31 December 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas was accented this year with an unexpected visit from our second oldest son who flew home for Christmas.  Only my husband and another son knew about the surprise.  As I gathered gifts from below the tree, S came up the stairs playing "I'll be home for Christmas" on his I-pod.  Well, needless to say, the tears flowed freely as I hugged him.  What a wonderful surprise gift!!!

That evening we went to the Legislature grounds, walking amongst the festively lit trees, enjoying Christmas music wafting through the air via aboveground speakers.  

We all went out in our new pajama pants (gasp, I know!) and posed for this lovely photo ;)  Following which we visited Churchill Square downtown to check out the tree and watch a single skater on the rink in front of city hall.  It was a lovely evening which ended with a light shower of rain. Yes, it is winter here!  Normally we have a few feet of snow by now but this year is mild, knock on wood, and we are enjoying unusually warm above freezing temperatures.  There was a light covering of snow through all of December.

We had freezing rain overnight Thursday and a dusting of snow last night.  It is simply beautiful and warm. I cannot complain as I remember last year's winter.  January has not yet arrived and with it winter may actually pay a visit.  So here's to enjoying this gorgeous weather we have been blessed with, countrywide. Happy New Year everyone!

19 December 2011

Christmas at Greenland Garden Center

Early in December, before stores got too crazy busy, my daughter and I headed to one of our favourite places for holiday magic.  We took several photos of the Christmas Store at Greenland Garden Center and I share here just a few with you.  Enjoy.

Above and below, the one and only upside down Christmas Tree

A new Christmas decorating trend is the little starburst.  Sometimes combined with a few small decorative balls and sometimes on its own, it dazzles on a tree.

This "pick" reminds me of a stag horn fern.  It is new this season as well.

Colour combinations of bronze and turquoise adorn this tree.

A feathery topper in red.  A few years ago I did a similar topper with feathery fronds on a "bird tree".  I thought it looked good but one of the proprietors of the greenhouse thought it looked like the tree was going to take flight!

Another new trend is the ribbon upon a ribbon garland.  There are actually two different ribbons, one atop another, strung around this tree.

Merry Christmas!!!


Holiday Christmas Music Flash Mob of the American Festival Chorus

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good new year!  (you thought I was going to write "a good night", didn't you? ;))

09 December 2011

Lunar Eclipse Tomorrow Morning

On December 10, 2011 there will be a total lunar eclipse, visible from 5:45 am Mountain Standard Time until 7:32 am Mountain Standard Time.  According to Christian Science Monitor, the best places to view the eclipse in its totality are from Hawaii to Asia.  Those on the east coasts will not see much, while the west coast, without blocked views of the horizon, will have the best views.

"These eclipses occur when the Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon. But at totality, the moon still gives off a red glow, thanks to sunlight that passes through Earth's atmosphere.
The moon's ruddy hue during a lunar eclipse owes its color to the way light scatters in the atmosphere.
Coming from the far side of Earth, as an astronaut on the moon might see it, the sunlight must travel a relatively long distance through the atmosphere before it exits and heads moonward.
During the course of its travels, the light loses its other colors – think the color spectrum, here – to atmospheric molecules and dust. These scatter the shorter wavelengths of light. The more dust, the darker the red left to daub the moon's surface.
The color is created by the same effect that causes the deep reds late in a sunset or early in a sunrise."  (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/1209/Lunar-eclipse-Why-will-this-one-be-so-big-and-red)
Other sites:

08 December 2011

Finale: Rich Little's Christmas Carol

Ahhh, the sweet memories.  I hope you enjoyed this as much as I.  My family and I saw this as a live performance at the Citadel in Edmonton last year.  Such a marvellous performance.  If you have the opportunity, you simply must take it in.

Rich Little's Christmas Carol: Part 5

Rich Little's Christmas Carol: Part 4

Rich Little's Christmas Carol: Part 3

Rich Little's Christmas Carol part 2

I still remember this from when I was a child.  Of course, I was too young to understand all the nuances but I do remember it being a less frightening version of the classic Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  Now I watch it with a new appreciation for the great talent of Rich Little and his humour.  It's a light twist but the message remains as important today as it was when Charles Dickens wrote it years ago.

What are your favourite Christmas memories?  Do they consist of movies like this?

Rich Little's Christmas Carol: Part 1

01 December 2011

Creative Alternative to Cutting Down the Evergreen for Christmas

The creative staff at Gleeson Library in San Francisco have put their imaginations to good "green" work.  Rather than cut down a tree, they stacked books covered in varying shades of green, forming a tree that is a focal point in the library.  Clean up is super easy - just re-shelve the books!  Clever.


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