Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vermont winterscape, part 2

Another beautiful Vermont photograph from Paul Moody. Here's his lovely flickrstream.

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

Say good-bye (good riddance!) to 2008 & get ready for a challenging new year with a few lessons from smart people. Randy Pausch's legacy continues to grow, as it should. We can't add to it, but we can remind people. There are links to the video of Randy's Last Lecture in 2007, his site at Carnegie-Mellon University, & translations. Much love to his family & friends, in Pittsburgh (!) & elsewhere.

Update: Randy dedicated a great deal of his life to public domain information (see Alice Project). We are downhearted & quite angry to report that much of the available visual material has been claimed as property upon which people (other than Randy's family) are making money! We are especially steamed by bad blogger behavior (BBB). When Randy was alive, he stopped this sort of thing. Someone even has the nerve to put all sorts of warnings on a Wikipedia page. Ugh. So the photo of Pittsburgh is courtesy of Duquesne U. in the 'Burgh. Thank you! (And the rest of you? For shame. Remember: instant karma.)

Happy New Year!
GG & her editor

photograph of Pittsburgh/Duquesne University

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-New Year's Party

Those nuts! It's Marianne Perdomo's wacky friends Elisa (the dog), Alvar our favorite white cat, & adorable black & white pink-nosed Humphrey again. Here's a post of the partying trio. No animals were hurt in the making of this photo, we promise. Marianne's a genius with animals & her camera. Here's her great flickrstream (which includes great shots around Gran Canaria, where she lives & rescues animals).

What are you doing for New Year's Eve? GG wants to go & dance on the bar at the nearby pub. We don't think that's the greatest idea (for her). We think at-home fun is best this year (for her editor).


The playing threesome - El trío juguetón (1)/Marianne Perdomo
AttributionShare Alike some rights reserved

WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)

You can download various sizes of the poster, watch videos, & explore Imagine Peace site, here. Here is Yoko Ono's Christmas message. Thank you to Susan of heysusy for the idea. Like her, we think it's fine to leave up the poster year-round.

Merry ciao-meow on this fifth day of Christmas. GG wants to know where the heck are her five golden rings? Sigh. Materialist.

GG's Santa

materials courtesy of Imagine Peace

Monday, December 29, 2008

La coiffure

It's no wonder that this is from Cute Overload via We Heart It. We can just hear it. "They'll be here any minute for the party. You can play with your Christmas mouse in a minute. Stand still, Miss Kitten."

bisou &
merry meow,
GG Christmas Central

Putting on the Feed Bag

We received one for Christmas & love it. When you see one at Whole Foods or elsewhere, consider picking one up. (You can also order them here.) Very sturdy, attractive, & of course it helps the World Food Programme. The brainchild of Lauren Bush who co-founded

GG took a twirl in the bag last Sunday & if she would just stay in the darn thing, we'd take her all over town in it. Holds a lot of groceries, the Sunday newspapers, & one 10.5 lb cat. Excellent!

xoxo &
merry meow,
GG's editor

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

We hope it's been a wonderful holiday. Have fun tonight! (Photographs via Martha Stewart). See here for Hanukkah section; bookmark & clip ideas for next year!

GG & her editor

December's Journey of the Darfur Tents

We've received some questions about the Tents of Hope & their journey from Washington, DC to Darfur. Well. As one might expect, this is not an average shipment. Just remember your own holiday package travails in years past & multiply it by, um, a lot.

Darfur Peace & Development Organization (DPDO) was the recipient of the tents in November. Program Director Susan Burgess-Lent's step-by-step explanation of where the Tents of Hope are now, where they're going, & why they've not left New Jersey yet, is here (along with additional photos). There's a timeline & explanation. They will be shepherded carefully, we are totally confident, because DPDO is not only committed, but peopled with the most wonderfully stubborn folks we have ever met! More as the tents make their way from Newark to Darfur (via Libya). Fingers crossed for mid-February.

