Sunday, December 30, 2012

12.29.12 Asian Supermarket

The kids love visiting the Asian supermarket where there is whole fish, buckets of pig's blood and cool artwork for sale. They also have a small Mexican section near the GOYA sign on the left.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12.28.12 under-sold the joint

I have finally learned that when Robin tells me something is "Amazing! You must see it! It WILL be your picture of the day." that, well, she's right. I used to brush it off but with time I've learned not to. 

She asked me if I wanted to take an adventure down south to Arkansas City to one of her favorite stores where "They have so much stuff you will NOT believe it!" I knew I had to say yes. I opened the door and barely negotiated the narrow lanes in my size 11 boots and turned to her and said, "You actually under-sold the joint." This place is not to be missed.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12.26.12 meme

My favorite Christmas card arrived today, one day after Christmas. I thought Andrew was just being silly sporting the horse head but it turns out it's a very popular thing to do on the Internet. Thank goodness Carter keeps up with the memes of the day.

12.25.12 It's a major award!

Watching "A Christmas Story" on Christmas Day will never get old. Love that movie.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12.24.12 Sister

Had the Green clan over for Christmas Eve, including Carter's sister Stephanie who lives in Arkansas. That woman loves her brother and all animals.

Monday, December 24, 2012

12.23.12 the retraction

Went to two great parties with Denise. We learned that years ago Denise wrote about the hostesses' beautiful tree and it hurt her feelings. Here's Denise's retraction written today.
The Eagle published the below column on Dec. 20, 2007.
The mystery friend I referred to, I can now reveal, is the beautiful and tasteful Audrey Curtis Hane. Five years later, I have learned that I may have inadvertently caused a bit of minor holiday offense by making an anonymous example of her and her tree.

Upon further review, which I was able to perform last night, having finally be allowed to re-enter her home, I see that her tree is in fact amazing, and I would not change a thing. Not. A. Thing.

Thanks for a kickass party, Hanes.

The Wichita Eagle
Dec. 20, 2007


By Denise Neil
My column about my completely mismatched, non-designer Christmas tree had just been published a few days before I visited the very tasteful home of a very tasteful friend. She looked at me, her nose scrunched up, and asked politely, "Do you really like your tree like that? Really??"
I could tell the concept went against everything she believed, and she sent me to check out her tree, which managed to be somehow matchy-matchy and sentimental all at the same time.
It was gorgeous, but I stand firm. A tree full of meaningful ornaments - with stories and history and, yes, a few cracks and missing parts - is what makes Christmas Christmas.
If I had any doubts, the e-mails I received from like-minded readers erased them.
Among them was a story from Rosalie Sharp of Clearwater, who still has a bunch of 60-year-old, soiled, pipe-cleaner candy-cane ornaments she bought when her son was 1. He had a bad habit of plucking the breakable ornaments from the bottom of the tree, so she moved those to the top of the tree and got some he could handle to put on toddler level.
"Some of those canes have been on our tree every year for 60 years," she said. "They bring back treasured memories."
Kris Sprague's treasured ornament is a glittery pinecone redbird, made by her grandmother 45 years ago.
Her grandma had made lots of ornaments like that before her arthritis made it impossible to craft them.
"I know there's a lot of love in that little redbird, and it's one of those treasures I'll have forever," she said.
Amber Kluge's treasure sits atop her tree. It's an oddly misshapen star her dad made more than 30 years ago, using cardboard from a cereal box and tinfoil. It's the one item she and her siblings might one day fight over, Kluge said.
"I now have my own family, and I have yet to find a star as beautiful to top our tree," she said.
Betty Kirkpatrick of El Dorado has a 69-year-old string of beads contribu ted to her childhood tree in 1938 by a neighbor boy her parents had tried to help.
Dee Randle was a victim of the Halloween flood of 1998 - and so were her Christmas ornaments, stored in the basement. A friend found a box of decorati ons in the muddy mess and cleaned up the ornaments that were salvageable.
"I have many new ornaments, but they will never replace the old, battered, stained ones that a good friend rescued," she said.
Debbie O'Flynn has a tree full of ornaments that bring back memories. Her most cherished is a "sister" ornament found by her niece in an envelope addressed to Debbie after her sister had died.
"Every year my husband, son and I have a tree-decorating party," she said. "We carefully unwrap and lay out every ornament and take a walk down memory lane before trimming the tree. It's all about the memories!"
Reach Denise Neil at 316-268-6327 or

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12.22.12 the best neighbors

I'm surrounded with great neighbors in every direction. To my south is 93-year-old World War II veteran Benny. He's pretty amazing. He was taking care of his gigantic lawn all by himself up until this year. 
He also is the loving caregiver for his sweet wife. About 18 months ago she was given a few months to live and when I call her and ask her how she's doing she always says the same thing, "Well, I'm still here. Benny is very good to me." He's also good to me. Every Christmas he gives me a cheeseball and nuts.

Friday, December 21, 2012

12.21.12 window display

They always do a great job on their window displays. The drum tree is new this year.

12.20.12 snugging

We've spent a lot of time snugging on the couch together during my recovery period. I'm finally ready to re-enter the land of the living.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12.19.12 my nightstand

Recovering from my surgery has not been easy but today (December 20) I finally feel like I'm on the mend. I've been in a little mini-coma having slept through 44 of the past 48 hours.

12.18.12 left eye

This is the very high-tech way they prepped me before surgery. Can't tell you how many times they asked me my date of birth and which eye they were scraping.

12.17.12 furry friends

Getting one last good look of my furry friends before my eye surgery. I think they'll probably be fuzzy friends for a day or so after my corneal scrape.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

12.14.12 coffee is


12.13.12 Castle Inn Riverside

After living in Wichita for 13 years I've been in nearly every building in the city but the elusive castle in Riverside. I can finally check that off my list after spending the past two days in that beautiful place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12 back to Walton

The boss thought it would be a good idea to shoot this tree a little later in the day (something I couldn't do the day before on accounta I misplaced the tripod adapter for my lens). I hate it when he's right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12.11.12 Walton, Kan.

Thanks to Eric for finding this gem.

12.10.12 eye doc

My left eyeball has been struggling for the past two months and hasn't completely healed. I found myself back at the eye doc in a lot of pain setting up an appointment for a surgery next week. I should be feeling much better after that.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

12.06.12 Holiday Open House

Got to see a lot of the newsroom kiddles at the Eagle's Holiday Open House. I photographed the birth of the little one in the red. That seems like yesterday but was nearly six years ago. The little pink bear just arrived under two weeks ago.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12.05.12 YMCA

The last day of the original downtown YMCA. It's worn down to the nub and a shinier version will open next door in a few days. This is Patti and she basically runs the joint. We've known each other for ten years.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12.04.12 Our Lady of Guadalupe

Stumbled onto a celebration yesterday that was mostly over when I found it (of course). The good news is that I discovered there are many more Lady of Guadalupe celebrations going on over the next week and I was invited to another one. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12.02.12 Wellington


12.01.12 Bad kitteh

Mara's first Christmas with her furever family. She was born Dec. 15 but wasn't quite old enough to enjoy the holiday (tree).