Every year, come Christmas (or the month prior to), you will find at least one carton of eggnog in our fridge. The kids like it, I like it, hubby likes it (although I like it best with a little brandy in it). I prefer the organic eggnog variety, and can’t handle more than a serving at a time. My husband could probably chug an entire gallon by himself.

I’m considering taking a try at making homemade eggnog. But then I read the ingredients and change my mind, opting for grabbing a carton from the grocer’s cooler.

Eggnog was never a part of our Christmas tradition growing up. Somehow, though, it became part of our family tradition now. Last year, I substituted eggnog for milk in a pancake recipe. Though it sounds good, I don’t recommend it.

Winter Snow

Christmas is right around the corner. I am ready for the holiday, I just haven’t started shopping. Figure that one out. I haven’t been able to mentally (or monetarily) wrap my brain or checkbook around it – neither is quite capable of it right now.

So I instead turn my attention to the white blanket of snow covering the ground, which is always a welcome addition (in my opinion) at this time of year.

A Christmas without snow feels out of sorts to me. I’ve always lived in a part of the country where there are seasons, and in Winter, there is snow (sometimes LOTS of it – see Buffalo NY Blizzard of ’77). Yes, snow is par for the course.

Bundling up with snowpants, mittens, boots, hats, and scarves – building snowmen, sledding down the tiny hill in our front yard, making snow forts… but hating having to put a jacket on to go to school – the kids have a love/hate relationship with Winter. As do I, to some degree. Putting 30 gallons of gas into our van while the wind whips at your legs and face like a schoolyard bully is no fun. Having to get into a vehicle that feels like a deep freezer when you’ve hardly finished your morning coffee? Again, no fun. But, as they say around these parts – the snow makes the cold worthwhile.

President-elect Obama Citizenship Questioned

What do you think? There is more information on the website.

The three main examples of questioned citizenship of Obama (link to full PDF):

Exhibit A: The Grandmother’s tape
Barack Obama’s own grandmother said he was born in Kenya. While politicians are known for it, grandmothers seldom lie. It’s recorded on tape: “I was in the delivery room in [Mombosa,] Kenya, when he was born Aug. 4, 1961.” – Sarah Obama, Obama’s paternal grandmother

Exhibit B:
No Original Birth Certificate
Experts have called the Certification of Live Birth posted online a forgery. Berg reported “It’s clearly been altered,” which invalidates it, according to the document itself. Add to this the Hawaiian law at the time which allowed people to register for this non-hospital short form certificate (without a doctor’s signature) up to one year from the date of the child’s birth.

Exhibit C: Indonesian citizenship
Only Indonesian citizens could attend Indonesian schools at the time Barack Obama attended the Indonesian school where he was registered as Barry Soetoro. His citizenship was listed as Indonesian, his religion as Islam, and his father as Lolo Soetoro, M.A. There was also no dual citizenship at the time. If he was adopted by his Indonesian stepfather, he would have forfeited any U.S. citizenship he may have had, just as when a child is adopted in America, he or she becomes an American.

What do YOU think? Does it hold water, or is it hogwash? I’ve heard a few bubbles about it before, but am hearing about it more and more. If it is untrure, can’t he just show his birth certificate and get it over with? I don’t understand.

New Towels

Not long ago I mentioned my problematic bathroom towels. Naturally, I went searching for new towels shortly after – my family was in desperate need.

Because I hadn’t given much thought to towels in the first place, I didn’t want to over-think my purchase of towels. I had unsuccessfully looked at Walmart and decided against their offerings. The next stop was Kohls, in hopes the towels were on sale. And they were. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on towels, but I wasn’t against shopping above the rail. I wanted colors that complimented my bathroom. I wanted a soft, “thirsty” towel, like the advertisements were always boasting. I looked, touched, compared. Narrowed down my choices. Checked price tags and labels and finally settled on two different kinds. One of them was Casa Cristina (I liked the brown towels).

After putting the towels through the wash, (I did not use softener on the them, as the softener seems to make the towels less absorbent), I was ready to test out my purchase.

They were soft, alright. As a blanket, they would be perfect to curl up on the couch with. But they were not as absorbent as I would have liked. After numerous washes, they still feel like there is something synthetic about them, some sort of coating that makes them feel like polyester pajamas on a warm day, sliding over my skin, leaving a film of moisture behind. Not a big surprise, though. The most absorbent towels, I find, aren’t always the softest ones. They’re the ones that are washed and then dried out in under the hot the sun, dehydrated like beef jerky; those towels are some “thirsty” towels.

