Hubs got me a verra nice camera for Christmas. I tried to read the manual to figure a few things out, but that was taking too long, so I've just started playing with it. Here are two photos. One was taken in the Auto Settings mode, and the other was taken in the Manual Settings mode. It's been a while since I really used a camera that doesn't shoot at 30 frames per second, and I've forgotten how much fun it is.



Also, be prepared for numerous pictures that look very much like the following:


Ahh, Christmas visit home was short and sweet. The family was good, and it was good to see everyone. We returned to our happy apartment late this afternoon, and I am now looking most forward to sleeping in my own, queen-sized, bed. I believe the visit was most stressful for our dog, who only at one entire bowl of food in three days time. Don't feel too sorry for him - he was present at each meal we sat down for and he had his begging face set to "look at my sad eyes, please feed me scraps." About one hour after we returned home this afternoon, he scarfed up his dinner in the usual 90 seconds and he has been racked out ever since.

I have a morning workout on tap for tomorrow - futher updates as events warrant.


Chex Mix is made. Chocolate Orange Fudge is done. I am about to finish up the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies. I thought those were a lost cause yesterday, as the dough was way too loose to work with, much less roll out, so I had to chuck it. I regrouped today and discovered that rolling the dough between two sheets of wax paper made it much easier. I also let the ever-handy Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to her thing and mix in the food coloring. Much less messy for me, plus I don't fit into the dishwasher as well as she does (I have gendered the mixer female, not because she does work in the kitchen, but because she is a bad ass).

We hit the nightmare last night that is known as Hamilton Place Mall. I don't know why we were thinking "It won't be too bad at 4:30 on a Saturday, two weeks short of Christmas." But we were able to hammer out almost all of our list before he tried out a new (and over-priced) restaurant on the North Shore. We came home and watched a movie and were racked out by 10:30.

This mid-morning, we made the long, treacherous drive to the Christmas trees at the produce stand that is next to the stoplight at the entrance to our campus. There are actually two Christmas Tree places at the intersection to choose from. Most people go for the big fancy joint that has a 20 foot tall inflated Santa and hot chocolate. But we discovered last year that it is way pricey, so we gladly take our business to the smaller place across the street. We found a wonderfully proportioned, petite tree. It fits perfectly in its spot, and it isn't so full that you can't walk around it. We could have lit it with only two strands of lights, but upon the discovery that we had four strands, my husband declared, "Oh yeah, we are going to light this bitch up."

The tree is up, presents are purchased, goodies are baked. Work is going to be quite busy for the next week and I am glad we got everything knocked out this weekend.


Begining to smell a lot like Christmas

What have I been up to since my last post...

Working at eleventy billion basketball games. I am loving work, and while I fancy myself as more of a football fan, I have discovered that I really enjoy working basketball more. Maybe it's the closeness of the fans to the floor, or the fact that most games are well under two hours. Or it could be that the basketball teams I am watching/working for are actually winning.

I have gone for a few runs in the last few weeks. Nothing spectacular, and I don't know that I could even call it consistent, but I have enjoyed each of them and I have been pleased to find that my fitness level hasn't dropped too much.

This weekend will be my last basketball-free weekend until March, so I will be doing all of my holiday baking. My apartment will smell awesome. Come to think of it, the people over at Glade really should make a candle that smells like Chex Mix. I would enjoy that year-round.

There are a few (well, much more than a few I'm sure) things that my mother has passed on to me. In the kitchen realm, one of them is the ability to make cornbread the right way (in a cast iron skillet, and no sugar in the mix) and the other is the love of making MASSIVE BATCHES of Chex Mix. Mom used to (and still does, just to a lesser degree) make up enough Chex Mix to feed a small nation. There were tins of Chex Mix in every room in the house. That includes the bathrooms. I don't want to think of the germs involved in that particular tin, but I know I ate often on the can. I especially loved waking up in the morning and reaching to my bedside table for a salty wake-up call. It's just the recipe from the cereal box tweaked just a bit, but it is perfect.