23 December 2010

Checking it Twice

To be honest, I've already received my Christmas gift this year: a Kindle. I love it. Truly. But that doesn't prohibit me making a list. *grins widely* And so, in no particular order of preference, I present the 2010 list of 'Presents Possible':

Jigsaw 'Butter Leather Trench'
Sterling gemstone band by JujuBySarah on Etsy
With citrine and peridot, please.

Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits

And perhaps some Christmas biscuits from Biscuiteers as well.

(Thought I'd throw this in for good measure:
I'm still searching for a leather sectional Chesterfield - fyi. Red leather, please.)

Hallmark ornament: 1940 Ford pickup

I've tried to not love it. But I do.

Adore her. (And I may have already purchased this.)

Sing it with me...

This should surprise no one; I ask for it every year.

Vintage NARS: 'Full Metal Jacket'

So, Mr C, aka darling husband... If you are so inclined, I will be most grateful. And thank you again for my wonderful Kindle. xx

Happy Christmas, dear blogfriends.   tIO x

01 December 2010


'Dressember' comes but once a year, and I'll be posting about it here. What is 'Dressember', you ask? Here is the official description:

December 1st marks the beginning of 'Dressember' - the challenge for women (or the adventurous male) everywhere to shake up their wardrobe and try ditching the jeans and t-shirts.

We're aiming to wear dresses as often as possible: don't worry if it's not practical in the day, you can go for a skirt/top combo if needed. Or have fun and dress up in the evening in that cocktail dress you never get to wear!

There are no rules, it's all about stretching your wardrobe boundaries, trying something different, and having fun, so just jump on in :-)

Sounds like fun, right? If you would like to participate, please visit the Dressember Facebook page. And please let me know too; we can take on the challenge together!

Thanks for perusing; blog you again soon!  tIO x
PS: If you need inspiration, dive into Eleanor Estes' wonderful book 'the Hundred Dresses'. It was a favorite from my childhood; I read it dozens of times.

30 November 2010

The Advent Book

As you might have guessed from this post, we celebrate Advent. I love looking for a new Advent calendar each year and may, in fact, have several waiting in the wings for future use or to give to friends. But our favorite way to observe Advent is with this wonderful book:

The authors, Jack and Kathy Stockman, have created a gorgeous way to celebrate the Christmas story. Truly appropriate for the coffee-table, 'the Advent Book' contains original illustrations by Jack and features 25 doors which open to reveal a picture and segment of the Christmas story. It's told chronologically, beginning with Gabriel's revelation to Mary and ending with Jesus' birth. 'The Advent Book' has become a tradition in our house with our boys taking turns reading even and odd pages. (Amazingly, they seem to remember from year-to-year who read which pages last year and switch accordingly.)

Some screencaps from the Advent Book site

If you are interested in ordering, 
click through here to shop the Stockmans 'Celebrations and Traditions' site.

Hope you have a happy, healthy holiday season - and enjoy this 'most wonderful time of the year!'

Thanks for perusing; blog you again soon!  tIO x

PS: If you do buy the book and have little ones, I suggest playing the 'hidden animal hunt'. On each page, Jack has 'hidden' an animal - some easy to spot, others not so.

28 November 2010

More Patience

I'm doing some remodelling of the blog right now. Seems like each week, a widget gets updated (or rewritten), pics and videos are lost, or I find a lovely new blog to add to the blogroll. However, I am nothing if not regularly striving to be organized. So this time, instead of plonking down with a book and silently fretting about it, I am doing something. It may take some time and might include using posterous. Or not. We'll see.

Regardless, like every thing else, this blog is a work in progress. I'm even thinking of posting some 'before-after' photos of our house, which has undergone (and continues to undergo) a transformation from its previous owners. During our house hunt, I described it to my husband as 'well-cared for' and having 'good bones', but in need of 'a decorating overhaul' as it's decor resembled a Marriott from the 1980s. The early 1980s. Alright for some (clearly); just not our style. And what a boring world this would be if we all liked the same things, eh?

Here's a tease:

the Master Bedroom 'before'

Meanwhile, please excuse the mess. And thanks for perusing; blog you again soon!  tIO x

24 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2007 (Getty Images)

"O Lord, we thank Thee for this food,
For every blessing, every good.
For earthly sustenance and love
Bestowed on us from heaven above.
Be present at our table, Lord.
Be here and everywhere adored.
Thy children bless and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee."

