Monday, January 12, 2015

It's a Cold January!

It's been cold around here so far this month.  Cold November, warm December, cold January...we seem to have a regular weather pattern happening!  I'll take a warm February, and a vacation in March!  

I haven't wanted to venture outside to take pictures very often this month, this one was taken from the kitchen window.  The squirrel's fluffy tail seems to serve a nice purpose in keeping them warm.  And besides, if they had skinny tails they would look a lot like rats!

Billy spent his last week of winter break hanging around home thinking of things to do.  He decided to make some chocolate roses for his girlfriend.  Thanks to google, they turned out pretty good!  He put them on top of frosted cupcakes when all was said and done.  Funny what they'll do for a girl!

We went and watched my great niece play hockey last weekend.  Or is is grand niece?  My niece's daughter, how's that.  They are pretty cute playing hockey at that age!  They sure bounce up faster from falling than I would!

Sunday was a lazy day of watching football.  Billy went back to college, Brian was spending the day with friends, Eric was getting ready for a business trip...and I was lazy.  So lazy that I didn't even attempt to take a picture until well after dark.  It was a good test of the higher ISO settings on my camera.  Shot out of the dining room window...not too grainy at 3200 ISO.

A cold Monday, catching up on a few things.  It seemed like a good day to take a picture of my arrangement that is on my front step.  Mostly because I was out of other ideas.  I'm in need of inspiration, or at least warm weather.

The good news is that things are supposed to warm up by the weekend.  Maybe getting outside will help me out of my photo slump.  It can't hurt!  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Catzilla and a Tiger

The cute and cuddly Greta becomes catzilla when she decides to terrorize my Christmas village.

The big ferocious tiger at Como Zoo looks a lot like a cute and cuddly cat when it takes a nap in the snow.  So many things in life are just a matter of perspective.

The winter days seem too cold to bear.  But the polar bear doesn't mind being bare.  He was happy to be swimming and playing in the ice cold water.  Like I said, it's all a matter of perspective.  I think he sort of looks like a big happy dog.

He'd probably like to have a nice big bear hug and a scratch behind the ear about as much as that tiger would.

I'm guessing that he'd take that hug and a scratch or two right before he ate you for lunch.  I think I'll just admire him from behind the glass.  And that's all I have for today.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Whole New Year

Christmas quickly came and went, followed by New Years flying past taking all of my resolutions right along with it.  So it goes.  Why does it seem like everything can change with the coming of a new year?  The hopeful feeling that it brings is a good thing I guess.  We're a full week into the new year, that hopeful feeling of actually doing things differently is fading fast!   So here we are, instead of blogging more regularly as I had planned for the new year it's photo of the day catch up time.  My intentions were good, my follow through not so much.

I took this picture of a beautiful lit tree way back in the middle of December.  It was actually only 3 weeks ago, but it feels like ages ago.  I had one really busy shopping day for Christmas, no time for a photo with my camera, so I resorted to a cell phone picture.  The tree was gorgeous, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Our bird feeders aren't as busy as in years past, I think our cat has a lot to do with that!  It was a treat to see this cardinal on a snowy day.

It took well over a week for me to get over the crud I had caught when I was in Vegas.  Being totally worn out during the weeks leading up to Christmas isn't a good thing.  We slowly got things done.  The angel is one of the first things to go onto the tree.

December brought a string of really dark, cloudy days.  Temps were warmer than normal, but the sun never came out.  I snapped a picture of some of my Christmas decorations during one of the rare times that the sun peaked out.

Really busy days, dreary days, neither are very conducive to taking photos everyday.  It's a good challenge I guess.  This horse and sleigh are a part of my winter village.

Ornaments, one of my go to items for photos this time of year.  Santa skipped his sleigh and just hopped on his reindeer's back.

I have a couple of collections of horse ornaments.  I love taking them out every year.

I made scarves for the girls in my family this year.  These were for my sweet great niece.  The one with the frog is flannel on front and back, the one with the flowers was flannel on one side and a soft corduroy on the other.  It was a project that I sort of made up as I went along.  Scarves with hand cut felt application's in the corners.  Not a great picture, but I liked how they turned out.

