Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve

Just a quick post today. Hope to have a longer one with goals tomorrow. I'm still working on them! How is that for procrastination? Anyway, just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy New Year. If you're out tonight, stay safe. If you're inside (like I am) enjoy your nice night in. I'm staying inside and will probably read, watch a little telly and maybe do something crafty. I will be ringing my Mum close to her midnight time. We always listen/watch Big Ben and see in the New Year together.

I am spending the day today clearing up and doing some crafty things up in my craft room. It's been a while since I've been up there. I am finishing up my 2018 album - I have actually stuck at this all year!

Here's a photo from our walk yesterday. We were planning to do this walk on New Year's Day, but the sun was actually shining yesterday so we made the most of it!

I took lots of photos yesterday. We walked the 3.6 mile round trip out to Ludington lighthouse. The trail to the lighthouse is through some sand dunes. Although the sun was shining yesterday it was really, really windy. We met one couple on the trail who said they had only got halfway before they turned back as the wind was whipping up the sand and it stung! This photo was taken from the top of a small dune. There's a path leading down to a shipwreck. We haven't gone up and down this dune before (usually in summer the sand is horrible, but it was frozen so I thought it was a good idea!). We got to the top but it was terribly windy we didn't go any further. Hubby went right back down as he got a mouthful of sand. I stayed at the top for a few minutes and inspired by a comment left by Rose stood at the top, closed my eyes, opened my eyes and just enjoyed.

I usually post a lot of photos on Instagram. So if you are on Instagram give them a look. My Instagram

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Winter Joy List

I have managed to put a few things on my Winter Joy List. I am keeping it on a pad by my chair in the living room and when I think of something I add to it.

This is my list so far:-

* Drinking hot chocolate - there are so many yummy flavours!
* Taking walks along the ice by Lake Michigan
* Reading lots of books snuggled under my fluffy blanket
* Taking snow photos
* Soup - making and eating!
* Enjoying having my old cat, Shadow, sit on my lap for prolonged periods. He really likes the fluffy    blanket. In the warmer months he doesn't tend to sit on me as much.
* Putting out bird seed for the birds in the garden and enjoy watching them especially when
   everything seems grey and dull.
* Doing some crafty projects when the weather is bad outside.

How are you finding joy in the winter?

A photo from the walk this morning. There was a smattering of snow on the ground and it was quite cold. First things, not long after dawn the sun shone for a little while casting a lovely reflection on the water. Not long into our walk the sun disappeared and didn't show itself again all day!

Friday, December 28, 2018

What Comes Next?

Today I'm thinking about sorting out some bits that got neglected before Christmas and tidying up a bit. Next week I hope to get back into my craft room. I'm also thinking about January goals. I hope to have some written down to start off the New Year. I will also be choosing a Word of the Year again. I'm still thinking about what that will be. It's usually one word that I try to remember and carry through my life for the year. This year's word was Explore. We've done quite a bit of that this year!

I'm also working on a Winter Joy List. This is something I read over at My Two Cents. I love Bless' blog. She always has such great daily and monthly goals and to-do lists. She posted about her Winter Joy List and I thought it sounded like a good idea. I don't like winter - at all. I'm hoping concentrating on the good will help me get through it with a smile! Is there something you really enjoy about winter?

I'll leave you with a photo of the hot chocolate packets my hubby found me. I love this brand of hot chocolate. Last year I could find it most places, this year not so much. Hubby managed to get it at a great deal and I have enough (along with cuppa soup!) to get me through winter. Hot chocolate is definitely on my Winter Joy List!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Boxing Day

Well, I survived Christmas Day. It went okay. I did talk and text with daughter throughout the day and she sent photos which really helped. I think she knew I was having a tough time and I'm sure she was missing us too.

Although Boxing Day isn't celebrated within the US we usually do something on Boxing Day. Hubby usually takes the day off and we sit around, playing with presents and eating lots of food. This year middle son is coming over and we're actually going to open all our presents!! We didn't open any at our house yesterday as middle son had to work. So today will be an exchange of presents. They are all currently sitting under the tree awaiting his arrival (which shall be soon!).

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and if things were tough, you made it through it.

A few of the wonderful hand-made ornaments on my talented MIL's Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Eve Eve

Well, the time is almost upon us. I have finished shopping. The presents are wrapped. I still have sausage rolls to make and maybe some cookies. We went out and took a walk today to get away from everything Christmas-y. It was cloudy, dreary and quite cold (really cold by the lake!) but it was nice to get outside and take some photos. I am already thinking about the days after Christmas and sliding into the New Year. There are some many thoughts and plans running around in my head. I know it's just another day, but it feels like the slate can be wiped clean and I can start again. I will be choosing a word of the year, but I don't think I'll be declaring resolutions. I think if I do that I am setting myself up for failure. Instead I think I might do monthly goals. Those seem a lot more manageable. So each month I shall set myself a few goals.

