Sunday, December 31, 2006

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

"Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits."


It's been quite a year... hasn't it? I think I will be happy to see the clock tick-tock the time off, in fact, as far as I am concerned, I am on New York time, just like my blog. I am going to be drinking champagne with Alan, and making a happy noise later tonight... on New York time. As years go, it wasn't the worst year I have ever had, but I am ready to move on to a new one, that's for sure. Ring out the old... Ring in the new... right?

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
Clay Aiken

Maybe it's much too early in the game
Ooh, but I thought I'd ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o' clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year's Eve?

Ooh, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance:
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of the thousand invitations
You received

Ooh, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance:
What are you doing New Year's
New Year's Eve?

Happy New Year Everyone! I am taking a few days off... see you in 2007!

"Putting The Year Away"
Treasure Island
December 10th, 2006
Late Evening

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My Favorite Photographs Of 2006

"Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees."

-Paul Strand

I can't believe it is already time to assemble my favorite photos for yet another year! I had a lot of fun with the camera this past year, I saw such wonderful light everywhere. I will look back on my photography for 2006, and feel a deep sense of happiness, because I think I settled down a bit, I was less manic and my picture taking, and therefor I think I did a better job of capturing just the right moment. I did have a few "goof" photos however, I will post some of those next week. Tee Hee. Hopefully they will bring you a giggle. For now, I hope you enjoy a look back at the last 12 months, these aren't necessarily the best photograph I took, but they are ones I enjoyed very much. I dusted off my photo blog, "Ellipsis...Vignettes legeres d' Ambiant," and I have cross posted the photo collection over there. I have added a quote for each photo. If you would like to see a certain photo in it's larger size, simply click the photo and you will be redirected to my photo blog. :)

The 2006 Collection













"Great Blue Heron"
Santa Cruz, California
August, 2006
Late Afternoon

Friday, December 29, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #145: 2007 Resolutions

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other."


Weekend Assignment #145: Make at least one resolution for 2007.

Extra Credit: Did you keep your resolutions for 2006?

-John Scalzi (By The Way...)

New Year's resolutions... blech! I don't really do resolutions, it seems like life is too short to put so much pressure on it all. There are plenty of outside influences out of our control as it is, without adding silly unwarranted self-imposed pressures. But ok, I do know there are a couple areas of my life that could use some discipline. Last year when Scalzi asked us what our resolutions would be, I picked something I knew I could accomplish. There is nothing wrong with having realistic goals... right? :) I will share about that under in my answer to the Extra Credit question, but first lets talk about the year we are about to have.

Water Lily Bud

Autumn Egret

San Simeon Sunset

For 2007, I have decided to spread my creative wings a bit. I promised Alan I would start my painting early last autumn. Well, that season came and went, and still no painting. Sigh. Everything caught up with me too quickly, then I injured my shoulder, and here I sit, with a canvas and paint and an easel staring at me, reminding me that time is going on without me. :) So, I have picked out four of my original photos from my file for 2006, now it's just a matter of getting into January, after all the holiday decorations are put away for another year and I can breathe again. It will be one of these 4 pictures, I am still making up my mind which one I will finally choose. I might even find the time to do more then one, we'll see. If you look on my sidebar, you will see my full list of resolutions for 2007. Hopefully one year from now I will be able to claim complete success. He thinks doing the painting it would be good for me. Like I said, "We'll see."

Extra Credit: Yep, I kept my New Year's resolution for 2006. I wanted to create some new recipes and I did. I even started a recipe blog. I only created a few new ones, but that counts... right? :)

Great Northern White Butterfly
Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Rainy Days And Mondays

"True goodbyes are the ones never said or explained."


New Year's Day is on a Monday this year. Stupid New Year's Day! Yes, that's right, I said Stupid New Year's Day! As the holiday season leaves for one more year, and as I look back, I had a pretty good time. There were a lot of things to be truly thankful for, and I am, but there are one or two things that are hurting me at the moment, and while I don't usually like to share the things that haunt me here on Ellipsis, I do know when it it's better for me to just be honest and say... Stupid New Year's Day!

So, while I know I will be starting the new year with a degree of sadness, I know that in time I will think back fondly on those I miss and probably just smile. My friend says to me, "we will both move on, we will be ok. It's a new start for us. At least that is what I am told." Tee Hee. To which I say to my friend, "You're not the boss of me." Tee Hee. I know people come and go, it's never really easy, for anyone, but there it is. People don't always leave your life because they want to. Change happens. Seasons. Dates on a calendar. Minutes. Hours. Years that go by in a blink. And like the sun in November... especially the sun in November... the light is never really the same.

