Monday, December 30, 2013

The Bubbly

      Every grocery store I visit has displays full of champagne. Now that Christmas has passed retailers have focused on New Year's. I don't really notice any concentration on food so much as I do the champagne.

      It makes me think about it a little. I enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but I don't really get into champagne so much. I have enjoyed a mimosa or two here and there, but I've never sought out champagne. So now I stand in the store and stare at all the bottles of the sparkly stuff. Up for grabs are an Extra Brut, Brut, Dry, Extra Dry, and a few others that I'm not sure of. It's only then do I start to wonder about myself. (Trust me, I always wonder about myself, this is just the first time I wonder about this specific topic.) If I am such a horticulturalist, why aren't I more interested in the wines and champagnes? They are all made from grapes. I like grapes. Grapes grow on vines. Do you see where I am heading with this? Good. Then tell me so I know... :/

      With a new year right around the corner I'm thinking I need to start something new. I think I may need to try some of the bubbly. Let me see if I can decipher the differences between sweet and dry. I like learning things. I try to learn something new every day. Maybe this will be what I learn on New Year's Eve. :) Maybe. 

      Do you celebrate on New Year's Eve? Do you have a drink of choice? Have any insight into champagne? 

I hope you all have a very happy and safe New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Happenings

      Well, it is Christmas night as I write this. The holiday hangover is starting, but something else weighs on me. It is that feeling of sadness. I don't know why this feeling looms over me after every Christmas, but it does. Maybe it is the anticipation of the whole season- the shopping, baking, wrapping, and visiting. Or maybe it is the overall feeling that everyone is just friendlier in general at Christmas. It seems that it all ends too soon. 

      Maybe, for me, it is because I live nearly 900 miles from my family. We haven't spent Christmas together in the last couple years. I've opened up the beautiful presents they sent and I long to wrap my arms around them and thank them for such thoughtful gifts. What I wouldn't give to hear the laughter and camaraderie happening in my parents house.

      Christmas is also the time when I seem to reflect more on the friends and family that are no longer with us. I think back on Christmas's past when we were blessed with their presence. What I wouldn't give for just another minute with them. But I do have the memories of the holiday's we did have together, and that brings a smile to my face.

      Maybe that sadness is from those references above. Who knows. All I know is my small family had a good holiday. We are happy and healthy and ready to start preparing for where we shall celebrate next year. We gave a few presents and we got some in return. I even got these glasses that used to belong to my grandmother. I love the handed down presents, don't you? 

      This sadness will stay with me for a couple days, then it will subside. If we are lucky days will come and go, and before we know it next Christmas will be here. :)

      Am I the only one that feels like this? Did you have a holiday full of laughter and fun? What was the best gift you received? Gave?

W.P.I.- Besides the poinsettia the Christmas cactus is a popular holiday plant. They are an easy-to-take-care-of plant that thrive in many conditions, including cold. If you have had trouble getting your plant to bloom try putting them in a dark room for a while. The darkness will make them set their buds. When the plant is put back in a lighter room the buds will turn to blooms. 




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

      The Charmed One and I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas.

      We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season. 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Time is Ticking By

      The trees have been plucked from their grounds, tied up, dispersed, displayed, and bought. They have found their final resting place to be displayed in bright lights, cheery ornaments, and festive bows for friends and family to see. 

      Presents have been bought from stores near and far. They've been hidden, and wrapped, and possibly hidden again before they find their place under the pretty tree. Some are decorated with bows, some are hidden in bags. 

      Fudge, cookies, and candies have been made, and now are presenting themselves evilly. They tempt all who walk by, all who dare to look at them.

      Many children have attended their last day of school for at least a week, leaving them home, eagerly anticipating the big day. Do they scour the house for gifts? Do they help with the last minute needs? 

      Certain channels have been showing Christmas movies since Thanksgiving. Stray Christmas cartoons like Dr. Seuss, Charlie Brown, and Rudolph have been aired. Chevy Chase's crazy antics in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has been shown a couple times, always bringing a smile to my face. (One of my favorites.) Love, Actually has even been on. Sadly I only caught a couple minutes of that. (Another of my favorites.) 

