Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sweet Smells Remembered

We received a Whirley Pop this holiday season from my aunt, uncle and cousins. Tonight, we made popcorn on the stove top, something I haven’t down in years.

The sweet, buttery smell of popcorn brings me back to my childhood. Popcorn was a treat, kept for sacred occasions such as movie nights and sleepovers. My favorite was Jiffy Pop. Standing on a kitchen chair, Jill and I each took turns shaking the thin aluminum packaging, anxiously waiting for the sounds of the popping corn. With a knife, Dad would cut through the dome of aluminum foil and then poured the golden puffs into the green Tupperware bowl that was coined “the popcorn bowl.”

On special nights, we would get to pour M &M’s onto the steaming popcorn. The candy coated shell kept the candy intact while the center melted into chocolaty goodness. Today, I sometimes treat myself to this chocolaty and buttery treat whenever I’ve had a bad day and want to escape to a place (and time) where life was simple and answers were easy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Girls Day 2006 - NYC

Packed in a car, we, the girls headed up to the city, New York City. This was dedicated a girls day. A day of shopping, chatting, laughing and bonding. I loved days like these, left behind are worries about what is for dinner or what needs to be done around the house. For 17 hours the four of us were selfish, did what we wanted to do and went where we wanted to go.

We took advantage of our short time in the city, shopping for knock-off designer bags on Canal Street, browsing through the open air market in Bryant Park, sipping hot coffee at Starbucks and carpet skating at FAO Schwartz.

And of course, we ate. That is what you do when you go to New York, you eat. We had lunch at The Peanut Butter Co. near the NYU campus. They serve, yup, peanut butter. We enjoyed PB sandwiches. I shared a grilled PB, honey and banana sandwich, which was out of this world. Honest one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. For dinner we ate at a New York landmark, the Stage Deli on 7th. They make arguable the best corned beef sandwiches in the entire city. These sandwiches are huge. I mean HUGE. Piled 4 inches high, you can't even get your mouth around it. They are so yummy!!

And as we left the city, we enjoyed the sparking lights of Times Square all aglow. It was a perfect end, to a perfect day. And on the way home, we dedicated this - girl's day - had to become and annual trip. Where to next?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Happenings

"Can I do anything to help?" The most common question asked this weekend. Of course I needed help. I was making my first holiday meal. But this is a rite of passage for any married woman, hosting and cooking the first meal for her extended family and I was bound and determined to do it all by myself. I took pleasure in peeling the potatoes (a task that was avoided at all costs while growing up) and pinching the green beans, even preparing the turkey. This was my meal and I had been planning it ever since inviting my parents and sister down this fall. Everything went perfectly, I timed the meal so that all dishes were still piping hot when we sat down to eat.

Here was the menu, for all the foodies, if you don't care, please skip to the bottom:

Low-fat crap Rangoon
Chicken liver pate

Main Meal
Apple, cranberry and pecan stuffing
Whipped potatoes
Steamed green beans
Apple kugal
Cranberry sauce

Besides eating, which we did a lot of the entire weekend, we did the tradition gift exchange. I couldn't wait to see Dad's face when he opened his gift from Micah and I. My father has become a cigar connoisseur as of late, well really every since the Red Sox won the World Series. He must have mentioned several times over Thanksgiving that he wanted a humidor, so I took a trip to the Mount Washington cigar shop and bought him one. It isn't anything fancy, a medium sized humidor that will hold up to twenty cigars, but really how many cigars can one man have at a time. To say the least, he loved it. And the look on his face the reason why we all give gifts. It reminds me of the BMW commercial with the little boy just screaming after he opens the gift that he wanted. You want to have every person you give a gift to have this reaction. It truly is better to give than to receive.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

January Snow

“This definitely tastes like December snow. January snow tastes the best,” – said Lucy, from the Charlie Brown comic strip

During the first snow fall of the season I think of this old Charlie Brown moment. I love snow. The sight of the land after a heavy snowfall, everything looks so peaceful and clean. I remember as a child, just sitting in the middle of the yard in my purple snowsuit with matching gloves, hat and boots, listening to the snow fall down around me. It was a beautiful silence broken only by the breaking of a tree branch that had become over burdened from the weight of the snow. The sight of powerlines and trees dripping with snow is the true sign winter has arrived.

So many of my childhood memories are in the snow… building a fort with Dad in the snow pile at the end of the driveway... making snow angels with Jill in the yard... skiing at Pat’s Peak in the freshly groomed powder... building snow men with Mom...running down the porch, boots and mittens filled with snow to get some hot chocolate...watching the TV screen at 5:30 in the morning, praying that they had cancelled school.

As an adult there are moments, when the snow falls, covering the ground with a white blanket, that I want to stand in the middle of the sidewalk, like I did when I was a kid. My mouth open, eyes closed as the snow flakes land on my face and melts on my tongue.

Lucy was right; January snow does taste the best.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Home Improvements

Over the past couple of weeks, we've made several home improvements to our small townhouse. First we had laminate flooring put down on the main floor. It is a beautiful pine color and actually makes the house look bigger. It took Reese a little getting used too. He spent the first week just walking around finding a place to sleep. Not to worry, Reese has taken up residency on the couch.

Yesterday, the carpeting on the second floor was installed. It looks great. We hope that this small home improvements will help us sell the house in the coming months. After the new year, we are going to begin look at houses and neighborhoods we may want to live.

I'm excited to begin looking for a new place, as Micah had a lot of the house decorated with furniture and other accessories before I moved it. The next house will be someplace that we can make ahome for both of us.

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah began at Friday night at sundown. Reese has gotten into the holiday spirit with his new stuffed driedal. As you can see, he is very attached to it and can't seem to part with it -- even during his afternoon naps.

Happy Hanukkah!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Another TV

The totally is up to four. Only three are usable at the moment, but we do have four. Four might seem like a lot to the 'normal' person one, but keep in mind that up until a few weeks ago we had five VCRs. (We recently downgraded to three, so in case of a VHS emergency, please contact us.) The sad this is I can't remember watching a VHS.

Today, Micah got his birthday present - a 23" flat panal HD tv for our bedroom. (I would show you an actually picture, but I'm not allowed to distract the tv watching.)

Micah came back from Circuit City at 10:30 am and I haven't seen him since. It is now close to 5 pm. Oh wait, I think I saw him come down around 1 pm for food, only to return upstairs after he had his full of last night's leftovers.

One might ask, what was wrong with the old tv? Nothing. It worked just fine for the hour of televison we watched on it. But a woman can not get in the way of a man and his love for eletronics

So now, I'm sitting in the living room, watching the BIG tv, which before I wasn't allowed to go near on the weekends. This might actually work out for me :)