Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas Tree!

Tonight we put up our new Christmas tree!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Elyse and Santa at Lowes

It must really be Christmastime! Anna texted me this picture this afternoon from Lowe's:

Friday, November 23, 2018

Anna and Jessica Return from Minnesota

This afternoon I went to the airport to pick up Anna and Jessica. I texted Elyse this picture of me by the baggage return carousel around 2:45:

It was wonderful to see them after several days away! They had a good time visiting family in Minnesota, but were glad to be home.

Here are some pictures Anna (or in some cases Jessica, using her mommy's phone) texted me during their stay:

(The quality of some of the texted pictures is not great; I think some of their pixels fall off as they fly through the air from Minnesota to Georgia. But they give a good impression of what Anna and Jessica were up to while they were there, even if you can't always make out many details.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I sent these pictures to Anna and Jessica from Granny and Pa's house:

(Elyse made the card.) 

(This is the pumpkin pie Elyse and I brought, in case you were wondering, though there was also a sweet potato pie for those who prefer it, like Pa.)

For whatever it's worth, this year Thanksgiving was the earliest it could possibly be. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, which is also usually the last Thursday in November, but this year the month started on a Thursday, so there's a whole 'nother week of November following Thanksgiving, including a rare fifth Thursday. I'm pleased with this accident of the calendar; it makes the Christmas Season seem extra long this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Stone Mountain Night Pictures

Tonight, the second night that Anna and Jessica are away in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, Elyse and I went to Stone Mountain to do some star gazing and to visit the Stone Mountain Christmas.

First we went to the walk-up trail, hoping that would be a dark enough area to allow us to see the stars.

Elyse thought it was really cool that she could draw in the air with her flashlight during the long exposures my Canon made. Here she is drawing a star:

and a smiley face:

and spelling the word "pizza" (we had just had supper at Stevi B's):

(I had to flip this one horizontally, because she spelled it from her perspective, which made it backwards when you're facing her.)

Here are some of the star pictures I took:

Here's a picture facing the direction of the airport, which is a good 50 miles away. This is an eight-second exposure; the streaks in the middle of the frame were made by five airplanes that had recently taken off; they represent eight seconds of the planes' flight paths:

Next we went to the Crossroads area, to take in some nighttime Stone Mountain Christmas:

(You can't tell from these pictures, which make it look like we had the whole place to ourselves, but there were a lot of people there.)

The dinosaurs from the recently-ended Dinosaur Explore exhibition haven't been removed yet, they've just been dressed up for the season:

Monday, November 19, 2018

Anna and Jessica Head Off to Minnesota for Thanksgiving

This afternoon I took Anna and Jessica to the airport to get on a plane and fly to Minnesota so they can spend Thanksgiving with Anna's family. They're both excited to be going, but also a little nervous, and sad to be leaving me and Elyse behind.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Elyse the Unicorn

This afternoon Elyse wanted to go to Vines Gardens so we could do a unicorn photo shoot (with her as the unicorn). Here are some of the best pictures we got:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Goodbye, Tessie

This morning was heartbreaking. We said goodbye to Tesseract. We miss her terribly.

Here she is about five months ago, keeping Elyse company one night while Elyse read in our bed:

Tessie was only about three months short of her eighteenth birthday, which is quite old for a cat. Her health had been deteriorating rapidly for the past couple of weeks, though, and her quality of life was really suffering, and it was, we are so sorry to say, her time to go. She was a wonderful companion, especially for Anna, and her departure has left a big hole in our lives.

When Anna and I got married we had six cats, which didn't seem like a lot in those pre-kids days. After Jessica was born, and especially after we had Elyse, six started to seem like an awful lot of cats. We may have come to think of six cats as too many, but now no cats living with us is definitely way too few.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Mommy and Elyse at The Nutcracker

Anna and Elyse went to see The Nutcracker tonight, anf they just texted me this picture:

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Stargazing with Elyse

Elyse has been very interested in astronomy lately, so tonight we went to Bay Creek Park to spend some time in as much dark as we could find (though not quite as much as I'd hoped) looking up at the stars. We found a decent spot on one of the baseball fields from which quite a few stars were visible. I took my "real" camera, a Canon 60D, and tripod so I could take some long exposures of the night sky; here are a couple of my favorites:

(The streaks in the sky are airplanes; these were 15- or 30-second exposures, and that's how far an airplane moves across the night sky in 15 or 30 seconds.)

Girl Scout Pirates

Today was Pirate Day for Elyse's troop!