      Time is ticking by. The day is almost upon us. 

      The day to see shining faces, listen to endless laughter, smell the roasting meal, and just feel the feel of Christmas.

      Are you ready for it? What is your favorite Christmas movie? Do you celebrate at your house, or someone else's? What do you look most forward to?


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tis the Season for Peppermintini's

      It is the time of year when we tend to indulge a little more on things. I'm not just talking presents, either. Sometimes we tend to eat more sweets like fudge, or candy. Sometimes we just keep over-eating from Thanksgiving through Christmas. What's that? That is just me? Oh. Okay. My bad.

      But sometimes there are holiday parties, family get-togethers, and meeting friends for a drink. And sometimes, especially around this time of year, these occasions may call for alcohol in those drinks. Just sayin. :) Hey now, remember I am Irish. I care for a shot of whiskey every here and there, and I do fancy a Guinness. That is just me. 

      What I have noticed though is that people are very, very, creative when it comes to holiday drinks. I had so many holiday drink pictures in a folder that my normal one post a day on the KRW Facebook page went to two last week for my Thirsty Thursday post. Then I posted another one on Saturday. Surprisingly some of those drink pics get the most responses. So, since it is the season of giving I thought I'd share. If you find one you like maybe you could be the next hit at the family party. So without further ado why don't we start with something a little lighter. How about we start off with a Peppermint White Russian?

      Next up we will stick with the candy cane theme. How about we try a Candy Cane Mojito? 

      Had enough peppermint yet? How about we switch over to cider? Do y'all like cider? I bet you would like this Hot Cider Nog. Doesn't it look yummy?

      If the combination of cider and eggnog don't appeal to you maybe an Eggnog Martini does.

      Let's keep with martini's. Let's swing it back to the peppermint. You know, peppermint is good for your stomach, right? It helps with stomach upset, etc. So if the nog upset you a little try this Peppermintini.

      How's that? Is that enough to make you feel... giddy? I think Santa may want you to leave him one or two. After sliding down chimneys, avoiding getting caught, and eating cookies all night I'm sure he wouldn't mind finding one or two of these every here and there. Just don't leave out too many or we might find a Tipsy Santa Cocktail...

      Of course there are plenty of non alcoholic drinks out there for those that don't care for the spirits! If you Google most of these I'm sure the recipe is available as well. 

      Do you attend many holiday parties? Do they have fancy drinks like these? Are you a martini person? What is your favorite beverage, alcoholic or non?

W.P.I.- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It has a pleasant taste and is a popular flavoring for food and drink. Peppermint has a wide variety of health and medicinal uses. It is used to help treat the common cold, to calm inflammations and to soothe digestive problems. It also has been used to treat pain, minor headaches, rashes, and dry skin. 

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Sleigh Ride

      We are entering the final days before Christmas. Are you finished and just anticipating the big day(s)? Are you running frantically trying to get those last gifts for that someone you may have forgotten? Are you baking cookies, fudge, or candy? Or do you let others do the baking, and you reap the benefits? 

       Does the holiday season stress you? 

       How about you come on a little trip? Why don't you climb aboard this beautiful sleigh and take a ride. Let's enjoy the fact you don't have to drive yourself. Let's enjoy the thought of not having to shovel snow, or trudge through it to get to stores. Let the sights relax you. Look at that branch hang low from the weight of the snow. Let the bright red color of that Cardinal in the tree bring a smile to your face. Let the untouched scenery warm your heart. Breathe in the cool air and feel the warmth of your loved one next to you.

      You glide into our destination. A cabin in the middle of tall pines awaits you. There is no sound, only peace and quiet. The warmth of the cabin hits you as soon as you open the door. Mulling spices simmer away on the stove sending a festive aroma throughout the air. The cabin is inviting in every way, but the fireplace aglow with soft flames is luring you in. That is where you are drawn. An over-sized, soft as you could imagine, chair awaits you with a steaming cup of tea on an end table.  

      You climb aboard and find a book sitting on the table next to the tea. A smile comes to your face as your reach for it. It is you, your loved one, and the book in front of the fireplace.

      Out of every book available which do you choose? What does your loved one read along beside you? 


