kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Friday, December 23, 2011

Season's Greetings -- 2011

Years ago, back in Pittsburgh, I had a Christmas tradition – an annual tree-trimming party. Throughout my childhood, each year my mom would buy me an angel ornament for Christmas. By the time I became an adult and had a tree of my own, it was covered in festive angels. I enjoyed sharing them with my party guests. Now, and at least for the next few years, the angels share the tree with trains, cars, Santas, and other assorted bobbles belonging to my sons.

Even though I no longer have the tree-trimming party, I still enjoy decorating the tree. We bring the Christmas boxes down from the attic. And pull the ornaments out one by one. Seeing the angels again after their year-long confinement feels like greeting old friends. Here are a few of my favorites, all given to me by either Mom or my sisters.

And what’s a Christmas tree without a cat cozily curled beneath the branches. All. Day. Long.

Even after four years here in Louisiana, we’re still trying to establish new family traditions. In an effort to replace Hartwood Acres and our beloved Phipps Conservatory, last night we went to Shangri-La Gardens in nearby Orange, Texas for their “Christmas Stroll.” That wasn’t the fix, but it was nice, nonetheless.

For anyone out there who misses their extended family and faraway friends this holiday season, as I do, know that they are with you in spirit. Call them, wish them a Merry Christmas, and cherish the friends you have who are nearby.

From our family to you and yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Jazz Concert

The boys and I attended a jazzy/bluesy Christmas concert this evening at Central School. (For my readers unfamiliar with Lake Charles, Central School is a historic landmark that was once the high school in town but now is home to the Arts and Humanities Council and the hub of the area's cultural community. The show was hosted by the foundation "Jazz in the Arts" and featured two local musicians, Chester Daigle and saxophonist/McNeese professor Rick Condit. I found out this evening he also plays the flute.

Watch a youtube video of Chester and Rick here.

The musicians played unique renditions of many holiday favorites. Wonderful show. Oh, and we won a door prize. A candle wreath.

Merry Christmas, everyone! How have you been celebrating the holidays?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lake Charles Civic Ballet presents Rudolph

I attended Lake Charles Civic Ballet’s production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer last weekend. One word comes to mind – DELIGHTFUL. The colorful costumes and charming sets really brought the story to life, as did, of course, the wonderful dancers. Scene to scene, the show was pure fun. And a refreshing change from the season’s standard Nutcracker. All the dancers did a great job, but I really enjoyed seeing Gabby Saucier in the spotlight. Hard to believe this talented young lady is only in 8th grade.

Gabby’s sister Addie beautifully danced the role of the Snow Queen.

I’ve seen several productions by this ballet company, and they are all wonderful, but this was my favorite so far. Can’t wait till March 17 to see Sleeping Beauty! Watch the LCCB website for ticket info.

Many thanks to my guest photographer Cameron Durham! Read my post about Cameron on the ballet blog here. Check out Cameron’s awesome photography on his website here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lake Charles Christmas Parade

Louisianians love parades. I guess it’s the Mardi Gras in us. Lake Charles hosted its annual Christmas parade this afternoon. Sam Houston High’s Pride and Spirit Marching Band entertained the throngs lining Lakeshore Drive and Bilbo Street

I’m partial to the tenor sax player second from the left.

Where else but in Louisiana would Santa’s “sleigh” be pulled by ‘gators?

Even dogs enjoy parades in Louisiana.

How does your community celebrate the season?