Tuesday, December 30, 2014

364/365-2 Cozy Indulgence

"Birthday Indulgence"

Today I could either get cozy or indulgence, but they didn't both happen at the same time.  I decided to go with just indulgence because it made for a much better picture!

Having a birthday so close to Christmas, like anything, has advantages and disadvantages.  This year the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages because I got a new lens on both occasions - not a joint gift, but actually two lenses!  I freely admit that this is a major indulgence and that I am quite spoiled.

This lens was delivered today.  We knew that it had to be signed for when it arrived so we planned to be home most of the day.  I could have dug out from beneath the Christmas mayhem that still blankets most of the den and dining room, but instead Weber and I watched the movie August Rush.  It is not a new movie but for some reason it has never been available on either Netflix or Amazon and I have wanted to see it for quite a while now.  Brooke brought it home from the library for me; having a librarian in the family makes it easy to get the movies that you want,  especially when that librarian is the one whose job responsibilities include developing the movie collection for the library.  This movie, however, they already had so I did not abuse my connections.

August Rush is a sweet movie about the power of music, just a feel good sort of story.  And yes, Erin, I stayed awake for the whole thing!  I suppose that watching a movie in the middle of the day is an indulgence of sorts for us as we do this so rarely.  And the dog, who snoozed curled up in the afghan on my lap was definitely cozy.  I guess this scene could have worked for today's prompt, but my head didn't go there at the time.

The other potential for cozy was not an image that I wanted to preserve in a photo.  I had to have an MRI on my leg today.  I am seriously claustrophobic; if the injury had been any further up on my leg we would have had serious issues or needed serious drugs!  As it was, the tube stopped right level with my shoulders and I talked myself out of freaking out.

Almost two weeks ago I misjudged a step while out taking photos of Christmas lights one night.  When I did it, I heard a pop in my leg followed by intense sharp pain, but I did not actually fall.  I immediately sat down and let the pain subside a little and was able to hobble back to the car.  I stayed off of my leg for about twenty four hours during which time I also iced it.  The next day it felt a little better, the sharp pain had dissolved to a nagging ache. On the third day, their was bruising.  I thought to myself that that explained the ache and all would be well once the bruises healed.  Not the case.

It still hurts.  I finally decided that I needed to seek a medical professional when I saw a video (taken by my beloved husband with his new Polaroid Cube) of how weirdly I was walking.  

I went to the doctor late yesterday.  Based on the symptoms that I was presenting, the doctor seemed convinced that I had broken my fibula, but the X-ray was apparently inconclusive so her ordered the MRI.  It was scheduled for 5:30 this afternoon.  I did not leave the imaging center until nearly 7:30 tonight and I don't know what, if anything, the MRI showed.  They did send me on my way after their doctor looked at the images saying that there was nothing that needed immediate attention so I am figuring that I just need to take it easy on that leg for awhile.  I assume I will get an official report from the doctor tomorrow.

All of this to say that the whole MRI experience was cozy in its own unappealing way and I was not going to take a picture of it!  The new lens makes me much happier!

Monday, December 29, 2014

363/365-2 Orange


362/365-2 In the Air

"Birthday Bubbles"

I had a nice birthday day - church followed by lunch with my favorite friends, a little bit of time blowing bubbles in the afternoon sun, and Latin American cuisine for dinner with my family.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

360/365-2 Seasonal Attire

"The Hat"

"The hat" is always seasonal attire around here, or at least a hat.  This one was perfect for today when it was chilly outside, but not cold enough for a coat, or even a jacket, for that matter.  I am such a sucker for the hat and the guy in the hat.

The guy in the hat gave me a new lens for Christmas.  Surely he knew that if he gave me a lens he would end up as my subject.  Well, actually the hat was supposed to be the subject, but I couldn't resist using the more portrait-like image as my picture of the day.

Here is the image of just the hat, more or less.

359/365-2 The Aftermath

"Nap Time!"