Thursday, December 12, 2013


      Usually this time of year funny pictures and meme's make their rounds on the internet. It seems many people try to spread Christmas cheer via humor. And it seems I'm going to try to do it as well. 

      Like via this picture. This shows some creativity...

      That one brings a big smile to my face. But what I've been seeing a lot of lately is animals getting into the spirit as well. Here's one...

      If that didn't make you smile then try this one...

      C'mon... Still not smiling? You better start, the big day is less than two weeks away! Try this on for size...

      Isn't that fitting?  (I hope you laugh at my puns! Even though they may be a tad bit lame.)

      Finally, if dogs aren't your thing *gasp*...

      Aren't they cute? 

      There you have it, my attempt at trying to put you in the spirit! 

      Do you dress up your pets for Christmas? Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? Are you done shopping, just starting, or in the middle of your list? 

W.P.I. - Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous. According to the Colorado State University Extension, 1971 research at Ohio State University proved poinsettias were only poisonous to rats when the rats ate 500 bracts or leaves. However, they are not meant for human or animal consumption. Poinsettias contain a sap that is irritating to animals and to people with latex allergies. Dogs or cats that eat poinsettia leaves or stalks have been known to cough or vomit, though the plants are not fatal to them. Since dogs will often taste new objects in their surroundings, it is best to place poinsettias in places where dogs cannot reach them.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Slowing Down

            “Things move slower in the South.” I don’t know who said it, but I heard it many times throughout my life. Even when I lived in the frozen tundra of the North. I never really understood the saying until I moved to the South over twelve years ago.

            After being here for a while I started to realize that life did move a little slower. It wasn’t really certain people, or anything in particular, but life as I knew it had changed. Not everything was as rushed as it was back in New York. The “right this minute” attitude changed to one of “when I get around to it.” I would say it took some time getting used to this new way of life, but I’d be lying. I’m still not used to it. But it has become a little more acceptable.

            It seems the farther south you go the pace gets even slower. I’ve been fortunate enough to be spending more time in Savannah, Georgia. One thing I noticed here is that Mother Nature moves slower as well.

            This past weekend a lot of the United States dealt with freezing cold temperatures, with wind, freezing rain and snow. Here in Savannah on Saturday I wore shorts and a tee shirt. It was a balmy 77 degrees. Most football games on television on Sunday featured cold and snow. Here it was nearly 60. I’m not meaning to brag, either. I’m trying to make my point.

            I’ve taken pictures to further prove that I think Mother Nature has been affected by the South. After viewing them you can tell me what you think.

Lantana is still blooming!

Ginko leaves.
             I know we are in an area that stays warmer than what I’m used to. And I’m sure that has something to do with why the leaves are still falling here. I think it has something to do with the trees living the southern way of life. J

            Are you from the South? Have you ever visited the Southeast? Is your pace fast, slow, or in between? What has your weather been where you live?

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

All Out War

            Some of you come here often. For those of you who don’t let me just explain a couple things about myself before going any further. I’m a nature girl. I love the outdoors, but could do without the creepy crawlies. I love birds, plants, and turtles. I love the mystery of something looking one way one day and that same thing looking totally different the next.

            Until it comes to a vehicle.

            Welcome to my world, and after reading the following story you will realize why I call this blog A Day in the Life.

            My love for birds sometimes brings heartbreak. They fly into my windows. They build homes just outside said windows. We get excited when we see fuzzy little heads just above the nest edge. Then one day we come home from work to find an empty nest. Minutes later a big black snake slithers its fat body along the grass in the front yard. Feeling full from its fill of fuzzy babies it stops and rests in the sun while it digests the afternoon meal.

            Yeah, nature can be cruel, but we go on. We continue to feed the birds. We continue to listen to their happy little songs or cheery chirps. We continue to watch the gray squirrels get on the feeders and steal the birds’ wholesome concoction.

            Let me stop beating around the bush, so to speak, and get to the point. I love nature, but only tolerate some aspects of it. Like the fuzzy gray nuisances, known as squirrels, that seem to think they are the rulers of my piece of Podunk.

