Dec 31, 2011

I haven't been able to find pockets of down computer-time this month with all the working, shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, eating, drinking, socializing, and recovering I've been doing. If I had, you'd have heard tales like "When Bad Potatoes Happen to Good People," "When Good Curtains Happen to Bad Hardware," "Namaste Belly" (finding the zen in throwing up after yoga), "3am in a Brooklyn Backyard," "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Puppy" (going straight to DVD), "A Tree Glows in Brooklyn," "A Test from Above" (Away in a Manger in key of High C), and other peppermint-heavy ponderings.
Just as well.

It's been a whirlwind end of the year and I'm looking forward to downer January to clear my mind, fridge, and slate. I have a few resolutions itching to be resolved but I will let them simmer (under the fog of champagne) for a few days. I hope this finds you well and good, happy and healthy, and completely worn out from a valiant effort at 2011. Thank you for visiting—and bringing a little sunshine to—this little patch of half-watered grass in the blog hills my friends, and my very warmest wishes for a happy New Year!
On to a new day,
xo Jac

Dec 14, 2011

I've Got Mail

I made small talk with the new mailman this morning. He doesn't know what happened to his predecessor. I imagine him recharging his batteries somewhere exotic. Still wearing his neatly pressed uniform and custom orthotics. I was planning to tip him for the Holidays this year but now he's in Tahiti. Or the back office. New mailman is all business. I'm not sure if I should tip him. I guess we'll see if he brings me good mail.

Eight catalogs. 

Rolling Stone magazine's "2011 in Review" issue. I love round-ups.

New York magazine's "Reasons to Love New York Right Now" issue. The "right now" bothers me. Feels gimmicky. Maybe I'll write my own list.

My life insurance premium reminder. Shite, is it next quarter already?

A coupon for 70% off select items at "Onofrio's." I wonder what they sell at Onofrio's... I guess it doesn't matter at that price. 

A menu from Chiquitita Mexican Grill. I want a shrimp burrito for dinner. I wonder how much they paid to make me want a burrito for dinner before I've even had lunch.

A big red envelope with five Australian stamps announcing a Christmas card from my mother. My mother never writes the letters 'a' or 'r' in loweRcAse. A handwriting expert might say she is hiding something. The card is not the generic 99c variety; it has weight to it, a tailored message, glitter, and embossing. I wonder if she made a special trip into town to buy her cards. I hope she took the scenic route by the beach. Sigh, the beach. She probably stopped at McDonald's on the way home for coffee, but only if it was before 4. After 4 she runs into (and over) kangaroos.

A Christmas card from a relative who can't spell my name. She's probably dyslexic or maybe it's her weak ankles. Either way, I look forward to being christened anew in her cards each year. This year I'm "Jantica"—I try it on and decide it makes me feel like a bone-rattling Ocean Liner or a Sci-Fi series that won't last beyond the pilot.

A Christmas card and letter from my grandmother. A handwritten letter is a treat any day but it feels like such a luxury in the clutter of catalogs this time of year. I read it fast at the door before I take off my hat and coat and then slowly at the table, once I've made a cup of tea. Nana's letters have grown shorter and less frequent in the last year so I read them over and over until the ink, or my eyes, give. She has all the news about everyone but herself. The weather—miserable, showers of sleet and hail. The latest on her longtime neighbor Tess, struggling with liver cancer. The rundown on Tess's grandkids, and how they are getting on in their jobs and studies. The rundown on each of my cousins and their health, jobs, leases on their houses, travel plans for the next year. There is always a gem, a precious little something that makes me ten again, and in this letter it was news of the 89-year-old neighbor across the road, Mammie.
"Mammie is still the same Mammie. She came in to me the other morning and she said I didn't sleep a wink all night the fairies were tormenting me. They were all around the bed talking and singing and then they got the paper and cut it all up. The following morning she said to Gerard [her son] to sweep up all the papers after the fairies. He said good luck I am going to work."

I think that deserves a tip.

Dec 7, 2011

Liam Neeson Improv with Ricky Gervais

My friend Katie had this video on her FB wall this morning and I just had to share. Warning: Do not watch while drinking tea ... unless you like to snort it up your nose (each to her own!)
I heart Liam Neeson.

Liam Neeson Improv 

Dec 1, 2011

Where There's A Wool, There's A Gift

I have been neglecting my Holiday-gift knitting (as well as this blog, and—if you must know—my unibrow) the past few weeks and this morning I found myself frantically skipping through the internet in search of tea-cozy patterns. Actually, it's been so long since I picked up my needles that my first search was for tea-cozy recipes because I couldn't remember the word pattern. "Maybe you've been neglecting to take your Alzheimer's meds, too" says you. Maybe.

I had wanted to knit gifts this year because a. I have a drawer-full of wool that I stockpiled in a panic after New York's minor earthquake a few months ago; b. I imagine that if I rub my knitting needles together for long enough, sparks will fly, and I will be knitting fireside with a bucket of turf at my feet and a pot of tea and packet of Gingernut biscuits at my side; and c. a homemade gift feels thoughtful, (even if those thoughts were of earthquakes and fires), and it's otherwise very expensive to be thoughtful.

I figured I'd bang out a few gifty tea-cozies this coming weekend and then pair them with pretty little teapots, but Where There's A Wool's cozies—knit with Donegal Tweed Wool by Angela Carr—are just so simple and stylish that I'm thinking I should skip to Plan B: Buy cozies and make teapots!

Love the fresh colors, the cute little ribbons, and the fact that the cozies can roll up or down to accommodate all teapots great and small ( Aside: I want to open a tea shop with that name). Also love that Dublin-based knitter and poet Angela Carr "overcame the lingering mental scars of childhood school-induced knitting traumas" and took up knitting to keep herself from spending every waking hour in front of a computer. As well as nifty gifty tea cozies, you can also find cute little felt bowls and aran-cashmere blend cushion covers.

Now to Google tea-pot making recipes ...

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