Archive for November, 2011

Politics Should Be Discussed

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

We’ve all heard the adage, “Don’t discuss religion or politics.”  It is appropriate in certain situations, if you want to maintain peace and harmony.  For example, the big family dinner at Thanksgiving may not be the best time to discuss politics with your great uncle whose opinions are 180 degrees opposite to yours.

Living in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, politics is a frequent topic of discussion.  It is hard to drive anywhere in the state for the two years leading up to the primary and not see a sign for a candidate.  The signs alone can lead to discussions.

While I don’t enjoy arguing why this candidate is better than another, I do enjoy discussing the viewpoints of the various candidates.  Rather than viewing political discussions as a matter of “my candidate is better than yours”, it should be viewed as a way of learning something new.  Did you know that Candidate A supports XYZ?  Do you know Candidate B’s background?  Politics can be a good conversation starter, not just with adults.  It is a good dinner table discussion for the family, as it is important for kids to know who the candidates are.

Our political publication, Camp Campaign, covers the world of politics from a variety of viewpoints.  From Independent Ideas to Conservative Considerations, we cover the spectrum of political positions.  Plus, every week we highlight the Winners & Losers in the world of politics.

If you’re looking for some political discussion but can’t find a conversational partner, join the discussion at Camp Campaign.  Our writers are always looking for someone new to join the dialogue.

Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

At my house, we have already celebrated Thanksgiving.  Rather than trying to make everyone’s schedule conform to the specified date, we decided to observe the holiday this past Saturday.  Moving the date gave us a holiday that was less stressful: no fighting crowds at the airport, no lines at the grocery store.  It was simply a day to be with friends and family enjoying good food and wonderful company.

With our official Thanksgiving already complete, I won’t be spending today finalizing the menu, picking up a 20-pound turkey, or preparing the house for company.  Instead, today I can truly reflect on what I have to be thankful for.  I am humbled by the quantity of things for which I am grateful.  Friends, family, health, work, home, these are just a few items on my list.

In the rush of the holidays, I know how easy it is to become consumed by the desire to make everything perfect.  I know I did my share of that last Friday night and Saturday.  However, as I sit at my desk today and consider tomorrow, there is such a sense of peace in being able to pause and appreciate all I have.

As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you also can take the time to reflect.

Offline Entertainment

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I always have had a passion for reading.  As a child, there was a neverending list of books that I wanted to read and a stack of books on my bedside table.  As an adult, the demands of work, home, and family tend to take most of the hours in my day.  However, there is nothing quite like the satisfaction of reading a great book, so I try to make etch a small amount of time for reading into my schedule on a daily basis.

This past weekend, I had more time than usual.  (Thank goodness for a quiet weekend of work and the two-week lull between high school sports!)  In anticipation of this time, I decided to take a trip to my local library.  While there I chose one book that was a guilty pleasure, quick-read sort of book.  For the second, I turned to my to-be-read list that I keep in a journal on my desk.

This journal is filled with an assortment of book titles.  Some of them are classics that I want to reread.  Others are books that I find while browsing in a bookstore.  Others are reviews that I have read on ‘Bout Books.

After devouring my quick read on Saturday, I started a book that I had been meaning to read for a while, The Water Is Wide.  Although the review of the author was published in February of this year, having added several of his books to my to-be-read list made the search for good reading easier.  Of course, there are many other books that have piqued my interest.  Some of them include 1 Dead in Attic and Eden Springs.

If you’re seeking something new to add to your reading repertoire, give ‘Bout Books a try.  With many reviews covering books from a variety of genres, you’re sure to find something pleasing.

Feels Like Fall

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

As I mentioned in last week’s column, we had a snowstorm the last weekend in October in New Hampshire.  Although this snowstorm gave an early taste of winter, it is decidedly still fall in the northeast.  Our daytime temperatures are back to the 50s, and as the snow melts, the leaf-covered lawns remind us that it is only the start of November.

In addition to the typical raking, depending on your yard, there are an assortment of tasks that need to be done.  I spent part of last weekend pulling plants out of the garden, trimming flowering shrubs, and moving potted herbs indoors.  Living in New England, our outdoor gardening and landscaping season is nearing its end.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that gardening itself has to be on hiatus until spring.  There are several options for indoor gardening.

Our gardening and landscaping publication, Little Bit of Green, has done a fabulous job of providing tips for both fall clean-ups and indoor gardening opportunities.  It also is a great source of information for seasonal fruits and vegetables.  Whether you live in the chilly north where your green thumb has moved indoors or you live in a more temperate climate, Little Bit of Green has interesting articles to keep your garden going.

As for me, I think it is time to work on our indoor herb garden.  I need a little green after all of the white we saw last week!

Help for the Holiday Season

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

As I look out the window of the East Coast office of WMG, I can’t help but think that it looks a lot like the holiday season.  Located in New Hampshire, we were the recipient of eight inches of snow. . .and four days without power.  However, while it looks more like a snowy New Year’s Eve outside, a little weather math will show that actually we’re still celebrating Halloween here:

8 inches of snow + no power = Halloween postponed until November 6th

Trick or treating aside, it is the time of year that we begin to think about the holidays.  I know that in my house, my husband and I have begun discussing the menu for Thanksgiving and have asked our children if they have any ideas on their Christmas lists.  While we aren’t early shoppers, we have started to think about the presents we’ll need to buy and ship to farther away relatives and what sort of cards we want to send.

I have met many people who love the holiday season but become overwhelmed by the planning, shopping, cooking, etc. that are involved.  While I haven’t found a way to have Wasabi Media Group complete those tasks for others (or myself for that matter), it is a great source for holiday inspiration.

In particular, our beverage publication, Parched No More, is a great source of information for seasonal spirits.  We recently added a new feature, Ask the Bartender.  In this column, our staff bartender answers all of your cocktail making questions.  If you can’t find the answer you seek, submit your own query!

We also have a collection of beer and wine reviews available.  Let our reviewers help you determine which beers to buy by the case and which should simply be used as dishwashing liquid.  For wines, we have two distinct approaches to reviews.  First, we have Budget-Friendly Wine Reviews, which will help you find excellent wines that cost fifteen dollars or less.  Second, we have Classic Wine Reviews, which will help you find wines worthy of drinking on a daily to yearly basis.

Being a beverage publication, we also can assist with other drink planning.  Whether you are seeking a spirit to give as a gift or a cocktail recipe to serve at your holiday celebration, you can find those at Parched No More.

As the pace of the holiday season increases, don’t worry about how to find the right beverage for the adults at your party.  Just let Parched No More be your guide.