pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: December 2011

31 December 2011

Sun on snow

Sequoia National Park
28 December 2010

This is a companion to the photo that I posted at the end of last year.

I hope that the coming year sparkles and shines for you like sunlight on snow.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. I love the texture in this photo.

27 December 2011

Crescent moon at sunset

Crescent moon
Orange County, California
26 December 2011

Everyone was raving about the proximity of Venus and the crescent moon last night, but when I went out to look, it was pretty much the same view as last month, though maybe a bit higher in the sky. Pretty anyway, and my neighbor came over to ask why I was setting up my camera, so we chatted a bit about astronomy. Then some sales people were wandering the neighborhood, and I showed the curious one the view through the viewfinder and the craters on the photo. It was an entertaining half-hour.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40 and telephoto.

26 December 2011


West German glass ornament
24 December 2011

The is one of a set of glass ornaments that my parents bought in 1961, the year they were married, at People's, a drugstore in Washington, D.C. The box of 12 cost $1.99, and noted prominently that they were manufactured in West Germany.

For whatever reason, my mother decided some years ago that I should have all the old glass ornaments, and I have maybe four of what used to be a dozen large ones, and two or three of the small. The glass is thin and they are quite fragile.

This year at the daughter's school's holiday boutique, a woman was selling these ornaments as antiques. I recognized two from our original set, both of which were broken in my childhood. I was astonished that she should have found duplicates of these ornaments; I've never seen them anywhere else before. I don't remember precisely how much she was charging for them, but it would have bought several dozen all those years ago.

And it gave me pause to think of them as "antique."

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

22 December 2011


21 December 2011

The kids and I were decorating the tree and living room yesterday, when the son exclaimed in disgust. I looked to see him holding one of the carolers that we put on the mantlepiece every year. It was headless.

"Well, that pretty much sums up this year," he said, placing the doll in its accustomed place.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. We later found the head inside a candle holder. Who knows?

20 December 2011

Going through the motions

24 December 2010

At present, the tree stands untrimmed, surrounded by a fence, in the living room. If there isn't too much chaos tomorrow, the kids and I will probably decorate it. They haven't been terribly interested, and I move slowly.

It's been a rough year.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

16 December 2011

Santa Ana winds

Santa Ana, California
16 December 2011

Of course, you can't hear it.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

12 December 2011

Boy with a mind of his own

Sequoia National Park
5 February 2005

Like everyone else in this family, he has opinions.

Tech stuff: Taken with a Canon PowerShot S110.

06 December 2011

Visiting the farm

In the canyons and passes
Orange County, California
3 December 2011

The cat likes to chew on the Christmas tree. We discourage this, but he often will get a needle and then go and merrily vomit whatever he's ingested. It's the worst part of the holiday.

Last year, he developed a bowel obstruction. The vet opened him up and pushed the obstruction through, though what he eventually passed was indeterminate. I still worry that there might have been Christmas tree in there because the problems started just after we took the tree down.

To forestall any recurrence, I floated the idea to the family that we get our first fake tree. You can imagine how that went over. And I admit, when I went to look at the artificial trees the local nursery was carrying, I wasn't exactly thrilled. So Saturday afternoon, we ended up back out at the tree farm, though it wasn't the one we usually visit, but another owned by the same family higher up in the hills.

We're going to be fencing it when it gets here.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

02 December 2011


Cat on a piano
21 November 2011

Milton is a creature of habit, and he does not like any changes to his schedule or anyone else's. So he was peeved recently when I had to take care of all the morning to-ings and fro-ings while the spouse was out of town.

When I leave in the morning to take the son to the bus stop, the cat waits, watching the door intently until I return, at which point he is free to relax and find a pleasant spot of sun for his morning nap. On this particular morning, of course, I was late getting back, and when I opened the door, there was Milton, perched on the piano (verboten!), staring at me gimlet-eyed.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.

01 December 2011

Late autumn sunset

Orange County, California
11 December 2010

I don't know how it got to be December. I find myself in a strange state, mourning this time last year, the end of physical normalcy. While then I clambered up ladders and jumped up off the floor, now I struggle. Sunset, indeed.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.