holidays, photography, this and that

Easter Weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden

This will mostly be a photo post, because I think there is plenty to see and I couldn’t add that much to what already exists. This weekend we went to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see the early spring blooms.The garden is free, though there is a per-car fee to park, except for military, which get in for free. Thanks, Botanic Garden! ^_^

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Just the first bulbs are up right now, the rest of the garden still sleeping after a long winter, but those first bursts of color are hope physically formed after all the snow.

BotanicGardenTrees

We walked along the water where the white trees are still waiting for their leaves.

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And we sat in a field of giant crocus, running rampantly out of their plantings.

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All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend the day before Easter.

(Even MORE photos below.)

Continue reading “Easter Weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden”

holidays, Two for Tuesday

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, 2015

St Patrick's Day J and J on the River

Well. J and I have now experienced our first St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Maybe next year we’ll check out the south side parade, but for this year we just headed downtown to see the green river and catch the (surprisingly short) downtown parade.

Chicago River St Patricks Day

We got there around 10:30 in the morning, so maybe an hour after they dyed the river and it was a vibrant green. Tons of people lined the bridges and sidewalks and riverwalk to get a good view, but it wasn’t difficult to navigate by any means. Until we tried to see the parade.

Chicago St Patricks Day views

Turns out the parade is in the park and only about 4 blocks long. I’m not joking. So thousands of people tried to cram into a four block stretch of road to see. We weren’t close enough to do much other than listen, so we retreated toward the train. Along the way we stopped into the Elephant and Castle pub for a snack and a festive beverage. While there, we were surprised by a roving bagpipe band who came into the pub and gave a twenty minute concert, all of two feet from our little table. Win!

St Patrick's Day J and J EXCITE FACE

Mostly it was just nice to be outside on an early spring-like day. See how excited we were? There was sunshine and the snow’s almost completely gone and I felt like I could really breathe again. We’re definitely still adjusting but the warm weather is helping tremendously.

OH.

And I’ve seen flowers. They DO exist! (Pardon the blur of this photo, I was a long way off on my phone but I needed to DOCUMENT.)

SPRING is here! Flowers!

geek life, holidays

International Hobbit Day is here!

hobbit day, Bilbo's birthday party

It’s September the 22nd! That means it’s solstice day, or the official start of autumn (or spring, in the Southern Hemisphere). It’s also the 77th anniversary (plus one day) of the publication of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. And it’s Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday! Huzzah!

Hobbit Day began back in 1978 when the American Tolkien Society decided to celebrate the occasion. They start on September 17 with Tolkien Week, a chance to celebrate all things Middle-earth and beyond, and it culminates in the Birthday Party. Many people around the world do things in honor of Hobbit Day, from hosting movie marathons to having costume parties or even just eating a slice of cake and raising a glass to the health of the Bagginses.

Tolkien and the world he created have been enjoying a second renaissance, if you will, the last fifteen years or so. Ever since Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring was announced, there has been an interest in Middle-earth that hasn’t existed since the 70s. Whereas I knew no one (other than my mom) who’d read the books when I first encountered them in fifth grade, now almost everyone at least knows what “Lord of the Rings” is and has heard of “Hobbits.”

As a hobbit-loving kid, I didn’t have anyone to really talk to about the books, but I was that special kind of nerd who would still wish her friends Happy Hobbit Day. It’s no wonder I carried the “quirky” label as a kid.

If you want to read more about Hobbit Day, or my childhood memories of being a Tolkien fan, or find some fun ways to celebrate the day, here’s the post I wrote for Geek Girls Pen Pal Club. Happy Hobbit Day, everyone!

holidays

It’s my birthday, so here is a gift for you.

Good morning! Today is my birthday and I like to celebrate it hobbit-style, so here is my gift to you. Enjoy!

Every year I read at least one poem by Mr. Poe, who died on this date under mysterious circumstances, over one hundred years before I was born. His poems are meant to be read aloud. Just check out The Bells.

holidays, updates

Holiday party… in March?

holiday party j and j

Last weekend we had our very belated holiday party with J’s command. It’s a holiday party because, y’know, they missed ALL of the holidays while on deployment. Plus it was a homecoming party.

holiday party girls

It was nice, and a bunch of people who are becoming our friends came, and we had a good time. Mostly it was fun to dress up (and I finally got to wear my dress from the wedding I didn’t make) and J wore a new outfit and we enjoyed talking to people and meeting new people and all of those things you do at command functions, except it was better because the command is SMALL and only about a quarter of the people came (I think… maybe half?) so it didn’t feel too crowded and overwhelming.

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I don’t have much to say, because really going to these command dinner parties is a lot like going to a wedding where you only know the bride and groom and none of the guests. There’s even a buffet line and bad dancing, with most of the dance floor occupied by the younger (i.e. the below-ten-years-old) set.

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Still, I thought I’d share some photos. So there you go. ^_^

holidays

Easter week and spring-time things: week 14 of 2012 in pictures

Even though it’s not quite a dramatic shift here the way it is on the mainland, there are definitely signs that it’s springtime, from Easter traditions to flowers that will bloom on schedule no matter where they are planted.

4/1/2012 splat artist

On Sunday (April 1) we had what’s called a “worship artist” come and paint this canvas in about five minutes using buckets of paint and smearing it with his hands while music played. It was very neat.

Continue reading “Easter week and spring-time things: week 14 of 2012 in pictures”

holidays, thinking deeper

Easter Monday

I missed my post yesterday because of the holiday. And today’s will be brief.

Easter was nice. There was extra music at church and I went to a pot luck with an egg hunt, which was fun. The Easter bunny doesn’t seem to be a big thing here, though, which is a little weird for me, but I did read myself The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes as is my Easter tradition. That link takes you to an article in the New Yorker where the author says she has only met one person who read the book as a child. I’m one of those people. It’s interesting because the book has (especially in recent years, it would seem) gained a lot of popularity for its message that despite racial, class and gender bias, a little country girl bunny with brown skin can realize her dream and be the most celebrated of all the (five) Easter bunnies. I’ve loved the book as long as I can remember, though I didn’t know until recently just how old it was.

So there you go. Find a copy of Country Bunny and enjoy it, even if you were too old for one of the Easter bunnies to come to your house this year.