Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tis the Season.....NOT!

The holiday season is here. For those who do not celebrate Christmas, it is the holiday season. For those of us who do, it is the Christmas season. However, today I refer to the Thanksgiving season, the weeks leading up to the day we give thanks for all we have and celebrate with turkey dinners.

To the retail outlets, it is already the holiday/Christmas season. The stores are already packed with trees, presents, and Christmas music. Geez, even one of our local radio stations is playing non-stop Christmas music through the end of the year. 2 WHOLE MONTHS of Christmas music! Overkill I say! But I digress...

Thanksgiving season begins the day after Halloween. Ghosts, Draculas, and scary decorations are replaced with autumn leaves, pictures of Pilgrims, and cornucopias filled with autumn harvests; representing the plentiful bounty we are fortunate enough to have. Some have more than others. The global recession has hit the wallets of many of us and we try to do the same, with less money to do it. Sometimes it requires a bit of creativity to make ends meet. In the end, we find a way to do it.

This Thanksgiving Day, I will be spending with my husband and my kids. I will be cooking a feast of turkey, dressing, potatoes, vegetables and a fine helping of pumpkin pie. Well, maybe pumpkin pie, as my daughter has recently developed a food allergy to something, but there will be dessert. I will not think about work. I will not worry about making ends meet. I will stay in the moment. The moment will be about giving thanks for all that we do have: a house to live in, food on the table, and, most importantly, a family that I love and who loves me back. This is the season that I am in. I hope that the Thanksgiving season lasts in my heart all year round. I want to remember all of the good everyday, the things I have and not the things I don't. Right now, I have all that is most important: love, food, and shelter.

Christmas will be right around the corner after that. The Christmas season begins when Santa Claus makes his way down the parade route at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I will begin listening to some of the non-stop Christmas music myself, as I reflect on the meaning of the season. Right now, I reflect on the meaning of this season and all that I have to be grateful for in my life. That is the bright spot of my day!

Until Next Time....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's for Dinner???

If you are a mom, you've heard this dreaded question before. Summer days, school days, weekends, doesn't matter. At precisely 3pm every day, the kids ask, "What's for dinner?" Even my husband texted me at work the other day to ask that very question, like I can wave my magic wand and have a 5 course meal on the table in seconds, covering all of the food groups as recommended by the illustrious "food pyramid".

With the busy schedule that I have...and really we all have, dinner must be a planned event in order for it to take place. If not planned, then it's mac and cheese (thanks, Kraft) or frozen pizza (thanks Red Baron), etc. I have to plan dinner at 8 in the morning, before I even have enough caffeine in my veins to make me quasi-human. I know with absolute certainty that someone will ask about dinner long before dinner time, so I'd better have a plan.

Today is Sunday, the day of rest. Not in this house. I could already hear "what's for dinner?" ringing in my ears at 11am. So, I did what any working parent, with a house to run, a job, sleep deprived, adrenaline-running mom would do: I searched the internet!

I knew I had chicken breasts and thighs chilling, oh so long in the freezer, screaming to be cooked. Tired of the same 5 chicken recipes that cook themselves, I googled "crock pot chicken recipes" and found an amazing recipe. Having picky kids, I'm always a bit leery of trying new things. However, I had all of the ingredients on hand, it would only take 30 minutes to defrost the chicken and mix it all up, so I figured, "Why not?" It's worth it for a bit of sanity on what I was hoping would be a quiet Sunday. If someone didn't want to try it, they could starve.

Let me tell you: It was one of the best things I've ever made! Seriously! The kids loved it, my husband loved it, and I was ready to just lick the crock pot clean of all of the extra sauce (I resisted though). This is a keeper, so I'm sharing the BBQ/Teriyaki recipe with you.

I showed the recipe to my 13 year old daughter, prior to cooking. She is always hunting up recipes on the internet (don't know where the cooking gene came from, cuz it's surely not from me!) While she was unimpressed from the start (she watched me throw 2/3 cup ketchup into a bowl to start barbecue sauce) she saw me add other ingredients to the boring ketchup to transform it into something totally different. She was impressed. I actually impressed a 13 year old. I even modified the recipe a bit by adding a bit of honey, just because I had honey in the house. In the end, she helped me by stirring up the sauce. Her involvement gave her some pride in the final outcome and that alone was worth it.

I was able to dodge the "what's for dinner?" battle and have dinner cooking all day for the family to see and smell...and look forward to. That was the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time..

Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron: The Morning After

No surprise that I am sitting here lamenting Cleveland's loss of LeBron James to Miami. The mourning has begun. I hoped against hope that he would stay and bring the Cavs and this city a championship. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I wish LeBron the best of success in Miami. Right now, I think the people of Miami are the only ones who like him at the moment. By selfishly prolonging this announcement, the Cavs' opportunity to sign other free agents has come and gone. He was too cowardly to let management know his decision prior to his scheduled announcement on ESPN. As usual, LeBron's ego just wouldn't let him play nicely with others. We can now look forward to a season of rebuilding. Thanks LeBron.

There were other teams left standing at the altar with us, Chicago and New York most notably. He's ticked off most of the major cities in the Eastern Conference. I can hardly wait for his 1st road games in these cities. I can already hear the "boos".

