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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

"New Year's Eve" - Postcard

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This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "Celebration."

Happy New Year's Eve and Happy New Year!

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Featured in the weekly sampler.

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New Years Eve Live Media Player NYC Ball Drop

Earth / Web Cameras:

Earthcam Roaring 2020 New Year's Times Square Celebration

NYC Times Square

NYC Times Square North View

NYC Times Square South View

NYC Times Square Street View

"T Stands For Teddy And Peppermint Bark Tea" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

First, I would like to thank everyone who left me Merry Christmas wishes last week, and apologize if I didn't visit and reciprocate. Last week, shortly after posting my T-Day entry to the challenge site, I went offline to enjoy the Christmas holiday. I most likely will remain offline until after New Year's Day. Teddy and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts for awhile.

Teddy has been complaining loudly that Santa didn't bring him a Winter coat. I told Teddy he has a fur coat, so he doesn't need one. We've been enjoying this delicious Peppermint Bark coffee during this Christmas season:

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Teddy is hoping New England Coffee will see this post, and make him their spokesbear. The Almond Danish Kringle is made in Wisconsin USA by O&H Danish Bakery, and sold at my local Trader Joe's stores at this time of year. Every week, there is an online free Win a Danish Kringle contest.

Weather-wise, it hasn't been too unpleasant for this time of year. For Sunday night (12/29) into Tuesday morning (12/31), southern Connecticut is getting rain, but northwest Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts have an ice storm warning.

Remainder of my Christmas artwork: Christmas Music Bird, Christmas Nutcracker Suite, Christmas Red House Pine Trees, Christmas Red Birds , and Christmas Red House - Merry Christmas.

My New Year's artwork is scheduled to pop out later today (New Year's Eve) and tomorrow (New Year's Day).

Over the past week, we watched the following movies:

Christmas movies:

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (DVD) excellent

Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962) (DVD) excellent

A Christmas Story (1983) (DVD) excellent

Elf (2003) (DVD) funny, nice story

action / thriller movies:

Virtuosity (1995) (DVD) okay

Absolute Power (1996) (DVD) very good

Match Point (2005) (DVD) excellent

Red Eye (2005) (DVD) very good, other than a few implausibilities

The Prestige (2006) (DVD) very good

Mr. Brooks (2007) (DVD) very good, other than a few implausibilities

Whiteout (2009) (DVD) okay: major plot implausibilities

Inception (2010) (DVD) I liked it the first time I saw it, but seeing it again, I found too many holes in the plot, so I'm rating this a neutral okay leaning toward not good.

Unknown (2011) (DVD) very good, other than a few implausibilities

comedy movies:

Firehouse Dog (2007) (DVD) funny, good story

Ted (2012) (DVD) funny, but the F word was overused

Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas Danish Kringle - Photograph

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I've been enjoying the Christmas holiday so I'm late posting this.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

"Christmas Red House - Merry Christmas" - Postcard

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Merry Christmas!

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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Carol of the Bells - The American Boychoir

This Christmastide (Jessye's Carol) - The American Boychoir

"Christmas Red Birds" - Postcard

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Merry Christmas!

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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What Child is This - The American Boychoir

"Christmas Red House Pine Trees" - Postcard

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Merry Christmas!

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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The Coventry Carol - The American Boychoir

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

"Christmas Nutcracker Suite" - Postcard

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Happy Christmas Eve!

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) - The American Boychoir

"Christmas Music Bird" - Postcard

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(Click on image to enlarge)

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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Silent Night! Holy Night! - The American Boychoir

"T Stands For Teddy And Merry Mint Tea" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

First, Teddy and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays / Happy Hanukkah.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts for awhile.

Teddy told me to provide the links for the online copies of the recipes shown in the photos: Fudgy Fulfill-Mint and Merry, Minty Latte.

