Fire & Ice On New Year’s Eve

Slim Paley photo

Nature hangs in the balance outside a bedroom window, Sun Valley .



Alert the press- I finally saw Black Swan yesterday.  I’m still thinking. The juxtaposition of beautiful and shocking images had such a strong visceral effect that this disturbing film stayed with me long after I’d left the theatre…and much later, when I walked past the bathtub… and the mirror (well, it wasn’t that long til I looked in a mirror) In the end, if you’re anything like me, you’ll still be wondering the next day what was real and what wasn’t? Or if that even matters. Maybe it’s just as well I never got around to seeing “Inception”

Towards the latter part of the movie, we started to smell something burning in the theatre. It appeared  the small audience was too engaged in what was happening on the big screen to notice but not so my husband, who alerted the management.  The fire trucks were just arriving as we exited into the fuhreeeezing night.  Driving home along the snow banked highway,  a massive elk or moose (not sure which- huge, brown, real antlers) darted out of the darkness and sprang in front of our car; a jarring reminder of just how quickly a single moment can change your life.  Later in the evening, the temperature dropped to -9 in our neck of the woods and it’s predicted to go below -20 tonight.  Having to go outside, even for a few minutes, feels almost absurd.  Perhaps it was the combination of the  unsettling film, the smoke in the theatre and the surreal moment in which the massive wild animal had crossed our path so silently and powerfully  in the night, but the crazy cold made me feel slightly giddy. Once again I confirmed to myself that, without any doubt, the answer to the age old question; “If you had to choose, too hot or too cold?”   NO contest. Bring that deserted tropical island on!  How about you?!


The Ice Palace in Dr. Zhivago



Julie Christie and Omar Shariff in Dr. Zhivago



Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic


Slim Paley photo

Our home in Sun Valley


Slim Paley photo

The sun breaking over the mountains this morning…brrrrrr



Creed’s Silver Mountain Water

A nice clean winter scent for men or women


Helena Normark

Sweden- So beautiful!

…and for when you get home from your New Year’s Day Walk….


Martha Stewart’s Original Eggnog recipe

(serves 26- Hello- it is Martha’s recipe)

12 eggs separated

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar

1 quart whole milk

1 1/2 quarts heavy cream (you heard me)

3 cups bourbon (ya)

1/2 cup dark rum (that’s it??)

2 cups cognac (God, this is sounding good)

Freshly grated nutmeg (grate nutmeg before sampling too much eggnog)

In a very large bowl, beat egg  yolks until thick and pale yellow. Gradually add sugar to yolks. With a wire whisk, beat in milk and 1 quart cream.  Add bourbon, rum and cognac, stirring constantly. Just before serving, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into mixture. Whip remaining heavy cream until stiff, and fold in. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Fat Bottoms Up!






You know what? I can’t go into the New Year with such a cold last photo- just can’t do it



Slim Paley photo

What to do when you accidentally leave your ipod in your ski pants and it goes through the washing machine? Submerge completely in a jar of dry rice and place it in a warm place overnight.  WHO’S your Martha?! (Really, a genius tip from Son of Slim :))






  1. sounds like Black Swan did it’s job-
    and love this post
    never forgot that Ice Living Room from Zhivago
    and those icicles
    last shot- the best
    thanks Slim
    Happy New Year

  2. Happy new year!!!

    Thank you for sharing so many great photos with us this year. I am looking forward to more next year. Happy new year to all your family!


  3. Just returned from Montana where I had very similar experiences (cold weather, wild animals jumping out of nowhere but no fire) although the temp was a balmy 4 degrees compared to your minus 9. should a temp be just one syllablye, I keep asking? While cold, the snow is beautiful and warm weather will be here soon enough.

  4. This Post has left me speechless ( I know many who know me, saying ” Yes, Ziff? or we wish!)
    It is truly a stunning read, the photos, well we kind of know they are always outstanding.
    Once more thank you for sharing . i am with you , I hate being in that freezing zone, but have to admit , you can make us say , “what a wonderful world. ”
    Happy, healthy New Year . xo.

