2011 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

I want to thank everyone who visited and took the time to click the ‘Like’ , ‘Follow’, and ‘Leave a Comment’ button.  You’ve all kept me going and wanting to write even more.

Thank you for making this blog possible.  The report is interesting to view, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you so much and I look forward to writing more in 2012, filling up your inbox with new posts.

Signing off, in 2011

~Kate

A Christmas Dance

"Dance with me," he requested, holding out his hand.

“Dance with me,”  Scott requested, holding out his hand.  He pulled Claudine into his arms and guided her in time to the soft Christmas music issuing from the speakers. 

They were the only ones at the informal party dancing.  Everyone else had been chatting around the coffee table as fragrant cups of steaming coffee were handed out in delicate china cups.  Trays of sweets were passed around on large trays.  Luscious tarts, elegantly decorated sugar cookies, and rich morsels of English toffee, covered the trays.

She had been sitting in a pine green velvet chair next to the large white pine Christmas tree  bedazzled in stunning turquoise and cranberry balls.  Lavish, glittering snowflakes hid among the branches while crystal icicles dripped from the branches.  While the tree could have been considered very patriotic, it’s very essence was luxurious and elegant.  The little twinkle lights sparkled and caused the faceted ornaments to send shimmering light across Claudine’s gown.  The flame colored gown of silk Georgette  sparkled  as she sat apart from the gathering of people.  The lights even made her sable hair light up with little twinkles.  She looked hauntingly beautiful.  She also looked hauntingly sad.

 Lost in her thoughts, Scott had hesitated, not wanting to intrude, but a crystal tear, caught in the corner of her eye, like a delicately placed diamond, demanded he remedy the situation.

Claudine danced silently, her thoughts troubled by his closeness.  She had been lost in thought when his deep voice and outstretched hand had brought her crashing back to reality.  She wasn’t sure why she had accepted his request.  He disturbed her in ways she couldn’t explain.  She wasn’t sure how she felt about him other than she was always on guard.  A feeling of helplessness always centered in her chest when he was near.  As if she didn’t know what to say next.  Or what he would say.

“Are you better now?”  he asked gently.

“Of-,” her voice broke and she cleared her throat.  “Of course I am.  Why do you ask?”

Her tone was defensive and he smiled at her prickly question.  His hand held her’s loosely, while the palm of his other rested on her hip, just a touch possesively.  He wanted to pull her closer, but thought she might object.

“You seemed to somber a bit ago.”

“Was I?  I can’t remember why,” she mused.

“Well, the tears are gone.”

“Tears?”

“You had one caught,” and he touched the corner of her eye with his fingertip, her lashes brushing feather-soft.  “Right there.”

“Oh.”  Her voice was soft.  “Certain Christmas music always seems to make me a bit misty eyed.”

“Hmm,” was all he said.  He didn’t believe her.  He gave into temptation and pulled her just a little bit closer.  He grinned as he heard her breath hitch.

“Do I bother you?”  he questioned.  He felt he knew the answer, and his suspicions were confirmed as her emotions warred and flashed across her face.  He felt her fingers clench in the wool of his forest green pullover.  Her pansy brown eyes grew big and round and a faint flush of rose spread over her cheeks.

“I do, don’t I?”  he said in amazement.

She stared resolutely at the collar of his white shirt.  She wasn’t sure what she’d blurt out if she looked up into his coffee-colored eyes.

“Yes,” she finally muttered.

“Pardon, can you repeat that?  I didn’t hear you,” he asked as he inclined his head closer to her mouth.

“Yes!” she hissed.  “You do bother me.”

“Why?”  He looked down into her eyes, now glittering with more unshed tears, as if the admission had cost her.  He thought she might not answer, as she kept silent for a long while, her lush mouth compressed in a tight line.

“I don’t know,” she whispered, eventually.

“I don’t bite, you know.”

“I’m not so sure of that,” she muttered in reply.

His laugh was low, but rich and full of body.  It swirled around her, and she felt the vibrations travel through her body.  The motion made her breathless as tingles of awareness moved through her body.  She glanced up at him through her lashes, eyeing him carefully.  She must have given something away; she wasn’t sure what, but before she could protest, his mouth settled on hers, ever so softly.

He kissed her gently, lingeringly, and when he pulled back, it was his turn to have troubled eyes.

“Whoa,” he murmured.  His eyes searched her’s, feeling a blaze of something hit his gut as she inclined her head closer to his.

He kissed her again, then spun her around as the music continued to play softly.

 

 

Like I mentioned over on Escaping the Inkwell, I’ve been inspired by Emilie Loring right now.  This bit of flash fiction came after listening to some really nice instrumental jazz Christmas music.  I just pictured this grand old home, with a large living room, decked out in gorgeous Christmas decorations, a la Martha Stewart.  From there, I wondered why someone would be dancing.  Well, of course, me being the romantic I am, I needed a guy and a girl.  I’ve been playing around with names, and Claudine seemed nice.  Scott is a name from a Loring, so I borrowed it.  I borrow names all the time.  I’m terrible at name hunting.

So, if you can picture it, there they were, dancing.  Picture Kevin Kline’s line to Meg Ryan in French Kiss.  “And we’re dancing.”

