Friday Dance Party – Alex Clare’s Too Close

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s graduation time everywhere I turn here in Connecticut.  When I was little, families only celebrated when you graduated from high school.  Today, we are going to parties to celebrate graduations from elementary school, junior high school and high school.  I guess the more parties the better, right?  While I like to go to a graduation party, I have always tried my hardest to get out of times where I was invited to go to the actual graduation ceremony.  I find them extremely boring…..really, so boring they are painful.  The truth be told, I find them so boring that I didn’t even attend my own college graduation.  I had the college send me my diploma and instead of going to my own ceremony, I enjoyed a long vacation in New York.  I think I don’t like the ceremony because of the speakers that are there to encourage the youth.  I have always cringed at the speakers that are chosen for graduation ceremonies.  What really can these speakers say to the young ones that is not cliché and something we’ve heard a thousand times.  Unless you can nab Obama or Oprah to speak at your graduation, you should just skip it in my opinion.

I say all this about graduation speakers and their weak speeches and then I kind of do the same thing this week.  Someone at work asked me what advice I would give to a young employee and I said without hesitation one of the oldest pieces of graduation advice ever given:  “never give up”.  Even though it’s true, it is a lame piece of advice.  I’ve been in the working world over 25 years and this is the best I can do?  I guess I understand why I’ve never given a graduation speech.  So my piece of advice, in all its wisdom, is why this week we are listening to Alex Clare’s song ‘Too Close’.  The actual song and the album it was on bombed when it was released in 2011.  Fast forward to now and have the song used on an Internet Explorer commercial and you come back with an instant hit.  Just goes to show you to “never give up” and you can have a hit with whatever it is that you do in life.  I’m a prophet!  So enjoy the song and dance while listening to it.  You made it through another week…you deserve it.

Friday Dance Party – My Whitney Tribute

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

As most of you know, Whitney Houston was one of my favorite singing stars ever since I first heard her in my senior year of college.  I can pretty much say without hesitation that I have played her music about every week from the time I discovered her through today.  I wouldn’t feel right if I did not take this opportunity to pay my respects to this wonderful singer.  If my life ever becomes a movie (which I doubt, but let’s just say), Whitney’s music would surely be on the soundtrack.  I remember hearing her in college during my senior year singing ‘The Greatest Love Of All’.  I then traveled to New York City for the first time shortly after and heard her sing it live on Governor’s Island for a celebration of the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty.  There would be four other times I heard her sing live in concert.  I remember begging my friend to dance with me at the clubs to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.  That was when I was young and thought going out to a club was a good time.  I remember a big break-up and listening over and over to ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’.  Feeling proud to be an American from her ‘Star Spangled Banner’.  You really couldn’t turn on a radio when I was on the West Coast and not hear ‘I Will Always Love You’ during ‘The Bodyguard’ era.  It always makes me smile today when a contestant on ‘American Idol’ tries one of her songs from ‘The Bodyguard’ era and the judges criticize the contestant because no one can sing ‘Bodyguard’ Whitney better than Whitney.  I discovered gospel music after buying the soundtrack from ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ and the song ‘I Believe In You and Me’.  Happy to hear her voice again when ‘I Look To You’ hit the airwaves.

So thank you Whitney for always singing when I needed someone to sing.  In your honor, we dance with you today here on Acorns On Glen.  I hope all of you who are reading this will join us.

Fun And Light Stalking In East Hampton

We were invited to spend the weekend with our good friends at their house in East Hampton, Long Island, New York. Our friends are part of a small percentage of people who actually spend the Summer and Winter at their home in the Hamptons. The Hamptons are mostly known as a Summer destination where people travel there to relax and enjoy the heat of the Summer in their home or at one of the many beaches that are on the Atlantic Ocean. Many people have never been to the Hamptons in the Winter, but it is actually a great time to go because there is no crowds and, better yet, no traffic in getting there.

From a history perspective, the Village of East Hampton is a village in the Town of East Hampton, New York. It is located in Suffolk County, on the South Fork of eastern Long Island. The population was 1,083 at the time of the United States 2010 Census. Founded in 1648 by English farmers, East Hampton remained a quiet farming community until the late 19th century, when it became a resort for the wealthy upper class. It became an artists colony in the mid-20th century, popularized by the Abstract Expressionists, most notably Jackson Pollack. Today, it has become a premier weekend destination during the Summer season.

Winter has another benefit in East Hampton as well. Besides no crowds and little traffic, finding your favorite star’s cottage is much easier as well. Yes, I admit that I enjoy finding famous people’s houses and staring at them from the car or from the road that runs in front of their places. Winter is the best time for a light stalking adventure because you can see through the vines and shrubs that are in front of the houses because they have lost their leaves.