Weather-wise, we had an ice storm (Ice On Trees), then a snow squall (Snow Squall Warning), then bitterly cold temperatures (Cold Water). But now it has "warmed up" to the 40s F (4.4 C) which truly feels warm right now. (In the Summer, 40 F would feel cold. It's all relative.)

I made some Christmas artwork: Christmas Reindeer and Christmas Santa Music. The remainder will pop out later today (Christmas Eve) and tomorrow (Christmas).
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local news update: a little information from the Dec 18, 2019 press conference about the possible Revolutionary War soldiers skeletons from the April 1777 Battle of Ridgefield that were found buried in Ridgefield, Connecticut:

"Bones and buttons from the #battleofridgefield a great find for history."
https://twitter.com/news12ctsudol/status/1207363687922753537

"A line drawing of the skeletal remains found"
https://twitter.com/news12ctsudol/status/1207370524504023048

News story about the press conference: they notified the British Consulate in Boston, because the three skeletons could be British and American soldiers.

Over the weekend, we watched the following movies:

It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) (DVD) okay

Holiday Affair (1949) (DVD) okay

Frosty the Snowman (1969) (DVD) excellent

Scrooged (1988) (DVD) funny

Home Alone 2 (1992) (DVD) - funny, but the violence was portrayed in cartoon fashion

Christmas with the Kranks (2004) (DVD) funny

Deck The Halls (2006) (DVD) funny

A few Christmas songs:

Carol of the Bells - The American Boychoir

O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) - The American Boychoir

Silent Night! Holy Night! - The American Boychoir

The Coventry Carol - The American Boychoir

This Christmastide (Jessye's Carol) - The American Boychoir

What Child is This - The American Boychoir

Saturday, December 21, 2019

"Christmas Santa Music" - Postcard

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(Click on image to enlarge)

This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "Open Theme."

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Cold Water - Photograph

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I took these photographs in the area. A thin layer of ice formed on the reservoir due to the bitterly cold temperatures that moved in. Despite the chill, it was peaceful walking by the water. We're supposed to "warm up" to 46 F (7.7 C) by Monday.

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Silent Night - Sinead O'Connor

Thursday, December 19, 2019

"Christmas Reindeer" - Postcard

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(Click on image to enlarge)

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

I'm not 100% happy with how this looks.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Snow Squall Warning - NY, NJ, CT tri-state area

Snow Squall Warning

SNOW SQUALL WARNING
NWS UPTON NY
349 PM EST WED DEC 18 2019

CTC001-007-009-011-NJC003-013-017-031-039-NYC005-047-059-061-081-085-087-103-119-182112-
/O.CON.KOKX.SQ.W.0009.000000T0000Z-191218T2115Z/
349 PM EST WED DEC 18 2019
Fairfield County CT-Middlesex County CT-New Haven County CT-New London County CT-Bergen County NJ-Essex County NJ-Hudson County NJ-Passaic County NJ-Union County NJ-Bronx County NY-Kings County NY-Nassau County NY-New York County NY-Queens County NY-Richmond County NY-Rockland County NY-Suffolk County NY-Westchester County NY-

...A SNOW SQUALL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 415 PM EST FOR CENTRAL NEW LONDON...FAIRFIELD...MIDDLESEX...NEW HAVEN...HUDSON... EASTERN PASSAIC...UNION...BERGEN...ESSEX...QUEENS...RICHMOND... BRONX...KINGS...ROCKLAND...WESTCHESTER...WEST CENTRAL SUFFOLK...NEW YORK (MANHATTAN) AND CENTRAL NASSAU COUNTIES...

At 349 PM EST, a dangerous snow squall was located along a line extending from near Chaplin to New Rochelle to Union, moving southeast at 35 mph.

HAZARD...Whiteout conditions. Zero visibility in heavy snow and blowing snow. Wind gusts up to 40 mph. Quick 1/2 inch to 1 inch of snow.

SOURCE...Radar indicated.

IMPACT...Dangerous life-threatening travel.

