Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in Nebraska

(too dark) -

(too many clouds) -

(not enough clouds) -

YAY! The money shot! Click to enlarge!

This was at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. Lots of lakes, geese, duckies. In autumn and spring, you can apparently see gazillions of migrating snow geese. Possibly even bazillions. Who needs a white Christmas when you can go out and enjoy nature at 50 degrees?

(In other news, loot was received, good food was eaten - vegetarian Thai stuff, and German potato salad - where's my HAM? -, church services were visited on Christmas Eve (they had a computerized screen for song lyrics at the front. Hubby was mesmerized. What will those Methodists think of next?) - and Christmas lights in people's front yards were looked at.

None of them had 150 penguins in their front yards, though. We've seen them. They're somewhat creepy.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Country Club Plaza

First some art exposition in Mill Creek Park, all about Love (by Mackenzie Thorpe):

Then some shopping at the Spanish style Country Club Plaza outdoor shopping center, 'til they turned on the Christmas lights:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Xmas at our place

Gifts: bought; collapsible Ikea tree: decorated; packages: sent; 5 kinds of different cookies: baked!
Bring it on, Christmas!

I've never been done as early as this year. Feels all funny. I even started making beaded star ornaments out of sheer boredom. No Christmas hectic?!

I think there's another 4-5 cookie recipes I need to try out. Also, I believe a few ornaments need to be rearranged. Yikes! SO stressed out!

Well the weather so far has been lovely, mostly sunny and in the 40s, what else can you want. We'll go up to Nebraska for Christmas and I hope I'll get some good shots of the Missouri river. Last year there even was a bald eagle!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Office window

Instructions for paper snowflakes:

Kitty waiting for Santa...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Enjoying the nice weather

Monkeyface Tree!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Have a funkylicious Christmas

This is what I'm listening to right now: '70s funkmaster Bootsy Collins' album "Christmas is 4 Ever". Cool to groove on while baking cookies!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Heavy Drinking

A recipe straight from the German Embassy website. They sure know how to party!

MULLED WINE (Glühwein)

Germans enjoy Glühwein or "Glow Wine" quite a bit around Christmas and New Year's Day. A favorite place to sip a warming glass is outside at the Christmas market.
(makes 24 glasses)

Ingredients: 2 bottles red wine, 1 cup sugar, 3 cups water, 1 lemon, sliced, 20 whole cloves, 6 to 8 cinnamon sticks, 1 orange, sliced for garnish.

Directions: Mix water, lemon and spices and simmer for an hour. Strain. Heat but do not boil the red wine. Add wine to hot water mixture. Ladle into cups and serve with half a slice of orange.

Prost! Well then, after a sip or two, you may want to offer some to Santa as well. After all, he has such a tough job each year, and a bit of alcohol will keep him nice and toasty on his sleigh. But don't let him get electrocuted on the train tracks!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Santa and Rudolph gettin' it on...

Ok, this is just SO wrong (and yet SO hilarious). Those horrible/kitschy/adorable hairdryer-operated, inflatable obscenities, err, Christmas decorations that have been popping up in people's front yards for the past couple of years? You ain't seen nothin' yet... yesterday at Walmart, we ran into this beauty:
It's the "Animated Deer Pulling Santa from Chimney Christmas Airblown Inflatable, 6' " (that's 1,80 Meters for you folks in Europe). Rudolph reaches down and pulls Santa out. Now at some point halfway in between, it just starts looking weird... And then, Santa goes back into the chimney, and, oh no! Rudolph has to sloooowly pull him out again. Strangely mesmerizing, and it's such a steal at $44! Man, if only we had a front yard...

In other news, presents have been bought, packages have been sent, and the first Xmas card has arrived. Yikes! Some people really don't know the value of procrastination.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Maybe we should try this one instead

Aaah, Christmas. The eternal question - real or plastic? (at least if you live on the left side of the Atlantic; in Europe, people can still rightfully declare you insane if you put up a plastic tree). We, of course, have been enjoying our Ikea collapsible tree for the past 3 years or so (after I noticed that I'm allergic to whatever chemical stuff they spray on the real trees in America to make them last longer). The main problem with the Ikea tree was that after a year in the storage area, it smelled a bit musty. Since I'm not a big fan of artificial pine tree smell, I "febrezed" it. Now it smells like fresh laundry. Wonderful. A freshly laundered tree.

Here's another alternative I found on the Internet: The Christmas Tree Poster! As the website proclaims: "At almost 6 feet tall, the Christmas Tree Poster is so realistic visitors might even be fooled into thinking it's real (assuming they've been hitting the egg nog all afternoon)."

Let the festivities begin!