Happy Thanksgiving

16 November 2010

Waiting Patiently

Patience is something I have been advised never to pray for. (And that suggestion comes from someone who also never uses the word 'never' or ends a sentence with a preposition.) Alas, some of us are not naturally inclined toward it and therefore have to either pray for patience or acquire it through osmosis.

I prefer to 'practice' patience. Currently, I am practicing with this:

It arrived in my mailbox today. However, I am waiting until the day after Thanksgiving, aka 11 more days, to plaster it to the glass side door. Of course, I then will practice additional patience, aka 5 days after that, to begin hanging the 'ornaments'. *sighs*

Wherever did I find such a clever thing? The lovely ladies of Willow Creek Signs created it! After 'Wonderful Graffiti' - my online, go-to wall decal shop - closed earlier this year, I'd been looking for its replacement. Unsurprisingly, I ventured onto Etsy. As ever, I am glad I did.

For this 'Advent Calendar' design, they offer four styles of trees:

And for all of their wall decals, they have literally dozens of colors from which to choose! I do like choices.

Oh, look!  *checks clock*  It's Tuesday already! 10 more days...

Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x

More designs from Willow Creek Signs:

22 April 2010

History is fun!

youtube video by CD101FM

Hope you're having a wonderful month. They might be giants. And what are we going to do unless they are?

PS: We have a lot of history on this Earth. Happy Earth Day!   tIO x

09 April 2010

"I'm having a bad, bad day..."

Truly cannot wait to see this. It already makes me giggle uncontrollably.   tIO x

PS: I'm not really having a bad, bad day; I used some gorgeous new MixologyMakeup today and got my hair cut. (Hi, Nancy. xx)
The post title references the lyrics to the title song, 'Despicable Me'.

05 April 2010


Time for those "brown-eyed handsome" men to make the turn and head for home.

One down, 161 games left in the regular season, sports fans. Hip, hip...   tIO x

Today's conundrum: Who's starting? And can you spell the first-baseman's name without looking at a roster?
Future conundrum: Will we play ball in November again this year?

03 April 2010

White Riot


The warmer weather has spawned the white riot above us. And immediately, this piece comes to mind, performed by the Empire Brass:

Funnily enough, this little ditty popped in there as well: White Riot.

Happy Saturday, rioters!   tIO x

01 April 2010

April Food Day 2010

April Food Day 2010

The Who Farm is up and running. Jamie's revolution is gaining momentum. And Feeding America is providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children, and food and groceries to 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens and 3,600 emergency shelters, most of which are run entirely by corps of volunteers.

Visit the
AprilFoodDay blog and Feeding America site for more information and to donate. Also check-out Local Harvest for information on and locations of community supported agriculture and farmers' markets in your area.

"...the interests of agriculture, the employment of our first parents in Eden,
(are) the happiest we can follow, and the most important to our country."
                                                                          - Thomas Jefferson

It's planting time!   tIO x

31 March 2010

Lamb, again?

Can it be? Is this possible? March has come and gone, for us, like a:

Though I googled it, I found no significance of that; no one seems to know (or possibly care) what happens if March comes in like a lamb and leaves it like that as well. Perhaps I've already spent too much time on this. So I will wish you a showery April. Please note I said 'showery' and not 'torrential flooding'. And although we may have had it easy comparatively, our back garden (and those of our neighbors) are veritable squidgy fields of mud. It's the kind of mud in which shoes get stuck and faces get splattered. But, thankfully, though we get dirty we can get clean.

Happy spring, lovelies!   tIO x

PS: For those of you asking (or wondering out-loud to yourselves), I have not abandoned either the 'banner day' or 'mid-week music'. Nor have the conundrums been forgotten. I have quite a few of the former in queue, and the latter strike me as impolitic as of late. But stay tuned... x

PPS: A reminder that today is 'Educator Day' at The Learned Owl. Support your independents!

27 March 2010

Happy is as Happy Does

As a little blog in the blog pond, I am always surprised when someone comments or follows. So when I was recently paid a high compliment by the lovely Jeanne at Collage of Life, I was humbled, honored, and delighted. Jeanne's blogs are full of encouragement and beauty, and are a wonderful respite on any day. Thank you, Jeanne, my 'blog warrior' friend, for sharing your inspirations. Oh, how I do love an award with cupcakes! x

When receiving an award, one is instructed to do the following:
1. Post-back to thank the person who recognized you. Naturally, etiquette is observed.
2. Offer 10 things that make you happy. Though I've noticed straying from that number is acceptable.
and 3. Pass along the award to 10 bloggers who make you happy. Which may not be such an easy task!