This snow squall will be near...
Jersey City and Sprague around 405 PM EST.
Oyster Bay and Norwich around 410 PM EST.
Garden City and Mineola around 415 PM EST.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Consider avoiding or delaying travel until the snow squall passes your location. If you must travel, use extra caution and allow extra time. Rapid changes in visibility and slick road conditions may lead to accidents.

Reduce your speed and turn on headlights! During snow squalls, the visibility may suddenly drop to near zero in whiteout conditions.

Slow Down! Rapid changes in visibility and road conditions are expected with this dangerous snow squall. Be alert for sudden whiteout conditions.

LAT...LON 4124 7255 4125 7292 4098 7364 4086 7375
          4093 7319 4098 7307 4056 7396 4060 7403
          4050 7426 4060 7421 4068 7445 4108 7405
          4164 7298 4156 7295 4154 7285 4164 7263
          4160 7234 4171 7224 4166 7216 4164 7179
          4124 7255

Ice On Trees - Photograph

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I took these photographs of the early morning sunlight on the ice on the trees in my yard from the Monday into Tuesday storm we had. These photos didn't capture the crystal palace appearance of all of the bare trees. Where I am in southwest Connecticut, we got about 0.18 inches of ice. Luckily the power stayed on.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

"T Stands For Teddy And Good Tidings Tea" - Photograph

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(Click on image to enlarge)

I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts for awhile.

Teddy told me to provide the link for the online copy of the cookie recipe in the photo: Minty Cocoa Cookies

The weather has been a mix of rain, snow, and cold. Monday (12/16) night into Tuesday (12/17), we are forecast to get a snow and ice mix, which could knock out the power. So if I don't drop by leaving comments, you'll know what happened. :-(

In some very exciting local news, three skeletons, possibly Revolutionary War soldiers, were found buried in Ridgefield, Connecticut at the beginning of December: news story

They think they were soldiers who fought in the April 1777 Battle of Ridgefield. They could be British or American soldiers, because troops on both sides were reported missing at the time. They said they won't have any definitive information until preliminary tests are completed by Spring 2020.

General Benedict Arnold fought for the American side during the Battle of Ridgefield. It's unfortunate that Connecticut public schools don't teach more of the local history that took place here during the Revolutionary War. At least they didn't when I went to school. I wanted to try to attend the December 18 Question and Answer session they're having about this historic find, but the site said only the press is allowed to attend.

Ironically, last year around this time, I visited the Keeler Tavern Museum, which has a cannon ball embedded in the side of it, from that battle:

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I posted photos of some of my Christmas tree ornaments and decorations: Nativity and Christmas Tea Lights, Christmas Decorations, Santa and Snowman Ornaments, Nutcracker Ornaments.

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I made a few postcards: Christmas Birds Music, Christmas Girl Music Snow, Jingle Bells, It's Easy To Deceive.

Over the weekend, we watched the following movies:

movies:

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (DVD) - excellent

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) (TV Movie) (DVD) - excellent

A Christmas Carol (1999) (TV Movie, Patrick Stewart) (DVD) - excellent

Home Alone (1990) (DVD) - funny, but the violence was portrayed in cartoon fashion

Christmas movies that were very funny:

Christmas in Connecticut (1945) (DVD)

(National Lampoon's) Christmas Vacation (1989) (DVD)

Fred Claus (2007) (DVD)

Four Christmases (2008) (DVD)

Christmas movies that were okay, but didn't seem like a Christmas movie, despite the Christmas decorations:

The Christmas Blessing (2005) (TV Movie) (DVD) - sequel to The Christmas Shoes (2002 TV Movie)

One Christmas (1994) (TV Movie) (DVD)

Saturday, December 14, 2019

"Jingle Bells" - Postcard

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This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "Jingle Bells."

