Dec 1, 2007

Good Taste & Christmas Fun

  • Although my blog is not specifically about food, I do identify with Tea at Tea and Cookies. Tea's witty account, Diary of a Mad Food Blogger, dishes up some tasty insight into how blogging captured her time and attention. Eventually, her blog became the springboard for a soon to be published book, which is elaborated in her post, Gratitude! Tea proves that there is nothing like a good marriage of food and storytelling. Her soul-tingling treks invite, delight, and excite the culinary passions in all of us—and her recipes are wondrous!
  • Scroll 4 posts down to read my Daddy's first blog comment under the title, "Long Beach, The Pike, & The Cyclone Racer." In his post he reminisces about his boyhood memories at The Pike!
  • Jenny at Allsorts, offers free whimsical patterns and tutorials for your Christmas pleasure. You may select felted projects such as: an elf clog, a tiny button tree, and a peppermint star. If you are looking for a high resolution alphabet to integrate into newsletters or projects and/or Christmas gift labels, you will find simple solutions ready for printing and clipping! Equally fun are her 2 interactive web pages: Home Sweet Home, where an online gingerbread house is decorated, or Dress Zoe Christmas Edition, a virtual paper doll waiting for her Christmas garb. Hey, never mind that it says, "Illustration for Children," at the top! It's time for the inner child to come out to play!
  • Check out the The 2007 Countdown Calendar from Ten Two Studios. It is an Advent Calendar of sorts, where each day reveals a new set of downloadable vintage clip art. The downloads are free as long as you place a link on your blog to her site.

Nov 29, 2007


FOLLOW THIS BUNNY! Yes, you heard me. Look, the snowmen are heeding my instructions! Debrak at The Bunnie's Bungalow is having an awesome GIVEAWAY that has the bunnies "pa-rum-pum-pum-puming!"

The Giveaway includes:

  • snow flake candles, gift bags & ribbons . . .
  • pretty paper plates & napkins . . .
  • tags & tins, some filled with chocolate . . .
  • cards & postage stamps and bonus goodies . . .
And the TOPPER!
  • A 1994 Christmas Collection Edition LONGABERGER BASKET: complete with plastic liner, fabric liner & a holiday tie-on!
Hop, don't stop, to The Bunnies Bungalow. JUST DO ME ONE FAVOR... When you post your comment, tell DebraK that "KJ from EYE-DYLLIC" sent you! DebraK will give me an additional entry for every time someone mentions me! Okay, just click HERE.

Deadline: December 5th at Midnight (probably EST)

Nov 28, 2007

Bells & Punctuation


Oh, he did whistle and she did sing,
And all the bells on earth did ring,
For joy that our Saviour He was born
On Christmas Day in the morning.

- From an Old English Carol


An English professor wrote the words, "a woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote:
"A woman, without her man, is nothing."

The women wrote:
"A woman: without her, man is nothing."

Punctuation is everything!

Nov 27, 2007

Long Beach, The Pike, & The Cyclone Racer

The description on the back of this vintage postcard reads: Near the entrance of the famous Rainbow Pier, is the popular Amusement and concession center, known as "The Pike," where crowds congregate daily to enjoy the many interesting and amusing attractions. [My note: The Plunge, seen in the background, was an indoor salt water swimming pool.]

My brothers and I were born in Long Beach, California, as were both of my parents. My Mom spent most of her youth in Nebraska; however, my Dad grew up in Long Beach where he later met and married my mother after she moved back to California. They then purchased a newer suburban home in Long Beach and raised 3 children.

By the late 60's, The Pike (shown above) was a fading flower. Much like it's star attraction, a wooden dual-track racing roller coaster called the Cyclone Racer, the amusement park had taken it's last ride to the top and was rapidly declining.

The Cyclone Racer at The Pike in Long Beach, California

Before The Pike was torn down, my Dad felt compelled to share a final Cyclone Racer ride with me– his eldest. At 10 years of age, I had only ridden the tamer Disneyland attractions, never the serious stuff. The Cyclone Racer– functional from 1930 to 1968– was one of my Dad's favorite childhood pastimes, an added bonus of living in a beach resort city. Introducing this ride to me was perhaps his way of saying good-bye. For me, it was my "ride" of passage.

As our train slowly gained elevation, my emotions were like a mixed cocktail of fear, apprehension, and ecstasy. This exhilaration was tethered to my confidence that Dad could protect me from anything. Nevertheless, this "confidence" was challenged when our ride gained momentum. I remember clinging to my Dad as my feelings seesawed from fright to glee. I walked away from this experience with an indelible daddy-daughter memory, and an insatiable love for roller coasters.

A vintage postcard of the Pier at Long Beach, California - 1910.

Nov 26, 2007

Holiday Recipe


A very nice spread for toast at a Christmas brunch!
  • 1 lb. sweet butter, room temperature
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. orange rind, fresh
  • 4 t. lemon juice
Mix butter and sugar until blended very smooth and soft. Slowly add the orange juice, orange rind and lemon juice.

– Juanita Rieser

Nov 25, 2007

Today's Bouquets



There are 2 inspirational poems written by the poet Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) that have given me great inspiration: It Couldn't Be Done and Myself. Yesterday, due to the prompting of another blog, I traveled deeper into this poet's body of work. I was delighted by how each his poem's resonates with the human spirit; much like a Midwestern football coach delivering the team pep talk or ruminating on life's pleasures.

The poem below, Friends, hits an immediate chord, especially in light of the many challenges my family has faced in 2007. In addition to the Faithfulness of God, friendship has been a life preserver. When our ship appeared to be sinking, I would feel a firm hand on my shoulder, often before I could turn for help. My parents, too, have been constant friends.


Ain't it fine when things are going
Topsy-turvy and askew
To discover someone showing

Good old-fashioned faith in you?

Ain't it good when life seems dreary

And your hopes about to end,

Just to feel the handclasp cheery

Of a fine old loyal friend?

Gosh! one fellow to another

Means a lot from day to day,

Seems we're living for each other

In a friendly sort of way.

When a smile or cheerful greetin'

Means so much to fellows sore,

Seems we ought to keep repeatin'

Smiles an' praises more an' more.

- Edgar Albert Guest

One Month Until Christmas (or 30 Days)

I am standing on the threshold of Christmas and I can feel myself pulling up chest voice to exclaim, "I'M GOING IN!" Admittedly, I was hiding in my foxhole on Black Friday, not wanting to engage in hand to hand combat. Instead, I did some small online boutique shopping from the comfort of my home, my feet parked on carpet instead of concrete. Ah, life is good . . . Nonetheless, I have donned my fatigues (looking more like pajamas) and I am ready to take it on: all of it!

Today, I begin my Christmas To Do List– itemizing anything that seems realistic but is always subject to editing. To implement this list with diligence, I plan to focus on 4 goals per day.
  2. GIVING: the continual lookout for ways to bless and affirm others
  3. DECIDE AND CONQUER: accomplish 1 or more things on my list
  4. INDULGENCE: something to fuel me (a sweet treat or a discovery)