Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of the Year/New Word of the Year

Yikes. It feels like the last few weeks have just flown by! I can't believe it's New Years Eve already. We won't be doing much of anything. I do ring my Mum and 'see in' the new year with her. It's something we've done for years now.

Daughter made it home. She said it got a bit hairy around the bottom of Lake Michigan - near white-out conditions, but when she got past that it wasn't too bad. Just a long drive. It ended up taking her close to twelve hours. At least she made it home safely. Middle son came up to visit though I wish he'd stayed home as it snowed a little more, the roads are really bad and there have been a lot of accidents. People still seem to drive really fast for the conditions. Hopefully once he's home my stomach will settle.

The New Year got me thinking about a new word for the year. Do you ever choose a new word for a new year? It's a word you're supposed to choose that best describes what you would like to obtain in the new year. That's the way I take it anyway.

Last year my word was ADVENTURE. I wanted to try new things and go new places. Overall I think I did pretty well. Hubby and I had lots of new adventures - we went to some new places and did some new things. It was a really good year for adventures though we never reached some of our other goals. I've been trying to think of my word for next year. I wanted one that could encompass lots of different things. I've thought about using BOLD - I'm shy and an introvert so that would be daring, or CREATE - something I definitely want to do next year, but I settled on EXPLORE.

I think it's pretty similar to last year, but it sets up nicely what I plan on doing - explore new places and new things, explore new ventures in life, explore new creative things I'd like to give a go or finish. So that's my word.

I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve. Stay safe and warm. See you next year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Another Snowy Day...and Daughter on her Way

It's another snowy day here in Michigan. It probably snowed another 5+ inches overnight and it is blowing and drifting. A terrible day for daughter to have to make the 9+ hour drive back to Minnesota. Luckily most of the snow is lake effect so once she gets past the snow belts the roads should be clear. We were going to take the dog for a long walk before they set off on the drive but the snow was pretty deep and we didn't manage to go far down by the trails.

As it was so bad we worked out another way she could go to avoid the worst of the drifting/blowing snow and bad roads so we led the way down to the toll road. I must admit that I kept my eyes closed most of the journey - no I wasn't driving! I hate snow but especially hate drifting and blowing snow along with icy conditions. There were spots where it was almost a white-out.

She's now driving the rest of the way by herself. She should be past the worst of it now but I won't be completely relaxed until she is completely home so only a few more hours of worrying. As Mums do we ever stop worrying?

Our snowy walk. There were men ice-fishing out on the lake. Brave, brave people!

I hope everyone is enjoying a calm Saturday!

Friday, December 29, 2017


It's daughter's last day here today. Tomorrow morning she'll be heading back to Minnesota. I'm not looking forward to her going. It's a really long drive and the weather here isn't good. It's been snowing quite a bit more - with more to come - and pretty cold. Apparently it's even colder where she'll be going - the temperature in St. Cloud today is -1F/-18C but it feels like -28C. I think I'll be waiting a while before I make a trip there! I worry because of the roads and the snow. I'm hoping she'll get a break and it won't be too bad or maybe the motorways won't be too bad.

We're just hanging out at home today. We went for a really long, snowy, cold walk yesterday and my ankle and leg are playing up. Walking in the snow seems such hard work! After that we took MIL out shopping to some craft shops so we were on our feet all day. It was nice to get out with MIL. She doesn't ever go out except with FIL. I used to try to get out with her but she always said she had to check with him and I sort of gave up. I am determined to do more with her next year. She's a lovely lady who accepted me into the family with open arms despite never meeting me until hubby and I got married.

She's also super talented. She made us all these lovely slipper/sock things for Christmas as well as these cute jumper ornaments that had money tucked up inside. The details are just amazing!

She also made some blankets. She has been ultra-busy! 

These are a couple of the numerous ornaments she's made over the years too. Very talented lady.

I'm going to enjoy these last few hours with daughter. We both had a laugh watching this squirrel trying to feed from the bird feeder. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Boxing Day

We're doing middle son's Christmas today as he had to work yesterday. Apparently newspapers don't have the day off lol. I suppose it sort of worked out as he lives by the lakeshore and they were under a Winter Storm Warning so driving in would have been really bad. The snow here is quite thick on the ground. Hubby said he brushed 10 inches off daughter's Jeep! We did manage to go out for a walk today. Daughter's husky loves the snow and cold - and it was cold this morning - it's -13C/8F at noon. We bundled up in long undies, hats, scarves and mittens. Daughter and I even had some handwarmers in our gloves. It was so cold we ended up with frozen hair and the dog had icicles on her chin.

