Friday, December 31, 2010

31 December 2010

A whole month has passed, and I've had a great time posting holiday pictures from my corner of Connecticut, and a few pictures contributed from Ohio and Florida as well as locally.

I didn't see any other New Year's themed displays, not even at the liquor store where I expected to see something around the Champagne section. Nada!! So today's image also (as yesterday's) comes from the Winsted Stop 'n' Shop.

The next picture was sent to my by brother Tom from Florida. In this one, Santa is no longer hanging on a tree. He is down for the count. Sleeping. Deflated until next year, no doubt!!

Happy New Year, everyone!! Thank you to those of you who sent pictures. I'm going to continue doing Picture-A-Day, and I will have a theme in January. I'd like to do something that doesn't entail going out into the greater world because of the possiblity of bad weather, so I am thinking of doing extreme closeups, using the macro feature on my camera. I've done this before, and there are some really good pictures to be found in ordinary objects. Closeups can be very abstract as well. If you have a camera with a macro setting (and I think all the point-and-shoot cameras do), please experiment and send me your results! I'll post them.

30 December 2010

I have been saving two contributed pictures from brother Tom for these last two days, when everyone is beginning to take down the lights and deer and inflatables. But first, my picture for today reflects, to me anyway, the tiredness of the decorations that have been up since before Thanksgiving. This one was taken at the Winsted Stop 'n' Shop, a dreary place on the best of days.

Tom's picture was taken in Venice, Florida. The poor inflatable Santa couldn't stand on his own, so his owners tied him to a tree, and when he was deflated for the day, he was left hanging on the tree. A fitting image for nearing the end of the Christmas season.

29 December 2010

Here it is, New Year's Eve, and I forgot to post for the last two days! I did take pictures, though. On the 29th, we went out for dinner in Norfolk and drove around a bit afterwards looking for pictures. Didn't find anything remarkable, but I didn't really think Norfolk would be amazingly decorated.

I reach into my photo bank for this one, which was taken in New Milford.

I want to add a second picture because this is another shot, later at night, of the jeep in the truck rental lot on East Main Street in Torrington. I had made such a point on December 17th of going at dusk so I could show the wires and the tape but still see the lights. Well, this night, it was fully dark, AND the people had dumped a large strand of colored lights on the hood of the jeep, making it look like a wreath at first, but up close, it was just a pile. This picture is also fun because it has Morrow standing in front of the jeep taking a picture of the said pile of lights.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

28 December 2010

Spent the entire afternoon with friend Naomi and four of her friends (Katie, Julia, Lynn and Patty), all scrapbookers. Naomi hand-colored rubber stamped images for NEXT YEAR's Christmas card!! Patty had boxes of pictures from her family, including her parents' wedding picture negative. She sorted pictures. Julia made a really cool tag book. I made some cards and embellished a couple of little brag books. All in all, a really nice day doing arty things.

The picture is from the "south end" in Torrington, down on South Main St.

I'm pretty sure the MERRY CHRISTMAS banner hanging on the right side of the porch is home-made. Clever.

27 December 2010

Our blizzard ended last this morning, but it was very windy through the rest of the day. The sun came out this afternoon, and everything was white and beautiful. The wind had blown lots of snow up onto our porch where our outdoor tree is. This is how it looks now. Beautiful.

Monday, December 27, 2010

26 December 2010

I wanted to get something with the snow for today, but it didn't really get going until later in the day, and then it wasn't good for going out in the car. So I'm cheating the day and posting a picture from yesterday. It was so late in the evening of the 25th that it was ALMOST the 26th anyway.

A little snow would make this a real winter wonderland. This is Main Street in RIdgefield, Connecticut. A block before this, some of the trees had colored lights (see picture below), but being right under them like this was really magical.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

This is the First Congregational Church on the green in New Milford. The entire town green was lined with trees covered in colored lights, as can be seen in part in the photo below.

24 December 2010

So busy today doing many of the things I should have been doing for the last few weeks that I didn't think about pictures until we were on our way to Suffield for an early Christmas Eve celebration with my brother Tom's family. I was planning to get some pictures at their house for my Picture-A-Day, but I left my camera at home.

That left me with my phone for a camera.

But my subject matter was indeed waiting for me: Nikki's collection of antique German Saint Nicholas candy boxes. They have the greatest faces!


Fröliche Weinachten!

Friday, December 24, 2010

23 December 2010

I must've gotten on a mini-roll with taking pictures of decorations-by-day-that-are-better-at-night, because I went around yesterday taking several. But the best of the lot was one which has no lights at all.

