Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter Solace

I relay hate mowing around these trees in the summer months.  Round and round and round, getting slapped in the face with branches, bugs falling off the leaves and onto and into uncomfortable places.  And, I still have to finish with the trimmer to really make it look nice.  I'm too fussy, I know, I know.
But just look at them in the winter!  Several months of them looking gorgeous without any attention from me.  In the winter, I love these rows of trees.



With that, here is little poem I whipped up.  I'm sure it's destined to be among the greats...

Winter Solace

A long tunnel of trees
Swaying gently in a breeze.
The leaves clatter,
Sounding like rain.
Letting me forget the pain
Caused to me all summer.
Mowing around them
Was such a bummer.
Bugs getting in my hair,
Missing strips everywhere.
Then in Autumn
Offering up their leaves,
No longer showy in a breeze.
Snow slowly gathers round
Old Jack, no longer bound.
There is nothing I need do
To keep the land
Looking tidy and neat.
Winter solace has set in
All I do is drag my feet.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

KItty Christmas

I did not think I would be doing another post until after Christmas, but when my daughter decided to make everyone in the family a special card, and I fell in love with all of them, well, I just had to share them.  She asked me to pick a favourite and I really couldn't. You'll see what I mean...






I shared this post HERE for Mosaic Monday.  Thank-you so much Judith for hosting!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Half Way Through

After spending the last two days cooking and hosting, it will be nice to take a break before getting together with our other side.   Although it was fun, and I was well prepared so everything ran smoothly, it still tired me out.  
Sitting down at the computer and having plenty of time to type up a few words and play my part in a link party while sipping my tea, is a wonderful thing.  While some people have not even started their holiday obligations, mine are nearly half through.  
My munchkins go back to school on the fourth, so that leaves me with plenty of time to snuggle up and enjoy my little family of four, (10 if you're counting our pets).  Yes, we are outnumbered by the animals we so love.
I've really enjoyed visiting the blogs during the link parties, and it is great how everyone returns the visits.  It truly is a wonderful community, and one that I don't have to venture out into the cold to enjoy!  It just doesn't get better than that.  
That said, my internet wasn't working properly on Friday, so I have some catching up to do with my share of the visiting.
Wishing everyone a cozy and Merry Christmas!  

I'm sharing this little winter montage over at The Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday, and also at NatureFootstep.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Ornaments

I love all of my Christmas ornaments, and have collected them slowly over the past 20 years.  Here are 5 of my favorite and I'm sharing this post on Amy's lovely blog for Five on Friday.

I hope you all are enjoying the time leading up to the holidays.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meet Frank

Who knows what sort of bird this little guy was modeled after, but my husband called him "Frank the Finch', so there it is.  Frank came home with me one day, because he wouldn't stop whining about how lonely he was on that shelf.  I tried to reason with him, and explained that he had a huge family surrounding him.  He continued to complain saying that their beaks must have been attached improperly, because they couldn't chatter it up like he could.  All they could do was mumble inaudible sounds.
So, I let him hop into my cart, and he hasn't shut up since.  He even insists I take him on walks, which I refused to do for a long time, explaining that if my dog ever got hold of him, it would be his end. But he persisted, and so I eventually gave in, thinking to myself that if Bear did catch him, it might not be the worst thing.
He perched himself on my shoulder, and out we went.  I had my camera, I always have my camera, and why wasn't I surprised when Frank asked me to take his picture?  He spotted the perfect place on top of a fence post with a nice backdrop, so I indulged him.  And really, don't tell him this, his ego is big enough, but wouldn't this photo make the most adorable Christmas card?

It hardly shows the fence I was beside when Frank hopped off my shoulder and onto one of the larger posts, but I am sharing this with Good Fences over at The Run "A" Round Ranch Report.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Spruce


This giant, 100 year old spruce stands in the formal part of my yard less then 50 feet East of my living room window. 
It is many things to my family; my son's favourite tree to climb, a place to feed and watch the birds, a perfect shade cover during the summer's hottest days and a wonderful place to stand under a canopy of freshly fallen snow and listen to the deep quiet of winter. 
I love this tree.