Signing off

~Kate

Christmastime Is Here

“The Day” is practically here, but I thought I would post about some of my favorite holiday traditions today.
Christmas Portrait

Image via Wikipedia

It’s just not Christmas to me unless I listen to the Carpenter’s A Christmas Portrait album.  When I was little I loved playing that record over and over during the season.  Karen Carpenter’s version of the Christmas Song is still my favorite.  As well as the Christmas Waltz.  The first words,” Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree,” are what I remember most about her voice.  I was a teenager when we finally got the cd version.  The version that Richard Carpenter messed up.  I mean, what happened to “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”?  Though I listen to the cd most of the time, I miss the original recording. Yes, I could play the record, and I really should.

A Charlie Brown Christmas never fails to delight me.  I watched it last week with my sister, and will probably do it again once more just for good measure.  I love Snoopy and the gang.  I love Linus’ version of the Christmas story.  This cartoon never fails to delight me.

Along with Charlie Brown is another classic.  How the Grinch Stole

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas.  I love, love, love this one more than Charlie Brown, I think.  I love Max, the dog, and the whole story.  I’ve almost gotten the story down where I can repeat it, but not yet.  A few more years.  I have managed to watch this twice already this year.
Another little thing I love reading a book from my childhood.  It’s A Child’s Christmas Cookbook.  Put out by the Denver Art Museum back in 1964, this book is illustrated with Victorian pen and ink drawings by Thomas Nast.  The book is cutzy little recipes and ideas for children during the holiday season. I’ve never made anything in it, but it’s adorable to read. You can read it like a book as it’s a thin paperback.  I can’t explain why I love it so, but it just brings to mind the smell of Christmas trees and sitting in the living room looking at all our Christmas books. Out of all the books for this time of year, this one is one in particular I ALWAYS read.

Another book or story, is The Night Before Christmas.  A total classic, I know, but a must.  Need I say more?

Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Ka...

Image via Wikipedia

Ah, films.  It’s just not Christmas without White Christmas.  That old classic Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film.  I never grow tired of it, though this year, I wonder if I will get to it in time for the holiday.  If not, I don’t mind too much.

Cover of "The Santa Clause (Widescreen Sp...

Cover via Amazon

Lastly are the three Santa Clause films with Tim Allen as Santa.  I love them, and they have become a staple.  There are other things that scream Christmas to me, and many other things that are minor traditions, these just happen to be musts in my mind.

So, to all my readers, Merry Christmas.  Have a safe and joyful holiday with friends and family.

Signing off
~Kate

Santa Baby Disney Style

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, A ring....

Okay, this is out there, but bear with me.

I just finished listening to Eartha Kitt’s rendition of Santa Baby.  People, this is probably one of the best versions I’ve ever heard.  It’s sexy and cute and so right on for a gal like me.

But then my mother got this brilliant idea.  I don’t know how many people know this, but Eartha Kitt voiced the character of Yzma from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove.  The dastardly evil witch of a lady.  I loved her.

Santa darling, you might want to run from her....

Now picture that character singing Santa Baby.  Oh the image is too delightfully funny.  I can picture her, Yzma, singing to Kronk, her henchman.  Yes, I like that.

So just some silly goofy holiday fun.

Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree, For me.
been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa baby, a 54 convertible too,
Light blue.
I’ll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed,
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed,
Next year I could be just as good,
If you’ll check off my Christmas list,

Santa baby, I wanna yacht,
And really that’s not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex,
And checks.
Sign your ‘X’ on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With some decorations bought at Tiffany’s,
I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me,

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing,
A ring.
I don’t mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry, tonight.

Signing off

~Kate

A Call For Christmas

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Image via Wikipedia

Right now there is this wonderful thing going on with the United States Postal Service.  Operation Santa Claus is a charity that answers letters to ‘Santa’ from children who are in need.  The post office sorts the wants from the needs, blocks out personal information then volunteers can purchase what is needed by the child.  The items are brought back to the post office where mail carriers works to make sure the packages get to the proper homes.

This is wonderful.  This country is filled with people who are struggling.  Parents that are out of work, children that need clothes, shoes, a place to sleep at night.  Many things.  This country is so full of people in need. 

I wish I was able to help with as many of these cases as possible, but it’s not possible.  However, the thing that I was thinking this morning, as I was  watching the report on Fox News is that, where is Franklin Graham and his organization, Samaritans Purse?  Or Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?  Where is Joel Osteen and his ministry? 

These are ministries that in one fell swoop could be helping out in situations like this?  Where are all the other churches and associations, charities and such in situations like this?

Franklin Graham was all about helping North Korea and wanting people to donate to his cause with them.  What about our people here in the US?  We have one of the greatest nations, heck, I think we are, but why are we working so hard for all those other countries while we let our people starve?  Why are these ministries focused on other countries?

Personally, I am disgusted by what I know of certain ministries.  Why are missionaries required to go to the missionary barrel to get old cast of clothing?  Why are members of churches not out purchasing something new?  These missionaries are doing God’s work.  Why should they have to have cast offs?  It’s wrong.

