Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's snow joke: it's New Year's Eve again

I went to do a story this morning at our town's nature center and as I was leaving I spotted this little guy "hanging out" as the snow fell around him.
I was happy to get this photo from quite a distance. I have no idea what kind of bird he is.
Any ideas?

UPDATE: I want to thank Rambling Woods for solving my mystery. This is a downy woodpecker.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Still celebrating ...

Our birthday cake is gone (sorry Bee) but tonight we are going to an Italian restaurant for dinner and for dessert we are going to have tiramisu! Yummy.

The season's festivities continue for us. It's still the Twelve Days of Christmas and all, you know!
Plus today is a special day for me because it's my late father's birthday. Let me say first he was a much older dad before I tell you that he would have been 99 today.
Yep, he was born in 1910.
I was his birthday present, like Allegra was my birthday present in 1988.

Sepia scenes

This is the First Congregational Church of Derby, Ct. We have been members since 2001 and have made many friends here. Unfortunately our pastor plans to retire in the next two years or so, and we wonder what will become of our small congregation.

Here is some history taken from :

First Congregational Church

"The First Congregational Church has been around for a long time. In fact, it might be described as the mother of all religious institutions in the Valley. The building pictured above officially opened with Reverand Zephanaiah Swift preaching the first sermon on May 1, 1821. However, the congregation's roots go much deeper than that!

In colonial times, every settlement had to prove that it could maintain a minister before the general Court would recognize it as a town. When Derby was officially incorporate on May 13, 1675, city residents assured the Court that they had engaged the services of Rev. John Bowers, who had promised to move to the settlement. The church members met at the parsonage or in the homes of other families until the town voted to build a Meeting House on Nov. 21, 1681. The "Church of Christ in Derby" had been formally organized on Feb. 25, 1677."

Visit our hostess, Mary T, at Sepia Scenes to see many more sepia-fied photos and join the fun!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Birthday shmirthday

I just got a birthday card in the mail from my cousin. It has a picture of a toy phone on the cover and the words "Ring! Ring! It's your youth calling ..."

Inside it says: "... long distance."


I feel I can't celebrate my birthday until I pick up Kids One and Two at the train station in a little while.
It's Allegra's birthday today too. She's *21* ~

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ruby Tuesday ~ Christmas fun

See how happy Ralph looks to meet Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. He doesn't like posing for photos, but I think this one came out well. His sister, Sharon, looks like she is enjoying Santa's visit too.

I also had "fun" meeting Santa that night, but he got a bit too close. He sat on my lap! Yikes.
I think someone in the family got a photo of that. At least I hope so.

To see more photos with a little or a lot of red, visit our hostess, Mary T, at Work of the Poet.

Ah, to be young again ~ and able to survive a rock concert

This morning our kids are headed to New Haven to hop a train to Boston.
They're going to Beantown to see The Mighty Mighty Bosstones tonight.

The band is having its annual "Hometown Throwdown" at the House of Blues, and our kids just had to be a part of it. I know they'll have a great time; they had fun when they saw the band in concert last December in New Haven.

The good part is they don't have to catch a really late train home. Allegra's girlfriend has an apartment in Boston and they just have to find their way there and spend the night. And then get up in time to catch a morning train home.

I hope they have a safe trip. I'll try not to worry too much about them. At least it's not supposed to *snow.*

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Christmas edition

I caught a shadow without even trying as I snapped a shot of our daughter opening a Yankee Swap gift on Christmas Eve.
That was at the aforementioned party that Santa visited, with those "invisible" reindeer of his.

Visit our hostess, Tracy, at Hey Harriet to see many more shadow shots and to join the fun.

P.S. I was so anxious to use my new point and shoot Canon A1100IS that I didn't check the shutter speed. That's why the photos came out so grainy, Kid Two said. Thankfully he fixed it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Santa arrived at party; reindeer "invisible"

I'm sure glad we had our camera with us on Christmas Eve.
At least we now we have proof that Santa Claus arrived and gave out presents to the two good little girls and three good little boys who were there sporting their new pajamas.

Sophia, center, asked Santa where the reindeer were. She said her cousin, Zachary, right, wanted to know. ha ha

Santa told her the reindeer are invisible.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

Our daughter took this sunset shot out of the back window with her camera on Sunday, before Santa brought me a new camera on Tuesday. Yay for Santa!