No outdoor photo today as I haven't sorted through them yet, but I'm sharing this lovely Christmas ornament my talented MIL made. I LOVE it! I really enjoy taking photos of squirrels so it seems quite fitting. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Winter Solstice/It's CRAZY out there!

Happy Winter Solstice! It's a dull day here in Michigan. I don't think there's a lot of hope seeing the moon tonight. I was hoping to perhaps catch a glimpse of it. I always look forward to this day. I know it's the shortest day of the year, but it means that the days will be getting longer and, though we are in Winter, Spring will be coming again!

I had a couple of errands to run and it was raining so I got out early instead of going for a walk. It was busy even when I went out! By ten o'clock I was done and I was really glad! It was CRAZY out there! There were too many people and drivers weren't really paying attention to what they were doing. I am looking forward to things being a little quieter when the holidays are done. I think, apart from a couple of foodie things, that I am done shopping.

I did pick up a couple of things that weren't on the list. My middle son has to work on Christmas and I think he's feeling a little down about it. I couldn't buy a tree or plant as he has a kitten, but I did get him a couple of Christmas-y things to hopefully cheer him up!

Moon from Wednesday night when the skies were really clear!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Is it Thursday Already?

Yikes. Time is running out!

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday. I tried not to be too sad as I couldn't see her, but I did get to talk with her for quite a while so that was nice. She said she had a pretty nice day. She had a dentist appointment. Ick. That, for me, would not be a good day! She said she had scheduled it so that she could leave work early! I did go out to lunch with a friend so that was nice. She's always good to talk to. Her younger son moved quite a way away (though he did come back!) so she understood how I felt. She also helped with a couple of other things I was having issues with. I enjoyed talking to her as I didn't feel stupid or that my problems were insignificant.

Things are coming along. We finally got our tree up. I didn't take a normal photo of it, but I was playing around with lights and what-not.

It's my abstract tree! I like that it is actually in the shape of a tree. I'm going to try doing some bokeh photography while the lights are out.

I made a card for someone I'm giving a GC too. I thought I'd just tuck it inside.

It's done by decoupage toppers. I really enjoy doing these. I didn't think I would, but I had a few in my stash. I think this one was 'free' with one of my magazines. The card base is from Docrafts Christmas with Wellington. I got these in the US from There are 12 6x6 card bases (with - I think - 4/5 different prints) and I paid less than $4! They also come with some really nice envelopes.

I think I might have to get some more of these! I really like them.

I've also been doing this 'Currently' thing for The Awesome Ladies Project. On Fridays I fill out this little note and it's just a way to keep track of things. They fit quite nicely in a little notebook I had.

Once I get through this week it will be nice to be able to work on some me projects again.

I really feel like next year I need to be organised. How do people organise for Christmas? Do you buy things throughout the year? Do you make lists of ideas for people? Things to do? I feel as though all this running around and feeling stressed is unnecessary. Thanks for the input!

I always enjoy reading all your comments!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Start of a New Week and Peppermint Patties

I know I was moaning about the cost of the Post Office last week (and ouch it was expensive) but daughter rang to tell me today that the boxes had arrived! I only sent them out Saturday. Can't beat that. I was a little worried that they wouldn't arrive for her birthday as one contains her cards and a couple of presents. Now I can relax a little.

I did get some wrapping done today. I hate wrapping. I'm not good at it. I don't have the patience for it. I am hoping if I get some done each day it won't bore me silly and I won't be doing it on Christmas Eve. Husband has a couple of days holiday left and is taking Christmas Eve and Boxing Day off so we're hoping to go out one of his days off. Boxing Day isn't a holiday here in the US but we've always sort of done something for it. This year middle son is working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so we will be celebrating our Christmas on Boxing Day.

As promised here is the Peppermint Patties recipe

1lb powdered/icing sugar (here in the US I buy a pound bag)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2-3 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup evaporated milk
package melting chocolate (this is to coat the peppermint patties) - I use Candiquick.

Combine first four ingredients. Add milk and mix well. I then put this into the refrigerator for about half an hour. It can be a little sticker so getting it cold helps. Roll into one inch balls, placed on wax paper and flatten. The mixture can be sticky so to make it easier to work I keep some icing sugar/powdered sugar on hand and put it on my hands to help things not stick! Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.  Melt chocolate and coat the patties. I use two spoons to coat and sort of drip of excess. You can get special tools to do this, but I've been doing it a while so have a system. Place them on waxed paper until set.