Cheers, GG's editor

photograph of completed Amnesty International Tent/Charles Joy/
Group #297 Amnesty International/Silver Spring-Takoma Park, MD

collage by GG/use only if permission is received from Susan Burgess-Lent

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snowflake mama & kitten

We couldn't resist. My Beautiful Mama & Me. From We Heart It (originally on SubterfugeMalaises on deviantArt).

Snow in Spokane

Our friend Maria Caterina di Perugia took this photo & sent it from her phone in Spokane where she was visiting family (& having a devil of a time getting back East for Christmas Eve!) Thanks for the pix, MCat!

GG Central

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Cat with Fairy Lights

Uh oh. Someone's in trouble. We hope right after this moment, the kitty was scooped up out of those fairy lights. Adorable, though. From Cute Overload via We Heart It.

merry meow,
GG & her editor

Free Coloring Pages for Children

Christmas is still here according to GG & her editor. What is this American rush to "get it over with" & on to the next thing? Calm down, people! It's only the second day of Christmas...we're waiting for a pair of turtle doves.

Here is a site with lots of fun & simple craft projects for children. Lots & lots of coloring pages one can print-out. Can't beat that price. The blog title, Fun 4 The Children, pretty much says it all.

merry meow,
GG Central

Happy Boxing Day! all our friends in Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, & elsewhere who celebrate Boxing Day.

GG Central

From Elaine's Boxing Day Page. Go here to learn all about it (for Americans).

Graphics by Elaine

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sparkly Santa

GG go to sleep, already. Santa's on his way!

merry meow to all!
GG's Santa

from Vintage Holiday Crafts

A Cheerful Christmas Reindeer

Another adorable reindeer. GG & her editor would love to go on a sleigh ride (if the reindeer don't mind).

(Photograph by John the Finn)

Adopt an IKEA giraffe & help a child

It's the last day of IKEA's soft animal toy campaign to raise funds for Save the Children & UNICEF. Please go here for all the details. We love this darling giraffe. There's a zoo's worth of sweet animals to choose from...please help. IKEA can be fun at the last minute, too. (It is!)

Merry ciao-meow!
GG's Santa

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have a Wonderful Life

It's showing through Christmas Day at the big beautiful AFI Silver Deco Theatre in our neighborhood. A few years ago, we saw it on the big screen for the first time & there's so much detail we'd missed on television. The theatre was packed with people of all ages & there was a wonderful spirit in the air. This year, it's more appropriate than ever. If you're in the Washington, DC-area, try to see it there; you can buy tickets online without a fee. (If you miss it, it's an annual AFI tradition so you can plan for next year.) If money is an issue this year (sadly, it is for far too many), IAWL is on American network television on Christmas Eve (tomorrow night).

xoxo, bisou, ciao-merry-meow
GG & her editor

PS: It's possible to care about Zimbabwe, Congo, Darfur, Somalia, & other troubled places & their people & still see movies & carry on with life. In fact, it may be essential. Just in case anyone was wondering about the rather odd mix of items. That's just the way it is.

public domain still/It's A Wonderful Life

Christmas in Zimbabwe is cancelled

We were/are enraged by the sight of yesterday's New York Times front page photo that we could hardly stay quiet around people in the market complaining that they couldn't buy everything they wanted. Children collecting (& eating) hard kernels of corn spilt on a road.

Robert Mugabe is a war criminal & should be forced from "service" by fellow Africans. He is NOT a resistance hero & it has been many, many years since that could be said with a straight face. It's disgusting how South African "leaders" have done nothing. Botswana & a few other countries have had the guts to say aloud what should be done. But South Africa is the regional power that could really do something.

It dishonors Nelson Mandela to speak of Mugabe as the same sort of national hero.

Zimbabweans are more than half-starved, cold, & physically in no condition to have a huge uprising. This seems to elude many people who say, "Let the Zimbabweans get rid of him." Could you do that after years of starvation, cholera, general scavenging to try to stay alive? Beatings? NO, you could not, we guarantee it.

photograph from Zimbabwe unattributed but courtesy of IRIN Photo
photograph of children picking up food by
Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Associated Press

Copenhagen Christmas Tree

From fabulous Copenhagen Cycle Chic, titled Copenhagen Yule. [Here is our 22 November post about CCC.] Clever, clever, sensible, & chic: what more could one possibly want?! We'd have a tree in the apartment by now if we lived like this. No fuss, no muss. Read here for the accompanying text. The best! Merry holidays to all our friends in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, & Finland. You are truly inspirational.

