Category Archives: Holiday happenings

Christmas vacation and a blue New Year

Newport Beach, Balboa Island penguin house

Took the second half of December off, for a real Christmas holiday.

Picked my son up at the San Diego Airport on December 15 and drove up to Newport Beach to see the Christmas Boat Parade. We took the ferry to Balboa Island where there was a contest for the best home Christmas light display. The stuffed penguins in front of the red,white and blue Christmas trees was my favorite, although there were many marvelous displays.

Wanted to post the video of the boat parade but don’t choose to pay for video upgrade. There are ample videos of the Newport Beach boat parade on YouTube.

Had a wonderful if very wet California Christmas. Got my manuscript back from the professional editor and drove on up to San Francisco on December 30.

 Will cover Blue New Year in next post.


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Support Your Neighborhood Artisans

‘Tis the season to buy unique gifts made by local craftspersons. No one really needs more mass-produced trinkets from China or wherever.  

Today there was a small crafts market outside our independent little coffeehouse. A fire in a large metal bowl or brazier welcomed visitors. Next to it was axe-chopped wood, perhaps in the spirit of the event. Nearby were exquisite custom-made saddles, unlike anything available commercially.

The first booth on my right had locally grown and processed foodstuffs including nuts, honey, oranges, beef jerky, trail mixes, all of it healthy and tasty. I bought a bag of garlic and onion flavored pistachios and some navel oranges. Everybody’s gotta eat. Food unique to your area is appreciated by loved ones across the miles, seniors in particular, as well as by visiting relatives. 

One of my neighbors was selling hats and scarves she had loom knitted from goat yarn she harvested from her own goats. Another friend was selling jewelry made from precious stones she had collected, polished and set in her own designs. A man-made inlaid wood boxes that the ladies might favor. He also carved boxes out of solid pieces of wood—sandalwood, driftwood, Manzanita—boxes within boxes, ideal for a man’s jewelry. New this year was a fit looking fellow who made bows and arrows that looked like they could have been made by the Indians of the Old West, complete with stone carved arrowheads, suitable for deer hunting he said. Springville’s famous wildlife artist Steven Ball was there with a selection of his lifelike watercolors of scenes from nature. Also for sale were plants, potpourri, leather goods and children’s toys—something for every pocketbook.

 Not only can you find a gift that is unique, beautiful and won’t go out of style, such purchases support the arts, your local economy, and a Merry Christmas for all.

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Santa Baby

Hurry down the chimney tonight.

Getting in the mood for Christmas.

Cathy Caffeinated, whose blog I follow, said I could make snow on my site. But I must post first and then try to get the snow feature to work.

I retrieved this mannequin head from a dumpster behind some retail shops–found art. There was also a torso, but someone appropriated it from my garden water feature. Still, I kind of like having the head and one hand on my bookcase. He’s on the dresser for this photo shoot.
He’s been hanging around for a few years. It just now occurred to me that he doesn’t have a name. Any suggestions for this Santa Baby?

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