My family love these!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Saturday...and a funny

Typical Saturday here - walk with hubby and then Skype with Mum. I got a couple of daughter's packages out and now that those are sorted (one more of misc. to go) I'm a little more relaxed. I decided not to do anything holiday related this weekend. I did clean up my craft room a little and sort out a couple of things in the living room to get ready for putting the tree up. Tomorrow isn't supposed to be too bad out (cold, but that's a given) so we'll be off for our Sunday walk.

Hubby must have been really tired. He fell asleep downstairs after doing his own hobby stuff. He made it up to bed later. We said goodnight and I told him I'd see him in the morning. He said 'yeah, for a little while'. I stared at him, not sure what he was talking about. So I said 'why? Are you going somewhere?' He looked at me a little puzzled and said 'work'. He hasn't been working overtime for a few weeks so I said 'are you going to work tomorrow? It's Sunday". He thought it was Monday! I looked at where he usually set his work clothes and sure enough they were all laid out ready to go! He must have still been half asleep!

Here's a photo from yesterday. I sometimes forget that, when things are frozen, the birds find it really hard to find fresh water. So yesterday I got rid of the frozen water in the bird bath and added some fresh water - they really enjoyed it!

Joy had asked about the Peppermint Patties recipe. I will post it tomorrow. Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Busy Day

Had quite a busy day today. I got up quite early and, as it was raining, decided to run a couple of errands first. I had a GC to pick up for daughter's boyfriend, a video game daughter wanted and a couple of household items missed from yet another list. By the time I was done it had stopped raining so I went for a quick walk. It was quite foggy out and rather eerie, but the walk was calming. My plan was to make some peppermint patties when I got home. I thought I had all the ingredients. No. I forgot it had 1/4 tsp vanilla in it and I didn't have any! I used it up the last time I baked something. Sigh. Made me so mad as I had looked at vanilla in the shop when I went and thought 'no, I have plenty of that'. Off out I went, back to the shop up the road, where I promptly got distracted by a couple of friends who work there. They were on their break so I sat with them and had a good old natter.

I did end up making the peppermint patties. One batch at least. I barely remembered to take a photo before packing them! The photos are taken with my phone so not the greatest. Maybe I'll be a little artistic with the next batch!

I have two boxes packed up for daughter - which will go out tomorrow. I have one more to send. I wanted to at least get these out as some things are for her birthday on Wednesday. I'll certainly feel a little bit better when these are on their way. I do need to know how much these ones cost first. I've heard rumours that the post office is in trouble financially. I don't know why! It's always packed when I go in there and they charge an arm and a leg to post anything! I might have to rethink how I do things next year. Sigh.

It 'might' be sunny this weekend, so maybe walking is in the cards. It will be nice to think about something other than the holidays for a couple of days! Hope everyone else will have a good weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Annoyed with Myself

As some people who read this know, I'm not good with lists. I've been really trying to do better. I've been (sort of) on the right track. Last night I made myself a list to take with me to the shops today. In the past I've forgotten the list. I took it with me. I bought just the things on the list. I got in the car, driving home and I realised that I forgot to add some things to the list.

Going back to curling up in a ball.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

On Track...Maybe?

I managed to get my Mum's calendar, album and her and sisters' cards all done. They are packed up and on their way to England! I'm so glad I got them out. They should be there in plenty of time for Christmas. Next on my list is to get daughter's boxes ready. I was going to sort and start wrapping them up today, but when I woke up (sneezing) my nose started running like crazy and I didn't feel like doing much past the errands I needed to get done (including Post Office to send Mum's gift). So...nope, nothing much more done except usual house stuff. There is always tomorrow! I hope my nose stops running. I'd rather it be stuffed up!

A few pages from my Mum's Wales album. Looking at the photos brought back memories. They make me feel both a mixture of happy and sad. Does that make sense?

Hopefully I'll get a little more done tomorrow. I'm planning on taking some cold medicine and getting an early night. Extra sleep might help!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Some Thoughts

I treated myself yesterday to Bella Grace Magazine. It's expensive, but I really enjoy it. Barnes and Noble had sent me a $10 you've-spent-a-lot-this-year thank you gift card (that's what I call it lol) so I used it as part payment for this beautiful magazine. There's always a little editors story/note in the front and this one got me thinking. It was about feeling the need to apologise for what you like, or clarifying why you like something. The example given was that she (the editor) was sitting in a brewery tasting room reading a book. Her friend, who was working, came up and asked what she was reading. The book she was reading happened to just be a fun mystery book. She was a little embarrassed to hold up the book and felt the need to explain why she was reading it - that she had just finished an intense book and wanted something a little light. She really didn't want to just say she enjoyed it.