Rainy Days & Mondays
The Carpenters

Talkin' to myself and feeling old
Sometimes I like to quit
Nothin' ever seems to fit
Hangin' around, nothing to do but frown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down

What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around, some kind of lonely clown
Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down

Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me

What I feel is come and gone before
No need to talk it out
We know what it's all about
Hangin' around, nothin' to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny but it seems that's it's the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me

Who loves me...

Hangin' around, nothin' to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

"On A Late December Day In 2006"
Berkeley, California
December 26th, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: "Past v. Present"

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. Thats why they call it the present."

-Babtunde Olatunji

For the last Round Robin challenge of 2006, Connie has chosen for us, "Past v. Present," as our theme to tackle. Tee Hee. I am kinda breaking the rules a bit with this one, because I decided to post of photo of me when I was a little girl. Since I didn't take the "Past" photo myself, I can't really take credit for it, but I did take the photo below, which will illustrate my "present." I chose to use my own likeness for my challenge entry, because it represents a big step for me, especially here in the Internet world. 2006 was the first time I posted a photo where you could see my whole face, as opposed to the partial looks I had previously posted.

You kinda got to know me one feature at a time. LOL. An eye here, a nose there. Here an ear, there an ear... lips, feet, fingers. LOL. Yep, I confirmed I had all my parts, but I never showed myself as one complete person. Why you ask? Ok, well, hold onto your hats, see, I am basically a shy person. I have an outgoing personality, and I love people, and going places, but I am really a pretty private person in life. Weird contrast... yes, I know. Try as I might, I am just me. As I once said on my AOL journal, under the "About Me" section. "I am nothing special, just a lady who loves museums, and reading, and of course, discovering the world through my camera lens. Nothing special." As you can see by the two photos... I look almost exactly the same since I was 7 years old. I'm just me, past and present. :)

Thank you Connie! This was a great idea for a challenge! Be sure to visit the rest of the Round Robin participants.

Linking List

1. Connie... WINDSWEPT/Connie's Country Life

2. Karen... Outpost Mavarin POSTED!

3. Carly... Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly POSTED!

4. Janet... Fond of Photography

5. Julie... Julie's Web Journal

6. Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life POSTED!

7. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog POSTED!

8. Brad... We-Is POSTED!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Loot!

"It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it."

-Quoted in "The Angels Little Instruction Book" by Eileen Elias Freeman

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of a present you've received during the holidays. Should be pretty easy, right?

-John Scalzi (By The Way... )

Alan and I have wonderful holidays. We have always had the best time with our little traditions. For example, we put a Santa Claus hat on the top of our Christmas tree, as opposed to an angel or a star. We have breakfast in bed together, on Christmas morning, because he almost always has to work that day. So we spend some quality time together, and then I get most of the rest of the day to myself to relax, and have time to myself, before he gets home in the afternoon. We also have fun little traditions when it comes to gift giving, such as the one I am about to tell you about.

Each year Alan and I buy each other at least one gift from the Dollar Tree. We are in our mid-forties, and have everything we really want, so there isn't much we put on our regular Christmas lists. Books are good, jewelry is always a plus, but sometimes the best things are the practical things. The other day, Alan took a peek around my office, and noticed I had not yet purchased a 2007 calendar. Off to the Dollar Tree he went. When I looked under the tree yesterday morning, I was thrilled to see there was indeed a calendar shaped present, wrapped in pretty paper waiting for me.

When he got home, we opened gifts, and I decided to start things off by opening that present first. I am so glad I did... because we had a great laugh, when we realized that Alan had bought me a Spanish calendar of French Impressionist artists. LOL. And it was printed in Korea! So I guess my new calendar has an international dynamic too it! Tee Hee. We have too much fun sometimes. :) Thank you for my new calendar Alan!

"Los Impresionistas"
Berkeley, California
December 25th, 2006
Late Evening

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

"Fail not to call to mind, in the course of the twenty-fifth of this month, that the Divinest Heart that ever walked the earth was born on that day; and then smile, and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for mirth is also of Heaven's making."

-Leigh Hunt

Berkeley, California
December 25th, 2006
Early Morning

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Don We Now Our Day Of Peril

"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons, they couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."

-Jay Leno

Things I think about while baking holiday goodies...

