Posts Tagged 'Christmas'

Christmas at Sea

A poem from Robert Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So’s we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every ‘long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it’s just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard’s was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother’s silver spectacles, my father’s silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
‘All hands to loose top gallant sails,’ I heard the captain call.
‘By the Lord, she’ll never stand it,’ our first mate, Jackson, cried.
… ‘It’s the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,’ he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter’s day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

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a special Christmas gift

my 11-yr old son was very creative this year, hand making a gift for each of his brothers and his mom and dad. 

his gift to me was a 2-page handwritten letter, telling me why I’m his hero. 

  
I was/am just a bit speechless. 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! May you and yours have a blessed time this holiday season.

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today’s tunes: Christmas Magic by The National

a favorite band of mine, The National, with the song Christmas Magic from the TV show “Bob’s Burgers”:

“Christmas magic is in the air”

HT: Consequence of Sound

merry Christmas 2013

hope you have a blessed Christmas celebration with family and friends!

we spent the day at home – just me and my wife and our 3 boys, opening presents in the morning, and then the boys spent most of the day building Lego sets.  Arwen loved sticking her nose into the presents and joining in the fun.

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I spent a little time out at the barn, finally figured out how to get the electricity working.  our garage door now opens and closes without having to start the generator! here’s a view looking south towards the barn from where our future house will sit.

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’tis the season

we spent a couple days at my parents’ house just before Christmas to celebrate the holiday with my side of the family.

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luckily, we arrived after the bad ice storm that hit their area – and even luckier, they still had power!

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branches were weighted down with a thick coating of ice, and various branches had snapped and fallen down around their yard, thankfully with minimal damage.

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despite all the destruction, the ice storm aftermath makes for some amazing outdoor photography.  when the sun is shining, the ice everywhere can just sparkle and make everything glisten.  I spent a bit of time walking around outside with our silver lab puppy, Arwen – she loves exploring my parents’ yard.

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I also snapped a couple great shots of the various birds that congregate at the bird feeders.

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here is a great shot of a male cardinal hopping onto the bird feeder.

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and a red-bellied (strange name, huh?!) woodpecker that was hanging out at the suet feeder.

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all told, a beautiful few days spending time with family and celebrating the Christmas holiday, and enjoying the amazing power of nature intertwined with the beauty it creates.

merry Christmas!

[all photos taken with my Nikon D70 & a Nikon Nikkor 70-300mm F/4-5.6G-AF Zoom Lens]

photo quiz

with a large family like mine, it it often difficult to align everyone’s schedule and get us all together at once.  so this year we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family a few days late, opening presents on Friday night, and then having our big holiday dinner Saturday night.  here is my dinner plate:

dinner

here is a photo of dessert:

dessert

here is the photo quiz:

  1. what is the main type of meat from dinner?
  2. what are the 2 sauces for the meat (both at the top of the plate)?
  3. what are the 6 side dishes? (or just list as many ingredients as you can)
  4. what was the dessert (with ingredients)?
  5. how many of the my2fish clan were in attendance?
  6. what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

if you are a family member who was at the dinner, don’t give away any answers, but feel free to comment with thoughts (and any corrections if I incorrectly identify anything!).

good luck!


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