  5. A cup of dry rice? Genius! I dropped my iPod in the bathtub the other day and my husband was like, what – another blonde moment? A reminder to just bring magazines in the bath that are disposable. I flew from Milwaukee to San Diego today and it didn’t warm up one bit – what up wit dat? Awesome egg nog recipe – can I make it with just the brandy, rum and cognac? Happy New Year, Slim.

    • whattupwitdat!!!! This is my favorite new expression and I use it for a plethora of things. Cannot believe you used it in your comment. My first laugh of 2011.

      • Thank you, Lady Eve. 2011 is already turning into a sassy, saucy new year. I noticed I made a boo-boo though. I should have wrote ‘bourbon’ not brandy. I had brandy slushies on my mind since I enjoyed them over the holidays.

  6. That is a lot of snow!!!! It is quite a bit warmer back in Southern California. Happy New Year–thanks for all of your super posts over the past year–can’t wait to see what is up your sleeve for 2011.

  7. Oh goodie, another post – you must be fully recovered! Wow and I thought we got a lot of snow!! Beautiful though. I think I’m now officially the only one who hasn’t seen Black Swan – my film addict son said he would go with me but of course forsook me for a friend. Dr. Zhivago is right up there on my list of visual favorites but Siberia holds little appeal at this point. Love your icicle shots and will have to try and remember that ipod trick – the kids holds all sorts of tricks up their sleeves, don’t they? Wishing you a very happy new year – see you in 2011!!

  8. S.P. Thank you for all the gorgeous images. And for your humor and generosity (which makes jealousy almost impossible!). I wish you and yours a healthy and beautiful new year…

  9. i too saw black swan this week and am still thinking about it. i like the movie more now, after thinking about it, than i did when i walked out of the theatre….(with a slight headache!). so intense. brilliant. portman is a force.

    your pictures are beautiful, love your blog. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  10. As I knew would be the case going in, a great post, but the sprinkling of snow falling across your blog made me shiver. Snow falling in Sweden and across the swimsuit model’s body were two particularly stunning images. Good work! Happy New Year to you and your family. Now go close that window!

  11. It’s usually freezing in Michigan too but we’ve had a meltdown of sorts (50 degrees) today ~ even so, this post makes me long for hot chocolate!

    Beautiful post and thx for the iPod trick…good to know. {watch out Martha} =)

  12. First off—kudos for husband for not shouting FIRE! in a crowded, albeit small, theater. Is that even legal anymore? (:
    Recall The Twilight Zone’s ‘The Midnight Sun’ episode? The one where everyone on Earth is fleeing North because the Earth is out of its orbit and the planet is heating up. The woman chooses to stay and when the temperature reaches 110 degrees there is a Doctor administrating to her feverish delusions. Remember the ending? Well, ever since I saw that one as a kid, I’ve decided I’d rather die frozen than fried–but that’s me. At least you can wrap me up in some Uncle Ben’s white rice.

    Happy New Year, Slimmy.

    • I remember that (1960s) Twilight Zone episode well. Very memorable! And I remember the ending: the doctor saying that he and his family were leaving for “up North”– and thinking: who will take care of the woman now? The thought of there being no doctor left in town was a very disturbing one to a teenager!
      I vote for too cold over too hot!

      • Remember the BIG surprise ending? I don’t want to give it away, but the woman is actually ________to death.

  13. Too hot or too cold? I would prefer too cold (though your photos make me wonder if I am being truthful). Of course, this all depends on what we consider too hot or too cold!
    Happy New Year!

  14. Gorgeous photos! I took my (almost) 17 year old ballerina daughter to Black Swan and spent about 1/4 of it with my eyes buried in her shoulder. People walking out of the theater were in nervously laughing (I think we they were in shock) and saying, “What just happened in there?” My daughter only cared that they portrayed the real side of ballet – with it’s intensity and ugliness – in a true light.

    I just looked at your Titanic still – I still don’t get the whole “Leo” thing (and neither does my daughter), but he does get good movies!

    Have a Happy New Year, and thank you for continuing to do what you do!

  15. So, did she die at the end……or was she hallucinating again? don’t even try to google it. that is one fatal problem with google. You get the weirdos……not enough filter.