1. We've had three earthquakes, here in Berkeley, in the last three days. That can't be good!

2. I don't think George Bush really cares what I think. Sigh. He told me he cared.

3. "Don We Now Our Day Of Peril." That can't be right. "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel." Really??? See, that makes a lot more sense. I guess.

4. About Rosie O' Donnell, and Donald Trump... You can take the millionaire out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the millionaire.

5. Hmmm... I own a left handed measuring cup.

6. Damn it hurts when you drop a can of peaches on your foot.

7. All of Santa's reindeer are female. Hmmm.

8. Speaking of Donald Trump, he should really pardon Miss Nevada as well.

9. Did I remember to buy bathroom tissue?

10. "One toke over the line sweet Jesus, one toke over the line, sitting downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line."

11. Do I even own a turkey baster?

12. "Good King Wences's car backed out, on the feet of heathens." That can't be right. "God King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen." Who is Stephen? And why does he have a feast?

13. I wonder if I will hear from my friend H. P. on Christmas Eve, gosh I miss him.

14. Yummmm... cookie dough rocks!

15. If George Bush gets all the money he asks for to spend on HIS war, it will have a cost of Five-Hundred Billion dollars. I wonder how many Americans will go hungry tonight?

16. Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.

17. We killed one of Bin Laden's generals... why is it we never kill Bin Laden?

18. I'm dwelling on Bush again... sigh.

19. A duck's quack doesn't echo.

20. Where the hell is the Cream of Tarter?

21. What the hell is Cream of Tarter?

22. Did I even buy Cream of Tarter?

23. For that matter... what is Tarter?

22. It's been 45 minutes, why haven't my pain pills kicked in yet?

23. I would love Sweet & Sour Pork for lunch.

24. BBBEEEEEEEP! The cookies are done.

25. It's going to rain all day on Christmas Day... I love that thought.

26. Shrimp can only swim backward.

27. Merriam Webster's "Word of the Year" is, "Truthiness." Hmmm... I would have chosen, IMPEACHMENT.

28. Camel's milk does not curdle.

29. "I picked a lemon in the garden, where they told me only peaches grew."

30. That knock at the door was the mailman, my Aunt Amanda sent me a present. She loves me. :)

31. Sing it with me...

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's power, when we go astray
O Good tidings of Joy, comfort and joy
O Good tidings of Joy, comfort and joy.

Berkeley, California
December 22nd, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #144: Holiday Greetings

"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. but it warmed more than your body, it warmed your heart. Filled it too, with the melody that would last forever."

-Bess Streeter Aldrich

Weekend Assignment #144: Make a holiday greeting for your friends here on AOL Journals, and online. You were going to do that anyway, I bet, but now it'll fulfill your Weekend Assignment, too. See? Told you it would be easy.

Extra Credit: Uh, name your favorite of Santa's reindeer.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

It's not easy to know what to say to a fellow human this time of year, and at times, so many seem to be walking on egg shells when it comes to greetings of any type, be it written in a card, or upon meeting out in the world. Still, the assignment John gave us was to make a holiday greeting that could be posted on our blogs, so, after a lot of thought on the matter, here is what I came up with.

From Our House To Yours...

May your life, and the lives of those you love, be touched with hope and peace. May you find joy in the simplest of things, and may you experience good health and cheer, today, and everyday all through the year.

Whatever each day means to you, may it be lived to the fullest, never taken for granted, and remembered as one of the best days you had on earth. May happiness and prosperity be yours in 2007!

Love, Carly, Alan and Elvis too :)
December 23rd, 2006

Extra Credit: I have to admit, I never thought of which of Santa's reindeer might be my favorite, so, I took a quiz and found out I am most like reindeer Cupid. LOL. If you would like to take this quiz, click on the above graphic. :)


**Oops. LOL. Originally I put 2006, of course I actually meant 2007. LOL. Tis the season! :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Steven's Feline Friday: Here's Your Host For This Week... Elvis!

"One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with the present."


Welcome to another edition of Feline Friday! This week Elvis and I are hosting for Steven, and what a wonderful group of kitties we have participating. :) I am so pleased to be able to show off my cat, Elvis, and his official Christmas portrait for 2006. I will be sending it off in the New Year's cards I have made for family and friends. As you can see, Elvis is a born "Super Model." He loves wearing his blue sweater, which keeps the rain off him when he plays outside. I think it's safe to say, he is a pretty snazzy dresser. Always the gentleman. LOL. I can't wait to give him his presents this year, there are some wonderful new clothing pieces, and of course, a new toy or two. I may have to do another portrait of him for Valentine's Day. :)

Doesn't he have a wonderful smile?