We scurried about to get things done the day before Christmas Eve so we could get to the farm in time to go to a very special candle light church service.  It used to be so beautiful and so special. This year it was filled with very loud and very restless children.  I actually regretted rushing through things to get there in was that bad.  I do totally understand that kids will be kids, what I don't understand is parents that don't bother to parent those kids.  On a lighter note, this fluffy chickadee can't keep her little ones quiet either.

We enjoyed a warmer than normal Christmas Day at Eric's folks house.  The woodpecker was busy at the feeder enjoying some Christmas suet.

We came home late Christmas night and the boys opened their gifts.  Considering they both insisted they didn't want gifts, they were both pretty excited to have some things to open!  They are still little boys at heart, I love it.

The day after Christmas, Eric was hit by the stomach flu.  Brian came down with a horrible migraine.  Not much fun.  It was a quiet day around here.

The following day the stomach bug hit me.  Wow, it was really unpleasant!  For a person that rarely gets sick, catching two nasty bugs in one month was a little hard to handle!

I'm hoping that it means we are done with illness around here for a while.  It was a good reminder not to take our health for granted, that's for sure.

With my energy and creativity at such a low, the horse ornaments came in pretty handy for my photos of the day.

I got this cute Clydesdale for Christmas last year, but it seemed new because this was the first year it hung on the tree.

I usually take my tree down around New Years, but since we put it up so late this year, it stayed up a little longer than normal.  It's down now, and sadly still out on the curb.  Our garbage man didn't take it away on Tuesday like we thought he would.  Hopefully we didn't miss the pick up date!

Eric and I took a quick trip over the the Como Park Conservatory to see the poinsettia display while it was still there.  So did half of the Twin Cities.  It was crowded there!  I did manage to get a couple of pictures without people in them.  I liked this one the best.

We drove up to the farm to spend Saturday with my mom.  It's always good to check in on my horses.  Czar must have been enjoying his hay, he even had some in his mane.

They are always happy to have a little extra feed when I come to see them.

On Sunday the temps dropped.  It's been bitterly cold ever since.  The type of cold where you stay inside unless you really have to go out.  Stay inside and smell the flowers cold.

It gave me a chance to get all of the Christmas stuff put away.  I love the little lights, part of me would like to keep those up all winter, but the clutter of Christmas needed to go, so the lights did too.  So my pictures will probably be mostly flowers again.

Flowers and cats.  This clay bowl is Greta's very favorite place to sleep.  Apparently it's the perfect size and shape. She is the strangest cat.

But she provides some entertainment around here, and that's not such a bad thing.  With these cold days, taking a nap in a bowl is starting to seem like a good idea.

Well, the nap part sounds good anyway.  It's a New Year, some changes might happen around here eventually.  Until then, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tis the Season

I'm pretty sure that the older I get, the shorter the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas becomes.  I'm more behind with my Christmas preparations than I've ever been.  Yikes.  So, what do I do?  I put it off for a while longer and try to catch up with my blogging.  Lots of pictures, so I won't talk much today. :-)

Bird.  Just kidding.  It was cold in November, the birds kept pretty busy at the feeders.

I had a birthday. Yay.  This is a miniature bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Carrot!  Happy Birthday to me!

Birthday is done, time to get ready for Thanksgiving.  I bought a few grocery store bouquets and did my own arrangements.  It's always fun to play with flowers!

I had a long day of prep work the day before Thanksgiving.  I think I watched "Gone with the Wind" 4 times while in my kitchen chopping and cooking and arranging flowers.  I missed parts here and there, so it was fun to have on in the background.  A woodpecker came to visit our bird feeder...somewhat rare to see around here!  Glad I had the camera handy to take a quick picture before he flew off!

Thanksgiving table.  After all the cooking I can never seem to taste what I've eaten.  I think my center piece was off-center.  Oh well.

I am not an after Thanksgiving shopper.  I'm a sit around and watch the cats rester.  Meaning I'm too tired after getting my house cleaned and Thanksgiving on the table to even think about leaving my favorite chair.

