Monday, December 31, 2012

Let It Snow!

I took a vacation day nap today (well, a few days ago by the time this publishes).  When I woke up, what to my wondering eye should appear but SNOW!  A pretty snow that actually stuck.
 It made me very glad that I had not yet taken down the Christmas decorations.  They just look better against a background of white, don't you think?
 I take pictures of our house almost every time it snows...weird, right? ;)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cookies of Christmas Past

Some of my favorite gifts can't be bought at a department least not in 2012.  I love to antique and shop for old things, but it's even better when the sorts of things I love come from my own family. 
 That's why I was thrilled to receive these cookie cutters from my Grandmother!  Many were Christmasy and are now in the kitchen window and in the bowl with other friends, and some will appear for other holidays.
 Aren't they cute?  I took all the cookie cutters from the bowl to rearrange and make room for these.  I think I may need a bigger bowl next year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Look in the Guest/Cats'/Kevin's Room

I don't know that "sneaky" is something to look for in a mate, but David uses his sleuth skills for good, so I think it's okay.
 I have mentioned before that he is a really good gift giver.  Many times I have been surprised that he's remembered something from 6 months ago (or more) that I really liked.  This time I was mystified as to how he knew that I liked this headboard for our guest room.  Finally I got him to confess...I'd saved it in the Favorites on my iPad.  He is a smart guy!
Henrietta and I love the new headboard!  I think it looks really pretty in that room.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Over The River and Through The Woods - Technology Edition

We spent most of Christmas day in our pjs...opening and enjoying presents, napping, eating cinnamon rolls, and making chili.  Our friend Kevin (who accidentally became locked in his room on a previous visit) was headed to our house from Ohio.  In the afternoon, I texted him a picture of the chili awaiting his arrival, and got a picture of the St. Louis arch in reply.  Soon, another picture came.  Six Flags.
I sent a picture of Riley, calmly awaiting his friend's arrival, and got a few more pictures showing where on the road Kevin was.  Just a side note, I am certain that he pulled off the road for each of these.  Let me believe that, please.
 Getting closer!  I sent a picture of Henrietta keeping his bed warm.  Usually, we refer to that room as the cat's room, but also often as Kevin's room as he has stayed there more than anyone else.

I think the final picture is the best one of all...our house just before he pulled in the driveway.  It was a fun way to check his progress, and to know just how long I had to get the sheets washed, dried, and on his bed.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

In The Tradition of the Griswolds

Like Clark Griswold, we thought a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas would be fun.  Fortunately, we don't have a Cousin Eddie and most of our relatives live close enough not to spend the night. :)  
 Usually, I just manage pictures like the one above.  Then I get busy and forget to take pictures of people.  Not this time!
 Here's my Grandmother checking out the tree.  For many years, she's given me an ornament or little Christmas decoration.  If that's what she's looking for, I hope she saw that they are there! :)

 We ate, opened a few presents, and had a nice time visiting.

 One picture with flash and one without.  Getting us all to look the same direction at the same time and smiling is a tall order!
In 2008, we took a very similar picture.  Most of us look the same...except Dylan, Kristan, and especially Ryan!  Does this mean we are hosting Christmas again in 2016?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ozark Mountain Christmas

 The end of our celebration of 5 years of wedded bliss was an evening with my parents looking at the lights at Silver Dollar City.

 The REJOICE is my favorite of the light displays. We would have had an even better spot for a picture of it, except that we got chased off the back porch of a store. ;)

This is the Christmas tree in the little log chapel.  
 And here we are in front of one of my favorite buildings.  Just looks right, doesn't it?  I think they should let us live here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Deck the Halls!