    She could not have done that entire ballet thing at the end if she had really stabbed herself in the stomach. I think she just went completely insane….and he could tell…..and said “get help”

    I did not like that movie. I am getting so old and crotchety……..I only want uplifting films. My mother before me……..said the exact same thing!

    I loved…”Fighter”, Wall Street”, “The King’s Speech”; even “Town” (everyone gets killed…..Jeez…..but it was still uplifting……go figure)

    Saw “True Grit” tonight… husband and I both wish we hadn’t……..he said……..”I don’t want to see any more ‘dark’ movies!!”

    Me neither. Not ever.

  16. Imsomnia………………and I learn so much! Now, who has insomnia on New years Eve ? (only the DD).
    And yes, you are our Martha (with alot better clothes and hair). Looking forward to seeing Black Swan today while the football is on, along with that Junior world hockey all week, I think I am going to lose my mind over here. mind you, I do have that adorable puppy to entertain me. Hope your New Years was fabulous, once you dug yourself out from the snow! It’s 40 here and we are liking it! Much love Slim and have a great day. XO

  17. Well, you did it again Slim, really enjoyed your last post for 2010. I must admit I do love the snow when it is fresh and crisp and love to go for long walks all wrapped up warm and cozy. But if I had to choose between hot and cold for ever it has to be hot, nothing better than feeling the warmth of the sun on your back. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year. Lang may yer lum reek!!!! xx

  18. Oh this was a treat! I found your Blog through one of my favorites, Quintessenceblog. Gorgeous photos! I am strictly a warm weather girl, so this is my favorite way to experience the cold. I am going to take another run at Black Swan…I think it needs to be seen twice.

    Much good luck with the dry rice. It has yet to work for me…either time.

    • The dry rice totally worked. The ipod was dead as doorknob and the next morning it was working. I wouldn’t have rec. otherwise!
      Happy 1/1/11 to you!

  19. Slim Paley is tops on my list of ” good things in 2010″ . Happy New Year, looking forward to SP 2011!

  20. Happy New Year! Thanks for all the gorgeous photos and inspiration throughout the year! And those icicles – wow! They look almost silver. Very cool.

  21. Happy New Year, SP! Beautiful post, as usual. Some beautiful images here of the snow.
    I am telling you from personal experience that the egg nog is strong but wonderful.
    Have a great 2011.

  22. Scrolling down your beautiful photos my heart started beating a little faster when I got to the snowy birch lined road, thinking whao that looks just like Sweden! Lo and behold, it WAS! Since I couldn’t be there this year for the Holidays thank you for bringing me “home” with that stunning photo.
    I want Lara’s hat and the whole outfit actually, remember that awesome coat and muff she wore as she got on the street- car and missed Dr. Zivago by 1 second?? That look would work in Sun Valley I would think (albeit not so much here in South Florida:( )
    Love everything about your blog (smart, funny, stylish, educational and beautiful). Can’t wait for what you’ll “serve up” in 2011, Happy Healthy New Year to you and your loved ones.

  23. Another stunner….We’re having the same temps too, although not as much snow. The dogs
    won’t even walk with me to the barn (wimps). The house pictures are gorgeous, the icicles
    are spectacular! You’ve got me so intrigued about “Black Swan”, so it’s on my list.
    I recently bought “Dr. Zhivago” and asked Andrew to watch it with me. For whatever
    reason, it left me feeling a bit flat, but the cinematography was still amazing. Thanks
    for another fabulous post, and may you have a very happy and healthy New Year! xo

  24. hi slim,

    yesterday’s high was going to be minus 17 and that is just stupid cold. i’m supposed to be skiing not exploring the antarctic. i could have used that ipod tip 2 years ago.

    have fun and stay super warm.


  25. The very best to you in 2011, personally I’m grateful to see the end of the snow for the mo.
    It’s just thawed as the UK just isnt gear up for such events lasting longer than a couple of days.
    So it was particularly splendid to get out last night in great company and sing in the new year, a super start to a stunning year. Bring it on !
    Much love and best wishes.

  26. The picture of your home in Sun Valley should be made the advertising picture. Just stunning.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for all the wonderful posts and look forward to may more this year and next and next.


