Memories of Christmases Past

Self will surely finish A Promised Land today. She’s on p. 609 (only 100 more pages to go). It’s been by far the longest book she’s read this year:

The holiday season also meant we hosted parties practically every afternoon and evening for three and a half weeks straight. These were big, festive affairs, with three to four hundred guests at a time, laughing and chomping on lamb chops and crab cakes and drinking eggnog and wine while members of the United States Marine band, spiffy in their red coats, played all the holiday standards. For me and Michelle, the holiday parties were easy — we just dropped by for a few minutes to wish everyone well from behind a rope line.

A Promised Land, p. 609

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 128: And Here Comes the Holiday Season

  • I know many creative plans are being made to make these celebrations work – somehow and anyway. This last LAPC challenge, of the strange year 2020, is all about your Holiday Season. So what will your holidays look like? What are your plans and/or memories? Will you create new traditions or will you just ”survive” this one, looking forward to a ”normalized” celebrating next year? Leya

Self did not expect 2020. Neither did any of us. Right?

Nevertheless, today self was checking out viveka’s blog, my guilty pleasures, and she had the most stunning array of Christmas photos. Inspired, self came up with a few Christmas photos of her own.

Here’s a picture from the night of Dec. 15, when Amazon Prime dropped the first 3 episodes of Season 5 of The Expanse! So exciting! Each succeeding episode is on Wednesday, that means the next ‘drop’ is Wednesday, 23 December. And that is the nicest Christmas present she could have asked for.

She did buy a wreath from Trader Joe’s for $10.99, and fastened a few multi-colored Christmas balls to dress it up a little.

And she put out her lighted angel, that she puts out every year. And brought out a tin angel that was made in the Philippines.

So, very simple decorations this year. Not even half of her usual lay-out. Usually, she gets a big, fresh-cut fir, and hangs about 100 ornaments on it. And she scatters greenery on every available surface. Last year, her neighbor Wendy dropped by, and the first thing she said when she crossed the threshhold was: WOW.

But, Christmas is in her heart, even though this year was a very hard one.

Shout-out to Restless Jo for her great Christmas gallery, to don’t hold your breath’s Four Views of Panchgani, and to Bend Branches’s lovely Christmas ornaments.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Smell

Let’s nose around in our archives or sniff out new photos that are related to the sense of Smelling. Be creative and have fun.

Cee Neuner

Self found this Foto Challenge more than usually, er, challenging. She’s trying to keep her mind off food — for the first six weeks of the shelter-in-place, that was all she thought about, with disastrous consequences. And her roses don’t give off scent — mebbe it’s the type of soil? Even her Sheila’s Perfume rose has no perfume!

Anyhoo, after some determined hunting, she managed to come up with three photos:

  • Fried chorizo for breakfast in the island of Negros, central Philippines:

20190913_080713

  • A fresh-cut Christmas tree makes all the difference. Self got hers from Wegman’s, a local nursery:

20191130_152042

  • Just before shelter-in-place, self had her front door and front porch painted. The smell of fresh paint is the memory of singular happiness:

20200302_111031

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 77: 2019 FAVORITES

Great theme!

In 2019, self traveled the world. Her life triangulated between home in Redwood City, California, to England and Ireland, to the Philippines. Side trip to Prague with her niece, Irene!

Here goes, all the images that mattered most to self in 2019, arranged from most recent — December 2019 — to the earliest, January 2019: Starting with her home in Redwood City in early December; to London’s Blackfriar station; to Manggapuri Villa in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines; to Prague; to Oxford University’s Exam School for Alice Oswald’s first reading as Oxford’s first woman Poet in Residence; to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park; to the Main House of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig; to the fire pit in Manggapuri Villas; to the Daku Balay in Bacolod City, the Philippines; to self’s bedroom; to the Blue Room in Café Paradiso in Cork, Ireland; to Fowey in Cornwall; to Courthouse Square, Redwood City; to the cover of last winter’s issue of Prairie Schooner, which included her story Things She Can Take

Stay tuned.

Mesilla, New Mexico

Self read the following in a brochure she picked up from the Double Eagle, a restaurant facing Mesilla’s old plaza, itself a National Historic Landmark:

The name Mesilla is first found and inscribed on a map in a report to the King of Spain by Don Juan de Onate dated 1598. This makes it predate the arrival of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock by 22 years. It was first part of Mexico: the US border lay just 3 miles north. It became part of the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ONE BASIC COLOR

Excited that it’s ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

Excited, too, to be able to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this weeK: ONE BASIC COLOR.

Here are some pictures self took earlier this year, in May. She was in London and then joined her niece Irene in Prague, her first-time ever in that wondrous city:

  • The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Field, just off Trafalgar Square, London
  • The London Eye
  • St. Martin restaurant in the Mala Strada district of Prague, just a few doors away from the American Embassy

Self just realized, looking at her shots and comparing to Cee Neuner’s, that self’s are extremely monochromatic. Ah, well!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

TUESDAY PHOTO CHALLENGE: Common

I adore this week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge.

  • Common… Whether it is the every day, common object or the things that you have in common, or crossing the town common…

There is such beauty in everyday things.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: FANTASY

Fascinating Tuesday Photo Challenge!

Here are self’s three takes on the theme of FANTASY:

Picture # 1: Waiting for the start of Macbeth in Cal Shakes’ last production of the 2019 season. “When Birnam wood shall come to Dunsinane …” What’s not to love about the Weird Sisters? About the preening ambiton of Lady Macbeth? Self adores Shakespeare.

Picture # 2: Waterstones Oxford celebrates Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth (Vol. 2 of the Book of Dust, which takes Lyra Bellacqua of His Dark Materials and turns her into Lyra Silverstone — self picking up her copy today. So excited!

Picture # 3: London’s Knightsbridge, near Fortnum & Mason. Ready for Christmas, in mid-November. Window-shopping is de rigueur.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Paris, December 2017

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: PAIRS

Self is always happy when she can participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge!

dscn0030

Rose Bowl Parade, 1 January 2019

dscn0004

Straw Angels, December 2018

dscn9992

Reading, December 2018

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

myguiltypleasures

welcome to my past, present and future mixed with whatever pops up right now

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through fashion and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

InMyDirection

fiction, short story, writing, creative content

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

lita doolan productions

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other