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

All – I’m having problems with Google not thinking I’m logged in, even though I am, so it won’t let me leave comments for blogger people. If I can figure out what’s wrong, I’ll leave comments. Sorry about this. – Anne

I discovered the cause of my problems with not being able to leave comments. One of my Add-ons that blocks things must've updated and it was blocking Google from storing cookies, so it made it look like I wasn't logged in. I have to allow www.blogger.com to leave cookies, then I can leave comments. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

"Christmas Girl Music Snow" - Postcard

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I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Thursday, December 12, 2019

"It's Easy To Deceive" - Postcard

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(Click on image to enlarge)

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

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Eyes Without A Face - Billy Idol

Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nutcracker Ornaments - Photograph

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This is 1 of 4 posts of photographs of some of my Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, which I put up this past weekend.

Santa and Snowman Ornaments - Photograph

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This is 2 of 4 posts of photographs of some of my Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, which I put up this past weekend.

Christmas Decorations - Photograph

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This is 3 of 4 posts of photographs of some of my Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, which I put up this past weekend.

Nativity and Christmas Tea Lights - Photograph

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This is 4 of 4 posts of photographs of some of my Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, which I put up this past weekend.

You can see my Christmas tree angel reflected in the mirror in the photo of the Nativity. My Christmas tree photo came out blurry, so I need to take another one and post that later. The Nativity is what Christmas is all about, but the year I tried to buy one, none of the stores carried them, so I had to search all over the place before I finally found one. Every year, I place it as the main focal point.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

"Christmas Birds Music" - Postcard

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This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "Winter Greenery/Foliage."

I created this using GIMP 2.10.14.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Featured in the weekly sampler.

"T Stands For Teddy And Comfort And Joy" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts for awhile.

Teddy said he wanted to clarify with everyone that he is not trying to sell anything, by posing with these tea catalog pages. Teddy said he loved the Christmas themes shown in it, and he loves tins, like I do. Plus, it was for tea, so Teddy thought the T-Gang would enjoy seeing the pages. (Teddy said he admits that he would like to become the spokesbear, but he said he wants to be that for every food company in the world, especially the ones that sell honey. He has big dreams. I've learned from some of the previous comments not to discourage him.)

The weather has continued to be somewhat unpredictable, but it is New England, after all. I remained in a mostly dry pocket during the two back to back storms that went through last week, so I didn't get much snow, thankfully. And now this week, we're having a several day rain that will end as snow.

Somehow the week went by without much activity for me to mention.

I got another photo of the moon: Waxing Crescent Moon 66% Lit.

I made some Christmas Tags.

I put up my (artificial) Christmas tree and Christmas decorations this past weekend. I'll post photos at some point.

Over the weekend, we watched the following movies:

movies:

The Christmas Shoes (2002) (TV Movie) (DVD) (very good, but sad too)

Hallmark TV Movies (DVD) - all of these were very good with happy endings:

A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013)

The Christmas Ornament (2013)

Hitched for the Holidays (2012)

Christmas Dance (2012) (Come Dance with Me - original title) - beautiful waltz music piece, too

Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Tags - Photograph

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I took this photograph of some Christmas tags I made. It was somewhat dark when I took the photo, so the tags are hard to see. Two of them have snow in the background.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Waxing Crescent Moon 66% Lit - Photograph

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I took this photograph of the waxing crescent moon during the end of Civil Twilight this evening. I liked the soft glow the moon had in the first photo. There was a light cloud cover which might have contributed to that. The moon was 66% lit and is heading for a Full Moon on 12/12 at 12:12am my local time!

Note: updated to include a link about Civil Twilight.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

"T Stands For Teddy With Cat Tea Mug" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts for awhile.

Teddy said he knows the T-Group has some cat fans, so he thought they would enjoy seeing this mug. I told Teddy he has expensive tastes that not all of us can afford. Teddy thinks his shameless hawking of The Republic of Tea products will land him the position of their official spokesman spokesbear. I told Teddy to keep dreaming.