Now OnTo The Featured Felines Of The Week!

1. We find Antonette's cat inspecting a snowflake here. :)

2. Here is Steven's niece Hannah, carrying Pickle. :)

3. Here are Deslily's cats, Peanut Chew and Boo-Boo Kitty, in a warm embrace. :)

4. Theresa's kitty Angel can be found here. :)

5. Tracy's cat, Felix, takes a nap. :)

6. And HestiaHomeSchool's kitty looking for an afghan. :)

7. Suzanne's kitty, Socks, is all set to enjoy his first Christmas!

Great turn-out, and a wonderful week of cat photos. Feline Friday returns to Steven's blog next Friday, December 29th. If you want to play along, post a photo of your feline friend, and share a story if you like, then come back here and leave your link in the comment thread for this entry. Next week, when Steven returns, a link your entry will posted to Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog. If you haven't visited her already, be sure to drop by the blog of last week's guest host, Julie, to see her entry from last week. You can find her here.

Berkeley, California
December 21st, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Absolutely We're Winning

"Yes, that was an indication of my belief we're going to win."

-George W. Bush, December 20th, 2006, White House Press Conference.

Earlier this month, I took a short car ride to the East Bay town of Lafayette, to see for myself, the memorial that has been placed on the side of a hill, honoring U.S. military troops killed in Iraq. You can read my original entry here. This particular memorial has been the subject of a great deal of debate, both pro and con, but I wanted to see it for myself, before deciding how I felt about this expression of remembrance for the fallen. I did see it in person, and I left feeling a good deal of sadness, mostly because the crosses themselves represent sons, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sisters, brothers, best friends, mothers, and almost any combination of relationships you care to think of. I took that photo on December 2, which at that time, there were 2,885 lost forever to this war, created through lies, and fought with the blood of our nations soldiers, to the ends of some unknown agenda. As of today, the total climbed to 3,284, but the point I want to make here has to do with what we hold as truth, as Americans and humans.

The owners of this property in Lafayette placed this memorial here, on their own private property, to honor those who have died for our freedoms. Freedom of speech being one of many. The owners of the property have the right to display this memorial, and yet, they have been the subject of a great deal or community ire from the mostly conservative town, in which are some who consider the crosses not as representational of the fallen, but more as an affront to their memory. How can this be true? Help me with this one here. Are we not supposed to acknowledge to ourselves, and others, that those horrible numbers are people, not just numbers? Does it make the war somehow more palatable, if we can possibly find a way to march on to "victory," without feeling the pain of loss? Who is honoring who? I hear all the time, mostly from war supporters, that those very same sons, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sisters, brothers, best friends, mothers and any combination of relationships you care to think of, are in Iraq, to defend our freedoms. Is freedom of speech, one of our freedoms or isn't it? You can't have it both ways. I am offended that someone vandalized this memorial, sometime in the last couple days. Deeply offended.

To vandalize someone else's property, because you don't like their specific message, makes you a coward. A COWARD! And you do more to bring down the morale our troops, then any other slight that could be shown them. If you are for the war in Iraq, because you have weighed the situation, did your research, and came to that conclusion, I can respect that. If you are against the war, for the same reasons, again I have respect for you, but if you don't know why you feel the way you do, either way, then do something right now to educate yourself, and find out what you feel, and why you feel it. If you can't make that effort, then I don't think I even want to know you! Vandalizing this property is an act of cowardice, it isn't a statement that can be respected, and right now, if you are the one who did this deed, you are a criminal. Nice... real nice.

The Fallen

Lafayette, California
December 2, 2006
Late Afternoon

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

"If I were running the world, I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet."

-William Lyon Phelps

Winter is getting mighty pushy. LOL. This was the view this evening, looking towards San Francisco, from Grizzly Peak Boulevard, here in Berkeley. Over night last night, we experienced record breaking cold temperatures around the Bay Area. It was 31 degrees at 2:00 a.m. Brrrrrrrr. On the upside, Elvis is being a total love bug, he is staying right by my side keeping me warm, and I am planning two big days of baking holiday yumminess on Thursday and Friday. :) The weather man has been hinting that it just might be a white Christmas this year, which would be amazing, because I have always wanted to take Elvis sledding. LOL.

