Our first actual Christmas Tree!

In all the years Bev and I have lived together we never set up a proper Christmas tree. Didn’t have room for it, didn’t have room to store it, and were going to be at our parents’ places where they had trees anyway. We always put up a tiny twig of some kind in homage to Charlie Brown, but that’s about it. Not this year though! Behold!

I shall call it: Christmas Tree, a work in progress.

We received a Christmas Tree from some friends who were moving shortly after we arrived here in Texas. Both Bev and I are big “real tree” people, but we have this, well, frankly GIANT house, and we figured we’d probably need at LEAST 2 trees eventually. (This year though this is our only one, and it’s got ALL our ornaments on it and isn’t quite full, so we’re not there yet!)

Boy were we right! The tree we got works perfectly in our, I believe the builder calls it, “rotunda”. Quite nice, since it’s a taller skinnier tree and fits perfectly without obstructing any movement!

Most of the ornaments on the tree are mine, including my favorite train engine, and many other train engines. Fortunately most of them have a year written on them so I have some sort of idea why they were given to me. “Grandchild’s first christmas ornament” from Hallmark is on here, although to be fair I’m not sure which set of grandparents that one is from. More extensive documentation may be required.

So many trains on this tree.
Keeping up family traditions…

When I was young and my family went to Florida to visit my great grandparents we got a christmas ornament for every year we were there, and Bev and I have kept it up with out 2015 and 2018 Disney ornaments, pictured here. Also on the tree is an ornament for Vienna! The traditions must be maintained! (To which end, yes, there’s a pickle on there somewhere!)

The tree does need a bit more work though, gotta find a nice skirt for the bottom of it, and we desperately need a Texas ornament, possibly a Texas star tree topper of some kind. It’s only right. 🙂

We also did a little visible-from-the-outside decoration, the front yard tree and a tiny tree in the window above the garage:

All in all it feels quite festive! The living room has some nice greenery going on, although not really a traditional Christmas tree:

Unfortunately I think we’ve been beaten by the neighbors in terms of outside decorations:

Yes, that’s the Grinch, stealing the lights off their house. Brilliant!

Oddly flavored adventures

Trying a coffee place today. Bev’s (left) is coffee soda with ginger, and a carrot cake whipped cream. Mine is the “moth man” with some sort of condensed milk and activated charcoal.

This coffee shop is near the big college, is an “ale works” as well as coffee shop, has a bunch of trestle tables, and a big wall board games, and behind Bevin you can see some classic arcade consoles. Neat spot! I’ll bring some quarters next time and get my Galaga on.

Living the (dead) dream…

I’ve just scared my first tiny trick or treaters.

I’ve got the lights on spooky flickering, the Haunted Mansion queue music in playing on the speakers, and I’m acting like a Ghost Host and trying to work in as many terrible puns as possible.

I amuse myself.

Confusing Confections

What makes a Twix “left” vs “right”?

I cut them open with a knife, they’re identical, so there goes my only idea. (I had hoped for a symmetry of some kind…)

So now I’m just puzzled.

Bevin was pleased though, when she discovered bite size snickers could be used for spelling.

An another note, I re-arranged some plants to keep things away from the windows a bit as it starts to get pretty cold. I really like how this turned out:

You can’t quite see, but one of the plants is getting ready to unfurl a bunch of new leaves. I’ll turn this place into a jungle eventually!

Feeling Cozy

Today’s high will be 51 degrees, and the house has cooled down naturally to 71, the coldest it’s gotten in here since we moved in. Before Bev gets home tonight I’ll probably figure out how to switch the AC into heating mode if it keeps cooling, but for now I’m quite enjoying working at my desk in my nice cozy hoodie.

It even looks like the northwest out my window!

I am pleased.

Strange new forms of entertainment…

I just walked from my office into the kitchen and found this:

Apparently Macarons are being made, and must be monitored.

I guess the problem is problem is that they begin cracking, and this means either you under-whipped or over-whipped, with no way to tell which. This doesn’t seem, to my mind, to be a particularly helpful debugging step, as you don’t know what to change. But I guess at least they won’t come out overly cracked if you monitor them.

This is what happens when Bevin marathon watches the great British baking show while knitting.

What were the odds?


We’re in REI.

Bevin: “yeah, this feels like Portland.”

We’re checking out.

Cashier: 503 phone number? I’m from across the river in Vancouver, and the guy I just helped is from Olympia!

(Also “yeah man, save the trees!” when I declined a bag.)

I guess we found our people?

Almost like home


It’s 68 degrees with high light fluffy scattered clouds, a gentle breeze is blowing, and the Blue Angels are tearing up the sky.

It feels almost like a Seattle summer. If only there were a slight saltwater smell. (Or, you know, any sort of mountains on the horizon.)