To see more sky photos, visit Tisha, our hostess, at CrAzY Working Mom.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

A repost for a special day


Children make Christmas special

Vintage Christmas greetings ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

OK, it's after 10 a.m. Christmas Day 2009 and I still need to wrap some presents. Luckily Kid One and Kid Two are asleep. This is certainly not like the old days, when they would be up at dawn to see what Santa brought them.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas rush continues

I'd wish everyone a Merry Christmas right now, but I don't have time to sit here and post. I gotta go shopping.
Can you believe it?

At least I had time to write this. ;-)

Have a fun day today, getting ready for Santa and those big old reindeer.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Claus visited our house early ~

When I was busy working yesterday, Santa snuck into the house. Ho Ho Ho

Much to my delight that Jolly Old Elf (or was it Airhead 55?) brought with him just what I wanted: a new Canon point-and-shoot camera to replace the one that died Sunday.

The panic is over. I mean, what self-respecting blogger can properly blog without a digital camera at hand?

I am back to taking photos of anything and everything and posting them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ruby Tuesday * repost *

Ruby Tuesday ~ Christmas angels

Our daughter in 1994. I spy a new Polly Pocket there!

Our son on Christmas Eve in 1996. He looks rather scared, but maybe he's just anticipating Santa Claus' arrival.

My mother's "retro" angel candlesticks from the 1950s. They weren't retro at the time though. They were up-to-date decorations.
If only I had gotten some red taper candles to put in the holders to add to my Ruby Tuesday post.
But alas, my holiday disorganization continues.

To see more Ruby Tuesday entries, visit our hostess, Mary T, The Teach.
Thanks, Mary!

Sending wishes to all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah ~

Sun sets on Sunday snow

Since our camera no longer works, Kid One came to the rescue yesterday and took some photos of the new fallen snow as the sun was setting. She did a great job. Here you can see we didn't stack up the patio chairs and table before the snow.

* Happy winter to all *

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dog + snow = fun

A friend sent me two snow pictures today after she read that my camera died.

Here is her German shepherd, Quincy, frolicking in the white stuff. I added some antique effect to the photo.

Happy Snowy Sunday before Christmas!

The day the camera died

I was going to take some photos this morning of the foot or so of *s*n*o*w* we now have on the ground, but it wasn't to be.
Our much-used Canon point and shoot has bitten the dust. :-(

Maybe Santa will bring us a new camera. I'm hoping.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

This is the Unitarian Meeting House that is a quarter-mile from the entrance to the campus of the University of Hartford. The architecture of the building always intrigues me when we go past, and when we drove by in November I snapped a photo. I was lucky to capture a few shadows. Click on the photo to get a better look, and you can read about the church here.

Visit our hostess, Tracy, at Hey Harriet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seasonal question ~ any thoughts?

I just read the lyrics to "Up on the Housetop" and the first line said, "Up on the housetop reindeer pause ..."

I always thought it was "reindeer paws."

Either way works, I suppose.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ruby Tuesday ~ cartoon characters

It's good ol' Charlie Brown, seen here two years ago but he's still the same today. Actually he never changes.

This Homer Simpson in a Santa suit is in our neighbor's yard.
I tried but it really is difficult to get a good photo at night.

Visit our hostess, Mary T, to see many more photos featuring a little or a lot of red.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Afternoon stretch

That's our Rigby, nosing around the plant Friday afternoon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Still more Christmas scenes and greens

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

These photos are of the Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Ct. , which is decorated for the holiday season each year by local garden clubs.
I must be obsessed; I keep posting photos from my recent tour of the home. Each room is beautifully decorated.
The portrait hanging above the fireplace is that of Frances Eliza Osborne Kellogg, who lived in the home for her entire life. She died at the age of 80 in 1956.
I always enjoy visiting her home at Christmastime and her gardens in the warmer weather.
The museum and adjacent Kellogg Environmental Center are run by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Read about this fascinating businesswoman and conservationist here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday (afternoon)

I'll call this December afternoon sunset. How's that for original? I just snapped this through the window a short while ago so as not to miss out on this week's Looking at the Sky.
Thanks go to Tisha, that CrAzY Working Mom, for hosting. Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

From the e-mail bag: gotta love Photoshop

This gives new meaning to the word "Roadie." And to the saying "One for the Road."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sepia Scenes

This is another view of the lovely Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Ct. I thought the window featuring natural decorations would work well in sepia. This year's theme for the house was "Wonders of Nature." I posted several photos from the home last week, here and here.
The historic house was the lifelong home of Frances Osborne Kellogg, a businesswoman and philanthropist, who died in 1956 at the age of 80.