I must admit that I do that sometimes. Why can I not just say I enjoy/like something without feeling the need to explain it? Different people like different things. We shouldn't feel the need to apologise or be embarrassed by what we like/enjoy. Sometimes when I'm posting photos of the same thing several times on Instagram I feel I should apologise. Why can't I just stand up and say I take the photos because I enjoy taking them? Or when I was at work in the lunch room I was rather like the editor - not wanting to show the book I was reading. I think it's all about being comfortable with yourself. I've been thinking a lot about it and want to make it a goal next year to be more comfortable with myself and less apologetic.

Friday, December 7, 2018


I am addicted to watching Vlogmas videos on YouTube. I didn't know it was a 'thing' until some of the craft people I usually watch starting doing this. It's quite interesting. I am still trying to get in the holiday mood so thought perhaps watching some Vlogmas might help get me there. I'm not sure whether it's getting me in the mood for the holidays or making me more depressed! I can't imagine doing a video everyday. My life is just not that exciting and I don't have the energy to do things just to fill the vlog.

Anybody else watching Vlogmas videos? If so, what's your favourite to watch?

My Mum's album is coming along quite nicely. I will be finished by Monday at least. I'll be satisfied with that. The beginning of the album is a little shaky and I have to go back and do one page, but once I got into the swing of it things are coming along quite nicely. I will have her things boxed up and out by Tuesday or Wednesday. When I go to the post office to post hers I will pick up the large priority boxes for daughter's things. I want to get them off by next weekend. Once I am finished with Mum's things I shall feel a lot better. The box to send is quite expensive. I got prices the last time I was at the post office and it is better to use a flat-rate box so I shall fill it up completely. I am putting my sisters' cards and calendars in the box too and will have Mum pass them on.

This weekend is supposed to be cold but there is supposed to be sunshine! I hope so. I always feel a little brighter when there is sunshine!

Oh I finally finished the knitting project that has been on my needles forever! It wasn't difficult, but I had to concentrate on the pattern. Any distraction and I'd mess up. The good news is that, despite getting myself in a muddle, I managed to work through it. I'm not that pleased with the colour. It was supposed to be different shades of grey but didn't work out that way!

The photo isn't the greatest. I took it with my phone while sitting here in my chair. I might make another one. It will keep my neck nice and warm during the winter months!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

And the Week Rolls on....

It's Thursday again already! I have such good intentions of writing more on the blog and then things (life) just seems to get in the way. I'm still working on my mum's album. I can't find some of the photos! YIKES! I had cleaned up when daughter came and now I can't find what I did with them. After I am done with this I think I'm going to have a good sort out. I really don't feel like doing a lot of other holiday crafting. Perhaps next year....

It's been another week of ups and down on the weather front. It's cold and mostly grey, but on Tuesday we had a beautifully sunny (still cold) day. I spent far too much time walking and then spent the rest of the day trying to get warm again! I miss the sun and wanted to make the most of it.

Look at that reflection! No wonder I am behind on things lol.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Another Week...and thanks

Thanks for all the comments on the last post! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's heard/used the saying.

It's the start of another week I'm going to try to approach it a little more cheerfully. The snow - for now - is gone and that, at least, makes me a little happier. It is still grey and horrible but at least I can get out and take a walk - albeit a muddy walk, but it's out! On snowy days I really miss walking. Anyway, this week I have lots of projects to get done. I am happy to report that I am finished with my Mum's calendar! Yeah! One big project down. I am going to start working on one of our holidays in a small album for her to send with her package. I have the photos and the album so now it's a matter of picking out the photos, embellishments and stories to go with them. This is where the travel journal I kept while on holiday helps. I can look back in there to help jog my memory.

I think I have all my Christmas cards done. I found up some decoupage die-cut sheets and have been having lots of fun making them into cards. As soon as we get some decent light I WILL take photos!

Daughter and her boyfriend have finally managed to get up the fence around their garden. She sent me a lovely video of the dogs running around for the first time. It was lovely to see despite not being there. Sometimes I really love modern technology.

How is everyone coming with holiday projects? Do you make lots of things or just a select few? I usually just make for people I know will really appreciate it. Which reminds me - middle son just gave me his list and a knitted scarf from me is on it! I made him one last year and he loved it. Makes me quite proud.

To end on - last week I took another walk in the park I visited at the beginning of the month. It was amazing to compare the same view.

November 3rd

November 29th

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Sayings - has anyone heard of?

