Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rauschenberg mentioned in ‘Meaningful Living’ book
Port Arthur native Robert Rauschenberg gets a nod for inspiration in a new coffee table book, “The Art of Meaningful Living,” by Christopher Brown and John Palmer
The late Rauschenberg, the internationally-famous artist, apparently said that he works with things until he is bored or understands, words which he uses interchangeably. Authors say he transcended monotony of everyday things by finding beauty in them.
The mind doesn’t have a delete button, so you can’t just empty the trash of negative self talk. Listen for programmed thoughts, but not to them, this book reads. Brown has a private psychotherapy practice in Houston and Palmer, of Houston, has contributed abstract artwork for a useful and attractive coffee table book. Thoughts on listening to your reasonable “wise mind” and quotes from great thinkers, including Obi Wan Kenobi fill the book. If you actually leave it on the coffee table, I wonder if guests can get some insight by perusing it while a hostess readies the appetizers.

Here’s some other finds to make you holiday sparkle for you and others:
Pretty as a picture
A dollar cake mix and a new poinsettia cake pan from Nordic Ware could be the hit of your holiday spread. The non-stick cast aluminum pan turns your cake, bread or mold into a big, 3-D sculpture. I can’t turn out enough creations and everyone who has seen it wants to try it. Clever and Christmassy. There’s a wreath version, too.
Walmart is advertising gifts that won’t break the bank, including:
• Paula Deen bakeware and accessories like a 3-Piece Mixing Bowl set, pie plate or measuring cup set.
• New appliances like the GE Digital Hand Mixer for $29 to make mixing easier.
• Bake for the season with seasonal cookie cutters starting at $2.50.
• Transport your goodies with Mainstays Covered Cake Pans.
Sparkle season
It’s time to pop corks, or at least unscrew caps, to lift a glass. My mother, a fan of anything that sparkles, enjoyed R. W. Knudsen’s Sparkling Pomegranate drink that turned an ordinary meal into a bit of a celebration. This fruit is showing up in everything and this one’s a keeper. It has more flavor than Champaign, though I suppose a blend of the two could keep the party going. Try it in your own recipe.

“The Sweethearts’ Knitting Club” By Lori Wilde
Here’s a spicy stocking stuffer:
I know some knitters, so I couldn’t resist a paperback romance set in north Texas about a girl’s decision to finally marry the sheriff she’s been dating for 10 years and going back to the bad boy just released from prison. The “good guy” was her public high school sweetie and the bad boy was her secret one in a town that has a tourism economy based on reuniting former lovers. Flynn is working on her mother’s dying dream, to open the Yarn Barn, but her own secret is that she can’t even knit herself. Wilde spins a yarn of racy fun in Twilight. I forgot just how racy romances are these days. Put down your needles and pick up this book.

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