KGO (ABC) Weather Cams

Seven Day Forecast


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Festive Pets

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat."

-Tay Hohoff

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of your pet, festive for the holidays. Yes, you know you love dressing up your pets. No, your pets won't really be humiliated. At least not that they'll tell you.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Is this guy the James Bond of cats or what? Tee Hee. Meet my kitty Elvis. Here we see our hero in a very fashionable red silk bow tie, which he wore for his date with me, New Year's Eve, 2004. I took this photo at one minute past midnight. Elvis is my best little buddy, and quite a little charmer. I have a million stories... all true... about how he can make even the most difficult anti-cat person, instantly change their mind upon meeting him for the first time. He is charming, and he loves clothes, so he is usually pretty well dressed for the holidays and birthdays. Is this guy handsome or what? :) Thank you, thank you very much!

I will be posting Elvis's official Christmas Portrait for 2006, later this week, on Friday, when I guest host Feline Friday for Steven. Last week Feline Friday was hosted by Julie, author of the blog, "Stately Barrett Manor," and her feline friends, Abby & Midnight. This is a very cool week for cats! And why not? As Steven says, "Cats Rule!" :)

To play along with, John Scalzi's "Monday Photo Shoot: "Festive Pets," or Steven's, "Feline Friday," see the links below. Steven will begin posting his regular schedule of Feline Friday, once again on Friday, December 29th.

Monday Photo Shoot: Festive Pets

Feline Friday (at Julie's blog, for week ending, December 21st)

Berkeley, California
January 1st, 2005
12:01 AM

Monday, December 18, 2006

Autumn...A Good Time For WooHoo! :)

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth, seeking the successive autumns."

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

This coming Thursday, December 22, at 7:22 PM EST marks the beginning of the winter solstice. Sigh. Reluctantly, I will have to give up my favorite season yet again. I love autumn, so, I thought it would be nice, to give it a nice send off, by creating a WooHoo of some of the better photos I took during the autumn of 2006. To see all 35 in the series, you can click on the above graphic, or you can pay a visit to my AIM page. There is a nice viewer there, that displays them in a rotation. :)If you have an AIM page you can create an album of your own. It's a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Autumn WooHoo

Note: Click on the black space to activate the graphic viewer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

San Francisco's Answer To Rockefeller Center

"Instead if being a time of usual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself."

-Francis C. Farley

Ok, so the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink, at Justin Herman Plaza, on the Embarcadero, is not nearly as big as the ice arena at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, but it does a big job making folks around here happy. :) I have always wanted to see New York City, during the holidays, starting with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. In fact, I have a whole day planned out in my dreams. I guess I do my share of daydreaming about this or that... or who. LOL. I want to stand near Macy's to watch the parade, then take a long walk through Central Park, then have lunch at the Carnegie Deli, take a long, delicious nap, then finish the day by going to Rockefeller Center to watch the ice skaters. It would be nice if a nice soft snow could be falling, but one can't have it all! LOL.

San Francisco is wonderful right now... simply beautiful. Golden Gate Park is bigger then Central Park, and there is plenty to do and see. While it's not the Carnegie Deli, Tony's Cable Car restaurant does have some of the best hamburgers in the city. And the milk shakes are too yummy for words. I love going to San Francisco to look for adventures, relax, and feel inspired, and to seek out the amazing public art, such as "The Tulip" you see in the background. That is a 3-story concrete sculpture with lights, by John C. Portman. Isn't it amazing?

As much as I enjoy my fantasy about seeing, and experiencing, New York City one day, I am pretty happy with what San Francisco has to offer. I may never meet Woody Allen here, but Gavin Newsome could be kinda fun to meet at an ice rink. Damn that man is gorgeous! :)

Golden Gate Park
San Francisco Neighborhood Guide

Rockefeller Center Ice Arena

Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink

Kristi Yamaguchi Ice Rink
Justin Herman Plaza
San Francisco, California
December 10th, 2006
Early Evening

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Into The Christmas Woods

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!"

-Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

My back pain is getting worse, Karen talked me into calling my doctor so I could get an appointment to be seen. It takes a lot of pain to make me give in, and see a doctor. Ok... I give! Like my good friend said, "take care of it now, so you won't have to possibly miss Christmas." Yep. Monday afternoon was the soonest I can be seen, but it won't be my regular doctor. YIKES! Still, I am sure it will go smoothly.
In the mean time, I took a small car ride up into Tiden park, here in Berkeley, to see the "Christmas Fantasy In The Woods."