Why are we not helping more of the homeless in this country?  It disgusts me.

I think Operation Santa Claus is wonderful.  Click the name to find out more information.  I encourage people to do what they can.  My family, and our family business donated so much of our naturally grown produce this year to one of the churches that provides community lunches to those in need.  Do what you can. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Signing off

~Kate

Where The Books Are

I have a couple great post ideas for here, but for now, some bookshop/library/personal bookshelf love.  I want every single one of these.

via whitney-shea

via booksandporn

 

via booksandporn

 

A Secret Door, by Simon Brown Photography

 
 
 

So, yeah, I’m totally lusting after all of these places. I want all of them, and I wouldn’t mind a house for each of them, with a guy that wants to travel around with me to each house…. Spend a couple months at each place. Yum.

The library with the secret door is especially appealing.

Signing off

~Kate

Where Are The Classics?

Cover of "Bright Star"

Cover of Bright Star

I started watching Bright Star the other day.  About the life and romance of John Keats and Fanny Brawne.  Well, any ways, the film starts off with Fanny wanting to read Endymion, by Mr. Keats.  Of course, because I love anything literary-ish, and British to boot, I decided I needed to take a look at Endymion.

My library system doesn’t have a copy of Endymion.  At all.  Nor does it have much on Keats.  Actually, my library system is lacking in quite a few of the classics.  It’s missing certain Shakespeare plays…. Like Romeo and Juliet.  Um, am I missing something here?  Shouldn’t the library be the place to get these kinds of works?

So, I’m relegated to having to read Endymion online.  I hate reading things like this online. I like flipping through a book and pulling out passages I like.  I started reading Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake, in a book from the library. I loved the edition, but have yet to find it myself, or at least the specific edition. I do have a selected works of Scott, and a paperback copy of the Lady of the Lake, which is old.  Any ways, I like reading the book format.  Not online.

The thing is, my library system isn’t small. I mean, the library is the whole county.  Not just my town.  And the county has 50K people.  So it’s not impossible.  No, the library has to put dumb worthless books in the library.  It has to ‘weed’ out books on classical painters and such because they don’t get checked out much.  But it can’t seem to have decent copies of the classics.  Especially in the poetry section. 

Now I get that poetry isn’t terribly popular.  Only unique people read it.  Yes, I’m unique, but still, CLASSICS!  Come on, isn’t that one of the reasons for going to the library?  Not everyone wants to own a classic, but at some point just about every one has read one.

Well, I’m ranting, but this is just my opinion.  I guess I’ll just have to suffer through the online version.  Same goes for wanting to read The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding.  I think there is a copy in the system, but it requires more work than I care to put into it, to read it.  So again, online.  Which probably means I’ll never read it.

Signing off

~Kate

Here’s to Thanksgiving

118_1320789308_large

via Weheartit

Here’s to the day

to the parade of parades

to the family

to a tradition ripe with history

to the start of the holiday season

to pumpkin pie

to turkey

to the football games and scores

to the men and women who have made this country great

to the ones that sacrificed to make it ours

to the Native Americans who made it possible

to the Pilgrims who believed

to God who gave us this great nation

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Lipstick

The delicate art of applying lipstick

She uncapped the tube of expensive lipstick, its gold cap winking in the light, opened her compact, and while holding the cap and compact in one hand, applied the silky peach to her full lips with her other hand.  She swiped the fig scented color over her bottom lip, the velvety texture of her skin catching and slowing her movement with the slight drag.  She deftly traced the bow shape of her upper lip, using her pinky to correct a slight smudge.  She blotted her lips against each other to fill in any missed spots, then pursed her mouth in a kiss, making sure all was well in the mirror.

Apparently satisfied, she closed her compact with a  snap and capped the tube.  Her eyes rose to his amused gaze and she kissed the air in his direction.

 

I love applying lipstick in public.  There’s something sort of sexy and intimate about the whole process.  I’ve perfected my form, and yes, I do it almost like I wrote, though rarely do I kiss the air.  But, there is something incredibly feminine about this little task.  And I always try to carry my lipstick and compact with me.  For those interested, I highly recommend Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Sugar Honey.  Yeah, it’s expensive, but it is the most luscious lipstick I have ever used.  It is my one huge indulgence.

Signing off

~Kate

Door of Opportunity

 

Antique Lunenburg door (02)

Doors.  An opening to opportunity.  A sign of a welcome home. 

Unless a  door is vivid and obvious, most don’t regard a door as much beyond just that; a door.  Oh but bold, bright doors call to us.  Make us notice the possibilities.  Red doors scream, “Look at me!  Come in.  Se what is exciting beyond me.”
 

I am always curious what is beyond a bright door.

Doors with a window to see in are calling for us to glance in and take a peek into the lives of whoever resides within.  They are welcoming.

Dark, solid doors worry me.  They are grim and foreboding. I avoid dark doors.

 Doors with a knocker call to my mind the image of either a grand old lady or a household of affluence and elegance.  You don’t see many doors with a knocker, but they are so elegant.   They make that solid door less foreboding because they are calling for you to approach to see who’s inside.  They are welcoming in their elegance.

Signing off

~Kate