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12/30/17 - Christmas Roundup

We've been busy this Christmas season, so we haven't posted much. There were the two trees, including the Monster, perhaps the largest, thickest, deepest tree we've ever had the pleasure to put an ornament on. It was nearly impossible to water, so we needed a special self regulating watering system. (Thank you Amazon.)

Then there were the two parties, the grownup's party and the cookie party. Thanks to our friends, our little (barely over six feet) cookie tree was adorned with gingerbread, sugar icing and lots of dragee. The candle lighting went smoothly with a new fire marshall and rapid response team. It was a cassoulet year, but in all the excitement, we didn't get a photo of the cassoulet. It moved too quickly.

Once again, a wonderful Christmas season and lots of 2018 to get ready for the next one.

The big tree - That's a 10' 6" ceiling.

The big tree decorated and illuminated

The cookie tree

Godzilla in seasonal apparel

The big tree at home

The cookie tree with its candles lit

The whole cookie tree

Linzer tortes

Snow for Christmas

Cookies - the post mortem

A last goodbye

Keywords: christmas

12/14/17 - Seen Around Port Angeles

Here are some things we've been seeing around Port Angeles.

A Christmas Tree on the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek

A fireboat in the harbor

Some strange clouds that look like trilobites

A little lizard, not a salamander, on the Olympic Discovery Trail

Seen on the internet - We love artificial intelligence.

Keywords: christmas, morse creek, port angeles, salamander

12/09/17 - Cookie City Seattle

Every Christmas we look forward to the Christmas gingerbread village displays in Seattle. Usually, they are at the Sheraton downtown, but this year they were across the street. As usual, the display was for the benefit of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and some serious design and baking talent was involved.

This year the theme was Seattle and Seattle history, so we recognized a lot of the landmarks. There were the Ballard Locks, the ferris wheel down at the waterfront and a Jetsons' vision that included the Space Needle and Rosie, the Jetsons' robot maid. There was also a bigfoot riding a girder. We'll have to check some of those construction cranes that have taken residence in town.

The waterfront

Seattle at night

Bertha makes an appearance.

Some details

The Ballard Locks

Jetsons' Seattle with Rosie up near the Space Bus

Under the sea

More of Seattle

Seattle's future skyline, except edible

Pioneer Square

Bigfoot on the move

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/14/16 - Christmas at the Kalebergs

We've got both trees up and decorated. The little tree, the one with the candles is decorated with gingerbread cookies lovingly decorated by our friends who are by far more talented than we are. We provide the cookies and the colored ices, but our friends provide the love and imagination. Every year we hold our cookie party, and our table is surrounded by careful artisans decorating cookies, pausing only for a sip or two of champagne. When the sky darkens, we light the candles and celebrate the start of winter and the coming end of the year.

The cookie tree illuminated

The big tree

Some cookies

More cookies

Even more cookies

Did we mention cookies?

It's a beautiful tree.

Keywords: christmas

12/09/16 - Christmas Fire Truck - Operation Candy Cane

Guess who's coming to town? It's the Port Angeles Operation Candy Cane Christmas Fire Truck. It definitely brightened up our evening.

Coming ...

Still coming ...

He's almost here!

Until next year ...

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

12/07/16 - Christmas Conservatory

Every Christmas we try to check out the seasonal display at the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Sometimes they are closed for remodeling or the like, but this time they were open, and the train was running. We admired the orchids and carnivorous plants as we always do, but particularly enjoyed the charming Christmas village. Then, we warmed up with the cactus.

Still in Seattle

Christmas railroad

Santa's chair

Poinsettias and nutcrackers

Christmas village

Christmas tree stand

More of the village

We almost missed the Christmas raccoons.

Cactus, perfect for the winter season

Keywords: christmas

12/03/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 2

Here is some more Harry Potter in gingerbread and some more Seattle street scenes around Christmas. We are definitely getting into the spirit of things.

Dumbledore & Fawkes

A gingerbread street scene

Magic in action

We love the little details.

Another closeup

Seattle streets

Another street scene

More Christmas magic

The big tree

Macy's star

Another Seattle street

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/02/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 1

We are just back from a few days exploring Seattle. We love the city around Christmas. It really makes us appreciate short nights and electric lighting. We watched the sunset, then we set forth for the Sheraton lobby where we admired this year's gingerbread competition. This year each confection was based on one of the original Harry Potter books, so we had a fine time exploring Hogwart's and reuniting with the old gang.

The sunset starts

The sunset continues

The city after dark

Hogwart's in gingerbread

Another Christmas scene

Rowling really did capture the magic of Christmas.

It looks good enough to eat.

More magic

Is that the goblet of fire?

