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Fall Leaves in Winter

It’s finally gotten cold enough here for THIS to be happening in my backyard:

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Most of the United States is covered in snow, so I guess it’s okay fall has arrived in Orange County.  It’s Almost-January, after all.

I have to admit, I really love having pretty leaves on my trees.

(Color changing doesn’t happen every year in my too-warm-for-that backyard.)

It’s an unusually cold December.

I was okay with cold weather for a day or two, but I’m ready for warmer temperatures now.

I hate being cold …!

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Movie Marathon

My family has been on a movie watching marathon this week.

In my normal “real” life, I rarely seem to have time to see movies.

In the last week we’ve seen:

•  Argo

•  Flight

•  Life of Pi

•  Zero Dark Thirty

•  This is 40

•  Skyfall

•  Les Miserables

•  The Dark Knight Rises

•  Ted

•  Lincoln

•  Seven Psychopaths

•  Silver Linings Playbook

I might be forgetting one or two?

I’ve enjoyed all of them.

Yes, my ass has grown two sizes over the holidays.

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The Lazy Days of Winter

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is such a lazy time.

I was cooking/cleaning/wrapping/etc., etc., nonstop through Christmas night.

I had a very nice Christmas Eve and Christmas.

By Christmas night, I was in too much pain to sleep.

It was a very, very, tough night.

Yesterday, I was a lazy slug.

I watched two (!!!) movies, took a walk on the beach, and did absolutely nothing with my arm …

My arm had told me (quite clearly!) it needed a day off.

Winter Walk @ SHaggerty 2012 W-1

It was really nice to have a “do nothing” day.

Today, I’m adding a small portion of reality into the mix.

I have a much needed appointment with Paul Newman.

Later in the day, I’m connecting with a friend.

At some point, I really need to get some exercise too ….

I feel pretty disgusting from all the holiday food and drinking of the last few days.

I’m pretty sure none of you over-indulged like I did, right?

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Wishing You a Merry Christmas

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then I wish you a very good day anyway.

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The above photo was taken from inside the Knott’s Berry Farm decor warehouse during my “behind the scenes” photography expedition.

I’ll be back to regular posts soon.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays!

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Naturally Festive

I took this photo of a bottlebrush shrub in my backyard.

The flowers seem to be especially festive this time of year!

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Winter in Orange County

I’m going to be taking some time off over upcoming days, so please don’t worry about me if I’m not posting daily.

I’ll be stopping in here, now and again, between now and the beginning of 2013.

I will, however, be skipping a few days and abandoning my “regular” schedule.

I’ll be focusing on family and holidays and, and, and …!

When I have time, I’m sure I’ll post a couple holiday photos and/or recipes.

(If you’re missing me, check in with me on Facebook or other social media networks.  I’m sure I’ll be somewhere.)

For today, I thought I’d share two recent photos of our cold December weather.

(Yes, it really HAS been cold!)

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The other day, I found myself alone on a stormy, windy, beach.

I was SO cold, but I wanted to snap a few shots before the rain arrived.

I was happy to see the above sea urchin posing for me on the sand.

(For those of you who aren’t used to sea urchins, when they die they lose their spines.  I was lucky to come across one on the sand.)

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The second photo was taken at Little Corona beach in Newport Beach.

Little Corona is usually packed with people.

It’s also a very popular place for wedding and family photographers.

I think this was the first time I’ve ever  (!!)  seen Little Corona completely empty.

The solitude was wonderful.

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Things I’ve Said (Out Loud!) In The Last Few Days

Sometimes, often times, I can’t believe the things that come out of my mouth.

In the last few days, I’ve uttered the following words:

•  This isn’t your frat house, please remember to put the toilet seat down.

•  Next time, replace the empty TP roll so your mother isn’t left stranded.

•  Clean up your room, I don’t want to find another scorpion in your laundry basket.

•  You’re making me feel things no one has ever made me feel before.  (Said to Paul Newman ….)

•  Andy Warhol wants to be my friend.

•  It was a relief to only have 500 email messages.

•  I like it funky.  The funkier, the better!

•  He talks a lot once he’s got me on my back.  (Said about Paul Newman.)

•  No, I don’t paint my photographs.  They are photographs.

•  Those dishes won’t do themselves.  (I’ve turned into my mom?!!)

•  I’m sorry.  High school DOES suck.

•  It’s freezing here!  I’m worried about the orange tree.  Yes, 64 degrees!

•  Really?  This isn’t your frat house.

•  I can’t wait to tell you what your surprise is!

 [ Insert name of famous actor ]  gave you what?  What does he want?

•  Would you mind lifting the feather duster for me?

•  It’s Turkey Chili, what did you think it was?

•  Sure, I’d be happy to invite you to MySpace.

•  Yes, it hurts … but in a Hurts-So-Good way.  I kinda like it.

•  I would if I could, but I already have my fingers in too many people’s pies.

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Are You a Good Gift Wrapper?

Well, hello holiday season.

I thought, for awhile last weekend, I was (semi) in control of holiday chaos this year.

In the last 24 hours, I realized there’s so much left to do.

I try to space out gift wrapping, in particular, because wrapping is an arm intensive activity.

Arm intensive activities = painful activities.

I used to make an effort to wrap packages nicely with special ribbons and bows.

Now …?

I hurriedly wrap gifts, put tape on them in awkward places, and throw a “stick-em” bow on the top …

If I bother to put a bow on at all.

I fail.

I know people who wrap everything in ONE color of paper, adding beautiful ribbons and bows.

I know others who have a different color wrapping paper for each member in their household.

I know women who collect cute fabric ribbons year-round,

And others who make “handmade” gift tags.

I love the IDEA of all those things.

I have visions of being a Perfect Woman.

Of course, I never come close to living up to my own ideals.

In fact, I doubt if anyone wraps gifts as half-ass as I do.

What are you like?

Do you use beautiful papers and gorgeous fabric ribbons?

Do you have gift wrapping magic?

Or are you more like me?

Filled with good intentions ….

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We had a cold, sometimes rainy, winter-ish, weekend.

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I saw the movie Hope Springs.

I thought it was really terrible.

(Apparently, it’s received okay reviews from people who are not me.)

Today, my college-aged son arrives home for 4 weeks of Winter Break.

Because of his arrival, my house will be buzzing with a lot more activity than usual.

(His friends all prefer gathering at our house vs. anywhere else.  I love having them here.)

It will be so nice to have my son back home.

Aren’t we all hugging our kids just a little tighter these days?

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