This is right on Route 44 in Canton, almost next to the intersection with Lovely Rd. (Rte 179) and the Ethan Allen store. The house that was here has been gone for a long time, by the looks of the growth of grass inside the foundations, and there has not been a house here for the eight years we've been living up here. But I can't say I ever really noticed the lone chimney before. Morrow says it's decorated every year. I think there were two wreaths, one on each side, because there's a wreath on the ground at the foot of the tree. The wreath that is still hanging is ancient and decrepit, but the stockings and the plastic candy canes are new. The day was overcast and gray, lending even more of an air of sadness to the scene. 

There's even fresh wood in the fireplace. I wonder if someone comes out here on Christmas day or Christmas Eve and lights a fire. Maybe even sing a few carols.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

22 December 2010

As I was on some errands this morning, I saw a number of homes by day that I had seen by night, with their decorations all lit up. Somehow, the image by daylight, with all the cords showing and the lights off, is a bit less festive!

This one was taken on Fern Street in Torrington.

Ho Ho Ho!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

21 December 2010

The winter solstice, the shortest day (and longest night) of the year. And I didn't get to see that eclipse. I might just get over this eventually, but I know I won't be around for the next total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. Harumphhh!

Anyway, I have a kind of silly picture tonight, taken in Torrington on or just off Route 4. The blur is intentional -- the decoration was in motion, and it played music too.

The real picture tonight is one of Tom's from Florida. It was taken in the Al Dea Mar (sp?) condominium complex in Venice. It should be a Christmas card!!! Thank you, Tom.

Rest now, Santa, because in a few more days, you have to pull an all-nighter!!

20 December 2010

I'm actually writing this on the morning of the 21st because I wanted to include a picture of last night's eclipse, but at the critical moment, Ma Nature decided to spread some clouds over our yard, and the moon looked like a hazy little smudge and finally nothing. I can at least say I was up and watching at the moment of totality, but the totality of nothingness had been my view since about 2:45.

I have a couple of pictures that I think need to be seen together because they are similar. Both houses had large trees in the front yard, and in both cases, the owners had put a strand of lights around the bottommost branches. What I call the casual or insouciant decorator's approach.

Both of these were taken in Torrington. The lower one was on Crestwood Drive, and the upper one might have been Ridgewood Drive. It was close to the first one.

OK, now get ready for the holidays through different eyes. Brother Tom Deupree is down in Florida, and he says people down there are wacko. If you've ever read Carl Hiassen, you know!! (If you haven't read Carl Hiassen, pick one up. You'll laugh yourself sick. I don't remember which ones I've read, but I just checked the titles on Amazon and remember Skin Tight. It was about the plastic surgery industry.) Anyway, this is one Floridian's idea of holiday decoration! I'm going to spread Tom's pictures out over the next couple of days. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing!!

It takes a quick eye to see this kind of thing! Thanks, Tom!

Wait until today (Tuesday)'s Florida picture! 

Tom tried to leave a comment but wouldn't take it, so he called me to say that the best Carl Hiassen he read was Strip Tease. And he added that the picture above was taken in Nokomis.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

19 December 2010

Sunday again! Wow, the week has flown by. Our church is not decorated yet, so there is nothing to photograph there. But I do like to make the Sunday picture reflect Sunday in some way.

As luck would have it, I was driving into downtown Hartford, and at a red light, I snapped this picture of the First Church of Christ on Main St. in Hartford. The building is mammoth! The city's downtown decorations are the little lit Christmas trees attached to the street light poles, and in this picture, the tree is positively dwarfed by the church building.

I also have another warm and wonderful picture from Melinda, taken at the Christmas party at the Newington Housing Authority for the residents there. The party was apparently a great fun event, going by Melinda's posts of Facebook and the comments from others who were there.

(The picture was taken on Friday, but I didn't get it until after I'd posted last night.)

The lights look like those fiber-optic kind. I love those, especially when they pulse in and out. Very cool!

Send me a picture of your tree! When I get ours trimmed, I'll take a picture too.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

18 December 2010

SLOWLY getting to Christmas. Put three strands of lights on the Christmas tree this afternoon. Still have a couple more to put on. Plus ornaments..... I MIGHT have it decorated by the 25th.

Drove back into Torrington tonight for dinner at Dos Amigos with a great bunch of friends. Took my mind off lots of things that are on it, which was all good. And have another two pictures from Torrington. These were taken on a side street off of Migeon Avenue. It seems to be a house where there are two families, one on the first floor and the other on the second floor. The first floor had no lights on at all.

This picture doesn't really show that there is a creche scene on the balcony, which I tried to show in thie slightly more close up picture:

And I have another picture from Melinda to share today too, taken a couple of nights ago at a mall in Canton on Route 44. 

