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It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

My version anyway.

My friend Pam invited me to join her last evening at a WWW party in Southern Oaks. For those of you unfamiliar with Southern Oaks, it's the beautiful subdivision, if I may call it that, across from ours. Here's more information on the neighborhood than anyone could want: http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Southern-Oaks-Orlando-FL.html. I was hoping to find something to back up something I'd always thought, which is that it was the first walled subdivision in Orlando. Got to keep the riff raff out right? Although there is every other kind of statistic, there is no history.

In any case, when people ask me where we live, here's how the conversation goes:

  • "Do you know where Southern Oaks is?"
  • "Of course."
  • "Well, we don't live there, we're across the street."
It's that well known. So, you ask, what is a WWW party? Stands for Women Who Wine, which as we all know, is a perfect fit for yours truly. The home was just beautiful, not to mention huge! As in thousands and thousands of square feet. Decorations--check. And check again. Everywhere you looked the hostess managed to slip some Christmas into the decor. Which is something I just don't get, however, I do like to look at others efforts. This little gathering was slated for 5-6:30 which seems like a lot of work for such a short time. Then again, maybe not so much work because everyone was asked to bring either a bottle of wine or an appetizer. Which brings me to a bit of a rant. I don't like this idea one bit, for several reasons, which, because you are reading this blog, you'll have to bear with me . First and foremost, I don't think guests should have to pitch in at all. Period. According to the dictionary, a guest is defined as, "one who is a recipient of hospitality at the home or table of another." Secondly, what if everyone brings white wine? What if everyone brings artichoke dip? What if there is no vegan friendly food? Need I say more?

Nonetheless, like a good little modern guest I brought these:
It's been a very long time since we hosted a large party at our home, but I do recall these being a bit hit at one of our parties. Cuttle little buggers huh?

After a brief visit at Pam's house following the party, which is very lovely as well, I came home to my darling Bruce watching "Road House." I asked him what he thought about this:
To which he replied--"too modern?' I used the question mark on purpose because he wasn't sure. After leaving Crate & Barrel yesterday I decided to stop by West Elm before leaving the mall. What a snow globe fest in there! In case you don't know this about me, I'm a sucker for snow globes. Picking up one I thought, hmm...should I, or shouldn't I? Should I won the battle. Here's a closer look at the one I chose:
This is no ordinary snow globe my friends. No sir, it's an awesome one with so much "snow" that when you shake it, the owl disappears only to re-emerge with little flakes on the head. Darling.

Last week I mentioned that I'd purchased a new lens and would discuss it a future date. That future date has arrived. It's made by Panasonic and it's a 20mm, F1.7; what they call a "pancake lens." It's terrific. In the days when not everyone was a photographer, including myself, a lens of this type was included with the 35mm single lens reflex camera kit. Not so anymore because variable lenses are cheaper to produce. The beauty of this lens is how fast it is under poor lighting conditions. Every few months new cameras come out, however, lost in all the hoopla is that the most important piece of equipment a photographer owns, aside from their own eyes, is the lens. The Panasonic and Olympus lens are interchangeable on the micro four thirds system and everyone knows I'm partial to Panasonic. Here are a few examples I wanted to share, with a little explanation on how I took them. This one is taken using the preset on the camera body for night scenery:
The camera does all the deciding for the shooter, in this case, me. Below, I chose the white balance and film speed:
You would think it was taken in the daytime, as bright as it is. Somewhere in the middle would be ideal, which I'm hoping to achieve with lots of practice. The top ones looks mighty cozy doesn't it?

So it's looking like Christmas around here, and it's most definitely sounding like it, with Fred Waring blaring out every chance I get, and now it's time to tackle some shopping, card writing and hopefully this year, some baking. After all, if I don't bake Pinwheels this year for Bruce it would be the first Christmas he's ever gone without. For me, the music of Christmas is probably what I love the most, for Bruce, his Mom's pinwheel cookies! We'll be missing her this Christmas for more than her cookies.
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