I was talking to my husband and son (both Americans) about the death of George Bush senior and I said that my Mum would have said that he had a good innings. They both stared at me like I was crazy. I know Mum uses it - and I heard it a lot growing up - and it means they had a really long life. Does anyone else use this? Or have heard it? I know it has to do with cricket, which is why husband and son probably haven't heard of it.

Anyone else?

Friday, November 30, 2018

There's a big round thing in the sky...

It's the sun! It feels like forever since we've had sun though it's apparently only been a week. I certainly made the most of it today as apparently it will be the last I see of it until Sunday next. I took a couple of walks and just enjoyed it. I was of the mind that anything at home could wait - it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow (a change from the snow lol) so we probably won't be out walking. I managed to get another card done and got photos to complete my Mum's calendar. I am hoping (fingers crossed) to have it done by Monday.

One of the places I walked today is close to where I got my photos done. It's a lovely little walk. I love the row of pine trees there is in the middle of the walk. There are two lots of pines trees - The Magnificent Pines and The-not-so-Magnificent Pines. I love the way they look. I like taking photos of paths and such so this view is one I really love.

It's Skype day tomorrow. I'm hoping that my internet will work. We've been having trouble with it this week. I'm not sure if it's because of the heavy snow on the cable and (I'm hoping) that now the snow is melting (because of the above-freezing temps and the sun!) it will get back to normal. Otherwise hubby is going to have to stop in the place on his way home. I hate ringing them to complain about the service as you have to go through a whole lot of hassle before you can even speak to someone and then they are reading from a script. It takes forever to get an appointment that way. Anyway, fingers crossed it will work, otherwise I'll just be ringing Mum.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Still Snowy...

It's still snowy, though the snow has stopped and the salt/road crew finally came through our street and up the hill so I went out. I don't like driving in the snow and my car isn't all wheel drive so slides around (yikes!). Now that I'm lucky enough not to have to go out in it if I don't have to, I don't. It does make the day seem really long if I don't get to go out for a walk, so I try to do it every day even if it isn't a long walk. I have to admit that the snow outside looks beautiful. It's a heavy snow and has clung to the trees and the branches coating everything in white.

I love this view in winter. It's so peaceful despite being really close to the city.

I managed to get up into my craft room yesterday too. I'll have a couple of cards to share once I take photos. I finished my October pages for My Year album I've been doing. I am happy to say that I've kept up with it. As it isn't a major project - just a couple of pages a month - it's an easily manageable project.

I've been sorting through Christmas presents. I can't believe it will be December on Saturday! Yikes! I really do have to get Mum's calendar finished so I can post it in a reasonable time. Because of the postage cost to England I'm including cards/calendars to my sisters in the same box too.

I hope everyone is having a good week. If the sun is shining in your part of the world please blow a little of it this way!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Snowy Monday

Daughter left on Saturday. She had a safe journey back. I'm glad she made it before the snow started. Today has been lousy outside. I stayed in, cleaned house and got caught up on housework. I was planning on spending some time sorting out my craft room and get going again on crafty projects but I really felt unmotivated. I'm in a little funk - think this always happens when she first leaves or I first get back from Mum's. It was so nice having her around. It seems a long time until I'll see her again. Sigh. So today I'm going to let myself sulk, feel sad, maybe cry a little and start again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Walking - Milkweed

When I'm out walking I see lots of lovely things. Nature is really quite beautiful, even this time of year when the trees are finally bare and there isn't a lot of colour around.

One of my favourite things to see are these lovely milkweed plants. In the summer the flowers are really lovely, but it's at this time of year that I really think they look beautiful. The pods open up and fluffy fuzz pours out along with these lovely brown seeds. They looks so soft (and feel that way too!).  I did buy myself a little Michigan wildflower book so I could look up plants when I saw them.

My book says: There are over 2000 milkweed species worldwide, 12 in Michigan. A unique pollination system involves sacs of pollen that snag on an insect's leg; the insect then unwittingly inserts the sacs into slits on other flowers. The plant's milky sap contains cardiac glycosides and, if eaten, will cause hot flashes, rapid heart rate and general weakness. The Monarch butterfly lays its eggs exclusively on milkweeds. Monarch caterpillars ingest the toxic sap with no ill effects, but they then become toxic to birds and other animals. Fibers from old stems are used by orioles for making nests.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Daughter arrived safely on Saturday. She is only home for a week, but I'm really thankful she is. We've been out walking with Shasta. It's nice to have someone else to walk with though I don't see much wildlife when Shasta is around (she sees them but they are scared of her). Daughter is spending time catching up with friends some of the time and I get to dog sit Shasta. Last night she wanted to cuddle on the settee. She does miss daughter when she isn't around.