Merry Meow!


photograph/Cophenhagen Yule
Mikael Colville-Andersen aka Zakkaliciousness

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ice Skating in London

At Somerset much fun is it? A lot! Wish we were there with stylish & sweet Emma Watson (aka Hermione). Seen on Wee Birdy (a really fun site). Wherever you are, though, most likely there's an outdoor rink (in the northern climes). There's a darling one here in Washington, at the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art's East Wing. Go! Except: It will be closed at least part of Inaugural if you were planning to do that, which would be totally cool, forget it kids. (photograph by Alan Davidson)

merry skating!
GG's editor

A Swedish Christmas Kitchen

Isn't this beautiful & calm? Artist Lori Langille, of Automatism, scanned it from a vintage Marie Claire Maison. It's from Lori's 24 Days of Noël series (Day Six). We thank her for being so gracious & allowing us to show it here. This traditionally-decorated Swedish kitchen reminds us that a light touch is often the best. Have a good Monday.

merry meow,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy First Night of Hanukkah!

To all our Jewish friends everywhere: Happy Hanukkah! We'll stick to that spelling for now. This pretty dreidel is from Vintage Holiday & Crafts Clip Art. Invite us over for latkes!

GG & her editor

A Christmas Cat Nap

Marianne Perdomo's photos are very popular, for good reason. Here is our snowflake cat, Alvar, with his good friend Humphrey. A holiday nap...looks like a good idea. Yawn.

xo, GG

Humphrey & Alvar by Marianne Perdomo
AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved

Christmas Tree Love, Part 2

Darling. Seen on Wee Birdy, first on Lobster & Swan (that we know of), by Dutch designer Jane Schouter of All The Luck In The World.

GG Christmas Central

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dr. Zhivago style

Oh we're not nostalgic for revolution, dying, & starvation. No, no. We have to read & write about that all of the time. No, the film is on our local PBS station tonight. So we've been thinking about how cozy the clothing looks (if one is not a freezing important point).

We've been in need of a winter hat for a few years & this elegant headband from Pipsqueak Chapeau Etc caught our eye some time ago. It would do nicely in place of the big-fur hatted look in Zhivago. We miss our brown suede shearling-cuffed Lara coat from Strasbourg. Nostalgia for cozy dark velvets, embroidery, gorgeous jewellry (you can fake it) & scarves.

Hoping for a white Christmas but pretty sure it's not in the cards...

GG's cold-eared editor

Christmas Tree Love, Part 1

Still no tree...we're past nervous & now officially upset. A flickr Friday photo via Design Is Mine. Very pretty & varied, some good ideas. Hmmm.

Please remember IKEA's soft animal campaign. Toys for Tots is desperate at this point: please, please, please take them a toy or make a donation. Here's their website. We feel guilty moaning over the tree when little kids are asking for food or mortgage help for their families in their letters to Santa. Postal workers reading the 4,000 letters a day are in tears. The situation is desperate, it really is...


1. 30 Days of Christmas...Frosty, 2. My favorite piece, 3. O tannen bonbon, 4. this years tree, 5. it's beginning to look a lot like (pink) christmas!, 6. starlight starbright, 7. The Tree, 8. Soft Trees, from The Purl Bee, 9. getting all christmassy, 10. lostdeer, 11. Fake Silver Tree!, 12. paper cut tree, 13. Winter Pine Tree Cakes, 14. 309: 12.6.07, 15. morning light, 16. christmas tree

Miss Mouse at IKEA

As it's the last shopping weekend before Christmas, another reminder about IKEA's soft animal toy campaign (through 24 December 2008). A significant donation goes to Save the Children & UNICEF for each toy sold. The campaign is ongoing in Canada, the States, & the UK. This adorable mouse is one of many ready to go home with you (or, to double your donation, to a toys campaign, such as Toys for Tots). Look at that adorable can you not adopt her?

