Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Little Polish Girl...

This little Polish girl wishes you...

Z powinszowaniem
Nowego Roku!

Happy New Year!

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mitzie the Dancing Dog

About 1967.
Hubby with big sister Beth and grandmother's dog Mitzie.
Probably in Swansea, Wales.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Meiringen, Part Two

Meiringen Cemetery

August 2007 

More from our trip to Switzerland. 

An overview of the entire cemetery.
Stones are close together, but well tended with beautiful landscaping.

Another view of the cemetery.
I really like the stone at far right, second row;
it's engraved with a musical G-clef.

Monday, December 26, 2011

May You Have a Merry Christmas!

All Best Wishes for a Wonderful Christmas Season,

Be Sure to Make Memories With Your Family!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Stockings are Hung by the Chimney...

Christmas Eve has arrived!  If I'm not ready now, I never will be.  Which means some people will be getting Happy New Year gifts, because even though I acted beforehand, the deliveryman didn't come through in time.  Not to worry, everyone always likes a gift, that's my theory.  I can tell you hubby is a little worried, though.  He's not sure if his gifts have arrived.  He gets a little child-like, in an endearing sort of way, at this time of year.  Nevertheless, our stockings are hanging by the chimney with care, as is the cat's stocking, and several other stockings, just for good measure.  There is even a little tiny stocking for my bear-shaped coffee table, who is named Owen!  Odd, I know, but that's one of our Christmas traditions.

The largest stocking is for the cat,
and the smallest is for Owen...

Meet Owen,
the hardest-working member of the family,
balancing books, drinks, and more on his feet
all day long!

More stockings, just in case!

Silver wreath decorated with angels and signs of
Friends, Wish, Peace, Sharing, Joy, Believe.
By Baltimore potter and artist Sandra Magsamen.

Close-ups of some of the angels...

With their ballgowns and bee-hive hairdos,
these gals are not your grandmother's angels!

Stuffed snowman wreath hangs inside the front door,
so we can enjoy him.
Both wreaths came from Festival of Trees.

Merry Christmas to All!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Favorite Christmas Card...

We received lots of beautiful Christmas cards this year.  However, I notice that the window garland of cards is not doubled this year, as in years past.  This year we have received just enough cards to cover the garland that runs the length of our picture window.  I realize people are cutting back, considering the environment, and also saving money on stamps and cards.  It's kind of sad.  I so enjoy receiving cards and letters, and seeing photos of my cousins' families and how they have grown over the year. 

But of all the cards we have received--colorful, artistic, religious, cards with cats (always a favorite), or cards with family photos, this is my favorite.  It's about 5 x 7, a pop-up card, complete with gold cord as the reins on Santa's sleigh!  It's beautiful yet simple, with a lovely sentiment as well...

Merry Christmas to All!

The reindeer are preparing to circle the globe...

And to All a Good Night!

Santa in a star-filled sky,
gliding over the rooftops of a snow-laden village...

A wreath-shaped ornament hangs from the tree.
Its story is below.

St. Nicholas went through a sweeping transformation in 1823,
with the publication of Clement C. Moore's poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas
Its depiction of Santa Claus having red cheeks, a white beard and a round belly,
appearing with his miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
left an indelible impression in the American public's imagination.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat!

I don't have to really tell anyone that Christmas will be here in a few days.  In addition to being busy with Christmas preparations, the number of blog posts appearing on my Reader has decreased a bit in the past few days, so I'm getting caught up!

Hubby gets into the Christmas spirit, as do I, when we spend the day at Festival of Trees every year.  But he doesn't start getting really excited about the holiday until about December 23rd.  So, maybe at breakfast this morning, or later today, or in a day or two, I can expect him to begin singing this nursery rhyme from his childhood...

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

Image Courtesy of

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday's Child

Alfred Dale

Dec. 22, 1969
Jan. 1, 1970

On our recent trip to Darlington Cemetery, I saw this stone and it brought tears to my eyes. 
What an adorable little stone. 
And I know this little boy was many, many, many more times precious.  
Even looking at this photo, it still makes me want to cry. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Meiringen, Switzerland


1905 - 1991

 Meiringen Cemetery 
Another cemetery from our August 2007 trip to Switzerland.

Quite possibly the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen. 

I could (and should) have photographed each and every stone. 
Each was as unique as the individuals whose lives they represented. 
The graves are so carefully tended, with family replacing fresh flowers regularly. 

The stones are all different,
engraved with symbols that represent the person's occupation or hobby.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Joyeux Noel!

Joyeux Noel!

Still no snow to speak of here in Baltimore.
That's OK, I'll take this kind of snow...just as lovely and no need to shovel!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Festival of Trees, Part Seven - my absolute favorite!

This probably says a lot about me...
a totally non-traditional tree. 

Big stuffed flapper-style tree,
ruby red lips,
long, fluttery, come-hither eyelashes, 
a bow in her hair,
and strands of pearls,
not to mention elbow-length gloves! 
She probably has patent leather spike heels 
on under that red table skirt! 