Below I sepia-fied a photo of our backyard that I posted earlier today. I wanted to give it a snow globe effect. Let it snow, let it snow...

Visit Mary T at Sepia Scenes to see many more sepia tone photos.

Happy holidays to all!

Introducing Quincy

A friend sent me this photo of her German shepherd enjoying the winter weather we "welcomed" to our area this morning. He's a good boy! I remember when he was just a pup.

Let it snow, let it snow ...

On Sunday we woke up to a dusting...this morning we woke up to this: more than a dusting.

Since I took this photo three hours ago it has turned into a wintry mix, and it is supposed to go to all rain soon. A slushy mess!
The snow is wet and heavy. Not the pretty fluffy kind.
"Oh the weather outside is frightful..."
At least my Christmas cactus is blooming!

Ho Ho Ho

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pearl Harbor remembered

The horrific events of 68 years ago yesterday, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, will forever be singed into the memories of today's senior citizens who were living then. I've heard many recollections over the years, from people who remember exactly where they were that Sunday when they heard the news.
The Dec. 7, 1941 attack took the lives of 2,402 American military personnel stationed at Pearl Harbor.
I attended an annual remembrance ceremony Monday at Veterans Park in our city, one of the few held in Connecticut, organizers say. You can read the story here.

One Korean War-era veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps told me that Dec. 7, 1941 was to his generation (although he was just a child then) what Sept. 11, 2001 was to today's generation. He said that's because both were sneak attacks and both plunged our country into war.

Whatever your feelings about war, or the military, it's important for those of us who weren't alive in 1941 to help keep alive the memory of that fateful day and the subsequent sacrifices made by so many.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

"Hurry up in there!"

Our little great-nephew Adam, who is actually not so little for someone who was born three months early, appears to be waiting in line for the bathroom on Thanksgiving. He got his cool "gold" necklace when he was visiting another relative earlier in the day.
You can see our Kid Two, Cameron, in the background. Maybe he was going to get in line, too.

I hope this photo works for Ruby Tuesday. There is some red in Adam's shirt, and he has a red B (for Boston Red Sox) on his shoes. ;-)
It's a stretch, I know.

Check out many more photos with a little or a lot of red over at Work of the Poet. Thanks as always to our meme hostess, Mary T.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...winter

I opened the front door this morning and stuck my hand out to take photos. I didn't want to actually go outside in my robe; it's cold out there today.

Just a dusting...

Today we have a potluck lunch at church. We're bringing Ralph's famous chili. Everyone always devours it, and it's so easy to make.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

I posted this photo last December, but that was long before I knew about Shadow Shot Sunday.

It's Dec. 5, and the holiday season is upon us. Our cats, Ralph, and I are getting ready for another festive Yuletide!
Our goal is to have everything ready before our children come home from college.

To see more shadowy pix, visit our hostess, Tracy, at Hey Harriet.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Brothers Furr

Like all cats, our Rigby and Linus know how to relax. This photo is from last year. I'm posting it for no other reason than I think they are kinda cute.

Have a great weekend! Ralph and I are planning to do just that. ;-)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday

These photos are straight out of the camera. I took this November sunset from the parking lot of the nearby high school in our neighborhood. We live in the hilltop section of town, and as you can see we get some great sunset views from here.

I was going to crop out the light pole in the second photo, but kept it in to provide contrast - artificial light versus the beautiful natural light in the background.

To see many more sky shots visit Tisha at CrAzY Working Mom, our hostess. I personally don't think she is crazy at all, but I guess she feels her hectic schedule is "crazy."

Am I right, Tisha?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

* More on the historic Osborne homestead

I love to visit the beautiful Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Ct. I used two photos featuring holiday decorations in a dining room of the Colonial Revival home for Ruby Tuesday and thought I'd share a few more today.

This year's decorating theme was "Wonders of Nature." This fireplace is in the library. The Derby Garden Society's task was to adorn the room with decorations created out of pine cones.

This snow globe display is in the "milk room." The homestead was once part of a dairy farm, and the room was used as an office, if I recall correctly. The group that decorated this room had to follow a "Snow and Ice" theme.

And some more *snow and ice* decor.
Does this look like a house that would make you forget about any winter weather howling outside?
I know it would make me forget...
This last photo features a ring-necked pheasant as part of a natural centerpiece of greens sitting on deer antlers on a second dining table, this one found in a dark-paneled room known as the studio.

I have more photos of this lovely home. Stay tuned...