My latest trip centered on finding a few homes of my favorite FOODIE people. Enjoy a few of the shots I took on my East Hampton adventure:

Come out, come out Martha Stewart. Here we are in front of Martha’s East Hampton home on Lily Pond Lane. The front yard was filled with burlap covering various shrubs, bushes and small trees for the Winter. The burlap is sort of her Winter trademark. Since I am a civilized stalker, I only go as far as the front gate! If you want to see what the inside looks like, visit here.

Are you there, Barefoot Contessa? Yes, here is a shot of Ina Garten’s East Hampton home. See how the hedge in Winter enables you to see right through?

Another shot of Ina’s home as the car creeps down the roadway.

Remember the season that Ina moved from filming in her home’s kitchen to a look-alike kitchen in her new studio? Here is a shot of the studio which is on the lot right next to her home.

Don’t think less of me because of my stalking. I like to think that it shows I have a high level of curiosity versus stalker-like tendencies. I can’t believe I am the first person to do this, so I feel secure in the knowledge that there are others out there who are like me and understand. Now I just have to figure out how to get one of them to invite me in for a little bite and some tea without getting arrested.

Friday Dance Party – Give Me All Your Luvin’ Madonna

Guess what?  It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

OK, who watched the Super Bowl?  Maybe it’s easier to ask who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?  Me, like most Americans, watched the game during a Super Bowl party surrounded by pigs in the blanket, sliders, pulled pork, chicken strips and nachos, to name a few of the things that were there to eat.  While I thought only the fourth quarter of the game was exciting and was happy that the New York Giants won, I thought it only right to give big props to Madonna who I thought put on quite a fun and lively half-time show.  Like her or not, you have to admit that at 53 years old, Madge still has it.  At 48, I can’t:

  • Run around and dance for 13 minutes,
  • Round up fifty gladiators to pull my throne and me around,
  • Stretch my leg straight and pull it above my head.  Even if I could, I would need an orthopedic doctor to be present to help re-attach my leg to my hip bone!, and,
  • Keep hip and understand who Nicki Minoj, LMFAO, CeLo Green and M.I.A. are and where they come from.

So I give Madonna an A for her half-time show.  Since it’s Friday, turn up your speakers and enjoy her two ways:  I put her new song at the beginning of my post and her actual Super Bowl performance here.

Pick your poison and dance.  You’ve made it through another week and you deserve to celebrate.  Just don’t let me catch you trying any moves from ‘Vogue’….I’ll have to laugh at you.

Friday Dance Party – Fun. We Are Young Featuring Janelle Monáe.

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

January, 2012 has been typical of all the January’s I’ve experienced over the last ten to fifteen years.  We go to a New Year’s Eve party where everyone complains the next day on how it could have been better even though I had a good time.  Within a week or two into the new year, I decide that I am too heavy and I decide to go on a strict diet.  Towards the end of the month, I always buy a self-help book and begin reading it and then decide that I don’t really want to work on being (pick one:  more loving, more caring, more honest with my partner, better able to read my internal body signs, able to pick healthier foods, ten years younger in ten days).  The list goes on and on.  This year the self-help book I’m reading says that a common trick to looking and feeling younger is to act like you are young again.  It says to pick a time in your young life when you were the happiest and act like that for a period of time and you will feel better and look younger.  So I ask, does this make any sense to you and do any of us really want to go back and act like we did when we were young?  I’m not sure I do!  Granted, if I could go back and be 25 or 30 again, but with the knowledge I have now, then maybe I would do it.  However, without my 47 years of wisdom, I’m not a fan of going back to those days.  Even at my youngest and happiest, I still did some really stupid stuff:

  • Relationships – I remember during a break-up, I went and laid behind the back wheels of the person’s car so there was no way the person could leave without either dealing with me or running over me.
  • Work – I made people at work understand that I would most likely be hung over every Monday because there was a bar that I liked that had Sunday night beer blast when bottles of beer were only $1.
  • Finances – I took out cash advances on three credit cards and borrowed money from my parents to buy my first apartment.  Savings at that time totaled $0.

I think you get where I’m coming from.  Acting like this again just isn’t in me these days.  How about I just stick with something I know and think I’m getting really good at –  being 47 and proud of it.  This week’s dance number comes from a group named Fun. with their song ‘We Are Young’ featuring Janelle Monae.  So let’s dance this week and be proud of earning our stripes over the years.  It’s another week down and we’ve made it through.  After we’re done dancing, I’m off to find another $1 Beer Blast.  I think this beer blast from the past should really come back in style, don’t you?

