Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good-bye to November

The last day of November, how did that happen? Things get a little busy here the last few weeks of November. Two birthdays and hosting Thanksgiving dinner....and all that entails...keeps me hopping. I initially typed hoping...there's some hope involved too I guess!

My photo of the day for November 21st. Goblets in my hutch...taken at night. Late enough at night that my camera says it was taken early in the morning of November 22nd. I had forgotten to change the time on my camera for the daylight savings time switch. Darn it...what does that do to my photo of the day streak? That will teach me for waiting too long!

It had been a busy and cold and mixed up day...the Lion's Tap burgers that Eric brought home for supper were more appreciated than ever! Yum!

I tried to take my photo of the day earlier on the 22nd. November is full of cloudy, dark, and short days. I took this picture of the beads on my kitchen curtains. When I made the curtains I added the beads to catch the light. I'm glad that I did....especially on the days when there isn't a lot of light!

Buying groceries for Thanksgiving...overwhelming......made so much easier with Eric's help.

We were able to get almost all of our Thanksgiving groceries in one trip...except for the turkey...and the flowers. Both are important! We found them the next day at Byerly's. Instead of arranging my own center piece I bought a pre-done cornucopia...I love it!

I wasn't thrilled with my photo of the day...so I played with it in photoshop a little bit. This is the same picture using the colored pencils filter...I like it!

My cleaning time on Tuesday was taken over by working time....an unexpected job had come in. I'd rather be designing than cleaning anyway! I'll admit...it was a little stressful thinking about what needed to be done.

November 24th...my birthday. What a wonderful day. The boys had the day off from school, Eric took the day off from work, they cleaned, I cooked and cleaned. It was nice to all be home together. My day started off with a candle in a doughnut. It snowed big fluffy flakes all day and my bird feeder was filled with Cardinals! 5 males and 3 females at one time. So fun to see. My day was also filled with birthday greetings on Facebook. I felt so blessed that so many people took the time to say "Happy Birthday". Very cool.

Thanksgiving day. Brian's 18th birthday...oh my...how did that happen? We had a small group of 8, lots of food and time with family....so much to be grateful for. And I am. Here are my little boys with their grandma Barb. Love the smiles.

On Friday, after sleeping in...and not shopping!.... Eric and I drove to Taylors Falls for the lighting festival. It was a cold, but clear night. Santa arrived, Christmas is here. Are you ready? Me neither.

We came home Friday evening so we could prepare for Brian's birthday party the next day. On Saturday night Brian had 7 of his friends over to watch movies, eat pizza and mostly just be boys. Hmmm...it looks like these two are up to no good.....

...awww....they were just messing with me. How much trouble can you get into when you're eating pizza and drinking root beer?

My photo of the day was one of the roses from my birthday bouquet. Yummy yellow roses.

One of the little bouquets that I had on my table for Thanksgiving...to help balance the cornucopia...and I couldn't not do my own flowers to some extent! This was with my 50mm lens. I'm still learning about what it does...but I like it!

Oh...and the Vikings won! Amazing what a new coach can do. :-)

The long Thanksgiving weekend was followed by a dreary, rainy Monday. A perfect day to be inside, do some cleaning and have some homemade Turkey soup. Yum.

And finally today, now that November is winding down, I'm ready to start thinking about decorating for Christmas. Eric hung the lights outside on Sunday...they look so nice...and today I think we'll get our tree. My new ornament is waiting to have a place to hang for the next month.
It's time.

So there's the recap....goodbye November, December is knocking on the door!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Preparing and Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. There is a lot going on during Thanksgiving week. It's my birthday on Wednesday, we're having family here for Thanksgiving on Thursday....and Brian turns 18 on Thanksgiving day! I've been slowly preparing for it all and remembering how much I have to be grateful for. This post will share my photos of the day for last week, my notes of gratitude that I haven't posted, and a few other odds and ends.

Last week I discovered that I can really clear a room. Just bring out the vacuum cleaner and then the carpet cleaner and the boys flee. All of 'em. The dining room carpeting was smelling a little too much like dog...blech....so I took out the easy to move pieces and cleaned the carpeting. It's smelling much better now.

I had a little bouquet on my dining room table that had some wheat in it. When the bouquet wilted I pulled out the wheat and will put it in my Thanksgiving bouquet. It reminds me of my dad, the farmer. I don't think he ever grew wheat, but that's ok, it still reminds me of him.

I've got a long list of stuff to do before Thanksgiving day...I haven't gotten very far on checking things off, but when I do it sure feels good!

The birds have been busy at the feeders since we still have a lot of snow on the ground. Birds and flowers are a couple of my favorite things to take pictures of...have you noticed? :-)

When ever I have a lot to do around the house it seems that things pick up work wise. No complaints, it just means a little more juggling...and that's ok. I'm grateful for the flexibility of working from home.

Anytime I get something cleaned, the cat has to come in to inspect. If I try to take a picture of her, she leaves. If I try to take a picture of something else she plops herself in the middle of it. How do they know?

Yesterday was one of those days where plans kept shifting and changing and by the end of the day and the daylight I had remembered that I forgot to take a picture. The lamp on my computer table winked at me so I took a picture of the beads at the bottom of the shade. I like it!
I spent yesterday evening helping a friend unpack some of her things into her new house. We tackled the kitchen first, finished that, went out for dinner and then tackled the bedroom and her clothes when we returned. It's good to help friends. Sometimes the moral support is more helpful than the labor.