            I put up with them doing all sorts of acrobatics to get to the birdseed. I put up with them taunting my dogs. I somewhat put up with them climbing in my shrubs. The other day though, upon returning home from a Thanksgiving trip with the family, the damage done to one of my vehicles via squirrel turned the “putting up” with squirrels to an all out war.

            Yeah, the Charmed One and I had our fill when we walked past the SUV and noticed something a muck with the running boards. My father, the resident expert in all things animalistic, concurred that the violent act was that of a squirrel. LET THE WAR BEGIN.

            That vehicle is actually for sale, so we are not happy about this turn of events. And it isn’t just one side of the vehicle. The squirrel(s) decided it (they) would give the other side a taste test also. Why? Would you imagine plastic to taste good? Maybe they thought that if they chewed through the outside that the inside would be filled with birdseed? Peanuts? Just asking.

            The next morning, still stewing from the running board smorgasbord, I watched the frisky fatties monopolize the bird feeders once more. My red headed temper was at its peak. I’d had enough.

            War had begun. Only waging a war against squirrels may be one never-ending saga. I’m determined though. My first weapon of choice was the gourds I have just outside the door. I know that gourd time is now over, but they are perfect for throwing at the evil monsters. (And before you hate me I have never even come close to hitting one. I’m just trying to scare them off the feeders.) The time came where they laughed at me for missing them so often. That really irritated me. Fuming, I searched the depths of my pea brain and came up with the answer. I think.

            That’s right. I have now mixed red pepper flakes in with the birdseed, and sprinkled some on the ground around the poles holding the feeders. We’ll see if that deters the little bas*@$… er, monsters. I also went one step farther and wiped down the running boards on the SUV with Tabasco sauce. We’ll see how they like chomping down on that.

            War has begun. I’ll let you know how it goes. So far I haven’t seen many furry freaks around, but I could be missing them. The birds are fluttering back choosing their morsels. Let’s see how long that lasts…

*Just a quick note, after this was published I did see a squirrel on the bird feeder again. I guess they scoff at the red pepper flakes. I'm off to get cayenne pepper now. :(

Are you a nature person? Have you heard of squirrels eating running boards? Do you have menacing creatures that put you in an uproar?

Weekly Planting Information (W.P.I.) - If squirrels are a problem in your yard, feeders, or garden, I found some information that might be useful to you. Squirrels have a keen sense of smell. There are a good many items available with strong odors that can do the job without harming the squirrels. One of the oldest measures is to sprinkle any kind of hot pepper (cayenne, etc) around your garden plants. Another remedy to keep squirrels out of the garden is to plant a border of marigolds around the garden, because squirrels hate the smell. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

What I Learned From My Niece

    The long holiday weekend is over. Did you want it to be longer, or are you happy to get back to your norm? 

    My parents visited, and we got my niece for a few days as well. Now, the niece is twelve years old. Twelve. Needless to say it has been a very long time since any of us has been around an almost teenager. 

    I survived and thought I'd share what I learned:

1.) Twelve year old kids will answer a question with only one word. 

2.) Cell phones apparently have glue that oozes out as soon as said 12 yo touches it, rendering hands useless and minds mindless. 

3.) A twelve year old girl with braces will not smile.

4.) This twelve year old with me still blew bubbles in her drink and wrote on steamy car windows.... :/ Grrrr.

5.) Shopping of any sort, except for a temporary tattoo, was like pulling teeth.

6.) It is virtually impossible to peak a twelve year old's curiosity. 

7.) Twelve year old nieces don't want to be friends on Instagram. (Hmm. We'll see bout that!)

8.) Boys are what the world revolves around.

9.) The only people a twelve year old wants to hang around are other twelve year old's.

10.) When a twelve year old does answer a question with more than one word it is with the words, "I dunno."

11.) Twelve year old's will have bad backs and eyes in only a few short years from being hunched a foot over that same said cell phone.

12.) I thank heavens the twelve year old will soon be 13... I think! 

Next year I may do a blog on what I learned from a thirteen year old. :)

Do you have kids? How old? Do you have any advice for the next time I get to spend time with my 12 yo niece? (Besides limit cell phone time!)

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