Another Christmas tradition around our house is that after brunch has been eaten and gifts have been opened Harley and Weber climb up in the recliner and have a Christmas nap.  I think there is a similar picture to this one from almost every Christmas day that these two have shared.

This image is not particularly "Christmassy" in and of itself, so here is a second look at the aftermath of our Christmas morning.

We had a wonderful Christmas - lots of food, laughter, and sharing of gifts.  We all got and gave many thoughtful things.  At least this image looks a little more like Christmas.

Merry Christmas


Happy New Year!

from our family to yours

358/365-2 Naughty or Nice

"You Decide."

I was drawn to this image of Erin that was taken on her birthday.  For someone reason, to me it is perfect for "naughty or nice."

We had a somewhat less frantic Christmas eve than usually.  I did get everything wrapped, chili made for Christmas day, and some cleaning done, but I decided that some cleaning just was not going to get done.  That's why they make doors that close.

Church was a nice change this year.  I had the opportunity to play with the orchestra at a different church rather than sing in the choir at our church.  I enjoyed the opportunity to play.  It has been a long time since I have been an instrumentalist rather than a chorister.  It felt good to get back to my roots.

Because we were actually running a little bit early, Weber and I had time to stop at Starbucks before church and enjoy a cup of coffee together.  

It was calm and quite, the perfect way to settle our spirits before attending church - twice.  I played for two services and weber was a good sport and went to both.  At least the sermons were different.

A few years ago we began this weird tradition of going Waffle House after midnight Mass on Christmas eve.  So after church Weber and I picked up Brooke and headed out for our eggs with cheese and hash browns.  I'm not sure how this became part of our holiday tradition, but I always enjoy it.

By the time we got home, I was wide awake.  I think it was 4am by the time I finally got to bed.  That's OK.  Now that the girls are older, Christmas morning doesn't start so early.

With wishes for homes and hearts filled with joy during this holiday season and the year to come.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy 22nd Birthday, Erin!

Today was day two of our marathon week of birthdays - four in six days if you count Jesus.  My baby turned twenty two today.  Where has the time gone?  

Both the birthday girl and her sister had to work all day so our celebration consisted of dinner in Fort Worth at Yucatan Taco.  (I am including the name of the restaurant because neither Brooke or me could remember where we went last year for Erin's birthday.  Though I mentioned in her birthday blog of 2013 that we had gone out for dinner, I failed to give the name of the restaurant.  Fortunately, Erin remembered.)  Erin had been there before, but it was new to the rest of us.  The food was excellent; Yucatan Taco will definitely stay on the "will visit again" list.  The only negative was that it was dark inside so the birthday pictures did not turn out great.  Oh well...they are enough to spark good memories in the years to come, I hope.

Brooke wrapped her gift to Erin in black and white paper.  This fueled my current fondness for black and white photographs.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Brooke gave her sister a book for her birthday.

"The Birthday Girl"

She also received bracelets and a watch.  She has never had a "grown-up lady" watch so, despite her college education, she had trouble figuring out how the clasp worked.

Edgar gave Erin a nice framed collage of pictures from their recent trip to Portland.

It is nice to get together with the whole family two nights in a row.

"Same Girls, Different Birthday"


357/365-2 Sad Santa

"Guard Dog"

He wouldn't wear a Santa hat, but Adidas has his serious "sad lab face" on.  He feels it necessary to guard the gifts that are under the tree.  It is a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

356/365-2 Ready

"Naughty? Maybe. 25? Definitely."

These two are ready to party.  The "naughty" one celebrated her 25th birthday today.  She and her "nice" sister spent the day shopping and eating (and maybe drinking a little, too.)  All that was followed by a family dinner and sharing of gifts tonight.

Neither one of them was really dressed for a portrait.  The naughty one had on ridiculously high heels making her way taller than her sister and thus making it impossible, in terrible light, for me to focus on both of them.  The nice one's hat was casting a weird shadow on her face.  Oh well, this is what they looked like today.

Happy birthday, Brooke!