Friday Dance Party – Beyonce’s Countdown

So here’s another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s strange what makes the news nowadays.  It seems we hear more and more celebrity drama reported right up there with the European debt crisis, the war in Afghanistan and the Republican primaries.  On a recent newscast I watched, Mitt Romney’s win in New Hampshire was followed by an in-depth story on Katy Perry’s divorce and the reaction it has gotten from her very Christian parents.  Was this newscast for real?  Do people really care?  I guess they do or this type of reporting wouldn’t exist.  Is it that there is so much going on in the world to depress people that any chance to show someone fall down who seems to “have it all” makes the masses a little happier?  Case in point, the birth this week of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby girl, Blue Ivy.  Can you imagine how you would feel if you got your contractions down to a few minutes apart, you rush to the hospital, you deliver your child and at the same time you are creating an international scandal.  Here are some headlines across New York City newspapers this week:

“See The Room Where Beyoncé Gave Birth”

“Beyoncé Gives Birth On Saturday”

“Beyoncé And Jay-Z Welcome Blue Ivy”

“Name Blue IVy Centers On Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Infatuation With The Number 4″

“What Kind Of Name Is Beyoncé’s Baby Blue Ivy”

(Picture courtesy of 50 Cent on Twitter)

“NYC Hospital Under Scrutiny After Beyoncé Birth”

“Hospital Investigating Beyoncé Birth Allegations”

“NYC Mayor Weighs In On Beyoncé Birth”

“New Mother – I Couldn’t Breast Feed My New Baby Because Of Beyoncé Security”

Enough already.  Just let them enjoy the birth of their daughter.  Yes, I know that people say they make a lot of money and sign up for this type of scrutiny, but really, does this mean intense scrutiny even in the most private of life events like the birth of a child.  I just don’t agree with that theory.  So here’s my headline:

“Beyoncé Gives Birth –  Let’s Dance”

We made it through another week.  Let’s celebrate with “Countdown” by Beyoncé.  Go on, you deserve it.  Get up and dance (just don’t let any paparazzi take your picture).  Don’t even let me see you on the cover of the National Enquirer.

2011’s Top 11 – Decided By You

JoJo the Yorkie and I curled up yesterday to pick the top 11 stories that we posted during 2011 here on Acorns On Glen.  Some of us curled up a little too much.  Can you see where JoJo starts and the faux fur blanket ends?  We started this blog in February as a way for us to realize and then give thanks for all the great things that happen in our lives.  You just can’t take life for granted and this blog is a great way for us to reflect and cherish the fact that we have great family, great friends and now a whole group of great people that visit Acorns On Glen on a frequent basis.  We’ve been blown away by the number of people that stop by and read our posts.  Thanks to all of you who have welcomed us into your lives this year.  The posts that have been visited the most are varied, but the majority of the top 11 seems to show that all of you, our readers, like good food and how to cook it.  Here are 2011’s top 11 posts:

1.  Funky Italian Stuffed Peppers

Our Notorius B.I.G. (Brooklyn Italian Grandmother) heads the list with her great recipe for cubanelle peppers.

2.  South Carolina’s Unbelievable Angel Oak

You liked our sight-seeing trip down in Charleston, South Carolina.

3.  Time For Tuberous Begonias

The story about the begonia tubers I’ve had for years is our most viewed gardening post.

4.  Lots Of Bling – Christie’s Important Jewels

You like jewelry, eh?  Yes you do, big stones with lots of sparkle is what you like.

5.  The Man Behind The Curtain

My bio….you like me, you really like me.

6.  A Toadstool Birthday Tea

Our first guest blogger shows us how to throw a great birthday tea for the little ones.

7.  Luna Moth Or Not – You Be The Judge

A truly magnificent discovery that landed on the back side of our house and stayed for a few days so that we could marvel at it.

8.  A Field Trip To Le Farm Restaurant

Just like us, you enjoyed the cooking of Bill Taibe at his Westport, CT restaurant, Le Farm.

9.  Chocolate Caramel Tart With Fleur De Sel

Who can resist this sweet-salty flavor combination?  We can’t!

10.  Thinking Of My Citrus House Guests

Our little orange and lime trees impressed this year and even gave us a few pieces of fruit.

11.  Meatball Mania With Sauce

Finishing off just the way we started, another hit dish from Notorius B.I.G.

So here’s to everyone who has helped make Acorns On Glen a success.  We are truly humbled by the response, along with your words of encouragement, and can’t wait to share 2012 with you.  We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year (wish I could pass everyone a glass of champagne now) and may 2012 bring you great joy and happiness beyond your wildest imagination.