Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas 2006?

Here is part one of my Christmas post. I've been saying that I plan on holding *my* Christmas in the third week of January, once all my schoolwork is in. If anyone has some leftover Christmas cake, send it here! The question mark in the title is because I'm not really sure Christmas has happened for me yet. Maybe by epiphany?

Christmas cake, as you know, is a hit-or-miss kind of food. I heard a food writer once use it as an example of how people taste. There are people who, when they eat a food, like it to taste the same all the way through. Then there are those who are willing to eat a cake (for instance), and have a new taste and texture to each bite. Me? I like the variety. But I do respect the tastebuds of those less adventurous... heee.

But I digress.

Christmas Eve bulletin, from my view in the sound booth. It was an Osborne Family spectacular! (That is to say, we were over-represented).

Dad, putting his new pineapple slicer to work.

Kam (so cute)! Kohl wouldn't stay in one place long enough to get a picture of him. Hence no picture.

Shortbread! I cooked it slowly in the oven, but it probably could have stayed in another 15 minutes. It didn't dry out completely, so it was moist and chewy, soooo delicious.

Part two of my Christmas post will mainly be decorations and tree and hopefully snow! Hold on to yer boots!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Doin' the Christmas Dance

Just a few pics from the Symphony Nova Scotia and Halifax Dance production of the Nutcracker to tide those anxious blog readers (hello? are you out there?) over until I can make a proper Christmas post.

"Mother Ginger" (the Russian doll scene)

"The Spirit of Winter"

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Slash and Decorate

I'm not even halfway through my schoolwork yet, and it is looking like I'm going to have to carry an essay over Christmas. But at least one of them is going well, right? So well that I am taking a break to do some blogging.

Mom, Dad and I took the annual drive out to Clam Harbour to Keating's Christmas Tree Farm (as if New Brunswick has the monopoly on tree farms, Dee! Don't you know how many trees this province exports every year? Lots. Don't forget your roots/bluenose!

Ahem. As I was saying, we went and cut our tree. The first image, at the start of the post, is a Grey Jay, aka Whiskey Jack. Now, I have seen grey jays in Algonquin Park in Ontario, before, but this was the first one I have seen in Nova Scotia! He was a big, healthy, bright lil' corvidae, too. Since West Nile it is especially neat to see a grey jay in NS.

Ah, the obligatory tree-and-saw picture. This one is obviously posed, because the minute Mom and I agree on a tree, Dad goes at it with a mighty vengeance. You'd think it was personal.

Good ol' Keatings. The days of the family-run operation are gone, yessir, Keatings has been sold to the great tree conglomeration, Northern Lights. It's a sad, sad day, the triumph of capitalism (and retirement). It seems that the trimming machines were a little off on the lot this year - you may notice, if you click on the image to enlarge, that many of the trees resemble marshmallows this year. What ever happened to the cone-shaped tree???

And finally, Clam Harbour in the distance. We didn't stop at the beach this year, I had to get home to do schoolwork and attend the theatre (more on that later), but at least I got this view of the sea.

You can bet your boots I will be back later with pictures of the tree, fully decorated and lit, and close-ups of the various ornaments, and maybe pretty reflections of the lights in my mirror balls. Have I mentioned how much I like mirror balls? And that I found a HUGE one at the fabric store for $6? What joy!

Finally, I just wanted to mention that I DO crop, colour correct, and otherwise adjust some of my pics, so if you ever want or need to know what ones have been edited and how, drop me a line in the comments section. Also, if you read this blog, drop me a line in the comments section. I often wonder who is out there!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Nephews attack!

I mentioned in my last post that my nephews stayed the weekend with us earlier this month. By the end of the visit, there wasn't a single surface in the house not covered with baby drool or 2-year-old, erm, nose fluid. Is it any wonder Dad and I suffered through the plague after their visit? I got really behind in my schoolwork as a result. I finally got a breather in the school work (well, not actually, but I pulled an all-nighter last night to get my marking done and haven't really been able to focus today), and thought I would post some pics. I've only posted two, because I have to start evening out the Kohl deficiency somehow and cutting back on Kam photos is the only way to do it.

I feel like I'm writing under water. My desperate hope and desire is that I will have these two essays done by Christmas Eve. They both require second readers, and I just dread having my lame, rushed "scholarship" exposed to a third party.

I like this picture of Kohl because he instinctively hams it up for the camera and you can never get a natural shot. Here, he's saying "Oh Aunt Sarah, you're so silly. Are you SURE you don't want a picture with my finger in my nose, or my fingers in my eyes, or my face scrunched up, or my head tilted cutely to the side? I really can't believe you would pass up the opportunity."

While the angle of this picture isn't great, I love the colours and the texture of the big papa chair. It's such a manly shot, and I don't think the sleeping baby takes away from that at all, but represents (in my opinion at least) what "masculine" should really mean. It also reminds me of all those pictures of my grandfather, with a baby, child, kitten, or Grandmother, sitting on his lap. Papa Osborne, keeping the tradition alive. And he still got to enjoy his Sunday afternoon snooze.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Get it while it's cold

I was up late last night due to cold-and-stress-induced-insomnia, so I decided to take some more pictures of snow (why not?). I've been readingthis blog a lot recently, and am awed and amazed (and ashamed for my cheesy little photos) by what this photographer is capable of, and his approach to digital photography. So I decided to take some pictures using my bulb setting to see what would happen (he has recently been turning night into day using long exposures). My results are far from impressive - the longest exposure I can take sans bulb is 15 seconds, and I need 30 - 50 second exposures to get the right results. They are shaky from holding the shutter button down for so long and all that, but I still think they are neat enough to share.

Above, you see a picture of last night's full moon - it's the only one in December, and against the swift-moving clouds, it looked more like a moon you would find hovering over a desert in Arabian Nights than a lil' ol' Bluenose moon.

I love this one - the long exposure makes the hideous orange light from the street look like the rising sun. I have a brighter one, but it is far more shaky. If you click on the picture to see it full size, you may understand my comparison a bit better.

Then, the Three Sentinels - the trees outside my window standing guard against the elements.

Driving in to town this evening was another beautiful experience. The snow is still on all the branches, the sun had just set and there was a pearly purple-orange glow in the sky. The cars coming toward me in the dim, with their shimmering headlights looked like a chain of diamonds, and the houses on Lake Echo decorated up for Christmas were like fairy lights hovering in the distance. With such lovely visions, is it any wonder I'm blogging and not doing schoolwork?!?!

And no, I have NOT been reading LM Montgomery lately, though she usually has this effect on me. Maybe I will indulge during the Christmas break.

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Kitty, a fair but frozen maid"

I have plenty of pictures to post from this past weekend with Kohl and Kamron, but very little time to do it in. That will have to wait until later. I did want to share, however, this picture, one of the many I took today, trying to set down in megapixels the First Snow of the Year (cue Hawksley Workman). Scanning through my pictures, I kept seeing this blue haze hovering over the neighbour's garage, seen as those little squares of light in the left-hand corner. I quite suddenly realized what that blue glow was in this picture, and it was an eerie realization to say the least.

Well? What do you think of my little bulb setting experiment (that's where the camera shutter stays open for as long as your finger is on the button)? I'm still a little too spooked out by it to like it much, but it was a cool little accident.

Also I could not pass up the perfect opportunity to use that line from _Emma_.