Friday, December 23, 2005

The Fruits of My Labor

Here are a few gifts I made this year:

Seven pillowcases for the nieces and nephews on Mark's side of the family. Two Disney Princesses, two Strawberry Shortcake, two Spiderman and one Lizzie McGuire. I made these all this morning.

Stolen directly from the pages of the holiday issue of Martha Stewart Living, these very cool cookie cutter Christmas ornaments are for my sister and brother-in-law. I had seen these Hawaiian-themed cookie cutters but didn't really think my sister could use them for anything. Then, my mom had the Martha Stewart magazine and there was this great idea for making ornaments from cookie cutters. So back on Thanksgiving, I stole a few of their pictures from when they went to Hawaii and had copies made and here is the result.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Elrod Hendricks 1940-2005
Longtime beloved Oriole dies at 64

I was completely shocked to read the above headline and article just now in this morning's Sun. It's so sad - and today would have been his birthday, too. (Proving once again that you are more likely to die in the two weeks before or after your birthday than any other time of the year. John Spencer died four days before his birthday last week. Start paying attention to celebrity deaths and you'll see how often it happens.) Elrod Hendricks lived in Randallstown and my junior year in high school, he spoke at our class ring ceremony and handed out the rings to my entire class. I think the Orioles and the city of Baltimore are really going to miss him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


While shopping on Sunday, one store had a display of stuffed polar bears that moved - one large one and four cubs. After we counted the baby bears, H. and I had the following conversation:

H: Is that the mommy bear? (Pointing to the large bear holding a cub).
Me: Yes, it is.
H: Where's the daddy bear?
Me: Maybe he went out to look for something to eat.
H (completely deadpan): Or maybe he's dead.
And then she just walked away.

I can only blame the Disney movies and their demise of one parent, usually the mother. She recently watched The Lion King. Maybe that's why the idea was in her head.
Ninny Update

Two nights of sleeping and no problems! Can it be true? If so, that will be the best Christmas present ever for me. She asked for it once each night, but we reminded her that she didn't have it anymore because we gave them to Santa and that was it. Yeah!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


We had some exciting happenings today! H. and I went to the mall to finish up our shopping and to visit Santa. For the last couple of weeks, I've been prepping her for the visit with Santa, hoping we could get her picture with him. All along, she's been saying that she would stand in front of him, but not sit on his lap. Okay, that's good enough for a picture. In the car on the way to the mall, we talked about Santa again and practiced what she was going to say when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas. After this, a few minutes went by and she said, "I want to give this to Santa." I turned my head to see what she was talking about and she was holding out her ninny (her pacifier, which she is extremely attached to). I asked her if she was sure and she said yes, even after I explained that she wouldn't have one when it was time to go to bed tonight and she would have to sleep without it. She said yes again and that she was a big girl.

So we got to the mall and waited in line to see Santa. When it was her turn, she walked right up to him and handed over the ninnies (there was another one in the car, so we gave him two). It was so cute! Santa said, "We do something very special with these," and he hung them on the Christmas tree. (There were a few others hanging up there, too.)

Then H. told him she wanted "Dora toys" for Christmas, but would not sit on his lap or even stand in front of him to have her picture taken. She was done, thank you very much. I think she was a little traumatized by giving up her ninnies, since as she was getting back in the stroller she said, "Can we go home now?" And seeing Santa was the first thing we did at the mall! But she was a real trooper and I bought her a Dora nightgown to wear tonight to celebrate her big accomplishment. Let's just hope I'm not up all night because she's crying for her ninny. (I did scour the house once we got home and found two other ninnies, which are now hidden away in the medicine cabinet, just in case, but hopefully this is the real deal and we can finally get rid of it.)

The coolest thing happened to me on Saturday - I won an iPod Shuffle! Some time in the fall, I had filled out a tear-off card from a display in the grocery store (for some product I don't even buy) and voila, a few months later, a free iPod arrives in my mailbox. I haven't set it up yet (that will be my reward for turning in my last paper of the semester, which is due tonight by midnight), but I'm anxious to load it up and see how it works. Good thing I decided not to ask Santa for one.

Monday, December 12, 2005

2005 Reading List

Well, I guess it's time to post this, since I don't know if I'll able to squeeze in any other books between now and the end of the year. Maybe one or two after Christmas, since I have the week off. The return to school really put a dent in my free time and reading, but of course, I did finally get to read some classics that I had long neglected. Even though I didn't read as many books this year as last year, the total balanced out to a book a week, which isn't too bad, considering how busy it seemed like I was. Some highlights: I plowed through two new series that I love - see Denise Hamilton and Meg Gardiner below - and read quite a few sad books about 9/11. I finally started Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series (long overdue) and read one George Pelecanos book. The links below are to previous posts with my thoughts or comments about the books. (I really slacked off in this area, after getting off to a good start at the beginning of the year.)

1. The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton
2. Twelve by Nick McDonell

3. China Lake by Meg Gardiner
4. High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
5. My Antonia by Willa Cather (English class)
6. Sugar Skull by Denise Hamilton
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (English class)
8. Garnethill by Denise Mina
9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (English class)
10. The Big Sea by Langston Hughes (English class)
11. Entombed by Linda Fairstein
12. Suspicion of Rage by Barbara Parker

13. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (English class)
14. Most Wanted by Michele Martinez
15. Mission Canyon by Meg Gardiner
16. Drama City by George Pelecanos
17. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (English class)
18. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (English class)
19. Paradise by Toni Morrison (English class)
20. Hard Truth by Nevada Barr
21. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (English class)
22. Render Up the Body by Marianne Wesson
23. Cold by John Smolens
24. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
25. Missing Justice by Alafair Burke
26. 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn
27. Jericho Point by Meg Gardiner
28. Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
29. Fade by Kyle Mills
30. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
31. The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
32. Shadows by Edna Buchanan
33. Rococo by Adriana Trigiani
34. The Hundredth Man by Jack Kerley
35. Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman
36. Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline
37. Case of Lies by Perri O’Shaughnessy
38. Charm City by Laura Lippman

39. Absent Friends by S.J. Rozan
40. Blood Hollow by William Kent Krueger
41. The Innocent by Harlan Coben
42. Innocence by Kathleen Tessaro

43. The Death Collectors by Jack Kerley
44. If Looks Could Kill by Kate White
45. Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron
46. To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman
47. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare (English class)
48. Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons
49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare (English class)
50. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (English class)
51. Close Case by Alafair Burke
52. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
53. Macbeth by William Shakespeare (English class)