Tuesday, December 28, 2010


"Austerity" tops the list of Merriam-Webster's top 10 words of the year.  The renowned dictionary defines austerity as an "enforced or extreme economy" and says lookups for the word peaked dramatically during the year because of global economic conditions and the debt crises in Europe, especially during and after the financial troubles in Greece.

Some other words making this year's list include moratorium, socialism, dissident, and doppelganger.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kate Smith postage stamp

Every year I mail Christmas cards out and this year is no exception.  What is different this Christmas is the postage stamps that I chose.  I usually go with one of the traditional or religious holiday designs, but this year I decided to select the Kate Smith stamp.  It features a nice image of the late singer (famous for her rendition of 'God Bless America') with the Red, White and Blue behind her.  I find it festive and patriotic at the same time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

World' Most Expensive Book

Last week in London a first edition of John James Audubon's, "Birds of America", sold for over $10,000,000, making it the world's most expensive book.  Published in 1827, the 3 feet by 2 feet book features over 435 hand-colored illustrations of birds, drawn to size.  It is considered by many to be the most important natural history book of America.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hogwarts Express

I never had a model train growing up, but received one as an adult a few years ago.  Knowing how much I enjoy the Harry Potter books and movies, a dear friend gave me the Hogwarts Express as a Christmas gift.  The set consists of the engine, tinder car, and two passenger cars on an oval track. 

Last night Frank and I put it together under our Christmas tree in the den.  The track sits perfectly on the antique tree skirt that Frank recently bought.  We added a village scene, too.  Now, under the magic of the twinkling lights, shiny ornaments and tree branches, the red and black wizard train travels on its magical journey.