We do plan on doing a little shopping. For a while now I've needed a new winter coat but I'm a little cheap to spend the 60-150 dollars it costs for a new one. Our local all-round shop had some on sale this week - the $80 ones were only $19.99. I could bring myself to spend that! It's really warm and fluffy. Daughter ended up buying one too. I am going to splurge on Friday as Barnes and Noble has their magazines on sale for 30% off. They only do one or two of these a year and I treat myself to some English ones. Apart from some of daughter's games (Christmas presents) she has on her list the mags will be my only shopping this week. I hate crowds and will be avoiding them as much as possible!

I am looking forward to having all three of my 'kids' together for Thanksgiving. It's been almost a year since they've all been together and I've told them to expect some photo taking!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Long Week...

This week seems to be going quite slowly. I think it might have something to do with hubby being away for work until the weekend and the lousy weather. It's snowing again today. I was rather hoping it wouldn't. There's wishing for you! The weather forecast said a few snow showers around in the afternoon. It started around eight this morning. I don't like surprises. Needless to say, plans I had are out the window. I'm staying inside. I did tidy up my room. It's ready for daughter's visit. I'm going to pull out my knitting and spend the day doing that, or perhaps some stitching (I'm working on a little Christmas card) if the light is good enough. I put out some extra seed for the birds - some fruit and nut mix I got yesterday. The seed I put out on the table first thing has been buried beneath a layer of snow. No walk today. I got the car out, warmed it up (another horrible thing about winter lol), drove up the hill and back down again. I honestly couldn't be bothered.

I think I'll finish my hot chocolate and do some crafty stuff! Looking out the window at the white stuff is as close to it I'm going to get for the rest of the day.

From my walk the other day.

Monday, November 12, 2018


It has officially arrived. Too soon, in my opinion. Yes, we got snow Friday night into Saturday morning. More than expected. Probably around six inches. Hubby had planned on getting the porch winterised at the weekend, so snow had got on the front porch as it was quite windy too. He wasn't too happy. It did make him get the porch done as soon as possible though!

Despite the snow we did take a drive on Saturday. The closer we got to the lakeshore, the less snow there was but the winds were really quite high! Made for some lovely views of the lighthouse.

Saturday is Skype day and had a lovely chat with Mum. Time does seem to fly when we're talking. She's been having nicer weather than me. She'd actually gone to Felixstowe with my oldest sister on Thursday. I showed her the snow outside the window and she was glad she wasn't here!

This week I have to get my craft room sorted ready for when daughter comes. It means boxing things up in some order so that I can easily get to the Christmas projects I'm working on after she has left. Organising is not my forte. I shall try to do my best! The calendar I'm making for my Mum is coming along nicely. I will be taking some photos while daughter is here including one of the three 'kids' together. I am hoping to have the calendar and one holiday photo album for Mum done and posted by Dec 14th. I will be putting cards in there too - for Mum and sisters so those have to be made by then too.

Hubby is going away for work tomorrow and won't be back until the end of the week so I shall have time in the evenings to get some sorting/organising done. I usually sit with him when he comes home from work but as he won't be here I can work on other stuff. I did start a little cross stitch card, but the light has been so terrible and the threads really close in colour I'm finding a little tough to work on. Here's hoping for sunshine!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Decluttering - well...

Thanks for all the lovely comments on the last post!

At the end of the last post I said my next post would be about decluttering. I probably shouldn't have said that. Laugh out loud. I had such good intentions and, at that point, was on a roll. Then midweek when I talked to Mum, I realised that daughter would be coming on the 17th - which is next weekend - had a little panic and stopped pulling stuff out and making more mess! So there isn't a lot to report. I did get a good start. I was inspired by Bless over at My Two Cents. She always writes such good posts with lists and goals. I decided to start the decluttering with clothes. They don't have a lot of meaning with me so I managed to pull out a few. I also did clean out the top of the wardrobe and found some things I didn't need, as well as a few jumpers I had tucked away (ones I really like but had forgotten about!). I also found up some Christmas bags so I made a list of the ones I needed for this Christmas - and I went to get them at the dollar shop before they all disappeared.

There were a couple of things I had to throw out completely but the other pieces I boxed up ready to take to the charity shop. It doesn't seem like a lot but it's a start.

- photo album (old fashioned that I'll never use)
- cd
- dvd
- pair of jeans
- 2 shirts
- pair of knit capris
- crafty kit (that I have had a while and will never complete)
- fashion scarf (something that came with a jumper and not a lot of use to me)
- blouse (I liked it at the time I bought it but realistically I won't wear so time to let go)

More difficult for me I managed to put together a box of ten books to take to the library for donation, put another six on (only those that had wishes for them so they can go immediately) and gave a small bag of books to my friend to read. Phew. It actually does look a little better when all written down! It helped to write things down too as I could see the progress.