An old friend down in front

Another confection

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/21/15 - Cookie Party

We held our annual tree decorating party, and all of our friends helped us decorate our cookie tree. Then we lit the candles. With fire marshalls standing by and extinguishers at the ready we stood in quiet awe admiring the glow of the candle flame. There is nothing quite like it. (Amusingly, one of our friends with a new iPhone took a few Live Photos, and they captured the subtle motion of the candle light very well.)

The tree lit

Another view

An evocative - we hope - close up

It's not the same with electric lights.

Either our friends, admiring the tree, or a shadowy group of conspirators.

Keywords: christmas

12/16/15 - Our Christmas Advent Calendar

Our Christmas Advent calendar game is online again. Just click the link and use the arrow keys to explore our Christmas village. The lights come on, and the trees light up as you explore. You can explore on a cell phone or tablet using the touch screen. It is sort of minimal, but sometimes you only have time to enjoy Christmas on the go.

Keywords: christmas, software

12/14/15 - More Signs of Christmas

Do you recognize that thing to the right? That's our Christmas cassoulet, franks and beans a la Francaise. It's a dish of white beans full of duck confit, garlic sausage, pig's feet, pig skin, bacon, pork shoulder, andouille and so on, all rounded out with a bucket of chicken stock.

The other two pictures are of our Christmas party and our two Christmas trees, one large, one small. With the two trees and the roping the place turns into quite a grove, and it's all illuminated by Godzilla's atomic fire. So, there are definitely signs of Christmas chez Kaleberg.

Cassoulet - That's not perspective; that's gravitational warping.

The big tree

The little tree - That's Godzilla glowing with atomic fire on the right.

Keywords: christmas

12/11/15 - Signs of Christmas

We Kalebergs are dangerously over-excited. Christmas has come in with a vengeance. We were out for the Port Angeles Christmas fire truck, and our house has been invaded by trees.

The fire truck comes

That's Santa up there.

In passing

Our big tree

After a bit of work

Keywords: christmas, port angeles

12/09/15 - Gingerbread Star Wars at the Sheraton

Every Christmas season we try to drop by the Sheraton in Seattle and check out the gingerbread cookie displays in the lobby. This year the theme was Star Wars, and they had six gingerbread concoctions, one based on each of the movies. Being fans of IV through VI, we probably missed some of the references in the cookie palaces based on episodes I through III. As best we could tell, Jar Jar Binks does not make an appearance.

Every year, there is a lot of wonderful imagination at work in creating these confections, and there is a lot of technical skill involved. They aren't just cookies with a bit of icing. There is a whole confectionary along with the appropriate lighting and sometimes motion. Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, it is worth dropping by the Sheraton and getting a dose of the Christmas spirit.

Star Wars in gingerbread

Is that the Death Star?

Is this episode II?

More Star Wars magic

Darth Santa being pulled by two AT-ATs.

The Death Star to the rescue, or was it the other way around?


More Star Wars

Uneasy lies the head and all that ...

More magic

Who gets to eat the leftovers?

Keywords: christmas, seattle

12/04/15 - Seattle - City Christmas

We were in Seattle for a few days last week and walked back from Fremont to our hotel. Cities are always beautiful around this time of year. Businesses and homes put up their Christmas lights to counter the winter darkness. Since half of Seattle seems to be under construction, it's great that so many of the looming construction cranes are illuminated as well.

We tried to get into the Volunteer Park Conservatory, but it was closed for a few days.

A view from Fremont Bridge

Along the waterfront

Construction cranes alight

A view across Lake Union

The Space Needle and a bit of a crane

City lights

City sidewalks

Keywords: christmas, seattle, winter

12/01/15 - Lake Angeles Snow

There's already snow on the ground along the Lake Angeles trail. It's a Christmas wonderland.

This looks Christmas-y.

Are those Yule logs?

That's the little bridge.

Maybe it's time to start shopping for a tree.

White snow, black stream

Keywords: christmas, lake angeles

12/27/14 - More Christmas

Here are a couple of our Christmas presents and a teaser.

This little fellow is right at home on our tree.

We finally found something to feed our tribble.

What's that on top of our tree? Stay tuned.

Keywords: christmas

12/23/14 - Christmas Cookie Tree

We are finally recovering from our 2014 Christmas Tree cookie party. Thanks to the efforts of our friends, our little tree was not unadorned. For us, it was easy. We just set out the gingerbread cookies, the dragee and the icing, and our friends set to work. By the time we were ready to light the candles, the tree was decorated and by some serious talent.

Thanks again everyone!

The cookie tree

From the side

Again from the front

A close up

Another close up

The tree looks pretty good in daylight too!

Another daytime view

One of our friends is a real architect.

We're not sure this one would meet code.

Keywords: christmas

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