It seems to me we should spend the weekend being thankful rather than dropping everything and preparing for Christmas.

But nope...Santa arrives on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We weren't at a High School football championship game this year so we went to the Lighting Festival in our little home town.  It was a challenge to get me out of that chair, I'll say that much!

But the next day I got to look this big boy in the eye and tell him that I was thankful to be able to give him a treat...

...and a hug.  Those poor horses having to deal with a very early cold winter.  But now they've had a reprieve with above average days and temps in the 50's in December.  Not sure if it's global warming, but the weather sure has been mixed up!

Billy was thankful to be able to give Czar some loving too.

Czar doesn't look nearly as tall next to Billy.  I might have to save this picture for the next time Billy says his hair isn't red.  :-)

Skylar says...hay got any sweet feed for me??

You do?  Sweet!  I'll be smiling all day!!

That horse is a push over.

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving I made a quick Christmas decoration so I could get a picture of the boys before Billy went back to college.  They thought that the cats needed to be included.

My Thanksgiving tulips faded fast.  I kind of like tulips when they burst open....I think that they are interesting inside.

Eric and I were getting ready for a quick trip to Las Vegas, which meant that if I wanted the get the family calendars and a few other things printed in time for Christmas, I needed to get at it.  There is something about searching through pictures that makes me not want to pick up the camera at all.  I searched through a years worth of photos.  I'm never taking another picture again!

Well, I will, and I did, but I sure didn't take many while in Vegas!  Our flight was delayed a few hours on our way there.  Eric's sisters flight was cancelled, then the next flight delayed...after 10 hours of delays they finally arrived.

The weather in Vegas was outstanding.  I pretty much brought all of the wrong clothes thinking it would feel colder.  This was the view from our room.

On Friday night we went to the NFR....National Finals Rodeo.  Best rodeo ever.  Crummy cell phone picture, but I didn't want to deal with the camera in there!

Saturday we wandered around, ate, gambled, I lost, ate some more, gambled some more and saw Penn and Teller.  Great show.  How do they do what they do??

On Sunday Eric's sister and her husband headed for home, we headed back to the rodeo.  I was starting to feel pretty worn out, but wasn't going to miss the rodeo!

On Monday I woke up with a nasty cold.  And it was our day to fly home.  Ugh.  Sudafed, a nap, and trying not to breath on anyone in my little tiny space in the seemed like a long flight home.

Tuesday, after catching up with a little work my view for the rest of the day was this.

I'm thankful that I work from home.  I was really busy with work from Wednesday thru Friday, and I didn't need to worry about coughing and sneezing on anyone but me.

Saturday was Eric's birthday, he shares his birthday with his foster sister Dawn.  We usually have the birthday celebration for them here.  This year, we got the email from Dawn that she'd be happy to have it at there place this year....OK!  Whew!  Because between Thanksgiving, our trip, and then getting sick and getting behind in work, our house wasn't quite ready for company!

 Our outside lights are up.  The photo above is of some of our lights.  The one below is just one house from a neighborhood in Eden Prairie that has the most amazing light display.  Their backyard has even more lights, but there isn't a good place to take a picture.  It's spectacular!  And it's not going to happen here!

Anyway, I'm way behind with all of my Christmas stuff.  And I just found out that one of the main things that I am having printed probably won't be here until the 26th.  It took a lot of time to pull together, I thought I had ordered in time, and then today I saw the fine print.  The fine print is usually the most important information and really should be the large print.  So frustrating.  Everything except for the product that you ordered will get there before Christmas.  Gee, thanks.

Oh well, Christmas will come whether I'm ready or not.  So I might as well just get what I can done.  Eric and Brian went and picked out a tree.  The lights are on it and I'm going to tackle the ornaments today. The garlands are up around the house.  My winter village is up.

Now I just need to find some extension cords.  And do my cards.  And wrap the few gifts that did get printed in time...after I buy paper...and finish making the handmade gifts I started, and shop for the other gifts that I haven't gotten. And bake.  And sigh.  I guess I should have started in October.

I always know that it's just gets here a lot faster than I think it will!  I hope that all is calm in your part of the world.  Thanks for stopping by!