  27. Your photos of snow and ice remind me of living for many years in Crested Butte, Colorado. So beautiful but so much snow–40 feet every winter. No wonder I now live in California! Happy New Year to you, Slim.

  28. Stunning photos Slim, love the icicle shots!

    I want to do a belly-flop off your porch and into that snow.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    p.s. I think Son of Slim is pulling your leg.

  29. Who could forget Dr. Zhivago and the ice palace. Those icicles remind me of the one’s when I was a child at the Lake Placid Club…the could be 3′ long. Thank you for all your beautiful live a wonderful life. 🙂

  30. It makes me happy that your post title is, I assume, a reference to Robert Frost.

    Your description of the movie and the smoke and the moose was very evocative–I know exactly the mood you were in, and it’s somehow chilling and lovely at the same time.

    Happy New Year, Slim. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  31. Happy New Year Dearest!! Brrrrr…we are going into a hot tub and relaxing at the pool at our friendly Lowe’s hotel,Santa Monica…and a few bloody’s !!

  32. Oh Slim I adore looking at the winter wonderland images…yet quickly yearn for the warmth!

    Happy New Years!

    Art by Karena

  33. Slim – Happy New Year! I went to see Black Swan today and I completely get the mood you must have been in afterwards. (No smoke in my theater, though!) I found it so hard to describe the film to my family when I got home. I thought Natalie Portman was amazing but it was definitely an unsettling film. Before the movie started, they announced to the theater (a small, local theater) that we should all consider seeing The Fighter, playing on the second screen, as scenes from that movie were filmed in that theater! (I live outside Boston). I think I’m going to go next weekend. I have no interest in boxing, but the preview was intriguing, and the thought of watching a movie filmed in the same room where I’m watching the movie, well, that’s kind of interesting! Happy first week of January!


  35. Hey Slimmy,
    Just thinkin bout you, wishing I was out ,,,,,well,,,,anywhere other than where I am right now. Mom’s still hangin in there. She’s one strong cookie. Have a wonderful time! xo, kb

  36. Ok, while it’s not subzero, Rancho Mirage is 36 degrees and there’s just no excuse for that. Your chill is at least enchanted! But then so is this blog…. Hope at least you’re skiing!

  37. Happy New Year Slim!!

    I’ll take being hot anytime. You will never hear me complain about heat. Often in the summer I’ll get into my car and just bask in the extreme warmth caused by the sun. That being said, if I’ve got to deal with winter, bring on the eggnog! Martha’s recipe is suspiciously similar to my grandfathers, I will have to make both batches and then test them against one another…an eggnog-athon.

    So glad the rice trick worked, bet that happened before December 3oth when Mercury, planet of communication, was in retrograde.

    Wishing you all the best for the New Year and to us lucky readers who adore your creativity and wit.


    That made me laugh so much! And guess what??? After the day I had I needed that! Oh, I needed to come here and let everything go… that’s how I feel whenever I come here… I feel happy! 🙂

    I simply LOVE the 1st picture! I have this secret passion for icicles! 🙂 Aren’t they so beautiful? So fragile and dangerous at the same time? I know.. I know… who can poetize about icicles like me? lol

    Your house is a dream! I hope you enjoy every minute there!


    Luciane at

  39. I’ve just spent the last hour looking around your blog. Not the first time, mind you, I’ve been before. But this is the first time I’ve commented. Lovely. I can’t get over your photographs–they’re gorgeous! I look forward to spending more time here, now that I’ve just become one of your legion of official followers. Thank you for commenting on my blog in the past, I look forward to commenting on yours more in the future. Ever, Reggie

  40. Sorry I’m late with this, but Happy New Year to you too!
    I heard people are having nightmares after Black Swan, so I’ll pass, thanks. 🙂

    Dr. Zhivago–be still my heart.

  41. those dr. zhivago pictures. i loved that movie. i actually had my 10th ? birthday party at that movie – all my friends, then we had a sleepover afterwards. i was in love with Dr. Z for years after that. but that ice palace! remember when he breaks in and wipes off the desk and starts writing at it?
    such a sad movie. for years my daughter was going to be named Antonia and called Tanya. hehe.

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