Department 56 Village




For the first time in several years I took the time to setup our collection of Department 56 collectibles. I have been collecting the Dickens' Village line for many years usually adding one new piece each year. Our collection now covers the entire mantel above the fireplace and has spilled over to the hearth. I love the way the ceramic gives off a warm glow when lit from inside. God bless us everyone.

Oh Christmas Tree



A simple Christmas tree this year. We used all our glass ornaments and new LED lights. It makes me smile.

The Christmas Guard


There is a new guard on duty at the Bubba house. She has taken on the duty of protecting all Christmas presents that are placed under the Christmas tree. While in stealth mode, she hides within the branches of the tree. If you happen to venture too close to the tree she will pounce on you. Her favorite move, The Flying Fur Ball, is quite terrifying!

Howling at the Moon - Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse


I decided to wake up during the wee hours of the night to take a look at the lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth, and moon align with the Earth in the middle. This throws a shadow on the lunar surface. While a lunar eclipse isn’t rare, this eclipse’s combination of events is quite rare. The last time there was an eclipse during the winter solstice was way back in 1638. Did you miss it tonight? Well the next one won’t be as long a wait since it should happen again in 2094. But, the next regular lunar eclipse should be in 2014.

Clear Brook Park– Walking in a Winter Wonderland Light Show



We are always looking for things to do around the Eastern WV Panhadle. Just a short trip down Route 11, north of Winchester, VA, is Clear Brook Park. Every December, since 2001, the Parks and Recreation staff opens the park up as a walking tour with thousands of lights. While it isn’t anywhere near the grandeur of say The Osborne Family Lights in Disney it does have that special hometown magic that the enormous displays don’t have. You can stroll around the park sipping on hot chocolate and even say hello to Santa if you wish. Unless you wait for to speak to Santa, the park is a good half hour diversion from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A Little More Snow


Snow works magic for Christmas lights. We received a couple of inches of snow today so I snuck outside and snapped a few pictures of our lights. Even though I wanted to go crazy on the lights, I only had a couple of hours that I could devote to decorating so these will have to do for this year.

First Snow for 2010


Friday, December 10, 2010 saw the area’s first snow. A small snow squall produced maybe 1/4 inch of the white stuff but you would have thought it was a blizzard by the number of accidents. I was on my way home from an early morning run to Hagerstown Ford for a transmission re-flash in my F-150 when the idiots began wrecking. When the snow started sticking I instinctively reduced my speed and moved over into the right lane but a few individuals, mostly in their high dollar SUVs, continued to fly by us sane folks at 65 mph or faster. It didn’t take long to find one in the ditch. A few minutes later there was a car stuck on an off ramp to Charles Town. Several road closures with more accidents made for an interesting morning. I had to wait for awhile for the scene to clear for an SUV on its side on Rt 340. I slipped only once and I was driving a pick-up truck! Slow down and arrive safe.

Awesome Times at the 2010 East Coast Indoor Nationals




The 2010 East Coast Indoor Nationals was a great show once again. This has to be one of my favorite shows to attend each year. It was held at the Cow Palace in Timonium, Maryland. The cars are all there by invitation only so everyone of them is top notch. There was a mixture of hot rods, customs, rat rods, nostalgia dragsters, bikes, and classics. I am still learning how to shoot these indoor events but I have many more successes now than failures. The lighting conditions are rough and the crowds also become an issue when photographing indoors. Check out more of my photos over at and event coverage over in the blogs.


I now have a new celebrity photo to add to my garage wall. This is me with Norm Grabowski of Kookie Kar fame. He has starred in several minor roles in movies and television including The Cannonball Run, Fantasy Island, Herbie Rides Again, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Monkees, and Batman. He is a very funny guy and I was lucky enough to spend a few minutes chatting with him.