Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Little Bit of This and That...

Hey it's winter here, cold and snowy. The storms have been inconsistent, but I'm not complaining. We've had some snow, with thaws in between, and some very arctic cold snaps! It's brutal here today, after our latest storm, with tonight going to be down in the low singles to negative numbers. Can you say BRRRRRR?

 Not much going on house-wise, but the writing is back in full swing, now that the holidays are over. I should have another anthology coming out soon. I have novel in editing, and another novel in the second pass mode. I just finished a rewrite of a children's story, bringing it up to full length novella size. I'm also collaborating on a short story with Lee. So I hit the ground running for 2014.

Best part has been, so far this winter, my health has been far better than last year. The eyesight is the big issue right now, but we're working on getting that under control. The grandbaby is growing like a zucchini. He sits up, rolls over, and has learned that a piercing shriek will make the big big people stop doing things he doesn't like. 

Yep, my life is blessed with many good things!

So here are some pictures to let you know how things have been.

 Early December, and we got a dusting of snow. It did not last, but sure looked pretty.

 I love the way it sticks to the brush. You can see some of the trees still had leaves clinging to them. We had not had a lot of cold at that point. That changed!

 The layered clouds in the sky and the angle make this an interesting shot. I keep thinking a frost dragon is going fly in, or a group of long haired, eight foot Yetis will tromp down the hill. But then, I am a writer...

***I got to go thrifting!***

 Could not resist that plaque—how true it is! I stopped telling people, "I don't work," long before the writing bug bit. Being a full time homemaker is a lot of work, because the family depends on you so much. I never really minded, but then I'd had a lot of crappy day jobs previously.

Always love jingle bells for crafts.

 I did not get a good clear side view of this little basket, but it is a nice one. I like this size for holding things like coasters and the note pads on which I write shopping lists.
 The interior really looked good. Baskets are my latest crave in the thrift shops, but I am very picky now. It has to appeal to me on either a decorative or functional level. I pass up 19 out of 20 for that reason.

This was not very profitable day on their account, I think I spent just over $4.

 The ground cleared and then it snowed again. This is how the winter has been shaping up. 

 This was supposed to be a much heavier snow. I am not complaining, although #1 son did. He wanted snow that lasted through his birthday and the holidays. This didn't.

 We moved the small birdfeeders up by the house. I've had these planter poles for many years, and we moved them here last summer. They were too tall for my mother to reach, but by the sidewalk here they are perfect. The birds adjusted quickly. I bought a second set of those mesh balls this year; for me they work out well.

 This is the feeding station up by the house, under the overhang. We have sunflowers on the left, suet in the middle, and thistle and mixed seed on the right. Lots of birds hit these. Below it is a makeshift cart where we fill the feeders and put out a tray of things like wet seed, stale bread, and peanuts for the blue jays.

Yeah, those things in the buckets got put away in the barn.

 A chickadee on one of the ball feeders. I used picture wire to keep the cap handy, in case a wily squirrel knocks it off. We would lose the little tops in the grass. The squirrels have not been too bad here, we don't have a lot of trees right around the house.

 A spectacular winter sunset. This is about mid-December. One nice thing about this open field lot is you can actually see a lot of the sky. So different from my last home at the edge of the state forest.

 Glass worker James Meuginot made these gorgeous holiday ornaments. I was giddy as a kid when I opened that box! I have yet to put them away. I might just hang them in a window for the rest of the year.

Click HERE for Jim's Facebook page.

 A separate look at the peace dove...

and the panda...

Check out Jim's WEBSITE too.

And the stocking. 

He has jewelry, dishes, and all sorts of amazing things. I drool when it comes across my news wall! 

I'm not old enough to have a 30 year old son, am I? Well, #1 somehow turned 30 on December 23. He asked for a toll house pie for his birthday, in lieu of a cake.

 Toll house pie has nuts, and some family members don't like that. So for them, I made old fashioned gingerbread. I did ice it later, but regretted that, because the royal icing was too thick and hard.

And for those of us who need to avoid a lot of sugar, there was an almost sugar free chocolate silk pie. Splenda is the sweetener in this one.

 What would the big holiday be without gingerbread cookies? Yep, made them again this year. The only cookie I've ever been begged to make.
 It took one day to make all the dough; one day to roll, cut, and bake them, and one day to frost them. The frosting day was very long. Worth it though. That time of year, I have a lot of fans! 

 I sent a pan home with my family, a pan over to #2 son's in-laws, and care package to dear Roger in Florida. Yes, we kept a few here too.

After the holidays, I went ***thrifting*** again. My first thrift shop trip of 2014.

 First thing I grabbed. It spoke to me on so many levels... as a writer, a mom, a crafter, and the person at whose house the family loves to gather.

Yeah, it all starts here. Finally, this place feels like home.

 A little more beat up than I normally consider, but not chipped, and it belongs to a set I'd previously found. I love old Pyrex, it reminds me of growing up, and my first apartment. I also love that Woodland Brown pattern.

Someone special gave me a whole box of thrifted rug yarn this year. People know me... I scored this one myself, in a lovely peach/flesh color. You don't see that shade often in rug yarn.

Like I said, I am a sucker for baskets. Wall baskets get some use here, I have one near my desk with handy items I like to keep close by. The bigger one needs a tiny repair, but it was cheap.

This one got put out after I grabbed the others and moseyed off. Good thing I came back! I love those handles.

Wow, we're finally caught up! These next pictures were taken today.

It snowed yesterday afternoon, and into the night. The ground had been bare. Now we have about 5 inches, and it's bitterly cold again.

 The pond is barely in view between the cowbarn roof and the milkroom roof. The milkroom is where I keep my gardening stuff. I got no closer because I was not dressed to venture off the porch.

Yeah, we got our share of icicles. Even though it was a cold day, the lot is open and it was sunny, so there was melting and dripping. My house is so old, it grew a long beard, LOL!

Proof that even when it's cold and dreary, life goes on. This year's potted rosemary is still with us, joined by a half price holiday amaryllis from a kit. This one is supposed to be the pink. Can't wait to see those blossoms!

So here we are at last, all caught up. With three blogs to maintain, pages on Facebook and G+, as well as my family and my writing, it's tough sometimes to get out here and post. I often wonder who, if anyone, reads this blog, because I do see a spike in hits whenever I post something. I am grateful I have Roger here to keep it open, and for the times Lee jumps in with something of his own.

These mature years are supposed to be more restful, and in spite of all the projects I get myself involved in, they are. The difference is, I have far more control over how I decide to spend my time. Now I'm doing many things I love and want to do. These days I can sit back more often to watch the seasons come and go, and the family grow and evolve. I look at my half torn apart house with less anxiousness than confidence. It will get done, eventually. No need to throw away the joys of today, fretting over what should be.

Same way with this blog. Eventually I always find the incentive and time to gather pictures and post about what I've been up to. And please do check out my sister blogs, COMPANION DRAGONS TALES and WRITING FROM HOME to see what I'm doing 'at work'. Oh believe me, writing is work, but it's work that I love. Hopefully, some of you will love what I've done whenever I've had any 'spare time' too.

Be well,

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