I post this picture in honor of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Another positive step towards equality for all Americans. Hooray!

Friday, December 17, 2010

17 December 2010

Another really cold but sunny day up here, and I'm getting really stressed that I'm not decorating the tree or getting anything done around here. But I DID go out and get some pictures tonight in Torrington. I'll probably use a few more of these as the next few days go by because I got several and don't want to put up too many in one post.

This is Ted's Appliances on Migeon Ave. in Torrington. Almost a lone beacon of holiday light on a mostly dark and residential street. Some of the animals had motors in them to make them move.

After going out last night to take a picture and forgetting the camera, I took it tonight at dusk. I am putting it in tonight because it SHOULD have been last night. This was taken on East Main St. in Torrington on the lot of a defunct gas station which is now a Budget Truck Rental office. 

I wish the lights had been a bit brighter, but it's a fun picture nonetheless.

AND, a bonus again tonight, contributed again by Melinda Harvey. I've asked where it was taken and will edit the posting when I get the answer. This has to be one of the coolest and most unexpected "holiday" pictures!  So great! Thank you, MH!!

I got the specifics on this photo. It's the falls and bridge at Mills Pond Park in Newington. The falls are the town's official logo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

16 December 2010

Started the day at the dentist office -- routine. It is SOOOOOOO cold!! Spent most of the rest of the day just clearing off the kitchen counter and doing some Christmas wrap. But I waited all day to dash out right before dusk to get one particular picture I've been wanted to get.

But I forgot to take my camera!


So today's picture is of the first ornament on our Christmas tree (and right now, the only one so far). It came from a dealer at the Collinsville Antiques Mall of New Hartford who sells some vintage ornaments as well as these new vintage-looking ones. This has to be one of my favorite EVER ornaments and may not get put away in January.

15 December 2010

I was out and about today and forgot to take my camera!! I took two pictures with my iPhone but it's now on the charger, so I'm going to dip into my holiday photo bank for today's picture, one I took up on Pratt Street in Winsted a night sometime early last week. LOVE the color (and it was not enhanced in Photoshop!)

The real picture today was contributed by Melinda H. and is a picture I was going to go out tonight and take. Every year, the Benidorm Bike Shop in Canton puts out by their sign a bicycle decked out in lights. I've been waiting for them to put it up. They finally did. I pulled into the driveway last night on the way home from SONE, but it was awfully dark (better time to get it would be twilight so the bike shows), AND I wasn't wearing boots and didn't want to walk my good shoes in the snow, so I told myself I'd come back tonight. Well, Melinda scooped me and got the perfect picture, AND at the right time of day. Twlight! Wow! Great picture.

It's going to be hard to get a better holiday shot than this, but I've got a Torrington location on my holiday radar screen!

Anyone else have their holiday radar turned on?

14 December 2010

Lordy, one of those days when between errands and appointments and things like yoga, I'm barely home! It's not holiday franticness, it's just having too much to do. The first snow of the season, which was really only a dusting but was VERY SLIPPERY, caught me unprepared, pantry-wise, so I had to go to the supermarket too.

And as usual, Tuesday is SONE night, so I was out all evening too. But when I got home, Morrow had turned on our second outdoor Christmas tree, a pre-lighted fake we bought some years ago for Tom and Nikki when he was in the hospital over Christmas. The lights on this little tree always look so nice, and they don't suffer outages like our real tree out front does every summer. The picture isn't much, but coming up the driveway at 10:30 at night after a long day, it sure looks nice to me.

Hmmm. Now that I sit back and just look at the picture as a whole, I think the bottom section of that tree needs bending upwards a little, doesn't it?

Monday, December 13, 2010

13 December 2010

The rain and drizzle and warm weather continued this morning. A good day to stay home.

(Looking out the kitchen porch door.... )

But because it was warm, and after the rain had mostly let up, we went out and got our Christmas tree. I think the guy who is selling the trees lives in this RV on his tree lot. He sells trees for the benefit of the town of Canton's baseball team. He told us that last year, he helped raise the money, and helped build, a baseball park in the Philippines. 

Wonder if he lived in an old RV over there.

Our dreary and warm day turned cold and blustery and snowy by evening. Good timing on the tree. We got a beauty!!

And I have another guest shot -- another from cousin Mary Frances in the Akron, OH, area. She captured the holiday spirit of a restaurant with a sidewalk cafe that is closed for the season, but decorated nonetheless.

Hey, didn't I hear that Akron was clobbered by the same storm that brought us all that rain? Thank you, M.F.!! 