Most chores are lighter when spending time with a friend...my words of wisdom for the day. Now I have to get back to my list. Oye.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It's been damp and gray and cold and cloudy and even snowy for a while today. It's in the mid 30's, the snow that fell on Saturday is slowly melting and I think that's what makes it feel "to the bones damp". Winter seems to be here, I guess I better just face it. Shiver.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birds and Brian

We took a quick trip to the farm on Sunday. The roads were surprisingly clear after the big snowstorm the day before. We found out that half the town had no electricity. That's not a good thing in the winter time! There were lights at my mom's place though...until just before we were going to eat, then they went out for almost an hour. The good news was that we were spared from watching the Vikings game for a while. The other good news is that I had a chance to get a couple of outside pictures of Brian....in the snow. Luckily it didn't snow enough to make the roads slippery for our trip home.

On the way to my mom's we stopped to pick something up from my niece....and I got to hold baby Avery. What a treat. I forgot to bring my camera into the house....but the highlight of my day was seeing that busy little peanut. :-)

On another note, with all the snow the poor birds are looking for food! I filled up my mom's feeders and the birds came in before I finished! So brave. Here's a Nuthatch.....

....and a Chickadee.

I feed the birds at my house too. The Juncos are here...some are so dark, some have more brown....but no matter the color they are cute and round.

The juncos stuck around until the queen of the feeder arrived. Hello Mrs. Cardinal. There's enough seed for all, you don't need to get so squawky....jeepers. I think she's let her beauty go to her head. We have at least two pair of Cardinals that come to the feeder...they are fun to watch.

My note of gratitude doesn't have anything to do with the birds...it has to do with my boys. We try to eat together as often as we can. Sometimes it's rushed because we have someplace to get to...but it's a priority for us....and I'm glad. We have the best conversations around the table, sometimes serious, sometimes silly...but no matter what they are filled with love.

Full bellys and full hearts...that's a lot to be grateful for!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


We had some snow today. The weatherman predicted it, I didn't really believe it....but they were right, it snowed. A lot. Heavy, wet snow. Mr. Cardinal wasn't happy that the feeder was empty, but I filled them all right after I took a couple of snowy pictures.

We didn't get some of our lawn things put away yet. My angels look sort of cold with all that snow on their heads. I don't think the snow will stay around for very long, the ground hasn't frozen yet, it wasn't very cold today. I'm hoping anyway, so I might have a second chance to bring my lawn stuff indoors.

I knew that we had gotten quite a bit...it snowed most of the day....but then they showed the snow totals on the 5:00 pm news....Eden Prairie was at the top of the list with 11"! It's good to be on top...most of the time. We came out of it ok though, some neighbors lost branches from their trees, others lost power, we just got snow. The driveway has been cleared, the snow blower started on the 2nd pull, and we are enjoying a quiet day at home. Life is good. Time to go find my snuggie!

~ give thanks everyday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vacation and Gratitude

I haven't dropped my idea for posting my daily gratitude notes, it just got delayed a little bit while I was on vacation. Three of my friends and I went on Girls Weekend 2010 to Anna Maria Island in Florida last week. I decided that I needed a break from the computer, so I didn't bring my laptop. Posting from my cell phone was tedious, especially since phone service was sketchy down there...so I opted to wait until I returned. So, here are my photos of the day and my gratitude notes from the last week.
Birds on the beach at sunset on Bean Point of Anna Maria Island. The day we arrived was cold and windy...but we enjoyed a late lunch / early supper on a restaurant on the beach and then the sunset on Bean Point.

Our second day in Florida was cold and windy too....sunny but only 65 degrees or so....so we drove to Orlando and spent the day at Disney's Epcot. It was fun remember the trips we've made there with the boys...in 2000 and again in 2007 I think.

It was crowded because of a wine and food tasting event....and cold...but still nice to spend some time there.

Day 3 warmed up enough to spend some time relaxing at the beach. Anna Maria Island has a beautiful white sand beach that stretches for miles. It has been nearly empty for both trips that we have made there...apparently November isn't a busy season.

Day 4 at Anna Maria was warmer yet. in the morning we took a long walk to the furthest point south on the island. Gorgeous. We saw pelicans diving, sea gulls soaring, an unafraid heron fishing, little birds skittering and even dolphins swimming just off shore. It was nearly as warm in Minnesota that day, but there isn't an ocean gulf there!

We had half a day to enjoy at the island on Tuesday, then it was time to head home. We walked to the pier on the east side of the island and watched the birds. We spent some time in the sun, we saw a sting ray swimming at Bean Point, we had one last meal of sea food...my favorite is shrimp!...and then we headed for the airport for the trip home. Sad to be leaving, but happy at the thought of home. What a blessing to have a wonderful happy home and family to return to.

We got home fairly late, but Brian was still up and happy to see me. The dog was wagging her tail, the cat was snugly and purring, such a nice welcome home. After 4 nights of sleeping on an uncomfortable pull-out sofa my bed never has felt better. First thing in the morning I got up and spent some time with Billy. He was happy to see me too. It's good to be home! The sunrise over the neighbors house wasn't half bad either.

Catching up, reading emails, finishing a couple of jobs, going over pictures to see which ones to post on facebook, talking with my mom....my first day back went quickly! It was good to see that the mums were still blooming on my front step...needing water, but still blooming on Veterans day!.

The boys had the day off from school today. They also have a new video game...so I haven't seen much of them today. It's getting colder, the sun hasn't come out today and the weather forecasters are hollering about a big snow storm for the weekend. I think I have jet lag today, or maybe it was just the late double header volleyball game last night, but I have been feeling sleepy all day. So has the cat, but that's normal for her. The cat and dog have both been hanging pretty close to me today, it's sort of cute. I missed them too.

It's good to be home....and it's good to have so much to be grateful for. I wonder what I will be grateful for tomorrow....having a shovel maybe? We'll have to wait and see.