Seemingly out of nowhere, I have a cold. Let me tell you, it takes a long time to do anything when you have to stop every minute or so to blow your nose. Especially when it’s baking and decorating cupcakes because that requires the extra step of hand-washing before getting back into the project. Anyway, my snot-filled head aside, yesterday after three trips to the grocery store, I finally started my holiday baking. Today, I made these:

These little penguins will be joined shortly by yet more cupcakes — including noms for the shepherd who is currently nosing her head under my arm. For now I have presents to wrap and box up for tomorrow’s post.

Unrelated, remember how I moved my site back to my web server for the umpteenth time and subsequently broke most of the images here? Well, as of yesterday they’re all fixed!1 Yes, you read that correctly. It took me almost this entire year. I didn’t work on this every single day, but it was a very long process and it was possibly one of the most tedious tasks I have ever voluntarily undertaken.

There are, however, still a few related tasks to this that I haven’t yet finished. One is setting up a hub for the galleries I’ve created. I have a gallery that isn’t fully alt-tagged and another that isn’t organized or alt-tagged yet. And as I want to create a page for each of my guide dogs, I also have galleries to set up for them.2 Now that the brunt of the tedious work is behind me, though, I am hopeful that this all won’t take yet another year to finish. Especially because I have other sites I want to work on. Like maybe this one. *ahem*

EDIT: Wouldn’t it just be that in the same post that I proclaim all the images across the site are fixed the images IN THE POST are broken. *facepalms* Anyway, after some minor plugin tweaking, I believe everything is working as intended. Sorry about that, guys.

  1. Cue barrage of emails/comments alerting me to all the images I missed that are still broken. *groans*
  2. Well, Dolly’s is set up, but there’s no actual page yet.

Capital Holiday Lights in the Park

I really can’t begin to describe the day I have had, but awesome would be largely appropriate.

Anyway, Cindy and I went to see the Capital Holiday Lights in the Park since tonight is the last night they’re up. Believe it or not, I’ve never been through this. Well, at least not officially, but that’s what happens when you live across the street from Washington Park.

*ahem* Unfortunately, taking pictures through this is largely impossible what with it being dark and the many large signs stating that you aren’t supposed to stop. I tried anyway, but the only ones that are even marginally acceptable are the ones when we were in line to pay. Next year maybe I’ll go on one of the walkthrough days if it’s not frigidly cold.

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

I had already planned to do a photo recap post before seeing this week’s photo challenge as I’d done something similar last year. Except that I didn’t exclusively use my personal photographs last time since I went a few months with little or no pictures taken. (And, let’s face it, that one of Uschi standing on her head had to be on the list!) Anyway, let’s get on to a smattering of my favorite photos from the last year:

The last year was much the same in terms of photographic activity, though, the last few months I have been striving to be more proactive with my camera. I won’t go so far as to boast about my skills as a photographer because I still very much think of myself as a beginner. However, I do admit that there have been more than a handful I’ve taken over the last year that I am not only quite fond of but actually have some pride in and I have learned a great deal more about the technical aspects of taking photos. I’m still debating which specifically I think is the absolute best photo to submit to BorrowLenses’ Best of 2012 project.

In any case, I expect I’ll be nattering on about photography more in the new year as I work my way through some projects I intend to participate in and learn more about that shiny red camera pictured above.

Isusarad ‘elir!

Wishing everyone a magical holiday and an equally brilliant new year!
2012 holiday card

Shopping, Santa, and Uschi

Uschi framed by the lights of an enormous holiday tree

Last night Alice and I attempted some holiday shopping at Colonie Center. I say “attempted” because insomuch as actual gift purchasing the only thing I got was an impromptu one for Alice . . . and a new star for my tree. I really enjoy getting gifts for people and finding just that thing I think they will most appreciate. I do not, however, like the pressure of having to do this and so holiday shopping in general is more me walking around reminding myself that I’m not supposed to buy all the things I want. At least in that I succeeded spectacularly!

Uschi also had a photo with Santa courtesy of an anonymous blog reader. I’m happy to say it was a far less disturbing experience than the photo I had done last week which may well have scarred me for life. So it turns out that there’s a specific day that Santa has photos done with pets, which one of his helpers very specifically pointed out when I redeemed my gift. To which I replied that Uschi wasn’t technically a pet and the guy got kind of tetchy with me about how Santa wore a “special suit” on Pet Day and it would be up to him if he was okay with having the photo done. Somewhere between me introducing myself to Santa and putting Uschi in a sit in front of him the photographer noticed that she’s a guide dog and spent the next twenty minutes apologizing to me about the misunderstanding. Honestly, I wasn’t really bothered by the whole thing, but before we had walked away he invited me back to have photos with the Easter Bunny. All in all, though, it was one of the most pleasant trips to Colonie Center that I’ve ever had. No one was specifically rude to me about Uschi and everyone that came up to inquire about her politely asked whether she could be petted.

I can’t say the same for Denny’s, where we went afterward, but it was still a highlight since we had a Hobbit-themed meal and milkshakes.