Monday, January 11, 2016

Blue Monday: Blues for the New Year

Blue Monday is hosted weekly by Smiling Sally.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself,
please head on over to her blog.

So, 2016. And my first Blue Monday of the year. Now that Christmas and New Year's and the hubby's birthday are over, we're beginning to get back to normal around here. Finally took down the trees and all the holiday decorations and stowed them away for another year. And we managed to finish up the puzzle we've been working on for the last couple of weeks (no blue there, but a nice nostalgic picture):

It turned out to be a LOT harder to put together than we expected it to be. All those dark pieces looked exactly alike!

We ended December with a visit to the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas in Austin, to see the exhibit of Latin American modern interior design they have going on right now (I think it's there through January 17th, if you're interested). It was a good time to go -- classes were out for the winter break, so parking wasn't a problem and the campus was very quiet. I remember when we were students at UT back in the Pleistocene era, we always loved that time during vacations and between semesters, when the other students cleared out. We were Austin residents year-round, so we got to stick around and enjoy the slower pace.

The exhibit was fun -- lots of interesting mid-20th century decor, which I love. Wonderful furniture, paintings, wall hangings, and ceramics. And a lot of the walls were painted a lovely turquoise blue, my favorite color and very appropriate to the time period. (Sorry if they look a little greenish on your screen -- it's a difficult shade to photograph.)

There was also a lot of art glass I coveted, like this 1950s blue glass table lamp:

Before we left the museum, we browsed another exhibit -- paintings of the Virgin Mary from 18th century Bolivia and Peru. One of them (Our Lady of Cocharcas, 1751 by an unknown artist) included some nice touches of blue (although I think it was supposed to represent a silver processional cart):

And on our way between galleries, I snapped a couple of shots of George Segal's life-size sculpture Blue Woman in Black Chair. I'm not sure exactly what he was trying to achieve, but she was several lovely shades of blue...

and kind of spooky close-up.

So, I guess now I'm ready for 2016 to begin unfolding. And I'm hoping for more blue skies like the one we had yesterday....

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I Suck at Holidailies plus a Saturday Snap

OK, it's official now: I just can't handle Holidailies. I think this is the third year in a row that I've completely bombed out at trying to "regularly update" this blog during the Christmas season. I did have some pretty good excuses this year (two rounds of oral surgery, lots of pain meds which kept me comatose a good deal of the time), but still.... Three years in a row?

Actually, the whole month of December has been kind of weird around here. In addition to the fore-mentioned dental adventures, the weather here in central Texas just hasn't been very cooperative lately. Which is OK with me -- I love the sun and warmth and blue skies. But it did sort of keep me from getting into a festive, Christmas-y mood. It shouldn't really bother me that much, having grown up in San Antonio where Christmas Eve was usually 90-degrees and humid. When we'd gather at our grandparents' house for the family get-together, my grandmother would spend the entire evening yelling at people to "close the door and stop letting all the air conditioning out!"

But now the day has come and gone, I'm (sort of) on the mend (we won't discuss the reaction to the antibiotic at this time -- luckily for ya'll), and I think I'm finally getting into the spirit of the season. Also getting the urge to blog again. Maybe there's life after tooth-removal after all.

So I'm going to try to post to this blog a little more often during the rest of December. Maybe not daily (I think the hubby has planned a few out-and-abouts), but enough to keep me from feeling like such a slacker. Because I know you're all on the edge of your comfy chairs, waiting for my next bit of bloggy trivia.

Well, here's today's. On Christmas Eve, I generally try to take a photo of Michael and me together. Nothing formal -- just a snapshot of the two of us, for my own personal album. Usually with the tree or some of our toys. Neither of us is really great at posing, and even though we both love photography, we both also dislike having our own pictures taken. So it's usually a bit of a struggle. But this year it turned out to be pretty impossible. All of the photos were generally disastrous -- trouble with the lighting, camera timer doing strange stuff, but mostly because in every one of them I looked like I was being tortured. This was one of the worst of the lot, but at least I don't look like I'm ready to punch somebody.
Total Fail: Attempting to Take the Annual Christmas Snap

And just one more tidbit. See that skirt? Red-and-green plaid, pleated, rayon-silk blend. I bought that item at Talbot's in downtown Washington DC around 1989. It's older than most of you are, Dear Readers! I've worn it on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (or sometimes both!) every year for the last 25 years. One of these days, I'm going to take it out of the closet, and it's just going to crumble into dusty bits and blow away in a poof. It'll give me something to write about for Holidailies!

Linking up with Saturday Snapshot, too. I know that's a terrible snap, so here's a better one. I call this one Michael, the Mail, and the Blue Skies of Christmas:

Christmas just the way I like it

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Festivus!

Let the airing of grievances begin!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Under the Tree (Part 1)

Blue Monday is hosted weekly by Smiling Sally.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself,
please head on over to her blog.

Michael has this thing for model trains. He loved them as a little boy, and he still loves them now that he's a bigger boy. But for most of our married life we've lived in very small spaces, that really weren't roomy enough for even a small model train set-up. He always wanted a train around the Christmas tree, but we generally had a table-top size tree -- again, not spacious enough for a train.

But now that we're living in a bigger place, and have a bigger tree with lots of room around it, he's started accumulating train stuff to play with. A couple of years ago, he got a Polar Express train set, I think (at first) mostly because that's one of my favorite Christmas movies (he's learned to like it too, I believe, after some resistance at first). And last year, he acquired the house to go with the train. (You'll notice that the train is a lovely shade of blue.)

The convertible is one of this year's additions, and just slightly out of place in the snowy landscape -- the driver must be a real outdoor enthusiast.

Also this year, he's added some figures -- including Santa -- and a little Santa's workshop structure. Very cute. And (I think because I'm such a fan of the Back to the Future movies) a time machine in a DeLorean! I'm not sure how that fits in with the Christmas theme, but it's one of my favorite parts of the set-up. Now we just need tiny Marty and Doc Brown figures to make it complete.