I created this post early and scheduled it, in case the Winter Storm knocks out my power. Right now, the forecast is still a bit undefined, with a mix of rain, snow, and sleet forecast. As of Monday (12/2) early evening, there hasn't been too much snow accumulation where I live, but I don't know what I will wake up and find, since the storm will continue overnight into the early morning hours. Tue 12/3 update: I got lucky and only have about 1 or 2 inches of snow. Some places north and west of me got a lot more than that.

I got a photo of the waxing crescent moon, before the storm clouds blotted it out.

The latest version of Symantec Norton (22.19.9.63) had a fix for their software bug: they now give a choice of ignore for 7 days, ignore for 30 days, or don't ask me again, for their annoying attempt to force one to install their Internet browser Add-Ons. (The last time I uninstalled Symantec Norton to fix their problem, I gave them feedback, telling them to fix their software bug, and included a link to my unflattering blog post about them. I wonder if that actually influenced them, because their update came out within a week of that.)

I had a quiet but pleasant Thanksgiving Day. Per tradition, I made my Great Grandmother's stuffing recipe. Thanksgiving Pilgrim Owls

After Thanksgiving, I started putting out some Christmas decor: Red Christmas Cactus and Red Poinsettia Glass Candle Holder.

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For another weekend, I spent more time dusting, vacuuming, tidying up, etc. But I must say that things are looking much better here, now that I've eliminated several clutter eyesores. But proof of creeping dust: places I dusted had a new thin layer of dust on them again, requiring another go around. (I think I kicked up dust from other areas and it landed in the previously cleaned areas. Ugh.)

And out of curiosity, to those who have a cat / cats: how do they react to the vacuum cleaner? Until my current cat, my experience has been that cats flee in terror from the sound of the vacuum cleaner. However, my current beloved furry companion is like a dog, so he crouches nearby, watching it with no fear whatsoever.

One thing led to another (which I won't bore everyone with the details of), and I discovered some new hiking trails in woods with old stone walls in them. Several people asked why a permit was required to hike on those trails, so I added this explanation to my newer posts: With regard to why a permit is needed on these particular hiking trails: they are on land that the public water supply flows through. So they have rules for what you can and can't do there, and if you get caught in there without a permit (which is the trail map), you can be fined / arrested.

The greatest discovery so far on those trails is a stone wall dam and waterfall: Waterfall Stone Wall Dam In Woods and Waterfall Stone Wall Dam In Woods. The north trail parallels the water, which is nice: Stone Wall Waterside Trail and Stone Wall Waterside Trail. There is also a Pine Grove In Woods on another trail there.

Teddy was with me during those hikes in the woods, and wanted to pose in some dangerous locations (the top of the dam, the wood bridge), but I refused to allow him to. So there won't be any photos of him from those trips. Teddy was crying and carrying on that I always say, "No," and I told him I would be crying and carrying on if he fell into the water and I lost him.

I made a few postcards: Three Little Wishes and Look Into My Eyes.

My Christmas artwork is at risk of not getting done this year. :-(

Over the weekend, we watched the following movies:

movies:

Othello (1995) DVD (Laurence Fishburne, Kenneth Branagh, Irene Jacob) - excellent

That movie is one of my favorites. There are several great quotes from the original Shakespeare play. And Iago is the original disgruntled employee, before the definition existed. Shakespeare was ahead of his time.

O (2001) DVD - good - "modern" version of Othello, with high school age people as the main characters. I could have done without the "F" word and the racist "N" word sprinkled throughout the movie. Some people see racism as the primary take away of the plot of Shakespeare's Othello, but when I read the play, I saw other themes as the primary points in the story.

If you only have time to watch one of those two movies, I recommend seeing Othello (1995).

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Red Christmas Cactus - Photograph

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I took this photograph of the Red Christmas Cactus plant I treated myself to about a week ago. In the background, you can see some of my Christmas decor, which I started putting out on November 30, 2019. (The Celtic Cross is a year round item.)