Must be that time of year.

We’ve had ample early warning that Christmas is coming.   I went into a Home Depot store at the end of September and they were already filling the entire store with Christmas decorations.  Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone.  So, it must be close.

We went out to lunch today, and this little paratrooper greeted me on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, having landed there recently.  I had to take a second look, but it’s Frosty!  A little shaken up, but I think he’ll be alright.  Must be one of Santa’s early reconnaissance forces.

Time to start decking the halls!!!

IMG_1507.jpg

My moon shot.

I have much to learn about my new camera.  I was waiting for this rare Christmas Day full moon to see if I could capture a decent shot.   But, this morning the moon was already shrouded in the trees when I got out there.  And tonight it was mostly overcast.

This is the best shot I took.  I’ll keep working on it.  🙂   Here it is, folks, the Full Cold Moon of Christmas Day 2015.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ohmigosh, 2015 already!?!

I want to wish you a most happy New Year and all the best to you and yours in 2015!  I have been away a while.  Partly due to distractions.  But also partly due to the fact that I had run out of online storage space for my blog @ wordpress, and I wanted time to think about how and or whether to upgrade the options for my blog.

In the end I decided to simply buy a storage upgrade (to add an additional 10G to the default 3G limit).   When my domain options are up for renewal next year, I might consider upgrading to Premium on wordpress, which includes the increased storage, but I bought myself some time.

I think last we crossed paths out here in the blogosphere I was headed home from a long visit in Seattle, back to Austin.   Suffice to say I have not been idle.

The day after coming home, we left for a fantastic week in Paris – a trip we took with little pre-planning; celebrating a birthday in a place we both love.  And since then:  Thanksgiving, family visiting, Julie graduated and left Austin to take the next step in her life’s path (sniffle), Christmas & New Year’s, and we have spent some fun times with friends.

Somewhere in there 2014 slipped away.  Today I find myself on the second day of a new year — a few weeks delinquent in blog posts but looking forward instead of behind.

Here are just a few picks to fill in since last I posted:

Bon Anniversaire!

IMG_6994

Post-Thanksgiving Day sail:

IMG_7228 A day trip through the Hill Country and a hike to the top of Enchanted Rock on a clear December day with my sister & brother-in-law:IMG_7275

Christmas Eve:

IMG_7336And New Year’s Eve:IMG_7363

I can’t wait to see how 2015 unfolds….

A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

I have been impatiently waiting to make christmas cookies. So, when I passed the rack of cookie cutters at the store I picked out 3 shapes I liked, because I was sure I didn’t have any at home. I got home and….

20131221-181800.jpg
I already had the exact 3 cutters that I just bought. Early alzheimers, I fear. Oh well.

I soon got busy making some sugar cookie dough. The before:

20131221-182039.jpg
And the after:

20131221-182147.jpg

Christmas at Zilker.

I was in south Austin today, and just had to drive through zilker park on the way home. They lit the Christmas tree on Sunday and this weekend the trail of lights opens, after which it will be nearly impossible to make it through the park.
I got a shot from underneath and another from about 100 yards away. Christmas is in the air….

20131203-195208.jpg

20131203-195303.jpg

The reason for the season.

Cross on Graveyard Point on Lake Travis.
Cross on Graveyard Point on Lake Travis.

We went for another sail yesterday.  It was a beautiful, mild day.  I took this shot as we were leaving our marina’s cove.  It’s a giant cross out in the middle of nowhere on Graveyard Point.  It’s at least 15′ tall and made out of steel beams that appeared out of the blue one day a year or two ago.  No small feat for whoever put it up overnight.  The guys at the marina like to refer to it as the “immaculate erection.”  heh heh.

Anyway, it’s hard for me to sail past it without thinking of Him.  I thought it was appropriate to post this pic today, on Christmas Eve.  A reminder of what it’s supposed to be about.

Have a Merry Christmas with the ones you love!!

1224121
Oh. And the OTHER reason for the season 😀

Christmas Eve-eve!

We're ready!
We’re ready!

I was up early this morning padding around the house.  We usually leave the little white Christmas lights on at night.   I have always loved to stare at the glow of Christmas lights at night.

I remember doing that when I was a kid.  We always had an artificial tree.  The same one that we took with us every time we moved.  With the big glass bulb colored lights.  You know… the kind that would burn your finger if you touched them after having been lit for an hour or so.  It’s amazing more homes didn’t burn down back then.

I remember sitting watching the tree lights that decorated my little trees over the years in my dorm or apartment.  Somehow I remember those trees being extra pretty during my “on my own” college years.

This morning as I walked down the hall I stopped to admire this year’s glow.  So pretty.  I just had to snap a shot, too.

 

Down at the Armadillo.

Inside Palmer Events Center.
Inside Palmer Events Center.

‘Tis the season for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar!!  This is the 37th year of the Bazaar.  If you go, you can find local artists showing and selling their wares (over 150 artists this year), live music on a stage in the center of the hall, and food/drinks to fortify you as you make the rounds.  If you are anywhere near Austin between now and Christmas Eve, check it out.

While I was there tonight, Marcia Ball and Kimmie Rhodes shared the stage from 8-10pm – great music!  Here’s the obligatory shot from the floor…

Marcia Ball & Kimmie Rhodes.
Marcia Ball & Kimmie Rhodes.

 

And….voila!

This year's tree.
This year’s tree.

I felt like playing around a bit, so I created an animated gif to capture the transformation of this year’s Christmas tree from bare to decorated to twinkling.

To make the animated GIF, I used the web-based tool Picasion.com.  Note: before I created the gif, I reduced the size of the original images down to the size I wanted (i used the width of my wordpress theme as the target image width).  Then I created the gif w/ Picasion.

Gather round and be merry.

We went to Laura and Arnie’s Christmas party tonight.  It’s become a tradition, and a most fun one at that.  Everyone ends up gathered around the piano belting out Christmas songs.  Some scenes from the evening:

The setting.
The director.
The script.
The script.
1215121
The actors.