Happy New Year?

Maybe this is a reminder for us to abandon the bad habits that we had previously thought acceptable and start the New Year fresh!

Another item I found in exploration of the vintage treasures from my grandparents is this Hallmark Christmas Card.  Somehow, I just don’t think this would pass in today’s market.  Maybe if you put a big red X through the middle of it?  It is kind of bizarre to think that this was appropriate material for Christmas cards not all that long ago.

Best Wishes for a New Year that is not stuck in the past.

Vintage Christmas Card
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX Nikkor
35mm @ f/8 –  1/6 sec – ISO 200

Merry Christmas

I send out my prayers and best wishes to all on this Christmas Day.  May you all spend this day celebrating with friends and family and give thanks for blessings that we all share.  To those who are struggling with any hardships this season, my wish is for you to find healing and peace during this holiest of times.

God Bless us, one and all!

Smith House Plantation
935 Alpharetta Highway
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
38mm @ f/4.5 –  1/6 sec – ISO 200

Smith House decorations

A bit of holly in a mason jar makes for lovely Christmas decor.  I found this little still-life on top of a hutch in the outdoor kitchen at the Smith House Plantation in Roswell.  There are touches of seasonal decoration all over but I found this mix of southern charm most attractive.

The Archibald Smith Plantation Home is a historic house in Roswell, Georgia built in 1845. The home was built by one of Roswell’s founders, Archibald Smith, and housed three generations of his family.

Smith House Plantation
935 Alpharetta Highway
Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
31mm @ f/4 –  1/40 sec – ISO 200

On the road to Bethlehem

Christmas is nearly here and I went to choir practice this evening to prepare for the celebration.  In our church, the decorations are not up as we are still in Advent.  There is a nativity scene outside but inside, only un-decorated Christmas trees.  Yet, the images of Mary and Joseph that are always on display are the best reminder of what the season is about.

I can only imagine faintly what they must have experienced.  To anticipate the new life that was coming and to know what that means to the world must have been incredible.  I hope that I can keep the gratitude for the true meaning of Christmas in my heart now and always.

Image of Virgin Mary
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Alpharetta, Georgia

A child’s winter

Do you remember when winter was a wonderland?  Somewhere back in the dark recesses of my adult mind, I remember wishing for snow.  Back before the days of battling crazy driving conditions and having to scrape windows.  Before winter weather was a curse that just made you cold and tired.  There was a time when we longed to bundle up and run around outside until our cheeks were rosy and we could barely feel our fingers.

Watching kids on the skating rink at Avalon brought back some of those memories.  Hope we can all keep the child-like spirit of this season alive!

Avalon
2200 Avalon Boulevard
Alpharetta, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 –  1/200sec – ISO 400

Too cold for a ride?

avalon-6290You would think on a Sunday just 2 weeks before Christmas that there would be kids standing in line to ride the train, but no.  The weather in Atlanta this past weekend was too much like winter for the thin-blooded southerners!  Anybody who lives in an area where it gets really cold would laugh.  The high temp on Sunday was actually 50° but the day started off below freezing and it was probably in the low 40’s when we were here.

We were out at Avalon to watch the ice skating and walked around a bit.  Just around the corner was this kids train ride with the conductor standing on the sidewalk waiting for passengers.  The train was empty and there were few people walking about.  I remarked to the conductor that it must be too cold for the kids.  He said: “It’s too cold for me!”

It’s a strange mix here in the south.  Too cold for kids to ride the train yet at the same time, I saw a family walking back to their car with all the kids wearing short and t-shirts.  Go figure!

Avalon
2200 Avalon Boulevard
Alpharetta, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
100mm @ f/5.6 –  1/80sec – ISO 400

Immaculate Mary

Advent Wreath at the vigil mass for Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Christmas Challenge theme for today is wreath so, when we went to mass last night and the Advent wreath was right there, I had my shot.  We were at mass on a Wednesday night because of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  (Note to all my Catholic friends – it’s a Holy Day of Obligation!)

For those who don’t know or are unsure about what this feast is, this is the day that we celebrate the Virgin Mary’s conception without original sin.  Many people assume that the Immaculate Conception refers to Jesus but that is not correct.  This feast is about Mary and focuses on the teaching that she was brought into the world sinless so that she could be the mother of Jesus.  Even priests get this wrong at times (as was mentioned in the homily at mass last night) so, now you know.

I didn’t haul my camera with me to church last night so, this is a cell-phone shot.  Not too bad considering that!

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Alpharetta, Georgia

Samsung Galaxy S5
31mm @f/2.2 – 1/30 sec – ISO 250