Mosaic Monday

All of these photos were taken in the late fall before our big snowfall last week.  The casual, easy walking over the prairies is over!  I can also forget about having a fire, because the snow is sure piling up around the pit.  But, the landscape is lovelier then ever, and the birds seem more active, like now is the time get serious, because winter has finally arrived and finding food isn't as easy as it was a week ago.  Don't worry little guys, I'll keep the bird seed coming...

This post was created for Mosaic Monday...HERE.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sooty

During the first week of my life, I was given a black kitten.  My parents named him Zeke, and that cat was mine through and through for nearly 18 years.  I was devastated when he passed away. 

It was nearly 3 years later, out and living on my own, that I went down to the local shelter with the intention of adopting a black kitten.  But instead, I met Winnie, a 3 year old former barn cat.  This cat stole everyone's heart and had been in the shelter for months, even when other kitties were being euthanized due to a lack of room for all the strays. 

I took Winnie home, renamed him Zeke, Jr. and Junior became his name.  I had him for 17 years, and he died at the age of 20.  I did not expect the grief that hit me when that cat passed away.  I had grieved over other pets before; our wonderful Shepard, Ginger; our sweet, but weird Sarah cat, but nothing prepared me for Junior.  Plenty of people advised that I go out and rescue another cat ASAP, and I tried, I did look.  But I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  It didn't feel right, I just wasn't ready.

In June of 2014, my sister's cat had a whole troop of wee black kittens.  Of course, we had to visit, but I did not go with the intention of bringing one home.  So there we are, watching what might be one of the sweetest moments of my life, a group of tiny black kittens, running and jumping around the kitchen floor.  I love all cats, but the soft spot I have for black cats obviously started very early into my childhood.  I feel connected to them, the black ones, all of them. It is one of the few things in my life I truly feel a connection to.

None of the little black kittens really stood out to me, and so I thought that this was not the day that I would fill that gap in my life, and I began to feel very sad about it.  Then, one of the wee ones broke away from his brothers and sisters, wandered over to where I was standing, a good 7 feet away, and the little stinker curled up on my foot, and started napping there.  I held my breath, bent down and scooped him up into the palm of my hand and placed him under my chin.  He snuggled in even closer, and purred.
 
We drove straight from my sister's place in the country to the city 30 minutes away, to have a quick stop at the vet and get everything we needed to raise our new kitten.
 
Sooty is definitely known as my cat in our household.  He regularly seeks out my lap, and will not take no for an answer.  If I'm not around, he will sometimes snuggle up on my husband, but it is usually on his favourite chair in corner of the upstairs sitting room that you can find him. 

I'm sharing this post at Viewing Nature with Eileen for Saturday's Critters.

Sooty



Friday, December 11, 2015

Snow Day!

It has been a wonderful, drawn out fall.  I've enjoyed easy walks around my yard well into December, and more time outdoors than I usually get during these first two winter months. This balance between indoors and outdoors is essential to keeping me feeling good.  I hate being cooped up in the house for too long without a breath of fresh air.  It makes me tired, and I'm a grouch when I'm tired.

Yesterday, Old Man Winter decided to correct his oversight in our corner of the world, and deposited between 6 and 8 inches of snow.  It looked light and fluffy, but it was actually very dense and it took a lot of work on my husband's part to tidy up the driveway.

The prairie I walk in out back was so completely whited out, it seemed as though I was getting nowhere, even though I could clearly feel the muscles in my legs straining to get me through the snow.  It is actually quite dizzying to be looking at nothing but pure white and trying to move forward.  I had to look up and use the the trees around the yard to anchor my vision and steady myself.

Nonetheless, it is beautiful out there, and it does suit the season so much more than the dull browns of the dead prairies.

Here is a collection of 5 photos from yesterday, 5 for Five on Friday - HERE.