Although I'm going to continue with the book decluttering, the rest will go on hiatus until after Thanksgiving. I have some cleaning up to do for when daughter comes to stay - it's next weekend YIKES!

Monday, November 5, 2018

November 5th

Today is Guy Fawkes Day and my 30th wedding anniversary. I picked the date because I knew that I would remember it. I'm terrible at remembering dates.

I can't believe it's been 30 years! Where has the time gone? We've had our ups and downs but we're still here. Even after this long when I had the flu in the spring he came home on his lunch break to check on me. He's the one who comes out with me every Sunday, rain or shine, blowing snow or freezing ice. Yes, he'll be sheltering from the wind while I take my photos, but he does get out of the car lol. I really don't know how he puts up with grumpy me sometimes. I guess I'll hold on to him for a little longer ;)

On a crafty note, I FINALLY finished my cross stitch. It seems as though I've been working on this forever. It had been in my stash for a while. As a rule I don't generally buy kits and working on this reminded me why. I love the design and most of the time I enjoyed working on it, BUT there were a lot of half stitches and the fabric supplied didn't make it easy. Also there were a lot of one strand of this colour and one strand of that. I didn't like that at all. Our cat doesn't seem to like me doing anything while I'm sitting in my chair as he thinks my lap should be his on command. I had a lot of picking it up and putting it down again.

I am pleased with how it turned out. However I think my next cross stitch project will be one of the small kits that come 'free' with the magazine. I have quite a few of them! I also need to pick up the knitting and learning to crochet again now that the weather is cooler. Mum asked me whether I'd done anymore crochet and I had to admit that I hadn't so I think I'll pull it out and try again. 

Tomorrow is my final dentist appointment for a while - my permanent crown will be put on. I'll be glad to be done. The ladies at my dentist at very nice, but I'll be glad not to see them for a while!

Hope everyone is having a good Monday. I'm talking decluttering next post. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Rabbits, Rabbits....a day late!

Okay so I'm a day late, but I did think it yesterday! How many other people always feel the need to say 'rabbits, rabbits' on the first of the month? Another one we always used to say was 'pinch, punch, first of the month' to which someone would invariably say 'a punch and a kick for being so quick'. I blame my wandering thoughts of this to Sue over at The Cottage at the End of a Lane . She always writes such great posts about old folklore and traditions.

On that note, as I saw her post the other day I had to pull out my copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. I actually went out and found my own copy after Sue had mentioned it. It's a really gorgeous book. Lots of lovely tales and beautiful illustrations. It really is wonderful. I was looking through November's pages and there is an illustration of a green woodpecker. I was lucky enough to see one while I was home visiting Mum. I don't remember seeing one before or, more likely, I haven't paid attention. It seems lately I've been seeing red tailed hawks everywhere here. I'm sure it's not the first time they've been around, more likely because I now know what they are I see them more often.

Isn't it gorgeous?

The hawks I've been seeing are on my walk in the woods, on the way to the shops yesterday, one flew in front of my car last week and in my neighbour's tree a couple of days ago! I came home from my walk and wondered why there was a deafening silence - no birds, no noise, nothing - the food on the bird table had barely  been touched despite being early in the morning. A few minutes later I saw it!

No wonder the birds were so quiet!

Now that November has rolled around I'm thinking of the holidays (I'm not saying the 'c' word yet lol). I'm actually going to make a list! I have a few accessories left over from last year and I don't want to repeat buy. That's one of my goals for today. I couldn't sleep - woke up when husband did (4am) and couldn't get back to sleep. My mind started going a mile a minute so I didn't doze off again. I laid there until hubby and son left for work (5.30) and then got up. So I have extra time  though I'm pretty sure I'll be ready to doze by this afternoon.

What's everyone else up to this Friday?

Monday, October 29, 2018


Thanks to everyone for the list making responses on my last post. I have a large planner right by my chair where I am writing things as I think of them. I haven't done too bad sticking to most things - though I must admit I completely forgot to do a load of washing today despite it being on my list. I saw it this morning and it completely slipped my mind until hubby mentioned putting today's work clothes in the hamper....ding! ding! I remembered that I was supposed to do a load of wash. Whoops!

The weekend was horribly wet and dreary. It always seems to be that way on the weekend lately. Hubby worked on Saturday so I stayed in. Sunday we decided to take a drive anyway. The rain did stop long enough that we were able to get in a couple of stops for photos. We managed about a mile and a half walk...and got drenched! Still, we did get out lol.

