Archive for December, 2007

England Forever . . . Scotland for just a wee bit longer!

30 December 2007

Countdown to Hogmanay:  the cleaning is pretty much done.  The grocery list is prepared for errands tomorrow.  The candle gardening is even done!  And Kyle has completed our personal Hogmanay Music cd for this year—complete with a cool jacket cover created from a photo he took on our last trip to Scotland!  He’s outdone himself with this one.  It’s been a long, full day of work, work, work—and little rest for the weary.  It is nearly two a.m. and I’m still going strong.  But, the house is just about ready for a wonderful invasion of our friends for Hogmanay.

My photo is of some of the contents of a lovely little early twentieth century bar buffet I bought for Kyle a number of years ago.  It’s a sweet little piece that makes one think of 1940s cocktail parties.  As you pull open the front, it drops down and the top simultaneously raises up, as the light comes on.  It’s lined in mirrors and is a joy to use.  In it, we keep some of our prettiest highball glasses, the stir sticks and jiggers and various bar supplies one needs for mixing drinks.  And down below, there’s a cabinet for liquour!  The glass front and center in the photo is, appropriately enough for Hogmanay eve, a glass etched with the Declaration of Scottish Independence.

As I’m preparing for what we’re calling our final Hogmanay Party, I am reminded of how many wonderful friends we are going to get to see tomorrow night.  I’m also reminded of all the ones who will not be with us.  We have received regrets from so many that I will sorely miss.  And there are a number of folks who would be here if they didn’t live so far away!  And, of course there’s the normal shifting of friendships resulting in the fact that many of our friends who attended our first New Year’s Eve Party fifteen years ago, aren’t even really on our radar so much any more.  And I miss my friend and “forever-ex,” Roger, especially at this time of year.  He never missed a party here. 

But, life goes on, and we will gather together with thirty or forty dear, dear friends tomorrow night.  We will raise a toast to those who are elsewhere, and we’ll drink to the new year–destined to be full of love and adventure.

~MB

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29
Dec

Twelve Inches

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

Twelve Inches

29 December 2007

Countdown to Hogmanay:  In two days, the house will smell like wassail, and the liquor cabinets will be emptied onto the kitchen counter top!

While preparing for the party, and squeezing in some sewing, I am enjoying my first day with sassy hair. 

No, don’t panic, Mark! (For years, when Mark would call me from overseas, his first question was always, “you haven’t cut your hair, have you?”) I didn’t cut it all off—just twelve inches.  (Thanks again for your help, Ginger!)  I still have longer hair than most people I know, and more than enough to pull into ponytails, buns, twists, braids and the like.  But, I also now have really healthy hair.  It’s the same lovely thickness all the way from my head to the tips.  It’s lighter and I feel free-er than I have in a long time.  I no longer have to worry about my hair wrapping itself around various body parts while I’m sleeping, dressing, showering, dancing, or doing anything else for that matter!  No more worries about accidentally cutting it when I’m cutting fabric.  No more dragging it through a plate of food. 

So, anyway, it’s not as sassy as it could be, ’cause it’s still pretty long.  I didn’t get a clever style or anything.  No layers.  And no bangs.  Kyle doesn’t like bangs at all.  But, he did tell me it looks pretty.  And it feels pretty!  And I’m happy!

~MB

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29
Dec

O Tannenbaum . . .

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

O Tannenbaum . . .

28 December 2007

The German word “tannenbaum” means “fir tree” or less specifically “evergreen tree.”  The first recorded words about the pretty evergreen tree ever sung to the tune you now have swimming in your head seem to have been written in the sixteenth century.  But, the tune is an even older folk melody.  A melody that’s been  floating through my brain while I decorate!

Yep.  I finally got my little tree up and decorated!  I might be the only person you know who decorates their holiday tree after Christmas Day!  But, it’s done, now.  I will have as a goal for next year, to get it done by the 24th, but hey . . . whatever!  It’s still Christmas!   The Christmas holiday traditionally lasts twelve days.  And contrary to the way the modern media- and retail-driven world would have us think, those twelve days don’t start until the 25th!  Prior to Christmastide, you have the Advent season in the Christian world.  And a few days of Yuletide for the non-Christian-yet-ritualistic set.  But, the Twelve Days of Christmas, made familiar to us in song, last from the 25th of December until the fifth of January, known as Twelfth Night.  In Medieval and even Renaissance times, Twelfth Night was the culmination of all the holiday revelry.  Gifts were exchanged, dances were danced, feasts were as plentiful as money would allow.  And the very next day, the 6th of January, is the Christian Feast Day of the Epiphany—a day that celebrates the revelation of Jesus to the world; specifically it commemorates the arrival of the Magi, or three wise men to the birthplace of Jesus.  And as such, it was a joyous, but very religious day for our ancestors.  So, it was during the Twelve Days of Christmas that the real partying happened. 

This history lesson has been brought to you by . . . <giggle>  It all simply serves to justify my timing and hopefully to inspire all of you to remember to keep celebrating!

~MB 

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28
Dec

Colour Stack

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

27 December 2007
After a number of days off, back to work was pretty difficult. The joy of it is, I have the office pretty much to myself. Which means I can get a LOT of work done with little to no distraction. No loud sales-gaggle across the hall; no plethora of conference calls; no people wandering by to "have a chat." Lots of good, quality work gets done. it also allows for a bit of house-cleaning. That is: straightening the desk, cleaning out all those old pens that no longer work but you keep them around anyway, trashing old documents that are no longer relevant (or at least filing them) and so on. During the cleaning frenzy, I re-located these:
Stacked Colours

They had been shoved back behind a stack of file folders. I pulled them out, dusted them off and tried, once again in vain, to solve its hidden puzzle. These cubes (there are actually four of them) may be arranged in such a manner (only one solution exists, apparently) that all four long sides show each color only once. It's quite maddening and although Katrina gave this puzzle to me several years back, I have yet to solve it. I think I just give up too easily.
Cheers.