Our economy will take a hit, but we'll survive. We always do. Resilience is a wonderful thing. LeBron's image and brand have taken a hit. That might be a bit more difficult to recover. Surely he will continue to rake in millions in endorsements, but the star who has shined so brightly for so long is looking a bit dim in the light of day.

The end of this saga has been the bright spot of my day. I'm ready to move on.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All Aboard the LeBron Rumor Mill Bandwagon

I can't believe I'm actually going to join in the circus. There are too many clowns to count in this media melee. Where will LeBron James play basketball next season?

Initially, my reaction was "who cares?" However, being a Clevelander, I find that I can no longer take the backseat. The attention "The Decision" is getting continues to blow my mind. LeBron does not have the answer to world peace, nor does he have a plan to end world hunger. He is deciding where he will play his games. That's what this media circus is promoting. Again I say, who cares?

Now I can say I care. While there has been a ridiculous number of hours spent on speculating where LeBron will play, much of the speculation is that he will be leaving Cleveland to go to "greener" pastures. Ching-ching. Not only that, but it's necessary for him to have an hour long special on ESPN to publicly slap Cleveland in the face as he walks away from the city that has supported him like no other. Like Cleveland sports fans haven't suffered enough the past 100 years. That's fine, LeBron. Pour some more salt in the gaping wound. We can take it.

The final decision will be announced less than 12 hours from now. I certainly hope that LeBron chooses to stay here, with the Cavs, where he belongs, with the best fans sports has to offer. Let us bask in the glow of the national media for a bit as he lists all of the great reasons he chose to stay in Cleveland. If LeBron leaves Cleveland, well, no sour grapes here, but it's a shame that his career here would end with such a public flogging on ESPN. No amount of sugar-coating would take the sting out for the fans here, and that would be his legacy in his hometown. Stay tuned.

Speaking my piece has been the bright spot of my day. LeBron staying in Cleveland would make this fan's day even brighter:)

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anyone See the New Twilight Movie Eclipse Yet?

As a loving grandmother I took a nap yesterday and took my granddaughter to see Eclipse at midnight. Such excitement and happiness with her bouncing at my side. We waited in a long line, me the grandmother and her mixed in with all the tweens and teens.

These movies about young love and the frustrations hold the same interest as they did when I was young for the young today. A little twist with a vampire love has made these Twilight movies the hottest thing in a long time.

When we got to the theatre parking was already scarce, police were on duty and local tv stations were there with trucks. Young people in lines that wrapped around the building. All for the opportunity to be FIRST to see Eclipse.

My granddaughter caught up in the thrill was bouncing all over and telling me how happy she was. This was a "moment" we got to share and for that I am grateful.

That was certainly the Bright Spot of my day.

Here is hoping you will have "moments" to share with your loved ones.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Productive At Last

What a productive day. I've renewed items on Etsy, I've tweeted, and now I'm blogging. Oh, and I also changed sheets, did a load of laundry, and vacuumed. And the day is still so young.

I think I'm going to pop in a movie and make some jewelry. Feel creative today. That's why I've been running around like a nut trying to get stuff done. Besides, if I don't walk away from the computer, I'm likely to sit here all day. Last night I tweeted for only the 2nd time. (My son usually handles that). I can easily see myself becoming a
Tweet-a-holic. It's cyberspace instant gratification. Some chatting amongst themselves and others promoting their wares...there's always something going on. Best that I leave the Tweeting to him I think. He's not nearly as fascinated by it and can just drop in for a few minutes and walk away.

In my zeal to be productive yesterday, I also created a Treasury, fondly called "Headbanger's Ball". Feel free to check it out:

No matter what else is going on, music is still one of the best escapes there is. I found a really cool Metallica chair and a David Draiman (Disturbed) painting, both of which I loved. Probably because they are 2 of my fave bands. I figured why not promote other people's love of the same thing, and thus, the treasury was born.

Well, I guess my time here is up. Now it's time to ease myself away from cyberspace and back to the land of manual labor. Being productive has been the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Much A-Blog About Nothing

Is there such a thing as a blogger's handbook? A how-to filled with topics when writer's block creeps in? All it would need is a running list: shoes, gardening, Lindsay Lohan arrest of the week, you get the idea. If you can write and think, then you can blog. Pretty simple. Not so simple if you don't know what you want to say, lol. Trust me, I can write for days about absolutely nothing. Other people do it every single day, in what I refer to as "Much A-Blog About Nothing" (not to be confused with "Much Ado About Nothing"). But interesting nothings.

It would be simple if the format was Monday = Weather Blog, Tuesday = Family Blog, Wednesday = Crafting Blog, and so on. But my daily life does not like schedules, and the universe would therefore conspire against me. Monday would be partly cloudy (not very exciting to write about), Tuesday my family would give me no good material (though they do every other day of the week:)) and Wednesday I'd be too busy crafting to take the time to write about it. Such is my life. How disappointed readers would be to tune in for Weather Mondays, only to read that my topic was not the cloudy day, but the fact that my cat bit my aching foot in her misguided effort to comfort me after a hard day.

So, be prepared. You have been warned. Here comes another blog about nothing. I'm sure that occasionally a "theme" will crop up, but for the most part, you'll probably get glimpses of me, my family (pets included), the creative process, and occasional nuggets of both information and minutiae. Who knows? Maybe those nuggets will come in handy if you appear on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or Jeopardy:)

Blogging about nothing has been the bright spot of my day.

Until Next Time....