355/365-2 In the Kitchen


I forgot to post this here yesterday because I posted it on Facebook early in the day thinking I would take a more appropriate photo for my official photo of the day.  That didn't happen so this is it.  What does it have to do with "in the kitchen?" About the only thing is that this silly idea was hatched and planned while standing in the kitchen.  And no, we had not been sipping on the eggnog.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

354/365-2 With the Tree

"O' Christmas Tree!"

You may notice that there are no ornaments on the lower branches of the tree nor are there any gifts under the tree.  The absence of both of these things is due to the presence of the cat with/in/under the Christmas tree.

Friday, December 19, 2014

353/365-2 You Better Watch Out

"Christmas Break"

Six days before Christmas and on the last day of school before the holiday break, teachers and Santa feel each other's pain!  There are few people still on the "nice" list!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

351/365-2 The Number "5"

"Take Five"

This time of year can become so hectic as we try to accomplish all those things that we think we should - home decorations that are acceptable to even Martha Stewart, holiday meals that are tasty, pretty and liked by everyone, finding the perfect gift for all those on your gift-giving list and so on.  If we stop long enough to engage a bit of rational thought, we will realize that none of these things is what makes Christmas happy, joyful or merry.  Just being with the one's we love is what is important.  Perhaps we could all benefit from "taking five" to slow down and focus on what Christmas really is...and what it isn't.

Throughout this year, each month has had a number prompt to photograph.  I have failed miserably with all of them.  I'm not sure why.  I am kind of a number geek, but on the days when these particular prompts reared their ugly faces, numbers eluded me.  Today's shot was a desperate attempt at photographing the number five.  But hey...at least I got to take advantage of the Christmas tree that we finally got up and decorated!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

350/365-2 Lights

"Same Lights, Different Year"

This is the third year that I have photographed this display of lights that is just around the corner from our house.  They are quite beautiful and each year I enjoy seeing them.  They have not changed in three years so I decided that I needed to do something different with this year's photos.  

Generally speaking, I like abstract looking photos.  I do like the bokeh in the foreground trees, but I'm not so sure about the trees in the background.  I have until January 1 to take more photos here and see if I can do something else that I like a little better.  For today, this will do.

349/365-2 Christmas Cards

"Warm Wishes"

The top of the china cabinet in our dining room is where cards are displayed in our house - birthday cards, Valentine's Day cards, Easter cards and Christmas cards.  Every time we sit down for a meal, we are reminded of all those you have sent thoughts and prayers.  Up until a week or so ago, this spot was occupied by sympathy cards that we received after my dad's death.  Those cards did bring us comfort, but I have to say that I am glad to now have the Christmas cards with their messages of hope and joy to look at each day.

348/365-2 In the Neighborhood - December Where I Stand

"My Corner of the World"

This is our corner.  Usually the "Where I Stand" prompt includes a literal photo of my feet.  This month's prompt focused on "in the neighborhood" and I like our street signs.  And, I didn't have much time to do this.  So, this is as good as it gets.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

347/365-2 In The Corner

"It's Beginning to Look A Little Like Christmas"

We finally have a Christmas tree up and standing in the corner.  No other decorations are out yet, but at least the tree is up.  The dogs and the cat were all right there to help every step of the way.  Adidas seemed intrigued by the lights.  Frankie was waiting for the perfect ornament to knock off and play with and Harley wanted to make sure that these two stayed engaged and didn't bother her while she was chewing her bone.

Even with the tree up and decorated, it still doesn't look much like Christmas around here.  I will work on more of it tomorrow.  Brooke and I did clean out the refrigerator and the freezer tonight.  Though that doesn't do much to help with the feeling of Christmas, it is a good feeling in and of itself to have it done.  Now there is room for Christmas baking.  Maybe that will help to up the general holiday spirit around here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

345/365-2 The Grinch

"The Grinch"

344/365-2 Peace

"Holding On to Peace"

Here is the scenario: Still no tree up here, trying to grade exams before a rehearsal tonight, already photographed my favorite peace ornament a few days ago. Lonely ornament laying on the kitchen counter, hubby walks in from school wearing a Christmassy plaid flannel shirt, my camera is also on the counter. "Here. Hold this. Come with me." Snap! Let there be peace in our household.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

343/365-2 At The Lot

"A Lot of Fog"

Pardon the redundancy here.  I posted this photo to Facebook early today not knowing then that it would be today's POTD.

