Saturday, December 21, 2013

7 Quick Takes: San Antonio Riverwalk, Buy More Art, winter solstice in Austin and more!

We're sneaking away for a quick trip to San Antonio.  It's a lovely place to visit this time of year.  We let each of our kids celebrate their 16th birthday in a pretty big way.  Not quite as big as so many of their friends who woke up on their birthday to a new car in the driveway.  But something special, all the same.

San Antonio Riverwalk is perfect at Christmas.

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Other highlights for the week include attending a free concert across the street from my office during Thursday's lunch break: Pinnacle Brass, a tap dancer and a guide-dog. (wish you all could have watched the dog watch the tap dancer with me!)  On Thursday night we took in the lights at 37th street -- apparently an old and well-loved, but somewhat diminished tradition in Austin.  Still, we had fun.

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Packing for ten days in New York PLUS the gifts we want to give out all in a carry-on is stressing me out.

Anyone have helpful suggestions?

With the remaining days before December 25, please remember this suggestion:

Here's a few suggestions (if not for Christmas, perhaps for Epiphany gifts?)

It's finally happened.  I've decided I actually like warmer weather in winter.  Not sweaty, humid weather mind you.  Just breezy, sunny weather we had at the beginning of the week.  Now if we could only get our landlady to grant us a front screen door.

Also, autumn color does show up in Austin.  You just have to wait for it.  How's this for a winter solstice picture of our backyard?

Good things I found online this week:

The Annunciation: a really weird story at Diary of an Arts Pastor - If for no other reason, read this post for this paragraph:
"If Christmas is sweet, then it is terribly sweet. If it is safe, then it is weirdly safe. If it is joyful, then it is a strange joy, which may or may not be a welcomed thing, depending on your mood of the day. And it is not just a matter of getting the reason for the season straight. It is a matter of letting the biblical narrative become foreign to us enough to shock us, year in and year out, which is of course the difficult part. It is difficult to keep staring at the same story and to discover new things--new wondrous things, yes, but new bizarre things also, the kind that make you flinch, because there is nothing un-flinchy about the eternal, omnipotent God irrupting in pink-brown human flesh."
The 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest Winners at National Geographic blog: Always beautiful images -- from the extreme to the everyday.

Owl lover 2014 calendar at My Owl Barn: My friend Phaedra found this lovely and FREE customizable calendar. Just download and print.

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We marked a milestone on our rolling downhill speed toward and empty nest:  the last school Christmas concert ever. (until grandchildren, of course!)  Kendra auditioned for and earned a gorgeous solo in a series of Haydn's Vespers.  This is "Confitebor Tibi" (Psalm 111).

And this would be us singing the fourth verse of Silent Night with the 15 or more lovely people who showed up to love on Kendra.  Please do not miss my sons' cheesy choreography in the closing shot.


A beauty and grace-filled weekend for us all, dear ones.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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