Thursday, December 10, 2015

Foggy Morning

This dreamy photo was taken yesterday morning when the fog was so thick, it blurred out what would have been a blinding sunrise.  It was a lovely, quiet morning for a walk.  Today's morning is quite a different scene, and I have yet to get out there and photograph it.  We had at least 6 inches of fluffy snow fall and it is still lightly coming down.  I'll get pictures of that up later. But for now, this one, because I really wanted to take part in Good Fences, HERE.  Have a great day everyone!




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Kitty

Christmas exploded into our home yesterday!  I spent the entire day putting up everything but the tree, and after dinner we all joined in decorating and that made this the first year that we have all worked together on the main tree.  The cats are the ones most excited about the change in decor, but so far, there have been no major mishaps. I did manage to get an adorable picture of my girl kitty, Georgia which I just have to share.  I hope everyone is having fun getting ready for the holidays! After getting all the decorations up in one day, I feel a whole lot better, and now can move on to the baking!

I shared this post at The Enchanting Rose, HERE.




Monday, December 7, 2015

Thirteen!!!

We spent this past weekend celebrating our daughter's 13th birthday with decorations, cake, cards, gifts, and of course, friends and family!  Thank-you to everyone for making my little girl's day so special.  Now, here is a dreamy, (some might say cheesy) collage.





I shared this post HERE for Mosaic Monday.



















Saturday, December 5, 2015

Poetry Love


I took this photo, and was reminded of an old favorite.  The last time I visited this piece was probably 20 years ago, but it still speaks to me.  The winter brings with it a sadness I can relate to.  That does not mean I like to dwell there, but it makes sense to me, and with it's understanding, helps me to better accept the difficult things in life.


What does this poem say to you? 

Winter: A Dirge

The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw;
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,
The joyless winter-day,
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Pow’r Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want (O, do Thou grant
This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Morning Greetings With Last Night's Sunset

I'm taking my morning tea with Lightroom and a few of last night's photos.  As I'm typing, I keep looking up and out a window from my basement and just noticed  a blue jay that has perched himself on a branch.  Maybe I will be lucky enough to capture him in a photograph later today.  Our jays seem to be very shy around here though, even though they know who fills their feeder every week. Oh, and now I see a very large woodpecker, another camera shy bird.  Maybe I need a more powerful lens, so I can get up close without having to get up close.
On a different note, I have a nephew who is turning 19 today, and I was able to claim him for lunch this afternoon.  He is the oldest of all my sister's and my children, and there are 10 of them.  I am truly looking forward to this get together, as I rarely get to see him on his own. Almost never, in fact. But every time I do see him, he shows me a gorgeous photo of a sunrise or sunset on his phone.  The kiddo's got a natural eye for good composition.
So this photo is for you Jay.  Have a very Happy Birthday!


Monday, November 30, 2015

My Reliable Handsome Fella

I could be referring to my husband with that title, and perhaps I ought to be, but in this case I'm describing my dog. Today, while out for a stroll around the yard with my camera, I noticed that when I stopped to do a few shots, he sat down and waited for me.  As soon as I let my camera hang loose around my neck and took a step forward, he picked himself up, and continued walking.  Once I noticed this behavior, I put it to the test several more times, and without fail, he waited for me to finish, keeping a close eye one me, and when I walked, he walked.  What a wonderful feeling to be so connected through this unconditional love my dog has for me.  If I could give him, (and others) half of what he gives me, I would consider myself enlightened.

I shared this post HERE, at Roses Of Inspiration

Bear

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mystery Bird

Another absolutely gorgeous day!  It is hard to believe that November has very nearly passed us by and it feels like Winter hasn't yet begun. It was above zero today and hardly a breath of wind.  I knew the feeders would be busy, and while it took the wee critters a few minutes to return after I showed up, return they did, and they put on a nice little show.  I would love to name this bird for you, but the only thing that comes to mind is show-off.  He seemed to know what a camera was and just how to hold a pose.  I really enjoyed my visit with him.  I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend and  is all rested up for what I am sure will be a busy week ahead.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Black and White

I've always loved black and white photography. In the past, my own attempts at this art have been more like grey and gray, soothing, but very boring.  I tend to love a black and white that offers a lot of contrast.  The dark blacks make the white shine through almost as though the picture is back lit. I love that! So, with contrast in mind, I set out to create these next images.  I liked the way they turned out.  What do you think of black and white photos?
A view from the top of a small hill in my backyard on my daily walk 

Our poor Christmas tree has taken such a beating from the wind.  This is a view from my yard, across the road
into my neighbors yard.

