Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Wishes!

courtesy of a Neil Gaiman tumblr

I meant, and mean them all. I wasn't going to write a new one this year. But...

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead. 

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them. 

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Auntie Nettie Reads A Lot 2014 - 4th Quarter

The usual caveat applies: If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've (or NOT) read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. Also, as a general rule, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library (now noted) or a public library. 

Go forth and READ!   

October to December 
Top Secret Twenty-one by Janet Evanovich 
Save the Date: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews 
The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. Goldman 
Catching Air: A Novel by Sarah Pekkanen 
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman (didn't finish) 
The Supremes at Earl's All-you-can-eat: A Novel by Edward Kelsey Moore (didn't finish) 
A Quilt for Christmas: A Novel by Sandra Dallas (ARC) 
For All Time (Nantucket Brides Novel) By Jude Deveraux 
Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore
A Nantucket Christmas: A Novel by Nancy Thayer 
Definitely Not Mr Darcy by Karn Doornebos 

The Bookstore: A Novel by Deborah Meyler 
Where She Went by Gayle Forman (reread, mine) 
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? by Rhoda Janzen 

When We Were on Fire: A Memoir by Addie Zierman (didn't finish) 
One Day: A Novel by Gayle Forman (mine) 
One Year: A Novel by Gayle Forman (mine) 
How to Be Alone: A Poem by Tanya Davis 
Someone Else's Love Story: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson 
The Vintage Teacup Club: A Novel by Vanessa Greene 
Bliss: A Novel by Hilary Fields 
Love Overdue: A Novel by Pamela Morsi 
Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik 
A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family: By Leila Philip (non
Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War by Jennifer Robson 
The Paris Winter: A Novel by Imogen Robertson (ARC) 
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (have tissues. lots of tissues) 
Truth Kills: An Angelina Bonaparte Mystery by Nancy Rathburn 
Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last by Patience Bloom 
Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman 
I Shall Be Near To You: A Novel by Erin Lindsay McCabe (have tissues) 
My Wish List: A Novel by Gregoire Delacourt (translated from the French by Anthea Bell) 
Here and Again: A Novel by Nicole R. Dickson 
Nerilka's Story by Anne McCaffrey (mine, reread) 
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (mine, reread) 
Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey (mine, reread) 
The People of Pern by Robn Wood (mine, reread) 
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 
A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable 
Vienna Nocturne: A Novel by Vivien Shotwell 
With Every Letter: A Novel (Wings of the Nightingale Vol. 1) by Sarah Sundin 
Paris Letters: One Woman's Journey from the Fast Lane to a Slow Stroll in Paris by Janice MacLeod (memoir) *** 
Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen by Mary Sharratt 
Get off the Unicorn by Anne McCafrrey (mine, reread) 
When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison (reread) 
Killashandra by Anne McCaffrey (mine, reread) 
The Secrets of Midwives: A Novel by Sally Hepworth (ARC) 
Catherine by April Lindner (mine) 
Vision in White (Book 1) by Nora Roberts (mine, reread) 
Bed of Roses (Book 2) by Nora Roberts (mine, reread)  

Savor the Moment (Book 3) by Nora Roberts (mine, reread)  
Happy Event After (Book 4) by Nora Roberts (mine, reread)  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! 47?!

 Once upon a time, there were two crazy young kids 
who decided to get hitched and start new branches of the family tree.
 Somehow, despite an early marriage separated by the Navy, geography, and challenged by money, youth, learning curves, moves, college, budgets, oil embargos, and three kids, they survived and thrived.

First 5 years, then 10, 20, 25, 30?! 40!?

Here they are last year, having made it to 45+, surviving Christmas with me,
Skyping with the kids, and sneaking up on 46.

Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids. Sorry about the boudoir pix.

And they wonder where we got our silly from?!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

 Merry Christmas from my Attic to yours. 
May your holiday be filled with books, crafts, words of love, laughter & joy.

 ~photos by iTouch

Christmas Tree by etsy crafter SunnyDayGifts

How I'm Spending My Christmas vacation

In answer to this:
It turns out: Since I'm not traveling, I'm sick, and it's pouring, staying home, in pjs, watching a Doctor Who marathon is a pretty perfect holiday.
This minus the tea, but with lots of fluids because I still have the flu, or flu-like symptoms
And more of this:
Plus, some of this:
And I have presents, Diet Coke, some time off, AND a vacation still scheduled. Pretty good alternative for this year. What a chance from the last few years.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Max and Mary Mission Update: Holidays in DC

Updates from Grumpa down in DC:

Last night as we left the temple after working the afternoon shift. 
 Hard to keep the focus with the phone.
From the parking lot of the visitors center last night
Shooting from the visitors center patio.
We went into the 7 PM concert of handbells.
We waited 35 minutes, saw a 40 minute show and they cleared us out to start the next show at 8 PM.

Door full of cards from around the country.

 We ran out of space on the book case.
Our little storage room tree, with all kinds of Brookside apartment elf gifts.
This does not count the goodies I have cleaned up on. The new year will bring a re-dedication to walking.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Traditions 2014: Office Party/Ugly Sweaters

Holiday traditions mean office parties.Some office parties include themes and party games, but these evolve and change depending on people and fads. If you MUST attend the holiday parties, because your office is so small you would be obvious in your absence, act as a documentarian AND have laryngitis. And wear an outfit that speaks for itself.

This year's Caramoor Office holiday party involved three thematic components:

Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Guess Who I Am??? "celebrities:
the Holiday CD Swap.

The whole ugly sweater thing this has taken on a life of it's own. I did order one, for better or worse, but it never did arrive. I kept telling one of the organizers that the theme needed to extend to wearing Christmas tree skirts and Christmas capes, because she had a skirt and I had a blanket. With no sweater arriving in time, I decided to wear a bunch of my own crafts. Either an homage to Jacob Marley with a "chain" scarf and all-black, Bah! Humbug! (Can we make a CURMUDGEON category?) or my Christmas cape with an extra embellishment on the back.

 I never had a chance once I saw the competition.

People made their own sweaters, and Christine's "pug"ly sweater and Christmas Tree Skirt combo was a killer.
And SOME secure dude unashamedly went into his granny's closet and "borrowed" his grandmother's very special sequined cardinal Christmas sweater ... and walked away as a contest winner in the category of:
"What, did you borrow that from your grandmother?"
 Then we had people who somehow ended up cluing us into their secret celebrity identity. 
 The holiday brought unlikely political types together.
Much merriment was made.
Meet Beyonce and Hugh Hefner (above l-r).
 By all kinds of stiffs. Doubles even.
 It's so nice to celebrate with color, not shades of black, white, and gray ... 

I was doing my best to muffle my coughing jags, hide the fact that I was still sick, and not touch anyone/anybody to spread the germs. It's hard not to cough when laughing that Tammy won the contest for the loudest sweater,
or that our CEO was inadvertently doing "jazz hands" and looked ridiculous, thanks to his holiday ugly sweater dressers...
Or to exclaim over the CDs that were exchanged as part of the activities. We were supposed to bring one to exchange. I made a mix CD, and was the only one, but everyone else exchanged "real ones." From hits from the 80s, to folk, to Weezer to my very Afro/Celtic/Muse/PianoGuys/McCreary mix*, it was eclectic.
 It was a wonderful afternoon, with lots of wonderful people, and good food.
And that's no bull....

Which is actually another office party game, but one we didn't play.

*Here's my set list for the CD. 

photos by iTouch