Most of my Christmas decorations find their way to the same spot year after year, so you could go back to any December post and see the same thing.  There are just a few things new and different this year, such as...
 A bowl o' cookie cutters.  The plastic cookie cutters are a combination of my mom's and David's mom's.  The silver ones are from a dime store in my hometown called Modern Variety, but they look the part.
A new sign over the stove from one of my favorite shops.
Some festive candy in jars 
 I've had these salt and pepper shakers for a long time, but I never remember to get them out.  So this year I put away our regulars and am leaving these out for Christmas.  The spoon isn't new either, but I like it.  It has a tiny saltbox house, stocking, candy cane, and snow man painted on it.  Someone has more patience and talent than I!
 These are also not new, to me or anyone else, but I finally got a decent picture.  
 A new ornament commemorating our climb to the top of the Key West Lighthouse
 Garland on the mantel was new last year
 but I still really like it this year!
It's fun to have the house decorated for Christmas.  I have too much stuff of course, and it's no fun to put away, but I think it's worth it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Have Found Me a Home

I have found me a home,
You can have the rest
of everything I own,
'Cause I have found me a home

I Have Found Me a Home, by Jimmy Buffett

Our plane didn't leave until 2:30, so we had one last morning to spend in Key West.  I was very sad to have to go, and I'm pretty sure KW felt the same.  As we started to ride our bikes, it began to rain.  I was pretty sure the island was crying because we were leaving. ;)

Despite the light rain, we rode our bikes past the Southernmost Point marker then to the end (and beginning) of US Highway 1.  The rain stopped and the sky soon became blue again.
 We debated our lunch options, then settled on one last meal at Caroline's.  If you're counting, we ate there three times on this trip.
 I got a burger this time and David had the shrimp po'boy.  It was a great last meal in Key West.  I hadn't found a souvenir t-shirt yet, but David thought I needed one.  We stopped by Margaritaville again, and I looked for the perfect shirt.  I soon found it.  Both the small picture on the front and the large picture on the back had the words from the song above on it.
I spent the entire short flight to Miami with my nose pressed against the window, watching the water, boats, and islands.  It was sad to leave, but we are already planning to go back.  As several people knowingly said on finding out this was our second trip, "Oh, you're hooked.  You'll be back."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Mango in Paris

 Title from Last Mango in Paris, by Jimmy Buffett

 After our kayaking trip, we rented a bicycle and a tricycle (mine!) and  went to Franco's.  I'd seen them making mozzarella balls on the tourist TV channel and was intrigued.  
 We took our sandwiches to go, in the basket of my tricycle.  As we pedaled toward the beach, it clouded up and began to rain.  We stopped to cover our precious sandwiches with a towel and pedaled on.  The picnic area at the beach is in a grove of pine trees and was nice and dry despite the light rain falling.
 The sandwiches were absolutely wonderful.  Great Italian sandwich, and probably the best value on the island.  The rain moved on and we rented chairs and parked ourselves on the beach.
 Since we'd seen the sunset from Mallory Square the last few nights, we decided to stay and watch from the beach for our last night.

 Despite the cloud cover, it was still a pretty sunset.

The camera is a little tilted - I promise the ocean doesn't actually look crooked. ;)
We cleaned up a little, ate dinner at our favorite place in Key West - Caroline's Cafe, then went to Capt. Tony's for some entertainment.  We know Capt. Tony's from a Jimmy Buffett song, Last Mango in Paris, but it has been there much longer than the song.  Capt. Tony, as we learned from the many articles on the wall, is a Key West legend in his own right.  He even served as Key West mayor, winning by a small margin, for a time.

It's dark, it's quirky, it's Key West.  If you're ever there, you've got to check out the legendary Capt. Tony's.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Sea's In My Veins

Title from Son of a Son of a Sailor, Jimmy Buffett

Last time we were here, our kayaking trip was rained out.  But this time, the weather was perfect!
 We realized it's been a long time since we've been in our kayaks, but we quickly felt comfortable paddling again.
We paddled in the back country of the Atlantic Ocean in open space and through mangroves.
 Our guide found lots of things for us to look at, including this conch.  I liked the little bit of David's conch sandwich that I tried and the conch fritter was okay, but after meeting one of these slimy sluggy guys, I think I'm done eating conch!  We learned that the conch we'd eaten and the shells we'd seen had most likely come from conch farms in the Bahamas, as it is protected in Florida.
 We paddled right by these pelicans and other birds.  They didn't seem to mind a bit!
 The water was so clear.  These are sea grasses under the water.
This was my favorite part.  We paddled through a narrow path between the crazy roots of the mangroves.  
Next time, we may rent kayaks and spend more time doing this.  So glad we got to go this time!