The walk was beautiful. We went to the Not-so-Magnificent Pines walk. Still not sure why they are not magnificent. I like them!

I have some sorting and cleaning to do. I got lots of really nice things for gifts including some new photography toys to play with. The best thing, as always, was spending time with family. Hope everyone had a good day. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

White Christmas

We woke up this morning to a snowy Christmas morning. We got quite a bit of snow overnight and everything is coated with a thick layer. It's very pretty but not good for travelling in. It is still snowing quite crazily so there will probably be a lot more.

I was lucky enough to get a new computer for Christmas! So very thankful! My old computer gave up the ghost so this is a lovely and welcome surprise.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day. It's a little sad here as I'm away from Mum and other family and middle son has to work today, but I'm thankful for those around me. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Update

Daughter arrived safely yesterday. It was a long drive for her - over 10 hours. She's currently napping on the settee with Shasta sleeping on the floor in front of her. I think they are both really tired!

The wrapping is mostly done. I only have a couple of odd bits that had arrived in the last day or so. Gifts are all purchased. I have a couple of food items to pick up tomorrow.  I have a plan to make the food over the next couple of days. I'm feeling pretty organized. I can't believe it will soon be over. It seems like an awful lot of planning for just one day.

My crafty gifts are all made. Mum got her box too. Here are the books I made my hubby and daughter.

Daughter's is all about her dog. It is completely made from scratch. I started with cardboard and paper. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Because of the space I needed I 'cheated' with hubby's and ended up using a pre-made album I had on hand. I wanted to add little bits of 'chat' to the photos so he could remember some of the walks we've taken this year. I hope he's excited to receive it!

I even managed to enlarge and frame a couple of my photos for son who is forever complaining of bare walls!

I think there might even be time to go for some walks with the dog this weekend! Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My 'Baby'

My baby turned twenty-four today. Sadly I don't get to see her for her birthday as she's in Minnesota I'm in Michigan. She will be home in a couple of days. I'm glad she gets to spend it with a lovely guy she's met. I miss her but getting used to her being gone. I'm so proud that she took a big step moving all by herself over 600 miles away and starting new. She's loving her job and the new friends she's made. My baby has flown the nest. Feeling a little melancholy.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Still Snowing.

Winter has really arrived in Michigan. Is it over yet? I'm hoping the weather clears up a little next week as daughter well be driving nine hours to get here for Christmas. Yikes.

I got my mum's albums and calender finished but was in such a rush to get to the post office inbetween snow storms where the roads were somewhat clear that I forgot to take photos of them. I did take photos of the cards I've made. Sigh.

Hope everyone is having a good week and the weather is being friendly!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter has Arrived

The snow has come and will apparently be here all week long. It's a good excuse to stay inside and get things done that need to be done. I don't like driving in it. We did go out for a snowy walk on Saturday. The place was really close by and quite beautiful.

Friday, December 8, 2017

First Snow

It's always something magical when we get the first snow of the season. By January we'll be tired of it but there is nothing like waking up that first morning and seeing the white snowflakes glistening in the morning sun.

This Thursday I was up bright and early. I don't like driving in the snowbit I decided to brave it so I could rush out and get some photos. I just managed to get up the hill that we live on and on the way back I almost slid past the driveway but it was worth it.

I would have added more as these are on my Instagram account but my computer is playing up again and doing nothing.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Not too much of a weekend here. Both oldest son and hubby worked Saturday. They were pretty tired out today as they worked 56 hours this week and will be doing the same next week. Having work is good but son has been working overtime for a while now and it's beginning to wear him down a little.

Hubby wasn't in the mood for a long walk today so we decided just to go to the beach and take a walk along. Nothing too strenuous. It was a lovely day, cold at first but sunny. It warmed up later. It's funny to walk along the beach at this time of year as the barriers are up to stop the sand from blowing too much and there is debris on the beach. In the summer everything is pristine.

The slabs on the second photo aren't rocks they are slabs of sand that have fallen down from the cliffs above. It seems some sand has already frozen and then melted causing it to fall.

 I have managed to get some of my crafting done - 2 albums for Mum and 1 for hubby. I was feeling quite good about it - until December hit. This week I am going to write a list so I can try to get somewhat organised.

