Monday, December 30, 2013

Images of Christmas

Is it just me, or did December really take the record for the fastest month of 2013? 
The best Christmas present I received was having my mother agree to move closer to me...which meant I was able to share the holiday with her, my husband, and all of my kids. 
Just what I wanted.

Here are a few images I captured over the month that I don't think I've shared with you yet...

My neighbor decorated a juniper tree on our dirt road. It was covered in vintage ornaments.
Naturally, I had to stop and snap some photos.

Door prizes were given at our church Christmas party. 
I didn't win one, but I did bring home this collection of sparkling bokeh.

In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our church had a tamale dinner following Mass, with yummy, colorful pan dulce. 

I'm becoming more of a minimalist when it comes to decorating my house. 
But these pewter plates Tom gave me will always be pulled from the box and put on display.

I did a lot of baking this year. 
My Texas-shaped gingerbread and pumpkin bread were big hits.

I came within a jingle bell of being one of those elves. 
That is my spiral hat, though.

Homes on tour were decked out for the holidays. I admit what I like best about the first one below is the painting of the old blue truck.

A dear friend and his wife sent these ornaments with their Christmas cards. It hangs in a place of honor right beside the photo of my parents. 
(Yes, my tree is still up!)

Wishing all of you much peace!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Frosty Morning in December

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam... 

This crisp winter air is full of it. 

~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"

Mornings are still brisk here, although the sun warms up our days. In my car, I'll start with the heater and end up with the air-conditioner by mid-afternoon.

Thanks to our recent rains, the humidity is high, providing an art medium for nature: frost.

I cheated on the third from the last photo, though. It's not really's the sap from weeds that freezes and expands into ghostlike creatures dotting the woods. This is just a close up.
It fascinates me every year.

Just as our temperatures are balanced between cold and warm, I hope you find balance in all that you need!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Day in Fredericksburg Texas - Part 2 (Inside, where it was warm!)

Fredericksburg is only an hour or so away from Austin. 

Go by way of bus with a dozen other realtors and that hour passes fast... 

...especially if most of them are women! 

We slipped into this little restaurant on the main street for a coffee to-go. 
Ammunition against the freezing temperature and brisk wind outside.

All of the shops are inside historic buildings and show off the great architectural details. 

I should have bought this for my son and daughter-in-law.
I hope they're happy with just a photo of it.

Look who's keeping an eye on the store in Dogologie!

Stylishly bundled up against the cold.

Embroidered boots! How do they do that?

If I hadn't just bought a pair of boots... 
(and if I had an extra few hundred bucks lying around...) 

Hmmmm....makes you think.

When in a German town, you have to drink a German beer...

My view as I ate my Reuben sandwich (and drank my German beer.)

More of our group wandered in later...

This unique stair railing graced the inside of one of the shops...

Such a cute idea!

On the way home, we stopped at Messina Hof winery for a tasting...

It was the perfect way to spend a winter day in Texas...
...although, honestly, Fredericksburg is great in any season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Day in Fredericksburg, Texas (Part 1 - On the Street)

I jumped on a bus with a bunch of other Keller Williams agents this past Thursday for a trip into the hill country...

...specifically, to Fredericksburg, a quaint little German-heritage Texas town just an hour or so west of Austin, known for shopping, wine, peaches, and lavender, depending on the season.

Thursday it was cold and windy, but the shops were warm and cozy, all decked out in Christmas color and bling. 

Grab some hot chocolate and follow me along the sidewalks...

So creative!

All decked out for Christmas.

(I had the Reuben. Yum!)

See those people down there? We weren't the only crazy ones exploring the town that day!

I love the architecture...and do you see the figures along the wall to the right?

The Salvation Army bell ringer braved the cold to bring in donations.

The Art Deco touches on this building caught my eye.

A little tequila would have warmed us up!

Who can resist Betty Boop?

Our bus parked near this church. While waiting on the rest of the group, I jumped out and took some photos. Surprised? I didn't think so.

This old home is right across the street from the church. I'd love to know how old it really is. 

Wasn't that fun? 

Join me tomorrow...or Monday or Wednesday...for Day 2, wherein I take you into the shops and restaurants with me!