We awoke this morning to very thick fog, not a common thing here in Dallas.  It was both beautiful and a little ominous on this Tuesday morning of final exam week.  I had to give a final exam at eight o'clock this morning.  Seemingly very few others on campus were doing the same because much of the parking lot was still deserted at 7:45.  I snapped this photo with my phone as I headed into the building.

After my exam, I read the email containing the daily photo prompt "At the Lot."  The intention was a photo of choosing a tree at a Christmas tree lot.  Well, that was going to happen.  Our tree comes from a box, not a lot.  And even if it did come from a lot, it was not going to come today.  I chuckled as I thought about this image that I had already posted to Facebook...it is a lot...and it has trees.  

10 am and my photo of the day was done!

Monday, December 8, 2014

342/365-2 A Favorite Ornament


Today;s photo was supposed to be of a favorite ornament,  on a tree surrounded by lovely bokeh, and not still in the box.  We don't have a tree up yet.  In fact, until tonight we didn't even have a tree.  We gave our old tree to Erin.  It wasn't until tonight that we actually got around to going out and purchasing a new one.  Like the ornaments, it too is still in the box.  I guess you could say that we are appreciating the Advent spirit of waiting.

As far as favorite ornaments,  I am a fan of anything that speaks to peace.

Hopefully this weekend the Christmas decorations will be unpacked and it will begin to look at least a little like Christmas around here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

341/365-2 Moonlit

"Goodnight Moon"

Sometimes the best I can say is that I got a photo taken.  At the end of this busy weekend I have no energy and no creativity.  So, in the words of Margaret Wise Brown, ?Goodnight moon...goodnight nobody...goodnight mush."  Here's hoping for a good night's rest and a more inspired tomorrow.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

340/365-2 December Self Portrait - Giving

"Hugs, The Best Kind of Giving"

This month's self portrait suggested photographing our hands in a gesture of giving.  This was definitely not my favorite selfie, not because of the giving aspect; it is the hands part, so I had to find something/someone to hold as a distraction.  As I have looked back through the year's photos, I realized that Harley has been the least photographed of our four-legged family members.  Today was her day.  And, she is always willing to give and get a hug.

Note to self: selfies, dogs, and limited time are not a good combination.  I had to grab this shot quickly this afternoon in between a rehearsal this morning and a concert tonight.  I think dogs are worse than kids when it comes to photos.  They know exactly what you want and are going to make you work for it.  I will say it was worth the effort.  Lots of hugs were shared along the way.

Friday, December 5, 2014

338/365-2 Christmas Past

"Dancing Memories"

For good or for ill, I am not really a saver of stuff.  I have a very few tangible things that are precious to me and that I have saved over time; but for the most part, things are not my thing.  

I don't have a collection of Christmas ornaments that have been passed down and collected over the generations.  Growing up in a military family ornaments got lost and broken along the many moves.  When the girls were little, I tried collecting ornaments memorializing monumental events, but I fell short, probably because my heart and soul really weren't into it.  Also, I hate spending the entire Christmas holiday wondering if me or the cat is going to be the one to drop or knock off and break some treasured family heirloom.  My solution...no breakable family heirlooms.

Our tree is decorated (well, not yet) with cheap, but pretty, plastic balls bought on an after Christmas sale.  The balls sparkle and glow and add cheer to our den.  Every year, many of them make their way to the floor as the cat greatly enjoys balls that sparkle and glow.  And every time they hit the floor, I continue to breath and am not overcome by anger or guilt.  

All this is not to say that I don't have many good and vivid memories of Christmases past.  I do.  But they exist in my mind and in the stories shared when family and friends who gather during the holiday season to remember Christmases past and savor the Christmas of today.

