play Rumikub for hours and eat giant Cougar Creamery Coconut Joy/Pistachio cones
have an NCIS marathon while the turkey was cooking
find the perfect dress for my little sis Hannah
get used to the fact that family is sometimes small, just 4 this year
breath in enough crisp mountain orchard air to last me 6 months in DC

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dump:what you do when you have a bunch of stories and a bunch of pictures and you want to share but you realize people don't really want the stories they just want the pictures.....