So, in an attempt to respect the set limits, here are "10 things that make [me] happy":
Finding a good math curriculum
My boys, who aren't 'things', and their tromping through mud, flying arrows, skinned knees, voracious appetites, and flashing eyes
French toast, lemon bars, and potatoes
The color red

Now, it is my happy honor to pass along the above award to the following bloggers, each of whom is a delight for their kind words, sweet thoughts, and good times:


Chatting at the Sky
Daily Violets
High Street Market
Home Girl
Pillar Box Post
Sweet Puffins
The Indomitably Courageous U

Glancing through my blogroll, it is replete with wonderful reads from diverse, happy people. For those so inclined, please peruse to your heart's content! Or as my husband says: "So many blogs, so little time, huh?" Exactly.

Here's to a happy day, blogfriends!   tIO x

26 March 2010

"Apply ice."

I am recovering from dental surgery today. This is my new friend:

Isn't it cute? It can be found on my face - and also online at the 
Gal Pal shop. I'm thinking of making a new cover for it with some left-over Cath Kidston fabric. When I'm better and can be upright for more than 30 minutes, that is. By-the-way, it took me longer to fill-out paperwork and get numb than to have the actual surgery. Amazing. I raise my ice pack to you, Dr Hess! He has mad skills - and is a Yankees fan. Bonus.

Here's to a peaceful weekend.   tIO x

PS: It's interesting how wonderful a hotdog smells when you cannot eat solid food and won't be able to for two more days. But don't cry for me, blogfriends; I drink milkshakes every other hour on the hour. Unfortunately, my DH has suggested that he might slip-one-in of the meat variety. And I am quite sure he's not joking. *wrinkles face in disgust*   xx

02 March 2010

On a farm in 1974 near Xi'an...

The First Emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, came up in conversation today - several times.
Time for a quick trip into DC where the following are in residence until 31 March:

Terra Cotta Warriors

http://www.terracottawarriorexhibit.com/ and http://www.nationalgeographic.com/terracottawarriors/index.html for more information.


I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand. -- Confucius

Have a wonderful day, blog warriors.   tIO x

01 March 2010

Lion v Lamb

To answer the burning question:

which, according to the idiom, does not bode well, weather-wise, for the rest of the year.

It may be against the norm, but it has happened before - proof via
Edith Holden's 'Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady':
March has come in like a lamb with a warm wind‥from the South-west."

Have a wild and woolly one!   tIO x

PS: For more information - or a more salient response to the whole "lion v lamb" question, check-out 
"The Weather Guys" - and click-on their link to Jack Horkheimer's explanation as well.

26 February 2010

Off to the Big Smoke

Would that I could. Especially prior to June 5.
the real thing
promotional picture    the old vic logo

Directed by Anna Mackmin and starring Hattie Morahan and Toby Stephens.

If any of you attends, please let me know how much you loved it.   tIO x

25 February 2010

Sequins on Her Wristbands

Inexplicably tied a la Elliot and E.T.
Intangibly bound despite the cut cord.
Apron strings wind around my heart like the laces of her pink Chuck hi-tops.
Sing to me. Send the volley over the net.
Show me your frustration - your courage - your joy.
Inimitable style. Indomitable character.
First call. First friend. First love.
Covering a multitude of sins.
Nobody's perfect.
And I'm not getting another perm.

Happy birthday! ("KMF's gonna rock you!") By-the-way, here's how we wrapped your present:

Black Toast Jute Bag

Hope your day is wonderful!   tIO x

22 February 2010

"Like Ali in the Jungle..."

After downloading this song last week, it's gone to the top of my workout playlist. Time to start the week. Let's go.

Have at it, kids; here's to a wonderful week! (Hope your PT is going well, Ben.)   tIO x

19 February 2010

Abed and the Punchdub

Apparently it's been about the humor this week. Here's our Friday installment:

(And I want to start this with you. You know who you are.)

