Monday, November 30, 2009

Blue Monday: Ornamental Blues

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

Over the weekend, M and I put up our tiny Christmas tree. It has to be tiny because we live in a fairly small apartment (well, small by Northern Virginia standards - I suppose in New York City it would be considered decadently spacious). Anyway, I thought today I'd share some photos of all our blue ornaments. And then I realized - what blue ornaments? Apparently, blue is not one of our favorite Christmas colors. Lots of reds and greens and golds and silvers. But a dearth of blue. So these are a few of the few. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

We've had this jumping-jack soldier (dressed in blue) for quite a few years. He's a little big for the tree we have now - he comes from the days when we used to put up huge real trees. Before the allergies hit us.

A tiny glass ornament - looks just like the bigger variety I remember from my childhood trees.

This little mouse is new this year. He has a twin dressed in red on the other side of the tree. They're both wearing dark glasses and have little red-tipped sticks. And although it didn't occur to me when we bought them, I suppose they obviously represent the Three Blind Mice. But since that's a rather depressing thought for this time of year, I believe I'll choose to think of the canes as batons, and the mice as conductors or choir masters. Mice maestros.

Here's Charlie Brown and Snoopy. This one is a little heavy to go on the tree, so it sits down in front. Notice the blue hat. And Snoopy's scarf has a blue stripe, although it's hard to see in this shot.

And these little structures are actually Hallmark ornaments. The blue building on the right is supposed to represent the original Hall Brothers card shop. The other one is a train depot, Hall's Station. As far as I know, those Halls and the one I married are no relation - but you never know.

Last one. This is also one of the Hallmark buildings - a little tin church. It has a blue roof and there is some blue in the "stained glass" windows. Oh, and the building behind it is a school and has a red white and blue American flag in front. And in case you can't read the message on the church's sign, it says "What if every day could be a little bit like Christmas!" and I couldn't agree more!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving (and watch the birdie)!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blue Monday: Old Town Blues

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

The Old Town section of Alexandria VA is always a treat in the fall. Along with the colorful autumn leaves, a lot of the houses and buildings are colorful, too. And some of them are blue! The first photo here is the Carlyle House, one of the older houses in the area. It was completed in 1753 by British merchant John Carlyle for his bride Sarah Fairfax. It's historic because British General Braddock made the house his headquarters in 1755. But it's making its appearance here because of its very nice slate blue doorway. I think all the other shots probably speak for themselves in the realm of blueness! (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: City Squirrel

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

Out on the balcony the other day, I was playing around with the telephoto feature on my camera and managed to capture this little critter. I could just barely see him with my "naked eye," but his silhouette really popped out at me when I trained the camera on him. Those buildings in the background are miles away. Isn't digital technology wonderful?
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Wordless Wednesday: Hotel Tree Dressed for Autumn

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Such a Gorgeous Award!

OK, I have to start out by apologizing to Smiling Sally, the gorgeous blogger who awarded me the Gorgeous Blogger Award last week. I'm very grateful for the award and flattered she thought of me. And I've been meaning to post my "six things about myself" list, but somehow real life and wonky Internet connections (and a really wonky memory) just keep getting in the way. So, here it is – just a little later than planned. I've done something like this once or twice before, so some of these fascinating facts may be repeats.
  1. My memory isn't what it once was (see above). But then, neither is my body, for that matter.
  2. I'm part Welsh, part English, part German, and possibly part Dutch and American Indian (Cherokee, I think).
  3. My first pet was a chicken who drank himself to death. My most recent was a tabby cat who lived to the fine old age of 23 years.
  4. I'm a terrible cook, but a pretty decent baker.
  5. I don't much like the color orange. Except on oranges, of course. And on tabby cats.
  6. I've eaten snails, rabbit, rattlesnake, and squirrel. It all tastes like chicken. Except the snails. They taste like snails.
And I'll be passing the award on to six other worthy and gorgeous bloggers as soon as real life settles down a bit. Thanks again, Sal!

Friday Fill-Ins #150

Haven't done a Friday Fill-Ins in many weeks, so thought I'd drop back in. This one seems to be a repeat of one of last year's FFs, and you can see my answers to that one here. Tried to come up with some different responses this time, so here goes:

1. The last band I saw live was _____________. Well, as I said last year, this is a tough one. I really don't go to that many live music things. If a symphony orchestra counts as a band, I suppose the last one of those I saw was most likely at a Kennedy Center concert of some sort back in the '90s. Pretty sure I haven't seen any live music performances at all in this century!

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is (aside from having someone else do the cooking?) the University of Texas / Texas A&M football game on TV (Hook 'em, Horns!).

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is all planned out but not finished yet.

4. Thoughts of pumpkin pies, pecan pies, sweet potato pies, and mincemeat pies fill my head. Can you tell I haven't had breakfast yet?

5. I wish I could wear this nightie and robe all day, but sooner or later I'm gonna have to get dressed. Bummer.

6. Bagpipes are, as they say, an acquired taste. I love 'em, but I know they make some people want to torch the piper and his pipes.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to possibly dinner out and then new episodes of "Medium" and "Numb3rs," tomorrow my plans include probably waiting around all day for M to call from Chicago, and Sunday, I want to have a nice relaxing day at home, and get some reading done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: Big Sky Country

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

Just got back from spending a couple of days in Shenandoah National Park. It's a little later in the year than we usually go to the park; a lot of the trees are already bare, and those that remain aren't all that colorful this year (not enough rain at just the right time, I guess).

But it was still a fun visit, and the scenery was still beautiful even if not as spectacular as in years past.

We stayed in the Skyland section, which has some of the highest elevations in the park. It's my favorite place to stay because of the wonderful views, at all times of year.

These are a few shots I took from the terrace of our "cabin" – and even though the days were hazy and the colors were muted, I think you can still see why they call it Skyland.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: The Morning After

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

This photo was actually taken right after Halloween last year, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and I think I may have posted it on my blog before. But it still makes me smile. And I still think that guy on the far right looks exactly like I look every morning just before I've had that first shot of coffee.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)