Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our pilgrimage to dolly mecca.

Sixteen years ago I would have died to do what I just did the other day. Sixteen years ago I was ten years old and in love with the American Girl dolls. I still remember all of them: Felicity, Kirsten, Samantha & Molly. I had the Samantha and Molly dolls, I loved to dress them, play with them and do their hair! Well if only the American Girl stores were around back then. Today AG has opened these ginormous stores (the Costco of a doll store) dedicated to these dolls. Only now they have enough characters to fill a Hall of Fame plus baby dolls and look alike dolls. Doll clothes, accessories everywhere in this two story wonderland. Girls came through the doors with their dolls, in identical outfits, it was adorable. The poor fathers dragged along huddled in corners of the store with a sting of fear in their eyes. Not sure if it was the estrogen overload or the amount of cash they were getting ready to fork over for their princesses...maybe both.

Mom and I had a great time checking everything out, she even bought a doll that looked just like me! A doll with red hair and blue eyes so that she'd have a model for the doll clothes she loves to make. I officially have a mini-me!

Doll Hair Salon?

Now that's some serious treatment. They even have seatbelts on the chairs!

Tennis & Golf Outfits!

Is this creepy or what? I could see this being in a movie!

Me with my mini-me!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Feasting like the Italians, NOT the Swedes.

A typical Barker family Christmas has come and gone, another fun holiday with minimal fueds, illness and lots of company! We had our lovely Christmas Eve dinner, Italian style. Homemade pasta, fresh jumbo shrimp in a homemade marinara sauce and caesar salad. Oh and bread. LOTS and lots of bread! How did we come across this yummy spread? Well many moons ago my parents debated on who's family tradition to adopt for Christmas. Just to educate you on some of our cultural heritage, here is the my mother's Swedish Friberg fare: lutefisk, potato sausage, lots of white sauce and fruit soup. Italian Barker fare: see above. I'll leave it to the beloved Garrison Keillor to present an explanation of this time honored tradition: 

""Lutefisk is cod that has been dried in a lye solution. It looks like the desiccated cadavers of squirrels run over by trucks, but after it is soaked and reconstituted and the lye is washed out and it's cooked, it looks more fish-related, though with lutefisk, the window of success is small. It can be tasty, but the statistics aren’t on your side. It is the hereditary delicacy of Swedes and Norwegians who serve it around the holidays, in memory of their ancestors, who ate it because they were poor. Most lutefisk is not edible by normal people. It is reminiscent of the afterbirth of a dog or the world's largest chunk of phlegm."  ~Garrison Keillor's "Pontoon"

Fish Jello?

Every few years we migrate back to the frozen tundra for Christmas fully forewarned we will have to partake in this fabulous feast of fish jello. Needless to say we go to bed almost every Christmas Eve with full bellies and visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in our heads. 

Merry Christmas!

Colin scored some major points with the in-laws this year by giving my parents an American flag he flew over Iraq. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home, a free wreath and happiness in sunny SoCal

Christmastime in San Diego! It may not be white but it sure is cheery! Everyone is decked out for Christmas and in a rather good mood. Including the Barker family. A rare occasion we're all getting along once we're tossed into the same house together! I flew in earlier this month from Guam. A nice respite from the Rock. I got my Target/Starbucks/Miguels fix and that makes me happy! The whole family is getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow night, including me! We needed a wreath for the front door so I ran out to Home Depot and raided their tree branch bin...for free! The Barker family wreath officially cost me NOTHING this year! Which is good considering my recent visit to my old pal Nordstrom this week. 

Merry Christmas!