Nestled deep into the middle of the park, is a wonderland of beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, which are just a part of the fantasy, the star of the show was the fabulous Merry-Go-Round, that has been a part of Tiden Park's history since 1948. This was my first visit to the Christmas Fantasy display, but now I think we will be making it an annual tradition. It's the perfect place to go, if one wants to step back in time, and enjoy a more simpler, less commercial aspect of Christmas. I hope to get back to the park, before it closes on December 23rd. I have to ride this Merry-Go-Round! It is a Bay Area MUST SEE!

Tilden Park

Holiday Fantasy Tree

Peace On Earth Is The Message That Greets You!

This Bear Was Too Cute!

I Say It's An Egret. Alan Says It Is A Stork. Hmmmm... Any Guesses?

A Cute Little Snack Bar. The Hot Spiced Apple Cider Was Wondeful! Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

The cafe also serves candy, snacks, corn dogs, and sandwiches. :)

East Bay Parks Special Events

Tilden Merry-Go-Round History

Hours 5:30 - 8:30 PM Till December 23rd

Tilden Merry-Go-Round
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
December 15, 2006
Early Evening

Friday, December 15, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment # 143: What You'd Want, If You Were A Kid

"...And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

-Dr. Seuss

Weekend Assignment #143: Imagine you are a kid today, age 10 or under. What would you want for Christmas/Hanukkah/Seasonal Holiday of Your Preference? Don't look back on the toys of your youth, now - think about what kids have NOW that you would want if you were their age. Also, if you're a parent, don't ask your kids what they want, this is supposed to be about what you would want. If you were their age. I love my daughter, but I guarantee you, there are things she wants that if I were a kid her age I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Extra Credit: Do you kinda want the same toy now that you're an adult? Come on, you can admit it if you do.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Dear Santa Claus

My name is Carly Elizabeth Gordon, I am 10 years old, and have been a very good girl this year, or so I have been told. ;) Here is my list for you, complete with pictures. I promise to have cold milk, and warm cookies waiting for you on Christmas Eve. I know you have a million places to be that night, but I hope you will come by my place for a holiday visit. You like Snickerdoodles with extra cinnamon... right?

Always, Carly

PS Just in case, I will also have a Latte waiting, it's December after all.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 5 "Anya"Action Figure

Lil Bratz Dolls "Twins"

Bratz Accessories

Calico Critters "Wiskers" Family

Elmo... Any Elmo will do!

FurReal Cuddle Chimp ... I LOVE Monkeys

Quiddler Card Game. I Love this game!

I LOVE opossums

Extra Credit: I want every single thing on this list, especially the stuffed opossum. There's just something about opposable thumbs that intrigues me. :) And ok, I can admit it, the Anya action figure would be cool. She was one of my favorite characters from BTVS. :)

"Leaf Skiing"
Moraga, California
December 11th, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Not Really Autumn, But Not Really Winter

"Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition."

-Mignon Mc Laughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

It was December 13th yesterday, and the weatherman promised a little reprieve from the days of rain that has assaulted the Bay Area lately. I was ready for the sun to peek through... it was not to be. Sigh. Just as well. As it turns out the weather matched my mood, as memories and faces went drifting through my thoughts, like rain and fog, across the hills behind my house. My horoscope for yesterday, gave me the following advice...

"You know what is in your heart now, but you might want to whitewash it to make it all nicer than it truly is. Circumstances aren't necessarily bad; it's just that there is more going on than you want to talk about. Don't be hard on yourself. Today it's ok to sit quietly with your own feelings, knowing that you will soon need to peel another layer off the onion to reveal what's next."

Sure, easy for you to say!

I got a lot accomplished yesterday. I kept all my usual appointments, did some Christmas shopping, did the annual "Toys for Tots," donation, did some mood photography, and encountered Mr. November. Yes, as usual, two people, two paths, nothing ever really changes... you know? You would think I would understand my own thoughts by now, but you know how it goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. My back is still sore, really sore. I suppose that has a lot to do with my mood, but I can't help but think it was too bad I didn't read my horoscope until last evening, if I had read it before I left the house, I might have did things a lot differently. On the other hand, I wouldn't have missed that smile for anything. For a moment I didn't hurt, and the weather felt warm. Go figure.

Berkeley, California
Tilden Park
December 13th, 2006