I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

Tonight was the night of the supermoon. I gave it another go and tried to take a photo. I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I actually worked out how to put the tripod together this time!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Busy, busy, busy

I always feel that, now I'm home, I should have masses of time on my hands to get plenty of things done. It doesn't always seem like that though. Sometimes I feel the days slipping through my fingers and I feel as though I'm a hamster running around on one of those wheels. I am getting projects done - slowly but surely. I have two of my mum's albums done and I've started on hubby's. I still have at least three calendars to do and another album as well as Christmas cards. I keep telling myself that it is still November - but my Mum reminded me that the last day of November is tomorrow. Seems once we hit December time will just fly by.

The weather here is still pretty nice. Yesterday was pretty warm for us. It means the nature walk I go on was quite busy. I must admit to liking it a little quieter. Sometimes I just stand still and listen to the birds tweeting around me singing their songs. It's a lovely way to start the day. I need to make the most of it while I still can. Snow will be coming. Michigan never escapes the snow. It's then that I won't be able to get out so often and the winter will seem to drag by.

I hope everyone is having a good week and getting things done!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Black Friday Shopping Anyone?

I didn't. We ended up going on lovely walk up and down the sand dunes to end up along Lake Michigan. From there we took a drive up the lake shore to drop off middle son's Thanksgiving food as he had to work on the day. After that we visited the lighthouse as he lives pretty close to it. A lovely day out. Not a frenzied crowd in sight. Well, except at a place near the lighthouse where there were live reindeer that children could pet.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

All is quiet...

It's quiet in the house. Hubby is all tucked up in bed and oldest son is playing video games downstairs. They are both glad to have a day off tomorrow. Hubby worked OT last week. He's getting older now so those 55+ hour weeks take a toll more easily. Son has been working 55+ hours for several weeks now so he's keeping his fingers crossed that he will have the whole weekend off. It depends on the jobs that have to get done - they might call him in. They will be off tomorrow and we'll be over at MIL for Thanksgiving.

The holidays always feel strange to me. I try to keep a cheery face but it's a little sad when I'm not actually spending time with the rest of my family. Daughter and middle son won't be around this year either so feeling a little more down than usual. I will enjoy spending time with MIL and chatting with her sister who always has good stories to tell.

I have finished putting photos in two albums now! So happy. I have to do embellishments and hopefully they won't take long. If I can work on Mum's calendar it will be all three of hers done and I can actually get them in the post early. My goal is to at least finish with the embellishments by next week.

I'm still getting out and about for walks. There has been a chill in the air, but no snow yet so I'm still getting out while I can. Saw this lovely stag/buck this morning. Truly a magnificent sight. I stood and watched him as long as I could until he ran off. I think he's the biggest one I've seen. It felt quite magical.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Back in Michigan and Catching up!

It's time to play catch-up! I landed late on Sunday night (almost Monday morning lol), hopped in to bed and got up early to make Sausage Rolls for hubby's Thanksgiving thing at work. I had to drop them off too. Unpacked, cleaned and that was Monday gone! I'm behind on reading comments and blogs. I was concentrating on spending time with daughter. We had a lot of fun!

Sunday was an ultra-busy day. We took Shasta for a walk along the Mississippi River so I could take photos, then we bundled up and went to a husky huddle (so much fun!), Minnehaha Falls, Ikea and finally The Mall of America before daughter dropped me off at the airport. Phew! I was glad to sit down.

Got a few photos to share. This first one is of Shasta - I took lots of photos of her as she is just so cute. This is one of the outtakes of our holiday photo shoot. Daughter signed up to exchange Christmas Cards on her Minnesota Husky group so we wanted some pictures of Shasta in a Christmas theme.

She was not amused. She isn't smiling in any of them. Not surprisingly she kept wanting to eat the dog biscuits!

The husky huddle was so much fun. I love taking photos at those things. The dogs are really expressive and have such personalities. I know that some people are afraid of them, but they were all so sweet. Yes, they bark and (some) howl and they groan and growl at one another, but they all played and ran so nicely and were really well behaved. Here are just a few of the (many) photos I took.

It will be Thanksgiving on Thursday over here in America. It's one of the few American only holidays that I participate in. I will be going over to MIL's with husband and oldest son. My middle son has to work and daughter will be in Minnesota (sniff sniff).

I have to work on Christmas gifts this week too. I have albums/calendars/cards to start and finish! Yikes!