Night before last, on the night of the full moon, it was thick cloud cover, but last night was very clear. My hands
were frozen and I had even managed to get a couple of fingers stuck to my tripod at one point. Brr.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Morning To Night

The weather allowed for outdoor time all day today.  The day started with a brilliant sunrise, the feeders were frequented by birds, and the evening allowed for a light show with the sparks remaining from burning some brush this afternoon.  Not bad for November the 23rd in the Canadian prairies.

 
 
I shared this post at:
 
 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wish Come True

Well I asked for it!  I begged good ol' Mother Nature to come around and clean things up outside.  All the brown mush was getting on my nerves.  So she dropped the temperature to minus 9C, (-20) with the wind chill, (very, very windy) and dropped a fresh blanket of snow on us.  That is why I'm here today, to show you the unique pattern the snow formed.  It looked like a huge, poofy, looped wool carpet.  I didn't want to walk on it, so as to keep it beautiful.  If it wasn't for the incredible scenery, I would be very upset with the difficult weather. 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Winter Garden

This wasn't our first snowfall, but it feels like it.  It's the real stuff, crunchy and packable, not the mush of the last two.  It made for much prettier photos in the garden too having covering up all that brown.  I enjoyed the fresh palette, a new landscape without leaving my yard.

I shared this post over at The Run*A*Round Ranch for Good Fences.



Monday, November 9, 2015

Mish Mash

I've been working on two things as of late, jewelry and photography.  I put together a quick collage of some of my favourite pieces.  The lovely leftover light from last night's sunset didn't leave me much to work with and I probably should have taken the time to set up my tripod, but I wanted to be quick as I was pulled over on the side of a road.  On my way home from the first session of a photography workshop, I couldn't resist pulling over, but I did wait until I was off the main highway where there was little to no traffic. Unfortunately I missed the best the part of this gorgeous sunset, but a small price to pay for safety.


 
I have a very difficult time taking a sharp photo without a flash, but I am practicing, and what better candidates than the fur babies.  Here is a close-up of each of their cute, little faces.
Crush

Sooty

Georgia Winifred

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Two Too Busy

It's raining/snowing here this morning.  It snaining. Wow, what a muddy mess my yard is. I am looking forward to freeze-up and a nice clean blanket of snow.  Today is pack up Halloween/Fall day.  Then I'll wait a couple of weeks before starting on decorating for winter and Christmas. I don't like looking at seasonal décor for too long.  Mind you, I don't like looking at any décor for too long, and so I am often changing things up.  My family both loves and hates this practice.  My husband cringes every time I pound a new nail into the wall, or 3 because I didn't measure and for some reason my eyeballing technique failed me. Tip: have your glass of wine after you're done redecorating.

My November is looking to be a very busy one.  I've maybe overbooked and even double-booked myself. I have several photography workshops to attend, and there will probably be homework.  I have a craft show I'm taking my jewelry too, (thank you to my husband who has agreed to sit at my table for part of that day). There is a 2 day trip to the big ol' city to get some Christmas shopping done.  A couple of dentist appointments. Piano and art classes to get the kids to.  Several sleepovers.  Add in my daily routine of house chores, and I should be ready to sleep right through December.
 
I do like to be active, as long as I have my evenings on the couch to look forward to. Speaking of evenings, I will leave you with a pretty sunset picture taken a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Halloween Day.  Our weather is not cooperating at all.  It is raining and very windy.  The forecast is promising that it well stop before the evening though and even clear off for Trick-or-Treating.  Even though we are stuck indoors, we are still thoroughly enjoying our day.  We carved jacks this morning and are watching the first Harry Potter while enjoying a few early treats.  The plan is to set the jacks out on the deck when the rain stops and do a photo shoot in our costumes.
Here are a few shots from around the house:
 

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