Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Hiatus

With apologies to Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828) :

'Twas the weekend before Christmas, when all through the house
When Auntie Nettie wasn't ready, so she began to grouse;
Her bags were not packed, her laundry not done,
Some presents not bought, with errands to run;

The house needed cleaning, the floors to be swept,
The super needed tipping, or he'd keep us unkepmt;
Her Mama, she was driving, down the long road,
To pick up her progengy and her large large load.

So Auntie Nettie goes blogging, to give an update,
Telling her friends and family, she'll be back in '08,
But you hear her exclaim, as she logs out with a byte,

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

When I ... discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day!

- Jean Fritz
Photo courtesy of: J

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's not really about the fruitcake!

In the rush of the hollydazes some of the important things can be forgotten in the mad rush to get everything done. Things like remembering those people that aren't here anymore and the traditions and recipes that they passed down. To that end, I'm posting my maternal grandmother's fruitcake recipe.

Now, don't groan. It's not that kind of fruitcake. It's not cakey. It's more like candy, crunchy, chewy, tooth-rotting, filling-busting fruitcake, with nuts, candied fruit, and a whole parcel of South Beach Diet No-No's.

Plus, it's not really about the fruitcake. It is more about the family traditions -- of having the fruitcake around at the holidays, of the family trips to No. Carolina to the farm, where time would literally stand stilll, to other cultures, and branches of the family tree. The pecans for the recipe would come from the tree in the yard, and would be painfully shucked by the whole family. (That's another story, about Thanksgiving.) Many of us wouldn't eat the fruitcake for years, well, because it was fruitcake. It wasn't until last year, when she wasn't with us anymore when we all realized we had to have "Grandma Jones' fruitcake." Seeing Mom and Dad struggle to make it just added another layer to the memories -- of nutty people cooking, of brothers and sisters squabbling over the last piece, of Grandmas playing with their grandchildren, and Christmas spirit.

Enjoy the holidays.

3/4 Cup Milk
1 Pound Marshmallows
3 Cups Pecans
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Pound Graham Crackers
1 Pound Seedless Raisins
1 Pound Mixed Candied Fruit

Mix the crushed Graham Crackers, Raisins, Candied Fruit, Pecans, and Salt in a large container.

Melt Marshmallows in milk over medium heat or in the top of a double boiler. Stir until the Marshmallows are melted.

Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together well. (Using your hands is OK!)

When mixed, press together into a slightly buttered plate or pan in whatever shape is desired.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Things that annoy me about ... winter

I have a feeling that this will be one of many posts on this topic. Forgive me in advance.
  • People who do not scrap ALL of the snow/ice off their cars, so it comes flying off the roof of their cars, obstructing your vision;

  • People who do not undig their cars from the street when it is warm, and thus cannot figure out how to get their cars out of the icebergs that have encased them;

  • People who steal my cleaned-out parking space;

  • People who spin their tires on said icebergs (it's called, slow and steady, turn and rock, people!);

  • People who do not shovel their walks after snow;

  • People who do not shovel their walks after the snow, rain, sleet, mixes that inevitably freeze;

  • Municipalities that do not do the same;

  • People who do not clean up after their dogs after they decide to "decorate the ice." (That's just gross. Now it's frozen until the next thaw and I have to see it);

  • Walking to the train dealing with these obstacles!

Now, aside from the dog, I have dealt with all of these issues as a a) former Rockie Mountain dweller, b) a New Englander, c) a car owner and operator, and d) person who had to park on the street. I know it's a pain, but if you deal with the issues immediately, and while it's above freezing, it's easier for you in the long run, avoids issues when you are running late, keeps the asphalt clear, and avoids pesky potential lawsuits.

It's going to be a long winter folks, can't we all make it easier on each other by showing some winter courtesy?
Thanks to old&gray for the very vivid illustration of what I mean. DON'T be like this guy!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Infotainment Topics that I am sick of ... 2007

Since it's the time of year when the "Best of" list are compiled, I'd like to begin my list of the most overrated infotainment stories/topics of the year.

Why do this? Well, once upon a time, the hour between 7:00-8:00 p.m. had "entertainment" programs that had amusing highlights and promos for the movie/television/music industry featuring real, honest to goodness, television and movie STARS that at least acted like they were personalities. Some of the programs had reputations as being somewhat journalistic, garnering awards that are -- or were -- prestigious. Maybe I'm just getting "mature," but over the last year or so, it's seems like these programs are pandering and getting trashy -- and I'm not even talking about the obviously trashy programs that have sprung up (I'm talking to you FOX!). When did infotainment become more important, that say, various important global conflicts, the economy, the weather, my commute, local news issues, etc. How did entities, like ANS---, B--, L--, or P--H-- become the headline stories? I didn't go to journalism school, but what makes these people leading news stories? Why should I care? I have my own problems; hearing about theirs does NOT make me feel any better about myself. It's gotten to the point that when I hear/see their names or stories about "oops, there they go again," I switch the channel, hit "mute", turn the page, click to another site, and IGNORE them.

So, here are some of my least favorite infotainment people/topics of the year, in no order --- with abbreviations so I don't make myself sick of them --- AGAIN!:

M.O. and her obsession with dolls/dancing/fainting/WHATEVER!
Any of the people from MTV shows
The Spice Women
The Yankees -- team, management, etc.
The Big O.W. and her candidate

I know that obvious topics aren't here. I've tried ardously to avoid/forget most of them. Please DON'T feel free to remind me of things I'd rather forget. You know who/what I mean.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Grammar Oddity of the Week

The First (hopefully) in our series, brought to you, courtesy of The New York Public Library Desk Reference, Fourth Edition.

“A very difficult sentence to punctuate is That that is is that that is not is not. The correct punctuation is: That that is, is; that that is not, is not.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another reason being a grownup really sucks?

No early dismissals for snow, be it a snow shower, a snow flurry, or a over-hyped snow storm.

Also: People looking at you as if you are strange if you want to go out and play in the snow -- in your business suit in the middle of a work day. What's wrong with letting your inner child out occassionally? Mine is 8.

So -- instead of that, I have to go to a staff meeting. BUMMER.

I will have to do arts-and-crafts therapy later instead aka making paper snowflakes for my door.

For a refresher on how to do this, I recommend this link:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Foray into the Blogosphere

I think the Borg said it best: Resistance is futile.

Please note the Stardate; the end of days must be nigh. I, having been extolled the importance of journalling for most of my upbringing, and, having resisted it kicking and screaming, have joined the blogosphere.

As more and more of my friends and family live many miles away, and as my nieces and nephews, by blood and friendship, grow older, it's become increasingly obvious that I need a way to keep everyone informed, beyond the occasional phone call, e-mail, text message, and holiday card.

Standby for pictures, items for sale from Auntie Nettie's Attic, and future posts.

Auntie Nettie