12 December 2010

I like to find pictures at church on Sundays, but I found out this morning that our church won't be "greening" the church until close to Christmas Eve.

We had monsoon-like rain today, all day, and the temperatures got up into the 50's. This is the same storm that dumped huge snows in the midwest. By the time the winter storm came across the east, it met a big warm front coming up the Atlantic coast, and we only had rain. If it had been snow, it would've been many feet of it!!

Tonight we drove up to Northampton MA to hear David Mallett at the Iron Horse Music Hall. He is, as always, amazing. He did every song I wanted to hear. He's so great! On the way home, we stopped to take this picture. I love lights on front porches anyway, but to find an entire creche on a porch was awesome! Good for a Sunday picture. A good Sunday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

11 December 2010

Picture for today was taken close to home -- who wants to be out on a Saturday in high shopping season. This porch (across the street in New Hartford) has beckoned me to take its picture since last year. I tried then but didn't like it result. This year I think I nailed it.

I like the blue lights!

I also had a contribution, a really fun picture from Melinda H. I don't know where she finds these because I've seen almost no good lights. She says this weekend will be the time people will finally get their holiday mojo on!

Are the reindeer and sleigh on the fence or just behind it? The sleigh looks like it's about to take off, doesn't it? The reindeer on the left are being left behind!

Friday, December 10, 2010

10 December 2010

Went into downtown Torrington today in search of photos and was amazed to see more empty storefronts. The Brew Pub? Gone! Some of the smaller shops across from it, also gone. But I understand that the new restaurant opening in January where the Brew Pub was is going to be terrific. Called something like Backstage.

What drew me downtown was the new location of the Illustra Beauty Salon, which used to occupy the building at the intersection of East Main (Route 202) and Elm St. (Route 4). They are now located on South Main St. just south of Water St. in the block where Hannah's used to be. Illustra has always dressed mannequins up for Christmas -- glamorous dresses and props, always worth several pictures. They did not disappoint me, even if they don't have quite as many windows as the old location did.

Can I post a second one? It wouldn't work any other day....

And I got some more contributed pictures!! These two should be called HOLIDAY SPIRIT(S) and were sent to me by Melinda Harvey. In her words, "Well, you know, what's a holiday without some champagne and elf beer! It's the only time the champagne comes out front and center." 

Wouldn't this one make great wallpaper or a background on the computer?  Thank you so much, MH!!! Now I'm thirsty for a good ale. 

And LO!! Another photo was sent, this one taken by Marcia Cornell of Green, Ohio, and sent to me by her mother Mary Frances. This 18-wheeler was parked in a Target parking lot. This is the kind of serendipity I'm always hoping to find! Thank you, Marcia and Mary Frances.

So now I'm going to park myself for the night. Don't forget to take your cameras out as you go about your errands this weekend. And send me the holiday images you capture.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

9 December 2010

Didn't get out much today, but I was down at New Hartford's City Hall, and got this picture.

Ho Ho Ho indeed! How appropriate!

C'mon, guys, send me some pictures! 

8 December 2010

Things are really thin around here for holiday displays!! I had errands down Route 44 towards Avon, looked for picture opportunities and found nothing!! Then we went out for dinner in Granby and drove around a little before and after and found next to nothing. I'm going to put in two again, not because they are both good but because maybe the two will add up to one really lame photo!

This was taken in Granby of the window of a Chinese restaurant with the reflections of the other stores' lights. 

This was taken of the front porch of The Junk Shop in Canton. I'm not quite sure WHY they have a dummy wearing a helmet and some kind of uniform, but there he stands, with the eerie dollhouse on a shelf facing him. Very weird.

But photographically......

If this is how bad the area is NOW, I can't imagine finding pictures for the rest of the month!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7 December 2010

No, I didn't find a Pearl Harbor-themed Holiday scene today. I did see a huge menorah with big lightbulbs for candle flames, but the picture didn't show it like I saw it. Too bad. Only one more day of Hannukah.

My picture for today SHOULD have been my picture for yesterday. St. Nicholas en masse! Taken at Stop 'n' Shop.

An army of Santas!!

I can't leave with just one. This has become my December diary. A small subset of SONE (Sound of New England Chorus) sang in the auditorium of the Wadsworth Athenaeum today as part of their annual Festival of Trees. I like this picture because that big blur on the left side is Marion's arm as she was directing. I like the motion of it!

Most of the festival trees were the same size, dark green artificial, with little white lights. Then the ornaments were different. But the overall impression was of a bunch of trees all alike. Except for this one:

How about sending me some of YOUR holiday photos?