So, my search for towels continues.

Gmail Has Themes!?

I hate to be a gushy little girl about Gmail again, but I logged onto my account and it was like an early Christmas – Gmail now has themes!!!

It might not be a big deal to everyone, but I’m loving it. I’m a daily, Gmail user, who uses Gmail for personal use and for work. The new themes will be a fun way to add some spicy-ness to the different accounts, making them a bit easier to distinguish. Another score for Gmail.

Now if the Google team would just work on Picasa a bit more I’d be a happy camper.

(Note: Themes are currently only available to a portion of Gmail users. If you don’t see the option – hang tight – it’s coming.)

Angry Baking

Not too long ago I was feeling Fall in full effect. I took a load of apples and set out to make apple crisp and applesauce. Neither with a recipe. I was sort of… “angry baking” you could call it.

One turned out delicious (applesauce)…

And one flopped…

But my kitchen smelled lovely.

Applesauce is super easy. You wash and chop up the apples, add to heavy pot, add a smidgen of water (about 1 inch), put on stove bring to a boil; simmer for about 45 minutes or until apples are soft. Add cinnamon, sugar if desired. I prefer mine chunky so I don’t mash it much, but you can mash it, blend it, whatever consistency you like. I freeze some for later. Very good stuff and smells so very good while it is cooking up.

I’m not even going to talk about the crisp. Things don’t usually go uneaten around this house; that crisp managed to make it to the garbage after a short time. Angry baking doesn’t always work out.

I Voted in the 2008 Election

I voted on my way to work today. There were no lines, there were no protesters. There was not a lot of noise. The heavens did not open up and a chorus of angels did not sing. I came and went in peace, with a couple salutations to familiar faces. I don’t even remember what number voter I was. I just know I was one in many. In a historic election.

I left feeling good, and glad the ballot had been cast. I prayed, for both candidates and for our country. And now I will just sit back and watch the news, as I have with the other elections.

Did you vote today?

Election Day Tomorrow

With Election Day only one day away, Frank and I were trying to make a prediction. But we can’t. Neither one of us cares to wager. We both know who we’re voting for, though. I was thinking of going early in the morning (polls open at 7am), but then I also thought it would be good to take the kids with, if at all possible. We’ll see. My polling place used to be within walking distance, not anymore. They moved it to a different location that doesn’t have much for parking and you don’t really want to be caught there late at night.

As always, it is a relief to put the voting behind and move on, partly because of how saturated the media has become. Though I love all the skits on SNL, I detest the ads that are in constant rotation.

Just today I was at Target looking at the clothes and saw a cute sweatshirt with the word “HOPE” standing out in the design. Though it was not a political message at all, it will be quite some time before I see the words HOPE, CHANGE, YOU BETCHA, JOE or PLUMBER without rolling my eyes and gagging.

Buying Durable Towels

The other day as I was drying off after my shower (yeah, a visual you don’t need…), I held the towel by both hands, drying my back and heard a riiiiiiiip. The towel began to come apart right in my hands. I noticed our towels were beginning to fray at the ends, not all but some of them. As this happened, my mind began to ponder on towels.

Why were my towels ripping? I surely hadn’t had them that long. I have towels from JcPenney, Wal-mart and ShopkO. Maybe Kohls, too. I never put that much thought into towels. If they match the bathroom somewhat, they are good. On thing my thoughts came to rest on was the fact that my mom has towels that are at least 20 years old. Some maybe 30 years old. Standing the test of time. Are her towels that much better than mine? Or is it true that they simply “don’t make stuff like they used to”? I’m simply not sure. But I do wonder where people buy their towels from, and if anyone noticed their towels to be in as sad a state, as ours are?

The Child Whisperer

We watch The Dog Whisperer. Not with any consistency, but if it is on, I’ll leave the channel there. I’m completely not a “dog person” but for some reason, the way Ceasar Millan is able to take a little shifty punk-headed canine and whoop it into shape with a Shhht!! and a smile makes me be like, daaaaaaang.

I need me a Child Whisperer. Send me that and I’ll be your slave for a month. I mean I try the whole Shhhtt!! thing with my kids, but they’re onto me since they’ve seen the show. Strangely, they’ll actually sometimes pay me mind, though when I do it. Whining? Shhhtt!! and they give me a look, sometimes echo my Shhhtt!!-ing, but they often will Shhhtt!! it.

Go figure.