337/365-2 Construction

"Construct A Scrapbook!"

I have a student who is also a colleague teaching in another department as well as a friend.  As we were wrapping up the last week of classes this week before next week's final exams, the level of stress among faculty and students alike was rising.  Everyone was trying to find something, anything to bring down both their anxiety levels and blood pressure.  My student/colleague/friend decided that taking up scrapbooking is what I needed to take my mind off the pressures of school.  Really???

The thing is, I love all things paper, and stickers, and pens...For that very reason, I have resisted the temptation to follow the scrapbooking craze for all of these years.  I know it would just be one more thing for me to become totally absorbed.  Today I was given a big stack of scrapbooking pages, tons of stickers, some embellishments, binders, and a trimmer.  Every bit of it my student/colleague/friend chose knowing me and my interests very well...maybe too well.  The themes range from family to coffee, from labrador retrievers to menopause, from music to photography and beyond.  When I got home this evening, I started just looking at all of the papers.  I kept thinking, "I know what I can do with that one...and that one...and that one..."  I found myself planning out my days over the coming winter break.

Do I have a clean house?  No.  Do I have any Christmas decorations up?  No.  Have I done my Christmas shopping?  No.  Am I caught up on the photography classes that I am taking?  No.  Do I have any business taking on something else in the midst of all these things that aren't done?  No.  But...but, but I want to!!!

Perhaps that will be enough incentive to get all of these other things done in a timely manner.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people who care about me, and I am grateful for this awesome gift of today!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

336/365-2 Warmth

"Scarf It Up!"

Nothing says warm and cozy better than a hand knit scarf and someone with whom to share it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

335/365-2 With Bells On

"Do You See What I See?"

This is not the photo that I intended to take today, but its the one I got.  That's all.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

334/365-2 Give Thanks for the Holiday Season

"The Season"

Today marks the start of Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year.  Today is also the eve of World ADIS Day.  Tonight I was honored to play for a service that remembered those who have lost their lives to AIDS, celebrated the accomplishments made by researchers in finding ways to manage this disease, and gave thanks for all those who are living long and productive lives despite being HIV positive.

333/365-2 Thankful for an Early Start

"Home for an Early Start to the Holidays"

Most of the day was spent traveling, but we did make it home in time to attend a holiday party at some friends' home.  It was a nice early start to the Christmas season.  OK, maybe it isn't really early for the rest of the world, but I am so far behind that it feels too early for Christmas to be in full swing.

Friday, November 28, 2014

332/365-2 Thanks for Traditions

Stand Back and Watch"

For me there has been nothing traditional about Thanksgiving this year.  Because of my schedule and things that needed to be done here in Delaware, I have spent my first Thanksgiving away from home and away from the girls.  Weber and I were graciously invited to my aunt's house for the holiday meal.  It was nice to be with them as we have not seen much of each other lately except under stressful conditions.  Still, it was not like being at home.  So, photographing tradition today was kind of tough.

After taking care of a bunch of business this morning, Weber and I went to the beach this afternoon.  It was so cold down by the water.  Weber actually stayed in the car.  I bundled up and headed out with my camera and tripod.  The wind was strong that even with my camera on a tripod, I couldn't keep it steady.  None of today's pictures were very sharp, but unlike the fuzzy photos that I took in Dover, today I know why.

On this Black Friday, I kind of feel like these gulls, watching the crashing waves and being glad that I am standing on the sidelines.  The thought of going anywhere near a big shopping area today was not appealing at all.  I don't like big crowds of people and there is nothing that I want or need that is so important as to necessitate me having to deal with the mayhem that is Black Friday.  I will get my holiday shopping done, probably sitting at home in my PJ's late at night.  I love online shopping!!!

Being on the beach was not without its discomforts.  In addition to the wind, it was super cold.  My hands got so cold that I could no longer feel the shutter release button on my camera.  That is when I had to quit.  Even having bone cold hands that hurt once they were no longer numb was a more pleasant experience than shopping today would have been!