How cute is she? 

This is my idea of a great tree. 
I would have taken her home with me,
but someome got to her first.

The Muppet Tree

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Festival of Trees, Part Six

Here'e the Recycle / Reuse Tree.  It's just a big stack of Coke and Sprite cans,
with lights strung around. 
To describe it, it doesn't sound like much.
But it's oh, so lovely! 

Another view, you can see the lights much better here.
And the Big Red Tree behind it is pretty nice, too!

The tree to the left here is meant to be seen through the window,
with the little snow-covered garden and snowman "outside." 
Too big to have in the living room, but a fun concept!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Festival of Trees, Part Five

More from Festival of Trees...

Every year there is a Cat in the Hat Tree,
a Ravens (NFL team) tree,
a snowman tree,
 a CD tree, and many others. 
Although some themes recur, they are always unique and beautiful. 

However, these two trees...! 
I have been going to Festival of Trees for more than 20 years
and have never seen trees with these two themes.
I love them!

Brown bears loving the honey!
(Oh, I just realized you can see The Cat in the Hat's
red and white striped hat in the background!)

Sock Monkey Tree!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Festival of Trees, Part Four

Here are some of the colorful decorations at the
2011 Festival of Trees!

The Festival is such a fun place to visit.  I love watching parents line their children up in front of the really unique trees and decorations for a photo. 

This year I saw a mom who came prepared...she was taking pictures for the annual Christmas card.  She had three little boys all in red corduroy shirts and navy blue pants...adorable!  Of course, the boys looked like they would rather be anywhere else on Earth than posing for photos!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Festival of Trees, Part Three - Wedding Wednesday

It being Wedding Wednesday,
I just have to share this beautiful bride from the 2011
Festival of Trees. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Festival of Trees - Part Two

More from this year's beautiful
Festival of Trees...

Mother Goose gingerbread "garden."

The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe,
with Humpty Dumpty on the wall.



Rapunzel in the gingerbread tower.

The train garden,
above and left. 



Everywhere you turn,
there are groves and groves
of sparkling trees
like the ones below.  


Monday, December 12, 2011

Festival of Trees - Part One

I haven't gotten it together quite enough to participate in the Geneabloggers I Remember Christmas! Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  That's OK, my holiday gift to myself is to forgive myself for this blunder and move forward.

Taj Mahal: the real thing.
Photo: Wikipedia.

Instead, over the next weeks, I'll share my photos of this year's local Festival of Trees.  The Festival lasts for three days, the weekend after Thanksgiving.  There are hundreds of trees:  traditional, artistic, funky, tall, short.  There are also wreaths and gingerbread houses.  The sponsor is a local children's hospital; they plan the event all year long.  I'm told that people come from all over the Eastern Seaboard to attend!  I didn't take photos of everything, just my favorites.   These are definitely my favorites in this category...certainly not your grandma's gingerbread house!

Taj Mahal gingerbread palace.

Chinese Pagoda.

The whole scene:
Chinese Pagoda, bridge and
gumdrop sea dragon.
 All photos are mine except where noted. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sister of Mine!

Happy Birthday, Diane!

Wishing you a wonderful day,
today and every day!

With our love.

Friday, December 9, 2011

In Noble Company

Nobel Square, Cape Town
My photo, June 23, 2009.
Table Mountain, back right.
Tomorrow is the 115th anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel.  Thus, Nobel Prizes will be awarded.  Seeing this on my calendar reminded me of my 2009 trip to Cape Town, South Africa. 

Cape Town is a beautiful, modern city with a sparkling harbor, similar to those seen in many world cities.  The tourist harbors of Baltimore, Boston and San Francisco are three that come immediately to mind.  In Cape Town, the area is called the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Albert Luthuli
Nobel Square, Cape Town.
My photo, June 23, 2009.
And what's the connection to Alfred Nobel, you might wonder?  One of the Waterfront area highlights to see is Nobel Square, which includes statues of South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize winners: Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

Although something looks odd, almost squat, about the statues, they are just about life-sized.  Maybe it's that we are used to seeing statues as extremely oversized that makes these look out of the ordinary.

Speaking of oversized, with this photo, you can see the enormous Table Mountain in the background. 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Nobel Square, Cape Town.
My photo, June 23, 2009.

South Africa does not lead the pack with Peace Prizes; the US seems to have the most.  France, Germany and a handful of other countries also have more. 

But these four gentleman are well-respected and well-loved here in South Africa.  Their efforts have changed the face of the country.  They are gentlemen, and indeed, gentle men. 

Here are close-ups of each status.  I love that despite the cloudy day, the rainbow flag of South Africa is visible in many of these shots.

F.W. deKlerk
Nobel Square, Cape Town.
My photo, June 23, 2009.

Nelson Mandela
Nobel Square, Cape Town.
My photo, June 23, 2009.