~KR (27 December 2007)

Listening to:
I Can't Win by The Mojo Filters

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.3 sec (3/10)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 1 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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27
Dec

Wicker

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

Wicker

27 December 2007

Countdown to the Hogmanay Party:  four days from right this minute I’ll be busily pouring shots of scotch and little tastes of champagne for midnight toasting!

I am always very disappointed in myself and rather ashamed as well, when I’ve been out of the house more than once, driven clear across the metroplex and back, and still have no new photos in my camera.  <sigh>I would have taken a photo of something in the rain, on my drive back from Allen, but I realised the camera was at home on the coffee table. 

So, just to serve as a punishing reminder to myself not to let that happen as often as it seems to lately—I’m using a totally boring photo of the top of our coffee table as my photo of the day.  Perhaps if I’m forced to look what can happen when I forget to have my camera with me, or take interesting photos, I’ll do better in the future.  I guess it’s kind of like posting the report card with the “F” on it so that the whole family can see it, to remind you to study harder.

On the upside . . . at least wicker has a nice texture thing going for it!  And I was amused to see that the macro lens on my camera picked up a cat hair and a spot of hardened wax from a candle drip, that I hadn’t noticed with the naked eye. 

~MB

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27
Dec

26th – The Candle

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

Well, I’d be quite caught up, but the SD card in Marita Beth’s camera has all my photos from yesterday.
*sigh*
I’ll catch up when I get that card.
Cheers.
~KR
Watching:
Torchwood (Captain Jack Harkness)

UPDATE:
Marita Beth emailed the photos to me last night, which I retrieved this morning. I can now well & truly get caught up. Hooray (beer)!

26 December 2007
As Marita Beth mentioned in her post, her brother gave her (us) a Candle Maker for Christmas. This is something I’ve joked about with her for years and had actually intended to purchase on my own some summer while she’s up north. But, I’m lazy and time gets away from me easily so I never did follow through on that. Now, however, we can make candles just like I’d always intended. But, my goodness it’s easier than my memory. I remember hours of standing over a large pot waiting for enough wax to melt that it could be gently scooped into a container mold. Now, you just put the wax in, wait 5 minutes and open a spigot for the melted wax to flow gently into a perfectly placed mold. So much easier. And fun.
Marita Beth & I made this yesterday and released it from its mold today. Rest assured we will be making more.
The Candle
Cheers.

~KR (26 December 2007)

Listening to:
Tragedy by The Bee Gees
from Number Ones

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 1 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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27
Dec

The Protective Net

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

25 December 2007
Christmas Day. You know what that means? Yep. Time to go see a movie with the rest of humanity. Normally we would go to the Movie Tavern, but it was important enough to both of us that we see Sweeney Todd that we went to the Parks Mall (*shudder*) instead. Goodness. What a great movie, but do not take your children or overly-squeamish adults. Remember that this is a "horror" musical directed by Tim Burton. And Tim Burton is nothing if not over-the-top, so there was a whole lot of stylish, over-the-top blood-spilling. Great fun. On the way out, we walked near the Ice Skating rink. I guess everyone who wasn't seeing a movie with us was ice skating instead. The line to get into/onto the rink was at least 70 people strong (not counting the kids who wouldn't stand still long enough to be counted). I had no idea. While we were walking across the gangplank, some poor lady fell and smacked her head pretty hard. This is a photo of the suddenly cleared area near her: Christmas Ice Skating
and a really good view of the net that protects those on the upper floor from… uhmmm…
Right.
Cheers.

~KR (25 December 2007)

Listening to:
Hey by The Risk

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, red-eye reduction

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27
Dec

The Face

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

24 December 2007
I've no real idea where this came from, but it's been hanging there for a while. So, I took a photo: Sculpted Face
Making the mundane beautiful (or at least semi-interesting).
Cheers.

~KR (24 December 2007)

Listening to:
Winged/Wicked Things by Sunset Rubdown

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.04 sec (1/25)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 1 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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27
Dec

Chocolate!

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

23 December 2007
I confess, this photo was actually taken at 12:01 AM on the 24th, not the 23rd. But, taking a page from my wife's excuse book: I haven't been to bed yet, so it's still today. Therefore this photo counts for my photo on the 23rd. Which is important, because I didn't take any photos.
Chocolate

It's chocolate.

Cheers.

~KR (23 December 2007)

Listening to:
Ceremony by Xiu Xiu

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.8 sec (4/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 1 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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27
Dec

Rahr Brewery with Friends

   Posted by: krmb    in Daily

22 December 2007
If you've not gleaned this yet, you're not paying attention: I like beer. I like beer of most sorts, but free beer really gets my attention. So, on Saturday's when Rahr Brewery, just south of downtown Ft. Worth gives away free beer for 2 hours, I'm quite likely to attend. This past Saturday we did attend, taking with us 2 great dogs and 5 great friends. More were invited, but we take what we can get. In this photo, we have Mary tossing back the rest of her Winter Warmer so that she can run grab a top-up before last call.

Mary's Winter Warmer
Notice the dainty method involved with draining that pint glass to its very last drop.
Cheers.

~KR (22 December 2007)

Listening to:
Breeze by Genki Rockets

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.077 sec (1/13)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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