We made a stop at this bridge again. I did manage to get in trying out some shutter speed shots while there was a (very short) break in the rain.

Quite pleased with the way they turned out. I think I am spending far too much time taking photos when I should be working on projects. At least I am being creative.

Not a lot on for the week - I have a pile of books ready to go, that have to be gone. I also want to sort some clothes out of the wardrobe. There are some I don't wear nor will I. Not sure why I'm hanging on to them. Also I WILL START ON THOSE PROJECTS!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Making Lists

I am trying to write down a few things I want to get done each day (in addition to the usual). If I don't have things written down my mind tends to wander and I don't get anything done. Before I know it hubby is on his way home and the day is almost done! I know that if I see things written down I keep more on track. It feels good to cross them out as done too. I have got half the week planned for meals, but have to work on the end half. At least it's getting cooler and having the oven on actually feels good!

I still haven't started on Christmas things. Sigh. This really is going to be last minute. Perhaps I should add them to the daily list even if it will feel like a chore then. At least I might actually get something done. What tips do you have to keep you on track or motivated?

Here's a photo from the weekend. We actually got out for a walk. We got up extra early and headed out to one of my favourite state parks - Ludington. It was quite crisp out but it turned into a beautiful day. The weather forecast had said mainly cloudy so we were really lucky!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Made it to the Weekend

It's been a funny sort of week this week. We were gone until Monday afternoon so I was messed up on my days a little. I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday - my permanent bridge fitted and a crown on the other side. My whole mouth was terribly numb and the anxiety meds I take for the occasion make me feel quite sleepy when I'm all done. I think some of that might be the mess I've worked myself up into and then the crash when it's all done and is never as bad as I thought it would be. Anyway, that meant Tuesday was basically a nothing day.

I have been getting out walking. The weather is turning cooler now so I want to make the most of it while I can. I did manage to get all caught up on the wash - which I thought would be a never-ending task. I've been sorting through photos too. I took a LOT of them. It was all so pretty I couldn't resist.

Here's another snowy one. I saw this view as we were driving and made hubby stop. It looked so beautiful and peaceful.

I did get up in my craft room today. It's almost November and I really need to get going on those Christmas projects or they won't be done! What is everyone else working on for the holidays?

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

So Beautiful - Autumn Colours

We had a fantastic weekend away. The colours up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were just stunning. I think my mouth was dropped open in amazement half the weekend. It was so gorgeous I can't find the words to describe it. I wish I could move up there and see some of these views every morning. We had a touch of snow and things were certainly chilly but the weather stayed good for the most part.

Here are just a few photos. Yes, the colours were really that bright. I never knew trees came in so many colours.

Driving along. If I could have I would have had hubby stop at least once a mile lol.

One of my favourite views - the lighthouse on Grand Island.

Tahquamenon Falls.

I took so many photos. It's going to take a while to sort through!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Still raining, though we had a gorgeous day yesterday. The temperature (on my phone) said 85F (29C) at one point! Yikes. That is really high for here. The mosquitoes were still out and biting me. I made the most of it and went for a long walk. I got down to the lake just after sunrise and it was really pretty.

It was like something out of a painting. The leaves are beginning to change colour. There is always that one tree - you can see it in the photo - that changes colour before the rest. I wish there was a bench there so I could just sit and admire it. The light was really golden then.

Today the morning sun soon turned back to rain and that's the way it's been for most of the day. Thanks for all the rainy day thoughts and suggestions. I really don't mind a day here or there, but I think what's getting me down is knowing that soon there will be more grey days than sunny ones. Sometimes we can go weeks without seeing the sun. I just need to get back into that state of mind again.

On a good note, we are going away for a mini-break this weekend. We will be going for a long weekend up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For those who aren't familiar with this region of America, Michigan is split into two parts - the upper and lower peninsula (as seen on the map below). We live down in the bottom - close to the bottom of Michigan - and we're going way up to the Upper Peninsula. The colour change of the trees up there are amazing. It will be a nice break.

On my attempts to organise - I have been sticking to the meal planning but I haven't got a lot else on my to-do list done. Sigh. I still have Thursday and Friday!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rainy Weekend

The weather has been terrible all weekend! I managed a little walk by myself yesterday but hubby and I didn't even go out today. It's rainy and dull and not worth bothering. Instead I stayed in and at least attempted to do something other than curl up in my chair and read (which is exactly the sort of day it is)! I went up to craft room and spent a little trying to create. I hope the week brings a little sunshine. I feel uninspired to take a lot of photos so tried to be a little creative in my photo taking of my crafts.

What do you do on rainy days to keep your spirits up? Is there some way you like to spend your time when there are several days in a row with rain or bad weather?