Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

...But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people...

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh Bokeh Tree, Oh Bokeh Tree... lovely is thy bokeh.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Indianapolis, like most cities and towns, glitters and glams it up for Christmas time. The big attraction is the Tree of Lights--thousands of lights strung from the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to form the shape of the tree. They hold a big lighting celebration every year right after Thanksgiving. We have never been to the lighting because we are always out of town. I'm pretty sure we would never go because it attracts thousands of people and I'm not much for people. Well, I guess individually and in small groups some of them are okay, but en masse? Nope. I don't like people that much. Why yes, I am the Grinch! Why do you ask?

Anyway! We used to try to go downtown to see the tree every year--not that it changes from year to year, but it's festive and fun and we don't go downtown much. But as the kids got older we got busier and just couldn't weave it into our schedules. This year, however, I discovered that the last time we were down there, Mary was a toddler. That's just wrong! She didn't even remember it--couldn't even fathom a tree made of lights! She kept asking me things like "So is it a giant Christmas tree? Where did they find such a big tree?" and after further explanation, "What do you mean there aren't any branches? How can it be a tree without any branches?"

We made the decision that it was time to head downtown to see the tree and take a carriage ride around the Circle. Unfortunately, because of a perfect storm of forgetfulness, seat placement, and cold, of all the pictures I took only two of them are any good. The other I'm posting is the one the carriage people took with my camera. I forgot to change the settings so it's dark. I lightened it up, but it's still dark and quite grainy, but it's what we have.

I predicted to my mother that Mary's reaction would be something along the lines of "that doesn't look like a tree at all!" but that she would still like it. I was dead on. Even down to the wording. But she did like it-- and our carriage ride. And our Clydesdale horse named Chase that was gracious enough to pull us. And the hot chocolate she drank afterwards.

It was a good night. We made some memories and that's one of the best gifts ever.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


If you are friends with me on Facebook, then you've already seen these pictures. (Sorry. Suffer!) If you aren't, then these will be new to you.

I took this picture out the window as we were traveling home from Thanksgiving in my hometown. I had posted another picture, and then my brother--who has lived in TX for over 20 years--replied with a snarky (What? Snarky? One of my relatives? Unbelievable!) comment about my picture having no silos. So while this was meant to be a "There! Are you happy now?" sort of picture, it wound up making me really happy. When I was younger, I hated living in the Midwest; couldn't wait to live somewhere else. But now that I'm older, I appreciate it for what it is. There is beauty in those farm fields.

Mary drew this for me at school. When I first read it, I thought it said " happiness lives inside of meth..." It both startled and amused me. Because I am twisted. But the drawing and the sentiment have made me happy each time I see it.

Apparently these folks don't realize they are supposed to be living in our cul-de-sac. They live about a mile down the road. I call them the Griswolds. I kid you not, every bit of the house that you can't see in the photo looks like the part that you can see. It's awesome in a Griswold sort of way. Their neighbors, by the way, have greenery and a string of lights over their door and that's it. They are the us of their neighborhood.

This house is from our old neighborhood. We used to call it the "Devil House." Everything is in red lights--even the bulbs in the chandelier in the foyer. I think that red glow would throw me into a seizure. Or drive me crazy like Kramer on Seinfeld in the Kenny Rogers chicken episode. This homeowner really likes red. Or Satan.

I spent all of yesterday cleaning the dung heaps that are were my children's bedrooms. We got news that we will be having some company on Thursday and we are delighted. But this meant that the cleaning I was planning on doing next week had to be moved up. I picked up, straightened, sorted, purged, organized, dusted, vacuumed, bent, stooped, knelt, stretched, cursed, shook my head, and muttered. Their rooms were disgusting. Slobs--all of them! Their closets were the despairing depths of hell. But they are finished. I left all of them notes when I was done. They are all variations of this one, which I left on James' chalkboard wall. (Mary's had good old fashioned threats of Santa watching.) My methods may be twisted, but nobody left their dirty clothes on the floor last night.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Plain Jane

Here is our "Peoria Showgirl."

She may be the Plain Jane of our street, but I like her just the same.

Photo taken during "the blue hour." Canon Rebel xti ISO 100, f/3.5, shutter 1.6