Have a wonderful weekend, blogfriends!   tIO x

18 February 2010


USA's gold medalist Shaun White celebrates after clinching the men's snowboard halfpipe final run.

He makes me want to cheer. 
Click through here to watch his gold medal runs from last night.

Happy, happy, joy, joy!   tIO x

PS: It was a triple-gold, triple-joy kind-of-day: Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn on her gold medal - and utter joy at the finishline, and to Shani Davis on his repeat gold in the 1000m. Happy-happy-happy, joy-joy-joy!
(image from Dennis/Getty; videos via NBCOlympics)

17 February 2010

A Starter, Main, and Dessert

If you don't at least crack a smile at these two I will be seriously disappointed. Seriously.
And a word of warning: there is some naughtiness and off-color language.

(Thanks to Omniscient and Malinky2Stoatir; via youtube)

May your day be full of laughter and amusement.   tIO x

16 February 2010

Hey Everybody it's Pancake Day!

It's Shrove Tuesday, aka 'pancake day', aka my pancake-loving mother's favorite day!
PANCAKES and SYRUP - Sterling Silver Charm with a dainty 1.5mm 16 inch Sterling Silver Cable Chain Necklace
If you are not heading out to a traditional pancake breakfast, perhaps you'll want to stay in and try this recipe, a favorite at our house:

2 cups old-fashioned oats or quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional melted butter (for brushing skillet)
Lingonberry preserves (optional)
Fresh blueberries (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl. Add to dry ingredients; whisk until blended but some small lumps still remain. Let batter stand to thicken, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover batter and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Brush skillet with melted butter. Working in batches, ladle batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes over; cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. Keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with more butter as necessary. Serve with lingonberry preserves and fresh blueberries and whipped cream, if desired. Makes about 20.

(image via
charms4you on Etsy; recipe via BonAppetite, August, 1999)

Batter up, blogfriends!   tIO

PS: My lovely mother generally eschews the berries for cinnamon chips and maple syrup. True New Englander/Southerner that she is. xx

15 February 2010

His Excellency

In honor of his birthday, we are watching this:

and encourage you to read this and visit here.

Hope you enjoy the day!   tIO x

14 February 2010

"Is love a fancy or a feeling?"

Picture of Hartley Coleridge
This is Hartley Coleridge. And he wrote about love.

Is love a fancy, or a feeling. No.
It is immortal as immaculate Truth.

'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth show,
It is my love's being, - yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.

Happy Valentine's Day from tIO x

13 February 2010

In a Pursuit

"Biathletes' starts are separated by their time differences from a previous race, most commonly a sprint. The contestant crossing the finish line first is the winner. The distance is 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) for men and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) for women, skied over five laps; there are four shooting bouts (two prone, two standing, in that order), and each miss means a penalty loop of 150 m. To prevent awkward and/or dangerous crowding of the skiing loops, and overcapacity at the shooting range, World Cup Pursuits are held with only the 60 top ranking biathletes after the preceding race. The biathletes shoot on a first-come, first-served basis at the lane corresponding to the position they arrived for all shooting bouts."
(image from Alaska Biathlon Anchorage)

Here's to sport. And the Olympic Games.   tIO x

Click here for over 10 minutes of biathlon frivolity from TopGear.

12 February 2010

She Wants Pinking Shears?

A friendly reminder for those of you with 'significant others'. Though it may feel like she wants this:
George Lassos the Moon Print - It's A Wonderful Life

she may simply want
Kissing On V-J Day New York City Nyc 1945 24X36 Poster

(Or possibly just a new pair of these:Just a suggestion, Keith.)

Happy weekend, lovelies.   tIO x

11 February 2010

Baby Peach

Our nightly post-dinner habit of MarioKart for Wii has turned ugly. My sons (and husband) demand to know how this:

driving this (shown here with Baby Luigi):


continuously bests them in this race:

My response: Baby Peach is an Italian (with English, Scottish, and German heritage as well) who majored in physics at university. And no one drifts like she does on the Bullet Bike.

Hang in there, Karters; Friday's coming.   tIO x

PS: As regards this post, I did not lose a bet; I simply asked my children what I should post. This was their mutual - and immediate - response.

PPS: Please consult the time before you phone us in the evenings. If it's between 6:30-7:30pm EST, I encourage you to wait a bit. Having to pause the game really messes with the Peach's mojo.

(All images via MarioWiki.)


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