Even GG would leave this mouse alone...we hope.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Vermont winterscape

First seen on automatism (where else?), this lovely photograph is by Paul Moody. [Here is Paul's complete flickr photostream.] A Vermont toll looks great while sitting inside. We are thinking of friends in Spokane, Washington & the record snarling snowfall. They are originally from Pittsburgh & Buffalo but still... Stay inside & make those snowflake marshmallows & hot chocolate, Ali! For those of you who missed it, here's Ali's article The Perfect Winter Drink in Bend, Oregon's Bulletin Food section.

merry meow & a grand weekend,
GG's editor

Alvar the blue-eyed snowflake cat a minimalist mood

Alvar, the blue-eyed white cat from Gran Canaria may be hiding, sleeping, or he may be indicating his preference for clean design lines. Who knows? Cats can be quite refined in their decorative tastes. They also, as our mum always said, never willingly "do" uncomfortable. It could be that Alvar has so many Christmas errands, that he simply cannot bear it. If that's the case, we completely understand.

Again, a wonderful photo from Marianne Perdomo from animalphotos.

Merry ciao-meow to all...
GG's editor

Alvar, white on white
by Marianne Perdomo
AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A polka-dotted Christmas camel

...from IKEA is just the thing for the holiday blues. Bringing home this little guy will ensure that $1.00 (US & Canadian, 1 British pound) goes to Save the Children & to UNICEF. The campaign goes through Christmas Eve. There's a whole zoo of goofy adorable creatures available for immediate adoption. Prices are as low as 49 cents. Can't beat it with a stick (ouch)!

GG's Santa

Darfuri children's drawings: an indictment

Children's drawings from Darfur were deemed suitable as evidence in the International Criminal Court's case against Sudanese government officials. What more to say?

Please go here for more information about the drawings (one exhibit just closed at Harvard). UK-based Waging Peace has been instrumental in the collection of Darfuri children's artwork. Above is no. 16 of 20 drawings on the site (artist's names are undisclosed for obvious reasons). All are accomplished, as well as informative, & we can only hope that they will be given the opportunity to develop their skills.

There are many places to donate, but GG must confess a partiality to Darfur Peace & Development Organization Schools of Peace. (DPDO also has many other worthy & successful programs, see here.) Whatever, wherever you decide to send your donations, know that they are so appreciated & never taken for granted.

GG's editor

drawing no. 16/20-wagingpeace

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowflake Marshmallows & Hot Chocolate

Our dear friend Alison Highberger's article, The Perfect Winter Drink in Bend, Oregon's Bulletin food section. Ali & son (sous-chef Nick) are pre-testing some Martha Stewart's Holiday projects. Of course, these marshmallows can be for Hanukkah, as well. You'd probably want to use a kosher recipe & here is one. (We can't vouch for it, though.) For the time-pressed, Whole Foods carries kosher marshmallows that are perfectly fine. For vegetarian/vegan marshies, try this recipe. (Again, no vouching.)

We've no time before Christmas to make these, but we might give them a try for an Inaugural party.

merry ciao-meow!
GG's editor

photo collage [made from Martha Stewart site] from Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn

Reindeer love

Another kindly-faced reindeer from animalphoto. Wonder what he's thinking? (Get that camera outta my face, buster.) Here's the sweet-faced reindeer photo from last week. We miss him so a reindeer will be on the site through Christmas.

merry ciao-meow!
GG's Santa

Original image by candiedwomanire; Some rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ZooLights in Washington, DC

The annual ZooLights display opens to the general public on Thursday, 18 December 2008. (Here for all details.) It's so much fun. Fairy lights in the shapes of selected animals. It's very easy to go to the Zoo -- right on the Metro. If you live in, near, or will be visiting, do go. This year the entire display, sponsored by PEPCO again, is constructed of LED bulbs. So no guilt either! (We wish we could take GG, she'd love it. Alas, it cannot be, so here's a tiger photo in her honor. )Photos © Rachel Cooper